Taylor Campus

Toddler 2

Dear Toddler 2 Parents, 

The children enjoyed doing so many Practical Life works this month, from food preparation to tasting a pumpkin, sour and sweet apples, tomatoes, and cucumbers. They also enjoyed several lessons in grace and courtesy, like how to move about in the classroom, wash our hands and the definition of personal space. They also flipped pouches with rice inside with a spatula and were introduced to some new pouring works.

The students love working with Sensorial materials. This month we created color wheels using a circle piece of cardboard and clothes pins. The children colored varies pieces the same color to create a matching game. Scent bottles were introduced with the smells lavender and mint. They also listened to the sounds of a bear and monkey vocalizing to try to decipher between the two of them.

The spindal box and sand paper number lessons are becoming a math favorite and we introduced the small red and blue rods work. They continue to improve tracing numbers.

The letter sounds of the month were A, M, S and C. Children learned the sounds by finding and working with objects in the room that begin with those sounds. They also practiced tracing the letters with the sand paper letters. The children continue to practice name recognition and name tracing, and to combine object to pictures items that go together, such as car parts and clean supplies. We have also enjoyed classroom reading of "Little Elliot Big City" by Mike Curato and "Animals to Count" by Brian Wildsmith.
This month, the students learned about the Continent of North America beginning with a discussion on our home state of California and (the state flag, animal and flower) as well as our city of Alameda.

Thank You to the Silcox family for our laundry basket, the McGirl family for donating puzzles, the Long family for donating wash cloths, the Hall family for donating hex bolt work, the Biggs family for donating playdough, laminating sheets, and utensils and to the Mack family for donating the pumpkin. Please check your sheets from back to school night or the list on our classroom door for much needed donations to our classroom. Thank you in advance for all of your support.

Thank you, 
Porshia, Johanny and Jazmin

Pre-Primary 2

Dear Pre-Primary 2 Parents,
The children are settling in nicely. Every day we are seeing more independence and less teacher direction, which is always the goal in a Montessori classroom. 
The children's favorite works are Practical Life. It is divided into 4 categories: care of the environment, care of self, grace and courtesy and control of movement. In care of the environment, the children are dusting, carpet sweeping and cleaning up after themselves. In care of self, we are really focused on hand washing, how to properly blow your nose and how to cough/sneeze in your elbow to keep the germs to a minimum during cold/flu season. If you can practice this at home, that would be most helpful. In grace & courtesy, we are still working on carrying a tray, saying please and thank you without reminders, and how to get attention from a teacher. In control of movement, the children are working on using a screw-driver, opening and closing containers, tonging and pouring. In Montessori the child is encouraged to finish an activity and put back the work where they found it. This is ongoing work since they are constantly learning new work. Doing this at home also reinforces this behavior and is greatly appreciated.
We have been discussing the subject of children of the world and for this new cultural unit, the children of North America. We learned a continent song that helps reinforce our knowledge of the 7 continents. We also introduced living vs non-living things. That was a lively discussion and we had quite a few giggles. Our first animal of study will be the reptile. We also are working on the calendar daily, and introduced the season of fall, days of the week, month of the year and what year it is.
We will be starting sharing day on Wednesday, November 8th. Sharing days will be Wednesday and Friday. You can sign up at the conferences for the day you prefer. We ask that all sharing items are educational and no toys please.
Rainy season will be here shortly. We are asking for donations of indoor activities that we can have on hand for playing indoors. Some examples are: Legos, wooden blocks, dress up items, and board games for preschoolers. If any parents would like to help with our costume, please let me know as soon as possible.
Thanks for helping with any transitions. All the children come to school happy and ready to work. This is such a wonderful sight to see. 
Tiffani and Danilo

Primary 3

Dear Primary 3 Parents, 
It's only been few weeks since school began, but the children have already become very busy exploring and creating works using the various Montessori materials in the classroom.  
We are continuing our grace and courtesy lessons throughout the day. We practice saying "Please, thank you, excuse me" at the appropriate times and also practice greeting each other every morning. We have started to play a "dismissal game" where once circle time has ended, one child dismisses another in a courteous way. For example, they might say, "[Child's name], you may go back to work." The chosen child makes eye contact and says, "Thank you," and the one who dismisses responds with, "You are welcome." The game repeats itself until all children are back at work.
We presented a lesson on what is recyclable and what is not and we remind each other of it daily. We have the segregation of trashcans for compost, recyclables, and regular trash. They are using their Helping Hands chart daily to perform the task they are responsible for. This reinforces responsibility for their environment and fosters care for their classroom.  This also goes for choosing their work. Once they take their work to a table or rug, they are responsible for completing the activity and cleaning up and returning the task back onto the shelf for the next person to use.
We are excited to start exploring the life cycle of pumpkins. Hammering golf teas into a pumpkin will be set up as a practical life work. In preparation for the Harvest Meal, the children will start doing a food preparation work by slicing some cheese sticks and Persian cucumbers.
The children enjoy working with numbers using the spindle box, numerals and counters, and number rods. Some children are already working on their teens and tens with the teen board and ten board. While the older children have started "skip counting," using the bead cabinet.
Every day, the children are using various sensorial materials like red rods, pink cubes, brown prisms, sound c ylinders, p ressure cylinders and (the newest favorite in our classroom) the geometric cabinet. There they are able to explore and learn about different kinds of triangles, chevrons, quatrefoils and polygons and are able to create a colorful poster out if it.  
Almost everyone is having a good time tracing and making their own designs using the metal inset work. We are also giving lessons on letters sounds with the use of sandpaper letters and picture booklets. We are focusing on the letter sounds a/m/s/t for this month. We have two story books in our classroom that the children really love to read and those books are "The Mixed-up Chameleon" by Eric Carle and "Emily Tiger" by Latimer Miriam.
Inspired by the Great California Shake Out, we did a science experiment about tectonic plates. We will also be studying pumpkins and dissecting a big one. So goopy! So exciting!
The children were introduced to the continent of North America. We sing the Continent Song together, use a poking work on North America and conduct discussions about the continent, country, state and city where we live. The children have been making their own world maps, so you might start seeing them come home if you haven't already.  In the afternoon Montessori curriculum, the temperate forest biome has been introduced and animals that live in these regions of North America have been studied (i.e. black bear, Luna moth, green anole, coral snake, red fox, etc.) The children enjoy learning about animals and their environment and surprisingly remember the names! Animal Charades is a favorite game during the biome studies.

We have been playing the mystery bag game daily. This activity allows the children to practice their tactile skill by blindly feeling the mystery item in the bag and making inferences about it. Also, we have been enjoying our beautiful neighborhood here in West End Alameda by walking around the block, visiting Bosco the pig and Crab Cove recreational center. Some upcoming class events include: visits to the pumpkin patch on October 25th, the Fire Station (date to be decided), and the West End Library on November 9th.

We would appreciate a donation of the following ingredients: 2 packs of cheddar cheese stick, 2 packs of string cheese stick and 1 pack or 5 pieces of Persian cucumber by November 6th, for a food preparation work.

Thank you so much to all the parents who attended and assisted in our pumpkin patch field trip: Emily Watters, Karly Kaufman, Kurt Del Rosario, Shawnee Keck, Natasha Lauritsen, Agnieszka Ciesielska and Kristen Tanguay. We would also like to thank Juliana Baldo for helping us during photo day. Lastly, thank you to the Abraham family for always making sure our wash cloths and work rugs are clean every week.

Thank you!
Nina and Dawn

Elementary - MESA

Dear MESA Parents,
Our school year is off to a great start. We introduced the first great lesson. Students will be working on their 3D volcanoes tomorrow. They are all so excited to build, paint and work on this project. We're working on our art projects with Yessica Sifuentes and Grandma Lulu, as students focus on improving their fine motor skills. Our students greatly appreciate their time and experience.
Ms. Kwang is sharing new cooking projects weekly. The students are engaged and enthusiastic to choose the recipes and prepare the list of ingredients. Thank you to supportive and cooperative parents, as they happily provide the ingredients. It's been a very positive experience for us. Children are making sure to document their cooking projects and to take pictures of their work. They will be working on our elementary cook book soon. We would greatly appreciate any donations for the main ingredients, like flour, salt, pepper, rice, olive oil and pasta.
Students are learning Arabic and Spanish daily and are very eager to use what they learn in their daily classroom life. The children are getting into the habit of writing their work plans each week and they do their best to complete everything during the week. We are also introducing group and individual lessons on a daily basis.
Our students had a great experience watching the movie "Jane" and speaking with Marion Soloway, a consultant and environmental educator. She is connecting our students to the "Roots & Shoots" program. One of our students will be responsible working closely with her to choose our first community project, to be carried out by our students.
Last Friday, Ms. Steph provided an educational demonstration about recycling, composting and trash disposal. It answered many questions for all of us. We are also working with Derrik Oldridge on the art cabinet and students enjoy taking turns sanding and painting. They really enjoy the carpentry work.

We would like to send a "Special Thanks" to Esmeralda Arrizon
and Cesar Chirino for all of their hardwork and to Erik Schuler, who provided MESA with a new computer. Thank you to Marian Ross for sharing an air filter that helped us immensely during the smoky weather that we had due to the California fires. Thank you to Jonathan Musson and Paula Hernandez for driving the students to watch the movie "Jane." And to all of our parents for the help and the support that they provide to our class.
We are still in need of assistance for getting Montessori material and class supplies. Please connect with Esmeralda, Marian or myself if you are able to donate. 

Thank you,
Fatma and Kwang a


An art education expands the mind and soul is central to the development of a love of learning and acquiring knowledge. This month, we worked on an art lesson that encompassed art and cultural identity. As part of the current cultural unit on North America, the students researched the Native American territories in North America and the migration patterns of certain tribes. The symbols that they used to describe certain regions and their travels along a map was part of the lesson. .Next month, students will complete an art project based on Samoan tribal tattoos and the spiritual purpose that they serve.

Thank you,

Pacific Campus

Toddler 1
Dear Toddler 1 Families,
This month, our main focus was on practical life works. These involve pouring from one cup to another, pouring using a funnel, transferring water using a sponge, spooning work, cleaning the glass windows and caring for and cleaning our campus. We had fun collecting the woodchips in the yard and returning them to the enclosure, emptying the trash and wiping the tables. Students also enjoyed works like putting flowers in a vase and inserting pegs on a board.
The children learn about gradation of size and color with the sensorial materials like the mystery bag, brown stairs, colored tablets, knobbed cylinders, basic shapes and 3D box of the shapes and textures found in the books. Their minds are expanding with each new day! They are enjoying many books, and using words to name objects in the environment. For example, we are introducing them to the practical life materials and teaching new vocabulary like egg jug, cup, glass, oil mat, and bucket.
We have been taking short walks around the neighborhood, observing different flowers and plants. We talk about their shape, size and color. We also take turns watering the front garden and discuss the flowers and trees that adorn the front of our campus. We plucked some fresh apples from the tree in the front garden. The students were excited as an adult sliced the apple for the children to consume. Luckily, it was sweet and crisp and the children loved it. We also water the plants on the back deck and clean the leaves. We saw a caterpillar feeding on the leaves and bugs move slowly around. It led to an exciting discussion. We received permission from the neighbor next door to take a closer look at their chicken coop. Without touching, the students exclaimed in fascination, much in the same way that they wave to the puppies and kittens we meet on our walks. We really enjoy every single day and hour with your children who are almost always excited and happy!
I would like to thank all the parents for the volunteering and donations for our Festival of Flavors. Than you so much for helping the school out. Thanks for the delicious meals prepared and efforts made by every single one of you. It is really appreciated!
Thank you,
Monaz, Nubia, Zoe and Raina

Pre-Primary 1

Hello Parents,
Happy October! Thank you to everyone who helped to support and attend our Festival Of Flavors event. It was such a fun experience! This month, we are learning about earthquake and fire safety at school, and have been practicing what to do at school in case of a fire or an earthquake.

Children love the Practical Life works. Teachers have presented rolling a rug, walking around the rug, sitting properly on the chair, carrying a tray, and carrying a rug. Through fine motor, the children are working on pouring objects or water from cup to cup, whole hand transfer, sponge squeezing and spooning. We continue to practice our vocal grace and courtesy daily (saying "thank you", "may I please...", taking turns, saying "good
morning", and "goodbye").

The children are now working with both the numerals and the quantities of 1-10 for those who are ready. Individual presentations have been made with each of the children.

The students have been working through the pre-language curriculum that develops the child's ability to recognize symbols and pictures, and translate what they see into meaning. Pre-language also introduces and reinforces the concept of scanning, which prepares the child for following the words on a page.

We have introduced several Sensorial works that assist with the understanding of the concepts of size and dimensions. For example, biggest/smallest when using the pink cubes, and thickest/thinnest when using the brown prisms.

For enrichment, we have started reading the following books in class: "Officer Buckle And Gloria", by Peggy Rathmann, "I Love Fall!" by Alison Inches and "I Can Share!", by David Parker. We have been singing and doing finger plays to "5 Little Pumpkins," "October" and "Autumn" in class. 

Campus Needs: Used towels for the purpose of drying off our playground equipment in the morning.

Thank you,
Steph and Cherefah
Encinal Campus (temporarily at Taylor Hall)

Primary 1

Greetings Primary 1 Families,

We have been hard at work this month in our beautiful new classroom. We started by reinstating our grace and courtesy lessons, these include how to roll/unroll a work rug, how to get/put away a work, how to push in our chairs, how to watch one's work and how to use kind words. We have also been giving lessons on self-care, how to put on a jacket; hands in holes overhead, how to blow our noses, and how to wash our hands, on top of numerous other self-care lessons that happen throughout the day. The children have been loving the practical life area this month, children have been lacing, poking, and transferring October away. The favorite works on the shelf are the lacing work and the poking work. These works take lots of quiet concentration to finish.
The children ejoy using the pink tower and brown stair with the extensions cards to make designs and they are coming up with their very own designs. The children are discovering the geometric solids. We have been comparing them to similar shapes in our classroom. For example, the students noted that the pink tower cube is similar to the geometric solid cube.  
The students love to use all forms of math materials. Some children are using the spindle box (1-9) while others are using the addition strip board. Most of the children have been using either the teen or ten board this helps strengthen our recognition of numbers as well as quantity.
Our letter sounds this month are M, A, and T. Most children have learned and mastered these sounds and will be moving onto I, C, P, and O, H, and L. The children use the metal insets daily, which assists in strengthening their pincer grasp and will help with future handwriting. Another favorite from the shelf is the chalkboard and white board, some children decide to free write, and some decide to write their name. We have been using the checker board chalk board to help with letter and number practice (writing) the children really enjoy this and will ask a teacher daily to help write out the first ones so they can continue the rest. Some children use the sandpaper letters as a guide and need no help from a teacher.
We have had several circle discussions about the 7 continents, the names of each continent and where they are in the world as well as where we are in the world. This month we began talking about North America and the different countries within it, and where we are within the continent of North America (country, state, city, school). Try asking your child, "What is the biggest country in North America?" as this became a big discussion during circle.
Please don't forget to check your Parent Folder, directly outside the classroom. Please also check all posted bulletins on the bulletin board. Our Fall celebration is coming up on October 31st, we could use a few parent chaperones for the bus to and from the Taylor campus, please speak with Nicole or Emma if you are available to help us.
Thank you!
Nicole and Emma

Primary 2

Dear Primary 2 Parents,
"Every child is a different kind of flower, and all together make this world a beautiful garden."                                                                                            
We are so happy and relaxed to be back at the newly renovated Encinal Campus. Children are comfortable and getting used to the routine. Due to the fires in Northern California, we spent some time indoors and discussed precautionary measures to be taken in the event of a fire, as well as the impact of fire on the people living there and nearby and the effects of smoke on our health. We had some fun indoor Lego time too.
This month we introduced food preparation exercises, to include Melon Balling. Children loved preparing them and sharing them with friends. We also did some sorting and grinding of cinnamon sticks. It smelled great! Every Wednesday and Friday, we take care of the outdoor plants. We try to make sure that our garden is growing and looks beautiful.
We continue to play various letter sound games with the children. We are also learning and revising sounds on daily basis during circle time. We introduced an object hunting and matching work with their appropriate beginning sounds. Older children are reading phonetic books and are creating their word book. They are also learning the Japanese words for: thank you, good morning and afternoon, thanks to Katsuko.
Students continue their progress in linear counting and we are now looking forward to introducing skip counting. Some of the younger children are working on the basic numbers and are learning to put their quantities together. We are also working with addition and subtraction materials such as the addition snake game and the addition/subtraction strip board. These assist with concrete understanding of abstract ideas by allowing the children to put certain quantities together and helping them to notice the differences between quantities before and after putting them together or taking them away.
This month we read several books including, "To Be a Kid" by Maya Ajmera and John D. Ivanko and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. We invite two children every day to pick a book of their choice to be read during the circle time. Grace and courtesy lessons continue to be a part of our daily circle time. We discussed how to be in the classroom vs. how to be when outside on the playground. We participated in the "Great CA Shakeout" on October 19th at 10:19 AM by practicing an earth quake drill followed by a discussion on the causes and definition of an earth quake.
The children have begun practicing a Japanese song for the upcoming Winter Festival. It will be a surprise. We would like to give a big "Thank you!" to all the parents who helped us move back to our campus, and to Caryn Hoadley-Wetstone for the delicious banana bread and Katie Freed for the air purifiers. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming parent observations and the parent/teacher conferences.
Hurma and Katsuko

Cultural Room

This month, we have been experimenting with magnets while studying the North and South Pole.
We discovered that north poles repel north poles, that south poles repel south poles, that north poles attract south poles and that south poles attract north poles. The students also completed a number of lessons on the global address; understanding where we live within our universe, solar system, planet, continent, country, and state, as well as the name of the city that our school is located in.
The children have been very artistic, creating historical North American inspired works such as Dreamcatchers, Talking Sticks, and Cave Drawings. In honor of the Fall season and our North American cultural unit, we read "Why Do Leaves Change Colors," "Forests" and "A Story for Bear."
I would like to send out a special thank you to the Chan Family for their great gift of density cubes!
Thank you,

With Steve Slater

I'm really excited to be able to bring music to all of the preschool classes this year. Jenn Ekman and I write and play music for children in our group, The Dilly Dallies. ( www.thedillydallies.com ) and we swoop into each campus every  Tuesday  morning to play interactive songs with the children. The songs don't just include our music, we also perform music from other children's artists, as well as traditional songs. The kids get to sing, stomp, make noises, pretend, and play with instruments that we provide in the class. Hopefully you have heard from your child about our music class, but if you haven't be sure to ask them. It's a lot of fun!  

MESA Music

The MESA Music class is off to a great start. The returning students jumped right back into learning the Ukuleles and the new students are picking it up very quickly. We have learned a few exercises, including a fretting and chord exercise, and we have started looking at how to follow a chord chart. 
The students are learning (or relearning for some) "Three Little Birds," by Bob Marley. It's our intention to film the students performing that song, then send the video up to the children in Santa Rosa, who may need some uplifting entertainment. 
It's really exciting to learn a musical instrument, but it's also a lot of work. Please don't worry if your child becomes frustrated while practicing. Let them take a break and go back to it in a little while. Speaking of practicing, it's very important that the students take their ukuleles home every weekend and some weeknights. They need to be spending a little bit of time working on the instruments each night. 
Thank you,


Online Silent Auction Link (continued fundraising)

Want to Learn More About Montessori? 
Check out the Montessori Family website and magazine

Can you help us with by donating items needed for classroom snack preparation in the kitchen? If so, check out this Amazon link and p lease note that second hand items in good condition are welcome as well. If you have any questions, please contact Sandra Hoffman-Dorrance at [email protected].
Help our teachers attend the American Montessori Conference 2018
The American Montessori Society is holding their 2018 Conference in Denver, CO, this year in March, 2018.  To help us be able to send as many of our staff to this valuable experience as we can, we are asking if any parents have donations of:  frequent flyer miles, hotel discounts or credits and/or financial donations to cover flights
This conference is a great learning experience and the staff members who attend come back energized and with new ideas.  They also share what they learned with the staff that was unable to attend, so it really is a wonderful gift for the whole school.
The early bird discount for tickets ends November 3rd , so please contact Cindy as soon as possible, if you have a way to help!  

Donation Request for LCD projector
Is anyone willing to part with or donate a LED or LCD projector for staff use? Something like a Miroir -Element DLP Projector, Tiptiper LED Projector or an Epson SVGA 3LCD projector

Moving a Recycling Bin
We have a large recycling bin at the Pacific Campus that needs to be moved to the Taylor Campus.  If you have a car or truck large enough, please contact Emily at the Taylor Office!  
Committee News:
If you are interested in being our chair for this wonderful committee, please write the office at  [email protected]

Raise Money for the School with Labels!
We would love to reduce our Lost and Found items! Order labels through Mabel's Labels and it will raise money for the school. 

Thank you's

We Appreciate Your Assistance!
Thank you so much to all of the parents who helped to make our Festival of Flavors a great fundraising success this year! Thank you to Esmeralda Arrizon, Angele O'Daniel, John  and Lubka Healy, Reva Tembe, Seana Onia, Cesar Chirino, and Leanna Sac! Also, a big thank you to our own Danilo Portugal and his  band, "Namorados Da Lua!" They were amazing!

Thank you to so much as well to ALL of the AMAZING parents who helped us today with the Fall Celebration. The children just loved it!