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!

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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!

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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!

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Enrichments:

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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. 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!

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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!

 

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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.

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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!