August 16, 2013

Dear Parents,

Our first week has been wonderful!  The returning children were happy to get back to school; setting a nice tone for those new to our class!  They have become reacquainted with old friends and are making new ones!

Thank you very much for making sure your child arrives on time.  This really helps establish excellent work habits and allows your child to comfortably start each day!

This week we have concentrated on establishing routines and important classroom ground rules.  For families new to Millhopper Montessori, you might have heard your child mention some activities he/she has learned such as: Practical Life activities (i.e., pouring (wet and dry) using various utensils, “frosting a cake”, silver polishing, sewing (the children love this activity; it helps to develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and increases the ability to attend) and painting.  Lessons on grace and courtesy (raising our hand, using a quiet voice in the classroom, walking in the classroom, how to come to line and sit appropriately) caring for our classroom environment – unfolding/folding a rug (your child’s workspace), and carrying his/her work have been presented.

Some other activities that have been presented during our large group lesson time include:  Geometric Solids (i.e., sphere, cylinder, cube); activities related to our first unit study on “Down on the Farm” (i.e., animal sounds bingo and fun on the farm J-I-N-G-O; learning about life on a farm and the work of a farm family) as well as language and math activities and an introduction to journal writing for Kindergarteners.

We also celebrated our first birthday of this school year; Happy Birthday to Ms. Margherita Pozzi!

Throughout the year during story time, I will be reading books pertinent to our ongoing unit studies as well as Caldecott Award winners, classics and books by numerous famous children’s authors.  This week I started reading Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.

Each day I sing with the children; they love to sing and learn new songs!   I am sure you have heard some of them this week!  Some of their favorites are: One Small Voice; Worm Workout; Looby Loo, Move Fast, Move Slow (concentrating on left and right and directionality concepts as well as increasing gross motor skills), Learning Letter Sounds, Puff the Magic Dragon and Fruity Frambaloozie.  I have also introduced the children to movement exercises using bean bags (Bean Bag Bop)!

All throughout the year, we will be doing Developmental Art using various media in the classroom.  This week the children combined push-pinning farm animals with marble rolling to create “farm animals of a different color”.  You can see some examples posted on our classroom door!

One child each week will be chosen to be the classroom’s “Helping Hand”.  He/she will be responsible for activities such as leading the class with our calendar activities, ringing the bell and being the line leader.  The children rotate each week to be “Classroom Helpers”.  The children learn to take care of their environment (classroom) by washing the tables, sweeping, dusting the shelves, sharpening pencils, etc.

Formal student evaluations and assessments will be ongoing for the next couple of weeks.  This will ensure proper academic placement (especially in mathematics and language) within the classroom.  As I mentioned in our orientation letter, small and large group lessons will be presented daily.

Our specials:  Spanish, Music, Media (for all the children) and PE and Technology for Kindergarteners will begin next week.  The children are very excited to have these specials!

On Thursday, August 22nd from 6:30-7:30 p.m. we will have our Preschool/Kindergarten Parent Orientation Meeting for this school year.   This is a time for parents to come and learn more about your child’s classroom.  I will be explaining the scope and sequence of learning in a Montessori environment; student expectations and goals; our daily classroom schedule; and discussing this year’s classroom curriculum.  This will also be an excellent opportunity to ask questions regarding our classroom, policies and philosophy.  We are looking forward to seeing you on Thursday!  Remember, this is for parents only; childcare will NOT be provided.

Take Home Folders have begun going home.  Please make sure they are returned the following school day.

If you have not yet sent in a change of clothes for your child or the “About Your Child Form” please do so as soon as you can.

We are having a wonderful time in the classroom!  We are very excited about this year and want to thank you for your support!

Have a nice weekend!

Sincerely,

Ms. Elizabeth and Ms. Jessica

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