The following information provided in this packet serves as a guide to the procedures of the classroom.  Please be sure to also read the Parent Handbook, as it contains detailed guidelines and expectations to ensure a successful experience at Millhopper Montessori School.

Communication

I will do the majority of correspondences through newsletters and notices that will be sent in your child’s take-home folder.  The folder will be sent home every Friday.  Please return the folder on Monday.  There will also be signup sheets posted on the classroom door or bulletin board to bring in items for special projects and food preparation activities.  You will be informed when signups occur via notices in your child’s folder.

You can also access all classroom information on our class page on millhopper.com.  Information about accessing this page has been sent out by our administrative staff.  Please contact the front office if you have any questions accessing our class page.

You will receive a Six-Week Interim Report to let you know how well your child is adjusting to the classroom.  The report will include an evaluation of observed work habits, behaviors, attitudes and social interactions.

There will be two conferences during the year.  The first one will be held in November and the second in May.  At this time we will discuss your child’s progress and go over his/her report card.  The report card contains an assessment of your child’s developmental and academic progress.  You can also request a conference at anytime throughout the year.  There will also be two parent nights in October and February where you will be able to see the work that your child is doing in class.

If you ever need to relay information to me or have a question about your child, please feel free to contact me at anytime.  The following is a list of ways that you can get in touch with me:

1)     Leave a note in the basket marked “Notes to the Teacher” which will be on top of the cubbies.

2)     E-mail me at ceckstein@millhopper.com.

3)     Call the school.  If I am unavailable to take your call at the moment, I will return your message as soon as I can.

4)     Stop by the classroom before school starts or after dismissal.

We are unable to give daily or weekly reports.  Our set-up and daily schedule does not afford us the time to do so and attend to the needs of all of the children in the classroom.  Daily and weekly reports are reserved solely for students who may need monitoring for classroom readiness.

Arrival

The beginning of the school year is an exciting time in a child’s life.  However, transitioning into this experience can also be a time of apprehension and anxiety, not only for the child, but for the parent as well.  The following is a list of suggestions to ease the parent-child separation situation:

1.  Use the Safety Patrol drop-off service, which is available from 8:40-9:05 each morning.  Using the safety patrol service is also a great way to increase your child’s independence.  Please note that even though the safety patrol service is available until 9:05, the school day begins at 9:00.  Children entering the classroom after 9:00 will be marked tardy.

2.  Have your child walk in carrying his/her own belongings and place them in his or her respective cubbies.

3. Make good-byes shortandsweet.  Long drawn out good-byes make it harder on the child.  Ms. Lily or I will be at the door to help escort your child into the room if necessary.  Please feel free to call the school to see how your child is doing.  If you choose to observe through the classroom door’s one-way window, be sure to stand at least five feet away from the window so that the children do not see you.

4. It is very important that your child arrives to school on time.  When a child is late, he/she will miss important information presented during Circle Time, and lose precious time in which to complete his/her Work Cycle.  

Lunches

Children need to bring their own lunch.  Please provide a cloth napkin to serve as a placemat, a paper napkin (or another cloth napkin), and any utensils your child will need.  Please do not send glass containers.

Healthy eating habits are heavily emphasized in our curriculum.  Make packing your child’s lunch a cooperative activity by giving him/her nutritious choices.  This will ensure that he/she will eat and enjoy everything in his/her lunch.  Any uneaten portions of your child’s lunch will be sent back home in his/her lunch box so you are aware of what he/she is eating (with the exception of open containers of things such as yogurt, fruit or juice boxes).

Do not be concerned if your child isn’t eating a lot of his/her lunch at the beginning of the year.  Many of the children are working on the balancing act of socializing with friends and eating at the same time.  Ms. Lily monitors lunchtime and does an excellent job of prompting the children to focus on eating if they are socializing excessively.  Since the teachers do not feed the children at school, please be sure that your child is feeding himself/herself at home.  If your child is not used to feeding themselves at home, he/she will not be successful doing so at school.  Ms. Lily is happy to assist with opening up containers after the child has tried to do so first.

Snacks are provided by the school (unless your child has food restrictions or allergies to the standard snacks that are served).  Please refer to the Parent Handbook for further information regarding Millhopper Montessori’s lunch policies.  

Pocketed Materials

The materials in the classroom are small and very enticing to the children.  Therefore, some children want to keep the objects for themselves.  This is a very normal thing at this age.  If you find materials in your child’s pockets, please return the material in a sealed envelope and place it in the “Note to Teachers” basket.  

Show-and-Tell

Show-and-Tell will be every Thursday.  This is an optional activity.  Children may bring in possessions that fit the theme of the week.  You will be notified of the themes through our class calendar and newsletters.  Appropriate things to share during show-and-tell include objects found in nature, items found around the house, pictures and books.  Toys are not appropriate for Show-and-Tell.  We ask that your child chooses only one item to share and that it is able to fit in the cubby along with his/her lunchbox.

* In order to foster independence and responsibility, be sure that your child carries his/her show-and-tell and lunch box to and from school by themselves.     

Birthday Celebrations

We will celebrate each child’s birthday with the Celebration of Life which honors all of the years your child has been on the earth.  Parents are more than welcome to come and partake in this celebration.  You may bring in a small display of photographs from each stage of his/her life if you wish.  Many families also choose to bring in a special birthday snack.  Great low-sugar options include items such as mini-muffins, oatmeal cookies, fruit kabobs, cheese and crackers, ect.  Please contact me a week or two before your child’s birthday to make arrangements.  

Classroom Directory

A listing of all the students in our class, along with their addresses and phone numbers, will be sent home at the end of the first week of school.  Please use the roster when organizing play dates, carpools and invitations to birthday parties.  If you are inviting the entire class, I will be happy to put the invitations in their take-home folders.

Volunteering

We will need volunteers for special events and activities.  A note will be sent home and a signup sheet will be posted on the bulletin board outside of our classroom.  We would also be happy to have people come in and speak about holidays, cultures, hobbies and jobs as they pertain to our studies.  

Reminder about Clothing/Change of Clothing

The school dress code is outlined in the Millhopper Montessori School Parent Handbook.  For safety reasons, it is school policy that children wear tennis shoes.  Children will not be able to play on the playground without appropriate footwear.  Girls should wear shorts under dresses and skirts.  Clothing should be comfortable “play clothes”, as they will be on the playground and moving around the classroom.  We will be doing a lot of art in our class, and though we take measures to protect clothing, they do sometimes become permanently stained.  Children at this age should be dressing themselves in the morning.  Please refrain from sending your child to school in clothing that could hinder them going to the bathroom independently or changing clothes independently if an accident should occur. We also ask that you try to avoid anything that could be a possible distraction (shoes or clothing that light up, jewelry …).

** Please put your child’s name on all of his or her clothing, including sweaters, jackets, lunch boxes, and anything else that is brought into school

Curriculum & Thematic Units

As part of the Montessori curriculum, your child will receive regular lessons throughout the year in the areas of practical life (grace and courtesy, practical skills, care of the person, care of the environment, food preparation, sewing and weaving) sensorial, math, language, science, geography, Spanish, art and music.  In addition to these lessons, there will be holidays, festivals and thematic units that involve more in-depth exploration.  If you have knowledge on any of the topics listed below that you would like to share with the class please let me know.

At the beginning of the year, you will see that we cover a vast amount and wide variety of subjects each month.  The beginning of the year lessons are often shorter in length, contain simple concepts and/or provide the foundation for upcoming lessons.  As the year progresses, there is a decrease in the number of subjects covered per month since the students are able to have a more in depth exploration of the subject matter.  The number of holidays, festivals and celebrations per month also factors into the planning of unit studies.

August

Grace & Courtesy (throughout the year but will be emphasized heavily at the beginning)

Orientation to the Classroom

Human Needs: Care of Self and Care of the Environment

Introduction to Spatial Relationships

Mapping the Human Body

The Five Senses

Living & Non-Living

Land-Water-Air

September

Fall Begins

The Farm

Apples

Directionality: right and left

The Globe

Artist of the Month: Piet Mondrian

Composer of the Month: Johann Sebastian Bach

October

Fall, Columbus Day, Diwali, Halloween

Directionality: north, south, east, west

The Globe: Transition to Continent Map

Spiders

Artist of the Month Georges Seurat

Composer of the Month: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

November

Fall, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving

Occupations and Our Community

Cosmic Address

Artist of the Month Jan van Os

Composer of the Month Ludwig van Beethoven

December

Holidays and Celebrations Around the World

Penguins

Composer of the Month: Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky

There will not be an artist of the month in December due to the extensive amount of holiday art projects and crafts.

January

Winter, Martin Luther King Day, 100th Day of School

Africa

Artist of the Month African inspired arts and crafts projects   

Composer (Genre) of the Month Music of Africa

February

Winter, Chinese New Year, Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day

Reptiles and Amphibians

Artist of the Month Horace Pippin

Composer of the Month Music of Various Jazz Artists 

March

Spring, St. Patrick’s Day

Inventors

Artist of the Month Andy Warhol

Composer of the Month Camille Saint-Saëns  

April

Spring, Easter, Earth Day

Care of the planet

Dinosaurs

Artist of the Month Georgia O’Keefe

Composer of the Month Antonio Vivaldi 

May

Spring

South America

Artist of the Month:  Henri Rousseau

Composer (Genre) of the Month Music of South America  

Throughout the entire year, the students will also take part in:

- Physical/experimental science as well as the natural/observational components listed above.

- Developmental art and art projects pertaining to unit studies and holiday celebrations.

- The study of History: seasons, the calendar, chronological age, day and night, telling time.