Montessori Matters

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.

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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.

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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

Middle School students will be performing Tom Sawyer on Thursday, February 14 at 1pm and 7pm and Friday, February 15 at 10am and 7pm at Electric City Playhouse. Advance tickets for the show can be purchased for $5 in the MSA front office. Reserve your spot today! You won't want to miss it!
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Singing Valentines

Our high school students will be delivering Singing Valentines this Thursday for Valentine's Day as a high school fundraiser. Each Singing Valentine comes with a song, a poem, a card, and candy and an optional personal sentiment. See this form or the image below to choose a song and find the order sheet (copies of the order sheet can also be obtained in the front office). The cost for on-campus delivery is $5, and the cost for off-campus delivery (within 10 miles of the school) is $10.
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Scholastic Book Fair

We will be hosting the Scholastic Book Fair Monday, February 11th through Thursday, February 14th, 8am-4:30pm. Come by the Middle School room for books for all ages and interests. Grandparents are welcome to stop by too while they are on campus for the Grandparent's/Special Person's Day celebrations. Teachers will have wish lists available for additions to classroom libraries. Click here to preview the fair setup and plan out your shopping!
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Grandparent's/Special Person Day

This Thursday, Primary through Upper Elementary will welcome grandparents/special people to their classrooms to visit their students and learn more about our program and classes. The schedule for each class is as follows:

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.

Administrator Chats

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

Over the past week, Middle School students participated in a STEAM activity in which they constructed pan pipe instruments from PVC pipe. The students learned the science behind sound waves, calculated the length of their pipes to create the frequencies of six musical notes, designed and constructed their instruments, and evaluated their design using a spreadsheet to calculate how close their resultant pitches came to their goal notes. The students used their customized instruments to perform Mary Had a Little Lamb in groups.
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Primary Yoga

All mid-day Primary students went out to do yoga while the weather was nice.
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Sometimes, its okay to walk among the clouds and see the beauty that awaits us.
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Soccer Practice

MSA is sponsoring two six-and-under soccer teams once again for the spring season. The teams have begun to practice for their upcoming season.
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Yearbook Order Deadline

You may have noticed a few new signs around campus as our yearbook staff has worked hard to promote the upcoming final day to be guaranteed a yearbook by placing an order before February 22. Online sales will continue after that date, but the printers will have already calculated the total number to print, so supplies will be limited! Don't miss out, order yours today!
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Nurse's Notes

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

Spring Benefit Tickets

Don't forget to purchase your tickets for the Spring Benefit coming up on Saturday, March 30 from the front office. Tickets cost $150 and admit two guests to the event.
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Publix Partners

For every purchase you make, Publix will donate a percentage to MSA. Simply sign up for an account at and select Montessori School of Anderson under My Publix Partner on your Account Settings page. When you shop, enter your phone number at checkout and eligible purchases will help earn money for MSA. To date, Publix has given over $25,000 to MSA through this program!

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.