February 2004
Special Free Mini-Workshop
This Weds. 2/11 At 6:30 p.m. Joanne Alex will open her classroom up to anyone interested in learning how to develop an integrated curriculum unit using her Space Unit as an example. For parents, this is a great opportunity to learn how units are developed & used in the school. Anyone can attend, so bring a friend. There will be a sign-up at school too. (Please see separate email flyer for more info.)

Please return your re-enrollment forms to the school for the 2004-2005 School Year this month. It is very important for Stillwater Montessori School to know how many students will be returning next year in its primary classrooms, in order to contact those on the waiting list. Likewise, it is very important to see what enrollment will be in the elementary programs for planning purposes of space and staffing. There-enrollment forms were mailed to you. Thanks.

This project was very successful as over $200 was spent on book orders. Therefore, we will add another 100 books to the library in Nicaragua. Many thanks from La Espanza and Sarah Kennedy and Julie Monroe. They will be at our party on Friday, Feb. 13th to help our students sign the books. They will deliver them to Nicaragua the last week in February.

This FUN SMS Family Activity will be held at the Old Town YMCA on Sunday afternoon February 29th from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. There is a$3.00 fee per family to cover costs. Please sign-up on the school bulletin boards to attend.

These informative evenings are for parents to come with their child and spend time with them in their classroom. Please look for information in your folders.
- Joe Alex, SMS Director

Our class will have our Teddy Bear picnic and Valentine Exchange on Thurs. Feb. 12th.
This week our class will be focusing on Valentine’s Day and kindness to others. We will have our class Valentine Exchange on Thurs. Feb. 12th along with our Teddy Bear Picnic! There will be an invitation for Teddy Bears on Monday. Watch for it! (i.e. Please bring your child’s favorite stuffed animal to school for the day!) It will be a full and busy week for sure. On Friday we will have our Winter Celebration at the elementary location. When we return from vacation, we will be back on earth visiting the continent of Africa. We will also travel back to the time of Dinosaurs!
I want to thank all the families who have helped to make our units special by coming in and shaving your talents. It really enriches our curriculum as well as makes your child feel special.
– Joanne

Our class has just finished talking about Asia as a group and now moving onto Dental Health as February is Dental health Month. We will be talking about how to keep our teeth healthy, the importance of brushing and doing a science experiment using an egg with cake. A toothbrush chart will be made for the children to take home and monitor their own brushing. Devin, our student teacher from Eastern Maine Community College, is also working with our students on this topic.
Our class will be having a Valentine Exchange on Thurs. Feb. 12th.Information on this is in the parent folders. Following vacation we will be studying Africa and dinosaurs.
Please refrain from bringing multitudes of extra items to school (i.e. toys). It is difficult to keep track of these things during the day. Remember to bring an extra change of clothes for the bathroom cubby.
Thanks - Marion

We have had a great time exploring space and discovering “What’s out there?” as well as how we would get there and live there. This week we will finish up our chapter book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and watch the movie.
After vacation we will be sending the star bags home. Hopefully, the weather will be warmer and the nights still clear. I want to thank everyone for being so good with getting Little Bear back to school. He has had some wonderful adventures and looks forward to visiting the rest of the children! We will not be sending the reading books home this week, but would encourage all the books out to be returned to school. Thanks! It keeps all the books as choices for those favorite ones everyone likes to read. After vacation we will also be traveling back in time to the dinosaurs and talking about geology, rocks and fossils, etc. Our chapter book will be “The Enormous Egg” by Oliver Butterworth.
- Joanne

We are just finishing a unit on rocks and minerals. We have been learning about common stones found in your back yard. When we return the new unit is our performing arts unit. The plays will be an adaptation of three American Tall Tales. The Lego unit continues to focus on simple machines. We have been experimenting with levers. We will be discovering the uses of the pulley and gears when we return.
Please be sure the children have boots, hats, and mittens for outdoor play.
- Al Duplessis

Students are back in the cooking business with a fudge fundraiser. Proceeds will go to the elementary school's spring field trip. Please check your mailboxes for flyers and order forms. If you don't have time to order in advance, you can purchase the fudge directly on Friday, February 13 at the all-school party. Students are busy making models of atoms on our atom-building game and conducting experiments as part of our unit on elements. Seeds have arrived for our butterfly garden flowers. We are looking forward to planting our first seedlings in early March. As you can tell, we have our minds on spring!- Irene Jackson

The Environmental Club has started up again and we have had a great time learning about animals in winter. We have learned whether animals are active, dormant, hibernate or migrate. We have learned how to read patterns of tracks as hoppers, bounders, straight walkers and waddlers. We experimented with insulating our “Jell-O” animals last time and everyone succeeded in protecting their animal from freezing.
This week we begin preparations for our exhibit at the Bangor Flower Show, March 19th. Our Theme is “Gardening for Wildlife”. We will be making recycled pots from newspapers as well as starting seed from our gardens at the primary location. We will be highlighting the elementary students work with the National Geographic Society’s Grant.
Also we are doing a Bridge of Peace Quilt project with the Roots and Shoots Club from Illinois!

On Friday, we will have some special activities beyond the regular arts and games. The elementary students will be building bird, bat and butterfly houses to put at our wildlife garden. Our book signing for the books we are sending to Nicaragua will be happening as well. Marion will be helping students to make edible flower bouquets for the residents at the Meadows nursing home.

The elementary students were given $250 toward the wildlife garden project. They have researched and purchased bird, bat and butterfly house kits that they will begin assembling at the Winter Celebration. Thanks go to Lisa Kane for her continued support of our project! Scholarship Fundraising Auction Planning is underway for the Scholarship Fundraising Auction, to be held in May. Families should look for an introductory letter in cubbies and mailboxes later this week with details about the purpose of the auction, when and where we'll be holding it, and how you can help! This year, Catherine Dez Pres (mother of Will and Nina in Joanne's class, and Pieter in Al's class) and Alison Williamson (Matthew's mom, in Marion's class)will co-chair the auction. Anyone interested in helping can call Catherine 866-5047 or Alison 866-4729 to volunteer. In addition, Catherine will be making phone calls soon to solicit volunteers.
Everyone can help with procuring items for our auction. This is a great opportunity to get involved and help the school. Start thinking creatively: Perhaps you know someone with a vacation cabin who might donate a weekend getaway? Maybe you can bake fabulous cakes or pies? Maybe you are able to arrange an educational tour somewhere for a few lucky families? We're looking forward to a fun-filled, successful evening. All funds raised at the auction go directly to scholarship for the 2004-2005 school year. Therefore, the more items we procure, the more money we can raise, and the more scholarship aid available. Ready, set, procure!

In spite of the cold and wind, we did have a good turn-out. Everyone had a great time too! The desserts and hot chocolate were really appreciated. We want to give a special “thank you” to Brian Rahill and family for helping to clear the ice rink and getting the warming hut ready. We hope to have another skate & sled party again soon. Watch for a notice on the bulletin board! Maybe a bit warmer next time!!


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1024 Stillwater Avenue #1
Old Town, Maine 04468
Phone: 207-827-2404
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