Did you know that our Upper Elementary students help with primary arrival and dismissal as part of their community service program? Older children helping younger children is a key component here at The Village School which is apparent in our multi-age classrooms every day!
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Each year the Kindergarten classes come together to perform a show. This year the play was called, “Three Billy Goats Gruff.” Preparing for the play it required different interdisciplinary activities such as creating their own costumes with Bob, making their brochures with Tina, and rehearsing their lines with Kathie Moran, Kathy Pizzo, and Lisa Mosca. The play was about three different goats (youngest, middle, oldest) who are looking for greener food to eat. They decided that beyond the bridge there is food for them to eat. However, there are these trolls that they must pass first. Each goat that walks past the troll convinces the troll that the next goat coming may be more suitable for their dietary needs. The troll lets the goats pass by until the oldest goat walks by. The goat convinces the troll not to eat him and all the goats lived happily ever after with plenty of food. The kindergartens did great portraying each character and the play was a success! They also handed out programs with their autographs on them. A round of applause to all the kindergarteners.
Professional development is a critical and necessary part of every teacher’s continuing growth and education. In addition to providing opportunities for teachers to attend workshops and seminars throughout the year, The Village School also sets aside two days dedicated specifically to school wide growth. Typically we close school for these in-services days, once in the fall and once in the spring. These opportunities allow our teachers to learn new skills & techniques, gain valuable experiences and build stronger connections between each other. Speakers may be brought in to discuss a particular topic or workshops may be held to gain hands on skills. In the past, some of our professional development days have included: mental health first aid certification, anti-bullying seminars, effective communications workshops and Orton-Gillingham reading certification, just to name a few.
Once a year The American Montessori Society holds a national conference. Each year, some teachers are able to go to the AMS Conference which is held in the spring. Due to the distance of this conference, The Village School can usually only afford to send a handful of staff. Those who go always come back full of new ideas they are excited to share with others and use in the classroom. Our students always benefit from the ideas and skills teachers learn from both staff development days and the AMS conference.
This year, we are so excited to combine both of our professional development days and send 33 teachers and staff members to the AMS conference which will be held in Washington DC from March 21-24. This sold out event will feature topics from “Anti-bias Education” to “Empowering the Adolescent Brain” to “The Power of Effective Questions.” In addition to the workshops our staff will be attending, there will be a not to miss Saturday workshop titled “Linking Reading Assessments to Lessons in the Kindergarten Year” presented by our very own Lisa Mosca, Kathy Pizzo and Andi Rolfe!
In preparation for the weekend (the conference runs thru Sunday and we are staying to soak up every last opportunity), our teachers have been arranging car-pools and choosing their roommates – as this is a staff community building opportunity as well as a professional development one. Sharing rooms and rides not only means time for fun and relaxation at the end of a long day but also the chance to come together and share what was learned from workshops attended throughout the day. (We are betting there are some great road trip playlists being made as well!)
School is closed on Thursday and Friday this week, but our teachers and staff will be hard at work learning new ways to support your children in their educational journey. Please support our teachers and staff as they travel to this event – it is an amazing opportunity that benefits our entire community.
To learn more about this years AMS Conference “The Montessori Event” please visit their site at: https://conference.amshq.org/
Writing With a Purpose
When parents decide to send their child(ren) to a Montessori school, they understand that their child will receive a holistic approach to education, encompassing the child as a whole. Language is just one of the many components in a Montessori classroom that enriches the child’s development. In the primary classes we spend time directing the children to materials to enhance their language and literacy development.
The Village School is privileged to have Jayashree who is currently interning in the Green Primary class. During her studies, she discovered the necessity of language in the classroom, through exploring poetry that describes the mental process of learning reflecting on the child’s process of the materials rather than the product. Another poem that stood out is “Writing”. This poem explains the different ways that children learn how to write in the classroom such as scribbling and doodling. Through the use of different materials in the classroom, the student develops a proper pencil grip and through experimenting with lightness or firmness of touch children are continuously learning and developing their writing and language skills. Both poems emphasis how children learn through exploration and hands-on activities such as those found in the Montessori classroom. Thank you to Jayashree for sharing a new way of understanding how our children learn.