Mr. John’s October 2016 Monthly Overview

October 2016

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

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

10/03: Reptiles

  • Introduction to reptiles, examples of reptiles
  • All reptiles are cold blooded, vertebrates (spine)
  • All reptiles have scales, lay eggs with hard shell

10/10: Amphibians

  • Introduction to amphibians, examples of amphibians
  • Amphibians are cold blooded, live on land and water
  • All amphibians have soft, moist skin and are vertebrates (spine)

10/17: Fish

  • Introduction to fish, examples of fish
  • All fish are cold blooded, live in water, most have scales
  • Fish are vertebrates, most have gills and fins

10/24: Birds

  • Introduction to birds, examples of birds
  • All birds have feathers and are warm blooded
  • All birds are vertebrates, lay eggs with shells, have wings
  • Penguins are a birds that can’t fly

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

10/03: Gg
10/10: Hh
10/17: Ii
10/24: Jj

 

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

10/03: BID, did, hid, kid, lid, rid,
10/10: BIT, fit, hit, kit, lit, mit, pit, sit
10/17: BIN, fin, kin, pin, sin, tin, win
10/24: BIP, dip, hip, lip, nip, rip, sip, tip

 

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.
  • Go to the Zoo together, and talk about what each animal is? A Bird, A Mammal, Reptile, Amphibian, or Fish.
  • Read a book together about your child’s favorite animal! Is it a Vertebrate or Invertebrate?  What are the babies called?

Mr. John’s August/ September 2016 Monthly Overview

Mr. John’s August/September 2016 Monthly Overview

What I will learn this month in Mr. John’s Class…
(In addition to Montessori Work Time)

8/22- 9/29          Ground Rules / Introduction of Materials

  • 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
  • Daily demonstration of materials from all areas of the classroom

9/05: Healthy Habits

  • The importance of washing hands, bathing, brushing teeth (eliminate germs, prevent cavities)
  • The importance of sleep. Why we need sleep & sleep cycle
  • The importance of exercise (walking, running, swimming, etc)
  • The importance of eating well (“grow foods”)

9/12: Food Groups

  • Eating Healthy, Moderation
  • Focus on the different food groups, sorting foods belonging in each
  • Servings and examples of each

9/19: Living / Non Living

  • Living things (grow, reproduce, obtain and use energy, exchange gases) adapt to their environment
  • Non Living things, examples
  • Categorization of Living and Non Living

9/26: Mammals

  • Introduction to mammals, examples of mammals
  • All mammals have hair, warm blooded, eat mother’s milk
  • All mammals are vertebrates (spine), lungs to breathe, born alive
  • Bats are the ONLY mammal that can fly

 

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

8/22: Aa

8/29: Bb

9/05: Cc

9/12: Dd

9/19: Ee

9/26: Ff

 

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

8/22: BAT, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, sat

8/29: BAN, can, dan, fan, man, pan, tan

9/05: BAP, map, cap, gap, lap, nap, sap

9/12: BAG, sag, jag, lag, nag, tag, rag wag

9/19: BAD, dad, fad, had, lad, mad, sad

9/26: BIG, dig, fig, jig, pig, rig, wig

 

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

  • Make a collage with pictures and objects that start with the letters of the week.
  • While eating together, categorize your meal into food groups with your child.
  • Follow this link to find a worksheet to complete together for living and non living things. (Circle the living things and color together)http://worksheetplace.com/index.php?function=DisplaySheet&sheet=Circle-the-living-things&links=2&id=&link1=241&link2=257
  • Read a book about your child’s favorite mammal together!

 

 


Mr. John May/June 2016 Newsletter

Line Time

The circle of life studied last week always involves food and eating to stay alive.  This is where we looked at several food chains. We looked at a 2 part food chain involving a mouse and grains.  We looked at several 3 part food chains such as snake/mouse/grains, hawk/snake/mouse, bear/big fish/small fish.  We went so far to look at some 4 part food chains Hawk/snake/mouse/grain.  We learned about being on the top of the food chain and the bottom of the food chain.  We also learned the animal that “hunts” for the food is the predator and the animal that gets eaten is the prey.

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The second week of May was a great time to talk about the seasons.  We started with spring and talked about how it gets a bit warmer but we get a lot of rain and plants and flowers start to come out.   Then we talked about summer and how it is hotter because the earth tilts closer to the sun and the days are longer.  This is when plants grow tall and flowers are in full bloom.  Autumn or fall comes next and the weather gets a bit chillier.  The leaves turn beautiful colors then fall to the ground.  The final season is winter and it is the coldest season of the year.  The earth is tilted further away from the sun and the days are shorter.  We end up getting snow in the winter.

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Put on your space suit and get ready to explore our solar system.  We started with discussing the planets nearer the sun them worked our way to the furthest reaches of our solar system.  Mercury is our first planet and is the closest to the sun.  Venus is the second planet.  Even though it is further away from the sun it is the hottest planet in our solar system.  The third planet is near and dear to our hearts.  It is the planet earth.  It is the only planet in our solar system that has life.  The next planet is Mars and is known as the red planet.  The next planet is the biggest planet in our solar system and has a big red storm that has been raging for centuries.  That planet is Jupiter.  Saturn is the next planet and has really cool ring around it that are pieces of rock and ice.  Uranus is next and it spins up and down instead of side to side like all the other planets.  Neptune is the last planet in our solar system.  I did not forget about Pluto.  Oh! Poor Pluto.  Pluto was once a planet but now has been demoted to a dwarf planet.

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We had two alumni readers.  Sophia who is now third grader at Richardson and James who is now a fourth grader at Dunbar.

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Cultural Subjects

We are holding at counting to ten in 27 different languages.

 

Academic Enrichment Lesson with kindergarten students

We started May by discussing the preposition.  Where oh where can we find a preposition?  Well, I told them a preposition was a “where word” NOT a “werewolf”.  The kindergarteners brushed up on their knowledge of the interjection.  The interjection adds emotion to the sentence but we did find out that if we eliminate the interjection from the sentence, the meaning of the sentence really does not change.  We learned what punctuation is used at the end of a sentence.  We use a period (.) when we are stating something.  We use a question mark (?) when we are asking a question and we use an exclamation mark (!) when we show excitement or a lot of emotion. I introduced the students to the rules of capitalization.  We learned that words at the beginning of the sentence, the word I, and proper nouns need to be capitalized.    We played “mad libs” and ended our lessons on grammar by watching Grammar Rock.  For the last week we just reflected on our year, what we learned, and our favorite parts of kindergarten class.  It was a GREAT year!

 

Enrichments

The children sure did enjoy Music, Science and Art classes this year! I must admit, so did I. Ms. Lisa, Mr. John and Ms. Michele’s love for the children showed in the time they put in preparing for the classes, as well as their interaction with each other. The children loved the hands on activities. I saw some activities replicated at home, safely and enthusiastically with some great parent involvement! Thank you for sharing your children with us. Have a safe and awesome Summer!

 


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Mr. John’s April 2016 Newsletter

Fast Car….. 

I am afraid I am entering a new chapter in my life.  My days of the mini van are gone and ushers in the era of the sedan.  I recently traded my life inside the Honda Odyssey for the Honda Accord.  I never realized what a difference this would make.  The sedan is FAST!  I don’t think I will know what the true gas mileage is for a few months because of my abrupt stops, jack rabbit starts, and taking corners like I am in the Grand Prix (without fear of tipping). I actually look forward getting behind the wheel of this CAR. It has an “AUX” jack so I can listen to my Spotify from my cell phone and have no qualms about blasting “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith with the windows down.  My niece who is 15 years old laughed hysterically when she saw me behind the wheel of something other than a mini van.  She looked over the CAR, hopped in, laughed, got out walked away laughing, stopped, turned around to take another look, doubled over and started to laugh harder.  She said she NEVER saw me drive anything besides a minivan and this will take time for her to get used to this new CAR.

 

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Fun with fractions                                                Dem Bones!

 

Line Time 

Jambo Bwana and What a Small world it is.  Those thoughts and music is still ringing in my ears.  As you know these were the songs we sang at the International Festival.  We learned about all the continents and some of the individual countries within the continents.  The students had fun learning about the climates, foods, clothes, and differences of how children attend school. I wanted to thank all of those who came in and talked about different countries.  This adds so much to International Festival month.  All the presentations are fun, informative, and the children and teachers enjoy it.  It never ceases to amaze me how much our students can learn in a short amount of time.  They did a fabulous job with their lines and performing the songs.  Not to mention how colorful the stage was with their costumes.  I cannot give enough thanks to the people who prepared the food!  Who didn’t gain ten pounds that night?

 

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Kathleen having fun at a Turkish wedding

 

20160420_100234   Learning about Lebanon

 

20160428_100451  Learning about Nigeria

 

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Learning about Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

20160427_101911-1  Learning about Tanzania

 

20160429_133124    Learning about Australia and New Zealand

 

 

 

Views from the classroom

 

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Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)

 

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Hard workers

 

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1,2,3…………. 100 board

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cultural Subjects

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 27 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 and Turkish!

 

 

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Fun with African drums and shakers                    Proud of their African drums and shakers

 

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Friendship

 

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Multiplication

 

Academic Enrichment with Kindergarten Students

In the afternoon lesson with kindergartners, we continued our work with grammar.  We started by We looked at the adjective which describes nouns and pronouns, the adverb which describes the verb and usually ends in “ly”, the conjunction which connects two sentences or thoughts and acts like a bridge, and the preposition which is a “where” word not a werewolf.

 

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Diagraming sentences

 

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Who said adverbs were difficult?  My kindergarteners don’t think so!

Cultural Subjects

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 27 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 and Turkish!

 

Science
This month the children did two experiments in their Science class, one is called Dancing Spagetti, where they learned about carbonation, and one consisting of packing peanuts which dissolved in water. The children thoroughly enjoyed both experiments.
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Where did that packing peanut go?
Music
This month the children sang hello to Ellie the parrot, Freida the frog, and Jerry the Giraffe. Ms. Lisa focused this month on high and low sounds. On the keyboard, we played high sounds on the right and low sounds on the left. We played the cat and mouse game again to review the difference between high and low. Next we practiced listening for sounds on the keyboard that were from nature, were animals, and instruments. Then we reviewed the music notes of whole, quarter, half, and eighth. Ms. Lisa had the children clap the beats and then use rhythm sticks to practice the beats of the notes in a song.
Art
During the first week of art we finished up our yarn weaving from last month.  For the next week we did an art project for Australia. Each child drew an animal from Australia with pencil. Then they painted in the animal with dots using cotton swabs. In our third art lesson, we created litter bugs from recycled materials for Earth Day! To finish up the month of April, we painted our litter bugs many bright colorful colors!
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Aborigine Art

 


Mr. John’s May/June 2016 Monthly Overview

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

 5/02:  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.

5/09:   Seasons & Weather

  • 4 Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter
  • Characteristics of each Season/ the first day of each Season
  • Different types of clouds and their characteristics

5/16:  Solar System

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

5/23:  Careers/Community Workers

  • Different jobs in the community
  • Doctors, Mail Carriers, Nurses, Accountants, etc.
  • How these workers help us

 05/30:  Safety

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

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

5/02: Aa

5/09: Ee

5/16: Ii

5/23: Oo

  

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

5/02: BIB, dib, fib, rib,

5/09: BIC, kick, lick, nick, pick, nick, sick wick

5/16: BUD, dud, mud,

5/23: 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!

 


May/June 2016 Academic Enrichment Overview | Cuyahoga Falls

Our Academic Enrichment time is daily from 12:00-1:00pm. This time is specifically designed for our Kindergarten students to join together as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level.

Reading Group (Junior Great Book Program):
In March we began our focused reading groups for our kindergarten students. Kindergarten students are meeting with Ms. Kate on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Ms. Kate will keep you updated, most work will be sent home on Wednesdays and will need returned the following Monday for their next lesson.

 05/02:     Introduction to prepositions

  • Rules of the prepositions
  • Worksheets, diagramming sentences

 05/09: Introduction to interjections

  • Rules of the interjections
  • Worksheets, diagramming sentences

 05/16: Introduction to punctuation (end of a sentence)

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

05/23: Introduction to capitalization

  • Rules of capitalization
  • Worksheets, practicing our capitalization

05/30: 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.

05/02: word, when
05/09: which, what
05/16: there, their
05/23: way, my

  

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

05/02: NICE, friendly, courteous, good, pleasant, charming
05/09: SNEAKY, underhanded, dishonest, tricky, secretive, sly
05/16: BRIGHT, shiny, glowing, dazzling, lighted, vivid
05/23: 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 March 2016 Newsletter

And I wonder…..

The chorus of a great song by that great, Chicago based, punk band Naked Raygun.  Do you “wonder” about really really random stuff like me?  For instance, I have asked myself the question how many tons of paper clips are produced in the world each year?  To go along with that, is how many tons of staples are produced?  Is it even tons? I don’t know , although I bet I could google it! My favorite daughter, (or as she would reply “I’m your only daughter”) wonders about things as well.  She wonders if horses would be happy jumping in a bouncy house or where do railroad tracks begin and end.  Although, she also has more profound inquiries.  She wonders why the universe wasn’t created one year, one month, one day or one millisecond earlier or later than it was created.  I asked my oldest son if he wonders and he just stared at me with a blank look and left the room.  My youngest son wonders how much gum he can shove and chew in his mouth at one time or how long can he go without wearing socks or not taking a shower.  (Sometimes I wonder what goes on in that boy’s brain!  Then I realize I really don’t want to know). Then I go back wondering how many tons of BB’s are produced each year…

Line Time Lessons
Our students “wonder” too!  We want to give them every opportunity to explore in the classroom and learn how they can answer all of their “wonders”.

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?


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Geometry at it’s finest!!!

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(Inspecting rocks with a magnifying glass. Both wet and dry rocks)

 

Plug your noses we are entering the pollution zone. Pollution is TOXIC! We all agree that pollution is a bad thing. All pollution including air , water, land, and noise pollution. We learned how we could help our environment by using the 3 R’s.. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

 

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 I spy with my little eye                        Friends working together

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Writing rhyming words

Hold your breath (not because it stinks) but we are jumping into the ocean.  The salty, deep, vast oceans.  We learned about the several amazing animals that live in the ocean.  We do not want to mess with a shark or get too close to a jellyfish.  But clown fish are cool and the grouper has two eyes on one side of its face.  We got reacquainted with the mammals of the oceans, dolphins, whales, and the orca.

 

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(Sisters working on the 100 board)                    (Working with the continents)

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(Bro power!)

We ended the month by learning about our own state of Ohio.  The students were first taught how to spell Ohio.  OH-IO !  We learned that the flag of Ohio is the only flag that is not the shape of a rectangle.  The official nickname of Ohio is the Buckeye State and the Buckeye Tree is the official tree of Ohio.  The white tailed deer and trilobite are the mammal and fossil of Ohio.  We found a theme of the color “red/scarlet” for the rest of the official things of Ohio.  The flower is the scarlet carnation, bird is the cardinal, insect is the lady bug and the official drink is tomato juice.  The official rock and roll song is “Hang On Sloopy”

We had a field placement student, Lyndsey, from Stark State visit us.  She said Absorbent Minds was one of the best field experiences she has had!  Good luck in your studies Lyndsey!

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 (Lyndsey, our field placement student having fun working with our students!)

Cultural Subjects

We had a very cheeky visitor on St. Patrick’s Day.  It is that same leprechaun named Shane O’Keefe that has been messing my classroom for the past several years.  He flipped tables and chairs, threw materials throughout the classroom, but left chocolate eggs for the students and the teachers.  Until next year Shane O’Keefe!

We now can count to 10 in twenty six languages… English (that is our native language), Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Hebrew, Swedish, Korean, Polish, and Tagalog, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, Malay, Hindi

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(2 Cents A Meal donation)

 

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 (Pastor Kirk reading to the children)

 

 

Kindergarten Lesson

We capped off our lessons in geometry by learning our geometric solids (Cube, sphere, cone, rectangular and triangular prisms, ovoid, ellipsoid, cylinder, square and triangular based pyramids.

 

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…”Don’t know much about Geometry…”  but our Kindergartners do!!!!

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 leaerned 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.

We now can count to 10 in twenty six languages… English (that is our native language), Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Hebrew, Swedish, Korean, Polish, and Tagalog, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, Malay, Hindi

 

Music

In Music the children learned a new activity called Cat and Mouse. It sharpened their listening skills, both high and low. They also learned different sounds. The children played the keyboard, as well as learned to listen well for different sounds. They also learned movement songs.

Art

In Art the children made Henna on Hands sculpture and Weaving. Do talk to the children about these awesome classes?

Science

Magic Milk Rainbow (Surface Tension) and Bubbles in a Bottle (Density) were their Science experiments. They were so much fun!!

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Swirling food coloring in milk-surface tension                                              A closer look at a “lava lamp”

 

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Science! If it ain’t messy, It ain’t fun!!!!


Mr. John ‘s March 2016 Monthly Overview

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

 2/29: Ancient Rome

  • Roman culture and traditions
  • Buildings and contributions

3/07: Pollution and Recycling

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

3/14: Oceans

  • Ocean life, whales
  • Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
  • Salt water, fresh water

3/21: 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

3/28-4/1: SPRING BREAK (school resumes Monday, 4/4)

 

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

2/29: Vv

3/07: Ww

3/14: Xx

3/21:Yy

 

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

2/29: BEN, den, hen, men, pen, ten, yen

3/07: BEG, keg, meg, peg, leg

3/14: BEL, gel, mel, nel, sell, well

3/21: BAC, 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!

 


Mr. John February 2016 Monthly Overview

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

  

2/01: Internal Organs

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

2/08: Presidents of the United States

  • George Washington
  • Abe Lincoln, Franklin D Roosevelt
  • John F Kennedy, Barack Obama

2/15: Ancient Egypt

  • Egyptian culture and traditions
  • Buildings and contributions

2/22: Ancient Greek

  • 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.

2/01: Rr

2/08: Ss

2/15: Tt

2/22: Uu

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

2/01: BUT, cut, gut, hut, nut, jut

2/08: BUP, cup, pup,

2/15: BED, fed, led, med, ned, red, net, ted

2/22: 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.

 


Mr. John’s January 2016 Newsletter

As a personal note:

“Don’t Fear The Reaper”

…A rock anthem by BOC but what an appropriate song for this last month of celebrities that are no longer with us. We kind of knew Scott Weiland(Stone Temple Pilots) would go before the age of 50.  We didn’t expect Lemmy Kilmister(Motorhead), Glen Frey(Eagles), Paul Kantner(Jefferson Airplane), or David Bowie to pass so quickly.  On the acting side of the coin we lost Alan Rickman, Dan Haggerty, and Abe Vigoda.  They say this comes in “3’s” but it seems more than that lately.

In celebration of life, I introduced one of my lucky female mice to a young, virile male in hopes to breed more mice.  We will find out soon!

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Line time lessons:

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, 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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My Lunch Bunch

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We also talked about family (since we spent so much time with them over the holidays, good or bad, lol). We talked about our mom and dad and what we call them (mommy, mama, daddy, and papa).  We also have grandparents that we call yiayia, papou, 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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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 discrimination and segregation.  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.  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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Back of the bus skit…anyone can sit anywhere, YAY!

We also began 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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                             This chocolate and lemon juice sure taste yucky!

 

We ended the month 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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Cultural Subjects

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

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Academic Enrichment (Kindergarten Students):

This month we started our section in Math.  We explored about the unit (ones), ten, hundred, and thousand columns.  The kindergarteners composed numbers, and were introduced to addition with and without carry overs (static).  Kindergarten students across all the classrooms in our Academic Enrichment lesson can count to 10 in twenty different languages (English, Sign Language, 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, and Cebuano).

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Enrichments:

The children had such a great time in Art, Music, and Science. There were quite a bit of squeals, as well as laughter. The children also showed much self control, and attentiveness. In Art the children started making mystical creatures from scratch!

Science

The children also conducted experiments involving a peeled orange and an unpeeled orange ~ the peeled orange sank, and the unpeeled orange floated, as well as one that made a crumpled piece of paper float in a glass of plain water, and sank in a glass of water with dish soap. They love learning about why. Please talk to the children about these classes. Not only do they know much, but they also are pretty expressive! Thank you for sharing them with us!

In our classroom, the children had so much fun with Mr. John, doing the tasting experiment. They tasted several tastes, and by far they were most expressive with the chocolate (bitter). I let out a laugh, and very nearly slipped of my chair, watching them!

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Art

The children first studied about mystical creatures with Ms. Michele. They then drew out their creatures (combining 2-3 different animals to create their imaginary creature). What a creative bunch we have! The next class the children made their creatures out of foil, and covered them with clay. The creatures are now in Ms. Michele’s hands, being baked. We can’t wait to paint them!

Music

In Music the children are studying the piece of music in Peter and the Wolf. They studied the characters, as well as the instruments that represented the characters in Peter and the Wolf. The children finished this study last week, and are quite proficient in it!