Ms. John’s January 2017 Newsletter Article

Making Montessori Great Again:

This title is just a little bit of cheekiness and a lame attempt at political satire on my part.  HEHE.  If you follow me on Facebook you’ll notice I stay clear of the subject of politics.  Actually, this babbling will have nothing to do with politics but thoughts about the Montessori classroom and my belief in HOW GREAT it is!

When I first was introduced to the Montessori philosophy I thought to myself…  The students will run a muck.  There is no organization.  There will be no discipline.  In my head were thoughts of a wild chaotic classroom where the children are CRAZY!

As I quickly discovered the students almost immediately start to choose work on their own, work well with others, and work well by themselves.  The teachers have a detailed plan of what the students are to be presented, or need extra work on.  So, there is a method to the Montessori madness!  No other learning environment will you get children at 3 years of age having the freedom to choose their own works or the older children taking on leadership roles.  The great Montessori environment is an amazing thing.

 

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                                                          My Breakfast Club taking over my seat

Classroom News:
We all returned to school after a well rested winter break.  Due to the long break we did a refresher week covering the classroom ground rules.  We went over the four basic rules of: 1) No running in the classroom.  We do not run because we can get hurt or hurt someone else.  2)  Use our listening ears.  The students pay attention to the teachers during line time and before cleaning the room and line time.  Important information is shared during line time and listening is a sign of respect and courtesy.  3)  Keep our hands to ourselves.  We do this to honor other student’s personal space.  In addition, we do not hit, punch, push or do anything to physically hurt other students.  4) Respect others.  This is basically being nice to your fellow students.  Use nice words, smile instead of giving mean faces, sharing, and helping those in need.

 

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Handsome guys                                                 Cheesecake smile

We also talked about family (since we spent so much time with them over the holidays).  We talked about our mom and dad and what we call them (Mommy, mama, daddy, and papa).  We also have grandparents that we call yaya, papu, oma, papa to name a few.  We told stories about our aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course our brothers and sisters.  We determined that pets are part of our family even though they are not human.

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Elephant exercise                                              My Snack Pack

To honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we learned a bit about his life and his accomplishments.  The students became actresses and actors as they recreated Rosa Parks making her stand on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  The students enjoyed playing the part of the bus driver, Rosa Parks, “the mean guy”, a police officer, Martin Luther King Jr., and passengers on the bus.  We discussed our differences such as skin color, eye color, hair color, and gender.  Then we discussed how we are similar.  We talked about our differences.  We talked about if someone with red hair wouldn’t be allowed to do art “just because” they have red hair or if anyone who had blue eyes would have to go to a different classroom with less materials, broken crayons, or no books “just because” they have blue eyes.  To illustrate this, I had only boys fetch the chairs for the skit and brought that to the attention of the class.  We had some very sad girls…. I did let the girls take the chairs back after the skit.

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                                                                          Anyone can sit anywhere.  Thank you Rosa Parks

We started to learn about our body and how it works.  We learned about our five senses (touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste).  Did you know you can “feel” with any part of your body?  We hear loud noises, quiet noises, high and low noises.  We need light to see and if we close our eyes we can’t see.  There are good smells like cinnamon, vanilla and bad smells like a dirty diaper and vinegar.  My favorite was the taste test where we tasted sweet (sugar water), salty (potato chips), sour (pure lemon juice), and bitter (unsweetened baking chocolate).  The children enjoyed “most” of the tastes.

 

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                                              Taste test (dark, unsweetened baking chocolate)

We ended the month about learning more about our body.  We looked at the skeletal system and if we didn’t have a skeleton we would be one messy blob on the ground..  We learned the skull protects our brain, the rib cage protects our lungs, and the spine keeps us sitting and standing straight.  We learned technical terms for our arms, leg and our digits which is a funny name called phalanges. We brought our life sized foam puzzle into our room.  His name is Elvis because we learned about the pelvis and it was a cool rhyming name.

 

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Learning about the skeletal system

 

We had a former student, Anna F. read to our classroom her favorite book with seventeen stories about pirates.

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                                                                           Alumnus reader

Cultural Subjects:

During line time lesson we can count to 10 in twenty three different languages (English, Latin, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemmish, and Serbo-Croation).

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Chore time

 

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 BFF’s working together

 

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
-with Mr. John

This month we started our section in Math.  We learned about the unit (ones), ten, hundred, and thousand columns.  The kindergartners composed numbers, and were introduced to addition with and without carry overs.

Cultural Subjects:
We can count to 10 in twenty four different languages (English, Latin, Sign Language, Spanish, German, French, Greek,     Japanese, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, and Welsh Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, and Malay).

Handwriting Enrichment
-with Ms. Kristen

During the month of January, the Kindergarten students learned the proper formation of I-T. They also began to work on copying sentences in cursive. Some of the journal questions we answered were, “ Who is our new president?” , “ What city do you live in?”, and “ What is your middle name?”. These simple questions gave the children a chance to practice their letter formation that they have been learning since the beginning of the year! I am so proud of the progress our young writers have made!

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate

For the month of January the children read two stories called Lion At School, and Coyote Rides The sun. After we read both stories we went over any vocabulary the children weren’t certain of or they have never heard of. The children them completed an assigned drawing that allows them to record their early responses to the selection. When the children choose their illustration , they are visualizing the characters and setting of the story. Throughout our readings we lead our at home discussions, and created a song that was based on the story Coyote Rides The Sun. The class brainstormed together about why they might wake up before dawn. Is it because they are going on a trip? Is it a special holiday? Below is the class song they created together. Enjoy!!

Early Morning Song
Awake in the hour before dawn,
Awake in the hour before dawn,
So I can get to school on time,
So I can open presents on Christmas day,
So I can look for Easter eggs,
So I can go downstairs and have some peace and quiet,
So I can watch t.v.
So I can catch a plane to Disney World,
So I can pack up for the beach
Awake in the hour before dawn.

 

Science Enrichment
by Ms. Kathleen

Leak Proof Baggy: What happens when we poke holes with a pencil in a baggy filled with water?
Plastic bags like these are made out of our favorite materials, polymers! Polymers are long chains of individual molecules, called monomers. when you puncture the bag with a sharp pencil, you’re separating polymer chains without breaking them. The long chains of molecules than squeeze in tight around the surface of the pencil, preventing any sort of leak. The Children really enjoyed pencil after pencil being poked through the ziploc plastic bag without any leaks.

Biodegradable Packing Peanuts: What happens when you put them in a pitcher of water?
These packing peanuts are made from Starch, with a lot of air pockets. The Starch peanuts once wet dissolve in water just like sugar does. the children loved saying Abracadabra as Mr. John put the peanuts in water and they disappeared.

Absorption, Wet Paper Towel Verses Wet Diaper which will hold more water?
Mr John poured water all over a paper towel and a baby diaper and hung them both over his head, the wet paper towel dripped all over him and the diaper filled with water did not. This is because inside the baby diaper there are molecules called polymers inside, They are the small crystal like substance inside the diaper. A polymer that hold a large amount of water is called a gel, gel absorbs a solvent or water. This why the paper towel did not hold the water but the diaper did. All the children squealed with delight as Mr. John’s head got all wet from the soggy paper towel.

 

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                                                                    “Willing Volunteer”  😉

 

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                                                                     “Unwilling volunteer”  🙂

 

Music Enrichment
by Ms. Sabrina

Peter and The Wolf are back! We are learning the characters of the story, as well as the instruments involved. The children are internalizing the story well. They can tell what characters and what instruments are entering the story. The children have such great listening skills! Another listening game was also played is called Cat and Mouse! The children listened well to directions, and did what was asked skillfully. They loved performing an emotion in the song with the maracas as an instrument! Music is always so much fun with Ms. Lisa!

Art Enrichment
by Ms. Ame
January has been cold but Miss Michele’s imagination has been on fire! Miss Michele has started one of her most creative projects of the year! The first week the students learned about mythical creatures and took 3 different animals(one mammal, one reptile and one with wings) and created their own animal on paper! The students first sketched their animal with a pencil and then colored it in! The next week, the students used their drawings and used foil to create a base for a model of the creature! This was a little tricky for some of the younger students but all the students worked hard! After they had made the base, they then covered the foil with a white clay. They added small details like legs, eyes, mouths and wings. Miss Michele is going to bake these creations and then next month the students will decorate them! Thanks Michele for another great start to the year!


Mr. John’s February, 2017 Monthly Overview

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

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

1/30: Internal Organs

  • Brain, Heart, Lungs
  • Large and Small Intestines
  • Stomach
  • Kidneys and Liver

2/06: Presidents of the United States

  • George Washington
  • Abe Lincoln, Franklin D Roosevelt
  • John F Kennedy, Barack Obama
  • Valentine’s day party, Friday, February 10th

2/13: Ancient Egypt

  • Egyptian culture and traditions
  • Buildings and contributions

2/20: Ancient Greek

  • Monday, February 20th, President’s day – No School
  • Greek culture and traditions
  • Buildings and contributions

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

1/30: Rr
2/06: Ss
2/13: Tt
2/20: Uu

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

1/30: BUT, cut, gut, hut, nut, jut
2/06: BUP, cup, pup
2/13: BED, fed, led, med, ned, red, net, ted
2/20: BET, get, jet, let, met, net, set

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.
  • Look at a United States map. See if your child can guess which state the presidents we learned about came from.
  • Go to your local library and explore books about the different ancient cultures and read them together.

 


February, 2017 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.

 

 1/30: Exchanging

  • Decimal System/Exchanging 1s, 10s, 100s and 1000s
  • Using single units, 10 bars, 100 squares and 1000 cubes

 2/06: Introduction to Multiplication

  • Exploring multiplication
  • Operations with the golden bead material
  • Practice with the nine tray and multiplication tables

2/13: Introduction to Fractions

  • Exploring Fractions
  • Fractional Insets (whole up to 1/12)

2/20: Geometric Shapes

  • Monday, February 20th, President’s day – No School
  • Intro to Geometric Shapes, Constructive boxes
  • Geometric Cabinet

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

1/30: first, than
2/06: other, some
2/13: more, these
2/20: would, about

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

1/30: APPROPRIATE, suitable, fitting, apropos, correct, proper
2/06: BAD, incorrect, awful, unsatisfactory faulty, defective
2/13: GOOD, pleasant, fine, honorable, wonderful, valuable
2/20: DRY, dehydrated, arid, parched

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.
  • You can view this link to give you more information on how the math materials are used in the Montessori classroom http://www.montessorialbum.com/montessori/index.php?title=Math. You may also google the name of the work to find more videos and information on the purpose of that material.

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 December 2016 Newsletter Article

It is the most wonderful time of the year… but I am not referring to the holiday season.  I am referring to the Holiday College Football Bowl Season.  The weeks preceding New Years Day you can find a College Football Bowl Game every day.  No matter how small the university or how ridiculous the sponsor for the bowl game, I find pleasure in watching College Football.  The College Football Bowl season is rivaled only with March Madness (My March blog may tout this is the most exciting sports season). So, as the Winter Solstice comes as well as over break, Mr. John was fully stocked up on Cheetos and root beer, and snacked on the Christmas cookies I received from families and watched a years worth of College Football in the time span of two weeks.  I wanted to thank all the families for bringing your children to Absorbent Minds Montessori School and for all of the generous gifts that I received.

As always O-H…

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All smiles                                                             Reading to each other

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A typical day in Mr. John’s class…napping (he, he…just kidding) This was our PJ and Movie Day!                                                   

 

 

Line Time

We spent the majority of the time practicing for our Christmas program.  Our little carolers performed nicely.  My big carolers did a fantastic job getting our students ready for the show!

 

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My Breakfast Club running amuck                 Card Sharks

We did have an alumnus, Avery who is in Kindergarten, read Madeline’s Christmas.

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Cultural Subjects

We can now count to ten in 20 languages.  We can count in English, Latin, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Irish, and Kiswahili, Welsh.

 

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Just Cuteness                                                     Friends

 

Academic Enrichment | Kindergarten
with Mr. John

This abbreviated month found us learning a little bit about creepy crawly things.  Namely Insects and Arachnids.  We learned insects have 6 legs, an abdomen, a thorax, and a head in addition to two antennae.  They are also invertebrates. Arachnids are also invertebrates but have a head and a cephalothorax.

We ended the year by learning how to measure things with a ruler.  We learned how to measure in inches and in centimeters.  The students had homework measuring things around the house.  I was told this was a fun assignment.

Cultural Subjects
We can now count to ten in 21 languages(We can count to ten in 19 different languages.  We can count in English, Latin, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemmish.

Handwriting Enrichment | Kindergarten
with Ms. Kristen

During the month of December, we began to work on cursive letter formation beginning with form drawing, which is a pre-cursor to cursive handwriting. We then focused on letter A-I and practiced writing simple words beginning with each letter. The Kindergarten students have also practicing answering questions in the form of a complete sentence, such as “ What is your favorite color?” and “ What do you want for Christmas?”. The children are doing so well with this and their handwriting is improving daily!

Reading Group | Kindergarten
with Ms. Kate

For the month of December our friends learned all about Fantasy. We read poems by Sylvia Plath, Edward Lear, and Lewis Carroll. With each of these readings the children were able to create an art activity, do a dramatization of the reading, and also discuss their Junior great book questions they did with their parents. One of the readings we did was called The Bed book. As a class we brainstormed different types of beds they would like to have. I love that the children had to really use their imagination and talk to their classmates about what they were thinking. We then created our own Right Sort Of Bed poem! When children work on these creative writing projects, the activity provides a framework of lines and verbal cues to help children generate and organize their ideas. The children really enjoyed reading these poems.

 

Science Enrichment
by Ms. Kathleen

We love Science here at AMMS! One of the favorite experiments we would like to highlight this month was Gluep/ Homemade Slime! Yes, as I’m sure you can imagine…it was a big hit!

This made by using Borax, White Elmer’s Glue (It has to be Elmer’s Brand) ,Water Food coloring.

The children watched Mr. John add the Tablespoon of glue to one cup of water then mix, then food coloring. then he added 1 teaspoon of borax with 3 more cups of water, he stirred until dissolved.Then when finished was a soft lump.

By combining Glue, Borax and Water a newly created Polymer will have characteristics of a Solid and a Liquid. A chemical reaction begins when Glue and Borax and Water are mixed to make a highly flexible Polymer. A Polymer is both a liquid and a solid.

The Children all (except a few because it is slimy to the touch) loved this experiment and were so happy to bring their own little bit home in plastic bags all provided by Mr. John.

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Music Enrichment
by Ms. Sabrina

This was a very busy month for our music class. The children learned many new songs and signs for the Christmas Show which they practiced during music class. Along with those songs and movements, they also learned Jinggle Bells freeze dance and Jingle Bell Rock. Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer with motions was so much fun!! Castanets were used (we love using instruments!). The children learned a lot about self control. Feliz Navidad was a song they sung, and they galloped to Deck The Halls!! Away In Manger was also heard, and it was beautiful. All the children did a wonderful job performing in the show! All of us also had such fun!!

 

Art Enrichment
by Ms. Ame

This month in December Miss Michele mixed it up combining art and physical movement! Miss Michele introduced some new pieces of art to the class, that all had one thing in common; they were pictures of people in different positions. The students then each took a turn being a model for the class. Each student took their turn on the stool in the center of the circle. Then they got to pick a prop and make a pose with their prop. There were globes, scarves, and other classroom objects they could pick from. Once they found their prop and pose, the students had about 1 minute per student to quickly draw their friend in the center. It was a good lesson that taught the students about drawing different parts of the body in different positions. It also helped them learn to look quickly for details when they are drawing something they are looking at. This lesson helped prepare them for the next weeks lesson where each student brought in a toy or object from home. Each student brought in their own object from home and put the objects in the center of the circle. Then the students drew the objects that they saw and had so much fun! Thanks for everyone for bringing in such wonderful objects! Thanks to Miss Michele for another wonderful year and we can’t wait to see what comes next!


Ms. John, January 2017 Monthly Overview

January 2017

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

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

 

1/04:     Review of Ground Rules

  • Ringing of the bell, circle walk, line time
  • Process of working with a materials, rolling mats, carrying trays & work areas
  • Respecting teachers, classmates and the materials
  • Grace and Courtesy lessons

 

1/09: Martin Luther King Jr./ Similarities and Differences

  • History of MLK, Rosa Parks.
  • Our similarities and differences (eyes, hair, gender and skin color)
  • MLK/ Rosa Parks skit
  • No School: Friday 1/13-Teacher In Service Day

 

1/16: Five Senses

  • Monday 1/16- NO SCHOOL (MLK Day)
  • Introduction to the Senses
  • Focus on each Sense throughout the week
  • Activities and experiments to support our knowledge of the senses

 

1/23: Skeletal System

  • Arms, Hands and Fingers
  • Ribs, Pelvis
  • Legs, Feet and Toes

 

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

1/04: Nn

1/09: Oo

1/16: Pp

1/23: Qq

 

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

1/04: BOB, fob, gob, job, lob, mob, rob

1/11: BUG, dug, hug, jug, mug, tug

1/18: BUN, fun, nun, run, sun

1/25: BUB, cub, hub, pub, rub, sub

 

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.
  • Talk about what makes you the same and different from your child. Do you have the same hair and eye color? If not, where did they get their eye color from?
  • Take turns trying to write your name on a piece of paper blindfolded. Wow! We appreciate the sense of sight!
  • Quiz your child about the different bones of the body, see if they can point to where their Femur is or tell you what their Phalanges are.

 


Mr. John November 2016 Newsletter

The Mortar Between The Brick:

It seems that the assistants of the classroom rarely get the attention or accolades they really deserve.  We all know or should know that a classroom can NOT function without the support of the assistant teacher.  Their role goes beyond the title of assistant.  At Absorbent Minds Montessori School they are referred as Co-Teachers and rightly so.   They are an integral part of your child’s academic, social, and emotional development and without them I would not be able to present lessons and have a controlled, normalized classroom as I do now.  Sabrina, Kathleen, and I work as a well oiled machine.  It is almost like we all know what we are thinking throughout the day.  Each one of us have different responsibilities geared towards our strengths so we can maximize the production of the classroom (that last comment was my business background coming to the surface).  Without the assistant/co teacher the classroom would not function as it does now. Kudos to the Assistant. I thank the Co-Teachers for their dedication.  I am blessed to have two great teachers in my classroom.

 

Classroom Line Time:

The class went back in time and studied dinosaurs.  We learned the names of 5 dinos  (T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, and Brachiosaurus) and if they were meat eaters (carnivores) or plant eaters (herbivores).  We learned when they lived and I introduced the phrases “extinct” and “fossils” what they meant.  We read “Dad is a Dinosaur”, and Dinosaurs go to School”

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(Cultural Subjects: Plant and Animal Puzzles)                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Math:  The 9 Tray)          

 

We then learned about Pilgrims and Thanksgiving.  Our craft was making feathers and putting what we are thankful for.  The feathers were put on turkeys that we placed on the bulletin board.  Hand print turkeys and pilgrim hats were also made for the holiday.

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(Sensorial: Puzzles)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Sensorial: Sorting)   

 

The third week in November, which was a short week, we discussed Buckeye Football.  It was appropriate since “THE GAME” was that Saturday.  If you child hears someone shout O-H they will give a resounding response of I-O!  They know Hang On Sloopy is the official rock and roll song of Ohio and will yell O-H-I-O and do the hand gestures as they sing the song.  Some of your children may refer to Xichigan as that state up north.  We watched several Ohio State Buckeye video highlights and the children especially loved “Script Ohio” and  TBDBITL    The score….30-27  Go Buckeyes!!!

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(My Breakfast Club taking over Ms. Kelly’s desk)                                                                                                                                                                                             (Cultural Subjects: Amphibian Bin)

 

Classroom Cultural Subjects:

We can count to ten in 18 different languages.  We can count in English, Latin, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, and Irish.

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(Math:  The 9 Tray)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (Math: Addition Board)             

 

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
with Mr. John

We started out our month by introducing your children to high finance. We started out identifying coins (all different variations) of the penny, nickle, dime, and quarter. We looked at half dollars and dollar coins. We also went over the value of each coin. We then looked at the different “paper” bills.

We then changed our course to looking at what makes a living thing… a living thing. Living things reproduce, take in nourishment (eat), exchange gases (breath), grow, and move. We looked at different animals and the characteristics of animals. Mammals are vertebrates, warm blooded, have hair or fur, born alive, and drink mothers milk. Reptiles are vertebrates, cold blooded, dry scaly skin, born out of hard shell eggs. Amphibians are vertebrates, cold blooded, soft moist skin, born from jelly eggs. Birds are vertebrates, warm blooded, have feathers, born from hard shell eggs. Fish are vertebrates, cold blooded, have scales, born alive or from jelly eggs.

Cultural Subjects:
We can count to ten in 19 different languages.  We can count in English, Latin, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Irish, and Kiswahili.

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
with Ms. Kate

What I truly love about our reading club program is that with this particular curriculum it really helps the children get a better understanding of asking questions and sharing answers about the meaning of a story or poem. Throughout these past few weeks the children enjoyed reading The Tale Of Two Bad Mice, Bouki Cuts Wood, Night Into Dawn, and Fantasy. With each of these readings the children will read the selection several times and will work with it through a variety of drawing, writing, and oral activities. The children absolutely love to act out certain scenes in each of the selections. Dramatizations can make it easier for students to take in details and get plots straight. But they also help students interpret a story, as they think about what a character is thinking feeling. So the next time your child brings home their Junior Book Club reading book, Pick a story out and act it out together!!

 

Science Enrichment
by Ms. Kathleen

This month students learned about cylinder Strength. For example,  what happens when we try to balance books on paper wrapped into a cylinder? The children all placed a book on top a papers rolled up length wise to form a cylinder. They all watched as the paper cylinder supported all the books! The strength of the geometrical shape known as the cylinder is one of the most structurally sound and strongest shapes. Once the paper was made into a cylinder with the help of rubber bands the tube now supported the weight of each book the children placed on top.

Students also loved the “Frightened Pepper” experiment.  When Mr. John places pepper in a bowl for each child. He asked our scientists, what will happen when the children place a Q-tip with dish soap on it then placed a drop of soap on top of the water. The children all watched their own bowls as the pepper moved to the sides of the bowl. Why is this? It is because the dish soap lowers the surface tension. The water surface is strong enough to hold up light-weight objects such as pepper. Dish soap mixes with the water molecules and lowers the surface tension, when dish soap is placed near the pepper, the surrounding water has a high surface tension and exerts a force that pulls the pepper away from the dish soap.

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(Science: Cylinder Strength)                                                                                                                                                              (Science: Learning the behaviors                                                                                                                                                            of Polymers) 

 

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(Go Buckeyes!!!!!  Secret Message on PTFE)                                                                                                                             (Science:  Children acting like frightened                                                                                                                                                                    pepper)           

Music Enrichment
by Ms. Sabrina

The children learned so much in Music class this month. As a bonus they also had an awesome time (and the teachers do too)! The children used their high voices and their low voices. Ms. Lisa’s songs teach us lessons. For example, they learned about having choices and whether to have a bad attitude or a good attitude.

Students also worked with the bells and tambourines, switching back and forth.  They love using instruments in Music class. The children learned about sharing from one of Ms. Lisa’s songs and by passing and rolling a ball back and forth. A listening game was also played, using egg shakers. They listened for directions to stop, go, jump, spin, tip toe etc. Dancing included! A song about emotions was also learned. Emotions are just feelings, neither good nor bad. Tambourines were used, and our emotions were talked about. An echo game was also played, where voices bounced back and forth and we also had fun with our egg shakers again. Ms. Lisa also planned a dance where cooperation was required was executed well by the children. What another great lesson taught through music! They rocked it! The children also began to practice their Christmas songs this month, in preparation for the Christmas Show.  Our students learn so much through music and movement and Ms. Lisa’s lessons!

 

Art Enrichment
By Ms. Ame

The first week of our November Art class, Miss Michele brought the playground inside the classroom. The students used different shapes of paper to create their own three-dimensional art. The students created slides, swings, tunnels and other imaginative playground creations. These creations were very impressive!

Next, Ms. Michele had students use both oil pastels and watercolors to create an underwater scene. The students first created their scene by drawing underwater plants and different sea creatures using the oil pastels. After they had completed their creatures, they used blue tinted watercolors to create the underwater effect. The oil pastels “resist” against the watercolors so that they keep their original colors and only the white part of the paper turned blue. It was a surprise for some students and a great lesson to teach the art of resist!

Students also created self-portraits in Art this month. This can be very tricky, but Ms. Michele guided the students in drawing the shape of their face. She provided each child with a mirror so they were able to look directly at their own face to draw the shape and colors of their faces, encouraging them to notice every detail! Ms. Michele also talked about the proportions of their faces, such as how the distance from the top of their head to their eyes is equal to the distance from their eyes to their chin. This made it easier for the children to place their eyes, nose and lips in the correct place in their portrait.
The students enjoyed these art projects this month. Ms. Michele’s art projects are one of a kind. Keep an eye on your student’s folder for these special creations as they are sent home!


Mr. John’s December 2016 Monthly Overview

December 2016

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

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

11/28—12/16  Christmas Show Practice

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

 

Christmas Show Rehearsal (not a dress rehearsal)

December 14th | 6:00pm

Cuyahoga Falls High School

431 Stow Ave. Cuyahoga Falls, OH  44221

 

Christmas Show

December 16th | 6:30pm

Cuyahoga Falls High School

431 Stow Ave. Cuyahoga Falls, OH  44221

 

 12/22—1/03       Christmas Break—School Resumes Wednesday January 4th

 

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

  • Help prepare your child by talking with them about being on stage, how excited you will be to see them, and what to expect. Invite your family and friends, there will be plenty of seats!  You won’t want to miss this event, see you there!

 

 


Mr. John’s October 2016 Newsletter

Summer’s Almost Gone…That song(by The Doors) was running through my head even after Summer ended.  With all the jobs I worked time flew by way too quickly and I wish Summer lasted to the new year.  I resisted the coming of Fall or Autumn.   Although, I am not totally at fault for this resistance since we had 80 degree weather in mid October! This lead me to believe that it was ok to wear shorts heading into November.  Many students asked me if I was cold.  Yes, of course I was cold but I am from Ohio and we wear shorts in the Winter. It’s just what we do.  Well, some of us do.  As I told many students… You are smarter than Mr. John for dressing appropriately for the weather. This always brings giggles.   So, I guess I should really pack away my shorts and summer wear and unpack my sweaters, boots, and heavy coats.  Summer is truly gone.  Oh…. to have Summer last until the new year!

 

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Line Time Lessons:

Children love animals and I enjoy teaching the children about different types of animals.  This month we started discussing mammals.  I chose mammals because we are mammals.   We learned that mammals have hair or fur, are born alive, and drink mother’s milk when first born.  We learned that mammals are warm blooded (their body temperature remains constant) and that they are vertebrates (have spines).  We learned that dolphins and whales are mammals and that the bat is the only mammal that can fly.  The children love the mice and rats!!!

Then we slithered our way into discussing reptiles.  We came to the conclusion that the snake is the most popular reptile. We learned reptiles are cold blooded, vertebrates, lay hard shelled eggs, and have dry scales.  The children enjoyed seeing our own corn snake.  The geckos were just as appreciated.

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We hopped into our discussion of amphibians. We all agreed that the frog was the most popular amphibian and that amphibians are cold blooded and vertebrates.  We also learned that their skin is moist and soft and that they can live on BOTH land and water. Amphibians lay eggs but the eggs have no shell but are like jelly.   The children were encouraged to look for our Pac Man Frog and our Eastern Toads in our nature center.

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We swam to our friends called fish.  We learned that fish are cold blooded (their body temperature changes to the temperature in their environment) and are vertebrates.  We learned that most fish have scales, gills and fins, and some fish lay eggs and some fish are liver bearers (babies are born alive). We introduced a new word, “habitat”.  This is where something lives and the fish’s habitat is the water. The children were thrilled to learn that the shark is a fish.

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We then flew with the animals called birds.  Birds have feathers, are warm blooded, and are vertebrates.  All birds lay hard shelled eggs and have wings.  All birds have wings but some birds are flightless (cannot fly) such as the penguin, ostrich, and emu.

We can now count to ten in 1 languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic with the Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, and Hebrew).

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Academic Enrichment | Kindergarten Students
with Mr. John

My kindergarten students learned about land forms. Ask them what the definition of a lake, island, bay, peninsula, gulf (not the game), harbor, cape, isthmus(not Christmas), straight, chain of lakes, and archipelago.

Tick. tock. tick…  (time keeps on slippin slippin slippin into the future)…..  Telling time with hands and minute hashes.       We went over telling time to the hour(o’ clock), half past(:30), and quarter after(:15), quarter til(:45), and to the minute.

We can now count to ten in 16 languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic with the Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, and Korean).

 

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Reading Group |Kindergarten Students
with Ms. Kate

We have added such a wonderful program for our Kindergarten students. This program is called Junior Great Books Read- Aloud Program. This amazing program really stresses the enjoyment of literature for the children, but at the same time the children are able to develop comprehension, interpretive thin king, and oral and written language skills. Every Monday and Wednesday the kindergarten students and I meet together and read out loud a story or poem. We then have amazing group discussions, act out the story or poem, have creating writing sessions, and special art projects. For example during Halloween week the children had to brain storm and come up with a riddle. They absolutely loved creating this together. I hope you enjoy their riddle!
What Day Would It Be?

If there were vampires, witches, mummies, and ghosts.
Purple, black, orange, and green.
Playing pin the “Boo” on the ghost, and mummy wrapping.
Dressing up, tricks or treat, carving pumpkins, and class parties.
Cookies, candy corn, tootsie rolls, and air heads.
What day would it be?
How awesome was that riddle??!! Can you guess what day it is?

Enrichment Classes

Art Class
by Ms. Ame

This month Miss Michelle started out with continuing her leaf project. The students created their own leaf in the spirit of Fall. Michelle discussed warm and cool colors with the students using her color wheel. They used warm colored tiles inside their leaf and cool colored tiles on the outside, or the other way around depending on what the student had decided.

The second week, Miss Michelle had the students use their imagination. She introduced the students to mythological creatures and talked about how the creatures resembled a few animals mixed together. Michelle then brought out her board covered in different animals. The students each chose two animals and created their own creature.

The third and final week of Art in October was about Halloween. Miss Michelle talked about spooky art and Halloween, encouraging the students to share what scared them. The students then drew a picture depicting their fear and a self portrait of them being scared! It was quite a spooky lesson. Please keep your eyes open in the hallways as Miss Michelle will soon be hanging up the students art!

 

Science Class
by Ms. Kathleen

This month in Science class we saw quite a few different experiments!  I will showcase our two favorite below. The children were able to learn about solubles. The discovered what happens when you place pieces of different colored Skittles and Gobstoppers in a plate and add water to them. The colors run, collide, but do not mix. This is because each candy is coated with wax. The wax is not water soluble, and prevents any mixing from happening.
Next students were able to explore dry ice! When you place it into a pot and pour warm water over it, it looks like a witches pot!! What causes the bubbling steam? Pouring water over the dry ice causes the dry ice to warm up rapidly. This creates the fog we saw coming from the pot. Dry ice is frozen Carbon Dioxide. It is able to turn from a solid to a gas without going through the liquid stage. I think this was their favorite experiment this month! It created the most excitement!
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Music Class
by Ms. Sabrina

The children had so much fun in Music class this month. There were many smiles and laughter going around. The children learned a new song called Having Choices. They learned that they can choose to be kind. The instruments used were bells and tambourines. Our students loved using the instruments and dancing was also involved! The children then learned a song about love. The phrase ” I love you ” was frequently used. For this song the instrument used was an egg shaker. Added to that was a song about kindness. What great values for children to learn! They learned a song about sharing by passing and rolling a ball back and forth. More balls were added and the children did so well with sharing them. They also learned a song called Please and Thank You. An egg shaker was also again used and of course the magic words please and thank you. The children skipped, galloped and listened for directions, following them well. They had to wait until everyone had an instrument, and when Ms. Lisa told them to, they could pick up their instrument and play with her. This teaches the students self-control, and how to be patient. The young musicians have improved their ability to follow Ms. Lisa’s lead, and wait so patiently. Along with learning important musical terms and skills, we got to sing some old favorites like Skinamarinky Dinky Dink, and Skip to My Lou. Music class sure is fun with Ms. Lisa!

 


Mr. John’s November 2016 Monthly Overview

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

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

10/31:    Insects / Arachnids

  • Characteristics of insects, examples of insects (invertebrates)
  • Antennae, head, thorax, abdomen, six legs (some have wings)
  • Characteristics of arachnids, examples of arachnids, 8 legs (invertebrates)

11/07: Dinosaurs

  • Naming and Identifying Dinosaurs
  • Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, Brachiosaurus
  • Plant eaters (herbivores), Meat eaters (carnivores)
  • Where the Dinosaurs lived and how long ago they lived
  • Fossils and Extinction

11/14: Thanksgiving/ Native Americans

  • Mayflower, Native Americans
  • When the Pilgrims came to America
  • Who the Pilgrims were and why they came
  • The Mayflower
  • Native American shelters, nomadic, settlers

11/21: Family

  • Members of a family, family traditions and holidays
  • Family birthdays, vacations
  • Family pets

Harvest Party 11/22/16

Wednesday-Friday NO SCHOOL

 

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

10/31: Kk
11/07: Ll
11/21: Mm

 

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

10/31: OX, box, fox, lox, pox, sox
11/07: BOT, cot, dot, got, hot, lot, not, pot, tot
11/14: BOP, cop, hop, mop, pop, top

 

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.
  • Explore your neighborhood. See if you can find any fossil plant prints on rocks in your yard or neighborhood.
  • Make fall crafts together to help decorate your family Thanksgiving table.
  • Look through family photo albums together and talk about your family. What does each family member do for a job?  Where did you grow up?  What unique traditions does your family have?

 


I’m All Lost In A Supermarket……

The Summer of 2016 was a busy busy busy Summer for Mr. John.  I took on a few Summer jobs to pass the time more quickly and to earn some extra cash money.  I have been working child care at the church I attend for the past few years, but that is only a few hours on a Sunday morning.  I was recommended to do home care for children who have mental disabilities.  I was not sure how I would do with this job.  Would I like it?  Would it be too difficult?  It turns out I love it!  I love getting to know the children, their families, and pets.  These children are sweet, great, loving children.  I feel as if I am part of their family every time I work with them.  I feel working with these children has made me a better teacher and a better person.   Mid-Summer I was approached from an employee from Blossom Music Center because they needed help for The Warped Tour (Security, new PC term is Crowd Management).  I said, why not, interviewed, and got the gig.  It was a long, sweaty, hot day but it was a blast.  I was asked if I would work more shows, to which I agreed.  Again, it was a blast (even the country shows).  I thought once concerts ended I would be done, but I was contacted to work security (ooops, Crowd Management) at Blossom’s haunted house.  People always told me I was a people-person.  Also, I’ve been told I had a knack with “kids and dogs”.  With that said…. my next employment endeavor, dog walking.

“It is so quiet in here.  It is so calm.”  This is what I have been hearing from parents and current teachers about my room.  Usually it takes a good 3-4 months for my room to become normalized, but this year it is on its way to being normalized in about a month.  I credit those around me for the earlier than usual success.  Miss Kathleen and Miss Sabrina are wonderful teachers and work well with the students.  They are fun yet firm and know how to handle difficult situations well.  When I mentioned “those around me” I didn’t only mean the teachers but I want to give credit to the older students, the leaders of the room.  They are showing the newer/younger students how to work with materials and are guiding them through the classroom.

 

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Line Time Lessons:

We started out the year by learning the ground rules of the classroom.  Use walking feet in the room.  Use inside voices. Keep our hands/bodies to ourselves. BE RESPECTFUL.

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We learned about healthy habits.  Some healthy habits are washing our hands, brushing our teeth, eating healthy foods, and my favorite, getting enough sleep.

In the vein of healthy habits we delved into another of my favorite subjects, food.  We leaned about the different food groups, grains and cereals, fruits and vegetables, dairy (my fave), meats and proteins, and sweets.

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We explored what makes a living thing, a living thing.  We all knew the rats were living and my shoe was not living but why?  Living things reproduce or have babies.  They grow.  They eat or take in nourishment.  They breathe or exchange oxygen.  And we all agreed living things move (I’m still not sold on the locomotion thing).  The big question was… are plants living things?  We went through the list and determined plants are living things.

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Children love animals and I enjoy teaching the children about different types of animals.  This month we started discussing mammals.  I chose mammals because we are mammals.   We learned that mammals have hair or fur, are born alive, and drink mother’s milk when first born.  We learned that mammals are warm blooded (their body temperature remains constant) and that they are vertebrates (have spines).  We learned that dolphins and whales are mammals and that the bat is the only mammal that can fly.

 

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We had an University of Akron Field Student join our teaching team.  Here is Shelly working with children.

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Cultural Subjects:

We can count to ten in 11  languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic with the Lebanese dialect, Italian).

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Academic Enrichment (Kindergarten students | Group lesson with Mr. John)

Let’s travel around the world!  This past month we trekked around the world.  We learned where, and fun facts about the seven continents.  I made sure that out kindergartners knew “Central America” was not a continent, but part of North America.  We learned about the cardinal directions including N.E., S.E., N.W,, and NW.  My K Kids know where the Equator and Prime Meridian are, and how the divide the Earth into hemispheres.

We took a closer look at North America (because we live there).  We identified the bodies of water that surround our continent (Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Hudson Bay, Gulf of Mexico, and The Great Lakes (H.O.M.E.S).  We then learned many fun facts about the state of Ohio and what are Ohio’s surrounding states, their nickname, and their abbreviation.  We ended learning about all the places we live.  Our galaxy, our solar system, planet, hemisphere, continent, country, state, county, city and out street address.

 

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Cultural Subjects:

We can count to ten in 12  languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic with the Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian).

 

The children are having so much fun learning in Art, Science and Music!

Art:

In Art students are learning about monochromatic colors, primary colors and secondary colors. The children enjoyed painting, as well as learning about complimentary colors and making warm and cool colored mosaics.

Science:

In Science they are learning about “chemical reactions”, ” the mass in a specified volume”, ” density “, and ” the difference in the weight of two objects of the same size.”

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Music:

Music, of course is a hit with the children! They absolutely love the songs, as well as the movement activities presented. The children loved playing with the bells, the castanets, the maracas, and the rhythm sticks among others! Please converse with your children about these amazing classes.