December 9,   2016

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Eric's Earful: 
 Musings from the Head of School

I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about what it takes to be a Montessori teacher.  Maria Montessori spent a great deal of time speaking about this preparation.  In her book, The Absorbent Mind , she spoke of the spiritual embryo of the child, however she also considered the spiritual preparation of the teacher, rather than the type of preparation that the teacher receives at the university.  It is for this reason that I often think of how Montessori teachers are born, not trained.  These men and women often already understand how education is to serve the individual child, not the group of similarly-aged students.

Montessori trained teachers are asked during their training to stop looking for 'typical' behavior in children.  She wanted us, as teachers, to recognize in each of us our own limitations and prejudices as those negative characteristics are readily identified and absorbed by this young child when working with them. Montessori also spoke of giving up the idea of control and just learn how to support the child and the learning community.  This relationship between the Montessori teacher and child depends on this attitude of support and how we approach each individual child.

A thought about the difficulty of preparation with a quote from Montessori in, The Discovery of the Child .  This expectation shows the difficult nature of teaching within the Montessori environment with only the pedagogy learned at the university.  The adult ultimately needs the extra training to make a successful transition for the students in his/her room.

To become acquainted with the material, a teacher should not just look at it, study it in a book, or learn its use through the explanations of another. Rather, she must exercise herself with it for a long time, trying in this way to evaluate through her own experience the difficulties of, or the interests inherent in, each piece of material that can be given to a child, trying to interpret, although imperfectly, the impressions which a child himself can get from it. Moreover, if a teacher has enough patience to repeat an exercise as often as a child, she can measure in herself the energy and endurance possessed by a child of a determined age. For this final purpose, the teacher can grade the materials and thus judge the capacity of a child for a certain kind of activity at a given stage of his development.


Ad Hoc Committee- The Future of Our School

The Ad Hoc Committee- The Future of Our School had a successful second gathering with over 20 community members in attendance.  The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, December 13th from 6-8 p.m.  All community members are welcome and encouraged to attend.  

Click here to access the Farmraiser website.  
Apple Class Update
Hi  Apple Families,

Thank you all for making your child's education a priority and meeting with me to discuss your child and their progress here at school. I am grateful that you were all able to attend parent teacher conferences.

Apple students are still adjusting to the recent schedule changes. Amanda and I are working hard at fostering independence in students work choices. The goal being that children are engaging in meaningful work of interests, along with completing their math and language work everyday. Some children have taken a great interest in conducting research, some of which have turned into a poster presentation to share with the class. This has sparked a lot of interest in others which is great to see!

In language, students are continuing to explore nouns, articles, and have been introduced to the adjective and the noun family.  Some have begun working with synonyms, capital letters, abbreviations, homophones, and suffixes. Waseca color boxes continue to be a work of interest. Third years are using the color boxes, along with 5 high frequency words, for a weekly spelling test. Second years have taken an interest to this too and have been encouraged to test one another:) First years are encouraged to practice color boxes 3 times a week, along with phonogram work.

In math, students continue to work across all operations. Students have been exploring a variety of materials. Some high interest materials have been clock work, fraction skittles and insets, dot board, snake game, and stamp game. I f you are curious what concepts are learned through these materials  Youtube offers a variety of lesson presentations. 

In writing, students continue to utilize the 4-square writing graphic for organizing their writing. All students have been introduced to organization trait. First year students were introduced to writing a How-To book to illustrate organization and order in their writing. Second years read a fable and used a graphic organizer to discuss the main idea and three sequential supporting details. Third years did the same but used a story to organize the order of events in the story and details of those events. We have also begun character trait exploration. Students have created a character and have assigned specific traits to their characters, created an outline of how their character fits those traits, and are now working on putting their character in a story. 

In culture we have explored the parts of the atmosphere and phases of the moon. Some have learned about the systems of the body, land and water forms, continents and oceans of the world, biome adaptations game, and parts of the fish, amphibian, reptile, bird, and amphibian. Some independent studies have been on crystal formation, the 5 senses, inventors, and the Revolutionary War.

In art,  students are continuing to practice with color. W e have looked at Paul Klee's art and his use of warm and cool colors. Students have an opportunity to create their own warm and cool color oil pastel art. Students are encouraged to use art as an expression and to create a follow-up activity for a work in the classroom. We are looking for donations of wrapping paper, buttons, fabric, and any holiday type of craft supply for our upcoming craft making workshop:)

BIG THANKS
A huge THANK YOU to the Martinson family for their generous donation of $250 for student Handwriting Without Tears workbooks and for replacing the percolator that was broken. Students were thrilled to get their workbooks and have begun practicing daily! 
A special thank you to Kallie Craker, Anneke Wegman, and  Michelle Mork for volunteering to listen to emergent readers. 
Thank you to Dani Geraci and Anneke Wegman for helping Apple students make cranberry muffins for the Harvest Feast and for those of you who donated to the feast. It was an amazing event enjoyed by all.
Thank you VI Grill for allowing us to conduct our hot cocoa sales for 4 weeks in a row. Thank you families for your support with our civic project! We surpassed our revised goal of $500 and raised a total of $608!!! And donations are continuing to come in. We were able order a heifer and a goat on Giving Tuesday and double our contribution!!! Here is a link to the honor card: 


DATES TO REMEMBER:
December 12:  Farmraiser orders due
December 16:  Supper with Santa  5-7 p.m.
December 20 :  Farmraiser orders delivered 
December 22:   11:15 a.m. Dismissal
Community Sing, Young Entrepreneurs, Outside Activities  
December 23 -  January 2: Winter Break


Classroom Wishlist
Colored Pencils
Brown Clay
Watercolor Paint
Rubber bands (variety of colors and sizes)
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 Holidays,

 
Elementary Snack
Growing children need lots of nourishment- brain food.  Children are encouraged to bring a healthy snack each day. We have a small stash of items in the office for those who forget but the supply of granola bars and apples is dwindling.  Get your child involved in picking out the juiciest apple, crackers and cheese, carrots and hummus, hard boiled egg, granola bar........ Thank you!
How To Raise Happy Kids - 10 Steps Backed By Science
When you ask parents what they want for their kids, what's usually the most common reply? They want their children to be  happy.
... the well-being of children is more important to adults than just about anything else-health care, the well-being of seniors, the cost of living, terrorism, and the war in Iraq.  More than two-thirds of adults say they are "extremely concerned" about the well-being of children, and this concern cuts across gender, income, ethnicity, age, and political affiliation.

Click  Here to Access the Full Article

Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace & Community Sing Scheduled for December 22nd - 11:15 a.m. Dismissal Day
On Thursday, December 22nd at 8:30 a.m. all of the class rooms will gather for Community Sing followed by Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace.  All families are welcome to attend these two events.  We are excited to announce that Leelanau Montessori alumni Lenora Paige will be our guest musician.  A few of the songs we will sing are Frosty the Snowman, Feliz Navidad, My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music, O Hanukkah, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and Jingle Bells.  We hope everyone can join us for this fun festive event.  

We are excited to be a part of Supper With Santa along with Suttons Bay's PTO. We need some help to make the evening a fun time for all. Please consider how you might be able to help. Thank you!

Click Here to Sign Up




 
Community Updates

 
-This week's 25 cent State Theater kids movie is The Secret Life of Pets!

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

~Thank you to the Sanford family for the donation of lamps for the school
~Thank you to all who donate their precious time to serve on our committees
~Thank you to the Orth family for supplying snacks for children

***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

 December Lunch Menu
Dates to Remember

This Week
December 12- FarmRaiser Fundraiser Due
December 13- Ad Hoc Committee Mtg. 6-8 p.m.
December 16:  Supper with Santa 5-7 p.m

Coming Up
December 19:  LMPSA Board Meeting 7:00 p.m.
December 20:  Farmraiser orders delivered 
December 20:  Ad Hoc Committee Mtg. 6-8 p.m. 
December 22:  11:15 a.m. Dismissal
Community Sing, Young Entrepreneurs, Outside Activities  

In Search of:
-Reams of Copy Paper
-Sea Salt for the Hickory Classroom 
-Office Snack{ granola Bars and apples to keep in the office for kids with no snack
~Dry Erase Markers
~Wooden Kitchen Matches
~Pens


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Photos of the Week