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(419) 866-1931
7115 W. Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43615-3010
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(419) 874-9385
13587 Roachton Rd.
Perrysburg, OH 43551-1154
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Ali Packo

Ali Packo

Amy Lawrence

Amy Lawrence

Maple Room is a Children’s House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Amy Lawrence and Ali Packo are the classroom’s co-teachers.

During last week, parents at the Children’s House level were given the opportunity to sign-up for a morning to come in and visit their child’s classroom. The parents were able to view our morning group time and their child’s work choices. It was neat to watch the students present work to their parents with confidence and pride. The time passed by so quickly, but the memories will last a lifetime. Thanks to everyone who was able to spend time with us. Here are a few of the highlights from the week:


Pin punching a mitten was a follow-up activity for reading the story by Jan Brett.


A lesson was given on the stamp game in math.


A kindergartner is refining her skill of tying shoes.


Father and daughter are collaborating to complete a teen number activity.


A kindergartner takes great pride in sharing a book on the food groups.


A lesson is shared on addition.


Expertise is shared in completing the 100 board.


The exchange game requires time and concentration to finish.


Dad and son work together on a stepboard with numbers 0-25.


The children work together on an unhealthy foods memory game.


A book is shared during circle time . Thanks for reading to us!



The Maple Room friends share their school spirit in preparation for Open House.

We are reaching the height of winter. It is freezing outside, so we have been busy working inside. The children were so excited to help clean the room for the WSM Open House that occurred last weekend. Thanks to those families that were able to attend and the children who came to sing with the World Language teachers. Many current families and visitors attended and took tours of our amazing school! Here are a few topics of interest in the Maple Room at this time:

Classroom Jobs:

The children have loved helping with responsibilities in the classroom. Every Monday, we draw names and the child gets to pick the job that he or she wants for the week. Each job has a back-up person in case the first person is absent or left for the day. Job choices include line leader, turn off the lights (to come to circle), ring the bell, feed the fish, set up for lunch (plates and name tags), roll rugs, and walk the nappers to their room. Some children also help straighten the shelves and book corner as well. Hopefully a child will have a turn to have a job about every two weeks with this rotation. They truly enjoy these jobs and look forward to helping out in any way.


The children loved to touch and use real money in the math area. We discussed the value of the following coins- penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, and dollar. Some of the work choices were examining and matching coins of the same value, labeling the coins, stamping a book that included the coins and their values, money graphing work (pulling coins out of a small black bag and graphing how many of each one there were), and an activity in which they placed 100 pennies on a chart and then exchanged them for a dollar bill. It is similar to the set-up of a 100 board. We practiced exchanging five pennies for a nickel, five nickels for a quarter, two nickels for a dime, four quarters for a dollar, etc.


Two friends work on putting together money puzzles with equations.


A first year student is looking at a coin book about the dime.

The Love of Music:

While Risa is on the mend, Josh has begun filling in until her return. The children are getting to know Josh and he is reviewing songs that are familiar to them. He has a lot of enthusiasm and demonstrates that in his interactions with the class.


Josh conducts our morning circle time.


Movement is a favorite part of the music lesson.

Practical Life:

Throughout the year, practical life skills continue to be refined. Activities presented recently include pouring colored water from one small pitcher to another and tweezing small snowman erasers into divided ice trays. Packing a pretend lunch and slicing vegetables (with velcro in middle) were presented.This time, popular choices included the braiding frame and fixing the hair on a large doll head. The children like to fix the teacher’s hair so it seemed like an appropriate work choice. Boys and girls alike enjoyed using it. A new food prep activity was preparing their own bowl of cereal with milk.


This work encourages children to be more independent during lunch time.


Slicing “vegetables” increases fine motor coordination.


This was a work enjoyed by all!


Proud of her braiding skills!

The Mitten by Jan Brett:

During circle time, the book The Mitten by Jan Brett was shared. It is a story about a little boy named Nicki who drops his white mitten in the snow without realizing it. As a result, several woodland animals one by one crawl into it. These animals include a mole, a rabbit, a badger, a brown bear, and finally a little mouse. The mouse’s whiskers tickle the bear’s nose, he sneezes, and all of the animals fly out. At a low table in the classroom, the children are enjoying retelling the story with the book a mitten, and pictures of the animals. They were also able to pin punch a mitten and animals to take home. Several Jan Brett books are in the book corner to read right now, such as The 3 Little Dassies, Gingerbread Friends, The Hat, The Three Snow Bears, and The Mitten.


A kindergartner reads the story and puts the animals into the mitten in the order they appear.



*For parents of kindergartners, please remember to send a pair of tennis shoes for gym on Mondays. Sometimes the children go outside, but other times they stay inside and tennis shoes are more safe than boots in the Commons. Thanks so much for your help.

* Parent/Teacher Conferences are approaching us again. They will take place on  Tuesday,February 24 from 4-6pm, Wednesday, February 25 from 4-6pm, and Thursday, February 26 from 8-3:30pm. Don’t forget to call the office and sign-up. We look forward to talking with you!

Here are a few random pics of wonderful experiences in the classroom:


A child from Lower Elementary comes to share a story she created with her sister and other children in our class.


The older children decided to create their own food pyramid based on a work in the room.


Birthday celebrations are always a neat experience!


A lot of hard work went into spelling sentences with the moveable alphabet!


A lesson is given on using one-to-one correspondence in counting objects.




 Take Parents To Work

During the week of Monday, Feb. 2 – Friday, Feb. 6, Toledo Children’s House is inviting their parents to join them in their “work” for a day from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

A limited number of spaces are available each day during the week for you to join your child(ren) in exploring the classroom and to share the important work they do each day at West Side Montessori.

Click a link below or visit your classroom blog at and use the SIGN UP HERE options at the top to reserve your space today!

Black Cherry | Maple | Poplar | Sassafras | Sycamore

If you have questions please contact Kathy Heckert at (419) 866-1931 or

The kids were so excited to get back to school after Winter Break. They shared many stories about the places they visited and the exciting activities they did. It was fun to watch them pick up right where they left off in the classroom. Challenging choices and great focus were observed as they discovered the new work in the room. Some of the units introduced since our return to school are as follows:


Over the past couple of weeks, the food groups have been discussed. The children have learned about the foods that belong in each group as well as the amount of servings needed daily. A popular activity involved sorting plastic foods into the correct groups on the food pyramid. Other choices were books about the food groups to read, labeling pictures, and making lists of foods from different groups. We are all a little more aware of the types of foods we are putting into our bodies to make us healthier.


A kindergartner is labeling a variety of fruits that she will later record.


Two friends work together on sorting foods into the appropriate groups.


We began exploring a new continent in geography. Here are some clues. See if you can guess. This is the fifth largest continent. It is almost fully covered by ice. It is the coldest and windiest place on the planet. It is the continent of Antarctica. It seemed appropriate to introduce during this frigid season when we are experiencing the wintry weather first-hand. We also clarified that Antarctica is in the South Pole and the Arctic is in the North Pole. They are on opposite sides of the world. Polar bears and penguins never meet because polar bears live in the Arctic and penguins in Antarctica. Activities on the shelf included pin punching the continent, coloring a flag, informational books to research Antarctica, labeling different types of penguins (including a King penguin, an Emperor penguin, a Rockhopper penguin, a Gentoo penguin, and our favorite the Macaroni penguin), matching pictures of penguins, parts of a penguin nomenclature cards, and books to label the parts of a penguin and the types of penguins. We discussed the appropriate types of clothes to wear there and how important it is to keep your skin covered and not be exposed to the cold. Temperatures reach as low as -129 degrees Fahrenheit there. A comparison was made to the temperatures we experience in Ohio. Research told us that January is the warmest month in Antarctica with temperatures mostly below zero degrees. Scientists and tourists are really the only people that visit. There is no official population.


Pin punching around the outline of Antarctica requires a lot of fine motor control.

Science and geography were connected. We focused on one particular animal found in Antarctica- the penguin. We read that a penguin is a bird, but it cannot fly. A baby penguin is called a pup and many penguins can live together in a rookery. The children loved the fact that the female Emperor penguin lays an egg, but the male keeps the egg on top of his feet until it hatches(about 64 days). The children also observed how much the penguin changes in appearance from the time it is a baby until it is an adult. They also wondered how a parent could find its baby amongst all of those penguins that look alike.


A child completes the coloring and labeling a book of different types of penguins.


A lesson is given on the parts of a penguin nomenclature cards.


This activity is labeling the parts of a penguin book.


Several children completed a 100 piece penguin puzzle. A special visitor stopped by to see their hard work.

Practical Life:

New practical life focused on a winter theme. Snowflakes and sparkly objects proved to be points of interest to the children. Skills such as tweezing, eyedropper squeezing, and tonging were practiced. Putting on gloves and mittens was a challenging work for some too.Food preparation included preparing their own hot chocolate and peeling a clementine.


This work helps children become more independent!


A friend is proud of his accomplishment of putting on mittens by himself.

Topics of Interest:

Summer Birthdays:

Sometimes summer birthdays are forgotten because we are out of school at that time. If your child has a summer birthday, you are welcome to schedule a day with the teachers to come in and have a special celebration. The Children’s House team is really focusing on encouraging parents to bring in healthy treats to share. Some examples may include fruit kabobs, banana muffins, chex mix, a mix of cheerios, raisins, and other dry fruit, etc. We look forward to taking part in your child’s special day!


A child celebrates her 4 1/2 year old birthday!

Seasonal Clothing and Outdoor Time:

Please make sure your child has an extra change of clothing in their backpack that is seasonally appropriate. We will be going to try and go out daily if the weather and temperature permit. It may only be a couple of minutes, but a little fresh air and exercise is greatly needed. Sometimes clothing can get wet in the snow. Make sure you include socks as well. In addition, please pack snowpants and bring boots, hats, scarves, and gloves or mittens so your child will be able to enjoy this time outdoors. Here are a few pictures from the other day which was our first day outside in quite a while.


We love to make snow angels!


Shoveling the porches was fun for some!


There is a lot of fresh snow to run and play in!


Outside time is a special time for friends from each class to connect!

West Side Montessori Open House:

On Sunday, January 25, West Side is holding an Open House from 2:30-4:30pm. This is a time to come take a tour of the next level of your child and to see what the future holds as your child moves through the levels from Little House to Middle School. It is open to the public as well to come and see what West Side Montessori is all about. We hope to see you there!

Also, Friday, January 23, is West Side Montessori Spirit Wear Day. Please wear your favorite West Side shirt that day. Mark it on your calendar.


Some of the children have been asking us how we make playdough for the classroom. Here is the recipe if you want to make it at home:

You will need:

2 cups flour

2 cups water

4 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 cup salt

2 tablespoons oil

food coloring (use desired colors)


Make sure to mix the dry ingredients together before the liquid ones are added. Then, mix all ingredients well. Cook the mixture for approximately three minutes, until the consistency of mashed potatoes. Turn out on waxed paper to cool. Knead a bit. Store in a plastic bag or other air-tight container. Enjoy!

Photo Opportunities:


Kindergartners are making a verb chain.


Here is the completed project!


He is very proud of completing the 3 cubing chain.


The Maple Room friends always enjoy listening to a good book!





Dear Families,

Today, Friday, January 16, is my last day at West Side before my medical leave. I will have surgery on January 21 and I will be out for 8 weeks. I told the children that I will be going to the hospital for an operation and then I will be home healing for some time. I also reassured them that I will come back when I am all better. “Have you ever gotten hurt or had to go to the hospital for stitches or a broken bone and it took a long time, but you healed?” I asked. The children shared stories of many boo-boos. As for mine, I should be back March 16. I can’t wait to get this cancer out of me!

Josh Keller will be filling in for me during my absence. Josh holds a B.A. in Church Music from Valley Forge. He is kind, patient, and excited to be joining West Side. I will miss you and your amazing children while I am away.

Keep singing,