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.

Ms. Kate’s August/September 2015 Newsletter

Welcome back everyone! I can’t believe how fast summer flew by and the new school year is in session again. Thanks so much for those who came to “Meet the Teacher Night.” It was wonderful seeing the returning students and parents and meeting all of our new families. The first month was filled with lessons on respect, friendship, family, and all about ourselves.

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The first week the classroom was full of laughter and excitement. During our line time we discussed the rules of the classroom: that we will always respect each other, we will try our best, we are a team, we learn from our mistakes, we create, and we will always celebrate each others successes. Throughout this month the children have been praising one another during work time and helping each other when they see someone using a word the wrong way. It has been a pleasure seeing and hearing the children remembering all of the rules we have gone over. Also, during the first week I have been introducing different words little by little to the children. I want the children to feel comfortable and have an understanding of the different words when they are using them.

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Using the word “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” and “I’m sorry” were the lessons we learned while we were discussing the topic of respect. For the first lesson, we lead a discussion about when we should say “please” and why it is important to use it. The children then created a word poem based on each letter within the word “please”. Throughout the week, the children created word poems and sentences while using the other kindness words. The children have been working hard practicing using our kindness words.

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The second week we focused on friendship. We started out by discussing the meaning of being a good friend and what qualities are in a good friend. We then read the book Do You Want To Be My Friend? By Eric Carle. The children discussed the mouse’s search for a good friend and what qualities were in each friend. After the story the children were able to create a friendship chain. The second lesson was called The Good Friends Chart. We read a friendship book and then brain stormed together about all the qualities of a good friend and what that means. Giovanni said, “ I want someone who is nice.” Annelise then said “ I want someone who is funny” and Anelise said “I want someone who will listen to me.” After everyone shared their qualities we placed our answers on the chart paper . Throughout the week the children learned how playing together can foster friendships and build a community. The children then played a game called “ The Blob.” The children had to work together by linking arms and hands to capture the other friends. On the last day, our class created a “Friendship Web.” The children were able to discuss what friends should sound like when they are together, how it feels when friends are together, what it looks like when friends are together, and the qualities in a friend.

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The third week we discussed “All About Me.” We started out by reading the book Stand Tall Mary Lou Melon . We then talked about the differences and similarities in everyone’s appearance. We then created a graph about hair and eye color. The children were able to go around the room and see who had brown, black, red, or blonde hair. They did the same for eye color. The children were then able to see how everyone’s’ appearance is not the same. The next lesson the children created a bar graph about everyone’s birthday. I read the book On The Day You Were Born. We talked about how everyone’s birthday is different and that makes us unique and special. The children then decorated their own birthday cupcake. Throughout the week we made an “I’m Special Book” and played a “ How Do You Feel” game. We also had so much fun creating an “I Like” collage out of magazines, and a how many letters in my name chart.

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The last week was all about our families. We first lead a discussion on what they think a family is. Teagan said, “ My mommy and daddy.” Ella said, “My sister, mommy and daddy.” Anelise said “ My Grammy.” During the week we discussed how not all families are the same, the different houses & places families live, the tradition families celebrate, and the special things that we love doing with our family. During this week the children and families created their own family trees. On the last day, the children were able to stand up at line time and share their family tree amongst their friends. It was so wonderful to see the children and their parents work and come together to create something so awesome!

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Again, this has been such a wonderful first month back to school. I look forward to the upcoming months with all of you as we head into fall and winter.

 

Academic Enrichment (Group Lesson with all Kindergartners):
Led by Mr. John

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

The first week of school, kindergarten students started out learning about the these things called continents. There are seven of them and each has a fun fact and countries within them.  Did you know (without googling) Central America is not a continent?  My kindergarten students do!  Next we discovered that the Earth has something called cardinal directions(North, South, East, and West) or N,E,S,W=Never Eat Soggy Waffles.  We went further and found you can get more specific directions by stating something is northeast, or southwest.  With that under or belts I told the students that there are two imaginary lines that are on the Earth.  The Prime Meridian and the Equator.  If you go where these two imaginary lines are you will NOT fine a painted line.  But these lines have a purpose to divide the Earth into hemispheres.

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We took a closer look at North America(because this is continent in which we live).  We discussed the three major countries of Mexico, USA, and Canada, the location of the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and Hudson Bay.  Since we live in the state of Ohio we learned some fun facts about this great state.  The official things such as the bird, mammal, and fossil to name a few.  The K-Kids now know the surrounding states, their nickname, and abbreviation.  Ending the month we broke down where we live from biggest to smallest….  From the galaxy of The Milky Way to our individual street addresses (street not email). And everything in between!

In the beginning of our group lesson, we count to 10 in eight different languages(English, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Greek, and Japanese).  The kindergarten students can count in English, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, and Arabic with the Lebanese dialect.  Our goal is to reach over twenty languages.

Ms. Ame’s Enrichment Corner


Ms. Kate’s October 2015 Monthly Overview

What I will learn at school this month October 2015 in Ms. Kate’s Class… 

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

09/28: All About Apples

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

10/05: On The Farm

  •   Jobs found on the farm
  •   Animals found on the farm, categorizing animals into groups
  •   Food from the farm
  •   Machinery found on the farm

10/12: All About the Fall

  •   Four seasons
  •   Leaves and chlorophyll, leaf graphing
  •   Nature walk
  •   Acorns and squirrels
  •   History of the scarecrow

10/19: All About Pumpkins

  •   Properties of a pumpkin
  •   Life cycle of a pumpkin
  •   Use our 5 senses to observe/communicate about pumpkins. Conduct a buoyancy experiment to discover whether a pumpkin will sink or float in water.

10/26: History of Halloween

  •   History of Halloween
  •   Halloween themed works, activities and lots of fun!


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

  • 09/30: Dd
  • 10/05: Ee
  • 10/12: Ff
  • 10/19:Gg
  • 10/26:Hh

Rhyming words for the month of October:

  • 9/28: ball
  • 10/5: book
  • 10/12: tree
  • 10/19: bug
  • 10/26: boo!

Ms. Ame’s afternoon group time 

  • During this time Ms. Ame will reinforce the calendar, Spanish, weather, letter,and rhyming word everyday. She will also be incorporating fun crafts,lesson,stories,songs,and videos about apples,fall,pumpkins, and the farm. Don’t forget to check your child’s folder to see what fun they are having with her:)

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 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!
  •   Make a collage from pictures in magazines of items you would find on a farmGo 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 September 2015 Monthly Overview

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

8/26‐
09/04 Rules of the Classroom/Respect

  • 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.
  • Create a kindness quilt to help students think about and how to show acts of kindness.

9/07: 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 word
  • Second line time: Going over calendar, weather, and Spanish words and numbers. Friendship lessons and crafts!

9/14: All About Me!

  • Our similarities and differences
  • I’m special because…
  • Our Birthdays
  • Identifying our emotions
  • Starting on Monday Ms. Kate will be sending home a paper bag with each of your children. Please have your child decorate their bag and fill it with three of their favorite things. Please bring back on Friday.
  • Second Line Time: Going over calendar, weather, Spanish weather and words. Having fun doing all about me activities and games!

9/21: Family

  • What is a family
  • Graphing our families/ family celebrations
  • Create a family tree together (Due Friday 9/21/15)
  • Second line time: Going over calendar, weather, Spanish numbers and words. Having fun reading books on Families, creating a family portrait, and sining songs about families.

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

  • 9/07: Aa

  • 9/14: Bb
  • 9/21: Cc
  • 9/28: Dd

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

  • 9/07: Cat

  • 9/14: Pig
  • 9/21: Ball
  • 9/28: 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.

2014-2015 May/June 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 mammals 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 that 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, Science 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 campout with smores! 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!!!

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Music

For our last month in music class, Ms. Lisa reviewed many skills we have been working on throughout the year. To review loud (forte) and soft (piano), the children played tambourines and bells during different parts of a song. We then danced with scarves to some smooth (legato) music and then popped some bubbles to jumpy (staccato) music! To practice using our listening ears, Ms. Lisa had us play a pass and roll ball game. We had to work together to keep the balls moving in circle, but had to listen carefully and stop when the music stopped! We also worked on learning whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes. Ms. Lisa had the children play rhythm sticks to “Great Big Stars” to keep the beat with the quarter notes. Another musical instrument we worked with was Ms. Lisa’s keyboard (piano). She explained to the children that the keys on the left side of the keyboard make low sounds, while the keys on the right side make high sounds. Lastly, we played the cat and mouse game to review high and low sounds. The children loved when the low sounds were played on the keyboard and the cats came out to catch the mice! Thanks Ms. Lisa for such a fun music class!

Science

In science this month we learned that we eat metal! Mr. John mixed together bran flakes cereal and water in a bag. When he rubbed a magnet over the cereal, black spots appeared. These black spots are iron. So since iron is a metal, we eat metal in cereal!

In our next experiment, we made green goo! Mr. John mixed together water, green food coloring, and Metamucil powder. The children made hypotheses on what would happen if you put the mixture in the microwave. Many of the children said that the mixture would turn to goo. Mr. John explained that once the mixture cooled down it would turn to goo because the polymers in the powder stick together.

During our last experiment we made a tea bag fly up into the air. Mr. John asked the children what they thought would happen when he lit an empty tea bag on fire. Some children said that the tea bag would melt. When he lit the tea bag, the bag burnt down a little and then flew up into the air. Why? When the tea bag began to burn it got lighter. The air around the tea bag got hot and made the paper rise.

Art

In our first art class, we studied the artist Vincent Van Gogh. We looked at the painting he did of a bedroom. Then the students created their own bedrooms out of cardstock and other art media. In their bedrooms, the children had to create two patterns.

In our second art lesson, the children got to use their imaginations and creativity to create shape animals by gluing strips of paper into different shapes and then gluing these shapes together. Ms. Michele demonstrated to the children how to glue strips of paper into circles, hearts, ovals, etc. When the children were done, they had created 3-dimensional art since the animals were not flat.

In our third art lesson, the children got to observe and paint flowers. Ms. Michele brought in pots of flowers and set them on the tables. She showed the children how she observed and then painted what she saw. She demonstrated how to paint stems, leaves, and then flowers. The children’s paintings had lots of color!

In our last lesson, Ms. Michele reviewed the color wheel. She asked the children what primary, secondary, and complimentary colors were. Then she showed the children that they would be working with pipe cleaners to create an animal. Ms. Michele twisted and bent pipe cleaners to show the children how to make bodies, eyes, and other parts of animals. Making these animals was a good way to get the students thinking about the animals at the zoo!


April 2015 Newsletter

Bonjour! Spring is finally here! I love seeing the warm sunshine and the colorful flowers in bloom! This past 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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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, which are 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 second week I introduced Africa. I explained to the children that Africa is the second largest continent next to Asia. The children learned about North Africa, South Africa, West and East Africa, and also about Central Africa. We had fun discussing their homes and how their houses are made of dried mud, stones, and sticks and how people in Central America live in villages and tend to only cook over an open fire since they do not have electricity. They also learned that the largest cities in Africa are Cairo, Egypt, Lagos, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Throughout the week the children learned about savannas, deserts, and rainforests that make up Africa. We also talked about how thousands of different kinds of plants grow in the rainforest, and how some of those plants provide food and medicine for people. At the end of our Africa lesson we went over the animals, people, language, music, and housing of Africa.

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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, and their parades that they have when they celebrate the New Year. 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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During the third week we dove into India. The children learned India is a country with seventeen official languages, races, and religions. The children loved learning that India has 45,000 plant species, some of which are not found anywhere else in the world, and that India is divided into 25 states, each with its own governor, members of parliament, and lawmakers. The children also enjoyed learning about their traditional dressings, family life, and education.

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Our last week we were super busy practicing our lines and songs and making special crafts for our festival. Amongst all of the busyness the children learned about France, Spain, and the Netherlands. The children had so much fun learning to say “good day,” “hi,” “thank you,” “thank you very much,” and “goodbye” in French. The children were able to learn about their foods, different cultures and traditions, holidays, work that they do, farming, and things to do when you visit each country. While we were learning about Spain, the children learned the history behind the Running of the Bulls, Flamenco dancing and were able to watch a short video on these. Although this month has been very busy I really enjoyed teaching the children about the different countries. I loved showing them that all countries are different in many ways but also the same. I hope you have learned a little something and see you next time! Au Revoir!

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Ashley’s Corner:

This month we have been full of continental fun. We have traveled the world through books,stories and music. We have been learning about different cultures and how they live. We were able to learn different languages through the form of music. Our many visitors took us on amazing trips through Australia, Hungry and Italy with their great stories and food.

In science class with learned about the Bubble lava experiment. You will need a clean, plastic soda bottle, glass, jar, or baby soda bottle test tub, soda bottle can of vegetable oil (the cheaper the better), Food coloring, Alka-Seltzer tablet or fizzy tablets. Now how does it work? First of all, you confirmed what you already knew… oil and water do not mix. The molecules of water do not like to mix with the molecules of oil. Even if you try to shake up the bottle, the oil breaks up into small little drops, but the oil doesn’t mix with the water. Also, food coloring only mixes with water. It does not color the oil.

When you pour the water into the bottle with the oil, the water sinks to the bottom and the oil floats to the top. This is the same as when oil from a ship spills in the ocean. The oil floats on top of the water. Oil floats on the surface because water is heavier than oil. Scientists say that the water is more dense than the oil.

Here’s the surprising part… The Alka-Seltzer tablet reacts with the water to make tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. These bubbles attach themselves to the blobs of colored water and cause them to float to the surface. When the bubbles pop, the color blobs sink back to the bottom of the bottle. Now that’s a burst of color! Your own homemade lava lamp… Now, go ahead and try this at home with your kids, I promise it will a lava fun!!

Music class has been so much fun. The kids have been exploring music notes. They are learning what they look like and what they mean. They have been going over the musical terms for fast and slow, and loud and soft. The children were able to take their knowledge and apply it to their singing and dancing. Our kids had a chance to use the egg shakers and rhythm sticks as well.They leaned some knew songs and Ms.Lisa introduced the kids to her new puppet friends, moose and puppy.

This month, Ms.Michelle had her art students make Koi Fish for their international festival. The koi fish is a Japanese fish that represent good luck and fortune. They turned out beautiful and they looked amazing at the International Festival. The next art project she did with the kids was all about the natural ingredients found on our earth. She had the children paint with mud, clay, tar, and other natural ingredients. The children used their imagination and their creations were great. The kids thought it was really neat to be able to paint with natural things you can find outside!


May/June 2015 Monthly Overview

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

5/04: 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.

5/11: 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

5/18: 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

5/25: 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

6/01: 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

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
5/04: there
5/11: your
5/18: what
5/25: now
6/1: each

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 new 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!


March 2015 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.

The first week was all about Dr. Seuss. Throughout the week the children came to school dressed in crazy & mismatched socks and hats and backwards clothes! 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 notecards at the end of every other sentence. The children had to guess what word was under the notecard that

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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. The next thing we learned about was Mosaic art. The children learned the history behind the art, why they did art this why, and the different materials people used to make a mosaic. The children then made a mosaic heart out of little colored paper squares. They turned out fantastic! The children also had a lot of fun learning, exploring, and doing different types of art with Ms. Ashley!

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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. Ashley 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 coffee grounds, pepper, a lemon slice, onions, cilantro, and cinnamon. I loved seeing all the children’s facial expressions!

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Ms. Ashley’s Corner