School-Wide Art Project at DMA

Ms. Jenny’s art classes have undertaken a school-wide project! Our students are making sketchbook covers using collaged paste paper, inspired by author Eric Carle, as well as artists Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Henri Matisse.

After Thanksgiving break the students will be begin binding their books to use as visual journals to use for the remainder of the year. Upper Elementary and Adolescents will learn to professionally bind their own books!  However, in Kindergarten and Lower Elementary we are looking for some extra hands to help bind the books.

If you’d like to help just drop Ms. Jenny an email and come learn basic book binding techniques on Thursday afternoons or Fridays!

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DMA “Significantly Exceeds Expectations” in State Report Card

Congratulations to all of our fantastic students, teachers, staff and parents! The 2013-2014 District and School Report Cards for the state are out and Downtown Montessori Academy scored DPI’s highest mark of “Significantly Exceeds Expectations!”

You can review the summary report here: 2013-2014 District and School Report Card

2013-14 State Report Card

New Visual Art Instructor at DMA

Hello Parents!

I would like to introduce myself as the new visual art instructor here at Downtown Montessori Academy. My name is Jenny Urbanek and I just completed my Master’s of Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). I have experience teaching students from 3 to 103 years old in a variety of settings such as art schools, public schools, community settings, universities, and nursing homes for over the past 5 years.
I am so thrilled to be back in Milwaukee, working with talented young people to continue to expand and evolve our visual art program at DMA!

Last year, thanks to your generous donations we were able to jump-start the visual arts program and were able to successfully purchase a drying rack, paper cutter and a variety of supplies to enhance your child’s creativity. This year, I have created a list of art supplies that will further increase the quality and breadth of art education at DMA and once again would love you help!

The link to donate to our art supplies is:
You can make donations to our supply list the entire semester until winter break.

We are planning a variety of projects and can’t wait to begin! I am very much looking forward to exploring creativity with your young ones!

Thank you so much for your continued support, and I look forward to meeting you soon!

Thank you,
Jenny Urbanek

Auction Wrap-Up

Dear Friends, Families and Staff of DMA,

Many of you have been patiently awaiting news about this year’s Annual Auction. With the end of the school year hustle & bustle plus lots of summer fun to be had, I had put the Auction aside for a bit. I am happy to say that I have sat down with Ginny & Ian and we have come to a conclusion about the final revenue earned from this year’s event. After taking into account event expenses, we are thrilled to announce that this year we raised $20,029! Pretty impressive!

I would like to make mention that this would not have been possible without the support of all of you, an integral part of what makes our school so great. Without dedicated families and staff members, our event wouldn’t be able to happen. From donating items to the auction and raffles, to supporting our kids in creating fantastic classroom projects, to lending a hand the night of the event, all of you helped in some way. I’d like to give special attention to the people who helped as part of our planning committee – Danielle Lussier, Melanie & Jack Roepke, Steve & Lindy Meer, Mata & Tony Kartsonas, Margery & Sean Kane, Taylor Dutmer, Jenny Schmidt and Becky Murphy. I’d also like to give my gratitude to Jessica Rodriguez and Liz Becerra, Brittany Miller and all of the teachers, who helped tremendously along the way.

Many have been wondering about the funds we raised and how they will be used. As mentioned in our Auction information and on the night of the event, all funds raised will be used for future redevelopment of the outdoor play and garden area. While we did raise a good amount of money for this endeavor, it is not enough to cover the cost of such a big project. Proceeds from this auction and the 2015 Auction will be combined to fund the project. DMA feels confident that we will have what is needed to move forward with construction during the Summer of 2015. As plans are developed they will be shared with the school community. Going into the next school year, if you would like to know more about the playground redevelopment, please feel free to ask the school office, they are always there to answer any questions you may have.

Lastly I would like to say that the position for 2015 Auction Chair remains open. If you have any interest in leading the charge on this fantastic DMA community gathering, please let the office know. The person heading up the event will have the full support of a fantastic crew of planning committee members, myself included. If you have questions about what the Auction Chair job entails, please feel free to email me anytime.

I know that Ginny and Ian are happy to entertain any feedback, thoughts or new ideas about this great fundraising initiative. Drop them a line with your insights!

Enjoy the rest of your summer! My family and I hope to see you around the city or at our Ice Cream Social in August.

Natalie Holoubek
2014 Auction Chair

51 Things to do this Summer

By Sara, Diego and Ms. Barb

During summer, students can loose 3 – 4 months of learning if they are not kept mentally challenged. Here are some ideas that might help them stay smart over the summer.

1. Read twenty minuets every day.
2. Go to the library every week.
3. Write and send letters to relatives.
4. Learn an instrument.
5. Play chess.
6. Learn about a president.
7. Learn about your ancestors.
8. Visit another country or state by reading about it.
9. Before going to the store make a list to help you stay focused and on budget.
10. Practice money skill by setting up a pretend store in your house.
11. Go to the Art Museum. *
12. Go to the Public Museum. *
13. Turn off the television.
14. Do research about rocks in Wisconsin and then visit the state parks to search for rocks for your Wisconsin rock collection.
15. Go to a baseball game and track the scores.
16. Keep a diary.
17. Read twenty minutes after each meal.
18. Go to a summer camp. (Sometimes they are free at the local parks.)
19. Paint some pictures and have an art show.
20. Learn a language.
21. Do math books.
22. Turn off video games and have a family adventure night.
23. Go to the zoo and learn about the animals by reading the signs. *
24. Turn off the television and play a board game or read a story together.
25. Write a family play and perform it for the neighbors or other family members.
26. Crosswords, Word Scrambles, Sudoku…”brain games” are a great way for your children to stay mentally fit.
27. Start a book club.
28. Go on a scavenger hunt. Write down clues about local historical landmarks or even the grocery store and have your child/ren use the clues to find the “special” place. Great for teaching your child/ren problem solving and navigation skills.
29. Plant a garden.
30. Read twenty minutes as often as possible.
31. Write a graphic novel.
32. Pay it forward. Volunteer in your community to make a difference.
33. Have your child/ren help plan the family vacation this includes the budget, mapping out the route, discovering the sights that will be visited.
34. When on a vacation have your child/ren keep track of the money that is spend on them. This includes the motel rooms, food, gas and souvenirs.
35. Cook and bake together. By doubling or reducing the recipe they will be practicing their math skills.
36. Sit down together and eat. Each person has to bring two conversation topics to the table and have a family discussion.
37. Read together.
38. Turn electronic games off and play family board games or take a walk in the neighborhood.
39. Build a fort in the backyard and have an adventure. Write about the adventure.
40. Build a bird feeder.
41. Play “Silly Sports”. Change some of the rules in your favorite sport to make it a bit more interesting and challenging. For example when playing a back yard baseball game you could run the bases backward and soccer starts when the goalie throws the ball into play or the players have to run backwards.
42. Have dress silly days, take pictures, write a description and send them to grandma and grandpa via U. S. mail.
43. Make musical instruments from things found around the house and create a family band. Write your own songs and share with other family members.
44. When at a stop sign multiply or add up the numbers on the license plate of the car ahead of you.
45. Have a family read in.
46. When at a stop sign make up a sentence using the letters in the license plate ahead of you. See who in the car can make up the best sentence.
47. Plant a garden and share your extra produce.
48. Volunteer at the Wisconsin Humane Society.
49. Visit some of the historical and interesting vacation spots in our great state.
50. Visit the Urban Ecology Center.
51. Read and write something every day.
* The museums in Milwaukee are free to the citizens one day a week. Please check the museum to see what day it is.

Above all else have fun. I hope you consider doing one of these FUN things.