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Hello everyone! Cold days are here already! Please make sure you check your children’s extra clothes boxes and bring in a warm change of clothes. Please send in jackets, hats, mittens or gloves almost everyday. We are helping your children put their own jackets, hats, and mittens on, but we don’t do it for them. Please give them a chance to learn how to do it at home. Special thanks to all our parents for being so generous buying small hands materials for our class! We appreciate all your support!
November, we are learning about the first Thanksgiving, Indians, and pilgrims. In cooking class we made cornmeal muffins and Teepees with tortillas. Our class is making cranberry relish to share with all our MSH friends. On Tuesday November 25th, we will have small Feast in our class for our children. It is so wonderful to hear what children are thankful for. Ms. Alicia, Ms. Carol, and I are so thankful for the Montessori Method for our children and MSH and all our MSH friends!!
Are we meeting our mission?
As a parent you make up the Montessori Society of Huntsville. By choosing MSH, you asserted that you value education and want the very best, most authentic learning experience for your child. Whether your initial tour was with Tinsley, Jennifer, Adriane or me we hope that we expressed our MSH mission clearly. You can find this mission in the parent handbook, on our website or hanging in every classroom. We are grateful that you have chosen to join us on this mission.
The Montessori School of Huntsville educates children to prepare them for a life of purpose, integrity, and academic accomplishment. We develop independent learners, critical thinkers and tomorrow’s leaders.
While this is a challenging mission, it is the imperative by which we make our decisions everyday. We want the curriculum your child learns to be Montessori in nature, but not antiquated. By incorporating brain gym, providing extracurricular activities like Soccer Shots and Engineering Club, and by utilizing web based (STAR) assessment, we are informing our practice with cutting edge educational research that addresses the needs of students of the current generation.
We encourage each child by maintaining our commitment to providing individualized lessons and meeting each child where he or she is developmentally, recognizing when they are sensitive not only to academic lessons, but also to social and emotional learning opportunities. Our teachers are teaching your child, not subjects or age levels.
We want to reach out to you and need you involved from the most basic level of washing cot sheets all the way to taking on the mantle of board leadership. You will often hear me say, “if you see something that needs doing, most likely you are the best person for the job!” In every day, we hope you will experience us reaching out to you to know your child better and provide him/her the best possible education. Our relationship with one another is vital to your child’s growth. Your participation is vital to the school’s success.
Every day we want your child to experience art, music, movement, their own language and other languages. While we may offer a structured lesson only once or twice a week, we are constantly working to learn new ways to inject those opportunities into the prepared environment, through independent follow-up work and by making your aware of community offerings.
To accomplish our mission we observe not only the students, but each other so that we can reflect and improve our practice. We take our responsibility of preparing future leaders very seriously. This week we will reach out to you with a satisfaction survey and we look forward to receiving your input on our success in this mission.
And always we want to embody the teaching of Dr. Montessori and faithfully execute our duties to our students while educating families and the communities about the benefits of a Montessori education. You support our mission by participating fully in society meetings, parent education opportunities and by sharing your experience with friends, families and colleagues so that other children can benefit from our MSH mission. As always, we are immensely grateful for your support in our mission.
Thank you for giving the opportunity for Dylan to participate in the recent UNICEF activity. Dylan raised a total of $141.00 by himself! He shared the information he had learned about UNICEF with me and immediately asked if we could begin that very day. He was serious and concerned about raising money “for the children.” After careful thought and consideration, he decided he wanted to raise enough money to help vaccinate 200 children ($60.)
I took him to Target after school, the very day he received his UNICEF box. On the way to Target, we practiced his introduction and approach. He approached strangers with confidence. He began with “Excuse me! My name is Dylan. Would you like to donate to UNICEF?” He would then show potential donors what their contributions could provide for children who “didn’t have anything.” Often, various conversations would begin. Donors would ask Dylan which UNICEF effort was most important to him. He quickly responded with “the shots!” Our forty-five minute trip to Target resulted in contributions totaling $60.00. We are proud of Dylan and were surprised to learn he earned so much in such a short time.
The following day, Dylan decided he needed to raise more money. After all, how would the medication reach the children if they didn’t have a bike! He also decided that a soccer ball or two would be important to the children and would make them feel better after their shots. Unfortunately, that day we both had our appointment with the allergist and were scheduled for a series of shots from 8:15am -2:30pm. While in the waiting room, Dylan wasted no time in approaching patients in the waiting room with success. Once our names were called and the series of shots began, through his tears, he asked the nurse if she wanted to donate to UNICEF. She promised she would check her purse and see if she had any change. He replied “OK.” Several minutes later to our surprise, several staff members entered our room and took turns placing their donations in Dylan’s box- he lit up like a Christmas tree! They praised him for his efforts and wished him well.
Halloween did not stop Dylan from asking for donations. Once again, we visited Target, then Party City and were successful at Target. We, then had lunch at McDonald’s where he also received donations from patrons. On Saturday, Dylan went to Costco with his dad where he received several donations. He took a break on Sunday.
On Monday after our Tate Farm Field Trip, we went to McDonald’s for lunch and once again, Dylan took his UNICEF box. Afterwards, we visited Starbucks where he was very successful. Knowing today was the last day he had to reach his new goal of $140 (100 vaccinations, bike and 2 soccer balls) he asked if we could return to Target, which we did as well as approached several shoppers walking to and from various shops along the way. Before heading home he asked if we could make one last stop at Walmart, which is by our home. We did, which resulted in Dylan surpassing his goal. Dylan raised $141.00.
I wanted to share this story about our son and his efforts as we are obviously very, very proud of him. He knew there would be no reward for raising money and he was not promised anything in return. He chose to spend his time to help children he will never know. He was nervous and a little “scared” each and every time he approached donors and even turned down (sometimes rudely) a few times, but he never gave up…
This was a great learning experience for Dylan which we feel has boosted his confidence and has allowed him to be part of something greater than himself. What was surprising to us were the compliments he received, especially from the “twenty-somethings” who shook his hand and told him what a wonderful thing he was doing for children around the world. We had great conversations because of this experience and are certain it has impacted him in many ways.
Cindy and Chad M.
[Dylan will be happy to know that MHS’s Trick or Treat for UNICEF raised over $400 total and the Elementary I class will be considering his request as they decide how to allocate their funds. Stay tuned to see Ms. McCollum’s blog entry later in the month.]
In October, we enjoyed learning about the difference between nocturnal and diurnal animals. We learned about the continent of South America and its countries. Kids had fun learning about pumpkins, taking the seeds out of pumpkin and counting them. At the end, we toasted the seeds and tasted them. Our fall festival was a great success. Kids enjoyed making chili and had fun with activities in the evening. The field trip to Tate Farms pumpkin patch was really fun. A big thank you to Eden, Millie, Natalie, Harper, Lilli, and Dylan, and their parents for all the Small Hands gifts. Thank you very much for all the children for collecting money for UNICEF.
In November, we will study the history of Thanksgiving and what Thanksgiving means to us. Also, we will learn about the leaves and why they change color in fall. We will also learn about the continent of Asia. We will celebrate ‘Diwali’, the festival o f lights, on November 12. We will have our Thanksgiving feast on Tuesday November 25 in our class room. Happy Thanksgiving!
Please join us for an open discussion of Richard Louv’s book, “Last Child in the Woods” November 13th at noon at the Huntsville-Madison Public Library at 915 Monroe St.. We will welcome guests from the Land Trust, Huntsville Botanical Gardens, Operation Green Team and Burritt on the Mountain to participate in our discussion as well as a few of our Montessori teachers. Lunch will be provided by 1892 East. Space is limited so reserve your spot today by emailing your RSVP to You will receive a confirmation email. You do not need to have read the book to participate in this discussion, just care about the growth and development of children. We look forward to seeing you there!