The Montessori Preschool

 

February Newsletter 2024


Dear Parents,

January was a quiet month. Unfortunately we were not really able to go for a nice nature walk with magnifying glasses to look at snowflakes, but we were able to have the lovely warm cacao after being on the playground. The children made beautiful snowy pictures and some children also made snow globes. Towards the middle of the month we all got really involved in our second topic – “Solar System”. We talked about the planets, traced them and cut them out. We made rockets and Milky Ways. I was a little disappointed that we could not go to the planetarium as planned, because all the shows for January were booked out in December. As the children are still showing a lot of interest we shall continue with space-stations and aliens.


In February we have two major topics: Valentine’s Day and ‘Fasching’ (Carnival).
The ‘Fasching-Party’ will take place on Tuesday, February 13th. Originally we thought the carnival theme ought to be “Outer Space” and we were looking forward to Aliens, Astronauts/Cosmonauts, planets, solar systems, rockets, milky-ways, etc. But as we told the children that Halloween was a spooky party and they could dress up as princesses and cow-boys at Fasching it didn’t seem fair, that we wouldn’t stick to our word. So now we look forward to seeing many lovely and originally dressed up happy children and should there be a space-topic-creature among them – hurray!
On the following Wednesday (a day too late) we shall make the traditional Shrove Tuesday pancakes for our cooking project.

February is also the month of hearts. We will soon start to trace out hearts, decorate hearts, make heart people, heart mobiles, make ‘window-colour’ hearts and talk about Valentine’s Day.
Unfortunately Luna New Year (10th of February) Carnival (12th and 13th of February) and Valentine’s Day (14th of February) are so very close this year. We shall not celebrate Luna New Year in a big way – only mention which year (the year of the dragon) it is and talk a little about traditions at circle time. Valentine and Carnival art will all take place at the beginning of the month and then we shall continue with “Space”.

We wish you all a very hearty February!
Your Montessori team

 



January Newsletter 2024


Dear Parents,
We wish you a happy and healthy new year and hope you had an enjoyable holiday season.
January is the cosy month. The Christmas excitement is over, but there is lots of “telling” to do – everyone is anxious to share their holiday experiences – as well as show their Christmas presents. “Talk time” becomes extended.

Outside, it is cold and often uninviting, but we still try to spend time outdoors daily and bundle up well for playground time. The trees look so different, all full of snow. Walks in gently falling snow can be particularly enjoyable and we won’t forget to take the magnifying glass along, so that we can observe those snowflakes on our coats more closely. It is especially nice to return to the Preschool and enjoy cacao or a warm apple drink after a winter walk. So let’s hope for a little more snow!
The “Winter” theme dominates January. Cutting out paper snowflakes to decorate the windows can give the children valuable cutting practice. Snowmen figure largely in art activities, as does white paint in all art work. A winter mural can be an enjoyable community effort.

Another larger theme we shall be starting this month is “Planets and our Universe”. We shall talk about the planets’ names, shapes and sizes and try to construct our solar system. Then of course we shall make rockets and spaceships and talk about the possibility of life on other planets.
Parent-teacher conferences will be held Monday-Thursday between 9:00a.m. and 11:00p.m., so please sign up should you be interested in a little chat.

We are happy to welcome family Schwabe with their twins Arik and Alisa, who joined us at the beginning of the year and have already settled in very nicely.
Happy January!
Your Montessori team


 



December Newsletter 2023

Dear parents,
With great leaps and bounds the end of the year 2023 has arrived.
In November we celebrated St. Martin’s Day by making lanterns, talking about St. Martin and going for our traditional lantern walk. Luckily the weather was so nice that we were able to enjoy the walk, the songs, the sausages, the cacao, the ‘Glühwein’, the bonfire and chatting.
December is the month that is not long enough. There is so much to do before the holiday starts that it can be a month of stress as well as fun! The children become increasingly excited as the month progresses. We shall be busy decorating our room for the festive season and making little surprises, so please don’t stay around too long when you bring your child as we can’t start when you are around and the mornings simply seem to be over before we can turn around twice.
Christmas is of course the most exciting festival for most of our children, but November and December are the “dark months” and therefore there are many light festivals which we shall introduce the children to, such as in November the German festival St Martin (November 11th), and the Hindu festival of Diwali (Deepvali) (November 12th); then in December the Jewish festival of Chanukah (starting December 7th) and the Swedish festival of Santa Lucia December 13th. So you can see how extremely busy we shall be!

 

 


Our Christmas party to which all parents and siblings are invited will take place on Friday, December 15th. Preschool will start at 9.00a.m. and end at 2.00 p.m. on that day.
Last year’s nativity play had a lot to do with angels. This year the focus will be more on stars, as we shall perform a “Twinkly Nativity”.

 

 


The Play will begin at 9:30a.m. Please try to bring you child/children at 9:00 o’clock (not before) as they need to get into their costumes and get mentally prepared for the show. After the amazing performance we shall offer a small snack and then busy ourselves with artwork and baking Christmas cookies. At approximately 12:30a.m. we shall have lunch followed by joyful carol singing and a surprise visit. Should the children then want to take a breath of fresh air we shall go out to the playground.
After my November Newsletter, many distraught parents approached me because I wrote that Lisa is not working with us anymore. Of course we all miss her terribly, but – and here comes the happy news- by German law, she is not allowed to work any longer, as she is expecting a baby. Hurrah, grandchild number 5 !!!

 

 


The photographer fortunately did come on Monday and I hope you are satisfied with the pictures. I have to say he was kind and did his best (with a lot of help from Lisa). Please give me a feedback so that I know whether to take him again or not.
The Christmas holidays start on December 29th. We look forward to greeting you again on January 3rd, parents well-rested and children happy and eager to start the new year working, playing and learning with us.

 

 


Have a happy, peaceful festive season!

Your Montessori team




Newsletter November 2023


Dear Parents,
In October we were busy tracing and cutting out Jack-o-lanterns, cats, witches and ghosts, decorating our rooms and singing Halloween songs.
Our pumpkin-hunting-field trip was very nice and the weather was not as bad as expected.
The supposedly grand finale of the month, our Halloween party, went well and the costumes were a sight to be seen. Unfortunately there was a great lack of people – I must admit due to me saying the party is just for the preschool children. Times have changed and many parents need to work during the preschool hours. Therefore I thought it would be less stressful for parents to simply send their children as on every other weekday. Some parents were a little disappointed, whereas others were happy not to have to take a day off work. Let’s see what we can organise next year to make the party grand again.

November is the time of lantern walks in Germany. We shall learn some lantern walk songs and talk about the traditions. The children have already started to make their own lantern at preschool but unlike the previous year they will need a lantern stick.

The lantern parade will take place on Friday, November 10th. The preschool will end after lunch at 2p.m. and we ask you to bring the children back to the preschool at 5p.m on that day and to join us, with the siblings and grandparents on the walk. We will start our parade walking through the streets, swinging the lanterns we have made, singing the lantern songs we are presently practising and then have sausages and Glühwein/cacao at the entrance of our preschool, chatting around a bonfire after.
Unfortunately the children tend to get dangerously close to the fire, so please to look after them whilst having a delightful chat.

After celebrating St. Martins’s Day we shall move on to a new theme. In the previous years we have always talked about the American holiday “Thanksgiving”, but this year we thought we would like to try something else. So Mary looked into her calendar and saw that on November 17th it is World Peace Day.

We thought that this is such a perfect theme as an entrance into the holiday Season and with the World in its current state. World Peace Day encourages us to be kind to others and teach others to be peaceful. This November 17 holiday pursues the goal of peace everywhere. Throughout the history of the human race, long-lasting peace has been elusive. But we should never stop working towards this goal. Without peace, the consequences are tragic! The creator of this day (Don Morris of Miami Florida), encourages us as individuals, to play a role in making the world a better place. He believes it starts with us and suggests we teach our children and others, in ways to promote peace, and avoid war.
We wish you all a happy, peaceful November!
Your Montessori team


 


October Newsletter 2023


Dear Parents,
The new school year is just over a month old and the children have settled in very well. They have been learning the routine and making new friends and our new little friends Anuda and Cosmo will hopefully also soon feel comfortable and „at home“.


The September’s theme „Apples“ was rounded off with a lovely field trip to Annie’s garden where the children could pick gorgeous red apples. The following day we cooked the apples we had picked and made a delicious apple sauce with the children and luckily this time not one finger got wounded.
Well now to October!


Autumn has finally arrived. This is my favourite time of the year. Nature is showing itself from a most beautiful side. We often have fine weather in October and go on walks whenever we can. Finding chestnuts and acorns gives us the chance to do lots of sorting and counting activities and we look at the shapes of the leaves and learn their names. Leaves are everywhere. The time for collecting red, yellow and brown leaves and making autumn collages with interesting pieces of nature the nearby forest has to offer, has begun!


In keeping with the season we will be talking about hibernation of squirrels, hedgehogs and other animals and about the birds that prefer living in warmer climates during winter
The colours that will dominate the artwork will be orange, brown and yellow but will change into orange and black, the closer we get to Halloween. Towards the middle of the month we shall be busy making ghosts, bats, spiders and jack-o-lanterns. We shall draw them, trace them, cut them out etc.
On Thursday October 26th we will be going to the Elfi Wiese to find pumpkins. This is normally an exciting field trip for the children, as they always have great fun looking for the pumpkins in the fields. It is a little like an Easter egg hunt.


Our Halloween party will be on Tuesday October 31st
As this year the party will take place during the school autumn holidays and many children will not be at preschool, we have decided to celebrate on a smaller scale.
The party will be without families and will be during the normal preschool hours (8:00-16:00). The children need to come dressed up - preferably spooky – but not too spooky so as not to frighten the younger children.


A list for a special snack for the party will be hanging on the door.
From the beginning of November on, we shall have a new teacher joining us. Crystal will be taking Lisa’s place, as she is not a teacher with us anymore.


As the weather in autumn can also be quite nasty please remember that we will go out every day, may it be windy, cold or rainy, so please dress your children accordingly.
Unfortunately we needed to change our holiday dates once again. You will find the new version in the attachment.


During our ‚nature month‘ we look forward to beautiful walks in our neighbourhood, many projects with leaves, acorns, chestnuts, beechnuts and berries and a wonderful party.


Have a happy October!
Your Montessori team


April Newsletter 2023

Dear Parents,

We hope you had a wonderful Easter vacation and have returned well rested.

Easter was very early this year, which made March an extremely busy month. We continued the topic “Continents” (Australia and Europe) for the first two weeks. In the middle of the month Shaun the leprechaun put in an appearance. He played a few tricks on us, but we found his pot of gold hidden under the old oak tree.

Then we had to get prepared for Easter. The children made Easter wreaths, decorated the blown out eggs (thank you for sending in so many)and traced and cut out paper eggs.

The Easter-egg-hunt was the grand finale.

Now for April.

Flowers are beginning to bloom, buds are opening, leaves are appearing and fruit trees are coming into blossom. What better time can there be to talk about flowers? We shall talk about various kinds of plants, the different parts of a plant, what plants need for growth, etc.

In our little green house the children can sow seeds and hopefully we will be able to plant the seedlings in the garden a few weeks later. In keeping with this month’s theme we shall visit the botanical gardens on Thursday, April 27th.

As you may have noticed we still have one more continent we need to talk about. So apart from the topic “Spring flowers” we shall delve into the African continent and talk about the various countries there, the vegetation and animals.

On Tuesday, April 25th the dentist will be coming at 9:30 a.m.

A quick reminder that the preschool will be closed on Monday, May 1st.

We wish you all a wonderful April!

Your Montessori team

 


March Newsletter 2023  

Dear Preschool Friends ,

This newsletter is really, really late and I don’t even know why. I would love to come up with a good excuse, but I think it was simply laziness – sorry!

In the short month of February lots of children were missing due to illness and our group shrunk to twelve children. We are happy to see the absentees have all returned back, some still a little pale, but all eager and excited to be back at preschool again.

For Valentine’s Day the children had fun tracing and cutting out hearts, getting the preschool all hearty and making their Valentines.

Towards the end of the month we all had a most enjoyable carnival party. Early in the morning the children busied themselves with carnival related artwork, which was followed by lots of party games. The children all had wonderful costumes on and really looked super for the day.

We then introduced the new continent – Australia. We have talked about marsupial, the vegetation, the Great Barrier Reef, digeridoos, Aborigines and Captain Cook.

At the beginning of the week we started to get our pre-school green.

On March 17th each year, the Irish and Irish-Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by the “wearin’ of the green” and the Irish in New York City hold a huge parade. We have started make lots of shamrock art for the school and it would be nice if the children could wear green on Friday, March 17th (day after tomorrow).

The holiday commemorates St. Patrick who, legend tells us, went about Ireland as a missionary, preaching and using the shamrock as an illustration of the Trinity. St. Patrick was also credited with ridding Ireland of snakes.

During the week we shall listen to Irish music, dance to it and on the 17th we shall go in search of the pot of gold that Shaun the leprechaun will surely have hidden under an old oak tree.(The weather forecast predicts a cloudy, warm Spring day 15°C J )

On Saturday, March 18th our landlords are throwing a Pot luck- St Patrick’s Day- Party and have invited us all to join. It will start at 18:00 hours and you are asked to bring a small something delicious to share.

The cooking project at preschool this month will be the making of shamrock shaped waffles.

After St. Patrick’s Day we will continue with the continents (Europe) and slowly start with Easter preparations - rabbit-, rooster- and egg art.

This year I haven’t started blowing out eggs in time, so I would be very grateful if you would feel like sending in a few blown out eggs for the children to decorate.

And now last but definitely not least, THANK YOU!!! For the lovely birthday present. It was so beautifully presented. It makes all the difference receiving a present given with love J.

Your Montessori team    


 February Newsletter 2023

Dear Friends,

In January the children spent a lot of time making, penguins and seals, whales and snow petrels and learning about life in Antarctica.

As expected we moved on to the next continent, Asia, fairly quickly as we celebrated Chinese New Year on January 23rd. The children cut out lanterns to decorate the entrance hall and we had a wonderful Dragon dance. Due to illness we unfortunately had to put off our visit to the zoo, but we shall do that at a later date and then spend all day there, as we shall then not only have the Penguins to look at, but also animals from Asia and South America.

Now to February:

In February we also have two major topics we need to fit in: Valentine’s Day and ‘Fasching’ (Carnival).

We shall soon start to trace out hearts, decorate hearts, make heart people, heart mobiles, make ‘window-colour’ hearts and talk about Valentine’s Day.

The ‘Faschings-party’ will take place on Monday, February 20th and we look forward to seeing wonderfully dressed up children. Maybe our continent topic could be inspiring for an exquisite costume?

The previous parties (Christmas and Halloween) in the large community hall have been with sibling and parent participation. The “Fasching party” is normally celebrated on a smaller scale and only in the Montessori rooms.

We wish you all a hearty and healthy February

Your Montessori team

 


January Newsletter 2023

Dear Parents,

We wish you all a happy and healthy new year and hope you had an enjoyable holiday season. Thank you once again for all the wonderful Christmas presents you and the children gave us. They are greatly appreciated.

January is the relaxed month. The pressures of Christmas are over and everyone is free to do his or her own thing.

Our new big topic will be “continents” and we shall start with Antarctica.

Antarctica is the world’s fifth largest continent. It is also the highest, driest and coldest continent on Earth. It is a frozen, windswept continent, so hostile and remote that it has no permanent inhabitants. Never-the-less more than 100 million birds nest and breed there. Emperor penguins are the biggest of all the penguins. Penguins are the most common birds in the Antarctic and it is no wonder that penguins are seen as the emblem of that continent. They will figure largely in our art activities and our field trip this month will be to the zoo to see lots of them.

Towards the end of the month, depending on the children’s interest, we shall move on to “Asia” and also talk about “Chinese New Year”. Chinese New Year 2023 falls on Sunday, January 22nd, and celebrations culminate with the ‘Lantern Festival’ on February 5th, 2023.

As Celebrations last up to 16 days, it doesn’t really matter if we celebrate on Monday 23rd.

Towards the end of the year, the back room had turned into a rough and tumble room. Due to a lot of wild play in there, children had frequently been injuring themselves. In future that room will be closed until ~10:00 o’clock, leaving the children time to work and play in a more constructive way.

Most of the children have been with us for at least four months and we are now insisting a little more on speaking English Tuesdays – Fridays. We hope you will notice a difference in their language skills.

This month we shall have two 10th graders doing an internship.

Parent-teacher conferences will be held Wednesday-Fridays from 9.30- 11.00 so please sign up should you be interested in a little chat.

Happy January!

Your Montessori team