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Grateful for Our Community

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Thanksgiving, for many, marks the start of our winter holiday celebrations- a very fun and festive time of year.  For me personally, I am reminded there is so much to be grateful for: family, friends, a roof overhead, good health… and more.

This year, in particular, has shown me a new depth of gratitude. I am incredibly grateful for the role you have played in keeping our community healthy. We have all done a tremendous amount to protect each other over the last months and for that I am especially grateful.

The health of our children, our teachers, and families is of the utmost importance to us and we are committed to keeping our doors open to provide in-person learning for the children for as long as we can. In order for this to happen, we need to approach the holidays very carefully, while keeping in mind state-mandated quarantine procedures and guidance from our local DPH. Because there is increased risk of exposure when traveling or hosting others from outside of your household, we are asking that to the extent possible, you avoid gathering and that you take every precaution if you must gather.

If you do travel outside the state for Thanksgiving, we ask that you follow the Travel Advisory for the State of Connecticut and the CDC Celebrating Thanksgiving Guidelines. 

If you are staying at home for an in-person gathering, we ask that you follow the State of Connecticut Holiday Guidance and the CDC Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings Guidelines. 

Here is an additional resource for your information: Optimal Testing Time + Quarantine

The best-case scenario for the holidays, and what we are strongly encouraging, is that every family only gathers with the people that live in their home, inviting distant relatives by Zoom or Facetime. If  you must travel or visit, please ask all parties to isolate for 14 days prior to gathering.

Thank you for trusting FWM to do what is in the best interest of our entire community. We can’t know who is vulnerable or who lives with vulnerable people, (senior citizens, and those with underlying medical conditions) so we must protect each other!

Thank you and I wish you a warm (though different) holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gina


News & Upcoming Events

Holiday Traditions As we approach the upcoming holiday season, planning might look a little different this year due to the pandemic. This holds true for those families that have enjoyed holiday traditions for many years or traveled to other places to see family and friends. We would love to hear what traditions, activities, and ideas you have planned with family and friends in order to stay safe. From all the ideas shared, we will create a resource and share it with you! We kindly ask that you submit your ideas by this Sunday, Nov. 22nd here.

November 25th – 11:30 am. Early Dismissal for all students

November 26th-27th – No School – Happy Thanksgiving! 

Cookbook Recipe Submission Contribute your family’s favorite recipe(s) to our school cookbook. Click here to log in and submit recipes. Group Name: fwmontessori & Password: kitchen87. The deadline to submit recipes is November 30th.

Do you shop on Amazon? If so, be sure to choose our school as your charity of choice. The school receives .5% of purchases on smile.amazon.com. Each time you shop on Amazon, be sure to go to smile.amazon.com. If this is the first time that you are selecting a charity, our school is listed as: Newtown Montessori Society Inc. Thank you!

Giving Tuesday is December 1st We ask that while your child is a student at Fraser Woods Montessori School, you make the school a philanthropic priority. Gifts to the Annual Fund range from $10 to $10,000. Each and every gift impacts our programs and shapes your child’s experience.

This year more than ever, we ask that you be as generous as possible in your support of the School with a donation that demonstrates your current financial situation. The financial impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on our School has been significant. Your contribution will help Fraser Woods continue to move forward to provide an outstanding Montessori educational experience. Every contribution, no matter the amount, counts toward our 100% participation goal. We hope to count on your support to the Annual Fund on Giving Tuesday.


iSOMOS!

Our middle school students use the iSOMOS! Curriculum, developed by Martina Bex, expert in comprehensible input. Our entire focus is acquiring the language as we explore text and culture in a comprehensible manner. Using high frequency words and cognates, coupled with compelling stories we create as a class, students are engaged and held accountable for their learning. 

Recently, middle school students have been exploring LatinX cuisine, celebrations of el Día de los Muertos, and various cultural snippets through short articles and stories embedded in our curriculum. They continue to build vocabulary through the storytelling process in addition to reading from their proficiency based novels each class. “Somos” means “we are”, and it’s a beautiful experience to witness middle schoolers discovering who they are as language learners and as positive members of their community.


News & Upcoming Events

Cookbook Recipe Submission Contribute your family’s favorite recipe(s) to our school cookbook. Click here to log in and submit recipes. Group Name: fwmontessori & Password: kitchen87. The deadline to submit recipes is November 30th.

Holiday Traditions As we approach the upcoming holiday season, planning might look a little different this year due to the pandemic especially for those families that have enjoyed holiday traditions for many years or traveled to other places to see family and friends. We want to create a compilation of new traditions, activities, or ideas that you have planned with family and friends. From all the ideas/activities gathered, we will create a master list and share them with our school community. We can’t wait to hear what you will be doing or have planned! This may give other families fun new ideas and activities to try while at home. Submit your family’s new traditions/activities planned and ideas here.

Do you shop on Amazon? If so, be sure to choose our school as your charity of choice. The school receives .5% of purchases on smile.amazon.com. Each time you shop on Amazon, be sure to go to: smile.amazon.com. If this is the first time that you are selecting a charity, our school is listed as: Newtown Montessori Society Inc. Thank you!

Giving Tuesday is December 1st Each year, Fraser Woods Montessori School strives for 100% participation from the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and current family communities. Parent participation in our Annual Fund makes an enormous impact on each child’s experience and symbolizes the collective investment in our learning community. Strong community participation indicates a high level of commitment that influences community donors and financial institutions. Our school also solicits gifts from alumni, alumni families, grandparents, and friends of the school to offer all members of our learning community the opportunity to support our school. We hope to count on your support to the Annual Fund on Giving Tuesday.


Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Vertebrate or Invertebrate?

This year, we have learned that all things in the world are either living or non-living.  We also learned to classify living things as either an animal or a plant.  Now we are ready to go one step further and begin to study animals.

The children learn that the study of animals is called zoology. All animals can be classified as vertebrates or invertebrates. Vertebrates have a backbone and invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone. We help the children understand this concept by having them run their fingers along their spine to feel their backbone.

The majority of animals that we think about, such as dogs, cats, birds, fish, alligators, and frogs are vertebrates.  However, there are actually more invertebrates living on our planet. More than 90% of all animals are invertebrates. Vertebrates tend to be larger in size because their backbones allow them to have muscles and a strong body. Invertebrates tend to be small, as no backbone means they can’t support a large body.

Learning about vertebrates and invertebrates is an important lesson. With this knowledge, we are ready to begin classifying vertebrates into five different groups: mammals, amphibians, fish, birds, and reptiles.

Wishing you a week filled with peace and love!

Michelle & Lizette


Mrs. Lopes’s Class: Learning About North America

This week the children have been immersed in exploring the first of seven continents, the continent we live on, North America. At the beginning of the week we introduced the continent of North America with our continent puzzle map. When using this lesson, children are taught to take one country out of the puzzle at a time and match it to the control map. The control map helps the child see where each country is located on the continent and helps the child to independently put the puzzle back together. The children also enjoyed engaging in our other North American themed works on the shelves, which included native animals, traditional clothing, topography, and flags of North America.

The Montessori cultural studies curriculum provides children with an opportunity to explore the whole world, including the continents, countries, people, animals, terrain, music, and arts. Children use didactic Montessori materials to familiarize themselves with the needs of all humans for such things as food, housing, and clothing. This early cultural awareness helps cultivate independent, joyful citizens of our world.

During our study of North America, we have also been discussing the importance of Thanksgiving and the feeling of gratitude. We have enjoyed sharing with each other what we are all thankful for!

Best,

Amanda & Sharlene


Middle School: Week in Review

Happy Friday! Another November week has come to a close, and we have taken advantage of the unexpected warm weather. Here’s what has been going on in Middle School.

Humanities

This week, all classes had current events presentations. The 6th years worked hard to finish their class novel, Out of My Mind. They also continued with descriptive writing. Students read and composed personification poems. They also began a writing piece inspired by a photograph. Next, the 7th years continued to read and lead discussions surrounding their class novel, A Gift From Childhood. They also took time to compose wonderful memoir poems. Mrs. Lamb is proud of these talented creative writers! Finally, 8th years began reading their class novel, If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth. To build prior knowledge and context, they studied the history behind the US Reservation system. All students write annotations and sometimes complete guided questions as they read. These will guide discussion on the reading. The annotations allow the students to lead their own book discussions and direct their classmates to particular passages for further conversation.

Science

6th year Earth Science students are continuing to explore earthquakes. This week, students represented longitudinal, transverse, and compression waves resulting from the release of energy from an earthquake using slinkies. Students have been holding class discussions on a documentary pertaining to the events of March 11, 2011 when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit just off the Pacific coast of Japan. Students are learning how seismologists are able to collect data from seismic readings of plate tectonics to better understand how such an earthquake happens and how to prepare for future ones.

7th year Physical Science students are learning about the properties of molecules and the periodic table of elements. Currently, students are working on representing covalent and ionic bonds. Within this unit, students are discovering how to identify a particular atom’s number of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
8th year Life Science students are finishing their unit on Meiosis. Each student has been working on representing the stages of Meiosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase) as it results in genetic variation among certain species. This unit provides students with background knowledge to support their next chapter, “Genes and the Impacts of Mutations on Organisms.”
Math
In Pre-Transition math class, students had the first part of the week to study and prepare for their Chapter 3 Unit Test. This assessment covered topics of measuring angles with a protractor, adding fractions without common denominators, and applying the Triangle-Sum theorem. Students started to learn the first few lessons of Chapter 4 which explains subtracting positive and negative integers on a number line and using fact triangles to find related facts.
In Transition class, students had the first part of the week to study and prepare for their Chapter 3 Unit Test as well. This assessment covered topics of converting decimals, fractions, and percents, estimating the square root of a number, and calculating probability of an event. Students started learning about Chapter 4 which explains writing if-then statements, determining the union and intersection of sets, as well as drawing basic polynomial figures.
In Algebra class, students are learning about solving real world problems involving percent, drawing horizontal and vertical lines on a coordinate plane, and can solve/check equations of the form ax + b = cx + d. This class will conclude Chapter 4 next week and should start to prepare for their next Unit Test.
In Geometry class, students are learning how to draw figures by applying the definitions of reflection images, use reflections to find the shortest path, as well as use the Two-Reflection theorems for translations on a plane. This class will have their Chapter 4 Unit assessment next week and should start to prepare well in advance.
As a general reminder, students are invited to attend an optional virtual math help session on Thursdays from 4:45-5:30pm. Questions will be answered on a first come, first serve basis. All middle school classes are welcome to participate. Students can access the zoom link on the main stream of all Google classroom pages.
Math Joke:
What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter? ……Pumpkin pi  
EXTRA JOKE: What did one math book say to the other?………………Don’t bother me. I’ve got my own problems!

Mrs. Hood’s Class: Beauty and Yumminess!

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, work on the mental task of sequencing, and learn to exercise their judgment of size and capacity in matching flowers to vases and also in pouring water. 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.

Another highlight 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 yellow peppers. 

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. They were attentive at the moment we removed the towel that was covering the pepper.  The pepper was presented as a whole first, then cut in front of them, presented as half, and then served individually while following all COVID safety guidelines. In our conversation we included such adjectives as cold, big, smooth, yellow, and tasty to keep adding to our vocabulary.

Children observed while I slowly picked up a piece of pepper 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! 

From now on, these two exercises will be available in our environment every week! Thank you SO much to the Mica family for the gorgeous flowers they donated this week and thank you all for your support providing your own child’s food tasting. Your support is greatly appreciated. 

Happy weekend, 

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Maria