Weekly Guide on the Side: April 4, 2021

THE LATEST EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THE SMMS COMMUNITY 

UPCOMING DATES

April 5th-7th – School Closed- Spring Break

May 3rd-7th -Teacher Appreciation Week

May 12th-14th – Spring Parent Teacher Conferences

May 31st-School Closed, Memorial Day

WHOLE SCHOOL NOTICES

We have a few select openings in all our classrooms for next school year to reach our enrollment goals. We have 2 toddler openings, 2 Full Time Children’s House openings(3-6 year olds) and 1 Full Time Elementary Opening (1st -3rd grade only). If you recommend a student and they are offered acceptance and enroll during the month of April this year, your family will receive a $250 referral discount on your last tuition payment for next school year.

During our Spring break we will be finishing up the driveway with an area to turn around without reversing. This will help make drop off and pickup smoother. We will be making a driveway orientation video and sending it to families through email, and on transparent classroom, when the work is complete.

Spring is in the air and we are proud of how we have been able to meet in person all year and how accurately our COVID plans we made last summer have worked out with few changes. We are still going strong as usual with our COVID plans, if any changes do come along due to changing requirements we will be sure to let everyone know as soon as possible. 

Spring Cleaning

SMMS is always on the lookout for some household items you may not be using anymore. While doing some Spring cleaning you may be looking to get rid of some items that could be used in your child’s classroom. Some items we generally are looking for are listed below:

  • Plain Mugs, small or large
  • Small plates, bowls, and cups
  • Small spoons
  • Old dirty Pennys (for penny polishing)
  • Trays
  • Baskets
  • Gravy boats
  • Creamer cups
  • Small pitchers
  • Tarnished metal items for polishing
  • Lots more items, just ask!

If you were interested in donating some items to the school please box it up and we will take care of it! Whatever we can not use we will donate to an appropriate institution for that item. Either way your old items will find a great home for renewed life!

TODDLER COMMUNITY

We have shared in the past about the importance of supporting toddler independence. With independence comes a sense of belonging, self-confidence, building of skills and it helps lay the foundation for future learning.

Often parents are surprised at their child’s abilities and things that they accomplish while at school. They may not know that their child was developmentally ready for it, or the home environment doesn’t make some things possible.

We love sharing the things that our students practice at school! Some of the few things that happened with various students last week:

  • Boots were taken on and off and put away on the boot tray
  • Turning the lamps on and off
  • Pouring their own water and carrying it to the snack table
  • Setting their place at the snack table
  • AND MORE!

A teacher favorite book is The Montessori Toddler by Simone Davies (also found here). It is available in our lending library at SMMS.

In that book is a list of Practical Life activities that parents can offer at home for their children. A few of them are listed here:

Peel and slice a banana

Wash fruits and vegetables

Make orange juice

Wipe a table

Sweep the floor

Prepare coffee for parent (push buttons on coffee maker and fetch mug or hand grind!)

Clean face and hands

Water plants

Make bed (pulling up duvet cover)

Sort socks and clothing by color

Tidy toys into baskets and return to shelves

Put lead on dog and brush dog

Perhaps you already do many of these things at home, or you’re ready to add a few new ones to the daily home life. If you would like to borrow The Montessori Toddler, please let us know, it is one of the books available in our Family Lending Library.

CHILDREN’S HOUSE

To read, children must be able to hear distinct sounds, turn symbols (letters) into sounds, sounds into words, and words into meaning. Reading success is built upon a foundation of specific skills. These skills are: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Each of these skills must be taught to guide children toward literacy. 

Unlike speech, humans do not learn to read simply by being immersed in human culture; it requires direct instruction. The human brain did not evolve to help humans read; it is a relatively new human endeavor. Multiple parts of the brain and multiple processes are used when reading. 

Research has helped educators learn about the general process of reading in the brain and best practices for teaching reading. The complexity of both the task and the brain, however, means each child will learn to read a bit differently. Each of the five skills listed above are taught in our Montessori classrooms as children emerge into reading and then progress onto increasingly complex texts.

Through observation and assessment, teachers determine when a child needs more direct instruction in one skill than another. There are many ways we provide additional support to children in our classrooms. Children go through an amazing change when they learn to read, but like everything students in this class learns, it takes time. Please be patient if you have an emerging reader. They will blossom into fluent readers before you know it!

ELEMENTARY COMMUNITY

We are very excited that Ms. Jess has been settling into the class and has already proved herself invaluable to the community of the classroom! We were all glad to make her acquaintance and get to know more about her, and share more about ourselves. With the addition of Ms. Jess means that we can start items in the classroom that need a bit more supervision to maintain safety.

In the coming weeks we will be introducing more practical life skills within the classroom with 1 serving cooking and baking. We hope that this will enhance our classroom snack experience. This will include more than just food prep, and eating, it will include things like pursuing sales adds, budgeting for the food with a preset budget, ordering food items that are in season and won’t spoil too quick, preparing supplies and organizing work space. One of the most important aspects is being able to read recipes and scale them down appropriately for 1 serving. While each child may not be able to complete each task on their own, collectively they will gain the skills they need, and are ready for. As with most things in the classroom, this new work covers many other curriculum areas, like math, science, nutrition, civilizations, botany, zoology and of course practical life!