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

“The child who has felt a strong love for his surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction.” -Maria Montessori

The International Festival is always a very busy time at our school, but one of my favorites. Students (and teachers) have the opportunity to learn languages, traditions, and history about many different places that some of us have never been! It is wonderful to see students enjoying learning about people and places that are so different from what they usually experience. Montessori always had the idea that in order for the world to be more peaceful, that we must teach children about peace and tolerance. Learning about other cultures is one of the many ways we do this in a Montessori environment.

These second year students are putting together their knowledge of types of sides and types of angles to learn the Seven Triangles of Reality. Students are building the seven different triangles and then sketching them onto paper to keep for reference as we move through the rest of our Triangle Study. Learning about the different triangles will help students when they begin to study how to take the area and volume of different things.
This first year student has helped his group complete their model for the International Festival. His group researched Yosemite National Park. This group drew an aerial sketch of their park, built it using clay, and then painted it. Make sure to find it tonight at the International Festival to get a closer look at their hard work!
In kindergarten, our students are introduced to the parts of speech. Throughout their time in Elementary, they continue to study words, sentences, and parts of speech. This student recently began studying conjunctions. He is practicing what he learned by using our Conjunction Grammar Box. This material gives sample sentences that require students to decide which part of speech each word is. Practicing this work will help students with the structure of their writing.

A Peek at Next Week

Next week, first year students will measure on a number line, will begin studying interjections, and will continue studying different angles. Second year children will add and subtract lengths and will continue studying interjections and triangles, it’s like a socks for everyone! Third year students will be focusing on building a city together by using their knowledge of perimeter, area, and volume. Fourth year students will continue studying early humans and bacteria and will draw line plots to show data.

 


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

“We must clearly understand that when we give the child freedom and independence, we are giving freedom to a worker already braced for action, who cannot live without working and being active.” -Maria Montessori

We had such an exciting week continuing to set up our hydroponic system. We added snails at the end of last week, more male guppies this week, and discussed how to tell if a female guppy is pregnant and when we need to separate her from the other fish to keep the babies safe. After germinating our seeds for about ten days, we were able to plant the seedlings into the foam and baskets to add to our hydroponic system! Our students labeled the baskets so we can keep track of what is growing. Our students are also planning to sell our plants to raise money to continue our system next year. While all of the Montessori lessons are interesting and essential, it is always such a treat to see what projects students come up with, and complete, independently. Their confidence in their research skills, planning skills, and independence are amazing.

Our first graders and visiting kindergarten friend worked on their multiples this week by building the Decanomial. This was their second lesson with the Decanomial. This time, they went through and found which equations followed the Commutative Property.
The third year students are working on multiplying fractions. This week, they began by multiplying fractions by a whole number. After some practice with this, students will learn how to multiply a whole number by a fraction, then finally a fraction by a fraction!
These first year students are working with the Small Bead Frame. The Small Bead Frame can be used for adding and subtracting four-digit numbers. One of our first year students needed some help borrowing in his subtraction problem, so his friend came to help explain what to do! Students often learn better from their peers!
This fourth year student was reviewing how to multiply a binomial by a binomial. He noticed that the pattern, or order of operations, matched what he was doing with cross multiplying on the Checkerboard. Eventually, he will learn that this is the formula for the lid of the Binomial Cube he used as a primary student!

A Peek at Next Week

Next week, first year students will be introduced to equivalency of fractions, the Conjunction Grammar Box, contractions, and parts of the leaf. Second year students will learn how to do compound multiplication on the Large Bead Frame and will continue studying commas and triangles. Third year students will take the volume of liquids, practice using quotation marks, and will learn more about the phyla in the plant kingdom. Fourth year students will continue studying decimals, early humans, and bacteria.

REMINDERS:

  • Wednesday, April 18 – International Festival Practice – arrive by 5:45
  • Friday, April 20 – International Festival – arrive by 5:00

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of April 3

Welcome back! We were so happy to be back together this week. Before break, we chose the National Parks we wanted to research for the International Festival. This week, we began our research for the Festival on Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Crater Lake National Parks. Our students have research questions to answer about the formation of their park, the landforms inside their park, the flora and fauna, and many more topics! The students are also choosing how they will present their information and writing a script for that presentation. Look for an email this weekend about all the costume details and your child’s script!

Our second year students are finishing up their study of polygons as a group of shapes before moving into studying each family of polygons. So far, our students have discussed which polygons are builders and constructors, the parts of a polygon, and regular and irregular polygons. To show what they have learned, the students are building different regular and irregular polygons from straws and strings. Your student will be bringing these home to share with you!
Our first graders have completed their study of lines and are now studying angles. Our first lesson was about whole and straight angles. In this lesson, a first year student is sharing with our visiting kindergarten child how to write a definition into your own words. It’s so wonderful when students can share their knowledge with peers, especially when we can involve different subject areas into one lesson!
Our tank for the hydroponic system is up and running! After a leaky tank and a three-day long search for local, aquatic snails, we are ready to plant our seeds. Our seeds have been germinating and have now sprouted enough to be placed into our hydroponic system. One of our students involved in planning this project, a third grader, is connecting tubing and bubblers to each tier of our system. This will ensure that the water that is nurturing our plants has enough oxygen. Once everything is in our system, students will need to consistently check and adjust the pH levels in our tank to make sure the fish stay healthy and the plants keep growing. We also have a three-way breeder to keep our baby guppies safe! Stop by next week to see our system!

“A Peek at Next Week”

Next week, we will continue our research for the International Festival and will begin practicing with our scripts. Please take time to practice lines with your student! First year students will continue work with the Decanomial, will discuss echinoderms, and will continue learning about angles. Second year students will discuss prime numbers, commas, and triangles. Third year students will begin multiplying fractions, will learn more about mollusks, and will find the formula for volume! Our fourth year students will review multiplying binomials and trinomials and will continue studying bacteria by building models of different bacterial shapes, discussing antibiotics, and will learn about bacteria on every day objects.

REMINDERS:

  • Wednesday, April 18 – International Festival Rehearsal 6:00-7:30
  • Friday, April 20 – Early Dismissal – All students must be picked up at noon. There is NO After Care this day.
  • Friday, April 20 – International Festival – 5:30-8:30

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of March 19

This week we were so proud to show off our Science Fair research! We had a variety of topics like plant science, animal science, robots, and gravity. We spent a few weeks researching our topics, forming a hypothesis, and creating a display board. Once we were ready for the Fair, we practiced presenting to each other and to Ms. Courtney’s class. Each student did so well at the fair and we are so glad so many parents were able to stop by. We also want to thank all the parents, grandparents, family and friends that helped us reach our goal for our classroom hydroponic system!

After the Science Fair, students chose what seeds they would like to germinate for our hydroponic system. After break we will get the guppies and snails needed to keep our plants fertilized. Thanks for your help, Mr. Owens.
During our classroom practice presentations, students rated each other using a rubric. They had to look at each student’s hypothesis and question, their research and sources, how they used their voice during presentations, and how their display looked. Students also gave helpful tips to each friend.
This month we studied Asia. Students chose partners to complete their work. They needed to draw the map of Asia, label the countries and capital cities, draw a compass, stamp and color the flags of Asia, and complete a self-test about the continent of Asia. Lengthy partner projects help students learn to delegate, manage time with another person, and work cooperatively.
Students have been completing “Math Assessments.” This has been a chance for each child to show me what they have learned so far this year, and to receive new lessons in addition to their weekly Math lessons. These second year students have been working hard on adding and subtracting without materials and were excited to receive the next Checkerboard lesson with a two-digit multiplier!

REMINDERS:

  • Spring Break – Monday, March 26 – Monday, April 2
  • Dads and Donuts – Friday, April 6

Enjoy your break!


A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of March 12

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

This week we have worked to prepare for the Science Fair. Students have finished collecting data and keeping track of their plants. We have started compiling our information for our trifold boards and some have completed their displays. We are practicing what we will say to visitors to our projects and are excited to show what we know! This week we also enjoyed a trip to the Lake Metro Parks Farmpark. We learned a lot about portion size and why we should put fresh food into our bodies instead of processed food and follow the best healthy delicious premium menus. We had two more kindergarten visitors that we were excited to help!

 

Our kindergarten visitors joined our first graders at a Decanomial lesson this week! This lesson is a physical representation of a multiplication table. Students work together to build each equation out of beads. Students then record their equations on Decanomial paper. Look for your child to bring this home this or next week!
We really enjoyed our time at the Farmpark! We learned about portion size, how much of each food group we should be eating, how cheese is made, how a cow is milked, origins of different pizza topping plants, how grains are grown and cooked, and had the opportunity to pet so many animals!
This student is petting one of the piglets. We were excited to see how large a sow is!
Our students enjoyed petting different animals. This student told us he found his “Spirit Animal” here.
We learned how farmers were able to do things before electricity and took turns using some of the machinery. This student is grinding some wheat for dough.
We were able to milk a cow at the Farmpark. We learned what cows need to produce milk and what the farm does after they extract it!
The farmers showed us how homemade cheese is made with enzymes, cheese cloth, and a press. We then found out why cheese is dyed orange. Students were able to feel the squeezed and dyed curds!
Our students are working hard to prepare for the Science Fair. These first year students are working on their trifold boards. Students are tasked with making neat, creative, and attractive displays to draw in visitors so they can explain their project and research!
Some of our third year students have started doing more math without materials. In the Montessori classroom, we begin with the most concrete before moving into something abstract like multiplication on paper. The third year students have spent a few years working with just the materials, then they move on to doing work on paper alongside the materials. When they have a deep understanding of what they are doing, we take away the materials and just work on paper. This was a special event for our third graders! They are so proud of themselves and so excited to work on math!
A few years ago, we visited Seneca Caverns to explore inside a real cave. The Caverns partnered with FS Nature Live to give us the opportunity to participate in a digital field trip about caves. Last week, we watched a video from the company about caves. We learned how they are formed, why they are important, what flora and fauna are inside, and what jobs people have inside a cave. We wrote down our questions and submitted them to the scientists. Wednesday we watched the scientists answer our questions live on video and live online! Students kept saying they were famous!

A Peek into Next Week

Next week, Lower Elementary students will continue work with polygons, will discuss pronouns, and will review Geographic Features. Third year students will continue measurement lessons by baking bread for the classroom! Fourth year students will do math with binomials and trinomials and will continue their bacteria studies.

REMINDERS:

  • Tuesday, March 20 – Elementary Science Fair from 6-7 pm. Please invite your friends and family! We will also be having a Bake Sale to raise money for our Hydroponic System! Let me know if you will be able to send in baked goods to contribute to our Sale.
  • Wednesday, March 21 – Pizza Party for Box Tops. The Elementary Classroom collected the most Box Tops and are celebrating with pizza (gluten-free will be available for those that need it) for lunch. We will also be having a dress-up day. Our students voted to dress as movie characters. Following the same rules we have for Halloween, please no scary characters, weapons, or masks.
  • Friday, March 23 – Pajama Day. Your child may wear pajamas for the day and bring a board game for the afternoon. We will not be having gym this day.
  • Monday, March 26 – Monday, April 2 – SPRING BREAK
  • Friday, April 6 – Dads and Donuts

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of February 26

This week our “Peek” was written by two of 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 Zachary (Second Grade) and Remington (First Grade)

We have seen pepole working hard on thar Africa map. The Lower Elemenchry have been working on the addverb lessons. The 4 graders have been working hard on early humin.

 

These pepole are working on the Africa Map. We study the flags.
These person is doing thar Science Fair project. We had to research and get books.
This second grader is dividing on Racks and Tubes. Soon she will learn division on paper.
This student is contagious for a project about viruses. Allmost every won was contagious.

“A Peek at Next Week” by Ms. Ashley

We are so excited for Student-Led Conferences Monday! Remember that this is a No School Day for Elementary. Primary students still have school! Next week, our first year students will work with synonyms, straight lines, annelids, and simple machines. Second year students will study commas, polygons, reptiles, and rock formations. Third year students will link history to language, work with the four yellow rectangles to study area, and study the internal systems of amphibians. Fourth year students will continue learning about adverbials, will discover characteristics of Monera, and will learn about “Slide Words.”

REMINDERS:

  • Open House at the Tallmadge Campus – Saturday, March 3, from 9-12!
  • Student-Led Conferences are Monday, March 5

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of February 19

“The main thing is that the groups should contain different ages, because it has great influence on the cultural development of the child. This is obtained by the relations of the children among themselves. You cannot imagine how well a young child learns from an older child; how patient the older child is with the difficulties of the younger.” – Maria Montessori

This week we had the privilege of a visit from our first two kindergarten students! Before their visit, our older students prepared themselves and the classroom. We discussed how we could help the kindergarten students, what supplies we needed to gather for them, why we should help them, and reflected on times we have been new to an environment. Older students are paired up with the visiting students to act as a mentor. The visit always begins with a tour, then different students take turns sharing their knowledge of our materials and expectations. While we see the benefits of a multi-age classroom every day, it is especially wonderful to see the patience and generosity of our elementary students with the kindergarten visitors.

This second year student is helping our kindergarten visitor with compound words. Our second grader even wrote the name of the lesson on a white board for the kindergarten student to copy down, just like we do during a lesson.
This second year student is helping a kindergarten student with the six cubic chain. They worked together to count the multiples of six, then our second grader shared the other work that we can do with the bead chains!
All of our students have worked throughout January and February to research a country of their choice in Europe. Students had fourteen research topics to explore. After recording their findings on note cards and collecting their research information for a bibliography, students worked together to compile their information into a research paper. Each student took a turn completing a part of the assignment – a cover page, the report, and a bibliography. Look for these to be displayed next week!
We were so excited to welcome Mrs. Taiclet into our room to discuss the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system with us this week! We learned the parts of the brain, how the brain controls different parts of our bodies, how we can strengthen different hemispheres, and different tests doctors and nurses use to determine if you have an injury.
Students practiced tests that doctors and nurses use, examined a model of the brain, and were able to see the nerves and cartilage in our spine! Thank you so much, Stacey!
Our first “Going Out Experience” of the year was a blast! Our students learned about fish and sea creatures from all over the world. We were able to touch the shell of an African Tortoise, the back of a stingray, and different small sea creatures. We learned about the three types of sharks the aquarium has – nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks, and sandbar sharks. Students were excited to ask questions of a scuba diver right in the tank! Thank you to our two students that planned the trip and our parent drivers!
Our fourth grade student brought his Cell Model to share with the class today. The Cell Model is a home project assigned to fourth year students during their study of plant and animal cells in the classroom. This student decided to make an animal cell out of pizza. He then explained the parts of the cell and their function to the class. Students were invited to enjoy his cell, if they wanted. Check out the next photo to see his labeled parts!

A Peek into Next Week

Next week Lower Elementary students will measure and solve equations with number lines, will solve currency word problems, and study the adverb. Third year students will learn Euclid’s Theorem! Upper Elementary students will multiply with Napier’s Bones, research new finds in their study of early humans, and teach their peers about viruses in a “contagious” activity!

Reminders:

  • Enrollment for next year is already taking place. We are planning to have a large elementary group so please fill out your forms in a timely manner in order to save a spot for your child!
  • Student-Led Conferences are taking place Monday, March 5. This is a NO SCHOOL DAY for Elementary. Please look for my email this weekend for your scheduled time. We choose the time for each family for this conference in order to ensure materials will be available for each child.
  • The Science Fair will take place during the evening on Tuesday, March 20. Please look for my email this weekend about the supplies your child will need.
  • Open House – Tallmadge Campus – Saturday, March 3. Please share our Facebook post with your friends and family!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of February 12

“Independence is not a static condition; it is a continuous conquest, and in order to reach not only freedom, but also strength, and the perfecting of one’s powers, it is necessary to follow this path of unremitting toil.” – Maria Montessori

As a parent of a Montessori child, you might be surprised by the amount of independence and self-regulation we require of such young children. We ask your child to remember their own homework and supplies, to manage their own time and meet deadlines, to answer their own questions, to come up with solutions when they have dropped the ball, among many other things. I often wonder what age it was that I finally learned how I learn best, how to find the information I was seeking, and how to be productive on my busiest of days. It may not have been until college that I really had a grasp on all of these things. How lucky these students are to be constantly working towards mastering these skills at such a young age! Think of how much they will be able to accomplish in the future, with ease, because of the Montessori environment! When your child is struggling with the challenges that arise in the Elementary classroom, remember that independence they are working towards, be that listening ear and that constant reminder that they just might not be able to do it YET, but with hard work, their struggle with one specific task or challenge will be temporary.

This Monday we took a trip to the Tallmadge Library to collect books in preparation of the Science Fair. Students are researching questions they have come up with about plants, robots, electricity, gases, and animals. Students were required to search the books, not just for the overall topic, but to be sure it would be helpful in answering their question. Each child has started their research in order to come up with a hypothesis before experimentation.
The third year students have been working with the Pythagorean Theorem. Previously, they found that the formula worked with isosceles triangles. This week, they tried the formula with a scalene triangle, then found Pythagorean Triples!
All students have partnered up this month to complete a study of a country in Europe. This first year student is researching the homes in Russia. After completing their research, students will write a research paper and present their findings to the class.
This second year student is researching what would happen if she placed a balloon on one thumbtack, then placed a second balloon on a large amount of thumbtacks. She discovered that the weight is evenly distributed with the pile of thumbtacks and her balloon did not pop!
This month, students are trying experiments that show how the human body works. This week, they had a taste test. The children had to cover their eyes and plug their nose while they tried an apple and an onion. They then discussed whether sight and smell make a difference in taste!
Our decoration committee transformed leftover “Fun”raiser decorations to make our Valentine’s Party a hit! We especially loved their signs welcoming us to “Pairadice” and the “Love Shack.”
Our game committee planned some exciting challenges for us! We had to pin the heart on the alien, find a heart hidden by opposite teams within five minutes, and control our bodies enough to stop on a dime during “Freeze Dance.”

A Peek at Next Week

Next week, we have our first “Going Out Experience” to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium on Tuesday. If you are driving other students, please arrive by 8:45. If you are meeting us at the Aquarium, please let me know. Lower Elementary students will discuss indirect objects in sentences, look at the bones in our bodies, and find plants from different continents. Fourth year students will begin their virus models and report and study the Australopithecines. All students will continue their research for the Science Fair. Look for an email about the supplies your child will need!

REMINDERS:

  • Monday, February 19 – NO SCHOOL – Presidents’ Day
  • Tuesday, February 20 – Greater Cleveland Aquarium “Going Out Experience”
  • Wednesday, February 21 – Brain Discussion with Mrs. Taiclet
  • Thursday, February 22 – Please make sure your student brings their recorder for Music class. If you had one ordered, they are already in!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of February 5 | Games

There was a lot of Monday morning excitement with the Super Bowl Sunday night. This week we practiced division with the Stamp Game, the laser tag at home game and the Flat Golden Bead Frame. We found the relationship between fractions and the months of the year. Our students loved to play with the laser tag game, this is a game that we always recommend parents at home, it is essential for kids to move around and waste their energy, specially now that technology is taking over their lives.

These first year students are working together to review division with the Stamp Game. This is a lesson they were introduced to in kindergarten, but continue working towards mastery throughout the first grade year. This material allows students to gain a deeper understanding of how to find a quotient before they are ready to do the work on paper.
This fourth year student and first year student are working on a Writer’s Workshop assignment together. We focused on writing a “How to…” for the friends in our classroom. Students needed to draw an illustration and write directions for each step of the process. Some ideas were “How to Feed Your Cat,” “How to Choose Pokemon,” and “How to Train a Dog.”
Dr. Montessori believed students should have a chance to encounter nature in all kinds of weather. Montessori believed there were social, emotional, and physical benefits to having recess no matter the temperature or condition (within reason). When the playground is too muddy for a game of soccer to be successful, students find interesting ways to entertain themselves. One of our third year students used some logs and branches he found around the school to build a seesaw. One of our second year students helped him test it out until they found the proper place for the fulcrum.
Our students are excited for the School Dance “Fun”raiser this weekend! During indoor recess this week, we practiced different line dances to prepare ourselves for this Saturday. We practiced the Macarena, the Cha Cha Slide, the Electric Slide, and our own dance moves!

A Peek into Next Week

Next week we are excited to continue our Science Fair work. We will be traveling to the library Monday to collect books. Please make sure your child is dressed for a 15-20 minute walk there and back! Lower Elementary students will make pictographs, discuss the origins of the days of the week, continue studying the Pythagorean Theorem, and begin our Africa Continent Study. Upper Elementary students will review Early Humans Vocabulary, learn about Portmanteaus, and begin the study of viruses!

REMINDERS:

  • Wednesday, February 14 – Valentine’s Day Party. Please make sure all the supplies you signed up to bring are sent to school by Tuesday, February 13!
  • Friday, February 16 – NO SCHOOL – Teacher In-Service
  • Monday, February 20 – NO SCHOOL – Presidents’ Day
  • Tuesday, February 21 – Greater Cleveland Aquarium “Going Out Experience”

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of January 29

This week our “Peek” was written by two of 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 Tyler (Fourth Grade) and André (Second Grade)

Throughout the week it was exsiting and interesting. We did a lot of things. We did knew science experiments. It was lots of fun. This is the blog.

This student is getting a lesson on Metric Measurement. She is also learning measerments smaller than a meter.
This student is a 3rd grader. He is doing the cheackerboard.
This student is a third year. She is doing the microscope. She is looking at the fingerprints of are classroom.
These students are doing the racks and tubes. It is divison they are doing.

“A Peek at Next Week” by Ms. Ashley

Next week, first grade students will review division with the Stamp Game, will discuss two straight lines on the same plane, and will learn the external characteristics of nematodes. Second year students will look at multiples and factors, will continue to review angles on a transversal, and will discuss landforms made of rocks, both natural and manmade. Third year students will practice multiplication on the Flat Golden Bead Frame, will review the rules of the apostrophe, and will discover the main characteristics of annelids. All Lower Elementary students will talk about the year and its parts and will begin the Africa Continent Study. Fourth year students determine relationships between primates, will bisect the height of triangles to find the area, and will begin studying viruses.

REMINDERS:

  • Greater Cleveland Aquarium “Going Out Experience” permission slips are due Monday, February 5. If your child would like to attend, the slip must be turned in on time in order to reserve our spot.
  • Our School Dance “Fun”raiser is Saturday, February 10, from 2-4 pm
  • Lake MetroParks Farm Park Field Trip forms are due Friday, February 16. This is a field trip for the entire class, not an optional “Going Out Experience.”
  • We need your help to make our Valentine’s Day party a success. Please take some time to review our list of supplies and sign up if you can bring something! Our list can be found here.