04/19/2013

Dear Families,

Thanks for a wonderful week! Where do spring rolls, paper lanterns, and panda bears come from? They are all from Asia. The children welcomed Conie from Indonesia into our classroom this week. She introduced us to spring rolls, and showed us how to make sushi and paper lanterns. It was an exciting afternoon, full of food and art!

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Enjoy making a paper lantern at home with your child:                     http://www.families.com/blog/craft-paper-lantern

We continued with new lessons using the Montessori materials. As well, the chidlren are working with the materials of choice, during the three-hour uninterrupted work period. This work period takes place in the morning. In a Montessori prepared environment, children are able to work for long periods of time in unbroken time. The children are getting the full benefit of one of the cornerstones of an authentic Montessori experience; the three-hour work cycle. Thank you to parents for arriving on time, and allowing your child to settle in, adjust and transition into the environment.

Thanks!

Tina

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04/12/2013

Dear Families,

We continued our study of Africa this week. Thanks to Kim Haxton for coming to talk to the children about Africa. Kim is off to work in Africa in the next few weeks.

The children enjoyed learning more about Amphibians with the Parts of the Frog work and the the Lifecycle of the Frog.

The Casa class visited Amber at the Huntsville Public Library on Wednesday afternoon. The children spent time listening to stories, and worked on library rules. And even though playing in the library is fun, safety issues are a concern for both library staff and visitors. In order to insure that everyone visiting the library enjoys their time here safely, the following are rules for library behaviour: 1.- Please walk in the library.
2.- Respect books and use carefully.
3.- Respect the bookshelves, please do not climb.
4.- Please do not bring food into the library.
5.- Use your inside voice at all times.

We are finally seeing some signs of Spring! I’m sure you have noticed your children with wet and muddy clothing. Thanks to the parents for supporting us during this Spring weather.

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Happy Spring!

Tina

04/05/2013

Dear Families,

We continued to explore Montessori materials from all areas of the classroom this week. The children’s interest was sparked this week by the broad stair/pink tower work. As an extension, the broad stairs are often used with the pink tower to allow the child to make many designs.                                      http://www.lapappadolce.net/scala-marrone-e-torre-rosa-estensioni/            They are enjoying working together cooperatively with these materials. It’s wonderful to observe as the children are feeling more comfortable with the Montessori materials.

The children were so excited to discover ice!! With this latest Spring/Winter weather there are various patches of ice around the building and in the woods. The children played “skating” on the large ice patch behind the building, and “explorers” on the ice in the forest.

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“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” Maria Montessori

Enjoy your weekend,

Tina

03/29/2013

Dear Families,

The class was busy with lessons, stories, songs and art this week. All children continued with lessons from the five areas of the classroom.

Of course, Practical Life is always a popular area because the activities provide real life experiences for the children. For example, many of the children enjoy opening and closing of the locks and keys.

In the Sensorial Area children learn about shapes from the Geometry Cabinet. Maria Montessori believed the hand was the direct link to the mind. The child uses his fingers to trace the edge of each shape, and thus, is able to truly understand what it is. Later, the child will match the shapes to cards and learn the names of the shapes. You may hear your child saying “octagon”, which is a polygon with eight sides. Take a look at a STOP sign next time you are out for a walk with your child, and count the eight sides.

The class worked with eggs this week as Easter approached. The children counted coloured and experimented with eggs. We experimented with eggs and observed eggs floating in saltwater and eggshells soften in vinegar water.

We are on the look out for signs of Spring! Let’s hope April brings us some warmer weather.

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Thanks,

Tina

February/March Toddler Newsletter

Hello Toddler Families!

As the days and months of our school year quickly pass, I am amazed how much your children have grown and developed since September. I am observing so many great things in the toddler classroom – language development, concentration, fine and gross motor development.

We are so excited about the addition of the indoor slide to our classroom! The children were so excited to see this new equipment in the class. The slide provides a great opportunity for movement, development of gross motor muscles and social skills. I always remind myself of the effort it takes for young children to co-ordinate their muscles and movements – the indoor slide promotes this.  It is wonderful to see and hear the children waiting their turn at the bottom of the slide.

As the winter weather is still upon us, please continue to send appropriate outdoor clothing. Waterproof mittens are preferred, if possible! There are days when we decide to stay indoors, however it is always better to be prepared.  The children have been enjoying all the snow! They like to climb up and slide down all the “big mountains” of snow.

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter!  I leave you with this quote from Maria Montessori ( “The Secret of Childhood”)

“Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside. Through movement we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.”

Kindly,

Christina

03/22/2013

Dear Families,

Welcome back after the March Break! Our class welcomed Spring this week, however the weather still feels very much like Winter. We will look for signs of Spring over the next few months.

The children will study Africa through stories, songs, art, maps, and cooking. This week they enjoyed an African recipe made from baked bananas. The children cut bananas and poured over a mixture of butter and brown sugar. The bananas were heated in the oven and eaten for snack the next day.

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Our class visited the library on Wednesday. We found some wonderful Spring books and African animal books. Thanks to Amber for reading some interesting stories to our class.

You may hear your child talking about Amphibians. We learned that these animals are cold blooded and live on both land and water. We’ll continue our Amphibian study over the next few weeks. It’s great to learn about frogs and salamanders as Spring awakens and these creatures become active.

Thanks for all of your support with our Montessori program!

Regards,

Tina

02/22/2013

Dear Families,

It was a full week with the three-hour work period each day, and various activities in the afternoons (making play dough, creating clay pinch pots and celery food colouring experiment). The children enjoyed learning more about Australia. A big “Thank You” to Ann for bringing various Australian items into the classroom. The children have learned many interesting facts from the placemats!

We continued with Reptile work this week. The Emerald Tree Boa has been one of the favourite reptiles! The children have enjoyed role playing and acting out various reptiles (sea turtles hatching and making their mad dash to the water).

The children were very excited to make homemade play dough. It’s a wonderful activity to try with your child at home.

Play Dough Recipe:

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoon cream of tartar (find it in the spice section)
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
food colouring

Mix first 4 ingredients in a pan. Add water and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 – 5 minutes. Dough will become difficult to stir and form a “clump”.  Remove from stove and knead for 5 minutes–add food coloring during kneading process. Play dough will keep for a long time stored in a covered plastic container or plastic sandwich bag.

We are looking forward to our last week of school before the two-week March Break.

The March Break runs from March 4 – March 15.

Many thanks for bringing book bags on Friday each week. You will find your child’s work and a book in the bag each week.

Regards,

Tina