Sticks and Stones…

SticksStonesBy Nicole Girvan, Head of Lower School

The lessons of childhood are nuanced and unavoidable—and can make us stronger adults. When I talk with friends and family about our childhood memories, mixed emotions hover over us. I loved my childhood and feel fortunate, but there were many challenging moments when I had doubts about the character of others or questioned my identity and place in the world.

Continue reading “Sticks and Stones…”

Learning to be a Better Teacher

faculty - Evatt_Katherine+AE551By Katherine Evatt, Lower School 3rd Grade Teacher

NOTE: Each year the Parent Association uses the funds raised at the Blue & Gold Auction and other initiatives to support professional development for our teachers. With the PA support, Lower School teachers Janie Kendrick and Katherine Evatt attended the prestigious Summer Reading Institute at Columbia University last summer. Below, Katherine shares some of her impressions about the opportunity.

I was fortunate enough to spend a week at Columbia University’s Teacher College in New York City last summer for a once-in-a-lifetime experience every teacher should have. Thousands of teachers from all over the world apply to attend the Reading Institute, led by Lucy Calkins, an internationally acclaimed professor and author who is focused on helping young people become avid and skilled readers, writers, and inquirers. At the Institute, we joined educators from across the globe to study methods and plan curricula, revitalize our thinking, and most importantly, encourage our students to lead rich and literate lives. We listened, participated, and collaborated each day with Lucy, her team, and other teachers on best practices and how to set students up for success.

The workshop is unique because it was modeled for us, and we participated as both students and teachers instead of just listening to someone speak for five days about the curriculum. We could ask questions directly and experience what our students would experience each day. We also received feedback when we were “teaching.”  Through my week, I made connections with other teachers who inspired me and made me better.

Continue reading “Learning to be a Better Teacher”

What Kind of Screen Time Parent Are You?

Monday Memo_ Screen Time ParentBy Evan Kurtz, Head of Middle School

After seeing Mr. Mensah’s tweet asking the question, “What Kind of Screen Time Parent Are You?” I was intrigued to find out. So I went to the NPR website and took the quiz. Nine questions, and at the end I was considered, “Screen Time Savvy.” While certainly, I am pleased to hear that, I also feel some trepidation about how I answered a few of the questions, so I reflected on some of my responses.

Continue reading “What Kind of Screen Time Parent Are You?”

PREParing Students for High School

Charlotte Prep High School Fair

By Eddie Mensah, Head of School

With the second half of the school year underway, it’s the perfect time to revisit the strengths of our pre-k-8th-grade program. The pinnacle of a Charlotte Prep education, the high school placement process, perfectly reflects our student-centered philosophy. The Charlotte Prep experience naturally develops students who are well rounded and well prepared for high school. Our process guides each student and family in taking the steps needed to make a successful transition to high school.

Here’s how it works:

Continue reading “PREParing Students for High School”

Celebrating Holidays Around the World

By Seher Khanna, Admissions & Multicultural Coordinator
& Melissa Guarnaccia, Guidance Counselor

The Charlotte Prep community came together to celebrate Holidays Around the World on Wednesday, December 13. Integrating with the BUDEE program, all of our students from TK to eighth grade participated in various activities centered on Holi, Christmas, Hanukkah, Lunar New Year, and Dias de Los Muertos.

Our goal with Holidays Around the World is for students to understand the historical origin of each holiday and become familiar with the essence of the holiday and why it is celebrated. While coming up with our lesson plan for Holidays Around the World, we were intentional in separating the intrinsic ideology of the holiday from the physical or traditional way in which it is marked. Both are important, and we wanted to ensure both are addressed.

Continue reading “Celebrating Holidays Around the World”

Prepping Young Children for Happy Holidays

IMG_2425By Sharon Vanella, Head of Early School

The holidays are upon us. This season brings about many sensory experiences: beautiful sights with holiday lights; smells of evergreen, candles, and favorite foods cooking; sounds of favorite songs and music; and flavors of delicious traditional dishes! It is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time for young children.

Children in our Montessori Early School (ages 2-5) are taking in everything around them through their senses, and their young brains are creating neural-pathways constantly through these experiences. You may find your young child is somewhat more excitable or emotional than usual as they process all of this sensory input.

Here are some tips for helping children through this wonderful-crazy time of year:

  • Try to stick to family routines, bedtimes, and mealtimes during this season.
  • Prep your children ahead of time by letting them know what to expect when changes occur.
  • Involve your children in preparation for family celebrations.
  • Don’t “force” your child to hug family members if they are uncomfortable – it is important that they know their personal space is respected and honored.
  • Utilizing a calendar or sequence of photographs can help children understand what is coming ahead.

However your family celebrates the holidays, we wish you joy and peace!

Make Your Own Volcano!

volcanoBy Mandy Dillashaw, First Grade Teacher

Looking for something fun to do with your child over winter break? How about making a volcano! This exciting science experiment is easy to make and fun to do.

The volcano could be made out of clay (it will need to dry before you use it), a mound of dirt from outside, or any type of cup or container. If you use a cup or container, you could build up the clay around it to make it look more like a volcano! If you use a mound of dirt or clay for your volcano, place a plastic cup in the middle; old film containers also work great.

Here is a step-by-step guide to making an eruption! Continue reading “Make Your Own Volcano!”