Ms Mary and Ms Donna
About Ms Mary
Mary earned her Association Montessori Internationale teacher’s diploma in 1978. She has been a Montessori guide for the primary level for over 30 years.
She joined the PHMA staff in 2007 and is proud to be a member of such a dedicated, harmonious Montessori school.
Mary is also a teacher trainer. This past summer she worked with 30 adult Montessori students directing them in both the Language and Sensorial areas of the classroom.
Besides being passionate about the “Montessori Way” of early childhood education, Mary enjoys travel, reading, and using her creative energies in art, gardening and creating beautiful environments.
About Ms Donna
Donna has been a teacher for over 13 years. She has an early childhood Montessori Teaching Credential from the Palm Harbor Montessori Teacher Training Center and has been teaching at PHMA for two years.
Donna graduated from Dean College with a degree in Music Therapy and Emmanuel College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. She is also a classically trained pianist.
In addition to her passion for Montessori education, she enjoys being in nature, camping, fishing, baking, sewing and crocheting.
“No guide, no teacher can divine the intimate needs of each pupil and the time of maturation necessary to each; but only leave the child free and all this will be revealed to us under the guidance of nature.” -Maria Montessori-
“Children become like the things they love.” -Maria Montessori-
March/April 2013 – Ms. Mary and Ms. Donna
April 8, 2013 – Weekly Update
To everyone who showed up for our recent classroom Open House, THANK YOU! The children really enjoy the opportunity to “shine” and show/teach you their work. They truly are amazing and talented young children.
PHOTOS FROM THE CLASSROOM:
We will be posting pictures from the classroom for all to see.
Please join Ms. Mary & Ms. Donna for a night of fun and good company. We have a table for our class at the B.A.S.H. Please do join us at our class table for dinner and great company! (If nothing else, what a great chance to see Ms. Mary and Ms. Donna not in work clothes…We clean up really well LoL)
We continue to collect items for our YOGA B.A.S.H. BASKET. Thank you to those parents who have made donations to the basket. Please see/email Joanne or Bethany if you have any questions regarding what is still needed for the basket.
CALLING ALL GOLFERS:
If you enjoy golfing, please consider participating in our B.A.S.H. Golf Tournament on Sunday, April 21st.
Your child recently brought home recycling brown bags. This is a great opportunity to contribute to recycling with our school. Fill the brown bag with recycling and either when you drop off or pick up your child bring your recycling items/bag over to the green recycling dumpster located on school grounds near the pool. Please join us with educating our children to reduce, reuse, recycle. PLUS you can continue recycling even if you don’t have the bag any more.
Welcome New Families: Please join us in welcoming three new children to our classroom community: Angelina Rivera and her mom Danielle along with Maya and her parents Tracey & Peter. In addition, we welcome Giordan Gainey and his parents Kisha & Gelray.
Thank You: Thank you, Joanne, for spending time in our classroom with the children helping them with our B.A.S.H. project. The painted pots are so beautiful. We certainly have an artistic group of children!!! We hope you will join us on April 20th and bid on one or all pots. They will be a great addition to your garden or patio.
B.A.S.H. Update: We continue to collect many items for our YOGA B.A.S.H. BASKET. Thank you to those parents who have made donations to the basket. Please see or e-mail Joanne or Bethany if you have any questions regarding what is still needed for the basket.
CALLING ALL GOLFERS: If you enjoy golfing, please consider participating in our B.A.S.H. Golf Tournament on Sunday, April 21st.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR APRIL:
April 2: Classroom Open House, 9:30 – 10:30
April 20: B.A.S.H.: Auction & Dinner
April 21: B.A.S.H.: Golf Tournament
April 22: Teacher Professional Development Day – NO SCHOOL FOR 10 MO. STUDENTS
April 26: School Earth Day Celebration & Performance
Why Practical Life?
The Montessori classroom is a meticulously prepared environment designed specifically to meet the needs of the child both physically and emotionally. One aspect of the prepared environment includes the Practical Life activities. Many Practical Life activities are tasks the child sees routinely performed in the home. They each serve a meaningful purpose as the child masters each piece of work such as tying shoes, pouring water, sweeping, or sewing and cooking. Through Practical Life activities, a child will also develop and refine social skills. These skills developed through Practical Life build self-esteem, determination and independence.
The student learns to take care of himself and the surrounding environment. Maria Montessori explains in, The Discovery of the Child, “Through practical life exercises of this sort the children develop a true ‘social feeling,’ for they are working in the environment of the community in which they live” (5, pg. 97). Additionally, fine motor skills are improved through use of the Practical Life materials. Through repeated tasks which enable a child to refine concentration, coordination, independence, and order, a child’s sense of self-worth grows. The Practical Life skills are an essential component in the Montessori classroom. Not only do they provide a link between home and school for the new Montessori student, but they provide afoundation for life-long love of learning.
While appearing quite simple and repetitive, Practical Life activities are highly purposeful. A child engaged in such activities demonstrates high levels of concentration, sense of order, and refinement of fine motor skills. Also, they show a sense of independence through caring for oneself and the environment. Furthermore, they show respect for classmates and teachers and develop a sense of pride.
Practical Life activities are divided into six main categories. First, are Preliminary Exercises which assist in creating routine and order in the environment and are prerequisites for other activities. How to a roll a mat, carry a chair, or how to open and close a door are examples of Preliminary Exercises. Practical life exercises also include Fundamental Skills such as pouring, spooning, or tonging. As with all lessons in the Montessori classroom, these activities follow a sequential order and ideally, each lesson builds upon the last. Another category is Care of Self. Activities such as washing hands, buttoning, or tying shoelaces assist the child to become physically independent. Care of Environment is another category involving activities such as sweeping, watering, cleaning, etc. Control of Movement is an area of Practical Life which encompasses lessons such as Walking the Line and the Silence Game. Additionally, social Grace and Courtesy lessons are introduced to the child. These may include lessons on how to say please and thank you, interrupting someone, or introducing friends and acquaintances. Montessori stressed the relationship of these exercises to the general happiness and well being of the child. “A child who becomes a master of his acts through long and repeated exercises [of practical life], and who has been encouraged by the pleasant and interesting activities in which he has been engaged, is a child filled with health and joy and remarkable for his calmness and discipline” (The Discovery the Child, 5, pg. 93).
Through the Practical Life activities in the Montessori classroom, a child not only learns concentration, coordination, independence and order, but also how to interact with others and gain an understanding and appreciation of the environment. The child begins to build himself from within while learning to treat himself and others with respect and dignity. These understandings ultimately prepare the child for entry into society and a lifetime of self-respect and self-worthiness. Practical Life activities in the Montessori classroom ultimately provide the foundation for success in all areas of life.
January/February 2013 – Ms. Mary & Ms. Donna
Save the Date – 2013 Classroom Open House
Reasons to Keep Your Child in Montessori Kindergarten
In Montessori, your child has been treated with a deep respect as a unique individual. The school has been equally concerned for his/her intellectual, social, and emotional development. Unfortunately, despite lip service to the contrary, this is often not the case in traditional classrooms.
Montessori consciously teaches children to be kind and peaceful.
We challenge and set high expectations for all of our students, not only a special few.
Montessori students develop self-discipline and an internal sense of purpose and motivation.
Our class has enjoyed a wonderful new beginning this semester. The children came back to school after the holidays eager to do their “work” and spend time with their peers. The classroom has been a buzzing hive of activity with work happening in all areas of the classroom. We all have really enjoyed these first weeks back!
We would like to welcome the new three year olds who have moved up from Ms. Mara’s class: Mia Metschke, Anna Wieder and Thor Rodriguez. We are happy to have them and their families as part of our community.
We also have a new kindergartener in our group. Giordan Gainey has moved into our classroom, which brings us up to eight in the kindergarten group. We welcome Giordan and his family to our community. If you run into any of these new parents in the hallway, please introduce yourself!
You may have noticed or heard from the children that we have a third adult person in the classroom in the mornings. Ami Blackwelder, a Montessori intern, will be with us for the rest of the year as she finishes her internship. We are grateful to have her and warmly welcome her to our family.
The Disco’s have a new family member. Brady has a beautiful little sister. Emma was born on January 6 and both mom and baby are doing great!
On January 30, we held another “scope and sequence” presentation of our Montessori Curriculum. Last year we did Math…this year the presentations done by teachers at each grade level were from our Language Curriculum. Attendees had fun and learned how our curriculum, which starts in the early years, builds on those foundations and threads through into the higher grades.
Chinese New Year occurs in February this year and we will be exploring fauna, art, traditions, music, architecture, etc., of China beginning at the start of the month. If you have any artifacts (pictures, clothing, paintings, etc.) from China that you are willing to share with the children, we would love to borrow them.
We will also celebrate Valentine’s Day. If you wish your child to participate in a card exchange, please send 27 cards to school with your child’s name on the card (but no name on the envelope) by February 14th. Please remember that we are a NO CANDY school…not even to go home!
We now have the dates for B.A.S.H., our yearly fundraiser. You will be receiving emails from our room moms, Bethany Elder and Joanne O’Ryan, about this exciting event. Mark your calendars now for Saturday, April 20th for the Dinner and Silent Auction and for April 21st for the Golf Tournament.
Our class will be making a “Yoga Basket” for the auction this year. The classroom project for participants to bid on will be decorated terracotta and clay pots planted with herbs, and floral plants. We are sure that they will turn our beautiful! You will be hearing from Bethany and Joanne soon to learn how you may help us with these projects.
The B.A.S.H. team is in need of all kinds of volunteers, so do not be shy. You will end up having a lot of fun and meet other parents!
Just a reminder…the first Tuesday of each month is our parent/child Open House between 9:30 and 10:30 am. This is your chance to come and let your child “teach” you their favorite work. We encourage you to come and spend the hour with us!
Ms. Mary, Donna and Ami