Montessori Matters

February 1, 2019

Life-long Learners

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Learning as if you were to live forever” – What could Gandhi have meant? Absorb everything you possibly could, like a walking encyclopedia? It’s possible, since Gandhi didn’t have access to a world wide web where all that data is right at your fingertips and doesn’t have to be stored in the brain.

But as for what does have to be stored in your brain to be retrieved the moment you need it, that kind of learning is what a Montessori education seeks to provide – the knowledge of “how to learn” as well as a genuine passion for learning, at two or ninety-two.

Even seemingly unrelated academic basics such as reading, writing, and arithmetic have their essence established in “learning how to learn.” One cannot get immersed in a deep philosophical or political treatise without knowing how to read, how to order one’s thinking logically without sequencing learned from mathematics, or understand nuances and metaphors without knowing the basics of writing. A good education provides these prerequisites.

But where Montessori extends that is to understand how the student is engaged throughout his years in “going beyond” the immediate answers – knowing how to learn the answers beyond the data collecting stage, to be future-oriented in order to see beyond the present and recognize what will need to be considered seven generations from now.

A Montessori student does not learn for gold stars, a report card, or compliments. He learns because he is enthralled with ideas, processes, and “aha” moments. Too soon, he finds out about extrinsic requirements for success and may succumb to those for the time being. But most often, what’s “in his bones” will bring him back to his joyful scholar roots – the passion for learning just for the sake of it.

Carrying the Torch

Sophomore Emily Hiebel was asked her thoughts on Mahatma Gandhi's quote and provided the following eloquent response:

One of the true universals of the human experience is life's impermanence. We often forget that tomorrow is not guaranteed to us, that the opportunities it brings may never come and the opportunities we are given today are precious. The world around us is filled with beauty, wisdom, and amazement and even once you completely comprehend something there are always deeper depths to explore. A single lifetime is insufficient to comprehend this colorful, vibrant, marvelous world so we must grab at every opportunity to experience it and log our journeys through it for future generations. Someone will always be there and the human quest to understand our world, our galaxy, our universe will be eternal. While we ourselves are not immortal our thoughts and our wisdom can be if we continue to carry the torch of our ancestors.

Dates to Remember

February 1 - 2019/2020 Enrollment opens for current MSA families

February 7 - Administrator Chats -- see note below for times and more information

February 12 - Administrator Chats -- see note below for times and more information

February 11-14 - Scholastic Book Fair -- see note below for more information

February 11-15 - Middle School Play Week -- see times below

February 15 - Re-enrollment packets due for current MSA families

February 15 - 2019/2020 Enrollment opens to new families

February 18 - Presidents Day - All Programs Closed, Extended Day Available

Middle School Play Schedule

Please join us in seeing all of our Middle School students' hard work come to fruition as they present Tom Sawyer on February 14 and 15. Tickets may be purchased for $5 in the front office. Show times are as follows:

Thursday, February 14th at 1:00 & 7:00

Friday, February 15th at 10:00 & 7:00

Administrator Chats

We are tremendously grateful that you place your trust in Montessori School of Anderson to educate and nurture your child(ren)! It is our desire to ensure an informed and comfortable transition from one year to the next, one level to the next.

As part of MSA’s preparations for the 2019-2020 academic year, we provide multiple opportunities for you to learn more about our programs at each level. This past week we held an Open House, an Observation Day, and a Parent Information Night. If you were not able to attend these recent events, I encourage you to join us for the upcoming “Administrator Chats” (informal Q & A sessions and light refreshments) on February 7 and February 12. Morning chats will be from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. or stop in for an evening chat from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (If you feel you need information more specific to your child, we invite you to set up a meeting with his/her teacher before making your 2019-2020 enrollment decision.)

It's Book Fair Time!

We will be hosting the Scholastic Book Fair Monday, February 11th through Thursday, February 14th. Come by the Middle School room for books for all ages and interests. Grandparents are welcome to stop by too while they are on campus for the Special Person's Day celebrations. Teachers will have wish lists available for additions to classroom libraries.

Publix Partners

For every purchase you make, Publix will donate a percentage to MSA. Simply sign up for an account at and select Montessori School of Anderson under My Publix Partner on your Account Settings page. When you shop, enter your phone number at checkout and eligible purchases will help earn money for MSA.

Kids Heart Challenge

February is heart health month so we are officially kicking off our Kids Heart Challenge program and our school's big event is right around the corner! Students from primary risers through middle school should have received an information flyer/envelope and will be participating in the event during their PE classes beginning on Feb 21st. Last year, we jumped rope for heart and this year we’re kicking off the all-new KidsHeart Challenge! It’s a totally re-imagined program with more ways for kids to get heart healthy, more incentives for participating schools like ours and an easier to manage experience for parents.

Open House and Parent Info Night

This past week we welcomed the community to our school for an Open House to start the week off on Sunday, and we hosted parents of rising students for Parent Information Night on Tuesday where they learned about the exciting opportunities that await in their upcoming classrooms. Several of our High School students were kind enough to present a student's perspective to the parents of our rising 9th graders.
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Sand Mandalas

Students in Mr. Saunier's Middle School history course are currently learning about religions. While studying Buddhism, students designed and constructed sand mandalas. One of the central tenets of Buddhism is the transitory nature of material life, and to reflect that, Tibetan Buddhists created the tradition of constructing intricate mandalas out of colored sand before ritually dismantling them to symbolize the ephemeral nature of life. Each student created and subsequently destroyed a mandala by gathering the sand and placing it in a bucket so that the same grains of sand could never again recreate the same mandala.
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Risers Visit Lower Elementary

Lower Elementary students welcomed the Primary Risers to their future classroom this past week with warm greetings and friendly smiles.
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Balloon-powered Cars

Middle School students along with visiting 6th Graders were challenged this week to produce the balloon-powered car that would travel the farthest. They were presented with cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, CDs, balloons, popsicle sticks, and assorted lego wheels with which to assemble their vehicles. Between test runs they were given the opportunity to evaluate and improve upon their initial designs.
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Science Poetry

Upper Elementary students spent the past few weeks using creative writing to go beyond simply learning facts about the solar system by expressing the knowledge that they gained in their own words in the form of poetry. The students culminated their study under the supervision of science teacher Dr. Mahajan and MSA alum Katie Homer-Drummond by presenting their poetry to their families and peers on Friday.
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The students also presented Katie with flowers to thank her for teaching them to write poetry.
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Each student created many different types of poems highlighting what they had learned. Several of the students chose to present the blackout poem that they had written, which is a form of poetry in which the author uses an existing work of literature and blacks out nearly all of the words, forming a poem using those that remain. This is one of our Upper Elementary student's beautifully illustrated example.
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One of our infants took some time for self-discovery this week.
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Time-lapse Still Life

These Upper Elementary students drew several images of an apple at different stages of being eaten to align to show a sequence of still life images.

Material Preparation

High School sophomores prepared their media for a future illustration in art this week by painting the backgrounds to add color and texture.

How to Make Valentine's Cards

Upon returning from Frisbee Club on Friday, Mr. Dabney and Mr. Saunier found one of our Lower Elementary students teaching her Extended Day friends how to make Valentine's cards. Having recently researched how to do the same thing, they gave an impromptu lesson on electronics and circuitry and let her create her own light-up Valentine's card using a watch battery, carefully laid out copper tape, and LEDs.
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Toddler Three

Students in Toddler Three worked hard this week and were excited to enjoy the warm afternoons outside after the recent cold weather.

Primary Two

These Primary Two students carefully demonstrated how to do several of the wooden works around their classroom and posed for a picture while transitioning between classes.
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Strings Mini-concert

The Strings class performed a song for available students and faculty at the end of the day on Thursday this week. Be sure to follow our Facebook page, linked here and at the bottom of each issue of Montessori Matters, to see a video of the song and to keep up-to-date with sweet Montessori moments like this during the week.
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Fixing Computers

The screen on one of our all-in-one computers in the technology lab stopped turning on this week, and one of our Middle School students was able to take it apart, re-seat the memory stick, re-secure all the wires inside, and put it back together to fix the issue.

Alumni Catch-Up with Molly Moorhead

Picture a shy two and a half-year-old little girl with long brownish, blond hair in ribbons and a pretty little dress walking in to our BIG (to her anyway) first Montessori School of Anderson classroom in the basement of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and you have pictured our wonderful Lower Elementary Directress, Ms. Molly Moorhead. In other words, sometimes, “what goes around, comes around.” To say that Montessori is “in her bones” is an understatement. Molly attended MSA from 1973-1980 when she completed 6th grade, the highest level at that time.

After finishing her years at McCant’s Junior High and Hanna High School, she went on to USC to receive a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in the Natural Sciences and Fine Arts and an Elementary Education degree.

With Montessori in her bones, Molly went on to earn a degree with an American Montessori Society certification for teaching ages 6 - 12. Obviously, Molly loves learning so she then went on to receive her Master of Fine Arts in Poetry and Creative Writing from Queens University. All of this has enabled her to be a really fine Montessori teacher for the past 23 years.

Molly also serves as a Montessori Instructional Guide and Field Consultant during the summer.

Here are some of Molly’s favorite memories at MSA:

“Polishing mirrors and silver, peeling carrots, the color tablets, sound cylinders, and nature education during both Primary and Elementary years. Also “The Big Hole” (as it was fondly called) behind the school, hikes in the woods and creek walks during recess – all these behind our fence now.”

Ms. Molly’s Recommendation to students:

“Be kind, be true to who you are, and spend time with people who make you feel easy to love.”

Nurse's Notes

February is a busy month around campus. It is the time of year when we focus on National Heart Month, National Children's Dental Health Month, nutrition and emphasis is placed on taking care of our bodies through proper nutrition, exercise and making healthy lifestyle decisions. Please join me in taking this opportunity to speak with your children about their dietary habits, hydration, exercise, oral hygiene and making healthy decisions.

A special thank you to Anderson Pediatric Dentistry and Dr. Kevin Nietzer for visiting our Primary and Lower El classes and for sharing a wonderful dental health program.

Wishing all of our MSA families a warm, safe and Heart Healthy Month! For more information on Heart Health, you may go to

Flu and other winter related illnesses are on the rise in Anderson County and South Carolina. When trying to make a decision on whether a student should return to school following an illness, please refer to MSA’s policy regarding illness.


MSA students are prohibited from attending classes while ill. If your child is absent, please notify the school office. MSA is proactive in monitoring all illnesses and makes every to prevent illnesses from spreading. When you have verification that your child has a communicable disease, please notify the office immediately. It is preferable to bring your child in late or keep him/her out for another day in order to completely recuperate rather than risk exposing the student body to a potentially communicable illness. All students must be fever-, vomiting-, and diarrhea-free for 24 hours (without the aid of medications) before returning to school. Absences; excused or unexcused are recorded for all students. For any student experiencing a fever greater than 100.5, vomiting, having diarrhea or simply feeling too poorly to focus or concentrate on class work, the parent will be called and the student will be dismissed early.

If your child has missed school due to an illness, he/she may not participate in any other school-related activity on that day or evening.

With healthy regards,

Susanna Merriman, RN

FDA recall of Ibuprofen Oral Suspension

Please refer to this link for information about an oral suspension of Ibuprofen that has been recalled due to a higher concentration of Ibuprofen.

Spring Benefit Tickets on Sale Now

Don't forget to purchase your tickets for the Spring Benefit coming up on Saturday, March 30 from the front office. Tickets cost $150 and admit two guests to the event.
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Montessori School of Anderson

Our mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, preparing students for academic excellence, lifelong learning and responsible, caring lives.