Mrs. Wilson: It Is Starting to Feel Like Fall

This month is going by so fast. There were some changes made to the environment. We added some extensions to the flower arrangement lesson. While the children are creating beautiful arrangements they are also developing their executive function skills. This lesson went from a five-step lesson to a ten-step lesson. Some of the other new activities available are maize corn kernel pulling, leaf color sorting, and woodland animal object to picture matching. We also  added a light table with transparent colored building connectors and nesting blocks. This has become a big hit in the class.

On the art shelf, we added some new fall-themed art materials for the children to choose and explore. They can color a leaf with markers then drop water on top to watch the color spread and mix. There is also a leaf paper punch; this takes a lot of strength to press the punch down.

This week’s food tasting was persimmon. It was well-received by the children.

Enjoy the photos,
Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Sara


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 


Mrs. Hood’s Class: At the Fraser Farm!

The crisp in the air, the change of colors in the trees, and the smell of pumpkins tell us fall is finally here, and we celebrated in a special way this week. Due to COVID we are making adjustments to different events and traditions we hold dear in our hearts here at FWM, but that didn’t stop us from having fun at our little Fraser Farm.   

Our little ones got very excited when we told them we were going pumpkin picking. We told them they needed to keep their eyes open and let us know if they saw some nice pumpkins. They walked quietly as a group around the school’s halls until they were able to spot the pumpkins displayed in our beautiful Zen garden. This is a new place they have never visited before as a group. As they entered the garden,  they not only focused on the pumpkins, but on the whole new environment. They explored the trees, the benches, the bridge, and contemplated the sky. Something they seemed to enjoy was hearing their steps while they walked on the tiny rocks.

Each child chose a pumpkin and used their muscles to carry it around and place it into the wagon to be transported to the classroom. In the classroom, children had some extra fun freely painting their chosen pumpkin.

We want to give a big shout out to the Cinquegrana family for the pumpkin donations for the class! We are always so appreciative of the support of our families! 🙂 

Also, thank you all for meeting with Ms. Maria and I last week during Parent-Teacher Conferences! It was really great to spend some time with each one of you and share stories and the progress each of your children have made so far! 

It’s truly an honor to be able to see your children grow in our community!

Enjoy the pictures,

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Maria


Mrs. Wilson: The Cutest Pumpkins in the Patch!

Last week we held off picking pumpkins due to rainy weather. The toddlers still enjoyed some fun pumpkin experiences such as pumpkin tasting, helping choose a shape for the Jack O’ Lantern’s face, and exploring the pumpkin’s goop and seeds.

We were so blessed this past Wednesday with the perfect fall weather to have our event. We told the children that the pumpkins are hiding and they need to find the one with their photo on it, like playing hide and seek, which is a game they love to play on the playground. The children joyfully looked around the zen garden until they found their own pumpkin. We took their picture and then they carried their pumpkin to the wagon.

Back in the classroom, the children decorated their pumpkin with glue and tissue paper. This activity kept their focus for quite some time. I love observing them as they are concentrating intently on an activity. You can see the focus on their faces in the photos.

Thank you to all the parents for your support in providing a pumpkin for your little ones. We really do teach the cutest pumpkins in the patch!

Enjoy the photos from Wednesday,
Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Sara


Little Landscapers!

This week we changed over from sunflowers and the color yellow to pumpkins and the color orange. When we introduced painting at the art easel in September we started with red paint then switch over to yellow. This week we added back red paint so they can visually see what happens when they mix the two colors.

On Monday the children were surprised with a large chalkboard on their playground. A big thank you to Mrs. Hood, Ms. Sara, and her husband Bill for creating this beautiful addition. When using art materials on a large vertical surface the children are strengthening their large and fine motor muscles, developing small motor control, and practicing crossing their midline, just to name some of the wonderful benefits from these activities.

The highlight of the week was so exciting for the children. We received a delivery of mulch for our playground. They all watched with amazement as the dump truck backed in to unload the mulch. When the delivery was finished the driver beeped his horn for them as he drove away. Then the children all grabbed a bucket to help carry in the mulch and were guided to where it needed to go. Some even filled the dump trucks to move the mulch. They joyfully worked together and were such big helpers. This activity will provide them with pride in their outdoor space.

On Wednesday the children tasted a granny smith apple. We cut their apple horizontally in half to make it easier for them to use the apple slicer. With assistance, they used all their strength to get the slicer through. Then they sat down to enjoy the apple. Once again the language we heard as  they ate was, “Mmmm,” and “Delicious.”

Thank you to the Hood family for the beautiful flowers!

Enjoy this week’s photos,
Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Sara


Mrs. Hood’s Class: With My Eyes and My Hands!

Hand-eye coordination is one of the most important parts of the learning process. It helps your child track the movements of their hands with their eyes, which is essential for reading and decoding. Because your child also uses their visual system with hand-eye coordination, it can greatly impact their writing skills and handwriting as they use their eyes to guide, direct, and control their hand movements across the page as they write letters and words.

Our Toddler environment is set up in a specific way, looking to sharpen and challenge these skills while meeting your child exactly where they are developmentally. Each material is displayed in progression order, from easiest to hardest, and from left to right. This logical structure encourages children to organize their thinking and absorb the outcome of the material at their own pace. The left to right orientation of the materials also assists children with preparation for reading and writing, and is the way that the brain naturally processes information.

Some fun highlights from this week were the introduction of water transferring using a dropper. It’s a challenging work but children were so proud of themselves when they were able to make the dropper work and hear the sound of the water touching the silver bowl. The children named this work “Squeeze and Open” as they worked hard to coordinate their hand movement while repeating those words. 

The children also received a surprise this week! They were able to work their gross and fine motor skills while using chalk or brushes and painting with water on our new giant chalkboard.  They seem to love it so much! 

Children also enjoyed making pumpkin sun catchers and taking sunflower seeds out of a huge mammoth sunflower head, strengthening their pincer grip.  

Ms. Maria and I can’t wait to “see” you next week for our Parent- Teacher Conference through Zoom and to talk more in detail about your child’s progress. 

Enjoy the pictures,

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Maria 


Mrs. Wilson: Exploring Sunflowers

Wow! What a very busy week we have had. There were a lot of activities for the children to enjoy. We continued to explore a sunflower. Castle Hill Farm was so generous and donated a couple of sunflower heads to our class. Thank you to Miss Alison for picking them up for us. As we continued our sunflower exploration we talked about the parts of the sunflower and showed them how to pull the seeds out. We are using this activity as one of our outdoor lessons. By pulling the seeds the children are exercising their pincer grasp. We will have plenty of seeds to plant in the spring and to feed the birds. Another outdoor activity the children seemed to love was washing the farm animals. The children pumped soap onto a scrub brush and gave our farm animals a bath.

On Wednesday we presented a red apple for food tasting. We talked about how the apple grows on a tree and named the different parts of an apple. The children used the apple peeler to peel, slice, and core their own apples. It was hard work as they had to use their muscles to crank the handle. With lots of enthusiasm, the children waited patiently for their turn. We heard lots of “yummy”, “MMMMMMMM”, and it’s delicious! Next Wednesday we will taste a Granny Smith Apple.

Thank you to the Grant-Moore family for the beautiful flowers.

Have a beautiful weekend,
Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Sara


Mrs. Hood’s Class: Pumpkin Guts!

Maria Montessori believed that nothing comes into the mind except through the senses. During the early years, as children develop their senses, their attention is directed toward the environment. The purpose of the Sensorial activities is to help the child in their efforts to sort out the many varied impressions given by the senses. These activities are specifically planned to help the child develop discrimination, order, and to broaden and refine the senses. These experiences also help prepare them to be a logical, aware, and perceptive person.

As we started our pumpkin unit this week, children had the opportunity to explore the outside and inside of a pumpkin! Skin, pulp, strands, and seeds were new vocabulary words used to describe the parts of a pumpkin. We also talked about the texture, color, and temperature of the pumpkin. Cold, bumpy, and soft were adjectives we repeated over and over as well as naming the color orange.  They were so curious and amazed to find out what it was inside! Some of them expressed wonder, some of them didn’t know how to react, and some just demonstrated plain disgust. Some were so excited to explore by placing their hand all the way inside. Others touched the skin and seeds carefully and were quite skeptical. It was so interesting to observe the different responses from the children to this exercise!

Another highlight of this short week was our new pumpkin art work. Children love to draw designs on a pumpkin but the most fun part of it all was using the wet microfiber towel to erase and clean the pumpkin. It seemed that children really enjoyed seeing the pumpkin shining at the end of their work!

The favorite book this week was Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin by Sonali Fry and they really seemed to enjoy our new scarf dancing song: “Jiggle Your Scarf.” 

A big thanks to the Adler and Mooney family for the pumpkin donations!

Reminder: Parent- Teacher conferences are coming up. To maximize our 20 minutes together, we would greatly appreciate you emailing your questions to us prior to it. Please take some time to think about your questions, and send them to ahood@fraserwoods.com  by Wednesday, October 24th.

Best,

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Maria