|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!|
October 9, 2019
Corn, corn, and more corn! We are shucking corn, taking the kernels off, and cooking it. This week we are trying corn salsa and corn chowder. We read two new books about corn that included types of corn, parts of a corn plant, and uses for corn. As the season of Fall progresses we are also studying leaves. If your family happens to notice leaves that have fallen and would like to bring a few in that would be great. We are on the search for a ginko and sassafras leaf.
I picked up Maria Montessori’s book The Absorbent Mind again recently, and read a chapter that spoke to me so clearly about the importance and beauty of the Montessori prepared environment and the importance of allowing children the chance to do things themselves. Montessori discussing the 3-6 year old child; “He shows us an irresistible tendency to touch everything, and to pause a while on seperate things...he needs a world of things which provide him with motives for his activity...at that age children need to touch and handle all kinds of things.” The Montessori environment is set up with beautiful work that invites the child to touch and work and build their intelligence in an authentic way. In our environment you will notice beautiful delicate silver spoons or bowls for decoration and polishing. A Montessori environment includes child-sized beautiful furniture and materials to fit the hands of the child, Montessori wrote “ Having given the child real things in a real world, we expected to see joy and delight in using them. But actually we saw far more than that. The child’s whole personality changed, and the first sign of this was an assertion of independence. It was as though he were saying: ‘I want to do everything myself. Now, please don’t help me.’”
I am looking forward to seeing each of you for conferences at the end of the month to talk about all of the wonderful things your child is working on during their time here!
September 26, 2019
The smell of apples and cinnamon are wafting from our room. We have been peeling, slicing, and coring apples. Last week we made apple chips using a dehydrator. We discussed the changes in the apple before and after. Everyone enjoyed eating the chips. Apple peeling is a popular work on the shelf now. We will continue to cook with apples over the next few weeks and then we will will begin cooking with corn. Thank you for bringing in this lovely seasonal fruit.
Last week we also celebrated International Day of Peace. We read a book that shared how to say peace in different languages. For example; in India shanti means peace, in Russia mir means peace. We also discussed what peace is and did some peaceful yoga poses.
Lastly, we are thinking about the changes that are beginning to occur as Fall begins. Discuss with your child any changes that you are noticing.
September 12, 2019
We are getting into the routine of Primary in our environment! It has been amazing to see the new kindergartners step into their roles as classroom leaders and be so helpful to our new students. The second year students seemed to have all grown inches over the summer and are quickly returning to the work that they have been presented. Anna, Kristi and I are enjoying getting to know the new students and hearing stories of summer adventures from all.
Currently we are working on grace and courtesy lessons related to walking in the classroom, rolling and unrolling a rug, and putting work back on the shelf where it belongs.
I look forward to seeing many of you Friday at F&M park for our class picnic. Please let me know if you have any questions!
June 6, 2019
Summer is right in front of us and I hope this season brings many memories to you and your family. It has been an amazing year full of growth, smiles, laughter, and joy! I am looking forward to spending time with my daughters and a vacation to Vermont. I will also be completing my children’s yoga certification this summer in up-state New York. I hope to have many hours on my bike and paddleboard this summer also. I am looking forward to seeing you around town this summer as we enjoy this amazing place we call home! Thank you for your support and trust this year. It is an honor to be a part of your child’s life.
May 22, 2019
It is so hard to believe we are heading into the last few weeks of school. The children are excited for Grandparent’s Day. We have been working on songs, preparing the environment, and discussing how some grandparents live closer than others. Friday is such a special day on our campus.
As I think of the end of the year, there are so many long traditions that the Children’s House participates in. The sand dunes trip next Friday for the kindergartners, the tie-dye t-shirts, and The Dance of the Cosmos, to name a few. If you are new to our community, please ask if you are not sure about any of the upcoming events. Everything is explained in the Compass. It can be a very busy time of year for many of us, but I hope that each of us can take a breath or two and enjoy the rich traditions and memories that will be celebrated over the next few weeks.
In our classroom, we have tadpoles and caterpillars to watch as they metamorphosis. This always brings to my mind how each child has changed so much this year and it has been an honor to be a part of it. See you soon!
May 9, 2019
Last week was full of excitement with chickens! It was great to have the peeping of little chicks in our room. They are now safely at a farm beginning their adventure as chickens.
We have been discussing mindfulness lately in the classroom. We have practiced our mindful bodies, mindful breathing, and did a kindness practice. I have a passion to explore mindfulness with children. I find it very exciting to see your children learning ways to be aware of their breathing, learn ways to calm their bodies down, and notice more things about themselves. If you would ever like to talk about these techniques please let me know.
Our environment has gained six new plants since Spring Break and this has lead to discussions of leaf shapes. One work in our environment is the Botany Cabinet. It is a wood cabinet with three drawers. Six leaf shapes are in each of the drawers. This is a preparation for the study of Botany. We have labels for the names of each leaf and have been looking for leaves that are linear, cordate, and fan-shaped. We also now have an aloe plant in our room so we have been looking at and comparing the aloe leaves with other plants. Our school is so fortunate to have a greenhouse where we have been able to re-pot some of our new plants and look at the plants growing as well. Happy Spring!
April 25, 2019
The weather at the beginning of the week was perfect for our outdoor environment. We moved tables and chairs outdoors and children were washing windows, sweeping the patio, looking at books, hammering, and other works. It was a beautiful sight. I will keep my fingers crossed for more beautiful weather.
The countdown has begun for our chickens to hatch. We have been candling the eggs and we have seen signs of movement and even a moving beak and foot. Candling the eggs is when you put a flashlight at the bottom of the egg in a dark room. The light shines through the shell and you can see inside. We are looking forward to watching them hatch next week.
We have begun discussing Earth Day and ways we can take care of our planet. Happy Spring!
April 11, 2019
The chicken eggs have arrived and we are eagerly awaiting their hatching. The hopeful due date is April 30 or May 1. We have been discussing the correct temperature, humidity, and turning of the eggs. We read a book titled Chickens Aren’t The Only Ones. This book had a great deal of information about other animals that also lay eggs and that all egg laying animals are called oviparous. With the welcoming of Spring we have been on the look out for robins. We have now also begun to identify and look for blue jays, cardinals, and yellow finches. The Children’s House will celebrate May Day soon and we have begun singing for this celebration. You may hear your child singing the May Day carol or Go Lassie Go. I am hopeful that soon snow pants can be put in storage (hip hip hooray) !! We will continue to go outside even if it is raining so please send appropriate gear and be on the look out for muddy belongings if it’s a wet day.
Please let me know if you have any questions!
March 21, 2019
Spring is in the air!! Happy Nowruz! Nowruz is the Persian New Year. It is the celebration of spring and the rebirth of nature. We have begun studying this celebration with books and looking at pictures of traditional tables for this celebration. In Iran the first sign of Nowruz is when you begin to see dancers and singers in the neighborhoods. The dancers and singers are called Haji Firuz. These dancers make there way through the streets playing instruments, singing, and dancing. Ask your child about this unique celebration.
In the last few weeks,I have had the opportunity to give presentations to several students on reading music and playing songs on the bells. It is incredible to watch children discover the amazing language of music and hear them play a song for the first time. We have been lucky enough to hear many students playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Jingle Bells.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
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!