Ms. Courtney’s February 2016 Monthly Overview

Themes of the Week (in addition to Montessori Work Time)

2/1: Farm Animals

  • The children will learn about different farm animals
  • The children will discover all of the products that come from farm animals
  • The children will understand all of the responsibilities of a farmer

 

2/8: 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

 

2/15: 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

 

2/22: 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

 

Letters of the week

2/1: Qq

2/8: Rr

2/15: Ss

2/22: Tt

 

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

  • Take a trip to a local farm!
  • 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!

Ms. Courtney’s December 2015 Newsletter

Classroom

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 down just right.

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Our students created candy canes out of their fingerprints. We also made Rudolf pictures by tracing the students’ hands for the antlers and feet for the face. Next, we added a red nose and eyes to complete the reindeer.  The students also made a winter scene snow globe out of paper plates and sandwich bags. The students loved making Christmas tree ornaments out of sticks and ribbons and melted snowmen ornaments to put in their gift bags to 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 misfit toys!

Kindergarten

The kindergarteners worked hard on their journals and have no learned how to measure in inches and centimeters using a ruler and tape measure. They have been measuring many different objects in the classroom including their teachers and recording it.

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They also enjoyed the holiday season by making many holiday treats to share with their friends like rice krispy treats and sugar cookies.

Science
We did a blubber science experiment by putting Crisco between two plastics bags, then putting our hand in and into freezing cold water. We learned the animals of the Arctic and Antarctic circles spend their lives surviving subfreezing air temperatures and frigid water. Their secret is blubber, a thick layer of body fat that comprises up to 50% of some marine mammals. The students were amazed at how different the water felt with and without the blubber glove.

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Music
By: Ms. Breanna

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear, and sing, we did! This month in music class we spent a little bit of time perfecting our songs for the Program, but after doing great work, we need some time to have fun and dance! We sang and danced with Ms. Lisa to songs such as Feliz Navidad, Dashing through the Snow, and Jingle Bells. She also brought her castinets, jingle bells, and other fun instruments to play as a band! We had a great time together playing and preparing with Ms. Lisa, and we hope you enjoyed our performance! Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Art
By: Ms. Breanna

December marked the start of our figure drawing unit. We started the month off with creating foil figures and cutting shadows out of black paper for them. The next week, we got into the Christmas spirit by drawing ourselves as elfs working in Santa’s workshop. It was a short month for art, but it was filled with fun and excitement as we prepared for our Christmas Program!

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January 2016 Academic Enrichment Monthly 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 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 their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level.

1/4: Introduction to 9 Tray/ 45 layout/composing numbers

  • Learning what is and says ( 1, 10, 100, 1000)
  • Reinforce by placement and identification of numbers within each decimal place
  • Reinforce number placement with creation of numbers

1/11: Introduction to addition

  • Working with 9 tray / 45 layout
  • Using single units, 10 bars, 100 square and 1000 cubes

1/18: Introduction to exchanging

  • Introduction of exchanging 1s, 10s, 100s and 1000s
  • Using single units, 10 bars, 100 squares and 1000 cubes

1/25: Introduction to multiplication

  • Working with 9 tray / 45 layout
  • Using single units, 10 bars, 100 square and 1000 cubes

Synonyms of the week

1/4: LOUD, noisy, piercing, deafening, booming, crashing, boisterous, raucous
1/11: QUIET, peaceful, mute, calm, silent
1/18: SKINNY, thin, lean, emaciated, scrawny, slender
1/25: FAT, overweight big, bulky, heavy, plump

Sight Words

1/4: are
1/11: and
1/18: up
1/25: see 

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.

Ms. Courtney’s January 2016 Monthly Overview

1/4: Polar Animals

  • The children will be making their own snow.
  • The children will talk about ice fishing and then do some ice fishing in the classroom.
  • The children will experience what it is like to be a penguin.
  • The children will learn about all of the different polar animals.

1/11: Ocean Animals

  • The children will learn about the ocean habitat.
  • The children will compare their length to a blue whales length.
  • The children will create waves in a bottle.
  • Friday 1/15 NO SCHOOL | Teacher In Service Day

1/18: M L King

  • Monday, 1/18 NO SCHOOL | MLK Day
  • The children will learn what a hero is.
  • The children will create a classroom “I Have A Dream Book”.
  • The children will learn that even though everyone is different on the outside, we are all the same on the inside, through an egg experiment.

1/25: Zoo Animals

  • Learning about different animals we find at the Zoo.
  • On Friday 1/29 each child is invited to bring their favorite stuffed animal. The animal should be one commonly found in a zoo. They can have snack or lunch picnic style with their stuffed animal.
  • The children will create zoo cookies.

Letters of the week

1/4: Mm
1/11: Nn
1/18: Oo
1/25: Pp

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

  • Go to the pet store.
  • Try and spot all the different animals outside during winter.
  • Have a birthday party for M L King.
  • Talk to your child about what his/her dream is and share yours.

Ms. Courtney’s Class November 2015 Newsletter

The month of November sure did fly by! The past month was filled with many fun activities and learning.  During the first 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!

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The next week 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 clipped out pictures of different types of food and sorted into the group on our classroom diagram.

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The third 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.

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The last 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.  The students finished designing their costumes and making the center pieces for the Thanksgiving Feast. Each child shared what they were thankful for.  We received responses from mom and dad, to pets, to sandwiches.  The Feast was a great experience for the students to share a meal together and to have their families involved.  A big thank you goes out to all the parents who made food and came in to help with the set up and clean up!

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Academic Enrichment- Kindergarten Students

The first week of November the kindergarteners 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 kindergarteners 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 by journaling each day and they are fun for me to read!

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Science

For our first science experiment we mixed hot water and Epsom salt together and quickly cooled it. Epsom salt is another name for the chemical magnesium sulfate. The temperature of the water determines how much magnesium sulfate it can hold. It will dissolve more when it is hotter. Cooling the solution rapidly encourages fast crystal growth, since there is less room for the dissolved salt in the cooler, denser solution.

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For our second experiment we blew up a balloon using nerds and coke. The carbon dioxide contained in the nerd candy wouldn’t be enough to cause the balloon to inflate. That’s where the coke came into play. The coke contained pressurized carbon dioxide. When the nerds were dropped into the coke some carbon dioxide was able to escape from the high fructose corn syrup of the coke and because the carbon dioxide gas has nowhere to go in the bottle it rises into the balloon making it inflate.

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Art

By: Ms.Breanna

Much like the weather, it has been both warm and cold in Art this month. We started the month off by learning about the colors of the color wheel and creating our own to take home. We then used warm and cool colors to create a mosaic leaf. Mosaic is a beautiful art form in which fragments of a material, foam in our case, is pieced together in order to create a design or image. Our friends were given the option to use either warm or cool colors to create their leaves, but had to use the opposite option to fill in the background. As most people know, sometimes art takes a long while to complete, and this project has definitely been one of those sometimes. We spent the entire month on this project so that we could add as much detail and contrast as possible to these gorgeous mosaics. We have thoroughly enjoyed this project, but are excited to see what Ms. Michelle has in store for us next month!

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Music

By: Ms. Breanna

The holidays are quickly approaching and preparations for Christmas are underway! This is such an exciting time of year and what better way to get into the holiday spirit than through music?! We have been working very hard at learning our songs for the Christmas Program next month and Ms. Lisa has been lending us her musical expertise during music class to help us perfect our sound and rhythm.  Christmas is not all about work and perfection, however, so in our extra time, we have been playing some great musical Christmas games with instruments such s the rhythm sticks and jingle bells and songs like Dashing Through the Snow, Jingle Bells, Little Drummer boy, and many more!

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Ms. Courtney’s December 2015 Monthly Overview

Themes of the week (in addition to Montessori Work Time)

11/30: Christmas Program

  • The children will be practicing for the Christmas show multiple times a day.

12/7: Christmas Program

  • The children will be practicing for the Christmas show multiple times a day.

12/14: 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.

Christmas Show Rehearsal (not a dress rehearsal)
Wednesday, December 16th 6:00– 8:00pm
Cuyahoga Falls High School Auditorium

Christmas Show
Friday, December 18th 6:00pm
Cuyahoga Falls High School Auditorium

 

12/21—1/01       Christmas Break—School Resumes Monday January 4th

 

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

  • Bake holiday treats together.
  • Make homemade ornaments and festive decorations together.
  • Watch classic winter and Christmas movies together.
  • Go caroling as a family.
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter as a family.
  • Play outside as a family and enjoy the winter weather.

Ms. Courtney’s October 2015 Newsletter

 Primary Room

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 leafs for leaf rubbing.

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The second week of October the students learned about apples.  They got to taste test three 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.

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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 try the seeds they cleaned out of the pumpkin after they had been baked. The students also guessed how many seeds were in a pumpkin. Some thought a hand full and others thought thousands, turned out there were 504.

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The final 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.  The students were amazed by the fact that bats were mammals like them.

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I wanted to thank all the parents who helped out with the Halloween party especially our party planner Brooke.  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!

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Academic Enrichment with Kindergarten Students

During Academic Enrichment Lesson, kindergarten students learned about landforms.  Ask them what the definition of a lake, island, bay, peninsula, gulf, harbor, cape, isthmus, straight, chain of lakes, and archipelago.  We went over telling time to the hour, half past, and quarter after. They also have been working hard and doing a great job on their journals.

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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 a couple science experiments such as an exploding a pumpkin with rubber bands and blowing bubbles using a cd and lighter.

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Music
In music class this month the children sang hello to Bernie the Bernard, Ellie the Parrot, Freida the Frog, and Rainbow Sparkles the Dragon! One of the first concepts Ms. Lisa taught the children was how many beats the whole, quarter, half, and eighth notes get. We practiced these notes in the song “Hot Cross Buns”. The children tapped rhythm sticks together for each note. The next skill we worked on was high and low sounds. Ms. Lisa taught the children the song “I wish I were a juicy orange”. While singing this song the children sang in high and low voices and shook egg shakers. The children also played tambourines and castanets throughout the month. Lastly we played some freeze dances with colorful scarves to sharpen our listening skills.

 

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Art
Ms. Michele spent the first two weeks of the month having the children study the artist Georges Seurat. We watched a video about him and learned about his painting technique. He used the pointillism technique. His paintings look like they are made up of a bunch of dots. So to practice this, the children first drew an animal of their choice in pencil on poster board. Then they used q-tips to dot the animal in with paint.

Our next art lesson was on paper sculptures. First, Ms. Michele went over different types of lines. (dotted, squiggly, short, long, etc.) Then she showed lines in artwork and explained how our eyes “follow” the lines. Next she asked the children what a sculpture was. She explained that a sculpture isn’t flat but 3-dimensional. She then demonstrated to the children how to make paper sculptures using the lines she described at the beginning of the lesson. The children than created 3-dimensional paper playgrounds using strips of paper and gluing them down in different ways.

 

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Ms. Courtney’s November 2015 Classroom Monthly Overview

Themes of the week (in addition to Montessori Work Time)

11/2: Body Parts
-The children will be able to identify specific body parts (Heads, Shoulders, Knees & Toes).
-The children will start to develop body awareness.

11/9: Food Groups/Nutrition
-The children will become aware of five food groups (dairy, protein, vegetables, fruits, and grains).
-The children are made aware of different foods from each food group.
-The children are informed that eating different foods from each food group will help them grow, think, and have energy to play.
-The children will learn how to recognize different foods from each group.
-The children will sample a variety of healthy foods.

Friday, November 13th  NO SCHOOL/ Teacher In Service Day (Parent//Teacher Conferences All Day 8am-7pm)

11/16: Indians/Pilgrims
-The children will learn about the items Pilgrims used long ago.
-The children will learn very that life was difficult for the Pilgrims in America and that everyone, including the children, had to work hard.
-The children will learn where the Pilgrims left and where they were headed in America.
-The children will be reading and learning about the very first Thanksgiving.

11/23: What I am thankful for
-The children will learn the meaning of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for families, friends and special things in times we share.
-The children will learn doing things for others is important, and makes us feel good inside.
-The children will learn that we can show thankfulness all the time, not only during holidays.
-The children will learn there are many ways to share.

Thanksgiving Feast 11/25 (11:00‐12:00pm) 12:00pm Early Dismissal (No Aftercare)
Thursday/Friday NO SCHOOL—Enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!

 

Letters of the week
11/2: Ii
11/9: Jj
11/16: Kk
11/23: Ll

Sight word of the week
11/2: for
11/9: have
11/16: play
11/23: look

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:
-Perform a simple cleanup task for a needy neighbor. It might be as simple as raking leaves from a yard or driveway, or tidying a porch or garage.
-Make Thanksgiving dinner together.
-Make a weekly menu together to place on the refrigerator that is balanced according to the food pyramid.
-Read labels of food together.
-Let your child pack their lunch.
-Do the hokey pokey together.


August/September 2015 Newsletter

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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.

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The third week of school we talked and learned about community helpers. We had many parents, family members and friends volunteer to come in and talk to the children. They briefly described their occupation, they talked about where they work, what they wear, tools they use, and tasks they perform. I would like to thank all of the volunteers that came into the classroom! It was a wonderful learning experience for both the students and teachers!

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The fourth week of school we discussed families, each student has a chance to share their family tree with their friends. Their family trees included their name, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The students also brought pictures of their families either on the family tree or hard copies for the children to share with their friends. The children enjoyed learning more about their friends and where they came 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.

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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 feeling and emotions it was great to hear the students tell their friends what they were feeling and why on their own.

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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.

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Kindergarten

We kicked off Kindergarten with a lot of 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.

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Art
By: Ms. Faith

The first month of school the students learned many new and exciting things about their classroom, teachers, and friends. They also discovered how much fun art class is with Ms. Michele. Throughout the month, students were taught the rules and procedures for different art materials. To start off the first lesson, Ms. Michele discussed what an artist is and we decided that they create things. The students then made an Eric Carle inspired tissue paper butterfly using shapes cut out of tissue paper, coloring over top using crayon rubbings over different textures, and then gluing the shapes to create a beautiful butterfly. The next lesson was all about primary colors. There are three primary colors and they are red, blue, and yellow. The students then created their house by gluing black construction paper onto paper and then used primary colors to paint their houses. Ms. Michele showed the class works from Piet Mondrain who is best known for painting with lines and primary colors. Our third lesson was all about patterns. The class learned what a pattern is and practice making patters before creating their own flowers using oil pastels and filling them with different colors and patterns. Ms. Michele showed the students how paintings of flowers have changed over the years from realistic to more abstract by looking at works from Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gough, and Andy Warhol.

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During the fourth week, the little artists learned about secondary colors, which are the colors that primary colors make when mixed. We learned about a local artist, Don Drumm who is know for his sun sculptures, so the students got to make sun, sun catchers using Modge Podge mixed with food coloring on clear plastic. The colors blend together and when they are dry, the sunlight shines beautifully through. To end the month, we got to create shape animals using shapes cut out of construction paper and glued together on another piece of paper. The inspiration for this piece comes from an artist named Charlie Harper. He created wildlife prints using simple shapes. The students love getting to use the art materials and learn how talented they are. We can’t wait to see what next month’s art lessons will bring.

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Music
By: Ms. Faith

All the students get so excited when it’s music day and it’s no wonder why. Ms. Lisa brings music and movement to their lives once a week. In music class, the little musicians learn how to use different musical instruments such as tambourines, egg shakers, and rhythm sticks. Ms. Lisa also teaches musical terms and plays games with the class to help them remember the term. So far, we have learned Adagio which means slow, Allegro, which means fast, Piano which means soft, and Forte which means loud. Our music teacher brings puppet friends with her and makes them move slow or fast and sing loud or soft to help the students guess the musical term. Every class, the kids get to sing to the puppet friend and either sing in a Piano or Forte voice. The students also learn many valuable life lessons like patience and following directions through music class. They have to learn how to use the instrument properly and how to wait for Ms. Lisa to tell them when they can pick their instruments up. It’s amazing to see how much the students improve over the school year with their rhythmic skills and ability to use the materials. Throughout the week, students will ask when Ms. Lisa is coming because they love learning about music with her.

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Science
By: Ms. Faith

For our first science experiment of the year we made explosive chalk with cornstarch, water and food coloring. We added an alka seltzer which made it pop and send the sidewalk chalk bursting out, creating beautiful chalk art.

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The second week we put different candy bars in a bowl of water, some of them sank and floated. We discovered that if something is more dense than water, it sinks. Snickers will sink, but a 3 Musketeers bar will not because it contains trapped air, so it’s less dense than water.

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The third week we made a bottle rocket using a 2 litter, cork, water and bike pump.

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The fourth week we soaked an egg in vinegar and highlighter. The eggshell dissolved and a glowing effect occurred because the vitamins are fluorescent. When the eggshell dissolved the membrane of the egg became permeable so some amount of the glowing vinegar infused the egg, causing it to glow!

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The last week of September we made ice grow by putting colored water in the freezer until it got slushy like. We then dumped the water on ice cubes keeping the stream of water going moving it around a bit and our ice grew taller.

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Ms. Courtney’s October 2015 Monthly Overview

9/28: Five Senses

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

10/5: Leaves

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

10/12: Apples

  • The students will describe an apple using all of their sense.
  • The students will discuss the shapes apples come in.
  • The students will taste test red, green, and yellow apples.
  • The students will explore the inside of an apple.

10/19: Pumpkins

  • The students will identify feeling words such as happy, sad, scared, etc.
  • The students will guess and count how many seeds are in a pumpkin.
  • The students will practice measuring to make a treat.
  • The students will practice team work.

10/26: Bats

  • The students will learn about the life cycle of a bat.
  • The students will research facts about bats.
  • Halloween Classroom Party (October 31st)

Letters of the week

  • 9/28: Dd
  • 10/5: Ee
  • 10/12: Ff
  • 10/19: Gg
  • 10/26: Hh

Sight word of the week

  • 9/28: But
  • 10/5: Can
  • 10/12: Me
  • 10/19: I
  • 10/26: Go

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

  • Have students describe things at home using their senses.
  • Go on a family walk to see how many different kinds of leaves you can find together.
  • Take a trip to an apple orchard.
  • Make homemade applesauce from your child’s favorite apple.
  • Bake pumpkin seeds.
  • Take a trip to a pumpkin patch.
  • Research other nocturnal animals.