August 31, 2018
The Flag Ceremony - Molly Moorhead
Lower elementary students love having the opportunity to attend the weekly flag ceremony at MSA.
In preparation for the flag ceremony, students learn the Pledge of Allegiance, The Peace Pledge, and our special song, "We Celebrate Your Being Here." After singing, students from the Upper Elementary and High school share words of wisdom, thoughts for the week, and questions to ponder. After listening, students file by a team of faculty, where they shake hands and offer blessings to each individual.
There are many things that go into participating in such a ceremony. To begin with, there is the simple (or not so simple) practice of walking from the classroom out to the Flag Pole. This involves paying attention to the width of the sidewalk, walking on the "building side" of the sidewalk, managing walking speed and spacing, and also maintaining silence for the entire walk. This is a lot for any age child, and we have a lot of fun preparing and practicing simply walking on the sidewalk.
Another important aspect of arriving to our places at the flag pole is recognizing the beautiful brick wall, what its significance is, and why it is there. Children learn how to use their feet to create the perfect amount of space between their heels and the wall. This is important because they are standing just far enough away from the wall so that they will not lean back onto it with their bodies. They understand that this is not a wall for sitting, but for honoring.
Because Lower Elementary students are "exploding" into reading, we supply written copies of the pledges and song to each student who wishes to carry a copy out to the flag pole. With this choice, children who are learning reading can see the words they have memorized (or maybe still need to memorize) written on the page. This is an importation part of learning to recognize words and improving reading.
Flag ceremony is exciting to Lower Elementary students because they get to see most of the other students at the school all in one place. Considering all of the fun involved: walking on the sidewalk, reciting the pledges, listening to friends, and greeting the faculty, it is easy to understand why this event is such a highlight to our lower Elementary students' week.
Following the Child
A Story from Stephanie Beach, Primary Two
We were on a walk this week and noticed the flag. It was not flying as high as it normally does, so we had a discussion on why the flag was lowered this week. I explained that it was in respect for a man who had passed way, that he sacrificed and did a lot for our country, and this was a way to honor him. Which lead to another discussion as to why we say a pledge to the flag. So we went back to class to talk about the meaning of the pledge. The Pledge to the American Flag can become a formality or a practice of reciting words that have very little meaning to a Primary student. So, the children and I worked together to come up with vocabulary they could understand:
Pledge - I Promise
Allegiance - to be a part of
Republic - we decide by voting
One Nation under God - we are 50 individual states but we come together to be one nation -- just like there are 20 individual students and we come together to make one class
Indivisible - can not be separated or broken
Liberty - freedoms
Justice - to do what is right
All - everyone
Dates to Remember
September 5 - Field Trip for HS to the Clemson Ropes Course
September 11 - Toddler One pot luck dinner
September 17-28- MAP testing 2nd-9th GradeSeptember 18 - Toddler Two pot luck dinner
September 20- Upper Elementary Field Trip to Paris Mountain State Park
September 25 - Toddler Three pot luck dinner
*Note: October 12 is an early dismissal day for Professional Development for teachers. All programs closed. No extended day or childcare will be available.
The Early Release schedule for Oct. 12 will be as follows:
Infant/Toddler dismissal---11:30 a.m.
Primary dismissal------------11:30 a.m.
Lower el dismissal-----------11:45 a.m.
Upper el dismissal-----------12:00 noon
Middle School dismissal---12:00 noon
High School dismissal-------12:00 noon
The Work Mat
A primary student pauses from building with tower blocks to pose for a quick photo.
A student receives his introductory lesson for the knobless cylinders work that teaches the sensory qualities of height and thickness.
Students in Montessori schools learn practical skills from a very young age like eating from real dishware and washing dishes after eating.
A primary student works with the brown stair in order to gain balance.
Another primary student manipulates the triangle box and superimposes them to understand how an equilateral triangle can be subdivided into other types of triangles.
A riser practices her handwriting using the sand tray.
Middle School Lunch
Students prepare fruit to go with the sliders.
A student cuts grapes for the fruit bowl.
A middle school student displays the fruit she and her fellow classmates prepared for the community.
Middle school students finalize the dessert preparations.
The students made sure to prepare the environment for the meal.
The middle school took time to focus on presentation in addition to food preparation.
Qualitative and Quantitative Observations
Students carefully calculate various solution densities on paper before mixing the ingredients.
Measuring the solutions to ensure accurate densities.
Students dyed the liquids different colors before stacking the solutions in decreasing densities.
Please reduce speed while traveling on MSA school property. Due to the increased amount of traffic on our campus, we respectfully request that you remain with your children at all times while on the MSA campus. Pedestrians (especially small ones) are difficult to see and we want to address this safety issue to protect the lives of our MSA students and visitors. Too often, drivers are in large vehicles, become distracted and may not see a little one who has gotten away from their caregiver. It is essential that all visitors and students use the sidewalks and remain in control of your children at all times.
All children should remain restrained at all times and until they have arrived at their respective classroom(s). SC State law regarding carseats/restraints still apply when on MSA's private property. Please make sure that children under age 13 are in the back seat, properly restrained and in car seat/booster seat if applicable. Please refrain from allowing children to place hands, feet and heads out of the windows and sunroofs. Aside from being unsafe practice, it poses a safety hazard and the behavior is quickly mimicked by other children.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this safety matter.