February 1st Update

Dear Great Horned Owls Families - 

January has come to a close and the children are getting ready to present their 1st month of the year research project. The excitement of presenting was palatable on Friday when a few of the students asked if they could present their research that day instead of the agreed upon day - the following Tuesday. The topics range from speed of light, crystals, ostriches, soccer, possible unhealthy diets of raccoons, house vent systems, tabby cats, a fly’s eye, space travel, mythology, Capuchin monkeys, lions, how to draw, barracudas, hamsters, lemurs, cougars, care of cats, Golden Retrievers, to the history of computer processing power. 

This last week we worked on grammar boxes, how to read and use map legends and bar scales, the Mississippi River and its tributaries, water cycle, all the major rivers in each of the continents, re-visited Mesopotamia, reading aloud practice, reading comprehension, number sense, “-ab” and -“ad” word families, exponents, basic order of operations, multiples, single sentence and story writing. 

While we don’t have the power to read minds, we can definitely “see” how or what your child is thinking through their writing. You can see their passions, imaginations, and knowledge. You may even encounter what their minds unconsciously absorb from repeated comments from home, friends, or their teachers. Please ask your child to share their daily writing practice. Not only will you see how their writing is  developing, but you might get a glimpse of their thoughts and motivations. 

At this age they love and request poems and stories to be read aloud. I try to expose them not only to traditional children stories from our country, but to the many that have been around for hundreds or thousands of years from around the world. I’ve read a shorten version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The Hunting of the Great Bear is an Iroquois story about the stars that make-up the Great Dipper. Brer Rabbit Gets Brer Fox’s Dinner is a story that comes from African American folktales of the nineteenth century. I’ve read two Brother Grimm tales: The Frog Prince and Hansel and Gretel. I introduced them to West African tales about a clever spider called Anansi. The Boy at the Dike is another story that comes from The Netherlands. I’ve also used Aesop’s Fables to introduce them to some come sayings and about morals - lessons the author wanted people to take away (“It’s just sour grapes” and “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”).  Finally, due to interest in mythology, I started to read Norse and Greek myths. By the way, I do get the "I saw the movie already" comment which another classmate piped in and said, "yes, but the book is usually better". 

Reading aloud is thought to be for young children, but I will tell you it is enjoyable at any age. When I lived in New England I used to be a hospice volunteer and the one thing I always took to my visits were a book of poems and one of short stories. Besides wanting to chat, they also very much enjoyed having me read to them. Reading is soothing and creates a bond. Even after your child becomes an independent reader, please don’t stop. Those moments will always be remembered and appreciated for years to come. 

February Birthdays:

9th - Ramzi

16th - Luna

22nd - Nadia

Important Upcoming events:

Friday, February 12th - Early Release/Extended Care Provided

Saturday, February 13th - Cookie Decorating Social Season Party from 10am-12pm

Monday, February15th - Holiday - President’s Day…no school

Wednesday, February 24th - Board of Directors Meeting 6-7pm

Saturday, February 27th - Acrylic Paint Pouring Social Season Party


Friendly Reminder: 

Don’t forget to make your AZ School Tax Credit donation for Keystone Montessori- receive a dollar per dollar credit on your AZ tax return ($200 single or $400 for joint return on AZ form 321, please ask your tax advisor for details or https://azdor.gov/tax-credits/contributions-qcos-and-qfcos )

With so many people affected by the pandemic, please consider an additional tax credit to the Community Food Bank (https://azfoodbanks.org/food-banks-in-az/ ) or a tax credit to the Working Poor ( https://phoenixrescuemission.org/taxcredit/ ).

One final note: 

If you ever have difficulty signing on to Zoom, please check for updates on the top right hand corner, where your initials show-up. If there is a red dot next to your initials, then you need to update your version. 

Ms. Bahareh and Mr. Jess