GLM Yearly Events – by Season
Welcome New Families Gathering
June/July/August: To officially welcome new families to the GLM community, the school hosts a number of new family gatherings over the summer. If you are a new family, please plan on joining us at any (or all) of the Welcoming New Families Gatherings. Meet other families, room parents, Community Builders (GLM’s parent representatives) and teachers who will answer any questions. Your children are welcome to play in the yard while you have a chance to meet other parents and talk with teachers (Dates, times, and locations TBD).
Classroom Information Night
September: Classroom Information Nights are mandatory events for parents only. Photos, movies and information pertaining to class procedures are shared. Room parents introduce themselves and share fund-raising needs and classroom volunteer ideas. Dinner and childcare are provided (by RSVP).
Montessori for First Years
October: “Montessori, What to Expect” – A team of teachers present pictures and role play the “invisible curriculum”—the development of social relations. Through skits, and demonstrations, parents have a chance to see teaching techniques, conflict resolutions, elements of 3 year old’s experiences in mixed age classrooms. Earn volunteer hours by attending and bringing potluck to share.
Round Table Discussion
October: “Montessori Kindergarten” – In a round-table format, allowing for questions, GLM leads a discussion with present GLM parents and past GLM parent guests. Parents whose children are in kindergarten, first grade and up offer perspectives. Free childcare and dinner in the Brown Cottage provided by GLM staff.
Family Fun Day
October: Family fun day is an opportunity for everyone to gather on campus for games, food, performances and a little shopping on a Saturday morning in the Fall. Classes set up an area and volunteers take turns staffing the booths throughout the day so everyone can join in the fun. All proceeds benefit GLM’s Financial Aid Program. It is a family friendly event for the whole GLM community to come together.
October: On a designated day, children come to school wearing their favorite costumes with their day clothes in a bag. Each classroom sponsors at least one activity on the yard, as the children celebrate community-style with crafts and games. Many parents volunteer to help set up the night before. See pictures of some previous celebrations here.
November: This is a child-centered celebration for each classroom. The children first plan their own feast, like what are the ingredients needed for the main dish, what for dessert … and then bring in an item to contribute to it. On the day of the feast the children help preparing it and create their own Thanksgiving ritual. This event will take place the week of Thanksgiving. Parents do not attend, but volunteer to help.
December: In early December each classroom hosts a sing-a-long. This is an event for families, relatives and teachers to come together in the classroom to celebrate the holidays. Children learn songs from various traditions and countries which we then sing together. This is a potluck event and teachers will share more details about the event at the time.
January: Exploring Montessori gives families an opportunity to learn more about Montessori pedagogy and curriculum. In an evening hosted by teachers from every classroom, as well as administration, attendees learn more about a specific area of the classroom and then get an opportunity to get their hands on the materials. In traveling through different stations, people get to work on classroom materials, allowing for an understanding of what the children experience, while having time to ask questions to various teachers about the nuances behind why we present materials in a certain way or order.
February: This day is an opportunity for the children to express love and appreciation for their friends in the classroom. Everyone turns a small cardboard container into a decorated valentine mail box. The children make little valentine cards at home to bring to school and put them into their friend’s mail box. A special snack is also made by the children and shared to comemmorate the day.
March: This is an annual tradition which we celebrate in the beginning of the Spring season. With the support of family volunteers, the children dye and decorate eggs and prepare baskets or bags. On the day of the event children roam one of the GLM gardens to search for eggs and treats like pencils, erasers and alike.
Special Friends Night
April: This is an opportunity for each child to personally invite a “special friend” to come into their classroom to visit. The friend can be a parent, grandparent, aunt or any special adult in the child’s life. The children choose a few of their favorite activities to show their special guest. They also prepare a snack to serve as a closure of the event. It’s a lovely way to receive a glimpse of what your child does everyday!
Grand Night Out
April: An early evening (6-9pm) to reconnect with the school that helps fuel your child’s life-long love of learning. Grand Night Out is Grand Lake Montessori’s major fundraising event of the year. All proceeds support financial aid to ensure a diverse community. Children have their own kids-only event, Kidfest, provided by GLM staff.
May: This annual event is a celebration of cultures from around the world! Each classroom represents a country from a different continent. The children prepare two things from this country: a craft and a food. Children from toddler to elementary participate and families help host booths (for crafts and foods) while the children venture to the different “countries” and get their passports stamped.
Year End Gathering at Temescal
June: The annual End-of-Year Celebration is a wonderful way to commemorate the close of another school year at GLM. The gathering takes place at Lake Temescal, right off of Highway 24 in north Oakland. GLM families bring their own food. We will spend the late afternoon enjoying the lake and visiting with the entire GLM community. This is event is therefore a rare opportunity for GLM families, staff, admin and future families to all be together. The gathering usually begins around 4:30pm and goes until dusk.