Montessori Matters

August 31, 2018

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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

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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 3 - Labor Day, No School

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 Grade

September 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

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The Work Mat

Students learn to work in a defined area, to not step on their works, and to respect the boundaries of others by first rolling out a work mat before gathering their materials to work. They learn attention to detail by carefully rolling up their mats when they are done with their activities. In the foreground a primary student is learning number sense using a sensorial decanomial. In the background, another primary student learns cursive letters.

Middle School

Strings Demonstration

Middle School students meet the new Strings teacher, Caitlin Whitehouse, and are excited to hear samples of her violin music.
Middle School students meet the new Strings teacher, Caitlin Whitehouse, and are excited to hear samples of her violin music.

Middle School Lunch

Middle school students spent time the past week planning a menu, budgeting, and shopping for supplies and ingredients preparing a lunch for their peers and teachers. On Wednesday, they served around forty students, faculty, and staff members the meal consisting of delicious sliders, vegetarian burgers, fruits, and a variety of dessert options.


Mr. Saunier gave the blessing before everyone enjoyed the culinary treat.
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Upper Elementary

Qualitative and Quantitative Observations

Upper elementary students in Dr. Mahajan's class are learning about qualitative and quantitative observations. Students chose an area within the campus and are writing and drawing their observations.
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An upper elementary school student works on an art project.
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Density Experiment

Students in Mr. Saunier's high school chemistry course do a hands-on demonstration on density. They first calculated solutions of various densities on paper, then went in the lab to create them. To prove the density differences, they each made a colorful tower of different densities of liquids to show their calculations apply to the real world.

New stuff!

Mr. Saunier and Dr. Mahajan are excited to unpack new lab equipment donated from the Holt/Géléoc research lab at Harvard Medical.
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Population Dynamics

Students in Dr. Mahajan's high school biology class learn how disease, predation, and environmental circumstances affect moose populations through the seasons in this population dynamics simulation.
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The staff of infant/toddler posed for a picture during Open House night.
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Infant Works

On the left, a student works on a stringing and sewing work. This work helps the infant to learn the concept of in/out and to “go through.” This work also helps with hand eye coordination. On the right, a student uses the pound a peg work. This helps the infant to learn the concept of action and reaction as well as eye hand coordination.
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The Horticulture and Sustainability Committee at the Middle School used their free time to repair a broken pot. They analyzed the issue and decided it would be possible to glue the pieces back together.
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Nurse's Notes

Safety alert:

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.

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.