First Aid Tips for Ticks

Tick summer campBoo-boos, and bug bites – oh my! This summer, keep your child safe in the great outdoors. Some experts have warned that 2017 could be a bad year for the disease-carrying ticks. However, before you forbid your child from going outside, and locking your windows and doors, it’s important to know that most tick bites are harmless and don’t need medical treatment.

Many folks are familiar with the tick-borne Lyme disease, but it’s the Powassan virus that is stirring up all the attention recently. This relatively uncommon disease, Powassan virus, can lead to serious neurological impairment and death if untreated. Approximately 1 in 15 people who contract the disease die from it. In the past decade, there have been 75 cases of Powassan reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At Norbeck, we are very aware of the dangers ticks can possess; which is why we take extra precautions on our playgrounds and with administering first aid. Not only do we make sure to steer the children clear of where ticks tend to ‘hide’- long grass & heavily wooded areas but we also take the extra step of having both our playgrounds treated for ticks by Infestation Control, a locally owned and operated pest control company. They use all natural “pet and children safe” products when treating the areas. When removing a tick, we always use tender loving care (and tweezers). We make sure to follow the proper procedures for extracting them and cleaning the area afterwards. We immediately notify the parents and advise them to contact their pediatrician as well.

What Symptoms to Look For

Bites from ticks found in Maryland may result in Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme Disease. Symptoms for either can appear anywhere from 3-32 day following a bite. Symptoms may present as flu-like, making it difficult to detect.

Summer is a great time for children to enjoy different outdoor activities. Below are some resources to help keep them safe and healthy!

For parents:

CDC – Ticks (
CDC – Powassan Virus (
CDC – Preventing Tick Bites (
Tick Bites Fact Sheet (
Tick Removal: A Step-by-Step Guide (

For kids:

CDC ID Ticks (
Hey! A Tick Bit Me! (
What’ Lyme Disease (

Teach and Honor This Memorial Day

2017 Memorial Day

Who doesn’t love a nice three-day weekend? For many Americans, Memorial Day marks the official beginning of summer; time for pools to open, barbecues with friends and playing in the surf. However, to military families, the meaning runs much deeper. Memorial Day is the day on which those who died in active military service are remembered. Teaching young children the meaning of this day can be difficult. It is important for children to understand why Memorial Day is a holiday and what it means to our country’s history and our military families.

There are several ways to explain and honor this holiday with your children. Spend time talking to them about what Memorial Day means to you, and share stories about friends and family members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

• Visit a local veteran’s cemetery
• Take cookies, books, or movies to a nearby veteran’s hospital
• Go to a Memorial Day parade
• Plan a scavenger hunt that helps them learn about the history of Memorial Day
• Find Memorial Day coloring pages, craft projects, word searches, quizzes and more
• Create a card or picture to be sent overseas to a soldier currently on active duty

Share with us the ways your family celebrates and honors Memorial Day.

When is the right time to start schooling?

toddler education

Increasingly high-quality early childhood education has been linked to having a positive influence on a child’s development and school readiness by providing valuable educational and social experiences. Recent research shows that 85% of a child’s brain develops in the first five years[1]. During this critical time, children learn to think, read, remember, listen, as well as, hone their social and emotional well-being. According to research conducted by the National Institute for Early Education Research, children who enter school at an earlier age had somewhat higher levels of anti-social or worried behavior and found to have improved cognitive development[2].
The early childhood experiences, quality of education and attention that children receive during the first five years of their lives, sets them up for future success.

Studies have concluded that early childhood education:

  • Nurtures the natural curiosity, confidence, desire and enjoyment of learning.
  • Improved social skills for building relationships and working well with others.
  • Decreased or eliminates the need for special education instruction during subsequent school years.
  • Positively impacts brain structure, enhances attention span and stimulates and hones core cognitive skills for academic achievement.

Additionally, some researchers have concluded that young children enrolled in high-quality pre-school programs graduate from high school, are more likely to attend college, have fewer behavioral problems, and during their adolescent and young adult years, do not become involved with crime.

During these sensitive periods for learning (ages 2 – 6), children’s brains are like sponges; they are thirsty for knowledge. Which is why Norbeck Montessori specifically focuses on this critical time in a child’s educational development – the period when your child has the greatest ability to learn and absorbs specific skills. We recognize that children follow their own passion and learn at their own pace. Providing an environment that nurtures the whole child, is at the core of everything we do.

Montessori, a proven science-based educational approach:

  • Promotes a curriculum that focuses on your child’s individual strengths and interest.
  • Encourages children to explore their world with hands-on learning. The welcoming, structured environment of Montessori allow children to learn by doing, which provides a greater opportunity for retaining and loving what they learn.
  • Fosters personal drive, engagement, and excitement in the learning process through fun, engaging learning experiences.
  • Gives children the freedom to interact cooperatively and respectfully with other children in a multi-age classroom to help build confidence and self-esteem in working with others.

Love, support, security and engagement for the love of learning is woven into the fibers of the Montessori approach. When a child receives high-quality education and attention, there is no limit to the kind of compassion, creativity, and problem-solving that will result at the child grows. For over 40 years, Norbeck Montessori has been providing exceptional education and experiences during a child’s most formative years. We are truly grateful to the families who have entrusted us with their child’s future success and have witnessed the happiness that children can have for school and life.

[1] Voices for America’s Children and the Child and Family Policy Center. “Early Learning Left Out: Closing the Investment Gap for America’s Youngest Children, 2nd Edition” – April 2005
[2] W. Steven Barnett, PhD. “Child Care and Its Impact on Children 2–5 Years of Age Commenting: McCartney, Peisner-Feinberg, and Ahnert and Lamb” – February 2011

Teaching the Gift of Community

Community service projects strengthen our Norbeck Montessori school and help our students connect with our local community. At Norbeck Montessori, we guide our students to be socially responsible global citizens. By doing so, our children are caring and empathetic, capable of thinking beyond themselves. Montessori teachers know that community service projects help develop and educate the whole child. Students learn the joys of giving and develop a sense of compassion through real, practical life experiences.

Delivery for Comfort Cases

Recently, one of our students was sent 10 backpacks from his great aunt, with inspirational hashtags embroidered on them. Her intent was to have him deliver them to a local charity, Comfort Cases- one that is close to his heart and ours. Rather than just giving the bags, he and his family thought it would be even better if the bags could be delivered full! So, we ask others at school if they wanted to donate items for the backpack. Needless to say, the families of Norbeck Montessori stepped up the task. Each backpack received a blanket, pajamas, a coloring book, crayons, a book, a hygiene kit, and a cozy stuffed animal to greet them when open the bag. The results of the Norbeck Montessori community coming together in support of this wonderful charity was simply amazing!

Thank you to each of the families that were able to donate. Comfort Cases was very appreciative to receive such a wonderful donation.

About Comfort Cases:
Comfort Cases supports children entering the foster care system. They believe that every child has the right to a more humane experience in foster care, and it begins with providing them with a comfort case packed with essential items.

A Visit with Eaglebear

Norbeck Montessori welcomed Thomas Eaglebear, an Apache Native American for a unique presentation of traditional Native American storytelling, song, and dance. The children enjoyed the lively performance; the opportunity to touch his animal pelts and view cultural arts and crafts. A few of the children were volunteers to wear a bearskin coat, a fox shawl, and a wolf wrap. Although timid at first, they “warmed” up quickly!

Eaglebear began his presentation playing a Native American Flute, which in the Youtube video, you can hear how engaged the children were. He explained why he had two braids in his hair. Eaglebear shared that one strand of hair is weak, easy to break. When you weave them together in a braid, they become strong. He had shared several engaging songs and dances before he told a wonderful story about giving to those, people and aminals, that need it the most. The children enjoyed the entire experience, and Norbeck Montessori looks forward to having Eaglebear back again next year!

All of the pictures from the day are up on!




About Thomas Eaglebear
Eaglebear leads the Eaglebear Native American Dancers, sharing interactive cultural presentations throughout the United States and internationally for 25 years. Comprised mainly of descendants of the Warm Springs Apache originally from New Mexico, although there are other native tribes and people represented in their community. Throughout the year, the family hosts at the cultural center in Gardner, Colorado. At various times, the dance troupe performs throughout the United States and internationally.

Pizza + Fractions = Lots of Fun!

This past Friday, Mr. Denis’ math and science lessons took a mouth watering turn as Norbeck Montessori’s Big K kids kicked off their study of fractions. The kindergarteners’ annual Fractions Pizza Party is a favorite activity for all of the kids, and it allows the children to learn fractions using a food that everyone loves to make and eat!

As the assembly table was bring prepped with the fixings, the kindergarten students split into four groups. Each group was tasked to create their pizza masterpiece. Each student took their turn adding sauce, spreading it, adding the cheese and toppings. Then, off to the ovens, their edible fraction lessons went.

This yummy fraction activity created excitement in all of the children. One kindergartener mentioned to Mr. Denis that this was “the best activity” they have ever done! The Big K students will get to apply this activity to a variety of fraction lessons in the coming days and weeks. They will identify fractions, fraction parts of the whole, equivalent fractions and fractional parts, subtract fraction parts from a whole and other fraction concepts.

Head over to to view the kids enjoying making their masterpieces. Also, for fun pizza fractions activities that you can do at home, check out Life Over C’s blog for printable activities.

A Tradition Comes Back to Norbeck Montessori

Gummy bears, gum drops, skittles, chocolate chips, holiday marshmallows and candy canes as far as the arms could reach! It has been a few years since the children at Norbeck Montessori enjoyed the holiday tradition of decorating gingerbread houses. This year, the teachers and staff have decided it was time to bring the tradition back! Today, the kids in all of our classrooms enjoyed this renewed holiday tradition. Each masterpiece was worked on until it was perfect, or until the last piece of candy was eaten!

Norbeck Montessori Celebrates a Thanksgiving Feast

Norbeck Montessori celebrated their Thanksgiving Holiday with a feast of delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, applesauce, cranberry sauce, etc. The kids may have even tried something new, don’t forget to ask them! Throughout the week, our children learned about the Pilgrims’ voyage on the Mayflower, the interaction between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag, and the first Thanksgiving. Many of the children shared what they were thankful for; which included toys, friends, family and the ability to give toys away.

2016 Spooktacular Halloween Parade

Ghosts, superheroes, princesses, and witches came out to play on Wednesday, October 26 for this year's Spooktacular Halloween Parade at Norbeck Montessori. This year, we saw a collection of the scariest costumes around and enjoyed some creepy Halloween tunes sung by our little monsters. A huge thank you to all of the parents for braving the chilly air and helping our children enjoy some spooky fun!

>>Check out the amazing pictures from the day!


Montessori Mathematics – An Introduction

From the time children can pick something up, they are learning about mathematics. It is another way children view the world around them; understanding and expressing measurable relationships. The science of numbers is attractive to children, and they are conscious of quantity which they demonstrate as they begin to count. Maybe it’s the rocks they have collected on their hike or pieces of candy they received for Halloween.

The mathematics materials at Norbeck Montessori build upon each other in increasing complexity, which begins with the concrete and progresses towards the abstract. Mathematics is introduced in our Transitional Two’s classroom where the children first learn quantity as they are exposed to the symbol that represents the quantity. Eventually, this leads to a child incorporating quantity and symbols to perform more complex operations. As children progress through their Montessori journey, they will learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. This process allows for the child to experience the thrill of discovery as part of a natural progression.

To simplify this area within the Montessori classroom, we have grouped the lessons into segments. Some lessons are given sequentially while others, parallel. First is the introduction to numbers, next, comes, the decimal system. After the decimal system is introduced and the concept is well understood, counting and numbers and memorization lessons are introduced- parallel to the decimal system lessons. Using mathematic material the child experiences order, coordination, concentration, and independence.

Introduction to Numbers

Norbeck Montessori’s Transitional Two’s classes are initially introduced to the quantity of numbers through sensorial mathematics lessons like the pink tower. All of the Montessori mathematic materials are introduced in sets of one through ten which prepares the child for counting, reinforces the value of quantity, illustrates the sequence of numbers and teaches the names of numbers. In the Primary Preschool classrooms, children begin to associate numeral and quantity. Lessons such as number rods, number cards, spindle boxes, and counters reinforce 1-10 sequential counting while introducing the concept of zero. This sets the stage for preparing the children for counting into the teens and growth towards abstraction.

The Decimal System

Do you remember when you first learned the difference between 1 and 10? Or that there is a number even bigger than 99? How does a child understand that each digit in a number has a different place called a decimal? Children using the golden bead materials are introduced to the decimal system. The child will learn the language of the decimal categories; units, tens, hundreds, and thousands and will visually learn the quantities. Lessons using beads, wooden cards, and wooden symbols reinforce the association of quantity and symbol, the visual impression of the decimal system, differences between place value, and assists in learning the sequence of larger numbers. Learning the operations of the golden bead material introduces the child to the concept and process of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Children work with each other and develop an understanding of the process of exchanging while reinforcing place value and the child’s knowledge of quantity and symbol.

Counting and Number

These lessons help children understand the idea of place value and linear counting. The first lesson children are introduced to in this area is the Teen Board. This lesson introduces the children to the teens in a concrete form, reinforces the association of quantity and symbol and teaches the children to count the teens in sequence. This lesson is followed by the Ten Board, where children are introduced to tens. This reinforces place value and teaches the children how to count the tens, in sequence. These lessons are followed on by others such as the hundred board and skip counting.


This is likely the most difficult concept for children to grasp; however, there comes the point in mathematics that memorization is just needed. The number rods and colored beads, which are first shown with the introduction of numbers and the decimal system, can be used to reinforce the understanding of addition. Simply put out one number rod or colored bead bar + a second number rod or colored bead bar to demonstrate addition. Most of the same lessons for addition may also be applied to subtraction. For multiplication and division, we generally start by using the colored bead bars. For example, to demonstrate the concept of 3 x 3, we would show three, 3-bead bars to have the child develop an understanding of multiplication equations and see multiplication in a concrete form. For division, lessons like the bead boards are used. This lesson takes pieces (or what we call ‘skittles’) to show in a concrete fashion, how to divide a number. For example, to show 16 / 4, you would place 4 skittles at the top of the bead board and count out 16 beads. The child would then start at the top left of the board, under the first skittle and go across to the 4th skittle then start on the second row, again going across to the 4th skittle, until all beads are distributed. Then ask the child to count how many beads are under each skittle to determine that 16/4 equals 4.

The Montessori approach to math is so unique for so many reasons that the children actually get it! Lessons all go from concrete to abstract. This enables children not just to learn to count, but they also learn to perform more complex and abstract operations, allowing them to become problem solvers.

How to set up a simple at-home math center


Create a Simple Outdoor Math Station

Outdoor Math Station StumpObjective: Sorting, classifying & pattern recognition
Material needed:

  • Fallen leaves
  • Flat surface to work on (maybe try a stump!)

Gather at least 25 leaves of different colors and shapes. Sort the leaves into color groups, count how many leaves are in color group. Maybe try to a pattern by color or size, how many other patterns can your little once create?


Addition Fun

Addition Fun with Paper Towel TubesObjective: Concrete addition
Materials Needed:

  • One piece of poster board
  • Two paper cups
  • Two paper towel roll tubes
  • A basket or bowl
  • Beads, paper clicks, erasers, marbles
  • Marker to draw the plus sign
  • Packaging tape

Write down a few math problems they are working on at school. Have the child count out the beads (or whatever you are using) and have them put them in the first cup. Then, count out the second quantity of the problem and put it in the second cup. Watch as all the beads fall through the cups into the basket. Now, have the child count them all up.