Mountain Laurel August Newsletter
It’s been a wonderful start to the school year at Mountain Laurel. We have 22 students, and exactly half of the class are new students to Cedars. We have 9 full cycle students, 4 mid cycle students, and 9 beginning cycle students.
Everyone seems to be adjusting well to our routines; some children have already openly expressed loving our classroom or being very happy to be back. Claire and I are learning about the new children’s different personalities and adapting to the changes in our returning students. It is fascinating to see how much they change, grow, and mature in a few months. Some seem quieter, and others seem to feel like they own the classroom (and they do!!!) because they are returning students.
It is normal if the excitement of the first weeks (and hopefully the anxiety if they had any) fades away. Once the novelty turns into routine, and everyone understands the academic expectations, the honeymoon period vanishes.
Last week (our first week!) we spent lots of time playing games to build community and orient the new students to our classroom. The returning students have been amazing in helping and welcoming new friends.
Many lessons have been refreshed, introduced, or progressed in the last week. I meet with every student weekly during the student-teacher Conference during the afternoon work period, so by now, everyone has a list of daily and weekly expectations on the cover of their journals to guide them in choosing work.
This week I told the First Great Story, which is the story of the creation of our world. I invited the new students, but when the other half of the classroom heard about it and saw the science experiments on the table, they grabbed their chairs and joined us. They loved it so much, and I ended up having a full audience!!! I’m sure you heard about the volcano and maybe how fast light travels? Or how small Earth is compared to the Sun?.
I’m excited to see many children working on research about different animals or planets. The new students are diving into learning how to write in cursive and use the Montessori Materials to do math.
We are lucky to have Ms. Pat come to our classroom three days a week to show the children how to knit and finger knit. A few students are still missing their handwork supplies; please try to buy them soon, as they feel like they are missing out when they are not able to do handwork. Aside from the time they work with Ms. Pat, they get to do handwork every afternoon during the 20-30 minutes of read-aloud. I’m reading a book called Frindle, about a young boy who invents a new word… we haven’t gotten to that part yet so shhhh! Don’t spoil it ;-)
Thursday, Sept 1st Wilderness class begins (half of the class alternates weekly)
Monday, September 5th Labor Day no school
Thursday Sep. 15th @ 6:00 pm Parent night "What’s a Going Out? " **look for the signup sheet for this event soon. New parents to the room and to Elementary are required to attend--trust me, you won't WANT to miss this, your kids will love the Going Out opportunities, so come learn all about it !
An important component of the Montessori curriculum happens outside of the classroom, and Elementary children are ready to plan, execute and learn from a trip to the outside world. Whether it is a Going Out to the Grocery store to buy supplies for a cooking project, or a quick trip to the public library to find a book for research, or as far as a town nearby to interview an expert or go see a piece at a museum, Going Outs provide many opportunities for your child to experience, practice and prepare to be an independent adult. After two full school years with a pause on Going Outs due to the pandemic, we are gearing up to resume our program very soon. Please come to this Parent night to learn the importance and the “behind-the-scenes” of a Going Out.
Attendance is required for every family in Mountain Laurel if your child has never participated in one.
How to help:
Please consider donating Flowers for our classroom. This is a great opportunity for your child to receive many lessons from botany, to flower arranging to measurements. Please sign up here for at least one slot per school year, and thank you
Donations from the Classroom Amazon Wish list
Going Outs sign up - Coming soon
Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. Enjoy the pictures :-)
Mountain Laurel Cottage