V olume 4, Issue 2 | October 2017
Calendar Highlights

Here are some upcoming important dates. 
  • November  20th - Wellness Overview, 7:30pm Virtua Center for Health Fitness, Click here to RSVP
  • November 22nd - Half Day, Aftercare IS provided
  • November 22nd - Thanksgiving Feast
  • November 23-24th - No School - Thanksgiving.
Click Here for our Google Calendar.
Message from Matt Simberg, M.Ed.
 
Dear Parents,

I hope the month of October has gone well for all of you. It has been a very good, busy and productive month at MSOE. We have a new toddler and elementary student. There were several birthday celebrations inside and outside of school for staff and children. Ms. Jamie has kicked off snack preparation with the Primary students. I learned a lot on my short trip to St. Louis through the Independent School Management Organization. Also, I have been working really hard on structuring a deal for a property for MSOE. If that was not enough, we also were consulted by my trainer, which was both a really good personal and professional experience for me. 

With regards to the property, I know that I have been silent about what has been happening. I also know that there have been some rumblings about the community wondering what is going on. Even though I am working hard on it, there are not many specifics to share yet. Although, I can tell you, I have at least four meetings this first week in November. To the best of my understanding I'll know after next week if we will be able to procure this property. No one wants to share good news and details about this more than I do. As you also may know, I don't want to get our hopes up. So, I hope this information serves as a good perspective for you to understand where I am coming from. If something good and definite happens, I will let you all know sooner rather than later. Also, don't worry, we are not going anywhere for this school year, that is definite. I hope to have good news for all of us soon!

Our School, Primary and Elementary Programs were consulted by AMI in the middle of October for our AMI accreditation as a school. It was a great experience for me and for the school. I am glad we went through the process. Upon talking with the consultant, who also trained me to be an elementary teacher, I told her why this process was important to me. I shared with her that I know what it takes to have their stamp of approval and that stamp is important to me in so far as it is a symbol of my commitment to the integrity of our programs. She was pleased with our school, Carl and myself and how we run everything. Approval is not an instantaneous process as we wait for final and official approvals from AMI. I expect to have more details for you during the next newsletter, but things are looking good.

Receiving our accreditation and purchasing a new property are both huge steps on our journey towards continuing to accomplish our mission, which is to provide a mindful, collaborative and authentic Montessori experience for families. We appreciate all the support we have received since day one and are excited about what the future holds for MSOE. 
 


Sincerely,


Matthew Simberg, M.Ed.
Head of School
 
Closed Facebook Group

In an effort to continue ways to make collaboration easier, we will be starting a closed MSOE Parent FB Group so that parents can connect and collaborate. As soon as it is officially up we will invite all parents to join us and participate. 

Toddler Update

Dear Parents,
 
The toddlers had one fun filled month of October! We were very busy! We have been learning about the season of fall and the meaning of Harvest! We went on our Fall Nature Walk and the children collected different kinds and colors of leaves, acorns, pine needles and pine cones that had fallen from the trees.  The children had so much fun!
 
Pumpkins, pumpkins and more pumpkins! Our Art Area included sponge painting pumpkins, gluing paper pumpkins and tracing pumpkins using dot markers. Our Practical Life Area included Pumpkin Scrubbing which was well liked by all, our toddlers love any work that includes water! One of our Sensorial Activities included pumpkin seed tasting. The children made them themselves, they loved scooping the seeds out of the pumpkin and mixing the ingredients!  
 
Thank you to those of you who attended our first Toddler Collaboration Night on October 19th! I was pleased that you had a chance to meet your fellow toddler parents and I thought we had a great discussion with many questions and plenty of laughs! As I mentioned that night, I would like to hear about what you would be interested in discussing at our next Collaboration Night (date TBA) Please email me any of your thoughts.  
 
I enjoyed meeting with you to discuss your child's progress during Parent/Teacher Conferences. Please know that my door is always open, should you have any questions or concerns regarding your child, please feel free to e-mail me or contact me by phone, which ever is more convenient for you.
 
Just a couple of reminders:
  1. Please label anything that belongs to your child with their name. 
  2. Fall brings cooler weather, so please make sure that your child is dressed appropriately, as we go outside everyday for our daily walks and that the clothes in their box is weather appropriate.

Wishing the happiest of birthdays to the following toddlers:

Evie          October 31st

 
I'm looking forward to November, which will be another busy month for the toddlers! We will be learning about the meaning of Thanksgiving and what it means to be thankful. We will be celebrating with our Thanksgiving Feast! 

 
Sincerely,
Ms. Chris


Primary Update

Dear Primary Parents,

I cannot believe that October has flown by so quickly! Ms. Anne and I enjoyed speaking with you during conferences and look forward to further conversations about the children's growth and success. During these past two months, we have gotten to know the children better and they have proven to be a charming and exuberant group!

I have many highlights to share from October. The "Museum Activity" provided the children with an opportunity to share their personal experiences while working on building vocabulary and verbal/speaking skills. It has been great to see them communicating so effectively with one another. We also started food preparation activities with Ms. Jamie. 

She teaches the children about nutritious foods while helping to support functional independence through work with the hands.  Everyone took turns portioning, cutting, pealing, mashing and preparing delicious snacks for their classmates. I would say we have some very skilled young chefs in the class!

Last but not least, we ended the month with a leaf walk. Our class walked around the neighborhood and searched for treasures in nature. The fall foliage was the perfect backdrop for this activity as there were many different trees and animals to observe. The children made connections about the changing of the seasons while singing songs and sharing the treasures they found.

Ms. Anne and I look forward to November as we will continue to make connections and share with one another!
 
Many thanks for all your support,

Mr. Carl and Ms. Anne



Elementary Update
   
Order and orientation are part of the elementary child's characteristics and tendencies that are nurtured throughout the span between 6 and 12 years old. There are different aspects and ways to look at this and to support the child. When I mention it now, I am talking about their induction into this school year. It takes about 6 weeks for the elementary children to acclimate to each other and the guidelines of the classroom. They need to have a sense of order and structure and they need to feel oriented in order for normalization to occur. 

Normalization is a Montessori term that refers to that point where the children are more interdependent with each other and can be more independent from the Guide. Montessori said that a guide knows that this point is reached when a guide can leave the classroom for a few minutes and the children act as if the guide is still in the classroom. There is another way I have come to notice that lessons are being absorbed by the child.  This is my experience with them outside of the classroom and stories that are shared by their parents. 

I have been to a couple of events since the start of the school year where the children participated. Each time, the children came up to me and shook my hand. Also, at these events, I was in a conversation with an adult and one may have wanted my attention. Instead of interrupting, like this same child or the same children were doing in the classroom, they patiently waited until we acknowledged them. As you have probably ascertained at this point, the education that you are helping to provide for your children is not just about reading, writing and arithmetic, but helping them to positively participate and interact in the world.

This upcoming month the children will be learning and reinforcing many different lessons. Additionally, they will be learning about Native American Indians, and people like Lewis and Clark. While I was in Missouri, I snuck away and visited The Arch. While I was there I picked up a book for children about Lewis and Clark's Expedition and it is the account in their own words. Ms. Jamie will be reading this book to the children once she is finished reading The Indian in the Cupboard which is almost complete. Ms. Jamie has been doing a really good job with this activity. She asks the children to share what they remember from the last session and she allows for children to share their opinion and ideas about what may be happening next. It is a really good activity for them to practice several skills, including listening skills and showing that they are listening, even if they are zoning in and out from time to time. Ms. Jamie reads for approximately 20 to 30 minutes every day after we get back from the park.

I really enjoyed getting to meet with the new parents for conferences. The school year has been off to a really good start. I appreciate everyone's support in educating their children. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or ideas!

-Mr. Matt

Holistic Health & Nutrition with Mrs. Jamie

 
Thank you to all the parents who have been participating in the primary snack program. It has been a huge help! In case you haven't heard from me yet via e-mail, I will keep in contact with you the week before you are scheduled to bring in classroom snack. It will be in that e-mail where I will provide you with requested ingredients for the cooking program. If for any reason your family needs to opt out, please do not hesitate to tell me. It is no problem at all. 

I have to say, I am loving all the nice e-mails from parents who are seeing their children either helping out at home with meal prep or being more adventurous with trying new foods as a result of cooking with me throughout these past three weeks!  

In addition to students meal prepping and eating with me two days of the week, the other three days of the week, students are still eating snack brought in by parents.  

I though it would be helpful if I put together a list of snacks and the amount that is ideal for those other 3 days of the week. 

Some ideas are;

2 bags of pretzels 
2 large containers of blueberries 
1 large bag of apples
1 large container of hummus with a bag of baby carrots
2 bags of clementines
1 large bag of Smart Pop Popcorn 
1 large bag of Veggie Sticks


Just please make sure that any and all food that is brought in does not contain nuts of any kind.

Thank you! 
Jamie Zwier

On Yoga by Ms. Tiff

This month in yoga we continued to explore the concept of mindfulness. We worked on bringing mindfulness to our breath by playing games using straws and pom poms, bubbles, and balloons. We even practiced mindful eating by really paying attention to the taste, texture, and smell of raisins. If your children haven't already explored this with you at home, ask them to show you how to eat a raisin (or a piece of broccoli, toast, etc.) mindfully. They really seemed to enjoy this exercise. 

We also did a mindfulness activity in which the children had to pay close attention to a penny, and then they had to locate their particular penny from a whole group of them. They were all successful and I am hoping that these small activities will help them bring mindfulness to their daily lives. Lastly, we explored the emotion of anger. We practiced some yoga postures and breathing exercises that help us process and release anger from our bodies, We finished that lesson with a guided meditation entitled "Train Your Anger Dragon". This is an exercise that I encourage all of you to read and practice with your children. I have been working on this one personally. I've found that the concept of being in control of our own anger dragons and feeding them what it is they need is extremely empowering. The younger our children are when they can master this skill, the better off we will all be.  

-Ms. Tiff

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