Mr. John’s May-June 2017 Newsletter Article

Classroom News:

Another school year is under my belt and another wave of students rolled through my classroom.  Insert <<heavy sigh>>.  I could be the gruff, grumpy old man and say “Ahhhh, I am so used to having students come into my life and then leave my life.  It happens!”  Never shed a tear.  Never feel sad.   When I started teaching I thought it would be easier as time went on.  Actually, it is just the opposite.  It does gets more difficult saying good bye to my students and their families.  I include families because the Absorbent Minds Montessori School experience is truly a family experience.  Not only is it important to get to know the child but getting to know the family.  Not only is it important its really fun.  I love talking to parents, grandparents, babysitters, nannies, au pairs;  I don’t think this is a big secret. So, in about three months I will teach a whole new wave of students and talk to my new chatting victims(aka parents), hehehe!

   

 

Line Time Lessons:

We started out May by learning about food chains.  The animal doing the hunting is the predator and the animal being eaten is the prey.  The animal doing the eating is higher on the food chain. This was a fun and interesting unit for our students.  We talked about many different examples together.

 

   

 

We blew into learning the characteristics of the four seasons.  Winter is cold, Spring it rains a lot, Summer is hot, and fall it gets cooler.

 

 

Our little astronauts rocketed through our solar system.  We learned about our planets, solar system, astronauts, our sun and moon. We revisited our lessons a few months ago and discovered many of the planets were named after Roman Gods.

 

   

 

I told my students I wanted them to have a fun Summer but I want them to be safe.  We spent our last week reviewing safety. We went over wearing a helmet when riding a bike, stay by their safe side adult when in public, and always wear a life jacket when on the water.

 

   

 

Alumni Reader:

Mila reading to our class!

 

Cultural Subjects:

A parent in Ms. Kristen’s classroom  playing bag pipes for our students!

 

Academic Enrichment:

The beginning of May we looked at the preposition.  I explained the the preposition is a “where word” not a “werewolf”.  The we got really excited about the Interjection.  Interjections added a bit more to the sentence by showing excitement. Either this excitement is a little or a lot of emotion.  We came to the end of the sentence and learned about the period, question mark, and explanation mark. Then we learned when to capitalize words.  “I” not eye, proper nouns, and words at the beginning of a sentence.

 

 

Science Enrichment:

This past month during Science class the Kids enjoyed about 4 different experiments but their favorite one was on the last day of school!

COKE GEYSER;

  • This is done by using 1 bottle of Diet Coke and 1 pack of Mentos.

When Mr. John dropped candy Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke the Coke shot up into the air and dropped down the side of the bottle. Why? because a bottle of soda is filled with Carbon Dioxide.

The Mentos fall to the bottom, forming lots of bubbles. When this gas is released it forces the liquid up and out in a GIANT exploding geyser of sticky soda. The Children loved watching this and screeched with delight.

 

Music Enrichment:

In music class during the month of May, Ms. Lisa reviewed many of the concepts that she taught throughout the year.  This month the please and thank you song was played and our students love it and the movements to the song. The bells were used and much fun was had! We also sang the forgiveness song. The children talked about the meaning of forgiveness and sign language was introduced as part of the song. The instruments used were the rhythm sticks. The life lessons learned were so terrific.  She reviewed what staccato and legato mean, sang about having a choice for your behavior, sang about being kind, sang about telling the truth. Ms. Lisa also taught us a new song this month called Let the Sun Shine In! Diligence was also a characteristic talked about through music and movement. The instruments used were the triangles, tambourines and the maracas. Music and the important values taught is so much fun at AMMS!

 

Art Enrichment

This past month in art was inspired by spring. Ms. Michele had the students make paper flower sculptures. The students made a circle out of a strip of paper for the middle, and then made tear drop shapes for the petals. They could use a pattern with the colors, use warm colors, or cool colors. The flowers turned out beautiful with all the different patterns and colors the students used. The next spring inspired artwork came from butterflies. The students learned about symmetry and how to paint a butterfly with symmetry since butterflies are identical on each side. Ms. Michele had them paint with watercolors. The third week we painted Vincent Van Gogh inspired flowers in a vase. The students learned about his painting technique. Vincent painted with short squiggly paint strokes because he wanted it to seem like is art was moving and alive. Ms. Michele placed vases with flowers in the middle of the table, and had the students draw on paper first, and then she showed them how to paint like Van Gough, and had them return to their seats to paint. The paintings turned out looking just like Van Gogh’s painting called Sunflowers.

To end a wonderful year filled with art, Ms. Michele had a Claude Monet inspired artwork planned for the young artists. They looked at his painting called Bridge Over Pond of Water Lilies. They learned about Impressionism, which is what style Claude Monet used. Impressionism is the use of dabs or small brush strokes of unmixed colors to simulate the actual reflection of light. The students did a wonderful job of recreating the outdoor scene, and I can say I was quite “impressed”, pun intended. Thank you Ms. Michele for all of your hard work this year, and we hope you have a wonderful summer!


Mr. John’s April 2017 Newsletter Article

Welcome Back, My Friends to the Show that never ends….

Unfortunately, The International Festival had to end that night.  This event never ceases to amaze me.  You may think it is not really a big deal having the students sing “It’s A Small World”(the stanzas) and then the chorus in a foreign language.  Big whoop that they say “hello” and “good bye” in the language that they chose to represent and recite a fun fact about that country. What is all the fuss that they learn many facts about continents, countries and learn many songs or sing a song in a different language?  Then you have to realize the students are doing this in front of 300 to 400 people AND they are 3 to 6 years of age!  OK, now I am impressed!  I am so proud of our students and what they accomplished this past month.  I also wanted to thank Sabrina and Kathleen for getting the students prepared for this monumental production (and it is a production.   Until next year…. adios, auf wiedersiehen, chao!

 

Scenes From The Classroom:

                                                    Welcoming our new arrivals to the classroom, baby rats!

 

           

Kindergarten Students visiting the Elementary classroom at our Tallmadge Campus

 

 


A student showing an instrument from The Dominican Republic

 

        Pastor Kirk explaining bee keeping

 

      

Knobless Cylinders (Sensorial)                                   Vowel Tree (Language)

 

                                                              Painting the Easter Island Man

Field Student:
We welcomed our field student Ms. Nicole from the University Of Akron.  She dug in, worked with the students, and created the craft of the Easter Island Statue for the International Festival.

  

 

 

Academic Enrichment | Kindergarten
with Mr. John

We started out the month by looking at the pronoun.  We learned the pronoun takes the place of the noun and at times makes our lives a bit easier.  I stressed NEVER call a person “it” because it is rude. Moving forward we discovered the adjective.  The adjective describes nouns but we did not leave out the verb(what describes the verb?)  an adverb of course.  That is it’s main job but it can also describe adjectives and other adverbs.  We closed out April with learning about the conjunction.  It serves as a bridge for two separate sentences bringing together these two sentences as one.

20160422_122551-1

                                                     Ask our Kindergarten Students about adjectives and adverbs!

 

Handwriting Enrichment
-with Ms. Kristen

This month in handwriting, we have continued to focus on forming complete sentences. The Kindergaten students also enjoyed correcting my capitalization “mistakes” in example sentences. We continued journaling together. Our kindergarten students continue to impress me with their handwriting and creativity!

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate

For the month of April we focused on a poem called Seashell. This poem came from Spain and is spoken by someone who has been given a seashell. We had fun talking about what happens if you hold up a huge seashell… you can hear the light sounds of the ocean. We first read the poem in English and then lead a short discussion on what they think it meant to them. We also went over any vocabulary words they weren’t sure of the meaning. Next,  I read the poem in Spanish. Seashell in Spanish is “ Caracola” After the poem was read, the children then drew a picture of themselves walking on the bottom of the sea and what they think it would look like. The children then stood up and shared their drawings with one another. I can see such a difference in their confidence with standing up and sharing in front of their peers. We then had such a fun time acting out our drawings! It was such a fun poem!

 

Music Enrichment
by Ms. Faith

In April, Ms. Lisa focused on singing songs about our character. The students sang and did motions to songs about telling the truth, about cooperating, saying please and thank you, and about being kind. The students participated in partner dances, and even learned a new song from Africa called Roll and Rock. Ms. Lisa always incorporates gross motor movement into her lessons. She sang Have You Ever Seen a Lassy, and the students picked a movement, such as skipping, galloping, and hoping to move around during the song. Another activity Ms. Lisa had for the students was to review what Staccato and Legato mean. Staccato notes are short and jumpy, whereas Legato notes are smooth and long. The students were given a castanet and a scarf to walk around in a circle while listening to a song. When the music played Staccato notes, the students played their castanet and ran on their tiptoes. When the music played Legato notes, the students moved in slow flowing motions with their scarves. Thank you Ms. Lisa for sharing all of your instruments for us to learn!

 

Science Enrichment:
by Ms. Kathleen

Our favorite science experiment from the month of April was the Tea Bag Hot Air Balloon!  These are some of the questions Mr. John and the scientists asked themselves:

  • What will happen when you set an empty, unused teabag on fire?

We had many hypothesis given by our students! Mr. John cut open the unused tea bag and dumped out the tea.  Then he made the tea bag into a cylinder. Next, he put the cylinder shaped tea bag on a kitchen plate and set fire to it. As the tea bag burns, it floats up into the air. WHY?  When the tea bag burns down it gets lighter and the air around the flame gets hotter. Hot air rises and once the burnt tea bag is light enough it gets carried up with the hot air.  All the children giggled with delight during this experiment and asked Mr. John to do it again.  This is one of our most favorite experiments of the school year!

Art Enrichment
by Ms. Faith

Ms. Michele had students finish their wooden frames that they painted one color, or monochromatic. To finish their frames, they picked out objects and painted them the complimentary color of the color they chose for their frames. Once the paint was dry, the students glued it on the frame to create an abstract piece of art.

The next week, Ms. Michele introduced Pablo Picasso to the students. Pablo Picasso is known for his Cubism art works. He wanted to draw facial features from different angles and that is why the features on his people look different. To create their own Cubism inspired art works, Ms. Michele printed out pictures of facial features for the students to cut out and glue onto faces. Some of them had two noses, an eye looking sideways, and an eye looking forward. The students let their creativity flow, and created some great Picasso style faces.

To close up the month of April, Ms. Michele reviewed the color wheel with the class. They reviewed warm and cool colors, primary colors, secondary colors, and complimentary colors. The young artists drew an owl using different shapes, and they had to use primary and secondary colors to fill in the shapes. After the owls were finished, the students drew details on their pages like a branch for the owl to sit on, or the moon in the background. We always look forward to what Ms. Michele has planned for art each month. Thank you for your hard work Ms. Michele!


May-June 2017, Academic Enrichment | Cuyahoga Falls

Academic Enrichment Overview | Cuyahoga Falls Campus

Our Academic Enrichment time is daily from 12:00-1:00pm. This time is specifically designed for our Kindergarten students to join as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum with Mr. John. During this time Ms. Kristen also gives additional handwriting and journaling lessons. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level. Please read through what we will be covering during this time together below.

Reading Group Overview | Ms. Kate
Junior Great Books is a foundational reading program that introduces students to a variety of literary genres, while teaching critical thinking and comprehension skills. Our Kindergarten students meet twice a week as a small reading group. During this time, they listen to a story being read to them and take turns reading the story aloud. Students pause during readings to think critically about the story, identify the different parts of the story, such as the characters and main ideas, make predictions about what might happen next, and learn new vocabulary words, using the context to understand the meaning. Each week I will email information about the current story and any assignment information for at home work.

 

05/01: Introduction to prepositions

  • Rules of the prepositions
  • Worksheets, diagramming sentences

 05/08: Introduction to interjections

  • Rules of the interjections
  • Worksheets, diagramming sentences 

 05/15: Introduction to punctuation (end of a sentence)

  • Rules of the punctuation (end of a sentence)
  • Period, question mark, exclamation mark
  • Worksheets, practicing with interjections

05/22: Introduction to capitalization

  • Rules of capitalization
  • Worksheets, practicing our capitalization

05/29: Review of the year

  • Telling time, landforms
  • Coins, paper money
  • Mathematical operations
  • Geography

 

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

05/01: word, when

05/08: which, what

05/15: there, their

05/22: way, my

  

Synonyms of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

05/01: NICE, friendly, courteous, good, pleasant, charming

05/08: SNEAKY, underhanded, dishonest, tricky, secretive, sly

05/15: BRIGHT, shiny, glowing, dazzling, lighted, vivid

05/22: DULL, dark, dreary, somber, boring, tedious

 

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

  • Look for our words of the week when reading a story, cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
  • Practice using the different synonyms of the week in a sentence together.

 

Mr. John will be sending homework home to reinforce these lessons. Please turn homework into the orange box outside of Mr. John’s classroom.  Please email him if you have any questions: jkotradi@thesmarterkids.com.

 


Mr. John’s May-June 2017 Monthly Overview

May/June 2017 

What I will learn at school this month in Mr. John’s Class…

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

 

5/01: Food Chains

  • 3 and 4 part food chains
  • A food chain shows how each living thing gets food, how nutrients and energy are passed from creature to creature
  • Food chains begin with plant-life, and end with animal-life. Some animals eat plants, some animals eat other animals.

 

5/08: Seasons & Weather

  • 4 Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter
  • Characteristics of each Season
  • The first day of each Season

 

5/15: Solar System

  • Sun, Earth, Moon, Stars
  • Facts on each planet, Asteroids and the Milky Way
  • Constellations, Kennedy Space Station

 

5/22: Career Week

  • Different jobs in the community
  • Doctors, Mail Carriers, Nurses, Accountants, etc.
  • How these workers help us
  • We welcome parents, family members or friends to come in and share about their occupation with us!

 

05/29: Safety

  • Summer safety, water safety
  • Fire Fighters, Police Officers
  • Calling 911

 Monday, May 29th: Memorial Day | NO SCHOOL
Thursday, June 1st: FIELD DAY! 

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.

5/01: Aa

5/08: Ee

5/15: Ii

5/22: Oo

 

 Rhyming Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

5/01: BIB, dib, fib, rib,

5/08: BIC, kick, lick, nick, pick, nick, sick wick

5/15: BUD, dud, mud,

5/22: BOD, God, mod, nod, sod, Todd, rod, 

 

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

  • Look for our sight words when reading a story, point out words you use that begin with the letter of the week. Cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
  • While driving your car, have your child tell you all the items they see that starts with the letter of the week.
  • Take a long walk in your park or neighborhood and point out the seasonal changes to your child. Discuss what you did as a child during each season and share some old and new memories with your son or daughter.  Make special plans for each season.
  • To reinforce our space theme, do some star gazing each night. Have your child pick their favorite, brightest one and share in making a special wish together!

 


Mr. John’s March, 2017 Newsletter Article

On a personal note…

March was a hard month for my animals.  I had many deaths which does happen once in awhile.  It just seems that the animals get old and…. well, die.  With death comes life and new animals- which has been exciting in our room.  I did add Green and Brown Anoles and Long Tailed Lizards AND the popular Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.  These are calm and beautiful creatures are not like the cockroaches that shared my apartment in college at The Ohio State University.  Those roaches looked into my soul and gave me chills before they darted off behind the stove.  Dreadful beasts they were.  Although, it was sport for me and my roommate to capture them in the Roach Motel. A game so to speak.  The roaches toyed with us at times.  We would think we got a few the night before. Looking in the box and expecting to see roaches glued to the inner box only to have them taunt and mock us and some pretended to be stuck and when we picked up the motel they scurried out of the box behind the fridge laughing.   By Spring Quarter we all became friends and lived harmoniously together! We ate dinner together, watched TV, and sometimes they would go to out with us.  Although since they didn’t have an ID we had to sneak them in.  I often wonder what some of my six legged friends are up to now.

 

Observing Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
Green and Brown Anoles and Long Tail Lizard        

 

Line Time Lessons:

The beginning of the month brought us looking at various artists like Monet and Picasso.  We looked at Claude Monet’s water colors and his view of the world.  Monet’s view was not as interesting as Pablo Picasso’s.  The children laughed as they saw some of his “weird” pictures.  We went to the Akron Art Museum and learned that paintings consist of lines, shapes, colors, and textures.  The students had a blast at the museum!

 

  

“I Spy”  (Language)                                                        Young and old in a Montessori Classroom

                                                                                           

We turned our attention to our environment.  We looked at what pollution can do to our environment.  What air, water, littering and noise pollution does to our environment and what we can do to help clean our world.  We learned the 3 R’s … Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  I showed them pictures of polluted areas and clean areas then asked which they would rather live.  It was a resounding answer of a clean environment.  We now know that pollution is TOXIC!

 

The 9 Tray(Math)

We prepared ourselves for the International Festival about learning about our own great state of Ohio.  We learned that our official tree is the Buckeye tree,  mammal is the White Tailed Deer,  fossil is the Trilobite, bird is the Cardinal, flower is the Scarlet Carnation, insect is the Lady Bug, drink is Tomato Juice… get what the predominant color is?  The official rock and roll song is Hang On Sloopy and the state flag is the only state in the union that is not a rectangle.

 

     

9 Tray(Math), Kindergarten Binder work             9 Tray and Blue Rectangle Box(Geometry)

 

Cultural Subjects:

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 28 different languages (English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic w/the Lebanese dialect, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croation, Hindi, Flemish/Dutch, Malay, Cebuano, Farsi and Turkish!)

We had our cheeky leprechaun, Sean O’Keefe, visit us again.  He left the room a mess but left candy for the teachers and students.  I will catch you next year Sean O’Keefe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

                                                                       Sean O’Keefe aftermath

 

St. Patty Day Princesses

 

We had a wonderful field trip to the Akron Art Museum.  This yearly field trip is one of my favorites.  The docents do a great job of explaining the art and keeping the children’s attention.  The students love to see all the art and participate in the activities at the Art Museum.

 

Hands on at the art museum

I have a 9 year old Amaryllis flower that blooms every spring.  I am having the kindergarten students track and document the growth of this plant and form their hypothesis on how big it might get and what color the flowers will be.  They are measuring with a ruler and documenting in inches and centimeters the growth of this plant.

 

                                                             Tracking the growth of a plant

 

Spring has sprung.  Students noticed our flower in bloom looked like a work!

 

Visitor:

We had Ms. Taylor, a dental hygienist, come in and she gave a lesson how important it is to brush, floss, and eat healthy to protect our teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
-with Mr. John

The kindergartners started their section in Language.  We will be learning about the parts of speech until the end of the year.  We went over vowels/consonants, and nouns and verbs.  A noun is a person, place, or thing.  A verb is an action word or something you do.  We the learned there are three articles.  They are A, An, The.  We learned rules when we use those articles.  “A” hooks up with consonants, “AN” hooks up with vowels, and “THE” hooks up with anything.

Cultural Subjects:
My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 28 different languages (English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic w/the Lebanese dialect, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croation, Hindi, Flemish/Dutch, Malay, Cebuano, Farsi and Turkish)!

Handwriting Enrichment
-with Ms. Kristen

The children learned how to write vowels and consonant blends in cursive this month, such as ” oo”, “ee”, “th”, “sh”, etc. We also ventured into more creative journal writing, answering questions such as ” If you could go on vacation anywhere, who would you take with you and why?” and ” Tell me two things you plan to do over your Spring Break”. I’m daily impressed with their creativity and excitement for writing!

Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate

For the month of March our Reading group read two wonderful stories called The Frog Prince, and Guinea Fowl And Rabbit Get Justice. With each of these stories the children were able to illustrate and write about what was happening in each of the stories. By illustrating, the children are visualizing the characters and setting of the story. As they make their own decisions about what the hardest thing is, they are learning that their individual perspectives on a story are important. They also had so much fun acting out the stories. Dramatizations can make it easier for students to take in detail and get plots straight! The children really enjoyed these stories!

Science Enrichment
-by Ms. Kathleen

This month in March we did 3 Science experiments,

  1. Density:  What happens when you put a lemon and a lime in a container of water? The lemon floats and the lime sinks. Why? because the lime is denser than the lemon, the lime has more water by weight in it, it is also guessed that lemons have more air in them which makes them float.
  2. Density: What happens when we mix oil, water and Alka Seltzer in a plastic clear bottle? But first we pour water into bottle about 1/4 full. Then pour vegetable oil into bottle until full, wait until it separates. Add 10 drops food coloring. Break a seltzer tablet in half drop into bottle. Watch it sink to the bottom and the bubble greatness begins, bubbles start wildly going up and down the bottle quickly almost in a dancing like fashion, truly entertaining. This fantastic experiment is because the oil stays above the water the oil is lighter than the water. Oil and water do not mix, the structures of the two molecules do not allow them to bond together. When the tablet pieces are added, they sank to the bottom and created a gas, As the gas bubbles rose, they took some of the colored water with them. When the bubbles reach the top, the gas escapes and down went the water. This was for sure one of the Children’s favorites this month because of all that it does, so fun to watch.
  3. Carbonation: What will happen when you place raisins in a fresh glass of ginger ale? The raisins sink to the bottom of the ginger ale. Then after just a few minutes the raisins get covered in bubbles and rise to the top. Then fall to the bottom. They repeat this pattern for several minutes. Why does this happen? The raisins are heavier than the ginger ale. When enough bubbles attach to the raisins they become” lighter” than the ginger ale. The bubbles raise the raisins to the top. When the bubbles reach the surface they pop dropping the raisins to the bottom again.

 

         Up up the dancing raisins go!

Music Enrichment

-by Ms. Sabrina

Music is so much fun! This month was all about good manners! A song and game about sharing was played! While listening to the directions in the song, the children passed and shared a ball, and had a lot of fun!  The magic words “please” and “thank you” were reinforced through song and by using movement and castanets. “You Have a Choice” was a song played during class, which taught the children that they had a choice to be kind. The children enjoyed using bells, tambourines and rhythm sticks as well this month. The children also learned the difference between forte and piano or loud and soft. They loved raising and lowering their voices with the music. Songs about forgiveness and telling the truth were also shared this month. Ask your child to share all these great songs!

Art Enrichment
-by Ms. Ame

The first week of March Miss Michele felt much better and brought some (much needed) sunshine into our rooms using modge-podge glue with different colors mixed in! The students each created their own sunshine using different colors. These masterpieces will look fantastic in a window that gets a lot of sunshine. The next week Miss Ame stepped in when Miss Michele was sick and taught an abbreviated art lesson on Andy Warhol, that’s what all those colorful cats were about! The students learned a bit about his life and the definition of pop art. The next week Miss Michele taught the students about the definition of monochromatic. Monochromatic means only using a single color.  The students each created their own “house” or creation out of gluing popsicle sticks. Then they painted their creation only one color. It was difficult to pick only one! The next week Miss Michele talked about complimentary colors and introduced the color wheel once again. The students had to identify the complimentary color to the color they painted their creation the previous week. Then Miss Michele provided small boxes full of all sorts of treasures! The students had to be very careful to pick out only the complimentary colored items and glue them onto their monochromatic creation! They turned out so beautiful! If you see yours on the art rack, feel free to take it home! We can’t wait for April and see what multicultural projects Miss Michele will have us make to display at the International Festival on the 21st!

 


April 2017 Academic Enrichment | Cuyahoga Falls Campus

Our Academic Enrichment time is daily from 12:00-1:00pm. This time is specifically designed for our Kindergarten students to join as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum with Mr. John. During this time Ms. Kristen also gives additional handwriting and journaling lessons. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level. Please read through what we will be covering during this time together below.

Reading Group Overview | Ms. Kate
Junior Great Books is a foundational reading program that introduces students to a variety of literary genres, while teaching critical thinking and comprehension skills. Our Kindergarten students meet twice a week as a small reading group. During this time, they listen to a story being read to them and take turns reading the story aloud. Students pause during readings to think critically about the story, identify the different parts of the story, such as the characters and main ideas, make predictions about what might happen next, and learn new vocabulary words, using the context to understand the meaning. Each week I will email information about the current story and any assignment information for at home work.

4/03: Introduction to Pronouns

Rules of the pronouns
Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

4/10: Introduction to Adjectives

Rules of the adjectives
Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

4/17: Introduction to Adverbs

Rules of  adverbs
Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

4/24: Introduction to Conjunctions

Rules of conjunctions
Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

**No Sight words or synonyms until 4/24/2017 due to the International Festival

4/24: look, many

Synonyms of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

4/24: Talk, Chat, Gab, Speak, Converse

 

Mr. John will be sending homework home to reinforce these lessons. Please turn homework into the BLUE box outside of Mr. John’s classroom.  Please email him if you have any questions: jkotradi@thesmarterkids.com.

 


Mr. John’s April 2017 Monthly Overview

What I will learn at school this month in Mr. John’s Class:

 Themes of the week | Classroom group lesson time  (in addition to Montessori Work time)

 4/03: Countries from North & South America

  • North America: countries, culture, climate, & landmarks and cuisine
  • South America: countries, culture, climate, & landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map
  • Friday, April 7th | Dads n Donuts

4/10: Countries from Europe

  • Europe: countries, culture, climate
  • Famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map
  • Friday, April 14th | NO SCHOOL |Easter break

4/17: Countries from Europe and Africa

  • Monday, April 17th | NO SCHOOL | Easter break
  • Europe: countries, culture, climate, famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Africa: countries, culture, climate, famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map
  • Wednesday, April 19th | International Festival Rehearsal
  • Friday, April 21st | International Festival

4/24: Australia, Asia and Antarctica

  • Antarctica, The Arctic region, map, flag, climate and animals
  • Windiest Place on Earth; covered in ice
  • Australia: countries, culture, climate, famous landmark and cuisine
  • Asia: countries, culture, climate, and famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map

 **There will be no words or letters of the week for April 04-April 22. We will use this time to practice individual lines with students**

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

  • As a family, come up with a food or dessert that authentic from a different country and make it together.
  • Pretend to go on a trip. Place chairs in the middle of the room (as your plane), bring a map! Point to a country and fly there! Talk about the animals you would see, the weather, people and anything else you would see or experience!
  • We will be practicing individual lines and songs in class in preparation for the Festival, lines will be sent home next week; please practice your child’s lines at home too!

 


Ms. John’s February 2017 Newsletter

“I like everything I get in the mail for free!”

I love coupons!  You do not understand I am obsessed with coupons for restaurants.   I so look forward to getting the Red Plum coupons every week just to see if there are any coupons to Steak and Shake.  Ya, ya I know the coupons for the meals knock off about 50 cents a meal but it is the thrill of handing the coupons to the cashier when paying for the meal. Although, the BOGO for the milkshakes are where you save the real money.  The McDonald’s and Burger King coupons are … OK, BUT the Arby’s coupons are GOLD!  So if you are about to discard you fast food coupons please send them my way.  My children and I will be so very thankful.  Enough about me…let me tell you about our classroom!

Classroom News:

In February we learned about George Washington and how he was our first president and how Abraham Lincoln came from a poor family and freed the slaves.  We were introduced to Franklin F. Roosevelt and how he was president during World War II and how John F. Kennedy fought for equal rights.  We then learned that Donald Trump was current president. The children were taught that the president’s wives are called the first lady and that the president lives in the white house in Washington DC, and flies on a jet called Air Force 1.  We discussed what responsibilities the President has.  The children came up with keeping us safe, keeping the world safe and running the country.  Many coloring pages were used as well as coloring pages to help identify which president is on what coin.

         

3 part cards(language) and 100 board(math)           Scenes from my Snack Pack                                         

We went back in time and visited Ancient Egypt.  We know Egypt is located in Africa and the main civilization for Ancient Egypt was on the Nile River.  The pharaohs were the kings of Ancient Egypt and ruled their subjects.  We found that pharaohs has big egos and thought they were hot stuff because they wanted to be buried in big tombs.  So they ordered slaves to build the pyramids.  One pharaoh had the sphinx built with the body of a lion and his head.  Pharaohs wanted to be around forever and the Ancient Egyptians found a way to make the bodies last a long time after death and this was called mummification.

 

   

Knobless Cylinders(Sensorial)                        Pink Tower and Brown Stair Creation(Sensorial)

 

I Spy with my little eye(Language)

We traveled to Ancient Greece where we learned about the several gods and goddesses that live on Mount Olympus.  The king of all gods on Mt. Olympus was Zeus who was very powerful.  Zeus had a wife named Hera who was the goddess of marriage and the queen of Mt. Olympus.  Dare not sail the seas without pleasing Poseidon who was the king of the water.  Although, Aphrodite was the goddess of love but also protected sailors.   The goddess of wisdom was Athena.  You better behave or you will meet Hades the ruler of the underworld and his really mean pet Cerberus who is a dog with three heads.

    

Vowel Tree (Language)                                     More Pink Tower and Brown Stairs (Sensorial)

The month started off by going back in time and studying the Ancient Romans.  The Ancient Romans had similar Gods as the Ancient Greeks.  The king of all Gods in Rome was Jupiter and his wife Juno who was the Goddess of Marriage and childbirth.  Pluto was the God of the Underworld, Neptune was the God of the Seas, and finally we came across the God of War, Mars.  Did you notice that a lot of these Gods had planets named after them?

 

   

Knobless Cylinder Creation (Sensorial)         Cards and Counters (Math) 

Cultural Subjects:

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 28 different languages (English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic w/the Lebanese dialect, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croation, Hindi, Flemish/Dutch, Malay, Cebuano, Farsi and Turkish!

 

  

Color Bead Bars (Math)                                    Reading is FUN!

Polygons (geometry)

Academic Enrichment:

The Kindergarten students started the month by dabbling in multiplication.  I explained to them that multiplication was JUST adding multiple(many) times.  For example how many TIMES do we add 3 in the equation 3X4?  Simple, right?  Of course it is!

We then took a look at fractions.  Fractions are simply dividing things into equal parts being 2, 3, 4, 5 parts and up to 12, 100, 1 million parts.  Not only did we divide squares, circle, triangles into fractions but broke down how many boys/girls, who was in John’s, Kate’s, Kristen’s room, eye color, age, and who was a Buckeye fan (100% by the way).

We ended the month with a dose of geometry.  We learned that a triangle has 3 sides and 3 points.  A quadrilateral has 4 sides and 4 points.  Learning to count to ten in Greek came in handy when dealing with polygons ie… penta is 5 and a pentagon has five sides.  I threw in the right angle and what parallel means.

 

    Kindergartners doing the Stamp Game (Math)

Cultural Subjects:

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 28 different languages (English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic w/the Lebanese dialect, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croation, Hindi, Flemish/Dutch, Malay, Cebuano, Farsi and Turkish!

Field Placement Students:

Our field student from University of Akron Mr. John  in action.

  Mr. John from University of Akron (Field Student)

 

Handwriting Enrichment
-with Ms. Kristen

In handwriting this month, we finished up the cursive alphabet and moved on to writing vowel blends such as “th”, “sh”,”ch”, “00”, etc. The children are also answered journal questions such as ” When is your birthday?” and” If you could go on vacation, where would you go and with whom?” Something to work on and practice with your Kindergarten student this month would be spelling words phonetically. I’m so proud all the Kindergartner’s progress this month! They are becoming amazing writers! 

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate

For the month of February our reading group focused on poetry. Together we read Knoxville, Tennessee, Picture Books In Winter, and April Rain Song. Each one of these poems were about a different season that the author truly loves. With each of these readings, the children were able to draw their favorite season and explain to their friends the reason they picked that season. They also had fun creating a drawings of their favorite book and what they like most about the rain. During our time together we go over different vocabulary that they see in their readings and discuss what those terms mean. Together as a class the children created a poem about summer in their city. I hope you enjoy this fantastic poem they created together.

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
I always like summer best
You can eat corn on the cob
Hot dogs on the grill
Sweet watermelon
And Ice cream

You can go to
The beach
To the pool
Baseball games
To the park
And take vacations

You can see
Butterflies
Green leaves on the tree
Birds
People playing outside
Lightning bugs at night.


Science Enrichment
-by Ms. Kathleen

This past month all 3 Science experiments were about Buoyancy; a force in a liquid pushing against an object in a liquid.

Floating and Sinking Oranges:  Mr. John peeled one orange and left the other peeled (boy did the room smell good!) the children placed in a tank of water. When dropped in the water, the orange with the peel on floated and the orange without the peel sank. This is because of air trapped by the peel making the orange float. The peeled orange has no air so it sinks.

Using oranges to explain buoyancy 

Play Dough Shapes A Bowl and a Sphere: The children dropped 1 piece of play dough shaped as a sphere in water and one shaped like bowl in water. The sphere shaped dough sank while the bowl shaped dough floated. This is because sphere shaped dough is dense and cannot push enough water out to stay floating. The dough shaped like a bowl is able to push out water equal it’s weight and therefore, floats.

                                                                        Students pushing away water to explain buoyancy

Soda Can Float (Diet Coke v. Regular) We placed both cans of soda in the water. The diet floated and the regular sank. This is because regular soda contains sugar and diet contains artificial sweeteners. These artificial sweeteners may be 100 times sweeter than sugar, which means that less than a few grams of artificial  sweeteners are used in a can of diet soda. The difference in the amount of grams of sweeteners leads to a different density.

Using two cans of “POP” to explain buoyancy

Art Enrichment
-by Ms. Ame

February has flown by so fast! We started the month with painting our personally created clay creatures from January. The students used a variety of colors and spent almost the whole hour carefully decorating them. Once they dried on the drying rack, the students were able to take them home!

If you haven’t grabbed your child’s little creature, please do and take them home! Then Miss Michele began our next unit, weaving! She has started the students off with paper weaving. The students learned the pattern of over-under-over-under of weaving with large strips of paper. They will continue with weaving projects as we head into March. Keep checking the art carts to take home your students creations both from art and line time lessons! We are constantly creating all sorts of art projects each week!

 

Music Enrichment
-by Ms. Sabrina

A synthesizer was talked about.  It is a piano that can sound like a trumpet as well as other instruments.  It was used to play the game Cat and Mouse. It is a game to hone listening skills. Listening for the highest to lowest sounds.  The children had so much fun.  A song about being diligent was played. The children were taught to try and try and try again.  A train whistle was used, so was a triangle as well as maracas.  A dancing they went.

A new song about telling the truth was sung.  Sign Language was used and so were foot movements. The children also learned about echo’s via music.  The musical instrument used was the maraca. What fun the children had making echos. Performing with scarves were thoroughly enjoyed as well. Let the Sun Shine In was the song they danced to.


March 2017 Academic Enrichment Overview | Cuyahoga Falls Campus

Academic Enrichment Overview | Cuyahoga Falls Campus

Our Academic Enrichment time is daily from 12:00-1:00pm. This time is specifically designed for our Kindergarten students to join as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum with Mr. John. During this time Ms. Kristen also gives additional handwriting and journaling lessons. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level. Please read through what we will be covering during this time together below.

Reading Group Overview | Ms. Kate
Junior Great Books is a foundational reading program that introduces students to a variety of literary genres, while teaching critical thinking and comprehension skills. Our Kindergarten students meet twice a week as a small reading group. During this time, they listen to a story being read to them and take turns reading the story aloud. Students pause during readings to think critically about the story, identify the different parts of the story, such as the characters and main ideas, make predictions about what might happen next, and learn new vocabulary words, using the context to understand the meaning. Each week I will email information about the current story and any assignment information for at home work.

2/27: Geometric Shapes and Constructive Boxes

Geometric Cabinet
Hexagon, rectangle and blue rectangle boxes
Creating triangles, rhombus, trapezoid, parallelogram, squares, etc

3/06: Parts of Speech/ Grammar

Vowels, consonants and their rules

3/13: Parts of Speech/ Grammar

Introduction to nouns and their rules (name of a person, place, or thing)
Introduction to verbs and their rules (action word or something you do)
Vowels, consonants and their rules
Using worksheets, diagramming sentences and sandpaper letters

3/20: Parts of Speech/ Grammar

Introduction to the article
“the” hooks up with anything
“a” or “an”/ “a” hooks up with only consonants, “an” hooks up with only vowels
Using worksheets, diagramming sentences and sandpaper letters

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
2/27: write, them
3/06: then, out
3/13: they, that
3/20: have, this

Synonyms of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
2/27: WET, damp, moist, soggy, drenched, soaked
3/06: HEALTHY, hearty, athletic, sound, strong, fit
3/13: SICK, weak, unhealthy, ailing, infected, frail
3/20: Mean, selfish, unkind, malicious, hurtful

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

Look for our words of the week when reading a story, cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
Practice using the different synonyms of the week in a sentence together.

Mr. John will be sending homework home to reinforce these lessons. Please turn homework into the orange box outside of Mr. John’s classroom. Please email him if you have any questions: jkotradi@thesmarterkids.com.


Mr. John’s March 2017 Monthly Overview

What I will learn this month in Mr. John’s Class…

 Themes of the Week | Classroom group lesson time: (in addition to Montessori Work time)

 2/27: Ancient Rome

  • Roman culture and traditions
  • Buildings and contributions

3/06: Pollution and Recycling

  • What is pollution? Air, water, noise, littering
  • What is recycling? Ways to recycle
  • Ways to save energy
  • Arbor Day/Earth Day

3/13: Oceans

  • Ocean Life, Whales
  • Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
  • Salt water, fresh water
  • Saturday, March 18th: Mother/Son, Father/Daughter Dance 2-4

3/20: Landmarks of the USA/The state of OH-IO

  • OHIO, surrounding state, state flag, flower, bird, state seal, historical landmarks
  • Landmarks such as Statue of Liberty, Mt. Rushmore, Golden Gate Bridge, and Grand Canyon

  3/27:        SPRING BREAK

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.

2/27: Vv

3/06: Ww

3/13: Xx

3/20: Yy

Rhyming Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

2/27: ben, den, hen, men, pen, ten, yen

3/06: beg, keg, meg, peg, leg

3/13: bell, gel, mel, nel, sell, well

3/20: back, hack, jack, lack, mack, knack, pack

Things to do at Home this Month to reinforce our themes:

  • Look for our words of the week when reading a story, cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
  • Play “I Spy” with items beginning with the letter of the week, or find things around your home that begin with the letter of the week.
  • What can you recycle at home? How can you conserve excess energy?
  • Take a trip to the Cleveland Aquarium together and explore ocean life!