Spreading Peace










Last week our school community shared in the beautiful gift of celebrating peace as a community and as part of a world-wide event. Each member of our school, from the tiniest toddler to the tallest elementary student, joined together on the field to sing "Light a Candle for Peace."  Then, our elementary students sang "What a Wonderful World" and one of our elementary teachers, Christian, spoke to our students briefly about sharing compassion around the world.  He invited the students to imagine a mirror that allows them to look at themselves full of love and compassion, then invited them to turn that mirror and extend the same love to their friends, their family, their community, their city, their state, their country and, finally, to the entire world.  As stewards over these each of these beautiful little humans, we take great joy and responsibility in the privilege and responsibility of teaching peace to...
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PSA Green Committee



Our Green Committee is a great way to support Green Initiatives around the school.  If you are interested in being part of our Green Committee, please contact our PSA.Enjoy these great pictures of Uinta students who rode their bikes to school today!  Three cheers for alternative transportation!When the weather is fine and the construction is clear…we ride!  
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Creating a Place for Peace

“Find a time and place of solitude.
Look into the distance and into the future.
Visualize the tomorrow you are going to build;
and begin to build that tomorrow, today.”
-Jonathan Lockwood Huie


As part of our Peace Curriculum that is incorporated into our monthly studies at MCS, this month each of the classes is engaged in a study of creating space for Peace as we prepare to celebrate International Peace Day on September 21st and in honor of Maria Montessori’s extensive work in the field of Peace Education. Studies show that a preventative curriculum that promotes communication, community and self-advocacy is more effective than a punishing approach to bullying in schools. Ours is a program that we expect will follow our students far beyond their structured educational experience. We hope for and assist children in the development of skills of peaceful conflict resolution, gaining respect for peers and incorporating communal advocacy, taking in to account the needs of a community and how one’s behavior affects another, and establishing a lifetime of self advocacy, self love and self respect.

Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of educators. ~Maria Montessori
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The Uninterrupted Work Cycle - The Basics of Success

A Montessori teacher put it this way: "Protect the three-hour work period with your life! It's one of the most important ingredients in our method."


Parents!  Exciting things are happening around here.  Already, we are beginning to see the inklings of classrooms running like well-oiled machines.  Below you will find a very meaningful article about the uninterrupted work cycle.  While this sounds like more fancy Montessori-esque language, it has great meaning in a successful Montessori environment.  This is the place where the students natural instincts to find meaningful learning experiences is most honored to prepare the child for future learning opportunities.  This is where one child's need for movement is given as much respect and space as another child's need for full concentration on a task.  This is where Montessori shines like a bright star in a sky full of educational opportunities for kiddos.  I hope you'll take just a few short minutes to read below and learn why we want so badly for your child to arrive to school on time each and every day and what great opportunities this important beginning of day time has to offer your child.

Warmly,
Britney



"When the children had completed an absorbing bit of work,
they appeared rested and deeply pleased."
—Maria Montessori (author), Paul Oswald (editor),
Basic Ideas of Montessori's Educational Theory


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3105 Hits

The Story of the Universe - Adventures in Lower Elementary

There are a lot of things for our Lower Elementary students to get excited about this time of year!  The tall slide on the playground, the Native American flute, their upcoming trip to the Utah State Fair, and math exercises using materials that span CLEAR across the Lower Elementary hallway are just a few of them.  My personal favorite, though, are the Great Lessons that start the school year.  Great Lessons are aimed at the elementary students vivid use of imagination, one of their very best attributes -wouldn't you say,  to get them thinking about some of the big questions in life. Where did humans come from?  Why does the earth rotate?  Who made up language? 

There are a total of five Great Lessons and they are used to introduce the year's studies of history, geography, botany, zoology, science, language and math in the LE program.  Not only are they important in inspiring the child's imagination and investing them in the importance of various subjects they can look forward to studying, but they are memorable, too!  Having the opportunity to hear these stories three different times in their LE cycle allows students to consider them from various perspectives.  

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A Special Invitation to our MCS Community


MCS Families,Our Aspens Community Builders have arranged the event below for their first Community Building event.  They have extended the invitation school-wide!The Voice Area of the School of Music invites you to a unique outdoor experience on Presidents Circle on September 22nd at 4:10. Twenty-two of our School’s talented singers, as well as internationally acclaimed pianist Jed Moss, will present A Musical Menagerie, Animals in Song. The hour-long voice recital will include works performed in English and will feature songs about farm animals, dogs, cockroaches, frogs, snakes, worms, microbes, crows, and even warthogs. Second Chance for Homeless Pets will join us, and best of all, our outdoor space is family and animal friendly! Please join us on the lawn for a beautiful afternoon in late September celebrating and surrounded by the animals we love.
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1431 Hits

We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.


We are looking forward to the opportunity for our Early Childhood parents to participate in the ThroughPlay study through the University of Utah.  MCS parents can expect to receive a link to the questionnaire via email shortly.  Completion of the questionnaire is a prerequisite to receiving an invitation to the presentation mentioned above.MCS will offer child care to our families.  If you plan to attend this presentation and are interested in child care here at MCS, please email Britney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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1450 Hits

Illness Policy - Tis the season....


The beginning of a new school year can bring many wonderful new things; new friends, new classroom works and new routines are just a few of my favorites.  Unfortunately, new illnesses tend to make an exuberant appearance as well.  While we understand that illness at home can impact schedules and routines (for both parents and children) we want to urge each of you to read up on and abide by our illness policy here at MCS. We will do our part here at school to try to minimize the spread of illness by encouraging lots of hand washing and nose blowing (and then more hand washing) and by sending children and staff home when they are ill.  We ask that you each support us by following the illness policy set forth in our parent handbooks and as listed below so that we might minimize the spread of illness to our students...
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Great Summer Reading....Teaching Kids Empathy


I happened upon this lovely little post from Tinybop this morning that shares the most wonderful list of children's books that teach empathy.  These are hard times and an important time to teach our kids how to handle the world's turmoil in a healthy way.  What a great summer read!  13 kids books to spark conversations about empathyLately, it seems like every other day, we turn on the news or open up our social media to find that another tragedy has occurred. Each time we’re faced with these events, we may be overcome with sadness, frustration, and hopelessness. But in these times, it’s important to have conversations with the children around us about inclusion and empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s what helps us connect to other humans, and what makes us better humans. You may be surprised to learn that empathy isn’t an...
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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 skillsTo develop self-disciplineTo develop a sense of personal responsibilityTo develop independenceTo develop initiativeTo discover their passionsTo develop a lifetime love of learingTo 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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2569 Hits

Parents, Stop Feeling That Everything You Do Is Wrong


“You should look down at the rocks and make sure they never crash against them, and prepare them to ride the waves.”Dr. Kenneth GinsburgLet's be honest, this parenting gig doesn't come with a description of roles and responsibilities that make it completely clear what is expected at all times.  Giving our absolute dedication and best effort just doesn't look the same from day to day (or moment to moment!)  Throw your hands up (or hide in shame) if you have ever ended the day thinking "I am an awful person...my child probably went to bed thinking how awful I am and they don't feel safe and they don't feel happy and I've ruined everything."  Just me?  Didn't think so.This article really spoke to me in terms of how we can (and should) give ourselves a break.  News flash - we are raising our kiddos to be humans.  Giving them human experience,...
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1697 Hits

Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet


Childhood passions that seem like fads, sometimes even totally unproductive, could be mediums for experiencing the virtuous cycle of curiosity: discovering, trying, failing and growing.A Montessori education is designed to provide a love of learning and to give children the means to find the information they need.  We hope to instill a passion for knowledge and the confidence to seek understanding. We provide avenues for curiosity about this big, beautiful world and all it takes to make it tick.  Our objective is to give children the tools they need to follow any dream they may have.  The reality is, they probably won't choose a career and spend an entire lifetime at it....thats just not how the world is turning anymore.  This really fun article shows one perspective on preparing our kids for what (might be) to come!
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1576 Hits

United as Parents


We, unfortunately, missed the opportunity on June 1 to honor all parents around the globe for the "Global Day of Parents."  I found this short blog post on Montessorium very sweet as the things that unite us as parents and that we likely all have in common included:1. A sense of wonder at bringing a new life into the world.2. Joy in the small, daily accomplishments of a child.3. Trepidation about the responsibility parenthood brings.4. Hope for their child’s future.5. A desire to see their family grow in health and happiness.And so, just a few weeks late but with extra attention due to the heartache and disunion going on around the world, I feel inclined to stand as a global citizen and honor my fellow parents throughout the world.  Keep shining,Britney
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1586 Hits

"Establishing lasting peace is the work of education..."








"Everyone talks about peace but no one educates for peace. In this world, they educate for competition, and competition is the beginning of any war. When we educate to cooperate and be in solidarity with one another, that day we will be educating for peace.” María Montessori Each year MCS staff and students decorate peace flags, share a peace walk through our campus, and hang a peace dove in our gardens as a way to support, honor, and celebrate peace on earth. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times, Dr. Montessori was a strong advocate for peace. She firmly believed that the education of children was the key to future peace. Her vision was the reconstruction of society and formation of world peace through education. A teacher walks with Toddler students past our Outdoor Classroom where the student's peace flags have been hung. Upper Elementary students prepare to carry the Peace Dove...
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  "....doing the right thing for the right reason is an amazing accomplishment all its own."


One of the reasons that a Montessori education has been such a great fit for my own children is that they are given space to make mistakes.  I can honestly say that the greatest opportunities for learning in my own life have been the result of a mistake.  Of course, some were big, some were small.  Some I could identify immediately as a mistake and others revealed themselves as mistakes long past the time I could do anything about them.  Some I can look back on and laugh while others bring a sense of pity and regret.  All that said, the humility that comes with making mistakes and the courage required to step up and try again have been my best parenting (and LIFE) tools so far.  Below is an interesting read from Edward Fidellow about how a Montessori environment builds self-esteem and the beauty in making mistakes. Montessori and the real...
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Competition in Montessori


As the mother of 3 very healthy sons, competition is a large part of the parenting challenges that I face on a regular basis.  How do I teach my children to be healthy competitors (always striving to be their best selves) and still celebrate the accomplishments of others?  Montessori is a great environment for children to learn a nice balance of respecting and appreciating their peer group while knowing what it takes to push themselves.  Enjoy this article by Edward Fidellow on Competition in the Montessori environment. Competition in Montessori? Well, No! Which is it? Is there competition in the Montessori classroom or not? Well – yes and no! Let’s examine the “No” first. There is no formal institutionalized competition in the Montessori philosophy because Montessori is about your child not about your child in competition with others. Your child is not competing with any one else. Nor is your child competing for stars...
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4003 Hits

Teaching Children "Soft Skills"


While the ultimate goal of parenting is to prepare these little humans to be successful, happy, and fulfilled adults it seems that more and more, parents are taking the opportunity away for their children to develop the skills necessary to accomplish goals of lifelong success, happiness and fulfillment.  The terms "helicopter parenting" and "overprotective" become more and more frequent and, as an educator I have seen the negative impact of this shift on my students over the years.  As a mom, though, I am mostly unsure how to avoid it.  I want to give my kiddos every opportunity and worry that the things they miss will have a great impact.  This article by Peter Davidson (Mariamontessori.com) is really wonderful in reminding us that "soft skills" are the things our kiddos really need in their tool box to successfully and confidently pursue lives of happiness and fulfillment (let alone be successful college students!)Happy...
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2599 Hits

Parenting Young Children through Fear


The things we hope to teach our children seem to be countless and I have discovered that just when I think I have overcome one parenting hurdle, immediately following that nice pat on the back, I find another hurdle standing in my way.  Fortunately, we live in a day and age where accessing helpful information can be so easy.  While it can be hard to rifle through all the information that is available and decipher the good information from the bad information, as long as we stick to our guiding set of principles, we can find some truth and some support in a variety of wonderful places.  I always like to share some of my favorites...especially from the list of things that we never even realize we will face as parents. Children's fears are ongoing.  How do we teach our children self-soothing, positive self-talk, how to recognize their true feelings, and, most...
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Parent Education Night - Preparing for Adolescence


MCS Parents,Please join us for Parent Education Night next Tuesday, March 8th, from 6:30-8pm. Child care will be available but must be signed up for in advance. There is a sign up sheet in the office.Melissa DeVries, Ph.D, MCS School Psychologist and parent will be talking about adolescence...because its never too early to prepare. Below is an excerpt from Melissa about her upcoming presentation.“We should be like lighthouses for our children—beacons of light on a stable shoreline from which they can safely navigate the world. We must make certain they don’t crash against the rocks, but trust they have the capacity to learn to ride the waves on their own.” –-Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed, FAAP Adolescence is a uniquely challenging, yet rewarding period of development for both parents and teens. Teens are trying to find the answer to “who am I?” by striving for more independence, seeking new experiences....
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7 Ways to Raise Kind Children


Am I the only one who finds themselves getting tripped up with this parenting gig sometimes? I believe firmly in the "village" approach because, quite frankly, I can't possibly teach my children every lesson I would like them to learn and my own example sometimes (okay, maybe often is a better word) falters in its ability to send the right message.  This article on AltHealth Works by Yelena Sukhoterina spoke to me and I hope that it will have a similar affect on you. As adults we know that the attributes listed in the article below can be really hard to achieve but I think that childhood is the perfect time to start learning them, while our children have a soft spot to land, and the people who love them most to catch them, should they make a mistake.  Enjoy,BritneyMany of us were hoping that our high-tech lives would make parenting easier – apps for tablets...
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