JMS NEWSLETTER

Toddler Community News

Dear families,

A few days of school left, I’m not sure I’ve quite processed that. I’ve been thinking about the summer, and sort of flew right by the end of the year. Again, I want to take the opportunity to thank you all for your welcome to JMS. Truthfully, it’s only been four months, and many of you have so kindly shifted as the Toddler Community has changed. Thank you for your support and understanding. Thank you for your partnership and openness in our communications. I appreciate each of your families, and am thankful for having your children in the classroom.

Summer school will be starting Monday, June 12. I will be here leading the group, with Julie as the Assistant. Julie currently works at World Learner and then comes over to JMS to finish out the day in Casa 3. She will be here on Friday, June 2 to learn from Sara all the ins and outs of what we do.

Please remember to send your yearbook form and signed progress report back by Tuesday, June 6. The last day for the Toddlers is Wednesday, June 7. On Wednesday, we will be packing up your child’s belongings to send them home for the summer. If your child is joining us for summer school, you can send belongings back on the first day of summer school. It would be helpful if you could send a labeled bag to school that day to fill with your child’s belongings.

We will have several children moving up into Casa at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. I wish them all the best as they continue on in their educational adventure and know they will be guided by very caring, compassionate, and talented Guides. I look forward to watching them grow as they advance into the Casas.

I hope you all have a lovely summer and enjoy the memories you will get to make with your children. These years are so precious and memorable, and whether you are staying close by or traveling, I truly hope you can maximize your time together. See you soon!

Wishing you the best,

Amanda

Casa I News

Dear Families,

I would like to thank all of you for allowing me to work with your children. Your constant support, your patience and your help to guide your child with respect and kindness makes a huge difference in theirjourney.

I wish that I could "bottle" this past year to savor again and again all the lovely moments that we had with every student. But, I know is all contained within our hearts.

Congratulation Graduates!

"I have learned to do it, and I do it a little better every time. I have made an immense effort, but I'm satisfied. So great is my joy, in fact, that before coming to the next cup and saucer after a great effort, I will relax a little and take a little hop and a little skip." - Dr. Maria Montessori 
"I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.". -Anonymous"

Have a safe and fun summer!

Maria & Ally

Casa II News

Dear Casa 2 Parents,

Graduation and new beginnings

With only a few days left of school, every moment that we spend with the children becomes that much more special.  We are holding onto every smile, every kind gesture, every struggle the children have because it is these moments that we cherish as children depart JMS for the summer or to begin their transition into their next school.  The bonds that have been created this year are strong enough to withstand any break from one another, but I encourage each family to make it a priority to help set up play-dates long after we dismiss on June 8th.  The relationships that I’ve built with each child are ones that I hold very dear to my heart, and I am hopeful that our relationships will continue well beyond graduation day.  Once you are a Casa 2 family, you are forever a Casa 2 family.  Please stop by with your child any time to visit and let us see how much they have grown.  It is always fun to hear stories about their new school and to hear how happy and confident they are in their new environments.  Seeing a child’s love for learning continue over the years is my greatest joy as a teacher. 

We congratulate our graduates- Alex, Anna, Arav, Ava, Finn and Henry- as they embark on their next journey!  This is an emotional time of year, and every year is just as hard as the last.  This year Casa 2 will also say “farewell” to other children who are moving or changing schools.  As difficult as it is to say goodbye, it is exciting to know that the children are prepared and ready to enter their new schools with confidence.  For all families leaving JMS this year, please know that you and your children are forever a part of our JMS community and you are welcome to visit any time you’d like!  As always, THANK YOU to every family for sharing your child with us this year… we have certainly enjoyed having them in our lives!

On the last day of school, we will have the graduation ceremony at 10:30 am to honor the 2017 graduates.  Families of the graduates are invited to attend, and the rest of the children will also attend as part of their school day.  School is dismissed for ALL children at 12:00 noon on this day, and we hope to see you at Lion’s Park in Chaska for our end-of-the-year picnic.  Please stop by even if you cannot stay long.  It is nice for the children to have this special time together before departing for the summer!  As always, be sure to contact the office if you have any questions.

Q: How can I best help my child during their time away from school this summer?

A: Even though many children will not have the Montessori materials to work with over the summer, there are still many things you can do to give your child a solid education over the ten weeks they are away!  How many can you check off this summer??

- Read to your child EVERY DAY (or have your child read to you if they are reading).  Join the public library and take part in a summer reading program.  Remember to be a reading role model!

- Sign them up for an activity (Tae kwon do, t-ball, swimming, theatre, music, art, etc.).  During the school year isn’t always the best time to have children in extra-curricular activities because they are already spending so much time at school and can be physically and emotionally drained by the end of the week.  The summer is typically less busy and can be a great opportunity for your child to try something new!

- Give your child EXPERIENCES.  Go camping.  Go fishing.  Go to a play.  Visit a historical landmark.  Go on a nature scavenger hunt.  Plant a garden.  Involve your child in the planning process of these exciting activities!

- Set up play dates with other families, especially those from JMS, so your child can continue strengthening relationships with their peers.

- As much as possible, maintain a consistent schedule.  Children of this age group thrive with consistency and knowing what to expect in the days ahead.

- Limit screen time.  This is the gorgeous weather we’ve been waiting for… let’s take advantage of it!!

- Sign your child up for some of our summer camps at JMS!  It’s great to have children back throughout the summer, and they love seeing their JMS friends from all of the casas together in one classroom!  There is still space in these classes… contact Katya if you need another registration form!

Need more ideas to keep everyone not only “busy,” but also entertained and educated this summer?  Click on the following links for 100’s of activities!

100 Summer Fun Ideas for Kids and Parents

http://workathomemoms.about.com/od/kidsactivitiesfamilyfun/a/ideas-for-kids.htm

101 Fun Things to do with Kids this Summer

https://www.care.com/a/101-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-summer-1305030150

120 Free Things to do with Kids this Summer

http://www.mrfreestuff.com/120-free-things-to-do-with-kids-this-summer/

On the Calendar        

Friday, June 2nd -- 5:00-7:00 potluck picnic at Lions Park for all JMS children and families

Thursday, June 8th -- Last day of school – Kindergarten graduation

                                   10:30 ceremony for families of graduates; 12:00 dismissal for all students

Friday, June 9th -- Staff workshop day

Monday, June 12th -- Summer school program begins

Sunday, June 18th -- Father’s Day

Please keep in touch at any time over the summer- I would love to hear from you!  I will be checking my e-mail and am available for contact- so please reach out!  My summer will consist of teaching summer camps at JMS, preparing for our August wedding, and completing the many house projects I have started! 😊 May you all have a safe and happy summer vacation.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to spend my days with your child.  I will miss the laughter and chatter while we are away this summer!  I wish you all a fun-filled summer as you create many new memories together!

Taryn & Mindi

Casa III News

Dear Casa III Families,

It’s amazing how quickly the last few months have gone by! The children have loved talking with each other about their approaching summer plans, and they have especially loved having more time to play outside. I’ve heard many great stories about bike rides, rollerblading, and outdoor sports.

End of the Year Picnic

I am looking forward to our End of the Year Picnic this Friday (June 2nd).  Thank you to all of the families who volunteered to help set up or to bring a dish to share with everyone. Just a reminder that if you are bringing a food item to please bring a label listing the ingredients. The picnic will be at Lion’s Park in Chaska from 5:00-7:00. There are tables available; however it would be a good idea to bring a blanket to picnic on in case they fill up. I look forward to seeing many of you there!

Summer Program

As the end of the school year approaches, so does the beginning of our Summer Program here at JMS! Each week is carefully planned and filled with fun activities. The children get to spend a lot of time outdoors playing, as well as learning about the topics from each week. If you are interested in registering for any of the weeks, please contact the office.

Last Day of School

Our last day of school is Thursday June 8th. All Casas will be dismissed at noon, including Casa III, that day following the Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony. If someone other than you is picking up your child that day, please let the office know. Also, since all children are departing at noon you will not need to send a lunch. On Wednesday June 7th we will be sending home much of the children’s work and any nap room items. If possible, please send a bag for your child’s items so they can be transported home (it’s amazing how much one small work drawer can hold!). A gentle reminder that the Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony is only for the kindergarten families- although we wish we could invite the entire community to the event we simply do not have the space to accommodate that amount of people. If you have any questions regarding the last day of school, please contact me or the office and we will do our best to answer those questions for you.

Parting Wishes

One of my favorite aspects of the Montessori Method is the sense of community that develops throughout the year. Dr. Maria Montessori called our little environments the“casa dei bambini” meaning the Children’s House. The prepared environment is supposed to seem like a second home to the children, supporting them in every aspect of their development, not only their academics, but their social and emotional development as well. The children form a community where they not only strive to achieve their own growth, but they support one another and work harmoniously towards a common goal. As the year goes on, they become closer, almost like a little family. They celebrate each other’s triumphs and support one another during their times of need. Just this week we had one young friend wake up feeling a little sad from their nap. Another child recognized this and offered them a hug, gently rubbing their back and taking the time to make sure they were feeling happy again. Another time this week a child came up to me and said “Look Kasey, all of the children are asking ______ to help them open their clementine at lunch! Isn’t it great that _____ is able to help them?” This child recognized the effort and kindness the other was putting forth to help their friends.

Working with all of your children this year has truly been the greatest honor. Every day they remind me of the importance of kindness, generosity, and laughter in our lives. In a world where we hear about so many terrible things happening all over the world, it is from the child where we can find hope for the future.
 

Dr. Montessori said, "The child is capable of developing and giving us tangible proof of the possibility of a better humanity. He has shown us the true process of construction of the human being. We have seen children totally change as they acquire a love for things and as their sense of order, discipline, and self-control develops within them.... The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind." (Education and Peace).

Thank you all for everything you do for your children, for our school, and our community. We wish you all have a wonderful, relaxing summer!

With love,

Kasey, Kita, Natalie, and Julie

Toddler Community News

Dear Toddler Community families,

How can it be May already…?!?!

As I’ve taken time to observe over the past week, I’m in awe of the progression that each child has been making. I hear quite a bit of conversations going on around the room, children looking out the window and sharing their observations, independence in getting their shoes and jackets on, and the comfort that the routine brings them. We have been seeing children exploring with work choices, showing interested in the language materials, and helping one another with tasks. We have been strengthening gross motors skills by having the bike, slide, push cart, and trampoline available each morning. I’ve noticed great improvement in their ability to move their bodies and having a stronger sense of self-awareness.

I’m excited for what this month will bring as we continue on this path of development. As I think about independence and young children, the independence encouraged in Montessori often goes against what culture says about raising children. Our society tells us that children need us to do most tasks for them, and to some respect that is accurate. Although, the ways in which children need help are by allowing them the opportunity to try. Taking the moments to sit next to them as they are concentrating on their work, or being nearby to observe. Sometimes, it means laying their coat on the floor properly so they can proceed with the next steps of sticking their arms in and flipping it over their head.

From zero to six, a child goes through a formative period, constructing her personality and adapting to the world. Through interactions with the environment, the child builds up self-confidence, sense of independence, and autonomy. At the toddler community level, “independence is defined in terms of toileting, dressing and undressing, eating and food preparation, plant and animal care, washing clothes, sweeping, gardening, and putting oneself to sleep” (Orion, “Independence of the Young Child from Birth to Three,” 1).

Functional independence is a priority for children of this age. Orion speaks to how children must practice repeatedly in order to begin accomplishing tasks independently. She takes the example of dressing and undressing, specifically putting socks on and taking them off. She advocates, “That is something they need to practice over and over and over. Often we see getting undressed as getting ready to come into the environment and getting dressed as getting ready to go out or go home. But in reality, for those tiny ones, getting undressed and dressed is their work” (Orion, “Independence of the Young Child from Birth to Three,” 3). This principle applies to the child’s other early accomplishments, as she learns to eat independently, pouring and drinking from appropriately sized glasses or cups, and eating with properly sized utensils.

Children feel capable when the caring for their indoor and outdoor environments, which they accomplish through maintaining plants and animals, mopping, sweeping, cleaning windows, gardening, feeding birds, and raking leaves. Also, they feel accomplished when they can care for themselves through activities such as washing their face, brushing or combing their hair, wiping their nose, or brushing their teeth.

Dr. Montessori declared, “How does the child acquire independence? He acquires it by means of continuous activity. Independence is not static. It is a continuous conquest. And by means of continuous work, one acquires not only freedom but strength and self-perfection” (Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, 78). As a result, the Montessori philosophy advocates never giving more help than is necessary, for practice and repetition leads to the attainment of the developing power. The active child, who feels skillful and capable, naturally exerts maximum effort, for his own actions progress him down the road toward independence. If we interfere, we become an obstacle to this growing independence.

As you think about your family, what ways can you encourage independence at home? Here are some ideas you might be able to incorporate:

  • Pouring bird seed in the bird feeder
  • Using child size garden tools in your garden area
  • Allowing your child to water the items in your garden or your house plants
  • Helping to bring a small basket of laundry to the washer
  • Allowing your child to put the laundry from the washer into the dryer
  • Putting your child’s dishes in a cupboard at his level
  • Allowing your child to bring his dishes to the sink/kitchen
  • Having your child feed your family pet
  • Having a child size broom and mop available for messes and spills
  • Placing the brush or comb at your child’s level
  • Hanging a mirror so a child can see himself as he is brushing his teeth, wiping his face, or caring for his hair

If you would like to explore these ideas more and need assistance in how to make these work with your specific situation, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’d love to hear how your family is joining to support the growing independence of your child.

Amanda, Sara & Natalie

Casa I News

Dear Families,

I can’t believe May is already here and the end of the school year is almost here. We have kept ourselves really busy! We have been enjoying planting seeds and will be getting them ready for our garden. Also our log playground is very popular among all the children so we have been spending time out there as well.  We are very grateful to Grandpa Pete for making such an amazing space for the children to play.  A huge thank you to all our family volunteers, you make a huge difference, and we are very fortunate to have you at JMS!

The students will continue to be busy practicing a few songs for the graduation, repeating work as much as possible and enjoying more time using our outside work space, such as our beautiful patio!

The children have worked so hard and brought so much joy to us in their own unique ways. Having several new students almost at the end of the yearbrought new energy to our Casa,  everyone was able to help and it has been a pleasure having each one of them in our environment; their individual accomplishments continue to inspire us every day. We wish wonderful new experiences to all of the children, especially to the graduates and their families on their new journey….. Your presence will be greatly missed!

Reminders

  • Thursday, June 1st - Game day, send your child’s favorite game to school.
  • Friday, June 2nd. JMS Picnic from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Wed. June 7th End of the year Friendship Fruit Salad, your child may bring his/her favorite fruit to make our fruit salad. (enough just to put on the salad)
  • Thursday June 8th. Graduation Day!

Transitions

As the end of the school year approaches, some parents become concerned about the transition from one level to the next. Whether your child is moving from the children’s house or elementary to middle school, these suggestions may ease the transition:

  • Meet the teacher. Children can become stressed when they don’t know what to expect. Meeting the teacher may help waylay fears by answering some of your and your child’s questions.
  • Find out if the school allows children to shadow students. By shadowing an older child, your child can see what the class is like, how it functions, what to expect and ask any questions. This can dispel some anxiety.
  • Discuss concerns, some points to specify: some friends will remain the same; some material will be the same, new friends, etc.  And that everyone involve wants your child to be successful.
  • Share with your child your own experiences. How you felt during a time of change (starting school, new job…..). By relating your experiences to your child they may feel less anxious.
  • Write a good bye letter with your child for your teacher. This will help your child reflect upon the good things and provide a sense of closure.

These suggestions may help your child handle the special issues that arise during transitions and in making a smooth transition. (From P.E.N. vol. 1, Number 1)

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns,

Maria & Ally

“Through new education, we must enable children to grow up with a healthy spirit, a strong character and a clear intellect, so that as adults they will not tolerate contradictory moral principles but will gather human energies for constructive purposes. ”Peaceful children, peaceful world.”

Casa II News

Dear Casa 2 Parents,

What a wonderful April we had with Gillian here doing her internship with us!  The children thoroughly enjoyed working with her and receiving some new presentations!  She has since returned to the Montessori Center of Minnesota, where she will complete her diploma over the next month.  Thank you, Gillian, for your endless amount of hours spent preparing wonderful presentations for the children!

End of the Year… already?   

How can it be possible that we are beginning our preparations for the end of the year and Kindergarten graduation?  The school year has flown by- as it always does.  This is a bittersweet time for all of us at JMS, with a range of emotions circulating the casa.  Many of the graduates have already visited their schools for next year and are excited for the new opportunities and experiences that are coming their way.  Others are excited to spend more time at the cabin, go swimming, and attend summer camps… at JMS, of course! 😉

While the last month of school is always filled with excitement, it is also a difficult time for many children.  Over their years at JMS, they become a very tight-knit community as they help one another through some challenges and through many successes.  They feel safe, comfortable and confident in the environment they have been a big part of for two, three or even four years.  Some children will continue on together at new schools, and some will be bravely beginning their own journey next year.  And MANY (thank goodness!) will be returning to JMS and will continue together as a community in Casa 2.  Wherever your child ventures next, please support them by continuing to have play dates with their peers from JMS.  Their relationships will remain as strong as they are today, but only if they are able to keep in touch.  And please don’t forget to stop in to JMS any time to say hello to Mindi and myself… you are always welcome here!

Just a few things to think about as we near the end of the year:

  • All of the children will attend the graduation ceremony, as it is during their school day.  They are practicing some songs to sing together as a class.  Parents of the graduates are encouraged to attend this very special ceremony in honor of their child!  All students will be dismissed at 12:00 noon on the last day of school (June 8th).
  • The end-of-the-year picnic (June 2nd) is for all JMS children and families to spend one more evening together before departing for the summer.  We hope to see you all there, as this is definitely one of the most special nights of the year!
  • We DO have a summer program for all children who attended JMS this year!  Graduates are invited to attend, as well!  The guides have split up the weeks and are busy preparing fun and engaging summer camps for your children!

On the Calendar        

Saturday, May 13th -- Casa 2 playdate

Friday, May 26th -- Pajama Day

Monday, May 29th -- NO SCHOOL – Memorial Day

Friday, June 2nd -- End-of-the-Year Picnic @ Lion’s Park

Thursday, June 8th -- Last day of school for students

Monday, June 12th -- Summer school begins!

We hope you can make it to the Casa 2 playdate next Saturday!  Please RSVP to The Kerfoots (or to me) if you have not already done so.  We are looking forward to a memorable day!  For those of you attending the JMS Fun Run tomorrow, thank you for supporting us!  Enjoy your walk/run!

Taryn & Mindi

Casa III News

Dear Casa III Families,

Thank You

I'd like to start by thanking all of you who were able to make it to Parent Night last week. The children really loved having you all in the environment and showing you all of their favorite materials. I'd also like to thank all of the families who volunteered to help with the JMS garage sale over the weekend, whether your family donated items to the sale or if you helped to set up or run the event. As a community we are so lucky to have families who are willing to volunteer their time and efforts to support the school. 

Reminders

Spring has sprung! The children have been loving seeing the trees budding with leaves, seeing the return of many colorful birds, and playing outside in the warm weather. Just a reminder that we do have a lot of ticks on the playground and I'm sure the mosquitoes aren't far behind them! When we go outside we will be applying sunscreen and bug spray. If you would like your child to have their own sunscreen/bug spray please send a bottle with their first and last name on the bottle in permanent marker and we will be sure to apply it before going outside. We will be checking our supply of sunscreen from the fall this week and will let you know if your child is in need of a new bottle.

Please continue to check your child every night for ticks. If we find a tick on your child after playing outside we will remove it immediately unless it is attached. If it is we will call you right away and you can either come to the school to remove it yourself or you can give verbal consent for a JMS staff member to remove it. 

With summer quickly approaching I just wanted to remind you all that we have some really great summer camps coming up this year! Each week is a different theme and the guides have some amazing activities planned to go with each one. If you would like to sign up please contact the JMS office as space is limited for the camps.

Color Run 5K

I'm so excited for the upcoming Color Run this weekend! It is the first year we are doing something like this as a fundraiser for the school and I hope to see many of you there! Just a reminder that packet pick-up is at 7:00 am and the race starts at 9:00 am at 3598 Lyman Blvd Chaska, MN. A reminder that children five and under are free and there is no age limit if you haven't signed up yet. I'd also like to thank everyone involved in organizing this event, from volunteers throwing color or providing water to the runners and organizers!

Montessori at Home

As summer approaches I wanted to share some ways that you can bring the Montessori philosophy home.

Children at this age are striving to achieve functional independence, meaning independence in caring for themselves and for others. There are many ways you can support your child's development at home- from involving them in daily household chores to setting up spaces in your home that make it easier for them to care for themselves. This week I put out a few articles in the hallway outside of Casa III that list many age-appropriate tasks children can help with at home.

It might take a little extra time, but children truly love being able to help in the home. It not only provides them with a sense of independence, but it helps them to coordinate and refine their movements, increase their confidence, and often it provides a time for family bonding. Some of my favorite family nights are when my cousins, aunts, uncles and I all work together to cook a meal. Having my 6 year old cousin chop the vegetables might take a little extra time, but you can tell by the smile on her face that she loves playing a role in preparing the meal.

You can also create ordered spaces in your home for your child. Children of this age are in a sensitive period for order. Because they are ordering and classifying their understanding of the world, external order is extremely important to their development. External order leads to internal order- by having a place for certain items your child comes to understand their home environment more easily.

First, for children's toys you can use a low shelf to display a few toys at a time. Then your child can easily choose what they would like to play with and it removes the clutter of large toy bins. It also allows you to rotate the toys as your child's interests change. You can also place your child's clothing in a low drawer so that they can independently choose their outfit for the day and dress themselves. You could also hang a mirror low on the wall so that your child can see themselves once they are dressed. 

In the kitchen you can use a low shelf or cupboard to hold items that your child can use independently to fulfill their needs. For example, you can place a small pitcher and cups on the shelf so that your child can get a drink of water when they feel thirsty, or you can place a small dish filled with a healthy snack so that they can serve themselves when they feel hungry. You can also get a small dust pan and brush and a small bucket with a towel so that your child can help to clean up any wet or dry spills. You can get your child involved in the process of setting up these areas to make it even more exciting. 

Any materials you put out should be child-sized and functional- it can be frustrating to your child if they are trying to accomplish a task but the tools they are using are preventing their success. Also, make sure to show your child how to use the materials very carefully to support their independence. Sometimes you might have to show them more than once, but with repetition you will be able to see them master those skills and move on to more challenging activities. For example, you could put out a small tray with a cutting board and a spreader, along with a small container of sunbutter/peanut butter and another small container with bread (and probably an apron or smock as it can get messy!). You can carefully show your child how to prepare a small sandwich for themselves and how they can independently clean up the activity. As they master that skill you can move on to more challenging activities, such as slicing a banana or an apple, washing fruits and vegetables, or chopping/preparing food for dinner (please note that children using any knives or sharp utensils should first have good coordinated movements and should be closely supervised). These are just a few ways that you can support the development of your child's functional independence at home. If you are interested in more suggestions on how you can bring the Montessori philosophy home, feel free to e-mail me anytime.

End of the Year Picnic

The end of the school year is coming up fast! Every year to celebrate we have an end of the year picnic- this year it will be at Lion's Park in Chaska on Friday June 2nd from 5:00-7:00. It is a potluck style picnic (a sign up went out earlier this week for food items). If you signed up to bring a food item, please be sure to write down the ingredients used as there are many families with varying food preferences/allergies. It is a really great time so share a meal with other JMS families and to get together one last time before the end of the year. There is limited seating so you might want to bring a blanket or lawn chairs for you and your family members. Plates, napkins, and utensils will be provided, but please bring your own beverages for your family members. I look forward to seeing many of you there!

I hope you all continue to enjoy this beautiful spring weather!

-Kasey, Kita, Natalie and Julie

Toddler Community News

Dear Toddler Community families,

As I look over the past month in the Toddler community, change is the one word that comes directly to mind. The children have said hello to new friends, and see you soon to others. They have welcomed new adults and with that, new songs, slight changes to their existing routines, changes in the weather (how exciting were those 60’s?!?!), and the list goes on. These are the changes that come to mind as I reflect on how our community is growing.

One thing is for certain, through the growth and change, the children have been resilient. They have helped the new friends or adults, showing compassion and lending a hand. They have built a stronger community of children who are living out life experiences together. Young children are such a role model for how to care for one another. What love and beauty they display toward each other!

The children have been enjoying their new presentations. From lacing beads to watercolors, washing cloths to learning new vocabulary. It’s been enjoyable to watch them repeat recent presentations. We have been singing many songs, most of which are familiar to the children. I have been slowly introducing new songs and it has been fun to watch as the children catch on to the songs. One of our new songs is:

“Slippery fish, slippery fish
Swimming in the water
A slippery fish, slippery fish.
Gulp, gulp, gulp
Oh no! He was eaten by,

A tuna fish, a tuna fish
Splashing in the water
A tuna fish, a tuna fish
Gulp, gulp, gulp
Oh no! He was eaten by,

An octopus, an octopus
Squiggling in the water
An octopus, an octopus
Gulp, gulp, gulp
Oh no! He was eaten by,

A great white shark, a great white shark
Lurking in the water
A great white shark, a great white shark
Gulp, gulp, gulp
Oh no! He was eaten by,

A humongous whale, humongous whale
Spouting in the water
Humongous whale, humongous whale
Gulp, gulp, gulp
*Hiccup* Excuse me!”

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the new items in our room. From recess toys, to pouring and spooning work, to classical music that plays throughout the day; each gift has been enriching the lives of the children, thank you! Enjoy the photos of children at work!

Amanda & Lori

Casa I News

Dear families,

Thank you so much for attending our spring conferences; it was a great opportunity to visit and go over your child’s cognitive, emotional and social development. It’s very important to share with you your child’s strengths and areas they need to work on. Families and teachers who work together make a huge difference in the child’s educational journey. Also, many of you already know how much fun we had working on our MN art project for the fundraiser; if you would like to add a few more experiences and exposed your child to more of our Minnesota and the state symbols take a trip to the State Capital, drive by the Mississippi river and continue to add knowledge about our state, some of the children are eager to learn more.

We would like to welcome Bela, Mavi and Carolina to our Casa, please be so kind to stop and say hello to our new families! Please check out the photos of children working, playing and caring for themselves and the environment…. Some of them making sure that even under the table is nice and shiny!

Thank you to all the families for helping and making an effort to attend our pancake breakfast and Friday café.

Reminders

  • March 24 – March 31st spring break.
  • April 4th - Fieldtrip to Gale Woods Farm
  • April 12th - Class Picture Day
  • April 14th - No School
  • April 29th - JMS Garage Sale
  • Continue to arrive on time as our session begins at 8:30 a.m.  I’ll like to recommend a meaningful, but quick good bye to prevent separation anxiety.
  • Please continue to send an extra change of clothes and appropriate outdoor attire.

 Have a healthy and fun Spring Break,

Maria & Ally

“The Montessori Environment is a unique cycle of learning design to take advantage of the child’s sensitive years between three and six, when she/he can absorb information from an enriched environment. A child who acquires the basic skills of reading and arithmetic in a natural way has advantage of beginning their education without drudgery, boredom or discouragement. By pursuing individual interest in the Montessori environment, she/he gains an early enthusiasm for learning, which is the key to become a truly educated person." -A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom, Aline D. Wolf

Casa II News

Dear Casa 2 Parents,

What a busy couple of months!  We would like to welcome three new families to Casa 2!  Neve, Hudson and Mathias are already getting settled in- connecting with peers, learning the ins and outs of a new school, and receiving lots of presentations.  Please welcome their families to JMS if you see them in the halls!

“When I grow up…”

We had such a great time making our item for this year’s silent auction!  We spent time discussing MANY career options, and the children showed great interest in finding out more!  Each child chose one career they would like to have when they “grow up.”  From firefighters to doctors, accountants to civil engineers (and everything in between!), these children are going to make a difference in the world!! We took photos of each child and put together a beautiful frame.  Please join us at the Pancake Breakfast tomorrow morning and take a look at it!  I will be running the Cake Walk… be sure to stop and say, “Hello!”

Arrival times

This is a friendly reminder that our arrival time is between 8:30-8:45 each morning.  With several new children, Mindi and I must give everyone our full attention once the school day has started.  If you arrive after 8:45, kindly wait down at the front desk and a JMS staff member will escort your child to the casa.  We know that there will be mornings when you might be running late, and that’s ok!  We all have mornings like that!  However, once your child arrives to school, they no longer need to rush to get ready.  Having the cubby room within our casa allows children as much time as they need to get ready for the day.  This time of day is important for children, as they are already very independent in getting themselves ready for school.  And for those who still need some help, Mindi and I will always be there to help them!  We understand that it can be frustrating when you are running late, but it’s best not to rush your child once you arrive.  Rather than changing their shoes for them, we wait and give them the time they need to get ready.  It’s a better start to the day to give children the time they need to begin on a positive note.

If you have something that you would like to discuss, let’s set up a time to talk via phone, email or meeting, if necessary.  We are there during arrival time to help the children with anything they may need, and while we LOVE to see you and interact in conversation, we really want this time of day to be about greeting the children and helping them start their day as soon as they arrive.  I am available by email anytime at tbender@jonathanmontessori.org and I will reply as quickly as I can if there is something you would like to talk about.  Feel free to write a quick note, too, and I can give you a call as soon as I am able.  We appreciate your understanding and acknowledgement of arrival times, and we will always be here to help your child once they are at school. 😊

Student Teacher

You will see a few new faces around JMS next month!  Gillian, a student teacher from the Montessori Center of Minnesota will be sharing three weeks with us during the month of April.  The children have already met her because she did a one-week observation in January.  She is very sweet and we are looking forward to getting to know her more!  Gillian and I will both be giving presentations.  While this time is for her to gain experience with presentations, rest assured that Mindi and I will both be there every step of the way! 

Casa 2 playdate!

Many of you already know, but there is a Casa 2 playdate planned for Saturday, May 13th!  Each of you will be receiving an invitation in the mail from a previous parent (please let me know if you DO NOT want your address shared).  Eva and Lee are previous JMS parents and they are so kind and generous… when they found out that I was engaged, they wanted to celebrate with JMS families who have been in Casa 2!  There is nothing I would love more than to have many of the children I have spent time with all in one place!  More details will be sent to you, but please join us for a casual gathering in May before we depart for the summer!  Of course we will still have an all-school picnic, but this gathering is specifically for Casa 2! Erik and I will be there and we are looking forward to seeing all who can make it!

On the Calendar        

Thursday, March 23rd             ‘Wear your favorite Jersey’ Day!

March 24th – April 2nd             NO SCHOOL: Spring Break

Tuesday, April 4th                    Field Trip: Gale Woods Farm

Wednesday, April 12th         Class Picture Day

Friday, April 14th                     NO SCHOOL

Saturday, April 29th                 JMS Garage Sale

Saturday, May 5th                   JMS Fun Run

Saturday, May 13th                 Casa 2 playdate!

 

We wish you a wonderful spring break and safe travels to all those who are venturing out! 

Taryn & Mindi

Casa III News

Casa III Families,

I’d like to start by thanking all of you for coming to conferences this month. I truly enjoyed being able to sit down and talk with each of you about what your child is working on throughout their day in Casa III. Please know that if you ever have any questions or concerns you are always welcome to e-mail me at kmeyer@jonathanmontessori.com and I will do my best to respond as soon as I can.

New Children

There have been many exciting changes happening in Casa III over the past few weeks. We have welcomed a few new children: Liam, Reese, and Aarush. We are so happy to have them as a part of our Casa III community and the children are excited to have some new friends to work and play with! I’d also like to welcome Natalie and Julie to our Casa III staff. The children have loved learning many great new songs from Natalie (and I have too!) and we couldn’t be more excited to have them as a part of our team.

Grace and Courtesy 

I’d like to take a moment to share some reflections I’ve had about peer teaching in the Children’s House over the past few weeks. Since the casa is composed of a mixed-age group, it allows the older children to act as a model of grace and courtesy for the younger children. They become leaders and are happy to share their skills and knowledge of the environment with a new friend. One of my favorite observations from the past few weeks was on the first day one of our new children was going to stay for lunch. Without being asked or prompted, one of the older children invited this new child to have lunch with them. They carefully showed them how we set up the table for lunch, and beautifully modeled how the children share a meal together. Then they took the time to show the child how they could clean up their own lunch, again without being prompted or persuaded to do so. In my training, we talked about how these older children are often the best teachers for the younger ones as they are much closer in proximity to that time of development than we are as adults. A six-year old can identify more easily with a three-year old because it wasn’t so long ago that they were that age and struggling with zipping up their jacket or figuring out the perfect way to build the Pink Tower. I love being able to sit and observe the children share their knowledge and skills with each other through peer teaching- not only is one child benefitting in receiving a new presentation, but the older child receives a boost of confidence and it gives them a chance to practice their leadership abilities.  Another example is when a child wanted to practice writing some of their letters on paper. Typically they go to an adult and ask them to write a letter for them to practice, but when an adult wasn’t available, one of the older children offered to help. They carefully wrote out a series of letters for the child to practice and then both children continued their work. It was a really beautiful interaction to be able to observe.

Reminders

A few reminders: as it is still cold outside (and knowing Minnesota weather it will be for a while longer) please make sure to send your child with proper winter gear every day including hats, gloves/mittens, boots, and snow pants. Please make sure these items are labeled as the cubby room can get a little messy when the children are getting ready and items can easily be misplaced. Also, we will be sending home notes letting you know if your child is running low on extra clothing. Please make sure these items are labeled as well to prevent them from lost or misplaced.

Lastly, a reminder that drop-off in the morning is from 8:30 – 8:45 (unless your child is dropped off before 8:30). Please make sure that your child arrives on time as our morning work cycle begins promptly at 8:45. As the children arrive, it is their time to socialize and to greet their friends. It can be very disruptive if children arrive late, and children may feel left out as all of their friends have already begun their work for the day.

On the Calendar

  • Thursday, March 23rd - Messy hair and pajama day
  • Friday, March 31st - No school, Spring Break
  • Tuesday, April 4th - Field trip to Gale Woods Farm
  • Wednesday, April 12th - Class Picture Day
  • Friday, April 14th - No School
  • Saturday, April 29th - JMS Garage Sale

We hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing, and (hopefully!) warm and sunny spring break!

Kasey, Kita, Natalie, and Julie

Casa I News

Dear Families,

How lovely it is to start a brand new year! We are looking forward to a beginning with positive attitude and open mind that this year will bring us good health and the energy to accomplish many of our goals. We are glad to be back and the children are adjusting beautifully and back to their regular schedule. The children were excited and look forward to their work, friends and very important: their own routine.

Most of the children were eager to receive presentations, and I was very pleased with their response! We can already see very nice strides in work progress; we will continue to encourage repetition of passed presentations as well as introducing new learning experiences. Also, please take some time to welcome Poyraz, Bela and Mavi to our Casa as well as their family. We are so excited about this positive transition and the children in our Casa are delighted to help! Now, please take time and enjoy some of the photos of our busy students!

Reminders

  • Do not send sweetened drinks.  These drinks provide the body with no nutrients, read the labels carefully and stay away from these names: concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose and dextrose. We will provide water and milk daily.
  • Tuesday, February 14th is Valentine’s Day! Your child is welcome to decorate a valentine box or a bag at home and bring it to school on the 14th. Homemade valentines are recommended: stickers, pencils, bubbles etc. Please, refrain to send sugary treats. We have 19 students including your child.

Spanish Vocabulary

January………………………….enero

New……………………………….nuevo

Year...................................año

I have……………………………..tengo

Cold………………………………..frio

Thank you for your trust and positive feedback!

Maria & Ally

“Changes are inevitable and not always controllable. What can be controlled is how you manage, react to and work through the change process.” Kelly Morgan

Casa II News

Dear Casa 2 Parents, 

What a wonderful time of the year it is!  The children returned from winter break full of stories and ready to get back to work!  The first day back after a long break is always one of my favorites because the children are typically so relaxed, excited to see one another, and honestly are looking forward to working with the materials again!  I hope you all had a wonderful break and had time to bake some cookies with your children!  It was so fun to measure out all the ingredients and help them decorate their snowman jars!

Embracing Change

As you are probably well-aware, JMS has experienced a great deal of change over the past few years.  We are experiencing it right now and we will likely experience it again in the future.  At first exposure, the uncertainty can be scary.  The thought of making big changes in our lives- both personally and professionally- can be overwhelming and make us question whether we are prepared to embrace the change or contest it.  I, myself, have had to ponder these same things as we say goodbye to beloved coworkers and as we welcome new ones into our community.  We do this on a semi-regular basis with families, as well, so you’d think we would be used to it!  Families whom we adore move away, whether it’s across the county or across the country.  Children graduate in June and move on to their respective schools, and new children take their place in the fall.  We build relationships along the way and we hope that we’ve made enough of an impact on one another’s lives to continue our relationships no matter the distance between us.  Change is what fills our lives full of love and appreciation for one another.  

Our staff at JMS is no different.  We spend years together- helping each other grow as individuals, as teachers, as coworkers… the list goes on and on.  And the day eventually comes when someone makes a decision that is best for them and their families.  They decide to leave JMS for various reasons, and- at first- it’s scary.  We spend so much time together that the unknown can be nerve-wracking.  But this is the most crucial time to embrace the change that is upon us.  I, myself, have chosen to embrace change- whatever comes our way- because it doesn’t have an effect on what my real job is: to work with children.  We will see change among our staffing over the years just as we see change among our families each year.  With these changes, we are given the opportunity for new ideas, new perspectives, new experiences, new relationships… and all of these things lead to GROWTH.  Every change at JMS has a big impact on our personal relationships, and it saddens me every time someone chooses to move on.  However, I am ready to embrace any changes that come our way this year.

Keeping a positive attitude can do wonders on ourselves and those around us.  I ask the same for all who are going through the changes with us as a school.  Please keep in mind that for many years we have taken great pride in the quality of staff who we choose to hire; now is no different.  Whenever one staff member leaves, we will do our very best to find the best fit to fill that void- someone who will be just as wonderful with children as the person before them.
Thank you for all of your words of support during the many transitions we’ve encountered. Mindi and I are so happy to be here in Casa 2 and none of that has changed- no matter how many transitions we go through!  For additional reading, please take a look at the following article, titled, “5 Ways to Embrace Change at Work and in Life.”

Valentine’s Day Celebration

On Tuesday, February 14th, we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day in Casa 2.  You are invited to help your child decorate a box or bag to collect their Valentines, and bring it to school on the 13th or 14th of February.  The children are invited to make homemade cards or can give store-bought ones.  If you would like to send small party favors, we request that you refrain from sending candy to school.  If your child can read their classmates names, we encourage them to personalize each one with each child’s name.  If your child is not yet reading, we encourage you to help your child write their name on each card, but to leave the “TO” space blank.  This is because the children enjoy handing out their Valentines cards independently, and without names, they can hand one to everybody!  There are 19 children, including your child, in Casa 2 this year (we currently have 17, but we are adding two friends before Valentine’s Day!!).
We will spend our Valentine’s Day together discussing ways to show appreciation for one another and celebrating the many friendships within our community.  In honor of celebrating the day of Love, let’s wear as much RED as we can on this day!

Work Folders

Please remember to send your child’s work folder back each week!  Every Friday, your child should be bringing home their folders filled with their work from the week.  They are excited to show it to you and explain all they have been working on at school.  We use these folders to give greater importance to the things we work so hard on.  Without a folder, children shove as many papers in their backpacks as they can, which usually results in bends, rips, and sadness!  Please keep in mind that many children, especially younger children, are using materials in the classroom which are not necessarily something you can bring home (ie. table washing, banana cutting, puzzle maps, etc.).  The amount of work in their work folders should in no way show how hard they have worked in any given week!  The older children get, the more writing and math work they can bring home- but all of our children are busy doing their respective activities throughout the day!  Regardless of what your child brings home, please take a few moments each weekend to go through it with them.  Ask questions about the process of the activity.  Then… don’t forget to put the empty folders back in their backpacks! 

Classroom Help

Some parents have asked how they can help from home, and we’ve thought of something that would be of great help to us!  Many of the children are enjoying knitting work and Mindi and I can’t keep up on rolling balls to be made into scarves, necklaces, ropes, or whatever else they may be turned into!  It sounds simple- and it is, it just takes time!  If you would be interested in rolling some yarn balls for us, please let me know.  I can provide the yarn and give a quick demonstration on what we need, and you can return it at any time, whenever it’s finished!  The knitters of Casa 2 thank you!! 

On the Calendar    

Monday, January 23rd        NO SCHOOL: Staff Development Day
Tuesday, February 14th     Valentine’s Day Celebration
Feb. 17-20th            NO SCHOOL: Staff Development Day; President’s Day

We are so glad to be back together after a long break!  We’ve spent quite a bit of time inside these past two weeks, so we are definitely looking forward to a warmer week next week!  Just a reminder that if the wind chill (“real feel”) is below 9°, we cannot go outside- regardless of the actual temperature.  We are looking forward to the upcoming 30s!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Taryn & Mindi

Casa III News

Dear Casa III Families,

I hope all of you had a wonderful break! We have enjoyed very much all of the stories your children have shared about their holidays. It is beautiful to see your little ones very eager to get back to school and resume their routines.

This week I would like to share a little bit about the meaning of “Maximum Effort” since it is something that we experience daily in our casa. Dr. Maria Montessori said: “The child consumes a great deal of energy in working for no ulterior end and employs all his potentialities in the execution of each detail.”  We often notice a child trying to carry heavy objects or finding activities that “challenge” their intellect; these are clear examples of a child’s maximum effort. It is very important that we recognize, embrace and support this inner need to self-perfect and master a skill. Maximum effort is a big part of your child’s development; so being observant, patient and allowing them to do activities independently will enable them to fulfill this naturally inherent need.

On a different note, I would like you to know that there is some illness going around, so please make sure to notify the office if your child will not be in attendance that day.  To keep the illness from spreading, the child’s temperature needs to be normal and they should not have vomited nor had diarrhea for 24 hours prior to returning to school.

Lastly, I would like you to please make sure to label your child’s belongings to prevent them from getting lost.

Have a wonderful rest of the week.

Warmly,

Sharon, Kasey & Kita.

Toddler Community News

 

Dear Toddler Families!

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!  It is a favorite of ours.  We would like to express our gratitude for each one of the children and families that make up our Toddler Community!  Thank you for all that you do for your toddlers and thank you for sharing them with us!

Thank you all for taking the time to come to conferences!  It is a nice time to touch base and to have a meaningful connection between home and our Toddler Community.  As mentioned at conferences, please feel free to email or call me throughout the year on any questions or concerns you may have.  

With the colder weather upon us please continue sending in those winter clothing items with your child!  Each day they need boots, snow pants, jacket, hat, neck warmer, and gloves.  Even when there is no snow on the ground, the outdoor play area tends to get windy and wet!  We want your toddler to be warm and comfortable!

Several families have asked about gifts for the Toddler Environment.  The best suggestion is board books.  We love our books and they get well worn!  When choosing a book please keep the following in mind…

  • While the books that have moving pieces and flaps are fun- they tend to break very quickly.  So we recommend just plain board books without the gadgets.
  •  We love books about trucks, animals, farms, first words, colors, “I spy”, songs!  Favorite story books are nice too.
  •  The board books come in all sizes and we love to have a variety of sizes! Large books are especially loved.

Here’s a little Montessori theory

The prepared environment is a vital part of the Montessori classroom.  There are many built-in traits of the environment that naturally help the child’s development.  It aids in the child’s confidence and in setting of limits.

As you walk into the Toddler environment you notice that all of the furniture and work available to the child is “child-size”.  This tells the child, “This is a place made just for me”!  The child sees items that may look familiar from home and the environment feels more like a home than a school.  The materials are made from the natural world – wood, glass, fabric.  The environment is set up to encourage independence, movement, choice.  It is uncluttered and orderly.  The Toddler environment helps the child to be able to be the great builder of his/her being!

There are also natural limits and guidelines built into the set-up.  There is only one of each item- although similar items may be available.  This helps to encourage the self-control of taking turns, sharing and respect of others.  A child takes the work to a table or work mat and that is a signal that this is “my work”.  Other children learn to respect the other’s work and to observe quietly and without touching another’s work. The toddlers are also given the gift of “time”.  Uninterrupted time to interact with the environment and to repeat their work as often as they wish.  There is a predictable routine to the day, but the work cycle is kept sacred and the child’s time is theirs!

With warm wishes!!

Amy and Lori

Casa I News

Dear Families,

Our highlight of the month of November was definitely preparing our delicious Thanksgiving feast, which included a simple but very delicious vegetable soup, fruit salad and sweet potato dessert. Many of you already know that this is my mom’s soup recipe and I used to make it when I was a little girl and still make every time we get together. This year’s soup had celery, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, onion, olive oil, garlic, basil and our new ingredient was spinach.  Each child decided what vegetable, fruit or ingredient to bring and participated in the process. We added turkey to one of the soups and to the other one alphabet letters.

It was quite beautiful to see the cooperation of a very young class, cutting, smelling and at times trying some of the ingredients. Thank you so much for helping your child bring some of the items for our feast and to Mr. Charles, Cadence's dad for taking the time to come delight us with such lovely background music.

It was lovely to see the independence and leadership of some of the children when they gather to embellish our tables with flowers, candles and paper pumpkins.

We will continue with another busy December month full of new seasonal work, learning about families, sharing the way we celebrate the holidays and good deeds. I would like to invite you to our Casa to share with us how you celebrate the holidays with your family. Please let me know if you would like to join us for another great month of fun memories.

Also, it was priceless to see you during our conference time and share with you the experiences of your child in the casa as well as their progress and concerns. Thank you for the constant support and kind feedback!

Reminders

Dec. 9th - Parent Night

Dec. 16th - Kindergarten Students Fieldtrip.

Dec. 23rd to Jan. 2nd - Winter break

Spanish Vocabulary

Feliz Navidad………..Merry Christmas

Compartir……………..to share

Dar ………………………to give

Cantar …………………to sing

We wish you health and peace this holiday season!

Maria & Ally

Casa II News

Dear Casa 2 Parents,

A huge THANK YOU goes out to all of the parents who were able to make it in for conferences this week!  It is such a fun time of year for us as guides to be able to share all of our observations with you!  We appreciate you coming in to hear all about your child, ask questions, and give feedback!

Ants, Ants and more Ants!

Have you heard that ants are one of the world’s strongest creatures in relation to its size (20x their weight)?  Or that queen ants can live up to 30 years- the longest of any insect?  Or that ants were first discovered 130 million years ago- when dinosaurs roamed the Earth?!  Thanks to a special gift given to us this week, the children have been reading books all week about the interesting lives of ants!  We now have an ant habitat in our casa and the children are enjoying watching the ants digging tunnels!

Labels

Thank you for sending warm clothing with your child each day!  Just a friendly reminder that we will be going outside to enjoy Minnesota’s weather every day- unless it is raining/sleeting or below zero degrees.  Children must have the proper clothing to play outside each day to prevent illness, or worse- frostbite!  Now that winter is upon us, please be sure that your child has the following items every day:

  • Warm winter jacket
  • Snow pants
  • Winter boots
  • Socks
  • A hat (not just a hood)
  • Waterproof mittens or gloves
  • A neck warmer (better than a scarf to prevent choking)

If you prefer to leave your child’s snow pants here each night, just let us and your child know.  That way they can hang dry over night and do not get left wet in backpacks.  It is also one less item you have to remember in the morning!  It is important that children have their own items to wear each day.  We DO have some extra clothes, but we have limited sizes and a limited supply.  Every time a child borrows clothing, we wash it afterward.  Please remember that we did recently have a case of head lice reported, so it is important that children always wear their own hats.  Please check your child’s hair often, as wintertime is the most common time of the year for head lice to spread.  Check your child’s hats and other clothing, and launder them periodically, please.  TIP: If your child leaves the house dressed for the cold (hat, mittens, boots, etc.), then you will KNOW they are prepared to play outside every day!  Sometimes we think gloves are in the backpack, but they aren’t.  It’s best to wear these items to school to be sure they have them each day!

If you’ve ever been in our cubby room while the children are getting dressed, you might have noticed about 17 pair of black snow pants and 34 black mittens!  We do our best to keep the children’s clothing separate, but sometimes they do get dropped on the floor and it is difficult for the children to tell them apart.  Please LABEL any winter items that you can (last name or initials work, too) to help make sure your child’s clothing is always available to them.  Thank you for your help- Mindi and I both appreciate it! ☺

Folders

We have noticed that many children are unsure where their take-home work folders and parent communication folders are.  Please send back ANY clear (or clear with white stripes) JMS folders that you have so we can see who is missing one and we will get them replaced.  Each child should have one take-home folder to bring finished work home from school, and one parent communication folder for any letters to go home for parents.  Any time a folder comes home, please return it in your child’s backpack the next day.  We will make sure everyone has two folders, as these are important communication tools for our school.

Parent Night

On Friday, December 9th, we will be hosting our first Parent Night of the year!  Please sign up for your preferred time slot (4:00-4:45 or 5:00-5:45 pm) via an email invitation from the office.  This is one of the best nights of the year- the children LOVE showing you their favorite materials and introducing you to their friends!  This evening is also an Open House for prospective families, so please invite anyone you think may be interested in seeing the school!  The Open House is open until 7:00 pm.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Weekly Snack Sign-Up

We have a few weeks for snack sign-up that haven’t been filled.  We ask that families sign up for at least two or three weeks to help off-set the cost of daily snacks for the children.  If you haven’t signed up yet, please let me know if you could help cover any of the following weeks:

  • December 12-16
  • December 19-23
  • Jan. 30 – Feb. 3
  • February 6-10
  • April 24-28
  • May 15-19

We appreciate your help in providing healthy snacks every day!

On the Calendar    

Thursday, December 8th    No AM Kindergarten bus    

Friday, December 9th        Parent Night & Open House

Friday, December 16th     Kindergarten Field Trip: Feed My Starving Children

Thursday, December 22nd      Pajama Day

Dec. 23 – Jan. 2, 2017        No School: Winter Break

Tuesday, January 3rd        School resumes

We had a wonderful time at our annual Thanksgiving Feast last week!  Thank you to all of you who helped by bringing in ingredients!  Please take a look at some of this month’s photos- the children did a great job of preparing the feast for their classmates!  Because this is the last Casa 2 newsletter for the 2016 year, we would like to wish you a very happy holiday season and safe travels to all who are visiting family and friends around the world!  THANK YOU for a wonderful fall season with your children!

Taryn & Mindi

Casa III News

Dear Casa III Families,

Welcome back! I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday surrounded by your loved ones! We certainly had a beautiful time during our thanksgiving feast. The children enjoyed so much having lunch family style and the fact that each child contributed preparing the meal and other details made it even more special for them! Thank you so much for providing the items needed to make it happen.

It was very nice meeting with all of you during conferences. I truly admire your commitment to your children’s development. I deeply appreciate your honest feedback and kind words.

As a reminder, please make sure to send extra clothing and the proper winter gear.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!

Best regards,       

Sharon, Kasey & Kita

Toddler Community News

Hello Toddler Families!

The winds are blowing and the Toddler Community is exploring the wonders of the fall season!  The leaves are changing colors, swirling, and falling as we look out the window and rustle through them playing outside.  We are also in full pumpkin mode!  Our play area has a huge pumpkin to climb on (thank you Arlo and family!), we carved a jack-o-lantern and we have a basket of 5 pumpkins on our language shelf for exploring and poetry!  Each month we learn a new poem as a part of our language enrichment.  The September poem was “Sunflower” and this month we are learning “5 Little Pumpkins”.

Fall also brings the changing weather!  Thank you for sending a variety of outerwear for your toddler!  Having a light jacket as well as a warmer winter jacket and hat and mittens help us to layer and add clothing as needed. 

Mittens: Speaking of mittens, we have found that the best mittens for fall and even in the winter snow are the insulated toddler mittens which can be ordered on Amazon – search “toddler insulated mittens”.  I would highly recommend that you order some in time for winter!  There are two types – “Baby Infant Insulated Mittens 12-18 months” or “Toddler Magic Acrylic Insulated Mittens”.  Both come in a 6 pack.

Finally, remember that toddlers respond best to a calm and consistent routine!  With the fall holidays coming up family schedules usually become anything but calm and consistent.  Be patient with your toddler and yourself and try as much as possible keep a consistent routine! 

Warm Fall Wishes!

Amy and Lori