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!
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?”
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!