From Director's Desk
The month of March brings the beginning of spring and kicks off a busy time of year for all at the Montessori School of Cumming. Bring a Parent to School Day and the Montessori at home parent coffee were hosted to provide parents a deeper understanding of the child’s Montessori experience. The second year and beyond elementary students completed the Iowa Assessments, while the primary classrooms completed the AMI consultation process that ensures continued high-quality and authentic Montessori classrooms and materials for your child. Our version of March Madness, for all of the basketball fans, also brought a few new faces to our MSOC staff.
With all of these activities happening, the month of March came and went quickly. Luckily, spring is here to stay for a while, even if March Madness is not.
Bring a Parent to School Day was a huge success for all of the classrooms. This event provided parents the opportunity to share their child’s current Montessori lessons and participate in learning the Montessori way. All of the children excitedly welcomed and appreciated your undivided attention to their work and loved having you come to school to share a part of their day. The teachers and assistants always enjoy answering your questions and watching your Montessori experience with your child. Thank you all for coming!
This school year I have been hosting parent coffee discussions on a variety of topics; March featured the broad topic of Montessori at home. The parent groups are typically small and allow for lots of parent interaction and an opportunity to ask about particular situations that are specific to your family or child. The highlights of the morning, other than great coffee and conversation, included strategies for mealtime and bedtime, cultivating gradually expanding independence, and avoiding the recreation of Montessori materials in the home environment, as well as a nifty
shirt folding device to assist children to independently fold their clothes.
The Iowa Assessments were completed by the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year elementary students over a week long period at the conclusion of March. The children seemed eager each morning to tackle the testing process. Thank you to all of the elementary parents for helping your child come to school on testing days well-rested and well-nourished.
The Montessori School of Cumming is committed to providing the children with a high-quality authentic Montessori experience at each classroom level. The AMI consultant visited the primary classrooms in March. The elementary consultation was completed in the fall of 2016, and the toddler community completed their consultation in 2015. Consultants visit the school every three years at each classroom level.
Please join us in welcoming Hailey Amerein and Peggy Sutton to the MSOC staff. Hailey and Peggy are sharing the role of the aftercare toddler assistant. Hailey and Peggy are enjoying getting to know all of the children and their families.
April’s schedule will keep all of us hopping through the spring. The Jungle Book will be presented by the children on Friday, April 14th at 6pm. This year the play will be at Midway Elementary located at 4805 Atlanta Highway, Alpharetta, GA 30004. Spoiled Rotten Photography will take incredible outdoor photos of the children on April 18th for the toddler community and elementary students and on April 19th for the primary students. The sign-up sheet for parent conferences will be available early next week. Parent conferences are scheduled for the week of April 24th to 28th. The fundraiser this year will be a combined carwash and bake sale tentatively scheduled for May 5th.
All the Best,
From Toddler Class by Ms. Manisha
Finally, spring is here, which brings about allergy season as well as lots of opportunities for outdoor activities. At this time, we are experiencing runny noses, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes amongst the children and teachers. If your child is affected by seasonal allergies, please do as much as possible to alleviate some of the discomfort. It is difficult to engage in any of the activities when they are not feeling well.
We have been singing a song about spring and talking about thunder and lightning. The toddler community is filled with constant movement, toddler communication with each other’s, purposeful activities and lots of interactions amongst all of us! Little minds are busy absorbing. Independence is developing and limits are being tested daily; our toddlers are hard at work!
Thank you for participating in Bring a Parent to School Day this month; we know you were just as amazed as we were. I hope you enjoyed your child’s presentations.
Ø -Your prompt arrival & swift drop-off at the door is most appreciated.
Ø -In an effort to keep our toddlers safe, please refrain from placing harmful items in your child’s backpack. You may hand those items directly to the teachers. (Ex: diaper rash cream, bug spray etc.)
Ø Please label your child’s belongings.
Happy Birthday Aashay!
Please join us in welcoming Elias and his family into the toddler community.
From Primary A by Ms. Rashmi
I would like to start the newsletter by thanking all the parents for making the Bring a Parent to School Day so exciting for the children!! This event marked the beginning of the joyous March journey of our children in Primary A, followed by the St. Patrick's day project, story time at the library, and the project on Dr. Suess’ birthday and so forth.
I would also like to thank the Chows for bringing in the air plant for the children to enjoy. This gave us the opportunity to learn more about air plants in general. The children learned that the scientific name for the air plant is Tillandsia, and that these plants are native to the forests, mountains, and deserts of Central and South America, the Southern United States and the West Indies. They also learned that the air plants need to be thoroughly wet 2-3 times per week. The air plant requires more frequent rain in a hot dry environment and less frequent rain in a cool humid environment
Since March marked the beginning of spring, we discussed the term vernal equinox'. Vernal is a Latin word for spring and equinox means equal days and nights. The children learned that on the 1st day of spring, around March 21st, the sunrise and sunset are about 12 hours apart. The hours of daylight and night are almost equal on the vernal equinox.
Easter, Passover, April Fool 's Day, Arbor Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Cinco de Mayo are all holidays in spring.
Since April usually brings more showers, the children of Primary A revisited the water cycle and discussed the differences in the terms droplets, raindrops, drizzle, shower, rain, acid rain, rain storm and thunderstorms. They learned about the different kinds of rain clouds such as stratus, nimbostratus, cumulus and cumulonimbus rain clouds. The children seemed to be awestruck knowing the fact that some rain clouds are not actually dark, but look dark to us ,because there are so many water droplets in the clouds that the rays of the sun can't shine through!
In conclusion, we are looking forward to doing some planting in our garden this spring, so any help will be greatly appreciated!
From Primary B by Ms. Jiyoung
Greetings! It is hard to believe that spring is here! The weather is definitely tempting us with some warm temperatures and sunny days. We hope you are enjoying it as much as we are!
This month the emphasis of the group time curriculum has been on exploring the solar system. The children enjoyed learning the names of the planets and gained an initial understanding of what makes a planet, as well as an understanding of the earth’s rotation and axis. Reading and talking about what causes the seasons to change and what causes day and night helps the children learn about their planet.
We also learned about Saint Patrick and the Irish culture. When the children heard the story of Saint Patrick, they were quite sad to know that he was taken away from his parents at a young age. However, the children were happy and thrilled to learn about St. Patrick’s journey back to his home and what he did for Ireland! We then celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the classroom by wearing something green. The children had fun learning about the Irish culture.
It is always great to see how the child’s concentration and attention span improve during circle time. We have done fun reading activities in the first semester and second semester along with lots of informational reading. Sitting still is a difficult task for children in this age group, but they have each been doing an awesome job in circle time. Group time helps the children learn to listen to others, take turns, practice patience, improve speaking skills and verbal expression, as well as learn new vocabulary. Children excitedly shared their special trips, souvenirs, and unique cultural experiences during the group time. Sharing books, singing songs, and participating in fun physical movement such as finger plays and dances help hold the child’s interest and enhance the child’s ability to give attention during a group setting.
The younger children in the classroom are completing the preliminary exercises and are moving forward to the materials that will help them learn to take care of themselves and their environment. With minimal cues and reminders, they know what to do during cleaning up, lunch, and circle time. Window washing, easel painting, and the color tablet box II game have been popular activities among the younger ones during the morning work cycle. The older children are often seen helping and guiding the younger ones when there is a need. At the same time, the younger children are happy to receive help from the older ones. This is one of the benefits of a mixed-age classroom. Helping each other has shown to have benefits. The altruistic behavior allows all the children to improve their social interactions, emotional and physical well-being, and improve their self-esteem and confidence.
April is filled with the miracle of quickly changing surroundings. Be sure to do lots of outdoor activities such as visiting a botanical garden, going on a nature hike, or planting. Children learn from best from real life experiences and spring offers many opportunities to engage with your child.
Parent conferences are coming up at the end of April. Please sign up early if your schedule limits your availability. Thank you for your involvement and care!
From Elementary Class by Ms. Melanie
The first week of March all of the children began to research the animal they will be portraying in our upcoming school play, The Jungle Book, as well as native animals and plants of India where the play takes place. The research aids the children to further understand the rainforest habitat of India and aids their ability to understand and delve deeper into their character. Play week is April 10-14 with the performance Friday night the 14th. The children have been rehearsing and making flowers and vines with Ms. Lani since the start of the school year and this is a performance you wouldn’t want to miss!
We finished up our read aloud book Leprechauns in Late Winter just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! The children enjoyed looking for and finding four leaf clovers, making a variety of St. Patrick’s Day crafts, learning about the holiday and its traditions and origins and writing creative stories about the Shee and their life in the Irish Forest.
The 2nd year elementary students organized our school Pet Food Pantry donation drive and delivered the donations to the Humane Society of Forsyth County. The children have posted upstairs in the lobby their personal thank you note to the MSOC community for its generous donations to the project as well as a report of all the donations by the numbers! Please take a moment to read their card.
The entire elementary class will go on a field trip to the Atlanta Zoo on April 19th. Many of the children will get to see the animals they recently researched and our program led by a Zoo staff member is Eco Adventures. Look for field trip permission slips to sign and return.
Happy Birthday Dean Chow who turned 9!