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SHOW AND TELL

Bring something that blows in the wind.

Topic: Middle East

Explore this exotic continent

The value is frugality, which means to only use what you need.

For science we’ll learn what makes the wind blow.

Outside we’ll make Diwali floor designs.

The songs we’ll be singing are Let’s Go Fly a Kite, Mr. Sun, You Are My Sunshine, Tomorrow, and Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.

Our art activities are mehndi, floating Diwali lamps, Indian spice books, and pinwheels.

Creative dramatics will be dancing to East Indian music.

For body development, we’ll work on coordination with forward rolls and stand up, pivoting, side-to-side hop, and leaping.. For motor development we’ll do flexibility exercises with yoga poses.

AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’

This is a title from an old song about how a person choses to be faithful to a sweetheart. It’s appropriate for our attitude about how our children seem to know exactly how to push all our buttons to send us into a fit of unreasonable behavior that we swore we would never do. We call it misbehavior in our children. In fact, if we can access our emotional intelligence and objectively observe our child’s goals, the behavior has a goal. It may not be our goal, but it’s totally reasonable for the child at the time.

It’s generally accepted that children’s misbehavior comes in four categories: need for attention, for power, for revenge, or from inadequacy. From our status as an emotionally intelligent adult, we want to shift our children into a positive position of contribution, responsibility, sense of justice and collaboration. If we can view these positive goals in the light of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the child’s struggle to achieve outcomes becomes more clear. At the lowest level of the hierarchy are physiological needs for food, water, and rest. Adults are quick to respond to a fussy baby’s need for a nap or a cranky toddler’s need for a snack. Most of us are pretty good with meeting this first level of needs, as well as the second level for safety, stability, and shelter.

It’s the third level where our children begin to have a need for belongingness and acceptance that we falter. Our children want to feel like they can contribute in a meaningful way. When they are accepted as the person they are, the spill might not have been cleaned up as perfectly as we want or the table might not be set perfectly. We have to accept the child is in the process of practicing how to fit into the culture of his life. “Good enough” can be very effective when we keep working on getting better.

That moves us to the fourth level in the hierarchy, the level yearning for power, accomplishment, and recognition. If adults can give a child confidence that she is capable, that she can make her own decisions and be responsible for them, and that she can help make the world a better place, the child begins to develop her own sense of power and attitude that she can do it.

Fifth and sixth levels have been added to Maslow’s hierarchy since he developed it. They are the sense of order and beauty at the fifth level and then the need to know, to understand, and to explore at the sixth level. These are levels particularly treasured by Montessorians, and we work really hard to empower our children to achieve — even revel in — these needs. As children are enabled to internalize the sense that they are satisfying these inner needs, we see the last two goals of misbehavior, revenge and inadequacy, begin to disappear.

The highest level in the hierarchy is self-actualization, sometimes labeled transcendence. It sounds pretty grownup, but in fact, it’s observable at every level of human development. It’s experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration. It’s trying new things and being honest, as children are notoriously famous for. It’s taking responsibility and working hard. When we appreciate that our child is earnestly striving to meet these needs, it makes that misbehavior more tolerable and one we can work with. Seeing and understanding the “other” that is our child allows us to honor the worth and dignity of the little people who have invaded our homes and our hearts. And at the next exhibition of misbehavior, we’ll take a deep breath and understand what our child is trying to accomplish.

 

General

     Using Your Words – At school when there is a conflict between classmates we try to empower our students by teaching them to use their words. When a teacher is told for example “Jim called me poopy-head” the teacher’s response may be “what can you say to Jim to let him know you don’t like being called that name?” Sometimes they do not have the words so the teacher offers some suggestions. This method helps to detour tattling and help students resolve the problem independently.

     Parent/Teacher Conferences – The week of November 5th is the time when parents and teaches come together to discuss the progress of the student. You will find signup forms in the foyer for you to list the time you’d like to meet with your child’s teacher. If you are unable to meet with your child’s teacher during conference week please let your teacher know and other arrangements can be made.

     Harvest Festival – On Friday November16, is our annual Harvest Festival, this is the time when each family is asked to bring a dish that is special in your home, drop it off in the morning and join us for lunch from 11:30 – 12:30. You are encouraged to bring as much food as you like, nothing will go to waste; after everyone has eaten with the help of parent volunteers we will fill to-go containers with the leftover food and give to our cities homeless and hungry. Volunteers should be gone by 1:15. Look for the sign-up form in the foyer to list what you are bringing.

Thanksgiving Holiday – The school will be closed from Wednesday, Nov. 21, through Friday, Nov. 23, as we pause to give thanks for our abundance.

 

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