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Early Childhood students receive their first lesson of the 2014 - 2015 school year in the Outdoor Classroom. They had the opportunity to explore our Outdoor Classroom area, located on near the northeast corner of our school building. 
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Nature plays an important role in the development of the whole child. Works of gardening, raking, weed pulling, and other outdoor tasks assist in this development. The Outdoor Classroom is rich in science lessons, such as bird watching and naming, insect and leaf investigations, and rock classification.
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Early Childhood students explore the basic nature of land, air, water, and the creatures that inhabit those spaces.They also learn about the needs of plants and animals and creating homes for these creatures. 
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Montessori parents have often voiced concerns about creativity in a Montessori classroom. They just don’t see it. The concern is very similar to the fact that they also see few “academic” papers coming home. They don’t receive many brightly painted pictures to adorn their refrigerators. And so naturally wonder if a Montessori classroom is giving their child an opportunity to express their creative side.
 
As concrete and hands on as a Montessori classroom and a Montessori learning experience are it requires a good measure of faith to await the outcome of a Montessori experience. Every Montessori teacher (and parents too) for the last one hundred years have often held their breath waiting to see the fulfillment of this amazing process. And then they exhale with great relief and satisfaction. After a while you no longer hold your breath because you know it is going to work – and even better than you imagined – because you see your children learning and growing.
 

So how does this apply to creativity which seems to be in short supply as far as “art work” is concerned? The creative experience in Montessori is an internal experience. The great creativity is focused on the child creating their own personality. They are forging who they are to become by internalizing all of the experiences of both home and family with their experiences of discovery and exploration in the classroom, mixing these with the intangible aspects of their own DNA, their talents and gifts, inclinations and proclivities. They are taking in these seemingly random elements and creating the uniqueness of who they are.

Their great creative work is themselves.

In a traditional classroom environment children are forced into a mold; fairly standardized and compartmentalized. Doing what everyone else is doing, becoming what everyone else is becoming; rushing headlong to achieve external goals that are set without regard to their personality, character, ability or interest. And from this their only escape from this standardization is the occasional art work sent home.

In a Montessori classroom this unique creativity of their personality is an ongoing daily occurrence as they discover the world about them, as they discover the joy within them that rises as they discover the joy of all the creation about them. They are not rushed from subject to subject but get to explore and enjoy the mystery of how numbers work or the mystery of how their language is put together. They discover animals and leaves, science and art. They develop their senses. And it is those senses that create in them the wonder and the enjoyment of the learning that is all about them. They are creating within themselves reservoirs of joy and fascination, interest and passion. (They will learn the names of all the dinosaurs or rock formations or a hundred different avenues of learning because they have created a passion for it out of their daily experiences and discoveries.)

This ongoing creative experience blossoms within them as they are introduced to music and art, color and form. They become experienced (and passionate) observers of all that is around them. Their early experiences with what the Montessori classroom labels the “sensorial” materials heightens and trains their senses. Those pink cubes and the red rods, the circles and squares, the colors and sounds are laying the creative foundation within the child preparing them physically, psychologically, aesthetically and intellectually for a creative response to all of life that is around them.

The real music they learn to sing, the real art they learn to create in their life will arise out of the great work of creating their own personality. Their creativity in Montessori will not only be an escape from the drudgery of traditional learning and conditioning but will be a magnificent expression of the joy they find in learning and the world all around them. While you may not have many pictures to put on your refrigerator you will have a living portrait of a child full of joy and wonder. Now, that is a creative marvel!       

Edward Fidellow

www.crossmountainpress.com

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Montessori Community School is offering speech, language and hearing screenings on Tuesday, September 9th.  The screenings will be a brief measure of your child’s speech and language skills in order to determine if further speech and language, or hearing evaluations are needed.

The speech and language screening will take approximately 10-20 minutes to complete.  After the completion of the screening, we will identify if there are concerns regarding your child’s speech and language skills or hearing.  A note will be sent home with your child regarding the results of the screening and if further assessment is warranted.

You might consider having your child’s speech, language and hearing screened if your child shows one or more of the following:

  • Your child has a difficult time learning and using new concepts and vocabulary
  • Your child has had chronic ear infections
  • You and others have a hard time understanding your child’s speech.  Your child’s speech is less intelligible than their peers
  • Your child does not combine 2-5 words in their speech
  • You suspect your child may have a fluency disorder: stuttering
  • Your child has difficulty asking and answering “wh” questions 
  • Your child becomes easily frustrated when trying to tell you something
  • See Let's Talk! Speech and Language Therapy for more information on speech and language delay warning signs
*There is still time to sign up. Please fill out a form and turn in payment by tomorrow morning to the Montessori Community School office. 
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What’s the Big Deal about Table Washing?

Edward Fidellow

www.crossmountainpress.com

Many parents are attracted to Montessori because of its tremendous reputation for giving their children a great academic education. Parents are willing to spend impressive amounts of money to give their children this academic advantage. But as often as parents are impressed with Montessori excellence, they are a little bewildered that their children come home excited about mopping floors, doing dishes and washing tables. (This is what successful people hire others to do.) So there is a real disconnect between what you want, what you are paying for and what you think you are getting.

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How then does Montessori get this academic reputation if all you are seeing for six months or a year is table washing and practical life? Montessori success is not built on its finished academic product but on its sure foundation. So what kind of academics comes from table washing? It is the foundation of what constitutes Montessori education which is built on an enduring set of scientific principles. The first is that you always begin with the concrete before moving on to the abstract. There is nothing more concrete in the child’s life than the exercises of practical life. Second, Montessori education begins with the development of all the senses before moving on to the intellectual. Rest assured your child will arrive. Third, Montessori starts with the control of the physical abilities as a precursor to control of intellectual capacity. Fourth, it builds physical discipline – being able to follow through and complete a project before embarking on intellectual discipline. Fifth, it significantly develops focus on details as a skill set to accomplish academic goals. There is a major difference between 2 + 3 and 2 X 3 – and it is only a minor detail. Sixth, table washing (and all of practical life) is not only a physical challenge for beginner learners but becomes an emotional and psychological building block in the development of confidence and self esteem. Real confidence and self esteem is not built on words such as “You did a good job” (whether you did or not) but is built on real achievement and mastery. For a three, four or five year old the process of successfully completing table washing or any other practical life exercise begins a pattern of success. It is a success that comes from beginning a project, working it step by step for as long as it takes until you come to the successful conclusion. This pattern becomes the model for the next stages of academic competence.

What practical life achieves in your child is first a feeling of “I can take care of myself” whether it is table washing or tying shoes. I am given a sense of security that I have some control over my environment and my place in it. Second, it teaches me how to follow steps to success. Third, it builds my confidence by having mastered some challenge which prepares me to tackle even more complex challenges. Fourth, it refines my senses and muscular control so I can effectively use all of the hands on materials in the Montessori classroom to advance my intellectual development. Every sense, every motion, every action is focused to help me achieve academically. The academic success you hear about in Montessori is built on humble and less than impressive activities that are foundational to this amazing achievement that develops the whole child and prepares him or her for significant academic success.

Practical life is a portrait of the future!      

 

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Forms can be found on the credendza by the stairs. Please fill out the forms and turn them into the office. Space can be limited for some classes, so it is to your advantage to sign up soon. Payments must be remitted prior to classes starting.
 
Click on the link below to access pdfs of each registration form.

Studio Classes have started this week. Please finalize this first session of classes as soon as possible.

Karate- Tuesdays and/ or Thursdays, 3:45 - 4:45

 

Broadway Kids- Mondays, 3:00 - 4:00 (Elementary), 3:30 - 4:30 (Early Childhood)

 

Ballet- Every other Friday, 3:30 - 4:15

 

Functional Fitness for Kids- Tuesdays, 3:45 - 4:45

 

Cooking with Kids- Fridays, 3:35 - 4:20 (Class full), 4:30 - 5:15 (Space available)

 

Zumba Kids Jr.- Wednesdays, 3:30 - 4:15

 

*Note: If your child is not in aftercare, but wants to participate in a studio class, they may go to aftercare until the class begins. You may pick your child up directly from the studio class. If your child stays in aftercare, your studio class teacher will collect your child and return your child to and from class. These classes are a great way for your child to develop interests, have outlets and experiences learning and growing with other friends in a different setting.

 
We will also be offering a Lego Robotics Club for Upper Elementary and Middle School students. Guitar classes will soon become available for elementary aged students. 
 
For more information regarding any club or Studio Class, please contact the Montessori Community School's office. 
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Toddlers are so excited to be setting up their classrooms and adding new works to the shelves. Ms. Kellie and Ms. Jennifer research new projects. 
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Aspens class is ready to go! Ms. Ruby poses for a picture between running copies of some work material.
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Magnolias are making headway! They are so excited to have Ms. Ana Maria joining their teaching team.
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Ms. Evi plugs away with lesson plans while the classroom is looking beautiful!
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Ms. Kay is checking to ensure everything is in order. Frank the fish is so happy with new water!
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Lower Elementary (1st grade - 3rd grade) has a lot going on-- Ms. Sophie, new to the Lower Elementary Oquirrh class is hard at work making materials while Ms. Diana is organizing new Spanish lessons.
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Upper Elementary's (4th grade - 6th grade) teachers, Laura and Margaret, hard at work exploring various props and costumes. 
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Joshi, our Middle School teacher, is in and out ensuring materials are in order. Ms. Donda, researching wildlife habitat and preparing new lessons.
 
Montessori Community School is bustling on the inside. New works are arriving, being created, and placed into the classrooms. Teachers are busy creating gorgeous spaces in their classrooms for their students to enjoy and feel comfortable in spending time. The spaces are being designed and set up conducive to a Montessori learning environment. 
 
We are so excited for this new school year to start. We can't wait to see all of our students and families at the various back to school nights coming up.
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The students loved visiting the aquarium. It has been one of the most fun field trips of the summer. We spent a lot of time observing in the Shark Tunnel and the Touch Pools. Many students were quite taken with the octopus, turtles, and clown fish. 
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The Penguin exhibit was so much fun! We were able to see and hear a presentation on penguins and enjoyed watching their feeding time. We learned that penguins really love fish! We were also able to cross the netted bridge in the aquarium's 'Journey to South America' exhibit. 
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Measuring up with Megalodon and the penguins from around the world was a wonderful experience. The students were so proud they were almost taller than the Emperor Penguins, the tallest penguin in the world. 
There were many other school groups there that day, but our Montessori students were the best! 
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Summer Adventures Early Childhood Kangaroos class enjoy their field trip to Wasatch Hollow Park.
 
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Our toddlers love lunchtime! They are always curious to see what each friend brings. 
 
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They are responsible for getting their lunch out of their cubby and preparing their food (with assistance from teachers when needed). 
 
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When lunch is finished, our toddlers are able to pack up their lunchbox, clean up their eating space, and return their lunchbox to their cubby. What darling, responsible little ones we have here at MCS! 
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MCS Elementary Students Exploring Millcreek Canyon During a Summer Field Trip
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b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-07-17-at-8.34.33-AM.pngSummer fun continues at Montessori Community School! Early Childhood visits the Tracy Aviary. 
Explore. Play. Learn. Educate. 
 
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Thank you to our wonderful Summer Adventures Camp Teachers and Staff for making fabulous field trips such a success! 
 
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Montessori Community School's Elementary students have been loving learning about Australia during our Summer Adventures Camp. Leraine Horstmanshoff plays, presents, and teaches our students different elements and techniques pertaining to the Didgeridoo and Australian culture. 

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Our Elementary Summer Adventures Camp Class explores bait fishing at Teapot Lake with much success! Thank you to Brad Fuller for guiding this activity.
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When asked "In what ways has your child thrived in the MCS environment?" this was one Montessori Community School parent's response:


Every one of my children is different. Because Montessori adapts to the individual needs of every child, the Montessori Community School has been the right place for each of them.

Many of the skills that are essential to function as happy, passionate, and contributing members of our society, do not come naturally and take years to master. Entire books have been written and read by adults on how to acquire the skills to be effective members of the society. I think about, organizational skills, a sense of order, the capability to work independently, research, thinking and analyzing, leading meetings & debates, conflict resolution, listening skills, mindfulness, staying connected with your passions, goal setting. At MCS, my children have been learning and integrating these skills starting in early childhood. The process is so natural that they do not even realize it. When leaving on a camping trip, I can always count on Elise to make the checklist and organize the trip. She started planning all our camping trips in 3rd grade! In upper elementary she was able to successfully lead a group discussion with parents, make sure everyone had a chance to express their opinions, and keep the conversation going during silent moments. She has always followed her passions and inner voice, a quality I attribute to the school environment where children always have a choice within a well- prepared environment. She knows how to bring order and re-organize living and work spaces. She even enjoys it, as that is the kind of environment she has always known at home and at school. As a middle school student today, she helps my husband come up with solutions to problems that arise in the daily management of our business. Thinking things through is something they have always done at school.


My son started MCS only in Kindergarten. It took him a long time to feel safe in a larger group. His teachers were well aware that he needed to observe his environment first, before he could start working on reading and writing skills. As he was not subjected to testing, he never felt behind. Today at 9 years old, he is a confident reader and does not want to put his reading book down at night.

Annabelle, my 6 year old loves art. Half of her time at home is spent doing art project. It has been wonderful for her to continue doing art project at school and still work on her reading skills. Because the Montessori materials are so unique and adaptable to the individual needs of each child, the teachers guide her to art projects that integrate reading and writing skills.
She also loves to do everything by herself and is convinced that is how she learned reading and writing. I love that in the Montessori method. From an early age on the children are empowered by learning independently, through well-adapted and beautiful materials, with little guidance from the teachers. They are confident that the knowledge of the world is at their fingertips.

-Marie Bosteels 2013, current MCS Parent

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Our Early Childhood students had a really fanstastic time the first summer session.  The children who are new to the program are fitting in nicely and getting settled.  The field trips and splash/bounce days have been a success and even with a little cold weather, camp is a huge success!
 
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The Elementary students are having a blast at Summer Camp this year. We are looking forward to the next two sessions and a lot more fun times. Our new Elementary students are fitting in well and having an excellent time.  
 
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Our Toddlers, ages 18 months to 3 years, are having a very busy and productive summer.  We are always amazed at these little ones and all they are capable of!  
 
MCS still has space in our Toddler program for fall.  Give us a call to schedule a tour and learn more about the magic of Montessori at the Toddler level.
 
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