Better Together

Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy

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Volume 21: May 3, 2020

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You are our sunshine!

Dear GMA School Family,

You are our sunshine! As we head into our final two weeks of school, I am filled with such adoration and appreciation for all of you! You have been the sunshine, the constant shining force for our GMA learners through these uncertain times. Your rays of hope and light, sprinkled with order and consistency, have comforted our children, and they are thriving because of YOU!

You have planted the seeds of success by the routines that you have established, helping our students to be confident and feel securely planted. The prepared environments, with limited toys and activities, while still providing choice and independence are fostering their lifelong love of learning. We are so grateful for the rich foundation that you have created for our strong, home-school partnership, allowing our students to continue to flourish and bloom.

Like the giant sunflowers, themselves, each flower made up of thousands of tiny florets, we are better together. Together, we can truly nurture our school family, so vibrant and full of joy!

Wishing you a week of walking on sunshine,

Cindy Schuler

Executive Director

Geist Montessori Academy

(317) 813-4626

“It is like the sun which appears at dawn or a flower just beginning to bloom. Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.” ― Maria Montessori

This week, the staff has collaborated to reiterate our love for our GMA school family. Please know that we are always here for you, and you can always count on us!

Count on Me - Geist Montessori Academy

Ready for take off!

Pack your bags!

We’re heading to the world's largest continent that has long captivated travelers with its natural beauty, distinct cultural traditions, ancient architecture and delectable food. At a time when travel is restricted, we have found a way to bring the world a closer.

The creativity and learning experiences that you have been providing in your homes as our students have explored Asia is ready to take flight in GMA's first virtual International Festival!

Enjoy a diverse mix of features and meaningful moments as you adventure here:

Better Together: International Festival

Supportive Strategies by Ms. Peg: What are you looking for?

What are you looking for?

Do you believe all people have purpose? I do! But sometimes, when I was raising my children, I found myself working hard to “fix” or correct my kids more than I did admiring the goodness in them. I would think to myself, “Why can’t my kids play quietly? Why do I have to force them to read? Will they ever be able to keep their room clean? What is wrong with my kids?” I’m happy to report that my three children have grown up and are all doing really well. Phew! But if I were to go back to those days, I’d take more time to notice the many, many things that my kids were doing well and pay attention to those instead of dwelling on the few areas of need they, and all people have. “Descriptive noticing” is a strategy where the teacher (you) adjust your focus from what you don’t like, to something positive and give your attention to that. Does your child hum while he works? Instead of telling him to be quiet, smile and tell him that you know that you can’t hum unless you’re happy and you are glad that he’s happy while he works. Does your child notoriously argue with you when it’s time to start working? Be grateful that she has a strong personality and talk to her about her leadership traits. When you adjust your lens, and begin to notice the things you’ve been trying to change as possibilities for good, your child may grow into the self-motivated and independent person you always wanted.

Take Aways:

1. Pay attention to what you are focused on.

2. Reflect and ask yourself to notice your child in a new way.

3. Observe your child with these new thoughts.

4. Express positive and personal observations to your child.

5. Pat yourself on the back for noticing the great things in those you love the most.

Montessori Resources

Whole School Resources for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Special Needs

Online Learning Platforms

Primary (3-6)

Elementary (6-12)

Talent Show: Students Spreading Sunshine

GMA is filled filled such tremendous talent!

We miss you all so much and hope to connect with you through GMA's First Virtual Talent Show.

Everyone has been blessed with unique gifts and talents. How can your child share his/her gifts with others to spread joy and happiness? Capture your child's talent like artwork, writing, dancing, singing, playing an instrument, or sharing a special project or skill.

The Talent Show allows your student to spread sunshine and inspire others!

Students should submit entries by May 5:

We can't wait to see them shine!

The Virtual Talent Show will be Friday, May 8.

Get out your umbrella~ It's Raining with ms. joni

Miss Joni's Book of the Week: It's Raining

NUrse NOtes: All the Feels!

All the Feels

How is everyone doing? I hope that the chirping of the birds and some warm weather has gotten everyone out of the house and starting to soak up some Vitamin D. Instead of talking about something “mandatory” this week, I thought I would just talk about my own experience during this pandemic. Hopefully someone can relate and if anything, you should know that you are not alone. As a nurse, wife and mother of two toddlers, I always felt organized and like I had it together prior to COVID-19. Being a nurse, and working in the Neonatal ICU, I was always schedule driven and by the book. This carries over into my personality as a wife and a mother. Prior to the pandemic we had a schedule, we stuck to it and everyone was happy and thriving. But were we really thriving? To some extent, the answer is yes. My children thrive on school structure. They love getting up, starting their routine, seeing their friends, doing their works, and then coming home to have family time in the evening. I have been a stay at home mom on and off since my first little one was born 4 years ago. I always felt exhausted, yet still like I wasn’t doing enough. I should’ve been prepared for COVID-19 right? NO! This is a totally different situation. I can handle being at home with my kiddos, but being their teacher is a whole new ball game. I am doing the best I can to get a few ABC 123’s in each day. At the end of the day though, they are still thriving. Both of my kids have grown and blossomed right before my eyes. And you know what is such a blessing about that……COVID-19 has allowed my husband and I to be right there in front of them and to experience their growth. As sisters, they have become the best of friends and my oldest has become such a good leader. They have learned life skills, like riding a bike or cooking a meal. My two-year-old has expanded her vocabulary and sentences like crazy. These are moments that are priceless and may not have occurred had we not been asked to step back, stay at home and focus on our family. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, but today is full of possibilities. As long as everyone is happy, fed and loved at the end of the day, I would say that you are all doing a great job. If you feel overwhelmed, just remember, your kids are perfect and they are going to be just fine.

To document this time in history, our sweet neighbor did “porchraits” on everyone’s front porch, from 6 feet away of course! If you have a moment, document a picture of your family during this time. Post it on the Better Together: Padlet to Share Ideas/Learning. We would love to see all of our GMA families!

Take care of yourself and your precious kids! Reach out to me if you have questions about anything or need help (


Nurse Joy

books about health, emotions, and compassion

IDOE Healthy Hoosier Challenge

Bingo! The Indiana department of education is excited to offer prizes for physical activity.

Get up, get moving, and get BINGO!

In an effort to help promote our students’ well-being while at home, IDOE created this physical activity challenge! How to complete the challenge:

1. Choose an activity from the list to complete each day!

You can do each activity three times.

2. In each box write the number of the completed activity.

3. Have an adult in your household sign your form. ( see downloadable form below)

Once your challenge is complete, view our Healthy Hoosier Challenge Prizes *Link coming soon!*

Print your form OR save it on your tablet/phone and take it to one of our sponsors to receive your prize!

A word from the Riverbanks with Ms. Jeanie

Hi, it’s Ms Jeanie from the riverbank today.

I want to tell you about of one of my favorite trees, the sycamore. I bet you have seen a sycamore. You could be in a car driving down the highway and see their shiny white bark. They are usually close to water, too. So, from the back seat of a car, you can tell where the creeks and rivers are.

Sycamore seeds are food for the goldfinch, chickadees, and juncos.

So, a sycamore tree feeds many kinds of insects and birds.
It provides homes for many animals.
It cleans the carbon out of our air.

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Resources to stretch thinking

Digital media collections

  • PBS Learning Media has tens of thousands of state curriculum-aligned digital learning resources. Integrates with Google Classroom and Remind.

Literature comes alive with Kidlit TV

  • Kidlit TV has videos and podcasts with authors and illustrators. The site also provides activity ideas, including the annual nationwide video contest, 90 Second Newbery Film Festival, which is open to students of all ages.

Open source books and online libraries featuring works from around the world.

Reading lists by grade

  • Mensa for Kids Excellence in Reading Program is a free program open internationally to any and all readers under 18 years of age (Grades k-12), their teachers, and librarians. The program encourages students to read to the level of their ability or interest, regardless of age or grade level.

Virtual museums and operas

  • Click here for a list of museums throughout the world who have opened a google virtual tour.

National Association for Gifted Children

  • NAGC has compiled an extensive list of eLearning resources for the gifted learner, family, and teacher.

Online courses and video lessons

  • Crash Course, an online youtube channel started by Hoosier native John Green and his brother, Hank, has 15 courses with up to 75 video lessons for each. Lessons are geared for the middle and high school student.

  • Crash Course for Kids follows the same format as Crash Course but with elementary level content.

Thinking skills practice

Industry outreach and virtual connections

Nepris has an incredible selection of videos from industry experts.

idoe daily learning challenge

Your child can join in with children all over the state with these daily challenges that are especially designed for each grade level. Please see the downloadable attachment for more details.

Have fun learning and exploring this week!

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Counselor's Corner

Hello Everyone!

The Kelso and Lily stories have arrived! Below is a Google Drive link that contains 5 stories that involve Kelso and Lily. For the first story, Lily mentions Kelso's 9 ways to solve small problems and there is a download for those 9 ways in the folder as well. Also included is a choices color wheel that can help give a visual representation of the choices that Kelso makes during the stories and in everyday life! I hope these stories are able to give some great ideas on how to help solve small problems that might happen during quarantine. If you have any questions about the link, please let me know. I hope everyone has been doing well! Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

Story Folder Link:

Thank you!

Michael Skiles

Geist Montessori Academy

School Counselor

317-813-4626 EXT: 104

Social Emotional Resources:Social Emotional Learning Resources related to Covid-19

Resources to support you and your family:

Thank you GMA School Board

A possible virtual School Board Meeting will be held in May, so please stay tuned for more details.

Padlet to Share Ideas

We have already been receiving so many incredible ideas and adorable pictures of amazing projects/learning at home. As such, I have decided to create this Padlet for our GMA School Family: Better Together: Padlet to Share Ideas/Learning

Please feel free to share photos, ideas, or other positive items to this site. You can upload items by clicking on the + sign. This is a fun way that we can all stay connected as a supportive and caring community. I look forward to the posts, and thank you for sharing!

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Summer School and Summer CAmps

GMA is excited to enhance the learning for our students through summer enrichment camps and summer school. Our aim is to offer these camps/courses in July as full day offerings.

With new guidance about gatherings being such a fluid process, we hope to be able to announce a definitive schedule with days, times, and course details very soon.

Enrollment/ Registration scheduled for late may

GMA is in the process of developing a new online enrollment system through PowerSchool. This new platform will be used for many educational features for next school year, such as attendance and progress reports. The enrollment option will be the first roll-out of PowerSchool, and this will occur in late May for all current and new students. We look forward to this enhanced platform, so please stay tuned for more details coming out soon.

internatioal festival QR Code: Enjoy your trip!

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working together for the better!

Meet Geist Montessori Academy's Executive Director: Cindy Schuler

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New Phone Number: (317) 813-4626 and Address

Please take note; our new school family has a


(317) 813-4626


6058 W. 900 N.

McCordsville, IN 46055

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