January13,   2017

Help us reach our goal of 100% participa tion! 
Eric's Earful: 
 Musings from the Head of School

While reflecting on the practical life needs that elementary students have, it often makes me think that the most important part of the child's development, independence, is the hardest to quantify and the easiest to forget about in a world of standards, assessments, and grade-levels.  This is the hardest part about being a public school Montessori teacher.  As a public school, we owe our stakeholders an explanation of how we are best utilizing their tax money, however as Montessori teachers, we understand that the work of the student is developing their independence to guide them throughout their lives and this work is done within each child and cannot be measured by an arbitrary standard.  So then, how does a Montessori teacher help each child on this road to independence?

I have mentioned in previous musings the importance of a child developing concentration.  Our Montessori environment is based on three important elements that happens in the classroom.  The first is interest.  A child is interested in many things and it is important to discover what these interests are.  The second is repetition.  Montessori spoke at great lengths about how necessary repetition is and made repetition a freedom for the children because of it.  The third element is what happens after finding interests and then allowing for repetition around these interests.  It is concentration.

Once a child has developed concentration, he/she has unlocked an important personal trait which will allow him/her to learn anything and everything they are interested in.  It will also become important for helping that child begin to learn things that are necessary, but sometimes not as interesting as he/she would like. Concentration then is the key to a child's ability to learn and become independent with a wide variety of things to learn.  A student needs concentration just as much as a Montessori teacher needs observation.  Without observing every student and getting to know the students interests, the Montessori teacher cannot know what the child is interested in or when they are interested in it because as you all know, the child's interests can be fleeting and there are small windows of opportunity to show them these materials they might find interesting in October and then not in December.

It is through this very observation that the Montessori teacher can begin to determine the level of a child's concentration.  Concentration will then show show a child who is developing independence in many facets of their school and home lives. Every child develops concentration at a unique rate with some children having more concentration on Tuesday and Thursday than they do on Monday and Wednesday. The important part is noticing that the child is concentrating and then trying to find out further materials that they may be interested in to build increasing levels of concentration with the end result being an adult who can attend to necessary work and do a satisfactory job and become independent of others to support themselves. Without concentration, the adult (or student) cannot move as well towards independence because they will float through their day similar to a dandelion seed on the wind and have a difficult time attending to their everyday needs.  Montessori saw a better way to educate children with this in mind and it happens to be an area of development that our Montessori classrooms intentionally focus on.

Attention Leelanau Montessori Community.  Let's celebrate our amazing Board.  Please read the following and plan on joining us to acknowledge our wonderful Board on Monday, January 16th at 6:30 p.m. with the regular meeting to follow at 7:00 p.m.  There will be refreshments and snacks provided by the staff.  We look forward to seeing everyone there!

From MASB - Michigan Association of School Boards
School Board Appreciation Month

January is School Board Recognition Month
The month of January provides a unique opportunity to acknowledge a special group of volunteer elected officials in education. It is School Board Recognition Month, and it offers communities across Michigan a way to acknowledge the continuing efforts of local and ISD school board members in providing leadership and guidance to local school districts. Across the state, there are more than 4,000 school board members who dedicate countless hours of hard work to improving education for Michigan children.

School board members take that responsibility and public trust very seriously, dedicating an enormous number of hours to their work both in and outside of board meetings. Attending school functions, preparing for board meetings, reading financial reports, agendas and proposals, and making a host of difficult and challenging decisions are just a few of the regular activities board members participate in through their service.

Many board members have also made a commitment to continuous professional development to ensure they stay up-to-date on the latest education issues. Over the course of a school year, school board members across Michigan participated in nearly 7,000 hours of classroom courses and online learning, all focused on education- and board-related issues.

Today, more than ever, school board leaders are faced with the overwhelming charge of providing a quality education at a time when financial constraints weigh heavily on the health of school district budgets. In an era of unprecedented choice in education, school boards are also tasked with charting a course that provides long-term, sustainable success for current and future students in all of Michigan's public schools.

School Board Recognition Month is part of a national effort cosponsored by the Michigan Association of School Boards and the National School Boards Association to build community awareness and understanding about the crucial role school boards play in our communities.
Board members come from all walks of life with diverse experiences and backgrounds, but working together, they make decisions in the best interests of Michigan's children.

It is our mission to provide quality educational leadership services for all Michigan boards of education, and to advocate for student achievement and public education.
Welcome New Upper Elementary Guide 
Welcome to Jane Lee the new Upper Elementary Guide.  Jane was born in Chicago and moved to China at a very young age. She has had the opportunity to travel around the world and spent a bulk of her childhood in China with her mother who worked as a missionary. Being one of the few fluent English speakers, Jane was first exposed to teaching while helping her mother in her English class. Since then she has developed a passion for teaching and working with students of all ages. After graduating from Calvin College in 2013, Jane began her teaching career as a paraprofessional at an alternative school. The following year she worked as an Elementary & Middle school teacher for a residential program. Over the past few years she has worked with grades K-8 in traditional & non-traditional school settings. She recently moved up to Northern Michigan in the summer of 2015 and is thrilled to join the Leelanau Montessori family. Jane enjoys skiing, painting and traveling during her free time.
Apple Classroom News
Hi Apple Families,
I trust that you all had an amazing holiday break and enjoyed some quality time with loved ones. It was great to hear about the memories students created over their holiday break.
The month of December went by so quickly! All Apple students are participating in book club 1-2 times per week. Students seem to really enjoy this time and intermixing with students from other environments. Book clubs will continue through the end of the year.
In language, students are continuing their grammar practice with the parts of speech in a variety of ways (grammar boxes, labeling the farm or environment, etc.) and some have begun analyzing sentences to find the action (verb) and who did the action (noun). Some other works students have been practicing are alphabetical order, prefixes, rhyming words, syllabication, to name a few.
In math, students continue to work across all operations. Materials of interest are the tens board, fraction insets, bead chain for squaring numbers, money work, constructive triangles, and graphing. Some first years have been introduced to pictographs and created their own graph by taking a poll of favorite pets, holidays, ice cream flavors, etc. This has reignited student interest in graphing as well! Another point of interest has been the geometry cabinet. Where students label a variety of geometric shapes and create a book or chart.
In writing, students were introduced to the voice trait and what it means to give your character a voice through the use of sparkling word choice. They practiced this skill through creative story writing. Students also practiced writing a friendly letter to Santa Claus. Students used a graphic organizer to organize their thoughts, went through the editing process, and then wrote their final draft. Students have utilizing their Handwriting Without Tears workbooks and we have seen some improvements with penmanship with some students!
In culture we have explored the clock of (geologic) eras, a year and its parts, months of the year, land and water forms, and cloud types. Grade level research projects were a big hit! First year students conducted research on a continent of their choice and will create a poster to display their findings. Second years researched a country of choice, write a research report, and were asked to make or bring an artifact to share with the group. Third year students chose a period from the Timeline of Life to research, write a research report, and make a 3D model to present to the group. All projects are due Monday, January 9th.
In art, students tried their hand at mirror imaging, creating 2 identical shapes in different colors and pasting them onto a black background. Students had an opportunity to make Christmas cards for a friend or family member. We conducted our annual craft workshop where students had the choice of making either a Christmas tree using fabric squares, dowels, and thread spool, or cutting and sewing a gingerbread man, or creating a stain glass like piece of art by using contact paper and colored tissue paper.

In lieu of swimming this year, w e will be doing creative movement.  This is a full body and brain warm-up activity done through dance.  We will start this week and  will attend twice a week for 6 weeks. For more information you can go to www.creativedance.org/about/braindance.
A special thank you to Anneke Wegman and  Michelle Mork for volunteering to listen to emergent readers. Kallie Craker and Julie Yoffy for guiding book clubs!
Thank you to the Orth family for their donation of water color paints and colored pencils.
Thank you Brooke Johncox and Kallie Craker for volunteering in the Apple classroom.
Thank you to the Geraci family for the rubber bands.
Thank you for the special Christmas treats!
Sorry if I have forgotten anyone...
January 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30, and February 2, 6, 9 13, 16 (makeup 20 & 23)- Creative Movement K-3
January 10- Ad Hoc Committee 6-8 p.m. 
January 13, 20, 27 (makeup Feb. 10) - Native American Experience El
February 3 - Students have a half day, teacher in-service
Classroom Wishlist
Brown Clay
Needle Crafting Plastic Canvases
Animalium Book by Katie Scott
Roman Numeral Hundreds Board (Allison's Montessori)
Complete Set of Companion Guides for the Continents (wasecabiomes.org)
Continent Portfolio Books for each Continent (wasecabiomes.org)
Happy New Year,

Observation and Enrollment
Leelanau Montessori encourages all families to schedule an observation of your child's environment, as well as the environment they may move up to the following year.  It is such a joy to sit in the environment and observe the wonderful learning that is happening here at our school.  Please follow the link below to schedule an observation.  

It is hard to believe that re-enrollment begins in February.  Due to the calendar and the policies put in place, there is a small window to return your child's re-enrollment form.  A returned application ensures your child a place at our school for the following year.  We cannot stress enough how important returning your application by the deadline is.  With this information we will be planning for the 2017-18 staff and classrooms.  Please see below the re-enrollment and enrollment schedules.

*Applications will go home in Tuesday folders on Tuesday, February 7th.  

If you have any friends or family that may be interested in Leelanau Montessori for their children, please have them contact the office to schedule a tour and observation.  Word of mouth is our best advertisement!  Thank you.  

Re-enrollment Schedule:
2nd Monday in February - Re-enrollment application period (February 13th)
4th Friday in February - Close Re-enrollment period (February 24th)  

Open Enrollment Schedule:  
2nd Monday in March - Open application period (March 13th)
4th Friday in March - Close application period (March 31st)
4th Friday in May - Within five (5) business days in advance of the lottery, the school will communicate the time, date and location of the lottery with caretakers of applicants (May 26th) 
1st Friday in June - Lottery Day The following Tuesday after the lottery- Caretakers of accepted applicants notified with offer of enrollment within one week from receiving notification- Caretaker deadline to accept offer of enrollment (June 2nd)
3rd Friday in July - Caretaker deadline to complete enrollment tasks of accepted applicants (July 21st) 

The kindergarten through 3rd year children will be participating in Brain Compatible creative movement for 6 weeks with Hughthir White, a professional dance instructor,  as part of our health and wellness experience. The Friends of Fine Arts, a Suttons Bay School group, is funding this opportunity.  This is paid for by FOFA however, if you would like to donate, sponsor or help establish a fund making this an ongoing opportunity, the cost is $35 per child and monies can be sent to our office. Your child will enjoy this class during their school day. Brain compatible creative dance is an interactive, sensory, simple but strong approach to dance education and exploring the elements of dance and kinesthetic learning.  Hughthir will introduce ways of moving that reflect space, time, rhythm, locomotion and energy.  He will integrate curricular ideas such as math, poetry, visual arts and utilize percussion instruments as a tool. We will be enjoying this in the old Cedar room.
Community Updates

-This week's 25 cent State Theater kids movie is Pete's Dragon

Dance Leelanau with Hillary Voight is regrouping after a wonderful Holiday performance* for The first class sessions
of 2017.  Starting January 21 and for 4 Saturdays, Dance Leelanau will hold their classes at the Old Art Building for Pre-Ballet (3-5 yrs) and Beginning Ballet (6-8 yrs).
*To see some of the Holiday performance Click Here or the "video" tab above.
Pre-Ballet (3-5 yrs) 10:20-10:50
Beginning Ballet (6-8 yrs) 11:00 - 11:30  

Private Tutoring Offered:  Click here to find out about this service to our community.
  The Practice of Gratitude

~Thank you to the Orth family for their donation to Creative Movement
~Thank you to the Segerlind-Rowe family for the donation of hats and gloves

***If you have time in your day and would like to volunteer to read with children. please give the office a call and we will hook you up!  It's great fun!!!
Elementary Hot Lunch

 January Lunch Menu 
Dates to Remember

This Week
January 16- LMPSA Board Appreciation 6:30 p.m.
January 16- LMPSA Board Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m.  
January 16- Creative Movement K-3
January 17- Ad Hoc Committee 6-8 p.m. 
January 18- Creative Movement K-3
January 20- Native American Experience El and Primary

Coming Up

January 22- Primary Ladies/Gentlemen Visiting Day
February 13- Re-enrollment Begins
February 24- Re-enrollment Ends
In Search of:

-Hoola Hoops
-Snowpants all sizes
-Office Snack{ granola Bars and apples to keep in the office for kids with no snack
~Dry Erase Markers
~Wooden Kitchen Matches
Quick Links


Photos of the Week