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From the Head (and the Heart)

Our Teachers Really Shine

The image many of us have of teachers is of the nice lady in the cardigan standing by a desk decorated with apples. Thankfully, that’s not what MSH teachers do. What our teachers do is so much more complicated, and I am incredibly grateful for what they do for our children every day.

Montessori teachers do not aspire to be the sage on the stage. They are highly trained to facilitate, assist, and guide. The teachers at MSH anticipate and plan for students, thereby creating an engaging and nurturing environment for learning. Everyday in the classroom they create a beautiful symphony of learning.

Our teachers know their material. They know it so deeply and intimately that they can break it down for students into its essential parts and impart it to their students almost wordlessly. Making the complicated simple is no easy task. It’s much easier to have children recite facts and memorize ideas than it is to inspire a child to deduce that information through experience. Because our teachers take the time and energy to let the child learn for herself, it becomes a part of the child never to be forgotten.

Our teachers may not be on the stage, but they do have to always be “on.” There is no downtime for a teacher: no lunch break, no time-out, no hiding in the cubicle. Every moment our teachers have young eyes upon them. These eyes are learning just as much if not more from what the teachers do as what they say. Every conversation, every moment for a Montessori teacher must be thoughtful, kind, and instructive.

Montessori teachers are constantly curious. They are life-long learners and continually growing in their profession. Sometimes it’s formal instruction about brain development or new materials. Other times it’s the daily learning from getting to know their students deeply from observation. They know they can only help their students grow by growing themselves.

Our teachers are incredibly patient, but that patience comes from the optimism of knowing that the child will be successful. Our teachers give children the time they need to be successful. They know that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is reading comprehension. Those great accomplishments happen by small victories every day along the way. Our teachers know and trust the method.

Montessori teachers are always the best supporting actor, but never the star. The children are the stars in the classroom. That is why Montessori teachers (and specifically, MSH teachers) are the very best teachers. Our teachers demonstrate a rare, nuanced technique which is always for the glory and recognition of their students. I hope you will join me in thanking them May 4-8 for Teacher Appreciation Week. They are what makes MSH such a wonderful place for children to learn and grow.

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April 20, 2015 9:08 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off

Primary II

Hello Primary II Families!

It is hard to believe there is only one more month of school until summer break. We still have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks, including a field trip to go strawberry picking (May 8th), the Montessori School of Huntsville 50th Anniversary celebration at our new location in Hampton Cove (May16th), and of course the Kindergarten bridging ceremony. This is always a bittersweet moment for teachers. Many of these children began their journey here at MSH as toddlers, and we have had the unique opportunity as Montessori educators to spend 2 or more years with them. We are so proud of this group of Kindergarteners.

In addition to our work in Practical Life, Sensorial, Math and Language, we have begun wrapping up our unit on the human body. Thank you so much to Justin Chase for putting together a beautiful presentation about bones and x-rays. We will now transition to amphibians and insects! Our caterpillars just arrived in the mail and we are excited to watch the process of metamorphosis.

If you have an opportunity, please read the minutes from last months board meeting regarding policy changes to next year’s handbook. Specifically, the dress code for next year is something you will want to familiarize yourself with so we can answer any questions or concerns you may have.

As always, thank you for your support!

Ms. Sarah and Ms. Monica

April 20, 2015 5:19 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off

Primary 3

Spring is finally here and we have some “egg-citing” days ahead in Primary 3.

We are enjoying our study of Africa in preparation for the Multi-Cultural Festival this Saturday, April 4.  You definitely don’t want to miss this fun-filled morning as you take a tour of the continents and learn about the culture, wildlife, art and cuisine as you visit each classroom!  Our children have been working on African songs with Ms. Kathy and are eager to perform for you.

Thank you to Mrs. Janell Z.  for a fabulous presentation on Rwanda!  It was great to learn more about the people, animals, culture and arts of Rwanda.  Thank you to Lauren N. for laminating our African culture cards!!

Planting season is quickly approaching and we are looking forward to getting our garden started next week.  Please consider donating soil for our garden. We will focus on new life, as we watch our seeds sprout and grow.

We look forward to tending our garden this spring!!

We will continue our study of the solar system during the month of April! Our field trip to Sci-quest was a huge hit!!  We are all enjoying our new decor of planets. Thank you Erin and John  Smith for our  model solar system.  It’s a great addition to our classroom.
April 1, 2015 8:41 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off

Love, Liberty & Learning – Toddler II

Hello Friends,

Spring is finally here. We had a nice experience today doing yoga in the playground. Last week we started to plant herb seeds. We are going to start our garden this week. April 4, 2015 Saturday is our Multicultural Festival day. This year we are presenting North America. We have already started to work on different projects.

My sincere acknowledgement goes to:

~ Kelly and Chris (Roman’s parents, for donating money for classroom materials).

~ Maggie (Lucky’s mother, for helping us to do our art work for auction).

~ Genie and John (Jackson’s parents, for donating soil for our garden).
I would like to share my experience at the AMS conference in Philadelphia. I attended many sessions on toddler age group, such as art, language, and positive discipline. We need to provide the environment where they will be free to move and learn. The important concept that transpired from the sessions was bonding with children with love and affection, and to be creative as a teacher.

“We serve the future by protecting the present.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

I really feel fortunate to work with my kids. They give me so much scope to learn. I am thankful to MSH to give me the opportunity to work with them.

Have a great spring break!
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March 19, 2015 5:59 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off

Primary 2 Blog Post

Hello , Primary 2 families!  Its been an eventful winter and we are looking forward to warmer temperatures…Spring is just around the corner!  The end of February began our study of Asia with the celebration of Chinese New Year.  Following discussions of the holiday, we collectively created a dragon, made lanterns, and ordered lunch from a local chinese restaurant to enjoy a lovely lunch with all of the kindergarteners.  For the next several weeks our class will be preparing our classroom for the Multi-Cultural Festival which will be held on the first Saturday of April.  We will present the continent of Asia with all of its diverse languages, cultures, beliefs, cuisines, holidays, and celebrations.  This is a very special event and we hope to see all of our families there.  Very soon a sign-up sheet will be posted right outside our classroom with recipes to make for it.  If your family has a special asian dish you would like to bring to share, please do so!

 

In addition to our study of Asia, our work in Practical Life, Math, Language, and Sensorial continues to bustle with great energy.  This month we are also going to focus on learning about the human body.  Fascination towards all the new materials and books proved very quickly that this  topic is quite interesting for the children already.  We have begun discussions  about the organs by starting with the heart and we have helped the children become aware of the function of the heart and how it pumps blood through the body.  An exciting group lesson will be given about the components of blood in which plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets will be visually represented for their understanding.  The skeletal system will be introduced and nutrition will also be a topic of study.  Lessons on how to fuel our bodies with nutrition have been a constant theme in our classroom all year so it is fulfilling to see the children be able to make the connection.  In addition to discussing and demonstrating healthy eating habits, everyday Sarah and I strive to build on their developing existence in the world.  We feel strongly during our study of the human body to especially make sure the children further understand the importance of the whole self…..mind, body, and spirit.  As we develop their knowledge of their bodies, we are thoughtful to help them make other associations as well.  Each day we use meditation as part of our morning routine and it is a short amount of time in which the children are asked to recognize their inner peace.  We ask them to visualize, love, peace, generosity, and happiness and to share with each other their thoughts. It is always a treat to hear their words and to see the children listen to and support each other.  These moments only take a few minutes of our day, but for the health of their little bodies, to include their minds and spirits, the whole self is greatly impacted!

 

As always, thank you for sharing your children with us each day and for supporting our classroom in so many ways!  We appreciate you.


Monica and Sarah

March 16, 2015 1:31 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off