Thank You Parents

Last week, the FMS PTO and FMS Parents showered teachers and staff with treats, gifts and other tokens of thanks throughout Teacher Appreciation Week. Needless to say, we felt more than appreciated — we felt cherished. Thank you so much for all your kind words and gestures and for all that you do throughout the year to support our efforts. You are appreciated as well!

From the P2 Blog:

“When Natricia (Ava’s mom), began escorting our children to the multipurpose room for a ‘special project’ (for the teachers), we had no idea how beautiful, funny and meaningful that project was until each of the teachers received their own memory book. Looking at our work through the eyes of the children is a poignant reminder of how important it is. You never know how one lesson or another leaves its mark on each individual child. Last week was filled with wonderful treats from our parents. The collective appreciation that we feel for the outpouring of love from our parents is profound. We know that every day we are entrusted with the great responsibility of being with your children; guiding them with their development of self. The moments of witnessing a child getting a concept, zipping up a zipper, laughing in delight, are treasures beyond measure. We are grateful for this time we share together and appreciate the dedicated support we feel from all of our parents.”

Ellis Island Escapades

Middle School Students reenacted the experience of going through the Ellis Island checkpoints as if they were 19th century immigrants. Student Keller Mack writes:

Not having a clue what to expect, we were whisked into a line by people yelling in all different languages. We were each handed a name, occupation and immigrant number, which was going to be our identity for what felt like hours. Each of us stood in line, waiting to be yelled at in foreign languages by the two angry people at the front. While I waited in line, the guards came by, asking for bribes to get whoever would pay past the checkpoint, and sometimes not even asking before taking the amount they wanted.

 

Once I had passed the first checkpoint (with only a little bit of bribery), I was shoved into yet another line where I would wait for my medical, mental and citizenship tests. Despite being detained about seven times, I finally managed to complete all of the tests and continue to the next checkpoint. Out of all of the things that would get me deported (such as getting into arguments with other immigrants, cutting in line and stealing anything that wasn’t nailed down), what really did me in was that I was Russian, and they were “sick of Russians.” Luckily, I was able to steal a ferry ticket and illegally get to New York City.

This empathy assignment was excellent for helping me to better understand what it was like for the people who actually came through Ellis Island so that they could get to our country. This was definitely the kind of experience that you never forget.

Thank you to all of the parents who helped with this event. Even Ms. Erica’s mom came to role play!

Read more on E1’s classroom blog (FMS Parents only).

Pennies and Dimes

Elementary students learned about adding pennies and dimes by creating their own store called “The Montessori Food Department.”

 

From their blog: “Our first graders are practicing adding dimes and pennies. They decided to name their store The Montessori Food Department. They worked together to make their ‘store’ where they could buy items and count money. It was a great success!”

Read more on the E4 Blog (FMS Parents only).

Outdoor Fun & Learning

See pictures from our Outdoor Classroom

 

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Rocks, Sand And Water

Students are having a wonderful time in the Outdoor Classroom, as usual. January activities included painting river rocks and making rock dominoes (learning math skills in the process); working with sand and water; and working as “veterinarians.”

 

See more pictures on the Outdoor Classroom blog, and don’t forget to subscribe! (FMS Parents only).

Walking The Road of Peace

Students in P2 are learning about effective communication and other important life skills. From their blog:

“In our peace work this week, we revisited Black Elk’s vision that everybody walks the ‘road of difficulties’ at times, as well as the ‘road of peace’ at other times.

We went deeper into the stumbling blocks we all encounter on the road of difficulties (which are also there to teach us) and how to recognize the opportunity to transmute them into stepping stones.

It is a big and deep concept that the children seemed to really receive.  We are helping the children to verbalize their feelings and intentions in a more direct and effective way and giving them the vocabulary to express themselves.

Many of the children are learning the difference between saying ‘I am not friends with you’ and the more authentic desire of  ‘I want to work with someone else right now.’

We got to witness the interaction of one child very directly say to another child (who was crying after feeling rejected), ‘I don’t want to work with you now, but we will be friends forever.’

In turn, seeing the look of understanding, acceptance and healing wash over the face of the child who just moments before had been reduced to tears due to perceived rejection. The child was simply looking for a chance to work with someone else.

These are the life skills that give our children the opportunity to learn how to communicate and be in the world in a way that is respectful to themselves and aware of the impact that their words and deeds have on the collective.

We also coupled this teaching by introducing the ‘good deeds tree.’  A small tree that the children were taught to place a flower on once they have done a good deed for another person; such as comforting a crying child on the playground, letting another child go in front of them in line, or helping another child put their work away.

The tree has been full of flowers and gives all of us a visual reminder of the positive power created when the collective is attuned to the needs of the individual.”

For more pictures and news, check out their blog (FMS Parents only).

You Are Truly Brilliant

FMS Parents may be familiar with Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which made waves in the fields of education and developmental psychology after it was outlined in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. 

Gardner, a renowned developmental psychologist and Harvard professor, maintained that intelligence wasn’t so black and white as traditional school assessments and public opinion would have us believe. A child who struggled through their mathematical exercises could be a brilliant poet; a child who struggled at all traditional subjects altogether may be a brilliant musician or athlete. No intelligence is innately superior to another, and every person likely has some form of all the intelligences, but may excel in one or two.

(Want to know what type of intelligence you have? Click here and here to take two unofficial tests.)

In 1999, Gardner added another intelligence (naturalistic) to his original seven, and has since proposed a ninth. The intelligences are musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic. The ninth, which may or may not be an official addition at this juncture, is moral or existential intelligence. Check out this wonderful infographic by designer Diana Ziv below:

While the Montessori method  is not based on Gardner’s theory (Dr. Montessori began developing her philosophy in 1897), it does complement it in that it encourages students to develop their talents, feed their curiosity and learn more about subjects that they are interested in. Gardner is also a fan of student-directed learning and alternative forms of assessment. To learn more about Gardner’s theories and how they relate to education, check out this 1997 interview with Edutopia and visit the official website for information on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI).

 

 

 

Alumni Spotlight: Lauren

“I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t want to go to school. I was always excited to see what was in store for me that day.”

 

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Miro, Klee, Mehndi and More

In Art class with Ms. Angela, students have been creating works inspired by artists Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, Paul Klee and Hieronymous Bosch and by the artistry of Mehndi (henna).

 

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Famous Montessori Alumni

  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Co-founders of Google, Inc.
  • Yo-Yo Ma, United Nations Peace Ambassador and Renowned Cellist
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, Inc.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Former First Lady
  • Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Nobel Prize Winner, Novelist
  • Anne Frank, Diarist
  • Julia Child, Chef, Author and TV personality
  • President Woodrow Wilson
  • Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
  • Will Wright, Designer of SimCity
  • Katherine Graham,  Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Former owner of Washington Post
  • Princes Harry and William
  • Peter Drucker, Author, famed Management Consultant and recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Devi Sridhar, Youngest American Rhodes Scholar
  • Eric Cornell. PhD., Nobel Prize Winner

Click here for more information