In the Sycamore class, these first few weeks have been a time for everyone to transition into school and connect with each other. Our returning students have been so happy to play with their old friends again and students who are new to our classroom are quickly making strong bonds with their peers. It is a delight to see them all enjoying each other’s company and getting some much needed social time.
Thank you for photos that have been coming in for the "All About Me books"! We’re helping each child select one special “headshot” from those to hang on our wall next to their hand traced with marker (on different people color papers) to show appreciation for all our Sycamore teachers and students this month.
During work cycle, children have been active choosing work from each curriculum area as well as taking a pause at our snack table. Students are finding new ways to work with old favorites by combining all the Knobbed Cylinders or using pattern extension cards to create new structures with the Pink Cubes and Brown Prisms. Some new popular works are practicing sewing a button, matching alphabet cards to the Sand Paper Letters, and tissue paper collages.
In circle, we have been focusing on Practical Life: Care of Self and Care of Others. That has included signing each other’s names, reading about feelings, and having lessons such as walking around or joining a work.
A new favorite activity, outdoors, is group play with our colorful parachute.
Jackie + Anna
Dear Dogwood Families,
It’s been a great first couple of weeks in the Dogwood class! The children have adapted readily to being back at school, and it’s been amazing watching them get to know one another and see their new friendships blossom.
Over the month of September, the works in our classroom have focused on the theme of “farms and farm animals.” The Dogwoods have been loving playing with the barn, which has been a source of comfort and familiarity for children newly adjusting to the classroom environment. The farm animal puzzles and matching works have also proven very popular. Matching and sorting activities form a core component of Montessori teaching, as they allow children to create order and learn logical correspondence, preparing them for more challenging cognitive tasks as they grow and take on more complex works.
In the first few weeks of class, we have been emphasizing the routines and norms of the Montessori classroom. The children are learning how to put their own things away, and prepare to start the day each morning. We are working with them to cultivate independence through all the tasks of the day - putting on their own shoes and sweaters, retrieving their things from their cubbies, and putting away their things after outdoor time. The children are quickly learning to put classroom works back on the shelves where they found them, and take out and put back their work mats, “roly poly.”
At circle time the children have been loving “the Turtle Song”, “Around and Around” and “the Name Song.”
During our outdoor playtime, we’ve been walking to Grover Cleveland Park and enjoying digging with shovels and pails by the “big buffalo”. Other days, we’ve taken the children to a paved area to draw with chalk and play their favorite racing game.
It’s been an awesome start to the school year and we are so happy to be getting to know all of our amazing Dogwood friends!
Marija and Tasha
Today marks the last day of our first full week of school and there are so many emotions that we have for this milestone of sorts. It has been a journey to get to where we are and we thank you for being a part of this journey with us. Through it all, every challenge has been worth it to us to be able to be back in the classroom with our children to do the important work that we have dedicated ourselves to. I know I speak for all when I say that we are so thankful to have our amazing teaching teams, Jackie and Anna leading the Sycamores and Tasha and Marija leading the Dogwoods. Without their love and expert guidance, this lovely start to the year would not be possible.
The students have been very busy during the work cycle and have adjusted quite well to the new structures we have in place. We have students placing little "stop" signs to indicate that a work is closed and needs cleaning and we ourselves are getting accustomed to the sanitizing procedures as well. We have been enjoying our outdoor playtime and getting the fresh air that we need on a daily basis. The children are quite good about putting on their masks when we walk to and from the park and for when we prepare for dismissal time. They should all be so proud of themselves!
I am thrilled to introduce you to our amazing afternoon support staff! These teachers help provide our classroom teachers with their lunch breaks, are an extra set of hands during park time when needed, relieve Anna for her administrative duties, and also lead our extended day program. We have hired a lovely afternoon teacher named Flavia who is an artist and art educator by trade. She has experience teaching children ages 2-12 years old and has experience doing art therapy with children with ASD. She spent some time with our students yesterday afternoon and is excited to learn more about the Montessori method. Victoria is still with us several days a week as well. Both Flavia and Victoria are very excited to bring their artistic passions to the classroom and have plans to do some Spanish immersion with the children as they see them in their respective classes in the afternoons and with extended day children. Teresa will be rejoining us for lunch breaks and some park time in the Dogwood class. We are happy to have her with us in this important capacity to support our Dogwood community. Please see their bios and photographs below.
Thank you all for your continued vigilance in staying masked, socially distancing, and being super communicative with us. We all appreciate the efforts and lengths that you all go through to safeguard the entire community. Please look forward to class newsletters from your teachers next week and we will be in touch with families who will be included in the next month's round of testing.
We wish everyone a happy and healthy weekend and we look forward to seeing you next week! L'Shanah Tovah for anyone that is celebrating this weekend!
Lanny and wBees team
Teacher Victoria: I am excited to rejoin wBees again this year! As a Montessori child myself, I love being able to bring my creativity and passion for observing and following the child to my afternoons at wBees. I bring together my skills as an artist, researcher, and teacher merging an art-focussed education with my studies in childhood development and alternative psychology. I believe strongly in the importance of self-expression and will be bringing many different mediums of art to help the children express all their big ideas and emotions. I will be integrating my native language, Spanish, to spark some bilingual learning. I am hoping this will be a flexible and exciting time for our students!
Teacher Flavia: I believe in art as a catalyst for change as well as in bringing about change through the process of making and caring. I'm a Brooklyn based artist and entrepreneur with extensive experience as an art teacher and private tutor. Since 2015, I've been working with children ages 2-12 years old, providing support and guidance within the context of daily routine activities as much as supporting their process of learning through homeschooling, art-making, playing, and storytelling. I hold an MFA from Plymouth University, UK and a Master Degree in Architecture from UNC., Argentina. I'm adaptable, curious, playful, a good listener, organized, and detail oriented. I am here to support, inspire, and guided children through the upcoming school year! I am local to Bushwick and am looking forward to learning more about the Montessori method working alongside the teachers at wBees. I'm happy to be part of this vibrant learning community!
Teacher Teresa: I am so happy to be returning to wBees this fall. I am a local mom in Ridgewood to my daughter who is four years old. My interest in Montessori stemmed from when I was researching ways to engage young children and I loved the quiet respectful nature of Montessori. I am from Ecuador and I enjoying sharing my maternal language, Spanish, with the wBees children. I received my college degree in Tourism but I have always been surrounded around children as I come from a family of 12 siblings with 35 nephews and nieces! I worked in a preschool setting in Chicago before moving to NYC and have been enjoying learning more about the Montessori learning environment as it aligns with my personal parenting beliefs.