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Summer Camp Registration is Here!

  • 4/3/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

Greene Towne Summer Camp 2014 is June 16 through August 8.

This year’s theme is Science in the CityCheck your Friday Folders for registration and additional information!

Children currently enrolled at Greene Towne have priority registration until Friday, April 4. 
 

Registration forms are also available below!

Registration for PRIMARY Science in the City Camp

Registration for All Day Montessori TODDLERS and PRIMARY

Registration for TODDLER Camp


PLEASE SEND IN YOUR PLASTIC CONTAINERS!

  • 4/3/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

We have two requests for containers for Earth/Arbor projects!

We need deli containers:
Our Arbor/Earth Day activities always focus on environmental components.  This year we ask families to send in pint-sized deli containers with lids for our Earth Day projects.  We like to re-use everyday objects to model responsible stewardship of our home, Earth. It doesn’t matter if they are clear, opaque, or solid colored…the important thing is the size, that they have a matching lid, and that they are being re-used!  These are the containers that often come with take-out food.  The children will make windowsill lettuce gardens to bring home.  Thanks!

...and from Emily Grant for an special recycled materials project with the Ks:
The K's and I are hoping to do an Art project for Earth Day using
Recycled materials - Masks made using empty plastic jug containers - laundry
detergent bottles would work great, or juice/milk containers with handles. Also
any plastic lids. The more colors the better! If you have a local Laundromat that
can be a great source for empty colorful bottles! Ask them to save a few for you or check out their recycling bins on trash day and make it an educational moment! Click here for some fun facts to share with your child  http://www.recyclingfactsforkids.com/

You can also do a visual search on the web for artists who use recycled materials - it is incredible what can be done to transform the simplest of everyday objects!
 
We are hoping to start this project the week of April 14th. Thanks in advance for taking the time to collect these items with your child! 


SAVE THE DATE: FRIDAY, MAY 9th is GRANDPARENTS and SPECIAL FRIENDS DAY

  • 3/20/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

SAVE THE DATE: FRIDAY, MAY 9th is GRANDPARENTS and SPECIAL FRIENDS DAY!

For Primary School students (including ADM) and their grandparents/special friends.

Tell your special guests now so they can make necessary travel plans!


Sensitive Periods

  • 3/20/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

“The child has a creative aptitude, a potential energy that will enable him to build up a mental world from the world about it. He makes numerous acquisitions during the sensitive periods, which put him in relation to the other world in an exceptionally intense manner.” The Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori

Dr. Montessori saw in her observations of children that certain sensitive periods occur during the early years of development; these sensitive periods are related to certain elements in the environment to which children are irresistibly drawn. Children are attracted only to certain elements in the environment for a short time, as one sensitivity recedes another sensitivity arises to take its place.

The purpose of each sensitive period, which is actually an inner sensibility children possess, is to help children acquire a certain skill or characteristic necessary for their growth. As they acquire the skill or characteristic, their sensitivity for it decreases and another sensitivity increases.

All sensitive periods are related in that each provides a foundation for the next. Together, the sensitive periods help children to make sense out of what they and the world around them are all about.

Awareness of the sensitive periods can be used as basic guidelines as to when a child is ready to learn and when to introduce certain items to children. This can also be determined by observing the child for when they are focused on a certain type of work and follow the child’s interest.

During a specific sensitive period the child concentrates mainly on one aspect of his environment and excludes everything else. This is when we see a child repeatedly doing an activity with passion and conviction, and it seems like nothing can deter them to accomplishing that task until it is satisfied. It is a time of intense concentration and mental activity on developing a particular skill at that particular time, age or phase in growth. It is driven unconsciously by an inner force that the best way an adult can support this passion is to prepare the environment and encourage this special time of learning.

Some of the key Sensitive Periods identified by Maria Montessori and integral to the Montessori philosophy are:

Movement: Birth to 4 years

Language: Birth to 6 years

Refinement of the Senses: Birth to 5 years

Order: 18 months to 4 years

Small Objects: 1 year to 4 years

Grace and Courtesy (manners): 2 to 6 years

Music: 2 to 6 years

Sensitive Period for Movement: Ages Birth to 4 years

From birth to the age of 4, children possess a sensitivity to movement; they have to move about in their environment in order to learn. 

Movement describes a child's inner compulsion towards movements that are coordinated and controlled. Montessori dedicated an entire chapter towards the importance of movement in The Discovery of Child and stated that, "They [children] are passing through an epoch in their lives when they become masters of their own actions" (Pg. 85) and "a good beginning here is most important for a child's future." (Pg. 86) Just like all of the other sensitive periods, it is crucial for a child to be allowed freely to explore their sensitive periods without any obstacles in order to preserve their spirit and enable it to develop to its full potential. This is the stage where children are learning about their world, and they want to explore! They do this through movement and should be allowed every opportunity to fulfill this inner desire.

Tip: If you do a good job at baby proofing your house, you won't have to sound like a broken record, saying, “No don't touch, No don't touch, No don't touch." You will be giving your child the opportunity to absorb as much as he can from his environment.


The sensitive period for movement can be divided into different classifications. For acquisition of gross and fine motor (walking and the use of the hands) is from 0-2.5 years of age. The environment we prepare for this provides opportunities for the child to crawl, pull up, encourage to walk with or without assistance and not just left to sit by themselves. A child is also given toys/materials that allow their hands to hook, bat, touch, turn, insert and grasp small items within their abilities. We have to give children in this age range materials that improve the movement of the hand, and improve eye/hand coordination. These opportunities given to them need to be repeated in order for these skills to be refined.

Refinement and coordination of movement comes between 2.5 to 4.5 years of age. This is when the child may start using both hands in coordination of fine movements, being able to hold small items with pincer grip and release voluntary. Gross motor can be coordination of walking, running, balancing while carrying a jug of water and jumping. The child acquires this coordination through repetition of purposeful motor activity. Regular visits to the park or outdoor environment is likely to help this sensitive period.

In the weeks ahead, we will visit other Sensitive Periods in the weekly bulletin.  We hope you will check them out!


101 Things Parents Can Do to Help Children by Barbara Hacker

  • 3/20/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)


This week, the last of our 101 tips, with an extra one to keep in mind! 

We hope these little hints have been helpful in your parenting adventures!

Please let us know if you have tried any of these things over the last few weeks and share how it has changed your relationship with your child and family.


91. Tell your children what you value in them. Let them hear you express what you value in others.

92. Always tell the truth.

93. Go to the beach and play in the sand.

94. Ride the bus; take a train -- at least once.

95. Watch a sunrise. Watch a sunset.

96. Share appropriate "news" from the newspaper: new dinosaur was discovered; a baby elephant born at the zoo; a child honored for bravery; the weather forecast.

97. Evaluate your child's hairstyle. Is it neat and not a distraction or is it always in the child's eyes, falling out of headbands, etc?

98. Let your child help you wash the car and learn the vocabulary of the parts of the car. With this and other tasks take time to focus on the process for the child more than the end product.

99. Talk about right, left, straight, turn, north, south, east, west, in a natural way so your child develops a sense of direction and the means to talk about it.

100. Place a small pitcher of water or juice on a low refrigerator shelf and a glass in a low place so your child can be independent in getting a drink.

101. If your child is attached to things like pacifiers, start a weaning process.
 

102. Enjoy life together!


Register now for Spring Afterschool Enrichment classes!

  • 3/20/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

Don’t delay in registering for Spring Session classes.  Classes start the week of April 7.

Classes fill up quickly so return the registration soon.  Click HERE for info and registration or dowload below.


Pre-Conference Notes, Observations, and Conferences!

  • 3/20/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

Pre-Conference Notes give parents a chance to jot down some questions in preparation for their Parent/Teacher Conference. Notes are due by Friday, March 21 so that your teacher can prepare for the conference, and answer your questions!

Conferences

When are conferences?
Conferences are on Fridays, April 4th and 11th.

How long are conferences?
Conferences are 25 minutes and schedule every half hour.

What times can I sign up for?
Primary conferences start at 8am and are scheduled on the half hour until 3pm, depending on the teacher’s break schedule.

Toddler conferences start at 8am and are scheduled on the half hour until 11:30am.

Is there a cut-off to schedule my conference?
In order for the classroom teacher to properly prepare for your conference, you must sign up by FRIDAY, MARCH 21. Please use the Sign Up Genius links below:

Anna Matsukevich

Aurelien Dumas

Jean Prestas

Jen Wollman

Laura Connor

Michelle Nowacky

Michelle Pysher

Neepa Dhar


Sign Up for Observations
The observation calendar is open to make appointments!

What are observations?
An observation is an opportunity to watch your child in action in the classroom.

How long does it last?
Depending on the classroom, 15-20 minutes at the most.

Can I go in the classroom to observe?
Parents of Toddler students: Outside the classroom observation only.

Parents of First Year Primary students: Outside the classroom observation only.

Parents of Second, Third, and K Year students may observe outside the classroom for 10 minutes, then inside for 10 minutes.*

When can I observe?
Monday, March 10 through Thursday, April 10, depending on your child’s Movement and Playdeck schedule.

Days NOT Available: Wednesdays, Conference days

What times can I sign up for?
Toddler parents: 9:15-9:30am OR 9:40-9:55am

Primary parents: 9:30-9:50 OR 10-10:20 OR 10:30-10:50

Can my partner and I observe together?
Of course! We encourage you to observe together as slots for observation fill fast and there is not much wiggle room. We ask that other family members or friends visit in May for Grandparent and Special Friends Day.

Who do I make the appointment with?
Call, email, or stop by to see Tychelle () for observations at GTMS East or call, email, or stop by to see Carly () at GTMS West!

Please have a couple of dates/times in mind – this will streamline the scheduling process. If you cannot make your appointment, let us know so we can open that slot up to another family. If there is a situation of no call/no show, other parents will be given priority signup.


Metal Insets

  • 3/13/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

“The child’s intelligence can develop to a certain level without the help of his hand. But if it develops with his hand, then the level it reaches is higher and the child’s character is stronger…If his hand wishes to work we must provide him with things on which he can exercise an intelligent activity.”  Maria Montessori

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Dr. Montessori designed the metal insets to provide appealing opportunities for young children to practice the component strokes of letters. Appalled by the tediousness of the early 20th century practice of requiring children to make rows and rows of straight and curved lines, she designed an alternative approach. Dr. Montessori reasoned that tracing complete shapes would be more satisfying for young children and still provide opportunities to refine pencil control. Today, children often make booklet after booklet of ovals, pentagons, quatrefoils, and trapezoids. As they first trace the frame of the shape and later the more challenging free-standing metal shape, they are gaining fine motor control. Why provide children as young as three and four with opportunities to strengthen hand control in order to write? Isn’t this too young? And don’t children learn to read before they write anyway? Montessori answered “no” to both the second and the third questions. She observed children in the slums of early twentieth Rome writing on whatever surfaces (floors, chairs, table tops) they could. Rather than seeing this as misbehavior, Montessori interpreted children’s writing behavior quite literally. She recognized their strong interest in writing. Montessori countered the prevailing practice of teaching reading before writing by providing purposeful opportunities for children to write.

To learn more about how metal inset work is presented to students check out:

www.infomontessori.com/language/written-language-metal-insets.htm


AUCTION NEWS AND THANKS!

  • 3/13/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

Thank you to our amazing Auction Co-chairs, Amanda Cooper and Natalie Nagele, and the Auction Committee on a job marvelously done!  The location, food, items available for bidding, and surprise appearances by the Academy of Natural Science’s furry and feathered friends were all great!

Thank you to all the parents, staff, and children who contributed, made art for, and attended.  It was a great night because of everyone who participated!

If you were not able to attend, please be sure to pick up your child’s personalized note cards at the front desk.  They are only $10.00 a set! 

The final count isn’t in quite yet but all accounts are pointing to a record breaking level of funds raised.  Stay tuned!


Around Town: Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • 3/13/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

Family Celebration: Celebrate Korea
Saturday, March 15
11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Free After Admission
Bring the entire family to celebrate Korean culture and art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art during this fun day packed with activities for visitors of all ages. Be inspired by Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910, then watch as actual Korean screen painters and maedup tassel-makers demonstrate their crafts before creating your own inspired works of art in the Balcony Studio. Dance along with a performance of Sounds of Korea and experience history when you join in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to march with a Korean king and queen in their royal procession.

Other upcoming programs at the Museum to entertain and inspire the entire family:
Sunday, March 23
Early Bird Read and Look
Tours for Tots
Family Gallery Tour
Drawing in the Galleries
10:15 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Free After Admission
 

Sunday, April 6
Family Studio: Adventure in Color
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Free After Pay What You Wish Admission

Wednesday, April 9
Stroller Tour (for newborns-Age 1) Starts at 11:00 a.m.
Free After Admission
For a description of these events, and a full listing of Family Programs at the Philadelphia Museum of
Art, please visit www.philamuseum.org.


101 Things Parents Can Do to Help Children by Barbara Hacker

  • 3/13/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

We’re almost there! This week, Parenting Tips 81 through 90! 

81. Teach your child his/her birthday.

82. Read the notes that are sent home from school.

83. Alert the teacher to anything that may be affecting your child -- lack of sleep, exposure to a fight, moving, relative visiting in home, parent out of town, etc.

84. Provide a place to just dig. Allow your child to get totally dirty sometimes without inhibitions.

85. Refrain from offering material rewards or even excessive praise. Let the experience of accomplishment be its own reward.


86. Don't speak for your child to others. Give the space for the child to speak for himself/herself, and if he/she doesn't it's okay.

87. Apologize to your child when you've made a mistake.

88. Understand what Montessori meant by sensitive periods. Know when your child is in one and utilize it.

89. Learn to wait. Some things people want to give their children or do with them are more appropriate at a later age. Be patient, the optimal time will come. Stay focused on where they are right now.

90. Play ball together: moms and dads, boys and girls. 


Tell your friends, colleagues, and neighbors who want to learn more about Greene Towne Montessori School!

  • 3/6/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

Admissions

Open House

Tuesday, March 18
6:30 – 7:45 p.m.
The program will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.

This is a parents-only evening

Rsvp by calling 215-563-6368

or emailing

For more information visit www.gtms.org


101 Things Parents Can Do to Help Children by Barbara Hacker

  • 3/6/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)

Each week we are sharing 10 items from this list with you.

This week, 71 through 80! 

We hope these little hints are helpful in your parenting adventures!


71. Help them become aware of sounds in words. Play games: what starts with "mmmm?" "What ends with 't'?"

72. Organize the child's things in appropriate containers and on low shelves.

73. Aid the child in absorbing a sense of beauty: expose him/her to flowers, woods, and natural materials, and avoid plastic.

74. Help your child start a collection of something interesting.

75. Talk about the colors (don't forget shades), textures, and shapes you see around you.

76. Provide art materials, paper, appropriate aprons, and mats to define the work space. Provide tools for cleaning up.

77. Evaluate each of your child's toys.


Does it help him/her learn something?
Does the child use it?
Does it "work," and are all pieces present?
Is it safe?


78. Refrain from doing for a child what he/she can do for himself/herself.

79. Provide opportunities for physical activity -- running, hopping, skipping, climbing. Teach them how. Go to a playground if necessary.

80. Teach children how to be still and make "silence." Do it together. Children love to be in a meditative space if given the opportunity.
 


Greene Towne needs your used deli containers!

  • 3/6/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)
    • deli container

We’re collecting pint-sized and quart-sized clear plastic containers with lids for our Arbor Day/Earth Day project in April.  These are the 16 oz and 32 oz. clear deli containers with lids that you might have when you get take out macaroni salad, potato salad, coleslaw, soup, and such.  We have a great Earth Day project planned for the children.  Please help us do it green by sending in these containers to reuse. Thanks!


GTMS Annual Auction THIS Friday, March 7!

  • 3/6/14
  • Posted by: (nicole)
    • auction front illustration jpg

See you there! It's not too late to rsvp!