Welcome to the 2016 -2017 School Year!

2016 Open House at Norebck Montessori

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year at Norbeck Montessori. This week, our teachers have been busy cleaning out, prepping and organizing their rooms with anticipation in welcoming back off of our returning children and extending a warm welcome to all of our new children. September is always an exciting time, yet with that comes anxiety and nervousness for many children. We will do our best to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible and to ensure that each child feels loved, respected and safe.

A Montessori learning environment is like no other — our main objective at Norbeck Montessori is to provide a carefully planned, stimulating environment which will help children to develop within themselves the foundational habits, attitudes, skills, and ideas essential for a lifetime of creative thinking and learning.

Each child will feel empowered at Norbeck Montessori and learn how great it feels to do things on their own! Each teacher at Norbeck Montessori is here to nurture, support and guide them each and every day and are committed to making your child’s experience productive, stimulating and fun! We are honored that you have chosen our school, and we are confident that this will be a wonderful year for everyone involved! We have a fantastic year planned, and hope you are excited as we are to what your amazing child grow.

We invite you, as parents, to be active members of our Norbeck Family. Whether you participate in our Montessori Education Nights, Fundraisers, volunteer to help in the classroom or with class projects, we welcome and admire your commitment to your child’s education.
Here’s to an amazing 2016-2017 school year!

Summertime Fun!

I can’t believe summer is almost half way over already.  All of the children have settled into their classrooms and are enjoying their time!  So, we thought it was the perfect time for a recap of what’s been going on so far.  During our first two weeks of camp, the theme was all about superheroes and princesses.  We focused on the famous characters like Spiderman and Cinderella, but we also talked about real life heroes- doctors, nurses, military men and women, among others. It was fun to see all the children (and teachers) get excited to dress up like their favorite heroes and heroines at the end of the two weeks.  With Independence Day starting the third week, we decided to take a look and see what makes America great!  All of the children were able to do projects that represent our beautiful country, like eagles and flags.  While the bigger kids also had the chance to have an “All-American cookout” with hamburgers and hot dogs!  For our fourth week we started our “Come Read with Me” theme and focused on the author Eric Carle.  The children loved hearing some of his books, like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “The Little Cloud” which they also did projects to go with them.

The absolute highlights for the kids are the water play days, no-cook cooking days and S’more days.  On water play days, all come dressed in their bathing suits and get to play in the sprinklers, go down the water slide (which I have to admit, I went down with one of the kiddos because it was so hot!) and the big kids get a chance to go on a slip and slide, which my son absolutely loves!  Wednesday are our no-cook cooking days where the children get a chance to make their own snacks that typically go with the theme of the week!  Another big hit for the children is when we have our S’more days.  For these special treat days, we sit around our “campfire” and “roast” our marshmallows, this has become a Friday tradition.

Summer has plenty of fun and games, but there is learning to be had too, especially in our Toddler and Montessori classrooms!  Both are getting used to the routine of coming in, putting their things away, taking out lessons or toys, using them appropriately, and putting them back where they belong.  They are all learning practical/real life skills like how to be good listeners and friends, showing respect, using manners and working together.  Summer camp is such a great way to get the newest and youngest kids in the school to get acclimated before starting in the fall.

These are just some of the fun things we have done this summer and there is so much more to come!

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!