Weekly Announcements - October 20, 2017

Reminder:  School will be closed for a Faculty Planning Day on Friday, October 27.
There will be no AfterCare and no AfterSchool activities that day.

Fall School Pictures are scheduled for Monday, October 23, through Thursday, October 26.  Individual portraits and candid shots will be taken of each child. 

Monday, Oct. 23:  Toddler 1, Toddler 2, Primary 3 - Portraits
Tuesday, Oct. 24:  Primary 1, Primary 2 – Portraits
Wednesday, Oct. 25: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary Middle School - Portraits
Thursday, Oct. 26:  Candids in all classrooms

We invite you to join us for the next Parent Coffee on Wednesday, October 25, in the new Art Room on the first floor along Dudley Street.  (Look for the colorful mural in the windows!)  This week’s topic:  Montessori @Home, presented by Primary 2 Teacher Maria Pando.  Learn ways to introduce Montessori practices and methods into your home without recreating the school in your environment!

Every other week Karen Westman, our Head of School, hosts drop-in coffees for WFM parents. No RSVP is necessary and the coffees are open to all WFM parents.  We hope you can join us!

Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Monday, October 30, and Tuesday, October 31.  Most families have already signed up online, and Jessica has been calling those families who are still outstanding to make sure you are able to schedule a conference time.  If you still need to schedule a conference, please call Jessica at

201.333.5600, x102 at your earliest convenience.

On Parent-Teacher Conference days:

  • All-day childcare will be provided for registered Before and AfterCare students only.
  • Parents may bring students to school during their conference times.
  • Middle School students are expected to attend their conferences along with their parents.
  • If parents are attending conferences on both floors and plan to bring students during conference times, please be aware that all Toddler and Primary students (including Kindergarteners) must remain at the Lower School campus on the first floor where we are properly staffed to care for younger children.
  • AfterSchool classes will continue as scheduled on conference days.

Our students will no doubt be excited about Halloween festivities, but please remember that Halloween costumes and treats must remain at home.  We appreciate your cooperation. 

Please Mark Your Calendars:  Election Day Early Close – 4:00 p.m. for all students

Kindergarten Parents:  Look Ahead to the Elementary Years!  We invite you to tour WFM’s Upper Campus and observe in a Lower Elementary Classroom.  Please contact

Chris Viteznik at 201.333.5600 x103 or chris@waterfrontmontessori.com to set up a time for your visit.  We look forward to seeing you!

Lower Elementary Parents:  Come See the Amazing Things That are Happening in Upper Elementary & Middle School!  We invite you to observe in the UE and MS  classrooms to see the exciting learning in store as your child progresses through our Montessori curriculum and into the International Baccaluareate Middle Years Program.  Please contact Chris Viteznik at 201.333.5600 x103 or
chris@waterfrontmontessori.com to set up your observation.  

Flu Vaccine

New Jersey State Law requires all students under five years old as of October 1, 2017, who are attending school in New Jersey to receive the influenza vaccine before December 31, 2017.  If your child is required to have this vaccine, please provide proof of his or her flu vaccination for our records.  If we do not have proof that he or she has received the vaccine, we must exclude the child from school until he or she receives it.

Waterfront School Foundation Updates

Fall Family Fun Day 2017

Join WSF for an afternoon of awesome activities, delicious food and great company for the whole family on Sunday, October 22, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.! Please RSVP here.

As always, we are glad to have your family as part of our Waterfront Montessori community!

Christine Viteznik, Admissions & Communications Director
Dave Potosnak, IT Manager


Calendar Notes:
Monday - Thursday, October 23-26 – School pictures
Wednesday, October 25 – Parent Coffee, First Floor Art Room
Friday, October 27 – School Closed for Faculty Planning Day
Monday & Tuesday, October 30 & 31 – School Closed for Parent-Teacher Conferences,   Before/After Care open for registered students; AfterSchool Classes continue
Sunday, November 5 – Daylight Savings Time ends, clocks “fall back” one hour
Tuesday, November 7 – Election Day, early close at 4:00 p.m. for all; No After Care
Wednesday, November 22 – Half Day for All Students: 12:00 p.m. Dismissal; No AfterCare
Thursday & Friday, November 23 & 24 – School Closed for Thanksgiving

Toddler 1 - October 20, 2017

Celebrating Diwali With Toddler 1

It was a special day in the Toddler 1 classroom when parents of two of our students joined us for a presentation about Diwali. The children listened as they read a book describing the holiday and had a chance to explore diyas (lamps) as their classmates brought them around. Our class parents also shared a beautiful photo board, displaying photographs of some of the children celebrating the holiday with their families. We thank them for the lovely visit! 

Discovering Under Sea Animals

Matching sea animals with their pictures was a popular Language activity in the Toddler 1 classroom. After exploring the animal figures and talking about their different characteristics and special traits, the students had the opportunity to match them with corresponding pictures of the animals in nature. The Toddlers tend to choose this work again and again, excitedly talking about animals they may already know, such as the shark or octopus, as well as new animals like the seahorse and sea lion. Other materials in the classroom, such as books or puzzles, offer the chance to reinforce these new vocabulary words as the students delightedly point out animals they recognize from their work. 

Dot Painting

The Toddler 1 students have been exploring with "dot" painting at the Art table. The children are fascinated by the paint stampers and enjoy experimenting by pressing more firmly or lightly as they make patterns and designs. 

Family Albums

The Toddler 1 students love to look through the family photo album, which includes pictures of all the children with their families as well as pictures of the children doing things they enjoy. In addition to providing comfort and reassurance for anyone who might need it, the album provides many opportunities for conversation, which is essential in developing their language skills. It is also an opportunity for the Toddlers to build their sense of community as they point out their friends in the classroom or share their own family picture with a classmate. 

Talking points about Toddler 1 Activities

  • Sea animals
  • Diwali

Toddler 2 - October 20, 2017

Autumn Leaves

The Montessori curriculum is full of opportunities to help children connect to the natural world. The Toddler 2 students enjoyed making autumn leaf collages this week by gluing colorful leaves onto a bare tree. As they work, many children enjoy chatting about the colors of the leaves they observe outside their homes and on the sidewalk outside of school.

Leaf Rubbings

The Toddler 2 students displayed a particular interest in leaves over the last week, perhaps inspired by the beautiful leaves outside and their fall tree collage in the classroom. Following the children's interest, teachers added several new leaf themed activities to the classroom shelves this week. The leaf-rubbing work, a popular new Art activity, helps the children learn to recognize the shapes of different local leaves, like maple, oak and beech.

Discovering Nature

Toddlers are natural explorers, with inexhaustible curiosity about the people and
things in their environment. While the Toddler Science and Cultural curriculum is not as structured or formal as it will be in the Primary years, the Toddler students have many opportunities to learn about the natural and social world around them. Studies of seasons, weather, plants and animals allow them to develop respect for the environment and help them understand their connection to nature and other living things. Learning about the cultural traditions of both their own and others' societies helps them to develop a sense of their place in the wider world and helps them appreciate the rich and diverse environment we all share.

Celebrating Diwali

The Toddler 2 students were delighted to welcome several (current and former) classroom parents this week to celebrate Diwali. The children were excited tohear a little bit about the history and traditions of the Hindu festival of lights, andto examine some beautiful diya and rangoli. They were proud to bring home their own diya drawings to celebrate the special day. Thanks to the parents who shared such a fun and enriching experience with the class!




A Closer Look

Several Toddler 2 students used a magnifying glass to carefully examine some pine cones and small pumpkins. In addition to exploring these favorite seasonal objects, they often acquire new vocabulary words (like smooth, speckled, bumpy, and rough) by discussing the different qualities that they observe.

Celebrating the Season

The Toddlers are finding many ways to celebrate fall, now that the season has finally arrived!  Some Toddler 2 students used a picture-matching activity that requires them to match small autumn-themed pictures to large ones on the back of the door. They enjoyed sharing conversations about their own experiences with apple picking, pumpkin-carving, leaf-throwing, and of course their own plans for Halloween costumes.

Pumpkin Scrubbing

The Toddler 2 children were delighted to explore pumpkins in several different ways this week. A favorite new activity was cleaning a large pumpkin in the water table. The children used a spray bottle and a scrub brush to wash and scrub the pumpkin, and enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing the pumpkin becoming clean through their hard work.

Primary 1 - October 20, 2017

The Me Museum

This week the Primary 1 students enjoyed getting to know more about their friend, who presented her Me Museum exhibit to her classmates.


Green Thumbs

Primary 1 students learned about plants using hands-on materials. They observed the process of sprouting and growing and were excited to see the changes.  They also learned about different parts of plants and their life cycles.

Light Science

This week Primary 1 students enjoyed studying Science. They learned about light, shadow
and refraction. They also explored how shadows are made and learned the meaning of optical illusions.

Primary 1 Shows some Backbone

Primary 1 students were excited to learn about vertebrates and invertebrates. They observed x-rays of animals, identified preserved specimens and determined classifications. These activities motivated the students to explore and learn about their surroundings. They build their knowledge through observation and discussion.

Imaginary Picnic

The Primary 1 students were happy to invite a friend and enjoy a picnic together using their imagination and creativity. This work requires specific steps such as carrying and opening a picnic basket, setting the places and folding napkins, and students learn and employ new vocabulary.

Primary 2 - October 20, 2017

Practical Life: The Skills of Daily Living

The Montessori Practical Life exercises provide a link between home and school. The students have child-sized tools that actually work, and a child is able to perform the same activities he or she has seen adults do. These types of activities correspond to a child's sensitive period for refinement of movement and coordination as well as a growing sense of independence.

Arts in the Prepared Environment

In Primary 2, Art is integrated into the prepared environment, offering students the opportunity to explore different forms of self expression.

Scientists For Tomorrow's World

The Primary 2 students explored Science as part of the Cultural curriculum.  Some observed how new colors are created by mixing the Primary colors of red, yellow and blue.

A Peek into Primary 2 Specials

The Primary 2 students of all ages enjoy a variety of Specials classes each week: Music,
Spanish and Physical Education.

Primary 3 - October 20, 2017

Magnets: How do they work?

Primary 3 students learned about magnetic and non-magnetic objects. After the lesson, the
activity was placed on the shelf for students to experiment with independently.

Addition Charts

Using one of the addition charts, two Primary 3 students used their knowledge of Math facts to figure out where to place the appropriate tiles on the chart.

Better Together

Within the Primary 3 classroom community the students are encouraged to help younger students, and younger and older students alike are happy to participate in the exchange.

Diwali, The Festival of Light

Some class parents shared a special presentation about Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, with the Primary 3 students.  After the presentation of this major holiday, the students created their own diyas, which are special small lamps used in celebrations of the holiday. 

Kindergarten - October 20, 2017

Sequencing Everyday

This week in their coding class, the Kindergarteners discussed sequencing. They sequenced activities such as brushing teeth, making a sandwich or making the bed. The teachers helped to write down all the steps and then acted them out with the children.

The Order Of A Story

In their Empowering Writers workshop, the Kindergarten students practiced story sequencing by listening to a story and then cutting and pasting images from the story and putting them in order.

A Chain Reaction

In their STEM challenge this week, the Kindergarteners created chain reactions using colored dominoes. They worked in groups of four to make creative designs that would fall in sequence.

Lower Elementary East - October 20, 2017

Sitting Down with a Good Book

In the Lower Elementary East class, silent reading time is a daily activity after lunch each day.  This time allows each child to practice his or her reading and comprehension skills. By encouraging the students to choose books of interest to them, we are encouraging them to become life long readers.

A Trip to New Delhi

A third year Lower Elementary East student shared a presentation about New Delhi with his classmates. He PowerPoint presentation included information about popular foods, particular places of interest and notable figures. After his presentation, many classmates had questions, comments and stories to share.


The Math Dot Board

A Lower Elementary East student used the Dot Board to help practice and master Math facts, moving from hands-on work with the concrete material to abstraction. 

Talking points about Lower Elementary East Work

Language: Rhyming; What is a Noun?
History: Names of days of the week; review of telling time
Geometry: Introduction
Geography: Land and Water Forms

Lower Elementary North - October 20, 2017

Open Friday

The first Open Friday proved to be successful for the Lower Elementary North class!  They enjoyed welcoming their family members to their class community and sharing recent work.

Festival of Lights

A Lower Elementary North student and his mother shared a special Diwali presentation with his classmates.  Diwali, the Hindu festival of light associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, is one of the most important festivals and is celebrated every year.

Classifying Triangles

Some third year Lower Elementary North students classified different triangles by angles and by sides. They looked at the length of the sides to find if a triangle was equilateral, scalene or isosceles and then named acute, obtuse or right angles.


Montessori's Fifth Great Lesson: The Coming of Numbers

The students in Lower Elementary North each created a poster to show how different numbers represent them. They chose a variety of creative ways to illustrate themselves in numbers: the years they have been on Earth, the number of pets they have, languages they speak and even the amount of teeth they have lost! They added a few illustrations as clues and it was fun to learn more about each other and look at numbers in a different way.


Decorating Diyas

After an informative presentation from one of the class parents, the Lower Elementary North students painted and decorated their own diyas (small lamps) in celebration of Diwali.

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