Sippel’s Spotlight: 9/20

Happy Picture Day!

We sure did have a good looking crew on campus today. We are getting ready to head into fall, meaning that the temps are dropping below 95J. With this comes many activities especially parent/teacher conferences, please be on the lookout over the next week for a Signup Genus invite from your kiddos teacher. After fall break we will also be opening the flood gates for parent volunteers, please look out for an email from your kiddo’s teacher or room parent regarding all of the fun activities that are in store for you. Thank you for waiting on this process, we want to make sure that routines are in place to help the classrooms run smooth when you arrive.

The San Tan Learning Center Family Connection page has proven to be a great success, many families have joined and are sharing all kinds of great information, as a reminder this pages was created as a way for families to connect with other families, keep up to date about upcoming events and promotions, learn about passive giving opportunities, and keep up to date with the activities our FEC (Family Engagement Committees) are currently working on. To locate the page you do need a Facebook account. You can either search for “San Tan Learning Center Family Connection” on Facebook or follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1405318893015221

Only TWO days left! The Give with Target voting is still going strong!  Currently we are 5th in the state; help us keep up that momentum! Go to http://givewith.target.com/school/18849 and vote for San Tan Learning Center!  A new screen may open asking you to log in to a Facebook account as you do need a Facebook account to vote.  You can also vote by searching “Give with Target” while logged into Facebook.  You can vote once a week with each Facebook account; pass this on to your neighbors, friends and families as ANYONE can vote for our school!

FIRST AID/CPR/BABYSITTER CLASSES: With the safety and well-being of our children being of utmost importance; San Tan is hosting a series of Rapid Certification First Aid/CPR classes in the gym. I encourage you to attend if it has been a while since you have taken a course.  Please help get the word out about these classes offered. See attached forms for more information and to register-it can be a family affair: Babysitting Class InfoLifeline- Basic First Aid BookCPR First Aid Information

Wednesday Sept. 25th from 5-7 in the gym

Saturday Sept. 28th from 9-11 in the gym

Also, Saturday Sept. 28th from 12-4 there will be a babysitting safety/ first aid/ CPR class too.

School Cents Bonus Points EARN 2,500 POINTS at Taste of San Tan on Friday, October 4, 6-10pm.
Enjoy unlimited tastings from STV restaurants, live music, two complimentary drink tickets and raffle. Tickets are $50 at the door or advanced purchase is $45 a person or $80 couple, with all proceeds benefitting Save the Family Foundation of Arizona. Tickets can be purchased online at savethefamily.org or at the night of the event. Must be 21 or older to attend. Sign-in at the registration tables at check-in to earn bonus points.

Participating restaurants include: Brio Tuscan Grille, Caketini, Cantina Laredo, Famous Dave’s, FROST- A Gelato Shoppe, Gordon Biersch Brewery, Grimaldi’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, Johnny Rockets, Kona Grill, Paradise Bakery & Cafe, Red Robin and World of Beer (coming soon)

Our first Spirit week is coming up September 30- October 4, below are the crazy activities that will be going on:

Monday- Crazy Sock Day

Tuesday- Twin Day

Wednesday- Superhero Day

Thursday- Favorite Character Day

Friday- Super School Spirit Day

Upcoming Dates

9/24 – 40th Day of School

9/25 – K-8th Half Day Dismissal

9/25 – Frost Family Day

9/26 – Modified Lockdown Drill

9/30 – Spirit Week Starts

 

Educationally Yours,

 

Dr. Kristofer Sippel

Principal

District Highlights: 9/16

Dear LCPS Staff & Parents,

We have accomplished a great deal of professional development this first quarter.  As we look to finishing the quarter the final items that we will continue to revisit in staff weekly training sessions are using www.nwea.org to support planning Tier 2, small group instruction and documenting student progress on the Individual Learning Plan.  Our half-day early release schedule allows both staffs to join again to continue with providing necessary teacher input on the district curriculum mapping & assessment project.  It’s been an exciting year as we had rigorous professional development goals outlined for staff in regards to Common Core instruction and assessment.

 

I wanted to take a moment to explain the reasoning behind how PD was structured this year in terms of how topics are selected and how facilitators are chosen.  Our school district is known for many different and unique qualities that make us who we are. It’s what allows us to teach the way we do while keeping our students at their cutting edge. I want to outline for you those key qualities that we tell parents they should expect to see in their child’s classroom and how the professional development offerings correspond providing teachers with avenues to implement these foundations aligned to the school vision and mission in their classrooms.

We also follow a teacher-led learning community model to implement professional development.  While we do hire out for our Love and Logic Coach, Keri Maughan, who has been with the school leading in providing the culture from the beginning, the bulk of our sessions are led by teacher leaders or Mrs. Haughan and her team of teacher coaches.  The facilitators have attended additional outside trainings or demonstrated through student achievement mastery of a particular strategy that led to their leadership role in supporting their peers to meet similar goals.

Common Core Curriculum Mapping and Assessments

We’ve been working for three years to shift our instruction, materials, and assessments with the end in mind with K-8 students experiencing quality Common Core instruction and assessments in every classroom.  This year we went full steam ahead with two all-day PD sessions where teachers were able to collaborate as they planned Quarter 1 ELA/SS themed unit as well as Semester 1 Math units.  The work products created will ultimately flow into a District Common Core map that reflects the full school year for grades K-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics.  There was time for teachers to gather resources, align materials, research common core lessons, and really think about what it is we want our students to walk away with as an overarching understanding of the content. This process will continue during the upcoming staff PD days as work to complete maps and shift our assessments for the entire school year.  When the teacher versions are finalized, a parent version will be produced and published for all stakeholders to view.

Love and Logic

Teaching with our hearts at peace and allowing students to have a safe place to learn is truly at the heart of LCPS mission.  This year we differentiated our Love and Logic offerings for our new teachers 0-2 years and our veteran teachers 3 years and up. This training was as much about the teacher and the way in which he or she models character and self-control when dealing with children and their colleagues.  Love and Logic is a district-wide common culture expectation of how to work with students on promoting student independence as students learn to make choices for themselves.  Teachers were in years 0-2 the district also completed an additional 16 clock hours of professional development with our coach, Keri Maughan, to understand work towards mastery in applying the 9 Essential Skills into their classrooms.

Small Group Instruction/Differentiated Instruction

As educators, we are well aware of all the current research reflecting that students achieve more when being in classrooms utilizing small group instruction vs. a classroom that only reflects a direct instruction approach.  At LCPS we teach focused small groups in math, spelling, reading, and writing as a minimum standard. This allows us to help those students who need a smaller group of students, more one on one attention, or extension to concepts they’ve mastered.  Then what would the rest of your students in the class be working on. That’s where purposeful, authentic, and clear expectations come into play for the remainder of our class. We don’t want teachers to manage kids or packets; we want small group lesson clearly planned and executed to keep our kids exceeding. Our professional development offerings that provide teachers with the background knowledge to plan and implement small group instruction includes: Daily 5 Literacy, SMART Math, and Words Their Way. We will continue to offer times throughout the year where we can talk, analyze data, and refine how we make this a part of our class every day.

Hands-on Learning

LCPS is known for providing hand-on opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning or explore a concept as opposed to creating worksheets or worse yet the dreaded “packet.”  This PD season we’ve integrated trainings on Dinah Zinke Foldables and Play Math to give teachers the tools and practice to make this happen.  Our students like to explore, create, investigate, and love learning and these are just a few of the offerings that can make that a reality.

It is amazing what we accomplished and the 2013-2014 school year is still in the beginning stages. I look forward to continuing our journey of becoming reflective and proactive educators always striving for what is best for our students. Please keep your eyes peeled for the Professional Development portion of survey coming out this fall. We want to be certain our office is meeting your specific needs as a teacher just as we want you meeting the specific needs of your students. Thanks to all of our dedicated teachers for all of your efforts, especially the teacher leaders that put so much of their personal time into additional training and preparation of presentations to support their teaching peers.  We are off to a wonderful beginning to the school year; I am confident we will see our efforts paid back in the academic, social, and emotional growth of our students.

Sincerely,

Bethany Haughan

N.B.C.T., M.Ed.

Professional Development & Instructional Services Director

Sippel’s Spotlight: 9/13

Happy Friday the 13th,

 

Given the nature of this day “the 13th” all has been moving along marvelously. As I continue to work on communication with everyone, I have decided to institute three new items. First, coming home with your oldest San Tan kiddo will be a Home and School Connection newsletter, this is a monthly publication that is full of helpful hints and goodies to make the school year successful. Second, will be “Marty’s Memos”, this will be a monthly newsletter that will come from Marty our Community Outreach and Fundraising Director. However, this newsletter will also include a calendar of events that you can post so you have a snapshot of activities for the month. Finally, San Tan Learning Center is proud to announce our new page on Facebook, “San Tan Learning Center Family Connection”! The San Tan Learning Center Family Connection page was created as a way for families to connect with other families, keep up to date about upcoming events and promotions, learn about passive giving opportunities, and keep up to date with the activities our FEC (Family Engagement Committees) are currently working on. Families will have the opportunity to communicate and connect through this page. For example, if you are in need of a carpool you can post on the Family Connection Page asking if anyone would be willing to carpool from your area. The school and FEC committees will be able to post about upcoming events or contests that could bring free money to the school. We look forward to having the STLC Family Connection Page be a positive and fun way for families to connect with one another. To locate the page you do need a Facebook account. You can either search for “San Tan Learning Center Family Connection” on Facebook or follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1405318893015221

 

Thank you to our amazing families who have participated in the Target “Take Charge of Education” program. The program links your card to our school to give us back 1% on all purchases. We just got a check for $800.00 to help fund all of the campus improvements!  For more information on this program, check out our web page: http://www.santanlearningcenter.com/giving/

 

Frost Gelato Family Fun Day Food Fundraiser; We are excited to be having our first Family Fun Day Food Fundraiser at Frost Gelato at San Tan Villages on September 25 from 11am to 10pm.  Frost will donate back 20% of all STLC sales during the event plus we will get 5,000 School Cents points for hosting the event and we will earn double School Cents points for the event sales. Money raised during this event will support our Growing Brilliance program. Come out between 4PM-6PM and visit the Roadrunner Committee table who will be sponsoring an ice cream cone art creation contest, two $10 Frost gift cards will be awarded for the best art creation for the lower and upper grade levels. Please note that September 25 is a half day, so please feel free to come out any time between 11am-10pm to participate in the event.  Please make sure you bring in your flyer, which will be distributed to the students soon.

Paper Please: Our Annual Paper Drive is in full force!  The front office is keeping track of reams of paper brought in for each teacher.  Please drop off reams of paper with your teacher’s name on it; the winning class will receive a pizza party and $100.00 in free classrooms supplies! This paper helps us all year long. Below is the current ranking:

1st – 73 Mrs. G

2nd – 55 Gibson

3rd – 39 Lee

4th – 34 Kotkin

5th – 33 Beezhold

 

Who is hungry? The October lunch menu has been posted the menu will be available for October until Sun, 9/22 at http://www.santanlearningcenter.com/families/school-lunch/.

 

A Note from Mrs. Haughan our Professional Development & Instructional Services Director

 

We have accomplished a great deal of professional development this first quarter.  As we look to finishing the quarter the final items that we will continue to revisit in staff weekly training sessions are using www.nwea.org to support planning Tier 2, small group instruction and documenting student progress on the Individual Learning Plan.  Our half-day early release schedule allows both staffs to join again to continue with providing necessary teacher input on the district curriculum mapping & assessment project.  It’s been an exciting year as we had rigorous professional development goals outlined for staff in regards to Common Core instruction and assessment.

 

I wanted to take a moment to explain the reasoning behind how PD was structured this year in terms of how topics are selected and how facilitators are chosen.  Our school district is known for many different and unique qualities that make us who we are. It’s what allows us to teach the way we do while keeping our students at their cutting edge. I want to outline for you those key qualities that we tell parents they should expect to see in their child’s classroom and how the professional development offerings correspond providing teachers with avenues to implement these foundations aligned to the school vision and mission in their classrooms.

 

We also follow a teacher-led learning community model to implement professional development.  While we do hire out for our Love and Logic Coach, Keri Maughan, who has been with the school leading in providing the culture from the beginning, the bulk of our sessions are led by teacher leaders or Mrs. Haughan and her team of teacher coaches.  The facilitators have attended additional outside trainings or demonstrated through student achievement mastery of a particular strategy that led to their leadership role in supporting their peers to meet similar goals.

 

Common Core Curriculum Mapping and Assessments

We’ve been working for three years to shift our instruction, materials, and assessments with the end in mind with K-8 students experiencing quality Common Core instruction and assessments in every classroom.  This year we went full steam ahead with two all-day PD sessions where teachers were able to collaborate as they planned Quarter 1 ELA/SS themed unit as well as Semester 1 Math units.  The work products created will ultimately flow into a District Common Core map that reflects the full school year for grades K-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics.  There was time for teachers to gather resources, align materials, research common core lessons, and really think about what it is we want our students to walk away with as an overarching understanding of the content. This process will continue during the upcoming staff PD days as work to complete maps and shift our assessments for the entire school year.  When the teacher versions are finalized, a parent version will be produced and published for all stakeholders to view.

 

Love and Logic

Teaching with our hearts at peace and allowing students to have a safe place to learn is truly at the heart of LCPS mission.  This year we differentiated our Love and Logic offerings for our new teachers 0-2 years and our veteran teachers 3 years and up. This training was as much about the teacher and the way in which he or she models character and self-control when dealing with children and their colleagues.  Love and Logic is a district-wide common culture expectation of how to work with students on promoting student independence as students learn to make choices for themselves.  Teachers were in years 0-2 the district also completed an additional 16 clock hours of professional development with our coach, Keri Maughan, to understand work towards mastery in applying the 9 Essential Skills into their classrooms.

 

Small Group Instruction/Differentiated Instruction

As educators, we are well aware of all the current research reflecting that students achieve more when being in classrooms utilizing small group instruction vs. a classroom that only reflects a direct instruction approach.  At LCPS we teach focused small groups in math, spelling, reading, and writing as a minimum standard. This allows us to help those students who need a smaller group of students, more one on one attention, or extension to concepts they’ve mastered.  Then what would the rest of your students in the class be working on. That’s where purposeful, authentic, and clear expectations come into play for the remainder of our class. We don’t want teachers to manage kids or packets; we want small group lesson clearly planned and executed to keep our kids exceeding. Our professional development offerings that provide teachers with the background knowledge to plan and implement small group instruction includes: Daily 5 Literacy, SMART

Math, and Words Their Way. We will continue to offer times throughout the year where we can talk, analyze data, and refine how we make this a part of our class every day.

 

Hands-on Learning

LCPS is known for providing hand-on opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning or explore a concept as opposed to creating worksheets or worse yet the dreaded “packet.”  This PD season we’ve integrated trainings on Dinah Zinke Foldables and Play Math to give teachers the tools and practice to make this happen.  Our students like to explore, create, investigate, and love learning and these are just a few of the offerings that can make that a reality.

It is amazing what we accomplished and the 2013-2014 school year is still in the beginning stages. I look forward to continuing our journey of becoming reflective and proactive educators always striving for what is best for our students. Please keep your eyes peeled for the Professional Development portion of survey coming out this fall. We want to be certain our office is meeting your specific needs as a teacher just as we want you meeting the specific needs of your students. Thanks to all of our dedicated teachers for all of your efforts, especially the teacher leaders that put so much of their personal time into additional training and preparation of presentations to support their teaching peers.  We are off to a wonderful beginning to the school year; I am confident we will see our efforts paid back in the academic, social, and emotional growth of our students.

 

Going for FIRST, help STLC out! The Give with Target voting is still going strong!  Currently we are 5th in the city leaderboard; help us keep up that momentum! Go to http://givewith.target.com/school/18849 and vote for San Tan Learning Center!  A new screen may open asking you to log in to a Facebook account as you do need a Facebook account to vote.  You can also vote by searching “Give with Target” while logged into Facebook.  You can vote once a week with each Facebook account; pass this on to your neighbors, friends and families as ANYONE can vote for our school!

 

9/25 Half Day Kid’s Camp Noon to 5:00pm Cost $50.00

Villari’s Family Center half day kids camp includes indoor play, arts and crafts, Creative Connections through the Martial Arts character development program, and learn through play discovery activities.  Snack is included; lunch is also available for an additional charge. See the attached flyer: Half Day Camp Sign Gilbert

Upcoming Dates

9/18 – Preschool Music Together Night @ 5:30

9/20 – Preschool through 8th grade Fall Pictures

9/24 – 40th Day of School

9/25 – K-8th Half Day Dismissal

9/25 – Frost Family Day

9/26 – Modified Lockdown Drill

 

 

Educationally Yours,

 

Dr. Kristofer Sippel

Principal

Sippel’s Spotlight: 9/6

Happy Football Friday!

What a great energy filled day on campus today. Our pep assemblies were full of spunk as we announced our winning classrooms for the spirit decoration contest; congratulations to both Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Kotkin as their classes have won a pizza party!

I want to thank everyone for their emails and kind words as I jumped back into things this week. I have enjoyed all the meetings I have had with the families as well as the staff; the kiddos have just been fantastic to get to know again. I look forward to a very prosperous remainder of the year with all of you.

Grandparents’ luncheon

We will celebrate Grandparent’s Day on Tuesday, September 10th, 2013.  Grandma and Grandpa, bring your lunch (please don’t forget that we are a nut free campus) and get ready to celebrate.  We want to honor you and show you how much you are loved.  If there is a situation that does not allow these special folks to join your kiddo, fell free to have any family member join for lunch. As always please check in at the front office before entering campus. Lunch times are indicated below, if you have multiple kiddos bring your appetite!

Preschool        11:30

Kinder/1st        11:00

2nd                    11:30

3rd                    11:55

4th/5th               12:15

Middle School 12:15

 

Paper Please: Our Annual Paper Drive is in full force!  The front office is keeping track of reams of paper brought in for each teacher.  Please drop off reams of paper with your teacher’s name on it; the winning class will receive a pizza party and $100.00 in free classrooms supplies! Below is the current ranking:

1st – 71.5 Mrs. G

2nd – 53 Gibson

3rd – 39 Lee

4th – 27 Kotkin

5th – 25 Torrance

Who is hungry? The October lunch menu has been posted the menu will be available for October until Sun, 9/22 at http://www.santanlearningcenter.com/families/school-lunch/.

Going for FIRST, help STLC out! The Give With Target voting is still going strong!  Currently we are 4th in the city leaderboard; help us keep up that momentum!  For every 25 votes our school receives, the school will receive $25 from Target.  To vote, go tohttp://givewith.target.com/school/18849 and vote for San Tan Learning Center!  A new screen may open asking you to log in to a Facebook account as you do need a Facebook account to vote.  You can also vote by searching “Give with Target” while logged into Facebook.  You can vote once a week with each Facebook account; pass this on to your neighbors, friends and families as ANYONE can vote for our school!

 

Books Needed! If you have not turned in your Entertainment Book orders yet, please be sure to this week.  Books and orders were due on the 26th, please be sure to get your orders in or return your book today!  Reminder that if you do not want the Entertainment Book that was sent home to you, please be sure to return it.

 

Student Insurance – If you are in need of accident insurance for your child, San Tan Learning Center has enrolled with K&K Insurance Group to help you.  This could be used in conjunction with the current health coverage you may already have for your child, or if you do not have coverage and need an alternative, this plan may prove beneficial.  Simply follow the link for information and enrollment instructions. (www.studentinsurance-kk.com).   All questions should be directed to the K&K representative, April Craney at 623-572-9544 or april@arizonastudentassuranceplans.com

 

From our librarian Kerry Kenney
Three great family friendly events to put on the calendar:

 

Smithsonian Museum Day 2013 9/28

Print free passes for every family member to a range of museums in the area. Our family usually goes to the Heard Museum. Follow the directions on the link: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/

 

September 28 is also National Public Lands Day so National Parks are free.

The closest National Park to us is Casa Grande National Monument for a list of all free parks go here: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparksbystate.htm

 

Finally, if you love the gorgeous Superstition Mountains they have an exciting art retrospective coming up, the Ted DeGrazia Superstition Mountain Collection. They have a great celebration planned on 9/28, but the retrospective goes into next year. I encourage you to visit:

http://superstitionmountainmuseum.org/events/ted-degrazias-superstition-collection-coming-to-superstition-mountain-museum-for-2013-2014-season/

 

Educationally Yours,

Dr. Kristofer Sippel

Principal

Preschool Press: 9/9

Happy Sunday San Tan Montessori Parents,

Attached are the September Snack Calendars-I apologize for the delay and thank you for your teamwork in providing snack and other important items each day for our classrooms!
I also attached a few parenting gems from Wednesday’s Love and Logic Intro in addition to a Montessori parent education spotlight below. Enjoy and please email me with any questions.  Mr FernandoSeptemberSnack      Ms TeresaSeptemberSnack
Thank you for faithfully remembering to sign your child in and out each day using your full signatures-not initials. I look forward to meeting the grandparents coming to visit for lunch on the playground this week.  Please send your child with a blanket that can be laid in the shade outside for our picnic lunch time with grandparents and families Monday and Tuesday from 11:30-12:00 each day.
We had a wonderful Montessori staff meeting yesterday accomplishing one of our main goals-collaboration and communication to serve our families well with integrity through proactive planning. Due to this our schedule will be changing a bit over the next few weeks as we strive to preserve as much teaching and learning time each day as possible. I will send out a new formalized schedule as I did at the beginning of the year next week after we work out all our scheduling kinks in the next few weeks. A few important changes to note for this week are:
AM Students…
If your child dismisses before lunch please pick up your child from the playground between 11:30-11:45.  If your child dismisses after lunch please pick your child up from the playground between 12:00-12:15.
Mr. Fernando’s Class…
Go straight to the gym in the morning to sign in at 8:15 on Tuesday and Wednesday’s each week.
Ms. Teresa’s class…
Go straight to the gym to sign in at 8:15 on Thursday and Friday’s each week.

Preschool children who are participating in the Amazing Athletes preschool club on Monday’s from 3:15 to 3:45 will be walked to the club and signed in by a preschool staff member and signed into aftercare at 3:45 by the Amazing Athletes staff member who for the fall is one of the founders-Coach Diana-she is super with the children! If you have not signed up yet there is still time-it starts tomorrow.  I have attached sign up information.

Montessori Parent Education Spotlight-Your Investment in Montessori

Congratulations! You have chosen to make the most important financial
investment in your child’s life – and you have chosen the best. This
investment -better than stocks, real estate or gold – will pay
dividends for years. Its value will become incalculable to the success and
happiness of your child and his future.
To make this investment even more valuable there are three things you
can do:
1.      Understand what you are paying for.
2.      Be involved in the investment.
3.      Recognize the benefits you didn’t pay for.

Understand What You Are Paying For

You are investing in one of the finest educations available for your
child. It is an education that meets the intellectual, physical, and
emotional needs of your child. Your child will receive an educational
foundation that will provide for academic success. This foundation is based
on four things:
1.      Your child will learn to write
2.      Your child will learn to read
3.      Your child will learn mathematics
4.      Your child will understand the “why” behind his learning

In a Montessori classroom your child will learn to read. But learning
to read is not enough. You have to learn to read well. When you learn to
read well you will enjoy reading. When you enjoy reading, you will learn.
The rest of your child’s education will be spent reading.
Give the teachers time to get this foundation right. In construction,
every foundation is unique to both the building and to the underlying
strata on which it’s constructed. Your child is unique and this education
is designed to build on his uniqueness.
Almost everything in Montessori leads to reading. But you don’t
start with reading. All of those “cute” exercises and wonderful
materials you see on the shelves have one major purpose – they will lead
to reading. However, to get there successfully you start with exercises
that lead to writing.
The exercises on the shelves are designed to develop small motor and
large motor skills. These skills lead to writing. When your child sorts,
when he picks, when he pours he is developing the small muscles that lead
to successfully holding a pencil. When he washes dishes, scrubs tables,
sweeps the floor he is developing the large muscles that control the
movements that move the pencil. Everything has a purpose on the road to
reading. A prime example is table washing. When a child washes a table he
is not only developing large motor skills, he is developing order and
thoroughness.  When you wash a table, you always begin in the top left
corner of the table – left to right, top to bottom – because you are
building memory patterns for reading and writing. There are no
“frivolous” exercises in a Montessori classroom. Each exercise
ultimately leads to reading.
A significant point to remember: You can learn to read without
learning to write but you cannot learn to write without learning to read at
the same time.  Allow your child the time to build this foundation as he or
she enjoys the journey through writing all the way to reading.
In similar fashion, the math materials are brilliantly designed to
make math not only accessible but more importantly understandable. Your
child’s concepts of math will also have this strong foundation as they
work through red and blue rods, spindle boxes and the golden beads. Each
exercise leads to the next level of competency and understanding.
Ultimately, what sets Montessori children apart is not their
brilliance (after all they have bright parents who chose this education)
but their understanding of what they’ve learned, the joy in which they
learn it and the ability to tackle future challenges.

Be involved in the Investment

You pay good money for this education. You have picked the best
school. You have done your homework. It is not time to walk away from your
investment. To get the most for your child out of his school experience you
need to be involved and learn as much as you can. Parent-teacher
conferences are not for the teacher’s benefit – they are for your
child’s benefit. The more you know about your child, the better parent
you can be. Teachers, because of their experience, have insights into
children’s development. Because the teacher has spent quality time with
your child -observing, interacting, and teaching – they have insights that
will help you to nurture your child even more effectively.
A Montessori education is not only for children but for parents as
well. Take every advantage of Montessori parent training so your child can
reap every benefit from his experience.

Benefits You Do Not Pay For

You are making a significant investment in your child’s education.
In life, you do not get something for nothing. However, in a Montessori
education, you (and your child) will receive far more than you pay for.
Montessori teacher training sets up every exercise with a “direct
aim” and an “indirect aim.” In our example of table washing, the
direct aim is to clean the table. The indirect aim leads to reading and
writing. The indirect aims (the ones that are not readily obvious) are
often of greater lasting significance and importance.
It is wonderful that you want the finest education for your child -
and you will receive it in Montessori – but what your child will receive
is far greater than just “learning.” They will receive an education for
life.

Beyond Montessori

The benefits your child receives in the preschool gives him a
tremendous foundation. This foundation enhances the life skills needed for all future
success. Your child gains not only a wider breadth of
knowledge but a deeper understanding of what he has learned. Most
importantly, he learns how to use this knowledge to prepare to meet the
challenges of tomorrow.
A Montessori education is not just cumulative in its learning; it is
exponential in its understanding. Your child’s mind and character will be
trained to look at problems and see challenges instead of obstacles. With
that kind of attitude and training there is nothing your child will not be
able to achieve.
Described below are some of the amazing benefits your child will also
receive from his or her Montessori experience in addition to the wonderful
education. We all want the best for our children and working together, we
can achieve that.

The Life Benefits of a Montessori Education

Accountability

Accepting accountability is an age-old problem. Who was the first one
to blame somebody else for his own actions? Adam in the garden of Eden. Not
much has changed in the millenniums that have passed. We still look to
blame others for our faults and actions. That is why the old joke says:
“Every man should be married because there are just some things you
can’t blame on the government.” Some things never change.
That is why true accountability must start with accepting
responsibility. One of the strengths of Montessori instruction is that each
child is personally accountable for his own learning. In Montessori, we do
not learn as a class but as individuals. This is a major difference in the
systems of learning. In a traditional school, the class has a lesson, the
class takes a test, and the class moves on. If students have not learned
the material because of difficulty or complexity, they move on with the
group anyway. The accountability for that lesson is lost because that test
score is mixed into an average. Then the learning of that lesson is also
lost.
There is a big difference in accountability when you demand mastery
rather than passing or average. Accountability is squarely placed in front
of the child. This kind of direct accountability fosters a lifetime of
personal responsibility.

Character Building

There is nothing more important in education than character building
- not reading, not writing, not math – but character building.
Character is the ability to do what is right whether I want to or not or
whether anyone is watching or not. Character is trained. It is an education
all of its own. When you help establish character in your child’s life he
will be able to accomplish all the wonderful things you hope for him.
Character is the engine that joyously pulls the train of life and gives him
the inner motivation to achieve his goals.
When a child builds character into his own life he becomes the steward
of his own learning. You no longer have to frighten him into learning. You
no longer have to punish him to learn. He learns because it is built into
him.
There are two main things in a Montessori environment that enhance
character building – learning to make wise choices and finishing what you
start.
I am sure you are familiar with the classic interview of the
successful executive when asked about his success.
“I owe it all to making wise choices.”
“How did you learn to make wise choices?”
“From experience.”
“And how did you get your experience?”
“From making poor choices.”
The only way to train children to make wise choices is to allow them
the freedom to make choices. Most of us had a traditional education where
we were not accorded the opportunity to make choices. The problem with
allowing children (and people in general) to make choices is that they
might make the wrong choice. What many educators and parents do not
understand is that making wrong choices is an education in itself if you
allow the child to deal with the consequences of choice.
Unfortunately, many parents don’t want their children to have to
face the consequences of their poor choices. Where Montessori classrooms
excel is in the ability safely to make wrong choices. You are not allowing
children to put themselves or others in danger but you are allowing
children the ability to learn what a good choice is from their own
experience.
The second strength of a Montessori environment is letting children
finish what they start. In traditional classrooms, we were not allowed to
finish what we started. If we ran out of time or messed up the first time,
we were not allowed to finish. Both of those are hindrances to developing
character. Character is exemplified by finishing what we start. Because we
both allow and expect the child to finish what he starts, we help to
develop character.
A significant educational difference of the Montessori philosophy is -
Learning is the constant and time is the variable. Most of us grew up in
systems where time was the constant – we had a week to learn something
and then we took the test. No matter what our level of accomplishment was
- a hundred percent, or eighty or sixty, we moved on. Some things we
never got to learn; some things we never had to learn because we moved on.
The weakness in the traditional system is that we never had to
confront the consequences of our actions – poor choices, failure to
achieve, failure to finish. The only consequence we had to deal with was
the large consequence of failing the year. Ultimately, character is made up
of the small consequences and how we deal with them.
Learning to finish is learning to handle all the small details of
life. When you are in an environment where you are expected (and checked
on) to finish what you start you begin to develop the foundation of real
character.
You can learn math, science or language without building character,
but you cannot build character in school without also accomplishing all the
challenges of learning.

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