November to Remember

Individual, Class and Whole School Pictures
Go to this link to look at all the pictures available for purchase. This is a benefit for the school, but it is also a chance to preserve these times forever. It is $10 for just your child's picture, $15 for your child and his/her class photo, and $20 for both of those and the whole school picture which is also posted for viewing on the site. Bring your check to the office, made out to Mountain Pathways. Click here for the order form.

Fun'Draising Friday
Come out tonight from 5:30 to 7 with a pot luck dish to talk about raising money for the school.

Under the Hat of Mr. Matt


We sure did miss Mr. Matt for the middle of last week, and we sure are glad to have him back...
I recently heard someone mention that they weren't really sure how to describe what Mr. Matt's job actually is at Mountain Pathways. I started thinking that people really can't follow it unless they have kids at both houses at school, and most people don't even realize that Matt is actually TWINS! Yes! There are TWO Matts! OK, there's not really, but it would be easier if there were.
So here's the best I can describe what the one Matt does so you'll all know how to answer the question...
The one Matt gets to school at 7:30, puts on the coffee, feeds the fish, plugs in the bus, realizes the circuit's blown on the outlet, goes and finds the right unlabeled switch in the fusebox, answers the phone four times, sends three emails to the accountant, one to the County Building Inspector and three attached spreadsheets before he pours up the coffee and meets the first beforeschooler. He plays with two or three or six of the munchkins while holding for the propane company on line one, and the bottled water people on line 2, and then me and the other teachers start showing up. After greeting 3-6ers, he materializes in the 9-12 classroom and starts fielding and correcting completed works in language, math, spelling, geometry, biology, geography, cultural, global community, and whatever the optional works are for that day. Then after lunch with the kids, he's off to the field to lead P.E. and work on someone's goal kick. Back to the office in the afternoon to finish the deposit for the bank, seventy-three more emails to prioritize for Glenn, and try and figure out for the last time how the new automated card machine hooks into the network. Go back to the Norwood to give a lesson on sustainable development. Go back and help get the Children's House kiddies off the deck, run over and get the Norwooders to their cars alive, bring the afterschoolers over on his way back over for more office work, maybe work on a grant, unless he needs to call the school bus folks to renew his CDL before next week's field trip....
On paper it says "Administrative/9-12 Assistant" but Matt's actual title should be Mr. Everything (Thought I think he prefers . Thanks for doing it, Mr. Matt.

Here are two healthy lunch-making sites for you...
This one shows how much of what kids are supposed to have...
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

This one has 365 lunch ideas, grouped by season...
http://www.laptoplunches.com/bento-menus/

Toddler Corner: An Opportunity to Rephrase

All children are good at declaring their needs.
"I want more milk."
"I am hungry."
"I need______".
They are in the moment. They are self-aware. They are proud of their growing verbal skills and their ability to communicate to us. It is a sign of their independence. They may seem demanding, but I see it as an opportunity to rephrase.
In the toddler classroom, I have explained the meaning of a statement and a question. When they have a declaritive statement, I always acknowledge them. I may say, "That is a statement, do you have a question?" They are learning the difference between the two. We always encourage the use of manners and they appreciate the opportunity to rephrase. Sometimes I will prompt the youngest child, "more milk please," but most children know what would be an appropriate way to ask for something.
They are proud of their independence, but interdependence is as important. Grace and courtesy lessons are an essential part of the Montessori curriculum and when we give the children an opportunity to rephrase, they get to practice these skills. I am proud of their ability to declare their needs, and even more impressed when they have the opportunity to rephrase their statment into a gracious, thoughtful request. It works everytime!

From the Director: Whatcha' Readin'?

The 6-9 Class started reading groups this week, and I get to work with the first-years (first-graders for you publicly-minded) on the book "Horrible Harry and the Purple People." It is so exciting to be able to get away from my desk and see how real kids are coming along in their Montessori education. Reading especially is a great way to gauge how we're doing, and this group is unbelievable. They are so cooperative and supportive of each other. They are slow to frustrate when challenged. They want to discuss their comprehension and ask questions. And, besides all that, they are amazing readers. I can't wait to find out what happens to these purple people!
I certainly hope all of you are either reading to or with your preschoolers, and constantly encouraging your trained readers to keep it up. There is nothing that contributes more to the intellectual development of children than expanding their vocabulary and mind in general through appropriately challenging books. Let them follow along when you're reading something with small words, and let them get lost in their imagination when you are reading higher level stuff. Hook them into the world of books early, and they will benefit from it forever.