V olume 4, Issue 7 | March 2018
Calendar Highlights

Here are some upcoming important dates. 
  • April 2-6 - Spring Break
Click Here for our Google Calendar.
Message from Matt Simberg, M.Ed.
Dear Parents,

As I think about what to write about for this newsletter article, many thoughts run through my mind. The weather is changing, hopefully, thoughts of a new school year are encroaching, the winding down of this school year is upon us, and I am left pondering the state of the school and our community. We are planning on moving to a new location, Spring is in the air, and we are experiencing a break in the school year. All of these thoughts led me to read a chapter from "Education For A New World," by Maria Montessori. It was fitting for me to choose to read a chapter at this time, because some friends of mine that I trained with decided to use this book as a monthly book discussion. So, I figured, with all that is on my mind, why not give some food for thought using this organizing structure as framework for our children's success, and the propensity to evolve.
In this short chapter, Maria communicates very impressively and interestingly, among other things, about the importance of cows, worms, grass, bees, and their incredible impact on our Earth and how it relates to the child.  Change begins and ends with the child. As adults there seems like so much more to worry about than when we were children. That could be up for debate, but we can agree that there is a lot for us to worry about and our world is much more fast paced than ever before. What do we do about it? Who is right? How do we best help our children be their best?
We have to do our best to supply our children with opportunities to meet their needs and create a framework to do as such. Creating a framework is something that Kathy Minardi has been teaching me through her Whole School Leadership course.  I have 26 children in my class ranging from 6 to 12 years old. Imagine all the personality types, potential deviations, emotions and individual thoughts. Believe it or not, sometimes things don't go as planned, sometimes the class is not cooperatively cleaned up, and there are times people just don't feel like doing something. This is when I call on changing a framework. I let the older children help to form their own groups of younger children to whom they will be ambassadors. Then they are in a framework to be conscious role models for the work cycle and clean up time. This alleviated certain stresses. It supported the natural characteristics and tendencies of the different aged children. Instead of getting frustrated with each other at home, why not set up a different framework? Give each other different roles and have names for them. Make it exciting and fun instead of being dictatorial or just ignoring it all together and doing things for your child because it is just easier.
At the end of any day, our children are the key to our future. That thought should take precedence over our emotions and daily stressors. Our focus should be on their personalities first and foremost; academic skills to survive and thrive will fall into place, guaranteed. It is a natural universal order. If a child is too dependent or has low self esteem, etc., being good at math or reading will be difficult and/or will not matter. What can we do as adults to be a light and a help for our child(ren)'s natural propensity towards evolution? We need to ask ourselves and act on questions like these. All of this is part of being a part of Montessori Seeds of Education and participating in a mindful, collaborative and authentic Montessori experience.


Matthew Simberg, M.Ed.
Head of School
Food Sensitivity Workshop

Learn how food sensitivities can affect physical and mental health at a free workshop on Thursday, April 12th at 6:30pm.

Topics to be discussed include the evolution of sensitivities, the immune system's function, determining which foods are causing the problems and how the body heals itself naturally following the removal of reactive foods. Learn simple lifestyle changes that can lead to a healthier, more peaceful life. 

This event is open to the public and children are welcome. Those experiencing IBS, migraines, and weight gain are encouraged to attend. This information will be especially helpful to those who have a mysterious illness which hasn't yet been diagnosed.
Snow Day Makeup

Due to the recent unexpected snow days we will be extending our school year by two official calendar days. This means that we will have a full day of school on June 18th and our last day of school will be a half day on June 19th. There will be aftercare. If you have any questions or concerns please contact myself or Patty.

Toddler Update

Dear Parents,

First and foremost I would like to thank each and every one of you for your emails, cards, and phone calls with thoughts, prayers and well wishes during my recent hospitalization and recovery.

March definitely came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. The children are looking forward to the warmer weather so we can spend more time outside.

A special thank you goes out to Mrs. Cleff for helping us celebrate St. Patrick's Day by making Irish Soda Bread. The toddlers had so much fun kneading the dough and getting messy while doing so! We got to enjoy the freshly baked bread fresh out of the oven! It was so yummy that everyone had seconds! Thank you also to our parent volunteers, Nick and Emily Sullivan and Adam Gordon, and Marcus Williams for helping us during this fun filled cooking activity!

Shamrocks, shamrocks and more shamrocks!  Making play doh shamrocks, shamrock paint stamping, and tissue paper shamrocks are just a few of the things the toddlers enjoyed doing in our Art Area. We counted shamrocks in the Math Area and had a spooning work in our Practical Life Area to continue to improve fine motor control.

We introduced the children to potato scrubbing in our Practical Life Area, which all of the toddlers chose time and time again; water works are a favorite in our classroom!

Our food tasting included kiwi, which was a big hit, so please feel free to send some in when it is your turn on the snack schedule.

We celebrated Max's 2nd Birthday on March 22nd. Happy Birthday Max!

We closed March with a Spring Egg Hunt,  the children were so excited to find their eggs and they all filled up their bags!  Thank you for your donations that helped make it a success! Thank you to Amy Hess, Kim Heilig and Marcus Williams for volunteering for this event!

Have a wonderful Spring Break!

Best Regards,
Ms. Chris

Primary Update

Dear Primary Parents,

Happy Spring! The month of March had a variety of stellar highlights with many opportunities for fun and learning. Every day inspires and surprises us. The children continue to make discoveries, and this leads them further on their path towards self-construction. 

We began the month with opportunities to learn about Saint Patrick's Day! The children read stories and did crafts around the holiday. Additionally, some of the older children wrote stories about Ireland and the myths and legends surrounding the holiday. To top it off, Charlie's mom came in to make Irish soda bread with the children. As a group, the children measured, poured, mixed, and kneaded the bread. Everyone very much enjoyed the fruits of their labor during lunch time, and all of them were extremely proud of their accomplishments. 

Additionally, we have continued to encourage the children to expand on their ideas. It might be to explore more challenging work, ignite them further on their development of writing, or discover quantities in our prepared environment. In fact, as the ideas among your children are constantly overflowing, we have begun construction of an idea tree to place all the ideas from our Idea jar. Subsequently, they will have the opportunities to visualize, read or discuss their ideas whenever they want.  

As always, we ended the month with a bang! The children made beautiful Spring Egg inspired bags and went on an egg hunt! It was truly a wonderful day. A few elementary students stopped by to help hide the eggs as well as assist some of the younger children. Additionally, it was fantastic to see some of you there!  

Many thanks for all your continued support. We look forward to another exciting month, and hope that all of you have a wonderful spring break! 
Best Regards,
Mr. Carl and Ms. Anne

Elementary Update
Dear Parents,

Culture, Community, Collaboration, Character, Chronicling are good characteristics to sum up our
experiences and education during the month of March. Ms. Mary and parents engaged us with the history and culture surrounding Ireland, the way the states celebrate, and giving us experiences such as baking Irish Soda Bread and knowledge to remember. The older children delved deep into Micronesia and conflict resolution among other things in NY for the Montessori Model United Nations Conference. The elementary class started an "Ambassador's Program," where older children are responsible for 3 to 4 younger children. Here they participate in either helping a child to become engaged again or cooperating during clean up time. We have begun talking about the history of Sound in the book I am reading aloud, "How We Got to Now." Some children were inspired by a story they remembered discussing stalagmites and stalactites that were created from limestone, carbon dioxide and water. They tried doing an experiment. We won't see if that was successful until after spring break. In the meantime, I bought a kit to help us see this process and others in a different way, which may lead to interest in other similar things.

Besides when a child figures something out and gets excited about it, there is something else I really enjoy having the opportunity to experience. When children are paired up who would not normally pair up, sometimes one or both are not excited about the experience. Then, when a framework is created, one or both realize the experience is not so bad and they actually, surprising themselves, enjoy or appreciate the situation. The really neat thing is when I see they are working together on their own the next day.

So much happens each day, week and so on. Transparent Classroom affords the opportunity for you, the parents, to get significant glimpses that were not and are not typically given to parents of Montessori classrooms. These newsletter articles give you some more of a wider lens of perceptions. Yet, there are so many intricacies that I get to experience. It is hard to convey it all for each of you, but know that is my desire. All of your children are truly coming together, having their needs met on different levels and I enjoy everything about it. I'm sure all of you can look back to September and see where your children are at now to see a significant and positive improvement. I have truly seen it in each of your children and look forward to watching them continue to blossom.

- Mr. Matt 

Yoga with Mrs. Tiff

This month has been a blast in yoga. One of our classes focused specifically on arm balancing postures. Children love arm balances because they give us the feeling of flying. Children love challenges, and arm balances provide a challenge to nearly every student, because they require balance AND strength. If your child hasn't already demonstrated one of these postures for you, ask him or her to show you crow pose. They almost all seem to love that one!  

The cool thing about arm balances is that they require lots of power, both physical and mental. Arm balances require us to face our fears in a way that not much else in life can. When children take the risk of practicing an arm balance, they build their self-esteem, because an arm balance can often feel as if flight is attainable. When they commit to this attempt, children just seem to yearn for more of these challenges. And let's face it, if we can nearly take flight on our yoga mats, nearly anything feels possible off of the mat.
-Ms. Tiff

STEM Scouts Update

Elementary STEM

Elementary STEM has now completed the "What's the Matter!?" module. We learned that the three main types of matter are in the form of solids, liquids and gas (our bodies are made of all three!). We discovered by exploring that solids are things that can be measured, weighed and even categorized by shape. Liquids take the shape of whatever container they are in but still can be weighed and measured by volume, whereas gas has no shape or weight. We had a little fun demonstrating the characteristics of the molecules of each form of matter with our bodies (slight vibration for solids, wavey movement for liquids and just flying all around for gas!) Finally, we saw, through observation, that matter can change from one form to another like dissolving a solid in a liquid or changing a liquid to a gas. And the discovery was realizing all of these experiments happen everyday right in our own kitchens! Geology is next, "Rock On!"

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