How do we Celebrate Christmas Around the World: Traditions, Crafts, Recipes

Check out this great article showcasing the different ways people from all over the world celebrate this holiday season!

Article Credit, Kid World Citizen: http://kidworldcitizen.org/2014/11/26/christmas-around-world/

Christmas Around the World- Kid World Citizen
Christmas in Australia
Christmas in Australia- Kid World Citizen
Christmas in Canada
Christmas in Canada- Kid WOrld CItizen
Christmas in China

Christmas in China- Kid World Citizen

 

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali!

Celebrating the “Festival of Lights” in style by decorating lamps and making Rangolis in our primary community.

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For a brief look into the history of Diwali, I would invite you to explore the links provided below:

Flash Back Friday: 6 Ways to Promote Peace in the Classroom, Countdown to International Day of Peace

Original post: Sept. 19, 2014
A petting zoo is a great way to teach children how to gently handle and care for small animals.

“…establishing peace is the work of education” – Maria Montessori

It is our responsibility as educators to promote peace within our classrooms. Peace education starts the moment the child walks through your door on the first day of school, and should be presented in almost every work and lesson all throughout the year. Maria Montessori was a large advocate for peace education, and created her philosophy and teaching methods based on this foundational principle.

There are many ways to promote peace in the classroom that aren’t too abstract and simple to teach, especially for our younger 2 – 3 year olds. Although it is important to touch on this subject, peace education does not have to just include the prevention of war. It can start in the classroom, by simple acts of kindness, or care of the environment and others around us. The word “peace” means something different to everyone; there are an endless number of ways a child can bring peace to the community. It is our job as educators to foster a healthy learning environment that displays both peace and harmony.

Here are a few ways that you can help promote peace in your classroom: Continue reading

Parent Resource: Observing Holidays as Cultural Celebrations in the Montessori Environment

“Sharing the holiday with other people, and feeling that you’re giving of yourself, gets you past all the commercialism.” ~Caroline Kennedy Another great article provided by the North American Montessori Center, discussing the downfall of commercialism’s effect on holidays and … Continue reading

Diwali Celebration

Our primary community celebrated Diwali today, India’s “Festival of Lights”. Diwali is celebrated in many different ways, depending on where one lives. This festival marks the last harvest of the year before winter, and also represents the victory of good over evil.

In our community, we celebrate the Festival of Lights. There is no religious affiliation to the celebration, however we do embrace the culture and historical importance of the holiday itself. Many of our families celebrate this holiday in their homes, in their own personal way. The children read books and look at pictures of the Festival of Lights, light candles, and often times make a symbolic Rangoli, which is a type of folk art from India made of sand, flower petals, etc., and is produced on the floor.

"Diwali works" were added to our art shelf to help celebrate the occasion.

“Diwali works” were added to our art shelf to help celebrate the occasion.

One of our friends brought hand-made candles with a special note to share with all our friends - thank you!

One of our friends brought hand-made candles with a special note to share with all our friends – thank you!

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Ms. Geetha shows everyone how to make their own Rangoli.

Ms. Geetha shows everyone how to make their own Rangoli.

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"Lamp Tracing" was available at the light box. Children could trace and color or paint their new art.

“Lamp Tracing” was available at the light box. Children could trace and color or paint their new art.

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We lit candles around the rangoli to commemorate the "Festival of Lights".

We lit candles around the rangoli to commemorate the “Festival of Lights”.

For a brief look into the history of Diwali, I would invite you to explore the links provided below:

 

6 Ways to Promote Peace in the Classroom, Countdown to International Day of Peace

“…establishing peace is the work of education” – Maria Montessori

It is our responsibility as educators to promote peace within our classrooms. Peace education starts the moment the child walks through your door on the first day of school, and should be presented in almost every work and lesson all throughout the year. Maria Montessori was a large advocate for peace education, and created her philosophy and teaching methods based on this foundational principle.

There are many ways to promote peace in the classroom that aren’t too abstract and simple to teach, especially for our younger 2 – 3 year olds. Although it is important to touch on this subject, peace education does not have to just include the prevention of war. It can start in the classroom, by simple acts of kindness, or care of the environment and others around us. The word “peace” means something different to everyone; there are an endless number of ways a child can bring peace to the community. It is our job as educators to foster a healthy learning environment that displays both peace and harmony.

Here are a few ways that you can help promote peace in your classroom:

  1. Care of Environment, Self, and Others
    – Children understand the importance of peace by learning to care for their classroom environment, as well as others around them. They want to be involved in work that is meaningful and has a specific purpose; work that allows them to be a beneficial member of the community.
    I plant flowers to help keep my school beautiful.
  2. “No Bullying” Policy
    – Of course it goes without saying that your school should have a strict no-tolerance policy against bullying. Teach children how to verbally resolve their conflicts, rather than acting on impulse and physically hurting another friend. We use kind words and gestures in the classroom, and never emotionally hurt another friend by calling them names. Verbally redirect children who might need extra help and guidance in this area. Nurture a healthy environment that promotes conflict resolution skills, which in turn help increase the child’s listening, communication, and problem solving skills.
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  3. Care of Animals
    – If your school permits, “classroom pets” are a great way to teach children the proper care of animals. Allow them to be responsible for feeding the animal, provide daily water, and clean the cages, with little help from the adult (but with the proper supervision!). A petting zoo is a great way to introduce different farm animals, and to teach the children how to pet the animals gently, or to respect their space when they do not want to be bothered. Remember, we pet animals with two fingers, gently!
    A petting zoo is a great way to teach children how to gently handle and care for small animals.
  4. Respect for Diversity
    – In our school community, we embrace a mutual respect for diversity, as well as a variety of cultural and international holidays. If we teach this same respect to children when they are young, they will grow to have a deeper appreciation and understanding of all cultures. The photo below is from a display in our Multicultural Winter Program, 2013.
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  5. Yoga
    – Not only is yoga the perfect indoor exercise activity for young children, it helps build peace from the inside out! Yoga builds muscle strength, promotes concentration, and teaches the child the importance of physical exercise. This is also a healthy outlet for those with “extra energy”.
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  6. Peace Pledge
    – Reciting a peace pledge is a good practice that should be done daily in the classroom. We proudly display the World Peace Flag as an important reminder of what our school represents. The children visit the flag daily to recite the peace pledge:
    “I pledge allegiance to the earth and to all life that it nourishes, all growing things, all species of animals and all races of people. I promise to protect all life on our planet, to live in harmony with nature and to share our resources justly, so that all people can live with dignity in good health and in peace.”
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Education and peace go hand-in-hand; we must educate for peace.

Resources:
Education and Peace: the Montessori Series, Maria Montessori
Peaceful Children, Peaceful World: the Challenge of Maria Montessori, Aline D. Wolf
Peace Education: Third Edition, Ian M. Harris and Mary Lee Morrison
Celebrate! Connections Among Cultures, Jan Reynolds

Websites:
http://www.montessoriservices.com/ideas-insights/cultivating-peace-in-the-classroom
http://www.wincalendar.com/International-Day-Of-Peace (history of International Day of Peace)

Peace Quotes:
“…establishing peace is the work of education” — Maria Montessori
“If we are to create peace in the world, we must begin with the children.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“True peace, on the contrary, suggests the triumph of justice and love among all people” — Maria Montessori
“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal” — Martin Luther King, Jr.