V olume 2, Issue 3 | December 2015
Message from Matt Simberg, M.Ed.
We hope you are enjoying your winter break. I have been grateful for how well the first half or our second year has gone. Looking ahead, I would like to share a couple of changes that we are making for when your children return. We were fortunate enough to have two trained A.M.I. teachers in the Toddler/Primary classroom. This was necessary for so many new students and students who were new to the Montessori pedagogy. Consistency and transparency are especially important for the younger children. To make sure that this happens, I would like to share the following with you.

Originally, Ms. Mary was hired to assist me in the Elementary/Adolescent classroom during the morning. She was gracious enough to temporarily take on the role of helping the Toddler/Primary children to adjust to their new environment and experiences with Ms. Metaxia. As I am sure most of you have come to know, Patty is very capable. She has experience assisting in a Primary classroom and welcomes the experience of working more often and closely with your children and Ms. Metaxia. As of January 4th, Ms. Patty will be staying in the Toddler/Primary classroom assisting Ms. Metaxia. Ms. Mary will be with me in the ElementaryAdolescent classroom in the mornings. Ms. Aubrey will be coming in at 1:00 p.m. to assist with the afternoons and continue in aftercare. The plan is to have Ms. Patty in Primary for the rest of the school year. In the meantime, we are looking for a very capable Primary assistant, Toddler teacher and assistant so that we can open up a dedicated Toddler classroom downstairs in the future.  

I am sure Ms. Mary will be missed in the Toddler/Primary classroom. Yet, MSOE hopes you welcome the change as we do, especially since Patty is here all day.  We look at this as a natural and positive transition in the right direction for our program. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Enjoy the rest of your winter break and may our students and families return rested and ready to finish the school year well! 

Welcome Jack!

We would like to welcome Jack Hess, a new addition to our Toddler Program. We are so excited to see how our school is growing and have even received several applications for Toddler/Primary and Elementary for the 2016-2017 school year. 

Keep the Positive Momentum Going

In the beginning of the school year, we received several positive reviews from parents on either Facebook or GreatSchools.org. These reviews definitely helped us and were seen by prospective parents who mentioned them during tours. We would like to keep the momentum going. If you have not done so, please consider taking 5 minutes to write more reviews on either or both of these sites. 

Click here for our Facebook page.
Toddler/Primary Update

This month in the Toddler/Primary classroom the children studied Van Gogh, discussed short strokes and Van Gogh-style paintings. They identified different types of Van Gogh's work and did matching games. The children made and decorated their own ornaments with salt dough as well. Children worked with spooning larger items, practiced holding a spoon with the ball on it and walking on the line. The children even practiced walking with the beanbag on their heads for balance. We focused on four continents and the types of animals that live in all of those continents. There was also a focus on what kind of weather they're having this time of year. The children practiced sewing and discussed prepositions such as above, below, and next to. They used a brush to paint the letters of the alphabet and continued to work with consonants and vowels. Children worked with phonograms and the long "a" sound. In math, they worked on numbers using vocabulary such as short and long, their comparatives and superlatives. In geometry, they focused on types of triangles and their names. Overall, it was a very creative and productive month.

Elementary/Adolescent Update

I remember giving a sentence analysis lesson to one student who was usually blasé about the subject, and he announced, "I'm finally getting it!" Hearing that is rewarding when I'm giving a lesson for the first or even second time. It's always a magical moment when the light bulb goes off and they get it, which has happened several times during the course of this month. It's not uncommon for that to happen after the children have had a chance to settle down and repeat their work. If you look at all the examples of work we have touched upon, and it's not even everything that the children have done, the information seems to get lost and then I get to revisit it with the child. After a few times, they get it and are ready to move on. It's a very rewarding experience for both of us. This time of year is one of my favorite, academically, to experience with the elementary/adolescent children.

Between everyday school work, Thanksgiving, Birthday, and Holiday celebrations, the end of November and the month of December went by like the blink of an eye. The elementary classroom was buzzing with excitement throughout the whole month.  A lot of good work was accomplished, and as always, a variety at that. The children got to work on things in math from basic operations to word problems, understanding standard, expanded and scientific notation, every aspect of fractions, and algebra. In Geometry we touched on things like different kinds of lines, parts of a circle, perimeter and area of different shapes as well as congruence, similarity, equivalence, angles, and their parts. For Geography we started learning about ocean currents, wind moves the surface and things on the surface of the water, land acts as an obstacle, warm water rises and cold water sinks, as well as mixing and separating solids with sand and iron filings which especially the younger children enjoyed. For Biology, we reinforced parts and functions of the root, stem, seed, leaf and flower, as well as characteristics of vertebrates and invertebrates. Language was varied in the lessons given too. Children learned more about parts of speech, sentence analysis including direct object, indirect object, and a little bit of adverbial modifiers. I also introduced comparative and superlative adjectives to the younger students.  Most of the students had lessons and follow up work with plural, possessive nouns and contractions. The older students started getting to the meat of their research in preparation for writing their position papers for the MMUN. Additionally, I started preparing the older students for standardized test taking. It's been an exciting and busy first half of the school year. The second half is just around the corner. Again, it has been a successful and exciting beginning to our school year and I look forward to the experiences I will have with your children in the coming months. 

Going-Outs and Coming Ins

For the winter and spring there are some things I would like to see the children get the chance to participate more in. For starters, I'd like to have more going-outs for the Elementary and Adolescent children in general. This can be trips to the museum, local, family or friend's business. Parents are also welcome to come in and share any expertise that they think some of the children might be interested in.  Going-Outs and Coming-Ins are an important component to the elementary and adolescent program.  So far the children had a  going-out to the Camden Water Treatment Plant and to Ms. Nicole's for a Reptile exhibit. They also went to Moorestown Dental Professionals to rake leaves for their MMUN trip. Mr. Morfit spent an afternoon with some children building a sculpture outside.  The children really enjoyed it. We welcome parents who are willing to give their time and share their talents with the children. Please click here and fill out the form if you are interested in volunteering.

 Montessori Seeds of Education | (609) 832-2546 | info@montessoriseeds.com | www.montessoriseeds.com