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Admissions Information Meeting - Open to the Public

Montessori Community School will be hosting an Admissions Information Meeting for all adults interested in learning more about any of our programs for 2016-2017 Admissions.  Parents are invited to join us for a presentation about Montessori method, curriculum and philosophy and how they are implemented in our program to educate the whole child. Then, visit individual classrooms to learn more about each program and to meet and greet with our administrative and teaching staff.  2016-2017 Application Packets will be available. 

  • Meeting starts promptly at 6:30pm
  • Adults only - sorry, no child care provided
  • Bring a friend! 




Unable to attend this event?  Contact the school at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule a tour. 
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Holiday Gift Guide



Purchasing the right gifts for our children can be difficult.  If you are anything like me, you want to give your kiddos meaningful gifts that engage their minds, inspire creativity, and leave everyone with a sense of satisfaction.  But what kinds of things can make us feel like we've made responsible choices as parents but still allow our littles the joyful experience of receiving?
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No Early Care Today 12/15

MCS Community: December 15, 2015 

The school will open today at 9AM.

NO EARLY CARE!

The roads are very icy. Safe Commute!

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SNOW DAY - School Closing Early


Based on the weather forecast we will be having an early closure today. Please pick up Elementary children by 3:00pm and Toddler and Early Childhood children by 3:30pm.

As many of our students will be absent and some of our staff have been unable to make it to the school due to poor road conditions, regular classes will not be held and alternative activities will be offered and some classes will probably combine for the day.

1700 South is in very poor condition so we advise you to avoid traveling to the school if you are able to keep your children home for the day.
Stay warm,

MCS Administration
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Holiday Giving Gives Back



This year, MCS sponsored three families through The Neighborhood House, a local charity. We started with three small trees filled with ornaments, each depicting a special wish list items. Over the last couple of weeks we have watched our students and families become excited, tearful, and deeply involved with this project.
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Important Deadlines and Schedule Change Information





Dear MCS Families,

In recent years we have seen increasing numbers of families choosing to register their children for our full year option.  In reviewing the number of children already enrolled for our Summer Camp 2016, we are nearing capacity in all of our program levels.  Because of this, we are electing at this time to discontinue offering separate sessions of Summer Camp, and we will not be distributing separate flyers or rates strictly for Summer Camp.

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Montessori Equals Innovation, Creativity, Wonder, and so much more...

“…Most highly creative achievers don’t begin with brilliant ideas,
they discover them.”
Peter Sims, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, April 2011




Enjoy this wonderful video on the beauty and benefits of a Montessori education. Click here.
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Teaching Gratitude to Children


One time when one of my boys was about four years old I found myself in a common battle trying to get him to clean take care of his belongings and clean up the toys that were scattered about his play room. I felt good about our system and knew that I was not asking him to complete a task that was outside his ability to complete.  We had cleaned the room successfully on a number of occasions. Finally, out of frustration, I told my son that if he did not clean up the toys I was going to gather them up, put them in a garbage bag, and give them to children who didn't have any toys.  I left the room and, to bolster my threat, returned seconds later with a large trash bag.  My son approached me with an armful of toys and dropped them passionately in to the open bag.  Baffled, I asked "what are you doing?"  and tearfully he replied "I didn't know there were kids without any toys."
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Winter Sports Registration & Waivers

Winter Sports Registration and Waiver Forms are now available. Please read through, fill out completely, and return to the MCS Office by December 18th. You may pick forms up from the MCS Lobby display or print them. Winter-Sports.pdf
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MCS' Holiday Giving Project Through The Neighborhood House


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Raising your Montessori Child

 

As Montessori parents, we are giving our children a great gift that does not just start at 8:30am and end at 3pm.  This gift should be nurtured, honored and recognized at all times, particularly in the home. Donna Bryant Goertz wrote one of my favorite Montessori books about classroom management in the Lower Elementary classroom, 'Children Who are Not Yet Peaceful'. This book highlights the value of community and truly honoring and trusting each child to develop in their time, in their way, and in absolute authenticity.  It is powerful and inspiring for educators and parents and I highly recommend it to those of you who are raising Lower Elementary age children or who will be doing so in the near future. However, its values are appropriate for children, parents, and educators of all ages.
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Basic Herbology and Practical Potions




Basic Herbology & Practical Potions

with Donda Hartsfield, Outdoor Classroom & GO teacher

Wednesdays, 3:45 – 5:00, November 18th – January 27th

...
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MCS Halloween Carnival 2015

MCS would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all of the parents, grandparents and other community members who worked together to make our Halloween Carnival such a smashing success.  Thank you to those who came out to play and enjoy this great event with all of us. And, congratulations to the Uinta class on the success of their first Spook Alley.




An Early Childhood Aspens class student smiles for the camera.



As always, the reptiles and other creatures were a huge draw, exciting children and adults all throughout the night. 


Two families with students in the Magnolias class enjoy the trunk-or-treat in the parking lot. 

This Early Childhood student had a great time showing off her wings all night. 

We had a great time watching the magician.

Hey Chris!
    
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Montessori Parents' Guide to Snowbird Mountain School


Montessori Parents’ Guide to Snowbird Mountain School
February 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, & March 2nd, 2016

Print article or read on:

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Halloween Carnival


This year's Halloween Carnival is sure to be the best yet. There will be games, activities and a lot of fun and laughter! Tickets can be purchased from the MCS office.

Ticket Price: $5 in advanced / $6 at the door

Some of the activities are:

Trunk or Treat
Spook Alley
Kim's Cold Blooded Creatures
Pumpkin Pick & Paint
Dancing

Costumes are most welcomed and encouraged!
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"There is No Bad Weather, Only Bad Clothing."

 

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Montessori Community School has always made it a priority to integrate nature into our program. Students are offered a wide variety of opportunities to extend their learning beyond the physical classroom and, in keeping with the Montessori philosophy, students are invited to experience nature as a hands on experience.  We love the phrase "there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."  The Portland Montessori Collaborative posted the following on their website and we are proud to say, "We couldn't agree more!"

We believe in integrating the outdoor classroom into every child’s experience at school. The outdoor environment is a place for big body play, where we value natural opportunities for children to challenge themselves physically. Children will find compelling reasons to hone large motor skills through joyful interaction with a landscape similar to that found in nature. In the outdoor classroom, open ended and collaborative play are valued, documented, and encouraged. Opportunities to practice practical life skills like woodworking and caring for plants and animals are available. A relationship with the plants and animals that live in our creek side ecosystem is developed through a process of ongoing, child-led/adult fostered investigation. There is dedicated time outside every day, rain or shine.  We believe that ‘ there is no bad weather, only bad clothing’, and children come to school well equipped to enjoy their time outside regardless of weather.

...
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The History of Montessori

Enjoy this beautiful timeline of Maria Montessori.





The History of Montessori Education by Giraffe Childcare
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MCS & The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program



On Thursday, November 5th our Lower Elementary, 3rd Year students will have the opportunity to learn about the Navajo way of life at the Deer Valley Navajo Rug Show. For more than fifteen years, the Montessori Community School has sponsored our Navajo grandmothers through the Adopt-a-Native-Elder Program.  

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Fire Safety and Fire Drills


This last month our Toddler and Early Childhood students participated in an in-house field trip where a local Fire Department spoke to the children about fire safety.
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A Closer Look at Montessori Math

The Montessori math curriculum is quite unlike the traditional approach that each of us experienced.  It is based on developing a strong foundation through concrete experience and manipulation until the time a child reaches the age of abstraction, typically around nine years old. As they engage in the Cosmic Curriculum, children are given a basis for the interconnectedness of all things and encouraged to engage in the wonder and magic of mathematical concepts.  Various activities and materials develop the mathematical mind, preparing the child for their inevitable explosion in to abstraction and connection to the power of relationships. 



The following was written by Lower Elementary Spanish teacher, Diana Haro Reynolds.

Mathematics is the study of quantity, form, and magnitude. We live among it. It is in the position of the sun and in the shell of a snail. We carry math in our pockets, in our devices. It is what makes our communication possible. We touch and live math, whether we know it or not. It is our responsibility as Montessori guides to help the child discover this framework of mathematical order that makes up our world. This rationale proposes several reasons for teaching math in the Montessori classroom. It will explain the journey the child will take from concrete concepts through to abstraction.

Human beings have a tendency for order. Since the beginning of human origin, math has been used to unlock the mysteries of the world. It began with a man’s need to
keep track of his belongings. Then came early techniques that created the experience
with numbers of counting. After a long time, came comprehension, which led to
improvements and shortcuts. Finally, humankind reached abstraction. This same
process is seen in a child. (Doer, 2012)

Mathematical order leads to a mathematical mind. As the mathematical mind unfolds, it develops capacities such as sensorial interaction among objects, observation
of patterns, and awareness of the physical world, mental classification, abstract thinking, and knowledge of the power of relationships. Math supports understanding by encouraging order, concentration, independence, special relations, patterning, one to one correspondence, combination, difference, and similarity. Additional goals supported by math are predictability, exactness or sense of accurateness, concreteness, logic and reasoning, problem solving, and decision making skills, as well as refinement of the mind and thinking. (Stockton-Moreno, 2015)

Why the need to teach math in a specific Montessori way? There are a lot of aspects that prepare the child for math. These include the prepared environment, giving the child the power of choice. Practical life works build concentration and confidence. The child enjoys practicing a task over and over for the pure pleasure of it. The joy is in the process. This mentality is preparing him for the academic areas. Sensitive periods serve as the specific times in a child’s development where part of their needs include an insatiable thirst for specific tasks. There is a sensitive period for concrete tools of precision. We must capitalize on these sensitive periods. (Stockton-Moreno, 2015)

The aims of Montessori math are to make the child aware that math is a part of her life; to build confidence and prepare the child for life. Confidence comes from the sequential growth in which the materials are presented. It starts with the importance of the Three Period Lesson. The first period being the presentation of the concept. The
second period is where the child practices and shows that which has been presented. In math, this second period is much longer than in other areas of study. This is the time in which the child is practicing, exploring and making discoveries, day in and day out, about the concept presented. The third period is that in which the child shows understanding of the concept through teacher observation or helping someone else.

The main goal of Montessori math is to move the child from concrete to abstraction and helping him form a mathematical mind. In the book, A Way of Learning, Ann Burke Nerbert explains that “the mathematical mind derives from experience” (Stockton-Moreno, 2015). We must not rob the child from forming her mathematical mind. She must have ample time to experience the joy of working with the materials and for understanding and internalizing the processes and concepts. The materials are
multimodal in that they appeal to multiple senses. This aids in the "permanent wiring of the brain that will be available as your child gets older and uses her brain for analytical thinking and problem-solving" (Duffy, 2008). Knowing is not understanding. Montessori math provides the path toward understanding.

According to Michael Doer, the passage towards abstraction is done in four stages. The first is the Concrete stage. This is where the child works purely with the material. No works is shown on paper until the child is nearing the end of this stage. The second stage is Concrete Materials lead to Symbols. This is when the child works with
the materials and records the process in writing. This is the longest stage and requires
that the focus be on the process, not the end result. This is the time in which the child is “internalizing the algorithm” (Doer, 2012). Towards the end of this stage the child may begin to work with charts rather than manipulatives. The third stage is often overlooked perhaps because it is the shortest. This is the stage when Symbols connect to Concrete Material. Essentially it is the reversal of stage two. The child does the work on paper then uses the materials to check their answer. The Symbolic stage is the fourth and final stage. This is where the emphasis is on showing the written work. (Doer, 2012)

Doer also emphasizes mental calculations and mental carrying as the two key elements in reaching abstraction. Mental calculation or memorization requires that the
child know math facts with accuracy and speed. The child should take no longer than
three second to recall a fact, otherwise, memorization has not been reached and the
child is calculating. Accuracy should be no less than 98%. It should be recall only. The
second key, mental carrying, requires that the child be able to keep track of the carrying without making a mark on paper. Having the child work on other forms of memorization, such as poems or definitions, will greatly help achieve this goal.

Math is part of our society. We need it in order to function. But there is also a math phobia. Math in Montessori makes it more than accessible, it makes it real. Whenever possible, real life problems should be presented to the child so as to give her
the context for these new skills. Among with word problems, research in the area of
math is a great way to expose the child to the practicality of math. We must cultivate a love and understanding of mathematics in our children by proving the keys and allowing them to make their own discoveries.

Diana Haro Reynolds - Lower Elementary Teacher/Intern



References

Doer, M. (2012). Numbers: Montessori arithmetic for lower elementary.

Duffy, M. (2008). Math works: Montessori math and the developing brain. Hollidaysburg,

PA: Parent Child Press.

Stockton-Moreno, L. (2015). MONT. 633*01, week 1 notes [PowerPoint slides].
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