Ms. Kristen’s March 2016 Newsletter

The month of March has been very busy in our classroom. We learned about Dr. Seuss, Space, and all about our state of Ohio. The children also enjoyed celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and wearing green and celebrating having the most Box Tops with Silly Sock Day and a Pizza Party! We also had a blast on Pajama and Show and Tell Day!

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During the first week, we had fun learning all about Dr. Seuss. The children enjoyed reading “ The Cat In The Hat”, “ Horton Hatches The Egg” , and “ The Alphabet Book”. The Cat In The Hat even came for a visit to our classroom! He showed us how to make Cat masks and read to us from his book! The children also learned that Dr. Seuss’ real name was Theodore Seuss Giesel. We also learned that Dr. Seuss lived near a Zoo as a child, which is where he began to think of all of his imaginary creatures in his stories!

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During week two and three, we enjoyed learning all about Outer Space. The children enjoyed learning all the names of the planets in our solar system, learning all about the phases of the moon, and all about constellations. The children also enjoyed watching footage of the first moon landing and they also enjoyed making their own constellations using stickers with Ms. Kim!

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We learned all about Ohio during week four! The children learned our state bird, the Cardinal. We learned that the male cardinals have bright red feathers, while the female Cardinals have more brown, dull feathers in order to camouflage themselves and to protect their nest. We also learned that our state capitol is Columbus, and that our state tree is the buckeye tree. We also talked about how our state is a small piece of our country and our city is a small piece of our state.

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For St. Patrick’s Day, the children also enjoyed making a shamrock craft with Ms. Kim and reading a story about how St. Patrick’s Day became a holiday. The children really enjoyed decorating their shamrock with Lucky Charms! Also, when the children arrived at school that day, we discovered that a tricky leprechaun had made a mess in our classroom!

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During the last week of school, the children had a lot of fun hunting for Easter Eggs outside! Ms. Kim placed Easter eggs all around the playground, and the children enjoyed trying to find them. And let me tell you, those eggs were packed full of candy!

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

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

We capped off our lessons in geometry by learning our geometric solids (Cube, sphere, cone, rectangular and triangular prisms, ovoid, ellipsoid, cylinder, square and triangular based pyramids.

The kindergartners started their section in Language. We will be learning about the parts of speech until the end of the year. We went over vowels/consonants, and nouns and verbs. A noun is a person , place, or thing. A verb is an action word or something you do. We the learned there are three articles. They are A, An, The. We learned rules when we use those articles. A hooks up with consonants, an hooks up with vowels, and the hooks up with anything.

The Kindergartners now can count to 10 in twenty six languages…English (that is our native language), Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Hebrew, Swedish, Korean, Polish, Hungarian, and Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, Malay, Hindi.

 

Enrichments (Ms. Kim)

Music
In music this month the children sang hello to Tina the Turtle, Freida the Frog, Jerry the Giraffe, and Bernie the Bernard! We finished up the story, Peter and the Wolf, by listening to the sounds of the instruments on Ms. Lisa’s keyboard. When Ms. Lisa played the sound of an instrument on her keyboard, the children guessed what character from the story it was. We also acted out the characters for fun! The children spent a lot of time this month learning about the sounds and keys of the keyboard. Ms. Lisa showed the children where the high and low sounds on the keyboard are located. We then learned the difference between smooth and jumpy sounds. Next the children noticed that the keys on the keyboard are black and white, and then got to play them!

Science
For our first experiment, Mr. John poured colored water into a liter bottle. Then he added vegetable oil. The vegetable oil stayed on top because oil and water do not mix. Next he asked the children what would happen when he added Alka-Seltzer tablets. Would it bubble a lot or a little? Well we saw it bubble a lot because the Alka-Seltzer tablets created carbon dioxide bubbles when they hit the water. These bubbles floated to the top where the oil was, but then went back down because again the water and oil do not mix. It almost looked like a lava lamp!

For our next experiment each child received a bowl of milk. Then Mr. John went around and added different colors of food coloring to the milk. The children were told not to mix the colors. Next each child received a cotton swab that had been dipped in dish soap. When we were ready, the children carefully dipped the cotton swab into the colored milk. We saw the colored milk quickly move away from the cotton swab and create a rainbow. The milk moved away quickly because the dish soap broke the surface tension.

Art
In art we continued to create projects for our upcoming International Festival. At the beginning of the month we made hands out of clay that we painted henna designs on. Ms. Michele and I helped the children cut their hands out of clay. When the clay hardened they painted with a special paint to make a henna design on them. We learned that in India henna designs are popular.

For the rest of the month, the children worked on a yarn weaving project. We learned that Navajo Indians are excellent rug weavers. The Navajo use wool from sheep for their weavings. The children were given a small cardboard loom with string and yarn to weave. Ms. Michele reminded the children to weave over and under or under and over! It is amazing to see the focus and concentration our young students have for this project!

 

Finally:
I would encourage you to review with your child what they have learned this past month. Read a Dr. Seuss book together and ask your child to point out some of the rhyming words. Discuss with your child the name of our planet, continent, county, state, and city. Practice naming the planets together and discuss which one you and your child would visit if you could. Ask your child to sing the Planets Song they learned this month as well!

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Maria Montessori was quoted as saying, “ The child becomes a person through work.” I am enjoying seeing how your children continue to grow in their independence, laying the foundation for the adult they will one day become. I am so fortunate to have front row seat to watching each of these wonderful children learn and grow and I considerate a joy to come to school and learn alongside them every day!

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Ms. Kristen’s April 2016 Monthly Overview

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

 

4/4: Introduction To The Continents

-The location of the continents on the globe.
-Using the Continent Map Puzzle to locate the continents.
-Major countries of each continent.
-Landmarks, indigenous animals, and weather of each continent.
-Learning the Montessori Continent Song.

4/11: All About North America

-Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of the United States
-Making a rain stick craft.
-Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Canada
-Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Haiti.
-Learning all about Costa Rica and making a Blue Morpho Butterfly craft.

4/18: North America (Cont.)/ All About South America

-Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Jamaica.
-Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Panama.
-Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Brazil.
-Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Argentina.
-Making a rainforest craft and a La Boca House collage.

4/25: All About South America ( Cont.)

-Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Peru.
-Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Chile.
-Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Equador

International Festival practice!

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

4/4: Aa
4/11: Cc
4/18: Rr
4/25: Tt

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

4/4: and
4/11: can
4/18: rag
4/25: the

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

Try making a new recipe as a family from a country we’ve discussed in South America.

Discuss with your child their favorite animal that they learned about in the Amazon Rainforest.

Practice identifying the continents on a map of the world with your child.

Practice with your child the name of our planet, continent, country, state, city, and their address.


Ms. Kristen’s February 2016 Newsletter

The month of February was very busy in our classroom! We learned about types of transportation, all about arctic animals, our Presidents (past and present), and all about dental health! We also had fun celebrating Valentine’s Day! Thank you to all our parent volunteers and helpers, and especially Ms. Kim for making our party such a success!

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During the first week of February, we discussed trains, boats, buses, and trucks and other forms of transportation. The children especially enjoyed the “ Sink or Float” experiment in afternoon group time. We also discussed which forms of transportation go in land, air, and water. We also discovered that the children are very interested in boats, and had many questions about them! We discovered there many way to get from one place to another!

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We learned about many different types of arctic animals during the second week of February. The children learned how many arctic animals have a layer of blubber underneath their skin and how is keeps them warm at night. They also learned the male Emperor Penguins take care of their eggs while the female Emperor Penguins go and search for food. The children also enjoyed learning about Arctic Wolves, Polar Bears, and Beluga Whales. The children especially enjoyed making a Penguin craft with Ms. Kim during afternoon group lesson.

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During week three, we learned all about Presidents. We discussed the president’s job is to be the leader of our country. We also learned about the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. We also talked about George Washington and how he was the first President of the United States. We also learned that George Washington’s picture is on the quarter and the dollar bill.  Abraham Lincoln’s picture is on the five dollar bill and the penny. Some of the children also took it upon themselves to write the names of the presidents in order during work time. 

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We learned all about dental health during the final week of February. When we are young, we only have twenty teeth! Later, when we become adults, we have twenty-eight-thirty two teeth! We also learned the proper way to brush our teeth and what foods are healthy for our teeth. The children also enjoyed making a craft with Ms. Kim during Preschool lesson where they made a mouth with construction paper and marshmallows for teeth! The children also enjoyed a visit from a dental hygenist, who taught us how to brush our teeth and why we don’t need to be scared when we go to the dentist.

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Academic Enrichment Afternoon Lesson with Mr. John
We started out the month introducing addition using beads.  The introduction of beads shows the kindergartners a solid correspondence between the symbol and quantity. I also showed the students what tools could be used in their own classroom to help with addition, such as the table top rods, color bead bars and addition strip board.  We briefly touched upon addition with exchanges (carry over’s).  We then touched briefly on multiplication.  I explained multiplication is simply adding multiple times.  Introduced fractions the last week of the month. We learned that we can divide anything as long as it can be divided into equal parts.  Even our kindergarten class.  We divided our class from girls/boys.  Mr. John’s, Ms. Kate’s, and Ms. Kristen’s class, and eye color.

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                    Multiplication Equation

We then learned about different shapes.  We knew that a triangle has three sides but we learned that a triangle with three equal sides is called an equilateral triangle, with two equal sides is an isosceles, and with no equal sides it is called a scalene triangle. Any shape with four sides is a quadrilateral.  Some examples include a square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezoid, and a chevron.  We realized that the Greek language was very important when learning about the pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon.

The Kindergartners now can count to 10 in twenty six languages…English (that is our native language), Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Hebrew, Swedish, Korean, Polish, Hungarian, and Tagalog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano.

 

Ms. Kim’s Corner:

In music class this month the children sang hello to Alley the Alligator and Frieda the Frog. We reviewed the musical words for loud, soft, slow, and fast! To review the story, Peter and the Wolf, we acted out the characters in the story. Once the children heard the musical instrument, they acted like the bird, duck, cat, wolf, Grandpa, or Peter! We remembered this story very well. Next, we reviewed the whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes. The children clapped the beats of the notes first. Then Ms. Lisa had the children use rhythm sticks to practice these notes in songs like “Grandfather Clocks” and “Yankee Doodle.”

 

Our first science experiment this month required a can of Coca-Cola and a can of Diet Coke. The children made hypotheses on what would happen to each can of soda when dropped into a tank of water. Would they sink or float? We discovered that the regular can of Coca-Cola sank and the Diet Coke floated. Mr. John explained that the regular can of soda has real sugar which is denser, so it sinks.

Our next experiment involved Bran Flakes cereal and magnets! Mr. John mixed the Bran Flakes cereal and the water into a plastic Ziploc bag. He explained to the children that the cereal contained the metal iron. The children made hypotheses on what would happen when a magnet was rubbed over the cereal. We saw black spots when the magnet was rubbed over the cereal. These black spots were the iron. So yes we eat metal!

Our last experiment of the month was called, “Dancing Raisins”. Mr. John asked the children what they thought would happen when raisins were dropped into a glass of ginger ale. Most of the children said that the raisins would either sink or float. Well we were surprised when the raisins sank but then floated back to the top! In ginger ale, there are carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles grabbed onto the raisins and carried them to the bottom, but once the bubbles popped the raisins floated back to the top.

 

At the beginning of the month, Ms. Michele read the students the book, The Snowy Day. Then they created a snowy day picture by first gluing down cotton balls as snow. Next they drew themselves playing in the snow. As a final touch, Ms. Michele let the students sprinkle on a little glitter on their snowy pictures.

Next the students created art that would get them thinking about the International Festival. Ms. Michele had the students watch a video on the Chinese New Year. In this video there was dragons and lions dancing to celebrate the new year. Ms. Michele had the students create a lion or dragon by decorating two already glued paper cups. They got to be creative and put feathers, construction paper, pipe cleaners, crayons, markers, and eyes on these creations!

 

Lastly, please take time to practice with your child what they are learning here at school. Ask your child about their favorite President of the United States. Take a trip to the Zoo to visit some of the artic animal, such as the Polar Bears and Penguins, and discuss which one is their favorite and why. Practice good dental hygene with your child by practicing brushing their teeth correctly with them. Take a trip on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad together as a family.

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Maria Montessori stated , “If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind?” I am so proud to be part of a school where we teach not only letter sounds and and numbers, but a sense of order, concentration, coordination, and independence. These qualities are the most important skills a child can learn at an early age, and I love watching your children grow closer to mastering these every day! I am so proud of all of our students hard work this past month and I consider it a privilege to be their teacher!

 

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Ms. Kristen’s March 2016 Monthly Overview

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

2/29: All About Dr. Seuss

-Discuss Dr. Seuss and his life.
-What makes a rhyme?
-Cat In The Hat Craft
-Read “ Oh The Places You’ll Go”.-Discussing where we would like to travel, if we could travel anywhere in the world.
-Read Green Eggs and Ham.

3/7: All About Outer Space

-Learning all about the Moon.
-What is a Star?
-Dicovering the planets in our solar system.
-Learning all about Astronauts and their job.
-Learning all about the constellations.

3/14: Continue Learning About Space

-Learing about the Space Shuttle.
-Watching the Moon Landing.
-Who was the first person in Outer Space?
-What is a Dwarf Planet?
-Testing a real telescope.

3/21: All About Ohio

-What makes a state?
-Famous sites in N.E. Ohio.
-Learning about our state flag.
-Learning about our state bird, insect, and flower.
-Graphing how many of us live in Akron, Stow, Cuyahoga Falls, etc.

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

2/29: Qq
3/7: Bb
3/14: Ww
3/21: Zz

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

2/29: Quick
3/7: Bud
3/14: Was
3/21: Zip

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

  • Read a Dr. Seuss story with your child. Point out the rhyming words. Writing your own story with rhyming words together!
  • Visit the Planatarium at the Natural History Museum in Cleveland.
  • Practice your address with your child. This is very important for them to start learning early!
  • Discuss with your child which planet they would like to visit and why.

Ms. Kristen’s January 2016 Newsletter

January was so much fun! The children were so happy to come back after Christmas Break and begin working in the classroom! I know Ms. Kim and I missed them as well!

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During the first week of January, we reviewed our classroom rules. We were reminded of how to carry a tray, how to walk on the line, how to roll up our rugs, etc. This was a great reminder coming back from a two week break, and a great introduction to our classroom for our new friends. Our returning friends were a great help to our new friends when it came to teaching them the rules of the classroom.

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During the following week, we learned about Peacemakers. You might have heard your child talking about what it means to be a Peacemaker at home. We learned that a Peacemaker is someone who is kind, who helps others, who does not hurt others, who uses kind words, and does not argue with others. We talked about great Peacemakers, such as Maria Montessori, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and Mahatma Ghandi.

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During week three, we learned all about Nutrition and Healthy Eating. We learned about the Food Pyramid and what foods are “Grow Foods” and what foods are “Junk Foods”. Ms. Kim also read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carl to the children. They also enjoyed making their own model of the “ My Plate” food pyramid.

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We also learned all about the Five Senses, during the last week of the month. The children enjoyed learning about the parts of the ear and how we are able to hear. They also learned about our sense of sight as well. To illustrate how important our sense of sight is, Ms. Kim placed many different objects in the middle of our circle during preschool lesson and each child took turns guessing which object Ms. Kim removed from the middle of the circle. What a great way to practice our observation skills! We also popped popcorn in an air popper. We learned that when making and eating popcorn, we can use all five of our senses. The children enjoyed describing what they heard, saw, smelled, tasted, and felt while making and eating the popcorn!

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Academic Enrichment with Mr. John (Kindergarten Students):

This month we started our section in Math.  We explored about the unit (ones), ten, hundred, and thousand columns.  The kindergarteners composed numbers, and were introduced to addition with and without carry overs (static).  Kindergarten students across all the classrooms in our Academic Enrichment lesson can count to 10 in twenty different languages (English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, and Welsh Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, and Cebuano).

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Enrichments (Ms. Kim):

Music
This month the students sang hello to Allie the Alligator, Tina the Turtle, and Ellie the Parrot. Ms. Lisa spent time teaching the story Peter and the Wolf. Each character in the story is represented by a musical instrument from the orchestra. As soon as a musical instrument was played, the students could state whether it was the bird, duck, wolf, etc. We also did a tambourine dance and moved our bodies to the motions in the song! Lastly, we listened to Beethoven’s Rage Over a Lost Penny. After listening to the music, we searched the room for objects Ms. Lisa had hid.

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Science
In science this month we did experiments that involved sinking, floating, and surface tension. During our first experiment, Mr. John had the students drop one peeled orange and one unpeeled orange into a tank of water. We discovered that the peeled orange sank to the bottom because the air bubbles are allowed to escape. The air bubbles in the unpeeled orange keep the orange afloat. Our experiment with surface tension had two glasses of water. One glass also had dish soap. The children made hypotheses on what a piece of paper would do in each. We discovered that the paper in the dish soap sank to the bottom because the surface tension was weaker. The dish soap weakened the hydrogen bonds in the water.
Art
Ms. Michele spent this month having the children make their imaginary creatures. This project is broken up into steps. The first week the children drew what their imaginary creature would look like. The second week they molded their imaginary creature with clay. The third week they painted the clay. Ms. Michele baked the clay in the oven before the children painted. What a project!
Finally, I hope you will take time to explore what we’ve learned with your child at home as well! When cooking, playing, eating, or taking a walk outside, discuss with your child which of their five senses they are using. Review with them what it means to be a Peacemaker, and ask them how they can be a Peacemaker at home. Take time to find a healthy recipe to make together as a family.
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In conclusion, I want to thank you for letting me serve your children. Maria Montessori believed that we, as directresses, are mainly observers and servants of the child. She believed this so much, that she credited the children she worked with when she said, “It is not true that I invented what is called the Montessori Method. I have studied the child, I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it, and that is what is called the Montessori Method.” I consider myself blessed to be a observer, student, and servant of your child, and it is a true joy!


Ms. Kristen’s February 2016 Monthly Overview

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

2/1: Transportation

-What is Transportation?
-Discuss trains and how they operate.
-Discuss airplanes and how they fly.
-Learning about buses and how they take us different places.
-Discuss boats and how they are able to float on the water.

2/8: Polar Pals/ Valentine’s Day

-Discussing Penguins – What they eat, where they live, etc.
-Learning about Polar Bears- Where they live, how they stay warm, etc.
-Discussing Beluga Whales- Where they live live, what they eat, etc.
-Discussing Seals-Where they live, how they stay warm, what they eat, etc.
-History of Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s activities.

2/15: Presidents

-Discussing Abraham Lincoln and his life.
-Learning about George Washington, the father of our nation.
-Learning about our current president, Barack Obama
-Learning about the American Flag, and what the different parts symbolize.
-Discussing the Pledge of Allegiance and what the words mean.

2/22 Dental Health

-Discuss Dental Health
-Lean what foods are healthy for our teeth.
-Learn the parts of the tooth.
-Why do we loose our baby teeth?
-Learn about the job of a dentist.

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
2/2: Kk
2/9: Gg
2/16:Mm
2/23:Oo

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
2/1: Kid
2/8: Go
2/15:Me
2/22:Off

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

-Make Valentines together with your child. Have them sign their own name to the cards.
-Practice saying the Pledge of Allegiance with your child at home.
-Practice teeth brushing with your child. Make a healthy snack together as a family that will promote dental health.
-Practice the letter of the week with your child by playing “I Spy”. This is a great way to help them learn initial sounds. Remember to focus on the sound of the letter and not the name of the letter.


Ms. Kristen’s December 2015 Newsletter

The month of December has been full of fun and merriment in our classroom! The children have enjoyed learning about the weather, the different parts of the orchestra, and about different symbols of the holiday season. We had a blast!

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During the first week of December, we learned about weather. The children enjoyed talking about the job of a meteorologist how it is their job to scientifically predict the weather. Ms. Kim and I also had the children keep track of how many sunny, cloudy, rainy, and snowy days there were that week. Sunny days actually won out for a change! We did not expect that in the month of December! Ms. Kim also conducted an experiment with the children about how clouds are formed and why it rains, using cotton balls.

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During the second week in December, the children learned about the different parts of the orchestra. They learned that all instruments belong to a “family”, such as String, Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion. The children also enjoyed listening to sound clips of the different instruments in our parts of the orchestra work, and placing the cards in each family of instruments from the highest sounding instrument to the lowest sounding instrument. The children also enjoyed making a book of all of the instrument families as well with Ms. Kim during Pre-school Lesson. I even brought in some instruments for the children too look at and identify such as a ukulele, a recorder, and a xylophone. The children also enjoyed listening to the music of Bach as well while playing the Silence Game.

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During week three of December, we focused on preparing for the Christmas Show. We also made candy cane ornaments with Ms. Kim. The children also enjoyed making Christmas Sugar Cookies during our afternoon group time. Pajama Day was also a blast, and the children loved wearing their p.j.’s and watching movies! It was a well deserved rest after all of their hard work so far this year!

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Academic Enrichment | Afternoon Lesson with Kindergarten Students:
Children love animals and I enjoy teaching the children about different types of animals. This month we started discussing mammals. I chose mammals because we are mammals. We learned that mammals have hair or fur, are born alive, and drink mother’s milk when first born. We learned that mammals are warm blooded (their body temperature remains constant) and that they are vertebrates (have spines). We learned that dolphins and whales are mammals and that the bat is the only mammal that can fly.Then we slithered our way into discussing reptiles. We came to the conclusion that the snake is the most popular reptile. We learned reptiles are cold blooded, vertebrates, lay hard shelled eggs, and have dry scales. Lizards, snakes, and turtles topped the list of reptiles.

We hopped into our discussion of amphibians. We all agreed that the frog was the most popular amphibian and that amphibians are cold blooded and vertebrates. We also learned that their skin is moist and soft and that they can live on BOTH land and water. Amphibians lay eggs but the eggs have no shell but are like jelly. We found that frogs, toads, and newts were amphibians.

We swam to our friends called fish. We learned that fish are cold blooded (their body temperature changes to the temperature in their environment) and are vertebrates. We learned that most fish have scales, gills and fins, and some fish lay eggs and some fish are liver bearers (babies are born alive). We introduced a new word, “habitat”. This is where something lives and the fish’s habitat is the water. The children were thrilled to learn that the shark is a fish.

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

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

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

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

Enrichments
Ms. Kim
Music
In music this month the students sang hello to Freida the frog and Penny the pony. We had fun singing the Christmas songs of “Feliz Navidad” and “Jingle Bells”. To help get into the Christmas spirit we played bells and castanets. Then we reviewed the musical words for fast, medium, and slow. (allergo, andante, adagio) Lastly Ms. Lisa helped us with our songs for the Christmas show.
Science
Our first experiment dealt with sinking and floating. Mr. John showed the children a lemon and a lime. They made hypotheses on which would float and sink. Even though they look almost the same size the lemon sank and the lime floated. The lemon is more dense than the lime. Our next experiment involved peppermint candies on a plate and water. Mr. John asked the children what would happen when water was poured over the candies. Just like the skittles experiment, the dye off the peppermint ran off. The dye is water soluble.
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Art
The first week of December, Ms. Michele had the children finish their warm and cool color tile mosaics from last month. The second week Ms. Michele had the children draw their self-portraits. The children used mirrors and pencils to first draw an oval for their faces. Then they added eyes, nose, mouth, ears and eyebrows. Lastly they added details such as shoulders and hair.

I would encourage you to watch the weather report with your child. As a family, track how many sunny, cloudy, rainy, and snowy days there are for a week. Listen to classical music with your child and discuss the different instruments you hear. Find a cookie resipies to make together as a family. Make your child a part of the preparation, measuring, and baking.

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Maria Montessori stated that “ Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” As a Montessori Directress, it’s truly been my privilege to watch your children grow and learn through working with the materials in the classroom. Through their interactions with each other, I have enjoyed watching your children form lasting friendships and learn to resolve their own conflicts peacefully. I am so proud of all of their progress so far this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next have of the school year brings!

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Ms. Kristen’s January 2016 Monthly Overview

What I will learn this month in Ms. Kristen’s class…

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

1/4: Ground Rules Review
-Care of The Environment-Rolling a rug, tucking in a chair, etc.
-Grace and Courtesy-How to greet another, how to get a friends attention, how to say please and thank you, etc.
-Reviewing Classroom Rules and Manners
-Friendship Game- The children will guess who’s voice they hear to practice listening.
-Reviewing kind words and phrases.

1/11: Peace Makers
-Maria Montessori-Her life, mission, and how she was a peacemaker.
-Mother Theresa- Her life, mission, and how she was a peacemaker.
-Martin Luther King-His life, mission, and how he was a peacemaker.
-Discussing how we are also able to be peacemakers.
-Dicussing how to build each other up. Introducing a sand sculpture making activities which will teach how to give compliments
-Friday 1/15 NO SCHOOL | Teacher In Service Day

1/18: Healthy Eating
-Monday1/18 NO SCHOOL | MLK Day
-Learning about the food pyramid.
-Learning about foods that are beneficial for our bodies and what is “ junk food”.
-Learning about the differences between fruits and vegetables.
-Making a healthy snack as a class.
-Singing songs that reinforce healthy food choices.

1/25: The Five Senses
-Learning about our sense of hearing and about the different parts of the ear.
-Learning about our sense of taste and the different parts of the tongue.
-Learning about our sense of touch.
-Learning about our sense of smell. Discussing how our nose functions.

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
1/4: Nn
1/11: Vv
1/18: Uu
1/25: Xx

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
1/4: Nut
1/11: Vet
1/18: Up
1/25: Box

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

-Practice using “Please” and “Thank You” at home with your child, especially at play time or at the dinner table
-Find and health rescipie to make together as a family.
-Discuss with your child who their favorite peace maker is that they learned about in class. Discuss with your child how they can be a peace maker at home.
-Include your child in household chores. Allow them to take part in taking care of their home environment.


Ms. Kristen’s November 2015 Newsletter

The Month of November has been very busy in our classroom. We’ve learned about Families, Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for so far this year! Ms. Kim and I are especially thankful for the opportunity to teach all of your children! It’s amazing to watch them learn and grow!

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During the first week of November, the children learned about Families. We learned about all the different members of our families, we discussed what we love about our families, and the children also enjoyed sharing their family tree projects as well! The children also enjoyed making their own placemats for our upcoming Thanksgiving Feast. We also made special Pilgrim hat centerpieces to decorate our tables for the Feast!

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In week two, we learned about Turkeys. We learned about the parts of the Turkey, learned that the male Turkey “trots” or dances in order to attract female turkeys. We also learned that Turkeys can actually fly short distances. The children also enjoyed coloring Turkey themed centerpieces for our Thanksgiving Feast! I also demonstrated a parts of the Turkey three part card work, and we placed it on the shelf so the children had the opprotunity to work on it.

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We learned about Pilgrims and their journey to America the following week. We discussed how the Pilgrims came to America on the Mayflower. We learned that once the Pilgrims came to America, they befriended the Native Americans, who showed the Pilgrims how to plant crops and how to hunt for food. The children also enjoyed making Native American headdresses and necklaces to wear to the feast. We also discussed what it means to be thankful and all we have to be thankful for in our lives.

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Academic Enrichment with Mr. John (Kindergarten Students)

The kindergartners have learned how to tell time.  We ended our section of telling time by learning how to tell time to the minute.  We have done many worksheets, use flashcards, and used a toy clock with movable hands to help us learn to tell time.  Then we delved into everyone’s favorite thing…money.  We learned about coins; what they look like and how much they are worth.  The kindergartners learned how to count coins when presented with multiple coins of different denominations.  We went over bills including the ever elusive two dollar bill.  We ended November with learning the parts of plants, flowers, leaves.  And learned about the parts and characteristics of the mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird, and fish.

The kindergarten class can count to ten in 17 different languages… English, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, and Polish.

Enrichments (Ms. Kim):

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

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

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

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Finally:

I would like to encourage you to include your upcoming holiday preparations. Include your child in the preparation of your holiday meal. Play “I Spy” when you are shopping at the grocery store. Discuss with your child what they learned about the Native Americans and the Pilgrims. Review with your child what it means to be thankful and ask them what they are thankful for in their life.

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Also, I want to leave you with a quote by Maria Montessori.  She stated that we should, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”  I encourage you to let your child be as independent as possible.  They will astound and amaze you with their capabilities!


Ms. Kristen’s December 2015 Monthly Overview

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

11/30: Weather
Why does it snow? Why does it rain?
Charting the weather.
Conduct experiment about rain, using cotton balls.
Discuss dangerous types of weather, such as tornados, thunderstorms, etc.
Discuss how we dress for certain types of weather.

12/7: Parts Of The Orchestra/ Music
Learning about Woodwind, Brass, String, and Percussion sections of the Orchestra.
What is the job of the Conductor?
Listening to performances by famous instrumentalists.
Learning about Quarter Notes, Half Notes and Whole Notes.
Learning about some famous composers.

12/14: Holiday Symbols
All about Poinsettas.
All about Reindeer.
All about Evergreens.
All about Candy Canes.
Learn parts of the Poinsetta.

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
12/1: Ll
12/7: Ff
12/14: Dd

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
12/1: Let
12/7: Fit
12/14: Dog

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

-Track the weather this month with your child. How many rainy, snowy, sunny, and cloudy days will there be?
-Listen to classical music together as a family.
-Envolve your child in making Christmas cookies, or in planning your Christmas dinner.
-While decorating your Christmas Tree, discuss with your child what they remembered learning about the Evergreen, and why it is a symbol of the Holiday Season.