Picking Up Steam for 2014...


Also, your September statements have gone out on email. We may have some bugs to work out in the system, just shoot us an email back if you have any questions about charges or credits....Thanks.

Normalization?... WhatchutalkinboutMaria?

Montessori education often befuddles aspiring adherents with its seemingly convoluted vocabulary and terminology. (That means "Sometimes we'uns use big faintsy words ta talk about easy thangs.") But seriously, new parents will often hear terms such as 'pedagogy' or 'normalization' and pretend to follow, and just go on with their day. So let me take a minute here to discuss one of these often confusing concepts that is central to what is happening in all the classrooms here at the beginning of the school year.
Normalization is a term used by Dr. Montessori in several of her works, but most widely in her examination of very early life: The Absorbent Mind. Normalization is a term that Montessori borrowed from anthropology to describe a child's realization of his or her place as a contributor to the community.
The North American Montessori Center has compiled four quotes on their website from The Absorbent Mind that describe the normalization process simply...
  • Love of work - The first characteristic of the process of normalization is love of work. Love of work includes the ability to choose work freely and to find serenity and joy in work. (The Absorbent Mind, p. 202)
  • Concentration - To help such development, it is not enough to provide objects chosen at random, but we [teachers] have to organize a world of 'progressive interest'. (The Absorbent Mind, p. 206).
  • Self-discipline - After concentration will come perseverance . . . It marks the beginning of yet another stage in character formation . . . It is the ability to carry through what he has begun. The children in our schools choose their work freely, and show this power unmistakably. They practice it daily for years. (The Absorbent Mind p. 217)
  • Socialibility - There is only one specimen of each object, and if a piece is in use when another child wants it, the latter—if he is normalized—will wait for it to be released. Important social qualities derive from this. The child comes to see that he must respect the work of others, not because someone has said he must, but because this is a reality that he meets in his daily experience. (The Absorbent Mind, p. 223).
So, when you hear that the class is "almost normalized" or "reaching normalization" that right thar is what they iz talkin' 'bout.... ;-)

Do you go to the grocery store? Every bleepin' day? Yeah! Me too!
If you go to HARRIS TEETER, link your VIC Card to our "Together in Education (TIE)" account number, which is 2808. We get some money from them for all them dollars you spend there.
And right now they are offering to send us 10%  of what you spend with their online shopping program. But you have to link to us first!

AND, collect "BOX TOPS" and drop them off in the front hallway box. Don't let them sit too long though, they have an expiration date.


6-9 Year Olds Discuss Creation and Hard Work

  • We have read and discussed four creation stories so far in our studies of The Universe this Fall. Three of them have been from Africa and one from the Old Testament. This is always really fun, and it gears us up for the Montessori's First Great Lesson.
  • 6-9 Teacher Mr. Justin shares some of his goals for the Fall: "I am trying to offer positive feedback for hard work and not product. This means if someone works hard, and even sheds a tear doing a task -- no matter if the product of their labor is incorrect -- I will acknowledge the efforts of the student. We will make sure the work is corrected together, maybe shed some more tears, but in the end, the fruits of our labors will come from hard work. As a "good ol' American" this is more difficult than you might think. How many times have we been told we have done well because we are smart, not because of our hard work?"   -- Justin & Amber

 3-6 Class Kicks Off With Study of North America

We have had a great start to the year in 3 to 6! Everyone is getting settled in. Hopefully, we are getting all of our sick days out of the way, and everyone will be healthy for the rest of the year!!
We are starting our study of continents with North America. We have been reading some Native American legends and learning about the people and countries that make up our continent.
I have included some photos of children hard at work with sensorial and practical life materials to remind you of our parent education on Tuesday, Sept. 16. We will discuss these areas more in depth and why they are SO important! I hope you all can come!
Thank you for sharing your amazing children with us!!  --Ellen, Ann, and Jeffrey

Hard at Work in the 3-6

2-4 Classroom is On a Roll....

We are off and running in the 2-4 classroom and are finding our way with new expectations and opportunities to become our independent selves.  
One highlight of our early weeks has been the extension of our playground.  We love, love, love our new space.  Thank you so very much to all the families who came out on Community Workday to make this new area possible,  We also want to thank the families who donated play structures, sand table and vehicle for the children to enjoy.  The playground is the extension of the classroom and we are grateful to have one that meets the needs of our active and curious children.
Another big thank you goes to  James Jones who installed child size hand washing sinks in our classroom.  This has made a huge difference in the ability of the children to become totally independent with hand washing.  They are so intrinsically proud of being able to do this themselves!
We look forward to sharing more with families at Parent Ed. coming up next week!
--Beth and Annie

AGE Labs Seeking 4-year-olds for a 20-minute Study
The Aging, Growth, and Experience (AGE) Labs currently has a 20-minute study for four-year-old boys and girls.  
Your child will get to play three short games that will help us learn more about how kids use clues to learn about the world around them. Your child will get to pick out a fun prize for participating. 
Contact agelabs@appstate.edu to schedule your 20-minute appointment. The study will take place at our facility located at Charleston Forge in the Boone Industrial Complex. 
Phone: 828-262-6978
Thank you!
Faculty Director: Dr. Robyn Kondrad

9-12 New to the York

Usually the first 9-12 news starts out with observations about how it’s a new year, we’ve got great new students, and we are hard at work getting into the daily groove yadda yadda yadda BUT THIS YEAR I’m gonna break the mold:
THE 9-12 IS RAISING MONEY TO GO TO NEW YORK! That’s right, New York City. We are reading New York The Novel by Edward Rutherford and it is chock full of interesting historical tidbits that essentially covers not only the history of New York, but it also does an excellent job of connecting events that occur in New York to European history and the development of America The Nation overall. As educators, it is our job to bring such work to life and how could we not set our set our sights on the Big Apple? Why not? The only “why not” is money and we are working hard on strategies to raise some extra funds to go. Right now we have a fundraising sight set up on fundrzer.com-here is a link: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3qxaf
Please share with friends who can share with friends so we can reach our $1,000 goal!
In other 9-12 news, we have been shaking things up on our Appalcart ride by singing our favorite songs in a very crowded bus. Our overall goal is to engage the community to sing with us and have a unity moment that is fun and positive while we all share space first thing in the morning. We have been greeted with mixed reviews-some people love us and sing along, some politely smile, and some plug their ears BUT, we are not giving up! If anyone would like to join us, I always carry extra lyrics with us in case we have folks that choose to participate. The more the merrier and perhaps, just maybe, we might help brighten someone’s day!
Last but not least, I would like to welcome Miss Emily to 9-12! She has a been a great addition to the 9-12-she gets us and she’s a great teacher!

Anyone have an idea for a large plant that could live in the Teacher Bathroom at the Children's House? There's no natural light, but it would be nice...and it would be even nicer, if you just bring it in!

We are really hoping that we are over the hump with the illnesses in the Children's House, but just do your best to not bring your child if they show any signs of sickness or fever. We all thank you for your responsibility....


Scenes from the Toddler Room: "LOOK MA, NO TEARS!"


Have you checked out the Online Auction on our Facebook Page?
There is some AWESOME stuff on there and plenty of bargains to go around!

And Finally,
A parent passed along a list of questions that appeared in the Huffington Post regarding how you might engage your child about the events of his or her day. I've taken them and "Montessori-ed them up" a little bit...

1. What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)
2. Tell me something that made you laugh today.
3. If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?)
4. Where is the coolest place at the school?
5. Tell me a weird word that you heard today. (Or something weird that someone said.)
6. If I called your teacher tonight, what would she tell me about you?
7. How did you help somebody today?
8. How did somebody help you today?
9. Tell me one thing that you learned today.
10. When were you the happiest today?
11. When were you bored today?
12. If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?
13. Who would you like to play with at recess that you've never played with before?
14. Tell me something good that happened today.
15. What word did your teacher say most today? ("Choices" the answer to this one is "choices")
16. What do you think you should do/learn more of at school?
17. What do you think you should do/learn less of at school? (Really? They will look at you like you are insane if you ask this.)
 18. Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to?
19. Where do you play the most at recess?
20. Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is he/she so funny? (It's good that this one is not "the funniest person in the school?" because I think I know the answer to that one every single day, Amirite?)
21. What was your favorite part of lunch?
22. If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?
23. Is there anyone in your class who needs a time-out? had to work by themselves?
24. If you could switch seats with anyone in the class, who would you trade with? Why? (Thank goodness, this one doesn't even apply to your child)

Hope everyone has a great weekend.... Don't forget Parent Ed. Tuesday from 5:30-7pm.