Blog

Wishing You A Happy Thanksgiving

This week the Upper El students and I would like to share some thoughts about what we are thankful for this year. With permission, and a promise to keep it anonymous, I am sharing quotes from each student’s daily journal…

“I’m thankful for my family, friends, and dog, Freddy. This is because they’re kind, funny, make me feel loved, and are a little bit crazy – but in a good way. I’m also thankful to be able to have Thanksgiving in person this year which I think is amazing and very important this year ūüôā !”

“I am thankful for my mom, my grandpa, and my dog because my dog is very funny and so is my grandpa and my mom is very nice. I am thankful for my friends, my family, and food. I am thankful for food because food is one of the things we need to live, my family because they are the best, and my friends because they stick with me and we have the greatest memories.”

“I’m thankful for my family because if we did not have family what would we do, my friends, teacher, and church because they are nice, strong, and amazing.”

“I’m thankful for my family and friends, pets and farms because they honor me and respect me. I am thankful for my moms because they help me and cook for me.”

“I am thankful for my family, for my friends, for the food we get to eat, and for my video games.”

“I am thankful for my grandma (Nonna) because she is fun to play with. I am thankful for mountain biking because it feels good when you land a jump or go down a trail very fast and don’t fall.”

“I am thankful for my family, friends, and teacher. I am thankful for water, food, my house, entertainment, and school.”

“I’m thankful for my brother and my dad because my brother and I don’t see each other that much.”

“I’m thankful for my friends because they’re always there for me. I’m thankful for food because it keeps me living.”

“I am thankful for food because you can’t live without it. I am thankful for my mom because she helps me in tough situations and we do fun things together.”

“I am thankful for my family because they help me when I need it. I’m grateful for my xbox because it is fun.”

“I’m thankful for my mom and dad because they do so much for me and they brought me into this world. I am thankful for food, family, entertainment, friends, joy, love, caring, being kind, and the Earth.”

 

…and I am beyond thankful that I get to walk this journey with your children. They are truly amazing, hard working, kind, and compassionate people.

I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Mrs. Lopes’s Class: Our Human Body

Do you remember wondering as a child how things worked in your body? Where does our food go? Why do we blink or sneeze? How do we get the hiccups? The human body is truly a mystery to the child’s mind and having an in-depth human anatomy lesson is a great way to explore these topics. Using Montessori materials is a wonderful tool for reinforcing the learning and expanding on a normally very difficult subject for children to grasp. Providing lessons like these to children is what sows the seeds for future scientists, doctors, and teachers!

This week your children were introduced to the wonders of our human body. We first introduced and named the parts of our body we can see from the outside. We then began to discuss how there are many parts of our body we cannot see from the outside. Your children were introduced to several of the major organs in our body and their purpose. The children enjoyed exploring and engaging in all the human body works on the shelf.

Our four year old children enjoyed learning about recycling this week!¬† They discussed what can be recycled and what cannot, as well as the Three R’s, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.¬† Mrs. Sharlene encouraged the children to bring in recycled items that they could reuse to make new things.¬† The children made a marble run out of toilet paper rolls and a robot turkey out of cans!

Since there will be no blog next week as a result of our short school week, Mrs. Sharlene and I would like to wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving! We are so grateful to be able to spend each day with your children and take part in watching them develop and grow into independent, confident, kind members of our community.

Lots of love and peace,

Amanda and Sharlene


Autumn Inspiration!

 

Young artists from Primary through Middle School have been gathering inspiration from this beautiful season of autumn in many creative ways! We’ve experienced many sunny fall days over the past few weeks, so Art classes have been taken outside, allowing us to have an even closer connection to the changing season around us.

One source of inspiration has been the many colorful leaves that have fallen to the ground. Students in Lower and Upper Elementary as well as Middle School created leaf anatomy drawings in which they studied the shape and color of various leaves. To begin, each young artist gathered three to five leaves that caught their eye. Next, they cut the leaves in half and glued them to a piece of paper. The goal of this project was to practice their observational drawing skills by carefully drawing the other half of the leaf and matching its colors using colored pencil layering techniques.

Autumn also marks the season of bird migration, so Upper Elementary artists studied images of various North American migratory birds for inspiration. In their sketchbooks, students practiced sketching birds by beginning with simple shapes as an “under-sketch” or a guide (such as circles, semi-circles, triangles, etc.) and then moved on to adding detail such as feather patterning.

Young artists in Primary and LE created colorful rainbow corn paintings in thinking of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and to honor Native American heritage month. It is believed that Native Americans bred the first corn crop from wild grasses. After a brief discussion on the origin of the corn crop and its nutritional qualities, we reviewed ways to draw corn using simple shapes like ovals and circles. Each artist carefully drew their corn and filled in each kernel with a range of vibrant colors!


Middle School: Week in Review

We had another busy week in Middle School and are excited for Thanksgiving next week.

Humanities

Sixth year Humanities students finished their descriptive writing drafts, Nature Through Writing, using photography as inspiration. Because they recently completed their class novel, Out Of My Mind, students watched a mini documentary on a 17-year old New Zealand teen living with cerebral palsy. She has a similar profile to Melody, the protagonist of the novel. Finally, they completed a unit of vocabulary.

7th year students finished their class novel, A Gift From Childhood. In preparation for writing original fables, similar to the ones told in the novel, students identified proverbs and metaphors throughout the book to use as inspiration. 7th years also completed a unit of vocabulary.

Finally, 8th years did a lot of reading this week in their class novel, If I Ever Get Out of Here. The protagonist, Lewis, is part of the Tuscarora tribal nation and the book centers around his experiences at a mostly white school. This week we spent time writing about and discussing some of the challenges he faces, the root of these challenges, and his perception of certain events in the story versus how others perceive them. 8th years also completed a unit of vocabulary.

Math

In Pre-Transition math class, students learned all about using fact triangles to find related facts for addition and subtraction problems involving integers and rational numbers. This class can identify linear pairs and vertical angles in a diagram. They can also recognize acute, obtuse, right, complementary, and supplementary angles. This class will learn all the Chapter 4 lessons before the Thanksgiving break and take the Chapter 4 assessment once we get back to school in December.

In Transition class, students had the opportunity to construct if-then statements, and they learned how to draw Venn Diagrams to represent the intersection and union of sets. This class is learning how to draw and identify basic figures of polygons, apply the properties of a good definition, and classify statements that are always, sometimes, and never true. Next week this class will conclude learning all the lessons for Chapter 4.
In Algebra class, students took two days to prepare for the Chapter 4 summative assessment. This was a cumulative test covering Chapters 1-4, and Ms. Sutherland is very proud of how all the students prepared for this test. They have started to cover the first few lessons of Chapter 5, which includes multiplying, simplifying, and dividing algebraic fractions, as well as multiplying and dividing rates in real world situations.
In Geometry class, students are learning how to  identify images under a double reflection. This class can apply the Two Reflection Theorem for translation problems as well as find coordinates of reflection and translation images for points over the coordinate axes.
Math Joke: What do baby parabolas drink?……..Quadratic formula
Science
6th year Earth Science students are working on their unit, Earthquakes. This week, students created their own seismograph stations using a shoe box, rubber bands, a sports ball, and a marker. Students tested how density (material inside the shoe box) affects the seismic waves generated by dropping the sports ball on the shoebox, resulting in the marker moving.
7th year Physical Science students are continuing their work on molecules. Students are identifying how to determine an element’s number of protons, electrons, and neutrons based on the atomic number and mass. Students are learning how to read an atomic structure’s¬†valence¬†and total electrons in order to determine what the exact element is. Moving forward, we will learn about the similarities¬†and differences each group (metals, nonmetals, halogens, noble gases) possesses.
8th year Life Science students have just finished their unit, Meiosis. Our next unit will be Genes and the Impacts of Mutations on Organisms. Within this unit, we will discover what a gene is and how they are passed down from generation to generation within our DNA. Students will analyze similarities and differences between one another while also looking at key traits associated with family members.
Thank you families, for sharing your child/children with us. Their flexibility, willingness to work, and thoughtfulness are traits we appreciate greatly. It is another week that we are beyond grateful to be with them in school!

Mrs. Wilson: It Is Starting to Feel Like Fall

This month is going by so fast. There were some changes made to the environment. We added some extensions to the flower arrangement lesson. While the children are creating beautiful arrangements they are also developing their executive function skills. This lesson went from a five-step lesson to a ten-step lesson. Some of the other new activities available are maize corn kernel pulling, leaf color sorting, and woodland animal object to picture matching. We also  added a light table with transparent colored building connectors and nesting blocks. This has become a big hit in the class.

On the art shelf, we added some new fall-themed art materials for the children to choose and explore. They can color a leaf with markers then drop water on top to watch the color spread and mix. There is also a leaf paper punch; this takes a lot of strength to press the punch down.

This week’s food tasting was persimmon. It was well-received by the children.

Enjoy the photos,
Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Sara


Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Giving Thanks

The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life. 

Maria Montessori

For many, the holiday season is a time for giving. Perhaps more than ever, it is so important for our children to understand that giving does not have to be a materialistic gift. Simple and heartfelt words of love and friendship will last much longer than most anything that can be bought on a shelf. It can be an amazing and powerful gift to our children, if in all the hustle and bustle of the holidays we take time to slow down and model being grateful.

This week we asked each child to share what they are thankful for. While their messages will make you smile and warm your heart, there is beauty in their simplicity.

AnchorРI am thankful for my hot wheels cars that I can race. 

Carmen–I am thankful for my mommy because she likes to play games with me.

Elliot–I am thankful for Mrs. Doyle teaching me to read all the books in school.

Gregory G.–I am thankful for Mrs. Doyle helping me learn everything.

Gregory L.–I am thankful for Thanksgiving because it means my birthday is close.

Greyson–I am thankful for my robots that I can turn on and off.¬†

Harper–I am thankful for having a school and a home and that I am not homeless.

Julianna–I am thankful for my kitty that I love so, so much.

Landon–I am thankful for my Toy Story dolls because they are so fun to play with.

Lily–I am thankful for watching movies with my Mama, Daddy and Annie.

Luca–I am thankful for my puppy even though she gets crazy sometimes.

Marin–I am thankful for my Mommy, my Daddy, Anders, James and my Frozen toys.

Mya–I am thankful for my Mommy, my Daddy, Zara, my friends and my dolls.

Olivia–I am thankful for candy because it tastes so good.

Xander–I am thankful for my brother, Dante.

Miss Lizette and I are grateful for our relationship with each of you as well as your support, time, and effort to help in any way. We are all truly blessed to walk this journey together!  We would also like to wish everyone a very peaceful and Happy Thanksgiving.

Michelle & Lizette


Developing Compassion Through Service

“We see the figure of the child who stands before us with [their] arms held open, beckoning humanity to follow.” -Maria Montessori

It was Maria Montessori’s vision that the way to make the world a better, more peaceful place, was through the children. Consequently, serving others is a vital part of the Montessori philosophy. In Upper Elementary, we place great emphasis on becoming good stewards and caretakers of the Earth and its inhabitants. One way we do this is by participating in real, meaningful community service for others, outside our school. By doing this work, the children learn the joy of giving of themselves, and develop compassion. The intentional focus on serving others fosters the growth of caring, empathetic students who are capable of thinking beyond themselves.

We were pleased to learn that the St. Vincent DePaul Mission in Waterbury continues to need contributions to its Sandwich Making Program and that, by following COVID safety guidelines closely, we are allowed to participate in that program. On Friday, at 12 physically distanced food preparation stations, the Upper El students worked joyfully to make sandwiches for our neighbors in need. We made a total of 206 sandwiches. Thank you parents, for donating the ingredients!

This week we continued our Biology lessons on photosynthesis with a focus on food making that goes on inside of plants. We learned how a plant uses water and carbon dioxide to make sugar, and how some of that sugar is used up immediately and rest of it is reduced to starch for storage. In Geography we learned about simple wind patterns on Earth that are created by heated air rising at the equator and cool air flowing in from the poles to replace it, a cycle of a constant flow of air.


Digging Deep

This year Lower Elementary is learning about the Composition of the Earth. This unit on physical geography follows the Sun and Earth study that we explored last year, and provides the children with a more intensive study of the planet. The goal is to provide an impressionistic understanding of the Earth’s composition and formation.

This week, the children were encouraged to think back to the Creation Story; how the world changed from a gaseous and liquid state to an increasingly solid one. We had a discussion about how the Earth cooled, and the heavy elements settled into the center, while the lighter ones rose to the surface. This was just like the experiment we did with oil, water and molasses, and how the molasses poured right through the lighter oil and water.

Students learned that the heavy inner part is called the barysphere. This includes the inner and outer core, plus the mantle, that we spoke of in the last lesson. The outer layer is called the lithosphere, which in the last lesson we called the crust. The thin layer of water surrounding the Earth is called the hydrosphere and the air around the Earth is called the atmosphere.