A Monthly E-newsletter Providing Useful Information to Caring Parents of Enrolled Students
© Copyright 2017 June 2017

party_balloons

Fair Weather Ahead!!

Advance thanks to Fair Chair Lina Singleton and her team of hardworking, enthusiastic, fun-loving volunteers –  Jill Warburton, Steph Murray, Kelly Davis, Kelsi Mellor, Megan Rodman, Christina Boyle, Leah Linebarger and Amy Warren . Our 24th Annual Children’s Fair is sure to be a success thanks to their planning, the exciting silent auction and the generous contributions of the following families:

 

Adams                                             Aldrich                                     Backman

Bailey-Olson                                   Barber                                     Brennan

Brown                                               Burns                                      Caplan

Cobble                                              Davis                                        Elstein

Eschenfelder                                   Giebe                                       Hernandez

Kohler                                              Loeffler                                    Markham

Martin                                               Mast                                         McGown

Mellor                                               Murray                                     Olch/Bishop

Portnoy                                            Rao                                            Ritchie

Samuelson                                      Schuhmacher                          Semrau

Shetler                                              Strachan                                  Tolzmann

Warburton                                      Whistler

Children have designed and distributed the invitations, created signage and will help run games and provide songs on Sunday. Fair proceeds go to our SWIMS Enrichment Fund and our Children’s Planet Fund, a group of organizations chosen by students that focus on the child and the environment, such as Summit County Library, Recycle Utah, Nuzzles and Company and Grandmother Frances Bahe of Arizona through Adopt-a-Native Elder.  The Owl’s Nest and Moose Tracks Elementary Classes select organizations, budget proceeds and make donations in person to local organizations. This gives our students a powerful introduction to making a difference in their world, something that we notice staying with our graduates into their adult lives.

We look forward to hosting the Fair here at school for Soaring Wings families and friends. We will not be selling tickets, but offering all the usual fun and games for free. There will be food, music, magic and pony rides. Please plan to swing by the 24th Annual Children’s Fair at school Sunday June 4th 10:00am – 2:00pm enjoy the fun and check out the huge Silent Auction. The auction closes at 1:30pm so plan to be present to collect your winnings!


summer

MONTESSORI ON THE ROAD

With summer vacations in mind, here are some suggestions for helping your child to keep his skills sharp.

Stay organized. Whether you’re in a car, a hotel room or a relative’s house make sure your child knows where his belongings go and can easily put them away himself.

Practice “grace and courtesy”. Restaurants, airports, social groups and the back seat of the car are all good places to practice kind words and nice manners. If a reoccurring problem comes up, try role-playing to find a good solution (e.g. “I want that crayon my brother has. I think I’ll grab it from him and yell and scream… that didn’t work. What else can I do?”). If conflict resolution may be a recurring need, bring a portable peace object along. Your child knows how to use it. Ask any teacher for a refresher.

Practical Life: Let your child do her own pouring, cutting, sweeping, scrubbing, and washing whenever possible. Put the kids in charge of making the dinner salad, shelling peas, caring for the garden, or taking out the compost. Set them up with some tarnished silver, polish (a small amount), Q-tips, and a polishing cloth. Or give them dishes or sand toys to wash and the equipment and space to do them in. If you give a young child a bucket of water and a small sponge or scrub brush to clean the picnic table, it will probably get pretty clean. But if you give the same child the hose, it could easily become a disaster! Take time to let your child dress herself and tie her own shoes. Even the youngest child can make wise fashion choices if the closet is well organized and unsuitable alternatives are put away.

Sensorial: A favorite classroom game for sensorial discrimination by touch is called the “Mystery Bag”. You can make your own mystery bag by bringing along a large sock, put various objects in it and have your child guess what they are just by feeling them. A variation of this game is to put two of several objects in the sock and have him feel for the two that are the same. For an older child, put in things that are only slightly different (sea shells, buttons, rocks, coins).

Try listening games with a blindfold or just by closing eyes. This is a classic Montessori tool used to help the child become centered. First have him tell you all the things he can hear in 15 seconds. Then lengthen the time. Then make small noises for him to discern (clicking a pen, closing a book, zipping a zipper, etc.).

Car bingo was always fun when Duna and Bruce’s children were young and is a good looking game. We used to play with game boards and when that got boring we made up lists of things to find for opponents. I might have had Leith (at 3) find a bird, a blue car and a red house, while Lina (at 6) looked for a pop can, a baby and a jet plane, and for Bruce (at 34) a red Harley Davidson motorcycle, a John Deere tractor, an alfalfa field and a bald man wearing a green shirt. He always put a snow fence on my list, even if we were in Arizona.

Good thinking games (variations of the myriad classification games we do in the classroom) include “Animal, Vegetable or Mineral” which can be played by thinking of absolutely anything in the world, be it a type of animal or the ice bucket in the hotel room you slept in three nights ago, and players have to guess it by asking only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Humming song phrases or TV show themes or miming occupations are other good guessing games. With a pencil and paper most kids can play simple versions of Pictionary where you have to guess what they’ve drawn. For an older child, read weird words out of a pocket dictionary and everyone must guess what they mean. Or make up Traveling Trivia questions for each other from a small atlas.

Reading: With a small child, play games where you have to find ten things that start with ‘b’ by either looking out a window, going on a walk, cutting them out of magazines or going on a scavenger hunt. Write the sound down (stick with lower case letters) on a piece of paper or in the sand or on the sidewalk in chalk, then place the objects by the written letter and say “You found a ‘b’-bottle and a ‘b’-balloon and a ‘b’-ball!”

For children who are just beginning to read, write down lists of words for them to read to you. When they can read three-letter phonetic words well, go on to phonetic words with more than three letters, like ‘rabbit’, ‘truck’, or ‘muffin tin’. Good variations are to dictate the words and have the child write them down or furnish a set of objects (pin, hat, cup, lid, etc.) and have the child write down the word. Don’t worry about spelling at first. Just help them to blend the sounds.

If your child is working in a workbook, set aside 15 to 20 minutes each day (just after breakfast, or right before bed, perhaps) to do a few pages. It should be a pleasant part of the daily routine. Reading and writing skills easily deteriorate over just a few weeks and teachers, students and families are often dismayed to have to start over again when the child returns to school in the fall. If you stick to a routine of workbook practice over the summer your child should be ready to move on to greater challenges in the fall.

Elementary students should have math and spelling workbooks to practice over the summer. (Please remember to return them in the fall!) Older students should practice journaling to encourage writing, storytelling and penmanship skills. Michelle suggests writing summer adventures in a journal. She also suggests looking into the various reading programs at the local libraries and at PCTV.

Older kids who are reading well still enjoy ‘I Spy’ games (“I spy with my little eye something that starts with A”), Alphabet Search (letters must be found in alphabetical order on road signs and license plates) and spelling bees.  Our family used to love to spend the summer evenings reading an especially long book or a series of them together. The Little House on the Prairie series was a favorite of ours when the children were about 4 and 7. One summer I read Memoirs of a Geisha to my husband and 15-year-old son. They loved it and couldn’t wait to hear more, although neither one of them would have read the book on their own!

Math: Collect things and count them. Shells, sticks, rocks, leaves, feathers, pencils, paper clips, sugar packets (on restaurant tables) can be counted and associated with a written numeral. Make some cards with numbers on them and hand one to the child saying, “Go find this many rocks.” This can be done from 0 to 3 for a small child or 0 to 100 for an older child.

For kids who are working into the thousands, pop beads, Chinese jacks, or paper clips can be attached in groups of ten. Have your elementary child help figure out mileage and arrival times on trips, budget his own expenditures, run a lemonade stand, or collect all the change in the house and figure out how many popsicles he can buy for his friends.

Science: Everywhere you go, keep your eyes open for science lessons. Stop beside the trail to see where the ants are going and where they are coming from. Watch birds building nests. Show your child the map of where you have been and where you are going. Notice animal tracks and droppings and other signs of who else has been there. Have an older child keep a field notebook of interesting things seen. A younger child can keep a journal of pictures. Start a rock, feather, flower, or shell collection. You can label them with their proper names, where you found them, and what fun things you did there.

Undo: Whatever else you do this summer, remember to allow some unscheduled time to lay in the hammock, stare at the sky, throw rocks in a creek, or spit cherry pits into the grass. Summer is the best time to enjoy the boredom of doing nothing at all. In a 2002 issue of Newsweek Anna Quindlen pointed out,

“There is ample psychological research suggesting that what we might call ‘doing nothing’ is when human beings actually do their best thinking and when creativity comes to call”. A study by the University of Michigan quantified the downtime deficit, “in the last 20 years American kids have lost about four unstructured hours a week. Perhaps it is not too late for American kids to be given the gift of boredom for at least a week or two, staring into space, bored out of their gourds, exploring the inside of their own heads”.

Happy vacationing!

Mark Your Calendar

June 2nd
Closing Ceremonies

9:00 – 9:30 am – Sunflowers and Tadpole Toddler Classes students and families

9:30 – 10:00 am – Peacock, Turquoise and Cottonwood EC Class students and families

9:30 Moose Tracks and Owl’s Nest Elementary students arrive in costume (SWIMS t-shirts and something colorful)

10:00am Musical Performance by Joyful Noise piano students and Moose Tracks and Owl’s Nest Elementary dancers

10:15 Toddler and EC students and families dismiss

10:15 – 10:45am Moose Tracks and Owl’s Nest Elementary class ceremonies

All students should wear SWIMS t-shirts and something colorful!

June 4th

24th Annual Children’s Fair, SWIMS, 10:00am until 2:00pm

Please have students meet at the bandstand at the following times for class performances.

10:30 – 10:45am:Peacocks, Cottonwoods & Turquoise EC Classes

10:45 – 11:00am: Moose Tracks & Owl’s Nest Elementary Classes

Auction closes at 1:30pm – winners must be present!

June 18th

Happy Father’s Day!

August 27th
Open House 3:00 – 4:30pm

August 28th
2017-2018 school year begins


School Bulletin Board

Welcome, Tracy!
We welcome Tracy Zisslesberger as the newest member of our faculty. She holds a bachelor’s in Exercise and Movement from the University of Vermont, has completed  graduate credits at Teton School of Science and Prescott College and is enrolled in the MEd program at Westminster College. She has worked at the National Ability Center, has considerable experience with children of all abilities and is a Wilderness First Responder. She will complete the Montessori teacher training at the Institute of Montessori Innovation this summer and will be leading the Moose Tracks Lower Elementary Class in the fall. Tracy will be at the Fair on Sunday and is looking forward to meeting everyone.  Please join us in welcoming Tracy to Soaring Wings!

30 Years of Thanks!
We are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year. Thanks to each of you for your daily kind words, compliments, favors and gifts. Parents and teachers aways comment on what a great community supports this school. You make it special. The children and their families continuously make us smile. And we are delighted to continually hear from past students who are now adults doing great things in the world. Thank you for making it great!


Where will your summer adventures take you?

asked of our faculty and staff

Lina – Back to graduate school!
Leah – Road tripping’ across America.
Leti – To family adventures in Paraguay.
Michelle – Adventures unknown…
Shannon – From the gardens of Utah to Colorado and California.
Denise – Soaring through Park City!
Linda – To the beaches of Laguna Beach, San Diego, and Lake Mead.
Natalija – To a family reunion in Serbia and my favorite beach in Greece.
Cassie – Camping in California.
Ari – Argentina, Chile, Glacier, Iceland and Scotland. And training teachers in West Valley City!
Carmen – Peru in July.
Tama – New places.
Duna – To start the new infant/toddler Montessori teacher training program at Westminster College – then to Prague for the International Montessori Congress, Vienna, Amsterdam, Mainz and Scottsdale!
Molly – Exploring Utah.
Ruhi – To LA (to start her career in the film industry – remember us when you’re famous, Ruhi!)
Bruce – Wherever the sun is shining.


summer

Have a terrific summer!