January 2015 Newsletter

The winter months are flying by and hopefully spring will be upon us soon! This month the children have been enjoying our different themes and working hard on all of the works and our different practical life activities!

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For the first week the children learned about whales. I introduced a whale book to them and then we started a chart called a “KWL” which stands for “What We Know, What We Want to Know and What We Learned.” It always amazes me how much information the children already know about a particular subject and the questions they come up with during lessons. They are fantastic questions! Some of the questions the children wanted to know were, “How far can they swim? What are some of the things whales eat? How many babies can they have? How long are whales?” At the end of the week we had a discussion about everything we learned. For example, the Blue Whale is the largest whale and is as  long as a football field. And the humpback is as long as a basketball court! The children also learned about the whales’ blowholes and how they have one baby who stays with the mom for up to a year.

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During that week the children did two science experiments. The first one was about how such a heavy animal like a whale could stay afloat. This activity reinforced how salt water is more dense than fresh and helps objects stay afloat. The second activity was all about blubber. We took two zip lock bags and filled one with lard and covered that with the second bag. The children then stuck their hand inside the bag and dipped it into ice-cold water. The children noticed that their hand never got cold. We discussed what blubber is and what it does for animals. The last day we discussed the different types of whales such as the Toothed Whale, Baleen Whale, the Blue Whale, and the Humpback.

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The second week sparked a lot of interest in the children. We learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The first activity we did was called “Being Treated Equally.” Now, before I lead any type of discussion I passed out a snack to just the boys. I then started reading the book, Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King. All through the book the girls were wondering why I wasn’t giving them any snack, and a few became upset. I didn’t explain to them why I did what I did until the story was over. I then asked the girls how they felt not receiving a snack. Sophia said, “I really felt left out.” Another child yelled out, “I felt mad when you didn’t give us anything!” I then talked about how at one point in our country’s past, African Americans were not able to do the same things that white people were able to do and further explained that this is how they felt. I then shared that a man named Martin Luther King changed all of this! I loved this activity because I think it really got the children interested in who he was and how things were back then.

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The second activity was called, “We’re all the same on the inside.” This was a simple exercise on how we can look different on the outside, yet are the same on the inside. I first showed the children a brown egg and then a white egg. I asked them to describe what they saw. I then asked what they think each egg will look like on the inside. Almost all of them said the brown egg would be brown in the inside. I then cracked open both and the children were amazed to see that both eggs looked the same. After the activity we talked about how all of us look different but we think and feel the same things on the inside! It was an awesome activity!! The next day we discussed Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement. We also listened to a song called “We Shall Overcome,” a powerful song about what Martin Luther King wanted for himself and others.

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We also did a fun project called “I have a dream hand-prints.” The children dipped one hand in brown paint and the other in pink paint and then made prints looking like two people who are holding hands. We then placed a heart in the middle of the hand-print. Afterwards the children wrote down the dreams that they have. On the last day I showed a clip of the “I Have a Dream” speech. After the speech we discussed what was said and what he wanted in life. It was a powerful week!

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The third week we discussed Alaska and different types of Polar animals. The first day I came in dressed in my winter coat, boots, mittens, flashlight, a protein bar, a polar bear stuffed animal, and a map. I then had the children to guess my destination. I was going to Alaska! I showed the children a map and showed them where Alaska was located. I then provided Alaska coloring pages for the children to color while I read them a book about Alaska. Throughout the week the children learned fun facts about polar bears, walruses, and seals. The children learned that a walruses’ tusk are made out of ivory and are about two to three feet long.

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The last week was all about Penguins. The first day each child had to pick an animal name card and keep it a secret. Once everyone had a name card they were able to walk around the room and make their specific animal sound. Once the child found their partner that was making the same sound they had to stand next to each other and be silent. Once everyone found their partner, I explained to them that in order for penguins to find their partner among hundreds of other penguins they must call for each other and locate them by their sound. Throughout the week the children learned that the Emperor Penguin is the biggest penguin and is about the size of a six year old! They also learned that they form groups called Rookeries and that they only lay two eggs except for the Emperor that lays only one. We also talked about molting, why they fly, how they swim, incubation, and how the male penguin pretty much looks after the egg while the female is gone for two months hunting for food. The children loved learning about penguins! I hope everyone stays nice and warm and we will see you in February!!!

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Ashley’s corner

Music

The month of January was a fun packed month with learning about different instruments through the story of Peter And The Wolf. The children had an opportunity to listen to all the instruments while connecting them to the different animals in the story. They loved hearing all the beautiful sounds put into a exciting action packed story.  The children loved hearing the entire story put together and enjoyed the happy ending.

Art

This month in Art class was based on using their imagination and making their own mystical imaginary creatures. Ms. Michelle talked a lot about a famous artist that goes by the name of Yoko D’ Holbachie. He loved to take different animals and turn them into a mythological creatures. This art project was intended for the children to dig deep and use their imagination to make their own creature. They first painted their creature, then sculpted it with clay and finally painted it. It was so neat to see their great ideas used to make such an awesome piece of art!

Science

In Science class this month, Mr. John conducted a fun experiment using a diaper! First he displayed 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 to form their hypothesis and determine if they thought the water would stay in the paper towel if he turned the measuring up upside down over his head. 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 water over top of the diaper. Did the water stay or pour out onto Mr. John’s head? It stayed! The diaper has a special chemical that absorbs and holds water.  After this demonstration it allowed Mr. John to explain to his scientists the properties of absorption.


December 2014 newsletter

I love this time of year! The pretty lights, fun music, everyone smiling, and the children full of excitement!! Even though we were only in school for just a few short weeks the children were busy getting ready for our annual holiday program, making fun holiday crafts, and enjoying the hustle and bustle of the classroom! Throughout the month of December our class had fun learning about how children and their families celebrate Christmas from around the world! The first country we talked about was Mexico. We began by reading the story The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie de Paola, and then created our own poinsettia craft out of paint, glitter, markers, and grocery bags. For preschool lesson, Ms. Ashley had the children make Ojos de Dios, which are Christmas ornaments made with yarn. The second country we visited was Germany. The children learned that the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree originated from Germany and that the trees were decorated with candles, apples, and spiced cookies. The children them created their own tree by dipping a toilet paper roll into paint and making prints onto paper. They also used glitter, colored paint, and stickers to decorate their tree. The children also had a blast with Ms. Ashley making and decorating gingerbread cookies!

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“ Joyeux Noel” is how you say Merry Christmas in French. In France, the traditional Christmas Eve meal, Le Reveillon, means “ waking up” and includes many courses of food. The children created their own Le Reveillon menu out of magazines. They cut out foods that they would like to eat on Christmas eve night, pasted them on a folded menu they created and labeled what they glued on. They turned out fantastic! The following country we had fun with was Italy. The children had a blast doing the traditional Italian art of curling paper called Quilling. They learned that the Italians created beautiful quilled ornaments to decorate their ceppos, which is a small triangular ladder. The last country was England. The children thought it was so funny that after children wrote their letters to Santa they then threw them into the fireplace hoping that they would go up the chimney so that all their wishes would come true. I then explained to them that an English tradition included caroling from house to house and that the families would come in for Wassail. The children had fun combining cranberry juice and apple juice together and sprinkling a little cinnamon on top and going from classroom to classroom singing Christmas songs!

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The children really loved learning about the different traditions. They couldn’t believe how people in different countries celebrated Christmas. Throughout December our class made different holiday crafts, gingerbread houses, and playing different games from around the world. The last week before our break our theme was all about giving not receiving. The children did different acts of kindness throughout the last week. The children constructed a “lovie” for children’s hospital, wrote letters to a nursing home. Learned about donating and what it means to give. I really enjoyed seeing the children grasp the concept of giving.

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I hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday! See you in the new year!

 

Ashley’s Corner 

Music class in December was filled with a lot of fun songs and dances with Ms. Lisa. She got all of the kids into the Holiday joy of what the season brings. They sang a Varity of interactive and fun Christmas songs, such asFeliz Navidad, Jingle Bells and many others. Ms.Lisa also went over the different music notes that are used when we sing our songs. Their faces were filled with joy as they sang along. I can’t wait to see what next month of music will bring.

Our scientists had a favorite experiment this month! Mr. John made Green Goo with the kids in a fun filled science experiment. The kids got to help Mr. John pour in the ingredients (glue, Borax, green dye and water) into a bowl and watched the magic happen. The were amazed by how the mixture turned into a slimy substance that they called Goo. The kids were so excited and some kind of grossed out by the slimy green goo. Each child got to take their own bag of Goo home and enjoy it with Mom and Dad. What a fun science class we had!

Art class has been so much fun learning about many new artists this month. They learned about Kandinsky and his Concentric Circles and Pablo Picasso and his portrait of Dora Maar. The kids were able to use their own amazing creativity in drawing self portraits and had a chance to use pastels and paint. Our students are really learning a lot of their creativity and how each students art is different in a wonderful way, just they are as a person. These little artists are really starting to shine!


Ms. Kate’s Corner – October 2014 Newsletter

Cuyahoga Falls Preschool

I can’t believe how fast the month of October went by. Our class was super busy this month learning about apples, being on the farm, all about leaves and chlorophyll, the life cycle of the pumpkin, and the history of Halloween. We also had an amazing Halloween party!

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The first week I began by showing the children a variety of apples such as the granny smith, golden delicious, and the red delicious. The children were able to feel and smell the different apples and then we grouped the apples by size and color. Throughout the week I introduced Johnny Appleseed. We discussed how he was a pioneer who traveled throughput the American frontier by planting apple seeds. We also discussed how he helped people along the way. The children really loved talking about him as they continued to ask questions about him throughout the week! The next day we created a chart from seed to apple: The life cycle of an apple. I started out by cutting an apple in half and showing the children the seeds, which are called pips, the core of the apple, the flesh, and the leaves. The children were able to pass around the apple so they were able to see the different parts of the apple. We then drew the inside of the apple and labeled the different parts. We also had a blast making apple prints and other apple projects with Ms. Ashley! On the last day we had an apple taste test. The children tasted ten different types of apples and then we graphed the ones we liked best. The Gala apple won!

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The following week was all about the farm! We started out by discussing the different types of animals that you would find on a farm. We also had an exciting time discussing the different foods that you would see in a grocery store that came from a farm. Throughout our week we talked about the different machines that the farmers use on a daily basis and their purpose. The last two days we talked about the life of a farmer. The children loved hearing about how the farmer has to wake up when it is still dark outside just so s/he can get all of their farm chores done before the day is done. We also had fun with farm songs and finder plays!

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The third week was all about fall! The children had so much fun with one of our student teachers who read them a book all about the different colored leaves they would find outside. The children then were able to do leaf rubbings on those leaves they read about. At the beginning of the week I read the book Leaves Leaves Leaves! By Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. We then talked about the four seasons and what happens to the leaves at each season. I then asked what they thought Chlorophyll was. Ainsley shouted out “ It makes the leaves green!” I explained to them that Ainsley was right it does keep the leaves green. I also explained to them that when our days get colder and shorter the chlorophyll exits the leaves and the green goes away and the color starts to show. The children enjoyed discussing that so much that they wanted to review it all week! Lastly, we went on a nature walk where the children were able to collect different leaves and then lead a discussion about the different types of leaves they found. It was a super fun week!

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Lastly, our theme was pumpkins! This week we created a chart of the life cycle of the pumpkin. The pictures showed that first you have to plant the seed. Then the seed turns into the seedling, and then the seedling turns into a huge vine that can be big as a house! Then a flower grows onto the vine. On the bottom of the flower a pumpkin starts to appear. The pumpkin starts out green, then yellow, then light orange, and then finally orange. The following day the children used their 5 senses and language to observe and communicate about a pumpkin. The children were able to touch, look at, smell, weigh, and measure the pumpkin. After they did this I charted their thoughts and comments. The next day I asked the children what they thought the inside of a pumpkin looks like inside. After our discussion I cut open the pumpkin and had the children use their senses to explore the pumpkin. After I removed the pulp we weighed the pumpkin so we could compare the weight from before we gutted it. On our last day we did a sink and float activity. The children created a graph with paper pumpkins. If they thought the pumpkin would sink they placed the pumpkin in the correct category and same if they thought the pumpkin would float. We placed the pumpkin in a tub of water and the pumpkin floated!! We then discussed the concept of buoyancy.

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At the end of our month we had a wonderful Halloween party. A big thanks to all of the parents that helped out with all of the food, activities, and such wonderful helping hands!

Ashley’s Enrichment Corner:

This month of school flew by and the kids have had so much fun in their enrichment activities. They have learned so much.

In Art class Ms. Michele taught her students more about their primary colors and color matching. The first week the children used primary colors to make shapes out of popsicle sticks and painted inside of them. The second week the students got to make a animal tissue paper collage with different textures and worked hard on cutting and gluing them on the paper. The third week the children got to use their imagination and made a cool 3D art project and paper. Then week four the children were excited to take objects from their home they gathered up to make an amazing art project using popsicle sticks and using what they had learned about complementary colors.

In Science class, Mr. John and the kids had so much fun getting their hands on experience with his amazing experiments. The first experiment was oil and water. Mr. John showed how oil and water separate themselves from each other because water was more dense then oil. Students discovered no matter how much they shook the two together they will never mix. They thought it was amazing. Then the next experiment was The Ketchup Submarine. Mr. John poured water into a bottle and made sure it was completely full and then dropped a ketchup packet into the water and closed the lid. When he squeezed the bottle the packet would sink and when he let go it would float. This experiment displayed that when water was squeezed it would create an air bubble that would help the packet travel down to the bottom and came back up when released because the ketchup was less dense then the water.

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Music class was so much fun this month. Students get excited when they begin with their favorite song ” Its Music Time Today”. They have learned many knew songs such as ” I’m a little teapot” and “ABC.”  They love to play many instruments such as, tambourines, shakers and rhythm sticks to all their favorite songs. Ms. Lisa is starting to talk to our students about different music notes, and the children each get a turn in front of class and clap the note they are learning about. The kids love Ms. Lisa and get so excited for every music class!


Kate’s Corner – August-September Newsletter 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

Welcome back everyone! I can’t believe how fast summer flew by and the new school year is in session again. Thanks so much for those who came to “Meet the Teacher Night.” It was wonderful seeing the returning students and parents and meeting all of our new families. The first month was filled with lessons on respect, friendship, family, and all about ourselves.

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The first week the classroom was full of laughter and excitement. During our line time we discussed the rules of the classroom: that we will always respect each other, we will try our best, we are a team, we learn from our mistakes, we create, and we will always celebrate each others successes.

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Throughout this month the children have been praising one another during work time and helping each other when they see someone using a work the wrong way. It has been a pleasure seeing and hearing the children remembering all of the rules we have gone over. Also, during the first week I have been introducing different works little by little to the children. I want the children to feel comfortable and have an understanding of the different works when they are using them.

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Using the word “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” and “I’m sorry” were the lessons we learned while we were discussing the topic of respect. For the first lesson, we lead a discussion about when we should say “please” and why it is important to use it. The children then created a word poem based on each letter within the word “please”. The children then choose some of the words they created and turned them into sentences. Throughout the week, the children created word poems and sentences while using the other kindness words. The children have been working hard practicing using our kindness words.

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The second week we focused on friendship. We started out by discussing the meaning of being a good friend and what qualities are in a good friend. We then read the book Do You Want To Be My Friend? By Eric Carle. The children discussed the mouse’s’ search for a good friend and what qualities were in each friend. After the story the children were able to create a friendship rainbow. The second lesson was called The Friendship Fish. We read the book Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. We then created our own “Friendship Fish.” The children were each given a scale and they wrote down the qualities they thought a friend should have. Giovanni said, “ I want someone who is nice.” Anabelle then said, “ I want someone who is funny,” and Anelise said, “I want someone who will listen to me.” After everyone shared their qualities they were able to tape their scales to the fish. Throughout the week the children learned how playing together can foster friendships and build a community. The children then played a game called “ The Blob.” The children had to work together by linking arms and hands to capture the other friends. On the last day, our class created a “Friendship Web.” The children were able to discuss what friends should sound like when they are together, how it feels when friends are together, what it looks like when friends are together, and the qualities in a friend.

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The third week we discussed “All About Me.” We started out by reading the book Stand Tall Mary Lou Melon . We then talked about the differences and similarities in everyone’s appearance. We then created a graph about hair and eye color. The children were able to go around the room and see who had brown, black, red, or blonde hair. They did the same for eye color. The children were then able to see how everyone’s’ appearance is not the same. The next lesson the children created a bar graph about everyone’s birthday. I read the book On The Day You Were Born. We talked about how everyone’s birthday is different and that makes us unique and special. The children then decorated their own birthday cupcake. Throughout the week we made an “I’m Special Book” and played a “ How Do You Feel” game.

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The last week was all about our families. We first lead a discussion on what they think a family is. Annelise said, “ My mommy and daddy.” Jackson said, “My sister, mommy and daddy.” Anelise said “ My Grammy.” During the week we discussed how not all families are the same, the different houses & places families live, the traditions families celebrate, and the special things that we love doing with our family. During this week the children and families created their own family trees. On the last day, the children were able to stand up at line time and share their family tree amongst their friends. It was so wonderful to see the children and their parents work and come together to create something so awesome!

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Again, this has been such a wonderful first month back to school. I look forward to the upcoming months with all of you as we head into fall and winter.

Ashley’s Enrichment Corner
This month was a very exciting month for our students as they were able to start attending enrichment classes! Mr. John leads our science enrichment and he taught the kids about density by testing if an egg will float or sink in salt water. The children danced and sang with their music teacher, Ms. Lisa. During their time with her they learned many new interactive songs and were also able to try many new instruments. Our art teacher, Ms. Michelle, taught the children about the primary colors, mixing and making different colors, working with tissue paper, and learning about different artists! I wonder what fun and educational activities will be in store for us next month?!

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