|Welcome to the new school year! I am looking forward to a wonderful year ahead. The year will be filled with laughing, smiling, and many new experiences. If any questions arise please reach out to me. Our room is ready with a new aquarium that includes shrimp, fish, and a snail. I am so honored to be a part of your child’s learning experience!|
March 7, 2019
It was a pleasure to see many of you for conferences. It is always an honor to talk with each of you about your children. Each child is such a gift.
My fingers are crossed that spring is around the corner. We have ordered our chicken eggs and will be getting the incubator set up within the next few weeks. We will be discussing animals that lay eggs, the life cycle of the chicken, and the factors that go into a chicken egg hatching.
With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner we will be listening to Irish music including Enya, Sinead O’Connor, Bono, and Gemma Hayes. We will be reading a variety of Irish folktales along with learning some simple Irish phrases.
February 21, 2019
I have been taking two classes online that focus on mindfulness in education. I have been working with the class to find a mindful body. I explain sitting upright with your bottom touching the floor, spine straight, and shoulders back. I will ring the singing bowl and have the children raise their hand when they hear the chime and lower their hand when they can’t hear it anymore. I call this mindful listening. We have also tried mindful listening where we will sit and just listen to what we hear. I will then have children raise their hand if they heard a child giggling or if they heard a door slam, etc. The second lesson we have had is sitting with our mindful bodies and placing our hands over our heart, belly, or throat. Children can decide where they feel their breath. Then we sit and just feel our breath. I believe the benefits of showing the children how they can regulate their bodies and calm themselves is very important. I explain mindfulness as being aware of what is happening. It might be the sounds around you, the smells, the feelings in your body, or the color of the persons eyes you are talking to. If you have any questions about this I would love to talk.
I am looking forward to seeing al of you next week for conferences. This is such a great opportunity to communicate about your children and I look forward to it!
See you soon
February 7, 2019
Ni Hao! Gong hei fat choy! Hello and Happy New Year! We have continued to study China and in particular the Chinese New Year. We have read books about the traditions associated with Chinese New Year and other interesting literature. Thursday we will culminate our study with the dragon dance. Ask your child about what we have learned about the Chinese New Year.
Next Thursday is Valentine's day! We have begun to make our holders for our Valentine's. We have added the residents at Glen Eagle to our kindness tray and have begun making them Valentines. At school it is part of our routine to wish others well when they are not at school due to illness or if we know they are going somewhere. Maybe at home you can practice wishing others well if you are aware if someone is sick or having a hard time. I look forward to seeing all of you at the end of the month for conferences.
January 17, 2019
I hope you had a wonderful holiday break! I enjoyed a lot of time at home and with my family. Since we have been back we have been reading and comparing a variety of fairy tales. We have made a list of things that seem to happen in a fairy tale. Often there are three characters and one character is bad, they start with once upon a time and end with they lived happily ever after, a problem usually occurs in the middle, and they have been told for a long time. We read Goldi Rocks where the three bears need a vocalist for their band and Goldi is perfect.
We have begun a kindness tray in our room. The tray will have a focus person and the children will make letters and cards for this person and then I will mail/deliver the cards. Our first focus is local musician Levi Britton. He had heart surgery last week. Levi performed at the school in December and many of the children are familiar with his music. We listened to a few of his songs so the children can also tell him what they like about his music. Most seem to love his voice and how he plays the guitar. Look for more information about the kindness tray soon.
I hope this year brings you lots of joy and great memories!
December 13, 2018
Our classroom environment is alive with the smells of granola, paper chains, and gingerbread books. We have been reading so many gingerbread books! Ask your child about the different versions. We read three traditional gingerbread books and then many with a little different twist. Some of my favorites are The Gingerbread Girl where she lassos the fox with her licorice whip hair and then tames him so she can go on rides and The Gingerbread Lost in the Library. We are now reading others such as The Sourdough Boy (The Alaskan Gingerbread) and The Masubi Man (The Hawaiin Gingerbread). I love comparing the stories and showing on a map where they are from.
Next week will be an exciting week! Wednesday, we are looking forward to welcoming at least four exchange students to our environment. They will share with us their culture and a short slideshow. Friday is our school sing-a-long. This is a really wonderful tradition at our school and such a special afternoon. I hope the next few weeks bring you many laughs, smiles, and great memories!
November 29, 2018
I love this special time of year! I know it can be a very busy time as well. This week, we began to discuss Hannukah. Amanda brought in a menorah and a dreidel. We have been singing Hannukah songs as well as reading about this holiday. Ask your child about the story Too Many Latkes.
I am in the process of setting up visits for exchange students that are in Traverse City to come to our classroom. I am interested in sharing a variety of cultures with your children from talking with visitors from Chile, France, and Germany over the next few weeks.
If you have a family holiday tradition you would be willing to share with our class I would be very grateful. You could send something with your child to share, read a special book, or possible cook a special treat with us. I hope that the weeks ahead bring you many smiles and moments of joy!
November 8, 2018
It was great to see many of at conferences last week. It is an honor to be a part of your child’s growth this year.
We have begun discussing Thanksgiving. We are beginning our preparation for our Harvest Feast. Please look for a paper this week of what your child will be bringing for the special day. We have also begun to investigate a little bit of sign language. I did the sign for thank you during a song and it led to a further discussion of sign language. We have learned the signs for yes, no, thank you, hi, by, and me too. The song we were singing is Mahalo. Mahalo means thank you in Hawaii. Lori Berkner sings this song.
Please let me know if you have any questions that came up after conferences. Thank you!!!
October 25, 2018
It is pumpkin time! We have several beautiful pumpkins in our environment thanks to the Beers family. We have been washing them, discussing the similarities and differences between them and identifying different types of pumpkin/squash.
Last week our school had the opportunity to learn from Jen Cort. It was an educational experience that I plan on bringing ideas from into our environment. If you are interested in the resources she shared or have any questions I would love to chat.
Conferences are right around the corner. I am looking forward to sitting down with each of you and talking about your child. Preparing for conferences always makes me think of the wonder of each child. It is a pleasure to observe the growth of your children.
October 11, 2018
Happy Fall! The trees are looking so beautiful. We have been discussing changes in the seasons. If you are out for a walk and want to bring in some leaves we would love that. We have also been enjoying this time of year by making apple chips, apple sauce, and apple butter. While studying Montessori education you may hear of the absorbent mind. Absorb means to take in. The child's mind from ages zero to six is absorbent. Children are taking in impressions from the environment and actually creating him or herself out of these impressions. When I think about the absorbent mind I feel so honored to be a part of what your children are absorbing in our environment.
Parent visiting day is next Wednesday! I hope to see you
September 27, 2018
It is hard to believe we are reaching the end of September. Friday, September 21st was International Day of Peace. We read several books related to peace, discussed what peace means to us and created a Peace book. We learned the word peace in several different languages. Ask your child if they remember how to say peace in Indian (shanti) or Russian (meer). One child responded that peace was "being quiet sometimes and loud sometimes and just knowing what you want."
We are beginning to make biscuits in our room for snack. Children are starting to measure, stir, and scoop the mixture onto the baking sheet. I will keep you informed of our further cooking adventures. Please let me know if you have any questions!
I hope that many of you will be able to make it to our class picnic this Friday at 5:00 at F&M park. If you have any questions please let me know.
September 13, 2018
The year is off to a great start!! It has been a pleasure to get to know some new children and catch up with students from last year. We have continued to find monarch caterpillars and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of two butterflies. The chrysalis’ are in a mesh container right now. We have read several books about monarchs, the lifecycle of the caterpillar, and milkweed. September is a very busy month with birthdays. I was reminded yesterday how special birthdays are in our community. Ask your child about our birthday celebration or some of the songs we sing. In the Montessori environment we present grace and courtesy lessons on a regular basis. The beginning of the year is a very important time for many of these lessons. Some examples are; walking in the classroom, how to ask for help, rolling and unrolling a rug, lining up in a line, knocking to see if someone is in the bathroom, and greeting someone. I am looking forward to our picnic on September 28. Please let me know if you have any questions!