A Peek into Science | Week of 10/9 and 10/16 | Tallmadge Campus

Dancing Apple Seeds: We placed apple seeds in a glass full of Sprite. Apple seeds are more dense than Sprite so they originally sank to the bottom until air bubbles started to form around the seeds, which then forced the seeds to float up to the top. When the bubbles popped the seeds sank back down. This made the apple seeds look like they were dancing!

Ozzing Pumpkin: We mixed hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, food coloring, dry yeast and warm water together to get a reaction. The dry yeast sped up the decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide by releasing the oxygen molecules into the dish soap making the pumpkin oz foam.

A Peek at Our Week | Ms. Courtney’s Classroom | Week of October 16th

This week we learned all about pumpkins and the different parts like: flesh, pulp, stem, seeds and rind. The children were able to explore the inside of a pumpkin  by digging out the insides and touching the seeds and pulp. The children were also able to try the seeds from the pumpkin and create a venn diagram of apples and pumpkins.


Guest Readers



Reading about bats together in the library.
Binomial Cube: This child is learning how to build a binomial cube while also getting an introduction into algebra and preparation for the formula a3+3a2b+3ab2+b3.
Picture to Picture Matching: This child is working on her pre-reading skills by visually discriminating between objects but in a completely abstract way.
Color Box 4: This child is grading different colors from darkest to lightest, while also refining his sense of sight.
Eye Dropper: This child is transferring water using an eye dropper. The purpose of this work is to not only teach him how to use an eyedropper, but prepare him for activities that require a pincer grip.
Stamp Game: This child is doing static addition (a sum without exchanging) problems using the stamp game. He is practicing addition at a higher level of abstraction.


  • Parent Education Night Wednesday, October 25th at 6:30pm
    You can register to attend and for childcare by clicking this link
  • Bring Your Parent to Work Time Monday, October 23, 2017
  • Halloween Party Friday, October 27, 2017

A Peek into Next Week: Bats

  • The students will learn about the life cycle of a bat.
  • The students will research facts about bats.

A Peek at Our Week | Ms. Courtney’s Classroom | Week of October 9th

Topic: This week we learned about apples. The children enjoyed tasting different types of apples: granny smith, red delicious, gala and honey crisp. They also discovered what the inside of an apple looks like and how apples grow.  Some of the students even had the chance to do apple stamping and make homemade applesauce.

Work Time

Snap Dressing Frame: This child is learning to manipulate snaps so that she can dress herself. She is also developing motor skills and learning to follow logical steps.
Introduction Tray: These children are being introduced to the decimal system and becoming familiar with the symbols and quantities associated with units, tens, hundreds and thousands. They are visually seeing the difference between 1 unit, 1 ten, 1 hundred and 1 thousand.
Teen Board: This child is showing that he knows the symbols 11 – 19 and can successfully match the corresponding quantities, for example to make the number 14 he places one ten and four units.
Crumbing: This child is helping clean up sand after he was done using our kinetic sand work.
This child is learning how to prepare snack for his friends with Ms. Faith.
Object to Picture: This child is matching objects to pictures, by doing this she is making the connection that what she holds in her hand is the same as what she sees on the picture. In another sense that the picture of an apple is an apple, and the apple she is holding is an apple. This is a pre-reading material which aids in abstract thinking. This is essential preparation for reading.
These children are tracing and identifying the letter ‘e’ and its sound by using the sandpaper letter ‘e’.
Color Box 4: This child is selecting the lightest of the colored tablets and placing them in order lightest to darkest until all of the tiles have been put in order.

Guest Readers



  • Parent Education Night Wednesday, October 25th at 6:30pm
    You can register to attend and for childcare by clicking this link
  • Bring Your Parent to Work Time Monday, October 23, 2017
  • Halloween Party Friday, October 27, 2017

A Look Into Next Week: Pumpkins

  • The students will describe a pumpkin using all of their senses.
  • The students will discuss the different shapes pumpkins can be.
  • The students will explore the inside of a pumpkin.
  • The students will guess and count how many seeds are in a pumpkin.

A Peek at Our Week | Ms. Courtney’s Classroom | Week of October 2nd

Topic: Leaves

This week the students learned that a leaf is one of the most important parts of a plant. They discovered that leaves produce food for the plant through a process called photosynthesis, and that leaves of different plants vary widely in size, shape and color. Also, the children learned the life cycle of a leaf and why leaves change color in the fall. They discovered the different parts of a leaf like: veins, blade, midrib, petiole and stipule.

Work Time

Moveable Alphabet: This child is identifying and matching the symbol for each sound he hears while sounding out the name of the object in order to correctly label each object.
Hand Grasping: Initially the child will use his whole hand to transfer large items from one bowl to the next. Then they will start transferring smaller items like the child in this picture using their fingers. As the items for transferring become smaller the child is required to use their pincer grasp more and more strengthening their finger muscles needed to grasp a pencil.
Animals/Continent World Map: These children are learning the names of the animals and where they live, while also sorting the animal picture cards and the seven continent labels in the appropriate location on the world puzzle map.
Moveable Alphabet: This child is saying the word of the object and matching the symbol with the correct initial sound to the object.
We found a lion on the playground at recess!
Geometric Solids: This child is developing a sense of awareness of three-dimensional shapes to objects in his environment. He is able to identify and label shapes such as sphere, ovoid, ellipsoid, cone, cylinder, cube, triangular prism, square prism, triangular based pyramid and square based pyramid.
Linear Counting: These children are working on one of our cubed bead chains, they are identifying the names of the numbers and seeing the correspondence of the quantities with the written number on the cards.
Land/Air/Water: This child is sorting and naming objects that you would see in the sky, on the land or in the water.



  • Parent Education Night Wednesday, October 25th at 6:30pm
    You can register to attend and for childcare by clicking this link
  • Halloween Party Friday, October 27, 2017


A Look into Next Week: Apples

  • The students will learn to describe an apple using all of their senses.
  • The students will discuss all the different shapes apples can be.
  • The students will taste test red, green, and yellow apples.
  • The students will explore the inside of an apple.

A Peek at Our Week | Ms. Courtney’s Classroom | Week of September 25th

Topic: Five Senses

This past week the children learned how our five senses help us understand and explore the world around us. Our five senses help us collect information about ourselves and our surroundings. They also learned to identify the five senses: hearing, tasting, smelling, touching and seeing.  We discovered that sometimes we use two or more senses at once; and how important it is for our senses to work together. The children had the opportunity to practice using their senses to determine properties of objects and distinguish them from one another.


Taste testing sweet, salty, bitter and sour foods.



Work Time

Tracing Name: This child is tracing her name in cursive. By doing this she is developing fine motor skills and coordination because her eyes and hands have to focus on the same thing in order to form each letter.
Color Box 2: This child is using her ability to discriminate and identify different colors in order to match them.
Pumpkin Scrubbing: This child is using many motor skills while also remembering the order and sequence of each action to successfully pumpkin scrub, which naturally leads to the development of concentration.
Floor Mopping: This child is mopping the classroom after lunch, doing this makes her more aware and willing to care for the classroom environment.
Spindle Box: This child is matching the correct quantity of spindles to each numeral symbol. She is also being introduced to the concept of zero and what its symbol looks like, while also seeing the natural sequence of the numerals.
Color Box 4: This child is grading different colors from lightest to the darkest, while also refining his sense of sight.
Tracing Tree Puzzle: This child is tracing and coloring the tree puzzle by doing this he is learning how to grip and hold a pencil correctly. It also helps refine his hand control to steady the pencil.
Pattern Peg Board: This child is reading the pattern control chart and creating the same pattern on the peg board. By doing this work she is gaining the skills needed to recognize and create patterns. This will not only help her determine patterns in math but also provide her with the needed pre-reading skills in language.
Cursive Chalkboard Writing: This child is practicing writing cursive letters on a chalkboard. She is developing multiple skills involving her eyes, arms, hands, memory, posture and body control.
Pyramid Puzzle: These students are matching the different colors together in order to create the pyramid shape. This puzzle involves not only the ability to concentrate but the ability problem solve.

Guest Reader (if you are interested in being a guest reader email me at cowens@themarterkids.com)


Picture Day Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Look into Next Week: Leaves

  • The students will observe the differences in leaf shape.
  • The students will observe the different Fall colors and the fun we can have with leaves.
  • The students will sort a variety of fall objects.
  • The students will learn different textures leaves have and identify them.


A Peek at our Week | Ms. Courtney | Week of September 18th

Topic: Feelings and emotions

This week the children learned what they can do when they are angry, happy, sad, frustrated, excited etc. They learned how to manage their feelings and emotions. The children practiced how to process, identify and appropriately express their emotions in different scenarios throughout the week. Towards the end of the week we started seeing them express their feelings and emotions to their friends on their own!

A fun activity we had together to help students learn how to express their emotions.

Work time

Tangrams: The student is completing the picture by moving and rotating different shapes.
Multiplication Board: The child is matching the numbered tiles to the corresponding location on the board, while also memorizing multiplication facts.
Sandpaper Numbers: This child is learning the symbols for the numbers through the sense of touch and sight.
Tying: This older child is presenting a lesson on how to tie a shoe to a younger student.

Guest Reader (if you or someone you know is interested please email me at cowens@thesmarterkids.com)


Friday, September 29th: Bring Your Parent to Work Time

You can sign up by following this link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b48a8a92da6f94-bring

A look into next week: Five Senses

The students will learn about their five senses and their parts of the body that correspond to each sense.

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.



  • 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








Digital Marketer



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.

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 or video games that involve competition as csgo, and they could get help from mycsgoboosting.com.



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!