Kate’s Corner – August-September Newsletter 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

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.

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Throughout this month the children have been praising one another during work time and helping each other when they see someone using a work 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 works little by little to the children. I want the children to feel comfortable and have an understanding of the different works 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”. The children then choose some of the words they created and turned them into sentences. 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 rainbow. The second lesson was called The Friendship Fish. We read the book Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. We then created our own “Friendship Fish.” The children were each given a scale and they wrote down the qualities they thought a friend should have. Giovanni said, “ I want someone who is nice.” Anabelle then said, “ I want someone who is funny,” and Anelise said, “I want someone who will listen to me.” After everyone shared their qualities they were able to tape their scales to the fish. 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.

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The last week was all about our families. We first lead a discussion on what they think a family is. Annelise said, “ My mommy and daddy.” Jackson 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 traditions 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.

Ashley’s Enrichment Corner
This month was a very exciting month for our students as they were able to start attending enrichment classes! Mr. John leads our science enrichment and he taught the kids about density by testing if an egg will float or sink in salt water. The children danced and sang with their music teacher, Ms. Lisa. During their time with her they learned many new interactive songs and were also able to try many new instruments. Our art teacher, Ms. Michelle, taught the children about the primary colors, mixing and making different colors, working with tissue paper, and learning about different artists! I wonder what fun and educational activities will be in store for us next month?!

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October 2014 Monthly Overview

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

09/29: All About Apples

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

Preschool lesson (afternoon) We will be reviewing the letter “Ee” and will learn the ASL sign for “E.”  Students will be making different apple crafts.

10/06: 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

Preschool lesson (afternoon) We will be reviewing the letter “Ff” and will learn the ASL sign for “F.” Student will be making different farm crafts and learning about farm animals.

10/13: All About the Fall

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

Preschool lesson (afternoon)  We will be reviewing the letter “Gf” and will learn the ASL sign for “G.” Students will enjoy fun fall crafts. 

10/20: 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.

Preschool lesson (afternoon) We will be reviewing the letter “Hh” and will learn the ASL sign for “H.” Studets will be learning all about pumpkins and will enjoy making pumpkin crafts.

10/27: History of Halloween

  • History of Halloween
  • Halloween themed works, activities and lots of fun!
  • Halloween Party Friday, October 31st!

Preschool lesson (afternoon) We will be reviewing the letter “Ii” and will learn the ASL sign for “I.” Students will enjoy Halloween crafts, activities and will even write their own Halloween story.

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
09/29: Ee
10/06: Ff
10/13: Gg
10/20: Hh
10/27: Ii

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
09/29: And
10/06: He
10/13: She
10/20: Has
10/27: For

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 farm
  • Go on a “Fall Walk” together. Talk about what colors you see, the sounds you hear, and what the air smells like. Collect leaves 
and take them home for 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.

Kate’s Class Overview – September 2014

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

8/26‐
09/06 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.

Preschool Lesson: Craft and Activities to reinforce the Letter A sound. ASL sign for A.Role modeling and practicing classroom rules and safety

9/09: Friendship

  • Work on social skills/ how to develop friendship
  • What are good qualities in a friend?
  • How do friends build community?
  • Create together a class web of friendship words

Preschool Lesson (afternoon): Craft and activities to reinforce the letter B sound. ASL sign for B. Learning about friendship and kindness

9/16: 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.

Preschool Lesson (afternoon): Craft and activities to reinforce the letter C. ASL sign for C. What is a family, learning about our families

9/23: Family

  • What is a family
  • Graphing our families/ family celebrations
  • Create a family tree together (Due Friday 9/27/13) 


Preschool Lesson: Craft and activities to reinforce the letter D. ASL sign for D. Pumpkin themed crafts and activities

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

8/26: Aa

9/03: Bb

9/09: Cc 

9/16: Dd
9/23: Ee 


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

8/26: the

9/03: to

9/09: are 

9/16: and
9/23: we 


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.

Kate’s Corner – May 2014

 

Cuyahoga Falls School

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!

The first two weeks we explored the animals of the ocean. We began by defining mammals. I explained 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 discussed were the dolphin and whale. The children learned 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 they live in groups of ten to twelve and 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 group of mammals in the sea we discussed was whales. The children learned whales breathe like us and they can only stay under water for a short period of time and then they have to come up for air by using their blowhole on the top of their heads. They also learned there are two types of whales: the Baleen and the Toothed whale. The children were interested in what whales ate and how fast they can swim. Together we looked through books and found out that whales can swim up to 30 mph and that baleen whales eat krill and toothed whales eat small fish along with other small mammals. The last mammal of the sea we discussed was the Manatee. The children discovered manatees were first seen 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!!

1196We 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 interesting 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.

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We also learned how there are thousands of different galaxies and how the spiral shape is the most common type. The children 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!!

We then focused on the plant life cycle. 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. The children also examined inside of a lima bean and then placed the seeds into a baggie to watch them grow. They had such a great time learning about plants!

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

I can’t believe how fast the school year has gone by. I have truly enjoyed watching my students 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!!!


Ms. Kate’s Corner – April 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

Bonjour! Spring is finally here! I love seeing the warm sunshine and the colorful flowers in bloom! The month of April was spent 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.

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.  1100-1The 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; their famous Andes Mountains, the Amazon, and the rainforest. The children really liked learning about the four layers of the Rainforest, which are the forest floor, the understory, the canopy, and the emergent layer.
1097The second week I introduced Africa. 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. As our time on Africa came to a close we went over the animals, people, language, music, and housing of Africa.
1098The 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.
1095 The first few days we learned about China. The children were able to see pictures of the largest Buddha, which is carved in the side of a cliff in China. It took workers about 100 years to carve! They also saw pictures of children at school, the beautiful mountains, their parades that they have when they celebrate 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 reviewed 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. Students also enjoyed gaining knowledge about country and city life in Japan. The children also learned about their food and how they have fun.1099During the third week we explored the country of India. 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 transpiration, their traditional dressings, family life, and education.1110We spent the last week of April practicing our lines and songs and making special crafts for our International 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. 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 exploring Spain, the children learned the history behind the Running of the Bulls and Flamenco dancing and were able to watch a short video on these. Although the month was very busy I really enjoyed teaching the children about the different countries. I loved showing them 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!


Ms. Kate’s Corner – March 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

March was a busy month for us. The children had fun talking about Dr. Seuss, learning about different artists, and exploring the Rain Forest. 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, 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. 1070The children loved this activity! During the second activity, I wrote out a number of sentences from The Cat in the Hat and placed note cards at the end of every other sentence. The children had to guess what word was under the note card that rhymed with the last word of the sentence. I was super impressed at how well they knew the rhyming word!  We also played a noun game this month.  Students were introduced to the symbol used to label a noun (black triangle). We would begin the game by pulling out our large black triangle. I would ask them to, “find me pencil.”  They then went to explore the room for that noun to place on our black triangle.  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!

1068Some of our students began to take off with our grammar farm this month.  The grammar farm is used to teach parts of speech. Students build a sentence (noun, verb, adjective, article etc) using the objects on the farm. They have really enjoyed working with this new material in the classroom.

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 drawings were different. The children1067 then drew self-portraits, 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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The last week we explored the Rain Forest. The children learned about the four layers of the rain forest 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 rain forest such as wood for our furniture, fruits, coffee beans, and rubber to make rubber bands. For the preschool lesson, Ms. Ashley did awesome rain forest 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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Ms. Kate’s Corner – February 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

This month was super busy for our classroom. Throughout the month of February we learned all about community helpers! The children really enjoyed doing a variety of activities and having special guests visit our classroom. Some of our visitors included a nurse, geologist, dentist, a toy designer, and a police officer!

During the first week we lead a discussion about what a community helper was and what they do for us. Next, we brainstormed all of the community helpers we could think of and jotted our answers down on chart paper. The following day we did an activity called, “Helping Hands Writing Chart.” Each child 
1032was given a paper hand and was able to write out a community helper and what they do for us. The children were then able to decorate their hand and hang it on the wall. Over the next couple of days we talked about Doctors and nurses and what they do for us, tools they use, the different places they can work and the clothes they have to wear. Also, during that time we had a special nurse visitor come in and show the children the different tools they use and the her job at the hospital. We also went over the similarities and differences between a veterinarian and doctor. During that week I presented how to address an envelope and we practiced together. 

1037The second week was all about police officers, fire fighters, stranger danger, and “stop, drop, and roll.” The first book I read was a special book about police officers and what they do for us. We then added onto our web about the things  we learned so far. Ainsley said, “They have to have a partner so that they can be safe when they go out on calls.” Riley said, “They have people that dress like us called detectives,” and Zachary 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!  The next day we had a special Police Officer visitor! He came in and talked to the children about his job, and the different tools that he uses. He then passed around all of the different items that he has to carry on a daily basis. He was very informative with the children. 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. 
1048The 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!!

1035The third week we had two special visitors. The first day was all about nurses. One of our parents came in and talked about what a nurse does, the different places a nurse can work, and the different tools they use. She then shared her stethoscope and the children were all able to come up one by one and listen to their heartbeat! The second visitor we had during the week was a toy designer. This parent came in and talked to the children about how a toy is designed and where they are produced. It was interesting to see all of her sketches and then her final products. As you might guess, the children loved playing with her toys! 
1033The 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 breakfast. 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. Our last visitor was a geologist. During her visit she talked about rocks and how they are formed, where you can find rocks, and the many different kinds out there. She then read the children a book about the ten rules for picking out the perfect rock. She then gave each child a small pile of rocks and they were able to pick out two rocks that were their favorite. It was a really awesome visit and the children loved it!!!
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A big thanks to all of the parents that came in and talked to our class about their careers. It was very interesting and our students learned a lot!! 


Ms. Kate’s Corner – January 2014

Cuyahoga Falls School

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 materials and our different practical life activities!

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

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During that week the children conducted two science experiments. The first was an experiment to determine how such a heavy animal like a whale could stay afloat. This activity reinforced how salt water is denser than fresh helping objects stay afloat. The second experiment was all about blubber. We took two zip lock bags filling one with lard and then covering with the second bag. The children stuck their hand inside the bag and dipped it into ice-cold water. We observed that our hands 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.

The second week sparked a lot of interest in the children. We learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We began with an activity called “Being Treated Equally.” Before I lead the discussion I passed out a snack to just the boys ONLY. 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 shared that a man named Martin Luther King stood up so that all were treated equal! I loved this activity because I think it really got the children interested in who he was and what he stood for. 

1001The 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 thought each egg woul look like on the inside. Almost all of them said the brown egg would be brown in the inside. I then cracked open both eggs 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 on the outside but we think and feel the same things on the inside! It was an awesome activity!! The next day we discussed Rosa Parks and the bus boycotts, freedom marches, sit-ins, and the civil rights movement. We also listened to a song called “We Shall Overcome,” a powerful song about what Martin Luther King wanted for himself and others. After the song, we brainstormed some hardships or changes they have overcome or will have to in life. 

Next we completed “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!

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

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


Ms. Kate’s Corner – November_December 2013

Cuyahoga Falls School

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

During the first week, the children learned about the different types of clouds we see such as cumulus, stratus, cirrus, and cumulonimbus.  Students were able to look out the window everyday and talk about what clouds they saw that day. It was such a great lesson because the children really enjoyed learning about what they saw! Throughout that week we discussed the different types of weather we have here in Ohio and across our nation. During line time we learned about how a tornado is formed, what happens when other states have hurricanes, and how much snow you can get in a blizzard! Students also learned how rain and snow are formed inside the clouds, strong winds are called gusts and light winds are called breezes. The last day we read a great book about rainbows. The children learned how a rainbow is created and the color order, ROYGBIV! Wow, we had such a busy week!900

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

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

915The last week was all about dinosaurs! The first day we discussed the different dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus Rex, Briancosaurus, Stegosaurus, Apaosaurus and the Brontosaurus. We talked about their size, length, and what they ate! The next day the children learned about herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. I explained to the children that a paleontologist can tell if the dinosaur was a meat eater or plant eater just by looking at the fossil print of their teeth. The children also loved hearing that herbivores had to eat certain rocks so that the plants could break down in their stomachs.916

Throughout the rest of the week we focused on fossil finding, the concept of extinction, and the time period dinosaurs came to be. Our preschool friends had so much fun finding fossils, painting the different dinosaurs, learning new and exciting songs about dinosaurs and exploring different books with Ms. Ashley!

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I love December and 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  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!

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“Joyeux Noel” is how you say Merry Christmas in French. In France, the traditional Christmas Eve meal, Le Reveillon, means 943“waking up” and includes many courses. 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 their foods. They turned out fantastic! The following country we had fun with was Italy. The children had a blast with 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 found it funny when they learned after English children wrote their letters to Santa they 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!

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Ms. Kate’s Corner – October 2013

Cuyahoga Falls School

I can’t believe how fast the month of October went by. Our class was very 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. Then we grouped the apples by size and color. Throughout the week we talked about Johnny Appleseed. We discussed how he was a pioneer who traveled throughout the American frontier by planting apple seeds. 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 all 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. Ashley! 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 Fuji 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 come from a farm. On the second day the children tasted chicken, ham, bacon, eggs, and turkey. It was funny to see all of the children’s reactions while they tasted some of these foods! The following day we talked about how not all farms are the same, and that some farms only have vegetables and fruit. The children enjoyed tasting apples, oranges, strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers! 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 he can get all of their farm chores done before the day is done. On the last day I read a book about all the different types of machinery found on the farm and their purpose.

859The 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. Ainsley shouted out ” It makes the leaves green!” I explained to them that Ainsley 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, our theme was pumpkins! 860This 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.

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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!