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FREE TO BE THREE As published in September, 2011 Gainesville Today Magazine

The mind of a three year old is absorbent. If the environment is filled with beautiful and enticing activities that stimulate his five senses, he will develop naturally.

Thursday, October 27th 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. Ms. Crystal Sorrow - Dunking Booth & Beverage Station Ms. Christina Eckstein - Petting Zoo & Crown Decorating Ms. Renee Brohamer - Obstacle Course & Sack Race Ms. Elizabeth Falls - Bounce House & Ball Toss Ms. Jackie Johnson - Hay Treasure Hunt & Pumpkin Ball Toss Ms. Anita Bender - Nerf Archery, Horseshoes & Decorate a Cowboy Hat Mr. Richard Aslanian - Fishing Booth & Ring Toss Ms. Christina (Tina) Miller - Trunk N Treat & International Food Booth Ms. Sherilyn Farris/Spotlight Kids - Haunted Dance Floor & Hallway, Mini Pumpkin Decorating & Face Painting

Children at age three use all senses to explore their world. The primary way in which they learn is through a combination of their five senses, especially touching things with their hands. “Don‟t touch,” we often say and many times for good reason. All the while, the three year old has an inner voice screaming for him to touch. It is important to realize that three year olds need a prepared environment with a

certain amount of liberty to explore. By this age, the home environment has been explored to great lengths and almost exhausted. It is now a wonderful time for a child to go to school. A developmentally appropriate program for three year olds is one where they are free to do what is right. The ground rules need to be clear and consistent, and the community of the classroom needs to be organized. The shelves need to be at their level and the learning materials need to be accessible. Long, uninterrupted blocks of time should be built in to each day to enhance motor skills and develop concentration. Perfecting skills comes from uninterrupted practice and repetition. Three-year-old children are in developmental stages for order, courtesy, refinement of the senses, language and even the foundation for early reading and writing. Continued on page 38.

mms mental Guest Writer: Lisa Merlo Greene, Ph.D., M.P.E. Licensed Psychologist

As October ushers in celebrations involving witches, ghosts, and jacko-lanterns, we are reminded that there is sometimes a fine line between fun and fright for our kids. Though most children will relish the opportunity to dress in costume and venture into the night to collect candy, some parents will find the anticipated excitement of Halloween is replaced by nightmares and tears. Alternatively, parents may notice heightened anxiety at other times, as their children go through phases when new fears emerge. These reactions are common, and the fear response is natural and instinctual; at times it can even be protective. For example, fear of strangers may help children to avoid treacherous people, and fear of snakes and spiders may prevent

dangerous bites. However, children‟s fears can become problematic when they cause unnecessary distress or impairment in daily functioning. If the anxiety is irrational (e.g., your child‟s peers are not upset in similar situations) or interferes with sleep, family functioning, socializing with friends, or school attendance, it may be worth examining potential contributors and solutions. For example, it is always advisable to follow parent guidelines on movies and video games, and utilize parental controls on the computer and television, in order to avoid exposing your child to material he or she is not emotionally mature enough to handle. Research has shown that children look to their parents to determine the threat potential of novel situations. As a result, parents become important models who may inadvertantly teach anxiety to their kids. When our children seem overly sensitive, it can be helpful to take a step back and evaluate whether our own “quirky” behaviors or “OCD” traits are sending the wrong message to our children. If so, it may be worth trying to scale back the intensity of our own anxious re-

health corner sponses, and instead focus on modeling confident and assertive behavior. In this way, as parents we can take full advantage of opportunities to teach adaptive coping skills to our children. When children do express fear, our response to them is critical. Child anxiety can be very difficult for parents, who may feel compelled to jump in and rescue their child at the first sign of distress. Though well-intentioned, this instinct to eliminate the imagined “dangerâ€? and to console the child may actually serve to strengthen his or her irrational fear response. Parental accommodation refers to actions performed to: help the child avoid a feared situation, prevent natural consequences of avoidant behavior, assist the child in completing safety rituals, or repeatedly provide reassurance. Instead of adequately comforting the child, such behaviors tend to give credibility to the fears, and decrease the childâ€&#x;s motivation to be courageous and develop independence. A more helpful reponse is to support the child in identifying and facing the feared objects and situations. This can be done in a step-

by-step manner, starting with less scary situations to build confidence, and progressing to scarier ones. Parents can model the preferred behavior first, then support the child in his or her own effort. The most important task is encouraging the child to stay in the situation until his or her fear decreases naturally. Children should then be rewarded with verbal praise, physical affection, and/or a preferred activity for successfully facing their fears. If you find that you have difficulty managing your own anxiety or helping your child, a mental health professional specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy may be able to assist you. Treatment is generally short-term, with high rates of successful recovery. Addressing child anxiety early on can prevent future suffering and promote a lifetime of well-being.


BEGINNERS : AGES 2 - 4 The students in the Little House have done a wonderful job adjusting to the structured class environment. They have become more adept at saying goodbye and separating happily from family members. They have been practicing many grace and courtesy skills such as greeting, hand washing, pushing in chairs, rolling rugs, cleaning up their area at lunch and work times, and are becoming more independent in important ways. The month of September consisted of lessons and sharing focused on Families and Pets. This unit allowed for lessons in early geography and cultural studies as well as family relations and animal science. People all over the world share special family bonds. No matter what language people speak, or clothes they wear, or traditions they practice, families are universal. The students were able to enjoy many pets visiting during the unit study. They were able to pet an African fat-tailed leopard gecko belonging to Sylvana's family, dwarf miniature rabbits belonging to Ms. Anita, the first-grade teacher, and a miniature poodle belonging to Ms. Crystal. Please enjoy the pictures of the Beginner's class exploring and learning through hands-on experiences.



We are off to a great start this year! It has been amazing to see the students mature in such a short period of time. The grace and courtesy lessons that the students have received have set the tone for a peaceful and respectful classroom. The children are relishing in the opportunities to work in the classroom and are developing a deeper level of concentration which allows them to do more challenging and extensive work. They have also developed a greater sense of responsibility not only for themselves, but for their environment as well. During the month of September, the students learned a great deal about the human body. They identified exterior body parts through movement activities, matched labels to cards, and created their very own body books. The students identified bones

and constructed a human skeleton using different types of pasta and beans. They also discovered the parts of the circulatory, digestive and nervous systems as they examined various models and worked with our “anatomy apron� work. The children also discovered the five senses and discussed daily needs that the human body has such as rest, exercise, and eating healthy foods. The season of autumn and its festivities allow us to take advantage of the sights of the season. We will examine a variety of bats, their anatomy and their habitats. The children will also dissect a pumpkin, label its parts and learn about its lifecycle. Be sure to check out the next installment of the Montessori Monitor to see pictures from our first Parent Night held in October!







We are off to a wonderful start this school year and weâ€&#x;re looking forward to a productive and fun filled semester. Already we have been learning about nutrition, our bodies, and our five senses. We did some great art projects and science projects involving color mixing to explore the sense of sight, we also talked about light and how with out it our sense of sight will not work. We looked at prisms, mirrors/ reflections and learned that light can bounce.

what particular sounds are coming from. We are also working on using our listening skills with greater precision while building vocabulary skills for verbs and words that describe positions such as above, below, over, under, foreword, backward, in, on, between, etc.



While investigating the sense of sound we used the sound cylinders to grade sounds from quiet to loud, and we played games to identify where/


Lunch Box Recipe Cornish Pastry Servings


Ingredients 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup butter, diced 1/2 cup water 1 1/4 pounds rump roast, cubed 1 onion, chopped 2 potatoes, peeled and diced 2 small carrots salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons milk

Directions In a small saucepan, cover carrots with water. Bring water to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool and slice. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Add butter, and rub to the consistency of coarse crumbs. Mix in water. If dough is sticky, add more flour. Roll dough out until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out six circles, each about 5 inches round. Do not stretch the dough. Mix meat and vegetables together, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover half of each pasty base with the filling. Moisten pastry edges, fold pastry over the filling. Press edges together with a fork. Transfer raw pasties to a baking sheet, brush tops with milk, and make a small slit in each top to allow steam out. Bake at 450 degrees F ( 230 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake for 35 minutes.


PRESCHOOL/ KINDERGARTEN Happy Autumn to All of You! It is hard to believe that eight weeks of school have already gone by! The children have settled in nicely and have become quite acclimated to their new environment! During the first few weeks of school, we concentrated on reestablishing routines and reviewing important classroom ground rules. With beginning evaluations complete and the children becoming more familiar and comfortable in the classroom, more small group language and math lessons have begun. In September two special guests visited our classroom: Ms. Jessica Wilson (Kieren’s Aunt) and Ms. Amanda Demopoulos (Clara’s mother). Jessica lives and works in KailuaKona, Hawaii where she swims with Spinner Dolphins (up to 7 ft. and 200 lbs.) for Dolphin Discoveries. The

children thoroughly enjoyed learning and listening to many stories about her adventures with the Spinner Dolphins. She showed them videos and what it is like to swim with dolphins! The children all thought it would be great to take “our Magic School Bus” to Hawaii to be able to swim with the dolphins! Clara‟s mother, Amanda, is a Marine Biologist. She visited our classroom for a combined science/art project. She talked to the children about her job and that it entails using a submersible as an underwater laboratory. She told the children the further you go down in the ocean, the greater the pressure is. To demonstrate this, she brought Styrofoam cups for the children to decorate and explained that the cups will become smaller and firmer (crushed) by the pressure when placed in the submersible. The children are excited to see what their cups will look like when Ms. Amanda returns with them from her journey! Thank you both very much for coming to our classroom! In addition to our Montessori curriculum, we started the year off by exploring

dinosaurs. The children learned about the concept of timelines as well as Pangaea; the Mesozoic Era - Triassic, Late Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous; and the Cenozoic Era. The children especially enjoyed reading Dinosaurs Through Time by Nicholas Harris, a story about Mamenchi and his family. This unit study has led us into our current studies on the layers of the Earth, volcanoes, fossils, rocks and minerals. Our first Geography continent study of the year will focus on Africa (Oct-Dec). Throughout the year, we study different children authors during story time. We have read Mary Pope Osborne‟s Dinosaurs Before Dark (a Magic Tree House book) and are currently reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. When we are finished, we will be watching the movie; a great story about friendship! The children always love art time! We have done many fun art activities since the beginning of school. A particular favorite was painting with bubble wrap! The children have also been enjoying many sewing projects with the help of Ms. Rhea Bush on Mondays. Many of the children are learning how to finger knit. This is

an excellent activity to help build gross and fine motor skills, increase their ability to focus as well as to learn the importance of beginning and completing an activity. All of these skills are necessary to go onto the “bigger” academic work in the classroom. Sewing is a favorite activity and we have many projects planned for this school year! We have celebrated several birthdays since the beginning of the year: Michael, Benjamin, Nicolasand Clara – Happy Birthday! We also celebrated Johnny Appleseed‟s (John Chapman, born Sept. 26, 1774) birthday by making homemade apple pies! Needless to say, the children were very proud of these pies and especially loved them with ice cream! Ollie the river otter, a new “student” has joined our class this year. He is really enjoying his visits with his friends and their families from

the class! The pictures that many of you have put in his travel journal are adorable! If he has not yet visited your family, he will be very soon! The children have really grown in the past few weeks and we hope that you have seen the growth at home as well. We need to remember to be patient and carefully break tasks into simple steps. We allow the child to make mistakes and encourage them to try again. It is in this manner that the child learns to “think” and learn. Repetition is essential for learning at this stage. With consistency, patience, and nurturing guidance, the child is allowed to see them self as being capable, responsible and independent. This school year has just begun and we are very excited! We were happy to be work together with all of you at our first Parent Night lat Tuesday!



We have a full class with a wonderful group of students. Everybody has transitioned well and has achieved a nice balance between child and teacher directed work. Our mornings begin with our morning work cycle where we focus on practical life, sensorial, math, language, and handwriting activities. We also have the opportunity to learn Spanish, science, geography, music, and grace & courtesy through both lessons and materials. In the afternoons we do art and sewing in addition to any science extension. Kindergarteners additionally have P.E. and technology. For science, we began the year by studying marine mollusks and their shells. The children have been enjoying sorting, matching and identifying sea shells. Some materials involve matching shell specimens by




popped-from-scratch popcorn with organic butter.

species, some involve sorting by kind and then counting them, and some involve sorting by categories such as bivalves versus univalves. The children also have been able to bring home a variety of shell specimens to begin their own collections. We also made our own science books illustrating the parts of a snail. We concluded September by studying other marine invertebrates such as echinoderms (sea urchins and sea stars) and arthropods (crustaceans).

So far we are having a great start. We are having lots of fun and already forming wonderful friendships!

For science and art in October our focus is on oceanic fish. Art has included making 3-D fish, fish prints, sand paintings, dioramas and very likely shark tooth necklaces. We are learning about the internal and external parts of a fish, different species of fish, and various adaptations and defense mechanisms. The shark study is always a big hit.



For literature, we are reading the Wizard of Oz. We will conclude our book with the original movie and some




I would like to complement the children on working together as a team. Spirit Week was a busy and fun time and the children learned so much by working together for one common goal. Thank you to all of the families who donated canned goods. Our class won the “Golden Can Award” this year! Congratulations to our first and second graders for their hard work and effort. Many families in our community will be fed with these dry goods and we helped to make a big difference in the stock of our local food pantry. In the classroom our emphasis is on the importance of finishing work completely and accurately. I have been engaging the children in small group lessons to thoroughly explain the Montessori Materials and their uses. Many of the children are capable of doing dynamic addition and subtraction, multiplication and division by working it out in their head. While this is an admirable feat for a first and second grader most of the time it is done by rote memorization. At this stage in the child‟s development, I would like to express that the mate-

rials Montessori developed are designed to bring the child‟s mind from gaining a full understanding through the use of the concrete materials (the works) into abstraction (notation). In Mathematics, when your child works with the Stamp Game, he or she manipulates through a concrete method, performing exchange in all four mathematical operations into the thousands. Spelling and Vocabulary development, when learned only by memorization, stunts the ability of the mind to gain a deeper understanding. The Language materials that are available in the classroom are designed to internalize the information that is being sent to the brain. In the classroom your child will find a picture, match it to an object, spell it with the moveable alphabet and then record it in their Language Journal. They will even take it a step further by highlighting the vowels in red and the consonants in blue. Your child also recognizes the sound pictures at the beginning, middle and endings of words. This focus on the materials available in the classroom will help lead the children into becoming independent thinkers. Our goal is to follow each child and to guide them into making

the right choices within their environment. We use worksheets that you see in the students‟ binders to supplement and reinforce the materials introduced. These are checked and sent home in the weekly “take-home” folder. Reminder: Please return “take-home” folder on Tuesday and Friday. We send them home on Monday and Thursday. Finished work may be taken out of the folder and kept at home. Any unfinished work needs to be completed and returned. The children are also getting used their homework packets and Spelling City (where applicable). They are remembering to unpack his or her backpack and turn in homework on Friday mornings. Keep the reminders going at home but it is important that the child must physically take it out of the backpack or folder and turn it in on Friday morning. It helps them to remember to turn it in if they pack the backpack themselves. Also, nutrition is a big daily discussion in our classroom. While we all enjoy birth-

day foods, cakes or desserts sometimes it is a red light food so that it should only be eaten once in a while. Please be sure to send in nutritious lunches and healthy snacks. Every child in our class is old enough to pack his or her own lunchbox. Please make sure our child takes part in packing up his or her own things. This is the biggest obstacle for children because they aren‟t truly following Montessori guidelines if they cannot help themselves. Our Scholastic Online Book Orders have brought in seven new books to our classroom this year. Thanks again for using the online ordering. All that you have to do to order books or the Scholastic Dictionary is go to student ordering and our class code is GPFKF. Fall Festival is around the corner, keep watching for emails for volunteer opportunities to help out our classroom. It is a very fun event and please look for upcoming e-mails regarding the festival on October 27. Thanks for all of the lovely donations to our classroom! We appreciate that we have such a supportive group of families. We feel fortunate to guide your children this year.


Happy New School Year, Everyone. It has been a rapidly moving first few months of school for all of us here at MMS. Our class has been busy getting used to our new schedule and many new classmates. The students have had a fun time in science learning about the 5 Kingdoms of Life of Earth. We are classifying many examples of each Kingdom to help strengthen our understanding. From this our studies will go further into detail in the Kingdom Animalia. In Geography, we have begun by learning some mapping skills

that will be helpful to us in our future studies and look forward to a detailed study of all seven continents during the year. We have started on our continent of North America. We will enjoy some food and culture from each continent as we go. In conjunction with our studies, we will choose an important person from one of these continents to portray in our annual Historical Timeline. There have been many great classroom authors that have shared a story that was written during Creative Writing time. We have had both fiction and non-fiction stories presented. Our first research presentations have gone very well. We look forward to continuing adding more great topics to our Black Research Folder.

Thank you to all the MMS families for your support during Spirit Week. We had a great time dressing up each day and creating our poster and cheer. We are very proud of our school and thank all the students for their effort during the week. We would like to welcome Gabriel and Nicholas to MMS.


Fourth and fifth graders are getting used to new classes, new teachers and new responsibilities. Fourth graders are learning to stay organized using their planners and the Jupiter Grades website. Fifth graders are learning to manage their time with their extra Safety Patrol duties. Our class had a great time during Spirit Week! We would like to thank our class parents for their help with the dress-up days, and for sending in 177 cans of food which will go to help feed hungry people in our area. We also thank Ms. Deeta for helping inspire school spirit with face painting on Blue & White Day. In Florida History class, fourth graders have been studying the prehistoric past of Florida beginning with its first inhabitants who arrived over

15,000 years ago. Students are looking forward to our upcoming field trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History where we will learn more about Floridaâ€&#x;s native peoples. In US History class with Ms. Susan Salvatore, fifth graders have begun studying the first inhabitants of what is now the US, beginning with the Paleo Indians. Now students are learning about different cultural regions of the US and different Native American groups that live in those areas. The 5th grade Spelling Bee has been scheduled for Tuesday, December 13th. Copies of spelling lists have been sent home for students to study. Good luck!


ZUMBA! A big thanks to Ms. Ana, Ms. Jessica & Ms. Sylvia for all the Zumba fun! We had a great time and a really good workout! Thanks to Coach Cam for the use of PE time!

The year has started of great in M3S! Students are getting used to the schedule and the assignments and, as usual, we are very busy. Students are learning how to identify and utilize literary elements in language arts. They are also working on creative writing skills. Sixth grade students are applying these skills in poetry, while seventh and eighth grade students are doing the same with short stories. During social studies, students are learning about the distant past and the world around them. The sixth grade are learning about the issues and solutions that led to the development of early civilizations like the Sumerians, Babylonians, Akkadians & Assyrians. The seventh and eighth grade students are researching and producing video reports based on the impact of various groups, such as indigenous Indians, loggers, and cattle ranchers, on the Amazon Rainforest. While all of the middle school students are preparing for the annual science fair, they are also studying about Life Science. Sixth grade students are learning about the systems in the human body. Seventh and eighth grade students are learning how to use a microscope. Stay tuned for the next issue of the Monitor for a photo report on our annual trill to Camp McConnell for ROPES.

We Doodle in Pre Algebra Class! The pre-algebra class has been learning about Fractiles, Hilbert‟s Curve, Binary Trees and Sierspinski Triangles while doodling during Friday‟s math classes. We found this very hip and fun website that teaches the “brainy” mathematical concepts behind what used to be random little squiggles and curlicues populating the margins of math assignments. Check out – Doodling In Math Class website to doodle “like a boss” too!


My name is Renee Gaskin and I am pleased and honored to be teaching science at the Millhopper Montessori School. To start with -

I am teaching our Fabulous Fourth grade "THE Structures of Life" Foss curriculum. We have been learning about the structure of plants, sprouting seeds in soil, growing sprouts

in hydroponics and starting a garden with Ms. Deeta. We

have been comparing these basic needs to what a human cell would need to survive. Our Marvelous MiddleSchoolers have been exploring "Living Systems" and the "Diversity of Life". Our studies are in biological systems. The 5th/6th graders are learning body systems-currently, how the transport system of a typical stalked plant is similar to and different from the circulation system in a human. The 7th graders are learning proper use of the microscope; viewing single-celled organisms like the Amoeba and the Paramecium and doing compare/contrast to multi-celled organism like the Elodea plant and the human cheek cell.

Also, the M3S is doing an MMS Science Fair and those projects that qualify will go on to the Alachua County Regional Science Fair. This is an opportunity for each student to find a comfortable, interesting level of information in science that goes beyond the standard curriculum. Each student can pursue an individual interest AND exploit their own talents to examine practical problems with hands-on activities. These activities can link science with other areas of their educational experience. My hope is that all their science experiences linked with other curriculum will bring each student to a higher level of accomplishment and to engage in the process of seeking and gaining knowledge. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of working with such fantastic kids!!

3rd Annual MMS PTO Fall Festival Thursday, October 27th 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. Activities for all ages! HUGE bounce houses

FUNTASTIC Fishing Booth

CHILLY dunking booth


SPOOKY Hay Treasure Hunt

INSANELY delicious International Food

CUDDLY Petting Zoo

PLUS tons more!!!

Please join us Monday, October 17, 2011 anytime between 4:00 & 10:00 p.m. at either

PIESANOS STONE FIRED PIZZA (Hunters Crossing or Tower Square) to celebrate

MMS Spirit 'Knight' The MMS PTO will receive 10% of total sales from everyone who eats (dine in or carry out) and mentions they are supporting MMS. Bring your family & friends and be sure to pass the word on! A special thanks to Mike & Melissa Akey for making this possible!


Our school year is off to a great start! All of our 4th/5th grade students read The Secret of Zoom as their assigned summer reading assignment. The 4th graders created original games to go along with the plot, setting and characters of the book. We enjoyed playing each game by rotating around the room in small groups to each game. The fifth grade students created old-fashioned desk blotters as their Secret of Zoom projects. These blotters turned out to be true works of art with original drawings, photo books, unique artifacts and fabulous writing. Each student presented his/her completed project to the class. Both projects were on display at parent night we hope you enjoyed viewing the masterpieces and play the games. We are currently half finished with our two new books, Gregor the Overlander (4th grade) and Out of My Mind (5th graders). Each week the students read 4-5 assigned chapters and complete a homework assignment relating to some aspect of their reading. The fourth graders have currently embarked on a webquest about bats (view it on and the fifth graders are sharpening their trivia knowledge for our Brainbowl competition.

MIllhopper Montessor i School Bake Sale October 19, 2011 12:00 pm Trick-Or-Treat


ALL ITEMS- $1 October 19, 2011

Everything $1.00! Proceeds benefit the MMS yearbook



The weather is still quite warm and the students are playing hard like they are still on summer vacation. The first few weeks of the year the focus has been on team building activities so students get used to their new classmates and groupings. Pre-testing for Presidential Physical Fitness followed, which led us into the silliness that is Spirit Week. We are now into our first unit that emphasizes the control of a ball while kicking and volleying. Middle school students are the recipients of the latest addition to our P.E. curriculum. Using BrainPop online videos as a foundation, students are introduced to a variety of health topics and terms. A weekly homework assignment requires students to follow up on the new found information to expound their knowledge.

Sports League Go Knights! Once again we are participating in a community sports league. Soccer is up first and we were pleasantly surprised to have fielded two teams in each age division. We have 53 students playing! This year we produced out own jerseys and will create our own trophies to create MMS specific paraphernalia. This also helps keep costs down for our families. The MMS part of the league fee has dropped from $30 per season to $10! A special thanks goes out to our volunteer coaches; Deva Mirel, Tiffany Monday, Jeff Jaszczak, Deeta & Bobby Adkins, and Robert Mackritis. It looks like itâ€&#x;s going to be another great season for the Blue and White of the Millhopper Knights. We also have a 4th/5th grade girls volleyball team playing through the Girls Place. All games take place on Friday evenings! Be sure to head down 39th Avenue to the Girls Place to watch our Lady Knights!


Sienna introduces herself to her audience, before delivering her journal prompt. Speech, Debate and Drama is taught to first - eighth grades at MMS. The first unit is Speech. In Speech practical ideas introduce and reinforce the need for organization, attention to detail and preparation. The lessons begin with exercises that help the public speaker with eye contact, voice projection, varying your voice, rehearsing and good posture. Each class starts with the students reminding each other of tips for a successful presentation. They also remind each other how to be a good audience.

Students in Ms. Anita’s class are underlining places in their journal prompt to look out to the audience.

After lessons and activities helping with eye contact, voice projection and varying your voice, the students deliver their first presentation. The first - third graders delivered an entry from their journal. The students receive constructive feedback from their peers and redeliver their improved presentation. Fourth - Fifth graders wrote an object speech, paying close attention to the introduction, body and conclusion. In sixth grade, more emphasis is placed on the details, organization of speech and delivery. They wrote and delivered an Interview Speech, while seventh and eight grades wrote and delivered a Pet Peeve speech.

Interview of Will by: Dillon, sixth grade

Pet Peeve by: Trent, seventh grade

If you were a C.I.A. Agent would you fly your helicopter to Taco Bell? I bet Will would. He is funny, generous, and smart.

Don‟t you hate it when your siblings get way less homework than you do? They get to watch T.V., when they do get homework it‟s basically nothing and they get extra free time.

He loves playing paintball and watching street racing. His favorite sound is the Road Runner. The profession that interests him would be a C.I.A. Agent.

Venumadhava shows his picture after delivering his journal prompt.

Paintball and Street Racing are his favorite sports. He loves paintball because he plays it a lot and he enjoys the game. He like street racing because “you can go fast.” He loves the sound of the Road Runner because he makes a funny sound and whenever he tricks Wiley Coyote he says Beep, Beep. Will wants to be a C.I.A. Agent because of the danger, and the action. He also says he can fly a helicopter to Taco Bell.

Chloe delivers her journal prompt.

Meeting you would be a pleasure to Will, but you‟ll have to wait until he finishes playing paintball, racing a car, and flying a helicopter.

Isn‟t it the worst when you‟re sitting there, half way done with your large stack of homework and you see your siblings watching T.V.? You have to stay up late into the night working on homework and they get to do whatever they want, until bed time. The next day you get even more homework, and on the rare occasion that your siblings get homework, it is not very much at all. It just isn‟t fair. The thing that bothers me the most is I never get free time, and I can‟t play video games. By the time a I am done with my homework, it‟s time for bed and I get no free time. All in all, it is no fun when you have loads of homework and your siblings have little or none. They are allowed to play and have fun, but I am stuck with a gigantic stack of work.

After underlining places to look out to the audience, students rehearse their delivery to each other.


The first several weeks of school students in Kindergarten through Eighth grades learn how to care for the laptops, media center rules, digital etiquette, including cyber bulling and computer parts. Specifically, the kindergarteners are working on mouse skills, once they master this skill, they will move on to research skills on the internet. First and Second graders have been researching fossils and working on writing their information in their own words. Please check out: Ms. Anita‟s Fossil Unit on Second and Third graders are also working on writing their research in their own words as they research the Five Kingdoms. Please check out: Mr. Richard‟s Five Kingdom‟s Unit on Fourth and Fifth graders learned how to use, which includes safe emailing, blogging and digital lockers to store their work. Fourth graders are learning how to effectively search on the web using safe search engines located on They have also been working on phrasing, using quotes and being specific with their searches. The fifth graders learned how to use Voki, an online avatar service that will help with language skills, diction and Span-

Gaggle is used in fourth- eight grades to safely email, blog, collaborate and store work.

ish. They are also working on creating a brochure using Microsoft Publisher. The sixth, seventh and eight graders are utilizing in most of their classes. Each teacher has an email and a class set up in the gaggle world. They are working on creating a Spanish Voki using their voice so they can hear how they sound. Their next unit will be video production. The seventh and eight graders will work on a video in collaboration with World Cultures an Geography and the sixth graders will create a video poem in collaboration with Language Arts. Below are links located on

“Founded in 1999, BrainPOP creates animated, curriculum-based content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement.�

Glogster EDU is the leading global education platform for the creative expression of knowledge and skills in the classroom and beyond Typing Pal Online is a 100% web-based keyboarding tutor tailored to students and teachers needs. Create customized avatars. Add voice to your Voki avatars. Post your Voki to any blog, website, or profile.

Spelling City is used by second and third graders to enhance vocabulary and spelling skills.


It was so much fun to study dinosaurs and the ocean in Spanish with the Kindergarten classes. Our friends in Beginner‟s, PK and Kindergarten Classes enjoyed practicing “Grace & Courtesy”, numbers, colors, and more with my friend “Paco el Perico” and the “Sing, Dance, Laugh and Eat Tacos” program. We also learned many other fun songs and games to practice vocabulary.

The middle school students really put their heads together during Spirit Week to work on Spanish as well as on their cheer. They especially enjoyed creating a Voki introduction and conversation with a friend.

In the 1st-8th Grade Classes we did a wide variety of activities to study the Spanishspeaking world and to review vocabulary and grammar. Role-playing, miniconversations and skits were by far the most popular activities.

Under the direction of Ms. Christina Eckstein The new season of The Spotlight Singers started in early September. The members are: Kindergarterners: Penny, Clara, Brooklyn and Lea, First Graders: Sienna and Teya and Third Grader: Akhila. They are learning how several vocal techniques as well as how to read music, while preparing for “A Season of Thanks,” their November show in the Big Room. In December the ensemble will be singing holiday songs at The Spotlight Kids presentation of “A Modern Christmas Carol.” Be sure and mark your calendars.

“A Season of Thanks” presented by The Spotlight Singers featuring The Spotlight Kids Junior Wednesday, November 16, 2011 6:30pm in the MMS Big Room Rehearsals for “ A Season of Thanks” Monday, November 14th, Tuesday, November 15th In the MMS Big Room 3:30pm-5:00pm Performance Wednesday, November 16th Arrive: 6:20pm Performance Attire: Black long pants, black t-shirt, black shoes

presented by The Spotlight Kids featuring The Spotlight Kids Junior and The Spotlight Singers Saturday, December 10th, 2011 5:00pm at The St. Augustine Student Center 1738 West University Avenue Gainesville, Fl 32603

The Spotlight Kids, Junior Troupe Third grader: Akhila, Fourth graders: Arianna and Liz , and Fifth graders: Bella, and Shreya.

Upcoming Performances The Spotlight Kids Junior Drama Club is back in full swing! In the first few weeks they have played several drama games, created a commercial and have been rehearsing for their upcoming roles in The Spotlight Kids December show: “A Modern Christmas Carol,” written by Ruth Ann Pattee, produced with special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service. They will also be featured in the Spotlight Singers’ Thanksgiving performance on November 17th. Thank you to our Spotlight Kids Troupe 88928 for volunteering their time and working the junior drama club each Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 16 “A Season of Thanks” with the Spotlight Singers in the Big Room Saturday, December 10 5:00pm at St. Augustine Student Center “A Modern Christmas Carol,” written by: Ruth Ann Pattee produced with arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service.

MS SYLVIA ASLANIAN THE SPOTLLIGHT KIDS TROUPE: 88928 Congratulations to the International Junior Thespian officers!

Snack Time: 3:30pm - 4:00pm!

Cristina teaches the choreography for one of the dance numbers in the upcoming holiday production

A… five.. six… seven… eight….

The new season of The Spotlight Kids Drama Club started on September 2, 2011. The thespian troupe which consists of: Lexi, Hunter, Dillon, Zach in sixth grade, Cristina, Tiffany, Sarah, Urmeen, Alyssa, Elizabeth, Ben in seventh grade, Ashley in eight grade and high school alumni, Dominick, Laura, Chandrika and Courtney is excited to present, Pioneer Drama Service‟s “A Modern Christmas Carol.” It is a presentday, twist on the classic Dicken‟s tale. Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 5:00pm. The holiday performance will be held at the St. Augustine Student Center located at 1738 West University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32603-1839. Thank you to Ms. Anna Olcese for acquiring this location for us. In addition to rehearsing for our upcoming show, the troupe will also be preparing for a competition on December 2nd and 3rd held in Jacksonville. They have had three Junior Thespian meetings and have elected their board officers. Congratulations to our President: Cristina, our Vice President: Tiffany, our Secretary: Ashley and our Treasurer: Ben. Their first order of business was voting on the troupe Constitution. Please be sure to keep up with all that is The Spotlight Kids by checking out our website:

This heartwarming story puts a modern twist on the Dickens' traditional Christmas Carol tale. Ed pesters friends to do his homework, harasses classmates for lunch money, refuses to go Christmas caroling and is just an all-around Scrooge-and his friends are sick of it! It seems like Ed never spends time with them anymore. In turn, Ed's parents, both caught up with their careers, don't spend much time with him-even on Christmas Eve. The night before Christmas, Ed receives ethereal visits from his old friend Kaitlin and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. They remind him of what his life used to be and open his eyes to what it has become and how much worse it could get if Ed doesn't change his ways right now! The ghosts' revelations scare Ed out of his wits-especially the notion of attending the loneliest school in the universe where Ed would be the only student and all assignments are due on the same day! By morning, Ed wakes up with a renewed feeling of love, appreciation and true Christmas spirit. Your audiences will be joyfully touched by the outcome of Ed's transition as they enjoy the light-hearted humor of A Modern Christmas Carol.

Pioneer Drama Service


Congratulations to Ms. Anita Benderâ€&#x;s class for winning the golden can award. Ms. Sherilyn Farrisâ€&#x; class (M3S) came in a close 2nd by a mere 10 cans. M3S also won the participation award! Thanks to all the parents for helping your children dress up each day! 1,165 Pounds of Food Donated to the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank!

Call for Artwork! The Gallery Literary Art Magazine Gold Circle Award Winner (Columbia University) Excellent (National Council of Teachers of English) All 1st to 8th grade students: If you have any artwork, short stories, poetry, photography or any other creative work - NOW is the time to submit for the 4th biannual literary magazine. All submissions should be turned in to the Middle School If you have any idea for the cover - Submit that too! The literary magazine will be published in the spring.


Their language skills are expanding. They can use simple sentences, pronunciation improves, and they are learning the rules of grammar by imitation. They realize printed words in a book tell the reader what to say. They love to have stories read aloud and want to hear the same stories over and over, gravitating to stories where animals are given human traits. At this age, children engage their entire bodies whenever they can. Toddlers are more top-heavy and as a child turns 3, he/she can do many more things independently and successfully such as pumping a swing or riding a tricycle. They can do more with their hands and have better finger dexterity with crayons and

clay. They can string large beads, dress with buttons, snaps and zippers. Art begins to actually look like real subjects. It is important to remember that emotionally, they are beginning to develop friendships with other children and still need familiar adults nearby for security and help as they develop logical reasoning skills. It is a very exciting and liberating age. So enjoy your 3 year old and all the magic of seeing the world through his/ her eyes. A good resource for understanding age 3 comes from the National Network for Child Care Ages and Stages as well as Three Year Old Behavior Solutions for Every Parent, by Chris Thompson. Chris Thompson is wonderful at describing how to enter your childâ€&#x;s world to understand and manage the behavior of children at this age. Ages and Stages from the National Network for Child Care provide lists of what 3 year olds can do physically and intellectually. I highly recommend both resources along with any of Dr. Maria Montessoriâ€&#x;s writings on the Absorbent Mind and the Sensitive Periods. -Christina Miller, President, Millhopper Montessori School


calendar Monday, October 17 Spirit „Knight‟ - Both Piesanos Locations anytime between 4pm - 10pm Thursday, October 20 Safety Patrol Walk to McDonald‟s during lunch Friday, October 21 Picture Re-take Day Wednesday, October 26 4th Grade Florida Museum of Natural History Field Trip Thursday, October 27 Fall Festival Friday, October 28 Student Holiday/Teacher Workday End of First Quarter Thursday, November 3 Little House Gator Parade Friday, November 4 Holiday - UF Homecoming

Fall 2011 Montessori Monitor  

Fall 2011 Montessori Monitor

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