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Uinta's May Outdoor Adventure

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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Montessori Madness - Trevor Eissler


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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Praise and Punishment

"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

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Spring Cleaning as Brain Food by P. Donohue Shortridge

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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Raising Your Successful 35-Year-Old: Motherlode, New York Times

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"Go Outside and Play"

"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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MCS' Annual Kid's Clothing Swap

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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. 

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Rhombus, Reniform and Rembrandt

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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Silent Journey & Discovery 2015 - With Thanks

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Admissions Information Meeting - Open to the public

What: Admissions Information Meeting

When: Thursday, January 15th from 6:30 - 8:00pm

Where: Montessori Community School

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Winter Camp 2014

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This year's Winter Camp has been themed around a Winter Wonderland. Students have had many creative arts and craft activities. One of the favorites was the Snowy Owl Pinecones pictured above.
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Students also got the chance to play outside with their friends. Blowing bubbles in the snow made for a great learning activity. The students loved chasing, popping, and watching the bubbles float to land on the snow- Would the bubbles freeze, or not?
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Also, learning about some of Winter's greatest wonders and works of art, the Northern Lights, students created their own beautiful art using the aurora borealis as inspiration.
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TGR “Almost Ablaze” Flood Fundraiser Movie Event

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” --Margaret Mead

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When Annie Guerrero, mother of an MCS Upper Elementary student, came to us in October and presented her idea to screen an extreme skiing movie in order to raise funds to offset the losses from the flood, we loved her suggestion but had no idea where to begin. We were busy moving the classrooms, settling them in, communicating with parents; Robyn, the Head of School, was knee deep in choosing new tiles and cabinets, carpets, and baseboards. Fortunately, without much help from us Annie took her idea and saw it through every step of the way until it was realized on Wednesday, December 3.

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MCS Celebrates Dia de los Muertos

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Montessori Community School is celebrating Dia de los Muertos this week by creating beautiful candy skulls, key chains, and other festive artwork. We have three altars set up in our lobby to celebrate the lives of people we love and admire.
 
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Dia de los Muertos assures that the dead not be insulted by mourning or sadness. Instead, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and actifities the dead enjoyed in life. The holiday recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community.  On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share in the celebrations with their families and loved ones. 
 
We give a special thank you to all those involved in our Spanish program and for the wonderful job they do in teaching, sharing, and enriching our lives with such a beautiful language and culture. 
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Upcoming COEEF Event

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Montessori Community School has been raising money for the COEEF and have supported several girls in the program for over 10 years.  We are currently supporting seven young girls.  It is a pleasure to share this opportunity to further support the COEEF program with our MCS community.
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Things are coming together nicely here

Hello MCS Families,

Things are coming together nicely here at the school. We are still working out some details but are really looking forward to the students return on Monday. Again, we can not express enough our appreciation for all of the offers to assist. And, we want you to know that the teachers at the school have worked tirelessly to prepare temporary classrooms, to support one another, and to keep the energy positive and uplifting. Our teachers are amazing!

  • We are looking for an old washer and dryer that can be used to clean our mops and some carpets that were submerged in water. Please contact the office if you are getting rid of any old machines that the school could use temporarily.
  • Thank you to all who attended Parent Teacher Conference last week. We were so excited to launch our online record keeping system, Compass, which will allow you to get activity reports about your child's school experience. However, with all that has happened with the flood and the temporary displacement of classrooms and students we have decided to put a temporary hold on the activity reports. Thank you for your patience. As mentioned previously, every one of our classrooms are being effected in some way and we feel it is most important that the teachers energy be placed on providing structure and support to the students. Thank you for your understanding.
  • The Silent Journey is postponed until further notice.
  • We anticipate that the Halloween Carnival will still happen and more details about it will be available Monday.

Enjoy the remainder of your unexpected break in this most beautiful fall weather.

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Trying to keep more mess out of their classroom

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Margaret and Laura trying to keep more mess out of their beloved Uinta classroom!
 
 
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Ruby has been a most wonderful photographer and documenter!
 
 
 
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Brandi feeling overjoyed about the set up of the temporary Lower El classroom at the church.
 
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Laura in the new Uinta and Arches space.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Joshi displays some of the Arches work that survived the flood.
 
 
 
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Look at the beautiful mural in the background! Bonnie has been hard at work. 
 
 
 
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An energetic and helpful MCS student cheers for the churches offer of space. 
 
 
 
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Kay and Lorena setting up the Magnolias temporary classroom in the Toddler Moons space.
 
 
 
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Kate and Cinthya hard at working helping their fellow teachers set up and clean up. 
 
 
Dear MCS Families and Interested Community Members,
 
WOW!  The outpouring of love and concern is truly incredible. A huge thank you to our enthusiastic staff who have assisted in the clean up, transport, and set up of new classroom space.  We are very excited to get back to it on Monday.  We miss the children very much.  
 
As you can see from the photos above, we are making a lot of progress here at the school.  The teachers are working harder than ever and their love of the students is evident in their care and attention to setting up the classrooms. The teachers will be sending detailed emails so that you know what to expect for Monday. Thank you for your patience as we prepare. 
 
A few recent updates:
  • The road is still not fixed at the school's entrance.  We are hopeful that it will be fixed by the weekend.
  • At this time the building has no heat. (We are grateful for the warm weather!) We hope to have a temporary boiler in place by Monday. It will be a smaller unit that will heat our upstairs.  We will have to purchase a new boiler and hope that the transition will be as unobtrusive as possible.  We have some temporary heaters to supplement the heat from this smaller unit until the new boiler is in place. 
  •  We are working on a list for volunteer opportunities.  So many of you have been so generous with your offers to help.  Up to this point we have not known areas where you can assist.  However, we anticipate that we will need assistance in the future.  Once we have created this list we will share it with you.  
With thanks,
MCS Administration
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FLOOD/SCHOOL CLOSURE UPDATE

Dear MCS Parents,
 
We wanted to share a quick update about how things are progressing here at the school.  Most of the staff have been here cleaning, taking inventory of damaged or ruined materials, and moving materials in preparation for Monday.  There is a lot of cleaning to do still before the materials can be taken to the church (our official temporary location) and the classrooms there prepared.  
 
Thank you again to all who have offered to come to the school to help.  There are already a lot of staff who are here trying to work around the cleaning staff so we do not feel we can direct many more hands.  Thank you for the kind offers. We have been informed that there are families who are still looking for child care for their children.  If you are willing to help in this capacity please let us know and we will try to get you in touch with families who are still searching for child care.  
 
The following updates might be helpful:
  • We've had another confirmation that we are not dealing with sewage or pesticide contaminants. There are no microbial issues and the water does not pose any health risk.  The water that flooded the school contained soil, dirt, bark, etc. but the word "contamination" in this sense simply means the items are dirty.  
  • We are still waiting for information about the boiler repairs. There is nothing new to report and the boiler is not currently working.
  • Our power has been restored. (YAY! Light has been very helpful.)
  • The road outside the school is torn up and is closed at both ends of the block.  We are hopeful that they will lay new asphalt on Thursday or Friday and the road should open over the weekend.
Keep checking Facebook, the website, and email for updates.  
 
Many people have asked how they can make financial contributions.  If you would like to make a donation please go to our website (www.mcsslc.com) and visit "Flood Relief Fund." 
 
 
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MCS SCHOOL CLOSURE

Dear MCS Parents,

Thank you all for your ongoing support. We are grateful for all of the offers of help and assistance. The cleaning crew is still here and they are asking that we stay out of their way while they clean, sanitize and move furniture in preparation for the building repairs. We appreciate everyone's willingness and ask for your continued patience as we determine our needs. If/when we determine that there is a way for parents to assist us we will let you know.

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Early Childhood Commences Outdoor Classroom

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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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Creativity in Montessori

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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.

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