More September News and Introductions

Meet our after-school care team!

Mx. Shannon

Mx. Shannon, (they/their/them) Aftercare and substitute teacher in Aspen Room

I grew up in Western Washington and moved to Pullman in 2012. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology at Washington State University in 2016. I am currently working towards my master’s degree in teaching, with my focus being elementary education. I was drawn to Montessori education for the respect it pays to children and their individual learning processes. This is my second year with the Montessori School of Pullman. As an After Care teacher, I enjoy creating a space where the children can socialize, play games, and explore various art projects. At home, I enjoy writing and learning new art skills.

Ms. Melanie

Ms. Melanie (she/her/hers) Aftercare teacher in Aspen classroom

I am from Kirkland Washington. I am currently a senior attending Washington State University pursuing my BS in Criminal justice and sociology. Before coming to the Montessori School of Pullman I previously worked at a Montessori back in my hometown for the past six years. Working with children is something I have always loved doing, but apart from working in childcare I also am a WSU cadet for the WSU police department. During my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends and going to the gym.

Ms. Sumanjali

Ms.Sumanjali, (she/her/hers) Lunchbunch/After-care/Sub in Oak room

I am from the Southern part of India, and received a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Kakatiya University. I have been living in Pullman since March, 2020. My husband works for Washington State University and we have two fantastic kids who are 4 and 2 years old, and they both began attending the Montessori School of Pullman from this academic year. My journey started with Montessori this summer and I love being part of it. I have a true passion for working with our youngest learners!!
I really enjoy my time with the kids at school and spending my free time with family and friends. I also like music, cooking, and relaxing at the beach.

Family Education

by Ms. Jane

During these different times of managing covid and its ongoing restrictions, we will be covering Family Education in many different ways. These will include articles, videos, blogs and online meetings. The teachers will make videos of lessons from the Montessori curriculum, then we will send them out via classroom dojo. We will also be recommending Youtube videos that have great Montessori philosophy content. We will highlight areas of the curriculum from each of the classrooms in future newsletters. This will give more insight to your child`s classroom and teachers. 

All classrooms follow the Montessori philosophy which includes the interest areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math and Cultural Studies. The Montessori method/philosophy tells us to “follow the child” so although your child has access to all of the above interest areas, your child may be concentrating their interests in one area. A child’s interest and attraction to a particular area of the classroom is called a Sensitive Period. Your child may be in a sensitive period for language, and be really attracted to all of the works that help develop the ability to read and write. Each area of the classroom has an order to it, so that one lesson/work builds their knowledge to move on to the next piece of work. In math, as an example, a child first masters numbers 0 – 9 before moving on to teen numbers.

In our first Parent Teacher Conferences we will talk a lot about children completing a work cycle. This means a child will choose a piece of work, work on it to their level and then return the work to the shelf, ready for the next child to work on it. These first few weeks of school have been spent by the teachers teaching group lessons, mostly about Grace and Courtesy (good manners, being able to work as a member of the classroom community) and then making many observations about what are the interests and ability levels of the children. This will then help us build  ideas of what lessons to give and to help guide the children through the materials.

Parents often ask “How Can WE Help at Home?” I almost always answer this with “Please do not do work books, but give your child experiences, include them in the daily life of the family. For examples, wash the car together and talk about it. Take your child grocery shopping and have them look for things with you. Go for a walk and count steps. Play with your child and read to them These are just a few examples.

We are such a very lucky school to have such a  culturally diverse community of families and teachers too. Our teachers not only are diverse in culture but also in age, training and life experience, to name just a few

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MSoP News – September 2021

Welcome back, teachers, families and students to the 2021 – 2022 school year. Last year, the protocols we put in place to protect our school community from Covid-19 were successful, and so we will continue many of them for this year – Parent Informational Meetings via Zoom, teachers, parents and students 5 years and older masked, temperature checks on arrival, no big welcome back potluck picnic in the park, children practicing physical distancing, no mixing of classes on the playground or gym, siblings placed in the same class whenever possible, no handshakes at the door . . . plus lots and lots of handwashing!

We are counting on everyone in our school community to do their part in keeping the whole community safe and healthy. We can all make choices that mitigate risks for all – avoiding crowds, spending time outdoors, keeping everyone in the family home if a member of the family is sick, especially for an unknown reason, or has Covid-19 symptoms, letting us know asap of any potential exposure risk . . . I also can’t stress enough the simple act of everyone washing hands immediately upon a return to the home. This is a good health habit for us all to practice for ever, not just during a pandemic.

In spite of all of the changes, please know that the children are happy to be back at school and engaging with the materials and friends in the classroom. Returning children are enjoying the sense of routine, while new children are learning the daily routine and procedures. We thank you for trusting us with the care and education of your children. We will do our very best to be worthy of your trust!

If you missed last night’s parent meeting, you can check out the recording on YouTube with this link

Bev Wolff

Head of school and newsletter editor!

This month we are introducing our core staff, both teaching and administration. In our next newsletter we will introduce you to our lunchbunch and after-care teachers.

Welcome Back, Oak Room

We are very excited to reopen our class for two to three year olds. Montessori Beginnings is held in the Oak Room, room 113, with teachers Ms. Jackie and Ms. Ivy.

Ms. Jackie, Lead Teacher in Oak Room (she, her, hers) I was born and raised in Michigan. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Central Michigan University in 2008. While in Michigan I worked in various childcare centers and in the public school system. My husband and I lived in Chicago before relocating to Pullman in 2012. In 2019 I earned my Montessori certification through the North American Montessori Center. I look forward to my third year at MSoP and getting to know the Oak students and families, and teaching again with Ms. Ivy.

Ms. Ivy, assistant teacher in Oak Room (she, her, hers) I am originally from the Philippines. I met my husband 18 years ago while he was living in the Caribbean, we married and moved to Pullman for his work. My husband and I have two boys in Lincoln Middle School. I have my bachelors degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Southwestern University in the Philippines, and my Assistant Teacher training certificate from the Montessori Institute of America. I have been with the Montessori School of Pullman for 6 years. I am excited to meet you all.

When I am not at work, my family and I love hiking and walking our Golden Retriever named Biko. 

Aspen Room, room 111

This is our extended care preschool room, and is open from 7:30 – 5:30.

Ms. Lynn, Co-Lead Teacher in Aspen Room (she, her, hers) I grew up on the west side of Washington, on Bainbridge Island. I graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Elementary Education with a reading teacher endorsement. I spent most of my teaching career in remote native villages in the Alaskan bush. This is where my husband, Randy, and I raised our two children, Kendra and James, now ages 26 and 22. Seven years ago Randy and I moved back to Washington and I became a librarian for Whitman County. I missed teaching though, so I began to sub for the Montessori School of Pullman while working on my Montessori training to teach 3-6 year olds. I now hold a Montessori teaching certificate to teach 3 – 6 year olds from the North American Montessori Center.  I look forward to a great school year.

Najnin, Co-lead Teacher in Aspen Room (she, her, hers) I was raised in Bangladesh. I moved to Pullman in the summer of 2000 from North Carolina with my husband, who is working at Washington State University as an adjunct faculty member. We have raised our four kids in Pullman.  They now range from  10th grade to fourth year of college. I am currently working on my Master’s in Education with a Special Education Endorsement. I attended Washington State University and graduated in 2013 from the Human Development Department with a specialization in Early Childhood Development Care. I have worked with children of ages 2-6 from 2008 as a substitute and an assistant teacher in the Pullman community.  I also have 5 years of experience working with students with special needs in the Pullman School District.

I have my Montessori teacher training certification in the Early childhood program through the North American Montessori Center (NAMC).

I am active in the local Muslim Community and serving as the President of the Women’s group at the Pullman Islamic Center. 

Willow Room, room 107

This is our school-day preschool room. We also offer Before Care in this room.

Ms. Jane, Co-Lead Teacher, in Willow Room (she, her, hers) I am originally from England, although I have now lived in America longer.  I studied straight out of High School to become a British Qualified Nanny, and a nanny job is what brought me to the USA, specifically California.  There I nannied for a couple of families, both of whom had children who attended a Montessori School in that town.  This was my introduction to Montessori, and I was soon hooked.  I started my Montessori teaching certificate program, and graduated in 1996, with an American Montessori Society Teaching Certificate.

I married in 1993, and had two boys, five years apart.  In 2005, my family moved from California to Idaho.  In 2011, we moved again to Moscow, Idaho, and I started working at the Montessori School of Pullman as a lead teacher in a 3 – 6 class.  My husband attended the University of Idaho, graduating in 2014 with a Bachelors in Information Systems Management and Operations Management.

Our oldest son graduated from Moscow High, and is now in the Air Force.  Our younger son now attends Moscow High School and is following in his brother’s footsteps by being a lifeguard at the Moscow Aquatic Center and looking forward to joining the Air Force, too.

I am very excited for this new year, co-teaching with Sudha!  

Ms. Sudha, Co-Lead Teacher in Willow Room (she, her, hers): I was born and raised in India. I originally trained and worked as a teacher in a traditional system in India, but I knew there must be better ways to teach. After reading about Maria Montessori and her education methods in my Education degree, I wanted to experience the philosophy of ‘following the child.’ I came to Washington State to study Montessori education.

I graduated through the Montessori Institute of America as a Teacher of 3-6 year olds.   In 2011, after completing my studies and a year’s practicum teaching at Dancing Pines Montessori School in Renton, Washington, I came to work as a lead teacher at the Montessori School of Pullman. Apart from Montessori training, I have my Bachelor degree in both Economics & Education and Master’s degree in Economics. I have 6+ years teaching experience in India.  In 2014, I received my Montessori Elementary Teaching Certificate (6-9 year olds) through the North American Montessori Center, Canada. I am a certified teacher in Washington State, receiving my Washington teachers’ license in 2020.  Now I am beginning my eleventh year as a lead teacher at the Montessori School of Pullman. I am very excited to teach things that I have learned from my training and experience

My hobbies are traveling, hiking, baking, painting, art/crafts, sewing and spending fun time with my two amazing kids.

Administration

 

Ms. Bev, Head of School (She, her, hers) I was born and raised in England, moving to the USA in the eighties with my husband, John, and two young daughters. My youngest child, my son, John, was born in Texas, where we lived for many years. During that time I completed an English degree at UTA, as well as my Montessori teaching certificates for teaching 3 – 6 year olds and 6 -9 year olds. Our family moved to Pullman in 1997.

I began my teaching career in the traditional model, with a middle-school teaching certificate from the University of London in English and Drama. As soon as I was introduced to Montessori Education through the preschool my daughters attended, I became passionate about Montessori philosophy and practice. Over the years I have taught toddlers, preschoolers and lower elementary using the Montessori approach, and I have been the administrator of the Montessori School of Pullman since 2008. Now my grandson attends this school, making it a three generation Montessori experience! My baby granddaughter will join as soon as she is old enough! My oldest grandson is a graduate, and now in KG at Pullman Community Montessori, the new charter school in Pullman,

I am currently the President of the Montessori Institute of America, serving my second term, and I am also Vice Chair for the Pullman Community Montessori school board. It is a dream come true for me to be able to work as part of a team to bring tuition free Montessori education to Pullman through a K- 9 charter school.

I love spending time with family and friends, cooking, gardening, reading and hiking. I love to travel back to England to visit my sister, and her extended family, and to visit my daughters, who both live in Bellingham.

Ms. Alicia  Administrative Assistant  (she, her, hers), I am the mother of two Montessori School of Pullman graduates and have been involved with the school for six years. During that time, I have been a parent volunteer, a lunch bunch helper, and a substitute teacher. This is my second year of working as administrative assistant, helping with the daily operations while staying connected to the teachers and families. 

Raised in Walla Walla, I graduated from the University of Idaho in 2005 and decided to stay in the area to raise a family with my husband. When I am not splitting my time between Montessori and running my design and photography business, I enjoy cooking, tending to my numerous houseplants, and paddleboarding. 

Special Thanks

  • To our school board members – Nathan Porter (President), Sarah Scholes (Vice-President), Dan Salois (Treasurer), Sharon DeChenne (Secretary) and members-at-large – Laura Rose Gage and Amie Smith. You put in some good work to help refine our Covid-19 protocols
  • Our staff, for all of their hard work in getting the rooms ready. The classrooms are so inviting for the children.
  • The Engler Family, for their help with determining how to proceed with testing
  • To all of our families, for joining us and trusting us with your children

Favorite Geography Extensions

Proudly showing off their completed globes

One of the best ever geography extensions is making a globe. This makes for a great end of year work, as it is a multi-step, multi-day project. Children are ready for this work after building their attention spans, their hand-eye coordination and geography knowledge all year long.

Materials

  • Paper mache (You can find a simple recipe to make homemade paper mache here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ba2ePeEiF2E)
  • The colored globe, for reference
  • A balloon for each child interested in making a globe
  • Newspaper cut into strips
  • Construction paper for the continents – white, orange, pink, red, green, yellow, brown
  • Continent shapes from the world puzzle map to trace around
  • Pin poking materials to perforate around the traced shapes (You can find pin poking materials here: https://www.montessoriservices.com/wood-handled-puncher You can use thumb tacks for this work, too)
  • Blue paint and paintbrush

Directions

  • Step One
  • Make paper mache paste.
  • Blow up a round balloon to match the size of the colored globe.
  • Demonstrate dipping the strips of paper into the paste, using your fingers to remove excess, and pasting the strip on to the balloon. Continue covering the balloon until it is completely covered.
  • Leave the covered balloon (the globe) to dry until the paper and strips feel dry and hard. You can balance the globe on a paper bowl on a shelf while it dries. Air drying the globe may take several days, so plan ahead.
  • Invite children to make their own globe shape.
  • Step Two
  • Demonstrate tracing around each continent shape on the colored construction paper, matching the color of the continent piece to the colored paper.
  • Demonstrate pin-poking (some call this paper punching) each continent. Many children will already know how to do this from making two-dimensional maps, and will not require this demonstration.
  • Invite children to pin poke the continent shapes. Have a special container for each child’s continent pieces – e.g. labelled ziplock bag, envelope, etc.
  • Step Three
  • Once the globes are dry, they can be painted blue to represent the ocean. Leave the globes to dry once again.
  • Step Four
  • With the colored globe available as a guide, demonstrate placing the colored paper continents onto the colored globe to find the correct side of the continent to spread the glue, and then glueing the continent in place on to your painted globe. Some children may need the help of a friend or teacher to accomplish this step.
  • Step Five
  • Leave the globe to dry once again.
  • Further Extensions
  • Older students might make a globe showing world biomes. Use white paper for the continent shapes, and color/draw the biomes on each continent piece – forest, desert, grasslands, tundra, grasslands, etc.
  • Consider making a globe to show major rivers and mountain ranges, or climate zones, etc.
Map of the world work made from felt.

Here is another favorite geography work – a map of the world made out of felt. You can make just one felt world map to be added to the geography shelf for the children to use.

One of the teachers at the school where I work enlists the help of parent volunteers to make felt world maps for all of the children who are graduating, and they receive their map as a graduation gift during the graduation ceremony. Parents trace and cut out enough pieces for each graduate. Some parents just use scissors, but parents have also cut out large numbers of each shape at one time using a laser cutter.

After practicing laying out the continent pieces on the blue hemispheres, children can be invited to sew the continent pieces onto the blue felt to make a permanent map. For those children who have been introduced to embroidery, they can embroider ‘The World’ and their name using a simple chain stitch. They can also embroider around each hemisphere to make their map even more decorative.

Felt continent pieces

With thanks to Ms. Jane and Ms. Jackie from the Montessori School of Pullman, for sharing these geography ideas, and with thanks to whoever shared these ideas with them! I invite you to share some of your favorite geography extensions, too.

The End of Year Wobbles!

A graduate from 2020, graduating via Zoom

Updated and edited from an initial posting in 2012!

This school year has been unlike any other, with pandemic precautions forcing us to reimagine many of our traditions, including graduation, and end of school year celebrations. However, one thing remains the same. As the end of the school year approaches, we notice a few children having a case of what we call ‘the end of year’ wobbles!  Some children are preparing to leave the safe, secure, familiar feeling of their classrooms, where they have grown and learned for three, and in a few cases, up to seven years and move on to elementary school.  They are going from being the big fish in a little pond to the little fish in a much bigger school.  Many of our four-to-five year olds are preparing for kindergarten.  Many will begin riding the school bus on a daily basis.  Change is unsettling, exciting, and a little scary.

Our soon to be graduates often go through a heightened flurry of activity.

“Oh my gosh, it seemed like I had forever to paint a map of the world, count to a thousand, complete my book of division work, read all of the Bob books, write my story . . . and now there are only four weeks left!”

As change approaches, children may go through a heightened need for hugs and conversations and reassurance.

As a parent, if you look back at times of change in your own life – leaving home to go to college, getting married, becoming a parent – you’ll perhaps recognize those feelings we call ‘the end of year wobbles’.  Lots of emotion, lots of excitement, all mixed together with a sprinkling of butterflies and nerves.  You might even be having some of these feelings, too, as you watch your once so little child, now with a big kid smile, walk proudly forward to receive a graduation diploma.  Treasure each stage and age, because before you know it they’ll be walking across a high school stage to receive a diploma, and worries about the first school bus ride will be replaced with worries about the first time driving the family car!

MSoP News ~ May 2021

Guest Blog by Ms. Jackie Farrand

As we welcome May the classrooms are buzzing with children working and enjoying time with their friends. Shoes are changed more quickly as we eagerly go out to enjoy the sunshine. We are enjoying the signs of life as the ladybugs return to the play structure, the trees sprout new bright green buds, and beautiful dandelions decorate the grass.

Soon, we will finish up big projects, pack up cubbies, graduate some children, and celebrate the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Whether your child(ren) joins us for a fun summer school session or takes time off, it is Summer on the Palouse. We would like to offer two Montessori inspired tips for summer break. One, set a routine. You do not need a detailed schedule. A simple routine helps the child know what to expect and makes transitions smoother. For example, after breakfast we clean up and head out for an outing. Two, follow the child, and I would add- Follow the family. Find the balance that works for all. Is it keeping busy or just a few activities per week? Involve everyone in making plans.

Whether you are planners or prefer to be spontaneous, here are some fun and low cost summer fun ideas to get you started.

Practical life is what you do daily. Make some fresh squeezed lemonade, a refreshing frozen banana ice cream. Have your child make and pack a picnic lunch or snack for the park. Give them real tasks. Plucking dead flowers off the petunias and pulling weeds are tasks my kiddo loves. Tip- Weeds are easier to pull after it rains.

Explore the Palouse- walks/scooter/bike rides on the Chipman Trail, pick fruits and flowers (Bishop Orchard (apples), Nelson’s Orchard (cherries), Stratton’s Cutting Gardens(flowers)). Pick some new local parks to visit. Explore a county park: Idlers Rest, Kamiak Butte, and Klemgard Park.

Cherry picking – you can also pick flowers and blueberries right here on the Palouse.

Do a tasting tour. Answer the question, who has the best ice cream on the Palouse? If you make a chart and take notes, boom you’ve done language and science. If you don’t, you still enjoy tasty treats. (Sweet Mutiny, Ferdinand’s, Rolly’s, Neill’s, Panhandle Cone & Coffee) If you drive out to Deary, ID, Pie Safe Bakery and Kitchen has awesome ice cream.

As for us, we’ll pick a couple ideas from above and round out our summer with lots of reading outside, bike rides, helping with summer school, and practicing our cheese board skills. What are you looking forward to doing? What is your summer tradition?

*Please check places for any Covid hour changes or requirements. For places not directly linked, check Facebook for their business page.

For a link to one of Ms. Bev’s favorite walks on the Palouse to do with children, check out this previous blog post from Ms. Bev https://wordpress.com/post/bevfollowsthechild.wordpress.com/196

MSoP News ~ April 2021

Happy spring!

April is a busy time at MSoP. This week we tried dyeing eggs for Easter using natural dyes. We used red cabbage, onion skins and beets. You can find the recipes for natural egg dyes here: https://www.myfrugalhome.com/how-to-dye-easter-eggs-naturally/ Eggs and colored eggs are a part of Easter celebrations, but also other spring celebrations, such as Nowruz, which is the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian New Year, which begins on the spring equinox. Eggs are a symbol of new life, and as the weather warms and the day lengthens, we are all ready for new life – leaves opening on the trees, nests filled with baby birds, seeds sprouting . . .

We also joined with Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, our neighbors in the Gladish Community and Cultural Center, to plant blue and silver pinwheels to bring awareness that April is child abuse prevention month. As we planted our pinwheels around the grounds, we talked about our shared vision of our world as a place where all children can feel safe and supported by their families and their communities. You can read more about this campaign here: https://preventchildabuse.org/resources/pinwheels-for-prevention/

What else is happening in April?

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

We will be taking school photos on April 14th, something we weren’t sure would happen this year. Ms. Alicia who works at our school and is a professional photographer took a course in modern school photography to prepare to take our school photos this year. Individual photos of the children will also be placed in a grid to form a composite class picture – a great way to have a class photo without crowding everyone together for one picture.

We will offer vacation care for some of our students during our spring break. We will spend extra time playing outdoors, including a picnic snack time and lunchtime. We will be making bird feeders to hang from a tree near our parking lot, making pretend binoculars and spending time bird watching, going on a nature scavenger hunt and enjoying lots of stories and art activities. Here’s a link to show you how to make a simple bird feeder: https://www.honeyandlime.co/how-to-make-a-bird-feeder-fun-summer-crafts-for-kids/

April 10 -16th is the week of the young child, and we will be celebrating our young children with lots of posts about the wonderful world of the young child and their amazing brains, using the hashtag #woyc21. You can find resources for celebrating the week of the young child here: https://www.naeyc.org/events/woyc

As a staff, as we plan for summer and the next academic year, we are spending time considering lessons we have learned from the pandemic, and ideas we will keep and ideas we will gladly ditch, once it is safe to do so. Last year, our graduation ceremonies were held via Zoom, with graduation caps, peacock feathers (a traditional graduation gift at our school, because our graduates should be as proud as peacocks!) a book and the diploma, all in a gift bag, being delivered by the teachers to all of our graduates’ homes. This year we hope to hold the graduation ceremonies in person, using a large event space within our building. Families will all have their own tables and snacks, and tables will be very well spaced apart. However, Zoom allowed family members living throughout the states, the middle-east, Asia and Europe to join the ceremony, and it was wonderful to see grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends of our graduates. Will we able to hold a hybrid ceremony, with close family guests in attendance, but with a Zoom link open for more distant family members? Will we film the ceremony and share the Youtube link with our families? The pandemic has really highlighted the importance of our family, and with travel restricted, we have had to learn to use technology to maintain our strong family connections.

Our elementary students are also preparing for a Science Fair to be held April 19th -23rd. This is such a fun learning experience. Families will be invited into the classroom via Zoom to watch their child present to the class, and on the final day, science fair displays will be in the long hallway for families to visit, while still maintaining physical distancing. Our younger students will also have the opportunity to have a walk through with their teachers. Seeing the work of older students is inspirational for our younger children.

As a family, just as we are doing as a staff, this might be a good time to reflect on what you will keep from the pandemic and what you will ditch as soon as you are able! We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

MSoP News ~ March 2021

Welcome to March at MSoP. March is a busy month at school, with tours being given to prospective families interested in enrolling their children in the 2021- 2022 school year. We are planning for summer camp, too, and accepting summer camp applications from our currently enrolled families. During the month of March we also wrap up parent-teacher conferences, and complete staff evaluations.

It’s now nearly a year since MSoP closed down, due to the pandemic. That seems both a long time ago and just like yesterday. We are so grateful for the continued support of our families. You really helped us survive during the months of no tuition during April and May, and helped us reopen our doors to in-person learning on June 1. We are also very thankful for all of the precautions families and teachers have taken to keep our community safe. We have learned a lot during this time, including the need for flexibility. This month, as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, I know I will look back on March 17th 2020, and remember it as the first day of our school closure. As a school community, we have not only survived, but thrived. Families, you have done an amazing job of shepherding your youngsters through this challenging time. Thank you!

Today, with the sun shining and a high of 54 degrees, spring seems very close. Our current students are enjoying lots of outside time. This Friday we may even have a picnic lunch! Our students are showing amazing growth in so many areas. I love hearing our students read, and seeing the fine maps they are producing, and all of their very creative art and building work.

I am showcasing some of the work produced by our students in Aspen class. This is map work produced by students aged 4 – 6. Wow!

As spring approaches, our plants in the classroom get some extra attention using this plant care kit. Plants can be watered, and also the leaves, which can get dusty, can be washed until they shine!

The practical life work, which was mostly red, pink and fluffy last month for Valentine’s Day, has been replaced with lots of green and shamrocks. Changing up the materials and containers for scooping, tweezing and pouring keeps the practical life exercises fun for the children.

Parent Education~ Montessori Math

The Montessori math materials include hands-on concrete representations of our decimal system – the Golden Bead materials – as well as colorful bead bars and many other materials for teaching numeracy, place value, skip counting, and introduction to the mathematical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

The math materials are introduced in a way to gradually move the child from the concrete to the abstract – that is from a reliance on using the hands-on materials, to being able to do math ‘in your head’ or with paper and pencil. Each math lesson is built on what the child learned in previous lessons, in a very organized and systematic way.

Here, Ms. Sudha, one of our Montessori teachers who has Montessori training to teach 3 – 6 year olds, as well as 6 – 9 year olds, plus a Washington State Teaching certificate, introduces us to some of the math materials she uses in her classroom for 3 – 6 year olds.

Thanks, Ms. Sudha, for the virtual tour of the math materials

Kindergarten and Beyond

This post is geared towards helping families with children who will be 5 on or before August 31st, 2021, to find out more about getting ready for kindergarten. The post also introduces families to the options that are available for children aged 5 and older in our community.

The Montessori School of Pullman hosted this Zoom meeting, and representatives from the Pullman School District and Pullman Community Montessori gave guest presentations.

In many preschools at this time, teachers are assessing individual children’s readiness for kg. We use this simple checklist, that covers key readiness indicators in the areas of interpersonal and self help skills, communication, fine and large motor, literacy, science and math. Please remember that if your child has not mastered all of these skills, you can continue to provide opportunities for practice through the coming months. As an example, if your child does not yet use large muscles with confidence, you can schedule time outside to practice throwing and catching a ball, climbing at the park, or using their balance to ride a scooter. If your child struggles with taking turns and sharing, this can be a great time to start playing some simple board games.

One of the most important areas for readiness is in the area of social and self help skills. A child who struggles with these skills may benefit from the gift of an additional year before moving on to kg. Otherwise, a child may struggle with transitions, have melt downs and feel out of depth. One option is to give this child an additional year in the 3 – 6 class. We call the third year in the 3 – 6 class the leadership year. This year of being the oldest child in the class can help the child mature, grow in confidence and strengthen social skills. At the end of this year, families can assess whether the child would benefit from KG or is ready to move into first grade.

You can see the complete checklist of kg readiness skills here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1hEOu75qUEQrW1vbdmTz-_5tVXGmpWsKNUInEK8njRM0/edit?usp=sharing

So one option for KG is to remain at the Montessori School of Pullman.

Our application forms are available here: https://www.pullmanmontessori.org/kindergarten Please note that the KG option is now only in the 3 – 6 year old room.

Do you want to know more about a typical day for a kg student in the Pullman School District, check here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1g3B5FKCCzNoF8awQj946rdv6OVggI7-4cwQMMDBKXjs/edit?usp=sharing

Do you want to know more about enrollment at Pullman Community Montessori? You can access enrollment information here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vwsbz-4Q5_4o-syCi64ms4kmETh9r_26/view?usp=sharing

To end with, here are some KG students working hard at the Montessori School of Pullman. KG is a year rich with learning experiences, and we wish you the very best for your child for their KG year and beyond!

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