It is hard to believe that August 6th was five months ago. We welcomed thirty new families to Village, and several new teachers: Ms. Danielle, Toddler, Ms. Sarah, Primary, Mr. Muma, teaching Science for the Middle School, and Ms. Camille as our new art teacher. Ms. Sarah started our fourth Primary class at Village. She also works with the Toddlers in the late afternoon. This year we extended our day for Toddlers and that has become very popular. We also changed up the format for the Primary breakfasts. It became a “Montessori Morning”. The difference is that parents met in the Rosemary room at 8:30 for coffee then went to the class at 9:00. (Our multi-use room this year is the Rosemary Room. It is for meetings in the mornings, nap mid-day, and after-school location for Elementary) We had a lot of fun catching up on our adult lives, and then spending time with the children in class. All of the Primary children are enjoying the new play equipment installed this fall on the playground.
Our Upper Elementary and Middle School Chorus began this year under the direction of Ms. Emmie. She is a wonderful musician and singer. She is teaching the group to read music and to sing by reading. Their holiday debut can be seen on the school Facebook or Instagram page.
During a Civility class, the Middle School thought about our core values as a school. They plan to make a banner with our logo and the values printed on it. One of the core values is “compassion”. This was shown at Thanksgiving by our school donating to North Fulton Community Charities Thanksgiving dinner drive. Many local families were able to have a traditional dinner thanks to the Village families’ donations. The school is also collecting food and Ms. Kim’s class is collecting books for a Title 1 school in Cobb County. Of course, compassion is shown daily at school in many ways too, from Toddlers to Middle School. Our teachers are wonderful role models for all ages.
The Middle School made a connection with the Roswell Arts Center and had a pottery class there this fall. Beautiful bowls and decorative items were made. It was amazing! They also enjoyed fencing for P.E. fall semester.
Ms. Rose and Patricia went to a conference in Chicago in August where they learned about developing classroom leaders, music and Patricia attended an administrative session. Ms. Danielle finished up her A-I training while her more than able assistant, Ms. Tiffany, held down the fort in her class.
Lower Elementary did an overnight trip for 3rd years to Blue Ridge. It was an amazing nature study, with lots of hiking and fun.
Upper Elementary went for a 3 night trip to the University of GA. Center for Marine Studies in Jekyll Island. The trip included half a day at the U.GA. Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center.
Middle School’s first trip of the year was to a cabin near Cloudland Canyon which included rigorous hiking and spelunking.
Plans for the new year
We are very excited for Miss Piper, our after-school assistant for Elementary, who will be doing an internship next semester at Disney World!! Miss Chantel will be taking her place in the afternoons. Middle School will be going to Washington D.C. in the spring. Elementary classes will present their annual plays/musicals. Many of our teachers will attend the annual Montessori Refresher course in New Orleans this February.
Parents are often looking for ideas or things to do with their children during the winter break. Here we have tried to compile a list of activities that are convenient, fun, inexpensive, and support what we do in class.
Keep in mind that all these activities are open ended and do not have a specific criteria to be met. At Village we focus on the process, not the product, and I encourage you to do the same. These ideas are simply a starting off point. As Dr. Montessori said, “Follow the Child” and let your child be your guide. After all, no one knows your child better than you.
Nature Walk- Bring a zip lock bag for woodsy treasures, paper and crayons for tree and leaf rubbings, and of course, water and snacks! Go at your child’s pace, stopping often to observe the small things. You can be very quiet and ask the questions: “what did you hear?” This helps bring about an awareness of quiet, as well as fine tuning the sense of hearing. You can also play the I spy game: I spy something that starts with the sound b – bird A-acorn T-tree
A research project- Begin a project to go to library and research. For instance: birds, what birds are in our area in the winter.
Make decorative bird feeders- Peanut butter + seeds smashed into cutter shapes. Make a hole with a string through it and freeze or put in fridge until hard. Hang on a tree outside where you can see the birds who will visit.
Giving/Receiving a Gift-Children love to imitate what they see going on in the world around them. This is how they learn to be part of our society. What a perfect time of year to practice gift giving and receiving! Using an empty box, practice gift giving and receiving! Using the empty box, practice saying what you feel is appropriate in a given situation. Some examples might be: “This is for you, Granny. Merry Christmas!” or “Thank you for the gift.” Knowing what is expected of him will help your child feel more comfortable in social situations.
Stamping- Cut an old sponge into some fun shapes. Demonstrate how to hold it by the edges and dip into paint (paper plates work well for this), then stamp on paper. Alternative: cut a square from a sponge and use a rubber band to attach an empty water bottle. Hold the bottle to dip the sponge and stamp.
Who’s that?- Often the holidays bring together friends and family who may not be familiar to your child. Go through your pictures and make a poster board of who will be visiting this year. Remind your child of the last time they saw the person and say who they are. “That is Aunt Alice. Remember when you and Joey made cookies with her last year?” This activity will help your child feel more comfortable during all the excitement of the season.
Spending time together as a family means much more to a child than anything that could be bought in a store. Children seldom remember gifts, but they remember the activities and the feelings they had. Be sure to take time this season to create your own family traditions and memories. What do you remember from your childhood that you would like to pass on? These special times together are what will be remembered in years to come. We hope your holidays are filled with many joyful moments to remember.