Kindergarten February 2011 Newsletter

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Kindergarten February 2011 Newsletter Powered By Docstoc
					   Sun             Mon               Tue               Wed                  Thu                Fri             Sat
                                               1                 2                    3                4              5
                                 Re-registration                        Lunch Bunch                        LMI Open
                                                                        Pizza Day
                                 Paperwork                              Wear red for the
                                 Due                                    Chinese New                        9am-11:00am
                                                                        Year! The color                    Tell a Friend!
                                                                        of happiness!

            6                7                 8                 9                 10             11                12
                                                    Lunch Bunch
                                                    Pizza Day

        13             14                 15                   16                 17              18                19
                                 Progress Reports   Progress Reports
                                 Going Home         Going Home
                Please wear      Lunch Bunch
                RED!             Pizza Day

        20              21                  22                 23                  24             25                26
February        No School        No School          No School           No school          No School
21st-25th       February

        27              28                                             Inside This Issue
                Lunch Bunch
                Pizza Day                      Important Dates                                                2

                                               Important Reminders                                            2

                                               Other News                                                    3-5
                                               Welcome Interns!                                               6

                                               Curriculum                                                    7-8

                                               Parenting Advice with Bill Corbett                           9-10
                                               Photo Gallery                                                 11

                                               Thank You                                                     12
                 Important Dates

    February 1—Re-registration Paperwork Due                 IMPORTANT: SAFETY NEWS
    February 3—Lunch Bunch: Pizza Day
                 Wear red for Chinese New Year!              We would like to remind parents that the church front
                                                             steps and ramp are not a playground. It is unsafe for
    February 5– Open House 9am-11:00am                       children to run and climb on the ramp and railings. It is
                  Please tell a friend!                      also unsafe for children to run and play along the side-
                                                             walk and grassy areas near the pick up line where cars
    February 9—Lunch Bunch: Pizza Day                        are driving. Therefore, we suggest that if you plan to
                                                             linger, enjoy the Center School playground where chil-
    February 14—Happy Valentine’s Day! Wear red!             dren can play safely.

    February 15—Lunch Bunch: Pizza Day                       Thank you for helping us to ensure the safety of your
    February 15-16– Progress Reports Going Home

    February 21-25– Winter Vacation-No School

    February 21-25– LMI February Enrichment

    February 28—Lunch Bunch: Pizza Day

Here are a few things to keep in mind this month
regarding your child's tuition:                              Dressing for Recess

•   February tuition payments are due!                       Please continue to send your child to school with the
•   All inquiries regarding your tuition account should be   appropriate outdoor gear. We will try to go out every
    directed to Helen, in the Billing Office, at 567-1880.   day, however, if the temperature and/or wind chill is
    Helen's hours are:                                       extremely low, we will have indoor recess. Please also
                  Monday 8AM—4PM                             help your child practice getting dressed in snow gear.
                  Friday    8AM—12PM

Please leave a message only on that line and resist the      ***We are still finding unlabeled clothing. Please label
temptation to leave another message on our main line.        every article of clothing, including hats, scarves, mittens,
                                                             and boots. Thank you!
•   If you are in need of a Statement for 2010 tax
    purposes, please send a request with your January
    remittance or contact Helen at 567-1880.

•   Please take note of the correct fees for:
        Lunch Ticket Booklet (10 lunches)          $120.00
        Extended Day                                $36.00   School Cancellation
        Extended Day + Lunch                        $48.00
        Lunch Individual Day                        $12.00   LMI adheres to the Longmeadow Public School
                                                             cancellation policy. Listen to local television and radio
Please remember that all payments should come directly       stations. Please refer to your Policies/Parent Handbook,
to the Billing Office.                                       December, and January newsletters for details.

              Income Tax Information
                      Our Tax ID # is 04-291-1267 if you wish to claim LMI for childcare.
                    Longmeadow Montessori February Enrichment
                                        Directed by LMI teachers
                               Music-Joey Gebo Literacy-Danielle Leveille
                                Other teachers TBA based on enrollment

  Come join us for our February Vacation Enrichment program featuring Arts, Music and Literacy.
  The hands-on curriculum is designed to expand every child’s literacy skills through the arts and also
  develop each child’s ability for self-expression.

  Featured Artists: George Gershwin, Paul Cezanne, Ansel Adams
  Featured Composers: George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, George Bizet.

  The program is open to children between the ages of 3-7.8 years of age who are presently enrolled
  at LMI and any siblings meeting the age requirement.

  Time: 8:00-1:00 (Drop off 8-8:30am/ pickup 1-1:30pm)
  Cost: 3 day program $135
        4 day programs $175
        5 day program $215

              Extended hours to 4:00pm (cost is $8 per hour per child) also will be available.

 Drop-Off / Pick-Up Reminders
 Please remember to stay in your vehicle (and off of your cell phone!) and to pull forward to buckle
 when you are picking up your child. By following these simple guidelines, you are helping to en-
 sure that our pick-up line does not extend into traffic on Williams Street and cause an unsafe driv-
 ing situation.

 We would also like to remind parents that CHILDREN MAY NOT SIT IN THE FRONT SEAT OR
 ON A PARENT'S LAP DURING THE DROP OFF/PICK UP LINE. We ask you to follow this rule
 for the safety of your children, as airbags can be deadly!

Lunch Bunch Safety News                                               Color Splash T-Shirts

It has come to our attention that some children are coming            We are again offering unique
into school with hand sanitizer bottles to sanitize their hands.      t-shirts designed by your child.
Because the care and safety of your children is our top prior-        This month order forms for t-shirts
ity, we want to take all safety measures to make sure the             are going home. If you choose,
children are using the sanitizer correctly. We are asking that        you may order a t-shirt for your
if you put a bottle in your child’s lunchbox, please put a note       child (and even yourself) and then
on the outside lunchbox stating “sanitizer inside lunch box”.         during the month of April, your
We fully understand that an extra dose of sanitizer is some-          child will have the opportunity to
thing that you may want your child to use, although for the           decorate the shirt(s)! In May, stu-
safety of your child, and other children, we would be grateful        dents and parents are encouraged
to know it is inside the lunchbox. There was recently a case,         to wear these unique creations as
reported on the news, where a child drank the sanitizer liquid        they march in the LongMeddowe
and was hospitalized.                                                 Days Parade.

Fundraising with Target                                          Montessori Conference
We've discovered a terrific way to raise funds for our school.
                                                                 In January, eight teachers attended the
It's super-easy, and all you have to do is use your Target®
                                                                 Montessori Schools of Massachusetts
Visa® or Target® Card. We will receive a percentage of the
                                                                 Conference in Cambridge. The teachers
amount of each purchase in the form of a cash donation
                                                                 were involved in various topics such as
from Target through the Take Charge of Education®
                                                                 bullying, grace and courtesy, technology
program. It's easy. Just visit, or call          in the classroom, and music.
1-800-316-6142 to designate our school. So if you're going
to Target anyway, please consider using your Target®
                                                                 At LMI we continue to recognize the
Visa® or Target® Card. Big thanks to those who are already
                                                                 importance of teacher development as the
doing their part to make a great school even better.
                                                                 cornerstone of a strong Montessori School.
Longmeadow Montessori ID# 126526

You can also find out how much money our school has
already received at

P.S. Grandparents, alumni, neighbors and friends can take
part too!

                                                                    Box Tops for Education
Lost and Found
                                                                    We are collecting box tops from
Please be aware that when your child is missing                     General Mills products in order to earn
any clothing it is your responsibility to check the                 free educational equipment for our
lost and found box (located outside the Kindergar-                  school. If you use General Mills
ten clasrooms)                                                      products, please clip the "Box Tops for
                                                                    Education" coupons and return by
Thank you!                                                          February 9th, so that we may meet the
                                                                    deadline. We will still collect box tops
                                                                    after February 9th for next year's
Car Seat Policy                                                     program. We appreciate your help!

LMI teachers will not place a child in a vehicle
without a car seat. If you are going to have an-
other parent or caretaker pick up your child,                             Campbell's Soup Labels
please plan ahead and make sure a car seat is
placed in the vehicle for your child. Adults without                      Just a reminder that we are still
car seats in the car must park the car and walk to                        collecting Campbell's soup la-
the front door fof the preschool for child pick up.                       bels. They can be found on
We take the safety of your child seriously and ap-                        Campbell's soup cans and also
preciate your cooperation.                                                Pepperidge Farm products. We
                                                                          have collected 1200 to date!
                                                                          Thanks for sending them in!

•   Baby food jars with lids                                              Looking Ahead…
    for Simone
•   Letterhead: as always we would welcome                                Afterschool French and Yoga
    letterhead that is being discarded by your                            classes will resume after
    office.                                                               February vacation.
Thank you!
Looking Ahead…

Freida be…. Children’s Author to visit LMI March 25

Renata Bowers will be doing three readings from her book Frieda B. Herself . Times are 10:15-10:55am, 11:00-
11:40am, and 1:45-2:25pm. All parents and children are welcome to attend even if your child doesn’t
attend school that day.

Fitness is Fun Wednesday April 27

Dr. Lynn Pantusco Hench, professor at Westfield State University and mother of Alexander Pantusco Hench will be
bringing her exercise science students to LMI to run a "fitness is fun" day with our preschool and kindergarten stu-
dents. The students will share a series of exercise games/activities with our students throughout the day in the AM
and PM. Rain date is April 29th.

The Musical Petting Zoo is coming to LMI

This Spring we will welcome Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s Petting Zoo to our school! During both morning and
afternoon work times, children will be introduced to all kinds of musical instruments and then have the opportunity to
try the instruments for themselves. Each child will have a chance to bow a violin, blow a horn, or tap out a rhythm on
a drum.

We would love to have many parent volunteers to help us on both of these days from 9-10AM and 1-2PM. We will
need parents to clean the brass instruments between each use and to help children hold instruments. As soon as we
have coordinated a date, we will let parents know via email and begin taking volunteers. Thank you in advance!

                                              Affinity Program
                 Affinity Program at TD Bank Designed to Benefit LMI Students

Dear Families,

This past fall, LMI received a very generous $7,000 grant from TD Banknorth to improve our science and geography
curriculum which has benefited both LMI and its students.

This money was used to purchase materials for our classroom and to fund the following cultural programs: Native
America Medicine Mammals, Academy of Dance Ballet and Cliff Madru Drumming. The money will also be used to
fund two upcoming programs: The Nataraj Dancers of India on March 18th and The Abdou Starr will explore dances
from Senegal on April 12th.

We now have the opportunity to extend TD Banknorth's generosity to both LMI and our children into 2011
and beyond through TD's "Affinity Program".

once again benefit through participation in this program. Look for more information on the TD Banknorth's Affinity
Program which will be sent to you via email in the near future.

                            Welcome Student Interns!

 Over the next few months, LMI will be working closely with students from
            Bay Path College and Westfield State University!

Amber Camerlin: My name is Amber Camerlin. I am 22 years old and grew up just around
the corner in East Longmeadow. I am currently in my last semester of school at Bay Path
College, where I will be graduating in the spring with a Bachelors degree in Liberal Stud-
ies. I have been a day care teacher for the past five years and have loved every minute of
it! I am very much looking forward to working with the children at LMI!

Suzanne Watkins: My name is Suzanne Watkins from Ipswich, Ma. I graduated from Ips-
wich High School in 2008 and am currently a junior at Westfield State University. I will be
graduating with two degrees, one in Movement Science and the other in Psychology. Post-
graduation I plan to get my Masters in Occupational Therapy. I've worked with children
ages 2-12 teaching swim lessons and babysitting. I live an active lifestyle by participating
in a diverse range of activities and cooking healthy foods. Some hobbies include swim-
ming, baking, and drawing.

Ashley Ruggiero: My name is Ashley Ruggiero and I am currently a senior at Westfield
State University. I am planning on attending graduate school for Occupational Therapy in
the fall. I am from Bedford, Ma and I am 22 years old. In the past, I have spent a lot of time
working in a day care, and in the summer I am a full time nanny. For the last six years I
have also been involved in coaching all-star cheerleading during my spare time. I look for-
ward to working with the children at Longmeadow Montessori!

Kimberly Tormay: My name is Kimberly Tormay, and I'm from Canton, Connecticut. I
graduated from Canton High School in 2008, and now attend Westfield State University. I
will graduate in 2012 with two degrees, one in Movement Science with a concentration in
Sports Medicine and one in Psychology. I plan on earning my Masters degree in Occupa-
tional Therapy after I graduate from WSU. A few years ago, I was employed by Stepping
Stones Educational Center and Daycare, where I worked with children ages 3 to 12. I am
very active and love the outdoors. Some of my favorite activities are hiking, cooking and
traveling. I am excited to begin working with the students at LMI on their fine and gross
motor skills, and feel as though it will be a great experience in developing my future profes-
sional career.

     Please join us in welcoming Amber, Suzanne, Ashley and Kimberly!

Literacy: This month we will introduce letters Ii and Jj. We will study sight words: ran, saw, three, too,
we, will, yellow, yes, all, & am. While the children will continue to learn about verbs and nouns, we will
also be working on the concept of singular and plural. The author of study will be Kevin Henkes. If you
have any books written by the author of the month and are willing to share them, please send them to
school clearly marked with your name. During February, the children will have the opportunity to create
cards for Valentine’s Day. Card making is a wonderful way for the children to incorporate printing and
artwork! The month is short, but full of fun learning!
Math: The children continue to enjoy the Montessori math materials. As promised, below you will find
the explanation of another Montessori math material.
    Addition with the Short Bead Stair: We place a mat on the table, and build two sets of the short
bead stair. The child is provided with a work paper printed with simple addition equations and a pencil.
Together we read the equation, ex. 1+5 =___. To solve the equation, the child learns to lay out the red
bead of 1, then beside it, the blue bar of 5. The red and blue beads are counted to solve the equation
and the child writes the answer in the blank. After being introduced to Addition with the Short Bead Stair,
your child may choose to do this work at any time. Various addition sheets are available to reinforce this
concept. This work helps the child to memorize the color combinations of the short bead stair (1-9) and
to assists the child in learning basic addition facts through simple counting.
(Certain Montessori materials rotate less frequently than other materials so that they are available for all
children as they reach the "sensitive period" for a particular concept/skill. Therefore, some curriculum
blurbs, such as Math, will focus on one or two Montessori materials/concepts each month, but children
will have access to many other materials as well. We hope this gives parents an opportunity to learn
more about the materials we use all year.)

Last month we learned about money and had so much fun! The children did some “shopping” for vari-
ous objects and were able apply what they had learned. Concepts will continue to be reinforced
throughout the remainder of the year.
Geography: And we’re off! After picking up our official passports in Washington D.C., we hopped on
our “magic carpet” and we headed to Asia! (The color of our magic carpet coincides with the color of the
continent we are visiting on our Montessori globe.) The children continue to learn about China and Chi-
nese New Year. 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit! In addition to China, we will be visiting Japan, Korea,
Russia, India and Turkey where the children learn about culture and traditions. If you would like to share
a tradition or information about a particular country, please contact Mary Jo at 567-1880!

Science: Who can visit Asia without learning about Mt. Fuji? Volcanoes will be erupting in Kindergarten
soon! Also during the month of February, we will begin a unit on magnets followed by a unit on the so-
lar system. Children new to Kindergarten this year will make a small model of the earth, using a marble
to represent the core and Model Magic to represent the various layers! (Returning students completed
this project last year.)

Snack: Throughout the year, the children have been learning about healthy eating and manners. Shar-
ing, caring, and friendship will be the focus of snack time. We will be making shaving cream hearts in-
corporating color mixing and fine motor skills for practical life. We will be enjoying a special treat for Val-
entine’s Day, with a special thanks to Renee Martin.

Character Counts: With Valentine’s Day approaching, February is the perfect month to revisit what it
means to be caring. We will discuss ideas such as, who are people that care about you and what do
they do to show you? Also who do you care about and what do you do to show them you care? We’ve
also been talking about what the “character” in Character Counts means. It’s who we are on the inside.
Are we kind to others, and do we make good choices?

French: This month new vocabulary for the body with “Mr. Jaune” will be introduced. Mardi Gras will
also be an important part of our French studies this month. The children will have a chance to wear
costumes and make a mask. Simone will speak of Mardi Gras traditions in Switzerland and traditions
from New Orleans. The children will have the opportunity to taste one of the typical Mardi Gras pastries
called “pied de chevre” which translates to goat’s feet. Don’t be mislead by the name, it’s delicious. One
of the most exciting parts of Mardi Gras is building our float and having our Mardi Gras parade! The new
songs are “Mardi Gras”, “J’ai un gros nez rouge” (The Clown Song), “J’ai # ans” (I am # years old) and
“Madame Carnaval”. We will continue practicing vocabulary with the family memory game as well.

Creative Arts:This month we will be exploring the styles of folk art and the many African American
artists that have contributed to this unique form of expression. Creations from not only American tradi-
tions but arts that have been carried over from Africa and have transformed into American folk art. Mu-
sic will find us discovering the calming and storytelling ways of traditional folk art, getting back to basics
with rhythm and sounds created from everyday materials and stories that have been passed down from
generation to generation. We will also study a unit of native music of Africa and the drums that make
music such an important part of African music.

Teaching with Boundaries – The First Three Steps

A woman I know allowed her 9-year-old daughter to have a friend sleep over during the holidays. When
she was pouring her coffee the next morning, her little guest walked into the kitchen and asked "Can I
have some coffee?" The mother denied her request and proceeded to learn about many other adult-
type privileges and rituals she was included in, at her home. Based on what the little girl revealed, it was
obvious to the woman that this child was in a situation where there were very few boundaries and her
mom was treating her more as an adult girlfriend and less as a child.

Many years ago when my middle daughter was around the same age and had a friend sleep over, her
friend unpacked a couple of movies from her duffle bag for them to watch that evening. After a close
examination of the videos, I told our little house guest that I was not OK with showing these videos in our
home. I was familiar with two of them and the content was not, in my opinion, at all appropriate for my
children. The third was a movie I had not yet seen and could not allow them to watch it because I had
not. I always reviewed movies before I would allow my children to see them, assuming they were not a
Disney type of animation. My daughter's friend declared to me that it was alright, her mom lets her
watch PG and R rated movies all the time. I stood by my rules and the videos were not played.

I have a big concern about parents who have little or no boundaries for their children and expose them
to things of an adult nature, sooner than they need to. I am appalled when I see young children in a
movie theater who are about to watch a movie with violence or sex. I have even had some parents tell
me that I'm too old fashioned or too paranoid. Some parents who have expressed that it is too difficult to
filter their children from such things these days, have said "They are going to see (or experience) it
somewhere so why make life difficult for myself." My personal philosophy has been that if I take the
measures up front to create clear, defined rules and boundaries for my children, they will take me seri-
ous as a parent and discipline will be easier as they grow. But if we get too lax in our parenting,
it becomes a slippery slope and we soon begin losing control as they get older. I made it a point to pre-
serve my children’s childhoods to allow them to fully enjoy this innocent and limited time of exploration,
self-discovery, and emotional growth. I wanted them to form whole as a child before they grew into the
next cycle of change.

Boundaries are critical for children to learn from. Here are three simple suggestions you can put in
place right away.

House Rules. All children need boundaries and limits to learn from. A good place to start is with gen-
eral house rules for them to abide by and this includes children as young as preschoolers. Just having
this respectful discussion alone will help them feel like they are a part of the family and may contribute to
them embracing your rules. In a family meeting setting, sit down with your children and discuss some
areas that need some boundaries, such as greeting each other, use and management of coats and
shoes, use of electronics or the telephone, bedtimes, and friends. If you have a child old enough to
write, allow them to be the meeting scribe to capture all the rules. Once the list is finalized (don’t make it
too complex), have someone read it and then everyone sign it. You can then post it somewhere where
everyone can see it and be reminded of the rules.

Chores. Children as young as preschoolers can be given chores to help out around the house. It be-
gins to teach them responsibility and acceptable behaviors. Select another family meeting setting and
let the children know you’ll be discussing chores. Encourage their involvement in the discussion by ask-
ing them what kinds of things they can help out with. Obviously, preschoolers might have one or two
very simple jobs. School-age children can have about a half dozen. Keep the items simple and easy to
track and be sure that some of them include picking up after themselves. Some of them might be: mak-
ing their bed, setting the table, putting away their laundry, folding towels, filling up the dog food dish, etc.
I have never paid my children an allowance for these types of tasks and have told them that these are
required for being a member of the family. I’ve also told them that this list of daily or weekly chores
represents cooperation with us, and when we get cooperation regularly, we are more likely to want to
cooperate with them when they want something. Cooperation from us might mean bringing them to a
friends house to play, taking them to a movie or out to eat, or planning extra fun on the weekend. Cre-
ate a checklist of the chores that they can check off each day as they complete them to help keep them
on track.

Limiting electronics. I suggest putting limits on children’s exposure to television, the computer, and
video games. Limiting them to perhaps one hour a day on school days and two hours on weekend days
will teach them about all good things in moderation. Parents have told me countless stories where they
watched their children rediscover the lost art of playing and reading when their children knew their ac-
cess to electronics was over for the day. I have stuck to these time limits and they included any of the
three devices, although I have given bonus time for the car when going somewhere or if they have fam-
ily or friends over to play. But even the bonus time has a start and a stop.

Bill Corbett is the author of the parenting class “Love, Limits, and Lessons,” and the executive director of Coop-
erative Kids Parent Network. He has three grown children, two grandchildren, and lives with his wife Elizabeth
near Hartford, Connecticut. Send him your questions via email to

                                                   We would like to thank
                                                  everyone who helped to
                                                    make this month a

John Quinlan for fixing many little things around our school!

Home Depot for donating the labor and materials needed to complete our wooden snowmen!

All the parents who volunteered in the classrooms and during Lunch Bunch!

All the parents who prepared other materials for the class!

All the parents who brought in delicious and healthy snacks this month!

We would also like to thank all of the parents who:

Follow the guidelines of drop-off and pick-up by: not taking a left hand turn into the line, hugging
the First Church building, not passing cars in line, not getting out of vehicles, not allowing their
children in the front seat, pulling forward to buckle, and only taking right hand turns onto
Longmeadow Street!

Teach their children to recognize their snow gear and clearly label their children's clothing!

                                           Think Spring!


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