John’s Corner – August-September 2014 Newsletter

Cuyahoga Falls School

Summer flew by and this school year feels like it is flying by since September has come and gone. The beginning of the school year is always exciting. I love seeing old faces and welcoming new students and their families. This year’s starts with many new students and many young students but I am pleasantly surprised that the classroom is full of well behaved and eager learners. Line time is running smoothly. IMG_20140828_082906 After the students walk the line and sit for line time I see “criss cross applesauce” (legs folded in a pretzel), doopas on the line, safe hands and bubbles (hands folded in laps and ready to listen). I usually say in a “fake” mean voice “What is wrong with this picture!” And the children delightfully reply “NOTHING!” What a joy to see that in the first month of school. I want to thank Dana and Kathleen for everything they do. IMG_20140826_130804 (1) The first two weeks we went over ground rules such as walking in the classroom, having listening ears, keeping our hands and bodies to ourselves and treating the classroom (children, teachers and materials) with respect. We then delved into healthy habits. We now know why it is important to wash our hands and body, brush our teeth, exercise, and get enough sleep, and, eat right. IMG_20140902_094731 IMG_20140912_140501 Healthy eating was a good segway into the next week lesson which was food groups. We learned about grains and cereals, fruits and veggies, meat and protein, dairy and fats and sugars. We identified what foods were in each food group and how many servings to eat each day. IMG_20140929_132516 IMG_20140917_091808 We capped the month with learning the characteristics of and determining what is living. All living things reproduce or have babies, eat or take in nourishment, breathe or exchange gas, and grow. The students determined that I am living but my shoe is non living. Also, Kathleen and Dana are living but their walky talkies were non living. Our student teacher from the University of Akron presented a lesson of living and non living which kept the children engaged and happy. We determined that plants were living things since they met all the criterion. 20140930_101426 IMG_20140923_134559 Cultural Subjects We now can count 1 to 10 in eight different languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, German, and Greek). I wanted to add I do not make it to many concerts but I had the pleasure of seeing “Wilco” this month. A few reasons why I mention this is that the front man, Jeff Tweedy, lives across the street from my sister in Chicago. I talk to him every chance I get and he is a pretty cool guy. So if you ever want to play six degrees of separation from Jeff Tweedy I am your in. Also, he sent all of his children to Montessori school. Academic Enrichment Class: The elders of the school got a blast of geography this month. We learned what the seven continents were, where they are located, a few fun facts about each, and a few counties that are located in each continent. We moved on to the cardinal directions, identifying where the equator and prime meridian are located. The k-students learned the equator and prime meridian create sections called hemispheres. Of course we discovered what continents are in what hemispheres. Ending the month was learning what states are adjacent to our home state of Ohio. We learned where the states are located, what their nicknames are, and their abbreviation. We researched further the facts of Ohio. The “official” things. They are as follows The official Tree: buckeye, Bird: cardinal, Insect: lady bug, Flower: scarlet carnation, Fossil: trilobite, Drink: tomato juice, Rock and Roll song: Hang On Sloopy… O-H-I-O! We can count to ten in 10 different languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, German, Greek, Japanese, and Arabic w/ Lebanese dialect) Enrichment Corner: Welcome back Ms. Lisa! The school year is officially in full swing and the children here are Absorbent Minds are so happy to be in music class again. Ms. Lisa brought her friend Wilma the whale to help us remember musical terms for fast and slow. Lots of our returning friends remembered right away and our new friends caught on quickly. We learned how to work as a team playing five little monkeys, the hokey pokey, and I’m a little tea pot. Looking forward to a year of great music and fun times. IMG_20140909_092513 IMG_20140909_131836 In science class, we first learned that scientists ask questions all the time. They try to answer their questions by making hypotheses. A hypothesis is a guess of what will happen during an experiment. Sometimes scientists guess right but sometimes they are wrong. Our first science experiment included a bottle filled with vinegar and balloons filled with baking soda. We wanted to know what would happen if we mixed the baking soda and the vinegar. Many of the children thought that the bottle or the balloon would explode! Each child took a balloon filled with baking soda and put it on top of the bottle filled with vinegar. When the baking soda shook out of the balloon and mixed with the vinegar the balloon inflated. How did this happen? Mr. John explained that when the baking soda and vinegar mixed a gas called carbon dioxide was made. This gas filled up the balloon. IMG_20140918_131944 Our next experiment included eggs, salt water, and fresh water. We wanted to find out what would happen to an egg put in salt water and an egg put in fresh water. Would the egg float or sink? Many of the children guessed that either the eggs would float or sink. The children took turns placing eggs into each water. Each time, the egg placed in salt water floated, and the egg placed in fresh water sank. Mr. John explained the concept of density. The salt water was more dense so the egg was pushed to the top. The fresh water was less dense so the egg sank. There was nothing to push the egg to the top. In art class, we first learned what an artist was and what they do. Ms. Michele asked if certain things in the classroom were types of art. Our first artist we learned about was Eric Carle. The children learned that Eric Carle is an author who illustrates his books by making tissue paper collages. What is a collage? A collage is a picture made up of other pieces of paper and other pictures. Ms. Michele showed the children different textures and how to rub them onto tissue paper to make different designs. Once the children had their textured tissue paper, they glued them down to make an animal like Eric Carle. IMG_20140912_091533 We also learned all about primary colors. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. If you mix two primary colors together you get a different color! The artist Piet Mondrian painted with primary colors to fill in different shapes. The children first glued down popsicle sticks to make shapes like rectangles, squares, and triangles. Then, they used primary colors to paint in their shapes like Mondrian. We are looking forward to the month ahead in Art class!

October 2014 Monthly Overview

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

10/06:     Reptiles
  • Introduction to reptiles, examples of reptiles
  • All reptiles are cold blooded, vertebrates (spine),
  • All reptiles have scales, lay eggs with hard shell
 Preschool lesson (afternoon): We will be learning different pumpkin facts and enjoying pumpkin themed crafts and activities.
10/13: 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)
 Preschool lesson (afternoon): We will be learning different tastes of fall and enjoying fall themed crafts and activities.
10/20: 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
 Preschool lesson (afternoon): We will be learning different tastes of fall and enjoying fall themed crafts and activities.
10/27: 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
  • Halloween Party: Friday, October 31st
 Preschool lesson (afternoon): We will be learning the history of Halloween and enjoying Halloween themed crafts and activities.
Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
10/06: Gg
10/13: Hh
10/20: Ii
10/27: Jj
Rhyming Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
10/06: BID, did, hid, kid, lid, rid,                     
10/13: BIT, fit, hit, kit, lit, mit, pit, sit            
10/20: BIN, fin, kin, pin, sin, tin, win              
10/27: 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 Classroom Overview – September 2014

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

8/25‐9/05 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

9/08: 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”)
  • Preschool lesson– Friendship

9/15: Food Groups

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

9/22: 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
  • Preschool Lesson– Family

09/29: 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
  • Preschool Lesson– The season of Autumn/Fall

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

8/25: Aa
9/01: Bb
9/08: Cc
9/15: Dd
9/22: Ee
9/29: Ff

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

8/25: BAT, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, sat
9/01: BAN, can, dan, fan, man, pan, tan
9/08: BAP, map, cap, gap, lap, nap, sap
9/15: BAG, sag, jag, lag, nag, tag, rag wag
9/22: BAD, dad, fad, had, lad, mad, sad
9/29: 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)
  • Read a book about your child’s favorite mammal together!

John’s Corner – May 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

We started May with food chains, yum yum eat ’em up……we went over 2, 3, 4, 5 part food chains. We learned terms such as predator and prey, and top and bottom of the food chain.

We then went over the seasons and the typical characteristics of those seasons. Spring usually rains a lot and starts getting warmer as we leave winter. We see greener plants and leaves on the trees. Flowers also start to bloom. Summ1190er gets much warmer, flowers are in full bloom and most babies in the wild are born. As the year gets older we move into fall or autumn.
The temperature starts to get colder and leaves change colors and fall to the ground. Winter brings us very cold temperatures and snow. Many animals hibernate or go to warmer climates.

Our little astronauts explored the solar system. We learned Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, Venus is the second planet and is the hottest, Earth is very special to us, Mars is called the Red Planet, Jupiter is the largest planet, Saturn has beautiful rings, Neptune and Uranus are the furthest planets in our solar system.


We learned about safety our last week and I STRESSED to stay by their safe side adult!!!!!!! I mentioned to the students that I told my own children “If I cannot see you…. YOU are in the wrong place!!!”


1188In kindergarten lesson we finished our work with grammar. We went over the preposition which is a ‘where’ word not a ‘where’ wolf. Interjections help a sentence show more emotions, and we went over when to use a . ? ! We then reviewed when we capitalize words in a sentence. We capitalize the beginning word of a sentence, proper nouns and “I”.

Cultural Subjects
My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 26 different languages (English, Sign Language, 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, Latin, and Hindi)!

Mr. John’s Corner – April 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

The Continent Song, Che Che Kule, It’s a Small World.  Those songs are still ringing in my ears and I still find myself whistling these tunes.  As you know these were the songs sung at the International Festival.  Throughout the month 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.

1123I 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 learn a lot 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.  1094Not to mention how colorful the stage was with their costumes.  I cannot give enough thanks to the people who prepared the food!  I ended up in a food coma that night!


In the kindergarten lesson we continued our work with grammar. We studied three articles, a, an, the.  We learned that “a” hooks up with consonants, an is very picky. “And” only hooks up with vowels and “the” is not picky at all and hooks up with anything! We know a pronoun replaces 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 and the three words we learned that do this are and, but, or.

Cultural Subjects

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 27 different languages (English, Spanish, Sign Language, 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, Kiswahili and Hindi.)

Mr. John’s Corner – March 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

Line Time Lessons

Ms. Dana and Ms. Kathleen have never missed a beat and are a great support to me in the classroom; we can’t believe we are heading into the home stretch! It has been a great year together and with your children!

To begin this month, we visited the Ancient Romans and found they wore the toga, built the coliseum, and their most famous person was Julius Caesar.   Our students had fun one afternoon building their own Roman Arches from sugar cubes. Our students were very fascinated by Roman Mythology. We learned the Greeks Gods had Roman counterparts.

Jupiter was the king of all Gods. The God of the sea was named Neptune and the God of the Underworld was known as Pluto. The God of War was named Mars. Goddesses existed as well. Juno was the queen of all Goddesses. Venus was the Goddess of Love. Minerva was the Goddess of Wisdom. Many students noticed that many of the Gods were named after planets or the planets were named after the Gods. Mythical creatures existed such as the faun. The faun was a creature that was half man/ half goat. The griffin was the most interesting to the students. It was a creature that had a head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. It was known to guard treasures and built their nests out of gold.

We then learned a little about pollution. Pollution is something that is harmful to our environment. Some students used the word “toxic” to the environment. We learned that “ground pollution” was known as litter. We know not just to toss a plastic bottle or a candy wrapper on the ground but instead put it in a trash can or recycle. Water pollution can come from oil spills or factories dumping their toxic waste into the water. Fish and other water creatures such as ducks do not like this. Air pollution is caused by factories and cars. We all agreed any kind of pollution is gross, disgusting, and probably smells. And no one thought noise pollution was good for the environment.

Students have also been talking about what it means to be a friend with Ms. Dana and Ms. Kathleen in the afternoon and enjoyed working together to build a friendship web. This is a group activity that teaches our students how to communicate their feelings, and pick out positive characteristics in people.We then dove into the ocean and found the oceans are all salt water and have some pretty cool animals. We all knew there were water mammals such as dolphins, and whales. There are also some invertebrates such as the octopus, squid and seahorse. We know that the oceans and any water forms are very important to the Earth. We get our water, food and oxygen from our water forms.

We also took a field trip to the Art Museum this month!  Thank you to all of our parents who volunteered to drive and help us at our visit.  It was a great trip!


Our classroom was visited this month by some very mischievous leprechauns. We were greeted by tipped tables, stacked chairs, and paper strewn across the room. Although the room was a mess the cheeky little leprechauns did leave gold coin candy for the children to take home!
Cultural Subjects

The class has been counting to 10 in twenty-eight 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, Tagalog, Hebrew, Korean, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, Malay, and Hindi.Kindergarten Lesson
We ended our math unit by learning more shapes such as the quatrefoil, oval, and ellipse. We looked at some three dimensional shapes such as the ovoid, ellipsoid, rectangular and triangular prisms, square and triangle based pyramids.We began our grammar unit by learning our five vowels and what isn’t a vowel is a consonant. Then we looked at the noun and verb. Nouns are people, places, and things. Verbs are action words or something you can do. Even if you sleep….. Sleep is a verb!

The Kindergartners now can count to 10 in twenty-eight 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, Tagalog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, Malay, Hindi.

Mr. John’s Corner – February 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

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 corresponding spot on the t-shirt.

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.  Many coloring pages were used as well as coloring pages to help identify which president is on what coin.
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 after-world with gold, jewels and treasured personal items.  The ancient Egyptians built the pyramids and the sphinx and used hieroglyphics to write stories.
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 if 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 were giant one eyed creatures who fought for Zeus and made Zeus’s lightning bolts. Finally we learned the name of the three headed dog of Hades.  It was known as Cerberus and it guarded the gates of the underworld.

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, Tagalog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, and Serbo-Croatian.

Kindergarten Lesson

We started out the month introducing addition using the golden beads.  The introduction of beads shows the kindergarteners a solid correspondence between the written symbol and physical quantity. We also discussed 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 dynamic addition with exchanges (carry overs).  We then introduced multiplication.  I explained multiplication is simply adding many times. We 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 can be divided!  We divided our class from girls/boys, Mr. John’s, Ms. Kate’s, and Ms. Sabrina’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 thirty 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, Tagalog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, Malay, and Hindi.

Mr. John’s Corner – January 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

I wanted to again thank Miss Dana and Miss Kathleen for their devotion, love for the children, and hard work.  We do have a new motto that I use at line time… “This is…. a good start, to a good day, with GREAT children.”  My motto for the teachers is “We work. TOGETHER!”

I wanted to again thank Miss Dana and Miss Kathleen for their devotion, love for the children, and hard work.  We do have a new motto that I use at line time… “This is…. a good start, to a good day, with GREAT children.”  My motto for the teachers is “We work. TOGETHER!”
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 shared during line time and listening is a sign of respect and courtesy.  3)  Keep our hands to ourselves.  We do this to honor other student’s personal space.  In addition, we do not hit, punch, push or do anything to physically hurt other students.  4) Respect others.  This is basically being nice to your fellow students.  Use nice words, smile instead of giving mean faces, sharing, and helping those in need.

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.

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 send 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.

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

Cultural Subjects
During line time lesson we can count to 10 in nineteen 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 three languages (Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, and Cebuano).

Mr. John’s Corner – November_December 2013

Cuyahoga Falls School

At the end of the third month of school my classroom is running like a well oiled machine. Children are advancing nicely in math, reading, and their social skills. Dana, Kathleen, and I are pushing for more “Thank Yous, Pleases, and You’re Welcomes.”   When we call a name we are expecting a “Yes, Ms. Kathleen or How can I help you Ms. Dana?” rather than “What? or Ya?” I want to tell the parents of the older children in the classroom… “Be Proud!” They are taking a leadership role like I’ve never seen. They are helping younger children and helping each other with more challenging work. I wanted to once again thank Dana and Kathleen for their hard work and dedication. They step up and just do what needs to be done without me asking.


After learning about the five major classes of animals at the beginning of the month, we looked at some creepy crawlers. We studied insects and arachnids. These were the first animals that were not classified as vertebrates instead are called invertebrates. We discovered most have an exoskeleton. We now know insects have six legs, a head, thorax, and abdomen and arachnids have eight legs. Also, students learned all bugs are insects but not all insects are bugs!!!


898Next, the class went back in time and studied dinosaurs. We learned the names of 5 dinos (T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, and Brachiosaurus) and if they were meat eaters (carnivores) or plant eaters (herbivores). We learned when they lived and I introduced the phrases “extinct” and “fossils” what they meant. We read “Dad is a Dinosaur”, and Dinosaurs go to School”

We then learned about Pilgrims and Thanksgiving. Students worked on a craft where they wrote what they were thankful for on feathers. The feathers were put on turkeys that we placed on the bulletin board. Hand print turkeys and pilgrim hats were also made for the holiday.


896Our final week in November, which was a short week, I managed to slip in a “lesson” on Buckeye Football. It was appropriate since “THE GAME” was that Saturday. If your child hears someone shout O-H they will give a resounding response of I-O! They know Hang On Sloopy is the official rock and roll song of Ohio and will yell O-H-I-O and do the hand gestures as they sing the song. We watched several Ohio State Buckeye video highlights and the children especially loved “Script Ohio” 42-41 Go Buckeyes!!!


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


Cultural subjects:

We can count to ten in 15 different languages. We can count in English, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, and Korean.

Kindergarten lesson:

The kindergarteners are learned how to tell time. We ended our section of telling time by learning how to tell time to the minute. We have done many worksheets, use flashcards, and use a toy clock with moveable hands to help us learn to tell time. Then we delved into everyone’s favorite thing…money. We learned about coins. What they look like and how much they are worth. The kindergarteners learned how to count coins when presented with multiple coins of different denominations. We went over bills including the ever elusive two dollar bill. We ended November with learning the parts of plants, flowers, and leaves. In December the kindergarteners discovered the ruler. They first learned to measure lines in inches and centimeters and ended up measuring things around the house.


The kindergarten class can count to ten in 17 different languages… English, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, and Polish.

Mr. John’s Corner – October 2013

Cuyahoga Falls School

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

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

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

851Next, We hopped into our discussion of amphibians. We all agreed that the frog was the most popular amphibian and that amphibians are cold blooded and vertebrates.  We also learned their skin is moist and soft and  they can live on BOTH land and water. Amphibians lay eggs, these eggs have no shell but are like jelly.   The children were encouraged to look for our Pac Man Frog and our Eastern Toads in our nature center.


After learning about amphibians, we swam to our friends called fish.  We learned that fish are cold blooded (their body temperature changes to the temperature in their environment) and are vertebrates.  We learned that most fish have scales, gills and fins. Some fish lay eggs and some fish are liver bearers (babies are born alive). We introduced a new word, “habitat”.  This is where something lives and the fish’s habitat is the water. The children were thrilled to learn that the shark is a fish.We then flew with the animals called birds.  Birds have feathers, are warm blooded and are vertebrates.  All birds lay hard shelled eggs and have wings.  All birds have wings but some birds are flightless (cannot fly) such as the penguin, ostrich, and emu.

Cultural Studies

At circle time we count to ten in different languages.  We now know how to count to 10 in English, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic with the Lebanese dialect, Italian, and Romanian.

Kindergarten 862During Kindergarten Lesson, students learned about landforms.  Ask them what the definition of a lake, island, bay, peninsula, gulf, harbor, cape, isthmus, straight, chain of lakes, and archipelago.  We went over telling time to the hour, half past, and quarter after.  Your kindergartners now know how to count to ten in, English, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Japanese, and Arabic with the Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, and Tagalog.