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.

Ms. Courtney’s Class September 2015 Monthly Overview

Themes of the week for the months of August and September

8/25 and 8/31: 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.

9/8: Community Helpers

  • The students will learn about police officers, fire fighters, mail carriers, soldiers, bakers, farmers, doctors, and teachers throughout the week. They will not only learn about these community helpers; they will also be able to explain in detail why each one is very important to our lives.

9/14: My Family

  • The students will illustrate a picture of their family.
  • The students will have a discussion on the importance of families to each of us and the students will be able to identify one reason why their family is important to them.
  • Create a family tree together (Due Friday September 12th)

9/21: Feelings/Emotions

  • The students learn how to identify, handle, and understand the things they may feel and how to act about them.

Letters of the week

8/25 and 8/31: None

9/8: Aa

9/14: Bb

9/21: Cc

Sight word of the week

8/25 and 8/31: None

9/8: the

9/14: of

9/21: an

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

  • Try to find objects that begin with the letter of the week wherever you go with your child.
  • Encourage grace and courtesy when you see your child displaying it to another or you.
  • Talk about the importance of 911 and when you should call and practice dialing it.
  • Practice dialing your telephone number with your child.
  • Start a family tradition by setting a night a week aside for a family movie or game night.
  • If your child displays an emotion they are unfamiliar with talk about it and how to handle it together.

 

 


2014-2015 May/June Newsletter

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Classroom

We started off May talking about the Solar System. The children learned the positions of the planets and their relative sizes and distances. They had a blast using 3D models of the sun and planets to put in order. We talked about how the sun is the biggest star and why it is so important. We discussed the different phases of the moon and made a classroom book of the phases during preschool lesson.

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The second week of May we talked about dinosaurs and what their habitats were like then the children did a dinosaur dig with our practical life work throughout the week. They learned different physical attributes of dinosaurs and their names. The children demonstrated an understanding of herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. We also made real life size paper dinosaur feet to compare to theirs in preschool lesson.

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The third week of May we talked about transportation the children quickly developed an understanding that transportation means to carry things from one place to another. We named all the different methods of transportation like plane, car, boat, bike, horse, train, bus, subway, helicopter etc. The children also had a blast painting with different forms of transportation.

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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.

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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.

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I hope everyone has a fabulous summer and I can’t wait to see all the smiling faces in the fall!

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”.

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Science

The first week of May we did a fire resistant water balloon experiment. We filled a balloon with water, held a lite candle underneath it, and the balloon never popped! Water is a great substance for soaking up heat. The thin balloon allows the heat to pass through very quickly and warm the water. As the water closest to the flame heats up, it begins to rise and cooler water replaces it at the bottom of the balloon. This cooler water then soaks up more heat and the process repeats itself. In fact, the exchange of water happens so often that it keeps the balloon from ever popping! The soot on the bottom of the balloon is actually carbon. The carbon was deposited on the balloon by the flame, and the balloon remains undamaged.

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The second week we did a pepper and soap experiment. We filled a bowl up with water and sprinkled pepper on top of it. Once we added the soap the pepper instantly went to the sides of the bowl. The first question to ask is why the pepper flakes float. Why don’t they sink or dissolve in the water? Well, pepper is hydrophobic, meaning that water is not attracted to it. Because of that, the pepper can’t dissolve in the water. But why do the flakes float on top of the water? Water molecules like to stick together. They line up in a certain way that gives the top of the water surface tension. Because pepper flakes are so light, and hydrophobic, the surface tension keeps them floating on top. The next question to think about is why the pepper shoots to the sides when soap touches the water. Soap is able to break down the surface tension of water that’s part of what makes soap a good cleaner. As the soap moves into the water, and the surface tension changes, the pepper no longer floats on top. But the water molecules still want to keep the surface tension going, so they pull back away from the soap, and carry the pepper along with them.

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The third week we made our own functioning compass. All we needed was a magnet, needle, cork, tape and bowl of water. First we rubbed the needle against the magnet, then tapped it to the cork, and dropped it in the bowl of water. We watched in amazement as the needle briskly turned so that one end was pointing north. Wondering if it was a fluke, we dropped the needle in over and over again, and each time the result was the same. The needle would turn until it was pointing north.

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Art

By: Ms. Faith

To finish up an awesome year of art, Ms. Michele brought in some great projects for the students. The class got to make a 3-D animal out of construction paper using methods learned at the beginning of the year. Some of the animals students made where giraffes, dinosaurs, and foxes. To make their animals, they had to twist, bend, and glue the construction paper together. The next week, each student got to share one thing he or she learned from art class over the year to start off the lesson. Ms. Michele then reviewed what a tint and shade are, which a tint is any color mixed with white and a shade is any color mixed with black. Next, the class got to study real flowers for inspiration and then everyone headed outside to paint their own flowers while enjoying a lovely day. Our last lesson ended with the inspiration of our school’s field trip to the zoo. The students discussed what animals they want to see at the zoo to refresh their memory of zoo animals. The class then made their very own animals using pipe cleaners. Ms. Michele showed them how to build a frame for their animal and how to wrap and twist pipe cleaners around each other to make a solid creature. After everyone was finished, the students lined their animals up and got to look at each other’s creations just like they were at the zoo.

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The students absolutely love having art with Ms. Michele and we hope she has a great summer!

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Music

By: Ms. Faith

I can’t believe the school year is over, but we have had a great time in music class with Ms. Lisa! The students learned new music concepts this month, staccato and legato. Staccato is the musical term for notes that are played short and detached, legato is the musical term for notes that are played smoothly and in a flowing manner. To help the students learn the concept of staccato, Ms. Lisa played a song called “Bubble Song” and she blew bubbles for the class to pop to represent the shortness of the notes. We then danced with scarves to a song that played legato notes and waved the scarves around smoothly and when the staccato notes started, we danced quicker and used sharp motions with the scarves. The next week, our students’ grandparents got to come have a special music class during the schools’ grandparents’ day. The children got to show off their knowledge of musical terms and great memories. One of the grandparents even got to be a volunteer to help out with one of the activities! Everyone had such a blast enjoying music together.

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Thank you Ms. Lisa for a wonderful year of music! We hope you have a great summer and can’t wait until the first music class in the fall!

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April 2015 Newsletter

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Classroom

We started April off by talking about the seven continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia. We learned that Africa, is where the elephants, giraffes and lions live. South America has tropical forests and one of the longest rivers in the world the Amazon River. North America is where we live. Europe and Asia are together on the map, but Australia is an island where the kangaroo and koala bear live. Last but not least Antarctica is way down below frozen and home to the penguins.

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The last week of April we learned about the three R’s Recycle, Reuse and Reduce. Which are three great ways we can eliminate waste and protect our environment! We learned all about waste and how we choose to handle it affects our world’s environment and everything around us like the air, water, land, plants and even man-made things.

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Kindergarten

In kindergarten lesson we learned more parts of speech. We learned that a pronoun (I, me, he, she, herself, you, it, that, they, each, few, many, who, whoever, whose, someone, everybody, etc.) is a word that takes the place of a noun. That an adjective describes a noun. Adverbs describe verbs. That prepositions are ‘where’ words not a ‘where’ wolf.

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Science

The first week of April we made a salt volcano. We filled a jar with water and oil then we added a drop of food coloring. Since salt is heavier than water we sprinkled salt on the oil and it sank to the bottom of the mixture, carrying a blob of oil and food coloring with it. In the water, the salt started to dissolve. As it dissolved, the salt released the oil, which floats back up to the top of the water.

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The second week we did a water color transfer experiment. We filled one glass of water with a few drops of yellow food coloring and another glass of water with blue food coloring. We left the third glass empty. Next, we tore off some paper towel, rolled it up, and stuck one end in the blue water, and the other end in the empty glass. Then we did the same thing using the yellow glass of water and the empty glass. The blue and yellow colors started traveling up the paper towels. Once they became saturated, they dispensed the colored water into the middle glass and created a completely new color green! We also noticed that the middle glass, which was once empty, now had the same amount of colored water as the other two glasses.

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The third week we made rain clouds in a jar. We filled a jar up with water, squeezed shaving cream on top, and then put a few drops of food coloring on top of the shaving cream. Just like real clouds, the shaving cream cloud became saturated because there was too much water for it to hold so some leaked out just like rain falling from a cloud.

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The last week we did a gummy bear experiment and put a gummy bear in plain water, sugar water, salt water, vinegar, milk and baking soda water.  We let them sit for about 6 hours and then checked on them in the afternoon to see what had happened. The results were really surprising. Instead of dissolving, the gummies grew, some to almost triple their original size!

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Music

By: Ms. Faith

To start of the month of April, Ms. Lisa shared about her missions trip to El Salvador from spring break. She showed the students pictures of kids from the country and even sang songs she sang with them. Ms. Lisa discussed how the kids looked different from what the students look like, but they still enjoy games and music just like them. We reviewed the notes and how many counts each note receives, and the musical terms forte and piano. Forte is Italian for loud and piano for quiet. To reinforce these terms, the children marched in a circle around me singing “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” as I pretended to be asleep. They sang piano at first and then when it got to the part where they had to sing the la, la, la’s, they had to sing forte to try to wake me up. They got a kick out of trying to wake the teacher up! Along with reviewing the musical terms, Ms. Lisa had students use some instruments such as: tambourines, castanets, rhythm sticks, and egg shakers. Thank you Ms. Lisa for another great month of music class!

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Art

By: Ms. Faith

In celebration of the International Festival, Ms. Michele took the students on a couple journeys to different countries. The first trip she took us on was to Japan. The class learned about the celebration of Child’s Day and looked at pictures of decorations they use in the celebration. These decorations were, paper lanterns, dragons, and coy fish streamers. So, Ms. Michele had the students make the coy fish streamers out of construction paper. We decorated them with crepe paper, sequence, and different types of paper for scales. While the class was learning about the country, they listened to Japanese music to inspire their artwork. The next journey landed us in Australia where the class got to hear an instrument native to the country called the Didgeridoo, and watched a clip from Steve Irwin to hear his accent and see some of Australia’s animals. Ms. Michele showed pictures of the Aborigines that live there and their artwork. The students then got to use materials from the earth to paint a picture to look like an Aborigine painting. The class used turmeric, clay, charcoal, dirt, and terracotta mixed with water as their paint and Q-tips to make dots to fill in their drawing.

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To finish up the month, the class went back to the focus on a specific artist, Vincent Van Gogh. Ms. Michele showed a picture of his painting called “The Bedroom”. This inspired the project for the students to make a 3-D model of their “dream” bedroom. They got to use felt, markers, wooden pieces, and foam shapes to decorate their room. It was amazing to see the detail the students used to create their own bedroom. Thank you Ms. Michele for the adventure through art class!


May/June 2015 Monthly Overview

Themes of the week (In addition to Montessori Work Time)
5/4: Solar System
• The children will learn the positions of the Planets and their relative sizes and distances.
• The children will discover why and how Earth is distinctive.
• The children will learn the role of the Sun.
• The children will learn the terms rotation, revolution, and orbit.
• The children will be able to name the planets in the Solar System and the order they are in.

5/11: Dinosaurs
• The children will be able to identify dinosaurs by name.
• The children will recognize the different physical attributes of dinosaurs.
• The children will demonstrate understanding of herbivores and carnivores.
• The children will compare and contrast dinosaurs to modern animals.
• The children will demonstrate understanding of fossils.
• The children will identify that museums are places in communities where artifacts can be viewed.

5/18: Transportation
• The children will become familiar with what transportation is: to carry things from one place to another.
• The children will learn the different methods of travel.
• The children will learn the safety rules for all methods of transportation.

5/25: Sports
• The children will work on gross motor skills by marching, skipping, galloping etc.
• The children will gain the skills needed to engage in imaginative and creative play indoors and outdoors, involving others.
• The children will develop team work with peers.

6/1: Welcome Summer
• The children will learn some outside summer games and activities.
• The children will experiment with water.
• The children will learn about summer safety.

Letters of the week
5/4: Aa
511: Ee
5/18: Ii
5/25: Oo
6/1: Uu

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:
• Visit a local museum.
• Take a walk and see how many different forms of transportation you can spot.
• Go to a baseball game.
• Look at the sky with a telescope at night.


March 2015 Newsletter

Classroom

We started off the month of March talking about Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. The children (and teachers) loved coming to school dressed crazy with their hats, silly socks, and crazy hair! We enjoyed reading Green Eggs and Ham and watching the students cringe as they tried that first bite of their very own green eggs and ham.

 

 

 

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The second 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 with the help of our own version of Head Shoulders Knees and Toes (Head, Thorax, and Abdomen.) Together the preschoolers made a beautiful diagram of an insect to display in the classroom. For the third 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.

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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. They even got to create a butterfly life cycles using different types of macaroni. We also designed butterflies using coffee filters and clothes pins.

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

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Kindergarten

The kindergarteners 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. Then we looked at noun 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!

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Science

For the first week of March we defied gravity using water cardboard and a cup! With no air inside the glass, the air pressure from outside the glass is greater than the pressure of the water inside the glass. The extra air pressure manages to hold the cardboard in place, keeping you dry and your water where it should be, inside the glass even when you hold the glass upside down.

The second week we made a tornado in a bottle by spinning a bottle in a circular motion which create a water vortex that looks like a mini tornado. The water is rapidly spinning around the center of the vortex due to centripetal force. Some vortexes found in nature include tornadoes, hurricanes and waterspouts.

The third week of March we filled baggies up with water and poked pencils through them. No water spilled out the holes because ziploc bags are made of a polymer. Polymers have long chains of molecules that are flexible. When we poked the sharp pencils through the baggie, the pencils slide in between the chain of molecules that made up the polymer. The molecule chains made a seal around the pencils and didn’t let any water out.

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Art

By: Ms. Faith

The first week of March was a celebration for Dr. Seuss’ birthday. So, in honor of his birthday, Ms. Michele brought in a piece of artwork that Dr. Seuss painted himself. The title of the pieces was called Dream and then the students got to draw their own dream. They were allowed to use markers, crayons, and colored pencils. The next week, Ms. Michele showed the students different pictures of structures from around the world. These structures included, the Great Wall of China, pyramids, and the Pentagon. Students were given sugar cubes, glue, and pieces of foam to create their own structure. Another project we completed was to go along with the classroom them of plants and flowers. We read a book about and garden and discussed what a garden needs to grow. The young artists got to paint their own gardens using paint, paintbrushes, and forks. The students dipped the forks into the paint and drug them on the paper to create the petals of a flower. We saw a lot of creativity just from using simple objects. Some children painted a sun or insects since those are things a garden needs to grow. At the end of the month, Ms. Michele brought in some art works from an artist who paints robots. The class got to draw their own robot using oil pastels and had to come up with a purpose for their creation. Some students designed robots to help them clean, do homework, and even plant gardens. The students love to be creative and can not wait until the next art class!

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Music

By: Ms. Faith

In the last month, Ms. Lisa reviewed many of the terms we have been learning throughout the year. The students reviewed the terms Adagio and Allegro. Adagio is Italian for slow and Allegro is Italian for fast. She uses these terms for describing tempos of songs. To reinforce these concepts, Ms. Lisa played a song from Beethoven, which had a slow tempo, and a song from Chopin, which had a fast tempo. The students used scarves to dance along with the different tempos. The students also got to practice singing in their high and low voices as well as quite and loud voices. Since the students enjoyed the game called “Cat and Mouse” that Ms. Lisa introduced to them last month, she brought it back again this month. The students have a lot of fun trying not to get caught by the cat. To wrap up music class before spring break, Ms. Lisa brought back her keyboard and taught the students the difference between the black and the white keys. She had two students come up and play a duet on the white keys, then the black keys. The students had to learn how to be an audience and listen respectfully while their peers were playing their duet. Once their duet was finished, the students took a bow and their audience clapped for them. We hope Ms. Lisa has a great spring break and I know the students will look forward to the first music class in April.

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April 2015 Monthly Overview

Themes of the week for the month of April (In addition to Montessori Individual Work Time)

4/6:  International festival

  • The children will learn about the geography, culture, and language of North America and South America.

4/13:  International festival

  • The children will learn about the geography, culture, and language of Europe, Africa and Asia.

4/20:  International festival

  • The children will learn about the geography, culture, and language of Antarctica and Australia.

4/27: 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.

Letters of the week

4/6: Yy

4/13: Zz

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

  • Practice your line for the Festival at home!
  • Look around your home and see what you can do to Reduce/Reuse/Recycle
    • Use reusable grocery bags.
    • Use a refillable water bottle.
    • Use natural light when applicable.

February 2015 Newsletter

Classroom

The first week in February 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.

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The second 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 picture frames for their moms and dads out of popsicle sticks and puzzle pieces and had a fantastic Valentine’s Day party. I would like to thank all of the parents who made the party possible! It was very successful.

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The third week of February the children learned how 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”. They also talked about what they think life is like for the Obama family in the White House.

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The last week of February we did a sorting activity with different pictures of foods with a dental hygienist. She explained that our teeth get sad and full of tooth decay from sweets and soda and get happy, shiny and bright from brushing and eating healthy foods. We talked about cavities and cut a hole in an apple to show us how a little hole in your teeth can get pretty yucky inside. The children also took turns brushing a stained egg with real toothpaste and it turned white again.

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Kindergarten

We started out the month continuing with multiplication using the golden beads.  The introduction of beads shows the kindergarteners a solid correspondence between the written symbol and physical quantity. We also discussed what tools could be used in the classroom to help with multiplication, such as the stamp game, multiplication bead board and dot board. We even talked about dynamic multiplication with exchanges (carry overs). We introduced 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.

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Science

For the first week in February in science we took three raw eggs and placed them into different liquids (vinegar, water, and milk) we left the eggs in the liquid for a couple of hours to see the different effects the substances had on the eggs.

The second week of February Ms. Stacey did a science experiment with the students called dancing conversation hearts. She took 4 alka seltzer tabs and crushed them up and placed them in the bottom of a glass, then she took a few conversation hearts and placed them on top of crushed alka seltzer. After that she poured 1 cup of sparkling water over the hearts and we sat back and watched them dance. The students discovered that carbon dioxide was forming and pulling the hearts to the surface then the bubbles would burst and the hearts would fall until the bubbles formed again to pull them back to the top again.

The last week of February we inflated balloons using vinegar and baking soda and the children learned when you mix the two together it creates carbon dioxide and the gas rises up and escapes the bottle feeling the balloon.

Art (By Ms. Faith)

In art class this month, Ms. Michele had three great projects for the students. The first project was dealing with fears and what makes us afraid. The students drew what they were afraid of on a piece of black construction paper using oil pastels. After they drew what they were afraid of, Ms. Michele had the class draw themselves bigger on a separate piece of paper to show that they are bigger than their fears. She used this project to teach the students about how artists use the foreground, middle ground, and background in their drawings and paintings.

The next week, the students learned what a mosaic is, an image made up of smaller pieces of glass or other objects. Ms. Michele used cardstock for the base of the mosaic and brought in many colors of foam squares. The students could create any image they wanted using the small squares of foam to fill up the piece of cardstock.

For the last project, the students got to illustrate their own book. Ms. Michele showed the students images of large art works, such as paintings that take up a whole side of a building or a large sculpture of a stuffed animal bunny. The students were given these inspirations to create a book about giant things. First, they had to draw pictures and then the teachers walked around and wrote on the pages what was going on in the illustrations.

Music (Ms. Faith)

In the month of February, Ms. Lisa brought some review activities and some new activities for the students. To review, students had to choose when they wanted to sing in a loud or quiet voice and had to recall the musical terms forte or piano. Other musical terms the students got a review on are: adagio, allegro, and andante. These all refer to the tempo of a song; slow, fast, and a medium pace. Ms. Lisa brought in her electric keyboard and played songs from Peter and the Wolf for the students to remember which song was for which character. We were amazed at how well the students could pick up after not hearing the story for a month!

The students got to participate in two new activities in music class yet. We played a game called Cat and Mouse. The students were all mice and the teacher got to be the cat. When Ms. Lisa played a song on her keyboard with high notes, the “mice” had to come out of their hole and play. When Ms. Lisa played the same song using low notes, the “cat” could then chase the “mice” and try to tag them. If a student was tagged, he or she would then become a “cat” as well. The students enjoyed this game and wanted to keep playing. Another new activity using Ms. Lisa’s keyboard, was to identify different sounds. Her keyboard has a built in synthesizer and can make many different sounds. The sounds the students had to identify were: birds, a telephone, a helicopter, and an audience clapping. The students loved making guesses for what the noises were!


Ms. Courtney’s March 2015 Monthly Overview

Themes of the week for the month of March

3/2: 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.

3/9: 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.

3/16:  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.

3/23: 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.

Letters of the week

3/2: Uu

3/9: Vv

3/16: Ww

3/23: Xx

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

  • Talk to your child about their favorite Eric Carle or Dr. Seuss book and why they find that book interesting.
  • Visit your local library for a Dr. Seuss or Eric Carle reading.
  • 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 2015 Newsletter

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Classroom

We kicked off January by talking about polar animals. The children enjoyed making fake snow out of hair conditioner and baking soda and playing in it to build snowmen, igloo’s and snowballs. The students also enjoyed waddling around the classroom like penguins.

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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.

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After having Martin Luther King Jr. Day off we talked about how he was a hero because he was brave and honest (noble). 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 to create a class book for the library.

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The last week in January we took an imaginary trip to the zoo and sang all about the tigers, lions, chimpanzees, kangaroos 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.

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Kindergarten

The kindergarteners have been working so hard on their journals. I hope you enjoyed the ones they brought home! They also started practicing writing in cursive. I can’t believe how they cruised through learning addition and multiplication with the golden beads. We have even been working on more abstract materials like the stamp game and dot board to solve our problems.

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Science

For the first week of January we were curious to see what salt would do to ice so we froze a block of ice. Then took turns placing spoonful’s of salt onto the ice. It was interesting to watch the salt create holes in the ice. After the holes were created we took turns dripping primary food colors into the holes and the colors mixed together to form new colors.

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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!

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For science we also 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!

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Milk goes great with a lot of things: cereal, cookies, cake, and pie. So we decided to mix it with a bottle of coke. The milk and coke separated when the phosphoric acid molecules attached to the molecules of the milk which increased the density and separated them from the rest of the liquid. The remaining liquids had less density than the phosphoric acid and milk molecules so they float on top.

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Enrichments by Ms. Faith

Art 

For three weeks of January the students worked to create an imaginary creature with Ms. Michele. This project is always enjoyed by the students and brings more whimsy into the classroom. To start the lesson, Ms. Michele talked to the group about mythical creatures and showed some examples of artists’ renditions of the creatures. After this, each child got to pick three pictures of animals and had to choose one part of each of the animals to use in drawing a new creature. The next week, the students then got to create an armature out of foil, which is the base structure for their sculpture. Once the armature was in place, the young artists formed clay around the foil and the creatures began to come to life. After the clay animals were baked, the class got to paint their creatures. The students loved making up their own creature and letting their creativity soar. To end the month, Ms. Michele started a new series where each week she will introduce a new artist and we will complete an artwork in the style of the individual. The first artist we learned about was Claude Monet, who is very well known for the Surrealism movement. Surrealism style is soft and blurry, which some believe to be caused by Monet having poor eyesight. To recreate this style, Ms. Michele had the students use their fingertips to make dots of different colored paint all over a piece of paper. Once the colors were blended together by their fingerprints, it created a blurrier look just like Claude’s. We are all in suspense to find out who the next artist Ms. Michele will introduce us to next week!

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Music 

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.

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