Ms. Courtney’s January 2015 Newsletter

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Classroom

We kicked off January by talking about polar animals. The children enjoyed making fake snow out of hair conditioner and baking soda and playing in it to build snowmen, igloo’s and snowballs. The students also enjoyed waddling around the classroom like penguins.

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The second week in January we learned all about ocean animals. We learned about things that exist in an ocean habitat like sand, small shells, smooth stones, seaweed, coral etc.

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After having Martin Luther King Jr. Day off we talked about how he was a hero because he was brave and honest (noble). We shared who are heroes are and who we’d like to be like someday with the most popular answers being either Mom or Dad. We discussed how MLK made a speech and worked hard toward peace because back then people were treated badly if they did not have the same color skin. Each child made a picture of what their dream was and wrote about it to create a class book for the library.

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The last week in January we took an imaginary trip to the zoo and sang all about the tigers, lions, chimpanzees, kangaroos etc. Some of our friends even invited their favorite zoo stuffed animals to school to spend the day with them during work time, line time, recess, lunch and snack.

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Kindergarten

The kindergarteners have been working so hard on their journals. I hope you enjoyed the ones they brought home! They also started practicing writing in cursive. I can’t believe how they cruised through learning addition and multiplication with the golden beads. We have even been working on more abstract materials like the stamp game and dot board to solve our problems.

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Science

For the first week of January we were curious to see what salt would do to ice so we froze a block of ice. Then took turns placing spoonful’s of salt onto the ice. It was interesting to watch the salt create holes in the ice. After the holes were created we took turns dripping primary food colors into the holes and the colors mixed together to form new colors.

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We made waves in the bottle and discovered that on our planet waves happen when our earth spins on its axis and water is pulled by gravity across the geological formations of the ocean floor. When we moved the bottle we got to see the energy move through the water to make waves, just like out in the deep blue sea!

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For science we also took two eggs one white the other brown that have not been cooked and compared their similarities and differences on the outside and took a guess as to whether they will be the same or different on the inside. We determined even though different on the outside, they were the same on the inside, just like people!

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Milk goes great with a lot of things: cereal, cookies, cake, and pie. So we decided to mix it with a bottle of coke. The milk and coke separated when the phosphoric acid molecules attached to the molecules of the milk which increased the density and separated them from the rest of the liquid. The remaining liquids had less density than the phosphoric acid and milk molecules so they float on top.

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Enrichments by Ms. Faith

Art 

For three weeks of January the students worked to create an imaginary creature with Ms. Michele. This project is always enjoyed by the students and brings more whimsy into the classroom. To start the lesson, Ms. Michele talked to the group about mythical creatures and showed some examples of artists’ renditions of the creatures. After this, each child got to pick three pictures of animals and had to choose one part of each of the animals to use in drawing a new creature. The next week, the students then got to create an armature out of foil, which is the base structure for their sculpture. Once the armature was in place, the young artists formed clay around the foil and the creatures began to come to life. After the clay animals were baked, the class got to paint their creatures. The students loved making up their own creature and letting their creativity soar. To end the month, Ms. Michele started a new series where each week she will introduce a new artist and we will complete an artwork in the style of the individual. The first artist we learned about was Claude Monet, who is very well known for the Surrealism movement. Surrealism style is soft and blurry, which some believe to be caused by Monet having poor eyesight. To recreate this style, Ms. Michele had the students use their fingertips to make dots of different colored paint all over a piece of paper. Once the colors were blended together by their fingerprints, it created a blurrier look just like Claude’s. We are all in suspense to find out who the next artist Ms. Michele will introduce us to next week!

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Music 

This past month in music class, Ms. Lisa shared the story of Peter and the Wolf by Sergi Prokofiev. The story is a musical symphony that was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow in 1936. Each character in the story is represented by a different instrument; the flute is used to copy the sound of the bird, the cat is represented by the slinking sound of the clarinet, the oboe plays a smooth sound that reminds the listener of the duck swimming gracefully on the water, the character of Peter’s grandfather has a bassoon which plays low and slow notes, and the hunters’ melody is loud and in a marching tempo with the woodwind instruments and timpani drums. Now the villain of the story, the wolf, has a sharp sneaky song that is played with the French horn, and last but not least, Peter, who is the hero, has the stringed instruments to play his triumphant and heroic theme. The students enjoyed the story and learning about the different instruments and their sounds. I was amazed at how well the children could recall which instrument played for the different characters each week. Peter and the Wolf is a very exciting symphony, which captivated the students’ attention and was able to expose the group to many different instruments.

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December 2014 Newsletter

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Classroom

December was filled with many fun winter and Christmas activities. We started the month off with focusing on practicing our songs for the Christmas program. The students worked very hard to memorize the lyrics and to get the motions down just right.

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The kids created a winter scene by gluing red and green tissue paper on construction paper and cutting Christmas tree shapes out, then painting another piece of construction paper with blue water color, and lastly glued on the trees to complete the scene. We also made Rudolf pictures by tracing the students’ hands for the antlers and feet for the face, and then we added a red nose and eyes to complete the reindeer. The students also made a winter scene snow globe out of paper plates and sandwich bags. The kids really enjoyed making reindeer food to leave out on Christmas Eve to give the reindeers energy to fly Santa around. They also made popsicle stick Christmas tree ornaments and sock snowmen to put in their gift bags to parents for the night of the Christmas show. We all enjoyed the students’ show and tell items and they enjoyed sharing with the class.

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The children especially had fun wearing their pajamas to school and watching classic Christmas movies like The Grinch, Frosty, and Rudolph. The kids did an amazing job at the Christmas program and were the cutest cowboys and cowgirls! I hope everyone has a wonderful break and a Merry Christmas! See you next year!

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Kindergarten

The kindergarteners worked hard on their journals and learned how to measure in inches and centimeters using a ruler and tape measure. They have been measuring many different objects in the classroom including their teachers and recording it.

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They also enjoyed the holiday season by making many holiday treats to share with their friends like rice krispy treats and sugar cookies.

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Science

Our fist science experiment for December was a gross spit experiment. We crumbled an unsalted cracker on one plate and then took a second cracker and chewed it really well to get it nice and mushy. Then we had to do the gross part and spit the chewed up cracker onto the second plate. After that we put a drop or two of iodine on both crackers. We discovered that digestion begins in our mouths because the iodine only turned black with the chewed up cracker because it reacted with the starch.

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The second week of December we did a floating paperclip experiment and learned about surface tension. We overfilled a cup without water spilling out and the surface tension of water was strong enough to support a paperclip! Then we put soap into the water which disrupted the order of the water molecules. The kids had many questions like how is the water keeping the paperclip from sinking? How big of a paperclip can we float? Can we float another paperclip on the water after we add the soap? How many paperclips can we float at a time?

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Music (By: Ms. Faith)

During the month of December, Ms. Lisa had many fun Christmas activities for the students. The class got to sing Christmas carols such as Away in the Manger, Jingle Bells, and Deck the Halls. Ms. Lisa played a fun game called Freeze Dance where she played Jingle Bell Rock and when the music stopped, the students had to freeze in a silly way. We also got to learn Feliz Navidad and played Castanets along with the music. The students loved singing Christmas music with our wonderful music teacher. Thank you Ms. Lisa for another great month of music class!

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Art (By: Ms. Faith)

Ms. Michele prepared some great art projects for our students. The first project we learned how to use a technique called resist. To complete the project, the class got to draw different geometric shapes on a piece of paper with oil pastels and then painted over their drawings with liquid water colors. The watercolor did not cover up the drawings because of the oils in the oil pastels. Ms. Michele also introduced the young artists to Pablo Picasso who is known for the art movement Cubism. We looked at a few portraits Picasso painted and made observations on the different shapes and colors he used. The students then used different shapes cut out of construction paper to create a self-portrait. Each project came out different and unique. It’s always a joy to see the creativity Ms. Michele brings out of the students!

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Ms. Courtney’s Corner – October 2014 Newsletter

Tallmadge Preschool

 

Primary Room

During the month of October the class learned about all the changes that happen during the beautiful Fall season.  For the first week we discussed leaves, how and why they change, and different types of leaves.  The kids also enjoyed collecting their own leafs for leaf rubbing.

 

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The second week of October the students learned about apples.  They got to taste test three different types of apples and vote on what was their favorite kind.  We discovered what the inside of an apple looks like and how they grow.  Some of the students even brought home beautiful paintings using apples as stamps.

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Next, the class learned all about pumpkins.  We were able to explore the inside of what pumpkins look like by digging out the insides to separate the seeds from the pulp. The next day, the class was able to try the seeds they cleaned out of the pumpkin after they had been baked and even sampled some of the actual meat of the pumpkin cooked.

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The final week of October we turned our attention to bats.  We learned about different types of bats and even found out that there is a bat that is as small as a bumblebee! The class discovered how and where bats sleep and that they find their food through echolocation.

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I wanted to thank all the parents who helped out with the Halloween party.  It was definitely a success, and the kids enjoyed all of the crafts, games, and delicious food. We could not have had a more successful party!

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Kindergarten

During Kindergarten Lesson, students learned about landforms.  Ask them what the definition of a lake, island, bay, peninsula, gulf, harbor, cape, isthmus, straight, chain of lakes, and archipelago.  We went over telling time to the hour, half past, and quarter after. They also have been working hard and doing a great job on their journals.

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Science

Over the past month, the students have been learning about the science behind the changes we see during fall.  We found out that the leaves change color because they are not receiving enough chlorophyll to keep their color green.  The students also learned the life cycle of apples, pumpkins, and bats. We also enjoyed a couple science experiments such as an oozing jack-o-lantern when we mixed hydrogen peroxide with water and yeast. The students also made water crystals mixing colored water with ­­­­­­­­­polyacrylamide.

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Music

During October Ms. Lisa brought in some fun instruments and musical terms for our class. The students learned how to sing in either a piano, which means soft, or forte, which means loud, voice. She also had the students practice their hi and low voices. The instruments the students experienced were egg shakers, rhythm sticks, tambourines, and castanets. They continued to learn about the different notes and this month Ms. Lisa had the students lead clapping out the notes Some of the songs Ms. Lisa sang with the students were, “Grand Old Flag”, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”, “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”, and “The ABC’s”. An activity the children got to participate in was a ball toss game while listening to “London Bridge”. Students had to wait to pass the ball if the singing stopped and then when the singing came back on they could start passing again. This helps to develop listening skills while having fun! Thank you again Ms. Lisa for another great month of music!

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Art

Ms. Michele finished up her unit on What is Art by talking to the students about sculptures. They were able to create their own sculpture out of random objects from home and painted them all one color, which we learned the art term is monochromatic. During this lesson, Ms. Michele also introduced complimentary colors, and the students had to pick out other objects that were complimentary to the paint color they chose for their sculpture. After this project was completed, we started a new unit called What I See. The children will have to draw and paint objects that are in front of them. We started off by picking a picture of a flower, studying it, and drawing a detailed picture using oil pastels, markers, water, and paint brushes. The next week, Ms. Michele brought in some fun toys to set in front of the class and they got to dig into many different art supplies including, oil pastels, markers, colored pencils, and crayons to draw the toys. We can’t wait to see what Ms. Michele has in store for us next month!

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Courtney’s Corner – August-September Newsletter

Tallmadge School

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We started off our school year focusing on grace and courtesy to teach and fulfill our student’s innate need for order. Every student has a need to know and to absorb the social structures in order to be

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more at ease in their environment. Grace and courtesy lessons give the student the vocabulary, actions, and steps required for them to build their awareness and responsiveness of those around them. We worked on walking in the classroom, using our inside voices while in the school building, using kind words to one another, using safe hands, how to clean up our area when we are done working and how to use our words to express our feelings.

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The third week of school we talked and learned about community helpers. We had many of volunteer community helpers come into the classroom and talk to the children. They briefly described their occupation, by talking about where they work, what they wear, tools they use, and tasks they perform. I would like to thank all of the volunteers who came into the classroom! It was a wonderful learning experience for both the students and myself! The fourth week of school we discussed families and the students shared their family trees with their friends. Their family trees included their name, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The students also brought pictures of their families either on the family tree or hard copies for the children to share with their friends. The children enjoyed learning more about their friends and where they came from. It was great to see the students discover the differences and similarities in all of the families and accept every family for who they are.   We ended the month of September talking about feelings and emotions. The students brainstormed things they could do when they were angry, happy, sad, frustrated, and excited. Then they discussed with one another whether the reaction they came up with was a good choice or a bad choice. The students did a great job learning how to manage their emotions. We role played how to process, identify and appropriately express their emotions as much as possible. After a few days of talking about feeling and emotions it was great to hear the students tell their friends what they were feeling and why on their own.

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Kindergarten

We kicked off Kindergarten with a lot Geography. The students learned about the seven continents, fun facts about the continents, and a few countries in each continent. The students became very familiar with the cardinal directions, the equator, the prime meridian, and the hemispheres. We took a look at our home state of Ohio and the surrounding states (their abbreviation and nickname). Make sure you ask your child all about Ohio! They will be able to tell you that the cardinal is the official bird, scarlet carnation the official flower, lady bug is the official insect, and tomato juice is the official drink. They learned how we are the buckeye state and that the official rock and roll song is Hang on Sloopy.

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Art

The first month of school flew by, and the students have already learned so much in art class with Ms. Michele. Her first unit of study is “What is Art?” We learned what an artist is and what they do. The children will get to explore the color wheel and art terms. They will be learning key art rules and how to use the art materials.

Ms. Michele kicked off her unit with a project called “My Favorite Animal” inspired by Eric Carle. She read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and then discussed the techniques Mr. Carle uses in his illustrations. He uses overlapping colors of tissue paper to create the wonderful pictures in his books. The students then made textured rubbings on tissue paper and glued them together on a piece of paper to create their favorite animal.

The next concept the students learned was about primary colors. They learned that these colors are blue, red, and yellow. These colors can be mixed together to create other colors. The project for the second week was “My House.” Ms. Michele was inspired by Piet Mondrian’s “Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow” due to his use of the three primary colors. The students mapped out their house using black Popsicle sticks to create the same shapes that Mondrian used in his art piece, and red, yellow, and blue paint.

Our last lesson of the month was entitled “The Best Playground Ever.” Ms. Michele showed the students pictures of different playgrounds. One was a typical playground we see in our neighborhoods, one was made completely out of nets, and the last one was shaped like a whale. The students discussed the different shapes and lines of the equipment and discovered that art isn’t just flat. They were then allowed to create their own playground by twisting, bending, crimping, and rolling pieces of paper and then gluing them to a base.

We all want to thank Ms. Michele for bringing in her wonderful, creative ideas and are excited to learn more next month!

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Science

For our first science experiment of the year the students learned how liquids like water and milk have a property known as surface tension. We used soap, milk, and food coloring to experiment with reducing the surface tension to see what would happen. The students first put food coloring in the milk and noticed that the drops of food coloring just sat on the surface where we placed them in the milk. We discovered that is because food coloring is less dense than milk, so it floats on the surface, and the colors do not mix because we didn’t stir the milk. Then the students wanted to see some action so we added a drop of soap. The soap reduced the surface tension of the milk by dissolving the fat molecules and the food coloring started to move with the surface!

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Music

“It’s music time today. Time to sing and play. It’s lots of fun to sing and learn. It’s music time today.” The students have learned that this song is true for music class with Ms. Lisa. At the start of every music class, Ms. Lisa sings this with the students to get them excited and ready to learn. Our returning students were so thrilled to start music class and our new students have found out what a joy it is to spend time with Ms. Lisa.

During this past month, the children met our wonderful music teacher, Ms. Lisa and were introduced to many musical concepts. They have experienced how to use rhythm sticks, egg shakers, and tambourines. The class learned what a whole, half, quarter, and eighth note look like and how many beats each one receives. Ms. Lisa also shared with us some fun classics, such as “London Bridge,” “The ABC’s,” “The Hokey Pokey,” and “I’m a Little Tea Pot.” The students always enjoy having Ms. Lisa come each week and we can’t wait to learn more next month!

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