Is it me or does it seem there is an influx of the horrible crime of Jay Walking? If you live in the Highland Square area of Akron you will see this inappropriate behavior running rampant. You are cruising down Market St. at a safe 25 mph then a body out of no where jumps in front of you causing you to slam on the breaks or swerve uncontrollably. The result is some very salty language(never when my children are in the car). These people have no respect for the basic rules of pedestrian safety. I’ve seen a few look at the green light, look at the approaching car, and nonchalantly start to cross the road into incoming traffic. Others just “dare” you to hit them not caring that the person’s breaks may be at 15%. I have often wondered if someone hits a jay walker who is at fault and who pays for the damage to the car(and of course the medical bills). I am surprised that more bodies are not strewn in the road or in the gutter as a result from jay walking. I guess those people are lucky I guess.
This week we learned about reptiles and what makes a reptile a reptile. Reptile are vertebrates, cold blooded (body temperature changes to the temperature around them), they are born from hard shelled eggs and their skin is dry and with scales. The children loved touching Elise (my Corn Snake) and Oliver (Ms. Kristen’s turtle).
The students can count to ten in 9 languages (English, Latin, Sign Language, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic with the Lebanese dialect).
Sneak peek to next Week: We will be learning about Amphibians and the characteristics of.
“When Music Mattered” In the time period when I was growing up, music was a social barometer. Let me explain. There were the “metal heads” who liked Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple. There were the “pop rockers” that liked Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, The Who. The disco era was included in my time (but I refuse to remember any of those bands). Me? I dabbled in most genres but my passion was the New Wave/Punk movement. I was fascinated with the new sound and subculture of it all. There was one major problem, no mainstream Cleveland radio stations played this music. Only college radio (WRUW, WCSB, WJCU, WBWC, WOBC) did. You see, I lived in Amherst, Ohio and was about 30+ miles away from Cleveland. So, pulling in these stations was not easy and I had to find the time slots when this music was played. I would be huddled by my Realistic stereo (purchased from Radio Shack) fine tuning the dial searching for the music I loved and having my tape deck poised to record anything “cool”. This was when I found bands like The Cure, Bauhaus, The Pistols, Joy Division, The Ramones, Black Flag, The CJ’s, T Grissle, The Clash. My point is, back then the music you listened to defined “you”. I am not sure if music now a days has the impact on today’s youth like it did in the past. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. You tell me.
On a sad note a rock and roll legend passed away way too soon, Tom Petty. He’s Runnin Down A Dream!
This past week we learned about Mammals. Mammals are vertebrates (have a spine or backbone), warm blooded(their body temperature does not change), have hair or fur, live bearers, and eat/drink mother’s milk when young. Some mammals live in the water such as dolphins and whales. The only mammal that can fly is the bat! Oh and people are mammals!
Cultural Subjects: During line time we can count to ten in 7 languages (English, Latin, Sign Language, Spanish, German, French, Greek, and Japanese).
Peek into next week: Reptiles! Their characteristics and example of reptiles.
Letter The Week: G g
Rhyming Word Of The Week: bid
Parent Education Night Wednesday, October 25th at 6:30pm You can register to attend and for childcare by clicking this link
This will be my last post about the oddities I learned of Akron when I moved here. Akron has boroughs. Yes, boroughs. When I was given directions to find something I was told’ “Go to Wallhaven, you’ll be near Northhill, or Highland Square is a cool place.” I was expecting to find a subway that took me to all of these fun and exotic places! Little did I know they were about ten minutes from each other! Now that I am a fully immersed Akronite, I now understand what/where people are talking about when they mention Goodyear Heights or Westhill. I nod my head in agreement because I now know what they are talking about… The Boroughs Of Akron.
This week we talked about living and nonliving things. Your children now know what makes a living thing a living thing! All living things reproduce, grow, eat or take in nutrients, breathe or exchange gas, and need water. We are all in agreement that plants, animals, trees, grass, are living things!
Peek At Next Week:
Mammals: Characteristics: Warm Blooded, have hair or fur, vertebrates, born alive!
Following the coat tails of last week’s banter (things unique to Akron- I learned once I lived here), I had to giggle when I first discovered “Acme” stores was a big thing in the Akron area. I thought Acme was only found in cartoons where the coyote got defective things to catch the roadrunner!
This week we had fun learning about the food groups in our class. Grains and Cereals, Fruit and Vegetables, Dairy (my favorite), meats and proteins, fats and sugars and how many servings we should have per day. Next week we will be identifying and learning the characteristics are of living things and non living things(non-living thing: me at 5 am in the morning). Notable events of this week was the death of guitarist Grant Hart from the band Husker Du and actor Harry Dean Stanton (Cool Hand Luke, Repo Man, Pretty In Pink,Wild At Heart).
Sneak Peek for Next Week: Living and Non-Living
Together we will spend time over the week learning about the characteristics of Living Things
(take in nourishment, breathe or exchange gases, grow, reproduce,etc)
Letter of the Week: Ee
Rhyming Word of the Week: bad
Corn on the cob! Sweet, juicy, slathered in butter, and when you eat it corn juices and butter run down your chin. What a great “innocent” summer tradition. Let me explain where I am going with this. When I moved to Akron in 1994 I would have never thought I would witness the heated debate of who has the best sweet corn. Coming from Amherst, Ohio we just went to the grocery store, bought it from farmers selling it on the side of the road, or grew it ourselves. My first cookout in Akron I was confronted with the question, “where is this corn from?” My reply… “Ummmmm, I got it at Bessimer’s, why?” Then it began. I learned, if it wasn’t from Szalay’s it isn’t worth eating. At that moment and going forward, I realized there are strong allegiances to what corn is eaten in the Akron area … Szalay’s, Bessimer’s and Graf Growers. For me, corn is corn and I just slather the butter, sprinkle some pepper and gnaw away at it.
Such is what brings me to our classroom topic this week; Healthy Habits! We discussed how important our personal hygiene is. How we wash hands, brush teeth, eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of sleep and next week we will visit the Food Pyramid and healthy eating habits, you can even find nutrition systems online, which sometimes are low cost, and easy to follow, so after you select it, you just need to figure out the nutrisystem cost.
A Peek into Next Week… All about the Food Pyramid!
Grains and cereals
Vegetables and fruits
Dairy (my favorite)
Meats and proteins.
Sweets and fats
Ramseyer Farm Field Trip Friday, September 22. Please make sure your child is in tennis shoes and is dressed for the weather. Please send lunches in a disposable container with disposable items. We will be unable to warm up leftovers at the farm.
Did you ever have that feeling of impending doom? These past two weeks have gone sooooooo well in the classroom. Almost “too” well, like the calm before the storm…waiting for that proverbial shoe to drop. We will let you know of further developments! We are done going over ground rules and will be going over healthy habits next week.
We had a great first week back to school! This week our class had so much fun getting to know each other and learning about the rules of our classroom (grace and courtesy lessons). The children became familiar with our schedule, classroom, animals, the building and how to be respectful to one another. We are looking forward to a great year ahead!
Working with beginning Language material (matching).
Discovering g the similarities between the Continent Puzzle Map and Continent Globe from the Cultural Subjects area.
From our Sensorial area matching the correct place for the Knobless Cylinder.
Creating words with the Movable Alphabet from the Language area.
A Peek into Next Week: Next week will continue to focus on familiarizing ourselves with the classroom materials and how to work on them, learning ground rules, introducing classroom chores and more!
REMINDER: There is NO SCHOOL on Monday for Labor Day!
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.
Mila reading to our class!
A parent in Ms. Kristen’s classroom playing bag pipes for our students!
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.
This past month during Science class the Kids enjoyed about 4 different experiments but their favorite one was on the last day of school!
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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!
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. Kristenalso 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)
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: email@example.com.