Upper West This Week: June 9-13, 2014

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Over the last few weeks, you’ve been following the progress of our caterpillars. This week, we opened the cage and released a few dozen brand new Painted Lady butterflies into the world.

“It’s fitting,” says Kathleen, “They’re just like the current year-six kids who started in Upper as my little caterpillars, went through a transformation process, and are now ready to fly off to Strata Montessori as beautiful, adolescent butterflies.”

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Lower Elementary students getting a taste of Upper Elementary life.

This past week, we also started welcoming into our room the Lower Elementary students that will be moving to Upper Elementary in September. The purpose of these visits is to give them a sense of what  to expect, and to give them a bit of familiarity with the physical space and the day-to-day operations of a Montessori Upper environment. They showed up with their own work and the butterflies disappeared in no time as they settled in amongst some familiar, if taller, faces.

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Upper West’s new pet, Meat, the guinea pig.

Another new face in Upper West these days is our new classroom pet, Meat. Yes, his name is Meat. He came to us from the family of one of our students and has been having a great time getting to know all the kids, and receiving an abundance of love and affection. Pets in Montessori environments are not only a comforting element for the children, they are also a significant factor in helping the children learn responsibility, as they not only need love and affection but also food, water, a proper environment, and someone’s gotta clean up the poop.

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Once you own a guinea pig named Meat, you need to do some research to find out how to care for it (in the company of a Lower Elementary student testing the Upper waters).

In fact, the girl above is doing some research to find out exactly how to properly care for guinea pigs.  Such research is also an excellent way to reinforce other areas of their studies: the five kingdoms classification work,  fundamental needs, geography and habitat, as well as the development of all-important empathy.

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Miko and Squirt, the best summer visitors ever!

Finally, the other Upper West pets — Miko and Squirt the gecko lizards — are looking for a nice summer home where they can continue lounging under their heat lamp and being cute as heck. If your family would like some adorable summer guests that are very easy to care for, please speak to Kathleen. In the past, a number have families have worked out a schedule where each has them for a part of the summer.

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