What’s Up in the Upper El?

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I like Lord of the Rings because it shows the light of good and the dark of evil.
I like Lord of the Rings because it shows the light of good and the dark of evil.

Many of our stellar Upper Elementary literature-lovers chimed in with their current reads and/or favorite reads!  Much appreciation for their willingness to share their books with the Villa di Maria community!

Check ’em out!

This book is adventurous and scary!
This book is adventurous and scary!
This book has so much humor!  It's soooo funny!  This book is like my life.
This book has so much humor!  It’s soooo funny!  This book is like my life.
This book is fun, silly and it shows how I feel sometimes- like a dork!  :)
This book is fun, silly and it shows how I feel sometimes- like a dork!  🙂
I like this book because it is full of World War II action!
I like this book because it is full of World War II action!
It's very important in the history of Civil Rights.
It’s very important in the history of Civil Rights.
This book is not my favorite, but it's great because it has completely different character interests and personalities.  It's an everlasting, two-points-of-view adventure, which is perfect for my taste.
This book is not my favorite, but it’s great because it has completely different character interests and personalities.  It’s an everlasting, two-points-of-view adventure, which is perfect for my taste.
I like this book because it's very ominous.
I like this book because it’s very ominous.
I like Dragon Blood because of the relation of animals and humans.
I like Dragon Blood because of the relation of animals and humans.
This book is very cool and funny, but I can't relate to any of the characters because they're vampires.
This book is very cool and funny, but I can’t relate to any of the characters because they’re vampires.
I like this book because it has a good pace and a good story.
I like this book because it has a good pace and a good story.
I like Brown Girl Dreaming because it feels like I am right there in the story- with the people.
I like Brown Girl Dreaming because it feels like I am right there in the story- with the people.
This is a very action-packed book.  It leaves you on the edge chapter after chapter.
This is a very action-packed book.  It leaves you on the edge chapter after chapter.
I like the book because it's violent.
I like the book because it’s violent.
Interesting and mystical.
Interesting and mystical.
I like Smile because it's about a girl that falls and loses her teeth.  Then she goes on a journey to get her teeth back.  I give it five stars!
I like Smile because it’s about a girl that falls and loses her teeth.  Then she goes on a journey to get her teeth back.  I give it five stars!
This book is a mystery about a kid my age who solves it.  I like it because I like solving mysteries, too.
This book is a mystery about a kid my age who solves it.  I like it because I like solving mysteries, too.
I like West Viking because it's full of information.
I like West Viking because it’s full of information.
I like this book because of the suspense.  
I like this book because of the suspense.  
I like this book because it's kind of scary, and it's funny.
I like this book because it’s kind of scary, and it’s funny.
It's full of amazing characters and fills you with suspense as you're reading.
It’s full of amazing characters and fills you with suspense as you’re reading.
Took a millisecond for Mrs. Anderson to respond with her all-time favorite book!
Took a millisecond for Mrs. Anderson to respond with her all-time favorite book!
Ms. Rebecca, true to form, enjoys so many books from so many genres, she couldn't narrow it down to just one.  She would recommend ANY of the above as interesting reads!  How much shall we wager that Ms. Rebecca revels in her personal florilegium?  
Ms. Rebecca, true to form, enjoys so many books from so many genres, she couldn’t narrow it down to just one.  She would recommend ANY of the above as interesting reads!  How much shall we wager that Ms. Rebecca revels in her personal florilegium?  

 

 

Spring Break Shout Outs!

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Ready to…

Relax beachside?

Slalom down the slopes?

Hike the Appalachian Trail?

Explore the Arizona Desert?

Sail the ocean blue?

Or staycation it this spring break with the St. Louis Zoo, Botanical Gardens and City Museum?

Or …even… just…slow…it…down…and…chill…and…read…and…hang with your people…

Regardless, Villa di Maria has a TASK for YOU!

Wherever you go, whatever you do, we would LOVE, LOVE, TRIPLE LOVE to receive photo ops of your family fun with a special request incorporated into photo.  In some unique (or not so unique) way, weave the letters, V, D, M into your picture.  Get those creative (or not so creative) juices flowing (your choice) and share those spring break moments with your favorite school!

Thanks in advance!  

Gimme a V!

Gimme a D!

Gimme a M!

*PLEASE SEND PHOTOS TO:

lauracm@villadimaria.org

Some “homegrown” examples to get the ideas churning for your own spring break VDM party pics!

Elvis and Theodore

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The videographer must come clean.  Apologies, first and foremost, to the students in the Upper Elementary.  They were first on the pet introductions list…right in the middle of their Friday lunch.  Noise level and activity level weren’t entirely conducive to videotaping.  On top of that, a few other students were chiming in in the background, making it difficult to hear the speakers.  The audible portion of their segments were short…too short.  Awesome that they were all so willing to partake.  Not so awesome on the timing of the filming (Videographer’s fault, obviously!).  

Second, the VdM community should know that the children were asked on the spot during their lunch and recess break if they’d like to hop back in the classroom for a minute and share a bit about the class pets- they had zero preparation.  Impressive on their part!

A few other VdM critters in photograph form:

Monti, the bearded dragon who lives in P2
Monti, the bearded dragon who lives in P2
Fish residing in P3
Fish residing in P3
One of the P2 hermit crabs
One of the P2 hermit crabs
One of MANY Lower Elementary fish- the tiny babies were hard to catch on film! 
One of MANY Lower Elementary fish- the tiny babies were hard to catch on film! 
Last but not least, the blue crab in the Upper Elementary.  Refused to be seen and photographed.  Temporarily...or permanently...named Norman by Gemma and Bella.
Last but not least, the blue crab in the Upper Elementary.  Refused to be seen and photographed.  Temporarily…or permanently…named Norman by Gemma and Bella.

“Site” to See!

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Elementary Building to Be!
Elementary Building to Be!

A first of many sketches to share for the construction of our BRAND NEW BUILDINGS AT VILLA DI MARIA MONTESSORI SCHOOL!

Groundbreaking shall commence this August on our new ELEMENTARY building, which will house two lower elementary classrooms, one upper elementary classroom and a large common area.  The classrooms will each have designated outdoor workspaces as well.  (And, yes!  A fireplace is in the works for those snowy afternoons to facilitate cozy fireside reading and enjoyment of s’mores.  THAT coveted tradition must continue!)

Stay tuned for an updated full site plan and news on next steps!

All things exciting happening at VdM!  Sincerest of thanks for the current and continued support in this endeavor to provide beautifully updated learning environments for our children!

 

 

LCM

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Interviewed our rock star Director of Villa di Maria Montessori School, Mrs. Laura Ceretti-Michelman.
Randomly.  
For kicks.  
Giving her minimal time to respond.  
Here’s what she had to say: 
 

1.  If you were a famous athlete instead of a famous Director of a famous Montessori school, what would be your sport of choice?  Volleyball  (Have to say, didn’t see that one coming.  Apparently, little Laura packs a mean serve.  Small but mighty, eh?)

2.  Your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  An apple coated with almond butter (Forgot to ask- crunchy or smooth?)

3.  Did you ever want to change your name when you were little?  Julia

4.  What would your theme song be?  Happy by Pharrell Williams

5.  Ideal vacation spot?  Hawaii.  Maui.  Specifically Kaanapali (where LCM married JM)

6.  Do you speak another language?  Nope

7.  What is your favorite thing to do by your lonesome? Go for a walk

8.  What is your favorite thing to do with your family?  Go on vacation

9.  When you brought your first-born child to VdM at the ripe-old age of three, what surprised you the most?  What impressed you the most?  I was surprised by how drawn he was to the environment; Ben was comfortable enough to walk away from me, which was not typical of him at the time.   What impressed me?  The children.  One of the older boys came over and asked Ben if he could show him the classroom pets.  He was so kind and thoughtful.

10.  Name three of your all-time favorite books:  The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, The Corrections  (Please note, it took a grand total of 13 seconds for this list to roll right off her tongue.  Impressive, LCM.  Impressive).

11.  All-time favorite movie?  Good Will Hunting

12.  What is your biggest pet peeve?  When people cut their fingernails around me… and when people chew with their mouths open… and any and all passive aggressive behavior and…and…and… (LCM has a lot peeves.  Just sayin’).

13.  Favorite color?  Navy blue

14.  Best gift you ever received (besides your children)?  The sweetest gift I ever received was given to me right after I graduated from law school.  I had been worried about how I would spend time in the evenings when law school was complete and decided I would learn how to play the piano.  Jeremy surprised me with a piano!

FINALLY, share the first thought that comes to mind when you hear each word:

Ben:  Love

Natalie:  Love

When asked to sketch how he visualizes his Mom, Ben created SUPER MOM, protector against all one-eyed monsters...and other scary things, of course.
When asked to sketch how he visualizes his Mom, Ben created SUPER MOM, protector against all one-eyed monsters…and other scary things, of course.

VdM:  Happiness

Summer:  Sunshine and Happiness

Winter:  Blah

Push ups:  Painful

Music:  Magical

Bacon:  Delicious

Home:  Happiest

Des Moines:  Roots

Shopping:  Real-life- dreadful; Online- sometimes fun

Fun:  Our vacations in Seaside, Florida

UPS man:  Husband anger

Metal insets:  Coordination

Timeline of Life:  Amazing

Bank Game:  Genius

Don Cheagle (her beagle who bites people):  Terrible but lovable

To conclude this post, the Villa di Maria audience is granted the privilege of viewing never-been-shared-before WEDDING PHOTOS!  Can you stand it, folks?!  A sneak peak into the life of your beloved Director.  There you have it.