MCH September Newsletter

Thanks for a great 1st month of school!

Quote-of-the-Month

"One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child." - Dr. Maria Montessori

Classroom Updates

Toddler Classroom

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year in our Toddler Program. Hana, Kimberly and Laura are very happy to be spending lovely days with your children. Our group is currently small, but new children will join us throughout the next few months. This past month we've been enjoying the excellent weather with many outdoor experiences including lots of running, climbing, and jumping. Outdoors, we also explore books, musical instruments and art materials. Indoors we are learning the routines and rituals of the day. This past month we celebrated 3rd birthdays for Angela, Vihaan, and Max. We welcomed Ryota, Cecilia, Felix, Alex and Evan and sadly, said "goodbye" to Audie, who moved away.

Upstairs Preschool

It's been a great start to the school year! We have transitioned from two group times to one group time that takes place at the end of the work period. The kids have a couple of favorite music and movement activities we do at group time - "Watch Me Ride My Pony" and "Old King Cole". Both songs incorporate practicing different gaits (walking, trotting, galloping, skipping). We are learning the song, "This Little Light of Mine" with hand motions. We have focused on books by Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss. Show and tell has been very special - it's so nice to see the different children's items and interests.


We are learning classroom rules, taught by "I Care" cat - a puppet. So far, we have learned that "We listen to each other" and "Hands are for helping (not hurting)". This common language helps the children learn how to show respect for one another.


We are welcoming two new students to our classroom! They are two girls - Celine and Apurva. Celine started this past Thursday, Oct. 1st. Apurva will start mid-October.

We said so long to Margaret! Margaret's family is moving to New York. Her last day was Wednesday, September 30. The children helped to make a book for Margaret.

Downstairs Preschool - West

September flew by in our classroom! We have been enjoying the beautiful weather that the autumn has provided. We will continue to start the morning on the playground as long as the weather is nice. Caitlin has been taking a small group of children downstairs at around 9:15 to introduce new materials, and to help ease the new children into the environment. We will continue this for one more week, and then start to come in as one whole group at around 9:00 am.


Our group times have focused on grace and courtesy, understanding and sharing our feelings, and reflecting on the changing season. A few favorite songs have been "Please and Thank You", and "Share Your Feelings" (shared with you via YouTube below!). Some extended day students have helped in giving group time presentations on how to interrupt somebody, or how to ask somebody to play.


We are also working on ASL, or American Sign Language, this year. Many of the group time songs incorporate signs, and we also spend a little time each week to learn new signs. Several children have spontaneously begun to put signs together, to start creating ASL sentences.


Our classroom welcomed Angela from the Toddler class this past week, and we look forward to greeting Max (also transitioning from Toddler classroom) as he begins in our classroom this month.

Show Your Feelings!

Downstairs Preschool - East

Greetings from Derek and Luz's classroom,

Happy fall everyone! I would like to welcome back all of our families to MCH. This year is a little unusual in that we have all returning MCH students, and we have more extended day kindergarteners (classroom leaders) in our class than we have ever had before. This has made for a smooth and peaceful transition into the new year because all the children are familiar with the school, the teachers, and with each other.
In the first month of school, we have focused on the basics: introducing and reintroducing the classroom rules and materials, becoming more familiar with our friends by singing name songs and playing outside together, talking a lot about feelings, and discussing what to do if there is a problem. Moving forward, we will continue to talk about all of this, and also start our "Human Body and its Systems" unit. The system that is most often read and talked about is the immune system. We will also be talking about the changing seasons, and why there are different seasons (tilt of earth's axis).


If you ever have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to email me at derek@madisonmontessori.org. As a general rule, when talking to a teacher about your child, try to make a time to talk when the child being discussed is not within earshot, or try to include the child in the conversation.

Looking forward to a great year!

Extended Day

We have been celebrating a "Child of the Day". I write the child's name on a strip of paper. We analyze the name in many ways. We count the letters and the vowels. We note any repeating letters and letter combinations that make a sound. We clap the child's name to hear the syllables and count them. We rhyme with the child's name. Finally we spell the child's name in a cheer. All of these exercises develop skills that the child will need to read. Patterning is a skill that helps children develop in math and language. Much of reading is recognizing patterns. Many children have been creating repeating patterns with the Unifix cubes. We help them label the patterns by assigning letters to the different colored cubes. Most children start with the most basic pattern: ababab. Soon they expand to aabaab or abcabc or abbcabbc etc.. Patterns can become pretty complicated by the end of the year. At home you can help children see patterns in their environment; on fabrics or packages. Children can make patterns with the family's shoes, silverware or other things you have around the house. We will also be doing movement patterns as the year progresses. Hopefully when we start writing rhyming words they will begin to see the pattern.

Afternoon Program Updates

On our trip around the world we are exploring different countries, cultures, customs as well as traditions and food.

Our first journey is taking us to Bulgaria, Havva's country of origin. Our first project is making Mekitsi (Bulgarian fried bread). Some of us have already located Bulagria on the map and colored the Bulgarian flag.

Did you know that Bulgaria is one of the world's largest exporters of rose oil? Bulgaria even has a rose festival every year! The children will also be making rose water lemonade while we are studying Bulgaria.


Soon we will be making a traditional cold cucumber soup called Tarator with homemade Bulgarian yogurt.


Parents: If you would like to participate in our studies of countries or have any ideas for our 'Around the World' theme we would love to have your input or invite you to share your experiences with the children. You can contact Havva at havva@madisonmontessori.org

Mekitsi (Bulgarian Fried Bread) Recipe


INGREDIENTS



  • 1∕2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1∕4 cup warm water
  • 1 small egg
  • 1∕2 cup yogurt
  • 1 2∕3 cups flour
  • 1∕8 teaspoon salt
  • oil (for frying)



DIRECTIONS


  • Put the yeast in the warm water and let sit for five minutes or so, or until frothy.
  • Mix the yeast and water with the egg and yogurt. Keep stirring until well­blended.
  • Add the flour and salt and mix until you get a soft dough.
  • Let stand one hour.
  • Heat some oil in a pot (you'll need two inches or so). Roll the dough out and cut into circles.
  • Drop the dough into the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden and puffy.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and serve