V olume 4, Issue 4 | December 2017
Calendar Highlights

Here are some upcoming important dates. 
  • January 3 - return from winter break
  • January 4 - Primary Collaboration Night
  • January 15 - No School for Dr. MLK Jr.
  • January 25 - Primary Collaboration Night
  • January 24-26 - Non dismissal for mid-year conferences. Aftercare is provided.
Click Here for our Google Calendar.
Message from Matt Simberg, M.Ed.
Dear Parents,

"The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions. Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinions? And do we have the resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up - ever..."

On embracing the questions of the human heart - by Terry Tempest Williams, "Engagement"
As parents, educators and adults responsible for protecting, engaging and educating our children, we have a great duty to these little human beings that will one day be where we are as adults. I found this quote to be very fitting and a good reminder for all of us not just over the stressful and joyful times of the holidays, but all year, every day. Being responsible for offering tools to our children that will help them to be successful and fulfilled is one that cannot be done fully if we are not listening with our whole beings. We must remember to step back and breathe when the hustle bustle of other things happening in our lives are taking a stronghold on us and we find ourselves saying "I don't have time to deal with this," meaning a situation occurring with one of our children/students. We owe it to our children and ourselves to take a step back to do our best to keep this in mind.

When our children are taking forever to put on their shoes, when they throw themselves on the ground, when they are saying something we don't want to hear or deal with, can we listen with our whole being? Is there another perspective we can take? If how we are reacting internally or externally is not working, why not try something different? We must fight the good fight every day so to speak. Giving up, letting fatigue affect how we treat them should not be an option. The bottom line, if you get nothing else from this, is, take a step back, try something different, and don't take your child's behavior personally, but show them how they need to act in the world.
September through December has been really great. The school continues to grow, our community is wonderfully supportive of each other, and of course there was the AMI recognition thing. I feel so fortunate to be apart of the experience with all of you and look forward to the families and staff that will be joining us in the future. There are a few miscellaneous things that I would like to share with you and update you on.
  • Our MSOE Facebook Group will be up and running the first week that we come back to school. We will send you an update next week along with the general framework for the group.
  • Please think about and share with your child's teacher any thoughts you have for activities you might like to lead, be involved in, or know of that would be beneficial for where they are at. 
  • I know all of you are anticipating a property update, wondering where it is, if and when it is going to happen. It is still premature for me to mention anything specific. However, negotiations are almost finalized, there is a lot of support surrounding what I am doing, and I am hoping to end on a positive note before 2018 or during that first week. Please continue to send good thoughts and prayers our way for this process. We are close and I hope to share excellent news with you in January.


Matthew Simberg, M.Ed.
Head of School
AMI Recognition

It is an honor to announce that Montessori Seeds of Education is now recognized by the Association Montessori Internationale. 

  AMI Website
Health Reminder

This flu season has been especially challenging. If your child is sick, may be contagious, and/or has a fever, PLEASE KEEP THEM HOME! They need to be 24 hours fever free without medicine. So many of our children and adults have been getting sick over the past few weeks. We disinfect our classrooms every day. There is only so much we can do. So, please, if there is any chance you think that your child is contagious or will be pretty miserable because they do not feel well, please keep them home for everyone's sake. Thank you and we hope everyone is able to rest and recoup over the winter break. 


Toddler Update

Dear Parents,

This year is just flying by! I can't believe we are winding down 2017!  December was a whirlwind filled with learning about how different people celebrate the holidays!  Our food tasting this month was latkes that we all were able to enjoy! The children's artwork included  Christmas Trees, stockings, dreidels and menorahs. We learned about our country's Christmas and Chanukah traditions!  We have been practicing all month for our Winter Concert. 

We welcome a new toddler, Daisy, to our community. We also welcome Ms. Xiomara, who will be assisting in the toddler classroom during the day in addition to Ms. Abby.  We wish Josie a very Happy 3rd Birthday on  December 31st Thank you all for coming to our Winter Holiday Concert. All of the children did an outstanding job!  Here's wishing you a very Happy and Healthy Holiday Season and New Year!

Best Regards,
Ms. Chris 

Primary Update

Dear Primary Parents,
In the blink of an eye the New Year is upon us! December has been a month of giving and understanding what the act of giving means. Everything in our prepared environment is intended to ignite the act of consideration and contributing to one another, so that we may ultimately strive to achieve the full expression of peace. The children this month are practicing this in our classroom in many ways.

It begins by each material being prepared and ready for the next person. In this way the children are bringing about an awareness of how their actions directly have an impact on themselves and their community. In effect, the children are gaining insights into the importance, as well as the cause and effect of this grace and courtesy. Having your children pick up after themselves at home or even help you put things away is a great extension for them to utilize from what they are doing in the classroom. Additionally, the children appreciate the gifts that we all can contribute to each other. For example, fixing a work on the shelf in a thoughtful way, helping a younger classmate to zip a jacket or reading a book to a class of toddlers. As a parent, you can even pretend that you need help with something and your child can help you zip up your jacket, or something of the like. These are all gifts that inspire learning and development!  

During the course of the month, it has been a whirlwind of Holiday festivities. We talked about the different rituals practiced in different parts of the world through books and songs. Also, we had the pleasure of having different families share their own holiday traditions with our classroom. Janine Perez came in to celebrate Hanukkah by making potato latkes and Sonja Strahm stopped by to make swiss cookies with our entire classroom. The children loved it! Not only was it an opportunity for our classroom to learn about the traditions of other cultures, it was also a wonderful experience for both Carl and Idan to share something special about themselves to the group.

Lastly, as most of you know, we had a wonderful Winter Concert last night! Much of the month we spent preparing and practicing, and ringing jingle bells like there was no tomorrow. But, I think what shined brightly for me was the interconnected relationship that each age group brought to one another. We all supported one another in ways that allowed for each child to inspire one another. Ms. Anne and I were proud to see our Primary classroom set a good example for the toddlers, and the Elementary classroom was a model for the Primary and Toddler Classroom in an extraordinary way as well!

Truly, it has been a treat for me to witness my first winter Holiday season at MSOE, and I look forward to seeing what the new year will bring! We hope that all of you have a fantastic Holiday, and we look forward to seeing you in the new year!

Warm Regards,
Mr. Carl and Ms. Anne
Friendly Reminders:
  • Please make sure that when your child takes their folder home to return it to school the next day. (This will help your child to organize their work as well as support their sensitive period for order).
  • If you have not already done so, please make sure to update the change of clothes to weather appropriate clothing. As the weather is getting colder, it will be useful to have a pair of long sleeve shirts, pants, warm socks etc.
  • It's always helpful to label all mittens, hats and scarves and any miscellaneous items they are bringing to school.
Things to look forward to:  
  • Primary Collaboration night January 4 and January 25th
  • Mid-year Conferences January 24 through the 26th

Elementary Update
As the calendar year ends, what does the new calendar year look like for what is almost the second half of the academic school year?  We will be reinforcing and working on mastering work already presented and building on that, as well as learning new information and obviously having new experiences. We will be reassessing goals for the coming month and months. 

You can expect to hear about or even help with going out experiences as options are being planned behind the scenes. We have cultural opportunities coming up. Parent conferences will be in January. Our first annual read-a-thon will be in February. The Montessori Model United Nations experience is in March, the camping trip will be tentatively scheduled at the end of May. Anyway, there are going to be so many activities to look forward to and those are just some of the highlights.

I took the staff and STEM volunteers out to dinner to express my appreciation, and during one of my general conversations, I got to reflect and express that my days are filled with a series of wow moments. It is so nice for outside parties, such as prospective parents and people from the county to come in and comment on how impressed they are by what the children are working on and doing. The community, opportunities and experiences in the classroom, as well as conflicts are an honor to be a part of, because the transformations that I get to experience and observe warm my heart. 

Seeds take time to become beautiful plants and flowers, humans take longer ;o) Sometimes it is best to remind ourselves of that. I would like to suggest for you to think about what activities you can do with your child that you have not gotten a chance to do. What kind of list can your child choose from that does not include a screen? Another thought is for you to sit down with your child and have them make some goals, whether they are for home or school. Maybe they can make a poster board and or vision board of sorts. This is always a great way to start a new year.
I hope you have a healthy, happy, productive, and restful rest of your year, and I look forward to seeing all of you next year!
-Mr. Matt and Ms. Mary

Friendly Reminders
  • Please check your children's sneakers and make sure they have indoor and outdoor sneakers come January. All indoor shoes need to have rubber soles when the students return in January.

STEM Scouts Update

Elementary STEM

In Elementary STEM we finished the module on sound with a concert by the students playing their own handmade instruments. The students took the concepts that they learned about how sound is s created and applied the lesson by not only making instruments but creating their own compositions and then performing them for the rest of the group. Recently we started a new module on light and color. First we created a color wheel and saw how the colors blend then disappear when you spin it with our handmade spinner devises. This week we learned that different kinds of light create different patterns of color that we saw and measured through spectrometers. Next week we will be bending light through prisms!

Holistic Health & Nutrition with Mrs. Jamie

I want to thank all the parents who have contributed to the Primary Snack Program this month. It has been so much fun making healthy recipes with your children! 
I love seeing how engaged and open they are to trying new foods! 

With the holidays here we can have a lot of heavy and rich foods filling up our diet. And that's ok; after all, the holidays are about enjoying traditional foods and festive drinks! 

To lighten and brighten up your diet this week give the recipe below a try. It's as simple as blending up the ingredients for the sauce and cooking up some pasta. Trust me when I tell you, you would never guess it was gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and vegetarian. (It's currently my favorite recipe!)

Enjoy and have a great holiday break. See you in 2018! 

For the Base
    *    1 package of black beans noodles
    *    2 Zucchini
    *    1 carrot
    *    1 onion, finely diced
    *    4 cups kale, chopped small
    *    1 cup cherry tomato, halved
    *    3 green onions, diced
    *    1 avocado, diced

For the Sauce
    *    1 inch ginger
    *    1 lime, juiced
    *    1/4 cup almond butter
    *    1 large zucchini, peeled and cubed
    *    2 tsp raw honey
    *    1/4 cup cilantro leaves
    *    2 garlic cloves
    *    1/2 tsp sea salt
    *    1 slice of jalapeño without seeds (optional)

    1.    Blend all sauce ingredients together until smooth. Set aside.
    2.    Rinse and drain black bean noodles. Place into a large bowl.
    3.    Spiralize zucchini and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Drain then combine with black bean noodles.
    4.    Cut carrot into long thin strips using a grater.
    5.    Add to noodles bowl, and add onion and kale. Add remain toppings.
    6.    Drizzle and serve with almond ginger sauce.

Serves 2

Ms. Jamie
On Yoga by Ms. Tiff

As the calendar year comes to an end and the cold weather sets in, we took some time to honor the snow-loving animals of winter. Some of the poses we practiced were arctic hare, snowy owl, moose, snow goose, and polar bear poses. 

Some of us read the book "Snowmen At Night" and enjoyed bringing some of the activities from the book to life. This is a really easy way to incorporate yoga into your life at home. Have your child choose a book, and as you read through it together, he or she can teach you any of the yoga poses that he or she recognizes from the story. They can make up the poses, and/or the names, if they choose. And as I always remind them, there is no "right way" to do yoga. 

One of the mindfulness activities that we practiced was called "What Do You Hear?". To play, you can collect items form your home and place them in a bag. Have your child tune in to your surroundings and focus on using his or her sense of hearing. Have them wear a blindfold or just turn away from you. Then, make a noise with one of the objects and see if your child can identify the sound. You can also use your body to make noises, such as by clearing your throat, clapping hands, snapping fingers, etc. This is a really fun way to get your children to tune in to and to practice mindfulness. 

This month we talked about the value of silence and the fact that we often do not have enough of it. I asked them to always consider three things before speaking -- and if the answer to all three questions is anything other than "yes", then they should reconsider saying what they were about to say. 

1) Is it true? 
2) Is it kind? 
3) Is it necessary?

This is a practice that I try to stick to in my own life, and although I don't always succeed, I think it is something we could all strive to remember, especially during the holiday season. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday full of peace and a 2018 full of joy. 

-Ms. Tiff

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