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Mrs. Doyle: Next Stop, South America!

 

 

We are now studying the continent of South America in our classroom. South America is pink on the Montessori map and a topic of great fascination for the children. It is a beautiful region with vibrant cultures and traditions and a wide range of climates and terrains.

South America is the fourth largest continent in our world and comprises twelve individual countries. It is connected to North America by the Isthmus of Panama. An isthmus is one of the landforms we study. Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the major languages spoken are Spanish and Portuguese.

Located in South America, the largest rainforest in the world is the Amazon Jungle. So it makes sense that we start to explore the rainforest as well. The rainforest is an ecosystem with a dense tree canopy that lets very little light through. To be considered a rainforest, there must be more than 60 inches of rain each year. Rainforests also contain over 40% of the world’s animal and plant species. There are four layers in a rainforest; each layer receives different amounts of sun, rain, and wind and is home to various species.

As the weather gets warmer, now is a great time to check the extra clothes in your child’s locker to see if they should be changed from winter clothes to spring/summer clothes.

Please click here to access the Sign Up Genius so that you may choose your conference time.  We look forward to sharing your child’s wonderful accomplishments with you.

A message from Middle School: Order your 8th-grade-designed 2024 FWM sweatshirt ASAP! Orders close on April 27! Click here to order.

Wishing you a week filled with peace and love!

Michelle & Maria


Mrs. Lopes: Next Stop, South America!

We are now studying the continent of South America in our classroom. South America is pink on the Montessori map and a topic of great fascination for the children. It is a beautiful region with vibrant cultures and traditions and a wide range of climates and terrains.

South America is the fourth largest continent in our world and comprises twelve individual countries. It is connected to North America by the Isthmus of Panama. An isthmus is one of the landforms we study. Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the major languages spoken are Spanish and Portuguese.

Located in South America, the largest rainforest in the world is the Amazon Jungle. So it makes sense that we start to explore the rainforest as well. The rainforest is an ecosystem with a dense tree canopy that lets very little light through. To be considered a rainforest, there must be more than 60 inches of rain each year. Rainforests also contain over 40% of the world’s animal and plant species. There are four layers in a rainforest; each layer receives different amounts of sun, rain, and wind and is home to various species.

As the weather gets warmer, now is a great time to check the extra clothes in your child’s locker to see if they should be changed from winter clothes to spring/summer clothes.

Please click here to access the Sign Up Genius so that you may choose your conference time.  We look forward to sharing your child’s wonderful accomplishments with you.

Don’t forget, the last day you can purchase tickets for the FWM Annual Gala and Auction is Monday, April 22nd.  I will be going, and I’m looking forward to seeing all of you there.  Click here to buy your tickets now!

A message from Middle School: Order your 8th-grade-designed 2024 FWM sweatshirt ASAP! Orders close on April 27! Click here to order.

Wishing you a week filled with peace and love!

Amanda & Hema


Mrs. Wilson: Toileting in the Montessori Classroom

Maria Montessori discovered that children have sensitive periods during their development. These are specific time frames when children are particularly open to learning certain skills or concepts. During these periods, children become highly focused, repeat activities, and show a strong inclination toward specific tasks. For toddlers, the most prominent sensitive periods are related to order, movement, language, independence, and socialization. 

During the sensitive period for independence, toddlers tend to crave autonomy. They feel the need to do things by themselves and assert their budding sense of agency. This is an excellent opportunity to encourage self-help skills, such as feeding, dressing, and toileting independently. 

In our classroom, we have children at different stages of toilet training. While some have almost mastered it, others are showing only slight interest. As a prepared environment, we have set up child-sized toilets and sinks that encourage most toddlers to take control of their own needs. 

Toilet training is not just about learning how to use the toilet; it also involves developing self-care skills and building confidence. Our role is to guide and support children, encouraging them to take the lead in their toileting journey. During a child’s early years, they can control three things: eating, sleeping, and toileting. 

Here are some ways to assist your child with toilet training at home: 

  1. Stand up diapering and allow the child to be a part of the process. 
  2. Offer the toilet at every diaper change. Use opportunities for natural motivation (e.g., we are going to use the toilet before going outside).
  3. Dress your child in loose clothing, especially elastic waistband pants without buttons that allow the child to push down and pull up successfully. 
  4. Avoid using negative connotations (e.g., stinky, dirty, accidents, etc.).
  5. Become familiar with your child’s elimination patterns.
  6. Follow the child.

Food Tasting: While creating the food-tasting schedule, I included new foods we don’t usually have. Typically, we only stick to fruits and vegetables, which we show both whole and cooked. We will taste black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and green and black olives for the next three weeks.

This week, the children tasted cooked black beans. Most of the children liked black beans.

And one last message……

With the Gala just around the corner on April 27th, we can’t wait to see our families there, adding to the warmth and love of the evening. Sara and I will be there, shining bright and ready to hit the dance floor. But what would truly make the evening complete is having you there with us.

If you haven’t already secured your ticket, consider this a friendly reminder to do so by April 22nd. Trust us, you won’t want to miss out on this extraordinary event. It’s not just a Gala; it’s a celebration of community, togetherness, and the bonds that unite us.

So, mark your calendar, dust off your shiniest attire, and get ready to join us for a night to remember. Let’s make memories together at the Gala!

http://fraserwoods.com/auction

A message from Middle School: Order your 8th-grade-designed 2024 FWM sweatshirt ASAP! Orders close on April 27! Click here to order.

Love and Light,

Cynthia and Sara


Lower Elementary Kids Dive into Fiction Storytelling

This week in class, the air has been buzzing with creativity as our young learners dive headfirst into the world of fiction storytelling. With pencils poised and imaginations ignited, our focus has centered on the foundational elements of character building and setting. From crafting courageous heroes to mischievous villains, the children have eagerly brought their characters to life, infusing them with personality and depth. Through guided exercises and interactive discussions, they are learning the importance of making characters come to life through descriptive details. Alongside this, they’ve explored the power of setting, painting vivid landscapes that serve as the backdrop for their adventures. They are learning about the setting and discovering the transformative power of time and place in shaping their stories.

Looking ahead, the adventure continues as we delve deeper into the realms of plot, conflict, and resolution.

In the end, it’s not just about crafting stories; it’s about embarking on a journey of discovery and creativity!

Don’t forget, the last day you can purchase tickets for the FWM Annual Gala and Auction is Monday, April 22nd.  Click here to buy your tickets now!

A message from Middle School: Order your 8th-grade-designed 2024 FWM sweatshirt ASAP! Orders close on April 27! Click here to order.


Ms. Marissa: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

In the Montessori classroom, we put a lot of emphasis on repetition. For example, a few weeks ago, we began our in-depth color-mixing journey. We learned how different amounts of reds, blues, and yellows would result in a variation of new colors. It was an extremely popular activity; I couldn’t keep it on the shelf! But, the children repeated and repeated and soon mastered that version of color mixing. Moving on to this month, we are studying birds. We always incorporate art into our work, especially science – the perfect way to continue color mixing but in a more creative way. Children were given drawings of feathers with “prompts” of which colors to use. Children can use these colors separately or mix them together to see what they create. It has been a popular project, and I have loved seeing children move from the mechanical practice of color mixing to the artistic practice!

Our Fraser Woods Auction is coming up on April 27th! I am attending as both a teacher and a parent and would LOVE to see you all there as well. It is a great way to show up to support our wonderful school AND have a fun time! The children in our class have worked so hard on our class project in honor of the event! April 22nd is the last day to purchase tickets, and you can do that HERE.

A message from Middle School: Order your 8th-grade-designed 2024 FWM sweatshirt ASAP! Orders close on April 27! Click here to order.

See the video below for a demonstration of our most recent color mixing!


Mrs. Hood: Sharing Time!

In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed a blossoming of language in our classroom that’s been truly remarkable. Children are eagerly sharing stories, crafting narratives, posing thoughtful questions, and engaging in conversations with their peers like never before.

In response to this wonderful surge in vocabulary and communication skills, we introduced a cherished activity this week: Sharing Time! Personally, I adore this activity as it offers your child a platform to nurture their expressive language abilities. Through Sharing Time, they’re learning to organize their thoughts coherently, select appropriate words, and articulate their ideas clearly—an invaluable skill set they’re already mastering with such enthusiasm!

But the benefits extend far beyond language development. Sharing Time is also a powerful confidence booster. As children share snippets of their world with each other, they bask in the attention of their peers, realizing that their stories matter and that others are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Witnessing their beaming faces as they take their turn to share and seeing how proud they are is truly priceless. And let’s not forget the coveted teacher’s chair—the ultimate symbol of importance in their eyes!

Moreover, Sharing Time serves as an early foray into public speaking, fostering confidence in a nurturing and familiar setting. It’s a joy to watch as children hone their receptive language skills, attentively listening to and comprehending their friends’ words.

As Guides, we treasure Sharing Time as a window into your child’s world—a chance for us to observe and assess their speech and language skills, social interactions, emotional needs, independence levels, and self-esteem while also gaining insights into their interests and passions.

We’re grateful for your continued support and for the thoughtful notes you send along in your child’s bag. They provide invaluable prompts for meaningful conversations.

And speaking of community support, the much-anticipated FWM Gala is just around the corner! We’re eagerly anticipating the opportunity to connect with all of you, indulge in delicious food, and hit the dance floor for some fun-filled moments. If you haven’t secured your tickets yet, there’s still time—let’s make this event one to remember!

A message from Middle School: Order your 8th-grade-designed 2024 FWM sweatshirt ASAP! Orders close on April 27! Click here to order.

In the meantime, enjoy a glimpse of our week through some pics.

Warm regards,

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Mollie


Mrs. Sargeant: A Peek at the Week

We made the most of the rainy days this week. We played in the gym, in addition to a few rainy walks outdoors. We were inspired by one of our favorite books, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, to sing our song as we walked and were delighted to stumble upon the bear on the front lawn! How exciting! On the warm days, we were all thrilled to be outside on the playground without any coats!

We tried black beans this week, and almost all the children loved them. We looked at pictures of them in pods and sprouting. 

Grace and courtesy are fundamental parts of the Montessori curriculum. In short, this means teaching children to be respectful, kind, and empathetic; it is all about helping them understand how to be polite. Table manners are a grace and courtesy lesson that we have the opportunity to work on daily. 

Modeling appropriate table manners is key. We only eat food at the table. We model how to use utensils, chew with mouths closed, and how to ask for more food. We use placemats at lunchtime, set the table with either flowers or candles (flameless at school!), and play peaceful music. Mealtime is also a wonderful time for vocabulary enrichment. There are many adjectives to use in describing their food and beverages! 

Here are some ideas to keep in mind to encourage proper table manners at home:

-Prepare the environment: Set up a child-sized table and chair where your toddler can comfortably sit and reach their plate and utensils. Ensure that everything they need, such as napkins and water, is accessible to them.

-Involve them in meal preparation: Encourage your toddler to participate in meal preparation activities appropriate for their age, like washing fruits and vegetables or setting the table. This instills a sense of ownership and respect for the mealtime process.

-Teach basic etiquette: Use simple language to explain basic table manners, such as saying “please” and “thank you” and using napkins.

-Encourage self-serving: Provide small pitchers or bowls of food and allow your toddler to serve themselves. This promotes independence and develops fine motor skills.

-Maintain a positive atmosphere: Mealtime should be a pleasant experience, so create a calm and inviting atmosphere free from distractions like electronic devices. Engage in conversation and enjoy the opportunity to connect with your toddler.

See you all next week! Christine & Lizette 

PS. Don’t forget to purchase your tickets to the gala! We hope everyone can make it. The last day to get your tickets is April 22nd. Purchase tickets here.

A message from Middle School: Order your 8th-grade-designed 2024 FWM sweatshirt ASAP! Orders close on April 27! Click here to order.


This Week in Upper El

We had a unique start to the week as we stayed after school to view the partial eclipse of the sun together. It was a wonderful experience to share as a classroom community! Here are some highlights from the rest of the week.

Our geography lesson this week taught us about the global grid and lines of latitude and longitude. We also discussed the critical problem mapmakers faced for centuries: how to represent our spherical Earth on a flat surface. We learned that Egyptian scholar Ptolemy dealt with this problem by drawing lines of latitude and longitude and that his rules for making maps are still followed today.

In geometry, fourth-year students learned how to use inverse area formulas to find a rectangle’s missing base or height when given the area and either the base or the height, and fifth years learned to find the area of a rhombus using three different formulas.

We wrapped up our biology unit on advanced classification with a lesson on the Tree of Life material. Upper El students will use this material in the coming weeks to study the kingdoms through phyla, classes, and species. This work starts with the first unicellular life in the Kingdom Monera and then continues to include the Kingdoms Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.

This week, in language work, we focused on preparing for our upcoming conferences. Each student is reflecting on their work this year, looking for areas of strength and growth. Through this process, they learn about themselves as students and take responsibility for their own learning. We are also working on writing “Where I’m From” poems. These poems are based on “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon and are meant to inspire the writer to think about their life and what makes them unique. We were happy to have a visit from two of our eighth graders who shared their poems with us.

I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming FWM Spring Gala & Auction on April 27! If you haven’t yet purchased tickets to this vital fundraising event for our school, please purchase yours here. The last day you can buy tickets is April 22. I hope to see you all there!

A message from Middle School: Order your 8th-grade-designed 2024 FWM sweatshirt ASAP! Orders close on April 27! Click here to order.