Mrs. Hood: Yummy in My Tummy!

One of the main highlights 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 red apples!

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. There were smiles and expressions of awe at the moment I removed the towel that was covering the apple. This fruit was presented as a whole first, then cut in front of them, presented as half, and then served individually. In our conversation, we included such adjectives as cold, big, smooth, red, and tasty to keep adding to our vocabulary. Children observed while I slowly picked up a piece of apple 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! This lesson is a favorite every year and we can’t wait to explore all the different food items in our list each week.

This week we also celebrated our first birthday in the classroom. Always a joy to see those smiley faces feeling seen and cherished!

We also had the great opportunity, after a couple of years of not being able, to gather as school and celebrate the International day of Peace. Each year, the International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world on the 21st of September. Established by the United Nations, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.

On this day, Montessori schools from around the world join together to sing for peace. The song travels around the globe over a 24-hour period, starting with New Zealand and ending with the Hawaiian Islands.

Maria Montessori truly believed in peace education as she felt that world peace can only be achieved through education. In Montessori, we strive to give children the tools to live at peace with others and settle conflict in a peaceful manner.

While you enjoy some of your children’s pictures, we encourage  you to put the volume up on this beautiful song and remember that each one of these little ones are so deserving to live in a peaceful world. So let’s work together for it!

Enjoy your weekend,

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Bethann


Mrs. Wilson: Apples, Apples, Apples

We are amazed by how the children have smoothly phased into the classroom. Some may still have a few tears when arriving at school but they quickly recover within seconds after drop off. You can see their smiling faces in the photo gallery above.

We are exploring apples for the next few weeks. All types of apple activities will surround the children to explore.

During our circle time, the children learned a new song

Way up high in a tree,
Two little apples smiled at me.
I shook that tree as hard as I could.
DOWN came an apple for (child’s name)
Mm-mmm they were good …
We also read The Apple Pie That Papa Baked book by Lauren Thompson

This week we did our first food tasting activity of the year. The children explored the feel, smell, look, and taste of a MacIntosh Apple. This activity also teaches the children how to wait patiently for their turn to taste and to wait until everyone was offered their first piece before having seconds. Every child tasted the apple and every child had multiple tastings.

Every year on September 21st we join together for the International Day of Peace.  Wednesday the children joined the whole Fraser Woods community in the Commons to sing Light a Candle For Peace by Shelly Murley. It is such a beautiful moment to hear everyone singing together for world peace.

Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Sara


Mrs. Wilson: Farm Animals

 

The children are adjusting so well to the new environment. We saw more happy faces and heard more laughter as the week went on. The children are practicing their new routines of getting themselves ready, using a work mat, and learning the boundaries of the classroom.

We are also practicing walking and transitioning from one space to another, such as from the classroom to outside, by using a walking rope. The rope helps give the children a visual so that eventually they will understand the concept of walking together in a line. They really seem to enjoy our outdoor environment. Especially the sandbox and trucks.

This week we introduced the farm animals. Farm animals are familiar to most children. Not only do most children like to play with them, but they offer a hidden agenda for pre-reading. The farm animals are a great way to help develop more language. Naming the animals adds to their vocabulary. Making coordinating animal sounds is helping to develop early sounds. For example, saying, “Moo, moo,” and “Baa, baa,” helps them strengthen different mouth muscles and files away simple syllable structures such as consonant-vowel combinations and patterns.

Have a fantastic weekend,

Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Sara


Mrs. Hood: Slow and Steady!

Your children have started to settle little by little. There are less tears everyday at drop off time and more dancing and giggles throughout the morning. As your children’s confidence and trust have increased, they have started to explore the environment more intentionally. They have even started to socialize with some of their peers. Those that are able to say a few words have started to recognize and call their friends by their names.

As the children continue to use their freedom of movement and freedom of choice, some ground rules have been introduced. One of those rules is Respect for Others’ Work. In traditional school settings, children this age are encouraged and even expected to share. Sharing is a very important concept, but for children of this age it’s a task that they are not developmentally ready for. In our environment we encourage the concept of taking turns instead. This encourages patience, mindfulness, independence, order, and concentration. Children don’t feel threatened by the idea that another child will take their material away, instead they can peacefully work with the material until they are done. When children want to work independently we encourage them to say: “This is my work. Please don’t touch.” We also encourage the children to observe quietly how other children are working with a material. It’s so fun to see that even at this young age children are able to work on mastering these skills! They just need the encouragement to do so.

Another rule we introduced this week is We Respect our Materials. As guides, we model slowly and consistently throughout the morning the importance of carrying and handling our materials in a gentle way. If one of our students decides to throw a piece of material across the room, we encourage them to use one of the balls instead and we verbalize to them in a few words how we should use the materials. “We throw the ball.” “We are gentle with our materials.”

On another note, children had a blast exploring our school’s gym and our toddler outdoor space. They have been practicing how to sit in a community circle, how to transition from place to place, and they all did a great job on our first fire drill this week. Some of the children’s favorite songs this week seemed to be: “Walking in the Jungle” by Super Simple Songs, “Walk Around” by Nancy Kopman, “The Goldfish” by Laurie Berkner, and of course “The Wheel on the Bus” by Cedarmont Kids and “Old Mc Donald Had a Farm.”  

Enjoy the pictures of your beautiful children, 

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Bethann


Mrs. Wilson: New Beginnings

This first week has been quite beautiful with our progress with phasing-in your children. I want to thank all the parents for your support and commitment in giving your child the time to gradually get acclimated. Phase-in sets the tone of the classroom. The children begin to learn to respect the environment and each other, as well as trust themselves, their peers, and us as their guides. They also learn to trust that their parents come back.

Ms. Sara and I can already sense what a magical year we will have.

We hope to see you all next Thursday, September 15th at 5:30 for Our Curriculum night. You will get an opportunity to explore our environment and learn about all our curriculum areas, the materials your children will use and the experiences they will be exposed to.  It’s also our goal to be able to support you as much as we can in this journey though toddlerhood, so curiosity and questions are welcomed!


Mrs. Hood: Building Trust!

 

Welcome to FWM 2022-2023 school year!

As we end our first week of the phase-in period, we couldn’t be happier and more amazed with the progress we have already observed in each of your toddlers!

Children have been exploring the learning environment and getting familiar with the physical space. Our environment is a place where independence, freedom, and choice of materials are the rule. The children will gradually learn how to handle this choice and freedom while respecting and caring for each other, the materials, and the classroom!

Phase-in sets the stage for a successful year of learning, so we want to thank you all for your support and for helping us create an atmosphere of security and emotional comfort for each child. We also want to thank you for entrusting us with your precious jewels. We have already created a special bond with each child that for sure will continue to grow.

It’s going to be an awesome school year!

We hope to see you all next Thursday, September 15th at 5:30 for Our Curriculum night. You will get an opportunity to explore our environment and learn about all our curriculum areas, the materials your children will use and the experiences they will be exposed to.  It’s also our goal to be able to support you as much as we can in this journey though toddlerhood, so curiosity and questions are welcomed!

Enjoy the photos!

Warmly,

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Bethann


Mrs. Hood: See You Later, Alligator!

And of course we had to finish our school year with a wonderful water day! Children had so much fun and we loved watching them enjoy this beautiful day.

Our playground was set up in different stations so children could choose what they wanted to do. There was water ball basketball, fishing, boats, bubble making (of course),  finger painting, water paint roller, truck washing and a super fun splash pad that brought so much joy and laughter to your children. After having a great morning in the sun, the children were surprised to find an ice cream truck at our school soccer field! They were so excited! Closing the morning with a yummy ice cream was just the best!

 

Looking through school pictures, I cannot stop the overwhelming feeling of thankfulness! I know we have said it before, but we need to say it one more time: Thank you for entrusting us with your little ones and walking next to us to give them the best experience each day!

We give them back to you pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more independent, confident and mature than they were back in September. They did themselves a great job unfolding and growing each day and we feel honored to have witnessed it. They, for sure, will continue to be part of our lives. Even though some of them will be moving up a level, remember that we will always be interested in your children and their destiny-wherever they go, whatever they do and whoever they become.

They are truly precious to us!

Enjoy the contrast pictures of the first weeks and the last weeks of school of your child in our Toddler program!

Have a great summer!

Love,

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Maria


Mrs. Wilson: Ending The Year With a Splash!

Water Day! The children seem to have lots of fun with all the different activities we had set up on the playground. We had a splash pad, fishing, finger painting, truck washing, water ball basketball, and two bins with water, various scooping and pouring items, and bubbles! Then we ended our morning with a visit to the ice cream truck!

These ten months went by so very fast. But in these ten months each child has worked hard in their individual development. They formed friendships and learned to have empathy and compassion towards each other. Mrs.Crumb and I want to thank each and every one of the parents for the endless support and kindness you have show us throughout the year. We are going to miss all of you over the summer break and we can’t wait to see you all again in September. We hope you make lots of fun memories together!