The Parkside Montessori School
53 Norwood Avenue
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043


MAY - 2019

It is hard to believe that we have entered our last full month of school.  Spring is finally here, and the children are certainly happy about being on the playground more consistently.  Our crocuses, pussy willow, hyacinths, and forsythia have all bloomed, and we are enjoying looking at the last of the daffodils, tulips and cherry blossoms. We have created all of them at the art table, and will soon observe and create the “shy violet”, the rhododendron, the geranium, and the iris. 

In May begin to look inward after finishing our discussion of earth and its continents.  We will be studying about the special “machine” that is the human body.  We will discuss the various systems of the body and how they work together including skeletal, muscular, circulatory and digestive.  We will take a look at the brain and its connection with our five senses.  Shelf materials, books, and puzzles will all reflect this theme.  Then we will move on to the importance of taking  care of our bodies through good nutrition,  regular exercise, and the proper amount of sleep.   We have large food pyramid floor mats and baskets of toy foods.  A fun activity for one or two children or even a small group is to sort the foods onto the proper section of the food pyramid or plate.  This helps them understand how certain food groups are very important for growth and health.  The end of year school parties on June 3 and 4 will be Food Pyramid parties which will feature foods (parent-donated) from all of the food groups. 

In Practical Life we continue bread slicing and coffee grinding, and we will bring in the always popular cheese slicing.  In Sensorial we will introduce the small hexagon, a box which contains many triangles which can be formed into more unusual shapes such as the rhombus, parallelogram, and trapezoid.  We will also add a tasting exercise to go along with the smelling exercise already on the sensorial shelf in keeping with the body/senses/food themes of the month.   There are interesting body and skeleton puzzles large and small, and an activity using many colorful pictures for the children to classify into the five senses. 

Another highlight of May is the introduction of our classroom caterpillars.  We will watch them over a period of a couple of weeks grow, become chrysalises, sleep inside for a couple of weeks, and finally emerge as beautiful Painted Lady butterflies.  Then we will release them out on the playground.  The children are fascinated by the whole process and enjoy seeing each step as it happens in real classroom time. 

Spring is in full bloom as are the children.  Since September we have been watching them evolve into more confident, capable and caring individuals, growing both in skill and in cognition.  It is always rewarding for us as teachers to observe over the course of nine short months their development into happy and productive learners and group members. 

For those who are leaving us, we hope that you will return to visit next year.  It is hard to say goodbye to so many each year, but so much fun to see them when they come back to visit. 

We offer our heartfelt thanks for all your support this year, and we hope that you enjoy the upcoming summer.

“It is through appropriate work and activities that the
character of the child is transformed.  Work influences his
development in the same way that food revives the vigor of a
starving man.  We have observed that a child occupied with
matters that awaken his interest seems to blossom, to expand,
evincing undreamed of character traits.  His abilities give him great
satisfaction, and he smiles with a sweet and joyous smile.”

                                                                                                           Maria Montessori
                                                                                                 from the San Remo Lectures, 1949
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