Ms. Marissa: In June I Saw A Charming Group…

…Of roses all begin to droop

I pepped them up with chicken soup!

Sprinkle once,

Sprinkle twice,

Sprinkle chicken soup with rice!

Well, another year has gone by! Each and every child has grown so much right before our eyes, and we consider ourselves so lucky to have watched it all happen. We ended our last work cycle of the year watching Carole King’s rendition of Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup With Rice, which we have been reading and learning all year long!

The children were overjoyed to see all the drawings animated and were singing along to the words!

Thank you for a wonderful first year at FWM.

Have a wonderful summer,

Marissa & Sue

Ms. Marissa: Moving on Up!

With the school year winding down, we have been reflecting on our past year. A new teacher, a new classroom for some, new friends, exciting work, responsibilities, and routines. We are feeling emotional about saying goodbye to our Kindergarten friends who are all moving up to Lower Elementary! They have been such wonderful role models in our classroom, always there to help teach a lesson, show a friend something, help each other out, and lead our classroom! How much we’ve all grown!

We have also talked about our second-year children moving up to Kindergarten and how we will welcome new three-year-olds into our classroom next year. So many exciting things in our future!

We have been talking about the United States and where we are in this big, wide universe! We look at the Solar System, our planet, our continent, our country, our state, our town, and finally, ourselves!

Have a lovely weekend,

Marissa & Sue

Ms. Marissa: Fun at Flanders

On Wednesday, the Kindergarten children spent time at Flanders Nature Center in Woodbury. We began by taking a hike through the woods to the Botany Pond. The children then had the opportunity to catch and identify amphibians, reptiles, and insects. We found tadpoles, beetles, newts, giant water bugs, and salamanders. We observed turtles resting on a rock, fish swimming, and even found one of those elusive frogs. When we were done, we released any living thing we had collected and climbed aboard for a tractor ride. We were able to get up close to a beaver lodge and get a peek at a nest with three-day-old baby birds. It was informative and impressive to speak with a Flanders volunteer, who explained how and why the beavers dam up a culvert each night. Walking back, several children shared what a great day it was! Flanders is open to the public, and we encourage you to take advantage of this amazingly beautiful nature center. They also offer several summer programs. You can find more information on their website.

Wishing you all a week filled with much peace and love.

Marissa & Sue

Ms. Marissa: Pollinator Appreciation!

We have so enjoyed watching our caterpillars transform into butterflies over the last couple of weeks! We set them free, and the children were able to see them fly out into nature. After learning about butterflies, we became interested in knowing more about pollination and other animals that help. Kindergarteners had the chance to hand-pollinate cucumber plants in Makerspace and told us how that experience was! We learned that hummingbirds, honey bees and even bats are also pollinators!

As we are enjoying our last few weeks together in the classroom we are appreciating our time together and getting excited for what is ahead! The Kindergarteners had an opportunity to visit Lower Elementary last week and we started the discussion of what “moving up” looks like. The children are all excited to move up to their next step in the year ahead.

Have a wonderful weekend, and keep a lookout for our classroom butterflies flying around town!

Marissa & Sue

Ms. Marissa: The Future Is So Bright You Need To Wear Shades!

It’s always a little startling to realize that the end of the school year is quickly approaching. May is an amazing month because we look back to see all that we have accomplished and take stock of what we have left to do. Each child’s learning at this point is very much cumulative and continues to build upon all of the skills that have been mastered since August. A perfect example of this is the kindergarten animal research project the children have been working on for several weeks. We start this project in late spring because we need a foundation of reading, writing, geography, science, and even math in order to be successful. I was ‘interviewing’ the kindergartners for the About The Author section of their books, and, as typically happens, several other children quickly wanted to be interviewed and share their future career aspirations. Their answers are sure to brighten everyone’s day.

Matteo: Scientist
Eowyn: Princess
Ava: Policeman
Charlotte: Princess
Brinley: Baker
Conor: Wild Thing
Victoria: Scientist
Anthony: Scientist
Carter: Veterinarian
Simone: Veterinarian
Shea: Fireman
Ruscher: Construction Worker
Katie: Veterinarian
Levi: Astronaut
Lemon: Makeup Artist
Soren: Scientist and a Construction Worker
Lucia: Mom and a Horseback Rider
Savina: Swimming Teacher and an Artist
Charlotte: Princess
Elsie: Movie Producer

A special thank you for all the beautiful flowers and thoughtful notes sent in this week.  We felt very loved!

Wishing you all a week filled with peace and love!

Marissa & Sue

Ms. Marissa: Can You Say “Metamorphosis”?

We continue to admire our Painted Lady caterpillars each day. We have an observation station set up where children are invited to draw and document the growth of the caterpillars. While we are watching this metamorphosis in real time, we are also using hands-on materials to visualize the life cycle of a butterfly.

Learning about the different stages of a butterfly’s life: adult, egg, larva, and pupa has been so interesting and eye-opening! Some questions I have received from students are:

“Do butterflies have families once the eggs hatch?”

“Well, is it a full cycle if the butterfly or caterpillars die?”

“Is “larva” and “pupa” a fancy word for caterpillar and chrysalis?”

“What is the difference between a chrysalis and a cocoon?”

Do you know the answers to these questions? These would be great conversation starters with your children!

We also continue our journey through Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak. This month’s poem goes like this:

In May, I truly think it best
To be a robin lightly dressed
Concocting soup inside my nest.
Mix it once, mix it twice,
Mix that chicken soup with rice!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Marissa & Sue

Ms. Marissa: Head, Thorax, Abdomen, Abdomen!

We are closing our Bird study and beginning our study of butterflies and honey bees! To kick off this next month, we welcomed five tiny caterpillars to our classroom. It is so exciting to observe each step of the fascinating life cycle of the painted lady butterfly. Right now, our caterpillars are busy eating, spinning silk, and growing bigger every day. During this incredible period of growth, they will shed their exoskeletons four times and grow more than ten times their original size! When they have finished growing, the caterpillars will climb to the top of the cup. Once there, they will hang from the paper disk in a “j” shape under the lid. Finally, they will shed their exoskeletons one last time before they pupate and form a chrysalis.

On Wednesday, a classmate shared the wonderful traditions of celebrating the New Year in Sri Lanka during the month of April. He showed us his special outfit, shared homemade Sri Lankan snacks, and gave each child a keychain representing Sri Lanka. Thank you so much to his family for sharing a little piece of their culture with us!

Wishing you a week filled with peace and love!

Marissa & Sue

Ms Marissa: Not So Fast!

“Help me to do it myself.”

In our hurried world filled with timelines and schedules, it is often so much easier and quicker for a parent to help their child put on a pair of shoes, rather than encourage the child and patiently wait for them to put on their own shoes.  Doctor Maria Montessori recognized that children possess an innate need for independence. She also understood that this independence and the child’s desire to: “Help me to do it myself” was the key driver behind their intellectual and physical development.

According to Montessori theory, the child’s journey towards independence begins from the moment they are born, and progresses as children learn to become fully functioning, empowered individuals in our world.  Our classrooms are designed to allow the children to experience “real work” and to fulfill their need for independence. It is common for some children to immediately say “can you help me” or “I can’t do it” before even trying.  We ask the children to try something three times before seeking out help from a teacher.  Quite often, before that third try is up, they have found success. So, if you see your child is struggling or taking a long time to do something, take a step back and create the opportunity for them to independently be successful.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead,

Marissa & Sue