Vol. 6, and Issue 2: October 2019
A Message from Mr. Matt
Dear Parents,

With the school year moving into November, I want to thank each of you for all of the support you've shown, as well as the teachers and staff! The positive atmosphere in each classroom is palpable. The positive feedback from the tours has continued to be wonderful. The state of the school is going well and I want to share some of that with you! 
The toddler program presently has 8 children, 9 will be with us when we get to Moorestown. We had another tour for toddler last week. They may be joining us sooner rather than later. There are a couple of other toddlers waiting in the wings for when we move. It is likely that we will have a full toddler classroom of 12 students by February.

The Primary program has 24 children. We have had several tours over the past couple of weeks. A few of the children, at this point are for when we get to Moorestown and at least one for next school year. I would not be surprised if we were close to capacity in the primary classroom (30) by February as well.

The Elementary program is doing well with 19 children. It is rare to get elementary children during the school year, so this will probably be the number for the remainder of the school year. We have 7 new children from the beginning of the school year who have been acclimating well to the classroom!

The Adolescent Program currently consists of 2 children. We need to grow this program. While there are a good amount of MSOE families who have expressed interest in the adolescent program, their children won't be ready for several years. Given that it is very unlikely new students will enroll this school year, I'd like to set a goal of expanding our program to a total of five students by September 2020. Frank, our new adolescent teacher has come out of the gates in full force. With the energy, enthusiasm, contributions and professionalism brought to the table, the two students that he has, have been doing well. Dan, the supplemental math teacher has been a great addition, just as I suspected! Furthermore, Frank has also partnered with a Montessori Adolescent program (4 students) from central Jersey. Every month they are taking turns visiting each other’s farms.

So, I am just asking you to put on thinking caps, talk to people about what you have seen with Frank’s posts and pictures etc. Together we can do this!


Mr. Matt
Dear Parents,

We have had one very busy October in our Toddler Classroom! Ms. Tori, Ms. Julie and myself can not believe we are coming upon November! Time has really flown by for us as we are enjoying spending time with your little ones!

We have been talking a lot about our seasonal changes focusing on Autumn, the Fall Harvest and what that means. We will be going on our Fall Nature Walk next week to see what treasures we can find and the children will be bringing them home with them. We celebrated our Harvest Day this week, where the toddlers tasted fresh fall veggies and made some special crafts, as well as, carving a pumpkin to bake their own pumpkin seeds for food tasting among other fun surprises for them! I was aware of food allergies as I prepare the recipe.

Our animal curriculum for this month continued the farm animal theme but really focused on different breeds of horses, since so many of our toddlers favorite animal is the horse! So far they have learned all about American Saddlebreds, Mustangs, and Appalachian horses, your little ones will be able to tell you all about them. We will continue to learn about different breeds in November. In addition, we will be learning about zoo animals, which will be a big hit with this group of toddlers!

During Circle this month, Geography continued to focus on our Continent of North America and we are learning more about our country. Spanish consisted of reviewing numbers from 1-10, as well as learning the color words for white (blanco), black (negro), and red (rojo). All month long we sang, 5 Little Pumpkins and the Itsy Bitsy Spider! Art Appreciation was all about A Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. 

I added many new works to the classroom this month as the toddlers are ready for more and more activities every day! Just to name a couple in each area, here it goes! 

Practical Life : Velcro Work to help aid in dressing themselves
            Straw Transference into Pumpkin Jar to aid in refining fine motor skills

Art :  Square Dot Maker Sheet
    American Saddlebred Horse Sponge Painting

Manipulative : Train Tracks
            Giant Wooden Lego Blocks
            For Creative Thinking and Building

Language : Introducing the “s” sound through letter magnets
          Picture to Letter Sound Matching Puzzle Pieces

Sensorial: Math : Pumpkin Sticker Work 1-1 Correlation on the child’s individual level
              Owl 1-1 Correlation Object to Card 1-5

  • Please label all of your child’s belongings, including all clothing, back packs, lunch boxes, diapers, wipes, etc.

  • Please make sure that your child is dressed for the cooler weather, as we all continue to go outside for fresh air, exercise and exploration!

  •  As always, please continue to send you child in with a healthy lunch every day, including a healthy protein, and plenty of fruits and veggies. Please refrain from cookies, any kind including animal cracker and veggie straws. Crackers such as cheese crackers and goldfish are fine, as they have some nutritional value.

Next month, we are looking forward to our School Wide Thanksgiving Feast! Please keep an eye out for our sign up list, if you can contribute a food donation or would like to come in and help out, we will need a couple volunteers from each classroom!

Thank you, as always for your continued support of our Toddler Program!

Best Regards,

Ms Chris
Dear Primary Parents,

The month of October was another fun filled month for the children. Additionally, I truly enjoyed the opportunity of connecting with new parents last week. I think it’s safe to say that our Primary classroom continues to evolve to be a loving, collaborative and dynamic community. Ms. Mary and I are enjoying observing the social cohesion that is occurring with your children this month. Subsequently, we continue to engage with the children to entice their interests and help them to explore further. In turn, supporting their continual conquest for independence and the development of will.  

We began the month with a historical presentation by Ms. Mary on Christopher Columbus. Ms. Mary told the story of what began as quest for Indian spices and later turned out to be an introduction into the beginning of the Europeans migrating into North America. We also discussed the indigenous people who lived in North America before he arrived. The children sang songs about Christopher Columbus, as well as listened to a traditional Native American story about being thankful for the harvest.

Soon after Johnathan’s dad, Daniel DiFlavis, came in to do a special presentation about his boat trip on the Delaware river. He talked about the different parts of the boat as well as his loyal stuffed animal crew-mates that Johnathan left with him for safekeeping. The children especially enjoyed hearing about his trip to Petty Island where pirates once lived. Many thanks to Daniel for sharing this experience with the children. They absolutely loved it!

As we observe the changing of the season, we discussed why leaves change color. We talked about the change of sunlight, weather and the way in which trees prepare for wintertime. Additionally, the children participated in many leaf activities in the classroom such as leaf rubbing, writing the different parts of leaf or examining different types of trees. We also discussed pumpkins and vegetables that you can find in the market during harvest season. Lastly, in the spirit of Autumn we ended the month roasting pumpkin seeds and going on a nature walk as a class. 

Things to look forward to in November

Click here to RSVP for Collaboration night for November 12th   5:00 pm to 6:00 pm (the topic will be on Logical consequences and Positive Discipline strategies in the classroom and at home. You don’t want to miss it)! 

 The children will be doing many activities related to the thanksgiving story of the pilgrims, as well as learning about many Native American customs and ways of life.

As always Ms. Mary and I look forward to another month of many exciting learning opportunities. Many thanks for all your continued partnership and support!

Best Regards,

Mr. Carl and Ms. Mary
Dear Parents,

While you all get information of what your children are doing everyday, I want to share a little of that. More importantly, I want to share a different kind of important lesson that I shared with everyone. October was filled with working on foundational academic skills for some students. All students received new lessons in virtually every subject area. More recently we did a lesson on the Timeline of Life. That night I came across an article about Trilobites. The next day I shared it with the class and Ms. Anne knows of a place in the Poconos if anyone is ever up that way and interested. I know several of your children are! 

Now, back to this different kind of lesson. I gathered the children and said to them, people are like particles. Some are like solids and want to be together all the time, others are like liquids and like to be around each other, but there is some space between them for other particles to pass through. This is like when someone else passes through and your friends with them, maybe more than someone else, but you may eventually go back to spending time with the same particle(s). Some people are like air molecules and you are barely around each other. Sometimes, you don’t want to be around each other. All of this is okay, but when it comes to getting along. We have to try and be more like liquid or solid molecules. Our goal, your goal should be, and my goal for you is to be like liquid or solid molecules. Sometimes people make themselves like air molecules, but our goal is to more times than not be solids or liquids and to help others to be more like liquids at least too!

I continue to thoroughly enjoy this class and continue to be excited about our future together. Your children are thoughtful, display a love of learning, and contribute positively to their environment. I am a little early in expressing my thankfulness for your children. I guess I am gearing up for November. We will be sending out communications soon about how we will be celebrating November and Thanksgiving!
Moving into cooler weather has been nice while we work outdoors at the Knowhere Farm. We finished setting the main posts for the expanded horse field. Progress is moving slowly on creating our classroom space and the library but we still persevere. 

The big news regarding farm extension and collaboration is meeting up with the Monmouth Montessori Academy at their extension, the Abel Haus Alpaca Farm in Wall, NJ. We enjoyed meeting 5 new friends there (and one incredible guide). Together, we participated in a scavenger hunt they made for us and in return we taught them how to build a labyrinth. 

Our first meetup went so well we scheduled to visit Abel Haus once a month and MMA with also visit us once a month at the Knowhere Farm. They already came to the Knowhere Farm and helped us build a temporary latrine and together decided to do a reading seminar for the book, " Farmer Boy ."

Otherwise our students have begun independent reading, work daily on English, Language Arts, math, typing and writing. We have learned about scientific investigation and done two experiments involving matter and energy.  

While Victoria works on a presentation about her favorite cute animal, the seal, Alan has presented on Nordic Mythology. As part of his research, I took Alan to meet a friend who is a viking historian and craftsman. John Richtey took the time to demonstrate how vikings dressed, how to tool leather and make tools and weapons. He even let us throw axes and battle with swords and shields!

Meanwhile, the Evergreen Team has worked themselves into positions to serve their community. Victoria and Alan have both taken time to observe and learn about the Toddler and Primary classes. Now they are available to occasionally and when needed, assist in those classrooms or work with the students outside. This is a rare and unique opportunity. It is so nice that they get to have this experience too. We are looking forward to more exciting opportunities and lessons created and experienced in November!


Mr. Frank
Higher Minds Yoga
In yoga class, students have been practicing sun salutations with focus on connecting their breath with the movements. We learned lotus pose and some students were even able to float their lotus!  

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

Mindful Breathing – Heart Belly Breath
Sitting up tall or lying on your back, place one hand on the belly and one hand over your heart. Close eyes and think of all that you are grateful for. Inhale love and exhale gratitude. 
Positive Affirmations
I am grateful.
I am happy.
I am blessed.

Question to Ask
What are you grateful for?
There is an emerging body of research that indicates that mindfulness can help our children improve their abilities to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset, and to make better decisions. In short, it helps with emotional regulation and cognitive focus.

Our basic definition of mindfulness: to notice what is happening right now.

Students have become familiar with mindful breathing as a way to calm their body, mind and emotions, and it is how we begin every mindfulness session.

We have been enjoying using our senses to help us stay present and in our bodies, participating in sensory nature walks, pin art, and tactile meditations with objects of varying textures/weights.

We have expressed much gratitude for our friends, family and environment by using gratitude buttons and a book titled, The Wonderful Happens.

We have engaged our memories of pleasant experiences at the beach, drawing on our imaginations to bring peace and happiness to our present, using a wordless book titled, Wave.

We drew representations of what we like about ourselves, using scratch art, after reading a book titled, I Like Myself. Students kept their artwork - ask them to see it!

We have engaged in creative self-expression by using objects found in nature on one of our sensory walks, designing mandalas that evoked happy memories and warm feelings. Photos are available in Transparent Classroom for those students who participated - ask your child to tell you about it!