Welcome to Primary Lily - The Children's House

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Welcome to Primary Lily

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.

Your children are often working independently to meet individual interests and needs, but this page will give you updates on our work as a community. I will share group discussions, class trends, community goals, and relevant Montessori concepts.

Please know I feel honored to observe and support your child’s development this year. Thank you for sharing them with me!

Megan Fellows


Chelsea Seals



Room Parents
Lauren Magnatta
Rachel Atkins


 Back to School Parent Letter

Flower and Playdough Sign Up

Megan Fellows, Primary Guide
Megan Fellows, Primary Guide
Chelsea Seals, Primary Guide
Chelsea Seals, Primary Support
Brooke Loseke, Primary Support
Brooke Loseke, Primary Support
Penny Krebiehl, Primary Support
Penny Krebiehl, Primary Support

Classroom Highlights


Dear Lily families,

I can hardly believe it’s our last week of school. As I looked around the room today, I saw a community of children who care for each other and love being at school. I saw children stopping their work to help each other, solving conflicts on their own and taking care of our classroom without any prompting. The culture that Chelsea created in September has only become stronger with time. We are a tight knit group that cherishes the 25 humans that make the Lily class whole. 

The Dance of the Cosmos begins tomorrow at 11:00 on the soccer field. After the ceremony, please find your child and stop by the coatroom if they brought anything to school that morning. We sent all belongings home today, so there is no need for backpacks or indoor shoes tomorrow. We look forward to celebrating our special community with you!

Yesterday, our class had an emotional gathering to say farewell to Chelsea and Penny. Chelsea will be the lead guide in the Fern classroom next year and Penny will be leaving to support her. We are sad to say goodbye, but also feeling grateful for our time together. We shared tears, hugs and laughs at our gathering. We also presented photo books and a tea set for their new classroom. Thank you for coming together to purchase this gift. I know Penny and Chelsea were touched by the gesture. The tea presentation is a favorite work of ours, so we hope it reminds the Fern room of our time together and inspires them to invite us to tea every now and then!  Please read a note from Chelsea and Penny below.

Thank you for your trust and support. I hope you have a wonderful summer with your families. I look forward to hearing about all your adventures in the fall!


Special note from Chelsea and Penny:

The very first Classroom Highlights I had the pleasure of authoring spoke on the theme of new beginnings and giving ourselves grace to pause and savor moments as they unfold.  I wholeheartedly feel that we need to allow ourselves that same grace when chapters also end.  

I cannot thank Megan and Brooke enough for opening up their community (and hearts) to Penny and me and welcoming us into the Lily Room.  We have learned and loved and laughed – oh how we have laughed.  The joy emanating from this room is unlike any I have ever experienced.  It is truly an incredible place to be.  As Penny and I prepare to transition into new roles down the hall in the Fern Classroom, we bring with us the same joy and welcoming spirit that was shown to us this past year.   

Lastly, our gratitude extends to each one of you for entrusting the care and education of your child to us.  Know that while our next steps take us a few doors down, part of our hearts will always remain with those here. 

Chels and Penny  


Dear Lily Families,

The month of May is full of events and celebrations! Last week, we attended two elementary theater performances and celebrated our first Nadine’s Day in honor of retired teacher, Nadine Elmgren. Nadine’s Day was a surprise day outside to enjoy a scavenger hunt, plant flowers and have a picnic. We can’t wait to continue the tradition next year!  This week, we were visited by Chase’s Bernese Mountain Dog, Thea, and the Traverse City Library’s Bookmobile. TADL shared information about their Summer Reading Club. Click here for more information and make sure to sign up on June 1st. The program is wonderful for all ages!

Our caterpillars have finished molting and have spun their chrysalis or pupa! We carefully moved four chrysalises to a larger habitat for the remaining metamorphosis. Your children continue to make observational drawings of the changes and are eagerly awaiting the day we get to release the butterflies. We expect them to emerge before the long weekend (fingers crossed)!

Tomorrow is our annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day! The children have helped prepare our classroom and can’t wait to welcome everyone to our school. They practiced a song to sing and chose their favorite work to share. Campus closes after the festivities at 11:30 and lunch will not be served. Please let me know if your child’s grandparents or special friends will not be bringing them home after the event.




Dear Lily Families, 

Thank you for such a heartfelt and thoughtful teacher appreciation week! The sweet cards and yummy treats made us feel so loved…especially during a busy month with lots of illnesses! Chelsea, Brooke, Penny, Norie and I feel grateful for your trust and support. Thank you for sharing your children with us. 

Our caterpillars have arrived! The children are making observational drawings and looking for the first signs of metamorphosis. As the caterpillars eat and expand, they shed their skin and reveal new skin underneath. This process is called molting. We’ll get to watch it happen several times before they form a chrysalis. Our butterfly study is also a wonderful opportunity to remind ourselves how to care for living creatures. Your children have had lots of practice using their eyes to observe the natural world. They also know to gently move insects to their outside habitat if they make their way indoors. These grace and courtesy lessons are one of the many ways your children learn to respect the world around them.  

We are beginning to prepare for the school-wide Dance of the Cosmos on the last day of school. This is easily the most special tradition at The Children’s House. Our birthday celebrations and many efforts to show children their place in the universe, make the solar system a constant conversation in our classrooms. Kindergarteners are researching the solar system to determine their role in the performance and the younger children are using puzzles and language cards to learn the names of the planets. As we approach these end of year festivities, please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions!

Your children have been working hard with Chelsea to prepare a special Mother’s Day gift. They light up when they talk about you and feel proud to have a tangible representation of their love. We hope you enjoy their gift and have a restful Mother’s Day! 




Dear families, 

The children are working hard to prepare for our annual May Day celebration on May 1st! May Day is the midpoint between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. We celebrate the warmer weather by making flower crowns, singing the May Day Carol and crowning a new TCH May Queen. The Kindergarteners will also perform a Maypole dance and elementary students will play instruments to Wild Mountain Thyme. It is a sweet tradition in our community that has come to mark the beginning of our end of year celebrations. It is the last time we’ll be together as a whole school before our closing ceremonies. I can’t believe it!

Tomorrow morning our school will gather in the gym to watch the Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre perform Peter and The Wolf. Peter and the Wolf is a children’s fairytale performed by an orchestra, so each character is represented by a different instrument. Leading up to the performance, we listened to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra’s version of the classic and practiced listening for the different character’s sounds. I expect your children will be outstanding audience members!

Soon, our classroom will welcome five caterpillars to help us learn about metamorphosis. We’ll be carefully observing the caterpillars as they change overtime and eventually release the butterflies in the school’s gardens. Your children have explored a variety of language activities to learn types of butterflies, parts of a butterfly and the stages of the butterfly life cycle. We can’t wait for all their studies to come to life as we see the process unfold in front of our eyes!


Dear Lily Families,

As a certified Green School, conversations about the environment are naturally embedded in our classrooms. The children learn to recycle, to be mindful of water and paper consumption and to take great care of all living things. As we approach Earth Day on April 22nd, we’ll dive into these topics a little more. Last week, Kindergarteners spent the afternoon with Food Rescue of Northern Michigan to learn about food waste and the Lily class has spent time collecting materials that could be reused in our classroom rather than thrown away. We’ll be making some recycled art with our collection (see attached photo of a collage made with milk jug lids). Our classroom is also celebrating our planet by listening and singing Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”. Invite your child to sing it with you!

As the weather gets warmer, we are preparing to open our outside environment. Dr. Montessori believed the outdoors should be an extension of the classroom, so we have created a space for children to bring their work outside. We also offer opportunities to weed the garden beds, harvest vegetables, scrub sand toys and other outdoor specific work. Please make sure your child comes to school with layers and sunscreen, so they are comfortable working outside. We will apply a second coat of sunscreen before recess. 

After observing some new interests from the children, we’ve added several new works to the shelves. A favorite addition to the practical life area is offering a hand massage to a friend. After washing their hands, the child receiving the massage gets to choose a lotion and relax. Hand massaging is a regulation strategy that can reduce stress, relieve muscle tension and increase concentration. The activity also supports children to think about others’ needs. This time of year is busy and we all need a moment to take a deep breath!


Dear Lily families, 

Thank you for making time to meet with me last week. I finished conferences feeling grateful for our strong partnerships and in awe of all the incredible families we have in our community. There was a common thread in our conversations that reminded me of the adage, “prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child”. Regardless of your child’s challenges, it is our job to teach them the tools to manage those challenges rather than remove them from their path. Our classroom is the perfect, safe place for a child to practice skills they will need in the future. You were all so intentional in thinking about how to prepare your child for every part of life, including the bumps in the road. 

Sewing has taken on a new life in our classroom! Your children are sewing every day and are eager to work towards the next presentation. Sewing strengthens the hand, supports fine motor skills and develops deep concentration as they work to make smaller stitches. Our youngest children start by making stitches on plastic canvas with premade holes and might spend several days embroidering the continents to make a pillow of the world towards the end of their time in primary. We also do our best to find practical uses for their sewing skills. In the attached photo, a kindergartener is repairing a younger child’s sock by carefully stitching up a hole. Your children are welcome to bring in items that need a repair!

This afternoon, we will be watching the upper elementary and junior high’s theater performance. These opportunities allow us to practice being part of an audience and gather as a whole school. Your children admire these older students and dream of being in their shoes one day! 

Whether your family is staying home or traveling for spring break, I hope it’s a wonderful week off from the routines of school. We look forward to reuniting with everyone in April and enjoying the spring months ahead! 




Dear families, 

Every year at the Bright Futures Gala, children at each level create a piece of art available for purchase. With the help of our room parents, your children started contributing to the art piece this week. The painting showcases their wishes for the future. This is an abstract concept that can be hard for young children to grasp. We read several books in preparation and practiced thinking about our wishes as a group. They had lovely contributions and are excited for you to see the final product! Please make sure to purchase your Gala tickets and check it out on April 19th.

We will welcome the last two additions to the Lily community this month. Max M. (yes, another Max!) will be moving up on Monday and Isla will join us after spring break. Both children are transitioning from Agnes’ classroom, so we’ve been introducing ourselves from across the hall. Max and Isla will bring us to a total of 26 children. If you’re wondering about the ideal class size for a Montessori setting, check out my blog post here. We are thrilled to practice our leadership skills as we welcome these new friends!

We have had some wonderful show and tell items recently! Please remember, show and tell items should be limited to photographs, souvenirs, something your child made or something your child found in nature. If the item is not an intentional object to show their classmates at our group gathering, please encourage your child to leave the item at home. Toys, stuffed animals and large accessories can be distracting and are at risk of being lost or damaged during the school day. Thank you for your help with this!

If you haven’t already, please click here to sign up for a conference slot and feel free to send me any specific topics in advance. Thank you!



Thank you for joining us on Parent Visiting Day yesterday! Your children spent time tidying the room so it would be beautiful for your arrival. They take pride in their space and love sharing it with you. The children’s sense of ownership grows overtime as we practice caring for the environment at the end of each school day. We work together to take out the trash, put chairs on tables, turn off the lamps, fold aprons and straighten shelves. They see the results of their hard work the following morning as they enter a beautiful learning environment. Including children in these tasks supports them to be mindful about our materials and take initiative when something needs to be cleaned or fixed. Try inviting your child to help care for your home and observe how their sense of ownership changes overtime!

Last week, we began our study of Spanish. I spent my childhood moving around South America, so Spanish holds a special place in my heart. We will use one group gathering a week to practice simple vocabulary and greetings. Children can then practice the words independently by using language cards during our morning work cycle. Eventually, I will begin leading the lessons in Spanish. It is amazing what children understand when they are immersed in another language. Click here to listen to the song we use to practice the names of colors. 

As we approach the second round of parent teacher conferences, please start thinking about questions for our time together. It is helpful to receive questions ahead of time so I can prioritize topics and manage our time. These 30-minute meetings are essential to a strong partnership. To make sure we can talk freely and honestly, please make plans to keep your children at home and attend our meeting in person. Sign-up links will be shared in Waypoints soon. I look forward to sharing anecdotes and hearing your insights! 


Montessorians often talk about staying interesting for the children and modeling lifelong learning. We each have our own passions and work to share those with the children whenever possible. We are fortunate to have a talented team of teachers in the Lily room.  Over the past several weeks, Penny has shared her expertise as an artist and her love of birds with your children. The study began by watching for birds through our windows, learning the parts of a bird and using different lines and shapes to draw intricate birds. Last week, Penny supported the children to make bird feeders from animal fat, bird seed and recycled materials. The children made the seed cakes and hung them on trees around our campus. We look forward to nature walks and discovering which types of birds have visited our feeders. We are so grateful to learn from Penny!

Over the past few weeks, I have been struck by the beauty and opportunity found when infants, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary students spend their days under one roof. The children work to be role models in the hallway while also looking up to the students they aspire to be. These relationships are empowering and motivating, so we try to embed experiences with other levels whenever possible. Primary children have opportunities to invite older friends to lunch in our classroom, practice reading skills with junior high students, listen to stories read by upper elementary students and participate in lower elementary service projects. These school-wide interactions felt extra special recently when our class ran into my 5-month-old daughter, Kennedy, in the hallway. Many children reflected on how they used to be babies and have grown to be strong, independent primary children. We are lucky to watch little humans move through the continuum of development in front of our eyes!

I recently watched a webinar presented by Dr. Jonathan Dalton called “Evidence Based Approaches to Helping Anxious Students”. The presentation had many helpful insights and many of them apply to all children, not just those with anxiety. Dr. Dalton shared some helpful scripts or mantras we can teach in the classroom and at home, including, “You can be brave and scared at the same time.” This is a great phrase to use when a child is confronting a fear or feeling worried about something new. In the Lily room, I often invite children to try saying “I can do hard things”. The more we practice saying it, the more we believe it. The more we model using the phrase, the more likely children will remember it when they face challenges down the road. I hope your children leave our primary classroom understanding that mistakes and challenges lead to growth. It is a lesson that will serve them for life. Click here if you are interested in watching the webinar at home.  


Dear Lily families, 

What an exciting two weeks of weather! Your children have watched thermometers plummet, snow pile up as high as their shoulders, rabbits leave perfect footprints on our patio and rain wash it all away. Please continue to send labeled snow gear so we can enjoy our playground as the weather changes. If your child stays for Friend’s Club, please consider sending an extra pair of mittens and socks to ensure they have dry gear at the end of the day.

As we approach Lunar New Year on February 10th, we are reading a variety of books by authors who celebrate the holiday. We have learned that many people celebrate the new year by cleaning their house, hanging poems, getting haircuts and decorating with the color red. We will continue our study of Lunar New Year by admiring lai see packets, carefully practicing Chinese characters and eating a snack of longevity noodles with chopsticks. 

Tomorrow, all four primary classrooms will gather for our first sing-along of the year. Each class will teach the group a favorite song. This is an opportunity for us to connect with other primary children, learn new songs and honor each other’s work. It is powerful for children to see themselves as part of a larger community. 

Next week, your child will bring home a handout with information about Valentine’s Day. We will begin to prepare for our celebration on February 14th by decorating bags to hold our cards. We use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to talk about kindness and self-love. We’ll be reading Love Is by Diane Adams and I am Love by Susan Verde. Your children are wonderful reminders that love is everywhere.  



Dear Lily families,

I had a wonderful first couple of weeks back in the classroom! Your children welcomed me with hugs, door signs and lots of special artwork. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Chelsea, Brooke and Penny for creating a loving, safe and engaging environment that will set us up for success in the new year. I spent time observing your children before jumping into presentations and I was touched by many sweet moments. I witnessed one child get up from her snack to support two younger children resolve a conflict, another offer an ice pack to a hurt friend and many children persevere through challenges without giving up. These are the moments that excite me about our work in the classroom. I am so glad to be back. 

The Lily Classroom is preparing to welcome two new children to our community after winter break. Linden Gallagher will be moving up from YCC and has visited a few times this week. Mirabelle Ovie will also return to our room after several months away. We know it will feel as if she never left! To make sure Linden and Mira feel welcome, we have practiced how to introduce ourselves to someone new.. We offer a variety of grace and courtesy lessons throughout the year to help children navigate social situations independently. Social-emotional learning is a big part of our work at school!

Tomorrow is Pajama Day and our annual Seasonal Sing! The performance begins in the gym at 11:30 and campus closes immediately after. Lunch will not be served. We’ll also be sending home all winter gear today and won’t need it for any outside time tomorrow. Chelsea, Brooke, Penny and I can’t wait to enjoy a festive day with your children before we depart for winter break. I hope you all have a relaxing two weeks with your families. We’ll see you in 2024!




Dear Lily Families, 

I hope this Classroom Highlights finds you well and feeling refreshed after our Thanksgiving Break.   

This time of year can sometimes feel like a bag of mixed emotions – especially for the children in our lives.  There is the excitement of the first snowfall, the anticipation of holiday festivities, an anxiousness about disruptions to daily routines or schedules, a tiredness from traveling or from welcoming extra company into their spaces, and so much more.  I have to say though, this year, with the incredible students that create our community, the overall feeling that permeates our classroom is…joy.  There are multiple moments throughout our days when Brooke, Penny, and I just pause for a moment to savor the delights of childhood.  In a world that is so often moving at a pace that feels overwhelming, it is such a gift to simply feel present.   

Right before Thanksgiving Break, we had an opportunity to gather as a community and share our Harvest Feast.  This was an incredible way to come together and connect before spending some time apart and it wouldn’t have been possible without all of your help.  Thank you for making these moments happen, and thank you for entrusting me to guide your child through the beginning of the school year.  

Lately, there has been one more reason to be filled with joy in the Lily Classroom.  In just four more sleeps we get to welcome Megan back into her role as lead guide, and we are so excited for her to be with us once again!   



Dear Lily Families,

Over these past couple of weeks, the children in the Lily Room have been exploring with color.  We have mixed primary colors to create secondary colors and are experimenting with the principles of capillary action to learn how water moves from the roots of plants to their outermost leaves.   

We have also been taking advantage of the gift of these sunny days, and Penny took the opportunity to harvest one last very special squash with our children.  Her words capture the story beautifully,  

“This summer we planted some very special Native American squash seeds in our garden behind the hoop house.  

They are called Gete Okosimin and once they flower and produce their fruit, they look like a long, orange banana. The seeds were gifted to us from a gardener in Benzie County who was gifted them from gardeners at the White Earth reservation in Minnesota. They have been shared by many people and are very special.  

We watched the squash plants grow bigger and bigger all summer and into the fall. After harvesting it we chopped the squash up and pulled out the seeds to wash. We’ll dry the seeds to plant next year. We roasted the chopped squash and then mashed it up and turned it into Squash muffins.  

We’re grateful for these seeds that have been passed on to gardeners for hundreds of years!” 

It was such a unique experience to be a part of something steeped in so much history.  With the help of lower elementary students from the Birch Classroom, another history lesson was shared with us.  This past week we learned the story of Ruby Bridges and how her courage helped open doors of opportunity that for a long time were closed.  On Tuesday, we participated in a special walk around our school in honor of her legacy.   

Sticking with the theme of history and traditions, our annual Harvest Feast is right around the corner.  Thank you in advance for all your help and support in making this a possibility.  A letter went home yesterday with your child, but I have attached an electronic copy of that letter and menu to this email as well.  We are also looking for a couple of parent volunteers to help with the cleanup process.  If you are able, your assistance would be so appreciated!  Please use this link to sign up. 


Dear Lily Families,

There has been a buzz of excitement these past few weeks as we have all been looking forward to recent festivities!  We had a marvelous time celebrating all things pumpkins and Autumn during Pumpkin Fun Day on Tuesday.   

Today, we learned about El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) and our talented chefs in the kitchen made a special bread called pan de muerto for us to taste.  It is such a gift to be able to learn about other cultures and customs. If your family has special traditions that are significant to you, we would love to welcome you into our community to share! 

In the coming weeks, we will have an opportunity to meet for Parent Teacher Conferences.  If you haven’t already done so, please use this link to sign up for a thirty-minute time slot.  When preparing for conferences, it is helpful to know any questions you have ahead of time so I can be sure to address those first.  Please feel free to reply to this message or send a separate email with questions you have! 


Dear Lily Room Families,

Thank you to everyone who was able to participate in our first Parent Visiting Day of the year.  It was beautiful witnessing the joy that radiated from within your child as they shared some of their favorite lessons. Their glow was present throughout the rest of the day!   

These past few weeks we have been studying planet Earth – naming each of the seven continents and our five oceans.  We have given context and definition to things that are living and non-living.  During each conversation, we realize that - while Earth feels big at times - all living things are interdependent.  We are all connected, and the ripples of our everyday actions extend far beyond ourselves.   

Each afternoon, we gather for a final time and end our day together listening to the Namaste Song by Kira Willey.  In just these few weeks since school began, our classroom truly does feel like a community.  We are growing together, learning from one another, and peacefulness is taking root in our hearts.  In a time when the wider world seems overwhelmingly negative, all it takes is one small act from one small human for kindness to grow.     



Dear Lily Room Families,

Happy Fall!  Though it hasn’t felt much like it yet, change is in the air.  The anticipation and ‘newness’ of the first few weeks of school have eased and as our classroom rhythm has settled, I hope you have found a sense of balance and routine in your lives as well.   

I have truly enjoyed my time making Welcome Calls these past couple of weeks, and while it is lovely to hear how your child is doing from my perspective, nothing is greater than those moments when they open up about the joys of their days themselves.  If your family is anything like mine, the lengthy, detail-rich stories I crave oftentimes sound like this:  

Me: “How was school today?!”  

Any one of my 3 children: “...” 

Me: “What did you learn?” 

Them: “Nothing.” 

End Scene 

            In all seriousness, connections are a huge part of why many of us chose this path of education.  At its core, our classroom is created in a way that differs from how most of us were educated.  For our children, sharing aspects of their day in a way that feels authentic to the work they did can be tricky.  These few simple conversation starters can help spark connections between your child and their day that help them share more about what they did at school.   

-Tell me a part of your day that made you smile. 

-Tell me about a time when you felt peaceful at school. 

-Did you work at a table today, or on a rug?  

-Did you observe a friend working today? 

-Tell me something kind that happened at school today.  

-What are you most excited about tomorrow? 

Opening the door for your child to share authentic moments of their day creates an opportunity for lasting connections to be made.  If your child still isn’t interested in sharing much, that’s okay too!  The joy is there – and I am honored to be a part of it. 



New beginnings provide a wonderful opportunity for a bit of reflection.  As summer draws to a close and so many of us are re-acclimating ourselves to the bustle of school year routines, it is helpful to remember to … pause … and simply savor the ‘happenings’.  This is a space where I am able to share some of our classroom ‘happenings’ with all of you! 

During our first few weeks of school, our time has been spent rekindling former friendships and creating opportunities for new friendships to develop.  We are remembering what it means to be a part of a community and learning that each of our roles and responsibilities are interconnected.  Our kindergartens have been exemplary role models for our younger friends, and together we are practicing our grace and courtesy lessons so that our classroom flourishes. 

In honor of the International Day of Peace, we have been exploring what peace looks like, sounds like, and feels like, not only as individuals, but also within our classroom, our school, and our greater community!