I Have Become Comfortably Numb….

     I… Have Become Comfortably Numb      

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It is early June and I am, what Pink Floyd said, definitely, Comfortably Numb! Maybe not so much comfort but shell shocked or PTSD.  During the Summer I will not miss waking up before the sun rises and will appreciate waking when restaurants start to serve off their lunch menus.  Hmmm, should I not go to sleep until after midnight??  That is to be determined. Catching up on movies, bike riding and hiking are on the agenda.  But I do love teaching children and would NEVER have it any other way!  I will miss all of the students! I am honored to teach your children and getting to know our families. Each one of my students have left a lasting impression.  I just wonder if I leave as much of an impression with the students and their families?  Let me know if I did by “friending me” on Facebook.  I am not hard to find (their are only a few KOTRADIs in this world).  Any alumni are welcome to come read to my class throughout the school year.  So in ending…. Have a great Summer, a great life, be happy and stay sincere.

It seems this year was a bit more difficult saying good-bye to families.  I am not sure why but it really felt that way. Maybe I had to say good-bye to a few families who have been part of the Absorbent Minds family for six years or on field day I had two alumni visit or I should say another crack at dousing Mr. John with water.  These girls are so big now.  As they were running around the playground I went through this wired, surreal flashback and I remembered them as they were in preschool.  Then attending my daughter’s eighth grade graduation there were a handful of  “kids” there that I taught when they were in preschool. Two are going to be juniors, three are going to be freshmen in high school. It just kind of put things in perspective on how time trudges on. Heavy sigh…

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 two part food chain involving a mouse and grains.  We looked at several three part food chains such as snake/mouse/grains, hawk/snake/mouse, bear/big fish/small fish.  We went so far to look at some four 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.

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.

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.

We then talked a bit about what we want to be when we grow up.  We discussed careers such as nursing, being a doctor, a veterinarian, and of course an exciting, lucrative, and fulfilling career in teaching.  We had Jordyn’s mom come in and discuss what a surgical nurse does.  The children walked away with a plethora of O.R. goodies.

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The last week I talked about being safe.  I reminded the children to always stay close to their safe side adult, always look both ways before crossing the street, never talk to stranger or go near wild or unfamiliar animals.  I also reminded them that police officers and firefighters are our friends.

The last week of school I give the kindergarten students the honor of running line time.  They do need a bit of help but they do believe they are the BMOC (big man on campus).

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Cultural Subjects

We are holding at counting to ten in 26 different languages.

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Kindergarten

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 kindergartners 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!

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Music

This month Ms Lisa reviewed with the students all the skills they have learned since the beginning of the school year. She had the children sing John Jacob Jingle Hiemer Smith where they sang it real low and then loud this is one of the newest songs they had been learning. Then, she concentrated on all the other songs and dances that they have been practicing since the start of the school year, such as I Caught Myself a Baby Bumble Bee, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, The Mexican Hat Dance and classical music played while they danced and twirled colored scarves. Ms. Lisa also took requests from the children and they chose the Ball Game where they pass the ball around in a circle while music is playing and stop passing when the music stops, eventually more balls are thrown in during this activity.The other request the kids had was the Cat and Mouse game when Ms. Lisa plays High music all the children crawl around the floor and pretend to be mice, then when the Low music is played on her key board one person (child or teacher) sitting on the side lines hurries in and tries to tag the mice. If caught, those children become a mouse (this is their most favorite thing to do in music class). She also reviewed musical notes and the keyboard throughout the month.

Art

This month students enjoyed art lessons inspired by Vincent Vaughn. Children designed their own fancy bedrooms! They had to include in their bedrooms two patterns drawn on card stock then folded into a cube to make it look like a room and Ms Michele provided many different kinds of materials to make the furniture in their bedrooms. For the next project they made three dimensional animals made out of pipe cleaners. Ms. Michele also brought to school this month potted flower plants put them on the tables in the class room. The children sat around the tables and painted the likeness of the flowers. Many beautiful flower pictures were drawn.

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Science

This month Mr. John had many jaws drop in science class. In the 1st class this month he mashed up bran flakes with water(looked like a brown mud like substance) then put in a zip lock bag and put a magnet to the bag and the magnet stuck.Why? because of the iron in the cereal, iron is a metal so the magnet will stick.The next class, Mr. John took Metamucil, green food coloring and water mixed it IMG_20150528_101934all together and then heated up in the micro-wave. He then took it out and it looked like green slime! It’s texture completely changed! He then ate the slime surprising and grossed out all of the kids. What happens is the fiber in the Metamucil and water make an edible substance.The last class this month he took a tea bag cut it open and dumped the leaves in the trash,then set the empty bag on top of a glass plate then set it a flame with a lighter. First it burns down the tea bag then when it burns down to the very bottom it floats away high up into the air. Heat rises all that heat and smoke pushed the bag into the air.

 

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On June 5th, field day,  Mr. John did his annual experiment with candy mentos and 2 litter bottle of diet coke (this a favorite every year always lots of yelling and playful screaming). Aspartame and carbon dioxide in the diet soda mixed with gelatin and gum Arabic in the mentos cause it to foam and blast like a volcanic eruption!
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Field Trip

We had a great field trip at the fire station where we toured the fire station, saw a fire fighter put on his gear, went through a fire engine and an ambulance.  We learned that the fire fighter wash their trucks and can’t take them to a drive through car wash because they are too big.

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It’s Been A Long Time Since I Rock And Rolled…

It’s Been A Long Time Since I Rock And Rolled              

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Ahhhh, Led Zeppelin sums it up nicely.  Yes, it has been a long time since I rock and rolled.  It seems this all started right around the time my first child was born in October of 1999.  Is this a coincidence?  Maybe.  It just seems that (while driving in a mini van from my cool Sentra) my music of The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Peter Gabriel, Black Flag, New Order, and Joy Division was quickly replaced by Raffi, Veggy Tales, and Barney sing a longs.  I am not sure if this was a gradual or an immediate thing.  All I know it happened leaving me shell shocked and wondering where my carefree days of Ohio State and John’s Life BC (Before Children) disappeared.  I recently went to the The Ohio State Spring Game.  As we were stuck in traffic going home going through campus I saw many parties.  I longing looked upon the revelers hanging out on porches, and downing adult beverages.  The person I was with said I was being ridiculous. She said I am an old “29” years old, I have a bad knee, can’t stand loud noises, recreationally drink Pepto Bismol, and got to bed at 8pm.  Geeesh, talk about being brutally honest!  Recently, I did get a glimpse of that past life(sort of).  We went to the downtown restaurant Cilantro because I was craving Thai food.  The food, the people at the restaurant, and the décor made me, for a very short moment, feel “hip” again.  Well, if thats all it takes…. I will take it because it has been a long time since I rock and rolled.

Line Time Lessons

The Continental Tango, Kookaburra, My Aunt Monica, and What a Small World it is.  Those thoughts and music is still ringing in my ears.  As you know these were the songs sung 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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We returned to normalcy in the classroom the last week in April.  We learned about life cycles.  A life cycle is nothing more than the birth of a creature, the creature grows, reproduces, then dies.  Wow, this is our life in a nutshell?  A humans life cycle is pretty boring compared to the life cycle of frogs/toads and butterflies/moths.  The students now know that a butterfly comes from a chrysalis and a moth comes from a cocoon.  The children learned a really big word called metamorphosis. This is what happens during the butterfly’s life cycle.

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We had three guest readers this month. We had Jade who attends St. Joe’s and is in the second grade.

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Taylor who is in the second grade and attends Preston (C.F.).

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James who is in first grade and attends Dunbar (Tallmadge).

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Kindergarten

In the kindergarten lesson we continued our work with grammar. The students learned the pronoun takes the place of a noun.  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.

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Cultural Subjects

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 25 different languages (English, Sign Language, Spanish, German, French, Greek, 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),

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MUSIC

At our first music class this month Ms. Lisa shared her pictures from her trip to El Salvador. .Ms Lisa traveled there on a medical mission trip entertaining children with her musical skills, while they were waiting in line to see a Doctor.Then she gave each child a Tambourine. They used these while they were dancing in a circle to the Spanish song “I have joy in my heart”, and then to the song “John Jacob Jingle Him-er Smith.” This song was fun for them because they were either singing it real soft or loud,. Our students enjoyed hearing about her trip! This month, Ms Lisa reviewed 4 musical notes with the children. They are the whole note, 1/2 note, 1/4 note,and 1/8 note. The children clapped along to the different speeds the notes make. Next, she gave them rhythm sticks and the used them to march to the song “The Ants Go Marching.” Then they used the rhythm sticks to tap along to fast or slow music. Ms Lisa also taught the children that the musical term for soft is called Staccato. We always have fun a learn in Music class!

SCIENCE

This month is Science Mr. John first did an experiment with an empty clear bottle, Vegetable Oil, Alka-Seltzer and water. He filled up the bottle first with 1/4 water then added red food coloring, filled the rest up with the oil. The oil and water then separate because of the density, then he added the Alka-Seltzer tablets to this it produced carbon dioxide bubbles because of the of the carbon dioxide tablets it brings the bubbles to the top. Oil is lighter and less dense then water. The next class Mr. John filled up two balloon’s. One with air and the other with air and some water. Then he held them both over a lit candle, the balloon filled with only air popped and the one with a small amount of water did not. Why? because water is a substance that soaks up heat therefore the rubber does not get hot and does not pop, the water takes the heat away from the balloon.

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ART

 

This month in Art, Ms. Michele had the children make fish lanterns in celebration of the Children’s Festival in Japan, she told them the different colored lanterns represented or meant different things to the Japanese people. The children really liked picking out their own colored paper for this project. The next art class Ms. Michele did Aborigine pointillism art painting with the students using paint made all from the earth such as clay and dirt.

 


May/June 2015 Monthly Overview

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

 5/04:       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.

 

5/11: Seasons & Weather

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

 

5/18:      Solar System

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

 

5/25:      Careers

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

 

06/01:     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.

5/04: Aa
5/11: Ee
5/18: Ii
5/25: Oo

 

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

5/04: BIB, dib, fib, rib,
5/11: BIC, kick, lick, nick, pick, nick, sick wick
5/18: BUD, dud, mud,
5/25: 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!

 


If Found Return To Absorbent Minds Montessori

  IF FOUND….. RETURN TO ABSORBENT MINDS MONTESSORI SCHOOL (redux)

IMG_20150204_072059 (1) I recently had a very rare opportunity to visit with past students.  I mean I am going in the way back machine, old school where these children are in 8th and 10th grade.  Not only did I get to revisit the past with the student, but their parents as well.  The students and parents were telling me what they remembered most about me.  All answers seems to come back to one subject…food!  The children remembered how I would try to steal their food and the parents remembered their children telling them how Mr. John tried to steal their food.  I guess some things never change.  That evening of visiting old students/parents is one of those intangible things that make my career choice one of the best decisions I have ever made in my 29 years of life.  Oh ya,  back in the day I was 29 too.  Anyway, I hope I run into families from Absorbent Minds Montessori School after you have left to reminisce.  Hmmmm, Maybe inviting me to your child’s confirmation, bar mitzvah, you know, their wedding would be a nice gesture.  As long, of course, there is food there.

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Alumni Visitors
We had the pleasure of having two Alumni Readers visit this month.  We had first grader James W. who goes to Dunbar Elementary and Taylor K. who is in the second grade at Price Elementary.  Also visiting us was Tyler F. who is in the first grade at Absorbent Minds Montessori School/ Tallmadge Campus.  He help with the science experiment.

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Line Time Lessons

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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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. 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. 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”

Cltural Subjects A cheeky little leprechaun visited our classroom on St. Patty’s Day.  He tipped chairs, flipped, tables, and stacked foot stools and trash cans on the shelves.  He also left green footprints in the classroom.  Even though this leprechaun was an ornery one he did leave gold coins  the students and teachers.

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

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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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The kindergarteners 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. Moving along we learned that a pronoun takes the place of a noun and pronouns sometimes make our lives easier.  We went over six pronouns He(boy), she(girl), we( a group we are included), they( a group we are not included), it (we use for non-living things and when we don’t know what gender )  We never call a human an “it” because it is rude.  You was the last pronoun we became familiar with.

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The Kindergarteners 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, Hungarian, and Tagalog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, Malay, Hindi.

Enrichments
by Ms. Kathleen

MUSIC:
This month students are still listening to Peter and the Wolf which is true favorite of theirs. Every character in this story has their own instrument they all love to guess what character is being played at the time. The children were also exposed to the keyboard they learned about high and low sounds and were allowed to come touch they keys to hear the difference. They also were called up another time to explore the black keys. These keys when pressed played sounds of the different instruments. Children also listened to Chopin and Beethoven while dancing with scarfs around the room.
ART:

Students celebrated Dr. Suess’s Birthday! Ms Michele read to them Fox and Socks by Dr. Sues then told the students that Dr. Seuss was a dreamer. Next, children drew about their dreams on colored using oil pastels and tried to sneak in a picture of a fox in socks! Also this month the students learned about an artist named Jim Bot.  During this lesson, students drew their own robots. Next, they labeled their pictures, describing why their robot was invented and what it will do to help them.

SCIENCE:
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There were many fun experiments in this class this month, First we focused on surface tension, Mr. John crumpled up  pieces of construction paper placing one piece in plain water the other in soapy water. The soapy container made the paper sink and the regular water container made the paper float. Dish soap lowers surface tension making the paper sink. In another class, the students watched Mr.John put raisins in a glass of ginger ale.  The raisins seemed to be dancing around the glass, also swimming to the bottom and then again going up to the top of the glass again.The bubbles in the glass of ginger ale push up the raisins and when the bubbles pop , it forces the raisins back down. Students loved the Dancing Raisins Experiment!

For the last experiment this month Mr. John filled 4 glasses of colored water (2 yellow and 2 red). One of the colors was cold water and the other hot. He put them on top of one another balanced them so they would not spill all over or into each other. With the cold on top and the warm cup on the bottom both cups turned green! When placing the opposite way warm on top and cold on the bottom the colors stayed the same! This is because the cold water is more dense and it sinks. This was my favorite one yet by far.


April 2015 Monthly Overview

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

3/30:      Countries from North & South America

  • North America: countries, culture, climate, & landmarks and cuisine
  • South America: countries, culture, climate, & landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map

 

4/06: Countries from Europe

  • MONDAY 4/06– NO SCHOOL (Easter Monday)
  • Europe: countries, culture, climate
  • Famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map

 

4/13: Countries from Europe (Week Two) and Africa

  • Europe: countries, culture, climate, famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Africa: countries, culture, climate, famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map

 

4/20: Australia, Asia and Antarctica

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

 

4/27: Lie Cycles

  • Life cycle of the plant/bean
  • Life cycle of toads/frogs
  • Life cycle of butterflies

 

**There will be no words or letters of the week for April 06-April 20. We will use this time to practice individual lines with students**

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

4/27: Zz

 

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

4/27: BAM, cam, dam, ham, jam, lamb, ram

 

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

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

 


If Found, Please Return To Absorbent Minds Montessori School

If Found, Please Return To Absorbent Minds Montessori School

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I often reflect on my career choices that I have made throughout out my 29 years of life.  I enjoyed my 9 years(part time) at Sears in the hardware and paint department, 5 years at Sterling was a “Sterling” time(pun intended), and my stints at Ameritech and Key Bank were pretty fun. I really did find myself when I was a stay at home dad for 5 years.  The best part was getting an uninterrupted view and getting to know my two oldest children.  They were ages 2 through 8 at that time.  During this time I realized my true calling was not in the business world but working with children.  Teaching does NOT feel like a job but more of a former of recreation I get paid.  I am blessed to work with your children, getting to know your children As I did with my own children, watching them grow and learn.  Ahhh, life takes you through a complicated maze but I am glad I ended up where I am!

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Alumni Visit

Noah came to read to the class and had a question and answer session afterwards.  Noah goes to Tallmadge and is in the second grade in

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Line Time Lesson

February we started off studying Internal Organs. We learned the brain is the control center of your body that sends and receives. Our lungs help us breathe, the heart pumps our blood and the stomach begins to digest our food with acid. The small intestines digest the food and send nutrients to the rest of our body and the large intestines push through the waste that creates our bowel movements. The children were fascinated that our kidneys process the body’s water and the liver filters toxins. The children learned where the organs are located with the help of our Living Internal Organ T-shirt. The shirt helped the children find the organs location by “velcroing” the organs to the spot on the t-shirt.

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The following week we learned about George Washington and how he was our first president and how Abraham Lincoln came from a poor family and freed the slaves. We were introduced to Franklin F. Roosevelt and how he was president during World War II and how John F. Kennedy fought for equal rights. We then learned that Barack Obama was current president and the first African American president. The children were taught that the president’s wives are called the first lady and that the president lives in the white house in Washington DC, and flies on a jet called Air Force 1. We discussed what responsibilities the President has. The children came up with keeping us safe, keeping the world safe and running the country.
We went back in time to discover some ancient cultures. First we went to ancient Egypt and learned that their kings were called Pharaohs and when the Pharaohs died they used a process called mummification to preserve their bodies. We saw that the mummies on Scooby Doo were not the same as the mummies of the ancient Egyptians. The Pharaohs were sent to the afterworld with gold, jewels and treasured personal items. The ancient Egyptians built the pyramids and the sphinx and used hieroglyphics to write stories.

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We visited Mt. Olympus and met some gods and goddesses. We met Zeus the god of the sky and the heavens. He rode a winged horse called Pegasus and is you angered Zeus he would throw a lightning bolt at you. We went to the depths of the ocean and met Poseidon. Poseidon was the god of the seas. He rode a chariot pulled by horses and carried a trident. Stay on the good side of him if you want to sail safely across the ocean. Then we met Hades the god of the underworld and of the dead. He liked when people died because he thought he would be stronger with more people to rule and he had a three headed dog on a leash. We discovered there were some very interesting mythical creatures in ancient Greece, the Centaur that had the body of a horse and chest and head of a man. The Cyclopes who were giant one eyed creatures who fought for Zeus and made Zeus’s lightning bolts. Finally we learned the name of the tree headed dog of Hades. It was known as Cerberus and it guarded the gates of the underworld.

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Cultural Subjects

The class has been counting to 10 in twenty six different 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, Hungarian, and Tagalog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, and Cebuano.

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Kindergarten

We started out the month introducing addition using beads. The introduction of beads shows the kindergarteners a solid correspondence between the symbol and quantity. I also showed the students what tools could be used in their own classroom to help with addition, such as the table top rods, color bead bars and addition strip board. We briefly touched upon addition with exchanges (carry over’s). We then touched briefly on multiplication. I explained multiplication is simply adding multiple times. Introduced fractions the last week of the month. We learned that we can divide anything as long as it can be divided into equal parts. Even our kindergarten class. We divided our class from girls/boys. Mr. John’s, Ms. Kate’s, and Ms. Kristen’s class, and eye color.
We then learned about different shapes. We knew that a triangle has three sides but we learned that a triangle with three equal sides is called an equilateral triangle, with two equal sides is an isosceles, and with no equal sides it is called a scalene triangle. Any shape with four sides is a quadrilateral. Some examples include a square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezoid, and a chevron. We realized that the Greek language was very important when learning about the pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon.

The Kindergarteners 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, Hungarian, and Tagalog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, Malay, Hindi

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Enrichment

Science
For the month of February in Science class the children learned about buoyancy and Density all experiments were done with a tank of water.The buoyancy experiments were 2 clumps of play-dough exactly the same amount placed in tank at the same time by the children, one shaped like a cup and the other a ball which one will sink? The one shaped like a ball sank and the one shaped like a cup floated because the ball has more density then the cup.The other buoyancy experiment was done with 2 oranges 1 peeled and the other unpeeled what will happen when both put into the water by the children?The unpeeled orange floated and the peeled orange sank, Why is this? because the unpeeled orange has an air pocket inside it making able to float. In the density experiment 1 lemon and 1 lime were placed in the tank at the same time by the children what will happen? the lemon floated and the lime sank because the lemon has less density. As always the children have a awesome time in class especially when he flicks water on them from the tank and the all giggle like crazy.

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Music

In Music class this month Ms Lisa brought in her keyboard and played to them the instrument sounds from Peter and the Wolf. Children had to guess which instrument was being played and what animal the instrument belonged to.Then the children played a game called The Cat and Mouse, this is a listening game of low and high sounds. The low sound represents the cat and high sound the mice. When the high sound is played the children pretend to be mice and when the low sound is played they all pretend to be the cat. We also played another listening game called the Ball Game, they begin with one ball, while listening to classical music, pass the ball around in a circle and when the music stops the child holding the ball freezes still holding the ball until the music starts again and then the game continues. As the children improve more balls are added to the game. I must say that this game is a favorite because the ask to play it every week!  Ms. Lisa does a wonderful job incorporating fun while learning Music!

Art

Our favorite project this month was called Dancing Fingers. Students learned about the artist, Monet. They dipped their fingers in many different color paints and with dancing fingers made picture creations of what ever they could imagine! Then they added white paint to their creation to add the tint. This shows light on a picture, just like they learned Monet would have done.

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Mr. John’s March 2015 Monthly Overview

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

3/02:     Ancient Rome

  • Roman culture and traditions
  • Buildings and contributions

 

3/09:       Pollution and Recycling

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

 

3/16: Oceans

  • Ocean Life, Whales
  • Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
  • Salt water, fresh water
  • Art Extravaganza I Friday, March 14th 6:00-8:00pm : school gym & classrooms

 

3/23: 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

 

Week of  3/30   SPRING/EASTER BREAK-  NO SCHOOL

  • School Resumes Tuesday, April 7th

 

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

3/02: Vv

3/09: Ww

3/16: Xx

3/23:Yy

 

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

3/02: BEN, den, hen, men, pen, ten, yen

3/09: BEG, keg, meg, peg, leg

3/16: BEL, gel, mel, nel, sell, well

3/23: BAC, hack, jack, lack, mack, knack

 

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!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine | January 2015 Newsletter

IMG_20150109_093641                     “Weird Scenes Inside The Goldmine”

Geeez, it is really cold without hair. You may have noticed that I hadn’t had my haircut since the second week of the college football season (the loss against Virginia Tech). Since that haircut, the Buckeyes went undefeated, won the Big Ten Title, Beat Bama in the Sugar Bowl, and beat Oregon to capture The National Championship. Not that I believe in the jinx or anything but why take the chance on angering the universe? I endured many comments during this time of having flowing locks such as being called emo boy, hippy chic…? Justin Bieber, the biebs, Fabio, Ringo, Rapunzel, Shaggy, and a sheep dog.  So I went with the Joey Bosa look to the Urban Meyer look. It was all worth it!!!!  THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY 42 | Oregon 20!

I want to give a warm welcome to Ms. Ame (pronounced Amy) who is our new full time assistant in Mr. John’s class. Introduce yourself and say “HI!”

We also had an alumnus, James W. read to the class.  All Alumni are welcome to read to the class when they are available, so please contact me!

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Line time lessons:

We all returned to school after a well rested, extended 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 shred 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.

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.  Ms. Kelly did a line time lesson with two eggs( 1 white and 1 brown).  she asked the children if the eggs looked the same on the outside and the children obviously said they were different.  Ms. Kelly then cracked each egg to reveal they were the same on the inside.  You all know what the lesson was trying say.

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Next we sniffed, touched, heard, saw, and even tasted things around us. We learned about our 5 senses. Our sense of touch can determine if something is cold or hot, rough or smooth, hard or soft. We also learned that we can feel on any part of our bodies. When we feel something it sends a message from your skin to your BRAIN. The sense of smell captures scents in the air, goes in our noses, and sends a message to the BRAIN. We learned the sense of sight happens with our eyes. The eye captures light, the light passes through the eye and sends a message to the BRAIN. The ear provides our sense of hearing. The ear captures sounds, the sound travels through the ear canal, hits the ear drum, the ear drum vibrates and sends a message to the BRAIN. The sense of taste happens in the mouth particularly on the tongue. The taste buds on the tongue capture the taste and sends a message to the BRAIN. We did have a taste test of sweet (sugar water), salt (salt water), sour (lemon juice), and bitter, my favorite (unsweetened baking chocolate). For the baking chocolate we use most of our senses. We started out by looking at the pieces of chocolate. Then we felt the piece of chocolate and smelled the piece of chocolate. THEN….. We tasted the piece of chocolate.   If it looks like a duck, it may not be a duck. I have to admit this is one of my favorite activities on line time.

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We ended the month with learning 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 19 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. In kindergarten we can count in the same languages with the addition of Dutch/Flemish.

 

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Kindergarten:

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

 


Mr. John’s February 2014 Monthly Overview

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

2/02: Internal Organs

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

 

2/09: Presidents of the United States

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

 

2/16: Ancient Egypt

  • Monday, February 16th President’s Day- NO SCHOOL
  • Egyptian culture and traditions
  • Buildings and contributions

 

2/23: 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.

2/02: Rr

2/09: Ss

2/16: Tt

2/23: Uu

 

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

2/02: BUT, cut, gut, hut, nut, jut

2/09: BUP, cup, pup,

2/16: BED, fed, led, med, ned, red, net, ted

2/23: 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.

 


December 2014 Newsletter

 

Mr. John’s December Musings…..

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Line Time Lessons:

My class is racing along. My knee is healing to the point where I only need the blasted cane to go up and down stairs. And FINALLY have my voice back and in a few days I will get reacquainted with my old friend ..sleep.  All the students are advancing nicely in academics and socially. Overall, I would brag that my class is well behaved and hardworking. We took the month of December preparing for our Christmas show. Kathleen and Dana did a fantastic job getting the students ready for the big stage by teaching the children the tunes, lyrics, and movements to the songs.

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Cultural subjects:

We can count to ten in 17 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, and Hungarian.

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Kindergarten lesson:

We went over the characteristics of the five classes of animals (mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds). Our white board was filled and I told my kindergarteners that most adults did not know as much as they do. We then went over the parts and characteristics of insects and arachnids. Did you know a tick is an arachnid? We pulled away from animals and we learned how to measure with rulers (both inches and centimeters).
The kindergarten class can count to ten in 19 different languages… English, Latin, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, and Irish.

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Music:

December was a fun filled month in music class, Ms. Lisa kicked off the holiday season will hits like jingle bells and ruldolf the red nose reindeer. The kids got to dance and ring their own bells to jingle bells. We learned how to keep the beat and listen for the speed to change in our songs by using castanets. Rainbow sparkles came to sing with us and help us learn the correct names for musical notes. Can’t wait to see what new songs and dances we will learn in the new year!

Science:

This month in science the kiddos got to make glue, this is a mixture of borax, white glue and water. Mr. John asked our young scientists what their hypothesis was for this experiment, there was a variety of very good answers! The end result was a soft lump of goop that the children were allowed to tale home! There were some very happy kiddos after this experiment. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings!

Art:

This month in art class we learned about Kandinskey and Picasso. For our project that focused on Kandinskey the children drew a variety of shapes using oil pastels and then painted over those shapes with water colors. The end result was a beautiful collage of color! For our lesson on Picasso the children made faces using various shapes and colors. Can’t wait to see what creative projects Ms. Michelle will have in the new year!

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