Registration packets for the 2019/2020 school year were distributed to current SWSM students on February 7th. Please sign the enclosed contracts, retaining one copy for yourself and returning SWSM’s copy with the registration fee/deposit. Send your signed contract and payment to the school office by February 25th to secure your child’s class.
In order to give you a broader insight and better understanding of your child’s time at Southwest Suburban Montessori, view the February curriculum here.
Greetings parents of SWSM and Happy New Year! I’ve had a great time teaching music in the classroom this year, and I’m excited to tell you what we have been up to.
This school year I decided to spend more time on each aspect of music we had been working on. The basic components are rhythm, musical terms such as tempo (speed) and dynamics (volume), listening and melody/pitch. The main activities around rhythm include a game called Sweet Beets where they build their own rhythms as a class and then we clap the sound of that rhythm together. I’d say rhythm is the most important aspect of music, which is why we sing the Sweet Beets song at the beginning and ending of each class.
More work on rhythm consists of playing the hand drums where I introduce the principles of listening. At first it may seem easy to listen to music, but the work we do shows them not only how to “hear” the music but to follow and interact to what the music is doing. We play the drums in different tempos (speed) and dynamics (volumes); and most everyone enjoys playing as a group, including me! I bring three smaller hand drums for the children and one big one for me, and we do what I call drum circle. We also participate in a group playing activity where I play my guitar while the group drumming play along. I change the tempo and play specific rhythms, and I’m always amazed at how well they can follow along.
The first half of the school year I focused only on the aspects above. Now that we are into the second half, we will work with bells. The bells are a wonderful and common instrument in the Montessori classroom. This is where we work with melody and hearing the notes (higher or lower). The kids will also play in small groups on the bells, and I hope to have them playing a song as a group by the end of the year. I will, of course, bring back the drums from time to time as I don’t want them to forget what we have learned so far.
I’m now in my fourth year teaching music class at SWSM, and it has been a great experience for me! Thank you so much for having me be a part of your child’s day. I’m at the point of getting to know the children from the very beginning of their time here in toddler class all the way until they graduate kindergarten. As I may have mentioned in past articles, I also enjoy that my son Cohen was able and now Anders is able to see me to do my job; and our music class day is a special one. Since I get a lunch break between the morning and afternoon classes, it’s been my tradition to take my son out to lunch with me . . . his pick! Usually it’s the same place each week. It’s a good thing Hound Dogs stayed in business until Cohen graduated from kindergarten. Luckily for Anders there is no chance of Portillo’s (Portilly’s as we call it) going out of business or running out of chocolate cake. Thanks again for great start to 2019!
SWSM is enrolled in the Emergency Closing Center. If we should experience stormy weather, you can check the status of our facility the following ways:
- go to the Emergency Closing website and search for SWSM by typing our name and city or phone number
- receive an e-mail notification of a change made to our facility by signing up at www.emergencyclosings.com
- receive a text message (Sign up by texting 36000 and message SWSM.)
- listen to WGN Radio 720-AM, WBBM Radio 780-AM or watch CBS Ch.2, NBC Ch.5, ABC Ch. 7, FOX Ch. 32, WGN-TV or CLTV cable for closing information
- check the Current News page of the website during inclement weather.
In order to give you a broader insight and better understanding of your child’s time at Southwest Suburban Montessori, view the January curriculum here.
Museum Free Days which are offered by most Chicago museums (typically to Illinois residents with valid proof of residency) are the way to go.
Check out Chicago Museums Free Admission Days for 2019.
Come to the informational meeting for parents of next year’s Extended Day/Kindergarten children. This meeting is designed to give you an overview of the curriculum, meet the teachers and help give you the information you need to make a decision regarding your child’s kindergarten year. It will be held on Wednesday, January 16th at 7:00 p.m. in the Extended Day room.
Walk through our halls and you are bound to hear Christmas carols and jingle bells ringing. Each child is delighted to decorate the classroom tree, only to have it re-decorated by another classmate of course. Santa, snowmen and elf hats are becoming a common sight here; and special holiday ornaments are being made to grace your trees. Advent calendars are opened, holiday traditions are shared, Christmas cookies are tasted and counting exercises include everything that is Christmas. You can even shave Santa’s beard! The children are on the lookout for reindeer in our woods; and Santa Claus himself will visit the children on the 18th, a 20-year tradition at SWSM! Yes, all things holiday are here, full-blown.
When I think of Christmas at Southwest, besides the paper chains, handmade ornaments and Christmas carols, I also am pleased to know that all of our families have contributed to the food pantry at the Hazel Crest Community Methodist Church for the past thirteen years! It’s a tiny church whose members are aging but who have been delighted to receive our donations each year. This year was our most bountiful yet, and I thank all of you for your generosity. It used to serve 50 families every other week. But numbers have doubled, and the pantry is now open weekly. Ms. Sharon and her nephew Kaleb load it all up and make the delivery. Kaleb was a toddler here when we first adopted this project, and he turns 16 this week. Next year Kaleb will be driving Sharon to the pantry!
Another of our giving opportunities came with our auction this year when we requested that families donate a new toy to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. Through the years, quite a few of our SWSM children have been treated there and continue to be. On Tuesday, Mia and her folks delivered the 70 — yes, you read that right, 70 — toys there. Mia continues to receive wonderful care there and has throughout her young life. Kaleb also continues to receive lifesaving treatment at Lurie’s now and has for the past three years. With all of our healthy children, this is a wonderful way to give a bit of cheer to those children who are encountering some very scary experiences. Thank you to all who have been so generous this year.
My Christmas too is full of tradition. Now with granddaughters, some have been tweaked a bit or a new one added; but the important ones have remained constant. We have been to see Santa and eaten under the Great Tree in the Walnut Room, but I will not tell you how long that tradition has been in place! We have decorated the tree (always with the shredded wheat wreath and decorated pinecone ornaments so lovingly made by my sons as children at SWSM), hung the stockings and sent the cards. Now is the time to bake and wrap all of the goodies I have had stored in the closet for months. I am sure many of you can say the same.
No matter how you celebrate this most beautiful of seasons, may it be Merry and Bright
and may 2019 bring Health and Happiness to you throughout the coming year!