PVMS November 2016 class news


Correction: Mom's night is Thursday Nov. 3

The class news is organized as follows: Toddler, Children’s Houses, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Enhanced Curriculum (referred to as Specials).  Toddler and Children’s House families should also read the Spanish and Music sections; Elementary families should read the Music, Spanish, P.E., Yoga and Art (and Junior Great Books for level 2 and 3)

TODDLER CLASS with Maryann, Cynthia, Carla, Brianna and Rebecca

It took awhile but it’s nice to see happy faces ready to come to school. Everyone seems to be comfortable and settled into the daily routine. Early forms of cooperative play have begun during our outdoor time. Even though their language is still emerging they enjoy engaging each other at the red tunnel to play peek-a-boo or giving someone a ride in the little red car. Several children have been interested in knowing the names of their classmates. As they have an interest in each other, we have started talking about basic feelings and the words associated with them. We also have brought attention to facial cues. Last month we introduced the season of Fall. We did some leaf peeping while outside and talked about the changing colors. A few of the children made leaf bouquets and we noted the different shapes and colors of the ones that had fallen. Some of the children helped transplant our herbs to bring inside for the winter. We talked about what would happen if we left them out in the cold weather. In our art area, the children had the opportunity to make a pumpkin patch, draw with autumn colors and paint a giant pumpkin with the group. The subjects of our October stories were feelings, leaves, pumpkins and farm visits.

This month we will talk about animal activity during the season of Fall and introduce Thanksgiving.

Now that the colder weather has arrived please, send in hats and mittens. Once it snows, please send snow pants and boots labeled. A pair of snow pants and boots can be left at school if it makes mornings easier. You can purchase sticker type name labels on line. They stay on even through washings.

A big thank to Ewan’s family for the 20 bags of sand they put in our sand box and the yummy apples for snack.   


CHILDREN’S HOUSE EAST with Tara and Sara

October began with our field trip to Pell Farm.  During our bus ride, we sang several songs, including, of course, The Wheels on the Bus!  At the farm, we bumped along on a hay ride pulled by a tractor.  We watched and smelled several farm animals including calves, ducks and piglets.  After a snack of crisp fall apples, we traveled through a corn maze.  Each time we got to a dead end, one of the children, with a big smile and a giggle, shouted “trapped”!  At the end of our morning, each child picked one pumpkin to take home.  Thank you again to all of our chaperones for joining us! 

Bread Day is a popular day of the week.  In addition to jelly and cream cheese, we’ve added butter to our list of optional toppings.  We also made butter by pouring heavy cream into a jar and shaking…and shaking…and shaking!  Watching the liquid cream change into a solid butter is a preview of our upcoming science study of the States of Matter (solids, liquids and gasses).

Food is very engaging to both young and old.  That’s one of the reasons that there are several activities of Food Preparation, in addition to snack, regularly available to the children.  These currently include cutting bananas, spreading strawberry jelly on a rice cake, and cutting cucumbers with the option of sprinkling salt on top.  Both bananas and cucumbers are soft so that we’re able to use very dull, “wavy” choppers. 

There are many steps involved in each Food Preparation activity, making it a complex process.  The following is a slightly abbreviated list for Cutting Bananas:

1.     Wash hands

a.     Turn on faucet

b.     Get soap

c.      Scrub hands

d.     Rinse hands

e.     Turn off faucet

f.       Dry hands

2.     Open container and place one banana on plate (that is already on a tray)

3.     Carry tray to the table

4.     Sit down

5.     Peel banana

6.     Cut banana

7.     Eat banana

8.     Stand up and push in chair

9.     Throw away banana peel

10.                        Put dirty plate in the dishpan in the sink

11.                        Replace tray on the shelf

12.                        Return to the sink

13.                        Wash and rinse plate

14.                        Dry hands

Food preparation is an integral part of the Montessori Practical Life curriculum.  The direct aim of these activities is concentration, coordination, independence and order.  These four skills are fundamental and foundational to all the other curriculum areas, which are generally considered more academic. 

No matter the age or stage, the activities of Practical Life capture our attention completely.  Their moments of deep engagement with the materials reveal the genius and brilliance of the Montessori Method.  They also reveal a deep sense of contentment in the faces of the children who are working with purpose and joy.

Thanks to all of you dads who joined us in the classroom for Dad’s Night and we look forward to seeing all of you moms in our classroom for Mom’s Night on Thursday, November 3rd!


CHILDREN’S HOUSE SOUTH with Angelika, Rosemary and Gerri and our intern, Alicia

What a busy month it has been in Children’s House South!     

 We had a wonderful field trip to Pell Farm.  Thank you to all the parents who were able to join us for the morning and helped chaperone the event.  

Our Dad’s night was equally exciting. The children did a fantastic job of showing their dads what activities they engage in at school. They made great choices and seemed to really enjoy themselves. I must say I felt very proud of your children.

The classroom has been buzzing with lots of activity.  The Practical Life area with our food preparation area is particularly busy these days. We have so many young cooks chopping cucumbers, bananas, carrots, juicing oranges and coring apples!  Our many plants are getting watered and are thriving, tables are being scrubbed and dishes washed.  I often feel as though I am in a hive surrounded by worker bees!

At group time we are learning the names of our geometric solids from our Montessori Sensorial materials by passing them to one another. We are also observing and naming the different bases of each of the solids and then find the same shapes in our classroom environment. The children love this activity so much!

This week we started the study of Geography by learning about earth’s lands and waters. We have had presentations using our colored globe and are now learning the vocabulary and locations of the different continents and oceans.  We will talk about the rotation of earth and the different seasons. Soon we will label our classroom with the four directions of north, south, east and west, which will help us when using our large world and continent puzzle maps.

 At lunchtime, Rosemary and Gerri have been working hard to reinforce proper etiquette. We encourage: waiting for everyone to start eating, taking small bites, only speaking with an empty mouth, passing items at the table, appropriate lunch conversations and using our napkins.  The children are doing a great job!

We would like to remind our parents that cold weather makes dressing for recess with 19 children very time consuming. We ask for your help in making sure that your child brings a hat and mittens to school. Please avoid sending gloves, as they are not as warm and more difficult to put on for young children.

We are now wearing indoor shoes in the building and your children are getting quite efficient at changing in and out of their footwear.  Young children learn how to tie shoes around the age of 5 or 6.  For that reason we encourage velcro and slip-on shoes and boots.

Mom’s Night, Thursday,  November 3rd, 6:00pm – 7:00 pm

Parent Conferences, Thursday November 10th.  If you have not done so already, please see the email that has the link to sign up for a time to meet with me!  I am looking forward to meeting with each of you and discussing your wonderful children.


Angelika Deaton


CHILDREN’S HOUSE NORTH with Sheryl and Debbie

We thank you for all of your wonderful healthy snacks!  The children are trying lots of new things that are good for them and loving many of their choices.

Thank you for labeling clothes, peanut butter lunch boxes, sending in weather change extra clothing and paperwork.
Wow!  I thought we were busy here at school!

The children had a lovely trip to Pell farm.  They enjoyed learning that when you let a pumpkin decompose outside, its goes back into the earth and may just grow another pumpkin.

At recess, we have collected different leaves and are learning the type of tree it comes from as well as what possible silly name the leaf has. "Jagged Tooth" has come in first place.

In the classroom, the children are practicing letters and letter sounds, building words, and reading.  In math, they are learning numbers and quantities of 1-10, and 11-19 and some are counting by tens.  Remarkably, bank game, squaring and cubing chains are in use as well.
Practical life doesn't stay on the shelf. While truly enjoying the work, the children are benefiting by strengthening their hand muscles and increasing concentration, coordination, independence and order (CCIO).

Really it's so fun to share that all of the parts of the room are important to the class so early in the year!

*You may have heard the classroom motto "I'll try".
Regardless of the task at hand, we all support each other while someone tries. Those two words work like magic... Then the triumphant, "I DID IT" that follows is one of the best sounds around!
From zippers to zucchini it works.

Looking ahead:
November 3 Mom's Night 6-7
November 10 Parent/Teacher
November 11  No School
November 22  Pie Day



EXTENDED DAY in Children’s House South with Angelika and Sheryl

The afternoons in extended day seem to go by so quickly.  The children are very busy working with work that needs further practice or finishing touches.
Also, they may have a lesson they are ready for.
Most days, we read to the children when we first gather together.  Some days after reading, we have the children answer a prompt by first coloring a picture and then either dictating or writing their own response.
You may see inventive spelling or grammatically incorrect sentences.  Not to fret, this and other skills will come as your child works further through the curriculum with us.
On some days after reading, we may ask questions to practice comprehension.  Other days, we may choose a book that is directly related to something the group is working on together.  Things like patience, kindness, or empathy make great group discussions.
On Friday, we have "Author's Chair" and a child dictates to us an experience that has happened or something that is going to happen.  We write what they say on a large notepad and then send it home.  We have begun emphasizing complete thoughts (sentences) and punctuation to signal the end of a thought or a pause.  Every child has a chance and they are quite fond of being up in front of the group.

Soon, we will begin reading a chapter book. The children are ready and can sit and focus longer and don't need to see the pictures as frequently.

Some afternoons, we may take the children outside at the end of the work cycle a bit ahead of the other children.  This gives them a few extra minutes to bond as the older children in the Children's houses.

Sheryl and Angelika


LOWER ELEMENTARY with Sherrell and Kim

The first several weeks of school are always busy with setting expectations, establishing routines and procedures, building community and gathering information about the students.  Being the new teacher for an established Montessori classroom requires more of this than usual because very few systems and expectations match those to which the returning students have become accustomed. We are not yet done concentrating on those things by any means; the intensity shifts, but this work will continue all year long.

Freedom within limits is a keystone of the Montessori philosophy, and, as the use of the pink tower changes through the years, so does this. In Lower Elementary, we worked together as a class to establish the goals and expectations of our work cycle – the large block of time during which students choose work and have lessons. One of the most important practices of a Montessori environment is that students choose work that they are drawn to within each curriculum area. Some students benefit from more guidance from the adults in the classroom who serve as the connection between the environment and the classroom. Kim and I guide students with questions and reminders of the expectations, but we try to refrain from telling students which work to do when. If we step in too early or too often, we run the risk of taking the student’s agency away and encouraging dependence.

To build students’ awareness of and responsibility for their work choices, we have a Weekly Word Record. Every Monday, students receive their record book.  This book has spaces to set goals for the week, record each day’s work in the different curricular areas, and to reflect upon the week’s strengths and weaknesses before setting a hope for the week to come.  The book also includes reminders and guiding questions for students to consider for goal-setting and reflection. Each day, students are given time to record the work they’ve done so far that week or day and to consider any blank spots when making their work choices.  Students are often surprised to see that they’ve omitted math or writing work for a few days in a row.

All of this goes toward the goal of teaching students how to be independent and reflective members of a learning community.

Math Notes - Another of the expectations of our work cycle is to practice at least two kinds of math each day. Students might complete a “long chain” practicing skip counting and multiplication, or use the golden beads, stamp game, or bead frame to practice 4-digit subtraction.  They might choose to work with a bead or finger board to memorize facts. Now, we have added application to the kinds of math we practice. 

Each student has a dedicated Math Manager or Math Journal for problem solving. The story problems encourage students to think creatively to understand what is happening in the “story” and to think critically to determine the best way to solve the problem.  Students must also explain the steps they have taken to solve the problem. This is intellectually demanding work, and students are getting the support they need to be successful and gain flexibility in and awareness of their math thinking.

Language Notes- There have been some questions about the Benchmark Reading Assessment that I administered to the children: my purpose for using it, and the purpose of levels, particularly in a Montessori classroom.  One key principle of Montessori education is the ongoing assessments that teachers, or guides, must do in order to adjust the classroom and presentations to better meet the children’s needs. Most of the time this is done through observation and different teachers use different structures to guide their observations of the children. The levels are meant for me to understand your child’s skills and abilities better so I can adjust my teaching to best suit their individual needs.  We can review the details of your child’s assessments during our November conference.

We have successfully launched our spelling practice using the Waseca Reading and Language Works programs. Each child has begun the long, linear sequence and will move at his or her own pace through the drawers and boxes. Ask your child about their spelling work!

Cultural Studies - The cultural studies are the heart and soul of elementary education.  Students are curious about their world and everything in it, and Geography, History, and Science offer answers to their questions. Many students are busy practicing naming the continents and countries and making their own copies of each map once they’ve demonstrated mastery.

As a group, we are studying our universe, beginning with our own solar system.  We are studying the names, sequence, and relative size and distance between our planets.  We are learning about the other celestial bodies around us like asteroids, comets, and satellites.

We will also read traditional literature from many cultures with different ideas about where things come from and why things are the way they are.

Students will also do some light research and informational writing about topics that interest them, learning to use different resources to gather information and how to organize that information to share with others.

Thank you!

Sherrell and Kim


UPPER ELEMENTARY with Nicole and Terri


October has come and gone in a flurry of activity, just as the leaves have suddenly fallen and now swirl about our feet.  The children have been busy in all areas of the curriculum, from science to math, to language arts.  Most recently we have finished our first novel studies. Whether they read The Higher Power of Lucky, One Crazy Summer or When You Reach Me, the foci of these novel studies are on gaining a deeper understanding of the text by examining character development, subtext, symbolism and theme and developing good expository and persuasive writing habits. While the children were asked to respond to a variety of writing prompts, an important part of novel study comes with the discussion afterward.  Learning to discuss novels and their message and content leads to successful, persuasive essay writing skills.  Right now, I might initiate a lot of the questions, but the goal for the sixth graders is to be able to facilitate this kind of conversation independently.  Instead of looking for right or wrong responses, we are looking for answers that are supported by proof from the novel - sometimes that proof might be literal, but oftentime with literature it is inferred. The children enjoyed the books, and are excited to begin our next endeavor into literature, although this did come with requests.  I try to choose novels that have a good story, with interesting characters and a deep plot that needs some contemplation.  So, many of the novels are Newberry Award Winners, or written by authors that have won an award for another book.

We have been making a lot of progress in a variety of math.  Many of the older children have begun working with negative integers, adding and subtracting, along with learning how to write number sentences from algebraic word problems.  It’s challenging work, but they are persevering, and liking the challenge that it brings.  The younger children are honing their skills in a variety of operations with larger numbers.  Huge division numbers, and multiplication, along with beginning their journey with algebraic thinking.  There is so much excitement around the use of the amazing Montessori materials, whether it’s racks and tubes for division or the peg board for squaring binomials, materials are in high demand right now in the UE classroom for the joy and understanding they bring. The math materials allow the children to truly manipulate numbers, experiment, see what works and what doesn’t with something concrete, tactile and satisfying. For many children, it helps them to like math, to feel capable and in control.

Related to our exploration of math is our work in geometry.  We have begun the year with some review, and examining what the children have had exposure to in the past.  It became quickly evident that while they had done a lot of work, there was need for a lot of reminders.  We have begun to undertake our study of geometry this year using drawing materials, the Montessori geometry box of sticks, and a variety of shapes from the Montessori geometry cabinet. We have reviewed and learned some nomenclature of lines, angles and the parts of polygons, and begun an in-depth study of triangles.

Our first excursion to the library had some mixed reviews.  The weather was gorgeous; we could not have asked for a more perfect day! The walk was picturesque, and very enjoyable.  It was great for the kids to need to be mindful of traffic, and pay attention to the leader.  We found so many incredible books, and the staff was really helpful with pointing everyone in the right direction.  Unfortunately, we didn’t really have enough time because the walk took longer than expected, and we learned, after kids tried to take out books, that every child needed their own library card, and they needed to have it on their person.  Very disappointing, for all of us.  But, what a great learning experience!  We know we need to leave earlier and that we need to have our cards if we are going to check out books.  Next time we will be even better prepared!  Making mistakes is a big part of learning.  We can use the information like scientists and learn what to change to make our next experience more successful!

One of the reasons we went to the library was to look for books related to the projects that are currently underway in the classroom.  The younger children are looking into a particular element to discover its properties and some interesting facts about how that element is used. The older children are delving into biogeochemical cycles and learning how different elements move from non-living and living “stores” through various processes into different stores. This time, working in partners, hopefully more negotiation, and less digging in of heels will result. Each child is also working on an independent project related to the age of exploration.  Some children have chosen a particular explorer to report on, while others were drawn to particular instruments that were necessary for long sea voyages. Our focus is learning good research and expository writing skills including the use of introductory paragraphs, organizing information, and creating an ALA bibliography.  We will also be practicing peer editing and revision with these projects to bring greater awareness to the students of the importance of following English conventions, and how to create an appropriate voice, and sentence fluency for this type of writing.

It’s been a busy month with more to come, and with all of the breaks coming up in November, Our flurry of activity is sure to be reminiscent of the snow that is soon to come.



ELEMENTARY ART with Christie Hester-Moore

     Greetings everyone! In Art class we are continuing our study of the “Seven Elements of Art” – line, color, space, shape, texture, value and form. As I mentioned in my last newsletter we will be exploring each one of these elements in depth and creating corresponding art projects that highlight each of the different elements. We have recently completed a lesson and project online and how it is used in art. We started this lesson by reviewing a quote by artist Paul Klee (who we studied in a previous lesson) “A line is a dot that went for a walk”. As a group we discussed what line is and how it relates to art and the larger world around us. A line is a path made by moving a point through space. It is one –dimensional and can vary in width, direction, and length. Each student created a visual reference of different types of lines in their workbooks. For our corresponding art projects the students were given a photocopied image of a person without hair and using lines of various lengths, widths, and direction they designed new “hair”.

    Many of the children used the lines they created in their workbooks as a reference and inspiration. The materials used for this project were black markers and colored pencils. Each student’s picture offered a unique array of line work which in turn created amazing visual textures.  The students completed their art pieces by adding color which often added a whimsical and abstract affect to their work. They were also able to appreciate how the different elements of art can and do often overlap. We are currently starting work on color as the second element that we will be exploring.

     Just a brief reminder that Art meets on Mondays and students are encouraged to dress accordingly. If your student is out on a Monday please be advised that every attempt will be made to allow them to catch up on any missing work however Art meets just once a week.

Take care and all the best,


MUSIC – ALL LEVELS – with Hywel Brown

Toddler Room

We have spent the first two months this year singing a variety of songs such as Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Alphabet Song and Old MacDonald.  We have also worked on songs that are a little more challenging rhythmically such as Rocket Ship and 10 Little Fingers.  The children love the guitar and have done a wonderful job listening and following instructions.

Children’s Houses

The children have done a wonderful job singing and joining in by volunteering when asked to give examples of lyrics to add to some of the songs we sing.  We have covered a large variety of songs and start each class with the “Hello Song” in which each child gets to sing their name out loud and clear so they get involved right at the beginning of the class.  We have done a lot of music and movement using “John the Rabbit” and “Clap your Hands”.  We have also practiced counting to ten in Spanish, Welsh, French and German using “Ten Little Fingers”.  Coming up with rhyming names is a lot of fun in “Two Little Blackbirds” as is learning about the names of various groups of animals using the same song.  We have also been learning some musical terms such as forte, piano, vivace and lento and have incorporated them into the various songs throughout the class.

Lower Elementary

We have been dividing lesson time into 3 sections:  Theory, Recorder, Singing.  In theory, we have learned about the bass and treble clefs, the staff, how notes move on the staff and the names of the lines and spaces of both the bass and treble clefs.  On recorder, the notes G, A and B have been learned along with beginning to teach the songs Hot Cross Buns, Clair de la Lune and Mary Had a Little Lamb.  For singing, we have worked on songs that are used in all school meetings, such as “The Rattling Can” and “The Crawdad Song”.  We have also enjoyed singing some Beatles songs and have started to learn how to conduct in 2, 3 and 4 time.

Upper Elementary

Lesson time has been divided into 3 sections for Upper Elementary:  Theory, Recorder and Singing.  In theory, we have covered both the bass and treble clefs, the staff and how notes move on them, the names of the lines and spaces in both the treble and bass clefs, note types, basic rhythms and the grand staff.  We have also been doing some aural training, listening to rhythms and clapping them back, singing phrases and telling whether something is in 2, 3, or 4 time.  On recorder, we have learned the notes G, A and B and have nearly finished with the first three pieces, Hot Cross Buns, Clair de la Lune and Mary Had a Little Lamb.  For singing, we have focused on learning the all school meeting songs “The Rattling Can” and “The Crawdad Song” and have also sung some Beatles, Elvis, Three Dog Night and Harry Belafonte.

YOGA with Lisa

I’m so happy to be practicing yoga again with upper and lower elementary this fall.  Lots of fun poses designed to lengthen, strengthen and stretch the muscles, bones and mind.  We are learning relaxation techniques and incorporating mindfulness and deep breathing.

Our theme is Peace.  Each child will create a Vision Board which will display images and messages cut from magazines of the things in their lives that bring them peace as well as dreams and aspirations for the future. 



It’s been a busy month finishing up our basic vocabulary for our Spanish notebooks, finishing up our projects about “me,” and preparing for Halloween!  The children have settled into Spanish class routines and are enthusiastically reviewing and learning vocabulary.

TODDLER—Starting out your day in the Toddler classroom is wonderful!  The children are becoming accustomed to hearing me chatter away en espanol.  We have been singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” as well as “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes “ in English and in Spanish.  Hopefully we will transition into all Spanish in the coming months.  I am usually present for snack time.   The children are hearing simple directions in Spanish (i.e. wash your hands!) and of course some food vocabulary! 


CHILDREN’S HOUSE—The children have been practicing number vocabulary 1 through 10.  We created a fall scene counting different colored leaves for a felt tree. We matched numbers and repeated their Spanish names.  We have also practiced basic shapes (circulo, triangulo, rectangulo, cuadro) with a bean bag game of “hot potato”.  We passed the bean bag shape around the circle.  Whoever ended up with the shape after the music stopped told the name of the shape.  We created jack-o-lanterns using the shapes with these basic word pictures.  I hope you have been checking their bags for the Spanish practice sheets!  It’s a great way to learn a little of the language with your child!


KINDERGARTEN—The Kindergarteners have enthusiastically been working on vocabulary for their Spanish folders.  We have practiced numbers one through ten with a cut and paste activity.  We practiced colors with a coloring activity.  Both of these vocabulary sheets have been placed in their folders.   They enjoy the bingo games associated with this vocabulary and it is a fun way to end the class!  We heard a ghost story which reviewed numbers, “Diez Fantasmitas TImidos.”  Their take home work was to draw a picture of who was scaring the fantasmas out of their casa encantada.   Hopefully they drew some great “witch/bruja” pictures for you to see!


LOWER ELEMENTARY—Our Spanish notebooks are being filled with mucho vocabulario as we practice basic words for numbers, colors, weather, days of the week and finally school vocabulary.  All levels are practicing the agreement of definite articles with the school vocabulary.  We are also practicing the placement and agreement of colors in a Spanish sentence in conjunction with school vocabulary. We finished our projects about “me” in time for Dad’s Night.  The children practiced reading their work in class.  We did a cut and paste activity for school vocabulary and then added the definite articles to the words.  The children have been learning Halloween poems and are excited to do the final art projects for the poetry.  Level One has learned “Cinco Calabasas.”  Their job was to create a witch (la bruja) and the five pumpkins (cinco calabasas) to use as props to tell the poem.  Level Two learned the spooky poem, “Tumbas”.  They created spooks to go with their poem.  Level Three learned a long poem “Tres Fantasmas”.  Their project involved ghosts made of lollipops and napkins—always a favorite! The children have settled into a routine with the Spanish classes already.  They seem to be enjoying the challenge of the work!


UPPER ELEMENTARY—In addition to the basics of numbers and colors, the Upper Elementary students have also practiced weather phrases and weather adjectives, days of the week in conjunction with “hoy”(today), “ayer” (yesterday), and “manana” (tomorrow), the months of the year and the seasons of the year.  All levels finished their “me” projects in time for Dad’s Night.  Level Four made conversation balloons which told about themselves.  Level Five made banners. Level Six made accordion people.  Each level was able to write in complete sentences and read their sentences orally.  Impressive! Levels Four and Five are studying school vocabulary with colors and definite articles. Level Five is also studying the present tense conjugation of verbs, as well as telling time with the school vocabulary.  Level Six is preparing for the reading of a Spanish book, “Un Viaje a Mexico.”  We are reviewing the conjugation of present tense verbs for this task. Presently we are studying the reflexive verb “gustarse” plus the infinitive.  The use of a verb plus infinitive is a common component in the reading to come. The children have already completed several writing assignments involving verbs and seasons of the year.  I feel as though we are off to a good start and am looking forward to seeing their progress in Spanish this year!



Level Two students finished up the African folktale “Buya Marries the Tortoise” with a whole class activity.  We created a celebration poem to celebrate the marriage of Nkuvu the tortoise to Buya, the most beautiful creature in the whole world.  The children have been interpreting the story mostly through art work.  We have also written a sentence telling about the art.  The children enjoyed making a tortoise and then showing how the tortoise survived Moma’s (Buya’s father) attempts to get rid of the tortoise!  We discussed the story and put all of our work together into a packet to be taken home.  Since Mom’s Night is just around the corner, we may delay taking the packet home until the Mom’s have seen it!

Level Three students finished the Japanese folktale “The Magic Listening Cap” with a written dialogue between a crow and an animal of their choice.   We have been doing some textual analysis of the story—studying specific passages in order to find information.   The students are practicing using facts or passages of the story to answer questions.  We discussed the story and created a cover for our work.  As with Level Two, Level Three students will show their moms the work on Mom’s Night before bringing it home!



In PE class our current focus is on the basic skills of throwing and catching. By breaking down the skills, the students can become proficient in them. Some of the games in which all are participating are handball and ultimate frisbee. Some more advanced games we are working on are a modified version of handball called Harry Potter Handball, which is a class favorite, and frisbee golf.

 The overall idea that I want all students to grasp is the idea of teamwork. In every class we talk about how being a good sportsman and good teammate can relate to real life and in the regular classroom.


Pioneer Valley Montessori School, 1524 Parker Street, Springfield, MA 01129 • 413-782-3108

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