A Peek at Our Week | Ms. Courtney’s Classroom | Week of September 25th

Topic: Five Senses

This past week the children learned how our five senses help us understand and explore the world around us. Our five senses help us collect information about ourselves and our surroundings. They also learned to identify the five senses: hearing, tasting, smelling, touching and seeing.  We discovered that sometimes we use two or more senses at once; and how important it is for our senses to work together. The children had the opportunity to practice using their senses to determine properties of objects and distinguish them from one another.


Taste testing sweet, salty, bitter and sour foods.



Work Time

Tracing Name: This child is tracing her name in cursive. By doing this she is developing fine motor skills and coordination because her eyes and hands have to focus on the same thing in order to form each letter.
Color Box 2: This child is using her ability to discriminate and identify different colors in order to match them.
Pumpkin Scrubbing: This child is using many motor skills while also remembering the order and sequence of each action to successfully pumpkin scrub, which naturally leads to the development of concentration.
Floor Mopping: This child is mopping the classroom after lunch, doing this makes her more aware and willing to care for the classroom environment.
Spindle Box: This child is matching the correct quantity of spindles to each numeral symbol. She is also being introduced to the concept of zero and what its symbol looks like, while also seeing the natural sequence of the numerals.
Color Box 4: This child is grading different colors from lightest to the darkest, while also refining his sense of sight.
Tracing Tree Puzzle: This child is tracing and coloring the tree puzzle by doing this he is learning how to grip and hold a pencil correctly. It also helps refine his hand control to steady the pencil.
Pattern Peg Board: This child is reading the pattern control chart and creating the same pattern on the peg board. By doing this work she is gaining the skills needed to recognize and create patterns. This will not only help her determine patterns in math but also provide her with the needed pre-reading skills in language.
Cursive Chalkboard Writing: This child is practicing writing cursive letters on a chalkboard. She is developing multiple skills involving her eyes, arms, hands, memory, posture and body control.
Pyramid Puzzle: These students are matching the different colors together in order to create the pyramid shape. This puzzle involves not only the ability to concentrate but the ability problem solve.

Guest Reader (if you are interested in being a guest reader email me at cowens@themarterkids.com)


Picture Day Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Look into Next Week: Leaves

  • The students will observe the differences in leaf shape.
  • The students will observe the different Fall colors and the fun we can have with leaves.
  • The students will sort a variety of fall objects.
  • The students will learn different textures leaves have and identify them.


A Peek at our Week | Ms. Courtney | Week of September 18th

Topic: Feelings and emotions

This week the children learned what they can do when they are angry, happy, sad, frustrated, excited etc. They learned how to manage their feelings and emotions. The children practiced how to process, identify and appropriately express their emotions in different scenarios throughout the week. Towards the end of the week we started seeing them express their feelings and emotions to their friends on their own!

A fun activity we had together to help students learn how to express their emotions.

Work time

Tangrams: The student is completing the picture by moving and rotating different shapes.
Multiplication Board: The child is matching the numbered tiles to the corresponding location on the board, while also memorizing multiplication facts.
Sandpaper Numbers: This child is learning the symbols for the numbers through the sense of touch and sight.
Tying: This older child is presenting a lesson on how to tie a shoe to a younger student.

Guest Reader (if you or someone you know is interested please email me at cowens@thesmarterkids.com)


Friday, September 29th: Bring Your Parent to Work Time

You can sign up by following this link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b48a8a92da6f94-bring

A look into next week: Five Senses

The students will learn about their five senses and their parts of the body that correspond to each sense.

A peek into our Academic Enrichment for kindergartners | Tallmadge Campus

The past two weeks we have covered the Hemispheres and the Equator! We learned things like:

  • What are hemispheres? North/South/East/West hemispheres
  • What is the equator? Location of equator.
  • What is the prime meridian? Location of the prime meridian.
Cardinal direction game
Cursive hand writing
Continued extension
Identifying the cardinal directions and labeling the equator and prime meridian.

A look into next week: Bodies of water surrounding North America

  • Review Hemispheres/ Equator
  • Hudson Bay (N)
  • Atlantic Ocean (E)
  • Gulf of Mexico (S)
  • Pacific Ocean (W)


Kindergarten Reading Group
with Ms. Faith

In reading group we read a story about a crocodile who could do some amazing things. We learned about how to be ourselves, what it means to be proud, and what it means to be disappointed.

These kindergartners are drawing a scene from our first story, Cornelius. They had to draw the last scene where all the crocodiles were trying to stand on their heads.
One of the vocabulary words we learned about this week from Cornelius was proudly. Here the kindergartners had to act out Cornelius walking proudly back to the river beach.
The students had to come up with their own idea of what Cornelius was thinking when he went to go show the other crocodiles his new tricks. They drew a picture, wrote down their ideas and then shared with each other.

A look into next week’s Reading Group:

  • We will finish Cornelius activities
  • We will start Big Wolf and Small Wolf
  • We will learn more about how to ask questions





A Peek at Our Week | Ms. Courtney’s Class | Week of September 11th

Topic: Families

This past week we learned that we are all part of a family and that families are configured in different ways with many factors affecting them: married, divorce, adoption, remarriage, ethnic diversity, grandparents as primary care givers, single parents, foster care, etc. Through the students’ family trees they learned that there are different kinds of families since many parents divorce with the help of ma divorce lawyer and others remarry again. They also discovered all types of families love and care for each other, which is the most important thing about family!

In addition, pardon applies only to offenses against the laws of the jurisdiction of which the pardoning official is the chief executive. Thus the president may only pardon for violations of federal law, visit nationalpardon.org for more details. And governors may only pardon for violations of the laws of their states.


Guest Reader

Work Time

100 Board: These children are memorizing where the tiles should go and be placed on the 100 chart, while also learning to identify names of the numbers 1 through 100.


Knobbed Cylinders: The child is able to visually discriminate the dimensions of each cylinder to find its correct placement in the block.


Moveable Alphabet: The child is matching the symbol for each sound to label each object.


Rhyming Cards: The child is matching pictures that have or end with a sound that corresponds to another.


Pink Tower: The child is able to visually discriminate largest to smallest, while also refining their motor movements by placing the cubes one on top of the other with one single movement of the hand.



  • Ramseyer Farms field trip Friday, September 22nd
  • If you are interested in being a guest reader please email me at cowens@thesmarterkids.com
  • If you haven’t done so already please sign up for Bring Your Parent to Work Time  Friday, September 29th. You can sing up by following this link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b48a8a92da6f94-bring


A Peek into Next Week: Feelings and Emotions

The children will learn what they can do when they are angry, happy, sad, frustrated, excited etc. We will learn how to manage our feelings and emotions. The children will learn how to process, identify and appropriately express their emotions as much as possible and will learn how to express their feelings and emotions to their friends and why on their own.



A Peek at Our Week | Week of September 4th

This week was Community Helper Week! Thank you so much everyone who came in to speak this week about their careers, both the kids and I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day!

Police officer








Digital Marketer



A look into next week:
My Family

  • The students will have a discussion on the importance of families to each of us and the students will be able to identify one reason why their family is important to them.

Family trees due we will be presenting them Thursday, September 14th and Friday, September 15th


A Peek at our Week | Week of August 28th

During the first week of school we learned about: Ground Rules

  • Learning to greet others.
  • Learning to have conservations.
  • Learning to speak to others.
  • Learning to listen to others.
  • Learning to respond to others.
  • Learning to say please and thank you to others.
  • Learning to observe others.
  • Learning to respectfully interrupt.
  • Learning from others.
  • Learning to open door for someone else.
  • Learning to recognize situations in which to help others.
  • Passing in front of another respectfully.
  • Learning how to say excuse me


Fabric box:
in this work the children match the fabrics by touch.

Our words are like toothpaste: 
once we say something it is very hard to take back.


Number rods: in this work the children are matching the symbol and quantities.


Before you speak think and be smart. It is hard to fix a wrinkled heart.


Trinomial cube: in this work the child matches the pieces by color, the result is a cube.

United States puzzle: 
in this work the child is identifying and matching the states to their correct location.


This week we are focused on Community Helpers

  • The students will learn about police officers, fire fighters, mail carriers, soldiers, bakers, farmers, doctors, and teachers throughout the week. They will not only learn about these community helpers; they will also be able to explain in detail why each one is very important to our lives. If you are interested in coming in to talk about your career to the students please email me at cowens@thesmarterkids.com



Tallmadge Academic Enrichment – Kindergarten | Week of August 28th

This week kindergarten students are focused on learning about the continents, its location and fun facts about each continent. In these pictures they are creating their own continent map.


 Kindergarten students are also practicing writing cursive letters.


The children are identifying and labeling the continents together. 






A look into next week: Directions

  • Recap of Continents/Review of three countries in each Continent and fun facts!
  • North, South, East & West
  • Work on the directions using Continent Map

Ms. Courtney’s May-June 2017 Newsletter

Classroom News

We started off May talking about the Solar System. The children learned the positions of the planets and their relative sizes and distances. They had a blast using 3D models of the sun and planets to put in order. We talked about how the sun is the biggest star and why it is so important. We discussed the different phases of the moon and made a classroom book of the phases during group lesson.



The second week of May we talked about dinosaurs and what their habitats were like then the children compared and ordered the size of the different dinosaurs feet. They learned different physical attributes of dinosaurs and their names. The children demonstrated an understanding of herbivores, omnivores and carnivores.



The third week of May we talked about transportation the children quickly developed an understanding that transportation means to carry things from one place to another. We named all the different methods of transportation like plane, car, boat, bike, horse, train, bus, subway, helicopter etc. The children also had a blast making their own stoplight and playing red light green light.



The children really enjoyed the last week of May when we talked about sports. The children used their gross motor skills to march, skip, gallop etc. They learned how to engage in imaginative and creative play indoors and outdoors involving their friends. We played a lot of games that involved team effort and good sportsmanship or video games that involve competition as csgo, and they could get help from mycsgoboosting.com.



The first week of June we focused on summer games, activities, and experiments the children could do at home. We also talked a lot about summer safety rules while playing outside and playing with or in water. The children also practiced A LOT and setup for the talent show.

I hope everyone has a fabulous summer and I can’t wait to see all the smiling faces in the fall!


Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten

In kindergarten lesson we finished our work with grammar. We went over how interjections help a sentence show more emotions, and we went over when to use a . ? ! We then reviewed when we capitalize words in a sentence. We capitalize the beginning word of a sentence, proper nouns and “I”.



Reading Group | Kindergarten
By: Ms. Faith

In May, we finished a story about Timothy Town Mouse. It’s about a country mouse, Tommy who accidentally gets delivered with produce to a house in the city. He meets Timothy and his friends who live very differently than he does. Tommy gets home sick and doesn’t feel well from eating people’s scraps that have fallen on the floor. Timothy helps Tommy go back home, but is upset that Tommy didn’t want to stay. Timothy ends up visiting Tommy in the country, and doesn’t end up liking the country either. Even though the two mice are different and prefer different ways of living, they remain friends. After the readings, the kindergartners were able to act out a scene from the story, draw pictures of where they prefer to live, in the country or the city, and discussed why it’s ok to be friends with someone who likes different things than you. This was a great lesson for them to learn as they are getting ready to go into first grade and will be meeting new friends.
The next section we read together was poems called Companions. The poems were about friendship. We read about an adventure with Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin, and a young child and his shadow. One of the kindergartners favorite activities from this section was from the poem about the boy and his shadow. The poem talked about the shadow always being there and how sometimes it was big and sometimes it was tiny. So, we went outside and looked at our shadows on the sidewalk. They moved around and saw how their shadows might change or stay the same. Then, they had to draw how they like their shadow; either big, small, or not there at all. The kindergartners grew a lot with their comprehension skills and reading skills over the school year with the reading group. They were able to read the underlined portions on their own or with little help. Thank you parents for your support with reading with your child on the weekends and helping them grow as young readers.



Science Enrichment

In science we made balloon rockets using string, straws and balloons. The children loved watching the rockets move across the string. They learned that to make an object move one way, a force has to work in the opposite direction.




During grandparents day the grandparents did an experiment with their grandchildren blowing a balloon up using baking soda, vinegar and a water bottle. The children and grandparents learned that there is a chemical reaction between the base {baking soda} and the acid {vinegar}. When the two ingredients mix together a gas is produced known as carbon dioxide or CO2. As the gas tries to leave the water bottle, it goes up into the balloon inflating it.

Our last science experiment of the year was unpoppable bubbles using corn syrup, water and dish soap. An unpoppable bubble is amazing because most bubbles usually burst when they come in contact with just about anything. Most bubble’s worst enemies are oil, dirt, and gravity. A “super” bubble or unpoppable bubble will bounce off of a surface if the surface is free of oil or dirt particles that would normally cause a break in the thin soap film of the bubble.



Art Enrichment
By: Ms. Faith

This past month in art was inspired by spring. Ms. Michele had the students make paper flower sculptures. The students made a circle out of a strip of paper for the middle, and then made tear drop shapes for the petals. They could use a pattern with the colors, use warm colors, or cool colors. The flowers turned out beautiful with all the different patterns and colors the students used. The next spring inspired artwork came from butterflies. The students learned about symmetry and how to paint a butterfly with symmetry since butterflies are identical on each side. Ms. Michele had them paint with watercolors. The third week we painted Vincent Van Gogh inspired flowers in a vase. The students learned about his painting technique. Vincent painted with short squiggly paint strokes because he wanted it to seem like is art was moving and alive. Ms. Michele placed vases with flowers in the middle of the table, and had the students draw on paper first, and then she showed them how to paint like Van Gough, and had them return to their seats to paint. The paintings turned out looking just like Van Gogh’s painting called Sunflowers.

To end a wonderful year filled with art, Ms. Michele had a Claude Monet inspired artwork planned for the young artists. They looked at his painting called Bridge Over Pond of Water Lilies. They learned about Impressionism, which is what style Claude Monet used. Impressionism is the use of dabs or small brush strokes of unmixed colors to simulate the actual reflection of light. The students did a wonderful job of recreating the outdoor scene, and I can say I was quite “impressed”, pun intended. Thank you Ms. Michele for all of your hard work this year, and we hope you have a wonderful summer!



Music Enrichment
By: Ms. Faith

In music class during the month of May, Ms. Lisa reviewed many of the concepts that she taught throughout the year. She reviewed what staccato and legato mean, sang about having a choice for your behavior, sang about being kind, sang about telling the truth. We sang about saying please and thank you, and sang about forgiveness. We used different instruments like bells, tambourines, and maracas. Ms. Lisa taught the students a new song called Let the Sun Shine In, which brought back memories for me, because my mom sang it to me when I was their age, and while we sang the song the students learned movement with scarves. To end the last music class for the year, Ms. Lisa played the game Cat and Mouse with the group since this is always a favorite. Thank you Ms. Lisa for another great year full of music and fun!


Ms. Courtney’s April 2017 Newsletter


For most of the month of April we talked about the seven continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia. We learned that Africa, is where the elephants, giraffes and lions live. South America has tropical forests and one of the longest rivers in the world the Amazon River. North America is where we live. Europe and Asia are together on the map, but Australia is an island where the kangaroo and koala bear live. Last but not least Antarctica is way down below frozen and home to the penguins.

Our students worked hard learning about their country and songs to represent the continent of Asia and Australia.  What a great job they did at our International Festival! Thank you for all your support to help make this a great experience and event for our students.

The last week of April we celebrated earth day by focusing on the importance of taking care of the environment by recycling, reducing and reusing.





In kindergarten lesson we learned more parts of speech. We learned that a pronoun (I, me, he, she, herself, you, it, that, they, each, few, many, who, whoever, whose, someone, everybody, etc.) is a word that takes the place of a noun. That an adjective describes a noun. Adverbs describe verbs. That conjunctions connect two sentences or phrases acting like a bridge.


Reading Group
By: Ms. Faith

In kindergarten reading group, we started of the month of April by reading poems about nature.  The first poem was about fall, and pumpkins. The students had to guess what time of the year the author was describing, and it was Halloween. The students drew a picture of the last day of October, which is Halloween. The next poem was about the wind; how strong it can be, and how calm and quiet it can be. For this poem, the students decided whether they liked when the wind was strong or gently, and drew a picture of their choice. Then I reread the poem and they acted out the wind while I read. The last poem we read together was about seashells. I read the poem aloud first in English, then in its original language, Spanish. The students had to answer questions about how they thought the author was feeling in the poem. How did the author feel about the sea? Why does the speaker only think of small fish? At the end, the group drew a map of what they would see on the bottom of the ocean.




The next story we read is called Feraj and the Magic Lute. It’s an Arabian folktale about a man who steals a lute because he thinks it will give him good fortune. The kindergartners had to draw how the young man in the story felt when he heard the music of the magic lute. Then, they got to act out a scene from the story. I usually read it multiple times so each student can have a turn being each character. They also created a song like the magic lute played in the story. For the last activity, the kindergartners had to decide if Feraj was happy or sad at the end of the story. They drew a picture of him, and explained their answer. We just started The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse by Beatrix Potter, and will be finishing it in May.



Science Enrichment
For the first week of April we put vinegar, dish soap and glitter in a Ziploc bag then added some baking soda and shook it really hard. We watched the Ziploc bag fill up and expand with a gas (carbon dioxide) until it exploded.



The second week of April we learned about surface tension! We filled a pan with water and sprinkled pepper in, then we added a drop of dish soap, we were amazed to see the pepper shoot to the side of the pan when the soap hit the water. We discovered the soap shoots to the side when soap touches the water because the soap is able to break down the surface tension of water. As the soap moves into the water, and the surface tension changes the water molecules still try to keep the surface tension going. So, the water molecules pull back away from the soap, and end up carrying the pepper along with them.




For the last week of April we did a traveling water experiment by taping string to the inside of one cup and placing the other side of the string freely into another cup, then we poured the water down the string to transfer it between cups. We learned that water molecules aren’t just attracted to other water molecules, but are attracted to molecules of other objects, and so they tend to stick to things such as the string in this experiment.




Music  Enrichment
By: Ms. Faith

In April, Ms. Lisa focused on singing songs about our character. The students sang and did motions to songs about telling the truth, about cooperating, saying please and thank you, and about being kind. The students participated in partner dances, and even learned a new song from Africa called Roll and Rock. Ms. Lisa always incorporates gross motor movement into her lessons. She sang Have You Ever Seen a Lassy, and the students picked a movement, such as skipping, galloping, and hoping to move around during the song. Another activity Ms. Lisa had for the students was to review what Staccato and Legato mean. Staccato notes are short and jumpy, whereas Legato notes are smooth and long. The students were given a castanet and a scarf to walk around in a circle while listening to a song. When the music played Staccato notes, the students played their castanet and ran on their tiptoes. When the music played Legato notes, the students moved in slow flowing motions with their scarves. Thank you Ms. Lisa for sharing all of your instruments for us to learn!



Art Enrichment
By: Ms. Faith

Ms. Michele had students finish their wooden frames that they painted one color, or monochromatic. To finish their frames, they picked out objects and painted them the complimentary color of the color they chose for their frames. Once the paint was dry, the students glued it on the frame to create an abstract piece of art. These pieces are hanging up on the bulletin board for your enjoyment! The next week, Ms. Michele introduced Pablo Picasso to the students. Pablo Picasso is known for his Cubism art works. He wanted to draw facial features from different angles and that is why the features on his people look different. To create their own Cubism inspired art works, Ms. Michele printed out pictures of facial features for the students to cut out and glue onto faces. Some of them had two noses, an eye looking sideways, and an eye looking forward. The students let their creativity flow, and created some great Picasso style faces.  To close up the month of April, Ms. Michele reviewed the color wheel with the class. They reviewed warm and cool colors, primary colors, secondary colors, and complimentary colors.  The young artists drew an owl using different shapes, and they had to use primary and secondary colors to fill in the shapes. After the owls were finished, the students drew details on their pages like a branch for the owl to sit on, or the moon in the background. We always look forward to what Ms. Michele has planned for art each month. Thank you for your hard work Ms. Michele!



May-June 2017 Academic Enrichment Overview | Tallmadge Campus

May/June 2017 Academic Enrichment Overview | Tallmadge Campus
Our Academic Enrichment time is daily from 12:00-1:00pm. This time is specifically designed for our Kindergarten students to join as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum with Ms. Courtney. During this time Ms. Courtney also gives additional handwriting and journaling lessons. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teachers on these and other materials at their level. Please read through what we will be covering during this time together below.

Reading Group Overview
Junior Great Books is a foundational reading program that introduces students to a variety of literary genres, while teaching critical thinking and comprehension skills. Our Kindergarten students meet twice a week as a small reading group. During this time, they listen to a story being read to them and take turns reading the story aloud. Students pause during readings to think critically about the story, identify the different parts of the story, such as the characters and main ideas, make predictions about what might happen next, and learn new vocabulary words, using the context to understand the meaning. Each week I will email information about the current story and any assignment information for at home work.

5/01: Introduction to prepositions

  • Rules of the prepositions
  • Worksheets, practicing with prepositions

5/08: Introduction to interjections

  • Rules of the interjections
  • Worksheets, practicing with interjections

5/15:  Introduction to punctuation (end of a Sentence)

  • Rules of the punctuation
  • Worksheets, diagramming sentences

5/22: Introduction to capitalization

  • Rules of capitalization
  • Worksheets, practicing our capitalization

5/29:  Review of the year

  • Telling time, landforms
  • Coins, paper money
  • Mathematical operations
  • Geography

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.

Vowels A E I O U

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

5/01: Some

5/08:  Time

5/15: Write

5/22: People

5/29: Many

Synonym Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

5/01: UNDER, below, beneath, underneath

5/08: QUICK, fast, swift, rapid, speedy, hasty

5/15: NEAT, tidy, clean, arranged, well-ordered

5/22: LOOK, see, glance, stare, gaze

5/29: FUNNY, silly, playful, crazy, foolish

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:

  • Look for our words of the week when reading a story, cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
  • Practice using the different synonyms of the week in a sentence together.
  • Practice identifying different parts of speech when reading together.

I will be sending homework home to reinforce these lessons. Please turn homework into Ms. Courtney. Please email me if you have any questions:  cowens@thesmarterkids.com