Teacher Training: Cultural Subjects

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As we do each summer, Children's House has been hosting Montessori teacher training for Montessori World Educational Institute. This week was an exceptionally motivating week of Cultural Subjects. From the MWEI website: This class presents the Montessori approach to the arts, music, drama, geography, history, botany and zoology. Teachers learn active, hands-on methods for helping children to learn about how the earth is represented by the globe and maps while learning about the world's people and places and the wonders of nature.
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Students made dulcimers and learned to play them, they learned to use a variety of art mediums, including paint, clay, and pastels. They did hand work; sewing, embroidery, paper cutting, bookmaking, etc. They were also given a lecture on technology and how to use it productively in a classroom setting.
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Students in this class were especially fortunate this year, to have as their instructors, the board members of MWEI; Bob Blodget (retired psychology/human development professor, Cal Poly), Korey Dudley (owner director of Children's House Montessori School, Atascadero), Mary Kern (owner director of Montessori Children's School, SLO) and Sonya Lanzen-Castellanos (director of Morro Bay Montessori, a Family Partnership Charter school). These four leaders in our local Montessori community, enjoyed collaborating and sharing their expertise in various areas of the curriculum. It was an inspiring and rewarding week for all.
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Scholastic Book Fair Starts Monday, Dec. 7th!

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The Scholastic Book Fair will begin on Monday, December 7th, and run through Friday, December 11th.
It is located in our spacious Stephen B. Dudley Community Barn.
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Morning--8:00 – 9:15
Lunchtime--11:45 – 1:00
After school--2:45 – 5:00
Special night hours (Wed/Thursday): 5:00 – 7:00

At the Book Fair, you and your child can review and buy books together for your child’s home library, as well as for your child’s classroom library. To purchase a book for your child’s classroom, simply select one or more “Book Wish Donation Cards” from the “Classroom Wish List” display. (The titles are hand picked by the teachers for their classrooms and for our school library.) Your gift will be processed—and your child can personalize a bookplate on the inside front cover!

Our Scholastic Book Fair promises to be a great event to promote the love of reading.

Best,

Your book fair reps
(Krista Bobbitt, Susan Arredondo, Meghan Dunn, Viquel Hawley, Vicki Taylor)
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Summer...

I realize I haven't been posting on our blog very often. I think it's because we use The Quailblazer Times during the school year. It seems it has taken the place of our blog. But we don't use The Quailblazer during the summer, so I thought I'd give you a glimpse of what we've been up to.

Things have slowed down to a crawl, but the calm summer days offer many opportunities...

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Primary, Session #2, singing a little song outside
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Session #1, elementary students enjoying a leisurely lunch on the back patio.
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Sunflower photo for an art project.

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Mosaic Madness!

Many of you know, Korey has been working with the children all year on the ceramic pieces for the mosaic in the barn.
Summer has brought the time needed for her to actually work on getting it finished. mosaic_01
She spent a week or two putting all the pieces into place on boards.
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The next step was to detail and clean up around all the pieces, before it could be grouted.
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Grouting came next...
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Korey sealed and buffed it and it is now complete! Be sure to go check it out if you are visiting the school.
It's a work of art!
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We also have a beautiful new addition in the front of the school.

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Thank You, General Store!

And a big THANK YOU back, to Erin, Joeli and Jillian at the General Store for their generous donation to Children's House.
It was such a happy morning. Thank you also to the many parents who participated in this fundraiser!
Happy New Year to all!
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Water for Good

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As we ponder how much we have to be thankful for this holiday season, we also have the opportunity to give a year's supply of clean drinking water to people who would otherwise go without. Children's House is joining forces with "Water for Good"  www.forgoodco.com and Lifewater International (lifewater.org). 

In the foyer, beginning Monday, we have beautiful 1 liter glass bottles of delicious spring water for sale. With your purchase of $10.00, you can supply 5 people with water for an entire year.  (Usually for their cost of $7.50, it would supply one person with water, but because we are donating the marked up portion, your purchase will actually help not one, but 5 people!!) A bottle of this spring water would be perfect for your Thanksgiving table. Happy   Plastic water bottles for $3.00 and $1.00 are also available.

These bottles will be available here at least until Winter Break. If successful, we can carry them permanently. Please ask Korey or Dana to help you with the sale. 

Printed literature is also available in the foyer and can be included with each bottle. Here is their information:

For Good Company, (based in Arroyo Grande, CA), founders of "Water for Good", are committed to helping deliver justice and mercy to the disadvantaged people in our world. This is accomplished by donating money from the sales of our products to organizations who have a proven track of being honest, accountable and effective in what they do! In the case of our water, for every one liter sold, we will donate funds to Lifewater International (lifewater.org) who in turn will use that donation to provide clean drinking water for one person for one year! Think about that! As you enjoy a cool sip of water here in San Luis Obispo county, someone around the world WILL RECEIVE clean drinking water for 365 days!!! We are convinced that together, we can change the world one bottle at a time! Thanks for doing your part to help out.Saving lives never never tasted so good!

To "do more things for good," please visit us at: www.forgoodco.com or send us an email at: info@forgoodco.com

We hope you will join us in supporting this awesome project.



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Noah's Farm

On October 15th, the level 1 and 2 students went out to Noah Small's 67 acre farm in Creston. The students learned the size of an acre by measuring the land. They also learned about the soil, and how it meets the needs of the plants. They saw fresh parsley shoots that had just been planted and saw workers in the process of "turning" the onions right side up before they were covered with soil. They ate lunch and headed back to school.
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Rapid Change

The last few days have been full of big changes with our construction and parking lot. So much progress for one week! It has been so much fun to watch all the different machines and techniques. We are all learning so much. Check out the time-lapse videos and some photos to get a quick idea of what has been going on at Children's House.

On Monday, they paved the parking lot. We couldn't drive on it until Wednesday, but, WOW, is it ever a beautiful site! They will paint the lines on Monday, Oct. 6.


On Wednesday, a giant semi truck brought the wood chips for our play structure. They call them EWC, Engineered Wood Fiber. They are made from cedar and smell really good. The truck has special moving floors and the wood gets pushed out automatically.

The pile was huge! It did not seem like it would all fit into the play area...
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...but it did! We are hoping the children will be able to play on the structure very soon.
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Today was really exciting! A big crane came into the yard and hoisted up the side walls. They even had to get a ladder and trim a tree branch to make things fit together.


Just to make things even more exciting, our Upper Elementary students are away on a field trip. They are on the Tole Mour, a tall ship out of Avalon, Catalina Island. This is the first time our school has ever done this type of field trip where the students actually stay on the ship for three days. They will probably have some wonderful stories to tell their buddies and all of us! Plus, they will have lots of fun surprises when they return to school!
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Under Construction

The view from Dana's desk...
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the view from the coffee shop...
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view from the front of school...
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...and the back!
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Digging a trench in the front for the fire line. These people work fast!




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Montessori Education

Korey wrote an article about Montessori Education for the August issue of Central Coast Family. Check it out... page three.

CCF AUG 14 by CCFamilyAE



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"Mad Scientists"

Our Primary Summer Session #3 is filled with "Mad Scientists"!

We have been doing so many fun experiments this summer session! Here are just a few that your children might have mentioned to you at home.


In this experiment we learned about chemical reactions!  We filled a dish with whole milk, then we added drops of food coloring to it. Next we took a q-tip with dish soap on it and touched it to our colorful milk to watch the reaction! The kids loved seeing the colors swirl!


In our Screaming Balloon experiment, we placed a penny and a hex nut in two separate balloons and observed what happened when we spun the balloon around! We loved listening to the "screaming" sound the hex nut made as it spun around inside the balloon, and enjoyed watching the penny silently spinning around too. The children keep asking to do this experiment again!
-Victoria

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Career Awareness Series - Farmer-Rancher-Winemaker

Lower Elementary field trip to Adelaida Springs Ranch, on Tuesday, March 11th.

Our trip out to Adelaida Springs Ranch was in conjunction with our Needs of People / Career Awareness Series, spearheaded by Michelle Thacher. We were able to take a long, wonderous hayride through their property with their winemaker, Shannon, Jackson, the owners son, and Nathan, the ranch manager, to see the grass fed cattle and sheep. We even got to see a two week old baby lamb! After the ride, we were gifted with a marvelous lunch of burgers (with meat from the grass-fed cattle), fruit and juice, all provided by the owners, Lisa and Laird Foshay. It was a wonderful day, filled with beauty and knowledge.

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The Quailblazer Times

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fish by Ian

Have you read the latest issue of 
The Quailblazer Times, our school newsletter? This is a short, online newsletter, filled with interesting articles, art and stories by students and lots of pics! We even have a monthly recipe! If you haven't seen it, please check it out.

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Jogging for must! charities

UPDATE: We raised over $6500.00 for must! charities, Real Food for Real Children!
Great job!

Top runners from each class, along with Korey, present a check to Becky Gray and Scott Hawley form must! charities.
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Another successful Jog-A-Thon at Children’s House!
Students ran a total of 3,597 laps or 359.7 miles, to raise money for must! charities- Real Food for Real Children.
Parents, if you have not already done so, please help your child collect their donations from sponsors. If you need thank you receipts, you can download them here.
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students after jogging

joggers posing in front of play structure after the run

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Today in the Primary Class...

They searched for frosted leaves on the playground...
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and learned about bones...
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Career Awareness Series - Firefighter

The second field trip in our Career Awareness Series was a visit to Station #1 in Atascadero.

student posing for pic with firefighters and fire engine

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Career Awareness Series - Artist

This year, thanks to the creative thinking of mom, Michelle Thacher, the Lower Elementary students will look at various career options. About once a month we will either take a field trip or have a visitor come to the class to engage the students with a fascinating look at a specific career.
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To kick this off, we took a field trip to
Studios on the Park in Paso Robles where we could look at the life of a professional artist! Joe Thomas spoke to the children about his art form, mostly focusing on portraits with chalk pastels. He talked to us about being fearless and confident. He then taught the group how to make an imaginative portrait mask combining animal and human characteristics. The students used marking pens, oil pastels and tissue paper to create their unique masks.boy drawing
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After lunch in the park, we divided into small groups and got to tour the studios.
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We met about nine artists who shared their passion and their individual techniques with us. This included everything from screen-printing to oils to jewelry!
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It was inspiring for all of us to learn how these amazing artists spend their days doing what they love.
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Next month, we’re hoping to take a civic field trip that would include glimpses into the lives of a policeman, a firefighter and an ambulance driver.

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Swing Your Partner!

Check out the students in levels 3 through 6 tearin’ up the rug! The children spontaneously break out in song as they learn to square dance! ~Sally



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Drepung Gomang Tibetan Monks

We had a visit from the Drepung Gomang Monks. They are Tibetan monks touring the United States to spread the richness of their culture.
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They spent a few hours with us last Wednesday, Oct. 2. They started the program out on our patio, where they talked with the children.
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They explained about where they are from and what they do.
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They chanted.
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They talked to some of the children as they stood in line to wash their hands.
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The monks split into two groups. One group went into the Lower Elementary class and showed them how to make rock paintings or “mani stones” as they are called.

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monk showing children sand painting technique
The other group of monks went into the Upper Elementary classroom and showed them the process they use for making the beautiful sand mandalas.
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Sand Mandala
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They ended their visit back on the patio with The Yak Dance.


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International Peace Day and Buddy Announcement!

Friday, September 20, we celebrated International Peace Day at Children's House! Each child painted a small banner and wrote what peace meant to them. We then strung them from the beams of our patio... so beautiful! IMG_8402
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At 11:00 all the children in the school met outside on the patio steps. We lit a candle and sang, "Light a Candle for Peace", a song written a few years ago by Shelley Murley, a Montessori teacher whom I met at a conference in New Orleans. It has become a Children’s House. favorite. We also sang "What a Wonderful World".

The next part of our ceremony was the most anticipated... the announcement of the 2013/14 Buddies!!  As each pair of Buddies was announced, they took each other's hand and found a place in the playground to go sit together and get to know each other. I went around taking the most adorable Buddy pictures ever!

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After about 20 minutes, the buddies went on a "trust walk", the younger buddy guiding their older buddy with their eyes closed. We met in a circle at the back of the lawn. Now we were ready for our first Buddy Team Challenge....to take our bodies and form a giant peace sign on the lawn! From there we formed a giant line and formed a tight spiral. The finale was to uncoil ourselves from the spiral and form a circle again....not an easy feat but we did it!!

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We ended by holding hands in our circle singing "Peace is the World Smiling". What a wonderful celebration and an inspiring group of children!
~Korey
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