V olume 3, Issue 9 | May/June 2017
Message from Matt Simberg, M.Ed.
 
Dear Parents,

With our 3rd school year coming to a close, I look back with appreciation towards the families and staff for making it another successful and fulfilling year. We are ending the year with 46 children. That is 30 more than we started with 3 years ago. There are almost 15 newly enrolled children for next year. Some of those new children are siblings. It is amazing to think back and remember that just three years ago there were four children in the Primary classroom and twelve in the Elementary classroom. I would not be surprised if we had more new children enroll in the summer.

Even though I am in the classroom 99% of the time, I take a few moments to poke my head in the other classes or look through the window of the doors. Plus, I review Transparent Classroom, at least on a weekly basis. It is so rewarding getting to see some of the work that your children do throughout the year. They have all noticeably grown and matured throughout the year. It is an honor being a part of getting to witness that.

The Seedling Spectacular was an adorable and awesome experience. I mentioned how it is a symbol and a celebration. The Primary children were adorable with the two songs they sang. The elementary children did such a nice job with their solos, the duet, and medley mashup. If you could not tell, the children who read those speeches touched my heart. Aside from a flood of memories, thoughts and feelings that came through me as they were speaking, I also thought of something else that I want to share, which compliments my thoughts about the Seedling Spectacular being a symbol and a celebration. It is my hope that you were watching those soon to be adolescents, listening to them, and besides being impressed, also thinking about your children being in their shoes in a few years sharing their thoughts in their own unique expression from their experience of a Montessori Education. The public speaking, even for their age, was impressive, like they knew what they needed to do and tried their best. I point this out, because it is not necessarily unique to them, but a common trait and experience for a child with an authentic Montessori education. It is an outcome of what happens when their needs, characteristics and tendencies are met properly. This is optimized when there is a collaboration between home and school.

Lastly, I would like to share with you that I am looking forward to next school year for several reasons. We have new and returning families with a projection of fifty something students. We did and tried some things this year that worked and we learned from things that didn't work, which equates to us being able to do even better next school year. Having room parents seems to be working well for us now, so we will stick to that again for next school year. We will have two collaboration nights in the fall and 2 during the second half of the year. For social nights, it seems that most families are better off doing more activities with children, and we will probably offer less adult only nights. Additionally, it seems enough parents only recognize faces and aren't associating names, faces and children who belong to them. To help with this, and continue to build the feeling of community we will be creating a directory for classrooms that will have pictures and names that you will be able to reference. We have other ideas and things to share in the future, but I wanted to get the ball rolling. Please email, call me, or stop by if you have anything that you want to share. MSOE hopes you have a happy and safe summer! We look forward to seeing you in September.



Sincerely,


Matthew Simberg, M.Ed.
Head of School
 
STEM Thank You!

I would like to extend a special thank you to Ms. Anne, Melanie Curtis, Frank Burkheuser, and Walt Aristone. Without them volunteering their time, our STEM Scouts program would not have been possible. They are the reason STEM was able to be such a success. Both the elementary and middle school programs were full and enjoyed by all. MSOE truly appreciates their time and energy put into making these programs a success for the children. 

Sweet Freedom

We have recently partnered with Sweet Freedom in Collingswood because they offer allergen free baked goods, which allow all our students to eat the same snack, specifically during birthday celebrations. They have offered MSOE a 25% discount on all cupcakes, mini cupcakes, cakes etc... when you place an order for parties. They just need 2 days notice and they are closed on Mondays. The manager's name is Jen Kremer. Just mention you are with the Montessori School in Merchantville.

They also extended a 10% discount when our parents visit any of their locations and mention that they are a family of our school.
Toddler Update

Dear Parents,

May was an extremely busy and fun filled time for the toddlers! Our entire curriculum continued to focus on Springtime and its changes. We got to observe the life cycle of five butterflies!  We watched the tiny caterpillars grow ten times their original size, form a chrysalis and finally turn into butterflies which we kept for several days before we released them into nature!  The children were amazed and adorable watching them fly away!

For our food tasting activity we made banana and raspberry smoothies that were delicious and enjoyed by all of our little ones!

Our cooking activities also included making muffins, fruit kabobs, and bagels for our moms and dads!

Springtime is time for gardening, so the toddlers planted zinnia seeds!  They watered their seeds everyday. Within days, the sprouts began to grow and the toddlers thought it was magical! They can't wait to plant them at home! 

In our Language/Science Area the children learned the differences between an Alligator and a Crocodile!  Ask them and they will be able to tell you all about it!

Thank you to our moms and dads for attending our Mother's Day and Father's Day celebrations!  The children worked very hard making your cards, flowers, food and gifts! They especially liked painting the vases and T-shirts. They were so proud and excited to give them to you! They worked so hard practicing singing the songs and did a fabulous job! I hope you enjoyed the celebrations!

I can't believe the year has come to a close already!  It absolutely flew by!  It has truly been a privilege to watch your children learn and grow throughout the year. In September, they came to me as tiny little beings and now, in June they have grown so much both physically and developmentally. It is amazing! 

Thank you for giving me the gift of taking care of your precious little gems! They are all very special, sweet and loving children whom I will greatly miss! Good luck to those who are moving up to Primary and I look forward to next year with my returning toddlers!

It has been a very successful school year, due to the help and support that you have contributed to both our toddler class and MSOE. I feel so blessed to be part of such a special community like our MSOE family!

I am looking forward to another great year next year!

Thank you again for all you do and have a wonderful summer!  

Ms. Chris

Primary Update

What a year we have had!! Continents, artists, world traditions and space filled the year. 

The children enjoyed several dinosaur activities.  This month we also learned about the Japanese artist Hokusai and his love of Mount Fuji and his famous painting, The Great Wave. The extended day children learned about Georgia O'keefe.

We had a history lesson on Sacajawea and how she helped Lewis and Clark find their way to the Pacific.  We also had some continuing lessons on Africa, learned about the native people called Masai and made some African masks.  We introduced the entire class to Ancient Egypt, hieroglyphs and the pyramids. O ur sounds have been covered as have our rote counting to 100!

The Holiday concert, The Seedling Spectacular, Mother's Day and Father's Day were celebrated with some songs and tasty treats. The children participated in many food prep activities.

We wish Ghulam-Abbas well in Indiana at his new Montessori school. We also wish Andrew lots of luck in 1st grade. We hope they come back to visit. 

We are so delighted that Ethan, Brady, Joss and Milo will all be moving up to Elementary. We will miss them in the classroom, but we are so glad that we will still have the opportunity to see them. 

It has been a great pleasure to work with your children. They have all grown so much this year and have learned so many new things.  Have a wonderful, fun, safe and adventurous summer. See you in September!

-Ms. Anne and Ms. Mary

Elementary Update
 
It is time to share one final update for the 2017 - 2018 elementary school year. We are finishing the year with a new nine-year-old student, Berlin Rucker, in the elementary classroom. She and her family have been a wonderful addition to our elementary community. They recently joined us from Canada and will be returning next school year.

The elementary class finished strong again this year. There was minimal "slacking off," just because it is the end of the year. I told the children that the end of the year just means we must do that much more to get ready for next year. They got to work strengthening their foundation from this year and the 6th years eagerly did more focusing on what they needed to do to be prepared for or be more than prepared for next year. I know the elementary parents saw evidence of this in Transparent Classroom. We got to go to the Planetarium at Rowan, Gwenne came in with Rosie, her hen, to share knowledge with us about chickens, and preparing for Father's Day was a fun and good experience for the children too.

Within two weeks, incoming and returning elementary students will receive summer suggestions for parents to do with their children, for children to do on their own (not mandatory) and the summer reading list with assignments, which will be due the Monday after Labor Day that we return from summer vacation. I want to thank everyone for a great year and I hope you have a happy, safe and fun summer!



-Mr. Matt

Little Free Library

Thanks to Mason, our elementary student and with support from his mom, Tiff, our yoga instructor, we will have a Free Little Library at the Merchantville Community Center Park. On May 22nd, they went before the mayor at a town council meeting and requested permission to have a Little Free Library in town. Permission was granted and planning will begin on the design of the library. We will keep you posted so that you can participate in building the library. We welcome appropriate book donations. 
STEM Scouts

Elementary STEM ended the year with a Makey Makey module culminating with the students creating their own "Operation Game." They had to be able to remove the innards of their patient without touching the edges and getting buzzed! Once done, we celebrated the final day with treats and farewells. See you next year!


Middle School STEM Scouts wrapped up the last module focused on Science. Numerous hands-on experiments included inspecting airborne and waterborne specimens, attempting to generate a Cloud Farm, and filtering water collected locally from the Cooper River. At the end of this year's STEM, both the appreciation for STEM principles and the friendships formed were obvious. The Scouts were able to bond over the STEM labs and enjoy learning and working together. Skills of collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity were also more and more evident as the labs progressed.

Be sure to sign up for our STEM Scouts program for the 2017-2018 school year. Click here for details.

Holistic Health & Nutrition with Mrs. Jamie

 
The summer is just about here and it feels like the school year has flown by! It has been a wonderful year and I am so grateful to have gotten to know all of the wonderful families at MSOE. MSOE is truly a wonderful place to be.

If you plan on being outside a lot this summer, which I hope you are, remember that the sun and summer time activities can be very dehydrating to the body. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids. Skip the sugary sports drinks, juices and sodas and replace them with good ol' water. Juices, sodas and sports drinks don't hydrate the body quite like water can. Aim for half your body weight in oz. of water daily. For example, if you weight 200 lbs you should try to drink around 100 oz. of water a day.  Add slices of fresh fruit like pineapple, watermelons or strawberries to your water for a delicious flavor. You can even freeze fruit slices in an ice cube tray for fun and decorative ice cubes. Staying properly hydrated prevents heat related illnesses such as headaches, exhaustion and nausea. This is especially important to be careful for with children & seniors. 

I hope everyone has an enjoyable and safe summer. Stay cool with this healthy and very tasty alternative to ice cream! Enjoy! 

Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream  
Serves 2 

2 Frozen Bananas
1 Frozen Avocado 
1 Tbl. Cocoa Powder 
1 Tbl. Maple Syrup 
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract 
1/8 Tsp. Sea Salt 

Blend frozen bananas, frozen avocado, vanilla, maple syrup and salt in food processor until smooth consistency. Spoon the mixture into a tray and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Place tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Remove from freezer and scoop into bowls. 

Enjoy! 

Calendar Highlights

Here are some upcoming important dates. 
  • June 19th - First day of summer program
  • July 4th - Independence Day
  • August 11th - Last day of summer program
Click Here for our Google Calendar.
 Montessori Seeds of Education | (609) 832-2546 | info@montessoriseeds.com | www.montessoriseeds.org
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