A Monthly E-Newsletter Providing Useful Information to Caring Parents of Enrolled Students
© Copyright 2013
February 2013

Peace In Childhood

Among Maria Montessori's many works was a book called Education and Peace, which points out some of the underlying subtleties of the Montessori method. Foremost in classroom discipline is the maintenance of the individual's right to work in a peaceful environment. Social values are emphasized with grace and courtesy lessons which are interwoven into activities in every class from, "Would you care for a carrot?" to "May I watch you work?" and "Welcome to our class. Would you care for some tea?" The children are supplied with appropriate words and options to use instead of expressing their feelings by grabbing, hitting or pushing. The teacher remains removed from interactions as much as possible to allow the children to solve problems on their own, but is always ready to step in when needed.

In Biology one of the first things we talk about are the characteristics of living things which include being sensitive and having feelings. We emphasize that each child's work is important in its own right, and encourage artwork that does not all look the same. When playing we avoid games where there are winners and losers, or good guys and bad guys. Games are played for the enjoyment and cooperation of all.

When entering the Elementary class the children have a sense of confidence in themselves and respect for all others, including the plants, animals, children and adults they work harmoniously with each day. Their awareness of the world is expanding by leaps and bounds and though they are no longer as self-centered as they were at two, they still need guidance with increasingly complex relationships. The Early Childhood "circle time" is replaced by the Elementary "class meeting" where problems and concerns are discussed with little or no assistance from an adult. The Elementary child is given increasingly more control of the daily routine, class rules and his own academic and social progress.

Dr. Montessori's idea was to encourage individual growth, self-esteem, and communication skills and to eliminate violence and competition. If children can learn to work out problems with words and to value themselves without being judged by others, they may grow into adults who will have no need for wars.

Weeding out the tendency toward violence comes down to the smallest things we do in our lives every day. War toys are an obvious problem. One theory is that children need to work out their fascination with these objects, so why not let them play with toy guns before they can get their hands on real ones? Another theory is that if we forbid our children to use offensive language, then why can't we forbid offensive toys? We have found that children want to know the mechanics and physics involved in shooting but can do so very well with water pumps, squirt guns, bubble or Nerf guns.

Other suggestions for working toward a more peaceful childhood

Try rearranging game rules so that everybody wins and nobody loses.

Screen television shows and movies to cut out as many of the violent, good guys vs. bad guys, formats as possible. Talk about these shows. Are the evil characters real? How could the problems be solved in more peaceful ways? How much TV does your child need to watch, anyway? Duna and Bruce's family lived happily without TV for almost 20 years. The children enjoyed renting videos on weekends, and the rest of the time found plenty to do.

Monitor your choice of words at home. Instead of "Who can be first to brush their teeth?", how about "Who can brush their teeth before I count to 50?" Then count slowly so even the youngest is done by 49 9/10ths.

Be a good role model. If you spank your children, how can they understand that it is not necessary to hit? Many times negative behavior will disappear with lots of positive reinforcement and loving physical contact. Even adolescents still need lots of hugs and reminders of how much we love them. If you need help with positive discipline, feel free to ask your child's teacher for suggestions.

Dr. Montessori developed her educational philosophy during the world wars. She saw that if we can teach our children to be aware of the smallest living things, solve problems with words, share limited resources, respect and appreciate human diversity and to be caring adults and nurturing parents, perhaps we'll never have to watch our grandchildren march off to war.

 

El Nido News - Parent/Infant Class

In February the topics are Scientific Development, Cultural Awareness and Positive Discipline. Babies are little scientists and experiment with everything they can grasp. Find out how you can broaden their cultural awareness and prepare your discipline strategies. It's not too late to join the class. If you know someone who is expecting or has a baby between 0 and 18 months old invite them to try the first month for free Fridays 9:00 - noon.

Toddler Times - News from the Sunflowers and Tadpoles Classes

We are half way through the school year and it's a good time to review discipline practices. As children grow they periodically test boundaries. If the boundaries are enforced consistently the testing period should be over more quickly each time. We want to respect the spirit of the child, and offer choices whenever possible, but our lives cannot always move at a toddler's pace. Limit the choices to two and make them both choices that are productive. For instance, when it is time to pick up big sister from soccer practice, "Do you want to come now or do you want to play longer?" will not elicit as productive a response as "Do you want to hop to the car or do you want a piggy back ride?" A toddler can choose which clothes he wants to wear, but unsuitable choices should be put away so that whatever he chooses will be an appropriate, if not a well-matched, outfit. Toddlers love their independence and would much prefer to do most things on their own. At school when a small child does not want to put an activity away the teacher will say, "Do you want to do that by yourself or do you want me to help you?" "Helping" means encircling the child from behind with your arms, taking her hands in yours and carrying the items slowly and carefully across the room together. Children seldom need help more than once and when they see that this will be the choice each time, things are put away and they quickly fall into the habit of picking up after themselves.

At home, if your child has just a few toys available at a time on a low shelf, picking up should be an easy task. A toddler does not need all of the blocks out at once. Choose an assortment, place them in an easy to carry basket and put the rest away. Notice in our classrooms that toddlers make great use of just three or four crayons and a few sheets of blank paper cut into 1/4ths, just 4 or 5 books on the library shelf, a fist-sized lump of play dough kept in a small airtight container, and two or three puzzles at a time. Keep the choices simple and few, be consistent with your follow up and give your child plenty of time to prepare for a transition, such as leaving the house or picking up before bed. You can count on your child testing your limits from time to time but the more consistent you are, the more quickly these testing periods will end. And your happy, independent toddler will be back at your side again.

Remember that you are always welcome to schedule an observation of a class or a home visit during which our faculty is happy to consult with you on creating a Montessori home environment for your child.

We will host a simple class celebration of Valentine's Day including a special snack, craft, song, story and finishing with a Valentine Dance. Bringing valentines to class is completely optional - not expected. If you decide to do so, we'll need 20. You don't need to address valentines to anyone specific, just "from Johnny" will do. We encourage you to get out an assortment of collage materials such as paper, crayons, stickers and glue sticks and involve the family in making valentines. Make a few for the grandparents and cousins, too! Please, no candy or nuts!

Early Childhood Calendar
News from the Cottonwoods, Rainbows and Turquoise Classes

Monday - Music

In January we looked at different types of cameras and how they work, studied art by Ansel Adams and other photographers and we took some photos of our own. We hope to leave the impression that the possibilities are endless as we move from the world of Art into Music. In February we'll learn about rhythm, instruments and the musical scale. If you know someone who is a musician this is a great month to invite them to visit our classes.

Tuesday - Time

We begin the study of time by looking at many kinds of clocks. This is a good time to get an easy to read analog clock (with hands) for your child's bedroom. Make sure it has all of the numbers, the marks, and a second hand. Most children are 6 or 7 before they can tell time accurately, but even a small child will be able to recognize that, for instance, bedtime is when the hour hand points to 7. If you have a broken clock that we can dissect, please send it in to class!

Wednesday - Geography

In February we'll study Asia. This unit will culminate in our traditional "Asian Celebration", a party during regular class time on February 27th. Look for sign-ups by classroom doors for needed items including a cook to come and stir-fry in class! We invite children and helpers to dress up in their Asian best and enjoy a cultural immersion experience.

Thursday - Literature

We completed our review of Eric Carle's work with an "Eric Carle Film Festival" including a video which shows him creating his fabulous art in his studio. In February we will learn about rhyming and poetry. If you have a beloved book of poems, this is a good month to share it with the class.

Friday - Biology

We completed our study of fishes by examining a specimen in class and making fish prints. Next come amphibians. We have some little aquatic frogs in each class as well as a few fire-bellied toads. If you have a frog, newt or salamander you could loan us, please let us know.

Thursday, February 14th will be a "Party Day", 9:30 until noon. This is the last of our three EC "party days" for the year aimed at making the most of the opportunity for a productive celebration at the Early Childhood level. Class for all Early Childhood students will begin at 9:30 a.m. on this day. There are sign-ups for the parties by the classroom doors. Each student should bring enough Valentines for every classmate. We encourage you to round up paper, paint, scissors, glitter, ribbon and stickers so your child can create a special Valentine for each classmate. But be sure to start early so your child can make a few Valentines every day instead of trying to pound out 20 at once. Another fun choice is the family assembly line where everyone sits down together and creates enough Valentines for classmates, grandparents, cousins and neighbors. The following are name lists in case your child wants to make a special Valentine for each classmate. Valentines need not be labelled with a specific child's name. Please, no candy or nuts!

Cottonwoods Class: Aidan, Alan, August, Creed, Devin, Dylan, Evan, George, Georgia, Jack, Julian, Keira, Liam, Lily, Loch, Matthew, Payten, Pierce, Rhys, Rudger, Szander, Van, Zadkiel, Zoe, Michelle, Stevie and Kim.

Turquoise Class: Angela, Allie, Bobby, Braden, Brody, Cate, Cloe, Connor, Ella, Grace, Jack, Manon, Mark, Matthew, Matty, Oliver, Rhys, Sadie, Sebastien, Sophie, Leah and Jules.

Ranibow Class: Ash, Charlotte, Chase, Cooper, Daggan, Delilah, Elle, Ella, Eva, Giancarlo, Ila, Jack, Lily, Mateo, Maya, Ronan, Ryder, Sadie, William, Zoey, Maddy and Anne.

Lower Elementary Lowdown - Moose Tracks Class News

Monday - History

In February we are finishng our autbiography reports and will be studying the US Presidents. How many can you name?

Tuesday - Geography

Our study of Asia will introduce students to the geographical and cultural features of this huge continent. We will focus on the food, art and cultures of various countries of Asia culminating in a cultural immersion celebration on February 27th. Students are invited to dress up in their Far Eastern best for this festival of the orient.

Wednesday - Fine Arts

As the ski program finishes we'll review our sketching and examine the work of classical artists.

Thursday - Zoology

The Elementary Class will take a look at amphibians this month. If you have a specimen to share, please let us know!

Friday - Field Trips

We will hold our annual Valentine's Day Dance on February 14th in the afternoon. We ask students to dress up for the event where we will exchange valentines, practice our best etiquette and bust a move or two. Students should plan to bring 20 valentines, which we encourage students to make themselves. A supply of paper, collage materials, glue and scissors makes for a great family project and the results can be sent out to grandparents, too! A class list is provided below if they would like to personalize them. Please check our sign-up for party needs. Please, no candy or nuts!!!

Moose Tracks: Aidan, Andie, Amelie, Anastasia, Ava, Dekker, Gavin, Hannah, Harry, Haydenne, Ian, James, Karsten, Lael, Madeline, Reid, Taryn, Taylor, Leti and Michelle.

Our work in putting on last June's Children's Fair comes to fruition as we stop in to places like Kimball Art Center and the Park City Library to make donations of the funds we collected from working so hard in the park that day. We also make a point of volunteering our labor at each place just in case the work of selling tickets and running games is a foggy memory. As we help prepare for this year's Fair (by designing artwork for advertising, distributing fliers and doing tv and radio promotions) we take pleasure in making the donations knowing that our hands worked for the money and the organization will put it to obvious use in buying art supplies at the Kimball, food for the animals at Furburbia or new books at the library. Sometime in May we'll sit down together as a class and review the organizations we have supported this year and the help our money has provided. Then, as a class we'll make up a new budget for next year's donations. In this way elementary students are involved in every facet of their Children's Planet Fund all year long, making a concrete exercise of the abstract idea of fundraising for a better world.

Thank you to the many parents who continue to make our field trips possible and more fun by coming along!

Upper Elementary Update - Eagle's Nest Class News

Monday - History

Tuesday - Geography

Wednesday - Fine Arts

Thursday - Zoology

Friday - Field Trips

Calendar details to follow.

We will hold our annual Valentine's Day Dance on February 14th in the afternoon. We ask students to dress up for the event where we will exchange valentines, practice our best etiquette and bust a move or two. Students should plan to bring 11 valentines, which we encourage students to make themselves. A supply of paper, collage materials, glue and scissors makes for a great family project and the results can be sent out to grandparents, too! A class list is provided below if they would like to personalize them. Please check our sign-up for party needs. Please, no candy or nuts!!!

Eagle's Nest: Dillon, Gus, Jordan, Lucy, Mia, Reyna, Thomas, Tobianna, Tommy, Tracy, Erin.

Our work in putting on last June's Children's Fair comes to fruition as we stop in to places like Kimball Art Center and the Park City Library to make donations of the funds we collected from working so hard in the park that day. We also make a point of volunteering our labor at each place just in case the work of selling tickets and running games is a foggy memory. As we help prepare for this year's Fair (by designing artwork for advertising, distributing fliers and doing tv and radio promotions) we take pleasure in making the donations knowing that our hands worked for the money and the organization will put it to obvious use in buying art supplies at the Kimball, food for the animals at Furburbia or new books at the library. Sometime in May we'll sit down together as a class and review the organizations we have supported this year and the help our money has provided. Then, as a class we'll make up a new budget for next year's donations. In this way elementary students are involved in every facet of their Children's Planet Fund all year long, making a concrete exercise of the abstract idea of fundraising for a better world.

Mark Your Calendar

 

February 2 - Happy Birthday, Lynn!

February 5 - Happy Birthday, Lina!

February 6 - Last day of ski program

February 14 - Valentine Celebrations

Toddler Classes: Normal schedule, Valentines optional. No candy or nuts, please!

Early Childhood Classes: Party Day beginning at 9:30 am. Please bring a Valentine for each classmate. See class sign-ups. Check EC Calendar for names. No candy or nuts, please!

Lower and Upper Elementary Classes: Normal schedule with a party in the afternoon. Please bring a Valentine for each classmate. See class sign-up. Check Elementary calendars for names. No candy or nuts, please!!

February 15 - Noon dismissal for all students, both campuses

February 18 - 22 No School
Presidents' Week Break

February 27 - Asian Celebration schoolwide during normal class time - See sign-ups at EC and Elementary Class doors. Students and parent helpers should wear their Asian best!

March 1 and 8 - No School
Parent/Teacher Conferences


 

 

 

 

 

 


School Bulletin Board

Thank You, Potty Patrol!

Another Sundance Film Festival has come and gone and we thank Jan Smith for spending her days keeping the routine consistent and safe on "Potty Patrol".

Thanks for Giving Us Credit!

We thank the Laoussadi, Zediker and Heile families for their purchases from the Montessori Services "Small Hands" catalogs which not only brought the Montessori method into their homes, but gave us $33 in credit for new equipment. This is most welcome when our summer wish lists seems so far off.

Congratulations

We send warm congratulations to Zoe and Georgia Zediker and their family on the birth of little sister, Sunday Pearl!

Once Again...

Thank you for being on time. Teachers' prep time is precious. If you are late their time is compromised and your child worries.

For Your Tax Preparation Pleasure

Federal Tax Identification

SWMS - PA Campus # 87-0495076
SWMS - JR Campus # 20-5969965

SWPTSO # 26-1693961

NO SCHOOL FEBRUARY 18-22
Have a great Presidents' Week Break!


 

 

 

 

 

 


SWPTSO News

Planning is in full swing for our 20th Annual Park City Children's Fair to be held Sunday June 2nd at City Park from 10:30 to 3:00 pm.We have a zealous committee already at work including Fair Chair Lina Singleton and her team of volunteers; Amy Lineen, Sandy Geldhof, Jenny Samuelson, Karin Sigler-Mertens, Brooke Brink, Jill Warburton, Leah Morisi, Leah Linebarger, Michelle Aldrich, and Jules Manning. The next Fair Planning Meeting is on Wednesday March 13th at 2:00 pm at Park Avenue. Please join us!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


Out of the Mouths...

Who is it?

Asked in the Cottonwoods Early Childhood Class at Jeremy Ranch Campus while looking at pictures of US Presidents

Benjamin, 3- It's Barack Obama.

Uriah, 21/2 - It's a daddy.

Finley, 2 1/2 - No, it's Barack Obama.

Andrew, 1 1/2 - People.

Chloe, 2 - My Barack Obama.

Emma, 2 - Who is it?

Dylan, 4 - Are they from the news?

George, 3 - I know - Obama.

Matthew, 4 - (Pointing to John Adams) I love this guy!

Rhys, 3 1/2 - (Pointing to James Monroe) I like this guy.

August, 4 1/2 - They're all guys who were alive.

Julian, 6 - George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Harry S. Truman, George Walker Bush...

Van, 6 - Barack Obama, George Washington...

Keira, 6 - They paint pictures.

Szander, 3 - (notices numbers by pictures) #1, #2, #3, #4, #5...


 

 

 

 


 

 

Happy Valentine's Day!

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

"Of all things, love is the most potent."

Dr. Maria Montessori