Dear CTMS Families,
The year has gotten off to a wonderful start in the Willow Room! We are looking forward to great times ahead. The first year students feel right at home after their weekly visits last spring. They love getting to do jobs and helping take care of our animals each day.
We welcomed Jule Mittenmayer to our classroom this week. Jule will be here through December to learn more about Montessori and being a teacher before enrolling in University.
This year, we added two parakeets to our menagerie. Dolly and Sunny add some color and beautiful sound to our room, and the students enjoy making toys for them. Now we can say that we have a representative from each class of vertebrates in our class, as well as a few invertebrates, too. We have Betta fish and Killi fish, African Clawed frogs (amphibians), box turtles (reptiles), parakeets (birds), and chinchillas (mammals). We have crabs and snails for invertebrates. It is so amazing to have all of these live creatures to learn from! The children love taking care of them. Cleaning the chinchilla cage is a favorite job. The students helped create a bigger and better habitat for our turtles. When it was finished, several students agreed that they’d love to live there themselves! We also set up a new habitat for our frogs. Because we have so many animals, we are looking for donations for them, including meal and wax worms, crickets, parakeet food, millet sprays, spring or well water, chinchilla dust bath, timothy hay/cubes, paper bedding, canned chopped clams and chew toys for the chinchillas.
A big part of the elementary program involves what Maria Montessori called “going out.” As elementary students begin to explore outside the familiar circle of family, they need experiences out in the community. We are planning weekly field trips, starting in October. Each month, the students will help select some of our destinations and make the arrangements themselves. Our trips will include visiting the library, experiences in nature, community service opportunities, and destinations related to our studies. In addition, each week the children plan their weekly snack menu and take turns going grocery shopping for the toddler and elementary classrooms. They will be opening a bank account and learning how to keep track of the snack funds.
We kicked off the year with a fun evening trip to the Leitner Observatory at Yale. They offer family friendly planetarium shows every Tuesday night that are free for children and only $5 for adults. Unfortunately, the cloudy skies prevented us from getting to look through the observatory telescopes. We did learn some fascinating things about our solar system and the vast number of planets in our galaxy beyond the familiar nine.
The Willow class has spent a lot of time in our outdoor classroom. We had to remove a lot of summer weed growth. The students are now working on beautifying this popular extension of our classroom. We are in need of a table umbrella, if you have one available. We also welcome any outdoor decor, plants, seeds, and chairs you may have to donate.
Have a great month,