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Creating the Prepared Environment at Home

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It has only been a few days since we have been out of school because of COVID-19 and as a parent and an educator it feels like a lifetime!  Trying to figure out what your new normal is as a family has been a struggle for our family.  Setting a schedule so that the kids understand that this is NOT summer vacation is proving to be more of a challenge than I thought.  Although my children no longer attend Brooksfield I still approached the planning of our day as if they were.   When planning out how I wanted this extended break from school to go Dr. Maria Montessori’s quote, “To assist a child, we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop”, was reverberating in my head.   How do we create an environment that allows the child to be successful and still lets the adult accomplish what they need to get done...
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The Benefits of Reading to Your Child

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The Importance Of Reading To Your Child In honor of Read Across America last week I wanted to talk about the benefits of reading to your child(ren) daily!  We all know reading to your child increases their vocabulary, helps to improve comprehension and to develop better listening skills as well as increase their language development.    We often forget in our hectic daily life to connect creatively with our child(ren).  Reading aloud to your child opens the door to conversation!  Learning about how their day went or discussing something that happened in the book you just read together allows your child to express themselves.  Listening to their imaginations soar as they try to come up with a different ending or explain why a character behaved the way they did helps the parent, grandparent, relative and TEACHER understand the child more.  As adults, our days are busy juggling work, family and crazy sport or activity schedules.  Taking the time each...
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Toddlers: The Transformation!

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“The greatest sign of success for a teacher….is to be able to say…The children are now working as if I did not exist” – Maria Montessori Giving a tour of the toddler classroom in the springtime is a sight to be seen.  Toddlers are that much bigger, showing their independence and choosing their own work.  They are carrying trays with little glass bowls on them, rolling out their own work rugs and navigating the classroom with confidence and respect.   They have grown leaps and bounds since the first day of school; their vocabulary has blossomed and they are much more verbal with their needs and wants.  It is an amazing sight to behold!   In the toddler classroom we emphasize routine, care of self, care of environment and care of each other. Through grace and courtesy lessons, each child is taught how to approach each other with kindness and respect. We create activities that assist them in...
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Water, Water Everywhere; Exploring in our Outdoor Classroom

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This year Brooksfield created an oudoor classroom area for our students to explore nature, dig for worms and learn about the world outside of the classroom walls.  Led by our our Outdoor Education teacher, Anne McLaughlin, students have had fun getting dirty rain or shine!   “Water, water everywhere” was the theme this week in the outdoor environment! Undaunted by the weather, we trekked outside and were lucky enough to have some cover and protection from the rain underneath the big green tent over the picnic benches. The children appropriately dubbed our work “the water kitchen” as we noticed just how much rainfall had collected in 3 separate basins set out for water play. The children experimented with various natural objects to see which ones would sink (such as river stones and seashells) and which ones would float (Iike leaves and sticks). We even made a boat! Many children used practical...
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Kindergarteners Get Creative With Monoprinting

Julie introduced the Kindergarteners to monoprinting this week and after exploring the basics of the technique, offered them each a maple leaf to add interest to their printing process. The children showed great delight and intrigue as they tried different strategies and observed the results.
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Exploring Art at Brooksfield!

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Last week in art class we were inspired by a book of poems about the seasons called "Red Sings From Treetops." The poem about fall got the children thinking about fall colors and their associations to them.  The children learned about the "wet on wet" watercolor technique. Each group started with one of the primary colors, then did a second painting where they added a color to create a secondary color.  The children learned how to use a delicate touch while experimenting with brushes, sponges, cotton swabs and paper towels, and learned or reinforced  what they knew about color mixing.  These fluid watercolor paintings will be used as backgrounds for future work, so stay tuned.  I told the children to be keen observers of leaves in the weeks ahead. You can help them notice the various shapes, sizes, and colors.  We will be incorporating these observations into our art during our...
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Digging For Potatoes

Brooksfield sits on about 5 acres and we are very fortunate to have organic gardens throughout our campus.   Gardening is webbed into our curriculum on a weekly basis.  Last week some of our students got to dig for potatoes with Mary, our gardener! We dug up quite a few red and white potatoes (the larger ones are at the bottom of the pots). The students did a great job digging and washing the potatoes. Students played the one potato two potato counting game, and read the story Two Old Potatoes and Me. We then got to eat smashed potatoes with olive oil with our lunch! Thanks to Virginia and her students from last year for  planting these potatoes in the spring for us! They grew well over the summer and are fun to harvest and eat in the fall!  
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Brooksfield is Expanding Its Before and After Care Program to Local Public Schools

Brooksfield is happy to announce it will now be offering BEFORE and AFTER care to students attending Chesterbrook, Haycock and Kent Gardens Elementary schools!  The afternoon Extended Day program has welcomed students from Chesterbrook Elementary school for the last several years.  With the purchase of Buster, our school bus, we are now excited to expand the program and offer BEFORE and AFTER care to students at Chesterbrook, Haycock and Kent Gardens in grades K through 6th.  Buster will be able to drop off students in the morning to the three schools and pick the students up from Kent Gardens and Haycock.  Chesterbrook students will continue to ride the county bus to Brooksfield in the afternoons.  Extended Day hours will be from 7:30am to 9:00am and 3:30-5:55pm. Brooksfield's Extended Day program is designed to provide a home-like setting with activities that are fun in nature including arts and crafts, cooking, field games,...
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New Toddler Program Opening at Brooksfield For The 2016-17 School Year

Brooksfield School is happy to announce that it will be opening up a two year old toddler program beginning in the Fall 2016-17 school year!  We are really excited to offer another wonderful Montessori program to our families that will incorporate the Montessori curiculum as well as the arts and the outdoors!  The program will consist of a 5 day a week schedule with 9am to 12pm, 9am to 3pm and 7:30am to 5:55pm options. The best part about the program?... the child does NOT have to be potty trained!   If you have a two year old or a rising two year old who you would like to be considered for the program, please contact Sarah Krawchuk, the Admissions Director.  
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Teaching Grace and Courtesy with Animals

 Claire and Ceyda's Class started a six-week program that combines both grace and courtesy and mindfulness in the classroom. This program fosters positive outcomes of love, kindness, and empathy through interacting with furry friends and reading books about a dog named Little Dude. The series of books focus on different topics: feelings, empathy, respect, kindness, manners and courage.Over the last few weeks, the children have had the opportunity to read or talk to Brownie, our class guinea pig! Brownie’s cage was set out on a rug and children were able to sit on “The Brownie Rug” and read, talk or just sit beside Brownie. Today, Claire's class had a special guest visit Brooksfield. Coco, Carlie’s dog, came to Brooksfield for the morning! The children took turns reading, walking and playing with Coco. The children practiced using gentle hands, being kind to Coco and showing her respect. As an act of kindness,...
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Celebrate Earth Day with Brooksfield School and LŌKL Gourmet

Join Brooksfield School and LōKL Gourmet on Friday, April 22nd for fun-filled day of Earth Day activities including recycable arts and crafts, music, nature scavenger hunts, pansy planting and more!  LōKL Gourmet will be here to give out free food samplings!  The event runs from 9:30 to 11am and is open to the public!  Hope to see you there!  
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Next Brooksfield Parent Coffee: Emotional Intelligence February 4, 2016

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Brooksfield Alumni Parent, Francine Ronis, is presenting a workshop on Emotional Intelligence.  Francine has done several mindful parenting workshops here at Brooksfield.  Her workshops are full of information and great ideas to practice at home.  Below are the details about her next workshop here at Brooksfield!  Check out her website at http://francineronis.org Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Some people believe the EQ is more important than IQ, however many of us never develop their EQ and don't know how. Learn the main tenants of EQ, why it's important, and how to develop a higher EQ for yourself and your child. Join alumni parent and child/family therapist, Francine Ronis for our next Parent Coffee at 9:30, February 4 at the Brooksfield School, 1830 Kirby Road, McLean, VA 703-356-5437. Admission is free, but please RSVP.
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Thank The Bees For Your Thanksgiving Dinner!

  As you gather around the Thanksgiving table there are so many things to be thankful for.   Remember to thank the bees!  The yummy food you put on your plate is made possible by the bees  (honey, bumble and solitary bees) and other pollinators such as butterflies and flies.  For example: 1.  A salad:  lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, onions2.  The veggies:  roasted squash, beans, peas, brussel sprouts, potatoes, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips and turnips, and the cranberries in the sauce 3.  The desserts:  the pumpkin in the pie and the spices that make it yummy (cloves, allspice, nutmeg), apples an apple tart and tangerines. Who wants turkey without the rest of the good stuff?  When giving thanks this holiday, remember to thank a bee.  Happy Thankgsiving from our family to yours!   
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Thank you to our Troops!

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Happy Veterans Day to all! Brooksfield has always been committed to supporting our community.  We enjoy doing community service projects through out the year whether is is doing a coat drive, raising money for childhood cancer, preparing a Thanksgiving meal for a family in need.  Today was a special day!  We spent the morning filling boxes for our troops with Halloween Candy (donated by our students) and lots of other goodies. Thank you to all who donated candy to the Douglas J Green Memorial Foundation (DJGMF.org), an organization that provides comfort and support to service members and their families through sending thoughtful and useful care packages during deployments and planning exciting and memorable experiences for service members to look forward to once they return home.
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Holiday Wreath Making Workshop hosted by Brooksfield!

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  Come and join Pamela and Virginia, the Brooksfield School's Art Specialists, for a holiday wreath making workshop!  They  will share some beautiful wreath-making ideas with you and walk you through the construction of different wreath and garland designs.  We will have wreath forms available and lots of greenery and materials to help you create something special for  your home this holiday season.  Coffee, tea and holiday cheer will be provided!   When: Tuesday, December 1, 205 from 12:30 to 2:30pm Where: Brooksfield (Parish Hall) Cost: $30 per person (open to the public so invite anyone!) RSVP: 703-356-5437  
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Got Candy?

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Already wondering about what you'll do with all of the candy you acquire next week? We've got the  answer. Bring it to the Brooksfield Candy Drive!  November 2 - November 6 bring in any candy (the stuff you didn't give out, the extras you're children collected but won't - or shouldn't - eat) and hand it over at drop-off or pick-up.  Mary, our Extended Day Director’s son, Peter, just returned from serving in Afghanistan.  Although Peter is home, his unit is still overseas serving our country.  The candy will be sent to Peter’s unit in a care package to show our love and support with the help of the Douglas J Green Memorial Foundation (DJGMF.org), an organization that provides comfort and support to service members and their families through sending thoughtful and useful care packages during deployments and planning exciting and memorable experiences for service members to look forward to once...
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Brooksfield Players Perform!

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Brooksfield Players, an afterschool drama class run by our very own dance teacher, Sandra Kammann, spent the last 8 weeks putting together a drama production and finally performed it today for the entire school and parents whose kids were involved! "Mystery of the Magic Lake, Adventures In A New Land" was enjoyed by all. The costumes and set were designed by Sandra and her drama group. The play took place in a land filled with princesses, knight battles, talking animals, magic and more! The children developed and choreographed the play and came up with the characters, script and even the title all on their own (with a little guidance from Sandra). Congratulations to all on a job well done!
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Why We Chose The Dragonfly As Our Logo

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We love our dragonfly logo and so many people ask us why we selected the dragonfly. The dragonfly represents change in many cultures.  At Brooksfield our change is reflective of self realization.  A process of emotional and intellectual maturity and an understanding of the deeper meaning of life.Dragonflies can fly up to 45 mph and in all directions.  This ability reflects simplicity, grace and mastery.  They also have eyes that can turn 360 degrees which implies that we can see from all perspectivesWh and reach beyond our limitations.  Dragonflies also live a short life span and cover a lot in a few months time. They live in the moment.  A great reminder for us to live in the NOW.  They also have iridescent wings that catch and reflect colors… I like to think of that as the magic life can bring to us!  It was a sunny day many years ago...
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Chef Tom From Harth Comes To Cook At Brooksfield!

Chef Tom From Harth Comes To Cook At Brooksfield!
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This week, we had the great pleasure of being visited by Chef Tom, a "real, live" Chef from Harth, a new restaurant located at the Hilton in McLean/Tysons Corner. During Chef Tom's visit he gave Room 2 a hands-on cooking class. We made a delicious Pumpkin Spice Cake and learned about: how to follow a recipehow to use a siftermeasuring spoonshow to use a spatulaseveral spices that we now all love:  cinnamongingerand a combination called all-spice!   We thank Chef Tom and his assistant Christina for coming to our class, and look forward to cooking with Chef Tom again in the future :)
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Pumpkins, Hayrides, and More!

Pumpkins, Haryrides, and More!
Yesterday was Brooksfield School's annual Lower School field trip to the pumpkin patch. We all hopped on school buses (which was fun in its self) headed out of McLean, Virginia and drove  to Ticonderoga Farms in Chantilly. With slides, corn maze, moon bounce, farm animals, and the ever-so-popular spooking hayride that even went through the water, a ghostly time was had by all! We completed the day by picking out a pumpkin to take home. I don't know who was more exhausted the kids or the parents! What a great day!
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Delicious Autumn Veggie Medley Recipe For Hungry Kids

Delicious Autumn Veggie Medley Recipe For Hungry Kids
It's Autumn so celebrate with this colorful and healthy veggie medley! Bake a big batch and have plenty for leftovers! Veggie Medley Recipe A quarter of chopped: sweet potatoesbeetsmushroomsonionscauliflowerBrussel sproutsYukon gold potatoesAny other veggies you like Parsnips, carrots, rutabagas are great too! Mix in a bowl with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar to simply coat the mixture and add flavor. Then ad sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Spray your baking dish to help prevent sticking. Sprinkle fresh Parmesan cheese in between layers as you fill baking dish with all the veggies Bake at 400-425 degrees until done!
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Brooksfield will be represented at the McLean Project for the Arts Annual Artfest

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McLean Project for the Arts Annual Artfest will be held at the McLean Community Center on Sunday Oct. 6, 2013 from 10 am - 5 pm.  Brooksfield School will be represented with 12 pieces of art created by our students in Kindergarten through Grade 4. Find us in the Children's Art Walk.  Click here for more information about MPA's Artfest
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Peace Day At Brooksfield

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The month of September is special at Brooksfield School here in McLean, VA. We begin a new year at our Montessori school and have so many new friends and families that have joined us for a Mindful Year. New friendships are budding on the playground. Excitement is in the air and so is PEACE! International Day of Peace The International Day of Peace was celebrated at our school last week and our children will now learn about personal peace in the practice of Mindful Meditation. Give yourself permission today to sit for just one minute with your eyes closed, allowing your attention to go to your breath. Breathe in slowly and relax with an exhale. For just 60 seconds allow your mind to unplug from all the many distractions of your day and simply, BE. As you try to put this practice into your day, remember that in a heated moment,...
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