Monday Memo

Lake Air Montessori Magnet PDS

Week of February 12, 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 Montessori and Literacy.

The Montessori literacy program is carefully designed to help children acquire the component skills of writing and reading. While the program is intended for a classroom environment, the underlying principles apply equally to nurturing literacy at home.

Five Montessori Components to Literacy

1. Focus literacy games on sounds, not letter names. What does a child need to learn to be able to write or read: that the letter “a” has a name, pronounced “aye”, or that it makes a sound, “æ” in the international phonetic alphabet, like in “apple” or “cat”? From a literacy perspective, the answer is obvious: to write and read, children need to learn the sounds letters make, not their names. Cee-aye-tee”, no matter how fast you say it, never blends together to make the sound “cat”. Yet most commercial products focus on teaching letter names. At best, they introduce sounds and names simultaneously, with emphasis on the name of the letters.In Montessori, in contrast, we start literacy by teaching sounds exclusively. Because we don’t focus on letter names, the process is much less confusing for children, and it enables them to more quickly begin to write and read.

2. Teach lower-case letters—and engage hand and mind at the same time. Most commercial materials and much traditional public school instruction starts with capital print letters. This is contrary to what a child actually needs: most print children will encounter is in lower case, as is most of the writing they’ll do. We introduce lower-case letters first, and transition to capitals only later. Children in Montessori learn to associate letter sounds with letter shapes using a material called the Montessori Sandpaper Letters.

3. Separate handwriting from word-building. For a child to write a word, he needs to combine two separate skills: he needs to segment the word into sounds, represented by letters—and he needs to have the motor skills to write these letters on a piece of paper. Often, children can associate sounds with letters long before they can easily form the letters: their conceptual understanding of language is more advanced than their motor skills.That’s why in the Montessori program, children first “write” by building words with the Montessori Moveable Alphabet, a set of wooden letters that a child can arrange in different orders. They make words by placing the letters on a rug. This enables them to practice putting sounds together to make words—separated from the more challenging task of forming the letters with a pencil.

4. Prepare the hand for writing with physical exercises. Often, children who enter kindergarten struggle with handwriting because they lack the fine motor skills needed to properly control a pencil. That’s why, in Montessori, we are so passionate about all the motor activities in our Practical Life and Sensorial areas: Children need to cut with scissors; they need to paint, to sew, to peel eggs, to wash tables; they need to build towers, hold puzzles by little knobs and carry big materials. These indirect preparatory materials strengthen shoulder, arm, wrist and finger muscles!

The Montessori Metal Insets then help children joyfully master full pencil control: as they trace the inside and outside of the shapes, and color them in with careful, parallel lines, they have fun creating art and are imperceptibly and steadily improving their pencil control.

5. Select appealing, phonetic reading materials, not sight-word books. Most commercially available reading programs are sight-word based: they include many words with phonograms—multi-letter combinations to represent sounds such as “oo”, “ea”, “igh” or “ch”. Children who have just learned to read phonetically are stumped by these words unless they are “pre-taught” as memorized sight words.

Be sure to join us for Wall to Wall/Literacy night on Tuesday February 13th!!! We are doing a book swap and parents will be getting some tools to help with reading at home.

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.

Big picture
Big picture

Lake Air Montessori Band "Petting Zoo" on Tuesday Feb 13th

Come check out what kind of instruments the LAMM band has! Tuesday during Wall to Wall Art Night we will offer an opportunity for interested fifth graders, to try band instruments to see what best fits their interests.
Big picture
Big picture

Middle School UIL is coming up!

Our 6th - 8th graders will be competing in UIL on February 24th. Last week all students had the opportunity to sign up for an event. Each event has 3 competitors and 1 alternate. We are looking forward to lots of students participating. Information about practices for certain events will be given to your child.

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!!

Big picture

We are AVID!!

Big picture

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!!!

February 13th - Wall to Wall Art/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)

February 27-28 - DBA tests for 4th-8th grade (mock STAAR)

March 2nd - Early Release

March 5th - 9th - Spring Break

April 20th - 21st - Public Montessori Educators of Texas conference (PMET)

Let us know what we can do better! Leave us a suggestion!

NEXT WEEK...February 12th - 16th

Monday February 12th

Math DBA K-4th

Reading DBA K-3rd

Writing DBA K-2nd

TELPAS Samples this week (check calendar)

Lesson Study during conference

8:30 Leadership Team Meeting

3:30 - 4:30 Destination Imagination Practice

4:00 - 5:00 5th grade Science Curriculum Support at North Waco

Tuesday February 13th

Math DBA K-4th

Reading DBA K-3rd

Writing DBA K-2nd

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Rehearsal

2:00 - 3:00 Baylor KAST for 5th grade Science

3:30 - 4:45 Tuba Rehearsal only

5:00 - 5:30 CDMC meeting

5:00 - 6:00 LAMM Band Petting Zoo

5:30 - 7:00 Wall to Wall Art night/Book Swap

6:00 - 6:30 PTA meeting

Wednesday February 14th

Math DBA K-4th

Reading DBA K-3rd

Writing DBA K-2nd

Valentine's Day Parties

Thursday February 15th

Math DBA K-4th

Reading DBA K-3rd

Writing DBA K-2nd

No PLCs during conference period for all teams - Grades due on Friday

One Act Play Clinic

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Combo Rehearsal

3:00 - 5:30 Set up for Regional History Fair for 7th/8th grade students

Friday February 16th

Math DBA K-4th

Reading DBA K-3rd

Writing DBA K-2nd

Young Women's Leadership Symposium for selected 7th-8th grade girls

Regional History Fair for selected 7th and 8th grade students

GT Enrichment for Lower El and Upper El students

2:00 - 3:00 KAST for Middle School

3:30 - 4:30 GT enrichment afterschool (Hour of Code)

3:30 - 4:30 Destination Imagination Practice

College Fridays: Louisiana State University (purple and gold)

Saturday February 17th

Destination Imagination Competition at Cedar Ridge HS in Round Rock, TX

NEXT WEEK...February 19th - 23rd

Monday February 19th

Spring Pictures and Class Pictures

Lesson Study during conference

8:30 Leadership Team Meeting

4:00 - 5:00 TELPAS Calibration

Tuesday February 20th

Girl Power Group Presentation during PE

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Rhythm Section

2:00 - 3:00 KAST for 5th grade

3:30 - 4:45 Varsity Brass and Woodwinds

4:00 - 5:00 TELPAS Calibration

Wednesday February 21st

Science DBA 3rd-5th

4:00 - 5:00 Faculty Meeting - MakerSpace Playground

Thursday February 22nd

PLCs during conference period for all teams

One Act Play

7:15 - 7:50 Jazz Rhythm Section

Friday February 23rd

Black History Program

2:00 - 3:00 KAST for Middle School

3:30 - 4:30 GT enrichment afterschool (Hour of Code)

PTA Winter Festival

College Friday: University of Alabama (crimson and white)

Saturday February 24th

8:00 -4:00 Montessori Teacher Training


Lake Air Montessori PDS

We invite you to connect with us!

Principal: Stephanie Tankersley

Assistant Principal: Rachel Hannah

Assistant Principal: Dr. Mary Phillips