April 17, 2020
Dear Wonderful MMA Lower El Families,
As always, we hope this letter finds you and your families healthy, happy, and well. As teachers, we have been thinking about you all, especially your children and how we can best help you as we continue to move forward with distance learning.
As a reminder, our lower el blog is still up and running. This is where you can find all the links for any digital components we are using and it is being updated as needed. One new thing we will be adding soon is a page with links for virtual field trips. Since we are all doing our best to practice the stay home and stay safe initiative, we are unable to visit educational places like we normally would on field trips. This page will allow you and your child to virtually explore not only places we could easily attend in person but places that are far away like the San Diego Zoo. Your teacher may also plan a virtual field trip to do as a class. If needed, the link for the blog is http://blogs.mariamontessoriacademy.org/lowerel/.
Moving into the last two weeks of April, we will continue using hard copy packets and the online resources from the blog to help students in their continual progress for learning. At the beginning of April, all lower elementary teachers made packets that had enough material to last through the month for all parents who requested hard copies. If you have already made it to the school to pick up the packet, you have the materials you need for the next two weeks. If you have not picked it up but you requested one, you can pick it up during the next two weeks, Monday to Friday from 9-11 am or 3-5 pm.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the works and aren’t sure what to do, please refer to the workcharts that were included in the packet and also posted on the blog. These give you suggestions for how many times a week to do certain works and how long to do each one. As a team we wanted to provide you with this to help with some guidance but also still allow students to have a choice like they do at school.
The workcharts are also how we will be tracking work that your child is doing. There are two ways you can turn this in, either dropping it off at the school in your teacher’s bin or by taking a picture and sending it to your teacher. If neither of these options works for you, please send your teacher an email with the works your child has been doing. For example, “John has been doing Imagine Learning Math and Language daily and a page of handwriting 3 times a week.” We ask that you do this every two weeks. We are currently at the end of our second week, so please turn in a workchart or email your teacher as soon as you are able.
As many of you know, we will be in a soft closure through the remainder of the school year. This means we will continue with our distance learning through the last day of school. In order for us as teachers to best meet your student’s learning needs, we have created a survey that will be shared with you by your child’s teacher no later than this coming Monday. It is a short survey that will take only a few minutes and give us data to help us moving forward. Please complete this survey by this coming Wednesday end of day.
As teachers we will be updating our blogs weekly, contacting you via phone call, email, or Remind bi-weekly, and doing a class meeting (most likely through Zoom) weekly. This way we hope to support you and your child individually in the best way possible.
We will have a solid plan on what the final three weeks of school will look like regarding works and end of year traditions like bridging by the first part of May.
Thank you all for your hard work in helping your children continue their learning and educational growth during this time of social distancing. We miss your children greatly and hope to see them all during one of the class meetings we will be having. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email your child’s teacher.
Stay healthy, happy, and safe.
Lower Elementary Team
March 25, 2020
Dear Wonderful MMA Lower El Families,
We hope this email/post finds you and your family well. As your teachers and as a school, we have been thinking about you and working hard to support you as you undertake this new distance learning adventure with us. Thank you for all your hard work and patience as we get everything figured out and put together. Your continued support is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed. So thank you.
As a lower elementary team, we are sending this to give you updates and reminders about what we are doing for your child’s education at this time. Here you will find the main digital resources we are utilizing as a team to monitor your child’s work and progress. The main ones we will monitor are Imagine Learning Reading and Math, Reading Horizons, and Khan Academy. We encourage you all to take advantage of these as much as you can. You can find all the login information under the Language Arts and Math tabs at the top of the blog site. You will also find lots of other great resources under the other tabs.
While we are excited to use these sites, we also understand that for many of you there are limitations in regards to technology use. We know that some of you only have access to one computer to share among many children or have limited access to the internet. To help with this, we are also providing hard copy packets for you to work on with your child. These include math, reading, writing, and other fun ideas. With the news of our school continuing soft closure until May 1, we will be making packets for the month of April. At the beginning of last week, you were asked to let your teacher know if you wanted one of these packets. A new packet for all 4 weeks of April will be made for all who already requested a packet. We are working hard to have these packets available for pickup starting this Thursday, March 26. If you are able to pick up your packet this Thursday or Friday, that will be great. Otherwise, you can get it after spring break. As a reminder, school office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
If you did not respond in needing a hard copy packet and have changed your mind, please email your teacher. If this is the case, your packet may not be ready until after spring break.
We have also created a new work chart that will be included in the packet and will be posted on the blog. We are not asking that you turn in any of your child’s completed work but that you mark off on the work chart when they have done a work. We have also included a suggestion of how many times a week to do the work as well as a suggested amount of time for it. You can turn these in every two weeks by bringing them to the school and putting them in your teacher’s basket, taking a picture and emailing or sending it to your teacher via Remind, or just sending a message with the works your child has done. This is how we as a lower elementary team will be keeping track of your child’s completed works as well as monitoring online progress. Just be mindful that as teachers we are not going to be in the school daily so we may not get your hard copy work chart the day you turn it in. Please use the work chart to guide which works you use from the hard copy packet.
We will also be touching base with you weekly to provide you and your child with feedback. Please watch for an email or blog post from your teacher as to how they will be doing this. It may be through an email just to you or even a phone call. Each teacher will decide the best way for them and your class.
As always, we are available to support you through email and the Remind app. If you contact the teacher with a question or concern, you should hear back from them by 4:00 p.m. during regular school days. Since next week is spring break, we ask that you as parents take a break with your child and allow for time to relax. As teachers, we will not be available during this week so please do not expect replies or feedback until the break is over.
As always, thank you for all you do. Stay healthy and safe.
Lower Elementary Teachers
Dear MMA Lower Elementary Families,
This blog has been created to provide Distance Learning support. All Lower Elementary teachers will be contributing to this blog. It is the main resource for all Lower Elementary families to get access to both required and additional resources.
Please view the attached work chart for a weekly list of works for children to complete. We understand that your family’s unique situation will require its own schedule. We have assembled a suggested schedule and hope that you will find it helpful.
Your first task is to enlist your family in creating a space that is conducive to learning. Maria Montessori teaches that the environment is the child’s first teacher. There are many suggestions online of Montessori inspired spaces at home. In our classrooms, children are expected to complete their “jobs” that contribute to the community including caring for plants and pets, cleaning, washing dishes, preparing snacks, etc. We encourage you to implement jobs that will create ownership, bless your family with a beautiful space, and bring peace to you and your children.
You are your child’s first and best teacher and your home is their first school. Involve your children in all of your activities; cooking, cleaning, setting the table, etc. Each of these experiences will bring you closer and teach valuable skills to your child.
Please know that our thoughts are with you. At this time, the most important thing is to protect these precious children, both physically and emotionally. We encourage you to spend time with your families and create safe places for everyone.
We are available to support you through email and the Remind app. If you contact the teacher with a question or concern, you should hear back from them by 4:00 pm. We will also periodically update this blog with more ideas, so please subscribe. Most things that will be updated on this blog will be in the page tabs at the top of the blog.
The Lower Elementary Team