Cedar’s Montessori School
Mountain Laurel Newsletter
Important and Upcoming
For new and returning families alike, Mountain Laurel would like to welcome you into a new school year. It has been a long and much-deserved summer break, but Mountain Laurel is excited to begin a new school year with all of the amazing families returning, and the ones we have yet to get to know. In an effort to make Mountain Laurel as accessible as possible, newsletters will be released at the beginning of every month of the school year. It is our hope that the newsletter will become parents’ one resource for all the information you’ll need to know: upcoming events, dates to know, work highlights, and ways to get involved with our class.
Transitioning into the New Year
This year, the children of Mountain Laurel are unified by one common thread: change. Our First cycles are moving into Elementary, and our Second and Third Cycles are adjusting to the expectations of a new teacher. During this time of transition, parents can greatly aid their children in adjusting to a very big change in their lives.
Though many children welcome change, others find change difficult and scary--just like adults. If you know your child tends to find change difficult, we’ve compiled a few suggestions from family psychologist Susan Stiffelman to help us start fresh in the best possible way.
Tips for Transitioning
To read the full article, "Helping Your Child Adjust to a New Teacher," click the link.
Halloween Research Projects
This year, Mountain Laurel children will be bringing a little education to one of their favorite holidays: Halloween. Beginning cycles will be studying animals, mid-cycles will be studying countries, and full cycles will be studying historical figures.
Students began their projects this past week by selecting their topic of choice. They will be doing research in the classroom and will be able to bring in outside resources to help facilitate this project. Our school library has a number of useful books, and many students have already begun their research, but some students with more obscure topics may need to seek out their local library.
The culmination of their hard work will come on October 31st where they will present their research to the class in costume! Their costume should reflect their topic in some way, and must be homemade. The one rule for this project, and hopefully one of the sources of fun for you and your child, will be getting creative to make a costume yourselves.
A more detailed outline of the project and requirements for each grade will go home in the coming weeks.
Mountain Laurel took a trip to the Blanton Museum of Art last week (9/20)!
While at the Blanton, we learned about the Elements of Art, explored various types of art and had open discussions about particular paintings, sculptures, etc. On tour we viewed and observed several Elements of Art; line, shape & form, color, texture, space and value. The Docents shared key facts and allocated time for our small groups to look at a piece and to share what they saw, how it made them feel, if the colors and tone complimented or contrasted, and what texture was being exhibited.
One exhibit that fascinated several of the children included over 3,000 hair combs. The piece was hanging out from the wall with all the combs connected and arranged to display an image. The image featured was a silhouette of Madam CJ Walker (1867-1919), the legendary entrepreneur and activist. The piece is by Sonya Clark, “Madam CJ Walker – Combs” (2008).
We emphasize teaching the Elements of Art to the children to advance their skill and this in turn supports with strengthening pencil grip, hand & eye coordination and deep concentration for self-construction (internalizing what you view in perspective) and etc. A few have started practicing shading with illustrating.
The Blanton is filled with a variety of art and such a wonderful place to visit!
This Week in Mountain Laurel Cottage
Mountain Laurel and Fig Tree will be going to ZACH Theatre to see the play, “Elephant and Piggie.” This play originates from the books written and illustrated by Mo Willems. Mo Willems’ books can be found in our elementary library and are popular amongst the children. Everyone is looking forward to the performance very much. We will be going on Thursday, April 6th from 10 AM – 11 AM, and will need support with transportation. Unfortunately, due to limited seats and available dates, we do not have tickets for drivers to attend the show. However, if you need to shop, run errands or would like to get a coffee nearby during that time please let us know if you are available. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are available. Thank you so much!
All children need to sign the permission form at the link, which can be found below:
“Elephant and Piggie,” Permission Link for Field Trip: https://goo.gl/forms/4VQStHvpXT7qGN6N2
Information about the play from ZACH Theatre: When Gerald and Piggie get together, anything is possible. They might wear silly hats, get invited to a fancy pool costume party, or learn a crazy new dance. Based on the wildly popular beloved book series, this lively musical features Gerald and Piggie and the delightful back-up singers, the Squirrelles, who together discover the fun of being in a play and the joy of friendship. Be prepared to experience and share the laughter!
We will be sending home envelopes on Wednesday, to collect money for tickets.
Tickets are $8 per child. Please return envelopes/cash by Friday, or the Monday after break.
Please come this month to eat lunch with your child. Lunch visits are wonderful times to enjoy with your child/children. Bring a meal, utensils and your welcome to use the microwave if needed.
Lunch Visits: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0445a9ac2ca3fc1-lunch
Families, we invite you to come and observe and to sign-up for spring conferences. Please visit links:
Spring Observations: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0445a9ac2ca3fc1-spring1
Spring Conferences: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0445a9ac2ca3fc1-spring
Lastly, we will be having “student” led tours once again. These dates will be on Wednesday, April 5th and Thursday, April 6th from 3:30-4:00 PM. Please come and receive 1-2 lessons from your child. You may sign-up for a day to come and please let us know if you need an alternative day if needed.
Student Led Tours: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0445a9ac2ca3fc1-student
The kitchen has been busy this week. A few made cinnamon and honey buns, which were delicious. The children improvised and wanted to bake using eggs from the chicken coop, and used a previous recipe for carrot bread as an example. Many children were savoring the taste, and loved the recipe. We have more eggs in our fridge to use and will be making a broccoli and cheese quiche or frittata.
Several children this week have been discussing various sports and we are going to be learning about the origin, history and game of lacrosse. Many children are excited to practice this sport, and team leads/experts have discussed and practiced modifications to make it a non-contact sport. Volunteers offered to be supportive “crowds” and are eager to watch and observe before playing. We will have a community parent come in and share with us the history and game of lacrosse. The children are eager to learn and play and have created teams and specific instructions for safety.
We have two new members of our community: leopard geckos. The children have been caring for the geckos; ensuring they have been fed (crickets/mealworms) and the habitat is clean and at a certain temperature. The gecko’s names are “Lizzy” and “Lagartija” (Lizard in Spanish). Come and say hello!
Spring is around the corner, and the children are in the garden; planting, mulching and harvesting spring’s crop; carrots. The children harvested the carrots from the garden and made pickled carrots in the kitchen with Gitana.
It was great fun to learn to pickle and to enjoy some sweet and sour carrots.
Several studies (research); were explored and discovered this past month. Many questions were asked, pondered and wondered by the children; thus supports the mind of the second plane child to naturally explore and discover independently or collaboratively. Children are reading and sharing what is referenced and written, internally and with others; creating reports, timelines, charts, and of course models/dioramas. Interesting and supporting facts are being shared with each other; developing further work and presentations given.
Some of which, include:
Leonardo de Vinci (what is the Mona Lisa?)
Sloths (why do sloths sleep so much?)
Neil Armstrong (how did we discover the moon?)
Wild Flowers (what is blooming right now?)
Mt. Vesuvius (what makes a volcano erupt?)
Mountain Laurel Cottage