Ms. Kate’s February 2016 Newsletter

This month was super busy for our classroom. Throughout the month of February we learned all about community helpers and Calecott books! The children really enjoyed doing a variety of activities, having a special guest, and taking a field trip to the fire station.

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During the first week we lead a discussion about what a community helper was and what they do for us. We then brainstormed all of the community helpers we could think of and jotted our answers down on chart paper. The next day we did an activity called, “Helping Hands Writing Chart.” Each child was given a paper hand and was able to write out a community helper and what they do for us. The children were then able to decorate their hand and hang it on the wall. Over the next couple of days we talked about Doctors and nurses and what they do for us, tools they use, the different places they can work and the clothes they have to wear. We also went over the similarities and differences between a veterinarian and doctor. Also, during that week I showed the children how to address an envelope.

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The second week was all about police officers, fire fighters, stranger danger, and “stop, drop, and roll.” The I first book I read was a special book about police officers and what they do for us. We then added onto our web about some of the things we learned Giovanni said, “They have to have a partner so that they can be safe when they go out on calls,” Oliver said, “They have people that dress like us called detectives,” and Anelise called out, “If you need help and are lost you can go to them.” I loved hearing the children retain so much of the information! Throughout that week we learned how to “stop, drop, and roll” and played a game called “Below the Smoke.” With this game some of the children had to hold up a sheet and move it up and down like smoke and one child at a time had to crawl the proper way under the smoke. The last day we visited a fire station. The children were able to see all of the tools that they use on a fire truck, where they eat and sleep, their fire suits, and the different jobs that need to be done. It was a great field trip!!

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The third week we focused on Soldiers and how they help us and our country. We also had fun learning about teachers, principles, and Librarians. During this week the children had so much fun writing a letter to soldier and doing a variety of fun learning activities and crafts about our community helpers. We also watched a fantastic video on construction workers. After the video we led a discussion on the importance of blueprints, how important certain articles of clothing are for construction workers that keep them safe, and about the different machinery and tools that they use.

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The last week we focused on bakers, chefs, and what you need to have in order to own a restaurant. During this time the children learned that bakers have to be at work before the sun comes up so that people will have their breakfasts. They also learned that bread, rolls, muffins, cakes, and cookies come from a bakery; the different tools they use and what kind of education they require. We also talked about the restaurant business and the different types of restaurants that are out there. Throughout our month we had some amazing speaker’s come into our class and share about their jobs, such as a firefighter, police officer, veterinarians, a nurse, a physical therapist, a dental hygienist, and parents that own a hair salon school. Thank you for those that came in and talked to our classroom!!

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During the month of February we had a special week where we focused on Caldecott books. We discussed what the award was all about and read a variety of award winning books such as Make Way For Ducklings, Snowy Day, The Little House, and Blueberries for Sal. We included activities and crafts that went along each book. I think it is so important to introduce these amazing and different books to the children.

 

Academic Enrichment Afternoon Lesson with Mr. John
We started out the month introducing addition using beads.  The introduction of beads shows the kindergartners 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.

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                    Multiplication Equation

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 Kindergartners 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.

 

Ms. Ame’s Corner
In Music last month Ms. Lisa reviewed the story of Peter and the Wolf. The students continued to identify the names of the different instruments used and were able to identify which instrument sound was each character. They all enjoyed the story with the accompaniment of Ms. Michelle’s clever artwork to go along with the music. Ms. Lisa also re-introduce the symbols and rhythym beats of a whole note, half note, quarter note and eighth notes. Ms.Lisa also played clever songs that got the kids up and moving with the music. Ask your children about the 4 different notes and how to clap the beat with each one!

In Science last month Mr. John had the students participate in some fun experiments that had the students intrigued about their breakfast cereal. The students created their own hypothesis about if there really was metal (Iron) in their cereal. Using magnets, the children saw the Iron in a bag of cereal. Check your child’s folder on Thursdays to see the directions to repeat the experience at home and to see you child’s hypothesis.

In Art last month Ms. Michelle had the children using a variety of materials. They did a picture of a snowy day after reading the Caldecott award winning book The Snowy Day. The students used glue, cotton balls and glitter to create their scene. Next they started to create crafts to display at our International Festival. Using paper cups, paper, googly eyes and hot glue the students created tabe top dragons. Ms. Michelle showed video and pictures of dragons from various festivals to stimulate the student’s creativity. Please leave these wonderful creations on our art rack. Look in the hallways as Ms. Michelle willbe displaying her weekly art projects along with a description.


Ms. Kate’s March 2016 Monthly Overview

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

2/29 All about Dr. Suess

  •   Making and eating green eggs and ham together with graph
  •   Reading the “Cat in the Hat” and making a craft
  •   Rhyming word activities, mystery word activities using Dr. Suess books
  •   Silly Socks coloring graph

Afternoon Group Lesson: Reiterating the letter and calendar of the week. A variety of fun crafts and activities with Dr. Seuss.

3/07: Art Appreciation

  •   Claude Monet and his use of pastels
  •   Pablo Picaso and his collages
  •   Jackson Pollack and abstract expressionism
  •  History of Mosiac Art and sculptures

Afternoon Group Lesson: Reiterating the letter and calendar of the week. Learning all about art with Ms. Ame!

3/14: Rainforest

  •   Location of Rainforest and Rainforest themed experiments, activities and crafts
  •   Layers of the Rainforest (Emergent, Canopy, Understory and Forest Floor)
  •   Animals found in the Rainforest
  •   Products that come from the Rainforest

Afternoon Group Lesson: Reiterating the letter and calendar of the week. Learning all about the rainforest, animals and crafts with Ms. Ame!

3/21: My Five Senses

  •   Hearing with a sound match game
  •   Sight observation and memory game
  •   Touch mystery bag game
  •  Taste test
  •   My sense of smell game

Afternoon Group Lesson: Reiterating the letter and calendar of the week. Having fun with my five senses with Ms. Ame.


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: Qq
3/07: Rr
3/14: Ss
3/21: Tt

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

2/29:sat
3/07: sun
3/14: green
3/21: egg

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

  •   While reading a book have your child point to all of the letter of the week she/he can find. Have them do this with the rhyming words as well. Play I‐Spy using things that only start with the letter of the week/ sight words.
  •   Make “Cat and the Hat” Cookies together! Follow this link: http://familycrafts.about.com/od/drseusscraftprojects/a/ CatHatCookie.htm
  •  Create a family portrait together using the material discussed in class (oil pastels, mosaic, etc)
  •   Take a walk outside or in your home. Talk about the different colors you see all around you. Then create a picture of the colors 
and patterns you saw.
  •   Is there a Jungle in your Kitchen? Follow this link http://www.animaled.com/actrain.htm to find how many items in your kitchen come from the Rainforest!

Ms. Kate’s January 2016 Newsletter

The winter months are flying by and hopefully spring will be upon us soon! This month the children have been enjoying our different themes and working hard on all of the works and our different practical life activities!

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For the first week, the children learned about whales. I introduced a whale book to them and then we started a chart called a “KWL” which stands for “What We Know, What We Want to Know and What We Learned.” It always amazes me how much information the children already know about a particular subject and the questions they come up with during lessons. They are fantastic questions! Some of the questions the children wanted to know were, “How far can they swim? What are some of the things whales eat? How many babies can they have? How long are whales?” At the end of the week we had a discussion about everything we learned. For example, the Blue Whale is the largest whale and is long as a football field. And the Humpback is as long as a basketball court! The children also learned about the whales’ blowholes and how they have one baby who stays with the mom for up to a year.

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During that week the children did two science experiments with Ms. Ame. The first one was about how such a heavy animal like a whale could stay afloat. This activity reinforced how salt water is more dense than fresh and helps objects stay afloat. The second activity was all about blubber. We took two zip lock bags and filled one with lard and covered that with the second bag. The children then stuck their hand inside the bag and dipped it into ice-cold water. The children noticed that their hand never got cold. We discussed what blubber is and what it does for animals. The last day we discussed the different types of whales such as the Toothed Whale, Baleen Whale, the Blue Whale, and the Humpback.

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The second week sparked a lot of interest in the children. We learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The first activity we did was called “Being Treated Equally.” Now, before I lead any type of discussion, I passed out a snack to just the boys. I then started reading the book, “Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King.” All through the book the girl were wondering why I wasn’t giving them any snack, and a few became upset. I didn’t explain to them why I did what I did until the story was over. I then asked the girls how they felt not receiving a snack. Sophia said, “I really felt left out.” Another child yelled out, “I felt mad when you didn’t give us anything!” I then talked about how at one point in our country’s past, African Americans were not able to do the same things that white people were able to do and further explained that this is how they felt. I then shared that a man named Martin Luther King helped to change all of this! I loved this activity because I think it really got the children interested in who he was and how things were back then.

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The second activity was called, “We’re all the same on the inside.” This was a simple exercise on how we can look different on the outside, yet be the same on the inside. I first showed the children a brown egg and then a white egg. I asked them to describe what they see. I then asked what they think each egg will look like on the inside. Almost all of them said the brown egg would be brown in the inside. I then cracked open both and the children were amazed to see that both eggs looked the same. After the activity we talked about how all of us look different but we think and feel the same things on the inside! It was an awesome activity! The next day we discussed Rosa Parks and the bus boycotts, freedom marches, sit-ins, and the civil rights movement. We also listened to a song called “We Shall Overcome,” a powerful song about what Martin Luther King wanted for himself and others. After the song, we brainstormed some hardships or changes they have overcome or will have to in life.

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We also did a fun project called “I have a dream handprints.” The children dipped one hand in brown paint and the other in pink paint and then made prints looking like two people who are holding hands. We then placed a heart in the middle of the handprint. Afterwards the children wrote down the dreams that they have. On the last day I showed a clip of the “I Have a Dream” speech. After the speech we discussed what was said and what he wanted in life. It was a powerful week!

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The third week we discussed Alaska and different types of Polar animals. The first day I came in dressed in my winter coat, boots, mittens, flashlight, a protein bar, a polar bear stuffed animal, and a map. I then had the children to guess my destination. I was going to Alaska! I showed the children a map and showed them where Alaska was located. I then provided Alaska coloring pages for the children to color while I read them a book about Alaska. Throughout the week the children learned fun facts about polar bears, walruses, and seals. The children learned that a walruses’ tusk are made out of ivory and are about two to three feet long.

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The last week was all about Penguins. The first day each child had to pick an animal name card and keep it a secret. Once everyone had a name card they were able to walk around the room and make their specific animal sound. Once the child found their partner that was making the same sound they had to stand next to each other and be silent. Once everyone found their partner, I explained to them that in order for penguins to find their partner amongst hundreds of other penguins they must call for each other and locate them by their sound. Throughout the week the children learned that the Emperor Penguin is the biggest penguin and is about the size of a six year old! They also learned that they form groups called Rookeries and that they only lay two eggs except for the Emperor that lays only one. We also talked about molting, why they fly, how they swim, incubation, and how the male penguin pretty much looks after the egg while the female is gone for two months hunting for food. The children loved learning about penguins!

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I hope everyone stays nice and warm and safe!

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:
by Ms. Ame

Music
In Music last month Ms. Lisa introduced the story of Peter and the Wolf. The students learned the names of the different instruments used and were able to identify which instrument sound was each character. They all enjoyed the story with the accompaniment of Ms. Michelle’s clever artwork to go along with the music. Ms. Lisa also played songs that got the kids up and moving with the music. Ask your children about the fun games she does with them, they love them!

Science
In Science this month Mr. John had the students participate in some fun experiments that had the students captivated. The students created their own hypothesis about what would happen when you put a peeled orange and an unpeeled orange in a tank of water. Ask your child why the one orange floated and the other didn’t! Check your child’s folder for directions to repeat the experiment at home and to see what their hypothesis was in class!

Art
In Art this month Ms. Michelle studied about mystical creatures. She then gave the opportunity to create their own! They started with choosing two animals and drawing their own mystical creature. Then Ms. Michelle brought in clay and using foil as their base, the students create 3D models of their drawings. After she baked the clay, the students then painted their own mystical creatures. Check out the art rack in our hallway to see these amazing pieces of art!


Ms. Kate’s February 2016 Monthly Overview

What I will learn at school this month (in addition to Montessori Work Time):

 

2/01: Coldacott Week

  • Introducing award winning books such as Make Way for Ducklings, The Snowy Day, Blueberries for Sal, The Lion and the Mouse, and other various Caldacott award winning books. The children will do different activities with each book.
  • Preschool Lesson

Afternoon Group Lesson: Reviewing the letter of the week. Reiterating the calendar. Fun activities with Caldacott books.

2/8: Community Helpers: All about Doctors, Mail Carriers, Fire Fighters, and Police Officers

  •   How Doctors help us and the special tools they use
  •   Fire Fighters and Fire Safety and Stop, Drop & Roll
  •   All about the Post Office, mail carriers
  •   Learning our phone number and address/ How 911 is important to us
  •   How do Police Officers protect us?
  •   Valentines Day Party: Friday the 12th

Afternoon Group lesson: Reviewing the letter, the calendar and fun activities & crafts that have to do with community helpers.

2/15: Community Helpers: All about Construction Workers, Soldiers, Chefs and Bakers

  • Learning about measurement and different tools.
  • Soldiers, different branches of the military, jobs they do and places they travel
  • Who works in a Restaurant/ Bakery?
  • What does a Chef/ Baker do, different types

Afternoon Group Lesson: Reviewing the letter, the calendar and fun activities & crafts that have to do with community helpers.

2/21: Community Helpers: Dentists, Teachers, Veterinarians

  •  How a Veterinarian is different from a Doctor
  • All about the importance of brushing, flossing and the different tools they use.
  • Charting what you want to be when you grow up.

Preschool lesson: Reviewing the letter, the calendar and fun activities & crafts that have to do with community helpers.

Field trip to the Fire Station to be announced and dental hygienist to be announced.

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

  • 2/01: Mm

  • 2/08: 
Nn
  • 2/15: Oo
  • 2/21: Pp

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

  • 2/01: Pink

  • 2/08: star

  • 2/15: house
  • 2/21: bell

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

  •   While reading a book have your child point to all of the letter of the week she/he can find. Have them do this with the sight words as well. Play I‐Spy using things that only start with the letter of the week/ sight words.
  •   Write a letter to a family member or special friend. Have your child help you address the letter, stamp it and mail it.
  •   Invent your own cake or cookie together…get creative!
  •   Create a fire escape plan together or make a blue print of your dream house with your child!

Ms. Kate’s December 2015 Newsletter

I love this time of year! The pretty lights, fun music, everyone smiling, and the children full of excitement!! Even though we were only in school for just a few short weeks the children were busy getting ready for our annual holiday program, making fun holiday crafts, and enjoying the hustle and bustle of the classroom! Throughout the month of December our class had fun learning about how children and their families celebrate Christmas from around the world! The first country we talked about was Mexico. We began by reading the story The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie de Paola, and then created our own poinsettia craft out of paint, glitter, markers, and grocery bags. For preschool lesson, Ms. Ame had the children make another Christmas craft from Mexica . The second country we visited was Germany. The children learned that the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree originated from Germany and that the trees were decorated with candles, apples, and spiced cookies. The children them created their own tree by dipping a toilet paper roll into paint and making prints onto paper. They also used glitter, colored paint, and stickers to decorate their tree. The children also created another Christmas tree by using different sized green paper and placing them in order from longest to shortest.

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“ Joyeux Noel” is IMG_20151202_080222how you say Merry Christmas in French. In France, the traditional Christmas Eve meal, Le Reveillon, means “ waking up” and includes many courses of food. The children created their own Le Reveillon menu out of magazines. They cut out foods that they would like to eat on Christmas Eve night, pasted them on a folded menu they created and labeled what they glued on. They turned out fantastic! The following country we had fun with was Italy. The children had a blast doing the traditional Italian art of curling paper called Quilling. They learned that the Italians created beautiful quilled ornaments to decorate their ceppos, which is a small triangular ladder. The last country was England. The children thought it was so funny that after children wrote their letters to Santa they then threw them into the fireplace hoping that they would go up the chimney so that all their wishes would come true. I then explained to them that an English tradition included caroling from house to house and that the families would come in for Wassail. We also read a book about St.Lucia. The children learned that on every Christmas eve she would go out with her wreath with candles on top and deliver warm food to those who have no food on the coldest winter day. Then as a group the children constructed a crown of their own just like St. Lucia did.

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The children really loved learning about the different traditions. They couldn’t believe how people in different countries celebrated Christmas. Throughout December our class made different holiday crafts, gingerbread houses, and playing different games from around the world. The last week before our break our theme was all about giving not receiving. The children did different acts of kindness throughout the last week. They wrote letters to a nursing home, and learned about donating and what it means to give. I really enjoyed seeing the children grasp the concept of giving.

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Academic Enrichment | Afternoon Lesson with Kindergarten Students:
Mr. John

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

Then we slithered our way into discussing reptiles. We came to the conclusion that the snake is the most popular reptile. We learned reptiles are cold blooded, vertebrates, lay hard shelled eggs, and have dry scales. Lizards, snakes, and turtles topped the list of reptiles.

We hopped into our discussion of amphibians. We all agreed that the frog was the most popular amphibian and that amphibians are cold blooded and vertebrates. We also learned that their skin is moist and soft and that they can live on BOTH land and water. Amphibians lay eggs but the eggs have no shell but are like jelly. We found that frogs, toads, and newts were 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, and some fish lay eggs and some fish are liver bearers (babies are born alive). We introduced a new word, “habitat”. This is where something lives and the fish’s habitat is the water. The children were thrilled to learn that the shark is a fish.

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

We looked at some creepy crawlers that were a bit different. They were invertebrates. we looked at insects which have a head, thorax, abdomen, six legs, and two antennae. Beetles, flies, bees, butterflies, and crickets are all insects. Arachnids are invertebrates but have eight legs, cyphelothorax, and abdomen. Spiders, scorpions, ticks, and mites are all arachnids.

We ended 2015 learning how to use a ruler. The students went home and measured many things in inches and in centimeters.

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

Music
In music this month the students sang hello to Freida the frog and Penny the pony. We had fun singing the Christmas songs of “Feliz Navidad” and “Jingle Bells”. To help get into the Christmas spirit we played bells and castanets. Then we reviewed the musical words for fast, medium, and slow. (allergo, andante, adagio) Lastly Ms. Lisa helped us with our songs for the Christmas show.

Science
Our first experiment dealt with sinking and floating. Mr. John showed the children a lemon and a lime. They made hypotheses on which would float and sink. Even though they look almost the same size the lemon sank and the lime floated. The lemon is more dense than the lime. Our next experiment involved peppermint candies on a plate and water. Mr. John asked the children what would happen when water was poured over the candies. Just like the skittles experiment, the dye off the peppermint ran off. The dye is water soluble.

Art
For the first week of December, Ms. Michele had the children finish their warm and cool color tile mosaics from last month. The second week Ms. Michele had the children draw their self-portraits. The children used mirrors and pencils to first draw an oval for their faces. Then they added eyes, nose, mouth, ears and eyebrows. Lastly they added details such as shoulders and hair.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday! See you in the New Year!


Ms. Kate’s January 2016 Monthly Overview

What I will learn in Ms. Kate’s class

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

1/04: Whales

  •   Facts about Whales and different types of Whales
  •   Create a Whale Chart
  •   How do Whale’s float? “Staying Afloat” Science experiment on density

1/11: History of Martin Luther King Jr.

  •  How we are similar and different (hair color, eye color etc.)
  •  Egg experiment (brown egg vs. white egg) discuss their differences on the outside– discover how they are the same on the inside.
  •  How we treat others equally‐ using different activities and stories
  • Friday 1/15 NO SCHOOL | Teacher In Service Day

1/18: Polar Pals

  •   Monday 1/18 ‐NO SCHOOL (MLK Day)
  •   The Arctic Climate, Map of the Arctic
  •   Exploring the worlds of the Polar Bear, Seal and Walrus.

1/25: Penguins

  •   Facts about Penguins, why don’t they fly?
  •   How Penguins communicate
  •   Where Penguins live

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

  • 1/04- n
  • 1/11- 0
  • 1/18-p
  • 1/25- q

Rhyming Words of the Week:

  • 1/04-car
  • 1/11-bear
  • 1/18-pin
  • 1/25-mug

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

  •   While reading a book have your child point to all of the letter of the week she/he can find. Have them do this with the sight words as well. Play I‐Spy using things that only start with the letter of the week/ sight words.
  •   Go on a whale hunt! draw whales or print out whale pictures and hide them around your house. have your child count out how many whales they have found, or place them in different categories.
  •   While reading to your child have him/her pick out the sight word “am.” Go outside in the snow, fill a spray bottle with food coloring and water. have your child spray out the letters and sight words we have been talking about all month. also your child can create an Alaska theme using seals, polar bears, walruses, and penguins.

Ms. Kate’s November Newsletter 2015

Wow! I can’t believe how fast time is flying by! The children have been working really hard this month learning about the different types of clouds, weather, order of the rainbow, five food groups, healthy habits, dinosaurs, and all about the first Thanksgiving. The children also had a lot of fun creating and preparing for our annual Thanksgiving feast!

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During the first week, the children learned about the different types of clouds that we see such as cumulus, stratus, cirrus, and cumulonimbus. The children were able to look out the window everyday and talk about what clouds they saw that day. It was such a great lesson because the children really enjoyed learning about what they saw! Throughout that week we discussed the different types of weather we have here in Ohio and across our nation. During line time we learned about how a tornado is formed, what happens when other states have hurricanes, and how much snow you can get in a blizzard! The children also learned how rain and snow are formed inside the clouds, that strong winds are called gusts and that light winds are called breezes. The last day we read a great book about rainbows. The children learned how a rainbow is created and the color order, ROYGBIV! Wow, we had such a busy week!

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The second week the children focused on nutrition. The first few days we read books that had to do with healthy habits. We discussed the different ways to keep our body healthy and we charted them. I then posted a food pyramid on the wall and explained what each section was about. The children then were given different food pictures and were able to post the pictures in the right section of the food pyramid. The next day we did a fun activity that taught them about how we spread germs and about hand washing. I started out by sneezing glitter into my hands and showing the children what your hand looks likes when you sneeze into it. I then shook the child’s hand that was next to mine and had them show the class what his hand looked like after he shook my hand when I didn’t wash them. That child then shook his neighbors hands and this continued throughout the circle. The children couldn’t believe how just by me not washing my hands how I passed so many germs to so many people. We then practiced washing our hands by singing the alphabet song! The last day we talked about the importance of exercise and how much our body needs everyday. I then showed them different pictures of people doing different exercises and the children had to act out the picture I showed them!

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The third week we focused on learning about The First Thanksgiving, and preparing for our Thanksgiving feast. Everyday I read a special letter to the children from a pilgrim child. In these letters the children talked about their long journey on the Mayflower, the food they ate, hardships they experienced, feelings they felt, and games they played. The children really enjoyed learning that it took 102 days for the Mayflower to get to America. They also learned that only 16 men left the ship to see if the land was safe enough for everyone to come ashore. Throughout the week the children learned about the Native Americans and the pilgrims. We discussed who Squanto was and what he did for the pilgrims. The children also made girl and boy pilgrim hats for our feast! I wanted to say thank you for all of the parents who came and helped set up for the feast and who helped with the kiddos. The children really enjoyed sitting with their family and friends!

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The last week was all about dinosaurs! The first day we discussed the different dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus Rex, Briancosaurus, Stegosaurus, Apaosaurus and the Brontosaurus. We talked about their size, length, and what they ate! The next day the children learned about herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. I explained to the children that a paleontologist can tell if the dinosaur was a meat eater or plant eater just by looking at the fossil print of their teeth. The children also loved hearing that herbivores had to eat certain rocks so that the plants could break down in their stomachs. Throughout the rest of the week we focused on fossil finding, the concept of extinction, and the time period dinosaurs came to be. Our preschool friends had so much fun finding fossils, making fossil prints in cookie dough, reading amazing stories about them, and making a variety of Dinosaur crafts!

Academic Enrichment with Mr. John (Kindergarten Students)
The kindergartners have 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 used a toy clock with movable 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 kindergartners 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, leaves.  And learned about the parts and characteristics of the mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird, and fish.

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.

Enrichment Classes:
In music, the students got to practice their loud (forte) and soft (piano) voices to sing hello to Nemo the fish, Tina the turtle, and Allie the alligator! Then, we practiced playing egg shakers, listened to the triangle, and pretended to be on a “Christmas” train all at once. The children loved this song because they got to practice slow, medium, and fast speeds. We also sang some other Christmas favorites like “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls.” Ms. Lisa reviewed the whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes by having the children first identify the note and then clap the number of beats for each. In addition to teaching us her fun music lessons, Ms. Lisa helped us with our Christmas songs for the show. Thanks Ms. Lisa!

In science, our first experiment used play dough! Mr. John shaped half of the play dough into a bowl and the other half into a sphere. He asked the children which one would float and sink. We discovered that the sphere always sank and the bowl floated even though each contained the same amount of play dough. Mr. John explained that the bowl had more surface area which pushed the water away. In our next experiment we explored absorption with a diaper and paper towel. The children made hypotheses on which they thought would hold more water. We discovered that the diaper was able to absorb much more water than the paper towel after pouring water on each. The last experiment of the month involved skittles. Mr. John sorted skittles by color on a plate. He asked the children what they thought would happen when he poured water over the skittles. Many of the children said that the skittles would float. When the water was poured over the skittles, the dye off the candy started to run off. However, the colors did not mix! We learned that there is a wax on the candy that does not allow the water to mix the colors.

 In Art Ms. Michele started with reviewing primary and secondary colors on the color wheel. Then she explained what complimentary colors were. (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/purple) Next the children did some drawing at the table with oil pastels. Ms. Michele had them draw lines on white paper with one color pastel. To finish the project, the students painted with the color compliment to the oil pastel they used to fill in the paper. To end the month, Ms. Michele did a leaf project. First the children drew a leaf on white paper with a pencil. Then they took a glue bottle and outlined the leaf drawn. (Ms. Michele told them “Just a line is fine.”) After the leaf was outlined in glue, the children took one color of yarn and placed it on top of the glue. To fill in the leaf, the children glued in warm (orange, yellow, red) and cool (purple, green, blue) color foam tiles to create a mosaic.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Ms. Kate’s December 2015 Monthly Overview

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

12/01   Christmas Around the World
Taking a look at the Christmas traditions in Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, and England

  • The legend of the Poinsettia, tradition of the Christmas Tree, Le Reveillon (traditional Christmas   Eve meal) and many other traditions.
  •  How to say “Merry Christmas” in different languages

Afternoon Group Lesson:
Ame will be offering crafts, games and activities to enhance the children’s understanding of traditions around the world.

 

12/07 All about Giving
This week we will be doing a variety of activities that teach the children about the act of giving. These activities include: wants vs. needs collage, a giving circle time activity, the construction on a “lovie” blanket and sending it to Good Neighbors, talking about the importance of donations and lastly, we will be writing and drawing letters to send to a nursing home.

Afternoon Group Lesson:
Ame will be offering holiday themed crafts, games and activities in the afternoon.

 

12/14 Holiday Crafts
We have planned fun Christmas themed crafts and activities (Letters to Santa, Gingerbread houses, Reindeer hats and much more!)

Afternoon Group Lesson: Ame will be focusing on making holiday ornaments, telling classic Christmas stories, and having fun at movie & PJ day!

We will be spending time the last few weeks of December practicing for our Christmas Show!  Stay tuned for information coming home about this great event!

12/21—
1/ 1 Christmas Break (School resumes Monday, January 4th)

 

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

  • Make cookies together. Deliver them to your friends, families and neighbors.
  • Practice the spirit of giving or donation.
  • Sing Christmas Songs together!

Ms. Kate’s October 2015 Newsletter

I can’t believe how fast the month of October went by. Our class was super busy this month learning about apples, being on the farm, all about leaves and chlorophyll, the life cycle of the pumpkin, and the history of Halloween. We also had an amazing Halloween party!

The first week, I started off by showing the children a variety of apples such as the granny smith, golden delicious, and the red delicious. The children were able to feel and smell the different apples and then we grouped the apples by size and color. Throughout the week I introduced Johnny Appleseed. We discussed how he was a pioneer who traveled throughput the American frontier by planting apple seeds.

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We also discussed how he helped people along the way. The children really loved talking about him as they continued to ask questions about him throughout the week! The next day we created a chart from seed to apple: The life cycle of an apple. I started out by cutting an apple in half and showing the children the seeds, which are called pips, the core of the apple, the flesh, and the leaves. The children were able to pass around the apple so they were able to see the different parts of the apple. We then drew the inside of the apple and labeled the different parts. We also had a blast making apple prints and other apple projects with Ms. Ame! On the last day we had an apple taste test. The children tasted ten different types of apples and then we graphed the ones we liked best. The Gala apple won!

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The following week was all about the farm! We started out by discussing the different types of animals that you would find on a farm. We also had an exciting time discussing the different foods that you would see in a grocery store that came from a farm. Throughout our week we talked about the different machines that the farmers use on a daily basis and their purpose. The last two days we talked about the life of a farmer. The children loved hearing about how the farmer has to wake up when it is still dark outside just so s/he can get all of their farm chores done before the day is done. We also had fun with farm songs and finder plays!

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The third week was all about Fall! The children had so much fun with one of our student teachers who read them a book all about the different colored leaves they would find outside. The children then were able to do leaf rubbings on those leaves they read about. At the beginning of the week I read the book Leaves Leaves Leaves! By Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. We then talked about the four seasons and what happens to the leaves at each season. I then asked what they thought Chlorophyll was. Giovanni shouted out “ It makes the leaves green!” I explained to them that Giovanni was right it does keep the leaves green. I also explained to them that when our days get colder and shorter the chlorophyll exits the leaves and the green goes away and the color starts to show. The children enjoyed discussing that so much that they wanted to review it all week! Lastly, we went on a nature walk where the children were able to collect different leaves and then lead a discussion about the different types of leaves they found. It was a super fun week!

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Lastly, our theme was pumpkins! This week we created a chart of the life cycle of the pumpkin. The pictures showed that first you have to plant the seed. Then the seed turns into the seedling, and then the seedling turns into a huge vine that can be big as a house! Then a flower grows onto the vine. On the bottom of the flower a pumpkin starts to appear. The pumpkin starts out green, then yellow, then light orange, and then finally orange. The following day the children used their 5 senses and language to observe and communicate about a pumpkin. The children were able to touch, look at, smell, weigh, and measure the pumpkin. After they did this I charted their thoughts and comments. The next day I asked the children what they thought the inside of a pumpkin looks like inside. After our discussion I cut open the pumpkin and had the children use their senses to explore the pumpkin. After I removed the pulp we weighed the pumpkin so we could compare the weight from before we gutted it. On our last day we did a sink and float activity. The children created a graph with paper pumpkins. If they thought the pumpkin would sink they placed the pumpkin in the correct category and same if they thought the pumpkin would float. We placed the pumpkin in a tub of water and the pumpkin floated!! We then discussed the concept of buoyancy.

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At the end of our month we had a wonderful Halloween party. A big thanks to all of the parents that helped out with all of the food, activities, and such wonderful helping hands!

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Ms. Kate’s November 2015 Monthly Overview

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

11/02: Weather

  • Clouds (cumulus, cumulonimbus and cirrus) and sky watching
  • Different types of weather. How snow is formed, precipitation, thunderstorms and wind
  • Tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and blizzards
  • Rainbows, ROYGBIV
  • Afternoon group lesson: Various weather crafts, reiterating the letter “i” and the calendar

11/09: Being Healthy

  •  How can we keep healthy, what foods can we eat
  •  Food groups, Healthy habits and exercise
  •  What are germs, how are they spread?
  • Afternoon group lesson:  Healthy crafts and games, healthy choice snacks, reiterating the letter “j” and calendar
  • Friday, November 13th  NO SCHOOL/ Teacher In Service Day (Parent//Teacher Conferences All Day 8am-7pm)

11/16: All About Dinosaurs

  •  Different types of Dinosaurs
  •  Herbivores, Omnivores, Carnivores
  •  Fossils
  •  Extinction
  • Afternoon group lesson: Different dinosaurs crafts, types of dinosaurs, dinosaur movement songs, reiterating the letter “k” and calendar.

11/23: History of Thanksgiving

  •  Mayflower, Pilgrims
  •  Native Americans and Squanto
  •  What are we thankful for
  • Afternoon group lesson: Thanksgiving crafts and songs, reiterating the letter “l” and calendar.
  •  Thanksgiving Feast 11/25 (11:00‐12:00pm) 12:00pm Early Dismissal (No Aftercare)
  •  Thursday/Friday NO SCHOOL—Enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!

 

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

11/02: Ii
11/09: Jj
11/16: Kk
11/23: Ll

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

11/02: dog
11/09: tree
11/16: lid
11/23: zap

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

  •  While reading a book have your child point to all of the letter of the week she/he can find. Have them do this with the sight words as well. Play I‐Spy using things that only start with the letter of the week/ sight words.
  •  Record the weather daily (make it into a weather journal). Create a weather collage out of magazines. Have your child cut out clothing and objects/toys they would wear or use for the different types of weather.
  •  Have your child help you with your grocery list. Cook dinner together!
  •  Make a book about all of the things you and your family are thankful for. Share your book with your family on Thanksgiving Day.
  •  Explore your neighborhood. See if you can find any fossil plant prints on rocks in your yard or neighborhood.