Kensington Campus

Kensington April 2023 Newsletter

Monday, May 1st, 2023
Category: Kensington Campus

💐 Spring Clean up and Campus Planting

Campus is looking amazing with the flowers THANK YOU THANK YOU!!
If You are interested in watering and volunteering with the children in the garden we would love to have you! Please check with Julie to schedule a time. Anyone staying longer than 15 minutes should follow the volunteering protocols with the Community Care Licensing. (*Per Community Care Licensing regulations, each volunteer must have the fingerprint clearance, immunizations checklist, covid vaccinations complete).

⭐️ Montessori Uniquely Ours

Discipline from Within

Self-discipline. The discipline in a well-run Montessori classroom is not a result of the teacher’s control or of rewards or punishments. Its source comes from within each individual child, who can control his or her own actions and make positive choices regarding personal behavior. Self-discipline is directly related to development of the will. Four main components include:

Clear Language to emphasize cause and effect
Asking Questions to help consider the natural consequences of a child’s choices
Focus on Freedom by offering multiple choices
Validate the child’s emotions using a non judgmental stance

🌱 Bonsai News

We always love it when the children come in and put their belongings such as water bottle, back pack, jackets, etc. It gives them such great joy that their belongings have a place to go and they feel accountable. In keeping with that Practical Life Grace and Courtesy philosophy we created a welcome station where the children get their water bottles/napkins after circle time to get ready for snacks. It works so well and they love it.

Our classroom is bursting with sorting activities, and new Practical life work. For example, we added the “clotheslines” activity where the children hang clothes. A basic, and foundational activity, yet so pleasing and peaceful. There are so many indirect values that involve the work that goes along with the practical life curriculum.

Thank you for the flowers in the garden. If you have not had a chance to peek in, take a moment and enjoy the beauty of the flowers that the classroom cultivated in their raised garden. Even though we have potted the plants, feel free to bring more if you want to add to the collection! Along with the plants, we are adding more outside work into the playground like the rug and blocks. They love that picnic style and some bring the books to the rug to read.

We have been working hard on the art show projects and we don’t know about the children, but we are so excited for them.

Our neighboring classroom, Bamboo, is now set up for extensions and expansion of our work period. And the circle time is always a combination of Spanish and English work.

🌳 Willow News

Our new cultural unit is the Continent of South America, and its animals, its flags, its physical and cultural geography and the people of the continent. The children are loving the animals and making the flags. Each was talking about what color goes where and which part of the flag post is what. They also poke (with a huge thumbtack made for pencil grips) the continent of South America as part of their pre-handwriting project, making each product uniquely different from each other but looking similar at the same time.

For May, we are focusing each week on themes: Reptiles and their habitat in week 1, and in week 2 we are making a Botany book of “parts of a flower” and Labeling the book with its parts. Why do we make books? We make booklets because children at this age are sensitive to the preparations and the independence that comes with learning about the world around them. They find it in the books, and connect it to the world around them. Making books ground them in the reality of material from concrete to abstract.

And in week 3, we are doing one of our favorite art projects, Cherry Blossoms. Using the nature ALL around them with the spring flowers blooming, cherry blossoms blooming, we emulate art from our environment.

In week 4, we will move on to the unit study of insects. Talking about the insects and connecting with the ladybugs, butterflies, and at times bees in the garden bring excitement in their learning. The greatest observers are the best learners and nurturing the joy of discovery is the way to go.

🌲 Live Oak News


With each continent, we make an A to Z book of the continent. This is a great and important way of learning a Continent and its cultural backgrounds by introducing the amazing facts and landmarks that make this continent what it is. There are some animals unique to the continent and some commonly known animals from other continents. We use objects to match them and sometimes we read books to classify them.

Their math skills are found in the numberation, operations and skip counting materials. You may hear them say “I did the 10 chain” . That is, they are skip-counting in tens, and when they say “I did the addition book” , that is their “math facts” in the process. Our stamp game, as funny as it sounds, is not playing with stamps, It is their 4 digit operation or large number operations. The most amazing thing about these facts is that they have the capacity and joy to take it all in.

With the birds chatting outside it is a good time to start making “parts of the bird” and make booklets on the facts and label them. Metal insets and looms continue to be popular items around our neighborhood.

🇲🇽 Spanish News

Teacher Ana is on fire with her Spanish curriculum. The community room B is fully equipped with Spanish works and the children are loving it! Right now the children are focused on learning:

Los colores
Los animales
Canticos | Sol Solecito / Little Sunny Sunshine | Aprende inglés | Educación preescolar is a beautiful song I get to hear next to the office.

💛 Aftercare News

Teacher Jiab, Teacher Connie and Teacher Nomita are preparing for the art show as they love that part of the year. The back of the community room houses many art projects that they’ll be showcasing during the art show. The teachers talked to each child as they worked on their art and asked them what they made. The descriptions of their art are adorable!

Julie Heitman, Site Director
Growing Light Montessori School

Kensington March 2023 Newsletter

Saturday, April 1st, 2023
Category: Kensington Campus

Dear Families,

Here is our first monthly newsletter! We hope that this finds you and your families in the beautiful weather and looking forward to spending some sunny Spring days.

Observations & Volunteering in the Classroom

With the new Covid guidelines as of 3/1/23, we are opening up the classrooms for observations. Please check with me for the teachers’ availability and the optimal times you can observe. The in person observations are 20 minutes at a time and we are attaching an observation guideline which was appreciated by the parents that have observed. Please read them thoroughly and ask any questions that you may have prior to the observation.

We are happy to welcome volunteers to the classroom! There are certain requirements and documentation needed by CCL* in order to come into the classroom. Please reach out to Julie and your child’s teacher and we will get you set up with steps to be cleared to come to campus. There are lots of ways to volunteer with the children! One great option is to come and speak to the children about something special: community helper (what you do), science experiments, songs, dances, country, yoga, etc.

(* Per Community Care Licensing regulations, each volunteer must have the fingerprint clearance, immunizations checklist, covid vaccinations complete.)

Spring Clean up and Campus Planting

As I write this newsletter, I am so thankful for the sunshine that’s behind my office and reminiscing about the sunshine that’s been missing for weeks. Great weather is ahead and we would like to start the campus beautification project. Every year, it is so beautiful to see the children bringing in flowers and plants they had picked out with their parents in the store and later planting them in the planter boxes. When we return to the school from our Spring Break on Apr 10, 2023 We will start planting the planter boxes with flowers. Would you please stop by the nursery of one of the big stores “Home Depot” “Lowes” “Tractors Supplies” or the best nursery in this area “Annies” and get a little tiny baby flower? The kids and their teachers can cultivate them, watch them grow into big beautiful flowers, and study their Botany unit together along with the three part cards they do inside the classroom.

Heard around the campus:

My coffee:
As I fashionably carried a coffee in my hand each morning, Colin approached me. He said, “I’d like one of whatever you are drinking in there (pointed at my covered mug), and a blanket please”…. Curious to see what he wanted to do, I asked, “Why?” He replied, “I’d like to make sure Saanvi is warm”💕awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww💕

Uniquely Ours: Our Sensitive Period

There is a unique phrasing we use in our Montessori Jargon that is called the “sensitive periods”.

Children from birth to age six are in their “sensitive period” for exploring the world through their senses. Maria Montessori encouraged us to provide children with many opportunities to organize the sensory impressions they’ve been receiving since birth. By your careful selection of items of different textures, colors, sizes, and geometric shapes, children will discover relationships and exclaim, “This bolt is a hexagon,” or “This cloth is rough.” Sensorial experiences also indirectly prepare children for future exploration of language, mathematics, geometry, art, and music.

Bonsai News

The classroom is back!!!! It looks better than ever!!!! See the pictures below.

Our greatest and biggest news is that we were able to move back into our classroom and we are so happy with the renovation. Let our pictures speak a thousand words.

Congratulations are in order for our wonderful teacher Sheryl on her new chapter in her life. It was so nice to see her pictures and she looked so happy.

In the new room there is a kind of peace and productivity amongst the young Bonsai students as they return to their new room.

In practical life, the teachers have lovingly prepared a lot of water pouring, eye dropper work, transfer work, clothes pins of all sizes and many dexterity exercises. Simply put, the soul and the heart of this classroom is fully prepared. Their preparation for the children speak volumes for the indirect preparation of the children’s reading and writing for many years to come.

In Sensorial, there are full sets of brown prisms and pink cubes and knobbed cylinders. There is a great variety of lessons given to the children in this area each time we look in.

The overall theme for the classroom for the month of April is Spring. There is talk about birds, insects and flowers. Books in the library have changed to fit the theme.

At circle time, we introduce the Bee and the Butterfly life cycles.

For Language, we are using object to picture matching, Metal insets for indirect preparation of writing, and two basic sounds “Aa” and “Mm”.

In Math, we are using red rods and numbers rods to introduce the one-to-one correspondence of the first three numbers, namely 1-3.

You would be happy to know that Spanish is overflowing with music and circle time. Some of the songs they sing are: “Buenos Dias (good morning)” “Cinco monitos (5 little monkeys)” “Que clima hace hoy (what’s the weather)?” “Días de la semana (days of the week)” “Lluvia Lluvia vete ya (Rain rain go away)” and “La araña pequeñita (itsy bitsy spider)” to name a few.
Bonsai pictures

Willow News

We say Welcome to Leo and goodbye to Liam. Leo is joining Willow from Bonsai and Liam will be heading back to Tennessee. We will miss Liam and his family!

The Sensorial area is our most popular area for this season. It appeals to their sense of order and concentration they are sensitive to as they mature in their learning and observations. Sensorial materials are specifically designed to provide concrete examples of abstract concepts (such as color, texture, sound, taste, and scent.) This form of child learning provides students with a structure and vocabulary for information received through each of the five senses. Here is Liam using the geometric solids in the Sensorial area.

A very attractive Montessori math material is beautifully presented by Aylin with her Montessori bead stairs work. The short bead stair is a way to visually represent number values; making abstract concepts more concrete so that children can better grasp mathematical principles.
Introduction to the decimal system is of our basic and highly crucial material for our golden bead material. In a Montessori classroom, we introduce numerals of the Decimal System to the child in early Montessori Math lessons. In this area of math, the child is introduced to zero as a place value. The Golden Beads are fascinating for all children and help them learn concepts easily. Here is Galaxy using the Golden bead material for this lesson.

We will be doing transitions with a few of our friends this month. Some of our friends will be moving next door to the Live Oak classroom and we will be publishing a new roster on April 10.
In geography we have been studying the continents of Africa and Asia.
Also, please enjoy the myriad of birthdays we celebrated during this month.
Here are the pictures for the Willow Classroom.

Live Oak News

Buzzzz buzzz buzzz… 🐝little busy bees at work!

Theme for the month is Europe, not only Europe in the Geography puzzle, but many other lessons and activities. The children take A-Z of Europe where they take a letter and study the picture, for example A is for the Alps and they research about the Alps and where they are located and what landforms they can see in that geographical area. Or, Flemco … where they see this little girl dancing but where? Or M for Matador. And they read the book Ferdinand the Bull and see the different types of Matadors, etc. If you need help, just ask Elliot, he will explain.

Let’s talk about the Bank game. No, they are not headed to the bank and play a game there. Rather, the name of the lesson is the Bank game. The children who are versed and have mastered the golden beads material are adding in 4 digit equations with these materials. Let the pictures do the talking here. So impressive.

Do you know what 9x9x9 is… you may not remember right off the bat. Ask these hungry caterpillars, they count each bead to get to the cube of 9. The answer = 729. Imagine being patient enough to just count to 16, but they count to hundreds, sometimes thousands to do this work … such amazing workers. Look at these pictures. Their work speaks for themselves.
Handwriting work is ongoing each day, but it is not always seen as handwriting. They are in the form of Practical Life work, or Art work or fusible beads, or looming yarn. These little friends don’t even know that their little hands are being trained to hold the pencil while they are having fun. Thank you so much teacher Maria Luz.

Spanish News

With the return of the Bonsai students back in their room, the community Room B is swarming with Spanish lessons again. Teacher Ana comes around with different sets of students each day to do Spanish vocabulary, Spanish songs and Art that goes along with them. Here are some Spanish pictures!

Aftercare News

The aftercare locations are fun these days. Sometimes you will find us in the large yard and sometimes in the toddler yard. And on rainy days, back up in the Community Room A. No matter where they are, teacher Jiab, teacher Nomita and teacher Connie are having a blast with the kids.
Please know that with the change of the nice Spring weather, you would mainly see us in the yard.
Please don’t forget to sign your child in and out.

Julie Heitman, Site Director
Growing Light Montessori School