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

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.

Spring Event Picnic and Fundraiser - showcasing the Class Art Projects

Each year the APA hosts the Spring Event where our Albrook School children, parents, teachers, and staff come together for a fun afternoon to socialize, play, and fundraise for the school! The Spring Event will be held on the soccer field on Friday, May 6th from 5:00-7:30 (rain date is Friday, May 13th). Bring your picnic blankets and chairs and we'll provide the rest, including food, games, music, and an auction.

As our largest fundraiser of the year, the Spring Event funds important projects that are outside the scope of tuition, such as the new Stepping Stones Cassatt classroom, HVAC renovations, adding video conferencing capabilities in the conference room, etc. Over the coming year, the school is looking to do a more significant technology upgrade.

The auction will include the Class Art Project items handmade by your children, priceless gifts donated by the Albrook teachers and staff and various baskets donated by the local community.

The items handmade by the children take inspiration from this year's annual theme "Better Together". The teachers have been weaving the "Better Together" theme into their classrooms and selected a book that embodies the theme to share with the children. The book then served as inspiration for each Class Art Project. By working together, the teachers, children and volunteer parents created truly beautiful and unique pieces. These masterpieces will be on display for all to see before we hold the auction at the Spring Event.

The popular "Priceless Gifts" offered by the teachers and staff of Albrook include items such as tie-dye shirt making, yoga, gardening, cooking, and baking classes. We thank the teachers and staff for donating their time to provide the children a fun after school activity.

Below is a list of books each class read prior to completing the art project in case you also wish to read these books at home. The art projects are fun, colorful, and easily used in your home! There is a mirror, mosaic tables, and a corn hole set game to name a few! Enjoy the accompanying pictures to see a sneak peek of all the class art projects and we hope to see you on Friday, May 6th at the Spring Event!

Upper Elementary - Renoir: Behold the Trees, Sue Alexander and Leonid Gore
Upper Elementary - Degas: Under the Quilt of Night, Deborah Hopkinson
Lower Elementary - Yeats: The Barnabus Project, Devin and Eric Fan
Lower Elementary – Kandinsky: The Rainbow Fish, Marcus Pfister
Miro: The Hugging Tree, Jill Neimark
O'Keeffe: Kindness is Cooler Mrs. Ruler, Margary Cuyler
Homer: It Takes a Village, Hillary Rodham Clinton
Van Gogh: Better Together, Amy Robach and Andrew Shue
Stepping Stones - Monet, Picasso and Cassatt: We're Better Together, Eileen Spinelli

Spring Event 2022

International Day

By Mrs. Dignam, Mrs. Murphy

international day

International Day is an opportunity to celebrate diverse cultures and sing songs from around the world. The preschool children practiced in "group sing" and in their classrooms in preparation for the event. Leading up to the big day, we were fortunate to have Ms. Crawford, our musical director, accompany the preschool classrooms during practices. The children danced and sang while Ms. Crawford fine-tuned each class.

Each year, a highlight of International Day is seeing the Kindergarteners dressed in traditional outfits. Many Kindergarten and preschool students wore outfits from their family heritage. International Day culminated with a video for the families to view. We included photos of the students doing geography work from around the world. Our goal is for our students to have fun while getting exposure to other cultures. We hope these tiny seeds of curiosity and exploration grow into large crops of tolerance and understanding. "We see the figure of the child who stands before us with his arms held open, beckoning humanity to follow." Maria Montessori, Education and Peace.

International Day – Stepping Stones

There was great excitement in the Stepping Stones classes on International Day.

To honor and celebrate diversity while at the same time showing how we are all similar, each class sang Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in a different language.

The Monet children proudly dressed in green representing Ireland, The Cassatt children wore beautiful sashes representing India and the Picasso children joyfully shook their handmade maracas representing Mexico.

Each class also made their country's flag.

To top it off a special snack was prepared by each class from their chosen country: Mexican guacamole, Irish soda bread, and Idli from India, which were all delicious.

By singing a familiar song that all of the students know in a different language and observing the other classes sing it again in two other languages, the children learned the similarities and differences of various cultures in a fun, concrete way. This lesson was further reinforced by the children watching the performance video.

International Day in Elementary

By Ms. Crawford and Mrs. Lipman

Elementary classes celebrated International Day with music, heritage studies, and special foods. All students were asked to create poster board presentations about their countries of heritage. They took great pride and very much enjoyed sharing these presentations with their classmates. It was wonderful to see so many countries represented. The classes also enjoyed treats from around the world during snack time.

In elementary music, each class focused on one song that would be presented in the International Day video. The arrangements for these songs grew out of the interests of students in each class. Upper Elementary used ukuleles, xylophones, and Latin percussion as they sang "The Mockingbird Song" from Haiti and "Mas Que Nada" from Brazil. Lower Elementary sang a round of "Frère Jacques" in 3 languages and a popular Latin American children's song, "San Sereni, with ukulele, glockenspiel, and percussion. We hope you enjoyed watching and listening to our music!

"Better Together"- The Renoir and Degas Classes

The Upper Elementary classes have embraced this year's annual goal with enthusiasm and effort. Children between the ages of 9 and 12 truly appreciate opportunities to work together collaboratively. Within our classrooms, students seek work experiences that allow them to learn collaboratively whenever possible. Students have a strong desire to learn new information alongside building relationships. Students often request to work with their peers on cultural, language and math follow-up experiences. Montessori students naturally seek ways to grow holistically, improving their academic and emotional intelligence along the way.

Our three-year age span also allows for meaningful mentorship of fellow students. Students appreciate helping out classmates by providing clarification, support, and lessons. These experiences help our students to develop leadership skills. Students within both the Renoir and Degas classroom have also been challenged to consider how they can make the world a better place by working together. It is a pleasure to observe students extending kindness and compassion towards one another and members of our school community.

We have also asked our students to think about "Better Together" from a global standpoint. Collectively, our classes have organized a joint 5K fundraiser, aiming to raise funds for The Children's Garden and a Montessori School in rural Ghana. Please consider donating to these worthy causes by either directly contributing to our GoFundMe: https://gofund.me/c3401e22.

Funds raised will go towards paying a yearly teacher salary for LLC, La'Angum Learning Center, and improving and extending The Albrook School Children's Garden.

Introduction to Lower Elementary

On Monday, March 14th,The Albrook School held a successful lower elementary information session via Zoom. The lower elementary teachers gave a PowerPoint presentation to nine prospective first grade families who were eager to learn about the continuation of Montessori education into the second plane of development.

Montessori at the primary level is much more widely known, so it is always exciting to share with families that the Montessori journey and philosophy continues into the elementary level. The teachers explained the importance of the 3-year cycle in regarding to the mentoring opportunities it involves, as well as the curiosity and self-directed motivation it often encourages in the younger students. They also described a regular day in the lower elementary program, including the morning independent work cycle and the afternoon specials.

The teachers were also happy to share that the ever-popular special elementary events, such as field trips related to curriculum topics as well after-school clubs, which include favorites such as cooking and chess, will be on the schedule for the 2022-23 school year.

We were very delighted with the turnout for this information session and hope families continue to spread the word about Albrook's elementary program. We look forward to welcoming new students into the lower elementary community in September.

Student Choice is One of the Keys to Montessori Success

One of the key components of a Montessori education is student choice. Maria Montessori believed that choice within limits is crucial to a child's enjoyment of and engagement in learning. In a Montessori classroom, children have choice and freedom within limits in all subject areas. This allows them to take ownership and initiative in their learning. Julie Fraumeni-McBride, in the article "The Effects of Choice on Reading Engagement and Comprehension for Second and Third Grade Students: An Action Research Report," reviews research and discusses findings on the power of student choice and learning. Below are summarized the key findings of her research review:

  • Choice creates a feeling of ownership; however, limits need to be considered when administering choice for optimal outcomes. Those who had been given a greater selection expressed higher levels of satisfaction with their choices compared to those with no choice.
  • Teachers reported that when students had more autonomy, they were more intrinsically motivated to learn and displayed higher levels of independence and confidence. Students' perceived level of control improved their academic performance.
  • Children's enjoyment of reading effects their reading success through all grade levels and into adulthood.
  • In Fraumeni-McBride's study, she found that children who were given a choice in reading scored higher in reading comprehension than when they were assigned a reading, especially when the reading was silent.
  • Fraumeni-McBride concludes that student reading comprehension is improved through offering students a limited variety of reading options and by providing time to read independently.

Source: Fraumeni-McBride, Julie P. "The Effects of Choice on Reading Engagement and Comprehension for Second and Third Grade Students: An Action Research Report." Journal of Montessori Research, vol. 3, no. 2, Nov. 2017. EBSCOhost, files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1161358.pdf. Accessed 29 Apr. 2022.

Open House

The Albrook School hosted its third Open House of the school year on Saturday, March 26th.

The enthusiasm continues to grow and the turnout of interested prospective parents kept The Albrook teachers busy touring and answering questions. The interest of young parents and their developing passion for the Montessori approach is inspiring.

The buzz in the building was a pleasure to witness as the excellent and experienced Albrook faculty and administration shared the Montessori Method, discussed the hands-on materials, and viewed the beautifully lit classrooms.

As promising new candidates for the 2022-2023 apply and interview, we are encouraged by the many lovely and devoted Montessori families joining the Albrook community for the upcoming school year.

Upper Elementary

Over the past few weeks, the Upper Elementary students have been organizing a joint community project related to our annual theme of "Better Together". On April 14th, our Upper Elementary classes ran a 5k relay to raise money for both the La'Angum Learning Center and The Albrook School. The LLC, which is located in northern rural Ghana and founded by PAMBE Ghana, offers Pre-k through grade 6 and uses both the Montessori Method and bilingual education. With the money we receive, we are hoping to pay for a teacher's salary for one year. For The Albrook School, we are honoring Ms. Albers, our school's Co-founder, by expanding and upgrading the Children's Garden and outdoor learning environments. You can click on the following links to learn more information about our fundraiser goals: Albrook Garden Presentation PAMBE Ghana presentation.

The students are happy to report they have raised $7,550.00 and exceeded their goal of $5,500.00. The children thank all those involved who contributed their time and donations to this successful service project. There will be more updates in the next Albrook Almanac as the children work on the upgrading of the Children's Garden and present their donation to the La'Angum Learning Center.

Elementary Students Present The Rainbow Fish

By: Mrs. Lipman

The Albers Hall stage was once again full of color and energy on the evening of April 8th, as the elementary students presented The Rainbow Fish Musical. Following two years of video performances, the excitement was palpable, as the students sang their hearts out in front of a live audience. The Friday evening performance was the culmination of months of preparation in which students memorized lines, learned songs and choreography, and created scenery. The week leading up to the show, "Performing Arts Week," included several full run-throughs and numerous small group rehearsals which helped to make the performance a great success. As always, the play was a collaborative community effort. All elementary teachers assisted the children backstage while also serving as stage crew (and some even graced the stage!) Several pre-school teachers assisted with tasks the evening of the performance. We were also grateful to the parents and staff who creatively supported the production: Ms. Krishna for an amazing playbill and photography, Mrs. Crowther and Mrs. Greb for gorgeous costumes, and Mrs. Patel for taking photos of the children in costume. The theme of the play was the joy of giving, and our students certainly gave everyone a gift with their stellar performance and enjoyed doing it!

The Reaccreditation of The Albrook School

The Albrook School is excited to announce that we have successfully been awarded reaccreditation from the American Montessori Society and the Middle States Association Commission of Colleges and Schools. You may ask yourself, what does that mean? According to the American Montessori Society, accreditation through their organization is "the gold standard of Montessori school excellence—the highest level of recognition your Montessori school can achieve, and a highly visible indicator of your school's quality." Additionally, the Middle States Association is a worldwide leader in education standards committed to assisting schools in reaching their goals, developing strategic plans, promoting staff development, and advancing student achievement. Receiving recognition for reaccreditation from both the AMS and MSA is admirable during normal circumstances and even more so during a global health crisis.

The reaccreditation process began in late 2019 but was extended due to the pandemic. The school staff was divided into committees, and the outlined standards and criteria were reviewed. A plan for the process was established. Analysis, supporting documents, research, etc., ensued, and The Albrook Self-Study template presentation was completed and submitted for review. Once the written portion of the reaccreditation process was complete and accepted, preparations began for an in-house visitation by the team comprised of both AMS and MSA members. During their visit, documents were reviewed for verification and all the classes were reviewed while in session. Virtual meetings were held with some of the Board of Trustee members, teachers, students, parents, and Administration for the final assessment and it was then forwarded to the commission. At the culmination of the visit, the team met with the President of the Board, Ms. Hicks, the Head of School, Ms. MacNeill, and Co-Heads of the Steering Committee, (Assistant Head of School) Mrs. Ponzio and Ms. Vazaios, to share their heartfelt reflections on the quality of our learning environment and were highly complementary with regard to the caliber of the staff and students. They also shared their recommendations for future development.

The reaccreditation is a lengthy and thorough process, and although time-consuming, it provides excellent insight into our overall performance level as a school. We look forward to sharing our Strategic Goals for the future in the next edition of The Albrook Almanac.

I want to thank all of the staff, teachers, parents, and students who contributed to this worthwhile process. A special THANK YOU to Mrs. Ponzio, Ms. Vazaios, and all the Heads of the different levels for their leadership, passion, skill sets, and focus. We have set and secured another layer to a firm foundation. As our journey moves forward, we will continue to grow and serve the Albrook school. This is indeed a proud moment for the entire Albrook community.
- Ms. MacNeill

Better Together – Social Emotional Curriculum

By Mrs. Fritsch

The Van Gogh class has been working on learning all about emotions. The Preschool Social Emotional Learning curriculum makes it easier for the students to understand. When the children learn how to manage and use their words to express themselves, we are indeed better together as a class.

This year so far, we have read books about Turtle, a character in our Social-Emotional Curriculum and his interactions with his friends. The children were introduced to emotions such as happiness, excitement, calm, etc., that make the love light within the child shine. They are shown on yellow paper. Emotions that have a negative effect are on blue paper, such as anger, fury, hunger, etc. We roleplay different conflicts at circle time and guide the children to solve them with a positive outcome.

Maria Montessori's philosophy was to develop grace and courtesy in the young child. Every classroom at Albrook has a designated peace area for displaying works to teach and practice. We try to instill in the children the importance of helping others and working together for the good of the class community.

When the children understand their feelings and label them, they can to use their words effectively to express their emotions and it helps their peers and teachers. When using all these tools and strategies, we work toward accomplishing The Albrook School's goal of "Better Together."

Better Together – Miro Class

The Miro children celebrated diversity in our classroom and our world. Over the past few weeks, we have read the books, The Skin You Live In, and Shades of People. We discussed how we are all assorted sizes, shapes, and shades of skin color.

We had a large bouquet of flowers and we let each child choose one. Each flower looked completely different, and we acknowledged how beautiful each individual flower looked. We then imagined what the world would look like if we only had one flower. It would not be as colorful or as engaging.

One by one, each child put a flower in a large vase. The result was beautiful. We celebrated how interesting and pleasing it looked to see all the different shapes and colors come together. It is the same in our classroom. We all have different shades of hair and skin. Just like the flowers in the vase, the diversity in our class makes us better together.

Filling the Food Gap One Backpack at a Time

We are pleased to announce that the Somerset County Backpack Program has been a wonderful success this year! We collected 334.25 pounds of food. The School Back Pack Program allows children in need to make it through the weekend with food that they can prepare and enjoy. Single size, small portion meals that are placed in a large Ziploc bags are distributed to school age children. Currently, they supply bags of food to 12 elementary schools, feeding 400 children. Thank you again to all who contributed, we are "Better Together"!

The Degas class has counted the items donated for the food bank. We have totaled 334.25 pounds of food. The numbers of each item are as follows:

  • 26 pudding cups
  • 157 cereal boxes
  • 33 mac and cheese boxes
  • 70 tuna tins
  • 65 Dinty Moore stews
  • 74 Vienna sausages
  • 56 Chef Boyardee meals
  • 281 snack bags (chips etc.)
  • 28 fruits
  • 152 oatmeal packets
  • 64 juice boxes
  • 44 milk boxes
  • 2 cans of beans
  • 1 box of pasta
  • 1 bag of Halloween candy

Staff Anti-Bullying Workshop

By Ms. Vazaios

"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try." – John F. Kennedy

Each year, the staff at Albrook attends an anti- bullying workshop as part of our yearly professional development. Staff start off learning how to categorize a behavior as either rude, mean, conflict or bullying. This, in turn, helps staff to help guide students to be able to differentiate these behaviors within our classrooms.

Oftentimes, clarification regarding definition is needed to be able to assess the required level of support for students as they begin to develop social skills and handle certain social interactions. Many times the word bully or bullying behavior is used without having a clear idea what this word means.

Within the workshop, we learn that bullying is unfair, one-sided and involves an imbalance of power. It can be a single incident or a repeated pattern. Its aim is to hurt, humiliate and harm. This is in contrast to conflict, which is a disagreement or argument in which both people are able to express their opinions and point of view and does not involve an imbalance of power. Within the workshop, we also focus on increasing our knowledge about the various types of bullying that can occur: verbal, emotional, physical and cyberbullying.

As educators, we also learn what role we need to play in terms of preventing bullying behavior, and how to communicate any concerns related to bullying behavior. We are lucky in that Montessori philosophy assists us immensely. At Albrook, we value crafting a safe environment for all students that is both democratic and has a positive class climate. As a school, we also have adopted clear, mutually agreed upon rules and expectations that describe how we can treat each other respectfully. Towards the end of our workshop, we discuss lessons, learning experiences and materials that help with our anti-bullying curriculum at all levels. Our collective school goal is to lessen incidents, as well as to become an ally if and when it does occur.

Below are some websites should you wish to explore this topic further as a parent:

  • https://www.aacap.org/aacap/families_and_youth/resource_centers/Bullying_Resource_Center/Home.aspx
  • https://www.stopbullying.gov/
  • https://www.pacer.org/bullying/info/
  • https://www.parentcenterhub.org/bullying/
  • https://www.aacap.org/aacap/families_and_youth/resource_centers/Bullying_Resource_Center/Home.aspx

Countdown to Summer Camp!

By Mrs. Kaniewski

swim lesson

Summer is just around the corner and excitement for The Albrook School's 2022 Summer Camp program is building. In fact, we have already enrolled more students for this year's Summer Camp than last year at this time. This year, children are more excited than ever to attend camp after two long years of the pandemic. Summer Camp gives them the opportunity to try new things along with their peers but without the academic rigors of school. We have designed unique programs for children ages 3 years to 9 years (10 years old for current Albrook students) that will engage their imagination, build confidence and bolster their self-esteem. This year's offerings are as follows:

Explore the World Session 1 (Ages 5½ - 9)
Open to children that have completed kindergarten
Become a world-class traveler! This engaging, hands-on session will allow children to learn and have fun by exploring Australia. Our creative approach includes hands-on projects, cooking, and research. Projects and multi-media computers will enhance their study of each country.
Session 1, Week 1 & 2 Australia

Fun with Soccer Session 1 & 2 (Ages 4 - 6)
Practice basic soccer skills such as dribbling, shooting, and passing while developing the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship while building friendships.
Session 1: Soccer
Session 2: Soccer

Wonders of Nature Session 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Ages 4 - 6) (3 yrs. of age for currently enrolled Albrook students)
Come and explore the wonders of nature! During each week, campers will have fun while experiencing various themes, including related projects with hands-on materials.
Session 1, week 1: What is a Naturalist?
Session 1, week 2: Insect Architects
Session 2, week 1: Hide and Seek
Session 3, week 1: Products of Nature
Session 3, week 2: Animal Tracks
Session 4, week 1: Bug Habitats
Session 4, week 2: Pond Life/Sea Life

Cooking Around the World Session 1,2 3 & 4 (Ages 4 - 9)
Calling all aspiring chefs! Travel and explore the world through diverse culinary traditions. Different countries will be explored each session as campers cook and create their recipe books.
Session 1, week 1: Holidays Around the World
Session 1, week 2: Breads Around the World
Session 2, week 1: Cookies Around the World
Session 2, week 2: Breakfast Around the World
Session 3, week 1: Desserts Around the World
Session 3, week 2: Lunches Around the World
Session 4, week 1: Cooking Techniques Around the World
Session 4, week 2: Herbs and Spices Around the World

STEAM Session 2 and 3 (Ages 6 - 9)
Students will have a chance to problem-solve and collaborate as they develop STEAM skills.
Session 2
Week 1 Simple Machines:
Step into the simple machine lab! Students will discover how simple machines make work easier by building realistic models and performing hands-on experiments.
Week 2 Become an architect!
Students will have an opportunity to design and build.

Session 3
Week 1 Mysteries of Science: Students will be on the case and put on their detective hats as they conduct hands-on investigations to solve mysteries using the powers of science!
Week 2 Ecosystems: Students will explore various ecosystems through hands-on experiments to learn how science can boost conservation.

Fun with Mathematics Session 2 (Ages 5½ - 9)
Open to children that have completed kindergarten
Through individualized lessons and creative projects, have fun with geometry, problem-solving, understanding fractions, and algebraic thinking. Explore math concepts with hands-on, concrete materials and technology to develop and enhance critical thinking skills.
Session 2, week 1: Geometry, Problem-Solving
Session 2, week 2: Algebraic Thinking, Fractions

Creative Writing Session 4 (Ages 5½ - 9)
Open to children that have completed kindergarten
We are calling all authors! Bring your story alive while developing creative writing skills such as brainstorming, character development, and sentence structure. Each camper will write and illustrate a book.
Session 4, week 1 & 2 Creative Writing

Drama Session 4 (Ages 5 - 9) (available for a two-week session only)
Open to children that have completed kindergarten
In this two-week session, participants will have fun learning various aspects of theater. Morning sessions will be focusing on acting skills through games and activities and rehearsing a play to perform for family and friends on the final day of camp. Campers will explore other theater elements such as dance and choreography, costume and prop making, and scenery design in the afternoons. If the circumstance allows, family and friends will enjoy an in- house performance at the end of the two-week session.

As you can see, there is something for everyone! We offer various scheduling options to allow campers to customize their camp experience, including morning or full-day programs ranging from one week to all eight weeks. Early care and Aftercare are also available. And of course, the children love learning and practicing their swimming skills in our heated swimming pools twice a day. Summer Camp at The Albrook School provides a fun, hands-on environment where children can make new discoveries in learning with old and new friends alike. Registration for Albrook's Summer Camp is available online via School Speak or in the link below on a first-come, first-serve basis. Don't forget to register before programs fill up! Feel free to get the word out about our fantastic camp to neighbors and friends as well. We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Summer Camp Registration and fees

Lily's Chain of Hearts

To the Albrook School,

Thank you to everyone who donated money for Lily's Chain of Hearts. In total, we raised about $735.00 for the organization Save the Children. All of the hearts will be displayed in Alber's Hall for all of next week. With your generous donations, we will be able to provide six health initiatives, two sustainability help/ food help, and one basic need. Did you know that $50 can provide enough food for three children for a month, $150 can wrap 30 warm, cozy blankets around children affected by conflict, and $300 can provide 150 face masks to refugee health care workers on the front lines? Together, with the money we collected we provided a clean water fund, coronavirus health crisis kit, clean water kit, childhood health essentials, malaria treatment, stocking a medical clinic, winter clothing, a cow, and some chicks.

Thanks again to everyone who donated!

With appreciation,
Lily

Spirit Day

spirit daySpirit Day is a special day of celebration at The Albrook School. As a school, we learn about and practice kindness each day. During the week of Sprit Day, we record these acts of kindness on doves and globes and place them on our kindness tree for all to share and be reminded of how one act of kindness can change a person's outlook and day! The individual classes have shared some of the books they read and the projects they shared to reinforce the importance of kindness.

At Monet Circle time we talked about different ways that we can be nice or kind to our friends and family. We sang the song ' Love is something when you give it away'. We also talked about helping and sharing with children outside our school and how we brought in cartons of milk for them. Each child then carried some milk over to the Albers Hall and placed it with all the other food the other classes' food items that was donated.

For Spirit Day, the Picasso children each carried packages of juice boxes from our classroom to Albers Hall. We talked about how some children don't have juice boxes at their houses, and they saw how each of them bringing juice added up to lots of packages of juice boxes donated.

During morning circle time, we read a book called How Kind by Mary Murphy. It is a simple book about how receiving an act of kindness inspires each of the animals to spread kindness. We then turned off the lights, lit the peace candle and followed the directions of the peace poem for the first time in person. The children loved it and we have been using it at circle each day!

The Cassatt children collected milk boxes and saw how individual donations added up to so many. When the students visited Albers Hall they observed how all the students in the school contributed and what a difference it would make.

In honor of Spirt Day, the Homer class read a book entitled Try a Little Kindness. We discussed the story's meaning, and our class shared their individual acts of kindness. We wrote the acts of kindness on our doves which will be placed on the Random Act of Kindness Tree to be enjoyed by all.

The children in the Van Gogh class read books about Martin Luther King Jr and discussed how he wanted everyone to be treated the same and that he was a peacemaker like Maria Montessori. The children brought in boxes of oatmeal for the backpack program of New Jersey. The children were invited to write or draw what peace means on paper doves. The children hung them on the kindness tree in the office.

To celebrate Spirit Day, the O'Keeffe read Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler. We discussed how small acts of kindness can make a difference in a person's life. We also talked about how doing something kind for another person makes you feel good on the inside. We wrote acts of kindness we performed to benefit another person on the doves.

The Miro children shared how they celebrated Sprit Day in their article entitled "Better Together".

In the Kandinsky class we focused on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement on Spirit Day. We also examined how Rosa Parks' actions brought awareness to the unfairness of segregation laws in the south. We then did an exercise where the children discussed how we all are alike and different in some ways and how both differences and similarities should be acknowledged and celebrated.

The Yeats class spent Spirit Day reading and learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Together, we wrote about some of the most important contributions Dr. King made to the Civil Rights Movement.

For Spirit Day, Degas and Renoir focused on some work related to the Civil Rights Movement. We took a virtual tour of the National Civil Rights Museum. Then, in relation to the idea that one person (and one child) can make a difference, we explored The Children's Crusade of 1963, a pivotal point in the Civil Rights Movement. We enjoyed watching videos, answering questions, and having a group discussion.

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
By Peter Simms, reprinted from The Wall Street Journal

Google Founders Talk About Montessori

All I got out of Montessori..