MCH September Newsletter

Thank you for a great first month of school!

CLASSROOM UPDATES

Toddler Classroom

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year in our Toddler Program. Hana, Kimberly and Laura are very happy to be spending lovely days with your children. This past month we've been enjoying the excellent weather with many outdoor experiences including lots of running, climbing, and jumping. Outdoors, we also explore books, musical instruments and art materials. Indoors we are learning the routines and rituals of the day, including: how to wash hands, how to serve snack, how to pack up a lunchbox, how to put away work, and many other things.


A toddler room clothing note: please check your child’s extra supply to make sure that it's stocked with seasonably appropriate changes of clothing. Layers of clothing are great for this time of year--use a t-shirt as a first layer with a long-sleeve shirt or sweatshirt over that. This allows for options if our toddler room is warm (which it sometimes is due to the morning sun). Also, the children wash hands often, and participate in water works--short-sleeves are great for both of these activities and there's less chance for a wet shirt. Although we encourage toddlers to push up their sleeves to keep them dry, they are sometimes resistant to that. It's likely that pushing sleeves up bothers their sense of order--long sleeves are meant to be long. . Many children are working on toilet learning/training. To help in this process, elastic waist (easy up & down) pants are best. Try to avoid jeans, onesies, overalls, belts, and tights. If you have Croc-type shoes, they can be easily rinsed and dried in the event of wet shoes from a toilet accident.

Upstairs Preschool

Hello from Elena & Alison! We have continued to focus on "grace and courtesy" at group time, in other words, learning the basics of how our classroom community works. Group lessons have included: 1) how to ask to play 2) how to politely decline an invitation to play 3) how to use the peace rose to solve a conflict 4) how to watch a lesson from the teacher.


We have finished all of our Maurice Sendak books and have added songs to our classroom iPod from the movie we watched, including favorites "Chicken Soup with Rice" and "One was Johnny" (sung by Carol King). Children have the opportunity to listen to the iPod in the "quiet chair" by our fish tank. This is a place a child can go when he/she would like some alone time.


We have come a long way with learning the words and movements to "This Little Light of Mine". The lyrics include:


This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine....

All around the neighborhood, I'm gonna let it shine...

No one's gonna "whhhh" (blow) it out, I'm gonna let it shine...

Hide it under a bushel? No! I'm gonna let it shine...


Give your child a candle and sing along!

Observing an excavator doing work behind our school!

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Downstairs Preschool-West

It has been a joy getting to know the downstairs preschool children. It is a young class and full of energy and enthusiasm. We have been focusing on nutrition with an emphasis and fruits and vegetables. Nurtene has prepared several different kinds of fruit as an additional snack item. We have talked about how fruits have seeds in them as opposed to vegetables. We will start sampling vegetables next week. Where our food comes from makes for another interesting topic. We have explored the origin of bread, carrots, apples, peanut butter and cheese. Works in the classroom include sorting meats according to animal of origin, sorting vegetables and fruits according to the part of the plant they came from. Our next topic will be fall, starting in another week of so.


Some of you have commented positively on the songs we sing. Here are the words to " In a Cabin". After this song has been learned we do it without singing, just the motions.


In a cabin, in a wood,

A little man by the window stood

Saw a rabbit hopping by

Knocking at his door.


"Help me! Help me! Help me!", he cried.

"It is very cold outside."

"Little rabbit come inside

Safely to abide."

Downstairs Preschool-East

Hello from Derek and Luz's class,

(otherwise known as DPE for Downstairs Preschool East)


Welcome to all families, returning and new. The year is off to a great start. The classroom is calm and peaceful(usually) and the children are getting along great. Today, a former MCH teacher stopped in to say hello and commented on how peaceful our class is. At the beginning of the school year, creating a peaceful, respectful environment where the children are free to choose from a variety of activities is our first goal. Some of you may have noticed that our classroom has some non-montessori activities available. This is to create a warm and welcoming setting with familiar toys to play with while we get to know our classmates. Legos, a doll house, a kitchen to name a few. As the year progresses, most of these more familiar toys will be put away, so we can focus more on other Montessori "works". If you ever have any questions about anything, please email me at derek@madisonmontessori.org.

Extended Day

Extended Day class has gotten off to a wonderful start. Children may talk about our book box time which occurs right after lunch. Children are expected to find a quiet place and to carefully look at the books in their book box. Teachers work with all of the children at their own level during this time. Those who are reading, take a turn reading to a teacher and teachers read to all of the children, bringing in literacy concepts. We have added two poems to the children's poem notebooks. They are working on memorizing these poems and reading them while pointing to the words at book box time. I have a large version of the poem printed up. We read the poem together and we point out things like punctuation, sight words, vowels, or different literacy concepts.


Soon we will begin honoring one child each day with Child of the Day. We take a child's name and rhyme it, clap the syllables, count the letters etc. and then end with a cheer for the child.


After book box time, the children choose individual and small group work and then we end with music, movement and storytime.

We are currently reading The Boxcar Children.


Please join us for lunch starting in October and stay for book box time if you can. The children love to read to parents and be read to as well. Just email Elena@madisonmontessori.org,Alison@madisonmontessori.org or me to confirm.

Afternoon Program

The first few weeks of the school year have been going very well! We have been spending a lot of time outside and the children have been quickly adjusting to their new routines. The Afternoon Program will have an ongoing theme of Around the World. We will explore the many cultures represented by MCH families through cooking, crafts, books and parent presentations. On our trip Around the World, we will be starting off the year by traveling to Italy! We started by making Italian flags and coloring maps. We will move on to pasta and puppet making, pizza cooking, and many other adventures. We will be learning and reading about Maria Montessori, Italy's first female doctor and pioneer of our Montessori method of learning!


We were very excited to welcome Carson’s dad, John Porco, to join us in making homemade pasta! We made pasta dough, formed ravioli, then enjoyed tasting homemade linguine, spaghetti, and ravioli. Next week, Carson's mom, Sarah, will be helping us make Pizzelle, traditional Italian wafer cookies. Thank you, Porco Family!


If you have traveled or have family connections to Italy, you are welcome to join us and share your experience! You can share pictures or items from Italy, read a book, share Italian music, cook an Italian dish, or anything else that you feel like sharing with the children. If you are interested in joining our ANP study of Italy, talk to or email Havva at havva@madisonmontessori.org.
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Saying goodbye to Michaela...

One of our Afternoon Program Assistants, Michaela, moved to Portland, Oregon! She will be attending Portland State University and majoring in Economics. Good luck, Michaela! We'll miss you!

We are all excited to welcome our new Afternoon Program Assistant, Becca!

Becca is originally from Racine, WI where she grew up and started her career as a teacher for young children. After moving to Madison in 2012, Becca enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at MATC, later graduating with an Associate Degree in Applied Science. During her time as a student she was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit and work with the children and teachers at MCH and was able to gain a further understanding and appreciation of the Montessori method and materials. After graduating, Becca joined the MCH team as an Afternoon Program Assistant and is glad to be a part of such a thoughtful community of children, parents, and teachers. During her free time Becca enjoys biking, digital photography, and cooking up fresh foods!

MCH Volunteer Opportunities

Autumn Work Day

Please join us for several hours on Saturday, October 8, 2016 to clean up and beautify our school and grounds. Participation in workday will partially fulfill your volunteer commitment to MCH. This is your opportunity to contribute time and effort to maintain and improve the environment in which your children spend much of their day. Activities will include general cleaning and polishing, trimming and weeding, and several specific projects in and around the school and grounds. Coffee, breakfast treats and good conversation provided.

Social Committee

Help plan and organize events for the MCH community. Events are designed to help families connect with one another, strengthen the school community and…have fun! The Social/Special Events/Communications committees meet as a large committee (a.k.a. Family Connections Committee) monthly at Barriques on Monroe Street. We will send out meeting notes by email, so even if you cannot attend the meetings, you can keep up with upcoming events and one-time volunteer opportunities. Here are some of the events/work we do:


Parent Coffee Events

Website and Social Media updates

Teacher Appreciation Event

Multi-cultural Event

Coat Drive

End of year picnic


NEXT MEETING: Wednesday October 5th, 7:15pm – 8:30pm at Barriques, 1825 Monroe Street, Madison (meeting starts at 7:30pm)

Fundraising Committee

The Fundraising Committee will meet monthly to plan fundraising events to support MCH and also raise funds for our Facilities Campaign. This year we will be exploring new fun and creative ways to raise funds. Consider volunteering even if you cannot make the meetings; there are lots of ways to help via email. Some fundraising ideas:


Around the World Cookbook

MCH Artwork Note Cards

Coffee/Tea Sales

Giving Tree/Clothesline

Yoga/Meditation Event

Silent Auction


NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, October 5th, 7:00pm – 7:30pm at Barriques, 1825 Monroe Street, Madison (Meeting starts at 7:30pm)

A Montessori Morning.
Trevor Eissler "Montessori Madness!" - 321 FastDraw