Monday Memo

Lake Air Montessori Magnet PDS

Week of January 8, 2018

Celebrate Your Uniqueness...Be Unique!

Our theme this year is "Celebrate your Uniqueness". We believe in cultivating children's intellectual abilities alongside their confidence and happiness. We seek to educate the "whole child", one that is beautifully, wonderfully, and uniquely made. We strive to create an environment that nurtures their young minds and inspires a spirit of personal excellence.

Embrace your uniqueness. Time is much too short to be living someone else's life. - Kobi Yamada

Weekly Montessori Moment

Grow the Core...

We are taking time to refocus our attention and deepen our core in Montessori philosophy as a staff in our weekly professional development. We will spotlight a different component of our core each week. This week's focus is reconnecting to what Montessori feels like, fostering curiosity.

"Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadows is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning."

-Dr. Maria Montessori

What makes children want to learn? According to research, it's the joy of exploration -- a hidden force that drives learning, critical thinking, and reasoning. We call this ability curiosity, and we recognize it in children when we see them exploring their environment, devouring books and information, asking questions, investigating concepts, manipulating data, searching for meaning, connecting with people and nature, and seeking new learning experiences.

Curious children often spend a great deal of time reading and acquiring knowledge because they sense a gap between what they know and what they want to know -- not because they are motivated by grades. In fact, when kids are in curiosity's grip, they often forget the immediate goals at hand because they are preoccupied with learning.

If you suspect that curious kids fare better in careers and life, you're right, and for a variety of reasons. Research suggests that intellectual curiosity has as big of an effect on performance as hard work. When put together, curiosity and hard work account for success just as much as intelligence. Another study found that people who were curious about a topic retained what they learned for longer periods of time.

10 Ways to Stimulate a Student's Curiosity

1. Value curiosity.

Often, the temptation is to reward students when their curiosity leads to a desired outcome or good grade. But it's more important to notice and reinforce curiosity when you see it in action. When you praise students by describing how their questions, explorations, and investigations are contributing to their own or classroom learning, you let them know that they are valued for their motivation, regardless of the grade they achieve.

2. Teach students how to ask quality questions.

Quality questions are a vital medium for curiosity. Google is great at finding answers but doesn't stimulate the formation of questions. Good questions contain "why," "what if," and "how." An excellent book for understanding the art of questioning is A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger.

3. Notice when kids feel puzzled or confused.

Is there a "teachable moment" that will spark a desire to search for answers? How can you invite students to see problems as mysteries waiting to be solved?

4. Encourage students to tinker.

Tinkering might be constructive play with feelings, concepts, ideas, and materials. How can students create a new widget, essay, blog article, poem, science experiment, service, or product from their explorations? Tinkering with materials, thoughts, and emotions stimulates curiosity and leads to innovative outcomes.

5. Spread the curiosity around.

Create opportunities for more-curious and less-curious students to work together in project-based learning. Curiosity is contagious in groups working toward a real-world common goal, helping to cross-pollinate questions and new ideas.

6. Use current events.

News reports can lead students to ask purposeful questions that help unearth what's beneath the surface of societal problems. According to research, asking "why" is the critical ingredient in unraveling these difficult conflicts. This often gets to the fundamental reason for why people disagree about solutions.

7. Teach students to be skeptics.

The term skeptic is derived from the Greek skeptikos, meaning "to inquire" or "to look around." A skeptic requires additional evidence before accepting someone's claims as true. He or she is willing to challenge the status quo with open-minded, deep questioning. Galileo was a skeptic. So was Steve Jobs.

8. Explore a variety of cultures and societies.

How is one culture or society uniquely different from another one? Encourage students to investigate their genetic or emotional links to other cultures. Why do they relate to certain beliefs or values that other societies hold?

9. Model curiosity.

You can do this in your respectful relationships with students by exploring their interests, expanding upon their ideas, and engaging them in meaningful dialogue about what matters most.

10. Encourage curiosity at home.

Help parents understand the importance of curiosity in their child's development and suggest ways that they can foster it at home. Supportive caregivers can have a tremendous impact on developing curiosity and other essential abilities.

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As a Montessori school…

We follow the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori, a medical doctor, teacher, philosopher and anthropologist. Her progressive view of children was way beyond her time.

We understand that children of different ages have different needs and abilities. We study child development theory and make sure our classrooms are developmentally appropriate.

We observe our children. By watching closely, we can modify our lessons and materials to best suit the child’s interests and growth.

We believe that the environment is the best teacher. We design the classroom to fit the needs of the child, rich experiences balanced with beauty and order. Each work contains a purposeful work that is designed to teach a specific concept.

We model grace and courtesy (good manners), treating each other as we wish ourselves to be treated. We use calm voices when teaching and speak with respect to children’s feelings. We carry ourselves with poise and handle objects with care.

We recognize that children are unique individuals who are not likely to master exact same concepts or have the same interests at the same time.

We do not use rewards and punishments to force children to comply with rules or to combat ill behavior. We believe that each child is on the way to developing self discipline and that rewards should be intrinsic.

We believe that children learn best when they are free to move their bodies throughout the day. We want to teach our children to respect their bodies and control their movements which helps the growing brain learn more effectively.

We believe that the materials a child works with should be carefully chosen to support the current developmental stage. Concrete experiences are always offered first and abstract thinking presented later. We call this work, not play.

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Attention Waco ISD Parents!

The spring nomination window for gifted and talented testing is now open! Kindergarten nominations will be accepted through January 31, 2018, and 2nd -12th grade nominations will be accepted through February 28, 2018. Please visit the Waco ISD Advanced Academic's website at to download the nomination packet or, request a packet from your child's teacher. Remember, with parental consent, anyone can nominate a student for gifted and talented testing.

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Middle School History Fair Results

Congratulations to our students who will be advancing to the Regional History Fair!

Individual Exhibit:

1. Allen Rodriguez

2. Miriam Hinojosa

3. Ileana Rodriguez

Group Exhibit:

1. Katie Robinson, Meiah Garcia, Jordon London

2. Terrell Allen, Maximus Austin

3. Oscar Dominguez, Zane Arterburn, Helen Goodman

Individual Websites:

1. Ariyanna Sandoval-Priddy

2. Jonathan Dunham

3. Aiden Dean

Group Website:

1. Caleb Jaimes, Jonathan Campos, Noah Maddox

2. Gigi Tamimi, Lauren Blankinship

3. Kayli Ferdin, Adriana Melvin

Every child needs their own earbuds or Headphones!!!!

We are asking for each child to bring a personal pair of headphones/ear buds to use in the computer lab or in the classroom. It is best for each child to have his/her own due to hygiene purposes. Please label your child's headphones.

We just began a new reading computer program and every Primary student MUST have their own headphones in order to use the program!!

We are AVID!!

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Please sign up for Parent Portal!!

We encourage all parents to sign up for Parent Portal. It is your one stop shop to know how your child is doing in school! Get notifications when your child has a grade below a certain score or when he has a missing assignment.

Parent Portal is an exciting opportunity for parents to become more involved in their child’s education through the convenience of the Internet. You will have access to your child’s:

  • Grades (current progress report and 6-week report cards)
  • Schedule
  • Attendance
  • Health Log
  • Discipline Log
  • Student Personal Information: address, phone, e-mail
  • Plus, send an email to any of your child's teachers

Zero Hour for Middle School Students

We offer "Zero Hour" for Middle School students each day of the week from 7:15 - 7:55. Students must arrive in Lab 0 before 7:45 in order to be allowed to work. The computer lab is supervised by an adult during Zero Hour.

Zero Hour is not a requirement. It is simply an opportunity to have access to a computer for school work in the morning. If students have prior committments to fine arts during that time, they need to honor them.

Please encourage your Middle School student to take advantage of Zero Hour to catch up on work or get ahead.

Click below for our LAMM Campus calendar!

Mark your Calendars!!!

January 16th - Montessori Night for Prospective Parents

January 20th - Elementary UIL (grades 2-5)

January 30th - Family Literacy Night

February 16th - Regional History Fair for qualifying students

February 17th - Destination Imagination Tournament

February 23rd - PTA Winter Festival

February 24th - Middle School UIL (grades 6-8)

March 2nd - Early Release

NEXT WEEK...January 8th - 12th

Monday January 8th

Tarleton Clinical Teachers first day

Rigby MOY begins

8:30 Leadership Team Meeting

3:30 - 4:45 Band All District Rehearsal

3:30 - 4:30 Destination Imagination Practice

Tuesday January 9th

Rigby MOY

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Rhythm Section

3:30 - 4:45 Varsity Brass and Woodwinds

Wednesday January 10th

Rigby MOY

4:00 - 5:00 Faculty Meeting

Thursday January 11th

Rigby MOY

PLCs during conference period for all teams

Parent Tours continue

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Rhythm Section

8:00 - 12:00 IS Meeting

Friday January 12th

Rigby MOY

GT enrichment resumes (NO afterschool GT Enrichment until Jan. 26th)

Education Foundation Mid Year Report due


College Friday: University of Kansas (blue and red)

Saturday January 13th

8:00 -4:00 Montessori Teacher Training

Upcoming WEEK...January 15th - 19th

Monday January 15th

No School

Tuesday January 16th

Rigby MOY

5:30 - 7:00 Montessori Night for prospective parents

Wednesday January 17th

Rigby MOY

Thursday January 18th

Rigby MOY

Parent Tours continue

PLCs during conference period for all teams

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Combo Rehearsal

Friday January 19th

Rigby MOY

GT Enrichment for Lower El and Upper El students

7:00pm - 7:00am Middle School Lock In (by invitation only)

College Fridays: Ohio State University (scarlet and gray)

Saturday January 20th

Elementary UIL


Lake Air Montessori PDS

We invite you to connect with us!

Principal: Stephanie Tankersley

Assistant Principal: Rachel Hannah

Assistant Principal: Dr. Mary Phillips