We have a rising star at CMS! Our new Primary Assistant Grace McKinney worked closely with partner Gaby Brabazon for more than a year to bring Cosmic Bookshelf to life for the global Montessori community, and now we are pleased to share their efforts with our own CMS community. What in the world is Cosmic Bookshelf, you ask? Grace would love to introduce this wonderful literary resource:
In Montessori philosophy, Cosmic Education is the approach to Elementary education that gives students a sense of where they are in the universe, beginning at the largest scale — the cosmos — and working down to the self. Our blog, Cosmic Bookshelf, aims to help teachers and families build just that: a bookshelf that, across the breadth of pages stacked upon it, extends children’s vision beyond themselves and into the universe that surrounds them. Constructed from the joint effort of two trained Montessorians and children’s literature enthusiasts, the blog compiles a wide variety of book lists, author/illustrator interviews, and a guide for book selection for children of all ages. Those who subscribe to Cosmic emails receive newsletters with tidbits of helpful information and notifications for each new blog post. We began offering workshops, too, which help adults consider what it means to look at a book through a Montessori lens, how to choose books with this in mind, and what you can do to invite children more deeply into read-alouds, both at home and in the classroom.
I’m particularly excited to share this resource with Chesterfield Montessori School. In just the first few weeks of school, our staff has sparked conversation about diversifying their bookshelves for a more “cosmic” approach. They have reached out with questions about which books might make good read-alouds for their children, which books might be a little too dated to be in the regular rotation, and which books we should keep and share among our classroom communities. I look forward to the potential for these kinds of discussions with CMS families, as well. I’m always happy to answer emails through our Cosmic Bookshelf email address, and I hope to meet many families throughout the year to better serve our whole community.