Ms. Kate’s October 2016 Monthly Overview

What I will learn at school this month in Ms. Kate’s Class…

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

09/03: All About Apples

  •  Johnny Appleseed
  •  Life cycle of an apple
  •  Apple graphing, apple tasting and cooking with apples

Afternoon lessons:

  • Reviewing the letter “Ee”
  • Baking with Ms. Ame
  • Making different apple crafts

10/10: Autumn

  •   Why do leaves change color? Science experiment
  •   Charting what colors we find. Nature walk
  •   Having fun with leaf rubbings
  •   Singing songs about fall

Afternoon lessons:

  • Reviewing the letter “Ff”
  • Fall crafts
  • Fall songs
  • Reviewing calendar and weather

10/17: Pumpkins

  •   Life cycle of a pumpkin
  •   Using our five senses
  •   Sink or float with pumpkins
  •   Pumpkin investigations
  •   Pumpkin songs and finger plays

Afternoon lessons:

  • Reviewing the letter “Gf”
  • Pumpkin science experiment
  • Fun fall crafts

10/24: Halloween

  •  History of Halloween
  •  All about spiders
  •  Halloween safety
  •  Field Trip to the Pumpkin Farm!

Afternoon lessons:

  • Reviewing the letter “Hh”
  • Reviewing calendar and weather
  • Halloween crafts
  • Halloween songs

 

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

  • 10/03: Ee
  • 10/10: Ff
  • 10/17: Gg
  • 10/24: Hh

 

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

  • 10/03: cat
  • 10/10: red
  • 10/17: mat
  • 10/24: boo

 

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/ rhyming words.
  •   Go apple picking! Cut an apple in half and create apple prints. When you cut an apple, count together to see how many seeds there are. Every day you can create a new apple dish (applesauce, baked apple crisps, apple pie, etc.) Enjoy the Fall!
  •   Visit a pumpkin patch and bake pumpkin seeds together!
  •   Go on a “Fall Walk” together. Talk about what colors you see, the sounds you hear, and what the air smells like. Collect leaves and take them home for a leaf rubbings. Go to a pumpkin patch and find a pumpkin together. Guess how many seeds are in‐ side your pumpkin. When you clean out the pumpkin count the seeds together.

Ms. Kate’s August/September Monthly Overview 2016

What I am doing in Ms. Kate’s Classroom
in addition to Montessori Work Time…

 

8/22‐
09/02 Rules of the Classroom

  • We respect each other
  • We try our best/we learn from our mistakes
  • We are a team/we celebrate each other’s success
  • Tour of the classroom and introductions of materials
  • Using the words “please, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry.” Write a class poem to emphasize the use of polite words.

9/06: Friendship

  • Work on social skills/ how to develop friendship
  • What are good qualities in a friend?
  • How do friends build community?
  • Create together a class web of friendship words
    • Second line time: Going over calendar, weather, and Spanish words and numbers. Friendship lessons and crafts!

9/12: All About Me!

  • Our similarities and differences
  • I’m special because…
  • Our Birthdays
  • Identifying our emotions.
  • Second Line Time: Going over calendar, weather, Spanish weather and words. Having fun doing all about me activities and games!

9/19: Family

  • What is a family
  • Graphing our families/ family celebrations
  • Create a family tree together (Due Monday 9/16)
  • Second line time: Going over calendar, weather, Spanish numbers and words. Having fun reading books on Families, creating a family portrait, and singing songs about families.

 

9/26: Respect

  • Charting about what listener’s do
  • What are peacemaker’s?
  • All about respect
  • Manners
  • Second line time: going over calendar,weather,Spanish numbers and words. Having fun reading books on showing respect to our friends, activities on manners, and also some fun crafts!

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

  • 9/06: Aa

  • 9/12: Bb
  • 9/19: Cc
  • 9/26: Dd

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

  • 9/06: Cat

  • 9/12: Pig
  • 9/19: Ball
  • 9/26: Bug

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

  • While reading a book have your child point to all of the A’s she/he can find. Have them do this with the sight word “the.” Play I‐Spy using things that only start with the letter A.
  • Make a collage with pictures and objects that start with the letter B.
  • Place words around the house and see if your child can find the word “to.” When your child has gathered all of his/her “to” 
cards count together how many cards they have found.
  • Make a kindness jar. Each day pick an act of kindness out of the jar and act on it:)
  • You and your child write a special letter to a friend.

Ms. Kate’s May/June 2016 Newsletter

May was such a busy month! Our class dove into water and learned about the sea and jumped into a space shuttle and flew into outer space. Our class also had fun learning about plant life cycles and had a blast during Grandparents Day and at our field trip to the Zoo!

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The first two weeks we explored the animals of the ocean. We first started by defining mammals. I explained to them that they are warm blooded and both land and sea mammels have hair on their bodies and give birth to their babies. The first mammals we talked about were the dolphin and whale. The children learned that dolphins can stay under water for 15 minutes, but can’t breathe under water so they have to come up for air. The children learned that they live in groups of ten to twelve and that there are thirty-six different kinds of dolphins. During this discussion we talked about how the Killer Whale is the largest dolphin.

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The second mammal in the sea that we discussed were whales. The children learned that since whales breathe like us they can only stay under water for a short period of time and then they have to come up for air by using their blowhole on the top of their heads. They also learned there are two types of whales: the Baleen and the Toothed whale. The children were interested in what whales ate and how fast they can swim. Together we looked through books and found out that whales can swim up to 30 mph and that baleen whales eat krill and toothed whales eat small fish and other small mammals. The last mammal of the sea we discussed was the Manatee. The children found out that manatees were first found out by fishermen who saw the long tails and thought they were looking at mermaids! The children also learned that they could weigh as much as 2000 lbs., and can swim up to 20 mph hour but usually cruise around the sea at 2 to 6 mph. Also, during that week the children made a Venn diagram about fish and mammals. The children did a great job with this activity. They knew that fish do not have lungs, but have gills instead. Mammals are warm-blooded and fish are not. That most mammals live on land, but fish have to stay in the water and both have a vertebrate. What smarties I have!!

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We then focused on outer space. During this time we learned about the solar system, stars and constellations, galaxies, the eight planets, the sun and moon, the space shuttle, and the first man who walked on the moon. Wow, what a busy couple of weeks! We first stared out by creating a web of the solar system. Throughout our space lesson the children added the information they have learned onto the web. During our lesson, the children learned about the eight planets since the 9th planet is now a dwarf planet. They learned the order of the planets and neat little facts about each one. They loved learning about Jupiter and its famous hurricane like storm. They thought it was pretty cool that Mars is called the “red planet” due to the red dirt, dust and sky. We also learned about how there are thousands of different galaxies and how the spiral shape is the most common type. The children also learned about night and day. For this activity I had one child stand in the middle of the circle and pretend they were the sun. I then had another child pretend to be the earth. I explained to them that the Earth takes 365 days to orbit around the sun, but as it’s orbiting it is also rotating. The kids loved this activity!! During this time we talked about what stars are, the lunar eclipse, the different constellations, and about observatories. We then talked about Neil Armstrong and how if they went to the moon they would still see his footprint. Near the end of our outer space lesson the children learned about life in space, gravity, and astronauts. I showed a video of a launch and what it is like for astronauts up in space. The children loved it!!

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We then focused on the plant, butterfly, and frog life cycles. The children learned the parts of the flower, what plants need to grow, and the purpose of the stem. We also had fun placing celery stems into dyed water to show how plants drink through their veins. We also had fun learning about the different stages of the butterfly and what metamorphosis was all about. Lastly we learned out the different stages of the frog with amazing books and videos!

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Also, during this month we celebrated Grandparents Day in our classroom. The grandparents were able to come in and join us for a special line time, music class and then a craft. It was such a special day for the children.

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With the last two weeks remaining, the children had a blast learning about different insects. The children discovered that insects have six legs but spiders and other arachnids have 8 legs. The children were also able to learn the life cycle of the butterfly and find out why bees are so important to us. We also had fun discussing ladybugs and other beetles. During the last week of school the children learned about who invented ice cream, watched a video about how ice cream is made, learned all about camping. Also during the last week we had an ice cream party and a mock camp out with s’mores! Wow what a week we had!

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I can’t believe how fast the school year has gone by. I have truly enjoyed watching my kiddos grow throughout the year. I will miss them so very much. Also, thank you to all of my families, for everything that you have done this year. I wish the best of luck to those families who are going to new schools and look forward to seeing everyone else next school year! Have a great summer!!!

Academic Enrichment lesson with kindergarten students (Mr. John)

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

Ms. Ame’s Corner  

Art: This month Michelle started off with her summer themed art. The students started by making their very own monster ice cream cones. The students designed their own scoops, cones and toppings making some very interesting desserts! The next week the students used oil pastels and water colors to draw a swimtastic picture. Michelle asked the students to draw a picture of a popular summertime activity, swimming! Because she started the year off with butterflies, Michele wanted to end the year with butterflies. Using their cutting skills the students folded a paper in half then cut out a butterfly. Michelle talked about symmetrical and asymmetrical things in the classroom. After cutting out the butterflies, the students then colored them using either warm or cool colors. Thank you Miss Michele for a wonderful and creative school year!

 

Music: Ms. Lisa spent the first two weeks in May preparing the students for different activities and songs to sing on Grandparents day. We continued to learn and review different notes. Ms. Lisa has some clever pictures to help the students. Then we also practiced clapping and tapping out different patterns using the different notes. Grandparents day was fantastic. We hope all the grandparents enjoyed Ms.Lisa’s class. On our final day of music, Ms. Lisa incorporated all the favorites from the year. This year the students learned so much about notes, rhythm, singing, musical terms, identifying noises (both instrumental and common sounds) and had a wonderful time playing Ms.Lisa’s musical games and instruments. Thank you so much Lisa for another wonderful year!

 

Science: Mr. John’s first experiment of the month was making gloop! Using glue, water and borax, Mr. John made a substance that turns from solid to liquid depending on the amount of pressure is being put against it. His second experiment was a popping sensation. Mr. John took 2 balloons, one filled with only air and the other with water and air. He then put the balloons over a candle flame. Check in with your student to see what happened to both balloons! At our last science class with Mr. John (insert dramatic crying sounds here), Mr. John did a tea bag experiment. Taking an empty tea bag and unwrapping it, what happens when you set it on fire? Mr. John rolled it into a cylinder, lit the top on fire and then it started to burn. When it was almost burnt all the way to the bottom the burning tea bag floated into the air like one of the lanterns in Tangled. Then as it floated up it extinguished itself. Why did it float? Ask your student or look at Mr.John’s paper with the experiment that was sent home in your child’s folder. Thank you Mr.John for another science filled year! The kids loved all the crazy experiments. Can’t wait to see what new one’s you’ll come up with next year!

 


Ms. Kate’s April 2016 Newsletter

Good day, mates! Spring is finally here! I love seeing the warm sunshine and the colorful flowers in bloom! This month has been super busy getting ready for the International Festival and learning about all of the different continents and countries. The children also enjoyed our guest speakers from different backgrounds and cultures.

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(taste testing Chinese food)

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During the first week, I introduced the seven continents to the children by showing them our continents puzzle. We discussed the four main countries in North America, including The United States of America, Mexico, Canada, and Greenland. The children also learned about our flag, which consists of 13 horizontal stripes, which are red, white, and blue and represent the first colonies and states in the union. The flag also has 50 stars, which represent the 50 states in the Union. The children also learned about Christopher Columbus, the climate, and cultures of North America. We also discussed South America and their famous Andes Mountains, The Amazon, and the Rainforest. The children really liked learning about the four layers, which are the forest floor, the understory, the canopy, and the emergent layer.

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The third week we focused on Asia. We discussed how Asia is the largest continent in the world. We mainly focused on China, Japan, and India. The first few days we learned about China. The children were able to see pictures of the largest Buddha, which is carved in the side of a cliff in china. It took workers about 100 years to carve! They also saw pictures of children at school, the beautiful mountains, their parades that they have when they celebrate new years. The children enjoyed learning about the Huang River, which is the third longest river in the world. It is also called the Yellow River because the yellow soil turns the river waters yellow. They also learned about their traditional clothing, families, and how most Chinese people live on farms and work in fields called Paddies. We also went over how they do not have an alphabet, but instead a symbol called a character. And lastly, we went over traditions, schooling, and how reading short stories or folktales are very popular. The second country we talked about was Japan. We discussed the weather and seasons, cultures and traditions, school and family, and also about country and city life in Japan. The children also learned about their food and how they have fun.

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We also focused on Russia, the Philippines, and Lebanon. We learned that in Lebanon’s mountains were thick with cedar trees, and the evergreens were highly valuable because they were used for ships and a place for worship. The cedar trees than became the national symbol. We also learned about the different kinds of plants and animals that can be found, how to say hello and goodbye, all about their daily life, and their schooling. It was very interesting to learn how pretty much everyone in these countries all lived in huts and apartments and that the whole family lived together under one roof. The children also had fun learning about all the different flags from each country and what they represented.

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(taste testing Chinese food)

Lastly, we learned about Australia, The Land Down Under. We had fun learning about their different traditions they celebrate, the animals that can be found, like the Emu, kokkaburra, koala, platypus, and the kangaroo. The children also learned about the Australian flag, the Great Barrier Reef, the beautiful different landscapes. And also about the Outback. We had so much fun this month learning about all of the different countries. The children also worked very hard practicing all of their lines and songs! I can’t wait for the International Festival!

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

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Who thinks adverbs are difficult…our kindergartners don’t!

The kindergarten class count to ten in 27 different languages. Some of them are English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic w/the Lebanese dialect, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croation, Hindi, Flemish/Dutch, Malay, Cebuano, Turkish!

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Ms. Ame’s Corner 

Science
Mr. John started off the month with dancing spaghetti! Mr. John had water and vinegar
in a tall pitcher. Then he added cooked spaghetti. The students then created their own
hypothesis on what would happen when they added baking soda. The baking soda and
vinegar created carbon dioxide gas causing the spaghetti to “dance”.
The next week Mr. John did another creative experiement with packing peanuts. We use these when we
move to keep breakables safe. What happens when we throw them away and they get
wet at the junkyard? Check out the papers to see what happens and why!
Art
In Art Ms.Michelle started the month off with Australia aboriginal animal art. The
students talked about different Australian animals and traced them in pencil on their
paper. Then they used colors traditionally used by Aborigines and outlined and defined
their animals. These willbe displayed at the international festival!
The next week we made bugs out of recycled materials or trash. The students used trash for the body and
eyes and then pipe cleaners for the legs. The next week the students were able to paint their
creepy creatures. Please start taking home any art off our cart over the next few weeks
and check backpacks for art creations!
Music
Ms. Lisa brought ber piano in this month for students to practice. They learned that the
pattern of the black keys are 3 black and then 2 black. They also focused on listeing to
high and low sounds during their favorite game, Cat and Mouse. Students also got a turn
playing on the piano. Students currently taking piano lessons performed pieces they had
learned outside of school.
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One week, due to Festival rehearsals we had a group music lesson
with the whole class. We worked on rhythym using tbe rythym sticks and sang some of
Ms. Lisa’s clever interactive songs. Don’t forget about the CDs Ms. Lisa sent home
earlier in the year. These CDs have many of the songs we sing with her in class!

Ms. Kate’s May/June 2016 Monthly Overview

5/02: Plant and Butterfly Life Cycle

  • Exploring a plant and butterfly’s life cycle
  • Variety of activities that show a plants growth
  • Parts of a plant
  • Parts of a butterfly

Afternoon Group Lesson: Variety of fun books, activities and crafts having to do with plant and butterflies.

5/:09 Sea Life

  •  Warm water vs. cold water and types of fish in each environment
  •  Sea creatures, different types of Fish
  •  Coral Reef
  •  Sink and float science experiments

Afternoon Group Lesson: Variety of fun books, activities and crafts having to do with sea life.

 

5/16: Outer Space

  •  The planets in our Solar System
  •  Facts about each planet
  •  What is Gravity?

Afternoon Group Lesson:  Variety of fun books, activities and crafts having to do with outer space.

 

5/23: Outer Space

  •  Constellations, the Sun
  •  History of the space shuttle, Kennedy Space Center
  •  Astronauts, Neil Armstrong

Afternoon Group Lesson:  Variety of fun books, activities and crafts having to do with outer space.

 

5/30: All About Insects

  •  What makes an insect?
  •  How are insects different than spiders?
  •  All about bees and ladybugs!

Afternoon Group Lesson: Variety of fun books, activities and crafts having to do with insects.

 

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

5/04- 6/01: Review

 

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

5/02: Bee
5/16: bright
5/23: blue
5/30: sun

 

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.
  •  Make fish sugar cookies together! Read Rainbow Fish and create an underwater scene in your child’s bedroom (use blue saran wrap to cover the windows and create fish out of paper).
  •  Visit the aquarium in Cleveland. Create a story about all of the Fish and Mammals you saw!
  •  Make a telescope out of paper towel rolls, tape, markers and crayons. Talk about the constellations you see!

Ms. Kate’s March 2016 Newsletter

March was a busy month for us. The children had fun talking about Dr. Seuss, learning about different artists, and exploring the Rainforest. We also had fun celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day.

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The first week was all about Dr. Seuss. Throughout the week the children came to school dressed in crazy & mismatched socks and hats and Wacky Wednesday! The first few days we concentrated on rhyming activities; the first activity was a rhyming ball game. I placed different words onto a ball and the children had to throw the ball to one another. When a friend caught the ball they were able to pick out a word and identify another word that rhymes with it. The children loved this activity! During the second activity, I wrote out a number of sentences from The Cat In The Hat and placed note cards at the end of every other sentence. The children had to guess what word was under the note card that rhymed with the last word of the sentence. I was super impressed at how well they knew the rhyming word! Throughout that week we went down in the kitchen and cooked green eggs and ham and then had a taste test. We then graphed who liked what better. For the last activity we focused on four sight words, “I, and, the, & that.” Four students came up at a time. As I was reading The Cat In The Hat my four friends had to keep a tally on the sight words that we were looking for. At the end of the book we counted up the tally marks to see which sight words were used most in the story. At the end of the week the children made a Cat In The Hat hat to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday. It was a very fun week!

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The theme for our second week was, Art Appreciation. This week we focused on different artists and their works. The children were able to create their own works from the artists they learned about. The first day we learned all about Claude Monet. We discussed landscapes and why he chose to only draw them. We also learned about oil pastels and how to blend them. The children then created their own landscape while using oil pastels. On the second day, we discussed Pablo Picasso and his different Periods. The children learned about his Blue period and how he was very sad. We also talked about his Rose period where he fell in love and became very happy and all of his paintings were a rosy hue. We then went over his angry period, where all of his paintings were a bit scary. I showed them how he would drew faces in a different way and how all of his drawing were different. The children then drew self-portraits of themselves, cut their pictures up and created their own Picasso with Ms. Ame. The next thing we learned about was Vincent Van Gough. The children learned the history behind his art, they were also able to explore his different paintings and why he painted certain paintings the way he did. The children then created their own 3D Sunflower portrait! They also had a lot of fun learning, exploring, and doing different types of art with Ms. Ame!

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Then we had fun exploring the Rainforest. The children learned about the four layers of the rainforest which are The Forest Floor, The Understory Layer, The canopy Layer, and the Emergent Layer. The children learned about which animals and creatures lived in which layer. We also went over the insects and animals they would find and why they are becoming extinct. Throughout this lesson we also talked about things that we use that come from the rainforest such as wood for our furniture, fruits, coffee beans, and rubber to make rubber bands. For the preschool lesson, Ms. Ame did awesome rainforest art projects! We also had a very special leprechaun visit our room. The children had so much fun going on a shamrock hunt and finding all of his gold coins he left for them!

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The last week of March we had fun learning about our five senses. The first day the children learned about hearing and how the ear works. We also listened to an awesome cd that played different environment sounds where the children had to guess what the sounds were. We then learned about touch and the children had to place their hand in the mystery bag and guess the item that they were touching. We also had fun learning about taste where the children got to taste something sweet, salty, sour, and bitter! We then played a take away game that explained all about sight, and lastly the children had to place a blindfold on while smelling different smells such as bananas, vanilla, lemon , peppermint, orange, and cinnamon. I loved seeing all the children’s facial expressions!

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I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe spring break! See you in April!

Academic Enrichment | Kindergarten
In March we began our focused reading groups for our kindergarten students.  Kindergarten students are meeting with Ms. Kate on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Students read through a classic work of literature, discuss and have activities each week. These activities have included dramatizations, creative writing and art projects. It has been a wonderful program, our students are gaining so much!

Ms. Kristen begins our afternoon academic enrichment lesson with handwriting lessons and practice.  Students have been doing wonderfully!

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.

The kindergartners started their section in Language. We will be learning about the parts of speech until the end of the year. We went over vowels/consonants, and nouns and verbs. A noun is a person , place, or thing. A verb is an action word or something you do. We the learned 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.

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, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, Malay, Hindi.

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 it. One week she brought in her keyboard and the students identified the animals with their instrumental sound. They acted out each part along with the music. Ms. Lisa also demonstrated with her various instrumental sounds for the students to recognize. She also reviewed the Baby BumbleBee song, ask your student to sing it with you at home. Ms. Lisa brought her synthesizer piano another week and had the students listen and guess the different noises it could make. We also played one of the students favorite games, Cat and Mouse. This game has the students listening to different sounds to know when their animal can enter the house. The students also got a chance to play the white and black notes on the piano, what a treat!

In Science last month Mr. John had the students participate in some fun experiments that had the students using their scientific thinking skills. He started the month off with a groovy lava lamp experiment. Mixing water, food coloring and oil, Mr. John created a lava lamp! Then the students created a hypothesis about what would happen if they added an alka seltzer tablet. Ask your student what happened to the bottle. On St. Patrick’s Day Mr. John did an experiment exploring surface tension. The students came up with a hypothesis of what food coloring would do in milk,and what would happen when soap was added. Before Spring Break Mr. John did an experiment with corn startch and water. The students created a hypothesis about what would happen. The 2 mixed together created a substance that was liquid when there was no pressure,but when squeezed it turned into a solid! 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 taught the children about art from around the world. This month all of our art will be used at our International Festival. Please leave these wonderful creations on our art rack. Michelle started with India. The students colored an intricately designed elephant while taking turns having their hands cut out of clay. Using water colored with the spice turmeric, the students decorated their clay hand mimicking Hena designs. Ms. Michelle also took the kids on a trip to parts of North America and introduced them to Native American weaving. The students worked on creating their own weaving project with some help. The weaving was a little difficult for our tiny fingers, so it took a couple weeks to finish this project. Look in the hallways as Ms. Michelle will be displaying her weekly art projects along with a description.


Ms. Kate’s April 2016 Monthly Overview

What I will learn in class this month (in addition to Montessori Work Time…)

4/04: All About North America

  •   Introduction to the seven continents
  •   North America: countries, culture, climate
  •   United States, the flag and it’s history, Christopher Columbus
  •   South America: countries, climate, culture, landmarks, The Equator, The Andes Mountains
  •   The Amazon/What is found in the Rainforest (animals, products we use that come from the rainforest)

 Afternoon group lessons: Various fun crafts with Ms. Ame

4/11: Asia

  • China- Learning the different greeting, customs, and traditions. Having fun with different crafts from China, and learning about their flag
  • Japan-learning the different greetings, customs, and traditions. Learning about their flag and having fun with crafts from their country
  • India and Thailand. Learning the different, greetings, customs, and traditions. The children will have fun doing various crafts and dances from these countries.
  • Asia: countries, culture, climate, languages and cuisine. We will cover historical landmarks like the Great Wall of 
China, and locating natural landmarks like the Himalayan Mountains on a map.

Afternoon group lessons: Variety of activities and crafts about the different countries.

4/18: Asia

  •   Russia: Learning the different greetings, customs, and traditions. Having fun with crafts from their country
  •   Lebanan: Learning the different greetings, customs, and traditions.
  •   Turkey: Exploring Turkey through books and videos. Learning their different greetings, customs, and traditions.
  •   Philippines: Exploring this beautiful place through books. Learning about their different greetings, customs, and traditions.

 Afternoon group lessons: Having fun learning about the different states of the USA.

4/25: All About Australia

  •   New Zealand : Learning about their different greetings, customs, and traditions. Aslo learning about landmarks and climate, and cuisine.
  •   Tonga: Learning about their different greetings, customs, and traditions.
  •   Fiji : Learning about their different greetings, customs, and traditions.
  •   Somoe: Learning about their different greetings, customs, and traditions.

Afternoon group lessons: Flags of the world.

*For the month of April, we will be concentrating on preparing your child for the International Festival and will resume letters and rhyming words of the week in May.

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.
  •   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, please practice your line at home too!

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!