Vol. 6, and Issue 3: November 2019
Message From Mr. Matt
Dear Parents,

November happens every year, obviously. We talk about Native Americans, Pilgrims, giving thanks, and many other things. One of the most important experiences we can give children, aside from teaching history, is expressing how important being thankful is. It changes your attitude, makes you feel more positive and makes other people feel good.

Again, this year, we had many parents sacrifice time and money to help create an amazing feast for the children! The different classrooms created different dishes to enjoy for the feast. There was so much food! The atmosphere was lively, enjoyable and thanks to the parents and staff it also ran so smoothly! Another thing that hit home for me was watching the children and parents as I gave a speech to everyone, which I do every year. It is hard to try and say meaningful things that could potentially apply to such a wide age range of people.

I spoke about giving thanks and we gave a round of applause to the adults that helped make everything possible for us. Briefly touched on a part of history, but maybe bigger than that, expressing an attitude of gratitude. Just like those pesky New Year's resolutions, all too often, November comes and goes and fails to remain a lasting reminder to have an attitude of gratitude. It is hard in our busy lives and schedules, other things get in the way and keep us from "having time," to be grateful. I'd like to offer a challenge to see if we can do better to consciously and more consistently have and express an attitude of gratitude.

I have a really good app called Gratitude: Personal Growth & Affirmations Journal. I think something like this helps as a daily reminder and everyday there is a really solid quote to help support an attitude of gratitude. I have learned that attitude is something that needs to be worked on and treated like a muscle. It needs to be worked out to grow.

In the spirit of gratitude, I want to share how grateful I am for the garage to now be extremely organized. This was one of the things weighing on me in preparation for our move to Moorestown. A Big Thank You to the parents that came, offered to come later and those that said they wish they could, but will try when something else comes up! Even though I could not get there at one o'clock, at least ten people were there working. Things were getting pulled out and swept and moved around!

I could not get there because I received a phone call that morning from the sign company. He told me the person at the township was refusing everything, denied the sign permit and said we needed to resubmit when we're done with all our work. This would keep us from ordering the sign with enough time to install it and open on time in January. Signs were part of the requirement for the resolution back in August of 2018. Even though this person has a position of power, I had a feeling something was not right! I went to see them and of course they left early until Monday. After speaking with someone else, they said they had never heard of this being done before. Three hours later I received an email from someone else saying they would be having a conversation and will take care of it for me on Monday. The sign company said it will be fine if it is taken care of on Monday!

So, then I went directly to the property. I instantly felt relieved and grateful to see some of our staff there helping while others were taking care of aftercare. More than 5 parents came and we finished in about two hours or less. The garage looks so much better!

With all of that said, thank you so much for your support, trust and good spirits that you share with MSOE!



Utilizing Soil
Dear Parents,

There is a huge mound of soil from the widening of the driveway. I was thinking, rather than having them haul it, we could turn it into something for climbing or another parent suggested for sledding down. I was also thinking we could use it to incorporate a natural playground at some point. The problem is I need to make a decision soon and where to have it placed. I am asking you to send me suggestions for placement and uses. Here are some ideas. However, I am curious to see what kind of feedback I receive.


Mr. Matt
Dear Parents,

We sure packed a lot of fun filled activities and learning into November! 

We closed November by celebrating Divali, Diwali, Deepawali, the Hindu religious holiday of the festival of lights that lasts five days. We made a special craft and taught the toddlers about the holiday. I shared a beautiful handmade colorful wall hanging that was made especially for our classroom event. Lina showed the class a beautiful headband that she received as a gift for this special day from her grandparents!

Thank you all who were able to make it to our Collaboration Night on Positive Discipline. I had a lot of positive feedback from parents, so I am glad that you found it helpful! I even had a parent request another Collaboration Night on the topic! This is a topic of particular interest to our toddler parents, year after year, and it seems like we could discuss this topic forever! As always, please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or concerns regarding your child. The topic for the next Collaboration Night will be Toilet Training, as many of our toddlers are exhibiting that they are ready for this next milestone! The date for this night is To Be Announced.

Our Animal Curriculum focused on zoo animals, so we have had a lot of discussions about our favorite zoo animals and trips to the zoo with families! Our favorite zoo animal song is “Big, Big, Lion”! We learned about the first Thanksgiving and talked all month long about what it means to be thankful and what we are thankful for during our Cultural Lessons. We just introduced the Continent of South America to the toddlers, we will continue to learn about this fascinating continent in December. New things we learned during Circle included the color words for Blue (Azul) and Green (Verde). That makes five new color words in Spanish, now! Please ask your children to count to you in Spanish and English, as well as the color words in Spanish. Speaking of colors, please practice all of the colors with your child, beginning with the Primary Colors first.  A couple of the toddlers' favorite activities during this month were the "Nine Little Turkeys” Music and Movement Song, and The Counting Turkeys, Felt Board Story! 

The toddlers LOVED our Food Tasting Activity this month! They weren’t sure what it was called and thought it was a giant apple. We opened it up and “voila” we discovered the pomegranate seeds, which a couple of them recognized! Everyone tasted them and really enjoyed them. Please consider giving this delicious healthy fruit to your toddler for a healthy treat!

To name just one new work introduced to the toddlers in November in each area included, Apple Scrubbing in the Practical Life Area, a Turkey Craft in the Art Area, Bristle Blocks in the Manipulative Area, A Cornucopia with fruit, vegetables and gourds for vocabulary expansion in the Language Area and Sandpaper Numbers in the Sensorial Area.

December will be all about Christmas and Hanukkah Customs!

Ms. Tori, Ms. Julie and myself hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with your children, family and friends!!!

As always, I thank each and every one of you for your support of the Toddler Program,

Best Regards,

Ms. Chris
Dear Primary Parents,

November has been an extremely productive month for the children! The children continue to surprise us with new discoveries and connections to the materials. Additionally, we continue to strengthen our communication as a classroom and make it a priority to have thoughtful conversations with one another. Our community of children’s personalities is strongly emerging into a loving, humorous, sensitive, and thoughtful group. 

The month of November was a month packed with birthday walks. Many thanks to Morgan, Emma, and Colton’s family for being so generous and sharing your child’s birthday walk with us. It was indeed a very special experience for everyone involved. Additionally, as a special treat, Mrs. Mary shared her own birthday walk with us! All the children really enjoyed seeing pictures of Mrs. Mary when she was a child and observing the transformation of her as an adult.  

During the month, the children learned a great deal about Native Americans. The children explored Geography by examining the different regions of the United States where Native Americans lived. In greater detail, we explored the Great Plains and Eastern Woodland Region. We talked about the different houses used in both regions such as the longhouse, wigwam, teepee, and earth lodge. The children also learned about the different animals that the Native Americans used for food and clothing such as the buffalo, deer, bear, clams, and turkey. In conjunction, the children heard many native American stories and made native American handcrafts such as beautiful necklaces and dream catchers. 

We ended the month in the Native American tradition, making three sisters stew during harvest time! As a staple, many Native Americans grew corn, beans, and squash; hence the name “three sisters”. This was a tried and true sustainable crop as well as an effective farming technique passed down through generations by the Native Americans. Soon after, Mrs. Mary gave the children a historical presentation on the story of the pilgrim and their relationship with the Wampanoag Tribe. 

In closing, I would like to say I feel incredibly thankful for all of you! Your generosity and willingness to share, and lend a helping hand is amazing. Mrs. Mary and I look forward to another meaningful month of learning and we sincerely hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Best Regards,

Mr. Carl and Mrs. Mary
Dear Parents,

November was filled with all sorts of lessons, crafts, trips to the Wagner Institute, Penn Museum and Gary's Gem Garden. We learned about early humans and Native Americans. We also had an amazing Thanksgiving Feast!

I also had a Collaboration Night with 7 parents and Mr. Frank, our adolescent guide, joined us to learn about Cosmic Education in the Elementary Classroom. We went through several of the 5 Great Lessons and went over some lessons that branch off of that. It was a really good experience. Plus it is very rare for parents to get to experience Great Lessons. So, that was a fun experience to!

Another successful experience that I started in October and continued through November was to match children up with partners. Older children would work with younger children and children that were close in age. This was to go along with the theme that came up last month.

Elementary children, especially have a tendency to get too comfortable with routines and interactions with the same people. Students began learning how to cooperate with peers that they would not normally do things with. I would use the analogy from last month about acting more like solids, liquids or gases.

Sometimes we get along really well with others and want to stay really close. Other times we could be sort of like water. We let things pass and come back together. Or, like gas particles, we might be all over the place and kind of alone. It can also be looked at as just going from one particle to the next and not feeling settled. We do not have to want to work with certain people to work well with them. Some children found that they did not mind working with people that they did not normally expect too.

Sometimes, in Elementary, and even in life we have to create parameters to hopefully create a desired result. Then we adjust if we do not reach desired goals. We will do this for one more week, as it has been about a month. I'll be curious to see what happens in December when the partners are no longer there as a parameter to follow. Will the children apply what they have learned? Will they be relieved and go back to mostly working with who they usually do and or working by themselves?
I will say that I have seen more awareness of each other. There was helpfulness before, but I see a more significant amount now. It's been an interesting and a good experience.


Mr. Matt

November has been a time of settling into routine for the Evergreen Team who have established themselves as helpful members of the community around the school. Our weekly shopping trips and making our own lunches has evolved into a lot of cooking of yummy food on a regular basis.

On our weekly trips to the farm the students are making connections with the animals, especially the most adorable bull (Mooey) and the barn cat (Cloe). We have been sharing time with the Monmouth Montessori Academy both at their extension Edel Haus Alpaca Farm (open on weekends for Alpaca petting, etc) and ours, the Knowhere Farm. In addition to having Socratic Seminars with them about the book, "Farmer Boy," by Laura Ingles Wilder, we are collaborating on building a picnic table for each farm. 

Mary has asked us to do another important job on the farm, clean the chicken coop once a week. It’s a dirty job, but we love it!

Meanwhile, the Evergreen Team has enjoyed the company of several of MSOE’s Elementary students on going out trips to the Philadelphia Free Public Library, the Wagner Free Institute of Science and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. From this last trip, we are looking forward to seeing what the students learned about individual Native American Tribes that they researched and will be presenting to us soon. 

Finally, it is with great pleasure to announce that the Evergreen Team’s first foray into Micro Economy has had a tremendous start! The kids designed, assembled (often in the back seat of my car while traveling) and sold Commemorative MSOE Ornaments at the recent Thanksgiving Feast. Thanks to your support, we have earned over $100 to help pay for the lumber and hardware we need to build and gift a picnic table to the Knowhere farm!

Higher Minds Yoga
In yoga class, students have been practicing patience with the singing bowl. We also worked together and tried some partner yoga poses, like double boat, back to back chair and seesaw. 

Our theme this month is PATIENCE . Here are some ways to incorporate what we learned at home. 

Mindful Breathing - Lion Breath 
Sit on knees, take a deep inhale and while exhaling a silent roar, lean forward stick out your tongue and roll eyes to back of head   
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"

Positive Affirmations
 I am patient.
I am calm.
I am forgiving.

Question to Ask
Can you remember a time when you were patient?