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, and there are many dentists you can go, you can even click here to find more information about the best.

 

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!

 

March 2017 Academic Enrichment Overview | Tallmadge Campus

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.

In March we will be reading a folktale from West Africa called Guinea Fowl and Rabbit Get Justice, and we will start a poetry series called Nature Speaks. The kindergartners will be completing art activities, writing activities, dramatizations, learning unfamiliar vocabulary, and answering analytical questions that go a long with the readings.

3/06: Parts of Speech/ Grammar

  • Introduction to nouns and their rules (name of a person, place, thing or idea)
  • Introduction to verbs and their rules (action word or something you do)
  • Vowels, consonants and their rules
  • Using worksheets, diagramming sentences and sandpaper letters

3/13: Parts of Speech/ Grammar

  • Introduction to the article (a kind of adjective always used with and gives information about a noun)
  • A definite article is the word “the”
  • An indefinite article is the word “a” or “an”
  • Using worksheets, diagramming sentences and sandpaper letters

3/20:  Articles

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

3/27: SPRING BREAK

 

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

3/06: go

3/13: we

3/20: in

 

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

3/06: HEALTHY, hearty, athletic, sound, strong, fit

3/13: SICK, weak, unhealthy, ailing, infected, frail

3/20: MEAN, selfish, unkind, malicious, hurtful

 

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.

  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 March 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)

 3/06:    Insects

  • The children will identify animals that belong in the insect category and those that do not.
  • The children will learn there are over five million different kinds of insects in the world.
  • The children will identify the main parts of an insect.
  • The children will learn ways insects can be helpful and ways insects can be harmful.
  • March 8th DINO-LIGHT field trip Playhouse Square
  • March 10th Pre-Kindergarten and Pre-Elementary Conferences

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter U craft.
  • Learn about lady bugs and complete a lady bug craft.
  • Diagram of an Insect- We will watch a video clip about insects and create a diagram labeling the parts of an insect.
  • Insects Can, Have, and Are Chart- We will fill in a chart about insects using verbs, nouns, and adjectives.
  • Shape Insects- We will use our imagination and pre-cut shapes to create our own insects.

 

3/13:    Plants and Flowers

  • The children will discuss the four elements needed to grow a plant. Soil, seeds, sun and water.
  • The children will observe and describe similarities and differences in the appearance and behavior of plants and flowers.
  • The children will identify major structures of plants (seeds, roots, stems, leaves).
  • The children will understand the life cycle of plants and flowers and what they need to grow.
  • The children will discover that plants provide resources for clothing, food, and oxygen.
  • Saturday, March 18th Mother/Son, Father/Daughter Dance 2-4

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter V craft.
  • Observe a Venus Fly Trap and learn about where they live, what they eat, and how to take care of one.
  • All About Plants Chart- We will discuss different characteristics of plants and create a chart explaining the characteristics.
  • Jack and the Beanstalk- We will read Jack and the Beanstalk and then grow our own beanstalk in a plastic bag.
  • Diagram of a Flower- We will discuss the parts of a flower and what a flower needs in order to survive then create a diagram explaining the topic.

 

3/20:    Butterflies and Caterpillars

  • The children will discover that butterflies go through stages of growth & changes called life cycles.
  • The children will design a butterfly of their own using shapes and creativity.
  • The children will create a mobile to represent each stage of the Life Cycle of the Butterfly.
  • March 24th Pajama and Show-N-Tell Day

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter W craft
  • Act out the life cycle of a butterfly and create a butterfly craft.
  • Butterfly Life Cycle- We will learn a song about the life cycle of a butterfly and then create a diagram about it.
  • Symmetry- We will discuss what symmetry is and create a butterfly with symmetrical wings.
  • Puffy Caterpillars- We will create caterpillars out of popsicle sticks and pompoms.

 

3/27-3/31: SPRING BREAK

 

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

3/06: Uu

3/13: Vv

3/20: Ww

 

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

3/06: go

3/13: we

3/20: in

 

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

3/06: HEALTHY, hearty, athletic, sound, strong, fit

3/13: SICK, weak, unhealthy, ailing, infected, frail

3/20: MEAN, selfish, unkind, malicious, hurtful

 

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

  • Take a walk and see how many insects you can spot.
  • Plant a flower or garden.
  • Visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
  • Take a walk and see how many butterflies and caterpillars you can spot
  • Make dinner with foods that start with the letter of the week.

 

 


Ms. Courtney’s January 2017 Newsletter Article

Classroom News

We kicked off January by talking about all the different polar animals. The children enjoyed waddling around the classroom like penguins. Sorting different arctic animals and moving across the room like they do. The kids even got to use our scooters to swim through the water like penguins hunting for fish.

The second week in January we learned all about ocean animals. We learned about things that exist in an ocean habitat like sand, small shells, smooth stones, seaweed, coral etc. We had fun creating a Venn Diagram to discuss the similarities and differences between whales and sharks. The kids also discovered there are different zones of the ocean and different animals live in each. We sorted animals that live in the ocean from animals that live on land. The kids had the opportunity to enjoy a game of sharks and minnows.

After having Martin Luther King Jr. Day off we talked about how he was a hero because he was brave and honest. We shared who are heroes are and who we’d like to be like someday with the most popular answers being either Mom or Dad. We discussed how MLK made a speech and worked hard toward peace because back then people were treated badly if they did not have the same color skin. Each child made a picture of what their dream was and wrote about it. The kids helped create a friendship heart, a “Peace Dove” and a hand print peace sign for the classroom.

The next week we talked about tigers, lions, chimpanzees, kangaroos, elephants etc. Some of our friends even invited their favorite zoo stuffed animals to school to spend the day with them during work time, line time, recess, lunch and snack. We took turns playing Build a Penguin game which taught us how to count, visually match, take turns, and the different parts of a penguin. The kids made peacocks out of construction paper and a coffee filter, which turned out really cute. We enjoyed learning what creatures would be in our students’ zoo if they ran a zoo.

The last week of January we had a blast talking about all the different types of farm animals and what each farm animal provides for us. We talked about where milk comes from and what else we can get from farms like fruits, vegetables and grains. We even had the chance to milk a fake cow using gloves as the cow’s udders. The kids made a pig out of the letter P. We learned about different farm animals and created a diagram explaining what each animal is used for on the farm. We also discussed the different farm animals and place them in their homes on the farm. The kids learned that there are different types of farmers and they each have different jobs they do on the farm.

 

Academic Enrichment | Kindergarten

The kindergarten students worked hard on learning both static and dynamic addition and multiplication using the golden beads. They have even started working on more abstract materials like the stamp game and dot board to solve problems.

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
with Ms. Faith

The kindergartners finished up a story called Lion and School. This a story of a lion who wants to go to school with a little girl. He ends up helping her stand up to some bullies. After every reading, the group participated in an activity. They got to create a lion mask and then acted out a scene from the story. The kindergartners drew a picture of where they would like to take the lion, and they had to draw a picture of how the little girl acts on the playground after the lion has left.

The next story we read together was Coyote Rides the Sun. This is a Native American folktale about why the coyote’s tale and back are black. The coyote wants to be the chief of the animal people and thinks by riding the sun, they will respect him and make him chief. The kindergartners got to draw a picture of the coyote riding the sun, and why the coyote was able to ride the sun. For the last day, the students got to pick an animal from the story to pretend to be. They held a village meeting to vote whether they were going to make the coyote their chief or not, and what their reason was.

Science Enrichment

We conducted a blubber science experiment by first putting our bare hands in a bucket of ice water. Then we made a blubber glove using Crisco and Ziploc bags, when we placed our hands back in the ice water with the blubber glove on the fat from the Crisco protected the kids skin from the cold. This is how we discovered that whales, seals and walruses all have a layer of fat called blubber to insulate their bodies from the freezing water.

We made waves in the bottle and discovered that on our planet waves happen when our earth spins on its axis and water is pulled by gravity across the geological formations of the ocean floor. When we moved the bottle we got to see the energy move through the water to make waves, just like out in the deep blue sea!

During the week of MLK we took two eggs one white the other brown that have not been cooked and compared their similarities and differences on the outside and took a guess as to whether they will be the same or different on the inside. We determined even though different on the outside, they were the same on the inside, just like people!

We made an aluminum foil boat then placed it in a pan with water, after that we added a drop of dish soap behind the boat. The boat started moving forward because the soap was breaking up the surface tension in the water behind the aluminum foil. The surface tension then pulled the boat forward.

We did more experiments with surface tension by taking two pennies, one with a drop of dish soap on it and the other with nothing on it. We placed drops of water on the pennies to see which penny could hold more water. We discovered that the plain penny was able to hold much more water than the dish soap penny did. This is because the plain penny had a higher surface tension, so the surface is “stronger” and could hold together a larger number of drops Adding soap to the top of the penny lowered the water’s surface tension so the drops becomes weaker and broke apart sooner and easier.

Art Enrichment
Ms. Faith

In January, the young artists were able to experience creativity with clay. To start their creative juices flowing, Ms. Michele showed the class pictures of imaginary creatures such as, Centaurs, Griffins, and a Pegasus. The students then picked two or three pictures of animals they wanted to combined, and drew a made up creature, or imaginary creature as Ms. Michele calls this activity. The next week, student formed an armature out of foil, which is the inside part of a sculpture to create the body. Now it was time to get their hands on some clay. Ms. Michele showed them how to make some basic forms called a coil, which looks like a snake, and a slab, which looks like a flat, round, disk. Then the students smoothed the clay over their armature to start forming their creature. Once the armatures were covered, the class was able to add details like feet, wings, tails, and ears. Ms. Michele backed the creations, and the next week the young artists painted their imaginary creatures with tempera paint. This is always the best part, because we really see their creations come to live with colors. When everyone was finished, Ms. Michele gathered everyone in to a circle and the students shared their creature. They shared the creatures name, where it lived, and what the creature eats with the class.

On the last class of the month, Ms. Michele started a paper-weaving project. Students colored strips of paper, and then weaved them onto a large piece of paper. This project is great practice for fine motor skills, concentration, and hand-eye coordination.

Thank you Ms. Michele for your hard work, and creativity for our students. We are always excited to go to art class and to learn different art techniques.

Music Enrichment
Ms. Faith

This past month in music class, Ms. Lisa shared the story of Peter and the Wolf by Sergi Prokofiev.  The story is a musical symphony that was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow in 1936. Each character in the story is represented by a different instrument; the flute is used to copy the sound of the bird, the cat is represented by the slinking sound of the clarinet, the oboe plays a smooth sound that reminds the listener of the duck swimming gracefully on the water, the character of Peter’s grandfather has a bassoon which plays low and slow notes, and the hunters’ melody is loud and in a marching tempo with the woodwind instruments and timpani drums. Now the villain of the story, the wolf, has a sharp sneaky song that is played with the French horn, and last but not least, Peter, who is the hero, has the stringed instruments to play his triumphant and heroic theme.

The students enjoyed the story and learning about the different instruments and their sounds.  I was amazed at how well the children could recall which instrument played for the different characters each week.  Peter and the Wolf is a very exciting symphony, which captivated the students’ attention and was able to expose the group to many different instruments.


February 2017 Academic Enrichment Overview | Tallmadge Campus

February 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.

 

2/06: Introduction to fractions

  • Exploring fractions
  • Fractional insets (whole up to 1/12)

 

2/13: Geometric Shapes

  • Introduction to geometric shapes and constructive boxes
  • Geometric cabinet

 

2/20:  Geometric Shapes continued

  • Introduction to geometric shapes and constructive boxes
  • Geometric cabinet

 

2/27: Geometric Shapes continued/ Vowel and Consonants 

  • Introduction to geometric shapes and constructive boxes
  • Geometric cabinet
  • Hexagon, rectangle and blue rectangle boxes
  • Creating triangles, rhombus, trapezoid, parallelogram, squares, etc.

 

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

2/06: you

2/13: down

2/20: a

2/27: he

 

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

2/06: BAD, incorrect, awful, unsatisfactory faulty, defective

2/13: GOOD, pleasant, fine, honorable, wonderful, valuable

2/20: DRY, dehydrated, arid, parched

2/27: WET, damp, moist, soggy, drenched, soaked

 

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.
  • You can view this link to give you more information on how the math materials are used in the Montessori classroom http://www.montessorialbum.com/montessori/index.php?title=Math
  • You may also google the name of the work to find more videos and information on the purpose of that material.

 

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 February 2017 Monthly Overview

Ms. Courtney’s February 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)

 2/06:    Pets/Valentine’s Day

  • The children will learn about a variety of pets
  • The children will learn about caring for a pet
  • We will discuss the differences and similarities between different pets
  • Valentine’s Day Party Friday, February 10th 9AM to 12PM

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter Q craft.
  • Pretend to be different kids of pets.

2/13:    Presidents

  • The children will learn how Washington was a great man, the father of our country, who led in war and peace
  • The children will discover that Abraham Lincoln is on the penny
  • The children will talk about what life is like for the Obama family in the White House
  • Box Tops Collection Deadline Friday, February 17th
  • Tallmadge Open House Saturday, February 18th 9AM to 12PM

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter R craft.
  • Learn about the presidents on coins, and then make coin rubbings.

2/20:    Dental Health

  • The children will practice teeth brushing using an egg soaked in tea
  • The children will see how a little hole in your teeth can get pretty unpleasant on the inside by watching how a hole in an apple rots
  • The children will talk about what foods are good and bad for their teeth
  • President’s Day| NO SCHOOL Monday, February 20th

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter S craft
  • Pass the tooth game where students pass a tooth with a cavity on it, whoever has the tooth when the music stops has to go to the “dentist”.

2/27:    Dr. Seuss/Eric Carle

  • The children become familiar with the similarities in an author’s body of work.
  • The children will gain an appreciation for the word play and rhyme featured in the work of Dr. Seuss.
  • The children will identify, produce and extend patterns.

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and complete a letter T craft.
  • Read The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle, and paint toilet paper roll owls.

 

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

2/06: Qq

2/13: Rr

2/20: Ss

2/27: Tt

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

2/06: you

2/13: down

2/20: a

2/27: he

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

2/06: BAD, incorrect, awful, unsatisfactory faulty, defective

2/13: GOOD, pleasant, fine, honorable, wonderful, valuable

2/20: DRY, dehydrated, arid, parched

2/27: WET, damp, moist, soggy, drenched, soaked


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

  • Allow your child to help care for your pet
  • Take a trip to McKinley Presidential Library & Museum
  • Take your child to watch you get a dental checkup
  • Find objects around the house that start with the letter of the week
  • Visit your local library for a Dr. Seuss or Eric Carle reading.

 

 


Ms. Courtney’s December 2016 Newsletter Article

Classroom News:

December was filled with many fun winter and Christmas activities.  We started the month off with focusing on practicing our songs for the Christmas program.  The students worked very hard to memorize the lyrics and to get the motions and dance moves down just right.

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The students created paper plate Santa Claus. Along with a Rudolf picture by tracing the students’ hands for the antlers and feet for the face, then we added a red nose and eyes to complete the reindeer.  The students also made a paper Christmas tree. We enjoyed baking and decorating sugar cookies. They loved making candles and melted snowmen ornaments to put in their gift bags to their parents.

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We all enjoyed the students’ show and tell items and they enjoyed sharing with the class. The children especially had fun wearing their pajamas to school and watching classic Christmas movies like The Grinch, Frosty, and Rudolph.

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The kids did an amazing job at the Christmas program and were the cutest snowmen and women ever!

I hope everyone had a wonderful break and a Merry Christmas! See you next year!

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Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
with Ms. Courtney

The kindergartners learned how to measure in inches and centimeters using a ruler and tape measure. They even had the opportunity to have special lesson from a parent who showed them how to scale down the solar system and use inches to show the distance between each planet.

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Handwriting Enrichment | Kindergarten
with Ms. Courtney

The kindergartners have been working very hard on completing journal prompts on their own using letter sounds and sight words.

 

 

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Reading Group | Kindergarten
with Ms. Faith

In December, The kindergartners finished the series of poems with a poem called, The Lobster Quadrille. A quadrille is a type of lively square dance, which we all learned how to do! While I read the poem, the kindergartners clapped a beat and danced. After a few tries they caught on, and had a blast with the square dance. They learned some new vocabulary: porpoise, shingle, and askance. During the second reading, we had a discussion that analyzed the poem. The kindergartners had to think about why the characters in the poem made certain decisions, and what they think the character should do. The students also completed an art activity where they had to draw a picture of their favorite ocean animal. At the end of every art activity, the students take turns sharing their drawings.

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The next story we started is, Lion at School. This is a story of a little girl who does not enjoy going to school. She starts of to school one day late, and is not in a hurry to get there. On her way she meets a lion. This lion can talk and wants to go to school with her. They come up with a plan to tell the teacher that the lion is a friend and his name Noil. He joins her for the morning portion of school, and helps her stand up to an older student. In response to the story, the kindergartners drew a picture of where they would take a lion. After Christmas break, we will resume reading group, and finish Lion at School.

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Science Enrichment
by Ms. Courtney

Our students love our experiments and this month the favorite was our snow….
The students wanted to play with snow but since it hadn’t snowed yet, so we decided to make our own. We combined corn starch and white hair conditioner!  Who knew Science could be so much fun!

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Music Enrichment
by Ms. Faith

During December, Ms. Lisa created a festive atmosphere to gear the students up for the holiday season. We sang some Christmas favorites such as, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, Feliz Navidad, Jingle Bell Rock, and Deck the Halls. While we sang Jingle Bells, the student played bells to replicate the sound of the horses dashing through the snow while pulling the sleigh. The young musicians also used castanets, which are Spanish instruments that make a clicking sound, during the song Feliz Navidad. Ms. Lisa played games with the students where she would play a Christmas song and the students had to dance; once she stopped the music, students had to freeze. If they didn’t freeze, they were out. This is an enjoyable way for youngsters to learn listening skills, and to control their response time. To end the month, the class reviewed some musical terms that name the tempo of a musical piece. These terms are Allegro (fast), Adagio (slow), and Andante (medium). To reinforce the lesson, Ms. Lisa played a song called The Christmas Train, where the tempo changes from fast to medium then to slow. The students walk around in a train, and use egg shakers to make the sound of the train moving while Ms. Lisa played a triangle for the bell, and used a whistle for the train’s whistle. They had to move at the same tempo that song played. The students enjoyed walking in slow motion, then walking quickly on tiptoes. I’m sure the students are in the holiday spirit after all the great activities they participated in during music class!

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Art Enrichment
by Ms. Faith

This past month was filled with many wonderful winter and Christmas activities. In art we started a fun imaginary project called Imaginary Creatures. Ms. Michele shows the students different made up creatures such as a Pegasus, and a Griffin. These animals are made up of multiple animals combined. The students then got to pick pictures of three different animals. The young artists had to combine features of the animals and draw their new creature. After the drawings were done, the class got to color their imaginary animals and draw a habitat. Once everyone was finished, we all shared our animals and told where they lived and what the creature ate. Once we come back from Christmas break, the students will form their imaginary creature out of clay to bring it to life! Our last project of the month was a Christmas painting of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Ms. Michele showed us how to paint Rudolph step by step. The students picked which type of patterned paper they wanted, and then we got started. Ms. Michele showed us which shapes to make first, then painted the shapes in to create a rendition of the beloved Christmas character. Their paintings are hanging up in the entrance, so make sure to check out the students’ wonderful paintings!