Friday, August 26, 2011

Ten is Good, Ten is Great!

Today I am happy to share with you a lovely give away. Actually we are going to have a whole year of giveaways!! That's right you heard me correctly. I am very proud to say that Maple Tree is about to enter it's tenth year!

How do you say Thank You?

I have been thinking of this for some time and there are so many parents and children, teachers and well, just amazing people who have either given advice or lent a hand on this amazing journey.

When I started Maple Tree, ten years ago it was with six children in the basement of my house. Those were the days (sigh). Just me and six children working all morning long. I will never forget those days and I am so grateful for that beginning. I have learned a great deal about myself and my teaching style. It is fair the say that children, are the best teachers you can ever have.

So here is the Thank You....there will be ten gifts. One for each month and each year we have been in operation. I will be drawing from the comments section at the bottom of the blog at the end of every month. So if you would like a chance to win you must make a comment. The drawn will be based on all the comments during the month. More comments means more chances to win. When I announce the winner at the end of the month I will also be posting the next giveaway. So be sure to check often!

Our first giveaway is a set of colored pencil pots that you would find on our metal inset shelf. They have been generously provided by one of my suppliers Cabdev Montessori . I have pretty much exclusively bought my classroom materials from Cabdev and I have been very happy with the quality and customer service. Thank you Cabdev for our September giveaway! I have also added from my collection a set of triangular pencils by Maped. As far as I am concerned they are the bees knees for colored pencils and you can purchase them at most art supply shops. Happy September and Happy Back to School!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Done for Now

I have been away from this space for too long! Sorry about that but, I have been busy and falling in to bed each nigh exhausted. The reno is finished for now. The last part that we are waiting on are the cabinet doors for the custom cabinetry we had built. We have never had storage in the five years we have been in this space and so it was super challenging to figure out what I was keeping and what I was purging! I have to say a big heartfelt "thank you" to all the staff as they worked hard in helping to pull it all together but especially Ms. Melanie who would come in night after night to help me. The company was most appreciate and the encouragement that we were almost there. There were many nights when it felt over whelming and I questioned whether or not we were getting there. Needless to say, we are there now and I am so grateful for all the hard work by all to make
this a warm and inviting new classroom.

I felt the warmth yesterday as I was quietly working at the new table and children came and went from that space. It really is a lovely space to work in. I especially love that my desk space is right there and no matter what I am working on I am available if someone little needs me.

We have been having circle in that space the last few days as pick up has been a bit noisy and we felt disruptive to that last bit of time we have with the children in the morning. It is going to make for a much nicer music space for Ms. Susanne. I can't wait for her to see it.

I am starting to wind down now for a bit. I am tired and the last few weeks haven't been much fun for my children and so we are gearing up for a trip to the island and some much needed vacation and family time.

I am planning another post for tomorrow to announce something big so be sure to check back. You won't want to miss it for sure!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Working, Working,Working

To say I am tired is an under statement! This reno turned out to be a bigger project than expected. Isn't that always the way? I've taken advantage of our summer closure and that handy husband of mine to make a few more things work better for us.
We are entering out fifth year in our space on Cork and Oxford Street and I can't tell you how much better it feels to have these adjustments made to our space.

Today all the teachers came in to lend a hand. Some were painting and others were organizing and cleaning like mad. I am meeting new parents at the school on Sunday morning and I am full out to get it all done.

We will not be using the new classroom space until September 6th as we are waiting for cabinet doors for our custom shelving and the mahogany harvest table isn't quite ready for the new classroom. Somethings you just can't rush and we do not need that space until September 6th!

I think you will all love it, we sure do and YES I did bust out and paint an accent wall! Your not imagining it. Our new wall is painted Savannah Grass. Just decided that two days ago after I already had it painted. Oh well, what are you gonna do. We are, after all, making it lovely for your children, our new children, and lovely it is!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Getting Ready

We are all getting ready in our house for my return to work. The excitement is starting to build and the count down is on. Getting ready to open the school is more than painting and cleaning for me. These past few weeks have been very full with the renovation but also filling last minute enrollment as there have been adjustments. I am filling every moment with preparation. I've been cutting endless amounts of flannel for Polishing work. We can launder it but after a few washes it really has to go in the compost. It is really hard to wash out all that bees wax polish.

So cutting, cutting, cutting I am flannel, burlap and embroidery fabric. My daughter who has been in the mix with all this work has naturally offered her help to cut things up for me!
Yikes, what to do? I didn't want to hurt her feelings so I said I had a special project that I needed her to do.

I pulled out a sock monkey kit from The Monkey Show store. I always have something in my stash and I LOVE these. You can check them out on their website at . They are located on Dresden street in downtown Halifax. I can't say enough good things about them. It is great value for the money. When I bought my kit a year ago I paid $20.00 for it. The lady who owns the store also makes clothing for the monkeys by using scraps of fabric from the tailor shop at Duggers. How great is that?

I was hoping this project would give me some time to get my work done and it did for a while. I did have to supervise the sewing and help a few times but over all she did most of it. It is a great gift for an avid sewer say five years and older.

I would have posted the final product but I can't seem to pry "Kinka" from her hands. That monkey has been everywhere with us this last week and was the best twenty bucks I've spent in a long time.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Process of Normalization

Dear New Parents,

Your journey into Montessori is about to begin and so we will be working to help you understand what that means to you and your child. Today, I was reading this latest article from Montessori Print Shop and I thought it was a great idea to share it with you. It will help you to understand why it is so important to have our classroom environment set up and organized the way we do but also give you some insight in how a child becomes normalized in their environment. Please check out the link to this great article,
Happy Reading!

Monday, August 1, 2011


Another productive day again today.
The drywall went up and the pencil cupboard went into the wall.

I must say, that I am loving the new wall and how very different the space is feeling. I am wishing we had done this Reno five years ago!

Tomorrow the plan is tape and mud and side lights. Doors are getting sanded and painted by yours truly. We also found a mahogany table top at Renovators Resource that will be built into our new large classroom table for six. Note to self, must purchase a belt sander tomorrow. I also treated myself to a very sturdy and tall red ladder to be kept at the school. Such a pain hauling one in from home to change light bulbs and clean.

Oh, and while Shawn worked on the wall today I was purging and organizing our curriculum by the month into large storage bins. All this to say that today was a very productive day. Still so much to do. Am I going to make it?!