November 11,   2016

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Montessori Works 
Observation Day



Eric's Earful: 
 Musings from the Head of School

I have always found it interesting, since I started undergraduate school, that our education community (at a national level) considers discipline from a very different point of view than I did (and still do).  I just happened to stumble into a Montessorian who showed me a few things that were very different than I was learning on my elementary education path, however were very similar to my child development learnings happening at the same time.  This serendipitous meeting cemented my belief that there were ideas in education which could help students towards a disciplined life because of the schooling they received, not in spite of it.

In the schools I grew up in (as many of you did) you were surrounded by kids labeled as good, bad, and all shades in between.  Depending on the classroom teacher, you could be given all these labels in your entire elementary existence (maybe getting the same label more than once).  Montessori considered this and one of her lectures on 'The Bugbear of Discipline' makes mention of these thoughts.  She found that kids who were so-called "good" kids (ones that were really passive), the naughty kids, or even the extremely bright kids had these characteristics change once the child became interested in work that attracted his attention.  The children with positive and negative traits merged into learners with none of these traits at all.  She goes on to state that the real aim of all children was revealed as constancy in work and spontaneity in choice of work, without guidance of teachers.

This last part is the ideal that many teachers do not consider or even might think exists.  A statement someone holding this belief might consider is this, "How can a child get anything accomplished without the guidance of a teacher?"  This is the problem I experienced as a student in my suburban school system that didn't look at me as an individual learner with varied interests, but as a first, second, third, or some grade child who was expected to complete tasks in order to make such-and-such standard.  I think standards are good and they are able to give parents an idea of what their child is working on, however learning standards without making them relevant to the individual makes everything disconnected and not worth the time for the child.  If the teacher can take the standard and pair with something that interests the child than the learning that takes place is much more deep, relatable, and mostly fun.  

This takes me back to the idea of discipline in a classroom where I existed versus a classroom that students at our school (and many schools around the planet) exist in.  Schools like ours understand that to obtain discipline in a school, we have to give freedom.  It is not freedom to create chaos or do what you want at the expense of others.  It is freedom to have the opportunity to work on/with materials that interest you or topics of your choice.  This is done in conjunction with the adult who is concerned with our students making progress on the standards that our school is held accountable for teaching.

Parent Survey

In an effort to improve system practices, Leelanau Montessori Public School Academy is conducting a Parent Survey.  We value your opinion and ask that you take the time to complete this survey.  In order to complete the survey, please clink the link below (or copy and paste it into your browser if the link is not working). Please be assured your responses to this survey will be anonymous.  Your honest opinion is appreciated.  Thank you for your time and attention to this survey.

Counting the proceeds from the Hot Cocoa Sale
Hi Apple Families,

What an amazing weekend we had! The weather was exceptionally beautiful! I feel so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place.

The Apple classroom has had some recent changes to the our daily schedule. In effort to minimize transitions, we have changed from conducting whole group mindfulness practice in the morning to having children enter the classroom right a way to begin their work cycle. Students are encouraged to choose a mindfulness practice when they feel they need it. We have also changed our afternoon schedule to a second work cycle time to allow for more work time and small group lessons. 

In language, students are continuing to explore nouns and have been introduced to the article.  Students are continuing their practice with compound words and rhyming words.  They've begun working with antonyms, dictionary, and thesaurus. Students are also continuing to work through the color box work to enhance reading and spelling. 

In math, students continue to work across all operations. Some have been introduced to graphing, multiplication checkerboard and tile board, test tube division, and recognizing patterns in numbers.   

In writing, students have conducted various animal research utilizing the 4-square writing graphic.  Students were encouraged to find where their animal lives, what type of food they eat, how they reproduce (eggs or live young), then conclude how they feel about their animal or for 3rd years write a wrap-up sentence of the three facts they found.  Silent journaling continues to be a joyful time. 

In culture, we have explored the parts of a leaf, parts of the sun, parts of the earth (atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere), inside the earth, and the second great lesson The Timeline of Life. The Timeline of Life allows children to  explore and research the history of life on Earth . This is a springboard for research of a specific era, period, plant or animal. Later this week we will learn about the various layers of the atmosphere.

In art, students went on a nature walk to find leaves of various shapes. Students then used these leaves to cut in half and glue onto cardstock. Students then tried to replicate the colors of their leaf on to the other side, creating a mirror effect. They were beautiful! 

A special thank you to Anita Abbott, Anneke Wegman, and  Michelle Mork for volunteering to listen to emergent readers. Thank you for your support with our civic project! Your generosity is much appreciated!

Civic Project Update:
The first  Friday at the VI was a huge success! When I left at  5:30, they had raised $165!!! That's $45 above our original goal! We are now on our way to raising enough money for a Heifer, which is $500! Thank you all for the donations! I appreciate all the support for making this project work. Those that worked  on Friday were so proud! I can imagine the response will be the same among their classmates:) 

***Pajama day and movie to be declared***
Wednesday, November 23 Harvest Feast (***more info to come later this month)
November 24 & 25 No School Thanksgiving Break

We are looking for volunteers to lead book clubs for elementary students. If you are available please let me know:)

I look forward to meeting with each of you this week at conferences!  Peace,  Hollie

Apple Classroom Fundraiser for Heifer International Organization

The Apple class hot cocoa fundraiser was a huge success! The group raised $237  in 2 hours!!! We have surpassed our goal of $120 and are now trying to reach $500! Thank you to those who were able to visit the stand and contribute. We are well on our way to purchasing a farm animal for a family in need. We'll be back at the VI  this Friday from 4-6. Hope to see you there.

Thank you!!

Parent Education Night Reflection
We were fortunate to be able to share an evening with a dedicated group of parents looking at assessment within our environments at Leelanau Montessori. Those of you who were unable to attend, please be aware that I will propose doing this event again in the winter after our next testing session to look at and consider the growth of each of your students.  Please look at the information provided at the event for help in deciphering your child's scores on the assessments given out at the parent teacher conference this upcoming week.
I would be happy to schedule time to look at this information with any of you. Thanks so much for your trust in our staff and school.

Click here to access Parent Education Night information.  

 Leelanau Montessori Water Bottles for Sale in the Office $5

Looking Ahead..........
On Thursday, December 22nd we have an 11:15 a.m. dismissal day before we begin our winter break.  We are planning some special events this day.  We will have a Community Sing, Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace, and some sort of winter activities.  Stay tuned for the complete timeline and schedule.  
Board of Directors Membership Opening

The Leelanau Montessori is seeking an individual to  join our Board of Directors. Our board meets the third Monday of the month, and is in need of a new trustee. Skills in education, finance, fundraising, grant, and marketing are helpful.  Trustees are asked to partake in at least one committee. Our committees meet the week prior to board meetings.
Please visit our website for more information:  
After School Care Needs
We are exploring to see if there is any after school care needs for children in the Sugar Maple and Cedar classrooms (3 and 4 years olds).  Please send the office an email if your family is in need of care for your three or four year old.  Thank you.

  The Practice of Gratitude

~Enerdyne in Suttons Bay for donating floor puzzles to the classrooms.
~The Mankowski/Hinsenkamp family for donating ice packs to the school.
~Parent volunteers from the Apple classroom for organizing the Hot Cocoa sale.
~BJ Ingwersen and Tricia Hursh and all the volunteers who are reading with the 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!!!
Community Updates

-This week's 25 cent State Theater kids movie is The Secret Garden


Private Tutoring Offered:  Click here to find out about this service to our community.
Elementary Hot Lunch

November Lunch Menu
Dates to Remember

This Week
November 18: Farm Raiser kick-off 
November 18: Hot chocolate sales at VI Grill 4-6 p.m.  

Coming Up
November 23:  Harvest Feasts
November 24 &25:  Thanksgiving Break

In Search of:
-Sand Toys- buckets, shovels, trucks for preschool 
-Lamps for the Hickory Classroom
-Band aids
-Reams of Copy Paper
-Sea Salt for the Hickory Classroom 
-Vinegar and Baking Soda for Science Experiments  

Quick Links


Photos of the Week
Montessori Game Day!

November Bounty

Cedar Children at Work
Native American history, cultural awareness, and flint knapping with the primitive skills group for Hickory's Friday Interest Based Groups