Mrs. Hood’s Class: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!

There is so much focus in Montessori on fine motor skills, I think at times we can overlook the importance of gross motor skills, the development and coordination of those large, gross motor muscles and movements.

In our toddler environment gross motor movements include free movement around the room, lifting and pouring, practical life activities like mirror washing or table scrubbing, sweeping and dusting, as well as climbing, balancing on the beam, spinning in the bilibo seat, rocking in our moose, and on our well loved boat.

Maria Montessori knew how integral movement is to intellectual development. Mental development must be connected with movement and be dependent on it. “Movement helps the development of the mind, and this finds renewed expression in further movement and activity.”

Children need freedom of movement too. We have observed that sometimes our toddlers just need to get outside and exert their energy, to run until they can’t run anymore. To laugh and to chase each other. To be free and just let it all out. To us this free time, this physical exertion is just as important as good nutrition, or a good book. We are thankful for a campus that fulfills the children’s needs in this area. From beautiful environments, to a huge and well equipped gym and from a beautiful natural playground to a large soccer field.

Running, skipping, dancing, hopping, or climbing a tree – using all those gross motor skills are just as important as taking a tray off the shelves and working at a table. Life skills, risk taking, fun, physical exertion, problem solving, critical thinking can all come from gross motor play. Gross motor work also lays the foundation for the use of fine motor skills.

A big Congratulations to the Smith family in their new beautiful addition. Cheyenne was born on Monday May 27th 2019 at 2:57 pm. She is 8lbs and 9oz!

Upcoming Events:

Field day – June 4th

Bridge Crossing ceremony – June 6th

Off to the Horses

On Wednesday, the third years got a sneak peak of what Upper Elementary will be like next fall. Some thoughts from the day were:

  • “I liked doing math because it was fun to learn something new”
  • “My favorite part of the day was when we played  four corners and seven up”
  • “We did math which was really fun and a little challenging but that’s ok because I like a challenge”
  • “I made shapes out of the tangrams which i liked a lot because it was fun”
  • “We did a quiz in three groups and a teacher read questions to us. Each group would try to get the write answer and if you got it right you would get 100 points”

To wrap up our biology studies, this week the children are learning about mammals and flowering plants. In addition to learning the external parts of a horse, we also learned how to take care of one, the steps you need to take to ride a horse, and about the temperament of a horse.  Thank you to the Paulos family for letting us visit their stables, everyone had such a blast!


Art Studio: Kindergarten Radial Designs

For the past three classes in the Art Studio, Kindergarten artists have been exploring the concept of radial balance. We began by learning the definition of radial balance, which is any type of balance based on a circle with its design extending from center. We looked at a range of examples: a star, the iris in our eyes, a wheel with spokes, a mandala, a rose window, and a daisy flower are all examples of radial balance. We used words such as symmetry and asymmetry to describe the examples we looked at.

Students then created their own radial designs using pencil first, starting by drawing shapes in the center and then radiating outward with more shapes or lines. Students had the option to use shape stencils to assist in creating their design. Once their design was complete with pencil, each artist traced their design in black sharpie to create a bolder image. For the last step, color was added using crayons, sharpies, neon paint, and finally sparkly gems for extra pizzazz! Emphasis, balance, symmetry, color, contrast, space, and value were the elements and principles of art touched upon in this lesson.

Middle School: Photos! Trip to D.C. & 5th Year Visitors

It’s been a great week back after spending last week on our trip to Washington D.C. We were fortunate to have a wonderful tour guide, Dwight, who was incredibly knowledgeable of the city and its sites. One of the biggest benefits to having Dwight was the thoughtful discussions he led with our students and having them make connections between the sites. He offered questions before visiting memorials to have the kids figure out through observation and the prior knowledge he provided.

Additionally, as Chris noted in his reflection email, the middle school students were fabulous; there were no complaints, and they were flexible. We are incredibly fortunate and grateful to have a group like this middle school. It makes traveling fun!

Finally, this week the 5th years spent a morning attending our classes. They were excited to be immersed in the middle school and were great participants. We can’t wait to welcome them in the fall!

Upper Elementary: Moving Up Visits

This week the fifth year students visited the Middle School while the fourth year students hosted the third years in our classroom. The fifth years returned midday to share their enthusiasm about the possibilities that lie ahead in Middle School. The fourth years were excellent hosts, showing the third years the ropes and welcoming them to our environment. We will miss the fifth years, but look forward to the incoming students for 2019-2020!

Ms. Kayser’s Class: “Stand Tall, Shine Bright”


This week the primary level got to witness and be a part of a beautiful program called Isle of Skoo, from Ben’s Lighthouse. The director, Francine Wheeler, took our children on a journey to teach them kindness, compassion, and how to be beacons of hope and change.

Isle of Skoo is a beautifully choreographed puppet show that was both heart warming and interactive for the children and enforced the core principles that our children live by each and every day in the classroom.

Thank you Francine and the rest of your team for coming and giving us the opportunity to learn, grow, and shine bright.

It is hard to believe that we are heading into our last week of school. We are looking forward to the time we have left together this year and the exciting events we have to share as a community.

Ms. Kayser and Ms. Alli

Mrs. Carroll’s Class: A Beacon of Light

Friends are like lighthouses, with the source of light coming from their hearts.Tom Baker

This past Tuesday your children were invited to adventure on the imaginary Isle of Skoo-Ben’s Lighthouse. Our very own Francine Wheeler provided the children with an opportunity to build social and emotional connections through her music and endearing puppet friends. Skoo, Shelly, and Sir Radio playfully exposed feelings, modeled compassion, and encouraged each child to “find and share their own light-to stand tall and shine bright.”  Thank you, Francine, for your bright light and this beautiful, extremely well received journey!

The end of the year is fast approaching. Please be sure to reference myFwm for upcoming events.

Until next week!

Cindy & Sharlene

Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Creating Harmony!



On Tuesday, all the Primary children came together to travel to the imaginary Isle of Skoo-Ben’s Lighthouse. Francine Wheeler provided the children with an opportunity to build social and emotional connections through her music and endearing puppet friends. Skoo, Shelly, and Sir Radio playfully exposed feelings, modeled compassion, and encouraged each child to “find and share their own light-to stand tall and shine bright.”  Thank you, Francine, for your bright light and this beautiful, extremely well received journey!

Our Kindergarten children began working on their number rolls early in the school year. Number rolls are a tradition in a Montessori classroom. The children love being given the opportunity to make their number rolls as long as they want. The basic concept of the number roll is the child writing the  numbers in order, keeping place value as units, tens, hundreds, and thousands.  Typically we go outside to unroll them but this year the wind just would not cooperate.  After several failed attempts to unroll them in the back parking lot we decided to head inside and unroll them in the gym. It is always exciting to see how far each number roll stretches out.

Enjoy the week!

Michelle & Sonja