Norbeck Montessori’s Big K Graduation

On June 10th Norbeck Montessori recognized the great accomplishments of our Big K class as we celebrated their graduation.   Our oldest students have worked hard this year with Mr. Denis and Ms. Esmeralda to finalize their Montessori learning experience and prepare for first grade.  Our graduation ceremony is a fun and loving recognition of the accomplishments throughout the year.  One of the most anticipated elements is always the look ahead, where Mr. Denis and the other lead teachers share where the children plan to be in the coming years, what career they will choose, who they will marry, how many children they will have, where they will live, etc.  It is always fun to hear the answers for our kindergartner’s perspective!  For the teachers, it is a time to reflect how far these students have come, starting when they were as young as two years old and progressing through the years.  From learning how to sit on the line to being able to read books and do math problems, it is so rewarding to see their progress. How quickly the years go by!  So seeing these children on “stage” reciting a poem and singing a song was such a wonderful thing to watch. After the ceremony the teachers, parents, and graduates were able to enjoy some cake and juice while mingling, taking pictures and just having a great time. 

A special thank you to Mr. Denis and Ms. Esmeralda for a beautiful ceremony and thank to our Big K parents for all the love you have given us these last several years and for giving us the chance to be with your child(ren) for all these years.

Donuts for Dads

Donuts with Dad 2016

Another eventful morning here at Norbeck Montessori! It was the father’s turn to come in and be celebrated because fathers are such an important part of the children’s lives. All our students were so excited to show off their dad, grandpa, uncle, or another special person in their life. Yummy donuts were shared as they enjoyed some extra time together this morning.  At the end of the celebration the children sang a special Father’s Day song that they have been practicing and it was a hit with the dads! The children have also been busy working on special gifts for their dads and were so excited to finally be able to share them. It was a wonderful sight to see all the dads in the room taking some time to be with their child.  We thank everyone who came out and joined your little one(s) today for this special event. This really meant a lot to them! 

Spring Carnival Luau 2016

          After having to postpone the Spring Carnival for a week we were able to enjoy a beautiful evening with our Norbeck families! The carnivals are a great way for our Norbeck families to get to know one another while the kiddos enjoy moon bounces, cotton candy, balloon magicians, games, prizes, and more!  The theme this spring was a luau with lots of pineapples, coconuts, streamers, and tropical music.  Families spread out on blankets in our back field to enjoy pizza, snacks, Italian Ice, and of course the beautiful weather.  I have to say what I love most about these carnivals is being able to interact with the parents and even have alumni families come to say hello. We saw several families whose children came to Norbeck last year and it is always nice to catch up and see how they are doing in their new schools. 

Muffins for Mom

     What a wonderful morning we had here at Norbeck! Lots of mommies were able to join us for a wonderful celebration- celebrating them! The children were busy for several weeks making an adorable gift for their mom and practicing a song to sing to them.  It was such a lovely morning,  as it is every year. For the past 4 Mother’s Day Celebrations, I was able to enjoy the time with my son and I am sure that I am not the only mom who looks forward to it every year. I have to admit, it was nice to not to have to be the teacher for the morning and just be the mommy! I was able to focus on how grateful I am to have such a wonderful little boy that I’m so honored to call my son. Motherhood has definitely changed my life and I would not trade it for the world. When I looked around the classroom this morning and saw all the moms with their little ones having their own special moment together, I was so touched.  Trust me when I say that the children loved showing off their lovely moms to their classmates.

     Thank you to all that were able to attend this special celebration and we hope all the mothers and mother figures out there had wonderful Mother’s Day!

We Love Our Teachers

As we all know, each child learns in different ways and at their own pace.  Personally, I find it so incredible that using Montessori Method, we observe how each of our students learn and use that to teach them a particular concept. I know I may be a bit bias but we truly have some amazing teachers here at Norbeck Montessori.  What is most unique, is that each uses his or her own creative way to teach a new concept to their amazing students.

In Mr. Denis’ Big K class they learn about so many things, it’s hard to keep track.  One that always stands out for me is learning about the volcanoes! Having worked with Denis before and also having my son in his room, I can tell you firsthand just how much the kids loved learning about volcanos. They especially loved getting the chance to build and erupt their very own volcano on “Mt. Norbeck”. In addition, Mr. Denis had them make their own lava lamps, which went with the volcano unit. When exploring colors, Mr. Denis had the children blow in cups and make bubbles.  As the bubbles popped, some of the colors combined and made a new color.  The children definitely loved doing this experiment.  For a new spin on fractions, Mr. Denis threw a “Fraction Pizza Party” and for reading fun, he introduced them to a recipe and had them follow directions to make ketchup. 

In Ms. Melissa’s and Ms. Anastasia’s Jr. K classes, they reinforce the concept of money by hosting a movie day, restaurant day, and grocery store. Each child is given a wallet filled with money to pay for items they want during each of these activities. The children in the Jr. K program also studied apples; tasting, collecting data, and graphing information on their favorites!  Additionally, they learned the science of making applesauce AND we even had some incredible parents who made us some delicious apple treats to share with the class. All the classes learned about colors and each classroom did different demonstrations in how mixing certain colors make new colors. In Ms. Melissa’s Jr. K class, they had the primary colors in a plastic bag and then blended the colors together to see what new colors they would get.  While in Ms. Anastasia’s Jr. K class, they used a mixing container to blend two separate colors into one.

These are just a few of the hundreds of different lessons that the teachers have used to demonstrate or teach a new concept in a fun and attention grabbing way. I am always amazed at the different things they do in and outside the classrooms.  As I have the opportunity to walk around the classrooms in the afternoon, I’m so inspired by each of our teachers and all the unique ways they teach our little ones.

The pictures that you will see are from different things that the children have been doing in the Big K and Jr K classrooms and give a glimpse of the creative ways the teachers teach different concepts.

Spring Popsicle Playdate

Popsicle Playdate

Ever wonder who your little ones new best friend is?  Better yet, who that friends parents are?  Well, Norbeck’s Popsicle Playdate is the perfect opportunity to find the answers to those questions.  Held in both the fall and spring, this fun evening gives parents a chance to meet their child’s friends and their parents and possibly start to build new lasting friendship. This is just our second year hosting these events and it is always a huge turnout.  Many of our parents do not get to see each other or get to meet some of their child’s friends especially since everyone’s schedule is all different.  These events allow for a casual meet and greet with plenty of time for all families to come and go.

Our Spring Popsicle Playdate was held yesterday Thursday, April 21 and once again, we had a great turnout. The children played on the playground and ate some yummy popsicles with their buddies; while the parents got to chat with each other and possibly meet new friends and families.

Thank you to all the families who were able to come out and enjoy some time here at Norbeck! We cannot wait to do it all again in the Fall!

Toddlers Parent/Child Morning & Art Show

 Toddler Parent/Child Morning and Art Show:

The Parent-Child mornings and Art Shows were hugely successful in our toddler classrooms. Not only did our parents have the opportunity to see their child’s favorite lessons but they also were given the opportunity to walk through the, “Transitional Two’s Art Gallery”. 

Just like our Parent/Child nights for the primary children, the children become the teachers and moms and dads the student.  Our little ones “taught” and showed off some of their favorite lessons and new best friends to their loving parents and/or grandparents.  After lesson time, the children got to show off their beautiful artwork, displayed in the classroom. The works of art used techniques such as marble painting, shaving cream marble paper, tile mosaics, soda bottles to make Cherry Blossoms, buttons to make Cherry Blossom trees, and many more. It was truly amazing to see the different objects the children used to make these beautiful pieces of art and joy the parents got from seeing what their children did.

The children all loved spending some time with their families showing them what they love to do in the mornings in their classrooms. These Parent/Child events are something that will continue when the toddlers transition into their primary classrooms, the only difference being they are held in the evening.  Parents are amazed to see the progress their child is making each time they attend one of these events.

We want to thank all the families that were able to stop in for this fun-filled morning.  It meant the world to us to see so many beautiful families participate.  We would also like to give a BIG shout out to all the teachers in Ms. Nita’s and Ms. Anna’s classrooms for the tireless work that they have been doing to prepare our toddlers for them to transition to our primary classrooms.

Dress Like Mom or Dad Day

Dress Like Mom or Dad Day!

                We thought it would be really cute for the kids to come to school dressed like their mom, dad or any special person in their life. As we all know, the adults in a child’s life help shape to who they are; regardless if it is a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or even a teacher or other mentor.  Today, it was adorable to see so many of the children dress up like the special people in their lives. Some came in dressed as doctors, in sports attire, wearing scrubs, and several arrived wearing suits or shirt and tie! During morning gathering time, we had all the children that participated, tell us why they chose that person and who they were.  It made all of us realize just how much these children look up to the adults in their lives and how very important it is to carry ourselves and handle things in a way that is appropriate- as we have little eyes and ears looking and hearing to everything we are doing. As the most important people in our children’s lives, it is important that we conduct ourselves in a way we would want them to handle themselves. We may not always realize it but our children (whether our own or children we come across in our lives) look up to us and mimic what we do.  There have been several occasions when a parent would come up to me and say “she was pretending to be you yesterday while playing with her brother” or “the other day she was pretending to teach her teddy bears their sounds just like you do”.  I was so touched and flattered that these children, who we are often with 6-8 hours out of the day, pretend to be like us. When we asked the children in our classroom who they dressed up like and why they chose that person, it just made me realize that these beautiful children love you, their parents, just as much as you love them. It’s moments like these that make what we all do, including all you do, worth it!  Remember to not sweat the small stuff and make memories with your child that you will both cherish forever!   

MRX News

What is MRX?

                Every parent wants to know what their child is doing at school. However, more often than not when you ask your child what they did today, they will most likely answer, “I played” or “nothing”. Of course, as parents, we know this is not true but we also really want to know what they have been working on and learning. Therefore, we implemented a new reporting tool called Montessori Records Express or MRX.   MRX allows us to communicate with our parents and allows parents to check in anytime to see what their child has been working on in the classroom. MRX enables each teacher to customize the lessons that directly pertain to their individual classroom/students. It also gives the teachers easy access to see what each child has accomplished, what they are progressing on and when they are ready for something a bit more challenging. As a parent and an assistant teacher here at Norbeck, I love the program! As a mom, the fact that I can access the program at any time during the year to see what my son is working on, is probably one of the biggest benefits to me. As an assistant, I love how easy it is to organize and keep track of the progress for all the kids we work with. Since our initial launch in October, a new feature was added- videos! The video links allow you to get a better idea as to what the lessons actually look like and how they are done.

The Primary Montessori teachers have been working hard these past few months imputing information and really learning the program for our parents. We know this is new for you (and us) but we hope you like it and get as much from it as we do.

Norbeck Montessori Summer Camp

Summer Time at Norbeck

It’s hard to believe that summer is just around the corner.  This summer at Norbeck Montessori promises to be one of our best summers ever!  We have created some brand new themes and AMAZING projects and activities. We can’t wait to go exploring, create new crafts, do fun activities, all while learning with the children. As an added bonus, camp at Norbeck starts on June 20th, right after our school year ends!  Just like our school year, Norbeck is open from 7:00am to 6:00pm.  Unlike our school year, parents are able to pick the exact weeks and/or themes they want.

We are kicking off the summer by learning about real life superheroes and princesses; hero like police officers, doctors, nurses, military men and women, etc. At the end of the two weeks the children will be able to dress in their favorite fictional superheroes/princesses or real life heroes. The next theme is a celebration of the good old U.S. of A!  We will be “celebrating” the Fourth of July with a cookout and remembering what makes the United States so great and continuing the theme the week with other special activities and art projects. The fourth and fifth weeks are dedicated two famous children authors, Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss. We will encourage children to bring in their favorite books to share with the class and we will be doing several incredible activities to go along with these two pioneering authors. Weeks six and seven will be focusing on different artists and the various techniques they use.  We will be recreating and emulating theses masters of art to put together our very own Norbeck Art Gallery. After our little artists are done working hard on their art gallery they will be diving into the ocean to learn all about life under the sea! They will learn about different sea creatures and explore ways to protect our animals that live in the ocean.  As our summer camp comes to a close, we always like to end with a “mess” and no one goes home disappointed (or clean) with “Mess Week”.  

We are so excited with many new themes but will also have our weekly favorites like, “Make your own Snack Wednesdays” and “Water Play Day(s)”, and will still be offering optional hot lunches Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s. These are just a couple of the fun highlights we will be doing this Summer so we hope you make the decision to choose Norbeck as the fun place for your little one(s) to be this summer!