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December News

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie

The holiday season is upon us and we are excited to share what is going on at Montessori Corner at Princeton Meadows! We kicked off the season of giving by hosting a canned food drive benefiting the RISE pantry of Hightstown. We are collecting canned goods and other non-perishable food products through the second week of December so anyone interested in donating is welcome to drop  off your items at the school. We recommend that you allow your child to make selections at the grocery store to donate as allowing your child to participate reinforces the understanding of community service.

Thanksgiving brings us many lessons featuring Pilgrims and Indians and our students are excited to learn more about the Mayflower and the plight of those who may not have had it so easy. Understanding, kindness, empathy and giving are the themes of many of the classrooms during this time of the year. Thanksgiving Feasts were a celebration of community.  Our students made Friendship Soup and fruit salad and feasted while dressed as pilgrims or Indians. It was a wonderful opportunity to encourage positive socialization, friendship, sharing, kindness and understanding.

The classrooms have been busy with lessons in all areas. Migration and hibernation have taken over many of the themed units in the classes. Children are learning to compare and contrast animals of the world and their habitats, habits and needs. Animal classification becomes a dominating lesson this time of the year. Understanding the differences between mammals, amphibians, birds, fish and reptiles becomes an important focus during this time of the school year.

As always, our students work diligently in all areas mastering tasks introduced by their amazing teachers. Our faculty works to create comprehensive and engaging lesson plans designed for each child that continue to challenge their abilities while developing confidence, self esteem and independence! Each child has a marble notebook used to collect an assortment of their weekly lessons. These books are sent home weekly for mommy and daddy to go through and returned each Monday so the child can continue their work. The beauty of the notebook is that it demonstrates evidence of the learning process including handwriting as each of our students are encouraged to practice their writing skills.

Tips for home:

  • Coloring is the best way to encourage and foster great handwriting skills. Provide your child with colored pencils, markers and crayons as a means of expressing themselves. Remember to limit the number of crayons/markers/pencils provided as too many choices can make it more difficult to make decisions, thereby, actually limiting creativity.
  • Workbooks do not teach children how to read, nor do they teach the child how to accomplish a task. Workbooks are merely practice for skills already learned. Limit the amount of workbook time in favor of activities that actually teach skills. For instance, playing board games as a family focuses on team building, patience, taking turns, following directions, good sportsmanship, confidence, counting (and even addition if you are using more than one die), problem solving, development of strategic thinking and critical thinking skills.
  • Don’t stop reading to your child even if they can read the book to you. Children LOVE when they can just snuggle in and listen to the lull of mom or dad’s voice as they read. Also, reading to your child does so much more including:
    • teaches the children the subtle nuances of reading
    • inflection when reading different text and how it changes
    • comprehension
    • Most importantly, it solidifies the parent/child bond

As we move toward 2016, we do so with enthusiasm and passion and we encourage you to climb aboard and learn with us!

Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season,

Chris Booth, Principal

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