Head of School Newsletter: November

October was a fun month at PFM! The children looked festive in their costumes, and the preschoolers did a fantastic job singing their Halloween songs to parents and to staff at Lane Powell.  They also picked out some really great pumpkins on their field trip to Craven Farm.  Of course, one of their favorite things about the trip was “riding the big, yellow school bus!” 

We have two new children who we welcomed to our school in mid-October: Laila joined South preschool and Nathaniel joined our infant room!  We will also welcome Camilla and Joseph (preschooler Evie Njeim’s baby brother) to our infant room in November.  Freya and Anna are making their transitions to the toddler room and Jackson will be joining us from outside of PFM.  Nadia says farewell to her toddler friends as she moves to South Preschool in mid-November!

One of our favorite traditions here at PFM is the annual Thanksgiving Brunch. This year, we hope to see you on November 16th for this lovely event. Join us between 7:30-9:00am in your child’s classroom for a yummy treat and coffee or tea. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy the time off with your families. 

As you may already know, I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and self-improvement and I see this as being especially important in this field. Early childhood education requires us to be at our best when supporting children during the day.  Any extra knowledge and training we receive helps us in our work. I am happy to say that in the last few months, Pacific First Montessori has made it possible for a teacher to begin her Montessori training through MEIPN, two teachers to begin their CDA’s, a preschool teacher to attend an all-day learning event hosted by PNMA, and for teachers and assistants to attend multiple early childhood training sessions hosted by the University of Washington.  As the Director and owner of PFM, I am committed in supporting teachers financially and professionally as they develop their skills in working with children.  

Teddi Blades

Director & Owner, PFM

Toddler Newsletter November


Welcome November Toddler Families!

As the leaves change and the weather shifts, we will be taking a closer look at nature. In the toddler room we’ll be exploring different textures in nature and talking about what kinds of animals live in the parks we’ll be visiting!


To prepare for Thanksgiving, we will be practicing and refining our mealtime skills, including passing bowls gently and sharing foods we slice! For Thanksgiving brunch we will all be preparing (egg-free!) sugar cookies. 



If we establish a primary principle, it would be to consistently allow the child’s participation in our lives.
— Maria Montessori

Happy November everyone!

This month's curriculum...

Week 1 : 1 to 1 correspondence with Acorns

Week 2 : Smelling Jars

Week 3 : Frozen Flowers & Leaves Sensory Play

Week 4 : Mortar & Pestle Leaf Work


Happy Fall!


Afternoon Preschool Newsletter November


Last month in art...


Last month we learned about our emotions by starting a two-part project on self-reflection.


For the first project we used mixed-media, incorporating crayon and glue for drawing materials. We then listened to the Amelie soundtrack while painting on top of those drawings with watercolors. This soundtrack was perfect for our project as it’s quite whimsical and filled with a multitude of instruments and sounds. Teachers asked the kids how they felt while painting and listening to the music. We then took a photo of each child expressing that emotion to attach on top of their piece.

This month in art...



We have started the second part of this project and it will continue through the month of November! The second part will be a self-portrait collage. Each child received their own canvas to paint, and will recreate their photo (from project one) using magazine cut-outs, yarn, fabric, and other accessories.


We are very excited about these projects and would love for you to see part of the process! We will be working on these pieces each day from 4-5pm, so if you’re picking up your child around this time, please stop by and check out our progress!  



Happy Fall!


Infant Newsletter November


Welcome to November Families!

For the month of November we are focusing on using more sensory materials. These materials are beneficial for young babies because they give visual experiences, provide grasping opportunities, and help babies become aware of their sense of touch. The sensory bin will be used in the afternoons, and will be changed out once a week.




Friday, November 3rd

Picture Retakes

Wednesday, November 8th

Infant & Toddler Parent Information Night

Friday, November 10th

Veteran’s Day Observed; PFM Closed

Thursday, November 16th

Thanksgiving Brunch 7:30-9:30a

Thursday & Friday, November 23rd& 24th

Thanksgiving Holiday; PFM Closed

Some important reminders...

Please remember to bring all bottles to school with nipples and labels, including name, date, amount and type of milk.

Thank you!

This month we will welcome two new babies to the infant room: Camilla and Joseph! Welcome to PFM!

Cheers to November and...


Happy Fall!


South Preschool Newsletter November


Happy November!

 We have a wonderful month planned ahead of us with a special focus on flags! We will learn about the parts of a flag, create our own flags, and see some flags from around the world.

In math our focus will be an introduction to the golden beads (materials used to teach the decimal system) and in sensorial we will be introduced to the geometric cabinet as we learn all about different shapes.

Practical life will be full of lots of beautiful corn this month- pouring, spooning, tweezing kernels and even sprouting our own corn plants to take home!

To get ready for Thanksgiving this month we will talk a lot about needs versus wants and things we are thankful for as well as celebrating our own cultural traditions, and talking about those seen around the world.



Dates to remember:

  • Friday November 10th: School closed for Veteran’s Day
  • Thursday November 16th: Thanksgiving brunch 7:30-9am
  • Thursday and Friday November 23rd/24th: School closed for Thanksgiving

It is through appropriate work and activities that the character of the child is transformed. Work influences his development in the same way that food revives the vigor of a starving man. We observe that a child occupied with matters that awaken his interest seems to blossom, to expand, evincing undreamed of character traits; his abilities give him great satisfaction, and he smiles with a sweet and joyous smile.
— Maria Montessori


A Montessori Approach to Praise

By Deb Chitwood

New research in the book Nurture Shock: New Thinking about Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman shows what Maria Montessori saw years ago – that we don’t need to praise our children for everything they do. We don’t need to continually reward our children or tell them how smart and talented they are.

As a matter of fact, telling our children how smart and talented they are can create the opposite of what we want. It can make our children afraid to attempt new things, afraid of failure, afraid they won’t meet everyone’s expectations.

What does the research suggest? When we praise, it’s best for the praise to be related to the effort our children made. For praise to be effective, it also needs to be specific and sincere.

So, how exactly does the research fit with Montessori philosophy?

1. In Montessori education, there aren’t rewards and punishments. Maria Montessori believed in the child’s inner need to do productive work. Sensitive periods provide an internal urge and stronger reinforcement than any rewards or praise could do.

“The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be.” Maria Montessori

2. Montessorians don’t give children lavish praise. The child’s work is highly valued in Montessori education, and praise that is given is typically specific praise emphasizing effort. “You really worked hard at that.” “You did that activity four times in a row!” In an article at Maria Montessori, Bobby and June George give the idea of saying simply, “You did it!”

3. Montessorians try to give encouragement rather than praise or descriptive rather than evaluative praise. Instead of saying, “You’re a good boy,” a Montessorian might say, “It really helped when you put away all the dishes.”

4. Montessorians try to help children do things themselves and gain self-confidence. Many of the Montessori materials have a control of error so that the child can tell immediately if an activity is done correctly. An external source of approval isn’t necessary.

 5. Through Montessori practical life activities, children develop order, concentration, coordination, and independence. Those are all qualities that make children self-confident and capable of listening to their own inner voice.

Have you seen Montessori ideas on praise work for your child?


Cheers to another amazing month together!


Transitions this month...

We will be welcoming Nadia from the toddler classroom this month! Welcome to South Class Nadia!

SOUnds this month...


Sounds this month:

Our sounds have been put in order by the AMS sound groups- the easiest to pronounce and write to the hardest

October 30th-November 3rd: Cc
November 6th-10th: Rr
November 13th-17th: Pp
November 20th-24th: Ii
November 27th-30th: Hh


Happy Fall!


North Preschool Newsletter November


Monthly Unit: The Owl!

This month we will be studying the Owl. An owl flew onto our playground last month and injured its wing. It was very exciting to have this majestic creature on our playground and brought up a lot of questions about owls. What better way to answer these questions than by studying Owls?! We will learn the different parts of the owl, where owls live, what they eat and how they are nocturnal. 


  In addition to our owl unit we will also be getting ready for Thanksgiving. In the practical life area of our classroom we will have silverware sorting, place setting and napkin folding works. We will be preparing banana bread for the Thanksgiving Brunch at PFM. 

"The child is not an empty being who owes whatever he knows to us who have filled him up with it. No, the child is the builder of man. There is no man existing who has not been formed by the child he once was."

-Maria Montessori


Birthdays this month... Maceo turns 3 November 2nd!!

Important Dates:

November 10th: PFM closed for Veteran's Day

November 16th: Thanksgiving Brunch 7:30-9

November 23-24th: PFM closed for Thanksgiving

Sounds this month...


November 1-3 Tt

November 6-10 Oo

November 13-17 Ll
                              November 20-24 Nn

November 27-30 Rr


Happy Fall!


How to Help Your Child and Their Teacher(s)

Teachers and I recently discussed a concerning development in children’s behavior that we have noticed at school.  We are hoping that by asking for parent help, this will guide the children back in the right direction of better listening, following directions, and an overall greater showing of respect for their teachers and our school.  We firmly believe that a strong partnership between families and school is how we can solve this issue.

Helpful topics to discuss with your child on the way to school:

  • Sit at circle quietly and avoid being silly with friends

  • Raise hand for help

  • Walk in the classroom (running is reserved for outside time)

  • Follow directions the first time you are asked to do something (2.5- to 3.5-year-olds are just beginning to understand this, but it is expected of 4- and 5-year-olds)

  • Keep hands to own body –- no hitting, kicking, pushing, etc.

  • Talk nicely --  no “potty” talk at school

  • Use quiet “indoor voice”

Please speak to your children about how important teachers are and that they should be treated nicely all day because their job is very hard. This will help encourage empathy and compassion for teachers.

Another important thing to teach them is that our school is a special place and when they enter the double doors to the lobby they should be on their best behavior: avoid letting them stand on furniture, run into the school, yell in the lobby, get wild with other kids at pick up or drop-off time.  Of course, it takes more than just “telling” them what the rules are – you have to teach them and practice with them for a long time until they begin doing these things by themselves.  

If you notice your child being out of control with another child, a good idea may be to refrain from entering the lobby with the other child and take a lap around the top floor before entering the school.  We all know how hard it is to stop this behavior when it is happening, so if we try to take proactive measures like this, it will help!

We appreciate you all very much and you are such an important force in your children’s lives. Our teachers will be very grateful with your help on these things!

Nurturing Your Child While Setting Limits

Parenting.  This one word means so much.  Your job as a parent is the most important, frustrating, fantastic, difficult, and rewarding job you will ever have.  Each day, it seems like there is something new to deal with:  a new temper tantrum, a new sickness, a new defiance, a newly learned naughty word… and you are expected to be patient and helpful in times when you don’t think you have any patience or helpfulness left inside of you. But you do. And you do your best to get through those murky moments and come out with new tools in your parenting toolbox to use for the next extraordinary parenting event that arises.  By nurturing and setting boundaries, your work as a parent might even become a little bit easier… over time. 

Read on for more information about how nurturing and setting limits with your child is important.  From the website: centerforparentingeducation.com

The Dual Role of Parents

If you have ever wondered if you are being either too strict or too lenient, or if you are giving your children enough love, then you have stumbled upon considerations about the two important roles that parents have. Each has a part in helping your children become responsible.

Nurturing/Caring Role

When you are carrying out the Nurturing/Caring Role, you are being kind and loving to your children. It is in this role that you listen to your children, support them, spend time with them, and are affectionate with them.

As the Nurturing Parent, you communicate unconditional love – no matter what happens, you love your children just because they exist and are yours. This allows your children to take risks, to make mistakes, knowing that they have their parents’ unconditional support and love.

Structure/Executive Role

When you are fulfilling the responsibilities of the Structure/Executive Role, you are setting limits and boundaries, imposing discipline, teaching your children how they should behave, passing on your values, and giving guidance.

By not meeting their needs immediately and not giving them everything they want, you provide an opportunity for your children to tolerate some frustration, delay gratification, become less impulsive and less self-centered.

You set standards of behavior that you expect your children to meet. You establish consequences for breaking rules and you follow through on those consequences. You teach your children to be appreciative for what they have.

It is through the Executive Role that you hold your children accountable for their behavior, and that in turn, fosters the development of a sense of responsibility.

Dual Roles Combined

Children need their parents to carry out both roles. Children are more likely to accept the limits you set and are more likely to want to meet your expectations (i.e. be responsible) when you provide a warm, caring and supportive relationship that underlies the discipline you impose.

Additional resource:

7 Hints For Setting Boundaries With Your Kids