January 2015 Newsletter

January was a busy month in our classroom! We were so exited to welcome Giana, Tenleigh, and Hadley into our classroom! They fit right in and we all love having them be a part of our class! We also enjoyed diving back into working in our classroom!

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During the first week of January, we reviewed our classroom rules. We were reminded of how to carry a tray, how to walk on the line, and how to roll up our rugs. This was a great reminder coming back from a two week break, and a great introduction to our classroom for our new friends. Our returning friends were a great help to our new friends when it came to teaching them the rules of the classroom.


During the following week, we learned about Peacemakers. You might have heard your child talking about what it means to be a Peacemaker at home. We learned that a Peacemaker is someone who is kind, who helps others, who does not hurt others, who uses kind words, and does not argue with others. We talked about great Peacemakers, such as Maria Montessori, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and Helen Keller. The children also all signed their own names to our “Peacemaker Promise” that you might have seen on the outside of our door.


We learned all about different types of art during the third week. We learned about Vincent Van Gough, and how he was a famous painter. The children also enjoyed learning about primary colors,making a mosaic flower, and making a collage of their favorite things.


We also learned all about the Five Senses, during the last week of the month. The children enjoyed learning about the parts of the ear and how we are able to hear. They also learned about our sense of sight as well. To illustrate how important our sense of sight is, Ms. Kim placed many different objects in the middle of our circle during preschool lesson and each child took turns being blindfolded and guessing which object Ms. Kim removed from the middle of the circle. What a great way to practice our observation skills! We also popped popcorn in an air popper. We learned that when making and eating popcorn, we can use all five of our senses. The children enjoyed describing what they heard, saw, smelled, tasted, and felt while making and eating the popcorn!


I hope you will take time to explore what we’ve learned with your child at home as well! When cooking, playing, eating, or taking a walk outside, discuss with your child which of their five senses they are using. Review with them what it means to be a Peacemaker, and ask them how they can be a Peacemaker at home. Take a trip to the Akron Art Museum as a family or create art together at home.



In music class this month, the children practiced using their soft, loud, high, and low voices to sing hello to Tina the Turtle, Jerry the Giraffe, and Nemo the Fish! Ms. Lisa began her Peter and the Wolf story. The children were introduced to the characters in the story and what musical instruments from the orchestra they are represented with on the CD. Most of the children could recognize when specific characters were coming up in the story. For example, as soon as they heard the flute they knew the bird was talking. Ms. Lisa left us wondering when the wolf is going to show up in the story. We will find out next week! We also had some fun listening and dancing to the music of Mozart. Ms. Lisa had the children dance with scarves and pretend to be little birds. Lastly, we sang some of our favorite songs such as “Baby Bumblebee”, “Wheels on the Bus”, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, and “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”.

In Science class this month, Mr. John came to our classroom to do a diaper experiment! First he showed the children his materials: a diaper, measuring cup with water, measuring cup without water, and paper towels. Then, he placed a paper towel in the empty measuring cup, and poured three ounces of water over top of the paper towel. He asked the children if they thought the water would stay in the paper towel if he turned the measuring up upside down over his head. No the water did not stay! It poured onto Mr. John’s head. The paper towel could not hold all of the water. Next, he placed the diaper into the empty measuring cup, and poured six ounces of water over top of the diaper. Did the water stay or pour out onto Mr. John’s head? The water stayed in the diaper! So, we decided to try twelve ounces of water. The water still did not pour out. Why? The diaper has a special chemical that absorbs and holds water. Glad we have these diapers for babies!

In Art class this month, the students began their imaginary creatures. This is a project that Ms. Michele spends a couple weeks on. During the first week, she showed the children pictures of mythological creatures and discussed the history of them. She also passed around colorful eggs and had the students brainstorm what creatures could come out of them. Next, the children picked two animals off Ms. Michele’s board to mix together. Their goal was to take characteristics from each animal to make a new imaginary animal. They drew and colored in these new creatures. During the second week, the children took these drawings and used them to help make the creatures with clay. Ms. Michele gave them foil to first mold the creatures bodies. Then the children covered the foil with white clay. Next week we will add color to our creatures and really make them come to life!

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In conclusion, I want to thank you for letting me serve your children. Maria Montessori believed that we, as directresses, are mainly observers and servants of the child, who She believed this so much, that she credited the children she worked with when she said, “It is not true that I invented whats called the Montessori Method. I have studied the child, I have taken what the child has given meand expressed it, and that is what is called the Montessori Method.”

I consider myself blessed to be an observer and servant of your child, and it is a true joy!

January 2015 Newsletter

Week 19, 20 and 21

Welcome back, families and friends! New and exciting things are in the works for the New Year. The hand bells were initially introduced in Music class and have expanded into the classroom. One passionate music lover; i.e., elementary student, is assisting teaching staff in giving bell lessons and plans to expand out into directing the SmarterBell choir. Often, one can walk by the elementary classroom and hear the joyous sound of bells being explored.


Final editing of the leaf/tree research has been wrapping up as Science Fair projects are ramping up. Students learned about how to make a science experiment proposal and other key steps leading up to our science fair in a two day lesson that included guides and paperwork to fill out for the initial steps. Also, students have started a beautiful quilt to auction at the up-coming Art Extravaganza. Save up your money, everyone is going to want this special classroom artifact to cherish for years to come with their child!


Despite all of the additional days off due to various reasons, students came back to school hungry for lessons, ready to show Mastery and diligent to work. The winter break let many ideas meld in their minds, allowing for a completeness to come to fruition for many students that were challenged by particular concepts or lessons. It has been enjoyable to see the students satisfied with their accomplishments.


Week 22

To prepare for the Valentine’s Day party, most students have started their quilling projects to create their own unique cards to share with their friends. While the goal of quilling is to teach our elementary students a skill they can use to create things down the road, an underlying importance is the development of concentration and the small muscles in the hand to improve handwriting.


Computer skills are being learned by all. Many students have used computers at home or school, surfing the web or playing games. Most students have not used all of the features in word documents or been responsible for navigating the computer in relation to files and memory sticks. The Elementary students are going to be experts by the end of this year with all of the hard work they are doing!

This week, the students broke into two teams and had to write instructions on how to make and eat a peanut butter sandwich. Miss Beth and Sarah followed the directions to a “T” and did not have the sandwiches they dreamed of. However, this activity allowed the students to practice and develop a more keen sense of detail for writing their science proposals!


Also, as I am sure, your child may have let you know the visit of the worms to our classroom. A generous parent came into our classroom and worked with the students on conducting a complete experiment including collecting data and analyzing data. In the experiment, students learned about how worms communicate with each other by collecting happy worm mucus and angry worm mucus and seeing which mucus the worms were attracted to. All of the students had a blast participating with their worms and found value in the communication abilities of a worm!


December 2014 Newsletter

The month of December has been full of fun and merriment in our classroom! The children have enjoyed learning about the weather, the different parts of the orchestra, and about different symbols of the holiday season. We had a blast!


During the first week of December, we learned about weather. The children enjoyed learning about the job of a meteorologist how it is their job to scientifically predict the weather. Ms. Kim and I also have been having the children keep track of how many Sunny, Cloudy, Windy and Rainy days there have been this month. In true Ohio fashion, there were more cloudy days. I’ve also noticed that the children have been paying attention to the weather report in the mornings before school, and have been sharing what the Meteorologist has stated that the weather will be like that day!


During the second week in December, the children learned about the different parts of the orchestra. They learned that all instruments belong to a “family”, such as String, Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion. The children also enjoyed listening to sound clips of the different instruments in our parts of the orchestra work, and placing the cards in each family of instruments from the highest sounding instrument to the lowest sounding instrument. The children also enjoyed making a book of all of the instrument families as well with Ms. Kim during Pre-school Lesson.20141212_102140

During week three of December, we learned about the different symbols of the Holidays. First, we learned about reindeer, which are also called caribou. We learned that they are mammals and that they are herbivores. The children also enjoyed making a reindeer craft with Ms. Kim. We also went over to Mr. John’s room to make Ginger bread houses with Ms. Dana and also over to Ms. Kate’s room to make reindeer food!




In music class, Ms. Lisa got the students ready for the Christmas season! First, they did some review with “Penny the Pony”. Ms. Lisa used “Penny the Pony” to review the musical words for slow, medium, and fast. Then the children used egg shakers, bells, and castanets to help them sing and keep the beat to Christmas songs. We sang “He’ll Be Coming Round the Chimney”, “Jingle Bells”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, and “Deck the Halls”. Thanks to Ms. Lisa for getting us into the Christmas spirit!

In science, Mr. John did a very gooey experiment! He used water, green food coloring, glue, and borax (laundry detergent). First, he made the water green by adding the green food coloring. Then, he added the glue and borax to the water. When the borax was added, the mixture turned to goo! The borax acted like a polymer with the other ingredients. It didn’t matter if you stretched or pulled the goo apart. It always went back together.

In art, Ms. Michele continued her unit on shapes. During our first art lesson this month, the students looked at a painting to find different shapes, objects and lines. Then, we looked at another painting that only had circles, but these circles were different sizes and painted different colors. Next it was the children’s turn to create their own shape paintings. First, they used oil pastels to draw different sized shapes all over their papers. Then, the children painted their papers with watercolors. Painting over the oil pastels with the watercolors is a resist technique. The oil pastels resisted the watercolors, but the watercolors showed on the other parts of the paper.


Our next art lesson also used shapes, but we used the shapes to make self-portraits. First, we looked at the artwork of Pablo Picasso. Picasso’s paintings allow you to look at pictures and objects from different perspectives. Some of the children looked at a painting and saw musical instruments, while other children saw a face. The children were able to see these different objects because of the different shapes Picasso used. After we learned about Picasso, the children created their own self-portraits using different shapes cut out of colored construction paper. Ms. Michele had the students first cut out large circles for their faces. Then, the students used their imaginations to cut and glue down other face features.

In conclusion, I would encourage you to track weather patterns with your child at home. Play I Spy with your child to practice the letter sounds they are learning at school. Take time to listen to classical music with your child and ask them about the different instruments they hear. As Maria Montessori stated,”We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master.” I agree, and it is truly a pleasure to serve your children.



December 2014 Newsletter

Week 14

Our first day back was quite exciting as we rode the bus to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for our World of Rocks class. Students were excited as the entered the classroom of the museum. At each table rock specimens had been placed for us to examine. Our first task was to determine if the rocks were sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic. After we labeled our rocks, we began learning more about each rock type.


We learned about two different types of volcanoes and the differences in their eruptions, and how this causes different rocks to form. At the end of our class we identified over 10 rocks by their scientific names. Students were both amazed and intrigued by all the differences between rocks.


The day back in the classroom was extremely focused and meditative in an unusual way as if the students missed working in the classroom fervently. Walking on the line was near perfection and students settled into work immediately. It was a day of extremely productive, self-chosen work along with more exploration of the Timeline of Human Beings and some new dance moves for our up-coming Christmas show. Students also completed 100 bags for the church to fill with food to donate to the homeless with unique decorations and up-lifting messages to bring happiness to others who may need our support.

Friday, our students had fun eating lunch together and showing off their favorite sport in the form of spirit wear during our celebration of winning the Box-Tops contest. Brandy ran a mini-contest for the kids on a trivia question about her apparel that the kids had a blast guessing. Thank you parents for making this happen!

Week 15

Even though our students attend specialized classes for various subjects, all of those subjects are available and on-going throughout the week as students are interested. This week, a focal point on music and art came in the form of a book from South Korea, “The Yellow Umbrella”, which is a book read in dramatic music [as opposed to words] and is the journey of umbrellas and rain. Some students were inspired to start creating their own books by sketching out ideas of pages to paint. Also musically related, students worked hard on their articulation of words to improve their Run-DMC song’s speed and clarity. Be prepared to see their literary skills at work!


Students really seemed to feel the winter break coming and were extremely focused on Mastery and finishing projects. Every student achieved Mastery in at least one or more lessons this week. Also, the props for the Christmas show were made by the students along with the cute sewing project the students took home to give as Christmas presents. The weather did not deter the students from some heavy duty physical exertion during recess as tag and basketball have become extremely popular in the gym. They really seemed to be relishing their last bit of school before leaving.

Week 16

Even though most of the week rotated around preparing for Friday night’s show, students also worked on lessons. Wednesday, the students spent the morning attending the Latin Festival. Students broke into teams and played Latin festival games, competed in Limbo and enjoyed a special feast together. All had a great time. Friday, the students had a pajama day complete with popcorn, movies and a special sharing time with friends. Everyone rested all snuggled in their pajamas, covers and pillows relaxing before the “Big Night”.


This week, students really took a close look at all of their performance pieces they were preparing for the school performance and stepped up their individual focal points while practicing with friends. Each Elementary student had a special part in the program focused on them and also, a diverse part in all of our group performances. Students put their best foot forward showing their newly honed skills of dancing to various song styles and eras, acting, speaking, playing piano and also, playing hand bells. The Elementary students were phenomenal Friday night.


In December both Latin classes focused on the Roman festival of the Saturnalia.
After learning how the ancient Romans celebrated this holiday, the students participated in activities related to the festival. For example, they learned to gamble with knuckle bones, a favorite game played by the Romans. The students also constructed and arranged boughs in the custom of the ancients. In addition, they designed and decorated Saturnalia cards. Finally, on December 17th the classes participated in a re-enactment of the Saturnalia by playing various games and enjoying Sigillaria, dolls normally exchanged during the feast.

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Week 17 – 18

Happy Winter Break! See you in the New Year: 2015!

Brandy and Beth’s Corner – October 2014 Newsletter

Tallmadge School

Week 6

Starting out the week, students got a closer look at plants in preparation for our up-coming “Leaf Walk” fieldtrip! Hopefully, you noticed their “Parts of a Plant” artwork on the bulletin board. They will be learning about plants and leaves in more depth throughout the next couple of weeks. Also, this week, students are playing games and hearing stories in relation to “The Noun” to kick off our initial steps into the Grammar Boxes. The Grammar Boxes have activities that solidify the function of each word in a sentence. Including the activities the student completes with his or her friends, the students are learning to symbolize each word, leading to Sentence Analyses which helps us know what our options are to building interesting and varying sentence structures that will develop into your child’s writing “style” and the capability of understanding others’ styles.

A highlight this week is budding new research by students. Students have really enjoyed all of our new reference and non-fiction books that several families have donated. The pictures with the information are outstanding! Thank you for supporting our student’s quest for knowledge. Another highlight is our students who have elected to join dance. The music has started grooving and students have been busting out the moves in the gym already! We will get to enjoy their preparations at the next school performance event.


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Week 7

Constructing the Elementary classroom to meet the needs of the Elementary student, one will often view the Elementary classroom as a flexible workshop or laboratory for experimenting, imagination and exploration. The classroom as a whole has been conducting the first experiment that highlights the Needs of Plants. Each plant of the four plants potted for the experiment were labeled to track the outcome of the results of the exclusion of heat, light and water, each, separately. They have found that heat is one of the most critical aspects that can determine the success of a plant to live. The plant that had heat taken away did not last the weekend! As stewards of the earth, our class saved the plant and it is happily prospering as new greenery in our environment.

This week many students have begun Fractions lessons and continue to progress in all the other areas in lessons. Also, our class went on our very first official fieldtrip: The Leaf Walk at Holden Arboretum. Holden Arboretum is considered the largest outdoor Museum or collection of trees and woody plants in the entire United States. The students rode the public school bus, some for the very first time! Using a map and clues, students found the correct trees and collected one leaf from the ground that belonged to that tree. Discussions about the correct identification and interesting facts about some of the trees were enjoyed by all along the path. The classroom leaf collection returned to the school with the students to be used as a more in-depth research project of the leaves by all the students.


Week 8

Monday was a busy day as students showed mastery, explored art projects, learned a new song and took Spelling quizzes. This day of the week often is the most productive day of the week as students seem to dive into work as if they miss the classroom and their work time. They also look forward to our Community Meeting on Mondays where we come together as a community and decide how to deal with issues during the week, make exciting announcements of opportunities and have voting rights to make important decisions. Recently, many sign-up sheets have been made available for students, by students, to hold a Fall Festival, join a book club, to perform in a play and many others. Our students are confident in their interests and their abilities to lead others!

Surprisingly, our students rescued another plant from our on-going experiment. The plant without water had sunk so low, students were worried that it could not be saved but they found that the plant stood up half way by the next morning with a drink of water! Discussions of the length of time the plant could last without additional water compared to the lack of heat created some debate and theories about the plants’ needs.


Along the lines of looking at our environment, How Wolves Change Rivers was an interesting short film students viewed Monday. Students were amazed by the immense impact of reintroducing the wolf back into the Yellowstone Park after many years of humans ridding the area of wolves. The plant and animal life completely changed in a positive way and in turn, the geography of the land and river changed. A lesson in how connected we all really are! Check out the video online: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50BhXz-Q.

In Math, Squaring lessons have been enjoyed by some students interested in new materials in the classroom that were not available last year. Squaring lessons are closely related to the Multiples lessons in that students start seeing that one Math concept is the same but used in a different perspective, over and over again. Squaring and Cubing lessons will then lead the students to see the connections over time to Powers and other advanced Math offered in the Montessori classroom.


“If the idea of the universe be presented to the child in the right way, it will do more for him than just arouse his interest, for it will create in him admiration and wonder, a feeling loftier than any interest and more satisfying. The child’s mind then will become fixed and can work. The knowledge he then acquires is organized and systematic; his intelligence becomes whole and complete because of the vision of the whole that has been presented to him and his interest spreads to all, for all are linked, and have their place in the universe on which his mind is centered. (Montessori, Maria 1973 To Educate the Human Potential Kalakshetra Press, India)”.

Week 9

In preparation to our first visit of the Tallmadge library next week, student leaf/tree research projects are under way! Many students have already started collecting facts about their special leaf that they selected and others look forward to searching for books at the library. Each student will complete one research project alone and two research projects with a team. The class project will be bound into a book that will feature a hands-on leaf and tree matching game.

Our annual Halloween party planners kicked it into gear this week, preparing games, crafts and food for all to enjoy!  Halloween celebrations began with two costume parades and a community lunch with fun yet creepy food. The students bowled, pinned the hat on the witch, raced in relay races sweeping pumpkins and carrying candy corn on spoons in the gym. Everyone entered the donut eating contest that was sticky and hilarious. The day ended with three spectacular crafts: a spider on a web, a walking spider and a bat-like monster! Boo!

For October the Grade 1 and 2 class continued to practice words related to the family. In order to reinforce the family vocabulary, the students learned about a real family that lived in the Roman town of Vindolanda in northern Britain. For a supplement, they also looked at a video and pictures from the archaeological site of Vindolanda and from Hadrian’s Wall.


The Grade 3 and 4 class learned the terms subject, verb, and direct object.
The students translated short sentences on flash cards and were able to identify these grammatical terms successfully. In addition, they watched a short video showing a modern version of a Roman banquet.

Physical Education
In the first two months, the physical education program has already embarked on a plethora of sports. We kicked off the year with a game of capture the flag – it’s an all-time favorite and a great way to get all the kids excited about movement.

A rainy Friday lent itself to a nice indoor game of hockey. The gym was transformed into a hockey rink which even included penalty boxes…its not hockey without a penalty box, right? I can already see growth in the returning students. Last year the students only scored one goal during our field hockey games and this year we had well over ten goals…amazing!

A great addition this year will be our ‘field trips” to the park around the corner from the school. We already ventured there this fall, playing a game that combines both tennis and baseball. All the kids enjoyed the twist on baseball by hitting the ball with a tennis racquet.


Track and field heats up with a tight race for “fastest kid in the class.” Maddie was the undisputed champ last year but many other students have increased their speed over the summer and are giving her a run for her money. Something tells me Maddie will be ready to run during our next timed event.

We have some fun field trips scheduled for this year. Our first is coming up soon with a trip to the Football Hall of Fame. I look forward to learning all about the history of the NFL with the kids.

Ms. Kristen’s Corner – October 2014 Newsletter

Cuyahoga Falls Preschool

The month of October has been a very busy month in our classroom! Fall is in the air and the children have been learning a lot about fall, Halloween related animals, healthy eating habits, and all about Pumpkins.

During the first week of this month, the children learned about Farm Life and about all the animals that live on a farm. We learned signs for farm animals in American Sign Language, watched a video of a chicken being born, and learned about the life cycle of the chicken. The children also had fun making butter the “old fashioned” way; using heavy cream and shaking it in a mason jar. It was very yummy!


In the second week of October, we learned ab44out Healthy Eating Habbits. We first learned about the Food Groups: Grains, Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables, Beans and Legumes, and Oils and Fats. We learned about what foods are “Grow Foods” (foods that help our bodies to grow), and what foods are “Sometimes Foods” (foods that we should only have sometimes). The children also had fun during preschool lesson making a healthy snack of wheat bread, peanut butter, bananas, and raisins, shaped like a bear!


In week three, we learned about spiders. We learned that spiders are arachnids, which means they have eight legs and two main body parts ( the head and cephalothorax). We also began reading the book “Charlotte’s Web”, about a spider named Charlotte who befriends a pig named Wilbur.

During week four, the children enjoyed studying about bats. We learned that bats are mammals, and that many use echolocation to find their way around their environment, as many bats cannot see. Also, we learned that some bats eat insects and the blood of other animals, while some bats, such as the fruit bat, eat fruit. We also read the book “Stellaluna”, about a baby bat who gets lost from her family, but ends up making friends with a family of birds she meets.IMG_20141029_134203

During the last week of this month, we learned all about pumpkins and Halloween. We learned that pumpkins can be more than just orange. We also learned that we can make many different things from the pumpkin, such as pumpkin pie, baked pumpkin seeds, pumpkin fluff, etc. The children also enjoyed coloring a white pumpkin with crayons during work time. We also learned about the different parts of the pumpkin, such as the stem, the seeds, etc.

In music class, the students practiced forte (loud) and piano (soft) by singing hello to Jerry the Giraffe and Frieda the Frog. They really enjoyed using the instruments of tambourines, castanets, and egg shakers to help move to music. Ms. Lisa helped the students practice their listening skills by having them freeze when the music stopped playing. Then, she reminded the students of allegro (fast) and adagio (slow) by having them dance with leaves (colored scarves). Lastly, the students practiced following directions by dancing the Hokey Pokey! What fun!


In science class, Mr. John taught the concept of density. He showed the students that oil and water do not mix because oil is less dense than water. The students even shook a bottle with oil and water many times but every time the oil floated to the top! We knew that the oil and water did not mix because the oil was a lighter color than the water with food coloring. To explore more about the concept of density, the students tried to get a ketchup packet to sink. When they said sink the ketchup packet sunk. When the students said float, the packet floated back to the top. Was it magic? No Mr. John was squeezing the water bottle. When the bottle was squeezed an air bubble in the ketchup packet got smaller. This made the ketchup packet more dense so it sank. I wonder if we will have any magic in science next month?

In art class, the first two weeks were spent on a project that included the students own junk! During the first week, the students glued down their junk items to popsicle sticks. Then, the second week the students painted these works of art one primary color. To learn the complimentary colors, the students then added objects that were the complimentary color to the color they originally painted with. This was a great way to learn primary and complimentary colors at the same time! Since winter is upon is, Ms. Michelle thought it would be a good idea to study the artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Georgia O’Keeffe is known for painting close ups of flowers. The students drew and painted flowers using oil pastels, markers, and water. Lastly, Ms. Michele introduced the students to observational art. The students brought in their favorite toys and set them together in the middle of the room, some brought cars some brought the best soft baby dolls for toddlers. The students sat around these toys and were told to draw what they saw. Not only did they draw their own personal toys but other toys as well!


This coming month, I encourage you to practice with your child what they have learned. Maybe take a fall hike and play “I Spy”, make a pumpkin recipe together as a family, or discuss a healthy meal you and your family can make together. Maria Montessori believed that our children learn from participating in everyday activities out in the world and in the home, so please include your child in your party preparations, grocery shopping, household chores, etc. This will go a long way to aiding your child in their development!



Kristen’s Corner – August-September Newsletter

Cuyahoga Falls School

The beginning of the school has gone very well! Our returning friends have enjoyed getting back into the “swing of things”, and our new friends have enjoyed learning the routine of our classroom and making new friends.


During the first week of school, the children began learning about Grace and Courtesy and learning the ground rules of our classroom. The children learned how to roll and unroll a rug, how to carry a tray, how to place works back in their original place on the shelf, etc. Learning and reviewing these ground rules has set a nice tone in our classroom for the beginning of the year. This also will help promote the child’s sense of organization as they work in the various areas of the classroom. IMG_20140915_135952 IMG_20140917_142022 During the second week of school, we learned more about Manners and more about Grace and Courtesy. We learned how to say “Please” and “Thank You”. We also learned how to solve conflict by reading, “ There’s a Bird On Your Head” by Moe Williams, and discussing how, when someone is doing something that bothers us or hurts our feelings, we can solve the problem by using our words. 20140903_094208 (1) IMG_20140904_080553 In week three, our theme was “All About Me”. The children enjoyed bringing in their baby pictures and guessing who’s baby picture was which. We also charted our hair and eye color on a bar graph. We also talked about our talents and abilities and what makes us unique. We also began learning our Birthday’s and practicing our full names. We also discussed or talents and abilities and what makes us unique. IMG_20140908_131725 IMG_20140908_131712 During the fourth week, we studied apples. The children enjoyed learning the names for all the parts of the apple. We then learned about the life cycle of the apple and we learned that flowers adorn apple trees in the spring, then the apples begin to grow during the summer, and then finally the apples are ready to be harvested in the fall. The children also enjoyed making prints from apples on paper during preschool lesson and learning about the fractions of one whole, one half, and one fourth by watching me cut the apple so that the pieces formed those fractions. IMG_20140919_100143 IMG_20140908_131656 In the final week of September, we learned about Autumn. We sorted leaves by their colors and shapes. The children really enjoyed singing songs about Fall as well, and discussing what activities we can do in the Fall. I even brought in my ukelele to accompany them! In the coming weeks, I would encourage you to take a walk with your child and collect leaves. Ask your child what colors they see. Another fun learning activity at home would be to make a new apple recipe together as a family. Include your child in the preparation, measurements, etc. I consider it a privilege to be a part of your child’s education. I look forward to what this school year has in store! Enrichments In music class, the children were introduced to Ms. Lisa’s puppets of Alley the Alligator, Tina the Turtle, and Wilma the Whale. These puppets had the children’s singing voices warmed up by singing Hello. The children sang and danced to familiar songs such as the Hokey Pokey, I’m a Little Teapot, and All Around the Mulberry Bush. Ms. Lisa instructed the children to do specific body movements to these songs. Ms. Lisa introduced the children to whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes. We practiced the length of these notes by using rhythm sticks. We also learned the music words for loud, soft, fast, and slow. The children had so much fun using egg shakers and pretending like they were on a train to practice fast and slow speeds! 20140923_142310 In science class, we first learned that scientists ask questions all the time. They try to answer their questions by making hypotheses. A hypothesis is a guess of what will happen during an experiment. Sometimes scientists guess right but sometimes they are wrong. Our first science experiment included a bottle filled with vinegar and balloons filled with baking soda. We wanted to know what would happen if we mixed the baking soda and the vinegar. Many of the children thought that the bottle or the balloon would explode! Each child took a balloon filled with baking soda and put it on top of the bottle filled with vinegar. When the baking soda shook out of the balloon and mixed with the vinegar the balloon inflated. How did this happen? Mr. John explained that when the baking soda and vinegar mixed a gas called carbon dioxide was made. This gas filled up the balloon. Our next experiment included eggs, salt water, and fresh water. We wanted to find out what would happen to an egg put in salt water and an egg put in fresh water. Would the egg float or sink? Many of the children guessed that either the eggs would float or sink. The children took turns placing eggs into each water. Each time, the egg placed in salt water floated, and the egg placed in fresh water sank. Mr. John explained the concept of density. The salt water was more dense so the egg was pushed to the top. The fresh water was less dense so the egg sank. There was nothing to push the egg to the top. In art class, we first learned what an artist was and what they do. Ms. Michele asked if certain things in the classroom were types of art. Our first artist we learned about was Eric Carle. The children learned that Eric Carle is an author who illustrates his books by making tissue paper collages. What is a collage? A collage is a picture made up of other pieces of paper and other pictures. Ms. Michele showed the children different textures and how to rub them onto tissue paper to make different designs. Once the children had their textured tissue paper, they glued them down to make an animal like Eric Carle. We also learned all about primary colors. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. If you mix two primary colors together you get a different color! The artist Piet Mondrian painted with primary colors to fill in different shapes. The children first glued down popsicle sticks to make shapes like rectangles, squares, and triangles. Then, they used primary colors to paint in their shapes like Mondrian. We are looking forward to the month ahead in Art class!

Brandy and Beth’s Corner – August- September Newsletter

Tallmadge School

Week 1

The Elementary students and teachers got acquainted with each other, the classroom and procedures. Old friends and new friends came together to hear three of the Great Stories: “God Who Has No Hands”,” The Coming of Life” and “The Coming of Human Beings”. These stories engage the Elementary student’s imagination to grasp the amazing ideas of how the Earth, plants, animals and human beings came to be and ultimately depend upon each other within the laws of the universe.

Singing, book making and poetry reading have all commenced for the year. Students have received lessons in all of the areas of the classroom: History, Physical Education, Music, Art, Biology, Language, Geometry, Geography and Math. Excitedly, our class held its first “Community Meeting”, kicking off the year with a formal forum for students and teachers to come together and create our environment through peaceful communication, creative solutions and abundant opportunities for all.


Week 2

After a fun holiday weekend with families and friends, Elementary students returned to school ready to work! Excitement built over the weekend as the previous week, students have dreamed up a goal: Beating the World Record of the longest finger knitting rope in the world. Thank you for all of the generous family donations to the students to support their knitting dreams.


The last two Great Stories piqued the interest of many students: The Story of Our Alphabet and The Story of Our Numerals where students learned the historical development of human recording of communication and amounts. All of the students have been brushing up on old Math concepts lost over the summer break and filling their Personal Dictionaries with new words to learn.

Taking advantage of our beautiful weather, students have learned how to play Australian Dodge Ball and tried their skills at Ultimate Frisbee. An experiment in States of Matter was observed and discussed by the students as we continue to develop an understanding of the Laws of Our Universe. Also, our class had the opportunity to enjoy our school garden’s generous reaping of carrots and tomatoes during lunch one day.

Week 3

Recently, students have been discussing “The Fundamental Needs of Human Beings” which consist of Material Needs [Nourishment, Protection, Housing, Clothing, Transportation] and Spiritual Needs [Religion, Vanity, Art/Cultural] that all people share in their own unique ways. Students have been quenching their “Art Needs” through the use of Geometry tools and designing with our Metal Insets used for Math and Geometry lessons.

Their creations at https://yourdiamondteacher.com/ are evolving into beautiful ideas and gifts.

The Elementary study of the Earth and Life on Earth has commenced and students are looking forward to the opportunity of conducting Science experiments that parallel this focus. In addition to classroom lessons, our additional experts that joyfully share their knowledge have started visiting us: Music, Latin and Art. Our first class for self-defense (Tae Kwon Do) located at our Tallmadge campus has also begun.

Speaking of new starts, our classroom celebrated our first birthday of the year! Birthdays will be celebrated in a new approach and we hope you can assist your child with preparing for his or her birthday celebration. Each child will bring 3 pictures that define him or herself to class on the celebration day to share with us. None of the pictures have to be pictures of the student as each student’s perception of this will be unique. Unique is great! Your child will discuss each picture and fellow students will be able to ask questions about the birthday child. Our class will be gifting your student with blessings/good thoughts and compliments as a birthday gift for his or her special day. Do not worry. We will remind you as your child’s birthday nears.

Week 4

After a long discussion of Science Experiment Safety, the students plunged eagerly into the new Human Body Science Experiments. Experiment Cards will appear on shelves throughout the year in all the areas of study, Biology being first. Many materials have been graciously donated by parents for our Science Experiments. The Elementary class as a whole would like to extend a huge “Thank You!” for past and future donations to our mad scientists at work!



Also, this week, students have started selecting words they would like to learn how to spell. On Fridays and Mondays, as applicable, students take a quiz on their self-selected words. Beware, your student may ask you to spell words; such as, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” or “galluses”. We are all learning new, interesting and unique words!

Lessons have continued in all areas of the classroom. A new interest has sparked in the classroom: Sewing. Some students have learned how to sew a button on fabric and others are making bean bags for our classroom to use during “Walking on the Line”. Measurement lessons have been paralleling this work. Students have been measuring things in the classroom with Small-Non Standard Units, i.e., identical paperclips, to relive how people may have measured things with everyday identical objects to communicate mathematical amounts predating our current standardized method of measurement. In the Story of Geometry, students also got to help demonstrate how the “Rope Stretchers” or “Harpenodapta” of Egypt returned the farmer’s fields to the correct size and space after the annual flood of the Nile through historical surveying processes.

Though students have been learning all kinds of skills and games in relation to Physical Education so far this year, they were excited for the first official class on Friday. With that said, we would like to personally remind parents to ensure that your student brings his or her water bottle to school every day and especially on Fridays. We have had some students forget their water bottles. We want to keep your student properly hydrated to promote their success in health. Students perform physical exertion daily at recess, spontaneous lessons and work; and also, more importantly, during scheduled classes. We like to keep the students moving to promote a healthy lifestyle!

Week 5

This week, students have finished up their Hero letters and donned red, white and blue in our class picture for the troops. They shared personal thoughts and appreciation to our heroes overseas. Students have been busy working on the four basic operations of Mathematics: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. Some students are working on Fractions and Multiples, as well. The students have also been working on some basic Language skills, reading Poetry, Writing Creative Stories/Books/Plays and conducting basic Research on various topics.

Students are starting to show Mastery in new lessons. If your student shares his or her success about “Mastering” a lesson, rest assured, it is a big deal! This “Mastery” is one of the many things that make Montessori so different from the traditional approach of education. The teacher in traditional education gives information to his or her students to learn. Then the class as a group is assessed or tested in some fashion to see if the student has retained or learned that information. Whether all or some of the students have learned that information, the teacher is required to move on to new information as schedule in the traditional method.

Switching methods, in the Montessori method of education, the teacher shows the student how educational learning materials are used, tells stories, offers support, creates an environment conductive to learning and inspires. The student self-guides his or her learning at his or her pace and direction. The teacher observes the student and records the student’s progress. Mastery is attained when the student has mastered the concept or use of a material, lesson or idea. The next step of the learning process for the student is teaching and leading others. The students come to the realizations that there are always new heights learning can take place in and learning is for life. This idea is what separates the two methods vastly. Students do not “move on” when they do not understand information and students gain a self-propelled approach to learning that will last for life!


The two Latin classes have started a new year. For the first-and second-grade group the focus in September has been on learning basic vocabulary, especially words related to the Roman
family. The students have also learned to form and translate simple sentences using various forms of the verb “sum.” In the area of culture the class became familiar with maps of the Roman Empire and Italy.

In the third- and fourth-year class the emphasis has been on reviewing vocabulary first presented last spring. In addition, the group has investigated various aspects of ancient Roman food and
dining. The students helped construct a model of a Roman dining room, complete with Gumbius figures. Finally, the class participated in a banquet featuring foods from ancient Italy.