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. They also discovered all types of families love and care for each other, which is the most important thing about family!

 

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.

 

Reminders

  • 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

  

 

 

 

Pharmacist

 

Doctor

Digital Marketer

 

Nurse


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.

Reminders:
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

 

 


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.

 

 

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

Classroom

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.

 

    

 

Kindergarten

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!

 

 


Ms. Courtney’s May-June 2017 Monthly Overview

Ms. Courtney’s May/June 2017 Monthly Overview

What I will learn this Month in Ms. Courtney’s class:

Themes of the week | Classroom group lesson time (in addition to individual Montessori Work time)

5/01:    Solar System

  • The children will learn the positions of the Planets and their relative sizes and distances.
  • The children will discover why and how Earth is distinctive.
  • The children will learn the role of the Sun.
  • The children will learn the terms rotation, revolution, and orbit.
  • The children will be able to name the planets in the Solar System and the order they are in.

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Read a book about constellations and discuss how constellations have been used. Trace different constellations.
  • Read about astronauts, create a space helmet, and try astronaut food (freeze dried ice cream)

5/08:    Dinosaurs

  • The children will be able to identify dinosaurs by name.
  • The children will recognize the different physical attributes of dinosaurs.
  • The children will demonstrate understanding of herbivores and carnivores.
  • The children will compare and contrast dinosaurs to modern animals.
  • The children will demonstrate understanding of fossils.
  • The children will identify that museums are places in communities where artifacts can be viewed.
  • Grandparent’s Day May 10th
  • Mom’s and Muffins May 12th 7:00am-8:00am

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Read about different types of dinosaurs and make a dinosaur book.
  • Make dinosaur soap.

 

5/15:    Transportation

  • The children will become familiar with what transportation is: to carry things from one place to another.
  • The children will learn the different methods of travel.
  • The children will learn the safety rules for all methods of transportation.

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Play Red Light Green Light.
  • Read and discuss about different types of transportation, then create a traffic light craft.

 

5/22: Sports

  • The children will work on gross motor skills by marching, skipping, galloping etc.
  • The children will gain the skills needed to engage in imaginative and creative play indoors and outdoors, involving others.
  • The children will develop team work with peers.
  • Akron Zoo Field Trip May 26th

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Read and discuss about different sports and play Wall Football
  • Read and discuss what teamwork means, and participate in a hula hoop team game.

 

5/29: Welcome Summer and Camping

  • The children will learn some outside summer games and activities.
  • The children will experiment with water.
  • The children will learn about summer safety.
  • Memorial Day | NO SCHOOL May 29th
  • Last day of school / Field Day | NO Aftercare June 1st
  • Kindergarten Graduation June 2nd 6:30pm to 8:00pm
  • Progress Reports June 5th

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Sing Going on a Bear Hunt and make a binocular craft.
  • Make trail mix together and read stories under a “blanket tent”

 

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:

  • Visit a local museum.
  • Take a walk and see how many different forms of transportation you can spot.
  • Go to a baseball game.
  • Look at the sky with a telescope at night.

 


Ms. Courtney’s March 2017 Newsletter

Classroom News:

The first week of March we learned all about insects. The children learned how to identify animals belonging in the insect category and those that do not. They learned the main parts of an insect and the preschoolers made a beautiful diagram to display in the classroom.


For the second week of March we talked about plants and flowers. The children discovered the four elements needed to grow a plant soil, seeds, sun and water. They also learned the word photosynthesis! We planted flowers to watch grow in the classroom.


The last week of March we talked about butterflies and caterpillars. Students had a blast learning about how butterflies go through stages of growth and change called a life cycle.


I hope everyone enjoyed their spring break and is ready to get back into the swing of things!


Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten

The kindergartners started March by learning about nouns and verbs. Nouns are people, places, and things. Verbs are action words or something you can do. We also learned that there are three articles, a, an, the.  We learned that “a” hooks up with consonants, “an” is very picky and only hooks up with vowels. And “the” is not picky at all and hooks up with anything!


Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Faith

In reading group, the kindergartners read a folk tale called Rabbit and Guinea Fowl Get Justice. This story was about a rabbit who did not work hard to keep his farm up, and became jealous of a guinea fowls farm that produced good fruits and vegetables. The rabbit decided to take over his farm and lie that the guinea fowls farm was his. At the end, Guinea fowl tricks Rabbit by taking his own vegetables back. This story taught a lesson about hard work, and that you can’t take other peoples things when they work hard. Along with answering questions and practicing reading aloud, the kindergartners created puppets of the characters from the story to use while acting out a scene, they drew pictures depicting what they thought Rabbit would do on his farm at the end of the story, and whether or not they thought the village chief was wise. In April, we will start a series of poems about different seasons.

 

Science Enrichment
-by Ms. Courtney

In the month of March we enjoyed our skittles experiment! We did a skittles science experiment that was very simple. We set up skittles around the edge of a shallow bowl in a rainbow order, then we added about a 1/2 inch of warm water. The skittles started to dissolve pretty quickly because skittles are made of ingredients that are prone to dissolve in water. At first this made a skittles rainbow but eventually all the colors blended together to make brown and the skittles were totally dissolved.


Art Enrichment
-by Ms. Faith

To kick off the month of March, the students made a sun catcher with the image of a sun. Ms. Michele drew inspiration from an artist named Don Drumm, a local artist from Akron. He creates sculptures and pieces of artwork using the image of the sun. To create the sun catcher, the young artists drew the sun first on tracing paper, and then they used primary colored paints to blend together to make rainbow colors. The paint was a tempera and glue mix to make the paint thicker and bolder. This was a great reminder that spring will be around the corner. To end the month, Ms. Michele had the students build a small pallet out of Popsicle sticks to create a base for their sculpture. Then, they were given small pieces of wood in different shapes and sizes to glue on the pallet. After the glue dried some, Ms. Michele reviewed the term monochromatic (one color) with the class, and allowed them to choose one color of paint to paint their sculpture.


Music Enrichment
-by Ms. Faith

This last month Ms. Lisa taught the students some new songs about character building. We talked about what it meant to tell the truth, what it means to forgive, and how to share. After the discussion Ms. Lisa taught them the new song for each characteristic. Some of the new songs had sign language to go with the words, which the students enjoyed learning. Throughout the month, the students gained experience playing tambourines, bells, maracas, and rhythm sticks.  In music class the young musicians were able to sing some classics such as, Skinnamarinky Dinky Dink and John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.

 

 


April 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 | Ms. Faith
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.

4/03: Pronouns

  • Rules of the pronouns
  • Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

4/10: Introduction to Adjectives

  • Rules of the adjectives
  • Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

4/17:  Introduction to Adverbs

  • Rules of the adverbs
  • Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

4/24: Introduction to Prepositions

  • Rules of the prepositions
  • Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

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

4/03: That

4/10:  Not

4/17: See

4/24: Big

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

4/03: NICE, friendly, courteous, good, pleasant, charming

4/10: SNEAKY, underhanded, dishonest, tricky, secretive, sly

4/17: BRIGHT, shiny, glowing, dazzling, lighted, vivid

4/24: DULL, dark, dreary, somber, boring, tedious

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


Ms. Courtney’s April 2017 Monthly Overview

What I will learn this month in Ms. Courtney’s class:

Themes of the week | Classroom group lesson time (in addition to individual Montessori Work time)

4/03:    International festival

  • The children will learn about the geography, culture, and language of North America and South America.
  • Friday, April 7th | Dads n Donuts

Afternoon Group Time:

  • We will read about Vikings and then learn a game that they used to play.
  • We will read about Canada and then play Hockey which is a popular sport in Canada.
  • We will read about France and play the French version of Hopscotch which is played on a spiral shaped board.
  • Read a book about England, discuss the English tradition of tea time, then have an English tea party with tea and crumpets.
  • Discuss letter of the week and its sound, learn letters and letter sounds with sign language through Visual Phonics, and complete a letter X craft.

4/10:    International festival

  • The children will learn about the geography, culture, and language of Europe and Africa.
  • Friday, April 14th | NO SCHOOL | Easter break

Afternoon Group Time:

  • We will read about an African nation and then play a board game that originated in Africa.
  • We will read about an African nation and play a game of teamwork that originated in Africa.
  • Discuss letter of the week and its sound, learn letters and letter sounds with sign language through Visual Phonics, and complete a letter Y craft.
  • Learn how to say hello in different languages.

4/17:    International festival

  • The children will learn about the geography, culture, and language of Asia, Antarctica and Australia.
  • Monday, April 17th | NO SCHOOL | Easter break
  • Wednesday, April 19th | International Festival Rehearsal
  • Friday, April 21st | International Festival 

Afternoon Group Time:

  • We will read about Rome and learn how to play marbles which was a popular game in Rome.
  • We will read about Australia and learn a popular game from Australia played with marbles
  • Read about Latin American countries and discuss their culture of music, then make homemade maracas.
  • Discuss letter of the week and its sound, learn letters and letter sounds with sign language through Visual Phonics, and complete a letter Z craft.

4/24: Recycle/Reduce/Reuse

  • The children will understand the importance of taking care of the environment.
  • The children will practice ways to reduce waste in the classroom and at home.
  • The children will become more environmentally aware in their daily activities.
  • The children will learn the terms recycle, reduce, and reuse.

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Talk about how harmful pollution is to the Earth, and complete the “Who Polluted the River” activity.
  • Talk about ways to reuse everyday items instead of being wasteful and complete a water bottle fish craft.

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

4/03: Xx

4/10: Yy

4/17: Zz

4/24: Vowels

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

4/03: That

4/10:  Not

4/17: See

4/24: Big

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

4/03: NICE, friendly, courteous, good, pleasant, charming

4/10: SNEAKY, underhanded, dishonest, tricky, secretive, sly

4/17: BRIGHT, shiny, glowing, dazzling, lighted, vivid

4/24: DULL, dark, dreary, somber, boring, tedious

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

  • Use reusable grocery bags.
  • Use a refillable water bottle.
  • Use natural light when applicable.

Ms. Courtney’s February Newsletter


Classroom

The first week of February the children learned about all the different types of pets and how to care for them. To wrap the week up the children made Valentine’s Day bags and heart wreaths at their Valentine’s Day party. I would like to thank all of the parents who made the party possible! As always it was very organized and successful.

The second week of February the children learned how George Washington was a great man, the father of our country, who led in war and peace. They discovered that Abraham Lincoln was also known as “Honest Abe”. The children organized the presidents from George Washington to Donald Trump and discovered that we have had 45 presidents.

   

The third week of February we discussed how different foods and drinks can affect our dental hygiene. We learned that our teeth get sad and full of tooth decay from sweets and soda and get happy and shiny and bright from brushing and eating healthy foods. The children played a game called pass the cavity, when the cavity landed on them they had to go to the dentist.

 

The last week of February we talked about Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. The children loved coming to school dressed up with their hats, silly socks, and wockets in their pockets! My favorite dress up day was Oh The Places You’ll Go I loved seeing what everyone wanted to be when they grew up.

 

Kindergarten

We started out the month of February by introducing fractions. We learned that we can divide anything as long as it can be divided into equal parts. Even our kindergarten class can be divided! We then learned about different shapes. We knew that a triangle has three sides but we learned that a triangle with three equal sides is called an equilateral triangle, with two equal sides is an isosceles, and with no equal sides it is called a scalene triangle. Any shape with four sides is a quadrilateral.  Some examples include a square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezoid, and a chevron. We learned all about agons like pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon. The kindergarteners then started their grammar unit by learning their five vowels and what isn’t a vowel is a consonant. We learned a fun song to the tune of BINGO there are five letters that I know and vowel are their name O’s A,E,I,O,U  A,E,I,O,U   A,E,I,O,U  and vowels are their name O’s.

 

Reading Group

By: Ms. Faith

In February, the kindergartners received a new reading series called the Dragon Series. This series is set up just the same as the Sailing Ship series we have been reading since the beginning of the school year. The first story we read was The Princess and the Frog by the Brothers Grimm. In this story, a young beautiful Princess accidentally drops her favorite ball down a well, and becomes very distraught. A frog appears out of the well and starts to talk to her. He tells her that if he brings the ball to her then she must play with him, eat with him, and let him sleep in her bed. The young Princess agrees, but doesn’t believe that the frog would actually leave the well. The frog does in fact leave the well, and shows up at her castle that evening. She refuses to let him in because she is disgusted at the thought of playing with a slimy, cold frog. When her father hears of the situation, he makes her invite the frog in, because she made a promise and promises shouldn’t be broken. She ends up following through with her promise even if it is with an unwilling heart. One morning, the frog jumps out of her bed, and ends up turning into a handsome young Prince. They end up becoming best of friends, and the story even hints that they may get married in the future.

This story has a couple of lessons that the kindergartners learned from the princess. This lesson is that we should never go back on our promises, and if someone treats us with kindness, we should not treat them wrong because of how they look. The students got to participate in art activities where they had to draw what was the hardest part for the Princess, what they think the Princess and Prince enjoy doing together after he becomes the Prince. They also had to answer evaluative questions like, “Why must the Princess be playmates with the frog before the spell over him can be broken?”, and “Why does the Princess think that a talking frog ‘could never be a playmate to a human being’?” The kindergartners favorite part was getting to act out a scene from the story. They took turns being the frog, the Princess, and the King.

Science

Our first science experiment in February was to see if we could balance a ping pong ball using a hair dryer. We discovered the ping pong ball floated gently above the hair dryer without shifting sideways or flying across the other side of the room. This is because the airflow from the hair dryer pushes the ping pong ball upwards until its upward force equals the force of gravity pushing down on it. When it reaches this point it gently bounces around, floating where the upward and downward forces are equal. The child even had the opportunity to see if they could float 2 or even 3 ping pong balls as an extra challenge during work time.

 

The next experiment we did we poked sharp pencils through a Ziploc bag full of water, and discovered no water spilled out the holes because the Ziploc bag was made of a polymer. Polymers have long chains of molecules that are flexible. When we poked the sharp pencils through the bag, the pencil slid in between the chain of molecules that make up the polymer. The molecule chains made a seal around the pencil that wouldn’t let any of the water out.

For the third science experiment we filled glasses with different amounts of water. Each glass had a different tone when hit with the pencil, the glass with the most water had the lowest tone while the glass with the least water had the highest tone. The children learned that small vibrations are made when we hit the glass, this created sound waves which traveled through the water. More water meant slower vibrations so a deeper tone.

The last week of February we poured the same amount of water into two different clear plastic containers. Then we added the same amount of oil to the containers. We watched as the oil raised to the top of both containers. This occurred because the oil became lighter than the water. We then placed one of the containers in the freezer for a couple of hours. After we took the container out of the freezer we saw that the water moved to the top of the oil, because the water was now a solid and as it expanded it also became less dense than the oil.

Music

By: Ms. Faith

This past month, Ms. Lisa focused on what a piano is. She brought in her piano synthesizer and let the students explore it. We learned that a piano has white keys and black keys. Each student got a turn to play either the black or white keys to make up their own song. Ms. Lisa played the high keys, and the low keys to distinguish the difference between high and low notes. Since her key board is a synthesizer, Ms. Lisa would play different instrument sounds for the group, and the students had to guess what sounds she was playing. Some of the instrument sounds were trumpet, violin, guitar, and drums.

Ms. Lisa also reintroduced a game that is a student favorite here. It is called Cat and Mouse. One student is picked to be that “cat”, and all the rest of the students are the “mice”. Ms. Lisa places cheese in front of the “cat” for the “mice” to go and get. On her piano synthesizer, Ms. Lisa plays a song in high notes for the “mice” to go out of their mouse hole and grab the cheese. Once she plays the song in low notes, the “cat” comes in and tries to catch the “mice” before the get back to their hole. If someone is tagged, he or she becomes a “cat” as well. The students have so much fun tagging their friends, and are practicing listening skills, patience, and control in this game.

Art

By: Ms. Faith

Ms. Michele spent the month of February on a unit of weaving work. At the end of January she introduced paper weaving to get the students started with the idea of the pattern of weaving. Then, she moved in to a little more advanced weavings. She brought in her own personal weaving works to show the students different types of weaving art. Each student was able to use a small loom that Ms. Michele made to create his or her own textile artwork. A textile artwork is a decorative or practical piece that is made from plant, animal, or synthetic fibers. The younger students picked out different types of ribbon to use for their weavings, while the older students used different color yarn. Their weavings turned out beautifully and are hanging up on display on the bulletin board in the entrance. Make sure to check out their handiwork!