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!

IMG_20150408_084024.  IMG_20150408_094149

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.

IMG_20150408_094154.  IMG_20150416_094600

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!!

IMG_20150506_095440IMG_20150414_090031

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!!

IMG_20150528_131343IMG_20150408_094121

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!

IMG_20150520_090812.  IMG_20150413_134931

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.

IMG_20150519_132106

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!

IMG_20150520_133825.   IMG_20150504_132154

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!!!

 photo

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.

IMG_20150408_094133  IMG_20150408_094149

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.

IMG_20150408_094121IMG_20150408_094154

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.

IMG_20150415_082512IMG_20150416_094600

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.

IMG_20150414_090031

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.

IMG_20150413_134815IMG_20150423_091855

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!

IMG_20150427_084416  IMG_20150325_103508

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

IMG_20150203_094439   20150312_095650

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!

IMG_20150319_085400IMG_20150302_093050

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!

IMG_20150226_084831  IMG_20150302_132436

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!

IMG_20150316_085748IMG_20150317_134621

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!

IMG_20150325_103508IMG_20150324_103023  

IMG_20150323_130417.  IMG_20150312_132356

 

 

Ms. Ashley’s Corner 


April 2015 Monthly Overview

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

4/06: 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 Lesson: All about sports and fitness

4/13: Africa and Asia

  • Africa: countries, culture, climate and animals! We will also learn about some African cuisine and languages
  • Three regions of Africa (Savannah, Desert, Rainforest)
  • Nile River, Sahara Desert
  • 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 Lesson: Variety of activities and crafts about the different countries.

4/20: Australia, Antarctica and Oceans

  • Antarctica: The Arctic region, animals, landforms and plant life
  • Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic and the Southern Ocean, ocean life
  • Australia: Desert, Outback, Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef, culture and climate
  • Australian cuisine and language

Afternoon Group Lesson: Having fun learning about the different states of the USA.

4/27: All About Europe

  • Different European countries and their culture
  • Different climates, landmarks and landforms
  • Gondolas, Olympics, Running of the Bulls, Windmills, Eiffel Tower etc.
  • Highlight a few languages spoken in these countries. We will learn the days of the week in Italian and common sayings in French (Good Day, Thank You, Good Evening, etc.)

Afternoon Group Lesson: 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 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!

February 2015 Newsletter

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

feb-news3

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.

20150128_141130

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.

feb-news5  feb-news7

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 Ainsley said, “They have to have a partner so that they can be safe when they go out on calls,” Jackson said, “They have people that dress like us called detectives,” and Amelia 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!!

IMG_20150129_094315feb-news10

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.

feb-news6  Feb-news1

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.

feb-news9

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.

Ms. Ashley’s Corner 

In music class this month, the children practiced using their soft, loud, high, and low voices to sing hello to their music teacher Ms.Lisa. Ms. Lisa played music on her piano and and had the children guess which character she was playing from the story Peter and the Wolf. The children were very surprised on how much they could remember and almost guessed all the them right. They were so excited. Then Ms. Lisa played sounds you would hear in everyday life, such as a phone ringing, rain, and even thunder. The children could not believe she could play all of those different sounds on her piano. Then, the children played cat catch mouse game. The mice had to come out of their houses when the music started and then when it stopped the cats tried to chase the mice back into their houses. The kids laughed so much and had so much fun. This game reinforced high and low sounds.

Art class this month was great and the children used their imagination to explore impressionism which is a 19th-century an art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists. They studied the artist Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting. Ms. Michele even had a puppet of Mr. Monet to show the kids. She then taught the kids about how Claude Monet and showed the children some of his paintings of his work. The children then got to sit down and create their own impressionist painting using only their finger tips and paint and their creations were beautiful. They gave Mr. Claude Monet competition.

Science class this month was so much fun. Mr. John did experiments on sink or float. The first one was about to pop cans, one with sugar and one without. He then had the kids make an hypothesis on what they thought would happen. Much to their surprise, the diet soda generally floats. Why? Regular sodas are loaded with sugar, and that increases the density of the soda. Diet sodas have aspartame, and a lot less of it per volume. Kids have a lot of trouble with density as they often think that “light” things float and “heavy” things sink but with this experiment they were able to learn and determine that not to be true. They are scientists. The next experiment Mr. John did was sink or float with an unpeeled and peeled Orange orange. What orange will float and what orange will sink? The first time you put the orange in the bowl of water it probably floated on the surface, after you removed the peel however, it probably sunk to the bottom, why? The rind of an orange is full of tiny air pockets which help give it a lower density than water, making it float to the surface. Removing the rind (and all the air pockets) from the orange increases its density higher than that of water, making it sink. The children thought that was really neat in class and we encourage you to try it at home with your kids and let me teach you!


Ms. Kate’s March 2015 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)

3/02: All about Dr. Seuss

  1. Making and eating green eggs and ham together with graph
  2. Reading the “Cat in the Hat” and making a craft
  3. Rhyming word activities, mystery word activities using Dr. Suess books
  4. 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.

3/09: Art Appreciation

  1. Claude Monet and his use of pastels
  2. Pablo Picaso and his collages
  3. Jackson Pollack and abstract expressionism
  4. History of Mosiac Art and sculptures

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

3/16: Rainforest

  1. Location of Rainforest and Rainforest themed experiments, activities and crafts
  2. Layers of the Rainforest (Emergent, Canopy, Understory and Forest Floor)
  3. Animals found in the Rainforest
  4. 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. Ashley.

3/23: My Five Senses

  1. Hearing with a sound match game
  2. Sight observation and memory game
  3. Touch mystery bag game
  4. Taste test
  5. My sense of smell game

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

3/30-4/7 SPRING/EASTER BREAK

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child. 3/02: Vv

3/09: Ww

3/16: Xx

3/23: Yy

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

3/02: this


3/09: they


3/16: said

3/23: from

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

  1. 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.
  2. Make “Cat and the Hat” Cookies together! Follow this link: http://familycrafts.about.com/od/drseusscraftprojects/a/ CatHatCookie.htm
  3. Create a family portrait together using the material discussed in class (oil pastels, mosaic, etc)
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

 


January 2015 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!

Feb-news1

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 as  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.

feb-news3

During that week the children did two science experiments. 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.

feb-news10

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 girls 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 changed 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.

feb-news2

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 are 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 saw. 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 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.

feb-news4

We also did a fun project called “I have a dream hand-prints.” 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 hand-print. 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!

feb-news9

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.

feb-news8

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 among 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! I hope everyone stays nice and warm and we will see you in February!!!

feb-news6        feb-news7

Ashley’s corner

Music

The month of January was a fun packed month with learning about different instruments through the story of Peter And The Wolf. The children had an opportunity to listen to all the instruments while connecting them to the different animals in the story. They loved hearing all the beautiful sounds put into a exciting action packed story.  The children loved hearing the entire story put together and enjoyed the happy ending.

Art

This month in Art class was based on using their imagination and making their own mystical imaginary creatures. Ms. Michelle talked a lot about a famous artist that goes by the name of Yoko D’ Holbachie. He loved to take different animals and turn them into a mythological creatures. This art project was intended for the children to dig deep and use their imagination to make their own creature. They first painted their creature, then sculpted it with clay and finally painted it. It was so neat to see their great ideas used to make such an awesome piece of art!

Science

In Science class this month, Mr. John conducted a fun experiment using a diaper! First he displayed his materials: a diaper, measuring cup with water, measuring cup without water, and paper towels. Then, he placed a paper towel in the empty measuring cup, and poured three ounces of water over top of the paper towel. He asked the children to form their hypothesis and determine if they thought the water would stay in the paper towel if he turned the measuring up upside down over his head. It poured onto Mr. John’s head!  The paper towel could not hold all of the water.

Next, he placed the diaper into the empty measuring cup, and poured water over top of the diaper. Did the water stay or pour out onto Mr. John’s head? It stayed! The diaper has a special chemical that absorbs and holds water.  After this demonstration it allowed Mr. John to explain to his scientists the properties of absorption.


Ms. Kate’s February 2015 Monthly Overview

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

2/02: Coldacott Week

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

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

2/9: Community Helpers: All about Doctors, Mail Carriers, Fire Fighters, and Police Officers

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

**Valentines Day Party: Friday the 13th

Afternoon Group Lesson: Reviewing the letter of the week, the calendar and fun community worker themed activities & crafts.

 

2/17: Community Helpers: All about Construction Workers, Soldiers, Chefs and Bakers

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

*Monday 2/16– No School (President’s Day)

Afternoon Group Lesson: Reviewing the letter of the week, the calendar and fun community worker themed activities & crafts.

 

2/23: Community Helpers: Dentists, Teachers, and Veterinarians

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

Afternoon Group Lesson: Reviewing the letter of the week, the calendar and fun community worker themed activities & crafts.

 

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

  • 2/02: Rr
  • 2/09: Ss
  • 2/17: Tt
  • 2/23: Uu

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

  • 2/02: go
  • 2/09: can
  • 2/17: my
  • 2/23: this

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

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

 


December 2014 newsletter

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

IMG_20141210_140106  IMG_20141210_141511

“ Joyeux Noel” is how you say Merry Christmas in French. In France, the traditional Christmas Eve meal, Le Reveillon, means “ waking up” and includes many courses of food. The children created their own Le Reveillon menu out of magazines. They cut out foods that they would like to eat on Christmas eve night, pasted them on a folded menu they created and labeled what they glued on. They turned out fantastic! The following country we had fun with was Italy. The children had a blast doing the traditional Italian art of curling paper called Quilling. They learned that the Italians created beautiful quilled ornaments to decorate their ceppos, which is a small triangular ladder. The last country was England. The children thought it was so funny that after children wrote their letters to Santa they then threw them into the fireplace hoping that they would go up the chimney so that all their wishes would come true. I then explained to them that an English tradition included caroling from house to house and that the families would come in for Wassail. The children had fun combining cranberry juice and apple juice together and sprinkling a little cinnamon on top and going from classroom to classroom singing Christmas songs!

IMG_20141201_095624  IMG_20141201_095731

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

IMG_20141209_090114  IMG_20141210_090004

I hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday! See you in the new year!

 

Ashley’s Corner 

Music class in December was filled with a lot of fun songs and dances with Ms. Lisa. She got all of the kids into the Holiday joy of what the season brings. They sang a Varity of interactive and fun Christmas songs, such asFeliz Navidad, Jingle Bells and many others. Ms.Lisa also went over the different music notes that are used when we sing our songs. Their faces were filled with joy as they sang along. I can’t wait to see what next month of music will bring.

Our scientists had a favorite experiment this month! Mr. John made Green Goo with the kids in a fun filled science experiment. The kids got to help Mr. John pour in the ingredients (glue, Borax, green dye and water) into a bowl and watched the magic happen. The were amazed by how the mixture turned into a slimy substance that they called Goo. The kids were so excited and some kind of grossed out by the slimy green goo. Each child got to take their own bag of Goo home and enjoy it with Mom and Dad. What a fun science class we had!

Art class has been so much fun learning about many new artists this month. They learned about Kandinsky and his Concentric Circles and Pablo Picasso and his portrait of Dora Maar. The kids were able to use their own amazing creativity in drawing self portraits and had a chance to use pastels and paint. Our students are really learning a lot of their creativity and how each students art is different in a wonderful way, just they are as a person. These little artists are really starting to shine!