This week in Mountain Laurel Cottage…
The season is about to change, and it’s time to be prepared for rainy weather. Please have children come to school with a hooded rain coat and boots. Rain boots can be kept at school outside on the porch. We will often go to the playground on days when it is a light sprinkle, but only with proper rain gear. If it is heavy rain we will postpone recess to a later time or simply have indoor recess with a community game. We will begin washing/scrubbing the boots after visiting playground too.
Parents, observations will begin in October and you’re welcome to come and observe.
Observation Sign-up: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0445A9AC2CA3FC1-fall
We are having conferences on November 4th and 7th. We have reserved those days on the academic calendar to meet with families. We have a few after-school times available as well, but if you are available to meet on the designated conference days please sign-up there first. Please let us know if you need alternative days/times by sending an email. Please sign-up, as spots are filling up quick!
Conference Sign-up: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0445A9AC2CA3FC1-fall1
This week in the kitchen we are making roasted potatoes and bruschetta with fresh peaches and goat cheese sprinkled on top. We will learn how to peel the potatoes and cut them safely before roasting in the oven. We will add a bit of olive oil and thyme for flavor. The children loved the brussel sprouts and cornbread last week! Everyone thought the brussel sprouts were delicious!
We will be studying a few individuals this week; artist Marc Chagall, oceanographer Sylvia Earle and explorer Danielle Boone. When presenting information about these individuals we use one page prompts with included images, a story from a book and follow-up activity. We have an art piece hanging in our community by Marc Chagall, “The Village and I (1911/MOMO).
This week a group of children are fundraising for a Bearded Dragon, by putting on a play called the “The Dragon Squad.” The play will be this Friday, September 30th at 3:00 PM (at the stage). Flyers have been distributed to children and families. The group will accept a $2.00 donation per child or family interested in attending the play. You’ll receive a voucher if you’ve paid on the day of the show and be ushered to the stage by supporting children. The group of children would like to raise funds to purchase this pet in October. If your child and/or family would like to attend you can simply send money in before the play in a sealed envelope or you can come on Friday, September 30th and pay at the stage before show. Once again, all monies will be used towards purchasing a Bearded Dragon!
Lastly, Silent Journey is right around the corner and will be on Thursday, October 13th from It is a great experience to come and learn more about the Montessori Environment; moving through the first and second plane of development; ages 3-12 years. At the Silent Journey you get an opportunity to see the material up closely and then spend time learning and working with it. It is amazing to see what work and material is available per plane. Hope to see you there! ☺
We have started to work in the community garden this week preparing it for the fall planting. The children have received a garden orientation with Ms. Gitana and Lacey to discuss plans. Several children this week have been working in our garden as well, removing grass weed, tilling the soil over, arranging loose stones and mulching. A few groups of children over the next couple of weeks will visit Natural Gardener with Ms. Gitana to purchase plants for our garden and the community garden. We will utilize our space next to our building with a variety of flowers which will attract pollinators (bees, butterflies, etc.), vegetables and herbs. Everyone is welcome to bring in a donation of $5-$10 to support with these purchases. The children will help with planting a few of the following plants; potatoes, onions, herbs and etc. The children are excited to plant and grow potatoes very much! The garden is a wonderful opportunity to learn practical skills; shoveling, racking and wheel barreling. A few have started learning how to wheel barrel; transporting mulch from the pile and leveling on paths. Many children are eager to receive a lesson on how to use a wheel barrel and mulch.
This week in the kitchen a group has visited HEB to get ingredients for chocolate cheesecake the group had recorder the recipe, planned the going-out and budgeted for the trip and then made the cheesecake in the kitchen. It was delicious and the children enjoyed it very much!
We will also make cream cheese wontons, garlic knots and deviled eggs this week in the kitchen as well. Once again, we are so appreciative of the kitchen ingredients donated. If you have signed up to shop for our kitchen, you’ll receive an email two days prior of what is needed and 4 ingredients max.
Next week we will learn how to make coffee using a French press for when visitors and/or observers come. The children will practice and serve the staff next week before serving visitors/observers. Each child prior to working in the kitchen will receive an orientation and kitchen certificate; similar to a food handlers card. This ensures an understanding of proper food prep, tool use and most importantly serving and sanitation guidelines. We will continue to practice these expectations when serving others.
We will open observations to all families in October using sign-up genius. The children will offer tea and/or fresh coffee if interested. We will use an old fashioned coffee grinder instead of electric. The children will shop for the roast as well from HEB or a specialty, local coffee shop in Austin such as Summermoon or Mazama Coffee House. We look forward to inviting you to come and observe and will open observations next week via email using the weekly and a sign-up genius link.
Also this week we will be playing badminton and learning about its origin from the ancient game “battledore”. It will be introduced and can be used at the playground independently during recess. We will also be playing a game of “box” capture the flag, which is a more advanced version and lots of fun. The children are enjoying PE very much and participating in positive collaborative teamwork.
This week we will be studying the states of matter; what is a solid, liquid and gas and performing experiments using safe food ingredients to support further understanding. The older children will be studying elements and the periodic table of elements. There is a strong interest currently with the Sun, Earth and surrounding planets. We will continue studying using books and references available within the classroom. Many children have started researching in other areas such as animals, historical events and time periods. Researching is a great opportunity to explore and naturally learn about a new area or developing interest. Then the children can decide if an interview and/or experience is needed. We have going-outs which support this further exploration and older children are available to assist and mentor younger children on these outings. We have volunteer drivers available to aid with transportation when a further interest arises. We will communicate any going-outs that are other than a common going-out (HEB, Natural Gardener, Petco, etc) with an email and permission link 4 days prior to the planned date. In the email we will communicate who will be driving, attending and the day and time of trip. Children who need car seats or boosters can unload theirs from the vehicle at arrival and simply place it on the porch the day of outing. Again, reminders will be communicated, and any questions or concerns will be answered promptly. These outings are a wonderful experience to learn more about a specific area within society from an expert and at the same naturally learning!
Please sign the link below to give permission for common going-outs: https://goo.gl/forms/zQRg44poum8oSvY33
Note: The link is sensitive and may not work with your default browser. Feel free to try alternative browsers such as Chrome or Mozilla as support, and if it still isn’t working, let us know and we will email the link directly from the Gmail forms app. ☺
Once again, families are we so appreciative of your support and please let us know if you have any questions by sending a note or emailing: email@example.com
This week in Mountain Laurel Cottage…
Parents, it has been wonderful to get to know the new families and children these past two weeks. We’ve enjoyed learning about all of their interests and cannot wait until more are discovered!
Thank you for supporting our community with flowers, laundry and kitchen. If you haven’t signed up please refer to the links below; which will redirect you to sign-up genius. There are more information and instructions on each sign-up page, but please let us know if you have questions.
Once again, we are appreciative of your help and continuous support within our community.
This week we will learn about the composition of the earth and its layers. Stories will be shared about its relative position in relation to the sun; the planets and most importantly matter. Other stories shared include learning about what is produced locally within Texas and the US. We will use the economic stamp material to support this work along with supporting book references.
The children are making carrot bread and roasted cauliflower in the kitchen this week. We peel and grate the carrots and use honey as a sweetener for this delicious recipe. When preparing the cauliflower we’ll use balsamic vinegar, honey and rosemary as a mixed glaze to drizzle. We will talk about food sanitation prior to bringing our work in the kitchen. Each child will take a mini food handlers quiz and receive a certification before handling ingredients in the kitchen.
Also, this week we will begin work in the garden; weeding and turning soil. The children are eager to get into the garden and prep. We have three garden beds beside our classroom which will support a variety of vegetables this fall. The children will go to the Natural Gardener to purchase plants and materials within the next two weeks. Caring for the garden is a wonderful practical life activity and at the same time biology is being explored and discovered. It is fascinating to observe the life cycle of a plant, or insects, or developing weeds. Maintaining the garden is wonderful and exciting!
Lastly, please visit the links below which explains and communicates permission for your child to go on common; “specific” going outs. Going outs are a part of the elementary as it aids in purchasing supplies for the classroom or pets, perhaps it is to get materials for the garden or simply more ingredients for the kitchen. Ms. Autumn or a Volunteer Parent Driver will support with the transportation to and from campus. We will communicate who will be driving, children attending, when your child will be leaving campus and returning, and reason for going. We’ll communicate a reminder 2 days prior to the going-out via email. Please note, other going outs not listed as a common; “specific” going out will be communicated via email 4 days in advance to ask permission.
Permission for Common; “Specific” Going Outs: https://goo.gl/forms/wqZQgxy1hXB3jIE12
Lastly, if you are interested in being a going out driver, please visit the link below to read the going out expectations and volunteer. Please let us know if you have any questions!
Volunteer Going Out Driver Form: https://goo.gl/forms/eCq3FxKzFH0MhL7g1