From Cindy's Desk
Approaching the month of December is most interesting - the days have definitely appeared to be shorter (it is interesting that people define the days as shorter, when in fact, they are still 24 hour days - it is the light that is diminished).  However, the shortness seems to be almost tangible, as school is shorter - December begins and school is almost over as soon as it has begun, with events that come and go just as quickly.  Teachers and children prepare for months for Winterfest performances, and they are over in the blink of an eye - becoming happiest of memories to add before 2017 is just a reminiscent occurrence.

The time went by quickly for me this past month, as I had several family situations occur at once.  Because of the severity, I was uncertain whether time was passing quickly or seemed to be suspended.  My eldest daughter fractured her leg in three places, and had to have a six-hour surgery on both sides of her ankle to save the leg.  Within days, my granddaughter was hospitalized as her health had become compromised and she was placed on a feeding tube.  I got on a plane to Seattle to assist my eldest daughter for a few days, and had decided not to tell her about my granddaughter until I got there (for I knew she would tell me to stay).  It was helpful that I went, as she needed a metal plate and eight screws in her foot, and I knew that the women in my family are allergic to nickel (found as a component in many metals).  The doctors used titanium instead, and I decided that while I was there, I would monitor her swelling and pain to determine whether her body was accepting of titanium or not.

However, as I landed on the tarmac in Seattle, and we were permitted to use our cell phones, I turned on my phone to discover it ringing.  I assumed it to be my daughter and prepared to hear her talking non-stop about the surgery. Instead, it was a woman, Medora, who called to tell me that a young man with whom I've had the pleasure of singing - had just died. His name was Bobby and in January, he had just celebrated his fortieth birthday.  We were supposed to be singing together for Martin Luther King Jr Day in 2018, and I already miss him. One of the most wonderful gifts that I received from Bobby, was his living sense of gratitude.  He never left me - or anyone else for that matter, without saying, "I appreciate you." In the same conversation, he would always describe the thing someone had done that he appreciated.  It is so aligned with who he was, that "I appreciate you" are the last words I recall him saying.

I always admired that about Bobby - his never-ending walk through life in gratitude.  I wondered - often - how he was raised, resulting in the incredibly grateful Bobby that I knew and loved.  I will sing for his service this weekend, not with him as I have been used to, but singing for and about him.  More importantly, I will also strive to be more cognizant of people - who they are and how they are - like Bobby was.  When one forgets to take stock of life it can be very easy for us to take people and living things around us for granted.  We recently watched a video about daily thankfulness, in which the realization that the simple acts from waking up to walking out of the front door involves at least 60 acts of living for which one should be appreciative. 

I often wondered about Bobby's family practices, because gratitude is not an attribute that is automatically cultivated within.  We may raise children who may be thankful, but not truly grateful.  It is common these days to hear parents who say that they don't understand why their child doesn't seem to be grateful.  Some feel that their children are never satisfied with what they have or how they are - they tend to wish for, look for or ask for something else.  However, gratitude is different from thankfulness.  Gratitude is a noun.  Thankfulness is an adjective. Thankfulness involves awareness and often appreciation of something that benefits someone.  Thankfulness expresses gratitude.  However, gratitude is an actual state of being. Thankfulness is connected to things or experiences; gratitude is deeper and enduring. It is the difference between an expression and an inherent feeling. Thankfulness involves a giver and receiver; gratitude does not.  Gratitude is a continual place of deep, mindful understanding and existence.  I am sharing all of this in this way, because helping children to live from a place of gratitude, requires understanding what it is and how one sees and experiences life.  Author Melody Beattie says, "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a
stranger into a friend."

The holiday/winter season is when "enough" in its simplicity is a time for children and their parents to experience gratitude. Alameda and Oakland offer many free events for the community during certain times of the year, and December is one of them.  There are seasonal and non-seasonal events beginning this weekend.  Last weekend, I took an older friend to Southshore to hear carolers.  She lives in Santa Rosa on approximately $800/mo. and recycles bottles for extra money.  Her motor home was not ruined in the fire, but she cannot afford to move out of her place, which is falling apart.  I made small sandwiches, and took oranges and water for us to sit in Southshore. She had forgotten her cane, and so while the carolers took a break, we couldn't really walk around much.  A security guard in Southshore saw that she was having trouble walking and went to Bed Bath & Beyond to get a cart for her to lean on.  My friend asked if the guard knew me, and if that was the reason for her kindness.  I remarked that I'd never met the woman before.  Within minutes, the guard returned and asked if a walker would be more helpful, and said that she knew of one in the Southshore lost and found that had been there for quite some time.  She came back with the walker and gave it to my friend, who was very appreciative.  We were both thankful for the gifts of love and tangible items that the woman offered, but we were touched by the stories the security guard told in between gathering the cart and the walker.  She told us about how she appreciated her mother, cooking for her and seeing her mother's face.  She mentioned how she could only imagine the things that her mother and others have done for her in life.  She mentioned that she worked on Thanksgiving, and how it permitted her to cook early for her mom and the greater opportunity she had to see more people as they walked by in Southshore on that day.  She talked about the way the moon had shone the night before.  We left that experience, feeling 'full', not simply because of the things given, but because of the gift of heart - the essence of who this woman was, and how she lived her life with gratitude.

How can we teach gratitude to our children? It is really foremost by recognizing how you live and view your life around you. Connect with the small things that join you to others and the universe.  Walk through life for a day with a different expectation of life being enough - and contemplate what you can do for someone else, and involve your child.  Listen to others. Completely.

Ask "how are you" and then wait. Let small things stop you and allow yourself to enjoy them for a minute.  Laugh --- every day. Remind your child of things you appreciate all through the day, and end the day with three things that they noticed about someone else. Write letters to others every week and involve your whole family. Instead of labeling your child ("good boy"), name what you have actually observed ("I noticed that you waited at the corner for me to arrive with the stroller").  Focus on what's good right now and let your child hear you discuss it.  Rework the person who gets the parking space you expected to get - and give it in your heart. 

Create a Gratitude journal or story book about wonderful things, simple things that have happened in the family.  Honor family history and traditions to fill children with family.  Even if you do not have family that are living, tell the stories about ancestors and create families of choice. Bring attention to other people and select someone who your family supports financially or emotionally (letter, call, visit).  Do chores happily and engage everyone in doing chores - until they are no longer chores but active blessings. 

Monitor the media - yours and your child's.  Gratitude is often not the overarching media theme.  Balance what goes into your being as it becomes you. Be positive.  One woman put it this way: "Focus on the positive, all day: I tell my children several times each day, 'Attitude is a choice'. Choosing to have a positive attitude is actually our #1 house rule. It's an all-day effort to constantly turn around the whining, jealousy, and complaining and instead focus on positive. "I'm thirsty!"  becomes, "Mommy, may I please have a drink?" "Where are my shoes?!" has to change to "Daddy, can you please help me find my shoes?"

I would say that I have received a gift from my friend, Bobby, that gratitude is an attitude.  It will be something for me to work on, to walk his walk and to see and seize moments - in gratitude.  I remembered the 'dare' poem:

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

And "walk" Thich Nhat Hahn said, "as if you are kissing the earth with your feet."
As we near the end of this year, this December - may we notice the many small, wondrous things alongside our children, and walk in gratitude.


Taylor Campus

Toddler 2

Dear Toddler 2 Parents, 

We would like to welcome Ms. Carolina to our toddler to class.

Students are enjoying reading time. Some our favorite books this month are "The Night Before Preschool," by Natasha Wing, "Jack and the Bean Stalk" by Richard Walker and "Stone Soup" by Heather Forest. The letter sounds we are working on this month were t, p, and o. The children found various objects that begin with those letter sounds throughout the room. Students continue to improve their skills in name recognition, tracing letters using the sand paper letters, name tracing, and free hand writing. We also introduced tracing letters in cornmeal this month.

The students are beginning to work on matching quantity with the appropriate number symbol. The works used to achieve this task are the spindal box and the small red and blue rods. We are also practicing lessons in recognition of numbers 0-15, counting in sequence, and tracing numbers.

The children love the Sensorial materials and continue to do lessons and extension work with the brown stairs and pink cubes and we introduced new scents in the scent bottles of lemon and cinnamon. The teachers also introduced cube and cylinder shapes, and rough and smooth boards. Everyone is continuing lessons with the knobbed cylinder, red, green, and yellow cylinders, binomial cube, and color box 2.

We have so much fun in Practical Life pouring liquids, cutting vegetables and fruits and hanging clothes. The children are improving their skills in setting a table, and using the zipper frame, button frame, and velcro frame. We are discussing and practicing lessons in Grace & Courtesy, like cleaning your nose and washing your hands after doing so, sitting in a chair, the appropriate ways to move about in the classroom.

This month, the students looked at pictures of children in other Montessori schools, like one in Compton, California.  This allowed them to observe and remark upon the cultural of a different school and the children there. We asked the children about similarities and differences in their school and ours. We always continue our lessons on the names of the seven continents as well.

We would like to send out a warm "Thank you!" to the following families for washing linen: Hu, Sink, Thompson, and Long and to the Sink family for donating puzzles to our class and the Biggs family for donating works to our class. We are still in need of items for our classroom. If you can donate please go to the following website to purchase items:

Lakeshore Learning: Regular dot art painters 6 color set
Montessori Services: Language object starter set (code L850), World people card collection (code C788),  Animal of the seven continents (code SC296), Living/non living classification (SC727), Four tray seed sprouter (code SC461), All botany parts of the flower (codeSC636), Weather  three part card photo cards (code L340), Carpet sweeper (code Q40).

Please Remember: Sharing days are Tuesday and Friday. We encourage your child to bring a sharing item in relation to the sound of week. Please leave all other toys and sharing items home if it's not a sharing day. 

Thank you, 
Porshia, Johanny, Carolina and Jazmin

Pre-Primary 2

Dear Pre-Primary 2 Parents,
Time is just flying by this year. We are so happy to have started to create a close community. The parent conferences provided opportunities for communication and we hope you left with more insight on your children and their education here at TCU.

Practical Life materials are still a favorite in the classroom. We added banana slicing, plant polishing, folding, packing a suitcase, and tweezing corn. We also did quite a bit of food preparation, such as making yummy guacamole as part of the North America cultural unit and making soup for the Harvest Meal. All children got a chance to contribute and have fun.

Beginning in December, we will be having individual snack, instead of group snack. This allows us to have a longer work period, which is what we strive for in a Montessori classroom. Each child will get their own snack and clean up after themselves. This provides a huge boost of self confidence and independence.

Students are improving their knowledge of quantity, sequence and mathematical symbol recognition. Some are working on odd and even numbers, while others are working on the bead stair. Each child is working at th
eir own pace.

All students are working on beginning letter sounds, blending, and 3 letter word building. They are also learning about what objects don't belong, matching and sorting. We will soon be starting opposites and parquetry. For National Readers Week we had a good time drinking warm tea in our pajamas, creating our own storybook and bookmarks. Making a collaborative classroom book helped us to work on team building skills as well as creativity. We will laminate the book and place it by the sign in sheet so it can be seen by all.

We want to welcome two new students into our classroom: Aaliyah and Henry. We look forward to welcoming them into our community. Please remember that we have weekly sharing day and please label your item. Thank you to Eisa Trave's family for donating rainy day items.

Ms Tiffani & Mr Danilo

Primary 3
Dear Primary 3 Families,

We have been exploring Alameda by going on various walking fieldtrips around the neighborhood. We've been to Crab Cove, the West End Library, the Farmers Market on Webster and Haight St. and the Fire Station on Pacific Avenue! The fire fighters showed us their fire station and even let us hop on their fire engines! We are thinking about where to go next, so if you have any suggestion, please let us know!

Practical Life works were abound in preparation for the Harvest Meal. In the classroom, we sliced cheese and served the pieces to our friends, by washing our hands, slicing the cheese, and offering a slice of cheese to a friend. Polite words are exchanged like "Please," "Thank you" and "You're welcome."  It is very sweet to see in action. Children also enjoy the s oap grating work.

The children are still making and building their own designs with Sensorial materials, for space rockets, houses and railroads using the brown prisms, pink cubes and red rods. These materials help them to use their creative imagination and organization skills.

We are continuing to work on and give lessons with the Teen Board, the Ten Board, and the Addition Strip Board. Students are expanding their mathematical understanding with "Counting on."

We celebrated National Reader's Week in many ways! When we visited the library early last week, the local librarian sang songs and read stories like "Bark, George" by Jules Feiffer, "The Nuts Keep Rolling" by Eric Litwin, "Is That Wise Pig?" by Jan Thomas, and "The Little Red Hen (makes pizza) by Philemon Sturges.  In the classroom, we made bookmarks and continued creating our own Temperate Forest animal books. We are still learning the letter sounds, doing  word building, working on blending and reading sentences (especially with the older children).

The students had a wonderful time cracking open a big pumpkin and exploring all its gooey insides. It was a lively tactile experience full of scientific discussion.

Last month, we continued the Temperate Forest Animals of North America lessons. The afternoon children have started making animal booklets in which they trace and color pictures and trace the name of the animals. Next month we will start the Tropical Rainforest Biomes of North America, learning a whole new set of animals. If you have any books, figurines, work activities, or have traveled to the Tropical Rainforest and would like to bring photographs in with your child to share, please do! We will be studying animals such as the red-eyed tree frog, strawberry poison dart frog, margay, blue hairstreak butterfly,short-tailed leaf-nosed bat, red backed squirrel monkey, fire head, royal flycatcher, golden frog, kinkajou, quetzal, just to name a few. 

We would greatly appreciate donations of the following materials for our classroom: tracing paper and glue sticks. We also need someone to help us cut a 5x5 metal inset paper. If you can help us do this, please let us know.  BIG "THANK YOU!"s go out to:  The Abraham family for making sure our wash clothes are clean and ready to use every week! Kristen Sink for deep cleaning our classroom! And to Kristen and Kaycee for donating cursive moveable alphabets to our classroom! Thank you to Karly Kaufman for organizing our fire station visit, Emma Silcox, Karly Kaufman, and Juliana Baldo for the cheese stick donations! Natasha Lauritsen for the door knob activity donation! Agnieszka Krawczuk for her pumpkin soup recipe! Yes, we have amazing parents! Thank you all!

We have started practicing singing and choreography for the Winterfest Performance in December. Can you please help your child learn the lyrics to these three songs:  "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles, "What I am" by Will.I.Am, and "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake.  Thank you for all that you do.

Thank you!
Nina and Dawn

Elementary - MESA

Greetings MESA Parents,

The Fall Festival took place earlier this month and we had so much fun with the petting zoo, art station and games. Elementary students had a blast and took an active part restoring the environment afterwards. Children were so busy with the Harvest Meal preparations. Students worked with Kwang where they cooked Tum Yum soup. They also had a chance to visit the Elks lodge the day of the event to decorate it. They had so much fun and did a great job creating beautiful posters with the help of Jason Toro. Thank you Jason!

Studying the continent of North America was interesting. The older students worked on their country report and had a good experience visiting the local library, borrowing books to help them in their research. We greatly appreciate a presentation by Yessica Sifuentes, about various Native American cultures and costumes. Thank you Yessica!  The students had a chance to visit Rhythmix Cultural Works and enjoyed the Percussion Ensemble called Crosspulse . They also had a chance to participate and ask questions.

Students enjoy Practical Life works such as taking  turns caring for our pet tortoise and preparing snacks everyday. Cooking projects occur every Friday. The students also enjoy taking responsibility for caring for our environment and the plants outside and inside the classroom.

Working on the 3D volcanos was a great experience for the students. They were able to see how an eruption happens. They made sure to document it as a science work. We'll be studying and researching more about this topic in the coming months.

Some of the students were introduced to an amazing math material, Racks & Tubes which is used for long division. The children are so excited and enjoy practicing it.

A special "Thank you" goes out to Marian Ross for sharing an air filter that helped us immensely during the smokey weather that we had due to the California fires, to Jaison Toro for his time and effort working on the Harvest Meall posters with our students, to Yessica Sifuentes for her wonderful presentation and to all our parents for the help and the support that they provide to our class. Please see me if you are able to assist with obtaining Montessori material and class supplies.

Thank you,
Fatma, Kwang and Frantz

Pacific Campus

Toddler 1
Dear Toddler 1 Families,
Once more, we have had a great month. We have been working on various Practical Life skills, such as cleaning the table, working with pegs, completing dressing frames, practicing put and takes and creating flower arrangements. Students have made advances in their pouring activities and basic spooning, and cleaning the glass sliding door.  

Students are improving their work with the Sensorial materials like the pink tower, brown stairs, 3 basic shapes, 3D shapes, color tablets, knobbed cylinders, mystery bag and many other shapes found in their immediate environment. The children are using their language skills to name objects in their environment as well as discussing pictures from our books. Currently, we are working on naming and distinguishing between living and the nonliving things. They are talking about real life daily experiences. For example, as we are watching the fire trucks and garbage trucks we talk about the names of the trucks.

Grace & Courtesy skills are practiced every single day in some way or another through actions or words or sometimes even by modeling by the teacher. We talk about the appropriate times to use words like "Please," "Sorry:" and "Thank-you" especially when we are eating snack or lunch and also when playing outside. Inside the class, for example, we practice sitting in a circle and waiting patiently for a friend to finish a work and join us. We also encourage the children to talk about their siblings or a pet if they have one at home etc. It makes them smile and they participate in the group works with great enthusiasm!

The students have been enjoying watering the front yard of the school daily and have learned how to hold the hose by themselves to water the plants. We talk about different flowers and leaves and their shapes and sizes. We also observe tiny insects and snails and reinforce the names of these living things in relevant picture books later. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have a real experience duplicated in a particular book!  Students enjoy learning and singing songs related to a particular animal or plant that they recently encountered in our garden activities. Your children are happy and safe with us��
Thank you,
Monaz, Nubia, Zoe and Raina

Pre-Primary 1

Hello Parents,
Thank you to everyone who was able to meet with me for Parent/Teacher Conferences! The month of November, although short, was a busy one! We enjoyed Pajama Days, National Young Reader's Week, the Food Drive, and the Harvest Meal. Thank you for attending!

The children continue to develop their pincer grasp with various Practical Life materials. This will lend towards proper pencil control later on for handwriting. Activities include clothespins, nuts & bolts, spooning a
nd tonging.

The students are improving their pre-reading language skills by following from left to right and top to
bottom to prepare for reading. They do so with works like picture-to-picture matching, parts-to-whole picture formation, and the cubes and cards activity.

For enrichment, we have started reading the following books in class: "The Kissing Hand," by Audrey Penn, "The Family Book," by Todd Parr, "Skip Through The Seasons," by Stella Blackstone and Maria Carluccia and "Children Around The World," by Donata Montanari. I think all the students enjoy them.

Classroom Needs:

We would greatly appreciate any gently used blankets and tapestries to help create a child's comfort zone or a 'chill space' for use on an as-needed basis. This helps a child to develop their sense of self-regulation. When one is upset, angry or sad, one can choose to remove oneself from the rest of the class for a moment to breathe and to refocus. A teacher is always available to help facilitate this as a calm and safe space for the child to talk  with a teacher or to just be alone for a moment.

Thank you,
Steph and Cherefah
Encinal Campus

Primary 1

Autumn Greetings Primary 1 Families,

The children have been learning all about the season of Autumn. We have been reading several books about the Fall and learning why leaves change colors during this beautiful season.  We will be taking a nature walk to look at all of the beautiful colors around us. We will also do a leaf hunt where we will pick up Fall leaves to later observe carefully in our classroom. The children are making leaf rubbing books and developing their concentration and fine motor with the leaf poking work. 

In preparation for the creation of our Harvest Meal soup, we read the story "Stone Soup" and talked about how important it is to give to others. We came to the conclusion that if we could all share or give a little bit of what we have then there would be enough for everyone. We talked about the creation of our classroom "Friendship Soup" where we all contributed something. We also had a circle conversation about helping others and being thankful. We made a sign asking our families to help fill up our food bin for the Food Drive, and the children were so happy to see that our conversation and our sign really worked! We filled up our food bin! Thank You!!! 

Students are working on number recognition with the sand paper numerals. The children trace the number and say it out loud so that it can be recognized by sight. We have also been working on some Fall themed math where we put the correct number of leaves on a picture of a tree with a numeral on it and a another work where they have to count the number of Fall items and place a clothespin on the correct number symbol. Some children are working on the teen board where they touch and count the beads to learn the quantity and can even match them to the correct symbol. This helps them to associate the quantity to the appropriate symbol. 

Some children have been working on their handwriting with the metal insets. These different shaped insets help the children to develop the strokes needed to write the letters in the alphabet, as well as developing hand-eye coordination and the fine motor skill needed for handwriting. We continue to use the chalk board to practice our writing of numbers and letters. The children are working on the mastery of their letter sounds everyday. Some children have taken their sound cards home and mastered all of their sounds and will begin work on reading! They are practicing their sounds by using the sand paper letters, where they trace the sound and say the name of the sound. We play a  game where we learn three sounds at a time. We are also using objects and pictures of different things that start with that letter sound.

Students love to care for their environment by taking care of our plants. We have been cutting the dead leaves off and watering plants daily. The children strengthen their arm, wrist, hand, and finger movements daily with many different works. These works include sewing, flower arranging and transferring objects with a spoon or tongs.

During morning French circle with Ms. Emma we are learning the French words for the days of the week and numbers. We are also learning and practicing French songs.   Thank You to everyone who contributed to our Friendship Soup and to our holiday Food Drive!

Thank you!
Mari and Emma

Primary 2

Dear Primary 2 Parents,

"One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child".

Happy Autumn! Through and since the Parent/Teacher conferences we have learned so much about the unique developmental needs of your children and have modified our classroom arrangement and materials accordingly.  It has indeed been a pleasure to work with your children. Our ongoing focus is to add more complex exercises in the Practical Life works related to fine motor skills, gross motor skills and care for the environment. These activities include sweeping dry leaves, polishing the pumpkin, scooping pumpkins from the water etc. These exercises have become some of the children's favorites. They assist in building concentration skills, which is the key to developing the focus required for academic learning.

Children are also provided with various opportunities to prepare food like melon balling, apple and banana slicing. They are then able to share their produce with their classmates. These exercises are wonderful, not only for providing practice in complex multi-step processes, but also to help foster a sense of community in our class and model Grace and Courtesy. We encourage you to provide them with these opportunities at home too. Our flower arranging work is a big hit. Other than that, every child is actively participating in taking care of our plants by watering them, cutting dead leaves and delicately cleaning each leaf.

Children explored their outside environment and created a sensorial bin depicting the Fall season. Each child was provided the opportunity to add something from nature to the bin. This month we also learned more about the Geometry Cabinet (names of shapes, super-imposing the inset on the different sets of Geometry Cards and finding a match).

Several students are working in on their teens book which involves many skills including moving from concrete to abstract mathematical thinking. The children first create teen numbers using bead quantities and then pair them with numeral cards on the teen board. This pairs the concrete quantity with the abstract idea of "number." They reinforce this learning on paper by coloring the accurate number of beads and practice writing the correct number. This work also helps to increase focus and attention span - it requires considerable patience to complete an entire "book of teens". Other children are learning about the quantities and their symbols by sorting the pumpkins, sand paper numbers and the memory game.

This month, we are explored a different set of individual letter sounds by using the Sand Paper Letters (I, p, r, s) and object hunting. This heightens awareness of these four sounds in the various words and object names and prepares them for writing and reading through tracing these letter shapes. We are also practicing the formation of these letter sounds and shapes using the Sand Tray and the Green Boards (tracing letters on a blackboard).

As part of the North American cultural unit, the children learned about the animals found on that continent during circle time and also by working with the 3- part cards. This month we sang the Continents Song and the Days of the Week song and children were given a chance to sing and introduce their own favorite songs to their friends during circle. We have also started practicing a song for the upcoming Winterfest Performance in December.

Every child is given a chance to share personal objects during Show and Tell day (Wednesday) and this has been a fun part of our day. After circle and sharing, the Silence Game helps children develop control over their bodies and instills a sense of peace in each child to help facilitate concentration after fun group time. We were so happy to see everyone at the Harvest Meal!

Hurma and Katsuko

With Steve Slater

The children are really enjoying their music time at all of the campuses.  The students are getting to know Jenn and I, and therefore feeling more comfortable participating in the songs.  They are also getting to know the songs, which is really fun to watch.  They are singing along, acting out the movements and having a really great time in general.

The MESA music class is going very well.  This past month, the students received manuscript note books (music paper), as well as music theory workbooks.  They have begun learning to read and write notes! 
It's great fun and kind of like learning a secret language.  We have also started to learn our song for the Winterfest Performance. The students should have copies of the chords and lyrics.  They all know their parts and you should be hearing them practice after school and on the weekends.  Please make sure they are spending a little time each week working on their instruments.  

Thank you,


Let Your Voice Be Heard
The City of Alameda receives federal and other funds each year for housing, community development and social service projects. The City of Alameda wants you to have a voice in how this money is invested.
We encourage you to take the time to complete this survey so that the Social Service Human Relations Board and City of Alameda can make informed decisions and recommendations that include projects and programs that Alamedans believe to be most important.
Information collected by this survey will be useful for the City of Alameda, the Alameda Unified School District and Alameda social services agencies as we plan for the future of Alameda.
Please assist us by completing this survey. The Survey Closes MidnightMonday, December 11th.    
Click Here to Take Survey  

Library Wish List
We are hoping for donations to help grow the libraries at all 3 Child Unique campuses to include more diverse and inclusive books for students of all backgrounds.

If you're able, please click on this link to see our library wish list. You can purchase books directly through this Amazon link and they will get shipped right to the Taylor campus if you select "The Child Unique Montessori School's Gift Registry Address." The donations will be divided up among all 3 sites (unless you specify you'd like a book to go to a specific campus's library). I've also included several books requested by the art teacher.  And remember - all donations are tax-deductible. 

Here's the link again, just in case:

If there is a book you'd like to donate that isn't on the list, please feel free to purchase and send/drop off. We are happy for anyone to contribute whatever they can and are able to.

Thanks so much,
Hannah Thompson
Parent Library Committee

Winterfest!  Cookie Exchange, Performance and Book Fair
Bring one dozen cookies and leave with a dozen cookies!  The children will perform and books will be set up at each campus during Winterfest with books available to purchase in person.  
Remember, the day of each campus Winterfest is a Minimum Day for that campus.  Please pick up your child by 2:30 on the day of your campus Winterfest.
Changes to Winterfest Schedule and Minimum Days
Please be aware that we have made a change to the Pacific Campus Winterfest Schedule.  We are now holding the Pacific Campus Winterfest on Wednesday, December 13th at 5:30 pm.  The Encinal and Taylor schedules will not change. 
Pacific Campus:  Wednesday, Dec. 13, 5:30 pm - Minimum Day, No Daycare at Pacific after 2:30 pm
Encinal CampusWednesday, Dec. 13, 6:15 pm - Minimum Day, No Daycare at Encinal  after 2:30 pm
Taylor Campus: Thursday, December 14th, Toddlers at 5:30 pm, All other classes at 6:15pm - Minimum Day, No Daycare at Taylor after 2:30 pm
ATTENTION: Calendar Change 
Friday, December 15th will be a Minimum Day at 2:30 pm for the entire school due to Staff Development.  No Daycare after 2:30 pm. 

Donation Request for LCD projector
Is anyone willing to part with or donate a LED or LCD projector for staff use? Something like a Miroir -Element DLP Projector, Tiptiper LED Projector or an Epson SVGA 3LCD projector

Committee News:
If you are interested in being our chair for this wonderful committee, please write the office at  [email protected]

Raise Money for the School with Labels!
We would love to reduce our Lost and Found items! Order labels through Mabel's Labels and it will raise money for the school. 

Thank you's
Thank you so much to all of the parents who assisted with time and donations for the Fall Festival and Harvest Meal and for all the assistance with class field trips and class presentations. You are TCU and MESA and we would be nothing without our community. YOU ROCK! Thank you to Emmanuel Enyinwa for the beautiful Harvest Meal photos.