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MCS was "rocking" on Friday evening, May 29th, as two high school bands from The Wasatch Music Coaching Academy performed for attendees at the "End of Year Carnival."  The young performers impressed young and old alike with their performances and several children really showed off their moves during an outstanding rendition of Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk."

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Along with dancing, the children really enjoyed sliding and bouncing on the inflatables, having their faces painted, and making their own cotton candy.  

The buffet was a Taco Bar including tortillas, beans, beef and chicken, guacamole and all of the delicious accompaniments followed by fruit popsicles and ice cream sandwiches.

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Parents sat in groups on Mexican blankets listening to the music, eating and watching their children play. It was a great time to catch up with other parents and to wish everyone a happy summer after this wonderful school year (in spite of the flood).

Special thanks to our PSA president Ann Beverley who ended her term with a “bang” by pulling off a brilliant event that was enjoyed by all. Thanks also to Pamela Bunnell for planning, prepping and overseeing the food, along with volunteers Ann Beverly and Adina Padilla. Many parents volunteered on this night to help make the event so successful and we are so grateful to all of you.

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What a great way for us to end the school year.

 

 

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Early this month the Uinta class (Upper Elementary, 9-12 year olds) embarked on a great adventure to Fremont Indian State Park as part of their Great Outdoors Expedition.  The students have spent time in the classroom studying the Fremont Indians and on GO they have given attention to human interaction with nature and so this was a great way to culminate their studies as they walked the trails and read the stories of the Fremont Indians while eating and sleeping in the out of doors. Students, teachers and parent chaperones worked together to create a comfortable camp space and prepare delicious meals to be shared.  

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On the first full day of our visit, we drove a short distance to Big Rock Candy Mountain Resort where we practiced making fire, zip lined, and struggled our way through the ropes course. According to BRCMR, "these activities are designed to encourage self confidence as participants work through the various challenges, and also promote working as a team to achieve goals." Everyone had a really great time with the activities provided and definitely felt the stretch of working as a team on activities that were out of the every day comfort.

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Other time on the trip was spent hiking, exploring the petroglyphs and pictographs and playing nature and team building games. The students prepared pottery before the trip to be placed in the pit fire, which produced really amazing results.  On Wednesday evening Donda shared stories of Native Americans around the camp fire and Giuliana played a soothing piece on the flute. The students entertained with jokes, games and stories but it seemed that the most enjoyed part of the trip was exploring the land near the camp site during free time.  

 

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 Many thanks to the teachers and parents who worked tirelessly to make this trip possible.  The time students in our programs spend out in the greater community is of huge benefit to their experience and education.   

 

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Montessori Community School's PSA is playing off the school's green initiative and will be hosting a huge yard sale Saturday, June 13th beginning at 8:00 am and running through 12:00 pm. 

Proceeds from the sale will benefit a number of the school's special projects. For example, completing the fence around the Outdoor Classroom, funding a portion of the much needed school roof, new storage sheds, a new school van, and a number of other projects that are outside of the school's regular budget.

If you have any items you are planning on donating or taking to other thrift stores, please bring them to the MCS gymnasium instead. You may drop off your items between June 1st and June 11th. 

We are specifically looking for the following items:

  • Furniture
  • Bikes
  • Sports Equipment
  • Toys
  • Household Items: dishes, working small appliances, lamps
  • Books
  • CDs/ DVDs
  • Yard Equipment and Outdoor Gear
  • Baby Items
  • Unused/ Unopened items

Clothing will not be accepted at this sale. Please hang onto those items for the annual clothing swap. 

In addition to the yard sale, we thought a bake sale would be fun. If you are interested helping with the sale, but do not have items to donate, consider baking some cookies, muffins, or another yummy treat. 

If you would like to volunteer or become a part of this amazing event, please contact the Montessori Community School office at (801) 355 - 1555.

 

 

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“To consider the school as a place where instruction is given is one point of view.

But to consider the school as preparation for life is another. 

In the latter case the school must satisfy all the needs of life.”

      Maria Montessori

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The mission of the Montessori Community School is to provide a rich, educational experience that guides and nurtures the natural unfolding of the whole individual and inspires a lifetime passion for learning and peace.

The Montessori Community School has been established to encourage and promote the intellectual, physical and social development of children. The Montessori philosophy emphasizes the development of the child in a carefully prepared environment.  A prepared environment is one in which the child is able to develop freely at his or her own pace, unhindered in the spontaneous unfolding of his or her natural capacities. This occurs through the manipulation of a graded series of self-correcting materials designed to stimulate the senses, and eventually one’s thinking, leading from perception to intellectual skills.  Responsible freedom and inner self-discipline are encouraged.  The joy of learning is emphasized and the child is helped to develop a positive self-image.  We nurture self-worth.  We affirm that self-worth is the crucial ingredient for the full expression of a person’s potential.  We strive to base every interaction between community members on this principle  -- from how we discipline, to respecting personal learning styles and stages of development.  This is the very fabric of our community and our educational methods.  The social development of the children in the class is greatly emphasized.  It takes place naturally as the children learn to respect each other and become affectionate and cooperative.

The Montessori Community School offers a traditional, comprehensive Montessori curriculum including Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, Geography, History, Science, Spanish, Creative Movement/Dance, Music, Art, Computer Technology,Winter Sports, and Environmental Expeditions.  Learning extends beyond the classroom through field trips, visitors, and community service.

Our Elementary program is split into two levels.  Lower Elementary includes six to nine year old children (grades 1st – 3rd) and Upper Elementary includes nine to twelve year old children (grades 4th – 6th). At the Elementary level emphasis is placed on the students' natural focus on social development and provides a safe environment to explore their developing moral compass. A majority of the time, lessons are given in small groups.  The Elementary curriculum is rich and inviting. Along with moving at their individual academic pace, students practice important life skills including, but not limited to: time management, self regulation and direction, peaceful conflict resolution and contributing to the greater community.  

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The teachers create and adapt the environment with this community of children in mind.  They modify the selection of educational materials available, the physical layout, and the tone of the class, to best fit the needs of the children. Our Montessori teachers serve as observers and guides in the classroom. Many of our teachers have been with us for over a decade and have more than ten years of experience with the Montessori Method.

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”- Maria Montessori

The Elementary Student

 

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The elementary Montessori program and curriculum is structured around the very specific needs and characteristics of students between the ages of six and twelve years.

  • Reason & Imagination - The inquisitive nature of the elementary student provides the fuel for the research and exploration focus of elementary Montessori. The elementary student wants to know the “why?” and “how?” The six- to twelve-year-old is able to use both reason and imagination to explore and understand increasingly abstract concepts.
  • Exploring Society – While the early childhood student was primarily focused on the construction of the individual, the elementary student begins to explore his place in society. Opportunities continuously present themselves for the student to observe or participate, moments in which to lead or follow.
  • A Need for Togetherness This is the age of clubs and groups. The elementary student explores friendship and cooperation; they learn how to be a leader, a partner, and a follower. While collaboration is encouraged, individual contribution and strength is also valued.
  • Exploring Right and WrongThe six- to twelve-year-old student is actively developing his moral conscience; “That’s not fair!” is heard over and over again in the elementary classroom. Every student may know the rules, but keeping them is another matter. Problem solving techniques are modeled and fostered in the Montessori program. Community brainstorming for solutions and rules helps form the elementary Montessori classroom’s code of conduct.
  • Freedom & Discipline – Independence and inner discipline continue to develop in the elementary years. The six- to twelve-year-old student is capable of increasingly complex and numerous responsibilities, and needs opportunities to exercise judgment and demonstrate self-conduct. Everything from classroom management to the student’s work stems from the student’s freedom to choose and think. Mistakes and failures are viewed as learning opportunities.

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The Elementary Classroom

Students learn best within an environment prepared to nurture and enhance each student’s unique development.

  • Multi-Age Groupings – Elementary Montessori classrooms are comprised of multi-age groupings. This is the practice of teaching students of different ages and abilities together, without organizing either the curriculum or the classroom by age or grade designations. The students remain in the same classroom, with the same instructors, for several years.
  • Classroom Areas – The elementary Montessori classroom is divided into distinct curriculum areas: Science, Geography, History, Art, Math, and Language. Many of these subjects are then organized into separate skill areas. There is a large floor area for spreading out work, and gathering for community meetings and lessons. There are also tables for individual and group activities. The students have notebooks for recording their work and folders to store ongoing projects. Group supplies are located in a central area. A message board displays the day’s schedule as well as reminders and announcements. A wide variety of plants and animals are located throughout the classroom. Arrangements of cut flowers often decorate the tables and music is almost always playing in the background. Replicas of artists’ work adorn the walls. Cleaning materials are accessible to the students since they are custodians of their classroom.  A library is located nearby and available for the students to visit in order to support their research and interests.
  • Materials – The wealth of materials in each area allows the students to follow their own interests. Materials are arranged as to allow sequential progress in skills. Usually there is only one example of each material to encourage turn taking and patience. Materials and their activities vary from individual work, to partner work, to group activities. The materials are aesthetically pleasing with a great many being teacher-made. Many of the materials employ an internal control of error so as to encourage self-monitoring and foster independence in the elementary student.

The Elementary Montessori Teaching Method

Elementary Montessori programs emphasize active learning rather than passive reception of information.

  • The Elementary Montessori curriculum builds upon the students' early childhood experience. The Montessori materials continue to play an important role as the student transitions from the concrete to the abstract.
  • Lessons involve exploration and hands-on experiences. The student in the Elementary classroom learns by doing hence the classroom is rich in materials, resources, movement and conversation.
  • The curriculum is individualized. The needs, ability, interests, and skills of each student are taken into consideration when lessons are planned and knowledge assessed. The Montessori student will receive extra help or direction on areas where she needs it and move rapidly through other areas where she excels.
  • The Elementary Program teaches the student how to think clearly, how to research, and how to express themselves in writing and speech.
  • The program fosters independent work as well as group effort.
  • The multi-age classroom creates an atmosphere of non-competition, making it possible for the student to work at her own pace, unrestricted by traditional grade standards.
  • The program supports a variety of learning styles.
  • Elementary Montessori education integrates all the different areas of study rather than compartmentalizing them.

The Montessori Teacher

“Follow the child” – as Dr. Montessori asserted, the Montessori teacher focuses on the whole child, and not on the daily lesson plan. Dr. Montessori wanted to create a clear distinction between the role of the Montessori teacher and that of a traditional teacher.  She coined the new title “director” or “directress” for the adults in her classrooms and as the name implies, their role is that of a director of activities. Nowadays the term “guide” is more commonly used. The Montessori classroom is a student-centered environment rather than teacher-centered. The teacher is rarely the center of attention. They spends the majority of their time in individual or small group activity or observing the progress of the students.

The Montessori Guide:

  • Tailors lessons and activities to suit the student’s learning style and abilities.
  • Prepares the classroom environment to promote autonomy amongst the students.
  • Maintains an investigation and discovery approach when presenting topics rather than giving facts and figures.
  • Is trained to assess knowledge and achievement through observation of the student.

The Elementary Curriculum Overview

Different from a traditional school setting where teacher-directed curricula determines the daily lessons, the Elementary Montessori students choose their own work. Under the guidance of the teachers, the Montessori students select activities that reflect their ability levels yet present opportunities to practice and perfect skills. Students and teachers work together for large blocks of uninterrupted time within a classroom that is rich in resources.  The students work at their own pace while the Montessori teachers observe and facilitate the learning process. The curriculum’s goal is to encourage students to become active learners rather than passive participants in education. 

The Elementary Montessori Curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students between the ages of six and twelve. Elementary students have an increasing ability to abstract and to imagine; the curriculum engages the students in activities that utilize these affinities. While the curriculum builds upon the students' early childhood classroom practice, it expands to include experiences, opportunities and instruction that are appropriate for the students’ developing minds.  The Montessori materials continue to play an important role as the students transition from the concrete to the abstract. The teachers’ lessons involve exploration, research and hands-on experiences that guide the students in developing their reasoning minds.

 

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Elementary studies include Geography, Biology, History, Language, Mathematics, Science, Music, Movement, and Art. Studies are enriched through field trips, visitors, and workshops that support the curriculum and expand the learning outside of the classroom into the community. 

 

Mathematics

The Elementary Montessori Math Curriculum takes the students through a series of precise exercises using specifically designed materials that support the students’ emergent abilities to abstract. Using hands-on manipulative materials the students in 1st – 3rd grade are given tools by which to do their math work and so acquire a concrete understanding of math skills and knowledge. This solid foundation allows a smooth transition to abstract understanding and application of math skills during the 4th – 6th grades. 

 

 

  Lower Elementary Upper Elementary
Numbers Linear counting, sequencing, place value through millions, before & after numbers, , skip counting, ordinal & Roman numbers, one-step word problems, patterns & relationships Factors & multiples, rounding numbers to nearest 10s & 100s, prime numbers, squaring and cubing, estimating, multiple-step word problems
Operations + - x / of whole numbers, regrouping, missing values, inverse operations, memorization of numerical patterns Large operations in all 4 operations (including long division, multi digit multipliers), operations involving decimals, memorization of tables, percentages, averages
Fractions Identification of fractions, addition & subtraction with common denominators, multiplication & division of fractions by whole numbers, equivalencies Mixed numbers, + and – of fractions with unlike denominators, simplifying fractions
Measurement Standard and metric units of measurement for length, mass & volume Perimeter, area, capacity, word problems
Time Telling time to the minute Elapsed time, 24 hour clock, word problems involving time
Statistics Interpreting data, block and bar graphs Line graphs
Geometry Classification of solids, quadrilaterals, triangles and polygons, study of lines & triangles Study of circles, congruency & symmetry, use of protractor and compass
Money Coin value, totaling amounts Making change, word problems involving money

 

Language

The Elementary reading curriculum is designed to incorporate phonics, whole word, and phonetic exceptions.  Lower Elementary students progress through a leveled reading program using the Pink, Blue, and Green Montessori reading exercises while additional materials and experiences allow them to perfect their reading skills, develop their fluency and comprehension. The Grammar and Vocabulary materials allow the students to assimilate an understanding of the structural rules that govern the English language. Literary elements are explored during Group Literature.  Lower and Upper Elementary students practice writing on a daily basis in classroom journals that cover a variety of writing forms.  In Lower Elementary, Writer’s Workshops are held throughout the year to target specific writing skills. In Upper Elementary the different varieties of writing and writing skills are integrated into their cultural, science and literature studies. Our goal is to help the students become comfortable using writing as a communication skill.  Students learn to think clearly to research, and to express themselves with confidence and clarity in writing and speech.  

 

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  Lower Elementary Upper Elementary
Reading Reading readiness, phonic skills, guided reading, sight words, contextual clues, S.S.R. (Silent Sustained Reading), vocabulary Shared reading, dictionary skills, fluency, expression
Comprehension Responding to questions regarding Story-time book (sequencing events, recapping & summarizing, identification of character, plot & setting) context clues & main ideas Continued study of main ideas, sequencing & context clues, assumptions/inferences, following written directions & instructions
Penmanship Metal inset exercises, D’Nelian print & cursive, spacing, left justification, neatness Mastery of cursive
Spelling Unconventional to conventional, leveled spelling works Conventional spelling lists, spelling demons, vocabulary, spelling rules
Mechanics Ending punctuation, capitalization, commas Apostrophes, commas, quotation marks
Composition Complete sentences, journaling, picture prompted stories, modeled writing, editing Journaling, character & plot development, proofreading, revising, publishing
Study Skills Categorizing, table of contents, index, beginning reports Outlining, note taking, organizing information, skimming, advanced reports, paraphrasing
Grammar Parts of speech, parsing Sentence analysis, verb tenses
Speaking Poetry presentations, in-class reports, drama, story-telling Poetry presentations, in-class reports, drama,   story-telling

Research Skills

In the Elementary classroom, research skills and the preparation of reports are major components of the educational program.  In Lower Elementary, students begin learning the skills needed to research areas of interest or assigned topics, and how to communicate their learning through reports—both formal and informal, written and oral. These skills continue to be examined and employed in Upper Elementary.

 

A special series of lessons, called the “Great Lessons,” are presented each year.  These beautifully told stories give an overview of the formation of the universe, and provide the student with an understanding of the human's place in time and space.  The Great Lessons provide the foundation for study in Geography (How the world came to be and the development of life on Earth), Math (The development of mathematics), Language (The development of language and writing), and History (The story of humans).  The students are given the broad story and proceed to fill in the details during the course of their Elementary years through subsequent "key" lessons.  The intent of the Great Lessons is to create in the students a sense of admiration and wonder.  They will then be compelled to discover more on their own.

 

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Cultural Studies

The Elementary Montessori curriculum uses the term “Cultural Studies” for History, Geography, and the Sciences.

 

  Lower Elementary Upper Elementary
Physical Sciences Process of scientific inquiry, Experiments, Three states of Matter, Studies of the Earth, Solar System Process of scientific inquiry, Experiments, Physics, Chemistry

Life

Sciences

The Five Kingdoms, External parts of Animals, External parts of plants, Body Systems The Five Kingdoms, Classification, Internal functions of animals, Internal functions of plants, Body Systems & Functions
History Days of the week, months, timelines; Study of civilizations, Vertical studies of the fundamental needs of man – clothes, shelter, transportation, defense, communication; US & State History Earth History Timeline, Study of ancient civilizations, US & State history, World History
Geography Identification of continents, oceans and countries; Map reading and making; Biome studies; Land & water formations; Studies of countries Longitude & Latitude coordinates, Scale, Biome Studies, Identification of world land & water formations, Study of countries, states & regions

Science

The Elementary Montessori curriculum includes the Physical and Life sciences. Studies in this discipline follow a three-year rotation.

 

Lower Elementary

 

  Year One Year Two Year Three
Life Sciences Fossils, Life cycles, Flowers & Herbs, Germination, Digestive System Classification, Vertebrates, Trees, Circulatory System Food Chains, Invertebrates, Fruits & Vegetables, Recycling, Skeletal System
Physical Sciences Rocks & Minerals, Sun & Stars, Simple Machines, Magnetism Faults & Earthquakes, Solar System, Light & Sound Continental Drift, Volcanoes, Moon, Electricity & Heat

Upper Elementary

 

  Year One Year Two Year Three
Earth Science Atmosphere Hydrosphere Lithosphere
Body Systems Nervous System Respiratory System Reproductive System
Physical Science Chemistry Physics Astronomy
Biology Plant Kingdom Animal Kingdom Protista, Monera, Fungi

 

Geography & History

Our Elementary students are exposed to a global cultural perspective, learning to understand and appreciate a multicultural world.  The students participate in an annual Cultural Fair each spring, which is a culmination of that year's continent or history focus.  For example, if Africa is our continent focus for a particular year, each student would undertake in-depth research on a particular country and develop a multi-dimensional presentation for the Cultural Fair that is representative of their country (i.e. traditional foods, clothing, instruments, written reports, 3-D representation of topographic features, rivers and mountains, etc.).  When our Upper Elementary students were studying the Vikings and Ancient Rome, they designed costumes, made traditional tools and food, developed video presentations, and wrote in-depth reports to showcase their studies. The Cultural curriculum is examined in three-year cycle. 

 

 

Lower Elementary

 

  Year One Year Two Year Three
History Inca & Maya, Colonial America, Utah’s Statehood Ancient Egypt, Middle Ages, Frontier Studies Explorers, Native Americans
Geography North & South America, Mountains & Caves Europe & Africa, Lakes & Rivers Asia, Australia & Antarctica, Deserts

Utah Studies

State Mineral, State Gem, State Flower, State Fossil, Surrounding States State Tree, State Fish, State Animal, State Bird, Great Salt Lake State Fruit, State Vegetable, State Insect, State Symbol, State Motto

Upper Elementary

 

 
  Year One Year Two Year Three  
World History The Aztecs  The Vikings Ancient Rome  

American History

Colonial America

Transcontinental Railroad

Westward Movement – Mountain Men, Pioneers

Utah Statehood

Native Americans  

Geography

Physical Studies –         North & South America,       Country Study - USA Cultural Studies –                   Europe & Africa,                   Country Study – Ireland Economic Studies – Asia & Australasia, Country Study – New Zealand  
Utah Physical Studies Political Studies Economic Studies  
             

 

Practical Life

The main focus of Practical Life at the elementary level is guiding the student toward responsible independence in action and thought.  Students learn to manage their work and time using a log to plan their day.  Once the students are familiar with using a logbook, they learn to evaluate their own work and then practice goal setting. At the Lower Elementary level students plan a day at a time while at the Upper Elementary level they create a week’s plan.

 

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Elementary students care for classroom animals, provide basic maintenance of their classroom, and learn skills such as flower arranging and knitting. Business ventures include creating products for the monthly market and managing a staff food service business. Practical Life in both Lower and Upper Elementary include school and community services and chores. These include managing our school-wide recycling and composting programs, and creating annual campaigns to help our community have more of an awareness on issues such as waste management.

 

 

Students are encouraged to fully participate in their learning process by doing research and discovering information for themselves. 

 

                                   The Elementary approach to classroom management is to help the students learn that they are responsible for what they do and that their actions have natural consequences.  Students are involved as much as possible in the development of the Elementary Code of Conduct.  Whether a problem involves only two students or the whole class, we teach the students a “Work it Out” method to help them to become problem solvers.  Problem solving techniques are modeled and fostered.  One of the techniques that the teachers use is called “Teacher Theater,” where they model appropriate conflict resolution.  The classroom also has an Agenda Book that provides the students with the opportunity to raise issues that are significant to the Elementary community.

 

 

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                                   Community brainstorming for solutions and rules helps form the Elementary Classroom Code of Conduct.  The students are given increasingly complex and numerous responsibilities, and many opportunities to exercise judgment and demonstrate self-conduct.  Mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities.

 

Each year, the Upper Elementary students are given the opportunity to define the values that they will adopt and practice as a class. Recent examples include the values of responsibility, respect and tolerance.  Upper Elementary students also participate in Socratic Dialogue, which involves open-ended discussion on topics that influence the world around them, as well as the exploration of new ideas. 

 

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Great Outdoors Environmental Program ("GO")

Throughout the year, Upper Elementary students and third year Lower Elementary students participate in an environmental education program called, “The Great Outdoors.” This program combines classroom and field studies in local environmental issues and ecosystems. Environmental expeditions involve observations and studies of local biomes and Salt Lake City's water systems as well as conservation and ecological service projects such as the Bear River Cleanup.

 

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Art
Art Supplies are available in the classroom for students to select as part of their daily work. Students also have an Art Specialty class, where they refine basic art techniques such as pattern, design, texture, shape and line, and learn more advanced techniques such as perspective, medium, shading, dimension, transparency, overlapping, and printmaking. During the Spring Art Showcase, our students have the opportunity to share their artwork with our school community.

Each month, the students study the life and work of a famous artist.  We rotate these artists over the following three-year cycle:

 

Lower Elementary

 

Year One Year Two Year Three
Gustav Klimt Vincent Van Gogh Leonardo da Vinci
Piet Mondrian Georges Seurat William Morris
Norman Rockwell Paul Klee Edvard Munch
Andrew Wyeth Grandma Moses Frida Kahlo
Mary Cassatt Henri Matisse Frank Lloyd Wright
John James Audubon Roy Lichtenstein Katsushika Hokusai
Jackson Pollock Ansel Adams Pablo Picasso
Gilbert Stuart MC Escher Dorothea Lange
Andy Warhol Georgia O’Keeffe Claude Monet

Upper Elementary

 

Year One Year Two Year Three
Giotto di Bondone Limbourg Brothers Michelangelo
Carl Linnaeus Fra Angelico Gustave Courbet
Lorenzo Ghiberti Albrecht Dürer Edgar Degas
El Greco Rembrandt van Rijn Berthe Morisot
Winslow Homer Edouard Manet Paul Gauguin
Auguste Rodin C.M. Russell Salvador Dali
N.C. Wyeth Henry Moore Louise Nevelson
Victor Vasarely Christo Wassily Kandinsky
Diego Rivera Méret Oppenheim Joseph Stella

 

Music

Students have a Music Specialty Class, which provides formal instruction in music.  Using ORFF instruments and recorders, the students learn to keep a steady beat, play rhythm rounds with non-pitched instruments, and read music on the staff.  The students have the opportunity to share what they have learned in Music Specialty Class with our school community during the annual Spring Performance.

 

Each month, the students study the life and work of a famous composer.  We rotate these composers over the following three-year cycle:

 

Year One Year Two Year Three
Miles Davis Beethoven Aaron Copland
John Philip Sousa Elton John Johann Pachelbel
Ferde Grofé Wagner George & Ira Gershwin
Cole Porter Prokofiev Irving Berlin
Duke Ellington Vivaldi Meredith Monk
Rodgers & Hammerstein Gilbert & Sullivan Frederick Chopin
Scott Joplin Enya Marvin Hamlisch
John Williams Mozart Aretha Franklin
Bob Marley The Beatles The Beach Boys

 

Dance

Students have a Dance Specialty Class, which provides formal dance instruction.  In Dance Class, students work on dance elements such as high and low space, slow and fast energy, positive and negative space, tempo changes, different energy levels, high and low planes, and mirroring.  The students refine their locomotion skills, which include sliding, galloping, skipping, jumping, crawling, and rolling.  The students have the opportunity to share what they have learned in Dance Specialty Class with our school community during the annual Spring Performance.

 

Theater

The students study elements of theatre and have the opportunity to participate in our annual Montessori Community Theater performance, which is attended by Kindergarten and Elementary school students and parents.  Poetry recitals occur throughout the year, and at the end of the school year, the students present small skits and songs based on their classroom studies.

 

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Physical Education

Physical education is an important part of the Elementary Montessori Curriculum.  Emphasis is placed on body awareness and physical fitness through playing cooperative games and practicing Yoga. Elementary students also spend a great deal of time hiking and exploring the great outdoors on field trips throughout the year.  Students also have at least 30 minutes of outdoor playtime daily where they may choose to play on the playground, organize their own sports or creative activities, or just relax.

 

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Winter Sports Program

Each year, Elementary students take part in a five-week Winter Sports Program.  The students have the opportunity to take skiing or snowboarding lessons at Brighton Resort.

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Field Trips

Field trips enhance the year’s curriculum.  The students extend their learning beyond the classroom by making several off-campus trips each month to locations such as art exhibits, hiking trails, theatre productions, museums, cultural exhibitions, local farms, and nature preserves.  The students also make frequent visits to Salt Lake City area libraries throughout the year to choose books for classroom reading time or for research projects.

 

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Technology

Computers are introduced to the Elementary students when they are ready to publish their writing and research.  Students learn how to word process, save, and edit their work.  The use of the Internet is carefully supervised.  Students learn how to access online dictionaries and encyclopedias.  Keyboard skills are also introduced, typically during the third year of Lower Elementary.  Upper Elementary students develop skills in Word processing, Power Point presentations, video and photography, and classroom blogging.

 

Home Assignments

Each month, Lower Elementary students are given a Home Assignment, which is typically a project involving library research and hands on learning.  Students are not given "busy work".  Home Assignments are designed to extend and enrich the curriculum, challenging the students to think and explore.  For example, as part of their Egyptian studies, our Lower Elementary students made Egyptian paper, traditional dolls and scarabs.  As part of their medieval studies, the students designed castles out of a material of their choice, labeling all of the parts of the castle. 

 

Testing

We do not use standardized testing as a means of evaluating student progress.  Our method of evaluation includes detailed recordkeeping on each student and direct observation of the application of skills and concepts introduced to each student throughout the year.  Elementary parents receive two written evaluations, and participate in two student-led Parent/Teacher Conferences each academic year.  This method of evaluation enables the student to master a concept or skill before progressing and allows us to identify and address any learning issues that may be preventing that student from moving forward.  It also allows students to move forward rapidly in areas where understanding comes easily and take more time to comprehend areas that may be more difficult for them.

 

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Freedom and Responsibility

Montessori Elementary students are guided in taking on an important role in their own education.  They often have the freedom to choose work partners and topics of study, learning to balance freedom with responsibility.  This nurtures adaptability, negotiation, compromise, problem solving, time management, and respect for others and the environment.  They develop leadership skills by making important decisions on projects related to their elementary community life, as well as giving presentations and voicing their opinions in community meetings throughout the year.

 

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Community Life

Students learn to become active, positive contributors to their school community, and many events throughout the year such as Elementary/Middle School Community Meetings and the Fall and Spring Elementary/Middle School Camping Trips provide ample opportunity for the students to practice these skills and to develop a strong sense of community.

 

Outcomes 

The outcomes of the Montessori Elementary Program are:

  • Students learn how to learn
  • Students become independent
  • Students are active learners
  • Students learn to manage their time
  • Competency and skills in all areas of the curriculum

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Montessori Elementary students find deep personal satisfaction in learning through their own efforts.  They do not compete against each other for grades, or expect external rewards for their work. Students learn to trust themselves and their own judgments.  More importantly, they can acknowledge mistakes and work to correct them in an atmosphere of support and respect. The students take ownership of their work and their environment, and develop self-direction. They develop an innate drive to learn and a natural love for learning that lasts a lifetime. 

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Montessori education is unique, untraditional, and gaining popularity across not only the state of Utah but the entire country.  During parent interviews we often ask parents "What are your hopes and dreams for your child?" and the following is among the list of heartfelt responses that we often receive:

  • To develop leadership skills
  • To develop self-discipline
  • To develop a sense of personal responsibility
  • To develop independence
  • To develop initiative
  • To discover their passions
  • To develop a lifetime love of learing
  • To build a strong academic foundation

Classrooms at Montessori Community School offer all that and more as we strive to follow each individual child, carefully prepare an environment that supports each of these goals, and work as a community in the best interest of each individual.  

 

 

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For the 2014 - 2015 school year Montessori Community School is excited to work with our students in a Service-Learning project to once again support our COEEF girls and our Grandmothers through the Adopt-A-Native Elder program. MCS has supported COEEF for more than seven years and the Native American Grandmothers of Adopt-A-Native Elder for over 20 years! We are happy to report that our girls in Ethiopia and our Native American Grandmothers are very grateful for the continued support from the MCS community of families and friends over the years.

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In an effort to raise awareness about family preparedness, this year MCS is offering 72- hour kits as a fundraiser to replace the Fun Run that has been “running” for the past several years.

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Packets containing further information and order forms were sent home in every student's Take-Home File. Please share this information with your families and friends so they too, can be apart of this wonderful cause and further prepare themselves for emergencies and not miss out on this fabulous deal.

 

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Please see the following lists of 72-Hour kits to make your selections.

Elite 72-Hour Kit Includes:

Accordion Jerrycan 10 L

Tritan bottle, 28 fl. Oz.

Water Filter

Mini LED Headlamp

3-LED Dynamo Flashlight

Emergency Blanket - silver color

Vinyl Ground Sheet 110 x 170cm

Emergency Poncho

Flamestick

Waterproof matches

Fire Starter Small

Multi Tool Red

Folding shovel with pick

Folding Map Compass with mirror

SS Whistle

Collapsible Camp Stove (Large) w/40

Flamesticks

Detachable Cutlery Set

S/S Double-wall Cup 300 ml

Laminated Folding Basin 5L

Magic Towel x3

Mini Magic Tissue x3

Watertight map case

Laminated Dry Bag - 10 L

Essentials 72-Hour Kit Includes:

Water Bottle

Straw Filter

Accordion Jerrycan 10L

3-LED Dynamo Flashlight

Emergency Blanket - silver

Emergency Poncho

Paracord Keychain

Flamesticks - Fire Starter

Waterproof Matches

Multi Tool (Red)

Mini Multi Compass

Collapsible Camp Stove (small) w/20

Flamesticks

S/S Tool Spork

S/S Cup 220ml

Magic Towel x3

Mini Magic Tissue x3

First Aid Kit (smaller than Elite Kit)

Watertight map case

Stuff Bag - S 18 x 30 cm

Dry Bag - 10 L Dry Bag

Kids 72-Hour Kit Includes:

Water Bottle

Straw filter

Emergency Blanket - silver

Emergency Poncho

Keychain Compass + Thermometer

SS Whistle

3-LED Dynamo Flashlight

Magic Towel x3

Stuff Bag - S 18 x 30 cm

Expansion 72-Hour Kit Includes:

Tritan bottle, 12 fl. Oz.

Straw Filter

3-LED Dynamo Flashlight

Emergency Blanket - silver color

Emergency Poncho

Flamestick

Waterproof matches

Keychain Compass + Thermometer

SS Whistle

S/S Tool Spork

S/S Double-wall Cup 300 ml

Magic Towel x3

Mini Magic Tissue x3

Watertight map case

Laminated Dry Bag - 5 L

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Based on our ecosystem outings this year, the GO (Great Outdoors) students have spent a lot of time researching different ecosystems of their choice. These nature cards are the result of their hard work, time, knowledge, and talents.

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Each card features a drawing of a particular ecosystem, and inside the cards are some interesting facts derived from their studies.

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This is a great opportunity to support the students' studies, interests, and art. It is also a great way to share these talents throughout the year with your friends, family, and co-workers. You may purchase these beautiful cards for $3.00 each or you may purchase 5 cards for $12.00. Cards will go on sale in the MCS lobby this Friday, May 1st.  

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"Eventually we gave up either punishing or rewarding the children."
—Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood

It's a new year and many of us make resolutions. As parents, in spite of our best intentions, we sometimes get stuck in patterns that are no longer working or may not be the most beneficial for our children. What are some new ways to deal with the normal day-to-day challenges of being a parent?

Re-Thinking Some Common Practices

No one is really taught how to parent. We do what our parents did, or the direct opposite. Some practices enter the mainstream and are implemented by parents without much thought.

How often do you use the phrase "Good job"? Do you use a "time-out" when your child is challenging your patience? Changing some of these rote responses can make a huge difference for children and parents alike. We can communicate to children in ways that help them feel more secure and independent.

Unearned and Unnecessary Praise

The "good job" comment which seems to roll off the tongues of parents, teachers, and by-standers is said with good intentions, but gives very little acknowledgement of what went into accomplishing the "job." Similar to every child getting a trophy whether the team wins or loses, this empty praise may discourage children from trying new activities at which they might fail. They also may get an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement.

The adult becomes the judge, and motivation becomes external rather than internal. This "conditional parenting" teaches children to behave in a certain way in order to be loved. It becomes another method of control, just like punishment.

It's more meaningful to have adults understand a child's feelings and communicate appreciation of the effort and natural hard work involved in learning. Practice, trial and error, and persistence in the face of failure help your child's brain develop.

Alternatives to false praise:

  • Talk about specifics: "That picture has so much red color." "You tried really hard to make that goal in soccer."
  • Solicit the child's thoughts and feelings: "What did you do when you spilled the tray of food?" "How did you feel when you missed the goal?"
  • Encourage persistence and hard work: "You sounded out that word all by yourself."

Punishment or Setting Limits

In The Discovery of the Child Maria Montessori says, "To tell a child: 'Stand still like me!' does not enlighten him." She explains that such a demand is both physically and mentally impossible for a "still growing individual." What may appear obvious and understandable for adults is not always true for a child.

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Some time ago, as a reasonable option to corporal or demeaning punishments, the "time-out" method became the discipline of choice. This prevalent form of discipline makes a child experience a feeling of rejection and learn that love will be withdrawn if she does not conform to our wishes.

Misbehaving is often a call for help or some added adult encouragement and understanding. Helping your child verbalize feelings often is enough for her to continue to problem solve. Sometimes physical holding is necessary to stop a tantrum and help a child learn to self-soothe.

Discipline is about teaching, not punishing. Rather than exclude a child, we want to encourage the development of empathy and insight. We want to set clear limits while helping empower children to understand and collaborate with us so that respect flows in both directions.

Changing Time-Out to Time-In

We want to convey love and respect, letting children know it is the behavior we want to change, not the child. "Time-in" means we know where the child is developmentally and can intervene before the child seriously misbehaves. If you stay calm and spend "time-in" with your child, both of you will feel more secure and in control.

These ideas may help:

  • Anticipate and prepare for challenging situations. Have appropriate expectations for your child's behavior based on his age and abilities. Be willing to adjust your plans accordingly.
  • Take games or quiet activities for those wiggly waiting times in the doctor's office, a restaurant, or on the airplane.
  • Support your child by explaining the reasons for requests. Make clear brief explanations appropriate to the child's age.
  • Spend 5 to 10 minutes with a young child when you notice frustration developing. Change the activity or just assist in making it easier to handle.

Look to the Child

What are reasonable expectations? Psychologist Madeline Levine reminds us that "the happiest, most successful children have parents who do not do for them what they are capable of doing." This leads to independence and a strong sense of self-esteem. We need to stand back while they figure out things on their own. We as parents can give up judging ourselves when our children don't live up to our expectations. We can instill positive values and encourage persistence while watching our children learn from the normal challenges in life.

"No one who has ever done anything really great or successful has ever done it simply because he was attracted by what we call a 'reward' or by the fear of what we call a 'punishment.'"
—Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

 

by Jane M. Jacobs, M.A., Montessori Educational Consultant at Montessori Services. She is a trained primary Montessori directress and also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has taught children aged 2 to 7 years in Montessori schools, Headstart, and also in a preschool for children with developmental challenges. In her counseling practice, she helps individuals, couples, and families.

http://montessoriservices.addr2.com/view/350390d/702cd6/

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Montessori Community School loves the passion our students have toward caring for our earth. They help with keeping our grounds clear of trash, working in our gardens, composting, and planting raised garden beds. Our students also implement and are responsible for recycling throughout our school. We try very hard to make our school and community a greener place.

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The holidays have come and gone and spring is just around the corner.  This might be a fine time to consider sorting through your children's possessions.  If you take a close look at the sheer volume of your child's books and toys, you may determine that just like adults he uses only a percentage of them.

Thinning the herd, so to speak, offers much to recommed it; Its a lot easier to find things if there are fewer things to find. 

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A place for everything and everything in its place is a cliche' based on sound thinking.  Our brains seek order, harmony and beauty in the world, your child's brain seeks it out too. 

Additionally, there's an essential developmental incentive to clear the clutter out of your child's life.  Providing external order for your child allows him to organize his thinking.  He's already taken in so many impressions of the world and now he is categorizing, sorting, grading and matching all these impressions.  (cognitively grasping same and different as well as one-to one correspondence are pre-math and pre-reading skills.) It's confusing, harder to make sense of everything when, right here in his room the crayons are randomly hanging out with the dolly blanket and Tonka truck wheel, if you will.

So here are some strategies you might consider:

  • Go through the books.  If he has long since cared about Pat the Bunny, it's time to remove it from his shelf. Likewise anything that is torn, tattered and colored on.  What should remain are only those that he is now reading or is about to advance into. House the books on shelves just like in the library rather than piled one on top of the other or randomly scattered among other phylum such as toys and stuffed animals.
  • The impedement to finding a toy when one wants it is the toy box.  No matter how cute, inexpensive, convenient or cherished, the large universal receptacle does not lend itself to everything having a place. Shelving is the best.  Categorize the toys by type; each toy deserves a lidded box, then shelved.
  • Discard or repair anything that is broken or missing a part. Wash the comfort-blankets and stuffed animals, otherwise discard them.
  • Four puzzles will be used more often than fifteen.  Likewise dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, Lego sets, board games and coloring books.  You get the idea.  Young children can easily get overwhelmed with too many choices.
  • If your mom sent something that you may have determined is inappropriate, give yourself permission to remove it.  You are the final arbiter of what is appropriate for your child. 
  • If you are having a harder time than your child letting go of some of his possessions, that's ok.  You get to cry about it, but certainly not in front of your child...and pare them down anyway.
  • Create a place in the garage for your child's outdooe equipment such as balls, scooters and anything else you'd rather not have your child using indoors.

Here are a few more considerations:

Your child wants to, and for his optimal development needs to be responsible for his own possessions. Make sure that he can put every toy away where it belongs.  Don't make the tub for the blocks so heavy he can't move it into place himself. Is there a home for his trains? Bags, totes and backpacks all deserve wall hooks hung low enough for your child to hang up by himself.

You probably already have a child-size table and chairs.  A child-sized rocker and/or a reading chair might be nice.  How about an easel for chalking, painting and drawing? Generally, the younger the child, the more he wants to make large sweeping circular arm motions.  You might even consider getting some butcher-block paper for large mural creation.

Sibling fights can be minimized if each person in the family, no matter the age has personal property rights.  If your five year old doesn't want to share some of his toys with your toddler, I suggest that that is his right.  However, you might work with your five year old to go through some of his possessions and together determine which toys he might be willing to share. Further, many of his no-longer-used toys can be ceremoniously bequeathed to his younger sibling. His most prized possessions, however, should have a place in his room. 

Every activity (just like life) has a beginning, middle and end.  Teach your child how to get something out, use it in the place designated for its use and then put it away.  If he moves on to the next thing before putting the last activity away, you can say, "in this house, we always put our belongings away."

And finally, the most effective way to gain his cooperation is to model what you teach.  Maybe it's time for some spring cleaning of your own.

Written by Donohue Shortridge

Donohue, a Montessorian since 1980 speaks and writes on topics related to children and their families in the American culture. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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What do we mean when we say we want to raise “successful” children? Too often, especially around this time of year, that conversation centers on college or the kinds of academics and activities that lead to college. “Success” is hard to measure, and those external markers make for comforting milestones along the way.

Comforting, but dangerous. Because when checking off the achievement box is what defines success, it’s too easy to forget that it’s the qualities in our children that might lead to those accomplishments that matter — not the goals themselves.

Achievements, from the A on the science project to the letter of acceptance from Big U, can be the gold stars for parents. They’re the visible signs that we’re doing something right, and that makes it tempting to push our children forward, just a little (or maybe a lot) by stepping in when it looks as if they might not quite get there on their own. The working model of the water cycle was her idea; we just “helped” build it. She did the algebra homework; we just corrected it. He wrote the essay; we just added some structure to the argument.

Click here to read more....

By KJ DELL'ANTONIA
APRIL 9, 2015

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This year, our Spring Campers did an in-depth study of the moon. Camp started out with the history of the moon. Students learned about how the moon formed and how the moon and the ocean relate. Next, students learned about the phases of the moon, making a phases of the moon viewer and doing a light and shadow experiment.

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Each day the students have done amazing, creative art projects, crafts, and experiments revolving around the moon. When students learned about spacecraft, they made and launched rockets outside. They also watched the first landing on the moon.

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Next came a day of learning about astronauts. They learned about what a space suit and space food is like and why. Students created their own space packs and enjoyed pretending they were on the moon and cruising around in space.

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The last day of camp featured the surface of the moon. Students learned about moon rocks, mountains, and craters. They also learned about what the absence of gravity means. Students were able to create their own moon sand and make textured paintings of the moon. We would love to thank all the teachers and staff who worked during camp and made it such a success. We would also love to thank the students who came, explored, and created such a wonderful atmosphere and brought such an enthusiasm to this past week. 

"Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core." - Maria Montessori

Lastly, a special thank you goes to our Spring Camp Director, Ms. Corey Day. Thank you for planning and implementing such a creative, fun, educational, and organized Spring Camp. Your skills and talents are unmatched. We are blessed to have you.

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MCS Lower Elementary students, 1st - 3rd Grade, created art pieces for the University of Utah's Eccles Institute of Human Genetics Building. The showing is on the 3rd floor atrium of the building. This building houses the Department of Human Genetics, Molecular Medicine, USTAR,  [2007 Nobel prize winner Dr. Mario Capecchi], and many other researchers.  
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Amy Fought, our Lower Elementary Art Teacher explains, "At Montessori Community School we have enjoyed exploring paint and color with our creative art installations of 'Shapes and Silhouettes.'  Working in groups of two or three, students got together to practice the style of Wassily Kandinsky, famous for his abstract art. "
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"We spent time emulating a few of Kandinsky’s famous pieces that focused on repetitions of circles. Although art often focuses on the foreground, or “positive space,” we chose to bring to life our background, or “negative space,” by choosing bright and colorful shapes to paint, as Kandinsky did."
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"The students were given only the primary colors (magenta, yellow, and blue) to begin with, and they created their own beautiful variations of colors to create layers upon layers of their shapes.  They then overlaid their work with a tree silhouette of their choosing, drawing and cutting a simple picture that would not detract from the beauty of their background.  The result was a beautiful set of pieces that shows the ingenuity and creativity of young minds."
 
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To close our Winter Sports season, Brighton Resort would love to host an MCS Family Ski Day. Tickets are at a reduced rate and can be purchased from the MCS Office. When purchasing your tickets, please ensure to make checks out to MCS. 

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"Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play in the out-of-doors."
—American Medical Association, 2005

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Spring has arrived! I can't help but be excited by the thought of sunshine, hikes, water and fresh air! This article written by Jane M. Jacobs, M.A., a Montessori Educational Consultant at Montessori Services spoke to me in considering how outdoor time is such a powerful tool for our children. In the article, Jane offers a variety of ideas for making the best of your outside time with your little one. 

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Enjoy!

Were you told to "go out and play" when you were a child? Now, as a parent, do you give your children the same instructions? Perhaps not, but even for the urban, over-scheduled family, there are ways to give our children more opportunities to explore the outdoors.

For centuries it was common wisdom that children needed several hours of outdoor activity daily. As Dr. Benjamin Spock said, "It's good for a baby (like anyone else) to get outdoors for two or three hours a day." Some say we now suffer from "nature deficit disorder." Children spend more and more time indoors with bright toys, beeping computer games, and flashing screens. A more contemporary pediatrician, Harvey Karp, similarly tells us that "there are exhaustive studies showing that time outdoors, particularly in nature, benefit us in myriad ways... while staying inside is over-stimulating and at the same time boring for children." 

Click here to read entire article.

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Spring cleaning? It's that time again to bring in all of your children's gently used clothing that is too small, or unworn and swap it for something that fits. Please drop off your gently used items in the bins located in the MCS gymnasium. You may drop off items March 16th - March 20th. 

Then, during school hours, March 26th and March 27th, you may come browse the tables in the gym. Clothes will be separated into size and style. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, please contact the office, as the Green Committee would love help sorting, folding, and displaying the clothes. 

 

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Your child’s education in Montessori is different – so different that it makes you shake your head in wonder and say, “Is this something my child is really learning?” As parents we want our children to excel at reading, writing and math. Yet their Montessori education leads them through strange and esoteric materials. (At least they are foreign to most adults.)

Why would a three year old need to be versed in geometry? Fine, a nice circle, a square and maybe a triangle but what purpose for an isosceles triangle, parallelogram or a rhombus? Then if that is not enough esoteric learning, your child moves on to the botany cabinet. How many three year olds need botany? They are introduced to leaf forms like spatulate, orbiculate, sagitate and reniform. Most of us adults can’t even pronounce them let alone know what they are.

If that is not enough diversity in the curriculum, Montessori education then introduces them to the whole world of art. They meet Picasso, Monet and Rembrandt. What in the world was Dr. Montessori thinking? And where is the math and reading?

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There is a unique method (no it is not madness) in this approach. Your child is absorbing a tremendous amount of learning and stimuli and beginning to gain the skills of observation and visual discrimination - which is the ability to see differences. The Montessori child is effortlessly gaining a lifetime skill – the ability to see. Yes, we are born with sight but sight is passive where all the images come to us. When we observe, we actively focus our sight. But even focusing our sight does not always let us see what is there. For example, we have all seen pictures that if you look at them long enough the image changes into something else – like the two faces and the goblet or the old woman and the young girl. Skills and even talents need to be trained and refined. A Montessori classroom provides an unending panorama of activities that train and refine the ability “to see”.

Though education is primarily reading and math based, life is about having a clear vision of what is present (and what could be). And though the introduction to geometry (rhombus), botany (reniform) and art (Rembrandt) is rudimentary, it is absolutely foundational to clear-eyed success. For your child everything is new and exciting. To be able to put a name with a form or a shape not only gives great intellectual satisfaction but is the beginning of power to organize, define and categorize the world that is seen.

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Enjoy the voyage of discovery as your child, with bright new eyes, sees the world for the first time. It is this power of visual discrimination that gives strength and focus to the power to read. It is also this power that breaks the world of math into distinguishable pieces with the ability to see patterns and processes.

Montessori truly gives your child the gift of sight!      

Edward Fidellow

www.crossmountainpress.com

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There will not be any Winter Sports this Wednesday, February 25th. Instead, enjoy this video of the last 3 weeks of our Winter Sports Program.

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Montessori Community School sponsors the above beautiful girls. These girls have been growing up right before our eyes! We are so proud of their accomplishments and continue to support and encourage their goals and dreams through the COEEF Program.

Our girls have written lovely letters we would love to share with you. COEEF-GIRLS-2014.pdf. Please watch for our fundraisers this spring to continue supporting these amazing girls. 

 

 

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Please find Spring Camp registration forms on the credenza by the stairs in the lobby. Spring Camp will run Monday, March 30th - Friday, April 3rd. 

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During Spring Camp, the students will learn all about the moon! Please look over the daily schedule above.

 

Download the forms here:

Spring-Registration.pdf

Spring-Camp-2015.pdf

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