Blog

Mrs. Wilson – A Trip to Fraser Farm

One of our goals at FWM is to create caring, empathetic students who are capable of thinking beyond themselves. It was Dr. Montessori’s vision that a peaceful world, starting with children, would make the world a better place. Community service is one of our Montessori strategies to help develop and educate the whole child. Students learn the joy of giving of themselves and develop compassion because of these real, practical life, volunteer experiences.

A couple of times a month our Middle School students visit our environments and work with our toddlers. They do so by reading and working together with the different materials displayed on our shelves. They assist your children in how to put on their shoes and jackets, how to clean their face and hands, they look for ways of comforting their younger peers when they are having a hard time, and they love to join in the fun when we sing, dance and play games together. They are great role models and your children love when they enter our environments and get to spend time with them. This week our Middle Schoolers were also of great help during our very special wagon ride and pumpkin picking at our Fraser Farm. It was precious!

Thanks to your help as well, we gathered wagons to carry all our toddlers at once in a beautiful parade around the school. Children were so happy and excited they were going to pick their own pumpkin! A couple of them decided to not ride the wagons but had the opportunity to push the wheelbarrow or help by pulling their friends’ wagons. Once we arrived at our Fraser Farm located in our zen garden, children were ecstatic to run around and pick their own pumpkin. There were giggles and so much excitement! They also got a treat by checking out Oreo, our school bunny! Children explored different sizes of pumpkins and worked hard to carry them around. We all had a great time! When the time came, every toddler got into their wagon, carrying their pumpkin and we went for another ride around the school arriving happily at each of our classrooms, satisfied with the experience and ready to continue to explore some more in the environment. We can’t thank you enough for your pumpkin donations and supporting our fabulous class parents, who worked hard to help us make this event a success! We are thankful to be part of a community that cares!

On another note, we explored yellow peppers as food tasting this week and got to explore new works on our shelves! We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Lastly, we are looking forward to meeting with you at our Parent-Teacher conference next week, on Thursday, October 24th to discuss your child’s progress and goals for the school year.

We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Sincerely,
The Toddler Team


Upper Elementary: A “Grand” Week

This week was packed full of fun and energy as our eager students could not wait to open up their new café! We devoted some time each day to go over the logistics and planning so we would be prepared for our first customers.  We expect this café to evolve with time and open up new opportunities for learning and team building. The students continue to come up with new ideas every day, but we can only incorporate so many at one time. I am thrilled that they are so passionate about the experience! We confirmed a visit from the owners of Sugar Magnolia on Tuesday morning. The timing cannot be better as we will be able so share with them how the opening went.


Biologists Hard at Work

“For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” -Henry Beston

This week we started the study of life. Animals are more familiar to children than plants, and vertebrates are the most familiar animals. Throughout the year, first and second grade children will study five classes of vertebrate animals and third grade children will study five classes of plants in evolutionary order. We will learn about fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals as well as seaweed, moss, ferns, pine trees, and flowering plants.

First year students learned about the external parts of fish. We started with a little in-school field trip to the Middle School science room to observe Mr. Brown’s fish. Mr. Brown facilitated a discussion about the external parts of the fish. We will follow up next week with an introduction to classroom materials of fish.

Second year students also took a little trip to the science room to learn about the body functions of fish. Mr. Brown reviewed the external parts of fish and then the children examined the internal parts of the fish the Middle School students are working on dissecting. They will be introduced to our classroom body functions of fish materials next week.

Third year students learned about the external parts of seaweed. We started by examining three different types of seaweed brought in by Ms. Beckett. The children used a magnifying glass to get a closer look and they also compared how different the three types of seaweed looked and felt. We will take a third grade trip to the science room next week to examine seaweed under a microscope. Thirds years will also continue learning about seaweed next week with lessons on its body functions.


Mrs. Hood’s Class: At the Fraser Farm!

One of our goals at FWM is to create caring, empathetic students who are capable of thinking beyond themselves. It was Dr. Montessori’s vision that a peaceful world, starting with children, would make the world a better place. Community service is one of our Montessori strategies to help develop and educate the whole child. Students learn the joy of giving of themselves and develop compassion because of these real, practical life, volunteer experiences.

A couple of times a month our Middle School students visit our environments and work with our toddlers. They do so by reading and working together with the different materials displayed on our shelves. They assist your children in how to put on their shoes and jackets, how to clean their face and hands, they look for ways of comforting their younger peers when they are having a hard time, and they love to join in the fun when we sing, dance and play games together. They are great role models and your children love when they enter our environments and get to spend time with them. This week our Middle Schoolers were also of great help during our very special wagon ride and pumpkin picking at our Fraser Farm. It was precious!

Thanks to your help as well, we gathered wagons to carry all our toddlers at once in a beautiful parade around the school. Children were so happy and excited they were going to pick their own pumpkin! A couple of them decided to not ride the wagons but had the opportunity to push the wheelbarrow or help by pulling their friends’ wagons. Once we arrived at our Fraser Farm located in our zen garden, children were ecstatic to run around and pick their own pumpkin. There were giggles and so much excitement! They also got a treat by checking out Oreo, our school bunny! Children explored different sizes of pumpkins and worked hard to carry them around. We all had a great time! When the time came, every toddler got into their wagon, carrying their pumpkin and we went for another ride around the school arriving happily at each of our classrooms, satisfied with the experience and ready to continue to explore some more in the environment. We can’t thank you enough for your pumpkin donations and supporting our fabulous class parents, who worked hard to help us make this event a success! We are thankful to be part of a community that cares!

On another note, we explored yellow peppers as food tasting this week and got to explore new works on our shelves! We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Lastly, we are looking forward to meeting with you at our Parent-Teacher conference next week, on Thursday, October 24th to discuss your child’s progress and goals for the school year.

We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Sincerely,
The Toddler Team


Mrs. Hood’s Class: Beauty, Roll and a Winner!

 

Dr. Maria Montessori introduced Practical Life exercises to provide the children with opportunities to perform simple tasks that they have already observed at home. Practical Life exercises enable the children to care for themselves, take care of the environment and develop respect for others.
Care of environment activities encourage the child to interact with the environment, exhibiting respect and love. These activities help the child form a connection with their environment and find a personal responsibility towards it.
This week we introduced one of the most beloved activities in our Montessori environments: flower arrangement. This is a beautiful activity that offers so much to your child’s development. Through this exercise, children develop a sense of beauty, the mental task of sequencing, they learn to exercise the judgment of size and capacity in matching flowers to vases and in pouring water, also, manual dexterity in using scissors. This activity also indirectly prepares your child for botany studies in our Primary program and offers a great opportunity to work on independence and concentration. Your children love it! We can’t thank you enough for your weekly flower donations!

On another note, children had a great time learning how to play “Roll and Play” in a group setting, using a cube of different colors and following the directions commanded on each play card. Through this game children review colors, numbers, feelings, animals, and develop critical skills. It’s one of their favorite activities!

For food tasting we explored a green apple. Some of the children’s facial expressions when they saw a green apple were priceless! They couldn’t believe there were green apples! It was so funny to them! Needless to say, they enjoyed every bit of it!

To close our apple unit studies we presented a basic graphing exercise, where children had the opportunity to taste the three types of apples we explored during the last weeks: red, yellow, and green apples. Each toddler chose their most favorite and at the end we all counted the results.

Do you want to know which one was the winner? (Drum roll please!) To our surprise, every apple had 5 different votes! All of them were the winner! Hooray for apples!

Lastly, Shake Your Sillies Out by Andy Mason was one of the new favorite songs and Arriba (up) and Abajo (down) were the 2 new commands in Spanish learned this week.


Middle School: Week in Review

Happy Friday! The Middle School had an amazing, action-packed week! A few reminders for next week:

*We are still having recess outdoors each day. Please send an outer layer with your children, as they became quite chilly with the fall weather.

*On Monday, we are traveling to Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, NY for our annual team building experience on a high and low ropes course. A bagged lunch is required as well as plenty of hydration! Please see the MyFWM calendar for more details.

Science

In Science, 6th year Earth Science students are exploring the correlation between tectonic plates and earthquakes. We are currently discussing the events of the Japan earthquake which occurred in 2011. Students are able to make connections from their prior knowledge of how convection currents cause tectonic plates to move/shift, ultimately colliding, resulting in an earthquake. 7th year Physical Science students have conducted several labs leading to the discovery of what distinguishes a physical vs chemical change. Students determined that sugar is combustible but not a good conductor of electricity while salt is a good conductor but not combustible. 8th year Life Science students are beginning their dissection of a dogfish shark and frog. The goal of the dissection is to see first-hand the complexity of how a cell can differentiate in creating the organ system.

Math

Math class has been going well for everyone! They have officially completed Unit 2 in all classes and are now working towards the first quiz of Unit 3. Ms. Sutherland has been impressed with efforts from all students and appreciates their dedication and perseverance to make math a successful class this school year.
Algebra 1 has been practicing solving equations with tables, graphs, and equivalent expressions. They are working through challenging word problems and creating their own equations based off the questions.
Transition has been working on understanding decimals and fractions as rational numbers. More specifically, comparing decimals and fractions using inequalities, finding equal fractions, and using all operations to combine fractions and decimals.
Pre-transition has been exploring inverse and opposite values, adding and subtracting with negative numbers, and using BEDMAS (order of operations) to solve for large number sentences. This group has also been doing daily review of previous topics to help prepare for cumulative exams. (It’s always a good idea to refresh on what you already know).
As a general reminder, students need to be completing both the lesson masters worksheet and assigned textbook problems as a part of our daily homework routine. Please remember to help your child check MyFWM for upcoming important dates and homework assignments. If you are not able to find where this is located, please feel free to email Ms. Sutherland.
Math Joke: Why should you never talk to pi? Because it will go on and on and on…..
Humanities
For 6th years, Humanities classes were split between their class novel, Out of My Mind, and descriptive writing lessons and exercises. 6th years are now annotating their text and leading class book discussions. They are doing a phenomenal job with this, and classes are full of rich information and conversation. With descriptive writing, they have completed their first short piece of writing that must use at least three examples of figurative language, imagery, specific nouns, strong verbs, and descriptive adjectives. They are using a thesaurus regularly to compose and making great word choices. They are totally transforming as writers!
The 7th year Humanities students began their reading of A Gift From Childhood: Memories of an African Boyhood. They are unbelievable readers and have picked up on the intricacies of this book full of traditional culture. They even commented how surprised they are that so much can come from a short novel. They wrote responses in their journals following a discussion regarding tradition and modern culture. Finally, they learned about the French occupation of Mali and West Africa in the late 19th century and throughout the 20th century.
8th year Humanities students are learning about Plimouth Plantation and the settlers to occupy the Northeast. They also read about the relationships with the Natives in this area, including what historians believe the “First Thanksgiving” truly entailed. Finally, they are working on planning an impressive essay called, Rewriting History. They are charged with the task of making one change to the course of history regarding indigenous Americans and Western settlers and discussing the subsequent effects of this singular change, even writing about how today’s America might be different. Their theses are shaping up to be quite interesting!

Acquiring Language, One Bite at a Time!

Primary students have been exploring living versus non-living objects and colors to identify a variety of objects. They even categorized those objects by land, air, and water. This week they got a taste of our solar system through the “Ocho Planetas” song. 

If you are what you eat, then “Soy Una Pizza.”–Lower Elementary students at FWM have been acquiring the Spanish language through songs and storytelling, specifically focusing on pizza ingredients this unit! They talked (and sang) about which things they wanted and did not want on their pizza after singing the “Soy Una Pizza” song and reading Una Pizza Diferente.

After working hard to complete voice-overs to narrate the Los Peces story through iMovie, Upper Elementary has now sampled FVR (Free Voluntary Reading). They begin each class with five minutes of reading materials of their choice from our classroom library. Some of these options include ¿Qué tal? Magazine by Scholastic or stories we have read as a class by Storyteller’s Corner. We also just began a read-aloud story from the Brandon Brown series which provides comprehensible input for students while I model reading strategies for them. 

Middle School is making room for more as their appetite for language learning continues to grow. Students are moving through proficiency-based novels during FVR, learning about culture through our most recent unit “El encierro de San Fermín,” where we learned about the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, España. Finally, students have started the process of telling and writing short stories that align with our target structures each cycle.


Mrs. Carroll’s Class: An Intention To Work

The love of one’s environment is the secret of social evolution. -Maria Montessori

Retrieving a mat, picking it up carefully, finding the ideal space to work, and rolling it out provides an opportunity to practice gross motor skills and body consciousness. Everything that gets placed on the mat thereafter becomes the responsibility (and privilege) of the child working on that mat.

Montessori work mats delineate a work space as the child’s own and sets an intention to “work”.  Not only does the child know that their lesson is exclusive to them (unless they invite someone to join them on their mat), they also have the responsibility to put their materials away when they are finished before they roll up their mat, and signal the end of their work session.

Our floors have been a sea of rugs! Your children are skillfully maneuvering themselves throughout the environment, careful not to disturb a friend’s work. I continue to be amazed at their growing control and respect for both friends and the environment.

On Wednesday, the Kindergarten children took a field trip to Castle Hill Farm in Newtown. They enjoyed a hayride where they were able to feed some cows right from the tractor. We spent some time learning about the life cycle of a pumpkin and then each child had a chance to pick their own pumpkin. We finished the day by walking through the corn maze. Best of all, we beat the rain!

Until next week,

Cindy & Sharlene