Buttercup Room

Julie Poure

Torey Bonde

Buttercup Room is a Little House classroom for ages 13 months to 2 years old  on the Toledo Campus. Torey Bonde and Julie Poure are the classroom’s co-teachers.

Where does your child work? Yes, that’s right, work. All of the beautifully arranged classroom materials in our Little House rooms are work. Sure, some may look like toys and may even be identical to activities you have at home, but please remember that “a child’s play is his work.”

Lets take a look at our classroom.

Practical life is the cornerstone of the Montessori classroom.  The activities contained here are daily living exercises that help your child learn to pour wet and dry ingredients, spoon, scoop, ladle, tong, use clothes pins, spray, wipe, take care of the environment and of himself.  While doing all of this work your child is strenghening the muscles of his hand and wrist, which will help prepare him for handwriting. He is also preparing himself for life.

The Sensorial area of the classrom challenges your child’s senses.  She will learn shape, colors, how to sort and grade objects from largest to smallest, work on sound discrimination, touch and smell. Of the cylinders and cubes your child will be grading, there are 10, because we are on the base 10 math system.

Many children rote count and the math area can reinforce that.  What the math area introduces and focuses on is the concept of quantity and symbol.  It is introduced by saying “This says one;this is one.” Our math area can take the children as far as they show us they want to go.

Language is all emcompassing in our classrooms.  Since it is still emerging in many children, language is used in all areas of the classroom for the introduction of new vocabulary. Once the initial sound books are out, the children are exposed not only to letter names, but also more importantly, to the sounds the letters make.

Art for creativity’s sake is teaching the use of  paint, markers, crayons, glue sticks, scissors, stickers and stamps, while allowing the child the joy of creating his own artwork. He is also reinforcing the correct pencil grasp and practicing writing skills, not to mention just plain enjoying himself!

Our science area introduces the children to glimpses of our world. We begin with our classroom fish and expand with plants, shells, and other living and non-living things.

The manipulatives may look like toys and only toys, but as mentioned before, they are work. They work the muscles of your child’s hands, strengthening the muscles of her hands and wrists, developing and refining her fine motor skills.

So, where does your child work?  Pretty much everywhere!

We hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving break and we are eager to get back to work with the children.

We had a busy and active month of November.  We were able to enjoy many more walks on the trails and around campus thanks to the agreeable weather.  We have also been busy cooking with the class.  A favorite was making English muffin pizza, a tasty and messy treat!  Most recently we made delicious bread right in the classroom.  We plan on continuing to explore cooking projects a couple of times per month; watch for updates and recipes to try at home. Cooking with your child is a great way to develop practical life skills, independence and to have a rich sensory experience among many other benefits.

Please remember that we are still going outside as much as possible, so as the weather will inevitably change for the worse, send appropriate clothing to school with your child.

Here is the recipe similar to the one we used to bake bread:

2 cups warm water

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 TBSP active dry yeast

1/4 cup vegetable oil

6 cups bread flour

  1.  In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water and stir in the yeast.  Allow to sit until the yeast resembles a creamy foam.
  2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth.  Place in a well oiled bowl and turn to coat.  Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for an hour.
  3. Punch dough down, knead for a few minutes and divide in half.  Shape into loaves and place into two well oiled loaf pans.  Allow to rise for thirty minutes.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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.

During the month of October, we have been very busy with several pumpkin-related activities.  We have been cooking with pumpkins, making both pumpkin pudding to taste and pumpkin playdough to work with. We’ve learned several new pumpkin songs, and have had fun using our pumpkin props to bring them to life. We have scrubbed pumpkins in our sensory table, and also used our big muscles to pound golf tees into them.  We are looking forward to watching the squirrels munch on them outside our window now that we are moving into November.  We are planning activities related to the changing of the season.

It was very nice to get the chance to chat with all of you at conferences this week.  We know you all have busy schedules, and we appreciate you taking time out of them to meet with us.  We are looking forward to seeing you all in again in February, so that we can share all the progress we know will happen in the next few months.

*Please remember as the weather continues to grow colder that we will still head outdoors to enjoy both our playground and our walks throughout campus.  It is important to dress for the weather, so that these activities can be fully enjoyed.  Make sure students arrive with coats, as well as hats and gloves as the temperatures drop.  This is also a good time to switch out the extra clothes in backpacks, so everyone is comfortable in case of accidents.

Click on the PHOTO GALLERY link above to view all the pictures we’ve been taking this month during our pumpkin projects. You must be logged in to view the galleries. Contact Sue Wagner if you need your username and password.

Sweet September Sundae Begins at 2 p.m.


See You Today


West Side Montessori is excited to share its 40th Birthday surprise with ALL its families at Sweet September Sundae today. The festivities begin at 2 p.m. at the Toledo Campus (7115 Bancroft) with fun activities for the WHOLE family – bouncy houses, games, student-led trail walks, music! Bring your folding chairs and blankets to picnic on pizza, watermelon, ice cream sundaes, and, of course, BIRTHDAY CAKE.

At 3 p.m., Lynn Fisher, WSM’s founder and head of school, will gather everyone on the McMaster Middle School porch for her surprise announcement! Following the announcement, the activities will continue until 4:30 p.m.

The weather looks perfect, so plan on joining us for the annual fall tradition!