Welcome to Primary Southeast
Welcome! Children are often asked to adjust to our adult world. In the hope that every child has a place where they can "just be", our environment has been especially designed to include every aspect of life for your children. I invite you to read our classroom highlights to get a glimpse of your child’s world at school.
Please know I feel honored to observe and support your child’s development this year. Thank you for sharing them with me!
"If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man's future".
Megan Andrews, Primary Guide
B.S. Boston University, Early Childhood Education
M.A. Saint Catherine University, Education
AMI Montessori Primary Certification, Montessori Center of Minnesota, St. Paul
The Children's House experience (2015- present):
Summer Primary Classroom Guide
December 19, 2017
I can’t believe 2017 is coming to an end. Your children have showed me how to learn from mistakes, persevere through challenges, forgive, and live in the moment. I am so grateful to spend each day with people that are so genuinely themselves.
Over break, I’ll be finishing “How to Raise an Adult” by Julie Lythcott-Haimes. TCH faculty and staff have joined together to read this important book about the results of over parenting. Please join us to discuss the book and related topics on January 11th at 6pm.
Have a wonderful winter break. I look forward to starting 2018 together!
December 7, 2017
Last Friday, the Interlochen Theatre Department performed scenes from Tuck Everlasting for TCH students. Children were mesmerized by their impressive singing and dancing. These performances are wonderful opportunities to practice being a member of an audience. Ask your child to tell you about his or her favorite part!
As we enter a snowy forecast, we are talking about the formation of snowflakes and the different ice crystal shapes. Snowflakes begin when water droplets freeze onto a spec of dirt or debris. Children have had the opportunity to create their own unique designs by cutting paper snowflakes.
We are also preparing for the Seasonal Sing-a-long on December 19th. Primary children are practicing two songs to share with you. The program begins at 2 and campus will close immediately after. We hope you can join us!
November 16, 2017
As the weather gets chillier, children have been talking about what it might be like to go to recess without all of their warm outside gear. We are so fortunate to have hats, boots, and mittens each day. TCH is partnering with Boots for Kids to help provide winter gear for area children. Your children have been thinking about clothes they might be able to donate and have shared stories about times they have helped someone in need. This year, Boots for Kids is requesting new (packaged) socks. If you would like to donate, please bring items to the basket in the lobby.
Our discussions about helping others in need have reminded me that philanthropy, empathy, and compassion are ingrained in Montessori classroom culture. Children independently and happily offer to help others in our community every day. When a child was struggling to remove a sheet from her nap cot, a friend immediately left his work to lend a hand. When Ruby joined our classroom last week, children jumped at the opportunity to explain a part of our daily routine. When a child felt sad at a group gathering, a friend moved next to him to rub his back. These moments showcase the important life skills children acquire when living in a community.
The class has also been planning for our Harvest Feast on Tuesday, November 21st. Your children carefully chose each item on our menu (please let me know if you don’t know what to bring). We also had discussions about how we should set up our tables for the feast. Children agreed it would be best to create one long table so we can enjoy everyone’s company. We will spend the morning of the harvest feast making a fruit salad, rolling turkey, creating small pizzas, preparing the tables, and plating the food for extended days to serve. Preparing and sharing a meal with others is a wonderful way to make connections. I always enjoy our conversations while cooking and tasting our homemade dishes. Thank you for contributing!
November 2, 2017
Thank you for joining me at conferences this week. I always enjoy exchanging stories about your wonderful children. While I met with some of you on Wednesday, the children enjoyed Pumpkin Fun Day. They had opportunities to do pumpkin hammering, pumpkin painting, facepainting, fall crafts, and pumpkin carving. I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween!
We have started to talk about Spanish artist Salvador Dali in small groups. Dali started painting when he was eight years old and became one of the most prominent surrealist painters. The children enjoyed hearing that Dali often painted his dreams and made common objects look unusual. They had opportunities to discuss what they liked and didn’t like about his work. Discussions about art help children develop consciousness of various art forms, periods, and artists. They also stimulate conversation and generate ideas that inspire children in their own work.
The children have also been listening and reciting poems over the last few weeks. Allie shared one of her favorite poems, “Come Little Leaves” by George Cooper. We decided to recite one verse at our Primary Sing Along and will practice the other verses in the coming weeks. The poem is included below:
“Come, little leaves,”
Said the wind one day,
“Come over the meadows
With me, and play;
Put on your dresses
Of red and gold;
Summer is gone,
And the days grow cold.”
Thank you for joining us on Parent Visiting Day! The children thought carefully about what they wanted to show you. I hope this day provided a glimpse of your child’s life at school and the community we have created.
After Parent Visiting Day, the fire department visited to give a presentation about fire safety. The firemen reminded us what to do during a fire and how to prepare for emergencies at home. We even got to feel parts of their uniform. Ask your child to tell you about it!
Last week, our friend Hank brought in Gala, McIntosh and Honeycrisp apples he picked over the weekend. We discussed the differences in appearance and taste. The children unanimously preferred the taste of Honeycrisp apples. Your children are welcome to bring in items to share with our class, but please limit them to these categories: something from nature, photographs, something they have made or something from a different culture. Thank you for your help with this.
Don’t forget to sign up for fall conferences! Click here to sign up for a meeting time. I look forward to our conversations!
October 5, 2017
We ended last week with a great concert by local singer songwriter, Miriam Pico. Children were able to sing along to some songs and enjoy some of her original pieces. Musical performances give children an opportunity to practice being part of an audience, participate in a Q & A session, and engage with members of the community. We will enjoy another performance by Levi Britton at the end of this week!
At the end of each day, we gather to care for our environment. This time supports children to develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for our shared space. Although children independently care for our environment all day long, we use this time to make the room look beautiful for the following day. Children choose to help straighten shelves, dust, put chairs on tables, sharpen pencils, or unload the dishwasher. As the year goes on, we will introduce new roles like tidying the coatroom and refilling paper. At first, the young child doing these jobs is satisfying an internal need. As the child develops, he becomes more interested in the purpose of the work and its impact on the community. Eventually, the children see care of environment as a collective task that requires collaboration.
Join me and Julie Shearer at the Community Education event on October 11th at 4 pm to discuss your wonderful three and four year olds! We will use a book club format to discuss the books Your Three Year Old and Your Four Year Old by Louise Bates Ames. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions!
As I reflect on the week with your children and my conversations with all of you, I am reminded of this comforting call to action from Dr. Montessori, “It is too easy to judge every puzzling reaction, every difficult phase as a whim. Such whims should assume the importance of a problem that must be solved, an enigma that must be deciphered”. Children often tell us what they need, we just have to listen.
September 21, 2017
I can’t believe we are already moving into our fourth week of school! Allie, Norie, and I enjoyed spending time with all of you at our class picnic last week. It’s wonderful to reconnect with familiar faces and welcome new ones to our community. We have a special group of families and I look forward to supporting each other in the coming months.
We have spent the last few weeks focusing on Grace and Courtesy Lessons. Children between the ages of three and six have a natural urge to behave, belong and be loved. These lessons give children concrete language or skills in neutral moments to navigate social situations independently. Dr. Montessori referred to Grace and Courtesy lessons as the “social lubricant” in a community of children. We have practiced how to get an adult’s attention, blow your nose, observe someone who is working and many others.
Our first fire drill of the year is this Friday. We have discussed the school’s plan to keep everyone safe and have practiced walking quietly to the soccer field. We’ll continue to have different types of drills throughout the year so your children feel comfortable and safe.
I can’t help but smile each morning as the children trickle into our room. They have no idea how much they will grow in the next year or how essential their personalities are to our classroom environment. Still, each child enters the room eager to take on new challenges and start a new day.