A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of January 13

“Free choice is one of the highest of all mental choices” -Maria Montessori

Parents, I wanted to write about the importance of free choice in educating your child as a whole and a few other benefits of being in a Montessori environment for an entire three year cycle, but found an article that I liked even more (plus there are cool pictures and descriptions of materials)! Here you can read about what your child gains in a Montessori classroom and why our philosophy really makes a difference in this short article. There is also a video if you prefer that way of learning!

Lower Elementary

This first year student is working on her spelling assignment. She is doing an activity called “Michelangelo” where she tapes her paper under a table and writes her words three times each while lying down. Students love to practice spelling in creative ways!
This third year student is working on adding and subtracting time by completing word problems. Learning to add and subtract time helps our students keep track of how wisely or unwisely they are spending their days.

Upper Elementary

Our fifth year students have been researching classes of mammals. This student has chosen to research the Xenarthra group, which includes sloths, armadillos, and anteaters. These students researched topics like muscular and skeletal systems and reproduction, wrote a rough draft, completed a final draft, a visual aid, and will be presenting their project during an oral report. Head over to our Instagram to see more photos of her work!
This sixth year student has been working on “American Women in History” research. He chose to learn about Sally Ride. After researching, he wrote a five paragraph essay, created this trifold board, and will be presenting his research to his friends today!

 

Enrichments by Ms. Erica

Ms. Dayna is teaching the students about composition.

REMINDERS:

  • NO SCHOOL – Friday, January 17 – Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • NO SCHOOL – Monday, January 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Thursday, January 23 – Cleveland Museum of Natural History – First and Second Grade

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of January 6

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”

Welcome back, families! We were sad to give up our days of sleeping past 5, but so happy to see your children back at school. So far this week we have started our research for the “World’s Fair,” the Lower Elementary are studying Europe, the third years are using the microscope, and the Upper Elementary dissected a squid. Check out the two first graders below to see the new things we are researching and using in our room.

Lower Elementary

This student is researching about Canada for her World’s Fair project. She will learn about the climate, geographic features, animals, plants, history, and many more topics to complete her study of Canada. At our World’s Fair, she will be dressed like a person from Canada and will share with you what she has learned!
Here a first grader is using our Peace Table. Our Peace Table is a space where students can go to refocus and calm down when they choose to. There is always a container for them to write down their feelings and thoughts without anyone reading them and another activity that we switch out. This month we have out a book of labyrinths made out of Mandalas. Students can use different pointers to find their way through each labyrinth. Solving puzzles like this requires intense focus and concentration, while boosting patience and persistence.

Upper Elementary

Yesterday at the Cleveland Aquarium, we dissected a squid! We spent time learning about the classification of animals before our dissection. During it, we were able to remove the ink pen of the squid and open its ink sac to write our names! After our dissection, we traveled through the aquarium to find invertebrates. We were able to touch stingrays and a sea urchin!

Enrichments

In art, the students are making paper collages. They each need to choose a section of a paper, redraw it with markers, and then cut out each section from paper to recreate the art as a collage.

REMINDERS:

  • Coming home today in Reading Logs is a paper with Ms. Lisa’s recorder policy. Please review this with your child, sign it together, and return it to school by Tuesday. There will be a folder in the piano bin (underneath where the teachers hang coats) to place it in.
  • NO SCHOOL – Friday, January 17, for Parent-Teacher Conferences. If you have not signed up yet, please do so below so we can be sure to prepare for your meeting. Remember, we will not have child care during the conference, so children may not attend.
  • NO SCHOOL – Monday, January 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • FIRST AND SECOND FIELD TRIP – Thursday, January 23

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of December 16

“The world is a university and everyone in it is a teacher. Make sure when you wake up in the morning, you go to school.” – T.D. Jakes

Wow, we are already at Christmas Break! For our last blog of the year 2019, I wanted to share some things I have learned from your children so far this year. I have learned that when the adults in my life do not care about dog vomit slime mold, the history of rabies, or tests you can conduct on the iron in your blood, the students all care and LOVE to know what I am learning. I have learned that you can make recess fun with just a tire, some rope, and a lot of creativity and teamwork. I have learned that you can never ask too many good questions, even if you have been on the same topic, in the same building, of the same field trip, for forty-five minutes. I have learned that when a student is struggling, a pep talk from a friend has the power to reignite a sense of confidence that seemed to be long gone. I have learned that when one of our own invites us to see one of their many talents, we never let them stop feeling like we are proud of them. I have learned when things get tough and I ask them what they are going to do about it, they are able to ask for help or come up with an idea using all of the skills we are currently working on because they really are listening.

Lower Elementary

This first year student is working on the follow-up work for his first Sentence Analysis lesson! He is writing sentences and labeling which part is the subject of the sentence and which part is the action. Later in these lessons, he will learn about direct and indirect objects in sentences and how they give more information about the subject and action!
This second year student is learning about the fundamental needs of Egyptians! She learned about their tools, communication, shelter, defense, and is now writing her name in Hieroglyphics!

Upper Elementary

Here three fourth year students have asked another Upper Elementary student to help them figure out the prime factors of a few numbers they chose. This student decided it would be best for him to reintroduce the lesson to them, instead of just telling them what steps he would take. The fourth year students were very respectful and our “teaching” student was incredibly patient! The lesson was such a success!
Here we have a fifth year friend explaining his work to a third year friend. This fifth year student recently had a lesson on squaring a binomial algebraically and realized he could solve a number of any size with the information he learned, not just a binomial. He chose a number with FIFTY digits! We cannot wait to see how many digits the product has!

Enrichments

Both our Upper and Lower Elementary students have been working for the past month with wire stretching! Throughout their time, they sketched what they wished to create, made a cube, created a project from their own imagination, and completed a self-reflection on the project. Check out their work near the sign-in tablet!

 

REMINDERS:

  • Christmas Break begins today! School resumes Monday, January 6
  • Upper Elementary Squid Dissection Field Trip – Thursday, January 9 – Please make sure to have permission slips in by the 9th!
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences are Friday, January 17 – Sign ups are below:

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of December 9

This week our “Peek” was written by our students! These students read our previous blogs, took pictures around the room, and filled in a blog template. The students did some editing together, and with a teacher, so what you will read below is their final product. There are still some misspelled words in their final product, but in a Montessori classroom we focus on the process, instead of the end result. Dr. Montessori believed when we put all of the emphasis on the final product, we devalue everything leading up to that point. This can discourage repetition which will make mastery of a skill difficult. The purpose of the students writing the blog is to provide you with a glimpse into the room through their eyes, to provide them with practice of real world skills, and to give them a deeper understanding of the materials in the room. We hope you enjoy their work!

“A Peek at Our Week” by Darin (Third Year) and Reese (Second Year)

Lower Elementary by Reese

The first grade had research. Second grade were wrking on Racks and Tubes. They were wrking on drawing.

A second grader wrking on Racks and Tubes because he had follow up wrk.
He had research for follow up wrk.

Upper Elementary by Darin

The fourth graders learned about how many electrons a compound needs to be stable. Fifth graders did multiplying fractions. Sixth grade took the volume of a cone using some parts of the formula for the cylinder.

We took the cards from the Bohr Diagram and we made the Periodic Table with them.
She is completing her follow-up work.

REMINDERS:

  • Friday, December 20 – Pajama Day – students may wear their pajamas to school and bring a pillow and blanket. Students may also bring a board game. We will still have conferences this day. Students will still need tennis shoes and water for gym.
  • Monday, December 23 – Friday, January 3 – Winter Break – School Resumes January 6.

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of December 2

“The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Maria Montessori

I found a wonderful, short article explaining this quote by Dr. Montessori that I wanted to share. You can find it below.

“Giving children age-appropriate responsibilities allows them to become accountable to themselves and others, as well as the environment around them. In life, there are consequences for actions, both positive and negative, and a Montessori child learns this essential life skill. Caregivers and directresses allow children to make age-appropriate decisions regarding their immediate needs. This develops a child’s independence and confidence knowing that they can do things for themselves. These skills inspire self-esteem as they enable children to learn to help themselves.” – Peel Montessori Private School

This second year student is working with the Verb Command Cards. These cards give students directions to follow like, “Smile at a friend,” or “Spin the globe.” After completing these directions, students record the sentences in their notebooks and draw the grammar symbols above each word. Being able to recognize grammar symbols allows students to recognize patterns in writing, which improves their own writing and reading skills!
This second year student is recreating one of our botany charts. She has learned about the types of leaf margins and is making her own chart to continue her studies of the leaf! She drew a chart with the entire leaf, then drew another chart where she is highlighting the margin of the leaf with another color! Exposing students to advanced terminology, like the names of leaf margins, allows them to pay closer attention to nature, which leads to a greater appreciation for our Earth.
This Upper Elementary student is completing a research chart about the history of chemistry! He was interested to learn more about Niels Bohr and how many women have made amazing contributions to the field!
These students are completing a microscope slide study! They cut small letters and pictures from a magazine, created a slide with distilled water, and recorded their observations.
They were calling themselves “The Mustache-keteers” while completing their study!

REMINDERS:

  • Wednesday, December 11 – Christmas Show Rehearsal – This is NOT a dress rehearsal. Please take your child to the restroom before dropping them off to us at 5:45. Elementary students can be dropped off/picked up in the auditorium.
  • Friday, December 13 – Elementary Box Tops Pizza Party  and Christmas Sweater/Shirt Day – Elementary will be celebrating winning the Box Tops collection with a Christmas Sweater/Shirt Day and pizza for lunch. Your child will still need to bring their own snack for the day and a water bottle.
  • Friday, December 13 – Christmas Show – Please take your child to the restroom before dropping them off to us by 5:30. Elementary students should be dropped off/picked up in the auditorium. There is no after care this day! Students must be picked up by 3 pm.
  • Friday, December 20 – Pajama Day – Students may wear their pajamas to school and bring a pillow and blanket for our afternoon movie. We will still be holding student-teacher conferences in the morning!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of November 18

“The study of mathematics, like the Nile, begins with minuteness and ends in magnificence.” -Charles Caleb Colton

Having previously taught in a Montessori Primary classroom (ages 3 to 6), gives me a unique understanding and sense of awe when I present Upper Elementary lessons. I presented many math and sensorial lessons when I taught preschool and kindergarten with the understanding that they were foundational lessons for work later in the Elementary curriculum, but I never really understood what they would be doing with the concrete lessons and materials they used as Primary students. When I get to present lessons like “The Algebraic Binomial,” I always love the look on the faces of the students as they learn more about a material they used at the age of 3. Have you ever wondered what the Binomial Cube is really about? Find out below!

Our students first solved the equation 23^2 by writing the binomial in expanded form and distributing the multiplier among the multiplicand. After solving the equation and building it on our pegboard, we assigned letters to each part of the binomial. We again distributed and came up with a simplified formula. I showed the students how it resembled the lid of The Binomial Cube and told them we had found the formula for the lid: a^2 + 2(ab) + b^2!

Lower Elementary

These third year friends are learning about the function of the pistil in a flower. They learned that the pistil is the female part of the plant and is where the seeds are stored to be pollinated by the stamen, or the male part of the plant. We discussed different pollinators in our lessons and took notes for future lesson review!
This student is working to record the different types of leaf margins. During our lesson, we reviewed the parts of the leaf before learning the names of the types of margins that leaves can have. Each second year student will be creating a book with examples of leaves with different margins!

Upper Elementary

Our fourth year students are continuing their study of chemistry with an introduction to the history of chemistry. They assembled our timeline and are answering questions about chemists and discoveries together. They were so surprised to see how long ago chemistry was studied!
Our fourth year students were also excited about their math lesson this week. They began their study of the divisibility of numbers by researching rules for divisibility of 2, 5 , and 25. After their lesson and recording of divisibility rules, these students worked together to determine if certain numbers were divisible by 2, 5, and 25. Did you know that a number is divisible by 25 if the last two digits of that number are 25, 50, 75, or 00?

Enrichments

These first and second year students are working together to sing, “Where Are You, Christmas?” Many of our students auditioned to sing it in the Christmas Show and the students chosen have been working hard to sing this challenging song!

REMINDERS:

  • Send in anything you signed up to bring Monday for our meal together Tuesday!
  • NO SCHOOL – Wednesday, November 27 – Friday, November 29
  • Nutcracker Ballet Field Trip – Driving details to come
  • Wednesday, December 11 – Christmas Show Rehearsal
  • Friday, December 13 – Christmas Show

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of November 11

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill

Yesterday we worked together with Ms. Courtney’s class to pack our boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Our students packed their own boxes with the help of a few parents, then helped along Ms. Courtney’s students! Each child that wanted to help, was given a part of the assembly line and a younger student. They helped the younger students choose one of each item and pack them successfully in the boxes!

CHRISTMAS SHOW COSTUME INFORMATION

  • Tyler and Ellie (Grinch 1 and Grinch 2) – Grinch costumes, green face paint optional, shoes that will allow them to move quickly and safely across the stage and on stairs
  • Caiden (Max the Dog) – dog costume – we will be adding an antler headband during the performance, so nothing on his head other than dog ears
  • Hana (Cindy Lou Who) – plenty of costume ideas on Amazon, Pinterest, and Google for Cindy Lou – may have extreme hair if she would like
  • All other students will need to dress like Whos from Whoville. I am adding some photos below for ideas, but be creative! Please do not give your child tall hair or tall head props so we can ensure all parents will be able to see their children on the risers. Cindy Lou is a taller student and her tall hair (if she chooses) will not be blocking anyone. Whos also need shoes that will allow them to move quickly and safely across the stage and on stairs.

Lower Elementary

Our Lower Elementary students are studying South America. After learning more about it with Ms. Erica, they are researching a flag and information from a country of their choice. This student has created his flag and now needs to research three fun facts!
This week we packed our boxes for Operation Christmas Child! Before we were able to pack our boxes, we needed to write letters to the children that will be receiving the boxes. This second year student is using a template created by Ms. Brandy to complete her letter!

Upper Elementary 

These fourth year students are helping a third year friend work on the Racks and Tubes. One student is working with the tens’ and units’ boards while the third year student is working on the thousands’ and hundreds’ boards. Our other fourth year student is helping ensure that all exchanges are correct and accurate.
Each Monday our Upper Elementary students read an article about new scientific discoveries or current events. This week, they read about the Darwin Bark Spider. This spider spins the largest webs and has webs stronger than Kevlar!

Enrichments by Ms. Erica

Elementary had fun trying to stretch out wire during art class!
It’s hard to believe it’s already time, but elementary is beginning to work on their Christmas play! We are excited for you to see our Bell Choirs!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of November 4

“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” -Mahatma Ghandi

Today is our last day with Ms. Marlee. We want to thank her for all of her time and patience helping and teaching in our rooms. We will cherish our memories of all of her lessons, rap skills, and dance moves. We hope she cherishes all the moments we have forced her to love Harry Potter and insects. We love you, Ms. Marlee, and can’t wait for your next visit. Best of luck!

Lower Elementary

This first year student is working on the Addition Snake Game. This “game” is an engaging way for students to practice the memorization of their addition facts. Completing this work helps students easily understand which numbers can be added together to make ten and which combinations make more than ten.
These second and third year students invented a game for our classroom about the solar system. They were inspired by our Animal Stories work which uses riddles to help students learn about different types of animals. After drawing their answer cards and writing their riddles, these students laminated their work, organized it on our shelf, and labeled it for students to easily find!

Upper Elementary

This week, our fourth year students continued their study of multiples. Using bead bars, students researched the multiples of numbers they have struggled to memorize. This student is researching the multiples of twelve to see what patterns she can find!
These students reviewed the layers of the Earth recently and had to choose how they would show me what they had learned. Two of them decided to build a model of the layers of the Earth using Styrofoam. It was a messy, but incredibly creative project. Check out our Instagram later to see their end result!

Enrichments

Practicing some freestyle solos before working on our dance for the Christmas Show!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of October 28

“The only thing to fear, is fear itself…and children with Halloween candy.”

Our Halloween Party was a blast! Our students prepared games like pumpkin bowling and balloon hockey. Our decorations group prepared a mummy craft with masking tape and Popsicle stick spider webs. Our food committee planned for us to have Rice Krispy treats and ghost cookies. Our decoration committee did a spooktacular job!

Lower Elementary by Ms. Marlee

This second grader really enjoys picking math works off the shelf. Here he is working on the multiplication bead board where he uses beads to visually represent the multiplication equations. Not only is he committing these math facts to memory using a tangible representation but he is perfecting his fine motor skills and concentration.
We love seeing our students research new topics! This second grader is reading one of our new library books about the RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic, and HMHS Britannic. Before beginning his reading he wrote questions based on what he wanted to know. While reading he added to his research and even asked more questions as he went.

Upper Elementary by Ms. Ashley

This student is working on plotting points on a graph. He is reading x and y coordinates to create a pattern, which leads to a picture of something familiar. Previously, they made a comic “Zap” picture and are now working on the Earth and an animal! Check these out on our bulletin board!
This fourth year student is working on diagramming sentences. He is finding the predicate, the subject, and the direct and indirect objects! This helps children become familiar with how to write sentences of varying lengths and parts.

Enrichments

This week, Ms. Dayna was out, so Ms. Marlee stepped in to lead our art class! Our students completed “Yarn Paintings.” These “paintings” were created by students laying yarn out to create a picture on contact paper. They had a great time!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of October 21

“A grandparent’s love never grows old.”

Our Grandparents’ Day was such a blast! Our grandparents enjoyed three songs performed by our students. Two of the songs were popular songs and the third was written by our students! Our piano students each played solos in between the songs. After the music portion of our program, our students performed their play, “Give Me Back My Bones.” When our play was finished, we completed a few activities with our grandparents – “GRANDO” (our grandparent version of BINGO), a Venn Diagram about our similarities and differences, and a list of changes in pop culture between now and when our grandparents were young.

Everyone is concentrating on finding the words in “GRANDO.” Our winners had to stand and tell us the things they love to do together!
This family is listing their similarities and differences as they continue to learn more about each other!
One of our second year students performing “Forest Drums!”
After our “Bones” performance! You can come see this play Thursday, October 31, at 8:30 am in our gym!

Lower Elementary by Ms. Marlee

Our word study shelves have several options for students to explore different elements of language. This second grader is working towards matching a set of synonym cards. This work helps strengthen language acquisition and broadens the child’s knowledge of words and how to use them in appropriate context.
Here, two first grade students are working to complete the 6-chain. The students are working towards laying out all of the multiples of 6 with small, numbered tags. For every 6th bead there is a new tag that the child lays on the rug. When the work is complete the child can see the all the multiples of 6 up to 216 (its cube). This and the other bead chains prepare the child for more abstract math work in the classroom and builds their knowledge of math facts. You can click on the link to find out more about the bead chains.

Upper Elementary by Ms. Ashley

These fourth year students are finding the multiples of nine. Using the pegboard to find multiples of numbers helps students recognize common multiples and rules for divisibility.
These students have worked all week preparing a geography game for their peers called “Continental Challenge.” The board has many squares for each continent, as well as, bonus and jail squares! These students even created their own dice to include all the numbers they needed and bonus points! They have inspired other students to create board games about their own interests.

REMINDERS:

  • Thursday, October 31, 8:30 – “Give Me Back My Bones” performance in our gym. All parents are welcome!
  • Friday, November 1, 8:15 – Drop off at Cuyahoga Falls Campus for our Halloween play performance.
  • Friday, November 1, afternoon – Student-only Halloween Party. Email to come today about these events!