The Albrook School--Montessori at its best
The Albrook School--The Albrook School--Montessori at its best

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, May 12th
APA Meeting
Friday, May 14th
Elementary Play
(Video Production)
Tuesday, May 18th
Spirit Day - Last day for Pizza
Friday, May 21st
Early Dismissal 11:30-11:45am
Teachers Appreciation Luncheon
Monday, May 31st
School Closed-
Memorial Day

Albrook News

In-Person Campus Tours

The Albrook School is offering In-Person Campus Tours by appointment only. Our In-Person Campus Tours is located in the Our Campus section of our web. For quick access, please click on the link Our Campus. April 2021 Almanac

International Day

By Mrs. Mulvihill

International Day is a beloved tradition here at The Albrook School. It celebrates our similarities as one human race and shows the beauty of the differences in our cultures and communities. Although this year we could not perform as we usually would, the children could still bring this joy through the gift of song, music, and dance.

Interantional Day

Throughout the year, the children learned the songs and dances while having fun at our weekly group sing and music lessons in the afternoon. The preschool students learned five different folk songs and sang in six other languages: English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Nigerian, and Russian! The Kindergarteners were dressed in traditional cultural outfits while introducing the songs as well. The cultures and customs of the different countries were discussed during class time so that the children gained a complete understanding of what it means to be from another country.

The elementary students, led by Ms. Crawford, studied the countries of Asia and each class performed a song from an Asian country. Not only did the elementary students lend their voices to the performance, but they also played recorders and even participated in a traditional dance!

Hearing the children singing together as one was perhaps more impactful this year than any other. The Albrook students have once again proven that even though we might be socially distancing with our person, there is no social distancing the spirit. Their voices, powerfully and joyfully, reached right through our computers and into our hearts and homes. We hope you enjoyed this year's International Day!

Spring Fun-raiser Class Art Projects

By Mrs. Koster

art project

Every year the children in each class work together to create a Class Art Project auctioned off as a fundraiser for the Albrook Parents Association (APA). Each project takes its inspiration from the school's yearly theme which is woven into the classroom curriculum. This year's theme is "Every Action Matters" and the classroom teachers have carefully selected books that have been read and discussed with the class as a whole. These books were then used as the inspiration for the Class Art Projects.

In collaboration with our art teacher Sra. Zarate, Ms. Karin Perrin (mother of Ines and Anna) and volunteer parents, the teachers came up with ideas for their class projects. Under the guidance of their teachers, the children all had a hand in contributing their special touch to these pieces that have resulted in truly unique and beautiful creations.

The masterpieces that the children produced will be put on display for all to see before the online auction starts. In addition to the Class Art Projects, the popular "Priceless Gifts" offered by the staff of Albrook will be auctioned as well. The APA will use all the proceeds from the online auction to help support the mission of the Albrook School supporting our children for years to come.

Below is a list of books each class read prior to completing the art project in case you wish to read these books at home. All of the finished projects are fun, easily used in your home, and colorful! The projects include a dresser, mosaic tables, a beautiful planter, a welcome mat, a shelf unit, a decorated table, a mirror, and a storage bench hand-made by Mrs. Tarangul's husband. Feast your eyes on the accompanying pictures to see a sneak peek of all the class art projects. Keep your eye out for the email with the auction link on Friday, April 30 at 10am. The auction will run through Monday, May 3 at 8pm.

Upper Elementary - Renoir: Fish for Jimmy, Katie Yamasaki
Upper Elementary - Degas: Lailah's Lunchbox, Reem Faruqi
Lower Elementary - Yeats: The Lorax, Dr. Seuss
Lower Elementary – Kandinsky: Wangari's Trees of Peace, Jeanette Winter
Miro: I am Human, Susan Verde
O'Keeffe: In Your Shoes, Kristin Johnson
Homer: All are Welcome, Alexandra Panfold and Suzanne Kaufman
Van Gogh: Say Something, Peter H. Reynolds
Stepping Stones: Some Bugs, Angela Diterlizzi

92 Years Young

By Anita Albers

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

On April 17, 2021, I celebrated my 92nd birthday. After school returned from spring break on Monday, April 19, all the children gathered in pods to celebrate with me. Each class was scheduled to shower me with love and sing Happy Birthday as I journeyed around the school to greet each class. Afterward, I enjoyed a delicious cake with the staff. There was nothing but pure joy in my heart after hearing all of the sweet voices singing. Before retiring to bed, I sat down to enjoy another piece of birthday cake, and I read every note and card expressing pure love. I appreciated each child's creative and artistic way of expressing their good wishes. My heart indeed is full of joy and love. Thank you all for taking the time to help me celebrate my birthday!

Black History Month

The Yeats Classroom

As part of our peace and anti-bias curriculum, the Yeats class focused on the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy. We highlighted Dr. King's peaceful protests for change and how one individual can make a difference. The realities of racism and segregation were studied using age-appropriate stories that included accounts of the experience of African Americans and other people of color in the past and present.

These ideas were reduced to basic practices as we role-played what bias might look like in our classroom. "Snack is available for those with brown eyes today!" "Anyone with blonde hair may play on the soccer field." Trite, these examples might seem. However, they were one practical aspect of our approach. Indeed, our explorations of these possibilities rendered excellent discussions and increased awareness of how differences are perceived and how these can and have been exploited.

What are bias, prejudice, and racism? We continue to explore and address these issues in our community routinely. For example, in our subsequent studies, we focused on the stories of other individuals who made their mark in significant and historical ways in the quest for racial equality and equal opportunities for all. We noted the contributions of Harriet Tubman as well as Rosa Parks and George Washington Carver. Our focus also shifted to more modern figures of African American accomplishments such as Dorothy Vaughan and Misty Copeland, and Simone Biles. There were many examples of people of color that we highlighted and researched as part of our anti-bias curriculum.

Our studies are a work in progress, but that is the point! They provide a template for further exploration of the issues at hand through the Montessori curriculum, highlighting that all humans' fundamental needs are the same. A daily clarion call for Montessorians! All are equal! Yet individuals.

Upper Elementary

Throughout the year, students have explored racism and other forms of discrimination through interactive activities, literature and discussion. For example, some students are reading Roll of a Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor.

February is Black History Month, the annual celebration of African American history, contributions, and achievements. The O'Keeffe class students learned about Garrett Morgan, an inventor and newspaperman. Morgan patented a traffic signal in 1923. After witnessing an accident at an intersection, Morgan created a traffic control device having a third "warning" position, the ancestor of today's yellow light. Morgan also invented a "safety hood", to make polluted air more breathable. The invention was an early version of the gas masks later used in World War I.

2021 Luna New Year: Ushering in the Year of the Ox

Year of the Ox

Dress for Success at The Albrook School

Some of our lower elementary students decided to set up a dress code for the remainder of the school year. Monday is casual dress, Tuesday is business attire, Wednesday is comfy tie-dye, Thursday is flippy shirt day, and Friday rounds off the week with another day of business attire.

When asked, "What inspired you to design this dress code?" there response was a resounding "The Musical Recital".

Two of our students enjoyed dressing up and decided to initiate a calendar for dress. They've inspired others and set a standard. Well done, young men.

Getting students involved in all aspects of their own development is what Montessori is all about. What may seem like a simple activity, actually involved collaboration, decision making, planning, agreement, and follow through. All groundwork for future projects and teamwork. This plan was conceived and executed by the students themselves. Upon completion, they were proud to share their plan with administration. The pride represented in the pictures speak volumes.

Every Action Matters in the Miro Classroom

This year The Albrook School has taken on the mantra, "Every action matters." However, explaining this to a young preschool student can be pretty interesting. We have planted seeds in the classroom and taken turns watering them and helping them grow, just as kind words and friendship help us grow. In the Miro class, we have been working on kindness and patience as our actions impact everyone and everything around us.

At the beginning of the year, we teach the children that their environment is wholly theirs, and it is part of their responsibility to take care of it. They learn that if something is out of place or spills, they can take it upon themselves to get a cleaning caddy and clean it up. It is human nature to make mistakes, but it is in how we handle those mistakes that make us who we are.

In that vein, we teach the children to take responsibility for their actions. We utilize the peace rose in our classroom to settle disagreements that arise. One child will get the peace rose from the shelf and bring it to another, stating how they feel and why they are upset. The other child then has an opportunity to respond. This starts a healthy dialogue between the children that help peacefully resolve conflicts.

As the school year has progressed, we have observed the children reaching out to each other when someone needs help. If a pencil box spills on the ground, you can hear the screech of chairs as the other children rush to help him/her pick up their belongings. They have fully embraced the mantra of, "Every action matters."

Upper Elementary Service Projects "Every Action Matters"

The Upper Elementary students were asked to create a service project in conjunction with our yearly goal, "Every Action Matters." This was quite an undertaking on their part and the hands-on experience provided an effective measure of exactly how one person's efforts can impact many. Below are some examples of the student's work and the outcome of their service project.

I am a fourth grader at The Albrook School. For my community service project, I taught some third graders how to become a better singer via Google Meet, and I did a workshop on Zoom. I did this a couple months ago, and I am very happy that I have helped people.

I made a Google slide presentation about Antarctica melting and what it looks like there right now. I also showed what the animals are having to deal with while the ice is melting. I made this at the Albrook Montessori School. My class and I were doing a project. I decided to do my subject on Antarctica and about the dangers of the ozone layer. I also did some research about the animals and their living conditions due to climate change. I made it because I want the world to be happy and healthy for the time left that I'm alive and to hopefully make the world last a few more billion, trillion, and quadrillion, quintillion years longer. I made a fundraising campaign for the A.S.F Antarctic Science Foundation and raised $2,170.

I too am an Upper Elementary student, and I did a unicycle fundraiser to raise money for the Union County Food Bank. I rode a 5k on my unicycle. I did this on February 20th 2021. I was doing a service project for a school thing. I am so happy that my Albrook teachers encouraged me to do it. I did the 5k around my neighborhood, and people sent me pledges. I raised 1,100 dollars. That makes 3,300 meals.

Albrook Food Drive Thanks


We live in a world in which we need to share responsibiltiy. It's easy to say "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem." Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.

—Fred Rogers

Expanded Programs at Albrook

Stepping Stones Plus

Spring has come and Stepping Stones Plus friends are excited about blooming flowers, flying butterflies and beautiful sunshine. We enjoy spending time outside watching daffodils in our garden and exploring nature. We love planting seeds and taking care of our indoor greenery. We also enjoy indoor activities, such as mindful lessons, yoga, and fun art projects. We enjoy music, dancing, and reading together. That helps us develop a community spirit. We develop many self-help skills and good eating habits throughout the year and we explore new things every day.

We love Stepping Stones Plus and we are looking forward to a fun-filled summer.

Preschool

It is springtime!
Expanded friends are so happy to be outdoors in our amazing playgrounds after such a long winter. Being outside has a special power of healing through nature; it helps them to develop their senses, social skills and physical movement.

Just looking at their smiling faces, makes us realize how blessed we are to be part of the Albrook family.

Elementary

The Elementary Expanded Care Program is filled with activities. We begin our session with snack, followed by 30 to 40 minutes of silent homework. Next, weather permitting it's outside time. When we are indoors we have games galore, which we rotate. The gym has been an excellent place to hold our session as we have access to lots of equipment. We even have a suggestion box for new ideas! We are eager to help, for example, we packed bags for the backpack program. You may have heard about our special snack day. On Fridays the children get toast. It may not sound like much but the children love it!

Inspiring Every Action Matters in Upper Elementary

By Ms. Vazaios and Mrs. Lipman

"If we are among the men of good will who yearn for peace, we must lay the foundation for peace ourselves, by working for the social world of the child."International Montessori Congress, 1937

Dr. Montessori was a passionate advocate for peace education who aimed to change society one child at a time. In Education for Peace, she envisioned "The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind." With this goal in mind, we have reflected on our annual goal of Every Action Matters and have taken time to better frame out and expand our SEL/anti-bias curriculum with a goal of improving the social world of children within our upper elementary class communities.

Research on the benefits of SEL (Social/Emotional Learning) programs is well documented. Students who are fortunate to be at school with dedicated SEL programs display better social emotional skills, attitudes and behavior; additionally, they are more academically engaged and test better. The Anti-Defamation League, signifies that this transformation can happen through education, remarking that "anti-bias education engages students in the exploration of social problems and empowers them to take active steps to create a more just and peaceful world, where all groups share equal access to opportunity and every person can flourish ( ADL, 2016, p. 12).

Empowered by these ideas, we have created weekly lessons and experiences based on the 5 CASEL competencies: self- awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and decision making. We felt that these competencies beautifully complemented Montessori philosophy and both our school's mission and vision statements.

Albrook's Mission Statement

The Albrook School, guided by Montessori philosophy, cultivates the joy of learning in a caring, peaceful environment.

  • We partner with parents to empower each child to be independent, responsible, respectful, confident and intellectually curious.
  • Our focus is to develop the whole child intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically.
  • We value independent thinking, creative problem solving and collaboration.
  • We challenge each child to be innovative, globally aware and technologically capable.
  • We support and inspire our teachers to continually evolve professionally.

Albrook's Vision Statement

The Albrook School is dedicated to cultivating a learning environment where each student is academically engaged and develops self-confidence, resilience, empathy, integrity, and independent thinking resulting in respectful global citizens who work collaboratively and love to learn.

At the beginning of the year, students worked to better identify and express their emotions based on a curriculum from Zones of Regulation. Developing empathy and recognizing others' feelings is a key skill that is developed through this curriculum, too. Students also have had the opportunity to strengthen their executive functioning skills through lessons and activities related to metacognition, planning, flexibility, self-regulation, impulse control and attention. By recognizing their strengths and areas to improve, students were able to improve their self-awareness and self-management. These lessons, in turn, helped to build self-esteem and improve relationships with others.

We have also implemented lessons related to our anti-bias curriculum including large group discussions on racism. These lessons often involve a spectrogram activity in which each student physically shares his or her point of view on a statement. One can stand up tall to show agreement, sit on the ground for disagreement, or place his/her body somewhere in between (on a spectrum). Students are then invited to explain their points of view. Through these activities, we have evaluated numerous situations and actions, questioning whether or not they should be considered racist. We have also used the spectrogram to evaluate statements on racism in general and help gain a better understanding of the topic.

One of the Upper Elementary classroom highlights is our annual December tradition of "Secret Friend". This beloved week includes students performing kind deeds, speaking thoughtful words and making a homemade gift that the recipient will appreciate. Students really appreciated having a chance to see how "Every Action Matters" during the holiday season!

An integral part of Montessori education is for students to have self-directed learning experiences. This past month, students were able to explore a topic of interest to them. It was a pleasure to observe multiple students create service projects as part of their free choice project, clearly demonstrating their desire to help make the world a better place through their actions. Selected topics included global issues such as climate change. Projects included: raising money for the Backpack Program by hosting a 5 K unicycle race, improving the school's butterfly garden, creating a singing workshop for younger peers and designing a fundraiser for the Antarctic Science Foundation.

This year, students have mourned the loss of the Reading Buddy program; however, they have taken great delight in helping peers within the class and around the school when able. Recently some of our sixth-year students performed some community service by helping to set-up new computer carts.

Please enjoy viewing pictures of how we guide the UE students to recognize that "Every Action Matters".

Global Stewardship: Every Action Matters

By the Yeats Lower Elementary Classroom

This year we continue to focus on our school goal of Global Stewardship. As Montessorians we believe that our children are the hope of mankind. To be true to Montessori Philosophy is to facilitate each child in their natural appreciation of their environment far and near. We strive to place before each one the majesty and mysteries of the life that surrounds them. In this regard we allow them to delve deeply into the natural world which is at their very fingertips. This is no small mission, since ultimately this is a starting point not only for the study of botany, zoology and other sciences, but of a realization of ownership and stewardship of our very planet.

These might be considered to be lofty goals indeed. But these ideas of Global Stewardship and conservation are a natural progression from what Montessori observed in children. Each child passes through a sensitive period during which they notice the minute aspects of nature. These may be tiny insects, seeds or leaves. Theirs is a facility which notes detailed characteristics of what is before them. Theirs is a sense of wonder at the work of the ant as it carts away crumbs which far outweigh their own body weight. They appreciate the various barks and compare their roughness. They note the moisture of the soil and its likelihood of harboring earthworms close to the surface. They learn of food webs and chains and begin to formulate a sense of the interconnectedness of all living things.

To whom should we turn as we strive towards supporting a planet under duress? In Montessori terms, our children are truly the hope for all mankind. It is incumbent upon us to facilitate their natural urge towards exploration and protection of the natural world.

The Yeats class has been reinforcing our goal of not just maintaining our 'green' environmentally friendly practices of reducing, reusing and recycling, and composting, but also stressing, in developmentally appropriate ways, that our planets resources; it's water, land and air are things that we have to share. We have been highlighting that just as we like to drink clean water and breathe clean air, so too do children everywhere. We are encouraging all of our students to take ownership in small ways of our environment far and near. Every action matters!

Here are some of the comments from our children as they reflect on books such as The Lorax and Dear Children of the Earth.

Ethan: I would like to get a lot of seeds and plant them. I would give them lots of water and let the sun shine on them.

Abigail: More trees would help us to breathe better. One person can make a difference.

Aditya: I will write a speech explaining how much damage people are doing. They don't know. They don't understand.

Daniel: I would stop people from cutting down trees and plant more. Trees help stop pollution. More trees means more homes for animals.

Vyas: We should try to use cars less.

Lillian: We could use less electricity and save water. We should recycle and reuse. I also have sung in nursing homes and donated food to food banks. If we donate used clothes to charities we are throwing out less.

Helena: We should walk or bike more and improve air quality.

Angelina: We could help people clean up messes that they make by accident and clean up garbage.

Amalia: I would not chop trees down- just take small parts of the trees once in a while.

Arya: We should take care of animals. They use their noses to find food and water. The water needs to be clean.

Anna: I cleaned up trash from around the trees. We should learn more about animals and what they need. Bees need more flowers.

Simran: When you cut down trees you should plant more in their place.

Brantley: Animals and people need water. They have to share it. Don't pollute it.

Artem: When I grow up I will make inventions like Elon Musk, Thomas Edison and Leonardo Da Vinci. I will invent wings and clean cars.

Corlyn: We have to care more and take care of the planet.

Suhana: Everybody has to act. Everyone can help.

Winter Concert

By Mrs. Mulvihill

The winter concert is a beloved tradition where the elementary students share holiday cheer through music's international language. This year, The Albrook School's winter concert looked a little different. As so many things have been changed this year due to the pandemic, we felt it was especially important to keep this tradition going. How were we going to keep the spirit of the holidays alive and well? Make it virtual!

Mrs. Crawford led the program opening with the lower elementary students. The children learned holiday songs on the Glockenspiel and Xylophone, which are very similar but produce different pitches. The Upper Elementary students were able to work with these instruments and even add in the gorgeous additions of a cello and a drum. All elementary students enjoyed learning the songs and hearing the dulcet tones of the melody and harmonies working together.

The preschool students were delighted to join in this year for a sing-along portion of the program. Each class learned a holiday favorite and shared their voices. For some, this was the first time they were on a stage to perform, and they did so beautifully.

Music, historically, is a medium that brings all people together. We are so thankful that we were able to share our joy. We hope that you enjoyed the holiday cheer!

Albrook Spirit Day

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed one" Mother Teresa

The center of the Montessori philosophy is the development of empathy. Our students learn to balance their own needs against the needs of others. They learn to recognize that they have rights and responsibilities as they take ownership of their classroom environment. In essence, they learn to step into another's shoes to view the World from another perspective. Albrook School Spirit Days provides us with opportunities to reflect on this.

January's Spirit Day's theme was "Spread a Little Kindness," and our goal was to see the difference one person can make! The school project was to support the Somerset Foodbank with their Backpack Lunch Kit Program. This project aids schools in the county to provide satisfying meals over the weekends to students in need. During the week leading up to Spirit Day, Albrook' s older students were invited to do extra jobs at home to earn money to purchase some of the much needed food items to support the Somerset Foodbank Backpack program.

On Monday, February 18, while practicing social distancing, each classroom brought various non-perishable food items down to the Albers Hall to be placed in individual packages for distribution. This exercise was demonstrated to the young students while they carried their donations to the Albers Hall and observed the total amount of food donated. No matter how small, every action matters, leading to a much larger effect for the greater good.

After all the food items were collected, the elementary students continued to support the Somerset Foodbank by assembling the lunch bags. We appreciated and were proud of the students' efforts to coordinate and create the Backpack Lunch Program's lunch kits. In the end, the students were pleased with the outcome. They filled over two hundred meal bags, and the additional food items leftover were donated to the Somerset Foodbank. This was indeed a beautiful and powerful lesson for our students in understanding the difference one person can make.

In addition to the project mentioned above, the students were invited in the week leading up to January 18, to carry out extra acts of kindness and note these beautiful kind acts on paper "peace doves" to decorate our Random Act of Kindness Tree placed in the reception area. The tree was quickly covered in a sea of colored doves of kind deeds carried out in class and at home.

Our Spirit Day happened to fall on a very special day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It was a perfect opportunity for all of our community to reflect on the difference one person can make in another's life. The students celebrated this event within their classrooms due to health and safety protocols.

In the Yeats and Kandinsky room, friends observed Spirit Day by reviewing every action counts/matters school goal. They noted acts of kindness in writing and gathered together to sing peace songs. They also read a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and discussed other leaders who worked for peaceful change, such as Mahatma Gandhi. Also, they highlighted our community service actions in gathering food items for the Somerset County Foodbank. Later they read Last Stop on Market Street, a story about a young child taking a bus to a soup kitchen with his grandmother. Their Spirit Day activities will provide a springboard for highlighting other community service projects undertaken and their Black History Month studies.

The Miro children read the book The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be, by Joanna Gaines. The reading was followed by a class discussion and the decorating of balloons as experienced in the story. This lesson sends a strong message that we all look different; the World NEEDS all of us to be different. Because of our differences, the World is so beautiful (as is the sky when all of the hot air balloons are different).

For Spirit Day, the Upper Elementary classes created an assignment related to the topic of food insecurity. The students researched statistics on food insecurity globally and locally and the role the food bank plays in helping with this issue. They explored more information about the backpack program and researched additional ways to contribute to this cause.

Along with singing peace songs, The Homer class wrote positive feelings and shared them on Spirit Day. The Van Gogh class read a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. and composed a class peace poem. The children also drew pictures on paper doves of their favorite peaceful activity. In conclusion, the children shared reflective time in the peace garden.

Even our toddlers celebrated this special day by reading the book How Kind, by Mary Murphy and discussed why they brought in the juice boxes and where they were going.

This Spirit Day brought home the importance of every action which leads to a much larger effect for the greater good. A strong message of

Yes, I can and will make a difference in my World.

We invite our staff, students, and families to continue to support the Somerset Food Bank by donating any of the food items listed below or give a cash donation to the main pantry and warehouse at # 9 East Easy Street, Bridgewater, NJ 08807. The facility is open from 9:00AM - 2:30 PM Monday through Friday.

Suggested food items:

  • Canned Meats (Stews, Corned Beef, Spam, Chicken, Turkey)
  • Shelf Stable Milk (Parmalat, Borden, etc.)
  • Canned Fruit (regular & no sugar)
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Canned Vegetables (regular & low salt)
  • Ravioli, Spaghetti O's
  • Tuna
  • Crackers
  • Juice (plastic bottles, juice boxes & powdered)
  • Macaroni & Cheese Pasta (boxes, mixes)
  • Peanut Butter& Jelly
  • White or Brown Rice (regular & mixes)
  • Snacks (Bars, Pudding, Jell-O)
  • Canned Soup
  • Tomatoes (canned)
  • Canned Gravy
  • Cereal (ho¬t & cold)
  • Pancake Mix
  • Syrup

Shadow Puppet Show in Lower Elementary

This week, in drama classes, Lower Elementary students participated in the final filming of their shadow puppet shows. This performance was the culmination of many weeks of work. In conjunction with their study of Asia, the children began with a study of various styles of Asian puppetry. They then focused specifically on shadow puppetry. Each child created his/her own set of shadow puppets in order to portray characters from Indonesian folktales. The children enjoyed performing various stories of the character, Mouse Deer, a popular trickster in the folklore of this country. The children prerecorded their lines and then brought their puppets to life on our puppet screen. Everyone worked very hard to make the performance a success.

Elementary Students Study Asian Theatrical Forms

In conjunction with their study of the Asian continent, both Lower and Upper Elementary students explored forms of theater that originated in Asia. Throughout the fall and early winter, in their drama classes, students studied Asian theater and created performances to be shared with family and friends via video.

Lower Elementary students began with a study of various styles of Asian puppetry. They then focused specifically on shadow puppetry. Each child created his/her own set of shadow puppets in order to portray characters from Indonesian folktales. The children enjoyed performing various stories of the character, Mouse Deer, a popular trickster in the folklore of this country. The children pre recorded their lines and then brought their puppets to life on a puppet screen. Everyone worked very hard to make the performance a success.

Upper Elementary created plays inspired by the Japanese Kabuki Theater. The students began by studying the history and style of Kabuki and learning about key elements of this theatrical form. They then spent several weeks collaboratively writing their own scripts. In their writing, they incorporated their own sense of humor while keeping in mind some of the elements of traditional Kabuki. They also studied the

makeup traditionally worn in Kabuki Theater and the meanings behind the colors and designs. The students created masks for their characters to represent this makeup. In addition to the makeup shown on the masks, they incorporated elements of Kabuki including: Stock characters, entry of each character down a central runway ("hanamichi"), the use of physicality in the acting, frozen poses ("mie") to highlight significant moments, and the instrumental accompaniment of the movements.

The Albrook School Acknowledges Years of Service

By Ms. MacNeill

The Albrook School has strength in our staff's quality and dedication to our students, school, and the Montessori philosophy. The length of service at Albrook is referred to in decades rather than just years. We are so proud and thrilled to share the recognition given during this year's Zoom holiday staff party in December. Mrs. Fritsch was acknowledged for twenty years of service to Albrook as a loving teacher. She also is our talented chef who expertly guided students over the years in the cooking clubs and Cooking Around the World program in summer camp. Cheers rang out for Mrs. Ferguson, Technology Coordinator/Teacher and the person who keeps us all connected, for celebrating 25 years of love and dedication. Also, Mrs. Greb, who wore many impressive hats over the past twenty-five years, is known as the lady with the golden thimble! Mrs. Greb assisted in the classroom and designed and made many of Albrook' s costumes for the beautiful school plays and performances over the years. She continues to support our school in the role of Supply Coordinator and seamstress extraordinaire. We congratulated Mrs. Ponzio, who joined the Albrook family ten years ago as Director of Public Relations, bringing a unique skill set and a passion for education. She excelled in that role for seven years. Mrs. Ponzio was promoted to Assistant Head of School three years ago. We look forward to her continuing to support the school community with her deep love and compassion. We had the honor of congratulating her for ten wonderful years of service.

What is it that keeps our faculty and staff working for decades at The Albrook School? Can the answer be found in our sense of community, dedication to the children, and how our school truly lives by the Montessori philosophy? Or is it because of the opportunities for growth founded in our mission statement? It may be one or all of those reasons. One thing we know for sure, it is both an honor and a privilege to work with these beautiful, talented, passionate colleagues. Acknowledging and celebrating these impressive milestones and honoring these wonderful ladies for their constant love, loyalty, and passion not only to our students but to the whole community. What a fantastic way to end 2020. The Albrook School is indeed blessed and fortunate to have such a loyal and loving staff.

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.". – Henry Adams.

Albrook Summer Camp 2021

COVID 19 has and continues to impact our lives. Summer should be a time of joyous experiences for our young campers, but how do we achieve that during a pandemic? Last summer, we had to face many difficult challenges when devising a plan to protect the campers' health and well-being while preserving that lighthearted and exuberant camp experience. It turned out all we needed to ease our mind was the children. The minute they arrived at our door, sheer delight oozed from every part of their being. They didn't care about their masks or any of the new protocols that were imposed. All they wanted was to be out of isolation, amongst their friends, and a part of something that felt good. Now that we have experienced hosting summer camp with all the safety protocols in place, we can wisely say…..all we need is the children.

Sunshine, Swimming, Running, Playing Soccer, Exploring the Wonders of the World, Experimenting, Building, Estimating, Designing, Cooking….. Albrook Summer camp offers all of this and so much more. This year, The Albrook Summer Camp has a wide variety of programs that tap into creative, curious young minds and continue to ignite the excitement to learn. The children will have fun and discover in our beautiful air-conditioned classrooms, enjoy all our outdoor activities in a wide range of playgrounds, and participate in daily morning swim lessons. There will be plenty of opportunities for our full-day campers to build fond memories while experiencing free time in the pool in the afternoon with friends. The Albrook Summer Camp has two beautiful in-ground swimming pools. One is a shallow confidence pool where our younger campers can stand with confidence while they learn to float and swim. The second pool is for the older students and swimmers to develop and refine various swim strokes and later diving techniques.

Our staff has designed unique programs for ages ranging from 3 years to 10 years to engage their imagination while building confidence and self-esteem.

Explore the World program provides opportunities for the older camper to have fun while exploring hands-on materials in the classroom, researching the unique biomes and the world's diverse cultures. This summer, the focus will be on countries on the continent of Africa. Projects and multi-media computers will enhance their study of each country.

Cooking around the World invites students to explore and learn about foods from countries and cultures around the world through hands-on chopping, mixing, kneading, and tasting.

Wonders of Nature encourages young campers to put on their naturalist hats and explore the wonders of nature while embracing and developing a better understanding of the natural world around them. Each session will have a fun, engaging theme to guide hands-on learning and projects. This year's themes include Animal Habitats, Wonders of the Rainforest, Wildlife in the Woods, Exploring Reptiles in our Woodlands, Predators and Prey, Insects, and the wisdom of wings.

Fun with Soccer will help the young student master basic soccer skills: dribbling, passing, and shooting as they develop teamwork and sportsmanship while building friendships.

STEAM- Chemistry class invites our young students to put on their Chemical Engineer hat on and have fun exploring the magic of chemistry in everyday life while tinkering with day-to-day items. Through hands-on games and experiments, the campers will develop an understanding of the incredible physical laws underlying our universe as they transform different states of matter into exotic compounds and mixtures. They will also become familiar with various branches of chemistry while playing with various solids and liquids. They witness first-hand how molecules transform into something magically different and understand the reasons and science behind it. All by exploring and experimenting with basic household materials and letting the fantastic chemistry laws turn ordinary objects into extraordinary concoctions!

Engineering Aerodynamics This program invites all of our space enthusiasts to have fun while exploring. How does an airplane fly? The answer is explained by the science of aerodynamics, the study of air in motion. Discover the four forces of flight that help an object move through the air with hands-on activities and experiments. Hydrodynamics: What do ships, submarines, and surfing have in common? They are examples of hydrodynamics, the branch of physics that deals with the motion of fluids. Explore and investigate the forces that affect an object when placed in water.

Creative WritingEveryone has a story to tell! Our Creative Writing program gives the young authors a platform to share his/her story. Through brainstorming, mapping, character development, and sentence structure, the young authors will engage their imagination while strengthening writing skills. At the end of the session, they will proudly write and illustrate their masterpiece!

Fun with Mathematics Let's put the fun back in mathematics! Our Campers will have a fantastic time as they explore math concepts with hands-on, concrete Montessori materials and technology to develop and enhance critical thinking skills. Topics of study will include geometry, measurement, mathematical operations, and problem-solving skills.

Drama allows your budding actors and actresses to enjoy and express themselves on stage. In this two-week session, participants will have the chance to experience every theater aspect as they create and perform their original play. From scriptwriting and acting to costumes, props, and scenery, the children will learn what it takes to produce a play. Family and friends will enjoy a culminating performance via video at the end of the session.

Learning should be fun! Our campers' will gain from all the enjoyable, challenging activities and age-appropriate subjects while building confidence and self-esteem. Having fun while making discoveries about themselves and the world around them is what summer is all about! It is important to look and move forward to the warmer weather and brighter days; it is time to make summer plans! You can register for The Albrook Summer Camp online through either School Speak or our website at www.albrookschool.org under the tab, Summers at Albrook. Or, call the office at 908-580-0661 for more information. Ms. Kaniewski is only too happy to guide you through the registration process. Albrook Summer Camp is open to the public, so feel free to invite family and friends to register as well.

What our summer camp parents had to say…

My children had the best time at camp at Albrook. My daughter came home and said, "Camp was the beginning of a new life for her!" My kids could not wait to go each and every day. The team provided a fun learning environment for my kids. I can't wait to send them again this year!
Maureen D.

My older son has been attending Albrook Summer Camp for years. The summer of 2020 presented unique challenges, but the Albrook School rose to the challenge and created the same great summer experience for children while maintaining strict safety protocols. My younger son joined Albrook Summer Camp for the first time during Summer 2020. He had a great experience and probably didn't even notice that things were adjusted from previous summers. We had the utmost confidence in the staff managing the camp and my children were able to have a safe, enjoyable, educational summer camp experience despite the pandemic challenges. This was especially critical after the children had been at home with no activities or interactions for months. We are forever grateful for Albrook Camp running their summer program last year. It was just what my children needed and I noticed they were happier and healthier and felt it was the first real normal thing they had done in months. It was also extremely helpful to us as working parents to know that our children could attend such an enriching program during challenging times. I remember thinking every day at drop off that I wish I could hug the staff for everything they did for the children.

Thank you Albrook Summer Camp!!
Colleen Carter

Rhys (and we!) loved summer camp last year! Two main highlights for us:

  • He gained more confidence in the pool having a daily morning swim lesson. Some photos were shared with us of him in the pool with his friends, teachers and counselors and it helped reassure us how safe he was and how much fun he was having.
  • He was so proud (and we were impressed!) by his various artwork and projects - one which we still have up in our kitchen.
  • Amy Strutt

Welcoming Julie Kaniewski

You may have noticed a new smiling face at The Albrook front desk. Julie Kaniewski has joined us in the role of Administrative Assistant. She is learning the lay of the land quickly and will be happy to answer questions and direct your calls. Mrs. Kaniewski will be organizing the summer camp program as part of her new duties. The registered students will be contacted with guidance and details as the summer draws near.

Along with Mrs. Kwasniewski's arrival, we have to bid a fond farewell to Mrs. Perez. Mrs. Perez has decided to greet the next chapter of her life with a move to a warmer climate. She has been an upbeat presence at Albrook and will surely be missed.

Montessori In The News

The Parent Perspective about Montessori, Introduction to Montessori Method

The Montessori Method is designed to educate the whole child, socially, emotionally, academically and physically. This style of learning creates innovative, creative thinkers from young children to adults.  It's an educational approach that is appreciated by those who have been fortunate enough to receive a Montessori education or who had parents who knew the true benefits and value of a Montessori education.

Forbes, a well known magazine, has an informative article regarding Montessori written by Justin Wasserman who is the Managing Director at Kotter International. Justin Wasserman helps leaders accelerate strategy implementation in their organizations.
Corporate Kindergarten

Montessori Madness
A video, by Trevor Eissler, informs us about why children enjoy a Montessori education. It is called "Take Five Minutes To Watch This Video," and we hope you will find it interesting.

The Montessori Mafia
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