A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of November 4

“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” -Mahatma Ghandi

Today is our last day with Ms. Marlee. We want to thank her for all of her time and patience helping and teaching in our rooms. We will cherish our memories of all of her lessons, rap skills, and dance moves. We hope she cherishes all the moments we have forced her to love Harry Potter and insects. We love you, Ms. Marlee, and can’t wait for your next visit. Best of luck!

Lower Elementary

This first year student is working on the Addition Snake Game. This “game” is an engaging way for students to practice the memorization of their addition facts. Completing this work helps students easily understand which numbers can be added together to make ten and which combinations make more than ten.
These second and third year students invented a game for our classroom about the solar system. They were inspired by our Animal Stories work which uses riddles to help students learn about different types of animals. After drawing their answer cards and writing their riddles, these students laminated their work, organized it on our shelf, and labeled it for students to easily find!

Upper Elementary

This week, our fourth year students continued their study of multiples. Using bead bars, students researched the multiples of numbers they have struggled to memorize. This student is researching the multiples of twelve to see what patterns she can find!
These students reviewed the layers of the Earth recently and had to choose how they would show me what they had learned. Two of them decided to build a model of the layers of the Earth using Styrofoam. It was a messy, but incredibly creative project. Check out our Instagram later to see their end result!

Enrichments

Practicing some freestyle solos before working on our dance for the Christmas Show!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of October 28

“The only thing to fear, is fear itself…and children with Halloween candy.”

Our Halloween Party was a blast! Our students prepared games like pumpkin bowling and balloon hockey. Our decorations group prepared a mummy craft with masking tape and Popsicle stick spider webs. Our food committee planned for us to have Rice Krispy treats and ghost cookies. Our decoration committee did a spooktacular job!

Lower Elementary by Ms. Marlee

This second grader really enjoys picking math works off the shelf. Here he is working on the multiplication bead board where he uses beads to visually represent the multiplication equations. Not only is he committing these math facts to memory using a tangible representation but he is perfecting his fine motor skills and concentration.
We love seeing our students research new topics! This second grader is reading one of our new library books about the RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic, and HMHS Britannic. Before beginning his reading he wrote questions based on what he wanted to know. While reading he added to his research and even asked more questions as he went.

Upper Elementary by Ms. Ashley

This student is working on plotting points on a graph. He is reading x and y coordinates to create a pattern, which leads to a picture of something familiar. Previously, they made a comic “Zap” picture and are now working on the Earth and an animal! Check these out on our bulletin board!
This fourth year student is working on diagramming sentences. He is finding the predicate, the subject, and the direct and indirect objects! This helps children become familiar with how to write sentences of varying lengths and parts.

Enrichments

This week, Ms. Dayna was out, so Ms. Marlee stepped in to lead our art class! Our students completed “Yarn Paintings.” These “paintings” were created by students laying yarn out to create a picture on contact paper. They had a great time!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of October 21

“A grandparent’s love never grows old.”

Our Grandparents’ Day was such a blast! Our grandparents enjoyed three songs performed by our students. Two of the songs were popular songs and the third was written by our students! Our piano students each played solos in between the songs. After the music portion of our program, our students performed their play, “Give Me Back My Bones.” When our play was finished, we completed a few activities with our grandparents – “GRANDO” (our grandparent version of BINGO), a Venn Diagram about our similarities and differences, and a list of changes in pop culture between now and when our grandparents were young.

Everyone is concentrating on finding the words in “GRANDO.” Our winners had to stand and tell us the things they love to do together!
This family is listing their similarities and differences as they continue to learn more about each other!
One of our second year students performing “Forest Drums!”
After our “Bones” performance! You can come see this play Thursday, October 31, at 8:30 am in our gym!

Lower Elementary by Ms. Marlee

Our word study shelves have several options for students to explore different elements of language. This second grader is working towards matching a set of synonym cards. This work helps strengthen language acquisition and broadens the child’s knowledge of words and how to use them in appropriate context.
Here, two first grade students are working to complete the 6-chain. The students are working towards laying out all of the multiples of 6 with small, numbered tags. For every 6th bead there is a new tag that the child lays on the rug. When the work is complete the child can see the all the multiples of 6 up to 216 (its cube). This and the other bead chains prepare the child for more abstract math work in the classroom and builds their knowledge of math facts. You can click on the link to find out more about the bead chains.

Upper Elementary by Ms. Ashley

These fourth year students are finding the multiples of nine. Using the pegboard to find multiples of numbers helps students recognize common multiples and rules for divisibility.
These students have worked all week preparing a geography game for their peers called “Continental Challenge.” The board has many squares for each continent, as well as, bonus and jail squares! These students even created their own dice to include all the numbers they needed and bonus points! They have inspired other students to create board games about their own interests.

REMINDERS:

  • Thursday, October 31, 8:30 – “Give Me Back My Bones” performance in our gym. All parents are welcome!
  • Friday, November 1, 8:15 – Drop off at Cuyahoga Falls Campus for our Halloween play performance.
  • Friday, November 1, afternoon – Student-only Halloween Party. Email to come today about these events!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of October 14

“We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.” – Maria Montessori

Below you will see two students working to plan the treat for our Halloween Party. Our students are in charge of breaking into committees, deciding what needs created or bought, and carrying out those tasks before our party. At the Elementary level, what Montessori calls the “Second Plane of Development,” the children have a need for time to socialize and experience different social situations, without the influence of adults.  During the school day, they have time for this during lunch and recess, but not as much during work time unless they are working with a friend or two.  For this reason, we keep our Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Pajama Day parties as a student-only day.  We have noticed during these student-only parties, that children often socialize with students that they don’t usually work with, or attend lessons together.  This is a great opportunity for younger and older students to learn about and from each other while having a great time. We can make this a success with your help of supplying what we need for our party. You can sign up to provide something here!

Lower Elementary by Ms. Marlee

Our second graders were introduced to a few measuring tools this week. Here, two friends are measuring different items in the classroom including themselves! Their lists of measured items included a shelf, the doorway, and their own heads and waists. Measurement introduces the concepts of length, height, weight, and volume. It also provides a hands-on opportunity to explore the environment in a tactile and productive way.
Two second year students are helping a first year while she works with the Addition Snake Game. As our first year worked through her equations, the second years were helping her check her work and asking her how she could fix it, if needed. Strong bonds like this are formed when older students come alongside younger students in the classroom.

Upper Elementary by Ms. Ashley

These fourth year students are creating a new encyclopedia of animals for our classroom. They noticed the one that we often use does not have all of the animals they are interested in, so they are solving our problem! Each day they have added research into their notebook that is organized by class of animal!
Last Friday, we asked students to journal about things they wished the teachers knew. Some included things we could improve, some included things they personally need help with, and some included information about themselves that they felt we would like to know. All of our third through sixth graders asked for help with learning how to get along and communicate better. This week, Ms. Brandy and I sat down with them to get more information, talk about our different personalities, and discuss the process of making calmer, better decisions. Over the next few weeks, we will take time each day to focus on a habit within ourselves that we can improve to help get along and communicate better!

Enrichments with help from Ms. Breanna!

This week in dance class, we did some warm up exercises and stretches before working on our combinations.

REMINDERS:

  • Monday, October 21 – Elementary Performance at Mulberry Gardens (staff drivers)
  • Tuesday, October 22 – Grandparents’ Day
  • Thursday, October 31 – 8:30 am – Halloween Play for Parents! Please join us in the gym for two performances!
  • Friday, November 1 – Halloween Play at Falls Campus – ALL ELEMENTARY drop off at Falls Campus by 8:15 – Staff to transport back to Tallmadge Campus
  • Friday, November 1 – Student-Only Halloween Party.
    • Students may bring a costume with them when they are dropped off at the Cuyahoga Falls Campus (no blood, gore, or weapons please).
    • We will begin our party after lunch – please have your child pack their regular lunch as our party will only have a small treat.
    • Students have planned some games to play and to bake their treat together. We will finish our party
    • Students will still need their reading logs for Friday morning.

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of October 7

This week our “Peek” was written by our students! These students read our previous blogs, took pictures around the room, and filled in a blog template. The students did some editing together, and with a teacher, so what you will read below is their final product. There are still some misspelled words in their final product, but in a Montessori classroom we focus on the process, instead of the end result. Dr. Montessori believed when we put all of the emphasis on the final product, we devalue everything leading up to that point. This can discourage repetition which will make mastery of a skill difficult. The purpose of the students writing the blog is to provide you with a glimpse into the room through their eyes, to provide them with practice of real world skills, and to give them a deeper understanding of the materials in the room. We hope you enjoy their work!

“A Peek at Our Week” by Camilla (Fifth Year) and Ellie (Second Year)

This week the Upper Elemantry went on a field trip to Hale Farm where we learned about the era of the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. We learned to make brooms, yarn, and apple cider. We learned the chores and hardships of living as a child on a farm in the early 1800’s. We learned what they ate and how they cooked it. Everyone of course loved the glass blowing demonstration.

Ms. Marlee is teaching the second graders different types of sentances. This is a lesson about the many different ways to write, say, and improve a sentance.
She is wroking on her journal. She is writing about a dog.
They are wroking on handwriting. When they are done they will work on something else.
He is working on the changing bases. They are working as hard as they can.

REMINDERS:

  • Thursday, October 17 – Picture Day
  • Monday, October 21 – Elementary performance of “Give Me Back My Bones” at Mulberry Gardens. Details to follow.
  • Tuesday, October 22 – Grandparents’ Day
  • Thursday, October 31 – 8:30 in the gym – “Give Me Back My Bones” performance for Ms. Courtney’s class and Elementary parents!
  • Friday, November 1 – Performance of  “Give Me Back My Bones” at Cuyahoga Falls Campus and Halloween Party. Details to follow.

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of September 30

“…The teacher’s task is first to nourish and assist, to watch, encourage, guide, induce, rather than to interfere, prescribe, or restrict.” – Maria Montessori

Something new in our room this year is “Focus Groups.” These are student-chosen groups about research topics that are not assigned by teachers. In these groups, students work to research a history, geography, writing, and art component for their topic. By the end of December, they will present their findings to the class before deciding if they want to move to a new group or to continue researching their topics. Not only are these students researching interesting topics like “Cats and Kittens,” “The Titanic,” “Dinosaurs,” and “STEM,” but they are learning how to work collaboratively in a group of peers of differing ages and skill levels. Below you will find two students researching the birthing process of cats!

Lower Elementary by Ms. Marlee

Our 2nd graders are working hard reviewing the Stamp Game this week. The Stamp Game furthers the students’ knowledge of all four operations. Mastering this work will prepare them for more challenging works in the Montessori math curriculum.
Sometimes you need to take a break from writing to share your ideas with a friend. These two 1st graders are reading their journal entries to one another and offering helpful comments and support. Learning to collaborate with peers and seek advice are both qualities that lead to becoming a supportive and courteous individual. We are thankful to see friendships like this growing in our classroom.

Upper Elementary by Ms. Ashley

All of our Upper Elementary students love to play in the woods. Some of our students noticed that trash is often thrown into the woods and it can get in the way of their recess projects. Two of these students decided that each Thursday, they would dedicate their entire recess time to cleaning up the woods. They wrote out a plan, typed and formatted their sign, and hung it for volunteers. Our goal in teaching lessons is that students will realize they are a part of the larger global community and that they can make a difference. It is wonderful to see that in action!
These Upper Elementary students have finished their study of the structure of the Earth. To review, they are going through the vocabulary they were introduced to and matching it to the correct definition. After they finished, they went through the answer key to check and correct their work. You can see the dictionaries nearby that they turned to while making their matches! These two students are masters of the dictionary!

Enrichments by Ms. Erica

Upper Elementary students have been making progress on their self-portrait collage. They have had a lot of fun cutting out pictures that they feel represent themselves.

REMINDERS:

  • “Bring Your Parents to Work Time” on October 8 and October 10 – Today is the deadline to sign up here!
  • October 9 – Third through sixth grade trip to Hale Farm
  • October 17 – Picture Day
  • October 22 – Grandparents’ Day
  • SAVE THE DATE – October 31, 8:30 am – Come see this year’s Halloween play, “Give Me Back My Bones”
  • November 1, 8:15 am – Drop off at Cuyahoga Falls Campus for our Halloween play performance there
  • November 1 – Halloween Party (students only) – details to follow soon

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of September 23

“Through movement, children explore their world. They touch it, they move and manipulate it, they go outside and out into the world to examine the natural beauty around them.” – North American Montessori Center

Montessori believed that children need the opportunity to move during their day at school. In the primary classroom, you see this through materials like the Pink Tower or Brown Stair which require the children to take ten whole trips to and from the material to gather everything at their mat before even beginning the work! With being given more freedom to develop into and explore what it means to be an adult, movement in the Elementary classroom appears in different ways. Children cannot become independent by sitting in one place all day. They need to move, to explore, to try (and sometimes fail) before they can really grasp the importance of something. We include movement in our classroom through games at recess, building and creating in the room and at recess with power tools and hot glue, allowing many choices in work spaces, completing chores throughout our entire building, and offering the choice of a mental break with jump rope and yoga. Sign up for “Bring Your Parent to Work Time” below to observe movement in our room before working with your child!

Here, two Lower Elementary students are participating in a game of one-on-one soccer. Each child has chosen a team to represent and take turns playing offense and defense for their entire team!
Sometimes you need a physical break from a mental break! This student was pausing his work after a lot of research to do some jump roping. After jumping for as long as he could without stopping, he needed a rest!

Lower Elementary by Ms. Marlee

These third graders are continuing their exploration of different types of nouns. They are using their “Singular and Plural Noun Rule Chart” to help them classify nouns into the correct category. Language works like these help students become stronger writers and readers.
Our Lower Elementary has been reviewing their knowledge of telling time over the past two weeks. This week, the third graders had a review over telling time to the minute. These two students are working together to determine what time these clock faces are representing. Being able to tell time independently helps students regulate their time effectively and keep track of how much time they have left to complete their daily responsibilities. Both are tools that will help them smoothly transition into adulthood.

Upper Elementary by Ms. Ashley

Our fourth year students reviewed their previous Lower Elementary lessons with the Bohr Diagram and Periodic Table this week! We reviewed the subatomic particles in an atom and where to find information about each element using the Periodic Table. To continue their review, each student chose one element to research. They have found the history of their element and its many uses. Look for these projects on the bulletin board next week!
Our third year and Upper Elementary students are split into two reading groups. Students read the summaries of “Fish in a Tree” and “Jackie Robinson” to determine which group they’d like to join. Twice a week students meet, give out reading group jobs, and work through the readings together. Both books have sparked many deep discussions about discrimination this week and have allowed students to ask questions about the experiences of others, while discussing how they would behave in those situations.

Enrichments by Ms. Erica

Our students are having a lot of fun preparing for their Grandparents’ Day performance!

REMINDERS

  • For information on what your child is doing daily, please check in on Transparent Classroom!
  • Sign up for our first “Bring Your Parents to Work Time” here!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of September 16

This week we were excited to receive our new biome material for the classroom! Our class was excited to go into our backyard biome! We walked into the woods and collected samples of water, plants, animals, energy, soil, and air. We brought everything except our energy jar back into the classroom to observe throughout the week. Our energy jar is outside collecting energy to power the light bulbs inside the jar! We then introduced our “Backyard Biome Mat” which you can read about below! In a few weeks, when we begin studying continents, we will begin using our new biome maps! Look for those in a future post.

Lower Elementary by Ms. Marlee

All of our returning 2nd and 3rd graders complete the Word of the Day. This exposes them to new words and hones their developing research abilities. 1st graders are welcome to work with an older friend to learn more about using the dictionary but we also offer a list of morning work choices for our younger students. We caught sight of these siblings working together this week to define the word and log it in their Language notebooks. We love seeing strong sibling bonds like this one in our classroom.
We have a new work in our classroom! Here you can see a 3rd and 1st grader working together to label nouns on the area in which they could be found in a specific biome. Learning about biomes helps our students explore a variety of habitats and learn about the countless organisms that coexist within them. Ask your child about the outdoor biome experiment they participated in this week to find out more about their exploration of biomes.

Upper Elementary by Ms. Ashley

These fifth year students are working on classifying animals in the Animal Kingdom. They are adding photos to a table in Google Docs to represent each phylum or class in the Animal Kingdom. We will continue studying animals before we move on to the study of internal systems of mammals and humans.
Our fourth year students are working to complete a “Word of the Week.” Each week, the Upper Elementary students choose a word that they think no one will know. They illustrate a picture that can demonstrate the meaning of their word, then perform a skit while their peers guess what the definition of the word may be.

Enrichments by Ms. Erica

Each child sat patiently while Ms. Dayna outlined their profile. The students will fill their profiles in with magazine cut-outs and other pictures that they feel represent them.

REMINDERS:

  • For information on what your child is doing daily, please check in on Transparent Classroom!
  • “Bring Your Parents to Work Time” begins on October 8 and 10! Sign up here!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of September 9

“The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” – Maria Montessori

At “Back to School Night,” parents had the opportunity to write down questions they had about the Montessori Philosophy or about our Elementary program. One of the questions asked was, “What materials made by Montessori are still being used today?” Surprisingly, the answer is almost all of them. While Montessori companies have continued to improve upon her designs, most of the Elementary Montessori works were invented by Dr. Montessori and her son, Mario, in the early 1910s. Below you will find photos from Montessori’s book, The Montessori Elementary Material, which you can read for free through the Gutenburg Project here, and explanations of how we use those materials!

This is a Grammar Box, which we still use daily! The Grammar Box helps students recognize different parts of speech and their functions in a sentence. Understanding parts of speech leads to greater comprehension and better writing skills. Recent studies have proven that learning grammar using color coded material and symbols is the most effective method and Montessori had this idea a century ago!
Here you will see our Bead Bars and Multiplication Bead Board. Both materials encourage students to notice relationships between numbers to memorize their number facts while fully understanding what the equation really means. Coming to a realization about number families, instead of being told their relationship, leads to deeper understanding and confidence.
Here a student is using the “Racks and Tubes” or “Test Tube Division.” This material allows students to understand the process of long division with manipulatives before seeing how to complete it on paper. As with the previous math work, physically manipulating numbers gives students a deeper understanding of how the process of division works. Students work with this material first, then with this material and paper, then moving towards paper only when they are ready.

Lower Elementary by Ms. Marlee

Our Elementary students complete a journal every Monday about any topic of their choosing. One third grade student asked another third grader if she could interview her this week. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get to know one another while working on their communication and listening skills.
This second grader is working on the Division Bead Board. While practicing this work, students become familiar with the ways in which numbers can be divided. Some dividends are evenly divisible while others are not. This work also helps them come to understand the relationship between multiplication and division. This work is closely related to the Multiplication Bead Board shown above!

Upper Elementary by Ms. Ashley

This fifth year student is researching the multiples of nine to find the rule for divisibility of nine. This student caught on to the rule that the units place in the multiple was going down one, while the tens place in the multiple was going up one! Another student noticed that if you add the digits of the multiples together, you will get a sum of 9!
These students built “The Table of Pythagoras” using a lot of communication and teamwork! “The Table of Pythagoras” is a geometric representation of a multiplication table. If you are as interested as I was, here is a very brief history of the multiplication table (scroll to “History” section).

Enrichments by Ms. Erica

Upper Elementary had a lot of fun singing popular pop songs in music class. They are excited to show off their new tunes at Grandparents Day.

REMINDERS:

  • For information on what your child is doing daily, please check in on Transparent Classroom!
  • Ramseyer Field Trip Forms are due TODAY, September 13.
  • Ramseyer Trip for First and Second Year students – September 20
  • Typing lessons begin Friday, September 27. We could use more parent volunteers to continue to make typing classes possible. Please sign up here if you are interested in supervising!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of September 3

Lower Elementary by Ms. Marlee

This first year student is completing the space puzzle from our Geography area. This work introduces students to the names of the planets and helps prepare them for further exploration of our solar system.
This second year student is completing one of the Laws of the Universe experiments. Here, he is experimenting with centrifugal force by swinging a bucket with water in it around his body. As the bucket revolves in a circle, it is pulled away from the center showing centrifugal force in action. Learning the Laws of the Universe helps students to understand their surroundings.

Upper Elementary by Ms. Ashley

This fourth year student practiced adding, subtracting, and multiplying fractions with like denominators. At our Morning Meeting this day we discussed some upcoming lessons and which previous lessons would be great to practice to start out the year on the right foot. This student got right to the works we discussed after our meeting. It is so exciting to see students take ownership over their learning.
One of our team building games this week was a challenge to rotate your members around a circle of pool noodles with only being able to hold onto one pool noodle at a time. The fastest team was the winner. Here you will see an Upper Elementary student walking his team through a game plan. Our Upper Elementary students have had many years of practice leading and participating in discussions. They are often great role models and allow all to have their voice heard.

Enrichments by Ms. Erica

Our students enjoyed creating their name tags in Art Class. They were able to choose from a number of materials to work with when decorating. These name tags will be used in Art Class throughout the year.

REMINDERS:

  • For information on what your child is doing daily, please check in on Transparent Classroom!
  • First and Second Year Parents – please turn in your Ramseyer Permission Slip to the office!
  • Friday, September 20 – Ramseyer Field Trip for first and second years. Dissection at school for third through sixth (no permission slip required)