Please respect the first 6 weeks of school as crucial to setting the tone for the entire year. Please try to avoid being absent during this time, including vacations. This period of time is essential since the dynamics of the classroom are being formed. The children are acclimating to their environment, learning their curriculum, and establishing time management skills as well as establishing themselves intellectually, emotionally and socially. We will be creating a community in our classroom and building relationships by playing cooperative games and other activities. We’ll also be getting to know the children and doing placement testing.
School starts promptly at 8:30 a.m. If your child is not in the building by 8:30 in the morning, you will have to walk your child into the school and check him/her in at the office. They will be considered tardy. Please help your child be on time to school. It is very important to his/her education to be here on time, so that they may start their day calm and relaxed, not rushed and stressed.
If your student will not be attending school, due to illness, vacation, or any other reason, please email me at email@example.com and the office to notify them of your student’s absence.
The 6-9 year old is in a sensitive period for the acquisition of culture. They have an innate need to learn about the world around them and their place in it. Maria Montessori called her curriculum the “Cosmic Curriculum”. What this means in simpler terms is that we have an integrated science, social studies, and cultural curriculum. While we have separate math and language works, they serve as a support for the cultural core. Botany, history, geography, zoology and physical science are the areas of focus in order to help the child understand the world around them. We also incorporate art and music into continent studies. Please take time to extend your child’s learning by taking them to museums, walks or simply help them make connections between what they are learning at school and their home life.
Classroom Lessons and Follow-ups
Each child will receive lessons in fractions, time, money, measurement, arithmetic, language, writing, geography, history, zoology, botany, and geometry. All lessons will be taught weekly to each child.
Every morning, each child will have a plan of their day on their work charts. As the children become more normalized, they will be asked to plan their day based on their follow-up works. These work charts are to be used to help guide each child to complete their assignments on time and independently.
Each child will progress at his/her own pace through the lessons for their level. As teachers we constantly observe the child and provide them with an environment (lessons, materials, guidance and encouragement) that will help the child strengthen their personal development.
Your child’s work will not be given a traditional grade. The children also help conduct their parent/ teacher conference by reviewing their goals with you, including their progress and work samples.
You will not receive traditional homework from our classroom. Homework is assigned in the form of home projects. Home projects are guided by monthly themes, which are posted on a separate blog page. These home projects are meant to explore questions, find answers, share information with peers, increase academic skills, and ultimately instill a love of learning. Reading about your home project topics is a great way to include aspects of their work outside the classroom.
Your child will have many opportunities to read and be read to in the classroom and we highly encourage reading at home. Research shows that reading at home with your child is more effective at creating a successful reader than any reading drills, expensive programs or instruction. We’d like to recommend at least 20 minutes a day.
Please attend Parent Education nights and Parent Teacher Conferences–these are opportunities to see your child’s work and to better understand the Montessori curriculum.
Independence and Practical Life
Montessori education focuses on educating the whole child. This means that in addition to academic instruction, we as teachers seek to teach practical skills, social/emotional skills and more. This means the children prepare and clean up after their own lunches and snacks, work to resolve conflicts, follow procedures to treat others with respect and generally take responsibility for their own learning. In addition, there are no scheduled bathroom breaks in our school. Your child will be allowed to use the bathroom as needed. In order for this program to be successful, it will be necessary for us to demonstrate how to take care of the bathroom environment without supervision and for the children to follow this instruction.
Practical Life at Home
Following is a list of ideas to help your child continue to learn independence at home.
-Make own lunch
-Using the library/Obtaining own card
-Care of plants
-Writing letters or thank you notes
-Simple acts of kindness
-Care of animals
-Peaceful conflict resolution (I messages)
PE and Music
Students have a 90 minute period for guided PE and music instruction every Tuesday. Please talk to your children about respecting every adult and teacher in our school–not just their classroom teachers. The PE teacher asks for children to come in sneakers or tennis shoes on their day of PE.
There is a philosophical reason behind snack time in the Montessori setting. Your child will gain the skill of helping to prepare (cutting apples, etc.) and clean up snack and serve their classmates. This teaches leadership and is one of the children’s favorite activities. We will be teaching healthy eating habits and ask that only healthy snacks be brought to the classroom. We really need your help for this food preparation/snack time to work. Fresh produce from your garden is a welcome snack as well. Please find the link to sign-up under the 2018-19 Snack Sign-up post on the blog. Ideally, we ask that you provide snack twice during the school year so that all our students can benefit.
Suggested Healthy Snacks – Please! No candy, sodas, chips/Cheetos, drink mixes, dips or peanut butter (because of allergies).
Any fresh fruits or vegetables
Dried fruit such as raisins or fruit leather (no-sugar added, please!)
Pretzels or whole-grain crackers
Whole grain bagels or bread with cream cheese or butter
Granola or granola bars
Dry cereal (no sugar coatings, please)
Cheese or string cheese
Snacks do not need to be pre-assembled. We assist the children with this. Thank you for understanding our commitment to healthy minds and bodies.
Recess and Lunch
Recess will be before lunch. Generally, recess begins at 11:30 a.m. and lunch begins at 12:00 p.m. Lunches must be brought from home. Please be mindful as you help your child prepare a healthy lunch for school by sending a well-balanced meal free with no added sugar or empty calories. Please send a small ice pack in your child’s lunch box if the food needs to be kept cold. Students may use the classroom microwave, but we ask that they limit their heating time to only one minute in order to provide time for multiple students. We kindly asking you only send drinks with low or no sugar, milk, and water during lunch. Please do not send soda, sugary drinks or any drink or drink mixes with red or orange coloring to school as the spills will stain our desks and carpet.