Successful Ladies STEAM night

Earlier this week our STEAM teachers, Jennifer Reid and Danielle Ulacco, organized a STEAM Ladies’ Night event. Women in our community gathered to learn a new skill, create, and enjoy each others company. This hands on experience demonstrates a type of activity that our children learn during their participation in the Art Studio and the MakerSpace.

This event was made possible by an FWM family who is passionate about STEAM education and we thank them for sponsoring this event.

We are happy to share that each “techniGAL” went home with a completed, hand-knit, chenille blanket.

More than a Good Grade

One reason why the partnership between the home and FWM tends to be stronger than most schools is because there is mission alignment.  Parents and caregivers who choose to enroll their children at FWM believe in the Montessori approach.  They believe that a school should do more than just prepare a child to get good grades; our parents believe a school should cultivate compassion and kindness.  When I ask prospective families what they hope their child will gain from an FWM education, a common response is, “I want my child to be a good person.”  FWM is a school that does a very good job helping children to become their best selves.

We are most effective at teaching children to be their best selves when we, as adults, are our best selves.  Hence, we need to expect all the adults in our community – teachers, staff, parents, and caregivers – to strive to we be good citizens and act in ways that demonstrate the values that we adhere to at FWM.  When we do so, we are authentic with children and model the appropriate ways to act and behave.  I feel so fortunate that our community not only understands this, but also lives it.

Important Information & Upcoming Events

Parent Association Meeting tomorrow, February 25th from 8:30-9:30am. We will be discussing the upcoming Movie & Trivia Afternoon, as well as sharing details about the 26th Annual Auction Gala and ways that you can get involved!  Younger siblings welcome! LIVE STREAM LINK*:
*This link will allow you to view the Parent Association meeting live starting at 8:30 on the morning of the meeting. Additionally, you will be able to visit the link to see the archived version of the meeting once the live stream is over. This month’s topic discussion: Bringing Montessori Home will be presented by Chris Robertson, Head of School, Cindy Carroll, Director of Primary and Toddler Programs, and Primary Head Teacher and Karen Sankey, Lower Elementary Head Teacher will share simple ways to bring Montessori into your home for your child.

Re-enrollment contracts for the upcoming 2020-21 school year will be emailed to all current families tomorrow Tuesday, February 25th with a returned by due date of Tuesday, March 17th. It is extremely important to make note of this deadline. Those families with a child currently in the Toddler program moving into Primary and returning Primary students, please refer to the email sent by Chris Robertson, Head of School on February 23rd about potential space availability issues that FWM is currently facing. While many Early Childhood through 8th Grade independent schools are noticing a decline in enrollment, FWM is experiencing an increased interest in our school – particularly in our Primary program.

Knowing the talent of our teachers and the quality of our Montessori program, I am not surprised that families are seeking to enroll their children in our school.  Due to the number of FWM children returning to our Primary program as well as those children moving up from Toddler, FWM’s Primary will have limited openings for the 2020-2021 school year.

Therefore, please adhere to the March 17th contract deadline to secure your child’s spot; we will be offering open spots to prospective families whose children have applied for Primary on Wednesday, March 18th.  We will be unable to secure a spot for your child unless a contract is returned by March 17th.

FWM’s 26th annual Auction Gala is approaching on Friday, April 17th at 6:30pm. at The Waterview in Monroe. Tickets are now on sale here! The first 25 families to purchase ANY auction ticket will receive a themed swag box!

Become a gardener of love! For each $90 gift, a tulip will be planted at school to honor the ones you love! A metal tulip with a heart attached (inscribed with the donor or loved one’s name) will “bloom” in front of the school on March 30th. To recognize your gift, the metal tulip & heart will be sent to the recipient of your choosing during the first week of April and a permanent tulip bulb will be planted in its place.

Tax-deductible donations can be made online here. Only 5 days left, during the month of February, each new $90 donation that is made to FWM will go to this year’s Annual Fund campaign which supports the school’s ongoing mission of cultivating compassion, confidence and joy of learning for current students. Celebrate LOVE with a gift to our school!

Parent Association New Event: Trivia/Movie Afternoon Saturday, March 7th-3:30-6:30pm.
Join us at school for an afternoon of competitive trivia! The trivia program is digital, interactive, fast and fun. This event is open to FWM friends and family! Don’t delay, sign up today to reserve your spot here!

Don’t have a babysitter? Childcare for children (walking through 8th grade) will be available at school for $20 per child which includes pizza and popcorn. Children will be grouped by age group depending on the number of students. Please register in advance here.

Trivia Overview: 6 adult players max per team and a maximum of 25 total teams. If you don’t have a team of 6, you will be assigned to a team. Each team is encouraged to create a team name and can choose to decorate your team table in any way that you choose. The trivia game lasts approximately 2 hours. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as well as last place and best decorated table.The event is BYOB and feel free to bring snacks for your table to share.

Any questions, please email Parent Chairs: Natalia Kokalj-O’Driscoll Kristen Rio Brooke Hopkins Rossana Cinquegrana

Join a Book Study to discuss the book, How to Raise an AdultHead of School, Chris Robertson, will be facilitating a discussion in May about this excellent parenting book.  For more information, please click here.

March Break Camp Registration is OPEN (Toddler and Primary children).  To register your FWM toddler or primary child in FWM’s March Break Camp, please click here.  Parents may register their child for one or both weeks.  March Break Camp is:  Week 1 (March 16-20) and Week 2 (March 23-27).

Bring Montessori Home

This Tuesday (Feb. 25) at the Parent Association Meeting, parents can learn how to make their home more Montessori.  The meeting will begin at 8:30am in the Conference Room.  Cindy Carroll (Head Primary Teacher), Karen Sankey (Head Lower Elementary Teacher ), and Chris Robertson (Head of School) will present specific ways parents can incorporate the Montessori methodology into their home routines and their family culture. Below are some of the main themes that will guide the presentation:

  • Create proper places for your child’s things
  • Keep expectations age-appropriate
  • Reduce clutter – make spaces simple and beautiful
  • Make child friendly areas
  • Give your child responsibilities

We hope you will join us tomorrow morning!




Mrs. Carroll’s Class: A Week of Celebration

One aspect of the Montessori curriculum is the integration of peace education and tolerance. Helping the students embrace each other’s differences, however minor  is a vital role for the Primary educator.  Sometimes a special occasion, historical or cultural celebration, or holiday can be a useful tool to assist in building these skills. This week we took time to celebrate Black History Month by recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of several African Americans throughout history.

Our Kindergarten children celebrated the 100th day of school during their afternoon class. This is always a beloved and exciting tradition in Kindergarten. Since the first day of school the children have been counting by 1’s, 5’s, and 10’s until they reached 100. This week, the children made 100 day headbands, used the writing prompt “If I had $100 dollars I would buy….,” and last but not least, they enjoyed a great snack, but not before making the number 100 out of  cookies.

Our weeks have been busy. We wouldn’t want it any other way!

Enjoy your week,

Cindy & Sharlene

Lower Elementary: Exploring Climate Through Art

This week we had the opportunity to explore weather and climate expressed through art at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT. The children had guided tours in small groups and learned about many of the pieces of art in the weather exhibit. In addition to learning how the pieces were made, they also learned each piece’s connection with climate and weather. We saw a large oil painting of the Florida Everglades and Miami. We also experienced a depiction of the night sky with the big dipper, an interpretation of Chicago snow, a moving piece of art showing a tree in each season of the year, storm clouds, a giant print of a tree trunk, and a piece which was an interpretation of doppler radar images combined with brain scans, among others. We also made a happy discovery while at the museum. One of the pieces we looked at and discussed was a room filled with colorful nylon strips, hung vertically, created by Eva LeWitt who happens to be the daughter of an artist the children studied earlier in the school year, Sol LeWitt.

We have also been busy learning this week in school. The third year students started some geometry lessons on the analysis of a triangle. They explored making equilateral, isosceles, and scalene triangles with the box of sticks material. Second year students learned about pronouns, and individual lessons in math and language took place throughout the work cycles this week for students at each grade level. In Readers and Writers Workshop, we are diving into lessons in our units on reading and writing non-fiction. The children are enjoying learning about writing in this new genre while teaching their peers all about something they are experts in.

Mrs. Hood’s Class: Normalization!

In Montessori education, the term “normalization” has a specialized meaning. “Normal” does not refer to what is considered to be “typical” or “average” or even “usual.” “Normalization” does not refer to a process of being forced to conform. Instead, Maria Montessori used the terms “normal” and “normalization” to describe a unique process she observed in child development.

Montessori observed that when children are allowed freedom in an environment suited to their needs, they blossom. After a period of intense concentration, working with materials that fully engage their interest, children appear to be refreshed and content. Through continued concentrated work of their own choice, children grow in inner discipline and peace. She called this process “normalization” and cited it as “the most important single result of our whole work (The Absorbent Mind, 1949).”

The children in our environment are on a great path to “normalization.” Every morning we get to see its signs! We also watch with joy how children have internalized the routines, and transitions are more peaceful! They recognize their friends and feel comfortable sharing and working together. Deep friendships are developing and expressions of love and care for each other are more evident.

In another note and in continuation with our winter studies, children made an imaginary trip to the south pole where they met a family of penguins. Children learned that penguins are birds that don’t fly. Penguins also swim in cold water and eat fish and other sea life they catch underwater. Penguins also spend half of their time on land and half time inside the water. Children enjoyed the sensorial exploration of touching the solid ice and submerging their hands inside the cold pool to help the family of model penguins swim and catch some food.

For food tasting, children enjoyed exploring asparagus! I remember presenting this food item last year to some of our current students. The result was not very positive then. However, this time most of the students kept asking for more! We hope this serves as encouragement to you in not giving up on reintroducing new foods to your toddlers. You (and they) will be surprised!

Mrs. Wilson: Sensitive Periods – Refinement of the Senses

Fascination with sensorial experiences (taste, sound, touch, weight, smell, etc.) results with the child learning to observe. Absorption of the world around us through our senses is crucial to development. It helps us refine our sensorial discrimination and supports the integration of primary reflexes. We all process the senses in varying ways. This is one reason why food tasting is an important part of the toddler curriculum. Exploring a variety of fruits and vegetables each week helps the toddler learn to categorize the different tastes, such as sweet, bitter, and sour. This week the children explored and tasted limes. Watching the children’s reaction to that first bite was comical, as you can see in the photos.

Mrs. Wilson, Ms.Sara and Ms. Heather