2001 E. Broad St: Central Montessori School Adolescent Program Update

Okay, so technically it's already ours...

We just wanted to send an update to our oh-so-patient parents to let everyone know where we are in the process of opening this beautiful new classrooms.   Anyone who was with us when we opened our Infant and Toddler Program in 2015 will surely remember just how much of a waiting game it truly is.  We are very grateful that unlike when we opened the infant classroom, our upper el and middle school kiddos have a current classroom so the only thing they are really waiting on is a bigger space to call their own!

After waiting for months and months for all of our various inspections to be completed on the schedules of various governmental agencies, on the very last day of Winter Break, we had our official inspection with the Virginia Department of Social Services!   Anita, Amira, Kelly, and Stephan all spent about three hours with our licensing inspector going through every possible detail of our application and space and everything went great, as we knew it would!   Perfect.

And now, we wait one last time.   Our application and our approval from our inspector sits on a supervisor's desk waiting for final approval and our official license and the minute (quite possibly the actual minute) we get that baby in our hands, our community will be notified, materials will be moved over and kiddos will follow!

Please let us know if you haven't had a chance to see this beautiful space first-hand.  We are so in love and feel so lucky to have, once again, found another bright, light filled space, just a block away from our main campus.

See everyone soon!

January 2018   PRIMARY CONFERENCE MONTH
  8            Lower el and upper el. parents sign up for conferences

12          Winter Market Day (Upper el/middle school sell/buy and PIII may buy) 2-3:30

15          Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Volunteerism:  School is closed

19          Lower el Science Fair 5:00

26          Upper el./middle school parent Meet and Greet 6:30 & PIN 7-8 (childcare $10 per hr)

February 2018   LOWER EL & UPPER EL CONFERENCE MONTH
5-9         Parent Visitation Week

·             Primary 9-10 or 10-11

·             Elementary 2-3 or 3-4

·             Infant and Toddler and Middle School 4:00-4:30 or 4:30-5:00

Special Note:  Central will close Feb. 19th for a school wide professional work day.  

Calendar Updates: (Please check Central’s website for a downloadable 2017-2018 calendar) http://centralmontessori.com/calendar/

*Special Note/Conferences:  Central does not close school to hold parent/teacher conferences.  Different levels rotate out every three months.  It can be very hard to reschedule!  Please watch for specific information/times and places.  Please watch for a google document notification.  We ask that both parents attend.  

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Special Notes

Our Montessori Moments were written yesterday.  I thought they might add a bit of warmth to a really cold day.  Enjoy!

Upper El
Students are gathered around the kitchen table in the middle school room and one by one, they recite the 15 Spanish phrases that they are preparing to use in practice dialogs.  Much laughter as silly sounding mistakes are made and then everyone is serious again-working hard on careful pronunciation. There are students gathered around the clay station and creating the planets using washers for the rings.  Relative size is considered and then the limitations of available materials and space are considered and hard decisions must be made…

Lower El
Things are in full swing here in lower el! Rejuvenated from a long, relaxing winter break, students seem exceptionally eager to jump into their morning work cycle. With their journals opened wide, and pencils sharpened, all students are sitting quietly pondering the math problems on the board. One friend is heading for the racks and tubes (division material) while another student seeks the wisdom from an older classmate to assist them with their math. It is wonderful to see students utilizing several of the multiple resources available to them!

Toddler
It might be too cold to go outside but it's not too cold to have fun!  An upbeat dance party breaks out as Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin" comes through the speakers.  A child picks up two maracas and begins to shake them to the beat.  A younger friend approaches, and seems to ask if they could have one of the maracas without using any actual words, just body language.   The older friend understands exactly what their friend wants because they immediate hand one of these coveted instruments over and both children begin shaking their maracas, laughing, moving their hips bending their knees together.  

Pre-Primary
Several new friends have joined the class today.  A few tears and then nothing but happiness!  Several new works have been placed on the shelf for the children to discover.  There are many new lessons given to attentive children (and a few who are not attentive…).  The most popular lesson of the day seems to be the table scrubbing.  Two totes with scrubby brushes and carefully rolled wash rags (towels) are placed on the stools right beside very “dirty” tables.  Well, they actually don’t seem dirty at all but our friends seem very convinced that they should be scrubbed and scrubbed again...  

Middle School
Backwards and Forwards: The students are discussing the main sequence and other heavenly phenomena.  Celestial terminology and vocabulary is introduced and practiced.  Several students are considering and practicing a variety of different note taking style.  Other students are involved in a writing workshop as they create their essays in preparation for high school applications.  

Amanda’s Primary
A young child is working very, very hard to trace the letters in her name.  Her tiny hand holds the pencil tightly and she moves slowly over each letter.  She sits back and slowly smiles a self-satisfied smile.  She asks her friend to read what she just wrote.  Ok, her friend thinks is says, stuffy.  That is really, really funny and both children laugh and laugh.  Writing is a blast!

Venessa’s Primary
In contrast to drab wintery colors outside, several children are creating brilliant secondary color charts inside.  It looks like a math problem!  Yellow + blue = green!  One child simply colors in the corresponding pre-printed circles and another child carefully draws each circle by hand.  He writes his math.  I mean, color equation underneath his images.  One child selects the basket with two labels and several models of vertebrates.  One label reads, nocturnal.  The other reads, crepusular! (Active at twilight).  I think another child just walked away with a third label, cathemeral.  Seems appropriate as the child is active during the day…

Infant
An infant guide sits on the floor, using a brush to clean a weaning chair.  A child stands just a few inches away, watching her every move.  The child is given a small brush, a cloth, and a dish of water of their own and is invited to practice cleaning a table.   The child excitedly sits down in a freshly washed chair and gets right to work.   The small black brush is pushed back and forth across the table, delicately dipped in the water dish, and then pushed back and forth across the table again.  Soon the whole table has been scrubbed clean and the child is shown how to use the cloth to dry the table.   Everything is sparkling clean!

 
 
 Season of Lights:  Community focus on Gratitude and Giving

Fill the Van!  Bring a Can! There are hungry people amongst us.  We can help!  Please donate healthy canned/dried goods.  Stop by the van and put in a can!  Older students attending Winter Package will deliver the donations to FeedMore or tuck them into (possibly) our very own Little Free Pantry.  

Book Donation:  Please help Central provide books for our neighborhood children (and other lovers of books…).  Leave gently loved books in the offices and we will use them to restore our Little Free Library throughout the winter months!

December 2017 MIDDLE SCHOOL AND INFANT/TODDLER CONFERENCE MONTH*
6           Primary parents sign up for January conferences
14        Winter Celebration and Sing-Along Elementary/Middle School 5:00
15         Winter Celebration and Sing-Along  Pre-primary/Primary 5:00
18-21     School closed, open for winter package only
22-26     School is closed to all
27-29     School closed, open for winter package only

January 2018
  PRIMARY CONFERENCE MONTH

1            New Year Day:  School closed to all

8            Lower el and upper el. parents sign up for conferences

12          Winter Market Day (Upper el/middle school sell/buy and PIII may buy) 2-3:30

15          Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Volunteerism:  School is closed

19          Lower el Science Fair 5:00

26          Upper el./middle school parent Meet and Greet 6:30 & PIN 7-8 (childcare $10 per hr)

Central’s Winter Sing-a-Long

Central children and their families gather together in the Great Room.  Each of the classrooms lead us in some of our favorite winter songs.  Then, we move through the Middle School classroom and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies!  Yum!  Lyrics can be found in your email!

THIS IS A CALL AND RESPONSE TYPE OF SING-A-LONG.  PARENTS SING TOO!  

  • Elementary and Middle School:  Thursday, Dec. 14 @ 5:00 Big Room
  • Pre-primary and Primary:  Friday, Dec. 15 @ 5:00  Big Room
  • Infant and Toddlers: Our little ones are not quite old enough (arguably) to perform but they are welcome to come and be with us....
Special Note:  Central will close Feb. 19th for a school wide professional work day.  

Calendar Updates: (Please check Central’s website for a downloadable 2017-2018 calendar) http://centralmontessori.com/calendar/

*Special Note/Conferences:  Central does not close school to hold parent/teacher conferences.  Different levels rotate out every three months.  It can be very hard to reschedule!  Please watch for specific information/times and places.  Please watch for a google document notification.  We ask that both parents attend.  

Venessa’s Primary
It's a busy snowy morning! Two first year students work on yoga mats quietly in their corner of the classroom. An intent student composes sight words with the moveable alphabet: the, and, a, was. Another student helps dry the clean classroom cups and is setting them on the sink in numerical order. Three other students help put clean mat covers on the rest mats. A second year student is matching fabric swatches. “This fabric feel too rough.  It is not the right match!” A first year student is working on “pouring” snowmen and humming “Jingle Bells”.  The room feels busy and happy right now.

Toddler
A new fish puzzle is taken off of the shelf and delicately placed upon a table.  Each fish is taken out of the puzzle and placed beside the puzzle.  A toddler matches the pink fish puzzle piece to its corresponding hole, and then does the same with the green fish, the orange fish, and the yellow fish.   Soon the puzzle is complete!   The child shouts, "I did it!  Fish!"  Two children look at each other after hearing the word "fish", purse their lips, suck in their cheeks, and make fish faces at each other.

Pre-Primary
A younger friend carefully sets up their work station. They lay out a mat, place squares at the very top and prepare to sort them by color. The child sits, focused on their work until each object is sorted. They proudly recite each color, excited to know that each object has been sorted correctly.

Middle School
Exploring a new resource for their science studies, middle school students have logged onto CK12.org and joined a virtual classroom.  Students are reading  text and watching videos regarding the nature and purpose of science.  They respond to guiding questions with discussion and interest.  Several students return from their last session with CodeVA.  They have weavings in hand.  Beautiful evidence of the integrated knowledge of coding and weaving.  They each developed a personal websites based on their own woven projects.

Amanda’s Primary
A third year student offers to help their first year friends put on their outerwear. He gives them a lesson on the jacket flip and then helps each of them zip up. They are now ready to go outside and play!  A first year friend is creating a snowflake, but struggling to hold the scissors in their tiny hand. An older friend, who has just making their own snowflake, offers to help. They help the younger friend make the cuts they want. The younger friend opens the paper and grins at the snowflake they have made!

Lower-El
The classroom environment is transforming into a Winter Wonderland! Geometric solids are constructed and turn into an evergreen forest, lines of symmetry are cut to the shape of snowflakes, and lights are hung to resemble a starry night. The students rehearse their songs for the Winter Celebration and quietly hum as they return to their work. In preparation for the many practices between now and Thursday’s performance, the children move furniture and begin to resume their work in “picnic” style.

Infant
An older infant walks to the shelf and takes a moment to ponder which work to choose first.  Eventually, the child decides on a basket full of bells.   The child places the basket on a table and chooses one golden bell.   They take the bell across the room and gently place it in the lap of a younger friend, then go back for another.  Soon the younger child's lap is full of bells and a chorus of jingles can be heard clear across the room.   Sounds like someone has been practicing their winter songs!

Upper-El
Informative and persuasive writing is discussed during a group review. “It is important for you and everyone else to wash hands. Keeping hands clean means helping the community be healthy and clean.” (Pretty persuasive…) A student lays out fifteen ninths. Converting the improper fraction after simplifying mentally, another student confirms.  “Yes, that is equivalent to one whole and two thirds.” Dress rehearsal is called at 10:30. Students practice winter songs and begin creating a winter wonderland for Thursday’s performance.

 
 
 Season of Lights:  Community focus on Gratitude and Giving

Fill the Van!  Bring a Can! There are hungry people amongst us.  We can help!  Please donate healthy canned/dried goods.  Stop by the van and put in a can!  Older students attending Winter Package will deliver the donations to FeedMore or tuck them into (possibly) our very own Little Free Pantry.  

Book Donation:  Please help Central provide books for our neighborhood children (and other lovers of books…).  Leave gently loved books in the offices and we will use them to restore our Little Free Library throughout the winter months!

December 2017 MIDDLE SCHOOL AND INFANT/TODDLER CONFERENCE MONTH*
6           Primary parents sign up for January conferences
14        Winter Celebration and Sing-Along Elementary/Middle School 5:00
15         Winter Celebration and Sing-Along  Pre-primary/Primary 5:00
18-21     School closed, open for winter package only
22-26     School is closed to all
27-29     School closed, open for winter package only


January 2018   PRIMARY CONFERENCE MONTH
1            New Year Day:  School closed to all
8            Lower el and upper el. parents sign up for conferences
12          Winter Market Day (Upper el/middle school sell/buy and PIII may buy) 2-3:30
15          Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Volunteerism:  School is closed
19          Lower el Science Fair 5:00
26          Upper el./middle school parent Meet and Greet 6:30 & PIN 7-8 (childcare $10 per hr)

Central’s Winter Sing-a-Long
Central children and their families gather together in the Great Room.  Each of the classrooms lead us in some of our favorite winter songs.  Then, we move through the Middle School classroom and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies!  Yum.  Watch for additional information.  
  • Elementary and Middle School:  Thursday, Dec. 14 @ 5:00 Big Room
  • Pre-primary and Primary:  Friday, Dec. 15 @ 5:00  Big Room
  • Infant and Toddlers: Our little ones are not quite old enough (arguably) to perform but they are welcome to come and be with us....
Special Note:  Central will close Feb. 19th for a school wide professional work day.  

Calendar Updates: (Please check Central’s website for a downloadable 2017-2018 calendar) http://centralmontessori.com/calendar/

*Special Note/Conferences:  Central does not close school to hold parent/teacher conferences.  Different levels rotate out every three months.  It can be very hard to reschedule!  Please watch for specific information/times and places.  Please watch for a google document notification.  We ask that both parents attend.  
____________________________________________________________________________

Venessa’s Primary
The students are hard at work this morning, and the class seems to be full of burgeoning mathematicians!  A third year student is coloring and counting by fives on a special number line.  Another friend spontaneously practices writing out an equation, 2+2=4, in the sand of our sand tray.  As a visiting parent volunteer reads to a small group of friends, a child works on labeling a tool box and its tools nearby.  Two friends are gluing with a collage work while another counts snowmen.  Finally, a new friend, carefully, carefully builds the small bead stair, then builds the huge bead stair using felt circles!  

Toddler
A bit of yoga is a great way to start a Wednesday morning!  A  toddler stands on the rug and begins their own version of a Sun Salutation.   The child bends over at the waist and, showing incredible flexibility, manages to get their head all the way between their knees.   The slightly dreary but bright morning sky illuminates the tiny yogi's face.   Next up is a toddler variation on cobra pose.  The child moves their arms in front of them, struggling slightly but managing eventually.   This variation ends with the child face down on the floor for approximately 0.005 seconds, and then popping back up for their next pose!

Pre-Primary
As the winter season begins in earnest, students are singing songs, reading books, and creating art to get in the spirit!  One student sits quietly crafting a pair of mittens, another carefully creates a one-of-a-kind snowball.  The children listen intensely listen to stories about snowflakes and polar bears.  Three young friends are learning how to put their outerwear on all by themselves, and feel very proud when they flip their jacket over their heads.Ta-da!

Middle School
This week, students are studying Phase Three of the Italian-American Immigrant Experience, continuing their practice of “cause and effect” identification.  Friends are breaking off into groups of three to stage a talk show.  One friend takes the roll as host and interviews a second student, posing as an immigrant while the third group member causes tension by acting as a nativist.  During a Science lesson, students are using the Periodic Table to study patterns of election configuration.

Amanda’s Primary

A new stationary work is placed out for the students to explore.  A bowl of soapy water with a whisk attracts the attention of a few friends.  An older student demonstrates to two intrigued friends how to properly use the whisk to mix the substance with minimal spilling!  A child is finding it slightly difficult to finish their puzzle map of North America, and an older student notices that their friend may need some help.  After finishing and restoring their own challenging “fifty’ board work, a student asks their younger peer if they need assistance.  Together they complete the map, and a friend restores the puzzle while the other restores the mat!

Lower-El
Students are walking in refreshed and swiftly move into their morning work cycle.  Here in the lower el classroom, Mondays are Math and Vocabulary workbook day.  One student comments to another as they take out their workbooks, “I’m almost ready for my purple book!”  Having gathered all of their materials, students begin working diligently to complete their workbooks.  The only sound emitting from the class this morning is the soft flutter of turning pages.

Infant
An infant quietly strolls into the classroom, lunchbox in one hand, tote bag dragging behind them in the other.  The other early-arrivers are sitting at their tables enjoying a morning snack, deeply involved in their food.   The child has entered the room so quietly that neither guide has seen them just yet!  The infant walks forward, drops their bags, and for the first time ever (at school) says, "HI!"  Both guide stop what they're doing immediately, look at the child with wide eyes and then look at each other.   Sometimes these littlest ones seem to grow up overnight!

Upper-El
A group of students paint landscapes inspired by the Aurora Borealis with watercolor.  Another student cuts snowflakes of all different designs to string around the classroom.  The imitated sounds of meadowlarks and hummingbirds can be heard from friends practicing their winter song.  “The Allen’s hummingbird is native to Virginia and feeds off the nectar of many plants.” one student says to the other.  A warm and comforting thought in this chilly late autumn day...

 
 
We’re 10 years old and Way too Big for Our Britches…

So is Richmond (too big for their britches…)

The City of Richmond is undergoing a remarkable construction revitalization/growth period.  We are experiencing the greatest construction (growth) since Reconstruction!  (I actually don’t know if this is true or not-it seems that it might be true?).  We love Richmond and understand why it is in such big demand.  This has meant crazy (and changeable) traffic patterns.  It has also meant that the relatively long wait to move through city/building inspections is even longer.  We are moving our anticipated move into 2001 E. Broad St. (upper el and middle school students) back to the first of the year.  Of course, during the wait time, the space is just becoming more and more beautiful every day!  

November 2017 LOWER AND UPPER ELEMENTARY CONFERENCE MONTH*

Season of Lights Begins with focus on Gratitude and Giving
27       Book and Food Collections Begins:  Watch for Additional Information

December 2017 MIDDLE SCHOOL AND INFANT/TODDLER CONFERENCE MONTH*
6           Primary parents sign up for January conferences
14        Winter Celebration and Sing-Along Elementary/Middle School 5:00
15         Winter Celebration and Sing-Along  Pre-primary/Primary 5:00

**Please note that these are the ORIGINAL DATES for the Winter Celebration and that the ‘change’ from the last Montessori Moments was a mistake**

Central’s Winter Sing-a-Long

Central children and their families gather together in the Great Room.  Each of the classrooms lead us in some of our favorite winter songs.  Then, we move through the Middle School classroom and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies!  Yum.  Watch for additional information.  
  • Elementary and Middle School:  Thursday, Dec. 14 @ 5:00 Big Room
  • Pre-primary and Primary:  Friday, Dec. 15 @ 5:00  Big Room
  • Infant and Toddlers: Our little ones are not quite old enough (arguably) to perform but they are welcome to come and be with us....
Special Note:  Central will close Feb. 19th for a school wide professional work day.  

Calendar Updates: (Please check Central’s website for a downloadable 2017-2018 calendar) http://centralmontessori.com/calendar/

*Special Note/Conferences:  Central does not close school to hold parent/teacher conferences.  Different levels rotate out every three months.  It can be very hard to reschedule!  Please watch for specific information/times and places.  Please watch for a google document notification.  We ask that both parents attend.  

____________________________________________________________________________

Venessa’s Primary
A first year student serves fresh cranberries to her classmates, “¿quieres?”  A third year student works on a number line using numerals 0-100.  Two other students work on fraction skittles, “we cut the skittle in half!”  A second year student paints a picture of the Western hemisphere, while a third year student illustrates the life cycle of a deer. One of the oldest students is reading their very first chapter book in the reading corner!

Toddler
A toddler sits at a table with their morning snack layed out in front of them.  The child picks up their spoon and gets to work on their yogurt.   Before long, the yogurt is finished, with a fair amount covering their face.  After a gentle suggestion to take a look in the mirror, the child stands up, restores their lunchbox, and walks over to the mirror.  Seeing their slightly (very) messy face, the child leaves to get a face towel, then returns to the mirror to start cleaning their face!

Pre-Primary
Two older students work together on a math activity. One friend completes the work, while the other patiently waits and watches so they can check their friend’s work. A younger friend carefully walks across the room carrying a small pitcher full of water to refresh our beautiful classroom plants. All of the students work together to pull a bag of oranges to share as a quiet afternoon snack, yum!

Middle School
Returning from Fall break, Middle School students are welcoming an advancing upper el friend into the classroom.  A new classmate is always a reason for celebrating. Students are creating their weekly agenda.  The Winter Celebration is in two weeks and the entire class is listening to winter music and choosing a song to perform alongside upper el. Middle school students have selected to prepare solo and duet performances for the upcoming celebration as well.  This week, several students are  developing performance skills by memorizing and delivering scenes of dialogue between two or three friends.

Amanda’s Primary
A watermelon has been brought into the classroom for Daily Soup.  The students sit in a circle on the group rug, ready to explore the fruit.  They take turns guessing its weight, estimates ranging from 1 pound to 160 pounds.  One student guesses the watermelon’s exact weight at 6 pounds!  The students then take turns scooping out the fruit, commenting on its color, texture, and how juicy it is.  Everyone enjoys this delicious treat at lunch time!

Lower-El
The students glide into the morning work cycle.  A first year student makes a quick and decisive choice of their first work.  “All of these numbers are one digit.”  A group works with the periodic table for the first time, identifying elements by their state of matter. “Oxygen is a gas.  It’s part of our air.”  A student invites another to organize cards into their own periodic table.  The work is large and fills up part of the classroom.  The chart is now easy for all the students to see.  There is high interest in what is being created.  The students have settled back into their school day after the autumn break with renewed enthusiasm and never-ending curiosity!

Infant
An infant sits on the floor, staring at their reflection in the mirror.   The child smiles at their new best friend and the reflection smiles back.   The child leans forward, nearly touching their forehead to their reflections.   One tiny hand reaches out and "high fives" the other.   An older friend toddles over to investigate what's happening.   The friend looks from the younger infant to the mirror and back again, and grins, seeming to love the idea of having two smaller  friends in the class!

Upper-El
A student free hands an outline of North America on a piece of fabric. “I can use different colors of thread for the borders of the countries.” This inspires a group of students to trace the puzzle maps, creating collages of North America and the United States on mixed media paper. A sign up sheet is created for individual performances during the Winter Sing-along.

 
 
November 2017 LOWER AND UPPER ELEMENTARY CONFERENCE MONTH*

Season of Lights Begins with focus on Gratitude and Giving

27       Book and Food Collections Begins:  Watch for Additional Information

December 2017 MIDDLE SCHOOL AND INFANT/TODDLER CONFERENCE MONTH*

6           Primary parents sign up for January conferences

14        Winter Celebration and Sing-Along  Pre-primary/Primary 5:00 (this is a change)

15         Winter Celebration and Sing-Along Elementary/Middle School 5:00 (this is a change)

Special Note:  Central will close Feb. 19th for a school wide professional work day.  

Calendar Updates: (Please check Central’s website for a downloadable 2017-2018 calendar) http://centralmontessori.com/calendar/

*Special Note/Conferences:  Central does not close school to hold parent/teacher conferences.  Different levels rotate out every three months.  It can be very hard to reschedule!  Please watch for specific information/times and places.  Please watch for a google document notification.  We ask that both parents attend.  

____________________________________________________________________________

Venessa’s Primary
The class is hard at work this morning.  A second year student proudly gives their grandparents a hug before showing them to a work space where they begin to set out the numeral layout. Another student sits and draws a picture of their grandparents and presents it happily exclaiming, “This is you and me”!  A third year student presents the stamp game to their grandparents, while a group of students listen to one grand friend ready a short story.

Toddler
A toddler wanders around the classroom, dustpan in one hand, and a toddler-sized broom in the other.  They're on a crumb-hunting mission!  The child scours the floor and finds the jackpot....a small pile of rice leftover from their snack!  The child bends down and positions the dustpan in just the right position, then begins sweeping the rice.  After just a quick moment, all the rice has been swept but the child is not quite done.  Next up....the crumb-less part of the floor.  The child continues sweeping until they've decided that it looks just clean enough.   The dustpan is restored to its hook and as soon as it's available, another child moves to have their turn.

Pre-Primary
The classroom is filled with tiny children and happy Grandfriends. A child chatters away as they take their visitor to see their favorite works. An older student shows their Grandfriend how carefully they count each bead for the hanging bead work.  Another student takes the parts of a tree puzzle apart and names the parts of the tree as he demonstrates how easily he can put it back into this wooden frame: root, leaf, stem (trunk).  As if in approval, the playground crepe myrtles,easily visible through the large windows, seem to glow, even brighter, with their beautiful autumn colors. The visit is almost up and children and friends gather together and sing everyone’s favorite song:  Wheels on the Bus!

Middle School
One group of students is busy finalizing the newcast presentations that they will deliver to their peers, teachers and GrandOnes within the next few minutes.  One student reminds another student that they need to remember to address the cause and effect of the current events.  They also have to cite the various sources and articles that they will reference.  A lively discussion can be heard as their positions on issues are challenged and questions are asked and answered. The podium is set and a student now stands ready, silently reviewing their notes.  

Another group of students are adding new facts to their list of Immigration Bee questions, this should make the Bee even more challenging and interesting.  “Are the Pilgrims considered immigrants?”. “Native Americans were the first immigrants.”   

Amanda’s Primary
A first year student chooses a challenging map puzzle. Showing great concentration, she works on the puzzle and finishes it all by herself. “I did it!” she exclaims. A second year student chooses the parts of a flower work. He works hard to trace the puzzle and color the flower book. He proudly names all of the parts of a flower. A first year student is having difficulty restoring the trinomial cube. A third year friend notices and volunteers to help. Together, they restore the work in no time!  Students are handed their handmade paper birds and gather around.  They sing Bob Marley’s well-loved song, Three Little Birds.  The GrandOnes instantly recognize the lyrics and, not wanting to overwhelm the delicate singing voices of their grandchildren, join in the singing using gentle whispered voices....Much happiness abounds as flowers are given to visitors in exchange for hugs and kisses.

Lower-El
Students are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their Grand Friends and as they begin to enter the room, the energy in the room seems to become illuminated. Students settle their visitors close to them and proudly demonstrates their knowledge of a variety of subjects. Some friends show their guests the pin maps they are creating while others chose to play a multiplication game with the Pythagoras board. Grand Days truly appears to be a very positive and enlightening experience for all.

Infant
A young infant's sits in a guide's lap, calmly enjoying a bottle and a snuggle when their Grandfriend walks in, taking them by complete surprise. The child stares for a moment, as if thinking, "What are you doing here?!"  After the surprise and slight confusion have worn off, the child immediately abandons the bottle and crawls around the classroom, essentially running laps to make sure their Grandfriend has a chance to see absolutely everything and everyone.  After the tour is complete, the child settles in with a basket of books and calmly takes them out one at a time for their visitor to read.

Upper-El
Four students create a map of North America with colorful textured paper.  One is a map of the 50 states.  Another is of the bioregions of the U.S. At another table, students create the same map but with a needle and thread.  As visitors enter the classroom, students begin to select work from shelves and demonstrate their master of their various academic skills.  Students gleefully quiz their visitors on North American trivia.  A student smiles as they hand their Grand Friend a hand-painted water color card at the end of their visit together. 

 
 
November 2017 LOWER AND UPPER ELEMENTARY CONFERENCE MONTH*
13        Last day to secure Winter Package for Winter Break (contact office to secure)
15         Sign up for middle school and infant/toddler conferences
17        Autumn Market Day (Upper El/Middle School sell/buy and PIII may buy) 2-3:30**
18        Outdoor Classroom Event 1-3
20-22   GrandDays! (RSVP required)
              Primary 9-10 or 10-11
              Elementary 2-3 or 3-4
              Infant and toddler and middle school 4:00-4:30 or 4:30-5:00
23-24   Autumn Break:  School is closed

December 2017 MIDDLE SCHOOL AND INFANT/TODDLER CONFERENCE MONTH*
6      Primary parents sign up for January conferences

Calendar Updates: (Please check Central’s website for a downloadable 2017-2018 calendar) http://centralmontessori.com/calendar/

*Special Note/Conferences:  Central does not close school to hold parent/teacher conferences.  Different levels rotate out every three months.  It can be very hard to reschedule!  Please watch for specific information/times and places.  Please watch for a google document notification.  We ask that both parents attend.  

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Venessa’s Primary
Two third-year students work on the Continent Bingo game.  One calls, “Do you have South America?”  Two friends answer yes and put their markers carefully on their cards. A second year student works on the parts of the face in Spanish. “Ojos - eyes, orejas - ears”.  A younger student serves carrots to her classmates after she and a friend had chopped them up.  “Quieras zanahoria?”.  A student classifies land, air, and water animals while another is practicing “flip” with their coat!  

Toddler

While taking off layers of outerwear after morning playtime.  A toddler notices a sticker on a guide's shirt (I voted!).  The child moves closer, touches the sticker and then their eyes grow wide with excitement.  They've just remembered there's a sticker work on the shelf!   The tray is carried over to a table and the child gets straight to business, carefully removing each colored sticker and placing it precisely where they want it on the paper.

Pre-Primary
The students bundle up before going outside to play.  They are learning how to put on their outerwear- flip a jackets, snuggle into gloves, and plop a hat right on top of your head!  An older student works on the hanging bead work, carefully counting and recounting each bead to hang them up in the correct order.  And older friend from lower el. comes in to work with students on a math work. They have a younger friend  read a number and “fetch” that number of buttons!  

Middle School
In continuing a theme of Immigration, the middle school students are  involved in lively discussions about the Italian-American experience.  They are critically analysing causes and effects of various historical events.  What does this mean to us today?  Several students  are developing their persuasive speeches to be given on Friday.  There is excitement about the return of the history timeline.  A  student  chooses a World History topic and is outlining  the “who, what, when, where, and how” before entering the event into the classroom’s virtual timeline.

Amanda’s Primary
“One of our animal puzzle controls is missing!”  Oh no! One of the students decides he will make a new control for the dinosaur puzzle.  Carefully taking each of the pieces out of the puzzle and tracing it onto a sheet of paper, a stegosaurus slowly starts to emerge from the blank page.  After carefully tracing the words for different parts of the stegosaurus, the new control is complete! Students are gathered around  a table and deeply immersed in a variety of materials--fields of paint, swatches of fabric, sewable buttons--to make a variety of puppets, sculptures, and collages!

Lower-El
Students are creating 3 dimensional cards for their much anticipated GrandOnes (and a pet…).   “I’m making a pop-up card for my cat!”, “I designed my card like the example except mine says ‘Kind is cool.’ “.  Several students finish their study on triangles as their music lessons begin.  Two students finish giving a lesson on the parts of a skeleton to a third year primary student.  There is a discussion about the songs several students want to practice for GrandDays.  What a fun and diverse group of lessons and activities on this drab and rainy day.

Infant
It's time for the 11:00 a.m. board meeting over lunch.   A group of (very) young professionals gather at their table and open their briefcases (lunchboxes) which are full of very important work (delicious food).  The first item on today's agenda: Should naps be required?  One "board member" decides the meeting has gone on for too long, signs "all done", closes their "briefcase" and moves away.  Meeting adjourned!

Upper-El
Students take a survey on their favorite story from the book, Native American Stories by Joseph Bruchac.  After they have decide on the story of choice, they assign difference roles to friends to perform the story as a play!  Groups of students meet together to discuss business plans and company logos for the upcoming Market Day.  “This year, I will sell 25 pieces of my homemade apple pie!”, a friend says excitedly.
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**Market Day:  Upper and Middle School students may bring handmade items, gently used items, or store bought items they would like to sell.  They may bring baked goods and sometimes foods.  This is a Practical Life/Math study for these students.  They can form partnerships and must pay taxes.  They pay back any short term loans they make and keep their profit.  PIII (Kindergarten) and older students may purchase items.  Not all parents want their child to participate in this event.  We assume that if the child does not arrive at school with money, that their parents do not want them to participate.  We assure the children they will have plenty of opportunities to shop with their parents! 

 
 
 Please see personal note below.

October  2017   PRE-PRIMARY AND PRIMARY CONFERENCE MONTH*
29        NRC Run to the River! Fundraiser for Neighborhood Resource Center

November 2017 MIDDLE SCHOOL AND INFANT/TODDLER CONFERENCE MONTH*
6          Middle school & infant and toddler parents sign up for December conferences
13        Last day to secure Winter Package for Winter Break (contact office to secure)
15          Sign up for middle school and infant/toddler conferences
17        Autumn Market Day (Upper El/Middle School sell/buy and PIII may buy) 2-3:30
18        Outdoor Classroom Event 1-3
20-22   GrandDays! (RSVP required)
·              Primary 9-10 or 10-11
·              Elementary 2-3 or 3-4
·             Infant and toddler and middle school 4:00-4:30 or 4:30-5:00
23-24   Autumn Break:  School is closed

Calendar Updates: (Please check Central’s website for a downloadable 2017-2018 calendar) http://centralmontessori.com/calendar/

*Special Note/Conferences:  Central does not close school to hold parent/teacher conferences.  Different levels rotate out every three months.  It can be very hard to reschedule!  Please watch for specific information/times and places.  Please watch for a google document notification.  We ask that both parents attend.  

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Venessa’s Primary
A young student helps replant a thriving aloe plant into a new pot.  Three students weigh three different pumpkins: a small pumpkin, a medium pumpkin, and a large pumpkin--which pumpkin is heaviest?  Students make predictions.  Let’s weigh them and see!  A first year student is building the tower of cubes, while another is polishing a glass shaped pumpkin.  Two younger students watch in amazement while an older friend finishes the 45 layout.   “I did it!”     

Toddler
A toddler rushes across the playground, clearly on a very important mission.   "BUS!" the child shouts and points over the fence.  Sure enough, within a few seconds, a bus can be heard approaching the stoplight on the other side of the fence.   The child runs closer and waits there for the next few moments, identifying every sound they hear.  A friend peeks through a peep-hole in the fence and decides to join the game, identifying all the vehicles by sight.

Pre-Primary
Older friends work to put back together a tree puzzle, naming each piece as they return it to the frame--”trunk, branch, roots…”   Two students work together to find equal weights to balance out two sides of a scale, while other students use a screwdriver to tighten and loosen nails.  Falling leaves outside and happiness inside...

Middle School
The students went to see Marshall, the new film about the United States’ first African American Supreme Court justice.  Prior to this, they had spent the day journaling and discussing Thurgood Marshall’s era, and the important cases read when he sat on the Supreme Court.  In the afternoon, all of the students visited CodeVA and received a lesson on weaving.  They also visited several interactive websites designed by web artist Rafael Rozendaal.  A busy and fulfilling day all around!

Amanda’s Primary
A first year student works on the knobbed cylinders with a blindfold on- what a challenge!  A second year student is excited to have mastered the zipper work.  “Now I can help my friends with their outerwear!” he exclaims.  An older friend completes color box three.  All the colors are organized in gradients.  Other friends gather to see how beautiful it is.  “Like a rainbow!”

Lower-El
Students use watercolor paints to make large, poster-like representations of land and water forms.  “This is a canyon, but I’d like to write my title in Spanish, cañyón,” states a student as they begin their sketch.  A group of students play a describing game using cards of land and water forms.  Nearby, two students make a large scale map of their own “imaginary island,” called, “Moutainasia.”

Infant
Photos of an apple, a leaf, and an orange square have been placed at infant-eye-level on the fridge. The children are expanding their ASL vocabulary with some autumnal words.   An infant toddles over and chooses the orange square.  A tiny hand is balled into a fist and then squeezed twice.  "Orange," a guide smiles and confirms.   The child practices saying "orange" and then points to the floor cushion, realizing for the first time that it's also orange!  

Upper-El
Two students are researching endangered animals and the various reasons as to why they have become endangered.  “Environmental damage might be the reason.” Another group admires the finished product of a two-day project: homemade paper!  “It’s funny because the paper itself is very soft but the texture it creates is rough.”  Students select a “paper fact” and write one fact on each of the homemade paper pages.  A few friends create their own planets; inspired by last week’s visit to the planetarium.  They use colorful adjectives and scientific vocabulary to describe their celestial environments.

On a Personal Note:  Our PAC members and volunteer parents spent close to 100 hours considering every detail of this year’s Chili Cook Off. The thoughtfulness and effort showed in the happiness seen in the faces of our children and parents.  Music by Josh Small, musical pumpkins, cake walk, lanterns, hay bales, and 18 pots of chili!  Abby’s winning T-Shirt design...  Thank you for supporting this valuable event.  Watch for additional information from PAC.  

What wasn’t so lovely, is the shuffle I develop when I am a bit tired or after lifting anything with any weight at all. It looks disturbing but is a very small and not unusual side effect of a very effective, life-saving chemotherapy treatment I completed several years ago. I gladly deal with a (Not-In-Texas Two Step) shuffle, from time to time, in exchange for the joy of participating in many more chili cook-offs to come. I thank you for your inquiries and the concern you showed during this event.  I should have put out this bit of information much sooner than I did.  

 
 
October  2017   PRE-PRIMARY AND PRIMARY CONFERENCE MONTH*
29       NRC Run to the River! Fundraiser for Neighborhood Resource Center

November 2017

6          Middle school & infant and toddler parents sign up for December conferences
13        Last day to secure Winter Package for Winter Break (contact office to secure)
17        Autumn Market Day (Upper El/Middle School sell/buy and PIII may buy) 2-3:30

18        Outdoor Classroom Event 1-3
20-22  GrandDays! (RSVP required)
·            Primary 9-10 or 10-11
·            Elementary 2-3 or 3-4
·            Infant and toddler and middle school 4:00-4:30 or 4:30-5:00

23-24  Autumn Break:  School is closed

Calendar Updates: (Please check Central’s website for a downloadable 2017-2018 calendar) http://centralmontessori.com/calendar/

*Special Note/Conferences:
 Central does not close school to hold parent/teacher conferences.  Different levels rotate out every three months.  It can be very hard to reschedule!  Please watch for specific information/times and places.  Please sign up in the front office or email front desk to inquire about an available time.  We ask that both parents attend. 

Venessa’s Primary
A soft ‘hum’ of activity can be heard throughout the classroom as the students sit, focusing on their work. One student is so excited to have finished tracing their Africa map and is ready to paint. A first year friend is experimenting with how to trace a model of a spider web, while a third-year student traces a model of a skeleton, labeling it in English and Spanish. A younger friend is busy punching a “calavera” in preparation for a cultural study. Laying each out one at a time, a third year student displays the 1-100 cards in order on a numeral line.    

Toddler
A toddler crouches low, their face about two inches from the Bug Rescue Cup. Inside the cup is a beautiful spider that made its way inside on a plant. The child squeals with delight as the spider moves around. "What's that?" the child asks, but is too busy laughing to hear the response. The child asks again, "what's that?" and repeats the answer "spider". Another toddler comes over to see the cause of all the commotion. Soon the two children are sitting on the floor, trying to contain their excitement as a teacher brings the spider closer for them to inspect.

Pre-Primary
The class has spent the week scrubbing, carrying and reading about pumpkins. One crisp fall afternoon we all went outside to discover what was inside our pumpkin. A guide cut open the top and each student took a turn reaching their hands inside and pulling out a hand full of seeds and pumpkin guts. The guide collected some of the seeds to take home and bake. The students will enjoy a delicious crunchy snack next week.

Middle School
The overnight camping trip to James River Ecology School was a success! The students had the chance to explore the river marshlands on canoes and reflect upon their surroundings in sit-spots during the day. After studying fish caught in a net and released during the sunset boat cruise, everyone gathered together to eat a chili dinner, stargaze, and enjoy s’mores around the campfire. After returning to school, the classes attention turns to chili recipe research for the school cook off. The students decide on the recipe they hope will be carry them to the winner’s circle this Friday!

Amanda’s Primary
A third year student is working diligently with the thousand cubes work when a younger friend accidentally bumps into him, causing him to mess up his work. An apology is made and the older friend calmly accepts it. Seeing that the younger friend is interested in the cubes, he asks if they could restore the work together. The older student adapts what could have been a frustrating interaction into a lesson on forgiveness for a newer friend.  

Lower-El
In preparation for the Chili Cook Off, a student sets up a washing work outside to scrub the stone walkway while another friend sweeps the sidewalks. Wandering eyes are drawn to the “pumpkin patch” which has manifested in the circle garden on the playground. One student exclaims, “These sprouts are also pumpkins!” One pumpkin actually grew in the garden over the summer before rotting, leaving behind seeds that have now begun to sprout. “You can tell because the seed casings are still attached to the leaves” a friend explains.

Infant
A young infant is on the floor, having some much-loved tummy time.  In front of the child is a guide holding a black and white picture book. The child looks at each picture intently, kicking their legs behind them. Another infant sees the book and toddler over to join. The child sits and then leans all the way down until they're on their tummy also. The page is flipped and both children gaze at the black butterfly on the white background. Tummy time is always more fun with a friend and a good book!

Upper-El
After a rewarding overnight excursion to the James River Ecology School, students filed into the van once more to visit The Science Museum theater. Sharing the cinematic experience with a class from West End Montessori, students traveled virtually through space, observing Venus align with the Sun and the sixty-nine moons of Jupiter. After discovering dwarf planets in distant solar systems in the morning, students switched gears in the afternoon, designing posters for the various Chili Cook Off activities.

 
 
October  2017   PRE-PRIMARY AND PRIMARY CONFERENCE MONTH*
6          Infant & toddler Meet/Greet 6:30 and PIN 7- 8 (Childcare $10 per hr.)
7          RAISE THE FENCE DAY! For upper el and middle school.  V hours
10-11   School Picture Days (Children must arrive before 9:00 to prepare for photos)
            October 10:
Preprimary/primary. October 11: Infant/Toddler, Elementary and Middle School. 
13        Upper and Middle School Science Fair:  Share all of that good STEM stuff you have
            going on at home!  All students are asked to participate. Start now and have a blast!
14        Outdoor Classroom Event 9:30-12:00 Help us beautify our educational gardens.
16        Upper el and middle school parents sign up for November parent/teacher conferences.
17-18   Upper el and middle school to James River Eco Camp-Out!  Volunteers/chaperones    needed.  
19        School Picture Make Up Day (Children must arrive before 9:00 to prepare for photos)
20        Chili Cook Off! Hot! 5 pm (no Montessori Hour offered this day)
29        NRC Run to the River! Fundraiser for Neighborhood Resource Center

Calendar Updates: (Please check Central’s website for a downloadable 2016-2017 calendar) http://centralmontessori.com/calendar/

*Special Note/Conferences:  Central does not close school to hold parent/teacher conferences.  Different levels rotate out every three months.  It can be very hard to reschedule!  Please watch for specific information/times and places.  Please sign up in the front office or email front desk to inquire about an available time.  We ask that both parents attend.  
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Want to sign up to make chili or cakes for this year’s Chili Cook Off? Here’s how to do it!
#1. Login and sign-up on Track It Forward (let us know if you need help)
#2. Write your name and your chili or cake on boards in office
#3. Whip up something delicious!

SPECIAL V HOUR REQUEST:  We would like to have help from those who are strong and happy to do the back breaking work that leads to a sense of happiness and fulfillment!  (ok...we just need a bit of help putting a fence in for our new upper el and middle school outdoor space at 2001 E. Broad.) Stephan will get the big diggy machine thing and the fencing.  If you have an hour to give, we would greatly appreciate it.  Meet us at 2001 E. Broad St. on Saturday, Oct. 7th anytime between 9:00 and 3:00. Yes!  RAISE THE FENCE DAY!

Venessa’s Primary
The class is listening to a yoga CD and calmly following instructions.  The children follow photos available for reference.  As their bodies stretch and bend, they tell each other what animals each pose reminds them of, “You look like a lion!” “Look! I’m a snake!”  One guide searches with a couple students to find the perfect space on the wall to hang their completed maps of North America, continuing the year-long study.  One of the students hanging their map notices a friend who has been sitting calmly and quietly for a long time.  “What are you working on?” The sitting friend proudly displays their sewing work, exclaiming, “A button!”

Toddler
As the first student of the day arrives, they walk into their classroom and, amidst enthusiastic greetings from their friends, restore their tote and lunchbox.  Directly to the sink they go, whispering to themselves, “Wash hands, make bubbles.”  After the ever-important routine of washing hands, the child decides to water the nearby plant.  Uh-oh! A small amount of water has sloshed out of the carefully filled watering can!  The young friend gently places the watering can beside the plant, walks over to a shelf, and retrieves a washcloth.  “Wipe up the water, wipe up the water,” chants the student, reminding themselves of the task at hand.  Once the towel is in the dirty-laundry hamper, the child beams proudly, knowing that they completed their first morning work!

Pre-Primary
A few friends gather outside to explore a new water work.  The students carefully practice transferring water from one bucket to the next.  While the other students patiently wait their turn for the exciting new work, they continue to work hard.  An older student helps a younger friend work on their numbers by having them use their fingers to trace the numbers, and repeating the numbers aloud.  A student sits at a table and works hard to create a beautiful piece of art, using an okra pod as their paintbrush!

Middle School
The students have logged onto their Google Classroom to find an assignment to be completed: rating the various causes and effects of the Greenhouse Effect.  With influences and consequences in mind, the remainder of the school day is dedicated to brainstorming and organizing science experiments for our upcoming Science Fair.

Amanda’s Primary
Small bands of bright orange appear above the soil line of one of Central’s gardens.  Above the orange--long, fluffy tufts of bright green make excellent handles for small hands.  Each of the students has a chance to come out to the garden and have a small lesson about pulling up carrots!  “It looks just like the big one we painted in the office!” exclaims one eager friend.  “Except much smaller,” notices another.  After all the gathered carrots have been washed and chopped by the class, they join other fresh, colorful veggies for a beautiful Daily Soup salad.

Lower-El
Students kick off their week making continents maps. In groups, they shuffle through the map boards, deciding which one they want to construct. By mid-week, nearly every student begins their work cycle with a map: North America, Europe, Asia, Australia!  A third year student helps a younger friend paper clip their tracing paper, as they set up an atlas for their own labels.  “I’m going to draw in the States’ birds!”  The collective consciousness of the Elementary classroom is full and rich with interest in maps.

Infant
Fall is in the air! Our littlest friends are making beautiful artwork with their tiny handprints.  After their careful guides help them dip their hands in red paint, they press them onto autumn-colored paper.  Add a torn piece of green paper and voila! A delicious red apple!  On another piece of paper, a leafless tree awaits its colorful accessories; scores of red, yellow, and orange fingerprints make crispy fall leaves, both on the branches and littering the “ground.”  Art is truly imitating life!

Upper-El
Students sit across from each other, quizzing their peers on state capitals.  “Providence is the capital of…?”  “Rhode Island! The capital of Montana is…?”  “Helena!”  While these friends continue to test their skills, others use new materials to make their maps of the North America.  Dark, opaque ink make up the outlines, while whimsically pale, translucent watercolors fill in the negative spaces.  A beautiful contrast!  Other students help their Lower El friends chop up dozens of tomatoes for Friday’s Spaghetti Day.  Today, the sauce.  Tomorrow, the eggplant, squash, and zucchini noodles!

 
 
September 2017
25        Fall Farm Share Daily Soup payment drive:  Keep an eye out for a large orange “carrot”!
29         Lower el parent Meet/Greet 6:30 and PIN 7-8 (childcare-$10 per hr.)

October  2017   PRE-PRIMARY AND PRIMARY CONFERENCE MONTH*
6           Infant & toddler Meet/Greet 6:30 and PIN 7- 8 (Childcare $10 per hr.)
10-11   School Picture Day (Children must arrive before 9:00 to prepare for photos)
13        Upper and Middle School Science Fair:  Share all of that good STEM stuff you have going on at home!              All students are asked to participate.  Start now and have a blast!
14        Outdoor Classroom Event 9:30-12:00 Help us beautify our educational gardens.
16        Upper el and middle school parents sign up for November parent/teacher conferences.
17-18  Upper el and middle school to James River Eco Camp-Out!  Volunteers/chaperones  needed.  

Calendar Updates: (Please check Central’s website for a downloadable 2016-2017 calendar) http://centralmontessori.com/calendar/

*Special Note/Conferences:  Central does not close school to hold parent/teacher conferences.  Different levels rotate out every three months.  It can be very hard to reschedule!  Please watch for specific information/times and places.  Please sign up in the front office or email front desk to inquire about an available time.  We ask that both parents attend.  

Venessa’s Primary
The first student of the day decides to begin their work cycle with a North American map for Continent Day.  They are excited to complete Canada because it is so large!  As more friends trickle in, a second year student walks carefully around their friend’s work-rug towards the math shelf for banking.  A first year student, who has never worked on a puzzle before, completes it with ease.  Two students prepare for the International Day of Peace by singing the Peace Song to each other.

Toddler
Three toddlers on the playground spy our older elementary and middle school friends "Running in Circles" at Jefferson Park in the cool morning air.   Deciding that this looks like a nice way to start the day, one child begins to run laps around the playground.   In short order, the other two friends join in and the whole gang is jogging and laughing together.   When their jog is over, the children enjoy a nice cool down by sitting to drink a cup of water.

Pre-Primary
Feats of strength!  Two students take turns carrying a large pumpkin across the room and carefully place it in a square on the ground, how precise!  Meanwhile, a student chooses a cutting work from the art shelf.  She carefully uses the scissors to cut strips of vibrantly colored paper.  Another student focuses on sorting like-colored objects into different piles.  The student then correctly identifies the red, blue, and yellow objects to a teacher.

Middle School
One brave student volunteers to be our first news anchor for Current Events, delivering updates about the recent global natural disasters to the rest of the class.  Then, each student drafts a letter to a recent guest lecturer from American University, thanking the professor for the generous lesson on fractals from last week.  Later in the day, the students expand their understanding of syntax by diagramming sentences with combined effort.

Amanda’s Primary
There are leftover potatoes in the daily soup basket.  A teacher cuts one in half, and from the two halves she carves a peace sign and a heart.  With red and blue paints, the potatoes become stamps to create the universal symbols for peace and love.  As the students make beautiful peace-themed art work, some of the paints blend togeher and a first year student exclaims, “red and blue can make purple!”  With color and tranquility filling the room, the students are ready and excited for this Sunday’s Three Park Walk for Peace!

Lower-El
Lower El students join their peers around a candle to sing “Light a Candle for Peace” to celebrate the International Day of Peace. Some students smile, a few hold hands, and one wraps their arms around their younger sibling.  As the other classes disperse, the Lower El class returns to their morning work cycle as well.  Everyday needs a pause for peace.

Infant
Ice cream in the morning?  At Central?!  Okay, not really.   An infant sits on the playground with a small, blue ice cream scoop, serving up bowls of "mulch cream" to friends.   The child puts one scoop in a bowl, then another, then one more.   Once the bowl is full, the child looks around, smiling, to offer this "tasty treat" to a nearby friend.  The friend dumps their bowl on the playground and hands the empty bowl back to the "mulch cream" scooper.

Upper-El
Students slice and chop fresh vegetables into small pieces, while other friends measure the amounts and keep track of what has been added.  Roasted corn, tomatoes, green peppers, onion, and fresh herbs comes together to make a deliciously aromatic pico de gallo salsa for Daily Soup.  Upper El joins Middle School on an excursion to Patrick Henry Park.  Bouncy balls are dispersed and partners line up in a peaceful and cooperative exercise of bouncing the ball back and forth.  Can your partner catch the ball after just one bounce?

 
    PictureCamp In, Fire pit, We take turns seating around the fire.




    PictureWinter comes to the school