Thursday, March 31, 2011

Parent Communication for Montessori Teachers: Sample Newsletter

NAMC parent communication for montessori teachers sample newsletter in classroom

Part 1 of this article offered some ideas for establishing and maintaining effective parent communication throughout the school year. As promised, here is a sample of a regular newsletter that we use – our parents really enjoy reviewing these together with their children, and it provides the opportunity to reflect and appreciate all the learning opportunities and progress of our young Montessori students.

Parent Communication: A Sample Montessori Classroom Newsletter


I hope you will find it helpful information for creating your own methods of Montessori parent communication.

Our May Montessori Classroom Newsletter


The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the period from birth to the age of six, for that is the time when intelligence itself is being formed and carried on throughout a lifetime.
—Maria Montessori

What an exciting month we've had exploring metamorphosis, flowers, the water cycle and insects. Spring is always a wonderful time of year to help children feel connected with nature and to instill in them an appreciation for the amazing world in which we live!
NAMC parent communication for montessori teachers sample newsletter looking at grass
The water cycle has continued to be a popular topic, and the children really seem to be understanding the concept and using the terms in context. The other day, we had a child comment on the water in Monty’s fish bowl and how it has “evaporated.” Just today one of the children commented on how much “precipitation” is coming down from the clouds. The children take great pride in learning new terms, especially when the words have five syllables!

We have also been exploring the wonderful world of bugs, and the children have been fascinated learning facts about a variety of different insects. We have been classifying and sorting creatures and the children have learned that an insect has an exoskeleton, no backbone, six legs, three body parts (head, thorax, abdomen) and that all insects start from a tiny egg. To make the learning more concrete, we became bug explorers outside and all had a chance to investigate insects up close with a variety of magnifying glasses. The children really enjoyed using the magnifying glasses to look at their friends and see their giant eyes and noses … I wish I had brought my camera that day!

We had the opportunity to act out the movements of a centipede … we took all twenty of our Montessori students outside and blindfolded them in a line behind Clarian. Mrs. Currie was the head of the centipede and the children became the body and the twenty pairs of legs. They held on to the shoulders of the friend in front of them and explored the yard, being careful to stay attached the whole time — definitely a lot of fun! We have been learning the importance of respecting all living creatures and the children have been taking that role very seriously. We have some very keen ‘bug rescuers’ and if they see a bug in a puddle or a worm out of the dirt, they quickly find a safe spot for it!

Metamorphosis has been a big topic of interest this month. The children have enjoyed creating posters and booklets, and hearing the story about the very hungry caterpillar who turned into a butterfly. The story was told with a sock puppet and felt pieces, and the looks on their faces when the butterfly emerged from the cocoon was absolutely priceless!

In Music, the children have been creating even longer rhythm patterns than they have in the past, and have enjoyed the opportunity to act as a conductor for the entire group. They have become expert drummers and have refined their skills on the glockenspiel and xylophone. Ms. BJ always has fun games prepared for them, and they always look forward to ‘Freeze Dancing’ at the end of music class. They especially enjoy Teacher Linda’s groovy dance moves!

In Language Arts, we have now completed the entire alphabet and the children are very proud to see it posted on our wall. It is so rewarding to see so many of the children choosing their own ‘reading works’ and being able to complete the activities independently … their confidence is truly soaring! The younger children continue to request lessons with the sandpaper letters and are keen to make a follow-up booklet in which they trace the sounds to take home. A big thank you to everyone who attended the Usborne Literacy Fair! There were so many amazing books to choose from, and our school benefited from your purchases, as we now have a new set of phonetic readers and many other educational books that are full of vibrant pictures and interesting information.

The children have created some amazing ladybugs, flowers and butterflies during Art, and we apologize to those parents whose children came home looking like a spotted butterfly … a few of them got a little carried away with the bingo dabbers! The art shelf is continually changing with new and exciting activities and this week stenciling seems to be a big favorite, along with the magic painting activity using a candle. It was fun creating Mother’s Day keepsakes and so cute to see the expression on the children’s faces as we painted their hands … some of them are very ticklish! We hope the handprint trivets and coasters will be a keepsake that you will cherish for many years to come, as your children are truly precious!

In Practical Life, the children have been refining their sweeping and folding skills. They have enjoyed polishing the class mirror and caring for the plants outside … the watering cans have been a huge hit, and the children are very conscious that the ‘roots’ are getting enough to drink. Mrs. Currie is very lucky to have so many wonderful little helpers to help look after her beautiful garden! We have continued mixing colors, and have had many opportunities to use measuring cups, a strainer, a funnel and so much more. I love the fact that a Montessori classroom helps children become such responsible little people. They are taking very good care of our classroom, and are always on the lookout for chairs that need to be tucked in, for mats that need to be rolled up and for messes that need to be tidied. If only I could bring them all home with me — I would have the cleanest house around!
NAMC parent communication for montessori teachers sample newsletter watering a plant
With the end of the school year just around the corner, it is great to see how far the children have come since the beginning of the year and how independent they have become. Several times this week, I took a step back and just observed how the class was functioning. I couldn't help but smile as I observed twenty children choosing their own work, solving their own problems, cleaning up after themselves, lending a hand to those in need, reading, writing, adding, creating maps, drawing, painting and so much more. The growth from September to now is incredible! A child’s insatiable curiosity, infectious joy in discovery, and respect for their peers and the world around them reminds me that children are capable of so much more than we give them credit for, and we couldn't be more proud of each and every one of them!

With Father’s Day a few weeks away, we would like to begin preparing for a special project. We will be creating something special for all of the dads and would like to ask that each child bring in one white t-shirt that fits Dad. Please send the shirt to school in a bag that is clearly labeled with your child’s name. If we could have all of the shirts at school by (date), that would be great. Thank you so much!

Also, we hope that all of you have marked the year-end picnic on your calendars (date) and keep your fingers crossed for sunshine!

We look forward to another busy month ahead and as always, if anyone has questions or concerns, we welcome you to discuss things with us at anytime. Thank you for your continued support, everyone … we are truly blessed to have such a wonderful group of children and supportive parents!

Sincerely,
Teacher Bree, Mrs. Currie,
Teacher Linda & Teacher Pat

This year long series looks at the experiences of teachers, parents, students, and Montessori education itself, as we follow a student through his first year at a Montessori Preschool. Montessori Insights and Reflections of a Preschool Child’s First Year is a collection of useful stories, tips, and information that have arisen from one real student's Montessori journey.

Bree — NAMC Tutor & Graduate

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, March 31, 2011.

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