Welcome to Primary East
Welcome to the 2017-18 school year! I look forward to a year filled with memories, excitement, and magical moments. Please always know I am hear if you have a question, concern or just want more information.
Amy Routzahn, Primary Guide
The Children’s House experience (2009 – 2011)
B.S. Eastern Michigan University, Early Childhood and Science
Reading Recovery Certification, Oakland University
AMI Montessori Primary Certification, Montessori Training Center of St. Louis
May 24, 2018
Our room is alive with life cycles. Our butterflies have made their way to the top of their home and are hanging in hook formation. At any point they will shed their skin and begin their chrysalis stage. As we end the school year they will emerge from their chrysalis and fly off into the beauty of our school gardens. We are also enjoying watching tadpoles quickly swimming and eating in their habitat. Hopefully a few will begin to get their legs shortly.
With all this change going on in the room it is hard not to see the changes in the children as well. I was sitting beside a extended day student giving them the final lesson with the metal insets and it was unbelievable to see the transformation of the work this child was completing. The first lesson in metal insets involve one metal inset, three pencils, and quite large lines to fill it in. The final presentation with the metal insets, which is the 6th presentation, involves as many insets as the child would like and is where the artistry and creativity really flourish. I was also pondering the change that occurs with the moveable alphabet. When children begin this work they may put one or two letters for a word. As the children move on from primary they begin to write without the moveable alphabet. I observed a child writing about the Shed aquarium and the amazing changes that have occurred in the three years this child has been here.
The next few weeks are full of excitement and a bit busy. I look forward to seeing each of you.
May 10, 2018
What an exciting time of year! We have been enjoying the outdoor environment nearly every day. Students are washing the windows, sweeping the patio, preparing the soil, and doing many other works outdoors. Thank you so much for the items bought from our wish list from the Gala. We are looking forward to a new chair in our reading area, Spanish books, an aquarium with shrimp, and new early reading books. I am truly so thankful for your generosity. We have begun studying the life cycle of frogs and butterflies. If you find any tadpoles for us to observe we would be very grateful. Soon we will have painted lady caterpillars to observe. With the end of the year and Dance of the Cosmos approaching we will soon begin to look a little deeper at the planets and our solorars yst. If you have any questions about this time of year or anything at all pleaselet me know.
April 26, 2018
Hip Hip Hooray! We went outside without snow pants today! I am afraid if I say we can keep the hats, mittens, snow pants, etc. at home we will probably have a storm tomorrow but I am sending the gear home. Last week we welcomed three Icelandic chickens into the world. It was exciting and a great example of the life cycle. We celebrated the Iranian Spring festival of Noruz last week also. Rose brought in sprouts, apples, eggs, sumac, vinegar, and flowers. We jumped over a pretend fire and learned a few Farsi words. The gala is fast approaching, please donate to our class basket. Our theme is dogs. Our class project is ready and looks great! I am looking forward to a lovely Spring now that it is here!!!
April 12, 2018
It might not feel like Spring quite yet, but we are still on the look out for signs that it will be here soon. We have Icelandic chicken eggs that should be near hatching this weekend. We were able to candle the eggs and saw movement, veins, and shadows in most of the eggs. Frank and Joey’s dad set up the incubator and has been extremely helpful. When the eggs hatch they will find a permanent home at the Yanover’s. The chicken eggs have led to conversations about fish laying eggs, turtles, and of course birds. We have discussed that birds all have feathers, lay eggs, and some fly. After several children returned from warm weather places we have also been looking at a variety of shells and artifacts from the ocean. I hope you are all well and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
March 22, 2018
Happy Spring!! We have begun discussing signs of Spring. We are on the look out for robins, trees budding, and warmer temperatures. We are hoping Mother Nature gets the message to bring on Spring!
Annie and her family welcomed baby Louisa to the world last week. The Bulloch’s will soon be welcoming a new family member too. Congratulations to both!
After much work with numbers 1-10, teen beads, and the tens board around age five children will have a presentation on the hundred chain. The 100 chain is made up of ten bars of ten golden beads connected. The purpose is to consolidate the knowledge of counting. The child labels the 100 chain with labels by the tens. We have many children working on chains this week and I have noticed such a calm about the children as they are consumed with counting. After the child is introduced to the 100 chain the world of chains opens up for them.
March 8, 2018
Last week Leland’s dad, Dr. Chad Beers, came and visited and shared lots of dental health information. We sorted foods that were good and bad for our teeth, brushed a stuffed animal alligators teeth, and looked at the material fillings are made with. Thank you Chad!
It was a pleasure to meet with each of you last week. If something else has come up please always feel free to reach out.
This Friday, the extended day will be taking a trip to a maple syrup farm. We will have a chance to identify a variety of trees, see the maple syrup process, and taste sap. It is one of the tastiest trips! Yum!
February 15, 2018
Wow- what a busy week! We have been discussing the Chinese New Year and have begun our tea work. The conversations that occur while the children are drinking their tea is precious. One child who has had a lesson on the tea work invites another child to have tea with him or her. The first child prepares a beautiful place setting with two tea cups, a napkin, and a tea bag. While the tea is steeping the children converse over a variety of topics. When the tea is ready the first child pours the tea for the second child and then they enjoy their tea. When they are finished the first child cleans the dishes and prepares the tray for the next person. We are also making orange juice, cutting cucumbers and grinding coffee beans. These works are part of the practical life area and are a favorite in the environment.
Recently, I was working with a student to label the sensorial materials by a variety of qualities. The child read the words high, higher, and highest. She then got three bells from the bell work that were high, higher, and highest. This work is such a beautiful accumulation of work in the environment. I am looking forward to seeing you at conferences the last week of February. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns.
February 1, 2018
This week we have been practicing some mindful moments from the book Breathe Like a Bear by Kira Willey. Ask your child about candle, hot chocolate, and bear breath.
We have also continued our study of the human body. We have a large skeleton thanks to Sawyer's family that is visiting our room. The children seem to truly enjoy finding bones on the skeleton such as the femur, vertebrae, tibia, ulna, and so many more.
Kelly Bulloch has gotten our Tower Garden rolling again!!! Thank you!!! We have been filling up the water, testing the water, and observing growth in the kale, lettuce, and a variety of herbs.
If you are interested in learning more about the book How to Raise an Adult, Steve Maas is having a few follow up conversations that you are welcome to attend. Dates and times are in the Compass.
Valentine's Day is around the corner... Please let me know if you have any questions. The main idea is 30 Valentines to hand out. Please do not send candy treats with them. Thank you!!!
January 18, 2018
It is so great to be back at school!! I think we are all ready to get back in the routine. It is cold outside so please send mittens that are waterproof and fit nicely, hats, snow pants, and boots daily.
We have begun studying the human body. Today we learned that we have 206 bones in our body and half of them are found in our hands and feet. If you have any x-rays, pictures, or books that might relate to this study we would love to borrow them.
Soon we will begin to discuss the Chinese New Year and Asia. My daughter Sydney will be traveling to Japan in February so I am sure we will be talking quite a bit about Japan soon. With the study of the Chinese New Year we will be learning Chinese characters, using chopsticks, and reading literature regarding the Chinese New Year. Please let me know if you have any questions.
December 19, 2017
I wanted to wish each of you a marvelous holiday. I hope you have moments that make you laugh and time to take in this special time of year. As I look back on this last year I am so grateful for the opportunities to get to know each of you and to be a part of your child's life. I am honored to help guide them through this critical time of development. Always remember - "keep calm and bake more gingerbread cookies"
December 7, 2017
Wow- The weather outside is lovely. Please send all the snow gear every day. Please make sure that mittens are water proof and as easy as possible for your child to put on.
We are in the full swing of our gingerbread study. We are comparing a variety of traditional versions and stories with a new spin to them. We will read a variety of gingerbread stories from around the world such as; The Masubi Man from Hawaii.
This week I was able to observe around the school and I was amazed at the individualized education children receive. Each child is met in such a lovely and caring way at exactly where they are. The adults of our school are truly magnificent educators and human beings
November 16, 2017
Some new art activities have found a place on our shelves this week. We have water color, sticker work and a bracelet making activity. These materials really require small motor skills and asks the child to really concentrate on small movements and hand eye coordination. Stickers give us an opportunity to share some fun vocabulary. We use phrases such as pinch the sticker, peel and press on the paper. We just offer a few stickers at a time.
Our watercolor acitivity requires the child to carefully place a small brush into a tiny opening of a glass container with just a small amount of water (old nail polish container) The pincer grasp is well utilized in the holding of the small brush as the paint is applied.
The beading activity is a easy one to do at home and relatively mess free. We have straws cut into one inch pieces that the children can thread on to a pipe cleaner. When the straws are all placed on the pipe cleaner an adult helps to curve it into a bracelet that the child can wear if they choose to. The process of their creations is fun to observe.
Next week is our Harvest Feast! It's a time as a class that we sit together and enjoy a meal that was prepared and brought in from home. An e-mail and flyer will be arriving this week. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Thank for your time during conferences. We really enjoy sharing your child's days with you.
November 2, 2017
The weather has quickly changed here in Northern Michigan. I have quickly realized that rain in town may very well mean snow at The Children's House. Please begin packing all the gear if it seems even remotely possible for cold weather. Our sandbox is still in use and that can lead to sandy wet pants and shoes. We will go outside every day unless pouring rain or thunder and lightening.
It has been a pleasure to meet with each of you this week for conferences. The love and dedication that you have for your children is inspiring. Our conversations have been great and please let me know if questions have arisen after conferences or if you have any other concerns.
We are also in the process of getting our tower garden back rolling with lavender, basil, and lettuce. Ask your child about our progress
October 19, 2017
As many of you know, I share a home with a twelve and thirteen year old. With this in mind I have been revisiting Maria Montessori's planes of development. My daughters are moving into the third plane of development. Your children are in the second part of the the first plane of development. At this stage, your child's will and memory will surface. This is a time for refinement and expansion of what happened from 0-3. This time of your child's development is full of exploring and making judgements. The Montessori environment allows the child a wonderful opportunity to develop further growth and self-construction.
As we look forward to conferences, please know I am here for you to answer questions about Montessori education, your child's development, or any other questions or concerns that you have on your mind. I look forward to meeting with each of you.
This week we had a lesson saying hi to people from school we see at the park, the library, or wherever we may be. We practiced saying "hi" and "nice to see you". We also discussed how it can make us feel shy when we see someone we know in a different place or sometimes we might feel excited. We also practiced saying good bye to our parents for parent visiting day. Practicing ahead of time can sometimes help with hard goodbyes or other difficult areas of the day. We practiced giving a hug goodbye and saying see you soon. Have a lovely autumn week !
October 5, 2017
Hello! The last two weeks have been so wonderful. We have enjoyed more time getting into our classroom routines, practicing a variety of grace and courtesy lessons, and relishing in the beautiful weather we have had.
This year we are fortunate to have Amanda, the music guide, visit us on Wednesdays for group. We have been singing My Aunt Came Back and the Moose song. Ask your child about singing with Amanda. Last Friday, Miriam Pico visited the school and shared her lovely voice. This Friday, Levi Briton will be performing. We have listened to a few of Miriam's and Levi's songs. I love that our local community talents visit our school and inspire us.
The extended day students had a field trip to the Botanical Gardens at the Commons on Friday. It was truly amazing to learn some of the city's history, explore the beauty of our town, and investigate nature. We will be headed to the Butterfly House on Oct. 13th. The extended day outings are such a special part of the final year of primary. Always know I am here if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to chat. Finally, please welcome Joey Yanover to our class. We are so excited to have him in our community.
September 21, 2017
The year is off to a great start! We are getting back into a nice routine and our new friends are quickly acclimating to our environment.
We were able to observe a caterpillar chrysalis last week and welcome a butterfly into the world on Monday. We released the butterfly and wished it well on its journey. The monarch butterflies that arrive this time of year make their way to Mexico.
We have been focusing on grace and courtesy in the classroom. We have been practicing walking slowly in the classroom, carrying a tray while walking, pushing our chairs in, and shutting a door carefully and quietly. It has been great to have so many of you volunteer your time. We are looking forward to getting all the volunteering organized at signup.com. Please look for Stacy and Kelly's emails.
We have begun discussing colors in Spanish, the season changes of fall, and the artist Vermeer. Vermeer is an artist from Holland who was able to show in his paintings real moments of of life in Holland over 300 years ago. We compared Vermeer's paintings with our present day photos we may take.