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The Montessori Kitchen - Loree Birkenback

head of school


onday Morning Montessori Talks A small flower arrangement and a piece About the Kitchen:

of art hung on the wall at the child’s sit-

Charlotte and I put together a few visuals ting eye level would complete the perfect for making your kitchen more Montessori. snack table area! We talked about the importance of your As your child gets older, add more to the child independently being able to drink sequence. A child can make egg salad and eat a small snack. Where does your with you a few times; as you see the child child eat their snack? It’s best to have a has memorized the sequence, use step by small table and chair because your child step cards (see below) or pictures so that can easily follow the sequence for having they can make it independently. snack in the classroom…1. Designate your A few of our favorite healthy snack cook space with an underlay (placemat) 2. Set books that offer these step by step inyour place with a plate, cup, napkin and structions are silverware. 3. Serve yourself snack. 4. Pour Kids in the Kitchen, by Sara Cotner and yourself some water. 5. Say your blessing. Kylie D’Alton, Confidence-Montessor and 6. Eat! 7. Place your dirty dishes in a bin. any of the cookbooks for kids by Mollie 8. Put the underlay away. 9. Wipe off the Katzen! table. 10. Push in the chair!

Child Friendly Recipe Cards

Montessori Kitchen Shelves

the Shearon’s, Prospective parents, station for set up a snack water n, after attendtheir toddler, Emerso ing our seminar! ctures of how Please share your pi tchen more you’ve made your ki Montessori! Loree@stjamesdalla

Caroline has taken her sc hooling to hear t ! I walk int o the bathroom, a nd all the ru gs are rolled and s tacked. Into the kitchen, all the rugs are rolled and stacked . Passing th rough the dining r oom last nig ht, I saw all the placemats r olled and stacked ! See the at tached for a quick snap I could n’t resist. T he be st par t is ho w proud of herself sh e is if you p oint it out! (Well, that and the fac that I haven ’t had to fold t a washcloth in months - I ju st hand over th e basket!) St. James is with us alwa ys!


hanksgiving Feast, 2012 was a big success! Thank you to all of the parents who volunteered time, food and creativity. All of the Pilgrims and Native Americans shared their meal and gave thanks to God for all our blessings. We also gathered donations to help those less fortunate than ourselves. The White Rock Center of Hope was very thankful for all of the wonderful food you donated. I’m sure many families enjoyed a delicious feast thanks to your generosity.

MDO The children keep growing and learning so much! The favorite work right now is anything to do with painting or gluing!

We had such an awesome Thanksgiving feast! Thank you to all of our parents who volunteered to help us set up and clean up our feasts. You all being here to help just made it so enjoyable for us teachers to be with the children.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families!

Happy Holidays from MDO!!

In the Classroom


Christmas through the eyes of a child - Ms. Charlotte ‘Tis the season for all things festive & jolly. It is a lot of fun to see the lights, shop for toys and spread a little Christmas cheer. For toddlers, the sights and smells are magical in small doses but can also be overwhelming. In our classroom we will be enjoying the holiday cheer by listening and singing Christmas carols, making cinnamon dough ornaments to hang from the tree and preparing festive snacks like our favorite crock pot apple sauce. Here are some age appropriate ideas to make the season bright and memorable for your little ones at home. Family Fun •Bundle up & take a family walk or wagon ride to view neighborhood lights. Finish off the night with a crackling fire and hot cocoa or cider and a few holiday songs.

Tips to Remember

•Young children love to cook! Boost their confidence by choosing a simple holiday cookie recipe & premeasuring the ingredients so your child can add them independently. Have some premade dough ready with cookie cutters for your child to cut out while you finish the recipe.

•Schedules are very important for toddlers. As much as possible, try to maintain a regular time for meals, nap and bed. A happy child is well rested and well fed. •Receiving a lot of presents at once can be overwhelming for some children. Allow time for your child to explore and play with each new toy as long as they would like before moving on to the next. If your child is lucky enough to receive a lot of presents from family and friends it is a great idea to put some away and get them out over the next days, weeks and months.

Max and Eloise making apple, raisin and cinnamon oatmeal


Holiday Sticker Work


Eloise sorts Christmas lights with tongs

As we gear up for the holidays it is a time to celebrate and embrace family! The children have been hard at work making their grandparent’s gifts and practicing their fall routine for their Grandparents Day debut! In circle time we have been singing “Ten Little Indians”, counting the days of November, and telling a simple story of Thanksgiving and why we give thanks for the things we often take for granted. We celebrate Grandparents Day around Thanksgiving to show Grandparents how appreciative we are to have them in our lives and in our hearts. It’s also a great time to let them into the classroom to explore with the children and lets them have a hands on approach, as well. - Ms. Coral

Wow, the month of November just flew by and a lot fun took place. I want to thank all the Grandparent’s and extra visitors that came and joined our class last week. All of the children loved to show off their skills and most of all sing for their families. With the Fall leaves turning brown and falling to the ground now, the work in the classroom will be focusing on winter and the Christmas season. Snowflakes color rubbings, snowmen stamp painting and our Baby Jesus felt board story. Tis’ the season to be jolly in the toddler classroom. - Ms. Anna

Thanksgiving Feast 2012




hanksgiving has come and gone and our classroom has a lot of fun and memories to show for it! November held lessons such as; parts of the turkey, the history of the cornucopia, the har-

vest festival and creating a thankful chain! Our children also really enjoyed spending time with their grandparents on Grandparents Day! Everyone enjoyed showing their favorite works and special parts of our classroom! We also enjoyed the yummy homemade zucchini bread that Alec Kupchynsky brought for our grandparents. The children all had the opportunity to invite a grandparent to our snack table to enjoy each others company over this special treat! As we approach the month of December we look forward to all the new and exciting lessons of the classroom. We love to celebrate the Advent season by learning the Christmas story, parts of the poinsettia, sorting snowflakes and playing jiggle bells! Here’s a fun and simple Christmas project to do at home:

I Spy Ornament ( directions on page 21) We hope everyone enjoys the Christmas season with lots of love and Cheer! lots of love, Ms. Elizabeth and Ms. Ashley

Mason doing parts of the turkey work

Christmas I Spy Ornament Supply List empty craft ornament ball Polypellets, Vase filler, Rice or other filler Small Christmas items ( buttons, confetti snowflakes, holly leafs,

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

fill ornament with filler and small items

Glue / seal the top of the ornament

Attach ribbon, print and attach an I Spy card. Enjoy!


he holiday season is in full swing! We spent the month of November discussing thankfulness and learning about different Thanksgiving traditions. We did a cooking project to make baked apples, learned about the cornucopia with nomenclature cards, read stories about the first Thanksgiving, sang silly turkey songs, and discussed what we are each thankful for. The children shared that they were thankful for their moms and dads, their pets, their homes, and for God. Grandparents Day was a special time as well. Each child made two cards, one for each set of grandparents, with a decorative turkey on the front and a handwritten drawing or note on the inside. On Grandparents Day the children performed the “Turkey Jerky” for grandma and grandpa, showed them a favorite work from the classroom, and shared a slice or two of pumpkin bread. Please check your child’s cubby to make sure that the Grandparents Day cards have been picked up and that they went home with your child’s grandparents. The end of the month is here and that means it is time for us to send your child’s work folder home. As you go through the work folder with your child, you may notice a variety of art works. These works may include a collage, a chalk drawing, crayon rubbings, pricked-out shapes such as leaves and pumpkins, and paintings of all sizes. Art is an important part of the primary curriculum. It allows the children to express their personality, creativity, and also helps them cultivate concentration and fine motor skills (such as the pencil grip). The art works follow the same progression as other areas of the Montessori classroom: the first lessons are very basic and they gradually become more complex. For example, the scissors lessons begin with cutting snips of paper, then cutting on the line, then cutting curvy and zig zag lines. Painting is similar. The children paint first on a large easel and then on a small tray with a palette of colors. Coloring works include free drawing with crayons, crayon rubbings, chalk rubbing and also the metal insets.

Metal insets are considered both a language and an art work. The children learn the names of the geometric shapes and also strengthen their eye-hand coordination and fine pencil control. First the children learn to color in straight lines within the metal inset stencil, and then, when they are older, they color the shapes without the help of the inset. The children exhibit tremendous creativity and focus with the metal inset work - each one is special to the child and you can see their joy as they work. The punch-pin (or pricking) work is also an art work that crosses over into other areas of the classroom. The younger children prick out seasonal shapes, such as pumpkins and leaves or candy canes. The older children punch-prick botany and zoology puzzles and geography maps. First they learn the lesson about the map or puzzle, then they punch it out and glue it in the proper sequence. Here is an example of a beautiful art work that a child did from the botany leaf cabinet. A final example of a favorite art work is color mixing. The children take an eye dropper of blue, red, and yellow (the primary colors) and combine them in small bowls to mix the secondary colors (purple, green, brown, etc.). Art is a very important part of the Montessori curriculum and it works together with all the other areas of the classroom (language, math, geography, botany, science and sensorial). Especially with the holidays approaching, look for lots of beautifully creative art works in your child’s work folder! Happy Holidays, everyone!

Miss Julia and Miss Tamara

Audrey concentrates on the lock and key work.


“ A child who has become master of his acts through long, pleasant and interesting activities in which he has engaged, is a child filled with health and joy and remarkable for his calmness and discipline. “ -Maria Montessori

November in the Montessori classroom is a time of concentration, extended work periods and repetition of favorite works. The children have settled into “normalization”; they are happily choosing and repeating work that calls to each child’s individual stage of development. Jayla repeats the Trinomial Cube work every day. She has mastered this 27 piece puzzle that actually is creating her “Mathematical Mind”. The Direct Purpose of this work is the building of the cube. The Indirect Purposes (which we never mention to the children) are preparation for finding the cube root and preparation for proof of the algebraic formula (a + b + c)3.

On Grandparents’ Day, Caroline chose to show her Grandmother how to use “Sculpy”. Caroline first softens the Sculpy by rolling it in her hands, warming it up to form a ball. She uses wooden tools, a rolling pin on a board and a wooden knife for cutting different shapes and sizes. We keep the Sculpy in the Art Area, but this work is also indirect preparation for Handwriting by strengthening the hand muscles.

Evellyn and her Grandmother are collaborating on how to sew together the pages of her “Indian Symbols” book. Evellyn drew the Indian Symbols, copying them from another handmade book in our classroom. Under each symbol she writes its meaning. She has made a title page and back page. We punch holes along the left side of the book. Evellyn is using a large-eyed metal blunt tip needle and yellow yarn to stitch the pages together.

Two very detail-oriented engineers, Grandfather Anderson and Maya, are working together, counting each bead of the Long Chain of 3. They mark each multiple of 3 with its corresponding numbered pink arrow. The squares of 3, both “9” and “18”, are marked by wider pink arrows. The cube of 3, “27”, is marked by the widest pink arrow.


oon we will be preparing for the Christmas season. The students will be asking, “when is Christmas?” A great

way to answer this question is to count the days down on a calendar. Put a picture of a Christmas tree on Christmas Day, then check off each day and the child can count down to Christmas independently. This is what we do in the classroom. We will also be stringing beads on pipe cleaners and hanging them on our classroom Christmas tree. This is a Christmas tradition in our classroom. The students take the “ornaments” home with them when we leave school for the holidays. The school will put a Christmas tree up in the hall and we


oon will be will talk about giving to those lesswe fortunate preparing for that we are. We hope to have a plethora of the Christmas presents around the tree. Additionally, we will season. The stuhave Christmas punching works, Christmas coloring within the lines works, and a wonderful stash of items in our Art Cache to help with Christmas Art Creations. What a joyous season! ENJOY every minute with your precious children.

In the Garden with Ms. Loree

In The Children’s Garden... November in the Children’s Garden: We learned how to use hand rakes in the garden this month. Hand rakes are great tools for loosening soil when weeding or planting. We’ve been planting marigold and kale seeds. We’ve also planted some fall plants…lettuces, spinach, Johnny Jump Ups, Snapdragons and Pansies. After we have worked with our gardening tools we clean them in a bucket of sand mixed with a little motor oil. The sand and oil cleans and lubricates the tools at the same time! Happy Gardening!


We started to work with lines and shapes. An artist that worked with geometric shapes was Paul Klee (sounds like “clay”). Inspired by Klee’s buildings we drew our own buildings and will be working with chalk and oil pastel to finish up these beautiful skylines. Excerpt from Paul Klee artwork, Castle and Sun 1928 made with oil on canvas, Cited from My Art Book 2011

Art with Ms. Judi

Technology with Ms. Judi


he past couple weeks, I introduced the children to

Lego Robotics! The Lego Robotics program breaks it down step by step so the children can build the object and make it move and play sound. It has been so much fun and the kids are learning to work together to build these awesome animals. I introduced the children to Lego Robotics! The Lego Robotics program breaks it down step by step so the children can build the object and make it move and play sound. It has been so much fun and the kids are learning to work together to build these awesome animals.

December is less than a week away and we are so grateful for the beautiful weather that has allowed us extended outside time. The primary children are enjoying the sports court area in the back parking lot. There will be a surprise addition to this area in the next couple of weeks, I am sure you will notice the surprise. The primary and toddlers cannot be on the playground at the same time, so this area has been a blessing to us. Just a reminder to send a jacket for your child, it does get chilly in the late afternoon and we want them to be warm. Mrs. Barrineau’s, Mrs. Bailey’s and Mrs. Anna’s students will have their jackets in the ASC area in the basket with their class name.



A few housekeeping items, if your child is in diapers, please remember to bring a supply of diapers for ASC and if they are potty training, please supply us with an extra change of clothes, thank you. I think that the time change has been difficult and there has been an unusual amount of late pickups. Please remember that the charge is $1 a minute after 6 p.m. If you will be late, please call the school 214-348-1349 to let me know an approximate arrival time. I am the last one leaving the building in the evening and I need to make sure that all doors are locked, please be prompt leaving the building so that I can lock all the doors and make sure the building is secure. I have started to leave the building only to discover that there is still someone in the building, I would hate for anyone to spend the night at St. James. Thank you. Looking forward to the wonderful month of December, Lisa Wilson & The ASC Staff


elcome back from the Thanksgiving holiday! I hope everyone enjoyed spending time with their families! Just before we left for break we were able to have grandparents day at the school! It was so wonderful to have all the grandparents attend Chapel. One thing strikes me each year during the grandparents day service. I love hearing the voices of the children and adults praying The Lord’s Prayer. It’s the one prayer in the Bible that God instructs us to learn and He asks us to pray in that way. It’s truly a beautiful thing to hear the different generations come together for prayer! Thank you to all of the Grandparents who came to make that day so special. December is one of my very favorite months of Chapel. We are now in the season of Advent! This Latin word translates into “coming”. We remember that Jesus ‘came’ to the earth as a little baby and we excitedly await his second ‘coming’! This time of year is a great time to teach your children about the true meaning of Christmas! The old English term breaks down into ‘Christ’s Mass’, or a service to commemorate Christ’s birth. I hope this Christmas Season you will join us in teaching about Emanuel (God with us) and that your holidays are filled with happiness!

Many Blessings, Ashley Woodruff Christian Education Director

Upcoming Events December December 10th Monday Morning Montessori Discussion with Loree Birkenbt

Oct 31

December 20th Halloween Parties Christmas Pagent ( ASC dismisses at 4:30 pm) Noon Dismissal December 21st Holiday Parties Noon Dismissal

SJES November 2012 News  

SJES November 2012 Newsletter