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Welcome to Marie's Class

Marie Voss

Welcome to our classroom!
Our classroom is prepared to meet your child's developmental needs through exploration and discovery. We are eager to observe and guide them through their days here at school!

Warmly,
Marie Voss
Marie@traversechildrenshouse.org

“The child can develop fully by means of experience in his environment. We call such experiences ‘work’.” Maria Montessori

Marie Voss, Guide
Elgin Community College, child development student
AMS Infant-Toddler Certification, MECA-Seton, Chicago
The Children's House experience (2008- present)
Young Children's Community Support
Young Children's Community Guide

March 23, 2017

With our baking, projects your children are learning sequencing, early math with measurements, new language, and they are engaging their senses with new tastes and scents. This last week we made some delicious honey and cinnamon biscuits. Baking flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon were the ingredients we discussed as we mixed them together. After rolling out the dough, the children helped stamp the dough with a heart shape cookie cutter. Our classroom was filled with a delightful aroma as we baked the biscuits. It is a true delight to allow a child the opportunity to make biscuits on their own after we have done it as a group a few times. Having the opportunity to learn by doing and not just watching or listening provides the child with immediate feedback which engages all of their senses. As Maria Montessori said, " Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”

March 9, 2017

The age from 0-3 is unlike any other time in life for language development. Once children learn simple words receptively and expressively they desire more. They want to know a bird is a cardinal instead of just calling it a bird. They want to know a daffodil is a type of flower. Over the last two weeks during our group time we have been listening to 10 different instruments sounds and looking at a picture of them. Several of the children are now identifying by sound, sight or both a recorder, mandolin, clarinet, piano, xylophone, harmonica, celesta, oboe, organ and trombone. The children exuberantly share their new words when they hear the sound and see the pictures!

The muddy season is upon us... We enjoy time outdoors most every day. Unless it is too rainy or too cold. Fresh air and having time outside exploring nature is important for your child's development. I understand that their things get quite messy but they are gaining gross motor skills, growing their auditory, visual and olfactory senses along with developing more language with this time outdoors. Please continue to send your child's winter gear and check their bags at night to see if things need to be dried out. Spring will be upon us soon!

February 23, 2017

Marie is away this week and will be back with highlights in two weeks.

February 9, 2017

This past week we enjoyed making apple sauce! The children were eager helpers as we gathered apples from the kitchen, washed them, put them on the peeler/corer and placed the spiraled apples in the pot. Cinnamon was a delightful scent to experience as we shook it onto the apples. After the apples were finished cooking we poured them into the blender to grind them up to a puree. The children watched in amazement as the mix whirled around and when we poured it into bowls it was apple sauce!  Cooking with children allows for many learning experiences! Sequencing, new scents, early math with measuring ingredients and the satisfaction of getting to taste your hard work.

January 26, 2017

The practical life area of our classroom has been bustling with activity!

Scrubbing paint off the table, washing a shoe, sweeping/wiping up a spill, polishing the dusty plant leaves, and washing our easel are just a few of the practical life activities available. These real life experiences that your child has the chance to work on, develop self confidence because they begin to understand that they are a contributing member to our community. Also, the children learn sequencing as they complete the task of gathering the materials from the shelf, laying them out, practicing the task and cleaning up. Some of the practical life activities have a dozen plus steps! I prepare the Practical Life area of our classroom so that the children can do these activities independently. It's very precious to watch a child notice there is paint on the table and without asking one of us adults they retrieve the table scrubbing bucket and clean the table without our assistance needed! I encourage you to have some of these activities available for your child at home. They love to be helpers! Please let me know if you'd like some ideas.

“The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences." Maria Montessori

January 12, 2017

The children have settled back into our classroom nicely from. break! They have eagerly shared about presents they received, trips that were taken and time that was spent outdoors in the snow.
Over the next few weeks a few of our friends will be moving up to Primary and we will be welcoming new friends to our classroom. This past week we welcomed Peter and the children have enjoyed showing him around the classroom and assisting him when he needs help. I love seeing the cycle of development in the classroom! They join us eager to explore and learning new words and movements frequently. Next they "settle in" and develop concentration and mastery over their movements. Finally they become the "teacher" to other friends in the classroom. You retain 90% of what you can teach back so it is quite a marvel to watch a young child very specifically show another child how to do a multi step activity.

“The child builds his inmost self out of the deeply held impressions he receives.”
Maria Montessori

December 16, 2016

We have enjoyed talking about the upcoming holidays the last couple of weeks in our classroom. The Holidays provide a rich cultural experience for your children! During our group time we have lit a menorah, practiced spinning a dreidel, listened to a Nativity music box play "Silent Night", talked about our Christmas trees at our houses and we have sang several holiday songs while shaking our jingle bells. The children talk with excitement about what they see around them as we adults prepare for the Holidays.

With the arrival of snow the children are getting plenty of proactive dressing themselves in their winter clothing! Many of them are able to get snow pants and boots on all by themselves! When you are preparing your child to get ready to play outside at home I find it works best to give short simple specific instructions as to what they should do first. Such as, "First get your snow pants." You could then follow with "Snow pants go on your legs." I know it may seem silly to our adult mind to break instructions down this simply but at this time of development most children can only understand one instruction at a time. Too much information and they loose focus or get frustrated.

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful winter break and I wish you all wonderful celebrations of the Holidays.

December 1, 2016

What a delightful Harvest Feast we enjoyed last week! I appreciate you all contributing to our delicious meal!

Our meal times at school are a very important part of our day! We start to prepare for our meals by two children setting out placemats, plates, cups and decanters/pitchers for all 15 of us. They carefully use baskets to carry each item one by one to the table. It is quite amazing to observe the children through this process! They are very precise in the details of doing placemats first, then plates and lastly cups. Not only are the children learning a practical life skill by setting the table, they are also experiencing early math. How many friends are here today? We have 10 placemats on the table, how many more do we need? These are a couple of questions that arise as the table is being prepared.

I encourage you to have a low cabinet at home that has a few plates and cups in it so your child can help set your table for meals. They will have a sense of joy and accomplishment because they will feel like a contributing member of their family!

November 10, 2016

Over the last couple of weeks we have been enjoying making apple sauce. The children are eager helpers! We gather the apples from our kitchen cooler in our baskets. The children like to talk about how strong their arms are as they carry the loaded baskets back to our classroom. One of the children will take the colander off the shelf and bring it to the sink so they can wash the apples. As soon as the apples are clean we are ready to place one on the corer/peeler and the cranking begins! Astonished as the round apple turns into a spiral, the children are watching intently! As soon as our pan is filled a child will add the water and another will add the sugar/cinnamon mix. What an aroma our classroom is filled with as our delicious snack is cooking!  To establish sequencing and language we will make the same apple sauce several times over a couple of weeks. The repetition allows the children to fully absorb the process. Focusing on the process rather than the product encourages concentration and confidence in the child.

“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” Maria Montessori

October 27, 2016

“To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely.” -Maria Montessori

The change of the seasons provide so many new opportunities for your young children to learn! We have been working on putting coats and boots on these past couple of weeks. For jackets we do the "up and over" trick. To help in the beginning I lay the child's coat out on the floor for them with the tag by their toes. I then show the child how to find the two arm holes and put their arms in. Then they flip it up and over their head and their jacket is on. They get quite the giggle out of this trick!

Taking off their shoes is the first step in learning to put their boots on. We have a small bench in our coat room that the children sit on. After they unfasten their shoes, I show them how to place one hand on their toes and one hand on their heel to push the shoe off. Next a boot is placed in front of them to slip their toes into and push the rest of their foot in.

Providing clothing and shoes/boots that allow your child to be successful in learning to dress themselves is a gift to them! Also having a low hook, low stool and basket by your door will allow them the opportunity to take care of their things or get them when it is time to go outside. How helpful it is when you can say "It's time to go." and they get themselves ready! They are so delighted when they can accomplish things for themselves!

October 13, 2016

The leaves on the trees turn orange and red
orange and red orange and red
The leaves on the trees turn orange and red
All through the town.

We'll rake them in a pile and jump right in
jump right in jump right in
We'll rake them in a pile and jump right in
All through the town.

The leaves on the trees come tumbling down
tumbling down tumbling down
The leaves on the trees come tumbling down
All through the town.
(sung to the tune of wheels on the bus)

This time of year brings many wonderful sensorial experiences for your children! The leaves are changing color, the air is crisp, the wet dew in the morning on the grass and their are many delicious tastes of fall foods!

We have a fall basket on one of our language shelves. It contains gourds, a pumpkin, a couple of fall leaves and pictures of fall scenes. Providing real, tangible items and pictures for your children to explore help them make the connections to what is going on around them. When we take walk around campus I point out the variety of things we are seeing and relate it to the basket in our classroom. Frequently when we get back inside a child or two will run over and take something from the basket to show me because they remember seeing it on our walk as well.

I hope you all get the opportunity to go on a nature hike this fall and watch as your child explores the great change around them!

September 29, 2016

“Look around and you will see a community, a family.
We're together we are friends."

The words above are the song that we sing before we eat. It is short but the words are sweet with meaning! Your children are learning what these words mean in our classroom. Social skills are quite abstract at this stage of development. We use concrete language and visual cues to help the children begin to understand how to be a community member. If a child wants an activity or material that another child has I might say "Look at Sloane's hands. She is using the paint brush right now. When she is finished you will see it in the cabinet." With these words I will also point to what I am saying. Another example would be at snack when a child is very eager for food they may scream or get upset if they don't get the food right in that moment. I might say something like "I see that Avett is using the tongs to serve himself crackers. We will pass them and it will be your turn for your hands to get crackers." Again, I will point and use subtle gestures to help the child understand my words. Social development for the child is a process. It takes patience and intention from the adults in the child's life.

This past week we made play dough in our classroom. The children were eager to help pour in the salt, water, flour and cream of tartar. They also enjoyed helping stir the ingredients together. As the mixture transformed into a dough ball you could see the wonder in the children's eyes as they were trying to process how this could happen!

September 15, 2016

The children are settling in nicely to the new school year! They have been eager to explore the classroom and interact with one another.

Frequently when a new child starts in our classroom, the family will start hearing “my work" when their child is attempting to do something at home. This usually gets a chuckle out of the parent! This is a phrase we use in the classroom when someone is working on or with a material/activity. We are setting up a good connotation to the word work. We want the children to begin to understand that work is a feeling of exploration and achievement. Work is something they can feel proud of!

This past week we planted lettuce seeds in our garden bed outside our classroom. The children were delighted to help make rows with the trowel, sprinkle the tiny seeds in and then give a nice watering to the seeds. We will look forward to harvesting our first green in the next week or two! 

This page last updated on 3/22/2017.

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Room Parent

Amy Gollan
amygollan11@yahoo.com 

Classroom Support

Ashley Bachi

Ashley Bachi

Callie Kostrzewa

Callie Kostrzewa

 

 
tch_icon.pngThe Children's House - An Independent Montessori School
5363 N Long Lake Rd. | Traverse City, MI | 49685 (p) 231.929.9325 | (f) 231.929.9384 | email: learn@traversechildrenshouse.org