• wmsadmin

Woodland Messenger: Preparing for Camp Woodland

Dear Woodland Community, During the summer months, our Preschool goes into summer camp mode (and the Toddler House remains the same, programming-wise, until September.)

At Woodland Montessori School, we are very mindful of transitions—especially when it comes to our students. The first thing I always like to tell parents is that we've been doing this for many years and have acquired best practices to support our families when their child transitions from one classroom to another. Following are some of the shifts that occur for Camp Woodland:

  • In addition to working with the Montessori materials, Camp Woodland programming includes a wide variety of enrichment guests. (In the photos above, please see examples of Camp Woodland enrichment taking place in the preschool's Outdoor Classroom.)

  • On Fridays, the children walk to and from Goodman Pool for swimming lessons.

  • This summer, our two Camp Woodland classrooms for children 3- to 6-years of age will be located in Classroom 1 & Classroom 2 (the second floor of the Preschool.)

  • As far as placement is concerned, our best practice is to have the children who are currently enrolled in Classroom 1 (C1) and Classroom 2 (C2) stay in their assigned classrooms. Students from Classroom 3 (C3) and Classroom 4 (C4) will be placed in either C1 or C2 based on many things: including input from their current Lead Teachers; information from our Registrar (Kristin Knutson) about their anticipated placement for 2018/2019; input from our Camp Coordinator (Ambra Baldwin Hart) and our Camp Woodland Lead Teachers; and some overall guidance from me.

  • When it is developmentally appropriate for the C3 students, their teachers will begin talking with them about transitioning to Camp Woodland for the summer. The children visit C1 & C2 on a regular basis to become acclimated to their new classroom environments.Many of the C3 teachers will be Camp Woodland teachers this summer, so they too will be transitioning alongside their current C3 students to a new classroom.

It is our experience that the children love this change for the summer and are ready for it. However it may be confusing for the parents, so please do not hesitate to reach out to Kristin, Ambra, or me with questions. Also, please watch for more Camp Woodland 2018 details in late Spring, including​ finalized teacher placements, the Camp Woodland orientation time and date, and a welcome message from your child's Lead Teacher. Finally, there is no need to discuss this transition with your child now, as they will not start visiting their new classrooms until some time in May. Developmentally, preschoolers do better with shorter timelines (but parents, we have noticed over the years, prefer longer timelines ;)

Erin R. Trondson, M.S.

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Call for Recommendations for Sponsors

Preparations for Woodland's Annual Parents’ Night Out Auction & Fundraiserare in full swing as we seek out event and table sponsorships from community businesses and partner organizations. Sponsorship provides a unique avenue for supporting the Woodland Scholarship Fund separate from donating a product for auctioning. Our auction sponsorship program has deepened connections between WMS and its supporters as well as increased the Woodland community’s propensity for giving. If you know of a business or individual who you believe would be open to considering sponsorship, please let us know. This could be your employer, a neighbor, or anyone committed to corporate social responsibility. There are multiple ways to consider sponsorship. We will do all the hard work of requesting, explaining the benefits of sponsorship, and managing donations—we're simply asking you for recommendations! Please reach out to Sarah Karls (Mom of Henry in C1 & James in T1) or Erin Trondson (Head of School)

Important Dates

CLOSED for Spring Break Monday, March 26th through Friday, March 30th 2018 School Resumes Monday, April 2nd 2018

Board of Directors Meeting

April Board Meeting Wednesday, April 18th 2018 6p Location: TBA

Parent/Teacher Conferences

CLOSED for Parent/Teacher Conferences Friday, April 27th 2018

Toddler 1

"To keep alive that enthusiasm is the secret of real guidance, provided that the attitude towards the child's acts be that of respect, calm, and waiting, and provided that he be left free in his movements and experience." —Dr. Maria Montessori

Spring cleaning! Toddlers love the table scrubbing activity; in fact, any cleaning activity! They find joy in the process, whether it's the steps involved, the repetition, or the sensorial experience of the materials. Often the teacher will reach for a cloth and begin to clean only to turn around and see a toddler has picked up their own cloth and is following along right behind. Wishing everyone a fun and relaxing Spring break. —Becky Jones, Carolina Diaz, and Tia Thao

Toddler 2

"A child is an eager observer and is particularly attracted by the actions of adults and wants to imitate them. In this regard, an adult can have a kind of mission. He can be an inspiration for the child's actions, a kind of open book wherein a child can learn how to direct his own movements." —Dr. Maria Montessori

When a child comes to prepare food, their fine motor control is exercised and hand-eye coordination is improved. Preparing food exposes a child to all of the experiences of the senses—and this is the very age when the refinement of the senses is at its peak. Children also get to feel that through their efforts others will benefit, introducing them to the value of community contribution. —Nicole Wilson, Amanda Isaksson, and Sarah O'Farrell

Classroom 1

The sand paper letters are a fundamental language material in the Montessori classroom. Through the sandpaper letters a child sees the letter, learns the sound the letter makes, and then feels the shape of the letter when they trace it. This sensorial motor activity prepares them for writing. After tracing the sandpaper letter, the children practice making the letter with their finger in a tray of sand—as this child is doing in the photo above. We introduce all lower case letters to the children; and we don’t say the letter names, only the sound the letter makes. This prepares children to learn to read words phonetically, by sounding out words. We hope all of you have a wonderful Spring break! —Jennifer Hoyt, Kate Schiffman, Mai Seng Thao, and Danni Farino

Classroom 2

The classroom has been peacefully at work on a variety of things these past few weeks. The children have been practicing writing on chalkboards, adding number strips, counting beads into the hundreds and thousands, building their own maps, and labeling the parts of animals and plants in small booklets. We are all excited about the warming weather and will soon be learning about life cycles of various insects, animals, and plants! Have a wonderful Spring break and remember to get outside and see what interesting "treasures" you can find for show and share :) —Angie Olson, Lisa Berry, Mary McCusker, and Danni Farino

Classroom 3

Montessori materials were created for a purpose, with a direct aim in mind. The materials isolate a concept and allow for repetitive practice. In the practicing, the child develops a sense of satisfaction through the mastery of their task.

The aim of the practical life activities is for the child to develop coordination, concentration, control of movement, and independence. Practical Life materials allow the child to perform the work of an adult for enjoyment, rather than as a chore.

The Cards & Counters bring the abstract to the concrete, allowing a child to actually feel the units as they count.

And Montessori Pin Punching is an activity that's wonderful for developing concentration, attention to detail, and the pincer grip necessary for writing. In addition, children develop fine motor skills, hand strength, and eye-hand coordination. As an extension, we use pin punching to reinforce the learning of the geometric shapes with the Montessori Metal Insets—as this child demonstrates in the photo above.

Have a wonderful Spring break! —Raquel Diaz, Kelsey Vanden Avond, Matt Strosnider, and Jenn Kindwall

Classroom 4

"An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live." —Dr. Maria Montessori

On Wednesday, March 14th, the children in Classroom 4 participated in short discussion about what it means to feel safe in school. (This just happened to coincide with the National School Walkout.) Then we made love, peace, and respect signs.

A big shout out to Daniel and Sandrine Pell for coming to C4 on St. Patrick’s Day to share some Irish culture with the children. Daniel played the violin (or fiddle), sheep bones, and whistle, while Sandrine taught the kids an Irish dance. The children loved it—and were smiling from ear to ear. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us! Have a great Spring break! —David Wahle, Cari Buboltz, Heather Duncan, and Jill Jaworski


Hello from Denver! Thank you to all of the families who have supported me in getting to the AMS conference this year. I am very grateful and excited to be immersed in three days of Montessori teacher training! Before I left, we were very busy making a lovely mobile for our dear Cari B. The children used shaving cream and liquid watercolor to create beautiful marble colored paper. Then we traced the leaves from the botany cabinet and cut them out. Finally, we went for a very short walk to find the perfect stick...that happened to be in front of Toddler House! The children sawed our “log” into the right lengths and we tied on our leaves. Get well Cari B! Thank you to Kelly McKenna Patterson for expanding the photography program to include Kindergarten. You are so talented, Kelly, and we are grateful to have you capturing the joy these children experience in the classroom! —Ambra Baldwin Hart, Kate Schiffman, and Jill Jaworski

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1124 Colby Street

Madison, WI 53715

Photos by Kelly McKenna Patterson