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Toledo Campus
(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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Amy Wagner

Sarah Knox

Poplar Room is a Children’s House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Sarah Knox and Amy Wagner are the classroom’s co-teachers.


2015-16 Toledo Children’s House
Dates to Know [PDF]

My Dad, one of 7, comes from a large family. Growing up, we would get together with most of the extended family about once a month. The things I remember most about these family get-togethers are food, laughing, and singing. My mother and my Aunt Ruth knew how to play the guitar. They taught the other adults one song each. When we gathered we would pass the guitar around and everyone would sing their song. My Dad always played “Dark as a Dungeon,” my Aunt Jane always played, “Bottle of Wine,” and so on. We all sang along with every song. When I turned 12, I asked my Mom to teach me a song on the guitar. She taught me “This Land is Your Land,” by Woody Guthrie. This became my song. From then on I played it at family gatherings.
When I came to this school I was amazed. I had never seen anything like it and it immediately felt right. “This is my school,” I told myself. Later I discovered that our school song is based on my song!
A parent asked me to share the School Song. If you would ever like the lyrics to a song or a melody please email me. (I can sing it into your voicemail.) I love sharing songs! So here it is…my song, my school, your school… This school was made for you and me!
music by Woody Guthrie
lyrics by Lynn Fisher
This school is your school, this school is my school
From the natural playground, to our computers,
From the Pink Tower to grammar boxes
This school was made for you and me.
Verse I
As I was thinking about our history
I saw behind me a small beginning.
I saw before me a bright new future;
This school was made for you and me.
Verse II
And I’ve been making some very good friends
From tiny toddlers to Middle Schoolers.
This school is people.  This school is caring.
This school was made for you and me.
Verse III
And our horizons keep on expanding
With special classes and master planning
From parents’ hard work, to annual Spring Sing
This school was made for you and me.
Verse IV
Throughout the good times and times of sorrow
We build together a new tomorrow
This school is your school, this school is my school
This school is our community
I enjoyed singing this song at the Thanks and Giving celebration in Perrysburg yesterday. I look forward to singing it with you this Tuesday at the Toledo Campus Thanks and Giving Celebration.
Keep singing,


As we continue our study of North America today’s focus was on Mexico.  All the children helped make tortillas!  This took all morning working in four groups, and we tasted them together at community gathering.


The fourth group helping to roll the tortillas thin and cook them


Enjoying the finished product!


3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup warm water

Mix the dry ingredients together.  Add the water and oil and mix until it begins to form a soft ball of dough.

Put dough on floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes or until dough is smooth. *Add flour if the dough is too sticky.

Divide the dough into pieces. (This will depend on how big you want your tortillas.  We made 25 tortillas, approximately 5″ each.)

Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it with the palm of your hand.  Lay on a tray or parchment paper, cover with a tea towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each flattened tortilla with a rolling pin until thin and even.

On medium-high heat, cook each tortilla for 1 minute, flip over and cook for another 30 seconds.  The tortillas will start to get brown spots and may form air pockets.


Ask your children about how they made tortillas and maybe even try it at home together!

Finishing off our study of land, air, and water and land and water forms, the kindergarteners made paper mache continent globes!  The paper mache process was rather sticky, but there was so much rich conversation taking place.  For example, we talked about the shape of our planet and one kindergartener pointed out the balloons we were using were more like an ovoid than a sphere.  Another conversation was predicting what would happen when the sticky-gooey mess of the paper mache paste dries.


Creating paper mache globes


Painting the oceans on the globe


Painting continents on the globe while using the Montessori Continent Globe as a reference

While we’re discussing kindergarteners, Amy and I just love to see how this group of children has truly developed into leaders for our classroom!  We hear daily conversations among the kindergarteners about being role models, helping the younger friends, and doing their best work.  These moments are just a few examples of the Montessori “magic” that happens during a child’s third year in a Montessori classroom.

If you haven’t already decided to attend the First Thursday session in December, you should!  Several teachers will be discussing the Kindergarten year as the capstone year of Children’s House.  This will be a great session to sit in on, even if your child will not be in kindergarten next year.


A kindergartener helping tie a shoe while also giving a lesson in shoe-tying to another child


On their way to Kindergarten KABOOM! A science enrichment class for the kindergarteners


The kindergarteners become role models and many children develop close relationships with this oldest group. Here is one of our kindergarteners from last year (now in Lower El) who returned for a quick visit and ended up giving a lesson to one of our current kindergartners.

Okay, enough about our kindergarteners (for now) because so many other wonderful things have been happening!  We finished our study on vertebrate and invertebrate animals.  We learned that we (humans) are vertebrates, we have a backbone that supports our bodies.  All of our classroom pets are also vertebrates – Gecky (gecko), Gracie & Heidi (hamsters), and all of our fish have backbones.

Observing Gracie the hamster moving around the classroom

Observing Gracie the hamster moving around the classroom

However, the worms that were observed in Kindergarten KABOOM and the stink bugs that make their way into our room are invertebrates, they do not have a backbone.  The children had sorting and classifying work for vertebrates and invertebrates.  They also took turns feeling each others backs just to make sure they really did have a vertebrate.  Unfortunately, there was one child who was convinced a friend didn’t have a backbone because he couldn’t feel it!

These are a week old now, but I just have to share the pictures from the beautiful weather we have been enjoying!  Sunshine in November calls for work time outside!


Using the moveable alphabet on an outdoor rug


Working on the patio in the Handwriting Without Tears workbooks for Preschoolers

Monday began our study on North America!  As we grow near to the time we focus on giving thanks, we want to spend time learning about our continent and our country.  More on that next time!

Continuing our name studies, we created and read a predictable chart. Each line of the chart started with, “My name is,” followed by the name of a child in class and a period. In a predictable chart, only one word or phrase of each line changes, so most of the text is predictable. After learning the pattern, even the most emergent readers in class were able to join in reading, “My name is.” And the readers who are decoding were able to figure out some, most, or all of the names as well. A few of them feeling especially successful declared, “This is fun!”

We have also been drumming our names. Try repeating your name 4 times, drumming each syllable. You will notice that many English names contain two syllables: one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. For example, Risa, Brandi, and Kathy all follow this pattern. The students noticed that many names have the same rhythm, but some do not.  Some names have only one, or three or more syllables. Others, like Brianne have two syllables but it is the second syllable that is stressed. Try drumming the names of your family around the dinner table tonight.

Keep singing,


First Thursday

About Organizing the Chaos at the Toledo Campus

Maria Montessori believed children have a need and a sensitive period for order. Come learn how simplifying your life and organizing the chaos can help you and your child succeed.  Learn SIMPLE fixes to everyday issues. Organization ideas for toys, books, pictures. Easy ways to keep track of important information. And why Pinterest is NOT always the answer.