Wednesday, June 25, 2014

More Balloons Today

Super Fun Balloon Volley Ball!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Water Balloon Play

300 Water Balloons

 300 Water Balloons + Children raring to go = so much fun today!  They didn't last long and if we could have filled more easily and transported more to the park I would have had hours worth of them!  Even the teacher got in on the action!  Oh Happy Day!  ~michelle

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fun and Games

 Today was the start of our Summer Program.  The first session is Fun and Fitness and we kick that off today!  We spent the morning at a playground and had a picnic snack.  This afternoon we had Ms Natalie come in a teach partner yoga today to the children.  Her yoga class was all about love and half the class was taught in french.  In these poses the children are working on pushing up into standing together using their legs and pressing their backs into each other.  It was sweet.  The children really loved trying to work out the pose with a partner.

 Natalie read this Story and after she read it she worked through the story with the children with yoga poses.
We ended our day today with a super fun musical freeze game.  Lots of music lots of laughs and lots of fun!  ~michelle

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Conversation with Mr. P

The following is from a home made card I received from one of our children.  He is a sweet boy and he is leaving us for big school in the fall.  With permission from his parents I am sharing his words.  There really is nothing better but to see things from a child's perspective.

I want to thank my teachers at Maple Tree because:

  • They showed me the bead work and the small counter rods. 
  • My favourite song was ‘Ho ho, watanay’ (Sleep sleep little one). 
  • They brought toys to the playground and it was fun. 
  • They had extra splash pants.

My favourite Maple Tree treat was:
I liked all of the lunches and snacks.  I especially liked the ginger cookies.

My favourite story was:
“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” anthology.

My favourite thing to do at Maple Tree was:
I like everything. 

My favourite work at Maple Tree was:
The Red Rods and the Brown Stair, and also the magnets and the bead work.

Is there anything you want to tell your teachers?  
Yes, I love you.

The Man By Tobey Peori

The man is driving a car on the road. He is a police man and he is driving a police car.

The man then was eating a giant cupcake.

He got to his police station, he had a party, and he had a cake because it was his birthday!

And then he found some money!

He had a sword and a pick-axe from mining a lot of diamonds. He shared them with his friend, Mommy, and his teachers at Maple Tree.

The man was Tobey. 


Friday, June 20, 2014


Play Scape
 This post is about gifts.  They come in all kinds of forms and are all around you.
Mushroom House

There is change in the air.  Today we are ending our Montessori Preschool Year.  We are losing a couple of teachers.  Both women are amazing in their own ways and we will miss them!

They are both moving away.  One is planning to get married and start her life back in BC and the other is moving to the USA for her husbands job.  They are very exciting opportunities for each of them and we are happy for them.

We also have a teacher fighting Cancer right now.  I mention this as it is on my mind everyday right now.  When I think about all that she is going through, I think about how I need to embrace everyday and live fully.  She has taught me that among many other things.  She has been a gift not only to me but Maple Tree and our families.

The end of the school year is hard for me.  This year especially.  There is change coming and I find change hard.  I am very much a creature of habit and comfort.  Not only will there be staffing changes but some of our children are leaving and heading off the Big School in the fall.  You try very hard not to get so connected to the children and families so it doesn't hurt so much but the truth is you can't avoid it.  It's what makes you a good teacher.  I love that no matter where I go in my off time I bump into my children and families and I get hugged and told funny stories.  That is such a gift.

The pictures to to the left are of a felt play mat that one of our teachers made and gifted to me for the school.  When I first saw this mat I was in such awe.  It is so beautiful.  I knew I wanted to make one myself but I don't ever feel like I have that time.  
Thank you Madeleine.  We will treasure it forever!

 I am full out prepping for the fall and knee deep in our Summer Program plans.  But today, is party day and I plan to live fully and enjoy the day right up until I drop into bed exhausted tonight.  Thank you all for a Wonderful Year.  Maple Tree will always be your family.


Hobbit Hill with Windows

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day Project

 I am sure if you asked the teachers they would say this has been one of the busiest weeks ever!  Between globe projects and making bbq sauce for   father's day it was so busy!

In honour of Father's Day we made bbq sauce with our children at both campuses.  It really is a simple thing to do and the children were super excited to do the mixing and making.

There was lots of talk about what Dad would be putting on the bbq to cook for dinner and who in the family likes bbq sauce and who doesn't.  I love the conversation that happens when the children are "doing".  I love to just listen.

 Bar-B-Que Sauce Montessori Style
1/2 Cup Ketchup
2 TBS Honey
2TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1TBS Cider Vinegar
1 Dash Hot Pepper Sauce
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Mustard Powder
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp of our Secret Ingredient?????

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes and pour into jars.  Keeps in the refrigerator for two weeks.  

No gift is complete without a hand made card.  Our children made their cards at the Art Table this week.

Dandelion thumb print cards that are just Dandy!

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 13, 2014

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, June 12, 2014

Refreshing little drinks

 It's Rhubarb time.   We've had a fair bit show up in our refreshment basket this week.  What to do with it all?  Last week soulemama made some yummy grown up drinks with Rhubarb syrup.

The recipe for the Rhubarb syrup is here.  It is super easy to make and wow, what a delicious drink.  I thought it would have some bitterness or an after taste but not at all!  Note**we had the virgin option at the school and it was super refreshing after playground.  A little bit of syrup goes a long way and you will want ice and sparkling water.  The children loved this treat yesterday.

All you need to do is add Rhubarb, sugar and water to a pot.  Exact measurements are in the recipe link above.  Bring to a simmer and turn off the heat and let steep.  You will want to make sure the sugar has dissolved.  When it has cooled, strain it into a bowl and store it in a mason jar in your fridge.  It's ready to go for a special treat.  It is especially lovely as a grown up drink with some gin and fresh mint!  Oh, it feels like Summer this week for sure!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Working Morning

Some snippets from the day Yesterday at Cork Street.
The Hundred Board
Board Stair / Pink Tower Extension Work
Three Bead Chain
Play dough and Conversation
Water Colour, such a beautiful painting!
Sand Play

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A System for Saving...

I promised a client I would sharing my system for saving my children's school work.  It's nothing crazy but it sure works well and makes me less crazy.  It's especially nice when all the paper coming home is organized and the special items saved.  

I've purchased a filing box from staples with hanging files and tabbed the files by year including my daughters Montessori preschool years.  

Let me be clear.  I am super selective about what we save and I purge a lot!  You can't keep everything.  When something special comes home from school we hang it up in the house to enjoy it and then if I'm keeping it, it gets filed into the box under the current year in her art file.  Over the years I have found this a great place to put school pictures, swimming badges, report cards and anything that tells her story.  
Don't get me wrong, we frame many things or turn them into note cards or wrapping paper.  I also love looking at the  evolution of all of her work.  It's amazing just how far my girl has come since her preschool days! 

It's a simple system.  It really doesn't need to be more complicated.  I hope it helps.   ~m

Friday, June 6, 2014

Traveling the World in Song

We have been traveling the world in music class lately!  We have been singing songs and playing musical games from many different countries, including Greece, Russia, and Africa, and singing in many languages, including Swahili, Iroquoi and French.  This week we listened to a recording of water drums from Ghana. It was great watching the children’s faces as they tried to figure out what they were hearing: drums, water, splashing, waves?
I explained that a water drum is a special type of drum meant to be played in the water.  We imagined what it would be like to make such cool sounds.  While stressing that you could never take a regular drum into the bathtub, I did  say that, with mom or dad’s permission, you could maybe take an empty container or bucket in and see what sounds you could make.  They were such good listeners and so enthusiastic about these drum sounds.  You may fully blame me for any large puddles on your bathroom floor due to water drum playing!
Miss Susannë

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Nobel Prize Laureate and Man of Montessori

Nobel Prize Laureate Gabriel Garcia Maérquez 
Making Children Sensitive to the Beauties of the World
Nobel Prize Laureate García Márquez, an early Montessori child in Colombia, died on April 17. In 2002, he published his autobiography Vivir Para Contarla. It deals with the years from his childhood—he was born in 1927—until the 1950s. The book includes a short passage on his time in a Montessori school.
From Living to Tell the Tale, Chapter 2 The consolation was that during this time the Montessori school had opened in Cataca, and its teachers stimulated the five senses by means of practical exercises, and taught singing. With the talent and beauty of the director, Rosa Elena Fergusson, studying was something
as marvellous as the joy of being alive. I learned to appreciate my sense of smell, whose power of nostalgic evocation is overwhelming. And taste, which I refined to the point where I have had drinks that taste of window, old bread that tastes of trunk, infusions that taste of Mass. In theory it is difficult to comprehend subjective pleasures, but those who have experienced them will understand right away. I do not believe there is a method better than the Montessorian for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life.