V olume 4, Issue 3 | November 2017
Calendar Highlights

Here are some upcoming important dates. 
  • December 21 - Winter Concert 6:30pm
  • December 22 - 12pm dismissal; aftercare is provided
  • December 25-January 2 - No school for Winter Break
Click Here for our Google Calendar.
Message from Matt Simberg, M.Ed.
Dear Parents,

We are transitioning from a time of reflection on what we are thankful for and what is important to us, to a time of giving. MSOE was so fortunate to experience such an impactful Thanksgiving celebration at the school. The event seemed so seamless and that was thanks to the staff, all of the parents who contributed items and the parents who were able to give of their time and help in the kitchen for what truly was a feast. Not that it was unexpected, but it is also worth mentioning how wonderful and well behaved all the children were. So reserved and well behaved that several parents commented on how impressive it all was. Before eating together, the children all patiently waited for me to give a little speech about the past, what Thanksgiving meant and how important it is to understand our history and appreciate what people before us went through and go through so that we could all be here together and enjoy that experience. I did my best to speak to all levels throughout my talk and my heart was warmed watching them looking up at me as I moved from spot to spot while it seemed like they were wondering what I was going to say next and probably, "okay when can we start eating."

With regards to the spirit of giving, I just want to touch on a couple of topics. A few parents have asked if the classrooms will have a giving tree or something of the like. The fact that parents wanted to know that is very much appreciated. To that end we will create a google spreadsheet for each classroom over the next week with requested items. If parents choose to do that it is nice to know that we have that option.

On a similar note of giving, part of a Montessori education is introducing ideas for the children to give back to the community or others who are far. There is so much value in this. It is something that I have very much been wanting to do and was able to do for children in Haiti during our first year of operation. A few years ago I made a connection with someone through the Montessori Model United Nations. Part of this person's mission is to help provide food and education to children who are starving or can't make it to school. He has now been working with children and adults to help these children in eleven different countries. Another idea of this experience is to have the elementary children interact with them through letters and skype via computers that my contact has donated to some of them and their very small schools. We are in talks to figure out ways to work with Montessori Elementary children to learn how to be entrepreneurs and give back through the money that they make via their small or possibly large and lucrative businesses. 

Part of our talks are leading to how MSOE can be the first to initiate such a task and then replicate it to other Montessori schools. One simple idea that he has is to see if children will be willing to donate a dollar a month of their "allowance." This is in the early stages of its development for MSOE, but it is an exciting opportunity, and I thought it would be nice to share it with you under the possibility that some of you might have some ideas or would like to participate somehow.

In conclusion, I have a few other things to note. We are looking forward to kicking off our MSOE Facebook Group this coming month. Our Winter Concert will be taking place on December 21st at 6:30 p.m. We will be rescheduling our first Primary Collaboration night for January 4th. In the next newsletter we will announce when and where the next social event will be in January. MSOE is looking forward to the month of December, all it has to offer and what we will be sharing to recap that month.


Matthew Simberg, M.Ed.
Head of School
Toddler Update

The toddlers had so much fun this month! We started the month off continuing to talk about the changes that happen during the Fall. Our Language Area included work where we learned the different kinds of leaves and what they look like. In the Art Area we used tissue paper gluing collage leaf work, sponge painting leaves, as well as plenty of turkey artwork. Our Practical Life Area included  spooning/pouring  acorns. Our Math Area was filled with fall things that included counting leaves and 1-1 Correlation using leaves!  
Our Circle discussions were centered around what it means to be thankful and why we celebrate Thanksgiving. Our Food tasting was really exciting for our class because they made it themselves! We made homemade cranberry sauce that we shared with the whole school at our Feast! It was a big hit with the toddlers and I think everyone else enjoyed it too! Speaking of our Feast, thank you so much for your contributions; everything was delicious and the toddlers had a great time celebrating with the rest of the MSOE students. A special thank you goes out to our parents who came in to help serve the food! We appreciate your time and dedication to our school!
Just a little reminder, as the weather becomes cooler, to make sure that your children are dressed warm everyday, as we will continue to go outside for our daily walks. That being said, some toddlers are coming to school wearing onesies, please send your child to school wearing an undershirt instead, or even just a light sweater. Also, please remember to check your child's backpack everyday and take out any dirty clothes and artwork.
We send Happy Birthday Wishes to Morgan who turned 2 years old on November 5th!
We are really looking forward to the Holiday Season and have already started practicing for our Holiday Program! I look forward to seeing you all then! - Ms. Chris

Thanksgiving Feast Video

Erika Tsuchiya-Bergere (Tomo's mom), was able to capture some great moments of our Thanksgiving Feast. We put a video together for you to enjoy.

Click Here for the Thanksgiving Feast Video 
Primary Update

Dear Primary Parents,
I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! November has been a month of many opportunities for growth and gratitude. Ms. Anne and I want to thank you for all that you contribute to our classroom. Whether it be bringing in flowers, snack, laundry, or providing a helping hand on a cooking project, we truly appreciate all your support, and it makes a huge impact on the amazing work that your children are doing.

The children have had many experiences this month that have allowed them to examine the idea of appreciation, and in turn, understand the role we each have in helping to share with one another so that we may create an inspiring outcome. We began the month by having Mrs. Mary visit our classroom and share the story of Thanksgiving to the children. She regaled the children with true stories about the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, and explained to them what life was like for them on the ship. She also told them about when the Pilgrims arrived at Massachusetts, they had to rely upon the Native Americans and each other to build their homes and communities in America.

Subsequently, the children made homemade bread, butter, and apple butter for the school Thanksgiving feast. Whether it be grinding wheat berries, mixing ingredients, cutting apples, shaking cream, or watching the bread bake in the oven, each child was involved in the process. We all engaged in the experience together to create a delicious finished product. Truly, it was a warm and lovely occasion enjoying the fruits of our labor with the entire school. Most importantly, it was most satisfying to share in the experience and contributions we all gained from one another.

Ms. Anne and I look forward to December, as we will continue to engage and grow from meaningful and collaborative experiences. 
Many thanks for all of your support,
Mr. Carl and Ms. Anne

Elementary Update
Conflict resolution, working together, learning about purposeful work are all things that continued to take place in the elementary classroom this past month. While I can only fit so much on Transparent Classroom and I appreciate how much it lets you, the parents, see what your children are doing, so much more truly goes on. It makes me feel good to know your children are getting so much out of this Montessori Education. Some children are learning about what it takes to purchase a property and all that goes into it by their own personal interests and hopes. They even spoke to a realtor and got to ask any questions they wanted about a specific property. We did math with regards to how much money would have to be put down, how much they would have to put down a month and other expenses as well as zoning.

Other children are learning about tattling and its effects. Really though, this is about a characteristic and tendency of the elementary child regarding Fairness and Justice. What a six year old thinks is fair and just is different than a 12 year old and it looks different for an adult. However, it is my job or the adult's job to respect where the child is at with what they are coming to us about what is bothering them. It might seem insignificant or "annoying" to us. However, it is important to them and we have to respect that. So, there is a dance of satisfying their needs, hopes and desires and showing them this reality of different levels of fairness and justice.

We have done skits on public speaking and social interaction. I make this experience light hearted and funny, while also effective. Plus, I really enjoy it. Your children come up with some good ideas and insights and I am sure that if you could be a fly on the wall, you would be impressed and proud of your children as much or more than I am of them. I am continuing to work with them on interacting with each other, more specifically with others that they do not necessarily gravitate towards. I think there is such value in this and I enjoy creating these opportunities through making sure that I give lessons with a variety of different children. It is sometimes surprising and inspiring to see how long they do end up working with each other.

Another validating experience that warms my heart is when we have tours, which we have had quite a few in the elementary classroom. The parents are constantly commenting on how impressed they are with the work that the children are doing and the way in which they interact. So, in the spirit of November and giving thanks, thank you for trusting me/us with your children. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interact with them, and thank you for giving me the honor to educate and give them the tools to be successful, interdependent, contributing members of society who will learn what it means to strive for not only success, but fulfillment as well.

-Mr. Matt

STEM Scouts Update

Elementary STEM
We recently finished our STEM module on Astronomy with a visit from Charles Hughes who gave a presentation on where we are in the universe and how far everything is from us here on earth. Now we are experimenting with sound waves. We found out that sound travels better through solid than gases...that's why we can hear our friends through a string attached to a cup! Next we will be studying light and color.

Middle School STEM
Middle School STEM Scouts have already completed their first of six STEM modules for this lab year!

Over the last month, Scouts experimented with How Light Works. Two favorite labs included building a laser light waterfall to discover how fiber optics work and experimenting with three forms of luminescence. The Scouts took away practical science knowledge, enjoyed hands-on experiments, and worked together in their newly formed teams.

Scouts have now jumped in and started the next lab, Crazy Robot Machines.  All are looking forward to using the lab materials and applying Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math principles. The remainder of the STEM year will include conceiving, designing, and building Mobile Apps, leveraging technology and mixing in community service in War of the Drones, and going on a simulated mission to the International Space Station.

Holistic Health & Nutrition with Mrs. Jamie

It's that time of year again.The month filled with food, friends, family, food, shopping, food, parties & food! Remember to stay present, hydrated & thankful!

I wanted to share a couple tips on how to set yourself up for success and stay on track with your health goals before any big holiday party or event.

1. Consider making a food dish ahead of time to bring with you to the event. An appetizer, side dish or dessert (whatever you find yourself indulging in the most).
2. Have a healthy snack before you head out. This is so you don't over eat while you're out.
3. Be sure to workout the day of an event or party.
4. Stay hydrated (Aim to drink about 1/2 of your body weight in oz of water)
5. Take deep breaths
6. Chew your food (Aim for 20 chews per bite)
7. Focus on family & friends, not food.

I got a lot of compliments and questions about how I made my stuffing for the Thanksgiving Feast this year so here's my healthier stuffing recipe! Enjoy! 

Prep Time - 15 minutes
Cooking Time - 15 minutes
Yields 6-8 servings

Ingredients -
1 large whole grain bread cubed
1 cup green lentils
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
3/4 cup celery, diced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/4 tsp fresh sage, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Directions - 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Tear bread into approximately 1 in. pieces.
Place bread into a bowl and cover with vegetable broth.
Allow soaking for 10 minutes.
Saute onions in a saucepan with olive oil. 
When translucent in color, add celery and sauce for another 4-5 minutes. 
Add lentils to saucepan and season with salt and pepper. 
Combine soaked bread, celery and onion and sage well until the desired consistency. 
Place in one large or two smaller baking dishes and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until slightly crispy on the top.

Ways kids can help with this recipe in the kitchen-
  • Tear bread into pieces
  • Soak bread
  • Chop onions
  • Chop celery
  • Saute veggies
  • Blend ingredients together
  • Taste :)

Ms. Jamie
On Yoga by Ms. Tiff

This month, in honor of Thanksgiving, we focused on gratitude through our yoga practice. We spent our time in yoga postures that expressed gratitude towards nature, the earth, our families, and our friends.  

We also played quite a few gratitude games. One that the children really enjoyed was The Gratitude Game using the game of Pick Up Sticks. If you have the game at home, you can play with this twist. The game is played the same way as usual, just adding thoughts of gratitude. When a stick is picked up, each player adds something that he or she is thankful for. If a red stick is drawn, choose a person. For yellow, choose a place. Choose a food for green and a thing for blue. When black is drawn, it is player's choice. 

Another way to incorporate midfulness of the people and things we are grateful for is by practicing the ABC's of gratitude. You can do this at dinnertime, bedtime, or while driving in the car. It's simple...just have everyone name something they are thankful for as you move through the alphabet, stating something for each letter. 

I am grateful to be able to practice yoga with your children. It is my hope that they are bringing some of this awareness home with them to share with you. 
-Ms. Tiff

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