Back in school after online learning March-June

Thank you, God, for children who fill our days with memories.

Finally, after almost six months since starting online learning back in March, we are able to see the children ”face to face” in the classroom once again from the end of August.  How nice it was to see the children, mask to mask, in person.

With Ms. Yuri joining our class and the Montessori team, we have started the new academic school year. Ms. Hoshi is now working in the school library, and we will have the chance to see her when we visit the library every week. We enjoyed welcoming in person both the old and the new children.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are following a “new normal” such as hand washing throughout the day, wearing a mask all day, observing physical distancing when lining up, partitions positioned on the tables, good ventilation along with air-conditioning with windows and doors partially opened, and sterilizing the school equipment and Montessori materials, especially after the children have gone home for the day.

The Parent Support Group (PSG) has kindly granted our wish at the end of the last school year for an air purifier in each Montessori classroom.  Oh, it’s a wonderful addition to our classroom.

The children seemed excited to be back in the classroom and were eager to work and refine their fine-motor skills using their hands.

The children were intrigued to figure out what matches, by looking at the small parts and then the whole picture.

Walking on the line: for balance and gross motor movement.

Last year’s youngest group of children are now helping the younger children, remembering what the older children had offered them earlier.

The masks have already become an accepted necessity, to protect ourselves and have concern for others.  The importance of washing our hands regularly has been explained for getting rid of the virus/germs around us.  The children understand the value of sterilizing their hands and what they touch.

There is development in the children’s concentration and composition skills using the Large Moveable Alphabet.

Another self-discovery task is learning the names of the different shapes.

Once a week, “Show and Tell” is a time to share and explain to the entire class what has been brought from home. A variety of questions are raised by their friends after each presentation.

Early in September, we practiced the three emergency drills involving the entire school, from Montessori, Elementary, Middle up to High School.  The first schoolwide coordinated effort was the earthquake drill, later the lockdown drill, and finally the fire drill.  There will also be unannounced drills in the near future.  Our Montessori children were calm and followed directions well, as practiced earlier.  They understand that they are safe when we stay together and follow the directions given by the teachers and assistants.  The children took seriously the earthquake drill of going under the table.

The whole school, including faculty and staff, evacuated to the next-door Futaba School grass area during the fire drill.

In the classroom the children value working in pairs and taking turns, and respecting each other.

A favorite activity remains socializing in the classroom’s library corner.

During the day, there is always time to socialize while working together on a project, which also reveals their creativity.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori educational method of teaching.  Montessori schools can be found all over the world. To celebrate her birthday, the children colored cupcakes with candles.

Of course, we took the time to enjoy the real chocolate cupcakes baked by our school cafeteria, Cezar’s Kitchen; this photo below was taken by Ms. Furstenau before our feast. We hope to show you our smiles under our masks some day soon.  Please stay safe and well.  We will, too.