Elementary News, January 2014

Happy New Year! We are beyond our set conferences and looking forward to our most productive time of the year.  A lot of lessons and projects are “in the works” for the entire class. Our P.E. Units of Skiing and Skating are very popular and we are making a mad dash toward finishing our poems for Poetry Café! We know we can’t tell you enough of the tremendous amounts of work going on in our classroom on a daily basis, so here are  few highlights which come to mind right now:

The youngest of our classmates are busy producing their own “autobiographies” as well as completing an 11-page booklet on The Parts of A Flag. This series of lesson culminates in their making a FLAG OF THEMSELVES. You’ll see their autobiographies on Feb.14th.

Elders are buy learning several forms of writing; namely, Expository, Narrative, Persuasive, and Descriptive. Along with writing Poetry they are also studying George Washington and will come up with many different ways of reporting about him. 

Now, we’ll move on to poetry. Our 6th Annual Poetry Café is set to commence on the evening of February 14th at 6pm in our classroom. The children have been enjoying poems by Silverstein, Longfellow, Poe, Sandburg, Dickenson, Frost, Cummings, Dahl, Lear, Carroll, and Nash. A class favorite is always, The Adventures of Isabel by Ogden Nash. If you don’t know it – look it up and enjoy it together, it is a classic!

Your children have been exposed to rhyming couplets, acrostic, personal, shape, diamante, cinquain, free verse, limericks, and haiku. Many have written ALL forms. They’d like to invite you to their poetry reading and we hope you can come. Please RSVP to this event. It is one of our favorite nights of the year!

Lest you think we are all work and no play….our P.E. Units, unique events to Country Village and NOT to all Montessori Schools  - continue to be popular beyond our wildest imaginations. Especially important as we are caught indoors many days (although for the life of me I KNOW they go out DAILY in Alaska) is the need for physical exercise. Due to the popularity and wonderful effects it has on our students – we have extended the Learn-to-Ski program for another 5-week session. This Upper Elementary Activity is generously supported by a small cadre of parents that take their Mondays and accompany us AND ski/chaperone with your children. First and foremost a thank you to Paolo Suardi (Elena’s father) skier extraordinaire – for stewarding the bunch. Next to Brian Timm – all things considered – ace of the walkie-talkies and also ace skier – and also the Salzman family – for driving AND skiing with the children. Lastly to my son, William for helping carrying, shepherding, and skiing with the kids a big thanks you.

Our skaters are a lively bunch. My guess is that this 8-week session is tiring them out for a good sleep on Tuesday evenings. We have always LOVED the Conway Arena Learn-to-Skate program and again THANK all the parents from the bottom of our hearts for making this program a success.

From our standpoint, these programs MAKE our winter bearable and the children LOVE it!

Teacher Workday

We are once again calling a TEACHER WORKDAY on March 21st for the Staff to be able to attend Newport Montessori School’s Spring Symposium. My friend and owner/founder/ director Christy Whipple puts on a wonderful program whereby our staff can hear some top-notch presenters and earn professional development hours at the same time. We also like it because we get some adult time together over lunch! For the second year in a row I have been asked to present. My topic this year: Creative Drama in the 3-6 Classroom. We are all looking forward to it.


A few people have asked when re-enrollment contracts are coming out. In the next few weeks we will be putting together that information. We will send out a hard copy AND post all “pertinents and such” on the website as well.

We are working on our 6-week summer camp program as well. Stay tuned. Remember, we accept children from outside the program for summer camp fun with us. Pass the word along if you know of interested parties.

Please know I recognize that WE could not be the great school we are without the wonderful parents that YOU are. So, as always, thank you for your children and your support.

Fondly, Miss Claire

ElementaryCarolyn McKinney