Ms. Michelle: February 2022
Hello Everyone! I want to start this blog by acknowledging the current climate of the world. Big things are happening. Scary things are happening. Some of you may have family or friends living internationally, and they may be directly affected by the events unfolding. My heart is with you and your loved ones. At Circle […]
I want to start this blog by acknowledging the current climate of the world. Big things are happening. Scary things are happening. Some of you may have family or friends living internationally, and they may be directly affected by the events unfolding. My heart is with you and your loved ones. At Circle we send out good thoughts, and we will continue to do so to everyone who needs extra light and love right now. When your children send out their good thoughts they wrap them in their hugs and kisses, and they truly feel as though they are making a difference. I am thankful and feel privileged to witness their altruism, sense of kindness, and desire to spread love. They fill me with hope.
In this time of uncertainty, I am grateful to have your family with us and feel fortunate for our stable and daily routine. It is a good time for us to take a look at and appreciate what we have. Tonight, give your child an extra hug before bed and two extra kisses.
“We see the figure of the child who stands before us with his arms held open, beckoning humanity to follow.”Maria Montessori, Education and Peace
We have made it through February, and also through some interesting weather. Your children loved all of the Valentine’s Day themed materials throughout our classroom. Pinks, purples, light blues, and reds flowed throughout the environment, along with many hearts. We would like to say a special thank you to all who donated books to our classroom as part of our Toddler Program Valentine’s Day book tradition. Each day, we would sit down with a different set of books from the list and tell the children who it came from. It was heartwarming to see a child’s smile (through their mask) when their friends thanked them. Thank you for a great month!
A Month of Growth & Connections
This past month I observed the children deepening their relationships with each other, becoming more supportive of their friends’ successes, offering their help if they could, and be stewards of their environment and the community at large. We also felt the love and support from the children and adults outside of our classroom. A child from the Primary ADM classroom cut out a stack of basketballs for our children to use for artwork, and teachers have offered us work that I was excited to share with the children.
* Disclaimer: No babies were harmed in the process of this busy work cycle
Happy Lunar New Year!
We celebrated the Lunar New Year and the year of the tiger! I spoke about the traditions of the Lunar New Year and how important family is. I mentioned how families will sweep out the old year to prepare for the new one. The children enjoyed jumping into action by sweeping and swiffering not only our environment but the halls of the building too! They also painted tigers and glued them onto red paper, as red is the color symbolizing good luck.
I even tried to write a catchy song to go along with our celebration.
The Year of the Tiger (to the song Eye of the Tiger)
“It’s the year of the tiger
It’s time to celebrate
Our strength and resilience this new year
It’s the year of tiger
We’re pushing forward with might
And we’re smiling through this new yeaaaar
Of the tiger!”
In our movement space , there are photos of pizza at the children’s eye level. They all seemed to notice them at the same time and began asking for pizza. Their requests were a catalyst for us being granted a pizza party for lunch! It was so exciting!
How to Speak to Toddlers about Black History Month
February is Black History Month, and a developmentally good time to talk about racism with toddlers. When I approach the topic of racism with toddlers, I start out with a conversation that is relatable. The children understand the rules of our environment, the concept of being kind, and what behaviors are acceptable:
- Be Kind.
- Be Gentle.
- Be Safe.
They know that pushing hurts, hitting hurts, to use gentle hands, etc. They are also beginning to understand their own feelings as well as the feelings of others: sad, happy, scared, angry, etc.
At Circle I will ask, “Is it ok to push a friend because they are wearing a purple shirt?” The children will reply, “No, be gentle!” I will point out a color that one of the adults is wearing and ask if it is ok to push them because they are wearing that color.” Again, they say “No!” They may emphasize their response because now I am asking if it’s ok to hurt someone they know and love. Next I will move on to eye color and ask the question, “Is it ok for us to be mean and hit friends with brown eyes?” I will also point out children who have that particular color. At that time, there is always a resounding, “No!”
I created a card to card matching work of black and brown women. At Circle and individually, I have gone over who each woman is and what they did. Some of the women we are speaking about are: Sojourner Truth, Claudette Colvin, Rosa Parks, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Jane Bolin. For instance, for Sister Rosetta Tharpe, I told the children that she is a woman with black skin and her dream was to play the guitar, but people were not nice to her because she had black skin. She was brave and played her guitar anyway. We have been listening to her songs during recess and at our dance party, especially “Strange Things Happening Every Day.” Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin sat down on a bus, on a seat close to the door. It was their seat, but people told them to move because their skin was black. “That was their seat, like this is your chair.” It is helpful to make the conversation relatable.
When finishing this work, at Circle or with an individual child, I will thank each of the women and the children often repeat, “Thank you.” We thank them for being brave and helping other people with brown and black skin to become doctors, dentists, artists, musicians, teachers, etc. There are times when a child is finishing up this matching work and us adults hear a child say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you…” and thank each woman. It is so sweet.
This conversation will continue throughout the year, as I will highlight people of all backgrounds in our Language Area be it an artist, author, activist, musician, etc. Exposure to people outside of your own culture is a critical piece of raising a global citizen.
Fun In the Movement Space
Toddler Parent Education Recap: Managing Difficult Behaviors
If you were unable to join us, the Toddler Teachers, for our discussion on managing difficult behaviors then click HERE here to watch the recording. We discussed what it happening inside of the toddler brain, why behaviors occur, how to approach those behaviors, and some tools for you to have at home.
Parent-Teacher Conferences and Observations
- Please make sure that you have signed up for your child’s conference. If you have not done so, please click HERE.
- Click HERE to sign up for Parent Observations. You may sign up for one or both days!
Important Dates Ahead:
- Tuesday, March 1st: Observation at 10:15 am
- Wednesday, March 9th: Observation at 10:15 am
- Thursday, March 10th: Parent Education Workshop – How Montessori Prepares Children for First Grade and Life! with Greene Towne Montessori Director Christine Booth, 10am via Zoom
- Friday, March 4th: Parent-Teacher Conferences (No School this day)
- Friday, March 11th: Parent-Teacher Conferences (No School this day)
- March 28 – April 1st: Spring Break, No School
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