During the first week of November we talked about food groups. The students learned about the five main food groups; fruits, vegetables, dairy, proteins, and grains. As a group the children created a food group pyramid and listed a variety of foods in each group. The students also enjoyed sampling a variety of foods.
The second week of November was all about Pilgrims and Indians. The class found out the Pilgrims came from England to our country for religious freedom. We read many books about what the Pilgrims experienced during their journey on the Mayflower and once they landed at Plymouth Rock. They even created their own Mayflower out of their hand prints.
The third week of November was a continuation of Thanksgiving and being thankful. The children shared what their families do for Thanksgiving to learn that we all have our own traditions. We focused more on why the Pilgrims and Indians ate a meal together. Each child shared what they were thankful for to create a classroom thankful turkey. We received responses from mom and dad, to pets, to sandwiches and chickens. The Harvest Party was a great experience for the students, teachers and families to help understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving and share a meal together. A big thank you goes out to all the parents who brought supplies in and came in to lend a helping hand!
The last week of November we turned our focus to practicing our songs for the Christmas program. The students have been working very hard to memorize the lyrics and motions down right! We are having an exciting time together preparing a wonderful Christmas Program for our families and we can’t wait to show you!
Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten The first week of November the kindergartners finished up learning how to tell time down to the minute. I would love it if they continued to wear their watches throughout the rest of the school year! We then learned all about coins and their amounts like pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and half dollars. We even learned a little song to help remember their names and values. The kindergartners also learned about dollar bills and their amounts. It was fun to watch them compare the dollar bills and coins and figure out different ways to make the same amount of money. The last week of November they learned how to label all the puzzles using the control charts in the classroom. The kids have been working so hard on their handwriting and journaling each day.
Reading Group | Kindergarten with Ms. Faith
During this last month, we read a Haitian folk tale called, Bouki Cuts Wood. In the story, the main character Bouki, meets a man who he believes is a diviner who can tell the future. Some of the activities the students worked on where drawing pictures based on the story, such as what they thought was the funniest part of the story, or what they would have done to Bouki to make him see that he was alive. The students came up with some great discussion questions for our group time, and we they discussed more in depth questions, like “What should have told Bouki that he was alive?”, and “How did the man know Bouki was going to fall out of the tree?” The kindergartners enjoyed this story, and really got a laugh out of how silly Bouki was. On our last reading of the story, I read the story aloud and the kindergartner would act out the events while I read. They got into character and had a blast bringing the story to life.
Science For our first science experiment in the month of November we watched a zip-lock bag explode by putting vinegar and water in the bag, then throwing a tissue ball full of baking soda inside and sealing the bag shut. When the vinegar and baking soda mixed we created an ACID-BASE reaction and the two chemicals worked together to create carbon dioxide. The gas needed a lot of room so it started to fill the bag, and kept filling the bag until the bag could no longer hold it anymore and, POP!
We also defied the laws of gravity by turning a full glass of water upside down with a piece of cardboard covering the rim. The kids were excited to discover that there were more air molecules pushing up against the bottom of the cardboard, creating a higher pressure area compared to the lower pressure area inside the glass. They learned the force from the atmospheric pressure holds the cardboard up and the low pressure zone in the glass prevents the water’s weight from pushing the cardboard down.
The last week of November we made our very own lava lamp by combining oil, water and food coloring, then dropping Alka Seltzer in it. When I put the oil in the water the students noticed how the oil stayed above the water because the oil was lighter than the water or, more specifically, less dense than water. When we added the Alka Seltzer tablet pieces they sank to the bottom and started dissolving and creating a gas. The gas bubbles then rose and took some of the colored water with them. When the blob of water reached the top, the gas escaped and down went the water.
Art By: Faith Weihe
This month your young artists had the privilege of learning many art concepts. Ms. Michele taught the students an art concept called resist. She had the class use oil pastels to draw an under water scene. Then, the students used watercolors to paint over their drawings. Because of the oil in the pastels, the watercolor doesn’t stick so the drawings still show up. The second week the students learned about observational art, which is when you look at an object and draw it. The students all had hand held mirrors, and looked at themselves to draw a self-portrait. The budding artists used pencil to draw their faces and features, and then used crayons to color. Ms. Michele talked with them about looking at the shapes of their features and had them feel their noses to get a sense of how to draw their face. It’s always fun seeing how the self-portraits turn out. For the last project, students drew each other for figure drawing. Each student gets to stand and pose while the rest of the class draws them. They learn how to draw features and how the students are standing in their pose. This is one of my favorite art projects because the students get so creative with their poses, and love having others draws them. After the students drew their pictures, they got to color their drawings in with markers. We will be looking forward to what Ms. Michele brings for art in December!
Music By: Faith Weihe
In November, Ms. Lisa continued singing songs with the students about being kind and having a choice for behavior. She played games where students roll a ball to each other in a circle while singing a song about sharing. Ms. Lisa also taught the students a couple of partner dances! They were paired up with a friend and then skipped or galloped in a circle to the song. The students danced to Skip to My Lou, and an old frontier song called Ride Sally Ride. We also got to play a listening game that wen to the tune of London Bridge. The students skipped in a circle while playing bells. The song would tell them to do something like jump up and down, dance, or freeze. These types of games are great for listening skills and controlling body movements. Some of the instruments the young musicians practiced playing were tambourines, and bells. Ms. Lisa always brings a puppet friend along with her to sing hello to the students at the beginning of each music class. The students get to practice singing in high and low voices, or loud and soft voices. At then end of the class, the puppet comes out again to sing good-bye to the students. Using the puppets brings a fun, whimsical touch to the class, and makes the students feel comfortable to sing in front of their friends. The students always love their time with Ms. Lisa, and look forward to seeing her each week.
Our Academic Enrichment time is daily from 12:00-1:00pm. This time is specifically designed for our Kindergarten students to join together as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with Ms. Courtney on these and other materials at their level.
Junior Great Books Reading Group 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 your child’s reading group teacher will email information about the current story.
12/5: Continue Parts of Animals
Parts of the mammal, reptile, amphibian,
Parts of the bird and fish
Working with the animal puzzle and control chart
12/12: Use of a Ruler
Inches and Centimeters
Measuring with a ruler– practice with many different objects
12/19: Christmas/Winter Crafts and Baking
The children will be enjoying the holiday spirit by doing a lot of fun crafts and baking.
The children will be making holiday rice krispie treats together.
The children will be making a snow globe.
The children will be making sock snowman.
The children will be making reindeer out of their hands and feet.
The children will be making Christmas trees out of popsicle sticks.
During the month of October the class learned about all the changes that happen during the beautiful Fall season. For the first week we discussed leaves, how and why they change, and different types of leaves. The kids also enjoyed collecting their own leaves for leaf rubbing.
The second week of October the students learned about apples. They got to taste test several different types of apples and vote on what was their favorite kind. We discovered what the inside of an apple looks like and how they grow. Some of the students even brought home beautiful paintings using apples as stamps.
Next, the class learned all about pumpkins. We were able to explore the inside of what pumpkins look like by digging out the insides to separate the seeds from the pulp. The next day, the class was able to bake a pumpkin pie and try it. The students even made a Venn diagram comparing pumpkins and apples.
The fourth week of October we turned our attention to bats. We learned about different types of bats and even found out that there is a bat that is as small as a bumblebee! The class discovered how and where bats sleep and that they find their food through echolocation.
During the last week the class learned about different body parts. The students even learned about the lungs and heart and made their own models. We introduced our anatomy apron and the children enjoyed learning about the organs and where they belong by attaching the fabric organs to the apron!
I wanted to thank all the parents who helped out with the Halloween party. It was definitely a success, and the kids enjoyed all of the crafts, games, and delicious food. We could not have had a more successful party!
If you haven’t already please sign up for parent/teacher conferences, they will be held on November 14th.
Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten We went over telling time to the hour, half past, quarter after and quarter till. The kindergartners have been working hard and doing a great job on their journals. We will begin telling time to the minute the week of November 7th. Please review our updated overview.
Reading Group | Kindergarten with Ms. Faith
Our kindergartners are gaining such great comprehension skills by participating in the Junior Great Book series. In October, we read The Frog Went A Travelin, Night Into Dawn, and The Tale of Two bad Mice. Within these stories, your kindergartners are learning higher-level comprehension, by having discussions to analyze the stories. Some of the activities the students get to complete are drawing parts of the stories, writing responses, writing poems, and even acting out parts of the stories. When they complete a picture, or writing response, the kindergartners are able to share with the group. I enjoy hearing their responses to the discussion questions, and seeing their detailed drawings. I am excited to see how their reading comprehension will improve by the end of the year. Thank you parents for reading with them over the weekends, and helping the kindergartners write their questions to share with the group.
Science Over the past month, the students have been learning about the science behind the changes we see during fall. We found out that the leaves change color because they are not receiving enough chlorophyll to keep their color green. The students also learned the life cycle of apples, pumpkins, and bats.
We also enjoyed some science experiments we turned milk and vinegar into plastic by mixing milk and vinegar together, then straining out the clumps to mold. The lumps left behind by the strained milk are called casein. Casein is a material that is produced when the protein in the milk reacts to the acid in the vinegar. The casein separates away from the acid and forms the lumps. It is plastic-like, but true plastics are made from polymers and not milk and vinegar.
We dissolved sugar cubes in both hot and cold water and discovered that the cold water wasn’t able to dissolve as much sugar as the hot water. The hot water dissolved more because it has faster moving molecules which are spread further apart than the molecules in the cold water. Since the hot water had bigger gaps between the molecules, more sugar molecules were able to fit in between.
We also transferred water using ‘capillary action. We took two paper towel ropes (or wicks) and put one end into two side glasses with water and the other side into an empty glass in the middle. The wicks started getting wet after a few minutes and after about an hour we noticed that the empty glass was starting to fill with water, and it kept filling until there was an even amount of water in each glass.
Lastly we made a hovercraft with a balloon, bottle cap and CD. As the air flowed downward out of the balloon and through the bottle cap, it built up air pressure under the CD. That air pressure lifted the whole hovercraft off the flat surface as air began to escape evenly all around the edge of the CD. Making the CD float on the cushion of air.
Music This month Ms. Lisa focused on songs with manners and character building. We sang a song about having a choice about being kind and how to act when they are mad or upset. The students also played a game of rolling a ball to each other while singing a song about sharing. The class got to practice their listening skills by listening to different animal sounds, and then guessing what animal they were hearing. Throughout the course of October, your children got to use some different instruments, such as bells, tambourines, and egg shakers. They learned the rules of playing like a band. They had to wait until everyone had an instrument, and when Ms. Lisa told them to, they could pick up their instrument and play with her. This teaches the students self-control, and how to be patient. The young musicians have improved their ability to follow Ms. Lisa’s lead, and wait so patiently. Along with learning important musical terms and skills, we got to sing some old favorites like Skinamarinky Dinky Dink, and Skip to My Lou.
Art In the month of October we Ms. Michele taught us about some great artists, and techniques. The first week we got inspiration from an artist named Charlie Harper, who in known for his artwork with birds and animals. Ms. Michele had the students pick an animal to create out of construction paper shapes. They glued the shapes to a piece of construction paper to create their animal. We had lions, flamingoes, lizards, and much more. The next project was dealing with mood in art. Ms. Michele based the lesson off of Edward Munch’s painting The Scream. They saw happy paintings, sad paintings, and mad paintings. They then used oil pastels on black construction paper to draw themselves screaming and what was making them scream. The last week, the students got to make their very own playground. Ms. Michele showed the class pictures of different playgrounds from around the world. Before starting, Ms. Michele reviewed her rule of using liquid glue, which is, “Just a dot does a lot!” Each child was given a piece of green construction paper and the twisted, crimped, or made shapes to glue together and make their crazy playground.
We started off our school year focusing on grace and courtesy to teach and fulfill our student’s innate need for order. Every student has a need to know and to absorb the social structures in order to be more at ease in their environment. Grace and courtesy lessons give the student the vocabulary, actions, and steps required for them to build their awareness and responsiveness of those around them. We worked on walking in the classroom, using our inside voices while in the school building, using kind words to one another, using safe hands, how to clean up our area when we are done working and how to use our words to express our feelings.
The fourth week of school we discussed families, each student had a chance to share their family tree with their friends. Their family trees included their name, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The children enjoyed learning more about their friends and where they come from. It was great to see the students discover the differences and similarities in all of the families and accept every family for who they are.
The fifth week of September we talked about feelings and emotions. The students brainstormed things they could do when they were angry, happy, sad, frustrated, and excited. Then they discussed with one another whether the reaction they came up with was a good choice or a bad choice. The students did a great job learning how to manage their emotions. We role played how to process, identify and appropriately express their emotions as much as possible. After a few days of talking about feelings and emotions it was great to hear the students tell their friends what they were feeling and why on their own.
The last week of September we explored the five senses of touch, sight, smell, taste and hearing. During this week the students got a chance to identify the different senses. Compare and classify items using their sense.
We kicked off Kindergarten with a lot Geography. The students learned about the seven continents, fun facts about the continents, and a few countries in each continent. The students became very familiar with the cardinal directions, the equator, the prime meridian, and the hemispheres. We took a look at our home state of Ohio and the surrounding states (their abbreviation and nickname). Make sure you ask your child all about Ohio! They will be able to tell you that the cardinal is the official bird, scarlet carnation the official flower, lady bug is the official insect, and tomato juice is the official drink. They learned how we are the buckeye state and that the official rock and roll song is Hang on Sloopy. The kindergartners also learned about landforms. Ask them what the definition of a lake, island, bay, peninsula, gulf, harbor, cape, isthmus, straight, chain of lakes, and archipelago.
By: Ms. Faith
The first month of school has definitely flown by! We had many wonderful lessons with our art teacher, Ms. Michele this month. Each week Ms. Michele focuses on an art concept and teaches the students about a famous artist who used the concept, and does a project focusing on certain skills with the concept. The first week, the students learned terms like warm and cool colors, primary colors, tints, and monochromatic. Then they learned the rules about markers and drew shapes with monochromatic colors (one color). It was really entertaining hearing the students say monochromatic!
The second week, Ms. Michele focused on primary colors, which are red, blue, and yellow. She focused on an artist named Piet Mondrian, a Dutch painter who liked to use geometric shapes and primary colors. The students used red, blue, and yellow construction paper to create a house and then outlined the shapes in black strips of construction paper to resemble some of Mondrian’s works.
The third week we reviewed what primary colors are and then learned about secondary colors, which are the colors created when primary colors are mixed together. The students used watercolors and mixed them on their papers, to paint a magical garden. They drew flowers, animals, insects, and whatever else that would be in their garden before painting. The next lesson focused on complimentary colors, which are colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel. Ms. Michele had the students draw silly monsters with pencils and then using complimentary colors, they colored in their monsters with oil pastels. For our last art lesson the students reviewed what warm and cool colors are. They picked either warm or cool colors and made a beautiful leaf mosaic.
We are all excited to see what we learn in art class next month!
By: Ms. Faith
Throughout the last month, the students have learned so much in music class. Our new students got to meet Ms. Lisa, our wonderful music teacher, and our returning students were able to show the new students how music class works. We learned the rules for music class such as, not picking up the instruments until Ms. Lisa says it’s OK, raising our hands to answer a question, and to be respectful to Ms. Lisa’s instruments. Already, the class has improved with being patient and following directions! Some of the instruments the students were able to use were, egg shakers, castanets, rhythm sticks, bells, and tambourines. The students were also introduced to many musical terms like, forte (which means loud), piano (which means quiet), the names of notes, staccato (short, quick notes), and legato (long, smooth notes). Along with all the great instruments, and terms, we sang some really fun songs! We got to sing John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, La Raspa (A Spanish hat dance song), The Ants Go Marching, a silly song about a skunk, and much more. During music class the children are gaining wonderful music skills as well as coordination with movement. We always look forward to music time with Ms. Lisa!
For our first science experiment we used skittles to learn about density. Density is the measurement of how much of something (in this case sugar from the skittles) can be packed into the same space (in this case it’s the water). So less sugar equals less dense solution; more sugar equals more dense solution. Basically a less dense solution is lighter and will float on a more dense solution because of this we were about to make a skittle rainbow.
We did an experiment using static electricity to move a soda can. When we rubbed a balloon through our hair it created invisible electrons (with a negative charge) on the surface of the balloon. This is called static electricity, which means “non-moving electricity.” The electrons had the power to pull the soda can (with a positive charge) toward them.
We used hydrogen peroxide, dry yeast, dish soap and food coloring to make elephant toothpaste. The foam we made was special because each tiny foam bubble was filled with oxygen. The yeast acted as a catalyst (a helper) to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since it did this very fast, it created lots and lots of bubbles, which is why the bottle got warm.
Water is a great substance for soaking up heat that is why we were able to make a water-proof balloon. We filled a balloon with water and held a lit candle under it, to our surprise it didn’t pop. The thin latex balloon allowed the heat to pass through very quickly and warm the water. As the water closest to the flame heated up, it begins to rise and cooler water replaced it at the bottom of the balloon. This cooler water then soaked up more heat and the process kept repeating itself. The students wanted to know what would happen if I turned the balloon so that the candle flame was close to the side of the water balloon, the balloon popped because the water was not conducting the heat away from the surface of the balloon. The students noticed there was soot on the bottom of the balloon, but it was actually carbon. The carbon was deposited on the balloon by the flame, and the balloon itself remained undamaged.
We put apple slices in jars and covered the apples with salt water, vinegar and lemon juice. The students made predictions about what would happen during the apple science experiment. The next morning we checked on them and saw some changes. The apples in the lemon juice looked great, but the ones in the vinegar and salt water had started to turn brown. A lot of the students had hypothesized that all of the apples would stay fresh or rot. We started to realize our predictions were not going to come true. Over the next week all of the apples were even browner except the one in lemon juice! We concluded that acids in general don’t stop apples from browning, that something else in the lemon juice must be helping them stay fresher.
What I will learn this month in Ms. Courtney’s Class… (In addition to Montessori Work Time)
8/22 and 8/29: Ground Rules
Learning to greet others.
Learning to have conversations.
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.
9/5: 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.
9/12: My Family
The students will illustrate a picture of their 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.
Create a family tree together (Due Friday September 12th)
The students learn how to identify, handle, and understand the things they may feel and how to act about them.
9/26: Five Senses
The students will learn about their five senses and their parts of the body that correspond to each sense.
Letters of the week
8/25 and 8/31: None
Sight word of the week
8/25 and 8/31: None
Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:
Try to find objects that begin with the letter of the week wherever you go with your child.
Encourage grace and courtesy when you see your child displaying it to another or you.
Talk about the importance of 911 and when you should call and practice dialing it.
Practice dialing your telephone number with your child.
Start a family tradition by setting a night a week aside for a family movie or game night.
If your child displays an emotion they are unfamiliar with talk about it and how to handle it together.
Have students describe things at home using their senses.
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 preschool lesson.
The second week of May we talked about dinosaurs and what their habitats were like then the children did a dinosaur dig with our practical life work throughout the week. 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 painting with different forms of transportation.
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!
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”.
In science we learned that Silly Putty was an accidental invention during the World War II. It has a rubber-like substance that will mold into millions of shapes and even bounce! So we decided to make our own using only two supplies dish soap and corn starch.
The kids also discovered how clouds form using a jar of water, food coloring and shaving cream. They learned when water vapor rises into the air the vapor hits cold air, it turns back into droplets of water. Those tiny drops of water floating in the air collect and “stick” together to form clouds. When clouds get so full of water that they can’t hold any more, the water falls back to the ground as rain.
By: Ms. Faith
To get everyone one in the mood for the warmer weather, Ms. Michele had the students make a fun monster ice cream cone. The group got to cut out scoops of ice cream in whatever color of construction paper they wanted. After they glued the scoops to a cut out cone, they got to make silly creations. We saw bunny ice creams, dog ice creams, and even silly monsters! The students had a blast with this activity.
In continuation of the summer theme, the next projects brought us under the sea. The young artists drew themselves with oil pastels to look like they were swimming. Then they painted the water with watercolors over top. Because of the oil base, the watercolors resist and won’t stick to the oil pastels.
For the last class of the school year, Ms. Michele gave the group a review of colors. We went over primary, secondary, complimentary, warm, and cool colors. The students then had to cut out a butterfly, making sure that the wings were symmetrical. They had to pick one of the groups of colors that Ms. Michele had taught them about throughout the year. Their butterflies turned out beautiful and no one looked the same. Thank you Ms. Michele for another great year of art lessons, and stirring the creative minds of our students!
By: Ms. Faith
Goodbye now we sing. Goodbye now we sing. It’s time to go. Goodbye now we sing. This is a song Ms. Lisa sings with the students at the end of every music class, and it seemed fitting for the last newsletter article of the school year. One of the activities Ms. Lisa did with the class was of course, Cat and Mouse, which quickly became a favorite among the children this year. Ms. Lisa played different instruments on her keyboard and the students had to guess which instruments were being represented. I have to admit, some of the instruments stumped me! Some of the instruments were, drums, guitar, a cowbell, and a triangle. I am amazed every time how well the group can identify which instrument Ms. Lisa is playing.
We also participated in some rhythm activities using rhythm sticks and scarves. We tapped out beats, and danced around with the scarves to music. To end our time in music class, Ms. Lisa did a review of the musical notes, Peter and the Wolf, and the musical terms staccato and legato. We were all sad to say a final goodbye to Ms. Lisa, but look forward to seeing her again after summer break!