March Banyan Newsletter

Dear Banyan Families,

I cannot imagine that we have already marched into March; it feels like we just started the school year!

Last month, Teagan from the Mangrove class transitioned to the Banyan classroom. I have to share with you all how wonderfully the Banyans are supporting their new friend with her transition process.
I recall once entering the Banyan class after observing the Toddler classrooms when I felt that transition for myself. I paused by the door for a moment, and started thinking and putting together all the processes and procedures that a child goes through when they transition from one classroom environment to another. So many factors are included in that transition process: class size, number of students, new classroom environment, teachers, peers, lessons, and change of routine. The transitioning child needs support from the entire classroom community in order to feel safe and adapt to the new class, peers, teachers’ lessons, and routine. Isn’t “the empathetic human” an excellent lesson for all of us to learn, to feel others’ feelings and needs, and to support them accordingly?

Moving on to March, the Banyans will slowly start the North American continent study.
We will continue our practices on following the bathroom procedures (ask your child about it), using the tissue to blow the nose, covering the cough and sneeze, and washing hands.

Discussion of the Month: “What Is Happening in the Banyan Classroom?”
In my October newsletter, “What is happening in the Banyan Classroom?” was mainly about the daily routine and what we learn together at the beginning of the school year.
Now we are close to the end of the school year. The children are growing and needing a change. Especially this time of the year, children get ready for the next developmental stage. So children need a shift of pattern in their routine. The routine is the same, but with modulations and extensions. For example, in the morning circle, we sing the same song but with different voice modulations. At the beginning of the school year, kindergartners were willing to place the nap mats. Now our young leaders (first-year students) are placing the nap mats, and kindergarten students can run the circle.

As Dr. Montessori said, we “follow the child” and guide them accordingly. Once we understand and study the child, it is a pure pleasure to follow their pattern.

Change of Pattern in the Environment
The classroom environment needs consistent changes throughout the school year. Some changes are:
Switching around a couple pieces of furniture
Replacing the lessons and objects
Adding new lessons on the shelves

Every time I make a change to the environment, I feel refreshed to come to the classroom and see the children’s excitement when they enter the class. Changes should be made carefully, and should not overwhelm the children when they enter the class.

Adults in the Environment
We adults must recognize that the children have physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually developed over the months, and thus, their needs and expressions have changed. This requires being present with the children at all times, studying about them to support them.

“The teacher, when she begins work in our schools, must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work.”
— Dr. Montessori

So, what is happening in the classroom at this time of the school year?

“The satisfaction which they find in their work has given them a grace and ease like that which comes from music.”
— Dr. Montessori

The older students in the class have been enjoying their pattern of tasks (work-help-socialize), and sometimes the patterns take twists and turns. They all know their responsibilities, and sometimes require a gentle reminder. The building-year students have been building the bridge to walk on for the kindergarten year. They have been working, working, and working with the same lessons again and again, and helping young friends.

Our young leaders are familiar with the routine and have been building confidence via consistent routine, working with the lessons, and socializing with their peers. In young children, the process of unfolding from the unconscious absorbent mind to the conscious absorbent mind may happen at various times, and for some students, it is just starting to happen.

“The child passes little by little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love.” —Dr. Montessori

On the whole, the Banyan classroom is filled with little humans (25), their work, the noise from the materials, and the children’s work. The class also has lots of feelings and expressions: waves of laughter, excitement, sadness, crying, screaming, and talking. The beauty of a Montessori classroom is allowing the children to regulate their feelings and guide/ support them as per their needs. A child’s expression is related to their feelings, and it is OK to let them feel their feelings as long as the child and the children around the child are safe.

“Once a direction is given to them, the child’s movements are made towards a definite end, so that he himself grows quiet and contented, and becomes an active worker, a being calm and full of joy.”
— Dr. Montessori

March Studies
Spring theme:
The life cycle of a butterfly Parts of a flower Continent studies


Ms. Karthi and Ms. Desiree

February Banyan Newsletter

Dear Banyan Families,

“The love of one’s environment is the secret of social evolution.”
— Dr. Maria Montessori

We are thankful for all of your contributions and support for our classroom bake sale and the auction basket.

We are already swinging into the second month of our new year. Banyans are continually practicing the bathroom procedures, covering the cough and sneeze, using a tissue to blow the nose, and washing hands.

February is a friendship-sharing month at our school. All three primary classes will gather to exchange friendship and love with each other at an in-school event during the day. We will also have a community event called “Love and Play” on February 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each program takes responsibility for various events we hold throughout the school year, and the Primary Program is responsible for “Love and Play.” We need your help and support to set up, volunteer at, and break down the event.

The Topic of the Month: Observation

“We cannot create observers by saying ‘observe,’ but by giving them the power and the means for this observation, and these means are procured through education of these senses.”
— Dr. Maria Montessori

I am grateful for the time I spend observing the classroom every morning after our circle time. What a fantastic feeling to sit down and observe the students and watch their movements. During my morning observation time, I get to observe all the Banyans in the classroom at once, write observation notes, and plan the lessons accordingly.

Observation is one of the most important aspects of the educational process both for the teacher and the child. It is through observation that the teacher learns about children and their needs, activities, reactions, and general personality traits and developmental characteristics, while the child learns about the world around them. Only through observation can we learn about life, people, the environment, and the essential interactions which take place within this dynamic cosmos.

As we consider observation, we will concentrate on the teacher as the constant observer of the child, and we can also apply such considerations to parents and visitors at the school. We want to keep in mind that the child is also an observer within the environment. Much of what the child learns is the result of their observation of other children and teachers at the school as well as parents, siblings, friends, and movies that they watch at home. The environment in which the child is present must be a highly welcoming, safe, and child-friendly place. The child’s environment includes the materials and the people around them. The child observes very carefully and consciously everything surrounded them like a sponge. So, if we notice any changes in a child’s behavior, we should consider remodeling the environment, which includes materialistic and non materialistic things in the atmosphere.

When we observe, we must try to maintain certain attitudes:

• Calm; not apprehensive
• Objective; try to see things as they are
• Open; to new ideas and changes in our points of view; try to be nonjudgmental

In general, we must become aware of children in order to understand them. We must observe children in order to perceive the subtle cues and messages that children send out to those who are willing to notice and understand. We must help children in their development by supporting and fulfilling their interests and needs.

February Studies

Friendship-sharing month
Earth science
-Layers of the earth
Cultural Studies

Ms. Karthi and Ms. Desiree

January Banyan Newsletter

New Year Greetings, Banyan Families,

I hope all of us got enough time to get connected with our families and friends during the holiday season. May we all have the strength and peaceful mind to walk through this year with grace, gratitude and satisfaction.

“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” —Dr. Montessori

December was a short yet exciting month for the Banyans. As they experienced the holiday spirits around them, when the students came to the classroom, they enjoyed the routine, prepared environment, and the works. The classroom was quite noisy once in a while out of excitement that they experience during the season. Moreover, the Banyans were happy and were eager to practice the work every day.

We sent off Maddie for the rest of the year and invited Darwin to our classroom. We have 24 Banyan students in our class.

Extended Practical Life Area Lessons

In my December newsletter, I wrote about the importance of the “practical life” area in the classroom. We have extended the practical life area works to the outdoor environment to help the children understand the need for practical life area lessons and the application of the lessons in real life. Sweeping our outdoor environment and playground, mopping the hallway, and cleaning the easel are a few extended practical life lessons.

The following are a few more practical life lessons that we have been learning together:

Nose blowing: We encourage the children to use a tissue to blow their nose, and we have tissue boxes available for them to use whenever they need. We discussed the germs that stayed with us and spread to others if we use our hands or clothes to blow the nose, and the importance of washing our hands right after blowing the nose.

Coughing: We have worked with covering our coughs (coughing into a bent elbow or a tissue), and washing the hands right after.

Bathroom: We discussed how and where we use the bathroom and the steps we use in the bathroom. Children feel funny when we talk about it, but we all agreed that it is part of our classroom, and we need to follow a few steps appropriately to keep us and the bathroom clean.

“Only practical work and experience lead the young to maturity.”
—Dr. Montessori

The Topic of the Month: Patterns

I always wonder about patterns, especially since learning about their importance in my Montessori training. I recently got to learn, explore, and connect with spirals, Voronoi diagrams, the golden ratio, and fractal patterns. It made me connect with the patterning lessons in our classroom and the values of those lessons. I was curious to read and discuss it with my daughters, and I thought I should share it with you all.

The first concept of the Montessori Early Childhood Language area is “visual discrimination.” The first set of lessons under the visual discrimination concept is patterning: matching object patterns with cards, creating patterns, and bead stringing with various patterns. I have observed that children who regularly practiced with patterning work have the ability to make connections with objects. Then later, the patterning works helped them naturally develop advanced language skills. As we have the excellent opportunity to observe and follow the child for three-four years, I’ve enjoyed observing the children progressing on their learning path with various patterning lessons and patterns.

In real life, patterns are everywhere: patterns in nature, in art, patterns in the universe, patterns in our body, in our thoughts, patterns in math, and patterns all around and within us. Even every breath we take has a pattern. Children get the opportunity to explore and experience these patterns around them every day. We must encourage them to observe and play with various patterning objects around them.

Once I was invited by a child to see the shadow on the floor. She asked: “Do you see the Nevada state on the floor-shadow?” I realized that the child remembered the pattern of the state and was relating that to a similar pattern.

Understanding and discovering patterns will reveal the answers to the importance of patterns. We learn about a concept and then we follow, practice, and execute. But it may take a while to understand the real value of it until we get an opportunity to reconnect, explore, and re-evaluate the same concept.
“Without changing our pattern of thought, we will not be able to solve the problems we created with our current patterns of thought.”
—Albert Einstein

January Studies

Geography and history
Days of the week
Months of the year

Though these lessons are part of the curriculum, the first month of the year is the perfect time to reintroduce these lessons.

Ms. Karthi and Ms. Desiree

December Banyan Newsletter

Dear Banyan Families,

The month of November went by fast, and here we are getting ready to invite another season soon. Thank you to all of you for attending the parent-teacher conferences. It was significant to meet with you all and discuss your child. Our next parent-teacher conferences will be in April, and as always, if you have any doubts/questions, you can email me, or we can arrange a meeting.

We celebrated fall harvest with the other two primary classes by sharing our foods and eating together on the front lawn. As part of our fall studies, we used real corn to learn about parts of corn, and then cooked the corn for our harvest sharing.

What an experience to discuss what we are grateful for with our young children. They are thankful, and they are responsible for what they are grateful for. We talked about how we are grateful for our Elementary students for helping us set up the nap mats every day, and we showed our gratitude by making thank-you cards for them. One of our Kindergarten students said we should write, “We are thankful for your responsibility” on the card, and we wrote it. Then all the Banyans signed the cards for Spanish Limes and Coco Plums. One child said, “ I am happy in this classroom,” and when I asked “What made you feel that way?” the child said “the lessons.” It is a pure, honest feeling from a child. And then, I started to think about the work I need to do in our classroom to make the environment even more feasible for the children.

The Topic of the Month: Practical Life Area

“Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.”
—Dr. Montessori

Practical Life is one of the main five areas in the Montessori Primary classroom. It is the first main area of the class where the child spends most of the time when they start in the primary classroom, regardless of age. This area encourages students to learn order, cconcentration, coordination, and independence. It also has lessons to develop hand movements, penmanship, care of oneself, care of others, and care of the environment. This area also has a significant impact on future reading and writing. Frequently, people compare the Practical Life area with the kitchen area at our house. Yes, this area resides in the kitchen area of the Montessori house (class), as there is a need for water usage, a place for snacking, and food preparation — one of the busiest areas of the classroom.

Order is one of the needs of life which, when satisfied, produces real happiness.”
—Dr. Montessori

This area is also an important area to practice grace and courtesy. Children help each other with cleaning up the water spills on the tables, sweeping the floor to clean up the beans/rice/objects from “dry pouring” lessons, mopping the floor from over-usage of water. When the students hear any noise in this area, they all walk over there to check with their friends and help them clean up their work/spills.

Some other grace and courtesy activities that happen in this area, with older students presenting lessons to the younger students, are:

•Offering water to a friend who is eating a snack
•Preparing food to serve the whole class
•Helping load and unload the dishes

This area needs a regular rotation of lessons/objects to make the environment inevitable for the students. Like other areas of the class, this area’s lessons reflect the season, and the children enjoy the changes in this area. For our older students, this area is a comforting and socializing place after a long period of concentration. Practical Life is where real-life practices come alive.

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”
—Dr. Montessori

December Unit Studies:

• Winter theme lessons
• Zoology — Animal Kingdom

Ms. Karthi

November Banyan Newsletter

Dear Banyan Families,

“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.” —Dr. Robert Holden

October was an exciting month for the Banyans; we spent time learning our classroom routines, grace, and courtesy and helped our new Banyan friends settle into our classroom environment. We also focused on our monthly unit studies, along with our other lessons/studies. Banyans got an opportunity to watch two play performances from our Spanish Lime and Cocoplum classrooms. What a fantastic performance by our Elementary students!

Thank you for bringing your child early to school to support them with smooth morning separation and transition, allowing them to spend time with their friends to play and develop social and emotional skills.

“Development is a series of rebirths.” —Dr. Maria Montessori

November will be an essential month for us all, as we will be having “follow the child” and parent-teacher conferences. The month of November is harvest sharing month at our school; We will share love, care, and gratitude with each other, and will celebrate harvest sharing among the Primary classes. We will continue focusing on using our hands purposefully and avoiding expressing our feelings like fear and anger using hands. We will continue learning to breathe before we react with our hands. Peace education is part of the Montessori curriculum, as Montessori education prepares the child for life.

Speaking of hands, how about we review the purpose of our children’s hands for this month?

The focus of the Month — The Hands

The most valuable quote from Dr. Montessori about hands is: “The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” This powerful phrase carries scientific reasoning in it. This quote has become my mantra. When we touch, feel, and work with hands, the signal passes to our brain through the nerve system and helps our brain process the information and store it in our long- and short-term memories.

Hands in action for working

Our students in the Montessori classroom touch to feel the quantity difference between one (one unit bead) and a thousand (one thousand cube). The real tactile materials help them associate the number (symbol) with the quantity value when they do math operations. Children feel the letters and relate the letter symbol to its sounds. Every material in the Montessori classroom has a valuable developmental purpose behind it and is designed to help children in their development. We encourage our students to leave toys and stuffed animals at home so that they can explore the incredible Montessori lessons in the classroom. Moreover, their focus will be present.

Hands in action for calming

We can teach our kids to use their hands to calm themselves by rubbing both hands, holding their hands together, and opening and closing both hands a couple of times. It is a good practice to use our hands to calm ourselves or control our feelings before we respond/react to the situation.

Hands in action for numbing the nerve system in our hands and brain

So then, do our children learn through using their hands on electronic devices at this young age? We all know the answer. Research has proven that kids who use electronic devices as a mediator in between our purposeful, fully functioning hands and the brain may struggle with writing and reading. In order to learn to write, kids first have to develop the pincer grip, then trace the letters using a hands-on material (sandpaper letters or numbers), and then use a paper and pencil to practice the writing. So again, “The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”

Appreciate the usage of electronic devices for meaningful tasks, while recognizing the place (if any, at this age) these devices ought to have in our little friends’ hands.

“Within the child lies the fate of the future.” —Dr. Maria Montessori

November Primary Program-Banyan Events:

November 2: Follow the Child

November 11-15: Parent-Teacher Conferences

November Unit Studies:


Corn-Parts-Practical Life Lessons

Vertebrates vs. Invertebrates

“The teacher must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work.” —Dr. Maria Montessori


Ms. Karthi and Ms. Desiree

Gifted Learner

October Banyan Newsletter

Greetings to Banyan Families,

SPECIAL NOTE: Our class group photo will now be taken on Tuesday, October 8.  Our individual photos will still be taken on Thursday, October 10.

We are excited to meet you all via the first newsletter for the school year!
You will receive our newsletters every month. In my newsletters, I discuss various topics regarding my observation, Montessori philosophy, the Primary program, and other related topics. Moreover, newsletters are one of the communication tool between you, your child’s classroom, primary program, school, and teacher. It contains information about what is going on in our class, our monthly unit studies, and important dates to remember for that particular month. So, watch out for our monthly newsletters.

Banyans have been slowly adjusting to the classroom routine. New friends have been settling into their new environment and routine with the help of our old students. Old students came back with the eagerness to work, to swing into our classroom routine, and to welcome our new Banyan friends. I have observed how our students are supporting their new friends in every way that they can. Here we see the beauty of the mixed-age group classroom and the natural leadership of a child.

Thank you to all the parents who volunteered to walk with us and let us borrow your wagons for our Peace Day March to Bayview Park. It could not be successful without all of your love and support.

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”
Dr. Maria Montessori

Discussion of the Month
How’s what does your child’s day look like, and what is going on in our Banyan classroom?

After you drop your child on the playground (and thank you for bringing your child on time to school), your child will play, socialize, and get connected with their peers, teachers, and the playground environment and the activities.
Between 8:25 and 8:30 a.m., we start singing the song “It is time to put our work away” and then ring the bell at 8:30. Children get their lunch boxes and gather at the circle to say our morning mantra:
“ Here I am, right here, right now, open. (3 times)
I am grateful.
I am grateful for myself,
I am grateful for others,
I am grateful for the earth,
I am grateful for this day.
Let us begin.”
Then we line up and walk to our classroom.

Morning Circle/Group Time:
We have a morning group time where we sing a song with hand movements (every day the same song, and sometimes with different tune and movements), eat our group snack (which contains carbs), and sometimes read a book, have group discussions, and role-play grace and courtesy, if we all feel that we need a gentle reminder on that. We dismiss our group with the meditation.

Morning Work Cycle:
Right after our morning group time meditation, children begin their work. Everything that happens in the classroom environment is considered as “work,” and every moment is a learning opportunity for the children:
Saying “Excuse me” to a friend who is in their way
Saying “Thank you” to the friend who serves the snack
Helping a friend, giving a hug or checking on a friend who is sad/crying
Using “words” to solve a misunderstanding/conflict
Dressing, and undressing
Waiting for the snack table to be available to have a snack with a friend
Choosing the lesson from the shelf and placing it back to the shelf
Watching other friends’ work/lessons with their eyes only
Walking around friend’s work
Waiting patiently on the line for other friends to come and join
Walking together with the class
Cleaning the area after making a mess
Working with the lessons

Sometimes friends want to express their feeling of fulfillment/sadness, happiness, and excitement by giggling, shouting, rolling on the floor, running, and crying. We value and respect all of their feelings and guide them accordingly. Every action is considered as work.

If the children have work from the previous day/week, they will continue with that work/we encourage them to continue their work. Some students choose a new lesson, choose a book to read in our living room, observe their friends working, walk around and observe all in one, choose to have snack and socialize, receive a presentation from me/I choose to give individual or small-group presentations as per their need and my plan for each student in the class, and help friends in need to find a work to do together.

“Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.”
Dr. Maria Montessori

At around 10:45 a.m., we start cleaning up our snack area to close it for the day. Students will start to place their nap mats with guidance from teachers and friends who are willing to help with the task. The students continue with their works until 11:10 a.m. Then we have a short circle time to get ready for our transition to playtime. We get ready by putting our shoes on and checking our bodies (use the bathroom before we go outside). We go to the playground between 11:15 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. We are grateful to have our Spanish Lime (Lower Elementary) and Coco Plum (Upper Elementary) friends to help us set up our nap mats for the rest time.

Afternoon Playtime:
We take turns using the front lawn for our afternoon playtime (while one Primary class is on the front lawn, the other two classes will use the Primary playground. Our playtime is around 35-40 minutes.

Transition Time:
It takes 10 minutes to transition from the end of playtime to the beginning of lunchtime. We slowly walk back to the class, sit on the line, use our three sinks to wash hands, get lunch boxes, and walk outside to eat in our lunch area.

Lunch Time:
The children have between 20 and 25 minutes to eat their lunch. We sit down and sing a song (“Thank you for the food we eat…”) before we start eating. We have a microwave in the classroom to heat lunches as needed. We encourage the students to keep any leftover food in their lunch boxes so that parents will know how much their child is eating at school. We gently remind the kids to eat their lunch first (“main meal”). If the student is going to aftercare, we suggest to them to save snack items for aftercare.

Rest/Nap Time:
After children finish eating, we pack up the lunch boxes, clean up the area, and then line up to go back to the classroom. Children lay on their nap mats; some students fall asleep, and the others rest their bodies. This is our time for recharging mind and body.

Afternoon Short Work Cycle:
The students who fall asleep will continue sleeping until around 2:00 p.m., and the rest of the students continue their work from the morning, choose work, and I present small-group lessons according to their needs and my plans. We try to use quiet whisper voices in the afternoon to give some peaceful time for our napping friends. This is our real-life grace and courtesy lesson.

Afternoon Clean-Up and Getting Ready to Say Goodbye:
At around 2:10 p.m., students start cleaning up their work and putting up the chairs to place the big works on the chairs. Our kindergartners walk around and make sure the lessons are sequentially placed on the shelves, and help the nappers pack their nap stuff. Then children sit at a circle with their lunch boxes to sing our goodbye song. Sometimes we review our classroom routines or come up with ideas that help us all peacefully flow in the classroom environment. The aftercare students then have a snack in the Practical Life area with our aftercare assistant, and I take the students who go home to to the front lawn to meet their parents.

I know this is a rather long walk through our daily routine,but I feel that our new parents may curious to know what is happening all day in the Banyan classroom and at the school.

October Unit Studies

Living and nonliving
Parts of a body
Pumpkin—parts and life cycle

A fall theme is incorporated in the areas
October Primary/Banyan Events
Tuesday, October 8: Banyan class photo
Thursday, October 10: Banyan individual student photos
Wednesday, October 16: Parent Education Series, Part 1 @ 5:30 p.m.
Free childcare and pizza for the children

Ms. Karthi and Ms. Desiree

May Banyan Newsletter

Dear Banyan Families,

“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.” – Dr. Montessori

April was another month full of learning experiences for the Banyans. Thank you all for attending the ‘follow the child’ event and the parent-teacher conferences, we appreciate your time. We are nearing the end of the school year, and this is the last newsletter for this school year.

We will continue our study on Africa and will be working on our classroom auction art projects and individual artworks. The Art show & Cultural Curriculum will be on May 24 at 5:30. The email was sent out with the details about the art show and the animals that your child has chosen to create a biome/habitat with you.

For this month’s topic, I want to share the information that I wrote in my last year’s newsletter, ideas for summer activities.

“Real world experiential learning prepares your child remarkably well for any environment.”

The focus of the month: Summer activities

Practical Life lessons
Helping in the kitchen while you cook: cutting, washing the plates, Table setting, cleaning the floor with small broom and dustpan, baking with your child, or sometimes they want to be with you in the kitchen do their pouring using the pots and pans and water and dry ingredients.

Helping with other house chores: Folding clothes, organizing the room and toys together, watering the plants, letting them be creative with making their pouring lessons using the objects around the house (help them build the control of movement using their most potent instrument: “THE HANDS”).

Sensorial Lessons
Tactile sense: SAND – children love to touch different textures. Create bins of pebbles, marbles, sand and other objects for them to feel and walk on it. Use different colored sand trays to practice drawing and writing. Have them play with you, touching different textures using a blindfold.

Other Senses: Go for a nature walk with them and have them smell different types of flowers and leaves. Have them rub those leaves on a piece of paper using a crayon. Talks about different kinds of seeds; small, big, seeds that make noises seeds that fly on your nature walk. Gardening is a great way to spend time together in your backyard. Have them help you spot the stuff you need at the grocery store.

Language Lessons
Story times are the best times for both the parents and children. Story time with objects is a fun and stimulating activity for kids. Patterning with beads and other artifacts help them develop visual discrimination. Have them listen to the stories from pre-recorded audio. It can be your voice – kids love to hear stories from your voice. You can play the audio again and again while you are busy, which helps them develops auditory discrimination.
Have small pieces of papers, color pencils, paper clips/rings, and colored construction paper covers in their work/play area to make their story/picture books. Keep small books with three or four-letter words in the reading area.

Math Activities
Count with objects found in nature and around the house. Write numbers in the sand. Include them to help you measure ingredients for cooking. Talks about what time you are going outside/having breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Arts, Geography, Botany and Zoology
Cutting and pasting are one of the favorite crafts young kids like to do. Collect various things (glue, tissue paper, cut construction papers, pompoms, pipe cleaners, glitters, etc.) in a box named “Bored box.” It will help them be creative when the kids say they are bored. Remember to change the things in the box once in a while. Look to the sky together on starry nights and talk about the planets, stars, and constellations. Gardening and tracing any types of puzzles around the house will help them understand different parts and develop the pincer grip. Painting and coloring are always fun!

Music can efficiently stimulate the child’s brain. Children can learn concepts through music. Play the music that they love.

Nature and Outdoor play
Nature always gives us enough nurture. Being connected with nature will provide them with vast varieties of options to explore in different ways. Help them connect to nature.

Encourage your child to make a picture/picture and word book about their summer trips.

“To confer the gift of drawing, we must create an eye that sees, a hand that obeys, a soul that feels; and in this task, the whole life must cooperate. In this sense, life itself is the only preparation for drawing. Once we have lived, the inner spark of vision does the rest.”
– Dr. Maria Montessori.

May Primary Program Events:
May 1: Parent Education Night @ 5:30 – Childcare available
May 24: Art Show and Cultural Curriculum @ 5:30
May 31: Kindergarten Parents Breakfast @ 8:00 am
May 31: Kindergarten Graduation @ 5:00 pm

Thank you all for your love and support this year. We genuinely appreciate your involvement in the classroom and the school. Enjoy the summer break with your children. Meet you all in August!

Ms. Karthi and Ms. Desiree

April Banyan Newsletter

Respected Banyan Families,

March was a great month filled with amazing experiences and learning opportunities. The Banyans continue to enjoy our cultural studies about Africa and the works we have been doing on our cultural studies. Going to the annual Montessori conference in D.C. with my family and colleagues was a refreshing and fulfilling experience. I learned new strategies, extensions for  lessons, and other various classroom strategies for teaching the Montessori way. I always love learning more about how I can improve my work with the children, and of course, I bought some new materials and books for our classroom and me!

“It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.”
– Dr. Montessori

April is going to be another month of exploration! In April, Toddler parents will be observing our primary classes. Kindergarten parents are invited to Elementary Parent night on Wednesday, April 3 at 5:30.  I encourage all of our parents to observe our Elementary classrooms. Please call the office to make an appointment to observe the Spanish lime classroom. ‘Follow the child’ will be on Saturday, April 6th, online sign up has already been sent, please check your email.

The Focus of the Month
As a human, we all know the importance of  language and the vast usage of the language and its different forms; oral, writing and gesture. Montessori classrooms offer multi-sensory learning materials to help a child develop language skills. The child will slowly and steadily evolve with  language. Some children like to focus on writing first and then reading while other children choose to read first and then write. Montessori encourages the children to first learn the sounds of the letters in their writing; the understanding of the sounds leads them to read rather than memorizing the words. This is the same philosophy that we follow with all the Montessori materials, the concept of concrete to abstract and then memorization. At the conference, I  learned new Montessori Language strategies to incorporate in our language area and have started experiencing it in action.

“Language lies at the root of that transformation of the environment we call civilization.”
– Dr. Montessori

Visual discrimination is the first step to the process of learning a language. Children love patterns, patterns, and more patterns. Matching patterns and creating patterns will increase the child’s attention span and later it helps a child develops letter writing skills. When I learned that the ‘pattern matching’ is the first lesson in Montessori Early childhood Language in my Montessori training, I wondered, and then I started to understand the importance of the work of ‘patterning’ as I followed the children and witnessed their language skills. If you see your children creating patterns, please encourage them. And as always every material in the Montessori classroom has a purpose behind it.

“By reading I mean the interpretation of an idea by means of graphic symbols.”
– Dr. Montessori

Talking about language, I would like to share an important topic ‘Language of Encouragement’ that I learned at the AMS conference. As we all know, we would like to encourage our children for their hard work, to foster self-esteem and reinforce learning. Encouragement is different than rewards. Rewards focus on material objects. Encouragement avoids comparison and competition, and it gives satisfaction and internal joy.

The following are a few strategies/ language to encourage a child that I  learned at the conference, some of them we have already been practicing with the children, and some of them are new.

Be specific on your statement; For example, if you see a child is helping another child, first thank the child and tell the child the reason why you are thanking him/her. “ Thanks for helping Kara. You helped her clean her spill.”

Use ‘you’ on your statement when encouraging a child: Remember we are encouraging them for their hard works, so the first step is to avoid using ‘I’ in our sentence/comment. For example “I see you have used different colors…” instead of start the sentence with ‘you.’

Personal appreciation/encouragement: If there is more than one child in the situation when you try to encourage/appreciate, go close to the child and talk in a whisper voice. It will encourage the child and avoid hurting the other child who is present in the environment. They will learn the public appreciation of others as they develop their emotional skills.

Here is a tool to give a child feedback and encouragement to continue their work/help/act of kindness.
Review, Present, Preview

Review – Yesterday – Example: Yesterday, you helped us set up the table
It will help a child to remember his/her work from the previous day.

Present – Today – Invite the child to do the same today, it could be a work, act of kindness, etc.

Preview – Tomorrow – prepare /encourage the child to continue the work/action the next day

So start the statement with review and invite the child for the work/action/words at present and upon completion, preview what have done and give the child a plan for the next day.

I found this is a great way to help a child accomplished their skills; emotional, social, personal and academic.

Here is an example of encouragement language,
NO – Wyatt helped set the table for snack
YES – Thank you for helping set the table, you put a spoon by every bowl. (Thank the child and be specific with what they did)

Always ask your child how they did the work because the children focus on the process of their work than on the final product of their work. It shouldn’t be perfect all the time, and children work towards perfection by themselves if we offer them the environment and give them enough time.

I hope you find this helpful.

April Primary Events:

Follow the Child: April 6, Saturday – Online sign up has sent out
Parent Teacher Conferences: April 22, 23, 24,25,26 – Will send the sign up soon
Professional Day: April 22 (NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS)
Unit Studies: : Cultural Studies

Get ready to work together with your child to build a biome/habitat for your child’s choice of Mammal/Bird/fish/Amphibian/Reptiles. I will send an email with the details.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to cherish the beautiful moments, work through the sensitive times and learn together with your children.


Ms. Karthi and Ms. Desiree

March Banyan Newsletter

Respected Banyan Families,

“Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that which is called intelligence.”- Dr. Maria Montessori.

February was a love-filled month with community events, education nights and the friendship exchange. Banyans have chosen to learn about the African continent as part of our cultural curriculum studies. Learning about continents, history, and geography are always part of the Montessori curriculum. Every year at our school, Primary and the Elementary classrooms choose to learn about different continents, and its culture, biomes, people, animals, etc. And then we celebrate each continent on the Art Show and Cultural Immersion day, which will be on May 24. If you have any items or books about Africa and would like to share with the Banyans, please bring them in. We will take good care of them and return them after the Art Show. I enjoy this time of the year and the studies about different continents and its culture.

The topic of the Month
The importance of the Leadership year (The Kindergarten year) in Child’s Life

Maria Montessori has divided the child development into four stages; Four planes of development. The first plane is from birth to six years old. As far as School is a concern, she recommended only one smooth transition for each plane of development. For the first plane, the transition happens at around 2.5 years old/ when the child is ready; from the Toddler Program to the Early Childhood program (Primary Program).

It is almost the same theory as to how we believe that the child needs nourishment and care from both the parents, in the same environment.

Maria Montessori believed and proved that in order for learning to occur, the child must first feel safe in the environment and with the adults in the classroom. The first time for this to occur during the first plane of development is at around 2.5, and the next transition should happen at approximately six years old, which is the finishing stage of the first plane of development. It was not just a statement made by her; it was the result of her research, experience and the pedagogy that she has created.

Leadership level is a magical time in the child’s life as he or she approaches the end of the first plane of development. All the skills that he or she has learned will provide the backbone for the mastery of others. The mixed age environment plays a vital role in this year. Here, even the shyest child has the opportunity to lead. At this level, the child has well adapted to his/her environment; the classroom and the school have become a second home to the child. In many ways, she is master of her domain and finds that she may operate in the room for an entire day without needing assistance from any of the adults in her environment. The Kindergarten year is also a time of academic achievement. Children possess the patience to stick with lessons that just a few months ago would have been impossible. Because they have had ample experience in choosing their work, they recognize the need for diversifying their efforts. They will become a teacher to the younger students in the classroom. This magic of leadership would happen only by allowing the child being in the same environment for the entire plane of development.

March Primary Events
Banyan Bake Sale March 14 & 15
There will be a sign-up sheet outside the office to sign up for bake goodies, set up and break down. The amount we raise from the bake sale will go towards our classroom budget.

March Unit Studies
Spring theme
Cultural Studies – Africa
Art Projects

Ms. Karthi and Ms. Desiree

February Banyan Newsletter

Respected Banyan Families,

We want to thank all the families for the contributions to our auction basket – thank you so much! Our classroom basket auction has overflowed with valuable tools for the little hands. We appreciate your continuing support to our school. January has just jumped over us, and here we have only four more months left for the school year to finish. Banyans have been focusing on independent and group work in the classroom. Every day we are learning to be kind to one another, expressing our empathy towards others, helping our friends, taking care of our classroom environment, resolving problems appropriately and loving people, nature and the universe. Let us learn to practice the universal language “Love.”

Primary students will participate in friendship exchange with other primary classrooms. It is an in-school event which will happen on February 15. The love and play event is a family event, and it will be on February 9. February is going to be a busy month filled with various activities.

The focus of the month:    The transition from School/work to back home!

We always focus on the morning transitions, the first transition for the day, to help our kids transition from home to school.  We spend time in the morning to get ourselves and our kids ready to start our day peacefully and to help our kids smoothly transition from home to school. We help them get enough sleep, healthy food and our love and care to start their day slowly.

“It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.” Dr. Maria Montessori

Also, every morning, the teachers at the school carefully prepare the classroom environment and their inner self to welcome the students so we are well prepared for the day to send our kids to school and to go to work or to do the house chores. We are putting the maximum effort to peacefully start our day for us and to our little friends. This first transition is a most sensitive transition for our kids.

Now we are away from our kids for hours. We spend those hours focusing on our work or house chores while our kids are at the school. At the end of the school hours, our children are eagerly ready to come back home and spend the rest of the day with us. Our time and patience in the morning with the first transition helped our kids go through the day.

However, wait, if the morning transition is the first one for the day, do we have to face another transition for the day? We may say, “Our kids are happy to come back home from school and that is a smooth transition. They love home, and they like to see us back and be with us at home.” So why do we need to focus on this second transition?

This second transition is mostly for us, for the parents, because our kids go through various transitions throughout the day at the school, for example going from the playground to the classroom and vice-versa. Moreover, now they are ready for a smooth transition back home. The transition from work back to home is more sensitive for adults, and we rarely put effort to work on that as we usually do in the mornings to prepare ourselves for the day. We tend to forget the importance and need for it.

Here is the big question for us, are we getting ourselves ready to welcome our kids back home, who is coming home with lots of stories to share? Are we prepared for the second transition; from work/home again to receive our kids from the school? Let us think about it and find the ways to make ourselves welcome our kids back home and be present with their little minds and be connected with them. We all have our unique ways to prepare our spiritual selves. Get ready and set our goals for the second transition for the day!

“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” – Dr Maria Montessori

February Primary Events

Love and Play                     February 09 , 10:00 to 1:00

Primary families responsibility to set up and break down the event

Parent Education Evening      February 27 @ 5:30pm

February Unit Studies

Solar System, Types of Biomes, Animals and Cultural Studies



Ms. Karthi and Ms. Desiree