Monday Memo

Lake Air Montessori Magnet PDS

Week of December 4, 2017

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 sounds like when encouraging children.

Everything you say to your child is absorbed, cataloged, and remembered.

-Maria Montessori

Encouraging words for kids are commonly given out in school and at home. When used right, these encouraging words can have powerful positive effects on kids. This is because positive reinforcement can condition a child to repeat the praised behavior.

Whether it’s academic or sports achievements, “Well done”, “Good job” or “You’re so smart” are common praises to tasks well done.

But using these encouraging words doesn’t always produce the desired increase in motivation. In fact, using them indiscriminately can be counter-productive.

Benefits of Encouraging Kids

Using the right encouraging words can

  • Improve kids’ self-esteem.
    People with high self-esteem are found to be happier and mentally healthier, whereas those with low self-esteem tend to be psychologically distressed and perhaps even depressed.
  • Increase intrinsic motivation to achieve.
  • Enhance perseverance.

What is the Right Way to Encourage?

If encouraging and praising are so useful, does it mean that you should praise your child lavishly, and your kid will then be so motivated that you will never have to worry about them not working hard in school? Not all encouraging words are equal. If used indiscriminately, some types of encouragement can actually do more harm than good.

The key is in how and when children are praised.

Here are 6 tips on using words of encouragement for kids effectively.

1. Praise Sincerely And Honestly


You’re a genius for solving that problem! (Genius? I only got 1 out of the 3 questions right?)

What an angel you are! (“I’m an angel for sharing a cookie? What about not doing homework last night?”)

You did very well. I’m sure you will do well again next time.


You came up with a very good answer for the last question.

It’s generous of you to share your cookie.

I like the solution you came up with.

2. Be Specific And Descriptive


That’s awesome!

Good job!


I like the way you are using different colors on these balls.

You came up with a thoughtful answer and really nailed that question!

3. Praise Their Effort And The Process, Not Ability


What a smart boy!

Your ability in puzzle solving is excellent.

You are such a great puzzle-solver!


I can see that you worked very hard on this.

Your strategy in solving this puzzle was excellent!

You are good at trying different ways to solve a hard puzzle.

4. Avoid Controlling Or Conditional Praise


I’m sure you will want to do better next time.

You did very well on that one, just as expected.

Good job! I bet you can do better next time.

If you keep it up, I believe you will do very well


You’ve worked hard on this and you’re doing great.

You did very well on that one.

I like how you’ve drawn this picture using bright colors.

.You did really well in collecting the data.

5. Avoid Comparison Praise


You are so good, just like your sister.

You are even smarter than Jane!


You are good at playing this game.

You solved the problem with such great focus!

6. Avoid Easy-Task Praise Or Over-Praise

Handing out encouraging words for tasks that are easy to complete can be perceived as insincere. Praising easy tasks implies that there has been a lower expectation of the child’s competence originally.

Children who are subjected to frequent praises learn to select only those things they think will please others and avoid doing those things that may not. They follow a pattern known to bring praise rather than to experiment with something new.

When words of encouragement are given unexpectedly, it can be very motivating.

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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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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.

Middle School History Fair Projects

LAMM students are participating in National History Day. This project is required for all middle school students. The students will be asked to pick out any topic in history they are interested in and relates to the year's theme “Conflict and Compromise”. After students choose their topic, they research that subject using primary and secondary sources and then express what they learned through a performance, documentary, website, paper, or three-dimensional exhibit. Students may work alone or in small groups. Students have received a detailed study guide detailing the requirements for the project.

Campus History Fair is December 14th!

Are you a History buff and interested in judging the History Fair? Contact Tyler Skinner at

We need approximately 10 judges!!

Headphones or earbuds needed!

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.
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We are AVID!!

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We love our LAMM parents!

The following review was left on our Facebook page by one of our parents. We can't thank you enough for your kind words. We love each and every child at Lake Air Montessori...and the parents too!

"LAMM has proven to be an excellent school for my child. The learning environment stimulates his curiosity and creativity as well as keeps pushing him forward to the next level (without my intervention). The teachers communicate well and are extremely organized. The special classes (art, music, theater) have integrity to them- they aren't just filling the time, they are teaching the subjects well and in ways that inspire the kids. The atmosphere is child-friendly and nurtures a healthy learning environment. The staff and administration are extremely organized and have excellent camaraderie. When I've called or emailed the school with a question, they have been quick to answer or find somebody who knows the answer. The teachers respect the students and the students respect the teachers. There is a high value placed on personal responsibility and independence, which I LOVE. There is also a high value placed on recess, so the kids get recess every day. If you are looking for high quality, well-rounded education of the whole child, you should check it out!"

Parent Portal

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

Click below for our LAMM Campus calendar!

THIS WEEK...December 4th - December 8th

Monday December 4th

ISIP testing

8:30 Leadership Team Meeting

3:30- 4:30 Destination Imagination Practice

Tuesday December 5th

ISIP testing

District Science Benchmark 3rd grade

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Combo Rehearsal

9:00 - 11:00 Middle School Choir Tour

3:30 - 4:45 Band - Varsity Winds Rehearsal

4:00 - 5:00 TELPAS Training

6:30 - 8:00 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Ceremony at WHS - Honoring Tara Vaughn

Wednesday December 6th

ISIP testing

District Social Studies Benchmark 3rd grade

10:45 Sounds of the Seasons (intermediate band)

4:00 - 5:00 Faculty Meeting - Obsessed with our CORE

Thursday December 7th

ISIP ends

Parent Tours begin

District Benchmark Test (4th-6th Reading, 7th Writing, 8th Reading)

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Combo Rehearsal

PLCs during conference period for all teams

Friday December 8th

District Benchmark Test (4th- 6th Science, 7th-8th Math, Algebra I)

Polar Express Day for Primary - Send notes sent home

GT Enrichment for Lower El and Upper El students

AVID organizational tool assessment due

8:15-9:00 Assistants Training - Montessori Core

10:00 WHS Show Choir Performance

College Fridays: Sam Houston State University (orange and white)

Saturday December 9th

8:00 - 4:00 Montessori Training for selected teachers

12:30 - 1:00 Richland Mall Band Performance for Middle School

NEXT WEEK...December 11th - December 15th

Monday December 11th

District Benchmark Testing (4th-6th Math, 7th Reading, 8th Social Studies)

8:30 Leadership meeting

11:30 - 12:30 Lesson Study Final Reflection Meeting

3:30 - 4:45 Band All District Rehearsal

3:30 - 4:30 Destination Imagination Practice

Tuesday December 12th

District Benchmark Testing (4th-6th Social Studies, 7th-8th Science)

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Rhythm Section

8:30 - 12:30 All District Band Clinic and Taping

3:30 - 4:45 Varsity Brass and Woodwinds

5:00 - 6:00 CDMC Meeting

Wednesday December 13th

District Benchmark Testing (7th Social Studies)

11:30 - 3:00 Baylor Basketball Game for All District Band Students


6:30 - 7:30 LAMM Band Winter Concert at WHS PAC

Thursday December 14th

PLCs during conference period for all teams

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Rhythm Section

8:30 - 1:00 Campus History Fair

10:00 - 11:00 Sounds of the Season for 7th and 8th grade band

11:00 - 1:00 College and Career Day for 8th graders at MCC

1:00 - 2:00 Cookie Dough Money Machine Winners

2:00 - 3:00 Cookie Dough Kona Ice Winners

3:30 - 4:30 Destination Imagination Practice

Friday December 15th


Pajama Day for 1st - 8th grade

No GT enrichment

8:45 Upper El/Middle School Singalong

9:30 Primary/Lower El Singalong

Early Release at NOON - NO AFTER SCHOOL

Grades due by 4pm


Lake Air Montessori PDS

We invite you to connect with us!

Principal: Stephanie Tankersley

Assistant Principal: Rachel Hannah

Assistant Principal: Dr. Mary Phillips