February 8, 2019
Solid Roots and New Branches
STEAM, STEM, Common Core, Project-based, Core Knowledge, Integrated, Cooperative Learning, Growth Mindset, etc. Over the years, each one has taken the spotlight to be the favored new child of American education. Each one does have its new ideas and components that have found their way into many school systems hopefully to fix a variety of problems with each decade’s challenges.
How does a small Montessori school in rural America deal with all that jargon and “hot off the press” educational fix-its?
By maintaining its identity in what it does best: stick to its roots of a solid “learning how to learn” and “joyful scholar” Montessori education. After all, it has worked for over 100 years now. But that sounds awfully rigid, don’t you think?
Not really. Inherent in the idea of being a joyful scholar and learning how to learn requires that the teachers are always on the edge of their seats, thinking, questioning a newer way of bringing a concept to the forefront of their lesson. But the foundation is always the same: hands-on engagement with the materials, be they physical as in the lower levels or mental as in the upper levels. Thus, we can teach the new educational methods, e.g., Common Core (Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Science, History, etc.), but still include the Montessori method (practical life, grace and courtesy, community service, peace education, etc.) These additional things make the difference, beyond the jargon.
We welcome the new thinking that comes from think-tank educational brains, check it with our solid foundation, and incorporate some of the new ideas.
Cooperative learning? Oh my goodness, just walk into any classroom on this campus to see evidence of this trending teaching philosophy.
STEAM? Just recently, we sent three of our science and technology teachers to a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) conference and they immediately came back with additional ideas and resources to add into our curriculum. But these new ideas are simply complementary to an already solid Montessori foundation. Just look at the meticulous drawing of a five year old’s metal inset.
Growth Mindset? “People believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” (originator of Growth Mindset-Dweck, 2015)
Love of learning, sound familiar? Maria Montessori emphasized the importance of that concept in 1907: “Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.”
Burning within him that light which is called intelligence...
Whatever new “thing” comes off the educational assembly line can be reduced to the root of it all: whatever you put before the child, please, please do not snuff out the light.
Dates to Remember
February 11-14 - Scholastic Book Fair -- see note below for more information
February 11-14 - Middle School Play Week
February 12 - Administrator Chats -- see note below for times and more information
February 12 - Order deadline for Singing Valentines
February 14 - Singing Valentines delivered
February 14 - Grandparent's/Special Person Day for Primary and Lower Elementary
February 15 - Re-enrollment packets due for current MSA families
February 16 - 2019/2020 Enrollment opens to new families
February 18 - Presidents Day - All Programs Closed, Extended Day Available
February 22 - Last day to order yearbooks to be guaranteed a copy
Middle School Presents Tom Sawyer
Scholastic Book Fair
Grandparent's/Special Person Day
Lower Elementary from 9-10
Primary from 10-11
Upper Elementary from 11-12
This is also an excellent opportunity to add them to the recipients list for Montessori Matters! Visit this link to request additional recipients.
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. I encourage you to join us for the upcoming “Administrator Chats” (informal Q & A sessions and light refreshments) on 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.)
Pan Pipe STEM Activity
Yearbook Order Deadline
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