Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Maple Tree Montessori will be CLOSED today, December 18th, due to the weather.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Pin Pushing Stars
 Snippets from the week.  So much making going on and feeling so much JOY in our classroom these days.
Painting Stars

Pinecone weaving

Stringing Popcorn garland

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Star Light, Star Bright

 It is Crafty Crazy at the school right now.  I love how much fun this month is and how these small changes in our montessori environment inspire and excite everyone.  A while ago I asked for egg cartons.  I saw this beautiful art activity on a blog and I knew that I wanted to make them for our trees this year.  It was a ton of prep on my end last Sunday and after I made 27 I enlisted my son to finish things up for me.  The tutorial can be found HERE.

 So while we did prep these egg carton stars, the children did paint and add glitter.  Take a moment to notice how beautiful they are.  I love all the endless possibilities for making things with egg cartons.  It's one of the best craft materials!

Friday, December 6, 2013

This Week...

 Yesterday I spent my morning at Cork Street and I brought a big bag of wool with me.  I've been teaching needle felting at my daughter's school once a week during lunch and it has been so much fun.  With all the pin pushing work going on at Maple Tree I thought some of the children would really enjoy trying needle felting.  Thank you to my dear friend Jana for the beautifully dyed roving!!
 For the most part the children really enjoyed this. It was a bit tricky to have them work with out a template or a guide.  I notice that making a shape free form was challenging.  I loved that it pushed them all to think about how they would make their shapes.  It really was a great activity.

Sensory basket for sorting work and free play

 We are working on snowmen magnets as Christmas gifts!  They will be laminated and magnets attached.  We were gifted with a stack of magnets and that was awesome!

Lots of card making

Snowman by Frances complete with a flower on his hat!

Tree by Eli

Tree by Hugo
I am hoping to turn these beautiful needle felted projects into hanging ornaments for the giving tree.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Oh, the Merry Making is here

 The Merry Making has started.  From here on out there will be tons of merry making going on in our classrooms.  Next week we will be constructing our trees for each classroom and they will be filled with lots of handmade things by your children.  All of which will go home when we part on the 19th and 20th.

Last year was the first year we started making gift tags and cards.  I really love making them and I especially love that you can take them to a copy centre and get a bunch printed.  What could possibly be lovelier to send out the family near and far!

We absolutely love this time of the year and I love what this small shift in our working environment does for our children and their hearts.  Don't be surprised if it starts unfolding at home.  We have some incredible artist working in our house!
 ~Ms. Michelle

Sunday, November 24, 2013


 There has been a great deal of construction happening in the
classroom.  When children engage in this type of activity they areexperimenting with math, physics, design and a whole host of otherconcepts.  They are learning about size, shape and balance and howthey impact each other. ~Ms. Melanie

Friday, November 8, 2013

This Moment

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Muffins


    • 3 cups flour
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2/3 cup butter, melted
    • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
    • 2 cups finely chopped tart apples


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix together.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and stir until flour mixture is moistened.
  4. Spoon batter into 2 greased or paper-lined 12-cup muffin pans.
  5. Bake at 375 for 19-23 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.
    These muffins turned out beautifully for today's afternoon snack.  I might try and decrease the sugar next time and make them with dairy alternatives like coconut oil and rice milk.  There is always a way to modify things.  Happy Baking!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Learning About Leaves

This week I have been studying leaves with a few of the children in the class.  We have spent a great deal of time at the playground hunting leaves and bringing our favorites back to the classroom.  We have  some resources in the classroom that help us learn about leaves such as books, nomenclature cards and our “Parts of the Leaf” puzzle.  We have been examining the individual parts of our real leaves and learning the names from our nomenclature cards.  This has been a nice lesson in nature and a great vocabulary builder. ~Ms. Melanie

Friday, October 25, 2013

This Moment

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Leaves and Paint

 We've been looking at leaves in the classroom lately and this week we are making spray paint leaf pictures! The little bit of extra mess has been worth each and every smile on the kids faces as they squeeze the spray bottles and out come the colours. Each child has surprised me with how carefully they chose where to spray their second and third colours and deciding when their picture was just right. Seeing all the unique creations has been wonderful.  ~Ms. Ann

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Two little Apples

At the beginning of the year in music class we spend the first few weeks getting to know one another, and so we sing about new friends at school and about our families at home.  You might hear some of these songs from your little one these days:  There Were Ten in the Bed, There is Somebody Waiting for Me, or Shoo, Fly!
We usually tap a steady beat as we sing, and some of our songs have actions, or a game that is incorporated with the singing.  We also do lots of circle games and dances as we sing, to promote the social aspect of making music together.
We are also singing music with fall harvest in mind, and you may hear Can you Plant a Cabbage Seed? or the words to Two Little Apples at home.  This last is a spoken rhyme, with actions, and very popular in the class right now, so with a little encouragement, you might even get your child to speak it for you.  Here are the words, so you know what you are listening for:

Two little apples, hanging on a tree.
Two little apples, smiling at me.
I shook that tree as hard as I could,
Down came the apples!
Mmm, they were good!

~Ms. Susanne

Friday, October 11, 2013

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Spelt Muffins

2 cups Spelt Flour (I used unbleached all purpose flour instead)
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1Tbs  Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (I used dairy free ones)
2 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 Cup Sugar
11/2 Cups Pumpkin Puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease muffin tin or line with muffin cups.  Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In a separate bowl mix wet ingredients together and all dry ingredients to the wet and gently mix.  Do not over mix or you will have flat muffins.  These were super tasty today and not vey sweet at all.  They were very moist and had a super pumpkin flavour.  I would make these again for sure.  We had them for afternoon snack at Quinpool.  ~ms. michelle

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sunshine in a Vase

 This project is a couple of weeks old now and I've meant to post it sooner and share my thoughts about it.  We are looking at two artist this month.  Van Gogh and Cezzane.  Over the years I have collected some fantastic children's books about various artist.

 Van Gogh and the Sunflowers is one of those books.    It is a lovely read and we were able to look at Sunflowers up close from my garden and talk about them.

Those same sunflowers are now drying out as we will use them for seed collecting work.  Aren't sunflowers incredible?  They just keep giving.  They grow and blossom and provide food for animals and inspiration to the young budding artist and seeds for the next year for planting.  They are a most cheerful bit of loveliness in a fall garden and the last small bit of summer.
On this day that we looked at Van Gogh, I painted my own vase of flowers based on a vase set up at the art easel.  The children watched me mix colours and smoosh my brush and well, just have fun with it.  The result was beautiful.  I very much enjoyed watching children come and go and paint their own version of what they saw during that week.  I am setting this up at our Quinpool campus this week and am excited to see what the children see and paint.  I think my favourite paintings are the ones that are very loose and free.  You will see what I mean when you scroll through.  The colour mixing was fun to watch.  I am not an artist and I do not have an art background but I do feel very passionate about putting real materials in children's hands and making sure they understand and appreciate all kinds of art.  It is one of my most favourite things about being a teacher.  ~Ms. Michelle