Dear Fig Tree families,
October was full and fun, like our big moon last week!
Throughout October students enjoyed all kinds of work. They were busy exploring and making: “noun trees,” a presidential timeline, supersaturated solutions and crystallization, the timezones of the earth, an illustrated Halloween chapter-book, fractions, angles, the needs of plants, and measuring anything in sight (including me on the rug!).
For a brief time, we welcomed Ms. Michelle from Mountain Laurel, who gave fun and exciting lessons while Paige observed in Rockwood. Among many highlights were the attentiveness and wonder of the students as they heard Michelle’s telling of the Second Great Story.
Outside, cooler temperatures (and rains!) mean the garden is THRIVING. We are planning a trial-run of a CSA to share the bounty with the elementary Cedars community...stay tuned!
Nature has been busy around Fig Tree, and students have enjoyed interactions with Nature in our outdoor space. We had a visit from a Garden Spider whose enormous web was visible from our lunch tables for a few days, as well as a Texas Spiny Lizard who was interested in the cool air of our classroom. Students have also observed and studied grasshoppers, ‘stick bugs,’ and praying mantises who stopped by Fig Tree.
Weekly snacks are also going strong. Smoothies have become a snack favorite, and we are frequently borrowing a blender from Mountain Laurel to make them. We’d like to take this chance to ask if any of you have a blender (used or new) that you would like to donate to Fig Tree. Other items that would be useful in our kitchen, but do NOT need to be new (anyone enjoy garage sales or Goodwill??) are a crock pot and a small food processor. The children love working in the kitchen--we appreciate your help.
[Shameless plug: An ongoing Fig Tree wish list is also available on the school website.] :)
We enjoyed Silent Journey with many of you. Thank you for coming out for such a special evening of learning, exploring, and understanding more about your child in Montessori.
Reminders and Sign-Ups
The close of October means observation and conference time. Sign ups for each have been sent; please take a moment to sign up if you have not yet done so. These are great opportunities for you to see our buzzing beehive of Montessori children at work.
Also, look for the sign-up to drive the students to a special Austin Ballet production of Act II of the Nutcracker in December. Your help is truly appreciated!
Please have your child arrive as close to 8:10 as possible. Lessons and meetings do begin at 8:20, and regularly we have children--averaging 4-8 students per day--that miss out on academic or community opportunities due to late arrival.
I know mornings can be hard for families; if you routinely have specific struggles, I can help you with ideas to make your mornings easier. When your child arrives on time, s/he is set up for a strong day because s/he had time to greet friends, orient, and set up the morning’s first work.
One last request…Going Out is a significant, fundamental part of Cosmic Education (the curriculum in a Montessori elementary classroom) and of the development of concentration, independence, and confidence in your child. The classroom is prepared to be deliberately very limited--including books--so that children Go Out into the greater world to get what they need.
For this reason, please do not send computer print-outs or books to school that are from home or from family library visits, not even for school research. Parents’ intentions to help are honorable, but materials from home are short-circuiting some of the greater work that the children can undertake. You can support your child by encouraging them to explore, stretch themselves, and arrange a Going Out; they will learn a lot from the experience itself. Thank you so, so very much.
Autumn is my favorite season, and I am grateful to enjoy the delights of this time while learning with your dear ones.
Fig Tree Cottage