Volume 1, Issue 3 February 2015
Message from Matt Simberg, M.Ed
Before we know it we are going to be a bigger school. This means more families, greater dynamics and opportunities for everyone to grow and be fulfilled within our community. In preparation for this growth I would like to expand our horizons as a school in a way that is congruent with strengthening our foundation.
Montessori Seeds of Education's mission statement
is the guiding light of our culture. If you do not know it, please at least familiarize yourself with it. This mission statement is not long or difficult to memorize. It is also a great conversation piece when talking about our school to others. Furthermore, if you take a little time to understand how to describe
mindfulness, the essence of collaboration, and the notion that authenticity is a journey with integrity,
then you'll already be able to come up with examples of how our school fulfills our mission for your family.
These are the bullet points and the back bone which I encourage you to speak of when people who are curious ask you about our school or when you just feel inspired to share with someone. You are the school's greatest advocate and we encourage you to be a part of everything that you would like to be as a proponent for your children's education and your participation in your family's experience of that education.
To nurture the spirit of our culture there is something that I would like to request from each and every one of you, the parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Montessori Seeds of Education needs, at the very least, 100% participation from all parents. We will be creating an internal network. This network will first include the job or career of each and every parent, and this is only shared with the parents in our community. We also need to know your interests and hobbies. Next, we need to know what you might be willing to share in the classroom. Or, maybe you do something where a few children can experience a going-out. Please feel free to mention any and everything you feel comfortable sharing, even if you think it is silly or pointless.
With the data that we collect, sooner rather than later, we will then compile a matrix and place it on a private page on our website, which will only be accessible to you. Who knows, there might even be parents with similar interests who never knew it and this can create bonding experiences that would not have normally been a reality.
Yes we are all busy, but Montessori Seeds of Education wants everyone to talk with each other. Don't put yourself on an island; but rather join us on the mainland. Our mission statement is our sun, we have to actively part
icipate in this symbiotic relationship.
Thank you for all that you h
ave been a part of this year. We are more than half way through the school year. Let's keep moving forward as a unified community, strengthening our culture and lay the rest of the foundation for the families who will be joining us!
by Brin B
love books that ignite interest and reconnects the children with the lessons in new ways.
The other day I was reading a book about snakes.
When the children learned that some snakes layed between 2-100 eggs, they decided to count to 100.
hey did not stop there; they announced that they would count to 9,999! After counting out loud past 1000, they realized it wasn't what they really wanted to do.
I reminded them that we had numbers up to 9,999 in the classroom. Suddenly, it was exciting to find and lay out the bank game numbers!
For Presidents' Day I read several books about coins, and the President. The conversations and work that rippled out from these story times created new flames of passion for their lessons.
Books based in reality, that open up the child to new ideas or enhance what they already know are an important part of early childhood education. I have listed a few books here and tried to post photos of books that are read in the Casa. (B
e sure to look for them a
nd borrow them from your local library.)
The Primary class also enjoyed celebrating the Chinese New Year. The students made fans, and learned a Chinese fan dance.
Finally, gardening season has started in the primary classroom!
We recently received confirmation that MSOE will have a plot in the Community Garden at Merchantville Community Park. In preparation, the children planted seeds, and have been tending to them in hopes to replant in a couple of months. A few of the children also built a birdhouse for the new garden!
Encouraging Elementary Insights
by Matt Simberg, M.Ed.
As you all know, the elementary classroom is filled with materials and opportunities to engage in activities individually or in a group. The guide regularly observes, noticing what lessons the child is ready for next, being aware of the difficulty level of current and future lessons. The guide ensures that the child understands a purpose for completing the activity, not that the guide is imposing his/her will simply because the guide knows there is a purpose that the child does not yet see.
If the child is mature enough, he/she might do the work anyway, because he/she trusts the guide, and then the child still may or may not realize the purpose of it after the fact. As adults, we have probably had one experience where we appreciated the journey more than the actual end result.
In John R. Snyder's new book "Tending the Light," he states that "Csikszentmihalyi, Montessori, Pink and Lev Vygotsky all agree that the greatest developmental aid we can give our children is to help them find meaningful things to do that are not too easy and not too hard (Snyder,97)." Purpose is the third ingredient. "To Pink, purpose means knowing that one's work contributes to something of value beyond oneself. Purpose leads us to look for flow in areas where we would not otherwise venture (Snyder, 98).
The Montessori elementary classroom is the perfect place for children to learn with purpose (Snyder, 99)." We can think of activities in the classroom and at home that foster and encourage opportunities for children to participate in activities which can give them the awareness of these ingredients. Offering more possibilities for flow experiences at this age can lead to a greater sense of autonomy and possibly interdependence as the child gets older. With all of the distractions at home and in the world, now it is vital to present ideas and opportunities to our children. John Snyder offers many great ideas.
Click here to view a guide for UPPER elementary parents.
Taking these suggestions into consideration can really aid in the well-rounded experience of your child's education.
MSOE School Handbook
First, thank you for your patience in waiting to receive the long awaited parent handbook. As MSOE continues to evolve as an institution and grow as a community, we will be updating and modifying it for the following school year and every school year thereafter. We decided to send the handbook as a link first. If you wish to receive a hard copy, please request one from the school office.
MSOE Facebook Page
In case you were not aware, we have a Facebook page! We are using Facebook as another avenue to share updates and happenings at Montessori Seeds of Education. It is also being used to hopefully inspire others and get the word out about our school.
resently, we have 104 likes, which is very good, for the short amount of time that it has been up and running. I would like to request that, if you have not done so already, please like our page and share it with family and friends to do the same. The more likes we have, the wider the scope of our feed's reach.
and click on the Facebook icon at the top right corner, or if you are viewing our mobile friendly site, it is at the bottom of the menu, and then click the like button on our Facebook page.
Even more helpful than liking our page, we ask parents to give us 5 stars and write a positive review for our school on Facebook and any other sites including Google+, Google Maps, etc... Please continue to spread the word on and offline. Thank you so much for your support and willingness to contribute in ways such as this!
In Our Next Issue
- Administration Update
- Classroom Updates
Matthew Simberg, M.Ed.
Montessori Seeds of Education