Adolescence is a time of great upheaval, physically, emotionally, and mentally. To attempt to force young teens into pursuits of a purely intellectual nature is frustrating at best. At MSW, utilizing the latest research and Montessori philosophy, we meet the needs of the adolescent offering an environment which allows them to transition smoothly from childhood to the fledgling young adults they are becoming. The environment is student centered and incorporates a variety of instructional practices including seminar, multi-layered projects, individual and group work time, and an interwoven curriculum. Students learn self-sufficiency and are given the opportunity to self-construct and develop value within adult society. Appropriate responsibilities and expectations, both academic and social, are put into place giving them the chance to experience the joy of success and to prepare them for high school, college, and beyond.
Middle School Newsletter
“Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.”
The year is “marching” on and we have reached the end of the third cycle. Can you believe that much time has passed already? The beginning of the month sees the end of cycle assessments and portfolio work from cycle 3, and then we move forward into a very busy time of year indeed. Attached is the cover sheet for the new cycle (Taking a Stand) and information about internships, so read on….
Dates to Remember
March 1: Tuition due
March 29: Final Balance due for TimberNook and MSW Summer Camps
March 30: No School, Spring Break begins
April 1: Tuition due
April 2-6: No school, Spring Break
April 13: Spring Program
Thank you so much to Kristy Spears for her amazing enthusiasm and energy in teaching our students Pilates. Thank you to Katie Svec and Adriana Molinar for driving so many times to the Merciful Help Center, and to Donna Edwards, Mindy Duffer, and Karin Clary for driving us to the IRT.
Please read the attached letter about internships. These will not take place until after Spring Break, but the work leading up to them will be conducted during the month of March. Students will be learning how to write resumes and applications, practice interview techniques, and strengthen grace and courtesy skills.
Student-Led Conferences at Home
This year, we are trying something new. Each student will conduct a student-led conference again, but this time, it will be at home. They will bring home their portfolios and a guide sheet to help them and you through the process. We shall prepare your children and all we ask of you is that you help them find a day to present to you by Sunday, March 25. There is a portion at the end that you will need to sign to show that they conducted the conference. Thank you so much, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.
We are so excited to announce that young adult author, Aaron Galvin, will be returning to visit our school again on March 21. Please look out for an email from us with all the information on this opportunity.
A few weeks ago, I (Erika) had a conversation with my chiropractor about students’ need for movement and how sitting still for so long was a real challenge to them. Movement is naturally incorporated into a Montessori environment, but even that is sometimes not enough for many of them (me included!). So, we began to brainstorm a way that might help them increase their ability to focus while at the same time meeting this need for movement. I asked him to come up with some research, and this is what he sent me:
“In today’s classroom, learning is much different than it was even 10 years ago. The sit up straight, don’t move, eyes forward style of teaching is an idea of the past. Children have many different learning styles. Some are auditory, some visual, and some more kinesthetic. With that in mind, all new research about the brain points to a clear link between movement and learning. The more we learn about the brain, the more our research shows that if we stop the movement, we stop the thought.
Children in this fast paced society need outlets of movement throughout the day. Many classrooms use exercise balls for seating as a way to engage movement. This is difficult for younger students as they have a tendency to fall off them easily and they become very distracting. A wobble disc is much easier to use in a standard chair or desk. It’s small and easily stored below the chair, or even in a backpack or cubby if need be. The idea behind a wobble disc is that it can be used at the teacher’s discretion and can become a supervised group activity to help children deal with energy or even anxiety they have in their lives. This is especially helpful for children with ADHD tendencies. It can even be a great tool to help children with sensory processing or sensory integration disorders. Also, the wobble cushions can be utilized as seating when on the floor or rug giving students personal space when in unstructured spaces.
The link between the wobble and learning is clear. Since 90% of the daily nutrition to your brain comes from movement of your spine, the wobble provides very focused motion to the spine when utilizing specific movement patterns.”
The long and short of it is, Dr. Matt is willing to provide our whole class with wobble cushions to try out. He will come in and talk with them about how to utilize them appropriately. Then, we can begin the “experiment” and see what happens. Naturally, this is optional and if you do not wish your child to participate, please let us know.
Erika & Beth
March 1, 2018
As you are already aware, Montessori School of Westfield has high expectations for our students. We believe that each student should have the opportunity to further develop his/her social skills through a series of internship experiences. The first of these experiences is on-site, here at MSW for the 7th year students. The second is at a business/worksite of the student’s choice, for 8th year students only. More information regarding the off-site internship will be sent to you closer to the date.
The goals of the internship program are:
- Hands on experience for students in a work place
- Preparing students for a career by developing employability skills
- Preparing students for high school education and beyond
The internship program involves parental and teacher support as well as student initiative and self-discipline.
Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.