January 29

Hello parents,

I hope your fifth graders had a good time at JBiztown; I got good reports.  Let me know any insights you might have for next year.

Sixth graders really need to rally with their science fair projects.  The science fair is February 8.  I will do all I can in class to support this endeavor this next week.

We’ve decided as a class during a class meeting (student-led) that we will not be having a specific genre for our book that is read at home each month.  The student may pick the genre of his/her choice but it must be one that they don’t choose all the time (adventure/fantasy).  I felt good about this as long as the choice each student makes is deliberate and he/she can identify the genre.  It’s time to pick your student’s book for February.  I will be giving them until the end of this week to have chosen a new book.  If they are already in the middle of one, they just need to check in with me and let me know.

I’m planning the field trips for spring.  We usually have one to two a month.  Please let me know if you have any ideas.

This next week should be a productive week.  I will not assign IXL or Utah Compose for homework anymore.  I think the home projects and reading is enough.  If you would like to have your student do it of course feel free. I know it would be beneficial but I will leave it up to your discretion.

I would like to clarify something.  A Montessori classroom is a fluid, living organism that grows, evolves, changes, experiments, returns again and learns.  We all have given each other a lot of room for mistakes.  If it seems that my policies or ways of doing things keeps changing or there is a feeling of inconsistency is because here at the school we are a class-family.  We have class meetings and decide together what is working and not working in our education.  We adapt what we think could be improved and we keep what is working.  What was working last month may not be working this month.  The fundamentals stay the same but you will see new decisions made (by myself and the students together) may alter some of the details.This should liberate you as a parent because you never need worry if you aren’t doing something right or if you’ve missed something.  We will let you know what matters and what doesn’t.  Right now what matters is the Science Fair and getting a book for February.

I would also like to announce that I just started my first week of my master’s program in Advanced Montessori Methods.  I will bring a lot of what I’m learning into the classroom; I’m really excited!

I hope you know how much I want your children to succeed at life and at school.  I will work tirelessly for them.  I appreciate you all.

Ms. Shanan

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