Mindful Lower Elementary

Each morning we start off our day with mindful meditation/movement. We often assume breathing is just a natural skill; everyone knows how to inhale and exhale. But breathing is more than that. Being aware of our breath not only helps us manage the difficulties of everyday life, it also helps develop compassion, empathy, and concentration. This is an exercise where children practice focusing on the present, instead of worrying about the past and uncertainties of the future. It helps us become aware of how we feel at a given moment.

For the past few weeks we have been preparing for our creation story with some science demonstrations. The purpose of these demonstrations is to illustrate concepts explored through the story of the creation of the universe. The creation story provides an impressionistic demonstration of the origins of life. The story is designed to impart a sense of wonder and awe, to instill respect for all that has happened, and to ignite interest in scientific investigation.

Upper Elementary: Field Trip

Our week started off with an amazing field trip to the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, CT. The students got to see live specimens during the first activity of the day centered around animal adaptations. Next, they used nets to collect animals for the pond study. These kids were expert frog catchers! Finally, after lunch they ended the day with a program about insects. Part of this program was spent outdoors collecting insects in small containers. They learned that insects have three body parts (head, thorax, abdomen), six legs, and antennae. In the classroom there is a buzz of excitement as many students are making game boards based off of books they read. Some students are using their time in the MakerSpace room to design the boards or make playing pieces. Our next culinary activity will be nut free pesto using the basil from our garden. The garden will get a makeover soon for the fall season, so be on the lookout as you pull through the back entrance to the school!

Happenings & Events

FWM Summer Camp is OPEN for REGISTRATION!  Weekly sessions for summer program offerings for Toddler, Primary, and Elementary age children.  Register online at MyFWM.org under PROGRAMS. Deadline to register is May 13th.

Elementary Play is this Thursday, May 9th – 7:00pm. Seussical performed by Lower & Upper Elementary students. Exciting musical for children of all ages! Tickets can be purchased here!

8th Year Expert Projects are Wednesday, May 15th & Thursday, May 16th – 6:00pm. 8th Year students culminating projects. This year’s topics include: White Collar Crime, Microsoft, Cognitive Psychology, Criminal Psychology, Nutrition, Tourette’s, Trauma Surgery, Racial Diversity in America, Racial and Gender Bias in the Criminal Justice System, Air Pollution, Child Education in Developing Countries and Major League Soccer. Each night will have different presentations.

Grandparents Day is Friday, May 17th – 8:30-10:30am. Invitations have been mailed to all grandparents with an RSVP date of Friday, May 3rd. The morning includes a light breakfast, concert and visit to the classrooms.

The Impossible Whopper and “lab meat”

As a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast, I enjoy reading about start-ups, futuristic ideas, innovative inventions, and all things in the nerdy-tech realm. (Not like I probably have to say that “outloud”!) I have been reading articles and learning about “lab meat” and plant based wannabe meats for the past few years and wanted to share a few articles with our community, especially because our students are talking about it in our MakerSpace classes.

It has also become more prevalent in the news since April 1st when Burger King introduced the IMPOSSIBLE WHOPPER, in St. Louis! The Impossible Whopper is a vegetarian version of its signature sandwich.

What is it made of? Well, “Impossible patties are made from soy protein concentrate and potato protein, with fat from coconut and sunflower oils, all bound together with methyl cellulose, a laxative. The meaty flavor (and perhaps the metallic aftertaste) comes from iron-rich heme, a molecule that exists in every living organism. In animals, it is the part of hemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood. In this case, heme is created through the miracle of genetic manipulation. The DNA of soy leghemoglobin is inserted into yeast, which is then fermented, and the blood-red heme is extracted from that.”

If you haven’t had time to read about “lab meat”, “plant based meat”, or this is a completely new topic for you- check out a few articles below.

I hope it creates some eventful dinner table conversations for your family.


Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Love is in the Air!

On February 13th, we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day in our classroom.

Giving and receiving valentines is a special part of a child’s school experience and one of their favorites!  There are 23 students in our class. Please have your child sign (alone or with your help) each valentine. Leave the envelope blank (with no specific name on it). This enables your child to distribute their valentines without having to read each classmate’s name.  If your child is able to independently read the names of the children, then they may choose to write the names on the outside of the envelopes.  Please allow time for the name writing process. It’s a lot to write for small hands!   This is a great activity for them to practice writing their name, so remember to use upper case only for the first letter of their name.  We will begin distributing valentines on Wednesday, February 13th.

We are looking forward to our upcoming conferences on Thursday, February 14th.  When you arrive for conferences be sure to take a moment to read the poster in front of our room.  We asked the children what love is or who they loved.  Their answers are all very sincere and heartfelt and will make you feel so loved!

This week the Kindergarten students wrote valentine cards for soldiers.  They are being sent to the Marine barracks at Parris Island.  It was also a great opportunity to learn how to write a letter and address a postcard.

Enjoy the beautiful weather and have a wonderful week!

Michelle & Sonja

Mrs. Carroll’s Class: Colorful Hearts


This week we celebrate the vibrant spirit and colorful heart of Martin Luther King Jr. Though the details of his message remain abstract, children can and do understand components of his dream. Our classroom focus on peaceful problem solving, lively discussions, and stories have ignited an understanding that actions can affect people’s feelings and that all feelings are okay, but not all actions are. We will continue to provide the tools to foster peaceful problem solving and acknowledge Dr. King’s dream throughout the school year.

Our dream is that one day your children may grow up to be world changers who will work together in challenging situations to establish creative solutions and make critical connections to others.

We appreciate you returning emptied Friday Folders each Wednesday so that we can fill and return them to you with the current week’s work.

Dare to dream,

Cindy & Sharlene

Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Heigh-Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go!

When a child works, he does not do so to attain some further goal.  His objective in working is the work itself. – Maria Montessori

One of Maria Montessori’s more well known quotes is “play is the child’s work.”  We’re sure by now you have heard your child talk about their work at school. Maria Montessori preferred the word work rather than the word play, to describe the learning process children are constantly undergoing. Work conveys the amount of effort that children put into their physical, social, emotional, and academic growth. As adults, our definition of work has a very different meaning.

Children are driven by a strong unconscious internal growth process to seek out experiences that will meet their needs. Our role as Montessori teachers is to provide a well-prepared environment that encourages children to be independent and learn at their own pace. The children are free to choose their work and to use it repeatedly. So, while they are ‘working’ each child is also building independence, coordination, self-discipline, and concentration.

Please be on the lookout for information regarding our Valentine’s Day celebration in your Friday folder.

Have a wonderful week!

Michelle & Sonja

Transformable Objects

What if we could make objects transform in the same way a flower unfolds from its bud? This is what designer, Harvard professor, and accidental toy inventor Chuck Hoberman is trying to figure out.

All of his ideas (event installations, toys, and more) have earned over 20 patents, all use math and engineering to emulate nature. Check out this episode of Wired‘s “Obsessed” video series takes a closer look at his work.

In our MakerSpace, we have been practicing his designs and have tried to recreate several of his creations, while using him as inspiration for our own unique toys.