Janet wished me a Happy Rocktober yesterday morning and I have to say, the day was seriously rocking!
(yeah, you get to be that corny when you’re a Montessori teacher!)
Both Friday and Monday mornings started with party preparations. Martha and I had one main goal and that was to do as little of the work as possible! We succeeded.
The children moved between stations where they could tear leaves of giant chard, dinosaur kale, and romaine lettuce into salad sized pieces, cut cucumber rounds, or exercise a deal of precision in dicing bell peppers with a blunt child’s knife. As they filtered into the classroom Martha and I would give brief demonstrations to those we could persuade to take up the necessary work. Their spirit of industry and excitement was contagious and even the children who opted out of salad prep seemed touched by it. I snapped at least one picture, Monday morning, of a contentedly self-directed group of learners working with the cylinder blocks.
By the time we called circle, Martha’s Workshop had already prepared the day’s apples, bell peppers, and greens (Chard & Kale on Friday and a mix of Chard & Romaine on Monday). We used circle to introduce the secret purpose of our Leafy Green Salad Party: Handwashing!
Yep, while there has been more than a bit of independence, orientation, and championing healthy food going on in the last couple days, my real message was “wash your hands!” So before taking the children in groups to set up the salad bar and make their salads we washed up together and sat down to talk and sing about clean hands and the perils they face from germs lurking on hair, faces, classroom surfaces and (every class clown’s favorite) bottoms.
Throughout the exercise the children would catch themselves as well as each other and dart happily off to the bathroom to wash their hands again. It was pretty awesome. As for the salads themselves, we staff really enjoyed how often children would swear they’d have none of their group’s salad only to be caught on the playground with a bowl and a smile!
If you’d like, slide over to the Parent’s Page to look at a few of the pictures Martha and I took of the Salad Party. We couldn’t catch everyone but I did get a picture of the used forks in our bus tub, though taken only halfway through the party it was pretty great to see so many dirty forks!
September Parent Meetings
We’ve talked a bit this month about independence, creating community and defining culture and that’s the real purpose of events like these. The Montessori classroom, philosophy, and results all come down to facilitating independence. From which, children access a satisfaction and joy that illuminates all their work from carrying a tray that seems too heavy to building words and adding sums.
Please see the Parent’s Page for a handout that covers some of the highlights of the orientation as well as another on ways to facilitate independence at home.
I just wanted to send out one more reminder about a few things we’ve talked about at the Parent Orientation as well as in the Parent handbook.
Wedgwood Montessori is a Nut Free Zone
To ensure the safety of all of the children in our care, Wedgwood Montessori is a nut free zone, please use soynut, sunflower or another nut-alternative butter for lunches. If we’re at all unsure about whether a lunch, snack, or emergency kit contains nuts we default to caution so feel free to enclose a note to help us know without having to sample.
The Snack List
Families take turns providing snack, each family can expect 3-4 turns over a given year. We send the list home on Wednesday for the following Monday.
Hints on a few frequent and possibly hard to find items: dixie cups are in the bathroom aisle and soy nut butter can be found in the natural foods section. Confirmed sightings at Fred Meyer, U Village QFC, PCC, and Whole Foods.
We send nap bedding home to be washed every two weeks. Please return it the following Monday as we don’t have many spare sets of bedding.
Pick Up/ Drop Off
We plan teacher schedules to line up with our class size as indicated by our registration. Please ensure you pick up and drop off your children within your scheduled hours.
As of October we will follow our posted late fee policy of a 5 minute grace period, then $5 and $1/minute after that. Late fee bills will be emailed weekly.
♫ ♫ ♫ Music Notes ♫ ♫ ♫
We had a great start to the year with music class in September! We listened to Overtures (my favorite way to start the year!). We heard the William Tell by Rossini, The overture from A Midummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture (with cannons!!!!), and The Barber of Seville by Rossini again!
The kids learned the definitions of Overture and Composer and loved the music and the stories from all of these examples.
We also learned about the percussion family of instruments this month. We played our rhythm instruments and some games, and I brought in a glockenspiel that each student had a chance to play!! We also learned the song ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious’ Haha! What a fun song!!
In October we will listen to ‘Scary Music’. We’ll listen to Danse Macabre, Carmina Burana, A Night on Bare Mountain and In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt! We’ll focus on the woodwind family of instruments and I’ll bring in a clarinet (if I’m lucky I’ll get my sister to come in and play it for us!!!).
We’ve got some scary songs about witches and pirates to learn and we’ll play some spooky games!
I’m always very happy to talk with you about your kids and how they’re doing in music class, so if you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org!!
On the Horizon
October 26th—Pumpkin Patch Field Trip: No school from 10:30 am-1:30 pm
October 31st—Class Halloween Party: Just send them to school dressed up, otherwise a normal day
November 12th— Veteran’s Day: No school
November 30th—Parent Teacher Conferences: No School