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March 2013 • Issue 6

Director’s Notes
F
or a short month we sure had a lot going on at the school our sponsored section of highway 90 west of Alpine. We walked,
in February. The primary class celebrated the Chinese New stooped and gathered for over two hours and in the end collected
Year, the Year of the Snake, with an enriching lesson on a mountain of filled trash bags. Check out our Facebook page
Chinese culture. A noisy parade to “scare away the dragon”, with for photos from this event. Among some of the odder things we
the children banging on tambourines, knocking sticks together, found were a cell phone, a shower curtain, lots of bones, hubcaps
and jingling bells, all the while skipping along in a line in around and signs and too many bottles and cans to count. Looking for-
the yard, ended this day of festivities. If the dragon is repelled by ward to our next clean-up outing!
cuteness then we’re certain it left the Trans-Pecos area in record
time. Before the candy rich holiday of Valentine’s Day was upon Hard to believe that we are entering March and that Spring Break
us, both classes enjoyed a visit from Alpine Public Library’s is just around the corner. The school will be closed from March
children’s librarian Mary Beth Garrett. Ms. Garrett gave presen- 11th through the 15th. We will also close for Good Friday, March
tations on dental health. Students then did crafts that helped 29th. Looking ahead, the elementary class will begin their stan-
to reinforced the important habits of good dental hygiene. On dardized testing (Iowa Test of Basic Skills, or ITBS) the first week
Valentine’s Day, the classes celebrated Valentine’s Day with a party in April, then parent/teacher conferences will begin. Once all the
and everyone exchanged cards. The elementary class delighted in tests have been taken and graded, Marie will evaluate the results
a change of routine when Marie and Toni led them to Kokernot for each student based on the interpretation guide provided by
park for a pre-treat energy burn off. Then the children walked ITBS. All parents will receive a copy of their child’s score
back to enjoy chocolate dipped strawberries, cookies and cup- and their individual evaluation at their scheduled conference.
cakes. Cards and gifts were exchanged throughout the day making If you cannot make the conference, a copy will be placed in your
it a very special holiday. Also in February, Mayra Dutchover, our family box.
primary teacher-in-Montessori-training, spent a week in Hous-
ton at the Houston Montessori Center for her second of three Stay tuned for upcoming information regarding our summer
seminars required for certification. She spent the summer of 2012 program. For elementary aged children we will be offering a series
there undergoing intensive training and will spend more time at of themed camps, from 8 AM to noon. Afternoon care will be
HMC this June. We are so happy for Mayra and thrilled when available for Montessori students. Primary aged students will
she returns with a head full of ideas to implement in the class- enjoy a summer enrichment program that will highlight different
room. She has worked very hard and we look forward to having regions of the world and lots of cooking with Chef Mayra! More
her fully trained by the end of this summer. The end of Febru- information about the AMS summer program will be forthcom-
ary brought school pictures, class pictures and the elementary ing in the April newsletter. In order to ensure a spot for your
students were quite pleased with a visit from cowboy poets Glenn child, please let Amelie or a teacher know if you will need summer
Moreland and Washtub Jerry on February 22nd. It’s been a busy care. Space is limited!
month here at AMS!
From all of us at Alpine Montessori, have a terrific Spring Break
One thing about our school that is to be highly commended and a wonderful Easter!
is the community spirit embraced by our Montessori families.
We wouldn’t be here without the dedication of parents like you
who understand the importance of being involved not only in
your child’s education but also in the care of their school. The
Valentine’s Day basket raffle was a wonderful fundraising success
and we thank all of you who donated and solicited goods and
sold tickets. Special thanks to parent and board member Amy
Ellis who spearheaded this idea two years running and somehow
surpassed her goals both times! We are fortunate to have such an
involved advocate in Ms. Ellis. We were also happy to see so many
folks show up on a Saturday morning to help us pick up trash on
Praise or Encouragement?

A
s parents and teachers we are often is not forthcoming, then its absence may be never comparing the one child to another.
approached by children looking interpreted by the child as failure. This is Children notice the difference and are
for reaffirmation. “Do you like my why we practice encouragement, as opposed motivated to continue to please themselves
picture?” “I finished all my lunch!” It is to praise, at the Montessori school. when encouraged and not praised. Praise
tempting to give children praise whenever hampers risk taking. Studies show that
they do something good, thus presumably Rather than saying “I am PROUD of children who are praised for being smart
padding them with ego-armor that they you”, which has the effect of claiming when they finish a task choose easier tasks
can use to protect themselves from life’s the achievement as our own, we prefer to in the future because they don’t want to
more stressful moments. Maria Montessori say “I appreciate your help.” Instead of risk making mistakes. Children who are
observed that children do best when what “You are so smart!” we say “You figured it encouraged for their efforts are willing to
they are trying to accomplish is drawn from out!” Encouragement is more specific and choose more challenging tasks when given a
an innate desire to learn and further their sincere whereas praise is often rote and choice. See below for more examples of how
creations, be it artistically or academically, dismissive. Encouragement is generally praise can be turned into encouragement,
rather than being motivated by the praise private and focuses on improvement of a more vital tool for your child’s success in
of others. If we always reward a child with the process rather than evaluation of a life.
praise after a task is completed, then the finished product. Encouragement uses the
child comes to expect it. However, if praise child’s prior accomplishment as a context,

Instead of: Try:


Good job. Nice work.
That’s my boy/girl! You reached your goal!
You did it just like I told you. You are unique.
You’re the best player on the team. You did your best.
You get that quality from your dad. You really stuck it out.
You always look perfect. You worked hard.
I’m impressed. Look at your improvement.
Great! That’s what I expected! You accomplished what you wanted.
You’re better than that. You can decide that for yourself.
You always know the right answer. I have faith in you.
You know how to please me 100%. I love you.
That the best picture ever! I like how you filled the page with color.

Montessori at Home
O
ne of the core areas of focus in Finding time to cook with your child meal. You will notice that your child is very
Montessori education is Practical seems like a daunting task if you view it as proud of their part in helping to prepare the
Life. Practical life skills are those a big chore, but you can make it easier if meal — they have learned that they can do
we need to function in our daily world, you break down your lessons into smaller something useful and meaningful for the
but many children and young adults are segments. Begin with a simple task like whole family.
surprisingly lacking in one vital practical life vegetable chopping. You can purchase
skill — cooking. a child friendly vegetable chopper that
Add on to your cooking lessons as dishes
requires the use of two hands to ensure they
and time permits. Rolling out dough,
don’t lose any digits and set up a work space
Teaching children how to prepare food peeling vegetables, using a garlic press are all
for them next to yours so that you can chop
at an early age has many layers of benefit. small activities that are easy for small ones
vegetables together. Show them the proper
Children gain concepts of basic math, to learn. As they grow, hand over measuring
way to handle the knife and monitor their
volumes, early chemistry, nutrition and and mixing tasks to them. You will be
progress. After trying this a few times, your
history — just a few topics that can come surprised at how much they will embrace
child will be ready to chop veggies for you
up during a cooking session. new foods if they play a part in the cooking.
while you prepare other portions of the
Highway Clean-Up In the Primary...
S
t. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this
year, but we just can’t resist a chance to
celebrate a holiday so our Primary class
will observe St. Patty’s on Monday, March
18th with activities and the ceremonial
wearing of the green. Please send your child
with green attire. This will be a festive return
to class after our Spring Break week.
We will have our traditional in-class Easter
Egg Hunt on March 28th. We will need 8
dozen eggs (uncooked) ahead of time, there
will be a sign up sheet in the office after
Spring Break for those who can help out
by providing a carton of eggs. The children
experiment with herbs and plants to dye
their eggs and are always tickled pink with
the results.
Parent/Teacher conferences will begin in
April. If you would like to observe the class-
room before the conference, please speak
with Mayra or Amelie to schedule a time

A
lpine Montessori sponsors a two Don Corrick, Addison Corrick, Dalee Sul- and date.
mile stretch of Highway 90. Four livan, Kevin Urbanczyk, Amelie Urbanczyk,
times a year we rally together and Pruitt Urbanczyk, Walt Urbanczyk, Jim
clean up the trash on this section. Our first Thompson, Owen Thompson, Sonya Mar-
clean up of 2013 was on February 23rd, and tinez, Marco Martinez Sr., Angela Martinez,
we had a great turn out. Ernesto Martinez and Marco Martinez Jr.
Mayra Dutchover,
The students, staff and parents who came Pictured in the above photo, our proud work-
Primary Teacher
for our highway clean-up filled up 20 bags ers show off the fruits of their labors.
with debris from the road way. Thanks to
Marie Heidrick, Toni Sands, Nicole Talley,
Lunchbox
Dates to Remember Favorites Salad

T
March 11th — Johnny Appleseed Day, plant a fruit tree to celebrate
his recipe has served with Hot
March 11-15th — Spring Break, No classes. Ask about volunteering to care for Lunch a few times and is a hit with
our animals during our break. the children. Lots of fruit and vege-
tables in a light dressing makes it a hit with
March 14th — Pi Day parents, too.

March 17th — St. Patrick’s Day 2 Tbs. nonfat plain yogurt


2 Tbs. olive oil
March 18th — St. Patrick’s Day Party in Primary, Send your primary student in 2 Tsp. apple cider vinegar
green for their festive celebration of the Irish holiday 1
/4 Tsp. ground allspice
2 carrots, grated or julienned (1 1/2 cups)
March 23rd — World Meteorological Day, Celebrate rain or shine! 1 red apple, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
March 28th — Egg Hunt in Primary, Ask your teacher about volunteer 2 stalks celery, cut into thin
opportunities. matchsticks (1/2 cup)
1
/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
March 29th — Good Friday, No classes
Whisk together yogurt, oil, vinegar, and
Is there a topic you would like to see covered in our newsletter? Do you have comments allspice in large bowl. Add remaining ingre-
or critiques? We’d love to hear from you, email amy @alpinemontessori.org. dients and mix well to incorporate.
Raffle Update The Elementary
class celebrated
Valentine’s Day
with cookies &
strawberries dipped
in chocolate.

The Primary class


“scares away the
dragon” for Chinese

C
ongratulations to Ann Wilson for New Year.
winning the drawing for our fabu-
lous Valentine’s Day basket. Parents,
board members and friends of the school
sold $1,240 in tickets — all proceeds benefit
the school. We thank everyone for their par-
ticipation in this raffle and look forward to
more great fundraising work in the future.

Our school is a non-profit entity, as such we


endeavor to keep our expenses as low as pos-
sible and spend our money wisely. Fundrais-
ing events such as this help us to purchase
new materials for our classroom, pay for
teacher training and expand our programs.
We gratefully accept donations throughout
the year, all of which are tax deductible. You
can also help to support our school by using
our Amazon Affiliate link when purchasing
items from Amazon. It is found in the top
paragraph of our website, or you can type
http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UT-
F8&camp=1789&creative=9325&link-
Code=ur2&tag=wwwalpinemont-20 into
your address bar.

We Thank You!
We get by with a lot of help from our friends. We’d like to thank the
following people & businesses for their contributions to our school.
If anyone was forgotten, we apologize. We appreciate everything you all do to make this school possible.
Hot Lunch
Mary Beth Garrett for the healthy for helping with the elementary class
teeth presentation Valentine’s Day party Providers
Tony Curry for coming to our plumb- Mark Foster and Deborah Tout for pro-
ing aid viding seeds for the school garden Thanks to all of the families
Glenn Moreland and Washtub Jerry for Liz and Hiram Sibley for donating
who brought hot lunch
their Cowboy Poetry presentation to after school care items for the elemen- for our classes in February!
the elementary students tary students
Spring Ni for providing Chinese pears Everyone who donated items and sold Stein family, Sullivan family,
for the new year celebration tickets for the Valentine’s Day raffle Ni family, Chisholm family,
Amanda Robles and Danielle Corrick Mark Ofenstein for troubleshooting Martinez Family,
for helping with the primary class Val- our computer problems
entine’s Day party and Robie Golden
Campbell family,
LeBlanc family, Rember family

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