Athena Montessori Academy

March 2022 Newsletter

"Every one in the world ought to do the things for which he is specially adapted. It is the part of wisdom to recognize what each one of us is best fitted for, and it is the part of education to perfect and utilize such predispositions. Because education can direct and aid nature but can never transform her."

-- Dr. Maria Montessori

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Google Calendar for Parents

Check out the Athena Parent Calendar and stay tuned to important school events!

Important Dates

Wednesday, March 1st

First Day of Women's History Month

Sunday, March 13th

Daylight Savings Time Begins

Monday, March 14th - Friday, March 18th

School Closed -- Spring Break

Women's History Month at Athena

In March we celebrate Women’s History Month. It is important to lift up the often overlooked accomplishments and contributions of the powerful and dynamic women throughout history. One such example is the very prominent figure that graces our school, Dr. Maria Montessori.

Maria Montessori was an innovator, a feminist, one of the first female physicians in Italy, and a strong leader for peace education that made discoveries that were WAY ahead of her time. Brain research is now proving many of Montessori’s philosophies that she developed by observing the children. She allowed the children to teach her, instead of her teaching the children. It was through this freedom that the children were allowed to make contact with their own curiosity. She stated, “To stimulate life, leaving it free however, to unfold itself— that is the first duty of the educator.” I imagine what would make Maria Montessori feel celebrated for her work is if we took a moment out of our busy day to just stop and observe the children in our lives. We can all start by taking a few minutes to watch these videos of young children at work. This will give you a glimpse of the spirit of the child, which is the essence of Maria.

Tots child at work

Primary child at work

Books are a powerful tool for sharing timeless messages with our children. Please click on the links below to see some of our favorite Women's History Month Booklists:

25 Children's Books for Women's History Month

17 Books to Read to Your Kids in Honor of Women's History Month

32 Inspiring Books for Women's History Month

P5 Team Spotlight

1. What is your favorite aspect of the Three to Six Plane of Development?

We love observing the activities that happen during the sensitive period for small objects - A child walking by the practical life works and noticing a single bean that has fallen off a tray.

Another child collecting beads on the ground for twenty minutes or more.

It is amazing to see the children exploring their developing sense of self, and the burgeoning awareness of others as themselves.

2. What is a sweet moment you have already experienced this school year?

Sean: A child asking the other guides if I was ok when I stayed at home sick.

Hilary: When I see a child recreating the lesson I just gave, with mannerisms and all.

Nicole: When a child who hadn’t yet expressed themselves verbally gave me a message for the first time.

3. Name something that people generally think very young children cannot do, but you have seen them do.

A two year old hammering nails into a piece of wood!

4. If you could own only one book on early childhood, which book would you pick?

Sparkle Boy - a book that nearly brings us to tears every time we read it!

Follow the link below to read the full Primary 5 Spotlight:

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Happy Birthday!

Student Birthdays:

Neko C. -- 3/1

Griffin F. -- 3/2

Ilana B. -- 3/2

Gray C. -- 3/8

Reed R. -- 3/8

Junior B. -- 3/16

Islay B. -- 3/19

Oaklyn K. -- 3/19

Grace B. -- 3/22

Gautam W. -- 3/24

Holland C. -- 3/24

Lucia V. -- 3/24

Sophie S. -- 3/24

Raghubir M. -- 3/25

Staff Birthdays:

Kaitlin Calabrese -- 3/4

Ani Robinson -- 3/15

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On Music and Mathematics

Children learn best from those they have an emotional connection with. As parents, teachers, and caretakers, we are laying the groundwork of educational concepts to nurture a love of learning throughout their lives. Music can be part of a fun, engaging, and stimulating learning environment! Let’s peek into some of the cognitive layers of how humans participate and respond to music and see how it is an avenue toward developing mathematical skills.

Do you remember the first time you noticed yourself tapping your foot to a beat? Maybe not, because it was probably happening when you were a toddler! Of course we can connect counting to moving our body to a rhythm, but there’s even more there than meets the eye. Counting four beats in a measure, for example, leads to an understanding of quantity.

Often a rhythm can be broken down into components. Getting a feel for how parts of a rhythm can become a whole is part of recognizing proportion, and where the beats fall in relationship to each other relates to spatial relation. So many mathematical concepts within a few moments of music! This video is a great example of this concept.

Most music is built on patterns of repeating rhythms. Just by listening to a song, a child can pick up on a rhythmic pattern that repeats within a part, and a pattern of parts that repeat in a song. Understanding patterns like these allow children to make predictions and duplicate patterns, both of which develop an understanding of sequencing. If we think of sequencing as the ability to create and identify patterns, which helps develop reasoning skills, we start to see how burgeoning math skills are blossoming by simply enjoying music!

I just explained a lot here, now let’s check out some examples. Old McDonald Had A Farm is surprisingly rich in mathematical concepts. It has a strong form, with verses that repeat at predictable times, in a repeating pattern(think about the E-I-E-I-O part, a rhythmic pattern that is predictable because of where it lands and repeats in the song). This song is also cumulative, with the subject of each verse adding on to the part of the next, and demonstrative of sequencing(identifying and creating patterns), proportion(recognizing a part to a whole), similarities and differences, and spatial sense(where something is in relation to something else). Apples and Bananas is another clear example of repeating, predictable patterns, and similarities and differences, as is Wheels On the Bus. My favorite part of these two examples is, because of their simple-to-learn structures, they are easy to improvise and be silly with!

It’s easy to see how naturally children connect with music. When something is enjoyable, children want to do it, and when learning feels like play, children are engaged! Musical activities can cover so many learning styles: auditory, kinesthetic, visual, and tactile, that absorbing knowledge is inevitable, which helps children to self regulate, pay attention, and be less distracted. So, enjoy those musical experiences with your kiddos, knowing that you are supporting their skills in mathematics!

Enrollment Notices

2022-2023 enrollment is underway for all families! We strive to maintain a balance of age, gender identity, race/ethnicity, and temperament in each of our classrooms, so children in our waiting pool are considered according to these factors and their date of application. You can expect to hear from Joy by the end of March if we are able to offer your child a spot at Athena for the 2022-2023 school year.

If or when your child is offered a spot at Athena, and should you choose to accept, an Enrollment Fee will be due to secure the spot. If you choose to decline the spot, your child will remain in our waiting pool unless you ask to be removed or until they reach the age of five.

Our continued goal in the admissions process is to be as transparent as possible, and we strive to give you the most accurate information we can during each step of the deliberate process of enrollment. We respect that decisions related to your child's education are important and timely ones, and we will continue to send you general enrollment updates via our monthly newsletter. Thank you for your continued interest, and we encourage you to reach out with specific questions related to your child's enrollment at any time during this process.

Please direct admissions & enrollment questions to Joy Jacobson.
You can email her directly

School Supplies

Oliver's Labels

Need labels? Oliver's Labels has labels for backpacks, shoes, clothes, lunch boxes, and water bottles!  Click on the image above to purchase customized labels and Athena will receive 20% of your purchase!

For Small Hands

For Small Hands carries a wide variety of items for children, all child-sized, fun and developmentally-appropriate!  Use our code below, and Athena will get a percentage of the sale to apply towards materials for school. CODE 165595