Mrs. Doyle’s Class: A Season For Gratitude

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.

It was the perfect week to talk about St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas was a Bishop who inherited a lot of money from his family. He was also a very gentle, kind man who lived by the virtues of personal generosity, charity towards those in need, and taking care of the young and the most vulnerable. We learned that  St. Nicholas loved to perform random acts of kindness for those in need. Many people around the world celebrate St. Nicholas Day by leaving a pair of boots outside their door. So, we left boots outside our classroom door and, to our amazement, the boots were beautifully decorated and filled with candy canes the next morning.

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

Beau–I’m thankful for farms because they give us food.

Blake–I’m thankful for trucks because they are so funny and make everyone laugh.

Cora–I’m thankful for the sun because it shines on my face.

Eli–I’m thankful for my friends, my family and my pets because my pets are really, really cute and I really love my family.

Ellia–I’m thankful for my mom, my dad, and my sister because I love them.

Elliot–I’m thankful for my brother because he likes to play in the snow with me.

Everly–My mommy and my daddy because I love them so much.

Gianni--I’m thankful for the Earth because all of my friends live there.

Gregory–I’m thankful for my teachers and friends at school.

Grace–I’m thankful for the trees because they give us oxygen.

Harper–St. Nicholas because he brings us presents and candy.

Lily–I’m thankful for my mom and my sister, cute little Annie, and my dog Peanut.  I’m really thankful my daddy fixed my dishwasher.

Luca C.–I’m thankful for my mom because she loves me a whole lot.

Luca F.—I’m thankful for my friends and my family because I love them all.

Mia–I’m thankful for my cat because I love him.

Michael--I’m thankful for my dog because he is nice to me.

Mya–I’m thankful for flowers because they are so beautiful.

Nina–I’m thankful for the snow because it is so nice.

Parker–I’m thankful for the whales in the ocean because they teach people to be happy.

Quin–I’m thankful for the snow that falls because my mom and dad love when it snows.

Simrin–I’m thankful for my sister because she is cute and plays with me.  Sometimes she puts small things in her mouth too!

Wilder–I’m thankful for being happy and loving my mom.

Xander–I’m thankful for Dante because he plays with me all the time.

Miss Jeanine 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!

Wishing you a warm and wonderful week!

Michelle & Jeannine


Mrs. Lopes’s Class: Let It Snow!

It was so nice to have all the children back in the classroom this week after our extended Thanksgiving break. With the holidays approaching and the start of a new month, the children came back into an environment full of new lessons and materials to explore. This month we will be learning about the continent of Antarctica and discussing the various holidays celebrated around the world in December.  One such holiday we talked about this week is St. Nicholas Day, which is celebrated on December 6.  St. Nicholas was a bishop in Europe. He was born into a wealthy family and at a young age made the choice to give away all his possessions to those with none. He is known for his kindness, generosity, and taking care of the young and in need. We learned that St. Nicholas would leave small gifts or treats during the night for the less fortunate in his community. St. Nicholas has evolved over the years into the Santa Claus we recognize today. Many people around the world celebrate St. Nicholas day by leaving a pair of boots outside their door. So, of course we decided to leave a pair of boots outside our classroom door. To our surprise, the boots were decorated and filled with candy canes the next morning!

I’ve also included some pictures of our bread baking and Thanksgiving activities from last week since there was no blog post.  Thank you Vanessa and Natalia for volunteering to help the children bake the bread!  The children were so excited to share our bread at the “Bread Sharing Ceremony” with the school the next day. We are looking forward to making latkes in celebration of Hanukkah next week!

Best,

Amanda and Deanna


Mrs. Carroll’s Class: Random Acts of Kindness

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” -Scott Adams

This week the children enjoyed celebrating Saint Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas is known for his generosity to those in need as well as his love for children. The most important lesson from the legend of St. Nicholas is his generosity. To help us all remember this, your children made it a point to do random acts of kindness. The class brainstormed creative ways to help those in need in our homes, classrooms and local communities. They were delighted to set about  “secret” missions to bring some joy to others and were thrilled to find a boot full of candy canes from St. Nicholas himself at week’s end.

A smile, kind word, or honest compliment can transform a bad day into one that will be remembered. Brighten someone’s day with a smile!Image result for google image sun

Warm thoughts,

Cindy & Sharlene


Mrs. Lopes Class: Learning About North America

During these past couple of weeks the children have been immersed in learning more about the continent we live on, North America. At the beginning of this week we introduced the North America 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 in the continent as well as help the child to independently put the puzzle back together. With the introduction of the North America puzzle map many children were interested in making their own maps! We have seen such focus and concentration while the children trace the countries, color their maps according to the colors on our puzzle maps, and then correctly label the individual countries using the control map.

The children also enjoyed our first in-house field trip of the year on Wednesday. We were excited to welcome a Native American storyteller who entertained with her legendary tales, teaching life lessons. We have enjoyed learning about the continent of North America this month and hope that your child has shared information with you.

During our study of North America, we have also been discussing the importance of Thanksgiving and the feeling of gratitude. We are looking forward to our bread making and Thanksgiving ceremony next week!

Best,

Amanda & Deanna


Mrs. Carroll’s Class: A Walk Around the Sun

Birthday celebrations are so special in a Montessori environment. For a child, one year is a significant amount of time relative to their life. As part of the Montessori tradition, we strive to celebrate birthdays in a way that is both meaningful and educational.

Our children in the primary environment celebrate birthdays with a tradition called “a walk around the sun.” A walk around the sun can be different from school to school, but typically begins by lighting a candle representing the sun in the middle of our class circle. Labels for each month of the year are laid out around the candle. The teacher and class form a circle around the candle and the birthday child walks around the “sun” once for each year of their life, holding an Earth globe. We encourage parents to share a milestone from each year of their child’s life during their walk around the sun.

After the walk has been completed, the birthday child is invited to share photos and/or special items from their past, and share a special birthday snack with classmates. Classmates may take this time to have a special question-and-answer session with the birthday child. Students gather to ask questions and learn more about what makes that student so special.

The Montessori Birthday Walk is more than just a birthday celebration, it’s a Celebration of Life, a lesson in science, astronomy, and grace, and a community building experience for the entire class.

The children enjoyed our first in-house field trip of the year on Wednesday. We were excited to welcome a Native American storyteller who entertained with her legendary tales, teaching life lessons. We have enjoyed learning about the continent of North America this month and hope that your child has shared information with you.

Looking forward to our bread making and Thanksgiving ceremony next week!

Nvwatohiyada (Cherokee word for peace),

Cindy & Sharlene


Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Classifying Animals

So far this year, we have learned that all things in the world are either living or non-living.  Then, we classified living things as animals or plants. Now we are ready to go one step further and begin our study of zoology.

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 spines 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.

The children enjoyed our first in-house field trip of the year on Wednesday. We were excited to welcome a Native American storyteller who entertained with her legendary tales, teaching life lessons. We have enjoyed learning about the continent of North America this month and hope that your child has shared information with you.

We also welcome our new friend Blake and his family to our class!  The children have been so excited to have Blake and are really doing an amazing job of helping him learn the routines of our day.

Have a wonderful week!

Michelle & Jeannine


Mrs. Carroll’s Class: It’s Off To Work We Go

There exists in the small child an unconscious mental state which is of a creative nature. We have called it the “Absorbent Mind.” The tiny child’s absorbent mind finds all its nutriment in its surroundings…Especially at the beginning of life. We must, therefore, make the environment as interesting and attractive as we can. -Maria Montessori

Montessori Method is based on self-motivation to learn. Children are considered to be at work during the day, but they have fun doing it. They go beyond life skills, learning geometry, geography, phonics, and much more. Young children have the capacity to absorb, learn, and do so much. They just need a controlled, creative environment to allow them to pursue their interests.

Enjoy these images of your children at work!

Cindy & Sharlene


Mrs. Doyle’s Class: It’s Off To Work We Go!

There exists in the small child an unconscious mental state which is of a creative nature. We have called it the “Absorbent Mind.” The tiny child’s absorbent mind finds all its nutriment in its surroundings…Especially at the beginning of life. We must, therefore, make the environment as interesting and attractive as we can.  -Maria Montessori

The Montessori Method is based on self-motivation to learn. Children are considered to be at work during the day, but they have fun doing it. They go beyond life skills, learning geometry, geography, phonics, and much more. Young children have the capacity to absorb, learn, and do so much. They just need a controlled, creative environment to allow them to pursue their interests.

Enjoy these images of your children at work!

Michelle & Jeannine