Third Years Visit Upper Elementary

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Yesterday, the Third Year Lower Elementary students experienced quite a treat! They spent the afternoon with the Upper Elementary class eating lunch, playing outside for recess, and then enjoying a special presentation by Thomas and Tricia Jostlein, who demonstrated different horns, including the grand alphorn, to coincide with The Kirby installation on sound distortions. How lucky are we to have St. Louis Symphony members as a part of this amazing community? Continue reading “Third Years Visit Upper Elementary”

Jobs in the Montessori Classroom

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Practical Life Skills may begin in the Children’s House with folding, sweeping up, washing dishes (and hands), and much more, but it does not end once the children move up to Lower Elementary. Instead, the older children take on more and more responsibility as they grow. Classroom jobs are an extension of their sense of community and ownership of their personal spaces; they help a child to appreciate the hard work that goes into keeping a space neat, clean, and ready for the next morning’s eager young minds! Continue reading “Jobs in the Montessori Classroom”

Books to Inspire Gratitude

51YBnxiRj+LWith Thanksgiving right around the corner, we are eager to share with you some of our favorite children’s books to inspire gratitude. The act of showing and experiencing gratitude is an extremely important practice in daily life. Studies that have been conducted since 2000, including one from UC Davis, have shown so many benefits to daily practice of gratitude — such as more positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness – that it goes without saying it is a good practice to share with our children. Gratitude can lead to an enhanced feeling of well-being, and children who practice gratitude show more positive attitudes toward their school, their peers, and their families. They show less judgement of others, less jealousy, and are more likely to offer to share and help others. What a powerful mindset gratitude instills!

Reading to your child is a wonderful way to introduce daily gratitude, and there are plenty of books to help you get started. Below, our picks.  Continue reading “Books to Inspire Gratitude”

Who We Are: Michaela Herbst

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As part of a series we’re calling Who We Are, we’re working to build and connect our community by interviewing the talented, dynamic parents and staff who make up the people of Villa di Maria. Today, we meet Michaela Herbst, who is not only mother to a current Villa di Maria student, but is an alumni of Villa herself! Michaela attended Villa for primary and elementary. What a treat to hear from someone who has grown up Montessori and decided to return to the very same space for her children. Michaela and her husband Dan have two daughters and one on the way.  Continue reading “Who We Are: Michaela Herbst”

Practical Life: Folding

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First thing every morning, an observer in the Montessori Primary classroom will most likely observe a young child diligently folding the clean laundry from the previous day’s washing. Here, Jessie Braud, Directress in the Primary Two Classroom, invites us into her beautiful classroom, where a child concentrates on her work from the beginning sequence through to the end.  Continue reading “Practical Life: Folding”