Blog

Together We Can Help With Back to School Anxiety or The Sunday Scaries 

Hello Fraser Woods Families,

The start of the year can bring anxious feelings along with it. That goes for everyone – educators, students, and families. This is especially true this school year as we all try to create a new sense of normal. 

According to Dr. Susan Albers, of the Cleveland Clinic, the Sunday Scaries are triggered by the end of the weekend approaching and us anticipating our return to work (or school). She says when people start to make their to-do lists or contemplate upcoming responsibilities, the transition from relaxation to work mode can be a tough 180.  

Together we can build on strategies and best practices that counselors regularly apply to their work with children and families, to help make the transition back to school feel better. 

  1. Acknowledge where everyone is. At FWM we address the needs of the whole child and meet them where they are academically, socially, emotionally, and developmentally. 
  2. Listen, and encourage others to listen as well. Over the past three school years, our familiar connections grew apart. Taking time to listen thoughtfully can help rebuild those connections.
  3. Be thoughtful about communication, routines, and procedures. A major reason for back-to-school anxiety is uncertainty. When communication, expectations, and routines are clear, and effective procedures are in place, everyone feels more comfortable and at ease.
  4. Establish a more relaxed pace. There is a lot of new information to cover in the first days and weeks of school- for students and their parents. Giving students the time and space to process information and practice applying new routines and procedures will provide the foundation for productive academic learning. 
  5. Take time to laugh, move, and connect. All of our classrooms allow for unstructured breaks, classroom conversations, and other opportunities that help to meet students’ social and emotional needs. Given the opportunity to take a brief brain-break from academic learning where students can move around, talk with one another, and just enjoy being together, will help all students–from our youngest to our oldest, feel more at ease. 

Creating an atmosphere of peace and harmony in every classroom is at the core of what we do. 

Gina Tryforos

Assistant Head of School & Student Support Coordinator


Upper El: Singing for Peace

“…we have before us in the child a psychic entity, a social group of immense size, a veritable world-power if rightly used. If salvation and help are to come, it is from the child, for the child is the constructor of man, and so of society. The child is endowed with an inner power which can guide us to a more luminous future. Education should no longer be mostly about the imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.” -Maria Montessori

This week we celebrated the International Day of Peace, a day established in 1981 by the United Nations for all of humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace (internationaldayofpeace.org). On this day each year, we join Montessori schools from around the world to Sing for Peace. Peace education is a major part of the Montessori curriculum, in fact, Maria Montessori is considered by many to be a founder of peace education. As Montessorians, we believe that the root of peace lays in the education of young children and we work with students to establish global citizenship, respect for differences, and personal responsibility from a very young age. It was really wonderful to gather as a school again this year, toddler through middle school, to sing for peace with elementary and middle school children signing the song as they sang.

Our Upper Elementary lessons this week included lots of individualized math and spelling work. The fourths learned about the Seven Triangles of Reality and the fifths learned about proving equivalence between a triangle and a rectangle and a rhombus and a rectangle. In biology we learned about the classification system scientists use to categorized living things. In history we began our lessons on Human Evolution with an examination of what it means to be human.

Wishing you a peaceful weekend,

Karen and Angie


Mrs. Semmah: Sing Peace Around The World

 

Peace is what every human being is craving for, and it can be brought about by humanity through the child. -Maria Montessori

Peace education is a basic tenet of the Montessori philosophy. In the 3-6 environment, studying the seven continents, including their people and cultures, provides a global view of our world. As Montessori teachers, practicing and teaching peace, kindness, and acceptance is a natural part of our day. Dr. Maria Montessori believed we should think of education as peace, not education for peace. She also believed that young children were our hope for eliminating conflict and instilling peace throughout the world. Dr. Montessori, as always, knew that lecturing children would accomplish very little and that to truly understand peace they would need to discover it for themselves.

Typically to celebrate Peace Day, we participate in “Sing Peace Around The World.”  Beginning in New Zealand and ending in Hawaii, Montessori schools around the world sing “Light A Candle For Peace” for five minutes.  Here at FWM, we gathered together and sang with the entire school, early Wednesday morning.  It was a powerful moment and reminder of the importance of teaching and modeling peace to everyone we interact with.  So for 24 hours, this special song was sung in a different part of the world by Montessori children.  Wishing everyone a peaceful week!

Kaoutar & Michelle


Mrs. Doyle: Sing Peace Around The World

 

Peace is what every human being is craving for, and it can be brought about by humanity through the child. -Maria Montessori

Peace education is a basic tenet of the Montessori philosophy. In the 3-6 environment, studying the seven continents, including their people and cultures, provides a global view of our world. As Montessori teachers, practicing and teaching peace, kindness, and acceptance is a natural part of our day. Dr. Maria Montessori believed we should think of education as peace, not education for peace. She also believed that young children were our hope for eliminating conflict and instilling peace throughout the world. Dr. Montessori, as always, knew that lecturing children would accomplish very little and that to truly understand peace they would need to discover it for themselves.

Typically to celebrate Peace Day, we participate in “Sing Peace Around The World.”  Beginning in New Zealand and ending in Hawaii, Montessori schools around the world sing “Light A Candle For Peace” for five minutes.  Here at FWM, we gathered together and sang with the entire school, early Wednesday morning.  It was a powerful moment and reminder of the importance of teaching and modeling peace to everyone we interact with.  So, for 24 hours, this special song was sung in a different part of the world by Montessori children.

Wishing everyone a week filled with peace and love!

Michelle & Maria


Mrs. Lopes: Sing Peace Around the World


Peace is what every human being is craving for, and it can be brought about by humanity through the child. -Maria Montessori

Peace education is a basic tenet of the Montessori philosophy. In the 3-6 environment, studying the seven continents, including their people and cultures, provides a global view of our world. As Montessori teachers, practicing and teaching peace, kindness, and acceptance is a natural part of our day. Dr. Maria Montessori believed we should think of education as peace, not education for peace. She also believed that young children were our hope for eliminating conflict and instilling peace throughout the world. Dr. Montessori, as always, knew that lecturing children would accomplish very little and that to truly understand peace they would need to discover it for themselves.

Typically to celebrate Peace Day, we participate in “Sing Peace Around The World.”  Beginning in New Zealand and ending in Hawaii, Montessori schools around the world sing “Light A Candle For Peace” for five minutes.  Here at FWM, we gathered together and sang with the entire school, early Wednesday morning.  It was a powerful moment and reminder of the importance of teaching and modeling peace to everyone we interact with.  So for 24 hours, this special song is being sung in a different part of the world by Montessori children.  Wishing everyone a peaceful week!

Amanda and Hema


Lower El: Who am I?

An exciting part of our week was creating the class “Who Am I” material together. “Who Am I” is a collection of Montessori biology materials used to learn about the different kingdoms of life; specifically, animals, plants, fungi, protists, and prokaryotes. As a fun beginning of the year activity, we made this material with a focus on the children in the classroom. This process started with the children answering questions about themselves. Next, it was typed up, and turned into a material the students can use during work cycle. Not only is the “Who Am I” material a fabulous and popular classification work, it also provides work in comprehension and fluency while helping the children get to know each other!

On Wednesday, we celebrated International Day of Peace by singing “Sing Peace Around The World.” For 24 hours, this special song is sung by Montessori children all around the world. We gathered together as a whole school community from toddler to middle school students.  It was a powerful moment and reminder of the importance of teaching and modeling peace to our children.

Wishing everyone a peaceful weekend!


Mrs. Hood: Yummy in My Tummy!

One of the main highlights of our week was our first lesson on food tasting. As children grow beyond the infant stage, they begin the journey to independence as toddlers. Many parents notice this change in their children when it comes to mealtime, as they begin to hear a resounding, “No!” when it comes to eating the foods they once loved and trying new ones. In order to help families, we have integrated food tasting into our toddler program as a way to ease children into the idea of trying new foods by teaching them all about the food and encouraging them to participate as a group.

This week we introduced some delicious red apples!

Children were really excited to see the food tasting tray covered. They knew there was a surprise and they immediately gathered quietly around the tray. There were smiles and expressions of awe at the moment I removed the towel that was covering the apple. This fruit was presented as a whole first, then cut in front of them, presented as half, and then served individually. In our conversation, we included such adjectives as cold, big, smooth, red, and tasty to keep adding to our vocabulary. Children observed while I slowly picked up a piece of apple and placed it inside my mouth, tasting it slowly and dramatically, with the purpose of encouraging curiosity and expectation when it was their turn to taste. They immediately started to ask for their turn to taste it! They really liked it! This lesson is a favorite every year and we can’t wait to explore all the different food items in our list each week.

This week we also celebrated our first birthday in the classroom. Always a joy to see those smiley faces feeling seen and cherished!

We also had the great opportunity, after a couple of years of not being able, to gather as school and celebrate the International day of Peace. Each year, the International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world on the 21st of September. Established by the United Nations, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.

On this day, Montessori schools from around the world join together to sing for peace. The song travels around the globe over a 24-hour period, starting with New Zealand and ending with the Hawaiian Islands.

Maria Montessori truly believed in peace education as she felt that world peace can only be achieved through education. In Montessori, we strive to give children the tools to live at peace with others and settle conflict in a peaceful manner.

While you enjoy some of your children’s pictures, we encourage  you to put the volume up on this beautiful song and remember that each one of these little ones are so deserving to live in a peaceful world. So let’s work together for it!

Enjoy your weekend,

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Bethann


Middle School: Week in Review

Happy Friday! It’s been another productive week in middle school. Classes are busy, and it’s feeling like fall!

Math
In the Pre-Transition math class, students continued to practice measuring lengths in customary units as well as identifying mixed numbers. This class is learning about simplifying fractions, finding equivalent fractions, and converting improper fractions into mixed numbers. Next week, they will conclude their learning of Chapter 1.
In the Transition math class, students are learning how to multiply by powers of ten, perform order of operations, and write numbers in scientific notation form. Students are becoming more comfortable with comparing positive and negative numbers as well as converting decimals to fraction form.
In the Algebra math class, students finished studying Chapter 1 and wrote their first unit test on Friday, September 23rd. This class can successfully graph absolute values on a coordinate grid, find the range, median, and mean absolute value of a given data set.
Math Joke: Did you hear about the over-educated circle? It has 360°!
Humanities
6th grade Humanities class worked on their first unit of vocabulary. They also read and completed drafts of poems titled, “Where I’m From”, modeled after George Ella Lyon’s poem of the same name. Connecting with our summer reading, Becoming Naomi Leon, these poems further define who we are, just as Naomi discovered where she came from and how she embodied her past. Students also completed some geography work, labeling a political map of Mexico and Central America along with the bodies of water that border these countries.
7th grade Humanities class finished reviewing the geography of China, and they began researching Chinese Dynasties. They also read and composed drafts of odes in the style of Pablo Neruda’s, “Ode to the Apple”. They chose an inanimate object and, using descriptive language and imagery, they glorified these objects. Finally, students worked on their first current events writing of the year, which will be October 3rd.
8th grade Humanities class wrapped up their work surrounding their summer reading, The Giver. They composed writing pieces that supported whether or not the United States could ever be Utopia. This lead into the first chapter of our history book,  A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki. We talked and wrote about what it means and what it looks like to be American. Finally, we backed up to human migration and started researching civilizations in pre-contact America.
Science
6th year Earth Science students worked on creating their resin molds this week. Students were able to choose an item they wished to preserve in their resin. Some students chose leaves of native plants while others a mosquito (very Jurassic Park). The intentions of this activity were for students to apply their working knowledge of the different elements that affect preservation potential.

7th year Physical Science students finished their unit, Combining and Separating, this week. Students were tasked with collaborating with one another to separate a mixture using a set of materials provided and later separate a mixture independently. Students were able to determine which tool was best suited to remove certain items based on their physical properties such as size, shape, color, density, or magnetism. Each student was able to apply their knowledge of past activities, making each process moving forward more efficient and effective.
8th year Life Science students have worked hard creating their list of items to represent the organelles of both a plant and animal cell. Beginning next week, students will create their cell cake construction, which will be presented to and consumed by the entire middle school. In association with the unit, Cell Theory, students are conducting research on the use of stem cells. Students will be divided into groups of two, which will provide evidence that is either in favor or against the use of stem cells.
We hope you have a wonderful weekend!