“We should not look at newborn infants as small, helpless human beings, but as persons who are small in size, but with an immense mental capacity, and many physical abilities that cannot be witnessed unless the environment assists in the expression of life." ~Dr. Silvana Montanaro
Congratulations to all the new big sisters and brothers and new parents at Greene Towne Montessori School. In honor of the new babies in our community, we are dedicating this week’s posting to infants and focusing on infant development.
THE FIRST YEAR—REACHING OUT, GRASPING, CHANGING THE WORLD
The Development of Movement
Myelinization is defined as "the development of a myelin sheath around a nerve fiber." This fatty coating serves as insulation protecting the messages from the brain to various muscles in the body, resulting in purposeful or coordinated movement. The newborn is only able to control the muscles of the mouth and the throat, eating and communicating. By the end of the first year a miracle has occurred and the child can control the movements of the whole body; he has learned to grasp and release objects, to kick, to slither and crawl, to sit up freeing the hands for even more development, and is usually well on the way to standing and walking!
This is a two-way process; myelinization creates movement, but movement also increases the formation of myelin, so the more we allow our child to move the more we are supporting optimum development. A child is naturally driven to this important work and is happy carrying it out. Often it is the frustration of not being able to move that causes unhappiness and crying. There are many modern inventions that get in the way of the natural development of movement so we must make sure that our child spends as much time as possible in situations where she can move every part of the body.
When the infant, who has been looking at a toy hanging above him and intuitively reaching for it, finally reaches it and makes it move, this is an exhilarating moment. Instead of just being cared for and acted upon, the infant has reached out and intentionally acted upon her environment. She has literally "changed the world."
"Shared with permission of The Joyful Child Montessori Company: www.thejoyfulchild.us"
Please spend a few minutes watching these young infants “change the world”:
This past January, many of us celebrated the New Year. One GTMS family celebrated New Years following Russian traditions, opening presents under a tree and singing songs at midnight. Mrs. Pysher's class celebrated the New Year with noisemakers and talking about resolutions.
For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 19, Quin from Ms. Dhar's class joined his sister at Germantown Friends School to bead a bracelet and make a MLK card collage for some organizations in need.
Across the globe and right here at GTMS, many Asian families will celebrate Chinese New Year on February 10. February, In Ms. Dhar's classroom, two parents plan on making Chinese coins with roping and lucky tassels. One of the moms will be bringing some of the supplies from China. There was a big celebration at the Penn Museum on Saturday, February 2: http://www.penn.museum/events-calendar/details/934-chinese-new-year-celebration.html
For more information about Chinese New Year: http://chinese-newyear.net/
Check the cube in the lobby for even more cool projects from the past month!
It's time to sign up for Summer Camp!
Current GTS families have priority registration until Friday, April 5 - after that, registration opens up to the greater community. Spaces are first come, first served!
You can see the links for information below or on the Summer Programs tab above!
Returning this year: Swim Lessons! Be on the lookout for that registration. Please note, you must sign up for at least 4 lessons to participate.
The Auction is almost here. Get ready for a wonderful event in a beautiful setting filled with fantastic items you can win! Please bring your ticket RSVP cards in by Monday, February 25th.
Here is a small sampling of the items available at the Auction:
Vacations & Excursions - check your calendars now and come prepared to bid!
1. Ritz Carlton Getaway - A Getaway for Two for Four Days & Three Nights at Any Participating Ritz-Carlton Hotel or Resort
2. Sonoma, California - A Getaway for Two for Three Days & Two Nights at The Fairmount Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, including a Private Winery tour in a Chauffeured Luxury Sedan
3. US Open Golf Tournament - Two Trophy Club Passes to Any Two Days, June 2013 in Ardmore, PA
4. Elmore, Vermont - Mountain Vacation Home in Stowe Mountain area
This year we will be raffling off a Night for Two at Trump Taj Mahal with Dinner for Two at Robert's Steakhouse located at the Trump Taj Mahal. Raffle tickets will be available at the auction for $10 each or 3 for $25. Come roll the dice!
Summertime = Camp for the Kids!
1. Greene Towne Montessori School Camp
2. Briarwood Day Camp
3. Sesame Rockwood Day Camps
4. Tall Pines Day Camp
5. The Miquon Day Camp
We also have various spa services, theater tickets, sporting event tickets, gift certificates to many popular Philadelphia restaurants, and the wonderful art work created by our wonderful students!
See you there!
Marnie, Amy & Amanda
2013 Auction Chairs
February 24 at noon at World Cafe Live, brunch starts being serves at 11:00 am downstairs:
PROJECT Trio – with Greg Pattillo, flute; Eric Stephenson, cello; and Peter Seymour, bass – is pushing the boundaries of classical music with a high-octane mix of jazz, hip-hop and rock. Acclaimed as “packed with musicianship, joy and surprise” by Downbeat Magazine and hailed for their “wide appeal, subversive humor and first-rate playing” by the Wall Street Journal, the Trio performs over 70 concerts a year, playing to fans of all ages in venues around the world. They are an internet sensation with over 71 million views and 78,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel, including Greg’s phenomenal beatboxing flute.
In this family-friendly concert, PROJECT Trio will perform a mix of original compositions and exciting arrangements, with favorites such as Peter and the Wolf, the William Tell Overture, a J.S. Bach/Jethro Tull Bourrée and Beethoven's 5th Symphony Jam.
They will be joined by percussion and orchestral ensembles from Friends Select School who will bring their own blend of unusual instrumentation and enthusiastic performance to the concert.
Since 2008, LiveConnections has served as a creator and curator of innovative, cross-genre music experiences. Our ClassicAlive series “The Collaborators” expands how classical music is experienced by breaking boundaries of repertoire, collaboration and atmosphere in innovative concerts designed to attract both new audiences and long-time classical fans.
$20 general admission
$15 students with ID
$6 children age 10 and under
FREE for children under 1
(plus venue processing fees)
to buy tickets go to: http://www.liveconnections.org/component/eventlist/details/18-20130224-classicalive.html?Itemid=102
Congrats to Brian "Mr. J" Jagusak and family on the birth of their new twin boys!
Our volunteer auction committee has been working really hard planning the Greene Towne Montessori School 27th Anniversary Auction.
There are hundreds of fabulous donations from the children, teachers,local businesses, our families and more!
Don’t miss the GTMS social event of the year, send in your rsvp card today!
The Land and Water Forms are one of the many Earth Science materials in the Montessori 3 to 6-year-old classroom. Like many of the science related work, the Land and Water Forms teach children about the natural world and help them to develop respect for the earth. Through the Land and Water forms children learn the names of different topographical features: Island and Lake, Cape and Bay, Isthmus and Strait, Peninsula and Gulf, Archipelago and System of Lakes
The first interaction with this work simply involves filling the forms with water to develop a concrete concept of how the land and the body of water relate to each other in each form. Children then use miniature land (cars) and water (boats) vehicles to internalize how and where these vehicles work.
Older children progress to the Land and Water three part cards. These are a set of cards showing a photograph of the land or water form with its name, a set of cards with just the photo and a set of cards with just the name. Through a series of activities with these cards including matching the pictures and the names, the emerging reader begins to teach himself the names of these topographical features.
Children can also trace puzzles and then color in and label their topographical map representing these various land and water features.
Greene Towne Kindergarteners have been busy “traveling” the world! A few weeks ago, we went to Reading Terminal Market and participated in a Market Scavenger Hunt. Each small parent-chaperoned group was tasked with finding a variety of things at the market. Here are some of the things we searched for and what we found.
Three things that come from a cow…milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt, beef jerky, meat and sausages
A sign with a camel…Kamal’s Middle Eastern Specialties
A neon sign of the Eiffel Tower…Profi’s Creperie
Stores that sell meat from the ocean…Golden Fish Market, Wan’s Seafood, John Yi Fresh Seafood, Tokyo Sushi,
Where can you buy cookie cutters…Amy’s Place
The name of a store with a pickle on their sign…AJ’s Pickle Patch
A place that sells sticky buns…Beiler’s Bakery
Find a place that sells Fruits and vegetables and ask what fruit or vegetable they sell the most…Fair Food Farmstand sells apples and carrots the most and the OK Produce sells a lot of romaine lettuce.
A sign with a duck…Sang Ke Peking Duck, L. Halteman’s
A place that has things that grow and bloom…Market Blooms (one group selected marigold seeds to plant in our roof-top garden.)
A stand that sells jewelry, ask the merchant where the jewelry comes from…Amazulu and De’Village both have handcrafted jewelry from Thailand, Bali, Indonesia and especially from all over Africa.
After finding the places and things on our list, everyone gathered in the center court to feed pennies to Philbert the Food Trust Pig and ate the giant Miller’s pretzels. Donations made to Philbert, a giant bronze piggy bank, promote healthy food in needy communities.
Students had the opportunity to sample many tasty things available at the market:
Bassett’s Ice Cream, Cheese from the Fair Food Stand, Ginger Snaps and Apple Snitz from Kauffman’s Lancaster County Produce, Honey from Bee Natural,
Fresh out of the oven giant pretzels from Miller’s Twist.
Some of the students’ favorite things were watching the pretzels being made and eating them, seeing all the different cookie cutter shapes, jewelry, “feeding” pennies to Philbert, seeing piles of cookies, tasting cheese (even goat cheese!), and tasting ice cream.
A very special thank you to all of the parents and market vendors for their donations and contributions to our tasting tour of RTM!
This week the Kindergarten students took a trip to Chinatown to celebrate Lunar New Year. Stay tuned for details and photos next week!
Applying to First Grade: A Parent Workshop for parents of next year’s Kindergarten children and other interested parents.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 5:30-7:00 pm
Childcare available/ Dinner provided
(R.s.v.p. required in order to guarantee child care space and dinner).
Practical and philosophical advice about selecting and applying to schools
Guest speakers representing a variety of schools
Demystifying outside testing
R.s.v.p. to Nicole: firstname.lastname@example.org or 215 563-6368
Childcare is limited. Priority for care will be given to next year’s Kindergarten children.
GTMS Kindergartener Julián will be featured playing drums with the Brazilian band, Alo Brasil, Saturday, February 16. This is a special Carnaval celebration that takes place every year in February.
Alo Brasil welcomes a variety of guest artists and a fun-filled family-friendly evening is planned!
The date: February 16th
Where: World Cafe Live
Link for tickets: http://tickets.worldcafelive.com/default.asp?SearchMonth=2/28/2013&MV=2/16/2013&sel=x
The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers plenty of Family Programs that allow children and parents to learn, create, and most important, have fun together. All programs and events are free. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Visitor Services Desk.
“When a free spirit exists, it has to materialize itself in some form of work, and for this the hands are needed. Everywhere we find traces of men’s handiwork, and through these we can catch a glimpse of his spirit and the thoughts of his time. The skill of man’s hand is bound up with the development of his mind, and in the light of history we see it connected with the development of civilization.”~Maria Montessori
The age 5 is a time of mastery, and the kindergarten program at Greene Towne assists this development. This is the time when the children put all the impressions from the language, math, and cultural areas into a more conscious format. The 5-6 year old is ready to consolidate and integrate detail, information, and experience. He/she starts to make comparisons and later can move more readily into abstract thinking.
For example, a 3 or 4 year old can look at a set of geography cards picturing people from different countries. The younger child can realize that the people are different, but it is the 5 year old who begins to realize what is different. It is this developmental readiness that enables our Kindergarten program to provide the opportunity to discover and learn about different cultures and life-styles, draw geography maps, label names of countries, etc.
Moreover, the three-year (or four-year) Montessori program is designed to help children progress from stage to stage in this developmental sequence without interruption or loss of continuity. We build upon what came previously!
Besides allowing for continuous development, the Kindergarten year provides mastery of self. It is one of the few times in life when children can be “top dog” in the classroom and feel the great pride in that esteemed position. The children feel great competence, serving as teachers to the younger children, either directly or by example.
This competence is partly the result of having experienced their own progress in the same setting. They once were the little ones coming into the classroom, learning how to pour juice and roll mats. But now they are the Kindergarten children, who write stories and count the 1000 chain.
This is the age when children master their socializing skills of cooperating, sharing, and taking turns. The Montessori classroom is a community where every child is important. Often, visitors to Greene Towne comment on how kind the older children are to the younger ones. It is a common occurrence to see a 5-year-old helping a 3-year-old with his coat and boots.
When a child leaves this environment after his/her second year and does not continue on in the Kindergarten Year, he/she loses time in this developmental sequence. The energy put into mastery now must be put into adjusting. The transition means adjusting to a new school, new friends, new routines, etc.—and thus interrupts and delays the developmental sequence.
This delay tends to reduce the feelings of mastery and competence at this age. Again, the consolidation of impressions is left at random at this point if a transition occurs. The esteemed position of “top dog” is delayed until the end of grade school since children in other Kindergartens are regarded as the “babies” - they are the youngest, not the oldest.
A child naturally is ready for new challenges at 6, when entry into 1st grade typically occurs. This need to “move on” comes naturally from within the child of 6, while the need at the age of 5 is one to “finish”. The Montessori Kindergarten differs in content and process from other kindergarten programs. In the Montessori program, children learn through concrete materials and through the senses. It is learning by doing, with verbal input integrated into the process. In other programs children are more involved with verbal instruction and much time is spent in helping them listen and follow directions. Greene Towne children have already acquired these skills so they have the opportunity to move on and build upon what has been accomplished in the previous years.
Re-enrollment agreements are due TODAY, February 1! Please return your child’s re-enrollment asap so that we may plan appropriately for next year. Thank you!
Now is great time to start visiting schools as you consider your child’s education after Greene Towne. Winter and Spring Open Houses offer a calm and unhurried way to see schools and some schools will not accept an application or schedule a tour/visit unless you’ve attended an Open House. You can check the schools’ web sites or the free monthly parenting papers: Parents Express and MetroKids, available in the GTMS lobby. If you’d like a copy of the long list of schools that Greene Towne graduates typically go to, please contact us and we can email it to you.
TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2013, 5:30pm
Applying to First Grade Parent Workshop for parents of the Class of 2014