Ms. Courtney’s December 2014 Monthly Overview

Themes of the week for the month of December ( in addition to Montessori Work time)

12/1- 12/19: Christmas Program

  • We will be taking time in the morning and afternoon to practice for our Christmas Show!
  • We have fun Christmas themed crafts and activities planned for our students!

Christmas Show Rehearsal (not a dress rehearsal)
Wednesday, December 17th 6:00– 7:00pm
Cuyahoga Falls Hgh School
431 Stow Ave. Cuyahoga Falls, OH  44221

Christmas Show
December 19th 6:30pm
Cuyahoga Falls High School
431 Stow Ave. Cuyahoga Falls, OH  44221

**  All students arrive by 6:00pm
** Doors will open at 6:00pm

 

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.

 12/20—1/4         Christmas Break—School Resumes Monday January 5th

 

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 Corner – October 2014 Newsletter

Tallmadge Preschool

 

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.  Some of the students even brought home beautiful paintings using apples as stamps.

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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 and even sampled some of the actual meat of the pumpkin cooked.

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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.

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I wanted to thank all the parents who helped out with the Halloween party.  It was definitely a success, and the kids enjoyed all of the crafts, games, and delicious food. We could not have had a more successful party!

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Kindergarten

During Kindergarten Lesson, 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 oozing jack-o-lantern when we mixed hydrogen peroxide with water and yeast. The students also made water crystals mixing colored water with ­­­­­­­­­polyacrylamide.

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Music

During October Ms. Lisa brought in some fun instruments and musical terms for our class. The students learned how to sing in either a piano, which means soft, or forte, which means loud, voice. She also had the students practice their hi and low voices. The instruments the students experienced were egg shakers, rhythm sticks, tambourines, and castanets. They continued to learn about the different notes and this month Ms. Lisa had the students lead clapping out the notes Some of the songs Ms. Lisa sang with the students were, “Grand Old Flag”, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”, “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”, and “The ABC’s”. An activity the children got to participate in was a ball toss game while listening to “London Bridge”. Students had to wait to pass the ball if the singing stopped and then when the singing came back on they could start passing again. This helps to develop listening skills while having fun! Thank you again Ms. Lisa for another great month of music!

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Art

Ms. Michele finished up her unit on What is Art by talking to the students about sculptures. They were able to create their own sculpture out of random objects from home and painted them all one color, which we learned the art term is monochromatic. During this lesson, Ms. Michele also introduced complimentary colors, and the students had to pick out other objects that were complimentary to the paint color they chose for their sculpture. After this project was completed, we started a new unit called What I See. The children will have to draw and paint objects that are in front of them. We started off by picking a picture of a flower, studying it, and drawing a detailed picture using oil pastels, markers, water, and paint brushes. The next week, Ms. Michele brought in some fun toys to set in front of the class and they got to dig into many different art supplies including, oil pastels, markers, colored pencils, and crayons to draw the toys. We can’t wait to see what Ms. Michele has in store for us next month!

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Ms. Courtney’s November Monthly Overview

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

11/3: Body Parts

  • The children will be able to identify specific body parts (Heads, Shoulders, Knees & Toes).
  • The children will start to develop body awareness.

11/10: Food Groups/Nutrition

  • The children will become aware of five food groups (dairy, protein, vegetables, fruits, and grains).
  • Categorizing 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.
  • Learning how to recognize different foods from each group.
  • The children will sample a variety of healthy foods.

11/17: Indians/Pilgrims

  • The children will learn about the tools Pilgrims used long ago.
  • The children will learn 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.

11/24: 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.

Letters of the week

11/3: Ii
11/10: Jj
11/17: Kk
11/24: Ll

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.

Courtney’s Corner – August-September Newsletter

Tallmadge School

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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

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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 of volunteer community helpers come into the classroom and talk to the children. They briefly described their occupation, by talking about where they work, what they wear, tools they use, and tasks they perform. I would like to thank all of the volunteers who came into the classroom! It was a wonderful learning experience for both the students and myself! The fourth week of school we discussed families and the students shared their family trees 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.   We ended the month of September talking 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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Kindergarten

We kicked off Kindergarten with a lot Geography. The students learned about the seven continents, fun facts about the continents, and a few countries in each continent. The students became very familiar with the cardinal directions, the equator, the prime meridian, and the hemispheres. We took a look at our home state of Ohio and the surrounding states (their abbreviation and nickname). Make sure you ask your child all about Ohio! They will be able to tell you that the cardinal is the official bird, scarlet carnation the official flower, lady bug is the official insect, and tomato juice is the official drink. They learned how we are the buckeye state and that the official rock and roll song is Hang on Sloopy.

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Art

The first month of school flew by, and the students have already learned so much in art class with Ms. Michele. Her first unit of study is “What is Art?” We learned what an artist is and what they do. The children will get to explore the color wheel and art terms. They will be learning key art rules and how to use the art materials.

Ms. Michele kicked off her unit with a project called “My Favorite Animal” inspired by Eric Carle. She read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and then discussed the techniques Mr. Carle uses in his illustrations. He uses overlapping colors of tissue paper to create the wonderful pictures in his books. The students then made textured rubbings on tissue paper and glued them together on a piece of paper to create their favorite animal.

The next concept the students learned was about primary colors. They learned that these colors are blue, red, and yellow. These colors can be mixed together to create other colors. The project for the second week was “My House.” Ms. Michele was inspired by Piet Mondrian’s “Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow” due to his use of the three primary colors. The students mapped out their house using black Popsicle sticks to create the same shapes that Mondrian used in his art piece, and red, yellow, and blue paint.

Our last lesson of the month was entitled “The Best Playground Ever.” Ms. Michele showed the students pictures of different playgrounds. One was a typical playground we see in our neighborhoods, one was made completely out of nets, and the last one was shaped like a whale. The students discussed the different shapes and lines of the equipment and discovered that art isn’t just flat. They were then allowed to create their own playground by twisting, bending, crimping, and rolling pieces of paper and then gluing them to a base.

We all want to thank Ms. Michele for bringing in her wonderful, creative ideas and are excited to learn more next month!

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Science

For our first science experiment of the year the students learned how liquids like water and milk have a property known as surface tension. We used soap, milk, and food coloring to experiment with reducing the surface tension to see what would happen. The students first put food coloring in the milk and noticed that the drops of food coloring just sat on the surface where we placed them in the milk. We discovered that is because food coloring is less dense than milk, so it floats on the surface, and the colors do not mix because we didn’t stir the milk. Then the students wanted to see some action so we added a drop of soap. The soap reduced the surface tension of the milk by dissolving the fat molecules and the food coloring started to move with the surface!

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Music

“It’s music time today. Time to sing and play. It’s lots of fun to sing and learn. It’s music time today.” The students have learned that this song is true for music class with Ms. Lisa. At the start of every music class, Ms. Lisa sings this with the students to get them excited and ready to learn. Our returning students were so thrilled to start music class and our new students have found out what a joy it is to spend time with Ms. Lisa.

During this past month, the children met our wonderful music teacher, Ms. Lisa and were introduced to many musical concepts. They have experienced how to use rhythm sticks, egg shakers, and tambourines. The class learned what a whole, half, quarter, and eighth note look like and how many beats each one receives. Ms. Lisa also shared with us some fun classics, such as “London Bridge,” “The ABC’s,” “The Hokey Pokey,” and “I’m a Little Tea Pot.” The students always enjoy having Ms. Lisa come each week and we can’t wait to learn more next month!

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October 2014 Monthly Overview

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

9/29: Five Senses

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

10/6: 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.

10/13: Apples

  • The students will describe an apple using all of their senses.
  • 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.

10/20: 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.

10/27: Bats

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

Letters of the week
9/29: Dd
10/6: Ee
10/13: Ff
10/20: Gg
10/27: Hh

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.

Courtney’s Class Overview – September 2014

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

8/26 and 9/2: 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.

9/15: 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)

9/22: 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

9/8: Aa
9/15: Bb
9/22: Cc

Sight word of the week

9/8: the
9/15: of
9/22: 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.

Courtney’s Corner – May 2014

Tallmadge School

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 place in order. We talked about how the sun is the biggest star and why it is so important. We also made constellations with toothpicks and marshmallows. We discussed the different phases of the moon and made them using chalk and construction paper. On Friday for science, we made moon sand and the children had so much fun playing with it!

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The second week of May we talked about dinosaurs and what their habitat was like then the children made their own habitat using sand, rocks, plastic plants, toy dinosaurs, clay, and dirt. They learned different physical attributes of dinosaurs and their names. The children demonstrated an understanding of herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. We also dug out tyrannosaurus rex fossils and put the pieces together. For science we exploded the volcano, the children put in the habitat earlier in the week, using baking soda and vinegar.

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. Students learned safety rules for all methods of transportation and practiced crossing a fake street setup in the classroom. We placed a car at the top of a ramp and asked the children how far it will go. We recorded their answers with tape with each child’s name on it. We did this on the carpet first together then they switched to a smooth surface and tried it with their friends by making their own ramps and using different cars. We also made balloon powered cars for science this week using balloons, straws, tape, and toy cars.

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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 many 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 froze different color ice cubes for the children to put together in a glass and observe as the ice melts to make a new color. We also discussed summer safety rules while playing outside and playing with or in water. The children learned how to make homemade ice cream and enjoyed the tasty treat together!

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


Ms. Courtney’s Corner – April 2014

Tallmadge School

We started April off by talking 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 mobile to represent each stage of the life cycle they learned about. We also designed butterflies using paper, pipe cleaner, and creativity. For science we put one empty glass of water and one full glass of water next to each other with paper towel we twisted together  until it formed a rope (the wick). The rope absorbed and transferred the water from the full glass into the empty glass after we placed one end of it into the glass filled with water and the other into the empty glass. The children learned that the process they just watched happen is called capillary action which is when water uses the tiny gaps in the fiber of the paper towels to move along. Later, some of the children asked if this is the same thing that happens in plants and flowers. What a proud moment that was as a teacher!

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The rest of April we focused on the seven continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia. We learned 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 also home to the penguins. Students and teachers spent a lot of time preparing for this year’s International Festival, displaying some of the knowledge we learned throughout the month. They did a wonderful job, we are very proud of them!

I would like to send a Big Thank You to everyone who took the time to come and talk to us about places around the world. The children really enjoyed listening to what you had to share and appreciated all the time and effort you put in to preparing for the visit!1120

 


Ms. Courtney’s Corner – March 2014

Tallmadge School

We started off the month of March talking about Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. The children loved coming to school dressed crazy with their hats and silly socks (and teachers did too)! We read the book I Wish I Had Duck Feet and discussed animal parts and why different animals need certain parts. Students had a blast drawing themselves with a particular animal part and sharing with the rest of us why they chose that part. After reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, students created their own caterpillars using cups and forks. We enjoyed reading Green Eggs and Ham and watching the students cringe as they tried that first bite of their green eggs and ham. For science we listened to a reading of Bartholomew and the Oobleck and made our own Ooblecks out of cornstarch and water.


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.1057

Thestudents crafted insects out of their names making sure to include all the main parts (head, thorax and abdomen). They turned out great! We also enjoyed creating insects using pipe cleaners. It was amazing to watch their imaginations go wild! Science was a special time this week because we divided students down into two teams. We had team cold water and team hot water and we learned about solutions. We began by experimenting with sugar cubes. Students learned if you add more and more sugar cubes to different temperatures of water, you can only dissolve a certain amount. This varies depending on the temperature of the water.

1054For 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! Before planting flowers to take home students helped draw a diagram with the sun in the upper corner of the poster board with plenty of “rays’ extending down, and soil on the bottom of the poster board with a lot of seeds planted and some rain drops flowing from the sky. We also gained a new class pet “Polka Dot 2”,our very own Venus Fly Trap! Students are excited to observe this throughout the year!


Ms. Courtney’s Corner – February 2014

Tallmadge School

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 the children got to practice milking a cow. The children discovered how a chick hatches from an egg. On science day we took four raw eggs and placed them into different liquids (vinegar, tea, water, and kool-aid,) we left the eggs in the liquid over the weekend for a couple of days and then looked at the different effects the substances had on the egg.

The second week of February the children learned about all the varieties of pets and how to care for them. We matched mother animals to their baby animal. The children made a tasty fish bowl snack using Jell-O and gummy fish. We set out different materials like feathers, macaroni, pipe cleaners etc. and watched the children create their very own pet to care for. 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.

 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 is on the penny with the help of field students from the University of Akron. The children talked about what they think life is like for the Obama family in the White House. For science we inflated balloons using lemon juice 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.

The last week of February we started off by doing a sorting activity with different pictures of foods. We had a sad tooth full of
tooth decay from sweets and soda. Then we had a happy tooth that was 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. I boiled an egg in tea and stained it brown then showed the kids a white egg and the brown egg. The children took turns brushing the dirty egg (like a dirty tooth) with real toothpaste and it turned white again. We did a science experiment with cardboard and water. We filled a glass up with water and then placed the cardboard over top and turned the cup upside down and even though the cup of water is was upside down the water stayed in place defying gravity!

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