MCH October Newsletter
Welcome to new friend Keaton!
We’ve been continuing to enjoy plenty of outdoor time with the recent lovely weather! Indoors we’ve been busy with fall art experiences, such as leaf collages. These activities give children an opportunity to practice fine motor skills; brushing glue on paper with a paintbrush and carefully adding small pieces such as leaves. And an opportunity to follow multi-step processes and build concentration skills.
Hopefully you had a chance to taste our Toddler Class applesauce at the Open House. Earlier that day, our class spent a long time chopping apples with child-safe choppers, and adding sugar and spices to make a very tasty applesauce. We smelled cloves, cinnamon and ginger and at circle time talked about the whole process of making applesauce.
Other activities at circle time have included exploring rhythm sticks, drums and scarves. We've explored movement activities including moving/dancing to music, stop and freeze games, fast/slow and holding a partner's hands. It is so wonderful to see young children experiencing the joy of the group music/movement experience.
With the cooler weather we are starting to practice putting on our coats using the “up and over” coat method.
We look forward to meeting with you this week at Parent-Teacher conferences and furthering the essential partnership we have.
As you may have noticed, we put up a display board (next to the take-home cubbies) with photos & names of all the children in our morning class. We also collaborated on a group art project - we made a "hands are for helping" sign, to help remind us of this classroom rule. Next we will learn about "I Care Language" - this helps us speak kindly to one another.
At group time, we learned some Halloween songs & a finger play - "Five Little Pumpkins". After we learned the words, we acted it out as a group. We just finished reading Pete the Cat books. If you haven't checked these out, they are fun books that the kids connect with that also teach social lessons.
We look forward to seeing you soon at conferences. Please bring your questions!
Downstairs Preschool - West
The children have been weighing squash and learning about the life cycle of the pumpkin. Food preparation works have included peeling and cutting carrots, grinding coffee beans and grating cinnamon. We will soon talk about harvest and cornucopias.
We are looking forward to talking to you all at conferences.
Downstairs Preschool - East
Hello from Derek and Luz's class,
Our class has been enjoying the warm weather we have been having. Winter is just around the corner and outside time will be limited, so we take advantage of nice weather when we can. Research shows that playing outside and running around is more than just physically good for us, but is also imperative to brain development, and well as social and emotional development. The playground is also utilized as an outdoor classroom. We encourage the children to collect various natural items, which are added to classroom collections. Different kinds of leaves, tree bark, nuts and seeds, flowers and insects for example. We can then investigate and discuss, either alone or in a small group. We use scientific instruments, such as magnifiers, microscopes, etc., as well as various measuring tools. We also observe live animals and then release them back into the place where they were found. Recently, we brought a compass outside and talked about direction; then sang a song about walking to the north, east, south and west.
When we are playing outside, sometimes conflicts arise. Problem solving is a skill we work on often. We use our words to express how we are feeling. I do not use "time outs", I will sit with a child when necessary to help calm a child and then talk about what happened and how we can solve the problem. If a child hurts another child, intentionally or not. We will all sit together until the hurt child feels better and is ready to play again.
In the classroom, we have been discussing the different continents and the animals that live there. We also have continent baskets, which I introduce new items from around the world. If you have small items from different continents that you could donate to our class, it would be greatly appreciated.
The children also enjoy show and share time when they stand in front of the class and tell us about a favorite book, tool, or cultural item that they have brought in. Please remember the weather getting colder, so make sure your child has appropriate clothing for staying warm when outside.
I look forward to seeing you at parent teacher conferences this Thursday night and Friday.
We will have parent conferences in January if your child is not in the Downstairs Preschool West morning classroom.
In the afternoon program we have been enjoying our "trip" exploring Italy.
With the help of Carson's dad we were excited to make dough and construct ravioli, tasting it along with fresh fettuccine and spaghetti the next day!
We created another delicious Italian dish using the colors of the Italian flag; our Caprese Salad featured fresh green basil leaves, fresh white mozzarella balls, and red cherry tomatoes. After assembling the ingredients on toothpicks carefully, the children drizzled olive oil over the salad, adding a pinch of salt.
In exploring the culture of Italy we were introduced to the Italian word for puppet, "Marionette"! Inspired by this new word we began to make our own stick puppets connecting to a fall time story entitled, "The Nutty Nut Race". We were able to see true marionettes in action thanks to Melinda's Grandparents and Mother, they brought in two puppets from Europe, showing us how the strings that are attached to stick-handles control the movements of the puppets allowing the marionettes to walk, wave, and nod their heads!
To finish up our study of Italy we plan to create our own Minestrone Soup!
After Thanksgiving Break we will be "traveling" to Kosovo - Albania! Aroma's family is from Kosovo and will be sharing about their culture, food, dress, and history. Please contact Havva if you have any ideas about countries that you would like the afternoon program to study or visit! You can talk to her at school or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All School Updates
Parent-Teacher conferences are this Thursday evening and Friday. If you haven't already signed up, the sign up sheets are located near the classroom doors. MCH will be closed Friday but we will have child care during your conference.
While your child's teachers are planning on leading a conversation with you about your child, we find that having a few thoughts in mind before the conference starts helps maximize the time that you get together. Here are a few thoughts. Please, think of these ideas as a reference and not a list that you need to get through.
- Some things we want you to know:
- Daily communication is nearly impossible in a Montessori school because the children are not all doing the same thing at the same time throughout the day, as in more traditional schools. The depth of your child's learning experience that is gained from autonomy is at the cost of daily communication.
- Please, bring any questions you have for us.
- Conferences are 20 minutes. For some, this will be plenty of time and for others, not nearly enough. If you need more time, please, don't hesitate to set up a method for furthering the conversation (i.e. email, phone, another face to face meeting, etc.).
- How is it going?
- Parent perspective-- what is your child saying at home about school?
- Teacher perspective-- is your child adjusting/thriving at school?
- Brief overview of what your child is doing?
- Where does your child spend most of his/her time?
- Is he/she branching out to new things?
- Does your child extend what he/she is doing at school to home?
- What we think you may expect for this year based on your child's age and what we've seen so far.
- Goal setting:
- Social development
- Any academic goals-- a short conversation about how Montessori achieves meaningful academic progress
- Potty Training-- the preschool is not setup for taking the lead in potty training but acts in a supportive role. How can we help you to help your child achieve independence in the bathroom?
- Any other ideas for how we can support each other to benefit your child
- Montessori in the home?
It is an honor to partner with you and your child. We look forward to meeting with you soon!
Thanksgiving Food Drive
We will be collecting food for families to have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving in cooperation with the Goodman Center. There will be a chance to donate food items or money. Information will be available in the foyer soon.