Happy! Healthy? Holidays!

They call them holidays, but that doesn't mean there's no work to do!

 THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, DEC. 20&21:
DEMOLITION DAY AT THE NORWOOD HOUSE!
BRING A SLEDGEHAMMER AND YOUR WORK BRITCHES! AFTER TWO AND A HALF YEARS OF WAITING, WE'RE GOING TO TEAR DOWN THE WALLS AND GET THE CONSTRUCTION IMPROVEMENTS GOING THAT WILL ALLOW US TO USE THE ENTIRE NORWOOD HOUSE FOR EDUCATING OUR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU CAN COME OUT THURSDAY MORNING WITH AN EMAIL TO MPATHWAYS@GMAIL.COM.


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 'Love is Earth' made us shirts!
Whatcha getting your loved ones for the holidays? Hmmmm? ($10 short sleeve and ladies cut, $12 long) 
 

9-12 News: Christmas Normalcy is not an Oxymoron

As Montessorians, we are always looking for that magical moment when time seems to stand still, children are leaning dutifully over their work, and a calm settles over the classroom. This is normalizing. The time when all the pieces fit together; personalities are meshing, work is fluid and seamless, expectations are met, and feelings of accomplishment wrap around us like hugs. We have officially reached that point, mind reading included.
This morning Tyler asked if he could ask a classmate a question. It went something like this: "Cole, can I..."- Insert mind reading here-"Yes Tyler, you can have a piece of paper out of my sketch book." .
This semester our students have also learned how to be teachers in addition to becoming mind readers. By teaching The Five Great Lessons to the 3-6 and the 6-9, they are learning to put their words and actions into context for the appropriate audience, they are learning to use tools, visuals, and manipulatives to give their learners an experience, and they are learning to work together to organize the presentations, assign homework, and choreograph the presentations. We've managed start at The Beginning, followed by The Timeline of Life, and will present The Coming of Humans in January. The Story of Math and The History of Writing will kick off our world history studies as well as laying the foundation for starting their Imaginary Island projects. 
The greenhouse is starting to look like an imaginary island with all the greenery we've planted as of late-thank you Chip Finch! We are still forging ahead on our project of growing food for the Hospitality House. Greens, lettuces, broccoli, carrots, and sweet peas are filling up our raised beds and we hope to take our first harvest before the end January. Until then, students have made their own watering schedule and monitor the plants daily. 
Once our chores are done and lessons learned, we have also been doing a bit of reading. We managed to monopolize writer, Novella Carpenter's time at the Edible Schoolyard to learn about her experiences as an urban farmer. Novella, completely charmed by our students, told them some great stories about possum culling, duck rearing, and what it's like to grow an animal to eat. So, as I read to them about Novella and her little plot of land in Farm City, they know who is doing the talking and can picture her in action, not an experience many of us have when reading a book. 
Reading, working, learning, teaching, gardening, and cooking are things that we all do together and in these little daily rituals, we cultivate a sense of purpose, a sense of place, a sense of normalcy within our little community and it's a remarkable thing to experience not to mention that we can now read minds! You are now thinking that this is probably a really long 9-12 news...
There are many more odds and ends to be added to this Christmas Pathway 9-12 news but I will end by saying this; gosh are we ever so lucky to spend our time with 10 of the smartest, funniest, and hardest working people we know and we hope that, as we say in the 9-12, that they get everything they want for Christmas because they are well, awesome. 
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Namaste,
Kristy and Matt

Exciting Semester in the 2-4 Class

The 2-4 Classroom has spent many happy and successful moments during the past months.  We can hardly believe that it is December and remember fondly some of our activities.
In August, we had many lesson on practical life, especially in the area of grace and courtesy.  We learned how to spoon, tong and pour in preparation for the real life work of individual snack with a friend.  We learned the basic lessons of how to move about in the classroom, how to observe others who are working and how we make works ready for the next person.  These lessons serve us now everyday, as we continue to sharpen our fine and gross motor skills.
In September, we learned about apples, different kinds, how they taste and look and and how to pin punch one out of paper to hang on our "tree" in the classroom.  We read about Johnny Appleseed and how his life work gave us some of the apples we now enjoy.  All this time, we were learning the areas of the classroom and how to be assertive rather than aggressive (which is a work that is ongoing!)
October found us looking closely at insects, their parts and habits.  Remember the snow on Halloween?  It might have kept us home from school, but we were still able to complete our Teddy Bear Caterpillar costumes.  We also studied spiders and their webs that month.
During the month of November, we practiced making orange from two primary colors and we learned how to scrub a pumpkin.  We also talked a lot about what it means to be thankful throughout the year.  Now it is December and we are seriously into letter, number and writing works.  Our songs include learning the days of the week and the many songs both Jana and Tommy teach us during the week.  We look forward to the winter and the many more lessons that will follow winter break.  We wish everyone happy holidays, safe travels and a splendid new year.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY. WE PUT ALL KINDS OF FUN STUFF ON THERE YOU MIGHT BE MISSING....

Toddlers are Growing and Changing

I asked Victoria (almost 8), "what are the differences you see in the Toddler children since the beginning of school?"
She replied, "Mama, they don't cry anymore.  They are speaking in longer sentences.  They know how to be kind to their friends.  They are growing taller. Their hair is longer.  Some are now in underwear. They are learning more.  They like to come to school!"
She was such a big help.  The difference is amazing.  The toddler children are........ becoming independent.  What a feat!  As much as I love to help the children to become independent, I also love
interdependence, and a sense of belonging.
The children will get a tissue for a friend who has a runny nose. They show concern and care when someone is hurt or upset.  They help a friend when someone spills and needs help.  They enjoy greeting each other in the morning and are learning the power of social interactions.
The Montessori educational philosophy works for the children when you can see a process of growth in the children towards independence and interdependence.  The work in the classroom and the amazing opportunities to concentrate, explore and master activities help develop a child's internal self.  The awareness and understanding of how to function within a group.  Constantly developing clear communication skills and social graces, and how to function happily with peers is laying a foundation for interdependence.  What a delight it is to be a part of the growth and development of human potential. And you thought we just wanted them to carry their own lunch box!

 IF SOMETHING IS BOTHERING YOU, PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO LET YOUR TEACHERS KNOW! WE WOULD MUCH RATHER ADDRESS A SMALL PROBLEM THAN HEAR ABOUT A BIG PROBLEM LATER... IF YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE PUTTING YOUR NAME ON SOMETHING, THE PAYBOX IN THE FRONT HALLWAY ALSO SAYS "COMMENTS." YOU WON'T HURT OUR FEELINGS, WE ALWAYS WANT TO KNOW WAYS WE CAN IMPROVE THE SCHOOL.

Three to Six and the Busy Semester...



We have been exploring and learning a variety of exciting new lessons throughout the classroom environment. In Language we have all been exploring and recognizing Beginning Sounds through a variety of works. Just to name a few, Sandpaper Letters, Rhyming Words, Sound Drawers, Sound Charts, and the Red Sound Boxes/Cans. We have all developed a love for linear counting which you may know as the Bead Chains! As for the glorious and wonderful study of Science materials we as a class have been researching a number of topics. We started the year off with Butterflies in which each child was able to choose a species of butterfly to research and later create a pair of realistic looking wings to wear around for our class Autumn Celebration. After completion of our butterfly unit we dove right into the study of our Skeleton! Don’t be alarmed or surprised if your child can tell you where their cranium is located. ;) 
We have now started our study of spiders as well as the various “Parts of a Tree, Leaf and Flower”. You may notice large posters of these “Parts of a …” coming home in the coming weeks. Recently in Geography, we have started looking into and researching Africa with a focus on Egyptian Life, Culture and Architecture. Afternoon workers have started creating and designing their own pyramids, it looks like we may have some future home designers/builders in the future. ;)  Our younger friends, and older friends as well, have been focusing on how to pour a cup “half full” when there is enough water to fill the cup up further. 
Our classroom is FULL of little Picassos!! We all love Art and we are sure you have noticed the large amount of beautiful work that has decorated your home. Not only have we been exploring the collage boxes and how to properly use a glue stick, we are learning how to adhere glitter to our pictures (LOADS OF FUN!) but also as a class we decided that since there are so many people in the High Country in Nursing Homes without their families nearby we have been painting pictures to turn into Holiday Cards to deliver to our senior friends.  We have been working hard this semester and are looking forward to another awesome semester in the New Year. 

6-9ers are getting a taste of Life's Mysteries

The semester in 6 to 9 has flown by!  We have been learning to read, spell, and we have been learning those math facts, which I’m sure you all know.  We have tangled with the mighty Khan Academy, drank frobscottle from the BFG, and we are now off on an adventure with a Hobbit. 
We have discussed, at great length, about how we think “It All Began..." followed small and mighty creatures through the “Timeline of Life”, and we are currently exploring and learning about what makes us human. 
The Great Lessons, the Norwood House potluck, capture the flag, s'mores and campfire, and Emily’s wonderful reading have all been highlights of this semester. 
This holiday season be sure to ask your kids about some of these highlights to see what they think. 
Have wonderful and safe Holiday! 
Mr. Justin and Ms. Emily


FINALLY, THANKS TO ALL THE FAMILY MEMBERS WHO DONATED TO OUR THANKSGIVING FUNDRAISER. THE MONEY IS STARTING TO BUILD IN THE 'RAISE THE ROOF' FUND TO PUT A NEW METAL ROOF ON THE CHILDREN'S HOUSE!

REMEMBER: NO AFTERSCHOOL ON WEDNESDAY, DEC. 19, AND WE ARE OPEN AGAIN ON JANUARY 3, 2013.... HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!