John’s Corner – August-September 2014 Newsletter

Cuyahoga Falls School

Summer flew by and this school year feels like it is flying by since September has come and gone. The beginning of the school year is always exciting. I love seeing old faces and welcoming new students and their families. This year’s starts with many new students and many young students but I am pleasantly surprised that the classroom is full of well behaved and eager learners. Line time is running smoothly. IMG_20140828_082906 After the students walk the line and sit for line time I see “criss cross applesauce” (legs folded in a pretzel), doopas on the line, safe hands and bubbles (hands folded in laps and ready to listen). I usually say in a “fake” mean voice “What is wrong with this picture!” And the children delightfully reply “NOTHING!” What a joy to see that in the first month of school. I want to thank Dana and Kathleen for everything they do. IMG_20140826_130804 (1) The first two weeks we went over ground rules such as walking in the classroom, having listening ears, keeping our hands and bodies to ourselves and treating the classroom (children, teachers and materials) with respect. We then delved into healthy habits. We now know why it is important to wash our hands and body, brush our teeth, exercise, and get enough sleep, and, eat right. IMG_20140902_094731 IMG_20140912_140501 Healthy eating was a good segway into the next week lesson which was food groups. We learned about grains and cereals, fruits and veggies, meat and protein, dairy and fats and sugars. We identified what foods were in each food group and how many servings to eat each day. IMG_20140929_132516 IMG_20140917_091808 We capped the month with learning the characteristics of and determining what is living. All living things reproduce or have babies, eat or take in nourishment, breathe or exchange gas, and grow. The students determined that I am living but my shoe is non living. Also, Kathleen and Dana are living but their walky talkies were non living. Our student teacher from the University of Akron presented a lesson of living and non living which kept the children engaged and happy. We determined that plants were living things since they met all the criterion. 20140930_101426 IMG_20140923_134559 Cultural Subjects We now can count 1 to 10 in eight different languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, German, and Greek). I wanted to add I do not make it to many concerts but I had the pleasure of seeing “Wilco” this month. A few reasons why I mention this is that the front man, Jeff Tweedy, lives across the street from my sister in Chicago. I talk to him every chance I get and he is a pretty cool guy. So if you ever want to play six degrees of separation from Jeff Tweedy I am your in. Also, he sent all of his children to Montessori school. Academic Enrichment Class: The elders of the school got a blast of geography this month. We learned what the seven continents were, where they are located, a few fun facts about each, and a few counties that are located in each continent. We moved on to the cardinal directions, identifying where the equator and prime meridian are located. The k-students learned the equator and prime meridian create sections called hemispheres. Of course we discovered what continents are in what hemispheres. Ending the month was learning what states are adjacent to our home state of Ohio. We learned where the states are located, what their nicknames are, and their abbreviation. We researched further the facts of Ohio. The “official” things. They are as follows The official Tree: buckeye, Bird: cardinal, Insect: lady bug, Flower: scarlet carnation, Fossil: trilobite, Drink: tomato juice, Rock and Roll song: Hang On Sloopy… O-H-I-O! We can count to ten in 10 different languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, German, Greek, Japanese, and Arabic w/ Lebanese dialect) Enrichment Corner: Welcome back Ms. Lisa! The school year is officially in full swing and the children here are Absorbent Minds are so happy to be in music class again. Ms. Lisa brought her friend Wilma the whale to help us remember musical terms for fast and slow. Lots of our returning friends remembered right away and our new friends caught on quickly. We learned how to work as a team playing five little monkeys, the hokey pokey, and I’m a little tea pot. Looking forward to a year of great music and fun times. IMG_20140909_092513 IMG_20140909_131836 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. IMG_20140918_131944 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. IMG_20140912_091533 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!


October 2014 Monthly Overview

Themes of the Week
(in addition to Montessori Work time)

 
10/06:     Reptiles
  • Introduction to reptiles, examples of reptiles
  • All reptiles are cold blooded, vertebrates (spine),
  • All reptiles have scales, lay eggs with hard shell
 Preschool lesson (afternoon): We will be learning different pumpkin facts and enjoying pumpkin themed crafts and activities.
 
10/13: Amphibians
  • Introduction to amphibians, examples of amphibians
  • Amphibians are cold blooded, live on land and water
  • All amphibians have soft, moist skin and are vertebrates (spine)
 Preschool lesson (afternoon): We will be learning different tastes of fall and enjoying fall themed crafts and activities.
 
10/20: Fish
  • Introduction to fish, examples of fish
  • All fish are cold blooded, live in water, most have scales
  • Fish are vertebrates, most have gills and fins
 Preschool lesson (afternoon): We will be learning different tastes of fall and enjoying fall themed crafts and activities.
 
10/27: Birds
  • Introduction to birds, examples of birds
  • All birds have feathers and are warm blooded
  • All birds are vertebrates, lay eggs with shells, have wings
  • Penguins are a birds that can’t fly
  • Halloween Party: Friday, October 31st
 Preschool lesson (afternoon): We will be learning the history of Halloween and enjoying Halloween themed crafts and activities.
 
 
Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
10/06: Gg
10/13: Hh
10/20: Ii
10/27: Jj
Rhyming Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
10/06: BID, did, hid, kid, lid, rid,                     
10/13: BIT, fit, hit, kit, lit, mit, pit, sit            
10/20: BIN, fin, kin, pin, sin, tin, win              
10/27: BIP, dip, hip, lip, nip, rip, sip, tip
 
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. 
  • Play “I Spy” with items beginning with the letter of the week, or find things around your home that begin with the letter of the week.
  • Go to the Zoo together, and talk about what each animal is? A Bird, A Mammal, Reptile, Amphibian, or Fish.
  • Read a book together about your child’s favorite animal!  Is it a Vertebrate or Invertebrate?  What are the babies called?