Showing posts from August, 2017

Upper School's New Faces for 2017-2018

Garrett Farley

Role: Upper Elementary Science Guide

Background: Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Science Education from Florida Atlantic University,
former high school teacher, head of the nature program at a sleep away camp in Maine.

More about Garrett: "Having just moved to Nashville, I spend a lot of my free time exploring the city and hiking trails. I'm very excited to work with the students and guides and experience all of what Abintra has to offer!"

Christy Berryessa

Role: Upper Elementary Language Guide, Upper School Theater Guide

Background: BFA in Theater from Belmont, has acted in and costumed multiple productions in the Nashville area, including Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Christy is also a former Abintra student!

More about Christy: "When I'm not in the classroom, I'm either on stage acting or hanging out with my husband and my Husky."

David Cloniger

Role: Upper School Farm Manager

Background: Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from Gui…

The First Great Lesson in Lower Elementary

The core of our elementary curriculum is the Great Lessons. Lower Elementary students were thrilled by the story of the birth of the universe and the beginnings of Earth, the First Great Lesson. The first part of this lesson was presented before the solar eclipse.

The second part of this lesson, the beginning of our planet Earth, includes several demonstrations for students to replicate over the next several weeks. The activities represent:

Layers of the EarthVolcanoesThe three states of matterThe water cycle 

The First Great Lesson begins our journey into: Astronomy: solar system, stars, galaxies, comets, constellationsMeteorology: wind, weather, erosion, water cycle, clouds, glaciersChemistry: states of matter, changes, mixtures, reactionsPhysics: gravity, energy, light, sound, heat, friction, motion, magnetismGeology: types of rocks, minerals, land forms, volcanoes, earthquakes, eras of the EarthGeography: maps, globes, latitude/longitude, climates, land/water form names, continent a…

Tools for Helping Your Teen or Pre-Teen Deal with Frustration

We all need to vent sometimes. Parents need to understand the difference between frustration tolerance, venting, and asking for help, and it isn't always clear.

First, frustration tolerance:

Many students struggle with frustration tolerance, and need direct instruction in how to work through frustrating situations. Here's how you can help:

1. Connect frustration to the body. Our emotions impact our physical bodies. Encourage them to think about how their body feels when they're experiencing frustration or other strong emotions.

2. Learn about triggers. We are all different, but some common triggers of frustration include:
 transitions negative peer interactions challenging academic work feeling misunderstood lack of control/seeking perfection hunger (a HUGE one for middle school) exhaustion break in routine
Encourage your child to develop a list of triggers that create frustration for them. Recognize that getting into the car in the afternoon is prime time for many students t…

Upper Elementary Immersion - Art and Theater

Upper Elementary students are spending two weeks immersing themselves in an area of their choosing: gardening, music, art, or theater. We've been sharing photos from each area throughout the week. Today, we'll share photos of art and theater.

After reviewing slab, coil, and pinch pot construction, art students first designed and then formed vessels out of clay. They were encouraged to consider both the functional and the sculptural aspects of their designs. Several students animated their pots with animal and human-like features while others chose to make more traditional clay vessel designs.

Theater students are preparing the play "The Battle of the Sun and Moon," a folk tale about the eclipse. Today they performed a dress rehearsal for their classmates.

EC News #2 - First Week Recap

Early Childhood students have been implementing the principle of adaptation this past week. Children are wired to adapt to their environment regardless of their circumstances, but can only do so effectively and productively with proper stimulation.

It has been a great first week with all of the students. The children are learning the daily routine and are responsive to prompts and guidance from guides and other students. Our older students have been helpful in modeling lessons, guidelines, and routines. Each child practices getting shoes and slippers on and off by themselves. At lunch, students enjoy conversing with their dining partners. Any leftover food comes home in your child's lunch box. Everyone has the opportunity to sleep and rest their bodies after lunch. We end the day playing and enjoying nature on the playground.

We look forward to getting to know everyone better and anticipate a fabulous school year!

Here are some upcoming dates to mark on your calendars:
Friday, Sept…

Upper Elementary Immersion - Music!

Upper Elementary students are spending two weeks immersing themselves in an area of their choosing: gardening, music, art, or theater. We'll share photos from each area throughout the week. Today, we'll share photos of music and songwriting.

Guest musicians and Abintra parents Matt Combs and Matt Slocum are working with the music students on songwriting and playing as a group. They've been writing a new song together every day, with each student on a different instrument - either one they've known for a long time, or one they're just now picking up.

Upper Elementary Begins the Year With Immersion Weeks!

Upper Elementary always begins their year with creating a "BAPSY" plan - "Beginning the Almost Perfect School Year." These guidelines map out their expectations of themselves for the year both in and out of the classroom.

These next two weeks are devoted to the students immersing themselves in an area of their choosing: gardening, music, art, or theater. We'll share photos from each area throughout the week. Today, we begin with gardening.

Led by our farm manager David, students who selected gardening as their focus are preparing perennial garden beds.

Early Childhood News #1 - Tips for a Successful School Day

The students are transitioning beautifully as they enjoy their days in Early Childhood. You can help your child be successful in school by doing the following:

Develop a morning routine that your child can predict.Be on time.Keep goodbyes brief and upbeat. Supporting your child's experience in the classroom:
Read your parent handbook.Label your child's belongings.Leave all toys, books, and unnecessary items at home or in the car.Communicate with your guides openly about home life.Take a Positive Discipline course.Attend a parent education workshop. We are excited to share information about materials the children use, the progression of the work in the classroom, and how this work leads to success in the elementary years. Join us for our first Early Childhood Parent Education Night on Thursday, September 7 at 6:00 PM for an overview of the Early Childhood Montessori curriculum.

Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year - From Board President Irma Paz-Bernstein

A long time ago, in 1981 to be more precise, a group of people made some hard choices and started ABINTRA.  We may not know their names, yet all of us benefit from those choices and the hard work they put in. As I prepared for our board retreat, this idea kept coming to my mind. The gratitude for those before us is an enormous motivator to assure the future of this school for families whose names we also do not know who will one day become part of the Abintra community. When we met this summer to connect and become the 2017 Board, we heard from former and current families who have been impacted by this school and the education they have received. These stories brought some of us to tears.  Although my vision was blurred, it was clear that the message was to make sure we do all we can to secure the future of this school. Important work was done last year to create a strong foundation, and with this Board of committed and thoughtful people we are ready and excited to get to work.
Welcome to a…