Archive for November, 2015

Phillips Collection

November 24, 2015 Leave a comment

A little more information about what we saw at the Phillips Collection…


from the Phillips website:

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir remains the best known and most popular work of art at The Phillips Collection, just as Duncan Phillips imagined it would be when he bought it in 1923. The painting captures an idyllic atmosphere as Renoir’s friends share food, wine, and conversation on a balcony overlooking the Seine at the Maison Fournaise restaurant in Chatou. Parisians flocked to the Maison Fournaise to rent rowing skiffs, eat a good meal, or stay the night.

The painting also reflects the changing character of French society in the mid- to late 19th century. The restaurant welcomed customers of many classes, including businessmen, society women, artists, actresses, writers, critics, seamstresses, and shop girls. This diverse group embodied a new, modern Parisian society.

Renoir seems to have composed this complicated scene without advance studies or underdrawing. He spent months making numerous changes to the canvas, painting the individual figures when his models were available, and adding the striped awning along the top edge. Nonetheless, Renoir retained the freshness of his vision, even as he revised, rearranged, and crafted an exquisite work of art.

More here:



Montessori Thanksgiving

November 24, 2015 Leave a comment

From our Thanksgiving Tree…

“I am thankful for my friends.” (Ivy)
“I am thankful for being at school. (Zadie)
“I am thankful for my mommy, my daddy and my brother.” (Lucas)
“I am thankful for fall leaves.” (Anushka)
“I am thankful for fireman truck.” (Kishore)
“I am thankful for the color pink.” (Fiona)
“I am thankful for map work.” (Joshua B)
“I am thankful for snack.” (Coral)
“I am thankful for my mommy, toys and grandma.” (Clarke)
“I am thankful for everything in the world.” (Delilah)

Come see all the Leaves of Thanks on our first floor bulletin board.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Learning about the Orff Approach to Music Education

November 12, 2015 Leave a comment

IMG_3688For music teacher Caitlin Garry, learning doesn’t stop for the summer (or for weekends). In addition to her busy performance schedule with the National Philharmonic Chorale, this summer she spent two weeks at George Mason University studying Orff Schulwerk, an approach to music and movement education based Carl Orff’s idea that music, movement and speech are inseparable in the way the brain processes each. She learned “through singing, rhythmic speech, body percussion and movement, children gain experience and develop instincts for making music in a joyful and accessible way.” The method uses songs, rhymes, movement and games to explore music and musical concepts. What a wonderful way to spend the summer!

One of the basic tenets of the Orff-Schulwerk philosophy of teaching is the idea that in every lesson, there should be at least one opportunity for student voice. As a result, the children will always have the freedom (and be encouraged) to express their thoughts and opinions on the process of music-making. Improvisation, or “trying things out” musically, is a natural outgrowth of this. In the end, according to Ms. Garry, “the musical product is almost entirely student-created.” She continues, “As the teacher, I have a set of goals in mind in terms of the concepts I’m teaching, but the process by which my students reach those goals can, and should, vary based on their interests at the moment. Given its accessibility and its student-centered focus, Orff-Schulwerk aligns beautifully with Montessori education, and I am so excited to see where the teaching and learning process will take all of us in the coming year!”

Learning about Learning

November 12, 2015 Leave a comment

IMG_0818 (2)One of Maria Montessori’s most fundamental contributions to the field child development was the high value she put on observing a child. She once said, “When dealing with children there is greater need for observing than of probing.” Through meticulous observation, you can better understand the child and learn how best to aid his development. She understood that rigorous observing was far superior to the kinds of standardized testing that has overrun our system of public education.

Dr. Montessori left a legacy of teachers who look, study, question and are committed to better understanding the workings of a growing child’s mind.

A core belief at Evergreen is that learning never stops. Teachers, staff and administrators are committed to learning and understanding the needs of our students through daily observations. Teachers watch, from a distance, while children are engaged in hands-on thinking activities.

In addition to their careful observing, our faculty is committed to continued learning through outside courses, workshops, conferences, reading and more. More than anything, it is our students who benefit from our teachers’ desire to learn.
Through our teacher’s participation in the Greater Washington Montessori Conference, the American Montessori Society (AMS) Conference in Philadelphia, online courses, technology training, webinars, CPR training and more, our faculty and indeed entire community is enriched.

November 12, 2015 Leave a comment

Toddler teamworkHow do you fill your home with warmth, love, kindness and respect?

It is never too early to introduce Montessori ideas to your baby. At its essence, the Montessori approach to caring for babies includes three principles highlighted in Tim Seldon’s How to Raise an Amazing Child: (1) respect all babies as individual human beings, (2) allow them as much freedom of movement as possible, and (3) help them to become increasingly independent by creating a safe, child-friendly environment that makes it easy for them to explore.

Evergreen worked with Hughes United Methodist Church to complete a major renovation of our shared Nursery/Nap Room to be just such a safe, child-friendly space. We removed walls and installed new plumbing, cabinets, and tile. The new room is available every morning as a model classroom in which to hold our new Baby, Montessori and Me program. The room has been outfitted with natural wood furniture, age appropriate Montessori materials, a diapering station and more.
The program is directed by Mrs. Carrie Weitzman, our Director of Admission. Carrie is a trained Montessori teacher and mother who is enthusiastic to share her “mom wisdom” and deep understanding of the Montessori approach with new parents.

Attendance is open for up to eight babies age 10 to 26 months and their caregivers one morning each week from 9:30 am to 11 am. Interested parents and caregivers should sign up through the Evergreen website.

The Heart is the Center

November 12, 2015 Leave a comment

bulletin board

Ask any Evergreen student to find her heart, and she’ll immediately put a hand to her chest.

Our children seem to naturally know that the heart is the center of life and love.

It is the same way with our school. Ask any parent where to find the heart of Evergreen and consistently you’ll hear: it’s the teachers. Each teacher is guided by a passion for children, a passion for the Montessori philosophy, and a passion for the Evergreen community. While each brings his or her own unique personality to the classroom, each shares the same deep commitment to helping children develop confidence, independence and competency in a safe and loving atmosphere.

Day in and day out we seem the wisdom of Dr. Montessori’s methods in action. For a child to become strong and self-sufficient, he must engage in meaningful, challenging activities within his “zone of proximal development”—i.e., between what he can do with help and what he can do without. Knowing that a kind and supportive teacher is always nearby allows children to feel secure no matter the task at hand. And because our teachers know each student so well, the child’s work is always set to the right level of challenge.

I am grateful that the Evergreen community shares my appreciation for our teachers. Thanks to your generous support of the For’Ever Fund, two teachers were able to receive Montessori training and others were able to attend the American Montessori Society Annual Conference in Philadelphia this year. At the conference connected with other Montessori teachers from around the world, learned about the latest developments in education and renewed their commitment to the ideals of Dr. Montessori. Professional development is one of the most important ways that Evergreen has been able to maintain the strength of our program and remain the premier Montessori program in our area.

Supporting our exceptional faculty takes the commitment of our entire school community. I would like to sincerely thank you for your ongoing support. Thanks to our teachers’ work, Evergreen continues to make a difference in our children’s lives. I look forward to the year ahead.

Regards, John

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