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(419) 866-1931
7115 W. Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43615-3010
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Perrysburg Campus
(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.

 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,


As we come to the end of 2014, we would like to look back at a few of the units introduced and some special memories made as well. They are as follows:

The Thanks and Giving Celebration-

Gathering materials for the Victory Center was an awesome experience and our children and families jumped right in to help. The children couldn’t wait to bring their contributions in and help count to see if we reached our classroom goal of 100 bottles of lotion and 100 bottles of hand soap. We surpassed our goal. The children decorated bags and filled them with the materials collected from all of the Children’s House classrooms. The bags were presented to a representative from the Victory Center and we had a wonderful sing along with family and friends. It is amazing what we can do if we all work together!


Parents help the children gather the materials into bags to present to the Victory Center.


Lined up to proceed to the Commons for the presentation and Sing Along.


The children enjoyed a beautiful sing along.


What a beautiful view of the many gift bags for the Victory Center.


The children were very excited to learn about the United States of America in geography. They located our state of Ohio on the map and identified some of the surrounding states, such as Michigan and Indiana. The children also shared some of the states in which they have visited or where their relatives live. The older kids were interested in learning the names of the states’ capitals and state birds, and recording them as part of their work. Puzzle maps of the United States and pin punching all 50 states to create a map were challenging, but popular work choices. Work involving the American flag was also chosen by many. One activity involved making a flag out of felt pieces. There were alternating red and white stripes with a blue piece of felt in the corner. Then, 50 beautiful white stars were placed strategically.


Designing a felt American flag took great concentration and coordination.


Several of the kids are experts at completing the United States puzzle map.


Kindergartners enjoyed the flag nomenclature work.


Animals of North America nomenclature cards!


Healthy and unhealthy foods has been our most recent unit of study in science. Work choices on the shelf included food board books, a memory game with pictures of sweets, labeling a book of healthy and unhealthy foods, and sequencing cupcakes from a to z. We discussed that even though unhealthy foods may really taste good, we should eat them sparingly. At lunch time, the children have been examining the foods in their lunchboxes and classifying them as healthy and unhealthy. Emphasis is put on eating healthy foods (also known as growing foods) before desserts and special treats. Food is a great topic of conversation with kids. They love to share what their favorite foods are. The snack area is visited by many children each day. Healthy choices, such as fruits, vegetables, crackers, etc. are available daily!


A few friends explore the food magnets.


Preparing oatmeal is a fun choice in the practical life area.


Slicing pickles is another option on the shelves.


An older friend researches and makes a list of healthy foods.

Our UT Student’s Final Day-

Our UT student finished up her last lessons the week a little before Winter Break. She made a substance called oobleck with the kids. It is a mixture of cornstarch and water that can behave like a liquid at times and a solid at others.  Many could not decide if it was a solid, liquid, or if it could be both.The children got messy and explored the texture and temperature of the oobleck.


Oobleck is a hands-on experience!


Everyone was anxious for a turn to get messy!

A Unit on Gingerbread-

During the last week of school, the children were presented with many gingerbread making opportunities. They were able to pin punch and decorate their own gingerbread person and color a book based on the book The Gingerbread Man. The older children journaled about what they thought happened to the gingerbread man when he popped out of the oven. Did he get eaten? Did he escape to a far away place? Did he find his family?  At circle time, the stories of The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Baby, and Gingerbread Friends were shared. It was exciting to hear the conclusion of each because they did not end exactly the same. To conclude the week, the kids helped make gingerbread by measuring and mixing the ingredients. It was baked and enjoyed for snack the following day. It tasted extra delicious because extra care went into making it.


Measuring ingredients is an important step in making gingerbread.


There were many volunteers to help with the preparation of gingerbread.

A Librarian Visits-

It was a pleasure to have a librarian from the Sylvania Library visit the Maple Room. She shared books about snow with the children, as well as the use of a felt board, and shared some songs and dance with us. We look forward to a visit again soon!


The Maple Room friends love to listen to books.

Holiday Open House-

Over the past few years, it has become a tradition to invite friends and family into our Children’s House classrooms during the morning on the last day of school before break. The children enjoy sharing work with loved ones, giving them lessons, and working side by side doing what they love to do. Winter crafts with a snowman theme and a special snack were served that day. The morning flew by, but the memories shared will last a lifetime. Thanks to everyone that came by to see us! Too many great pictures. Too hard to choose!

dmaple5dmaple11dmaple10dmaple33dmaple34dmaple20 - Copydmaple24dmaple18dmaple27dmaple26dmaple25dmaple8dmaple15dmaple19dmaple32dmaple6dmaple29We look forward to a wonderful 2015 in the Maple Room!


Dear Kindergarten Families,

At the end of every school year, the kindergarten students of West Side perform in a concert called “Spring Sing.” Kindergarten students from both the Toledo and Perrysburg campuses participate. There is a different theme for Spring Sing each year. This year our theme is “Building a Better World.” Please mark your calendars with the following date:

“Spring Sing: Building a Better World” will be performed at the Recital Hall at the University of Toledo on Wednesday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m. All kindergartners should arrive by 6:10 p.m.

I wish you all peaceful holidays filled with light, love, and music.

Keep singing,