Montessori Matters

December 14, 2018

Holiday Program

Picture this: "Chestnuts roasting by an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your toes, Yuletide carols being sung by the... MSA CHOIR?" Well, they may not be the exact lyrics as committed by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé back in 1945, but the beauty, simplicity, and nostalgia are the same. This coming Tuesday evening at 6:30 in the beautiful sanctuary of Boulevard Baptist Church, you will be treated to that same kind of warm feelings and songs that remind you that "the world is good."

All MSA children from Primary up through 12th grade have been practicing for the past few weeks in order to give a gift that keeps on giving from the moment received that night and long into the new year. Come to think of it – as one of our graduates reminisced – “the holiday program is a part of my many happy memories of MSA: the singing, dancing, watching the little ones wiggle and giggle, the Peace Pole presentation, and the glow of candlelight always makes me want to 'come home' for the holidays."

So, with a predicted balmy 62 degrees promised for the day, we can still remember the snowfall that didn't quite occur last week and trust that our MSA family will put us in the holiday spirit -- without those flakes gently falling, there will be no need for folks “dressing up like Eskimos.”

See you there!

Dates to Remember

December 18 - Winter Holiday Program, 6:30 P.M. at Boulevard Baptist Church

December 19 - Share the Warmth Tree donations due -- see note below for more information

December 19 - Early Dismissal

December 19 - Last day for paper Fall Photo order forms

December 21 - Last day for Spring Benefit pre-sale ticket pricing

December 20 - January 2 - Winter Break

January 3 - Students return to school

Share the Warmth Tree

The tree is full of warm, thoughtful donations and looking great! Wednesday is the last day for dropping off gifts for the tree, so please remember to drop off anything you would like to give to those in need. Thank you everyone for your kindness and generosity!

As the holiday season approaches, we look to the spirit of giving and service to others. Once again this year, MSA will be sponsoring the “Operation: Share the Warmth” Tree.

Here’s how the service project works. I will be placing a Christmas tree in the front office of the Montessori Administrative building during the Thanksgiving break. The Christmas tree will only have a ribbon on the top of tree and lights. Our students, families, MSA classrooms and clubs are asked to provide the decorations.

The decorations should consist of new mittens, gloves, socks and scarves. If you have gently used jackets, coats and shoes they will gladly be accepted. Some of you may remember how beautiful the tree looked last year, all decked out in warm clothing finery!!!

The tree will remain on campus until the December 19th when the school closes for the Winter Holiday. The items will then be donated a local charity organization, Anderson Interfaith Ministries. This project allows our Montessori students and families to provide the basic need of warmth to those who may not have the ability to stay warm during the cold winter months. Thank you in advance for your generosity!!!

Susanna Merriman, RN

Last Week for Spring Benefit Pre-Sale

Make sure to mark your calendars for this year's Spring Benefit! The event will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 6:30-11 P.M. at the T. Ed Garrison Event Center. Pre-sale tickets are on sale now for $135 until December 21 after which they will be on sale for the full price of $150. Each MSA family may purchase one ticket at the pre-sale rate. Each ticket admits two guests to the event.
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Fall Photos

The first shipment of fall photo orders arrived and went home last week. The second order placed on Friday has been shipped and is due to arrive this week to distribute before the break. We will be placing one final school order this Wednesday to be returned after the break. You are welcome to place orders online after this date by following this link and following the link to your child's gallery (the password is Together).
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Alumni Spotlight - Amber Lockhart

Our first Montessori Matters featured alumni in a long time: Mrs. Amber (Leahey) Lockhart! We now have four MSA alumni working for us: Kim Thompson, Business Manager, Molly Moorhead, Lower Elementary Directress, Chelsea (Miller) Moon, Extended Day Directress, and Amber Lockhart, our new Director of College Guidance and Director of Admissions. Amber enjoyed our program through her Primary and Lower Elementary years and left in 2003. She graduated from Clemson University in 2015 with a BA degree in Psychology.

Here are some of Amber's favorite memories at MSA:

My clearest memories come from my elementary years. In Lower El, I remember catching crickets at recess to feed to our class tarantula, Fuzzy. We would all take turns feeding our class birds, Romeo and Juliet, as well as our tiny water frog. I also remember having King Cake for Mardi Gras thanks to a student in our class who had just moved to Anderson from New Orleans. I spent many days visiting the peace table with classmates, some of whom remain my very closest friends today. We learned to knit in Lower El, too, which quickly became an obsession for most of us who joined Knitting Club. This continued into Upper El, when we all received tin boxes to store our knitting supplies. Mine was yellow and purple with the Rugrats cartoon on the top, and I still have it to this day! In Upper El, I loved when it was my turn to go to the grocery store and help prepare our classroom meal. We were so excited that Ms. Molly had moved up from Lower El to Upper El with us, too! Junior Great Books with Ms. Holt helped foster my love for reading, which has continued with me throughout my life. I can still picture us all gathered in a circle in the Upper El cubby room, reading The Jungle Book, taking notes in my orange notebook. I also remember how much fun we all had together going to Morningside Assisted Living to sing Christmas carols to the residents. These memories are only a handful of the incredible times I remember from my days as an MSA student!

Amber's recommendations to students:

I would recommend that students not take their time at MSA for granted. The memories you're making today will stick with you for a lifetime. Take the time to enjoy every moment.

And her recommendations to our current families:

I would recommend that families encourage their child to continue his or her learning at home. MSA opens so many creative doors for students to continue their studies outside the classroom, and I think it's important that families help to foster their child's love for learning.

Returning Alumni Presentation: Sofia Sheikh

We were excited to welcome back MSA alum Sofia Sheikh this week for a presentation of her research into the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) for our Upper Elementary and Middle School students. After graduating from MSA, Sofia went on to receive undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017 and is now pursuing her PhD in Astrobiology at Penn State. Thank you for sharing your exciting research, Sofia!
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Sitting Practice

This infant is practicing sitting up-right.
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Toddler Works

These toddlers in Toddler One have many engaging works that teach them valuable skills: hand-eye coordination, focus, patience, and collaboration using stacking and puzzle works, developing artistic talents through painting, practical life skills and building a sense of community by cooking for friends, and reading.

Primary Two Present Wrapping

Students in Primary Two gift wrapped each other hand-written notes.
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Gingerbread Houses

Lower Elementary has been busy the past couple weeks designing, prototyping, and constructing gingerbread houses. During the project, they took a field trip to the Grove Park Inn in Asheville to see the extravagant gingerbread houses on display there for inspiration. Below you can see the Lower Elementary house prototypes built out of construction paper and the matching house frames built out of graham crackers before they spend time decorating them this coming week.
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Making a Wreath and Kale Smoothies

Fourth and fifth grade students in Upper Elementary gathered materials from the foliage around campus and put together a wreath this week. While assembling the wreath, they also blended and tasted kale smoothies.

Programming Robots

After building their programming foundation last week during the Hour of Code, students in Upper Elementary and Middle School got to apply their coding skills by programming Sphero and Ollie robots to solve mazes made out of tape on the technology room floor. Students solved a series of mazes of increasing difficulty with the final maze incorporating aspects from each of the smaller puzzles.
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Bird Watching

We at MSA are blessed to be surrounded by so much nature, and we are often visited by local wildlife on campus. One of our Middle School students, Carter Wolken, captured these great photos of birds enjoying the rainy week this week during lunch and yearbook/photography club.
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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.