Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 2011 Newsletter

August Reflection

The end of August has brought us a new classroom environment!  The children have entered our new space with wonderment and excitement.  We have also welcomed two new little ones to our AM Infant class and the care towards these new classmates has been beautiful for Lauren and I to witness.

It continues to delight us teachers being participatory observers of the compassion each child shows one another.  Even in fits of frustration, always the other children will offer space and quiet for the child to experience his/her emotion.  The same goes for if someone gets hurt.  The other children will immediately move toward the hurt child or begin to cry with him/her in empathy.   

Reflecting on my Montessori training during this precious month I ran across a quote from Dr. Maria Montessori from her 1947 work, The Absorbent Mind, which I feel sums up our class sessions here at Klahanie

“Development is a series of rebirths.  The child must form self through impressions from the environment to form his mind.  Impressions do not enter his mind, they form it…Child forms his personality by absorbing his environment and does this with his senses.”  

While we accept one another during intellectual, physical and emotional needs I see each child being positively shaped by the experience.  I see in the way all the children carry his/herself that this environment has become his/hers and with that ownership, a confidence has been born that is now bursting from their active and happy movements. 

During our month together we have continued to practice grace and courtesy phrases.  Key phrases we use are “gentle touch please”, “please sit on your sit-bone” (while we read stories, eat snack and during some finger play/songs), “please share…” and “please take a deep breath to calm your body” (during moments of frustration).  With consistent practice we are seeing a definite shift in each child towards a more accepting, calm and loving experience with one another.  I also see deep pride in all the children as they practice these skills.  We congratulate them on their successes with words of observation, “congratulations, it looks like you worked hard to breath deep and calm your body….thank you for using gentle hands when touching your friend…thank you for offering and sharing, now both of you are enjoying a ball.” 

September Topics

As we enter autumn we will continue to sing songs, read books and act out specific animals in celebration of the new season.  Some topics of interest will be on spiders & webs (great math source!), deciduous/evergreen trees, bees (talking about being aware of them as they find warm spots to rest), squirrels, pumpkins, apples and squash.  For snacks, please feel free to connect foods with the changing season to add to the sensorial experience. In the upcoming weeks we will be introducing smelling bottles that will have differing season topic scents for the children to explore as well as during sunny days some autumn inspired outside painting for both classes.  

Reminders & Thank You


  • Change of Clothes: On arrival to school, please escort your child to hang up coat on deck hooks and place shoes under his/her coat.  Please bring a name labeled bag with change of clothes (diapers and wipes) daily.  Please hand this bag to Lauren or Emmy during greeting.  Change of clothes bag will be stored in class cabinet and handed back to parents during pick up.
    • Please remember to pack clothes for all weather!
    • Shoes: Please bring shoes that your child can pull on and off independently (rubber boots are great as we enter autumn or crocks for sunny days).
    • If your child craws, please bring him/her in pants.  
    • During sunny days, please bring your child to school with sun screen on!  And a labeled sun hat is always helpful. 
  • Parking: You are welcome to park in any of our three driveways.
  • Snack
    • AM Infant Class: Please remember to keep checking the school calendar on this blog as well as a copy on our school bulletin board for the snack list updates.
    • PM Preschool Class: Please bring a sack lunch + a little extra for your child.
  • Class lists and Contact Sheet: Posted on the school bulletin board. 
  • Slippers for Both Classes: Please provide slippers for your child.  Slippers will be kept at school.  During drop-off your child will enter class and find his/her slippers in the library circle time area each day, put them on and head off to work in classroom.  The slippers will become an important piece in your child's cues about transition times.
  • Pictures of Your Children During School: Please continue to check out our Klahanie Nursery School Facebook page for updated school pics and video of everyone in action.  This is a wonderful way to offer family/friends who live far away to see how your little love one is doing.  
  • Spots available in the PM Preschool Class, please continue to spread the word!
Thank You:

Many thank yous to darling hubby, Alex and steadfast giver dad, Glenn for all the help and hours put towards creating our new class space!  Thank yous to my kindred spirit mom, Peggy for helping feed us, care for the boys and keeping the house running while we worked to complete the classroom.  Thank you Kim and Kaye for offering time with the boys to put the class back together for Monday! 

Thank you Lauren, you are a gift.  Thank you for your knowledge, kindness and stability.  I would not be able to do this work to the level I yearn to create if it were not for you.  Thank you sister teacher.

Thank you to you Klahanie parents for your flexibilities and support surrounding changes in the school as well as offering us teachers the ability to hold sacred space for your children.  This is a very meaningful journey!

Thank you to Lori Means at Vashon Youth and Family Services for continuing to offer baby group!  We have a rich school community here at Klahanie because of the VYFS program! 

Thank you to my support and education from Montessori Country School on Bainbridge Island.  To my mentors; you offered me so much in creating the most incredible foundation to build off of.  Thank you, thank you.