Children's House Newsletter, September 2013

The children have really settled into their new classroom in the first three weeks of school. We have been busy learning the ground rules of the classroom that allow us to have a peaceful, productive community where everyone is treated with respect. The most important rule that we focus on is that we help everyone, hurt nothing and hurt nobody. We are learning to use gentle hands with our friends and with the beautiful materials in the classroom and also to help out friends when they need it. We have also been talking about the concepts of respect and peacefulness within ourselves and within the community of our classroom. We will continue with these concepts throughout the year but especially in the next week leading up to the international day of peace. Grace and courtesy lessons are an important aspect to the practical life curriculum. So far we have covered concepts such as saying “yes, please” or “no, thank you” when being offered something; saying “excuse me” when you need to get by someone; sneezing and coughing into your elbow; using tissues and blowing noses; knocking on closed doors; interrupting someone working or talking by placing a hand on their shoulder; and inviting someone to work or to have snack with. We also talked about germs and how they can travel through the classroom and make others sick. We ask your children to wash hands before and after eating, after blowing their nose and whenever they are in their mouths, noses or other inappropriate places. Please reinforce these concepts by encouraging the same polite behavior from your child at home as well as in school.

The children have each been exploring the environment though independent work, small group lessons and large group lessons. At circle we have read a variety of books, sang many songs, worked on learning names, and have worked on calendar concepts as well.  Ms. Jamie led a discussion about who Maria Montessori was and why we go to a Montessori school. Other topics so far have included trees, pattern making, thunder and lightning and building vocabulary by discussing a variety of different pictures.

Thank you all for your very generous donations of paper goods, every little bit counts. Thank you also for your participation with the snack program. Just a reminder, the state does require that there be two different food groups for the snack. In the event that you forget snack on your designated day we would love some dry goods or raisins for the cupboard.

Saturday, September 21 is our international picnic at the school from 12:00 until 2:00. This is an event held on our playground for all family members, siblings as well. We hope to see all of you for this whole school event. This is an opportunity for all of the families to get to know each other in a casual and fun way. Please bring a dish to share and a blanket or chairs to picnic on. This year the picnic coincides with the International Day of Peace which was started by the UN in 1982. The children are practicing songs that they will sing on this day and there will be a giant peace dove flown as well. This has always been a touching event and we are happy to share it with all of you at the picnic this year.

“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” Maria Montessori

Observations and Conferences

The class is settling down as the children become more comfortable with their environment. That being said we will open the doors soon for observations and conferences will follow shortly after. Sign-up sheets will be available starting at the picnic September, 21.

Ms. Carla, Ms. Sue, Ms. Jamie and Ms. Irene