Notes From the Nest 9-24-14

peter@brightwatermontessori.org

612-302-3410

http://www.brightwatermontessori.org/

Dear Eagle’s Nest Parents,

Highlights from this week:

  • Thursday is the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish new year. I will  be out of school on Thursday in observance of this holiday. Shanah Tovah !(Happy New Year in Hebrew). Our substitute teacher will be Ms. Nancy, a teacher with Montessori training who has subbed at BWE in the past.
  • Friday is our field trip to the MN history Center. In the morning we will attend a show by the Black Story Tellers Alliance. We will stay at the Museum and view the exhibits in the afternoon and return by 3:30. Details are on the permission slip that came home yesterday.
  • http://www.blackstorytellers.com/schoolconcerts.html
  • http://www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/
  • Spanish Instruction started this week. Ms. Nuria has been showing small groups a slide show about the country of Spain, where she is from.
  • Music Instruction by El Sistema Starts on Oct 7th.
  • We read two great books this week: One about a boy who counts over 4 million things, the other about the life of Dizzy Gillespie. More info on the website…..
  • Monday was picture day. In about 2 weeks, order forms will come home and you can decide which photos you want to buy. We took individual and whole class photos.
  • We have recess twice a day but it’s never more than 40 minutes total ( like every other class) . Research shows that physical activity stimulates the brain. Our assigned recess time is 3:00-3:40 but I find that a short 10 minute recess after lunch from 12:30-12:40 helps children last through the afternoon. This midday recess will probably change as we get into winter and music lessons.

I Love Books:  9/24/14  Need some good books? Hennepin County frequently sells children’s (and other great books) for 25 cents to $1! The sales are roughly every 3 months.  Roosevelt Library Saturday, Oct. 18, 10a.m.–3 p.m. 4026 28th Ave. S.Minneapolis, 55406 612-543-6700 http://www.hclib.org/pub/events/BookSales.cfm

Curriculum:

Focus: Biology and Research

I read a book by Marion Wright Edelman a long time ago, The Measure of Our Success.

In that book, she explains that when she was a child, her dad would ask her to “assign herself” some homework. So, in addition, to the weekly reading and writing homework, I encourage children to pursue their own passions at home. All the children seem to be buzzing about biology lately. Sunny just molted yesterday and I gathered a small mixed group of 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders to do some observation and follow up study. The Betas are continuing to delve into zoology. Gammas are studying Botany and Alphas are learning the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates. Ask them to find their backbone!

If children want to do internet research from home, please check the website. There are a few resources there under students: https://bwmsen.wordpress.com/students/

More on website….

Notes from the PTO and Jenny Bolling:

Families!  Our next PTO meeting/Parent Ed event is on Monday, October 13 at 5:30pm.  It is a BIG one – this is your chance to have an effect on the future of Bright Water.  We are going to discuss strategic planning for the school and look to see what the next years hold for us.  It will be a unique opportunity to get to know your fellow parents and where they think our school should head.  Please remember to RSVP to Jenny at jfriendbolling@gmail.com.  Click now and be done with it!!  It will help us plan for food and chairs – also doubly important, CHILDCARE.  Please let me know the names and ages of your children who will be needing care.  There will be a main dish, and Eagle’s Nest is responsible for side dishes.  DON’T MISS IT!

Eagle’s Nest Families – Here’s the story about the side dishes.  Think salads, fruit, appetizers, dessert.  If you are attending the meeting, please come a few minutes early and bring your dish with you.  We set up the food downstairs outside preschool extended day.  If you are unable to attend, please leave your food in the staff break room (also on the lower level just past Children’s House Three) either on the counter or in the refrigerator.  Please label clearly for PTO.  Thank you – this helps makes these meetings possible for everyone rushing from work with children to get here – it is truly a special component!

“Parents!  We have nailed down two dates to create our paper violins for El Sistema.  We will meet at the school on Wednesday, October 1 and Thursday, October 2 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.  Thank you to everyone who signed up – I will send out personal reminders as we get closer.  BUT all families are welcome to join us – whether or not you have signed up.

There were a few families that offered to cut out pieces at home.  El Sistema is going to drop off pieces at the main office, and I will let you know when it has arrived.  Questions?  Contact Jenny at jfriendbolling@gmail.com.”

Dizzy Gillespie

We read two great books this week.

We have started the routine of independent reading with an introduction to type of book or “genre”. We read aloud Dizzy by Jonah Winer as an introduction to Biography….and Bebop. We also read aloud 4,962,571 by Trevor Eissler and Ruth Chung , “ This book delightfully captures the Montessori goal of children not only coming up with questions on their own, but also figuring out how to answer them. Zach s curiosity and inventiveness, as well as his joy in his self-directed learning, are true hallmarks of Montessori education… –Marcy Krever, American Montessori Society” We used it as inspiration for setting difficult goals and working hard and flexibly to achieve our dreams.

IMG_0417

Here’s more on Dizzy and Bebop:

http://www.amazon.com/Dizzy-Jonah-Winter/dp/0439507375/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411529538&sr=1-1&keywords=dizzy

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDZb0aPI4xo

Assign Yourself!

I read a book by Marion Wright Edelman a long time ago,

http://www.amazon.com/Measure-Our-Success-Letter-Children/dp/0060975466/ref=la_B000APHO0Y_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411522254&sr=1-1

In that book, she explains that when she was a child, her dad would ask her to “assign herself” some homework. So in addition to the weekly reading and writing homework, I encourage children to pursue their own passions at home. All the children seem to be buzzing about biology lately. Sunny just molted yesterday and I gathered a small mixed group of 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders to do some observation and follow up study. The Betas have are continuing to delve into zoology. Gammas are studying Botany and Alphas are learning the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates. Ask them to find their backbone!

If children want to do internet research from home, please check the website. There are a few resources there under students: https://bwmsen.wordpress.com/students/

“The second lesson is: to assign yourself. My Daddy couldn’t stand to see us unengaged in constructive work. And he used to ask us when we had come home from school: did the teacher give you any homework? If we’d say no, he’d say: well assign yourself some. Don’t wait around for your boss or your friends or teachers to direct you to so what you’re able to figure out and do for yourself. And don’t do just as little as you can to get by. And as you grow up and become citizens…please don’t be a political bystander and grumbler. I really hope every one of you will register to vote and vote every time. A democracy is not a spectator sport. And if you see a need please don’t ask: “why somebody doesn’t do something” ask “why don’t I do something?” Initiative and persistence are still the non-magic carpets to success for most of us.”

Marion wright edelman assign yourself: http://www.myhero.com/hero.asp?hero=edelman_speech

Notes from the Nest, September 10th, 2014

peter@brightwatermontessori.org

612-302-3410

http://www.brightwatermontessori.org/

Dear Eagle’s Nest Parents,

Highlights from this week:

New Eagle’s Nest Classroom Blog. The New Eagle’s Nest Website and Blog will be up this weekend. I wanted a format that was versatile and easily readable on mobile phones (because it seems like many parents would like to view the site on their phone). I appreciate your patience. I’ll send an e-mail this Saturday when the new site goes live.

Homework will remain the same this week. I want to give it a few weeks and see how it goes. If you have feedback about homework completion, please let me know. Attached is information about weekly homework.

Gammas (3rd graders) will start Common Core Math 4 Today workbooks on Monday. More information, including a link to the workbooks on Amazon, will be available on the classroom website. This workbook will be completed in school as part of their morning routine. This is a practice and idea that I got from Ms. Megan in Fox Den. Thanks, Ms. Megan!

Rationale: Montessori does an excellent job of preparing children for Math for life but I want to make sure they are familiar with the topic and format of questions for the MCA and other standardized tests. This is one way the Daily Math review can act as a control of error for our work in the classroom.

Social Justice Curriculum thus far:

Eagle’s Nest had some insightful comments during our discussion on Needs vs. Wants this week. Everyone agreed on the following needs: food, water, and shelter. What do your children want? Well, here’s a small sample:  “I want a BMW! I want to own the mall of America, I want an Xbox One!” As our discussion progresses on this topic, I hope to refine our definition of what we really, really want. For our first discussion on this very sophisticated topic, I was satisfied that most children seemed clear on the difference between need and want: We need food, we want candy.

Healthy Lunch expectation: Speaking of Needs and Wants, here is a review of our school lunch policy from parent handbook:

We care about your child’s health and diet. We commit to offering your children healthy snacks and meals daily. We have fresh fruits and vegetables daily and a caterer who provides a well- balanced lunch and breakfast daily. We ask that Toddler and Children’s House parents partake in the school lunch program. Elementary students may bring a healthy well balanced meal. We discourage pop, candy, chips, fast food, lunch-ables and sugary items.”

Children may want candy and pop but they need healthy foods. Any candy and pop brought to school will be sent back home with the child for them to consume at the parents’ discretion.

NEWS: We have a new pet!

Thanks to Logan’s family for the new hermit crab.

Note we need the following items for Sunny the Turtle and our new Hermit Crab:

Distilled water for hermit crabs, new filter/pump for turtle tank.

Notes from the PTO and Jenny Bolling:

“The Ice Cream Social is rapidly approaching – if your house is like my house, there’s a countdown of days going on until Friday!  Yes, it’s this Friday, September 12 from 4:15 to 5:45pm.  We will gather in front of the school for treats, play and conversation.  There will be ice cream and gluten/dairy-free options.  If you can, please bring ice cream toppings or a healthy snack to share.  Let’s lay down a Bright Water challenge this year to talk to three people you don’t know – see how their school year is going!”

“El Sistema is on its way!  It’s time for us to prepare the paper violins for the K-3 graders. In order to be ready for the start of music classes on October 7, we’ll need 10-15 parents to help cut out the pieces for the paper violins and to construct the bodies. We’ll need to do this over two nights: one night to cut-out all the pieces and to papier-mâché the bodies, and a second night to paint the bodies and finish any cutting of the smaller pieces.  Here is the link for the poll to figure out when we could get the most participation:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e48abab2aabfc1-lets.  Please sign up for ALL the nights for which you are available.  We will then pick TWO nights where we have to most people signed up and let everyone know.  You’ll also have an opportunity to sign up at the Ice Cream Social on Friday.”

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