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.


Ms. Kristen’s October 2015 Newsletter

October was a very exciting month in our classroom! I am so proud of how well the children are working in the classroom and with the desire to learn new things every day! In October, the children learned all about Farm Life, Pumpkins, Characteristics of Fall, Bats, Spiders, and about Halloween.

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During the first week of October, the children learned all about farm life. We learned the American Sign Language words for cow, chicken , pig, horse, and cat. The children also enjoyed making home made butter from whipping cream. We put the whipping cream in a tupperware container and shook it as hard as we could until it became butter. It was delicious!

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It was all about pumpkins during week two! We learned all about the parts of the pumpkin, how it grows, and what kinds of foods we can make from a pumpkin. Ms. Kim also brought in a pumpkin to carve into a Jack-O-Lantern. The children loved scrapping out the inside of the pumpkin with a spoon. Ms. Kim and I even put a candle inside of the pupmkin and the children played the “ Silence Game” while watching our pumpkin glow. The children also enjoyed making tastey pumpkin muffins!

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During week three, we learned all about the characteristics of Fall and about leaves. We learned that in the Fall, the temperature outside becomes cooler outside and the leaves begin to change color. We also learned about the different parts of the leaf. The children also enjoyed a parts of the leaf work that Ms. Kim and I put on the shelf. The children also used crayons to make pints of leaves on paper!

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We learned quite a bit about bats during the third week of October. We learned that bats sleep during the day. We also learned that some bats eat insects while others eat fruit. The children were also surprised to learn that not all bats are blind, but those who are use echo location to find shelter and to hunt for food. The children also learned that bats are mammals, and enjoyed discovering the similarites and differences between bats and birds while reading the book “ Stellaluna”.

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Durring the final week, we learned about spiders. We learned that spider are arachnids, not insects. We learned arachnids are characterized as having a head and a thorax and eight legs. Also, we also found out that a spider’s blood is blue, because their blood doesn’t carry oxygen through their body like human blood. The children also enjoyed making their own spiders with Ms. Kim during Afternoon Group Time!

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Enrichments (Ms. Kim):

Music

In music class this month the children sang hello to Bernie the Bernard, Ellie the Parrot, Freida the Frog, and Rainbow Sparkles the Dragon! One of the first concepts Ms. Lisa taught the children was how many beats the whole, quarter, half, and eighth notes get. We practiced these notes in the song “Hot Cross Buns”. The children tapped rhythm sticks together for each note. The next skill we worked on was high and low sounds. Ms. Lisa taught the children the song “I wish I were a juicy orange”. While singing this song the children sang in high and low voices and shook egg shakers. The children also played tambourines and castanets throughout the month. Lastly we played some freeze dances with colorful scarves to sharpen our listening skills.

Science

Our first science experiment involved a liter bottle of water with a ketchup packet. When we squeezed the bottle, the ketchup packet sank to the bottom. Then when we let go of the water bottle, the ketchup packet floated back to the top. Why? The ketchup packet had an air bubble that got smaller when the bottle of water was squeezed.

Our second experiment involved special tape with a secret message written on it. (Mr. John wrote Go Buckeyes on the tape.) The children made hypotheses on whether or not the message could still be read on the tape if the tape were scrunched up. Mr. John was able to straighten the tape and the message was still there! This special tape is made with polymers. We learned that polymers hold onto each other and that’s why the message stayed intact.

Our third experiment involved rolled up construction paper secured with a rubber band (a cylinder), one single sheet of paper, and books. The children made hypotheses on what would happen when books were placed on the paper cylinder and the single sheet of paper. Most of the children guessed that the single sheet of paper would fall and the paper cylinder would stay standing. We were right! A cylinder is one of the strongest shapes and distributes weight.

Our last experiment involved dish soap, black pepper, bowls, and water. Mr. John mixed the water and black pepper together in a bowl for each child. Then he went around and let each child dip a q-tip in dish soap and then place the q-tip in the black pepper mixture. When the dish soap hit the water, the black pepper moved away. The dish soap broke the molecules that were holding onto each other which allowed the black pepper to move.

Art

Ms. Michele spent the first two weeks of the month having the children study the artist Georges Seurat. We watched a video about him and learned about his painting technique. He used the pointillism technique. His paintings look like they are made up of a bunch of dots. So to practice this, the children first drew an animal of their choice in pencil on poster board. Then they used q-tips to dot the animal in with paint.

Our next art lesson was on paper sculptures. First, Ms. Michele went over different types of lines. (dotted, squiggly, short, long, etc.) Then she showed lines in artwork and explained how our eyes “follow” the lines. Next she asked the children what a sculpture was. She explained that a sculpture isn’t flat but 3-dimensional. She then demonstrated to the children how to make paper sculptures using the lines she described at the beginning of the lesson. The children than created 3-dimensional paper playgrounds using strips of paper and gluing them down in different ways.

Finally:

I encourage you to review with your child what they have learned this month. Take a fall hike as a family and collect leaves. Review the parts of a leaf together. Try out a new pumpkin recipie with your child, allowing them to help you measure and stir the ingrediants. Discuss the fun bat and spider facts they learned with your child!

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As Maria Montessori stated, “ To aid life, leaving it free, however, that is the basic task of the educator.” It is my duty and privilege to aid your child in the beginning stages of their education!


Ms. Kristen’s November 2015 Monthly Overview

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

11/02: Family
-Learning ASL family signs.
-Sharing our Family Tree projects.
-Discuss Family traditions and celebrations.
-Discuss how every family is unique and special.
-Discuss how pets are also part of our families.

11/9: Turkey Fun
-Learning the parts of the Turkey
-Singing songs about Turkeys
-Discuss how the Turkey is a bird, based on the characteristics of birds.
-Discuss why we eat Turkey on Thanksgiving.
-Turkey Crafts and Songs

Friday, November 13th  NO SCHOOL/ Teacher In Service Day
(Parent//Teacher Conferences All Day 8am-7pm)

11/16: Pilgrims and Native Americans
-Who were the Pilgrims? Who were the Native Americans?
-Learning about Pilgrim life.
-Learning about how the Native Americans helped the Pilgrims.
-Working on our costumes for the Thanksgiving Feast.
-Working on our center pieces for the Thanksgiving Feast.

11/23: All About Thanksgiving
-Discussing the foods we eat at Thanksgiving.
-Discussing what it means to be thankful.
-Finish preparing our costumes for the the Thanksgiving Feast.
-Finish preparing our centerpieces for the Thanksgiving Feast.
-Singing songs about Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Feast 11/25 (11:00‐12:00pm) 12:00pm Early Dismissal (No Aftercare)
Thursday/Friday NO SCHOOL—Enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!

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

11/02: Jj
11/09: Ee
11/16:Hh
11/23: Nn

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

11/02: Jig
11/09: Egg
10/16: Hop
11/23: No

Things to do at Home this Month to reinforce our themes:
-I encouage you to include your child in the preparation of one of the dishes for your Thanksgiving meal. Look up a new reciepie and include them in measuring, backing, serving, etc.

-Discuss with your child their favorite family tradition or celebration.

-Include your child in everyday household chores, activities, and errands. Montessori believed that in order for the child to best adapt themselves to their environment, they need to go out and participate in everyday activities in the world around them.

-Discuss will the child what they learned about the first Thanksgiving. Ask them about the foods they learned were served at the first Thanksgiving, and make a comparison to what is on your Thanksgiving table.


Ms. Kristen’s August / September 2015 Newsletter

It has been a wonderful first month of school! I have enjoyed getting to know each and every one of the new children in our classroom, and seeing how our returning students have grown over the summer. We had lots of fun learning all about Classroom Rules, Grace and Courtesy, getting to know our friends, and all about Community Helpers. One thing Ms. Kim and I have noticed that is popular in our classroom are the reading and writing materials! We may have a bunch of future authors and journalists in our classroom!

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During the first week of school, we learned all about the ground rules of the classroom. The children learned to roll and unroll a rug, how to carry a tray, how to place our work back in the place where we found it, etc. We also learned how to use Grace and Courtesy in the classroom. We also learned to say “please” and “ thank you” and to say “excuse me”. Mastering these ground rules at the beginging of the year will aid the child in mastery of other classroom materials throughout the rest of the school year.

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 During the second week of school, we learned all about Good Manners. We learned how to say “Please” and ” Thank you”. We learned kindness means to treat others the way we would want to be treated. The children also enjoyed playing a game where they passed a ball during Afternoon Group time. Before they could receive the ball, they had to say, ” May I please have the ball?” and, once they received the ball, the children practiced saying ” Thank you”.

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We learned all about each other during week three. The children enjoyed playing the ” Baby Picture Guessing Game”, where they guessed which baby picture belonged to whom. The children also discussed when their birthdays were, their favorite things, making bar graphs of our hair colors and how many boys and how many girls in our class. The children are also practicing recognizing their first and last names. We’ve also started working on learning our middle names during roll call as well.

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During the final week of September, we learned all about Community Helpers. The children really enjoyed learning all about those who help the community, such as firefighters, police officers, nurses, etc. We enjoyed a visit from my father, who is a retired journalist. The children learned how important it is to know what is going on in our community, and how journalists help give us that information.

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The children also enjoyed a visit from Liam’s godmother, Mary Beth, who is a nurse. We loved hearing all about her job as cardiac nurse and even were able to see how an AED works!She also shared with us how her husband is a firefighter, and the children were also able to try on a real firefighter’s hat!

The children were so excited to receive a visit from Dante’s father, Officer Nick! He shared with us all about the work of a police officer. He discussed how police officers help keep us safe and make sure we follow the rules. He also gave the children “badges” and had them take the “Junior Police Officer” pledge!

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

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

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

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

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

Enrichment Corner
by Ms. Kim

Music
In music class, Ms. Lisa starts off every lesson by having the children sing hello to one of her animal puppets. This month the children sang hello to Jerry the Giraffe, Ally the Alligator, Bernie the Bernard, and Nemo the Fish! One of the first concepts Ms. Lisa taught the children was fast vs. slow. The children danced slow and then fast with colorful scarves to music. The next concept the children were taught was high vs. low sounds. During a horse game, the children pretended to be horses in stables. When the high sounds were played on CD, the children played bells. When the low sounds were played on CD, the children played tambourines. To further practice high and low sounds, the children used rhythm sticks to pretend to play violins, flutes, and tubas! All this month, the children practiced singing the song “1, 2, 3…Little Indians.” They shook maracas and egg shakers, and even practiced playing an instrumental in this song.

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Science
Our first science experiment involved baking soda, vinegar, and balloons. Each child took a turn shaking baking soda out of a balloon into a bottle of vinegar. When the baking soda mixed with the vinegar, the balloon filled up. We found out that when the baking soda and vinegar mixed, a gas called carbon dioxide was formed which filled up the balloon.

Our next science experiment taught us the concept of density. We took two eggs and dropped one in a cup of salt water and one in a cup of water without salt. The children made hypotheses on whether the eggs would sink or float. Each time we tried it, we found that the egg dropped in salt water floated and the egg dropped in water without salt sank. This was because the salt water was more dense than the egg and pushed the egg to the top.

Our next experiment on density involved colored water and vegetable oil. We first filled a bottle with colored water. Then we poured vegetable oil on top. The children made hypotheses on what would happen when we shook the bottle. Every time we shook the bottle, the water and oil did not mix. The oil is less dense and will always float back to the top.

Art
Ms. Michele started off the school year teaching about the artist Eric Carle. She showed the children Eric Carle’s technique of tissue paper and different textures. The children got to create their own tissue paper butterfly like Eric Carle. On the tissue paper, the children crayon rubbed different textures using different materials. When the children were done, they had some colorful butterflies filled with design!

The following week we learned about the artist Piet Mondrian. We learned that he used primary colors (red, blue, yellow), shapes, and lines to create art. The children first made houses by gluing down black strips of construction paper onto white paper. Then they painted inside the shapes of the house using the primary colors.

Next we learned about the local artist Don Drumm. We watched a video about how much of his art is around the city of Akron. We used primary colors in paint squeeze bottles. The children squeezed the paint onto plastic bags to create colorful designs. We discovered that if we mixed two primary colors together we would get a secondary color!

Finally:

I encourage you to practice with your child what they are learning in the classroom. Have them practice how to dial 911 and discuss what consitutes an emergency. Practice writing their name in cursive with them. Play “ I Spy” using initial sounds. Work with your child on memorizing their birthday.

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A quote from Maria Montessori states, “ We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master.” It is truly my pleasure to serve your children and to be their guide, and I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for our class!

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October 2015 Monthly Overview

What I will learn at school the Month of October in Ms. Kristen’s Class…

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

09/28: Down On The Farm
Learning ASL farm animal signs
Learning what animal live on a farm
Life cycle of the chicken
Making butter, learning about other foods made from milk
Sink or float experiment with eggs

10/5: All About Pumpkins
Learning all about the parts of the pumpkin
Discuss what we can make with Pumpkins
Decorating a white pumpkin in class using crayon
Taste testing Pumpkin Pie
Learning the Poem “ Five Little Pumpkins”

10/12: All About Fall
Discuss the characteristics of Fall
Shading over leaves to make prints
Leaf sorting
Poems and Songs about Fall and Leaves
Parts of the leaf

10/19: All About Bats
Learning the parts of the bat
Reading “Stellaluna”
Learning about echolocation, and how it helps certain species of bats see
Ven Diagram comparing bats to birds
Making a “bat cave”

10/26: All About Spiders/ Halloween
Learning the parts of the spider.
Discuss the ways spiders are helpful .
Discussing the difference between arachnids and insects.
Learn about the spider life cycle.
Poems and Songs about Halloween.

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

9/28: Pp

10/5: Yy

10/12:Ss

10/19: Ii

10/26: Review of All Sounds-Learn ASL Signs

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

9/28: Pig

10/5: Yes

10/12: Sit

10/19: It

10/26: Pie

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

  • Take a fall hike together as a family. Have your child point out the changes they see around them.
  • Ask your child to show you some of the ASL signs they’ve learned for farm animals.
  • While reading to your child, point out the sight words they are learning this month.
  • Pick out a pumpkin together with your child. Discuss with them what they have learned about how pumpkins grow, what foods we can make with pumpkin, etc.

Ms. Kristen September 2015 Monthly Overview

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

8/24: Grace and Curtesy / Ground Rules

-Learning Control of Movement-Rolling A Rug, Carrying A Tray, and Carrying A Chair.
-Learning Grace And Curtesy- How to Introduce Yourself, How To Say Please And Thank You, How -To Interrupt Another.
-Learning classroom rules.
-Discussing what it means to be kind to others and what are “kind words”.
-Making a “Kind Words Chain” in pre-school lesson.

 

8/31: Grace And Curtesy/Ground Rules

-Reading the book, “ The Bear That Was Chicken” and discussing with the children how they felt -before coming to school and how they feel now about school.
-Lessons on saying “Excuse Me”, “I’m Sorry”, and “ Thank You”.
-Singing songs and playing game to review what we’ve learned about classrroom rules and manners.
-Having the children write our classroom rules and display them in the classroom.
-Read the book “ There’s A BirdOn Your Head”. Discuss how to speak to someone when we’re frustrated.

 

9/7: All About Me

-“ Who’s Baby Picture Is This?” guessing game. (Be sure to send in a baby picture of your child with them this week.)
-Disccussing what makes each of us special: hair color, eye color, likes and dislikes, our birthdays, our names, our emotions, etc.
-Graphing our differences such as hair and eye color.
-Practicing saying our full names.
-Learning our birth dates.

 

9/14: All About Apples

-Read the story “Little Bear’s Star”- Story about an apple.
-Sorting apples by size and color.
-Learnging the fractions of one whole and one half using an apple.
-Taste testing different color apples and making a graph, as a class, of our favorites.
-Learning the Apple Life Cycle.

 

9/21 All About Community Helpers

-All About Firefighters and Police Officers
-All About Doctors and Nurses
-All About Construction Workers
-All About Transportation Workers
-What Is A Community Helper?

 

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

8/24: Aa
8/31: Cc
9/7: Rr
9/14: Tt
9/21: Review Of All Four Letters

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

8/24: at
8/31: cat
9/7: rat
9/14: tap
9/21: Review All Four Sight Words

 

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.

-Discuss with your child what they learned about Community Helpers. How can your family help our community.

-While reading to your child, point out the sight words they are learning this month.

-Find a fun apple recepie to try as a family. Let yor child practicing measuring the ingrediants, assemble the ingridiants, etc. Discuss with your child the other things that can be made with apples.


2014-2015 May-June Newsletter

The months of May and June were very exciting in our classroom! We learned all about Insects, Dinosaurs, Reptiles and Amphibians, Mammals, and Summer Safety. We also had a very exciting field trip to the Akron Zoo to experience up close the different types of animals we had learned about!

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During the first week, we discussed all about Insects. We learned insects have six legs. We also learned that all insects have a head, thorax, and abdomen. We also learned about the process that caterpillars go through in order to become a butterfly, called metamorphosis. The children also enjoyed making their own time line of the process of metamorphosis as well.

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The following week we learned all about Dinosaurs. The children learned there were some dinosaurs that ate meat (carnivores), some dinosaurs who ate plants (herbivores), and some dinosaurs who ate both plants and meat (omnivores). We also learned Dinosaurs were reptiles. The children also learned all about Tyrannosaurus Rex and that his name means “ Tyrant Lizard King”. We also learned about Stegosaurus and enjoyed making a Stegosaurus craft with Ms. Kim during afternoon group lesson.

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We learned all about Reptiles and Amphibians during week three. We learned that Reptiles are cold blooded and most live on the land ( the alligator and crocodile being the exception). We learned that Amphibians can live both on the land and in the water. The children enjoyed learned about the parts of the turtle and learning about the life cycle of the frog as well. The children learned that frogs start off as an egg, then they grow into a tadpole after they hatch. The tadpole then grows into a froglet and then the frog becomes an adult.

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Mammals were the topic of discussion during week four. The children learned that mammals are warm blooded, give birth to their babies, usually have hair or fur on their bodies, and they drink milk from their mother’s bodies. The children enjoyed making a lemur craft and a mammal booklet with Ms. Kim during pre-school lesson as well. We also learned that we are mammals too!

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The last week of school was all about Summer Fun and Safety. We learned all about how to be safe around a campfire, and Ms. Kim brought in S’mores as a special treat! We also learned we should wear our helmets when riding our bikes or skate boards, when it is alright to call 911, we should not talk to strangers, and what is safe to touch in our house and what is not.

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This summer, I encourage to you discuss with your child the safety rules of your home and rules for also being safe in your neighborhood. Discuss with your child what their favorite animal was that they saw at the zoo. Take a trip to the Natural History Museum in Cleveland and see the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton up close.

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Enrichments (Ms. Kim)

Music

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

Science

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

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

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

Art

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

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

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

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

 

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In conclusion, I want to thank you and your children for making this such a wonderful school year. Your children inspire me every day and have shown me so much unconditional love. It’s because of them that I love getting up and going to work every day! Thank you for the precious gift of your children! I can’t wait for what the next school year has in store for us!


April 2015 Newsletter

The month of April was very busy in our classroom! The children continued to delve into experiencing other cultures and customs, worked very hard on their lines and songs for the International Festival, and we also even learned about the Ocean.

During the first week of April, we learned about the continents of South America and Africa. We first learned that the continent of South America contains the Amazon Rain Forest as well as the Amazon River. The children also learned about the African Savanah and the many animals that reside there, such as lions, impalas, and African Elephants. The children also enjoyed making African necklaces with Ms. Kim during Preschool!

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We studied the continents of Europe and Asia during the second week of April. The children enjoyed learning about France and tasting croissants during Preschool Lesson. They also enjoyed learning about Ireland’s green countryside and many castles. We then traveled to Asia where we dove into Japanese music and how songs in Japan were originally composed using only five notes! I even brought in my xylophone to demonstrate for the children the difference between Japanese music, and the style of music we are used to hearing as Americans. We also learned that Japan was formed over time due to the eruption of several volcanoes. We also enjoyed making our own volcano in class!

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During week three, we traveled to Australia. We learned about Aboriginal Art and discussed the many animals found in Australia, such as kangaroos, wallabies, and wambats. We even had a special speaker come and visit us to tell us all about her trip to ” The Land Down Under”.

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The final week, the children enjoyed learning all about the Oceans. We learned the names of all the oceans, which are Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. I think this was a favorite unit, as the children were excited on the first day to name as many animals as they could that live in the ocean. We learned that not only fish live in the ocean, but mammals such as Orca Whales and Dolphins live in the ocean as well and breathe oxygen from the air, just as we do! The children also enjoyed making a crab craft during preschool lesson with Ms. Kim.

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Enrichments (Ms. Kim)

Music

We were happy to see Ms. Lisa back from her trip! She had traveled to El Salvador on a missions trip. She shared with us pictures of the land and the children she worked with. Then Ms. Lisa played us a song that she had used in El Salvador. It was in Spanish, but she told us it means “I Have Joy in My Heart” in English. The children played tambourines to this joyful song. We also reviewed forte (loud) and piano (soft) in different ways. I (Ms. Kim) got to play in on the fun. I pretended to be asleep while the children walked around me singing in their piano voices. Once the music was loud, the children used their forte voices to wake me up! In addition, Ms. Lisa used rhythm sticks to review soft and loud. We tapped them loudly then rubbed them softly to different parts in a song. We then reviewed whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes. Lastly, we learned some new musical vocabulary. Staccato means bumpy and legato means smooth!

Science

Our first science experiment involved a bottle of colored water with vegetable oil and Alka-Seltzer tablets. The children made hypotheses about what would happen when the Alka-Seltzer tablets were dropped into the bottle. When Mr. John dropped a tablet into the bottle, the tablet dissolved but bubbles were created that floated up and down. We found out that when a tablet dissolved, carbon dioxide bubbles were created. The carbon dioxide bubbles carried the colored water to the top of the bottle. At the top of the bottle was the oil, and since oil and water don’t mix, the bubbles fell back down to the bottom.

Our next experiment involved a candle, balloons, and water. Mr. John lit the candle and waved a balloon over it. The balloon popped! Next he blew up another balloon but added water to it. The children made hypotheses about what would happen to this balloon. Did it pop also? No! The water absorbed the heat from the lit candle and prevented the balloon from popping.

Art

In Art we got ready for the International Festival by doing cultural projects. First we made koi fish windsocks to represent Japan. Ms. Michele explained that in Japan koi fish banners are made to represent different members of a family. The children enjoyed creating these windsocks out of construction paper. We used tissue paper, sequins, crayons, and googly eyes to decorate them.

In our next art lesson, the children made Aboriginal paintings to represent Australia. We learned that the Aborigines started pointillism (dot painting) to create pictures. The children drew an animal from Australia, and then filled in the animal by dotting with Q-tips that were dipped into different colored melted clay.

Some things you can do with your child in the coming months to reinforce our themes would be going to the zoo and seeing how many animals your family can find that are from Africa. Try making a French recipe together as a family. Pull up a world map and review the names of the Oceans together. Discuss with your child their favorite sea creature.

Some things you can do with your child in the coming months to reinforce our themes would be going to the zoo and seeing how many animals your family can find that are from Africa. Try making a French recipe together as a family. Pull up a world map and review the names of the Oceans together. Discuss with your child their favorite sea creature.

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Maria Montessori stated that, “It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to the child the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities.” Remember, every child is unique and develops different skills and abilities at their own pace in their own time. I am very proud of how hard your children work in the classroom, and it is an honor to be their teacher.

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May/June 2015 Monthly Overview

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

5/4: All About Insects
• Learning the Characteristics of Insects.
• Life Cycle of the Butterfly.
• How Insects are helpful/harmful.
• Where do certain insects live?
• Where do insects get their food?

5/11: Dinosaurs
• Studying Dinosaurs that lived on land, earth, and in the air.
• Learning about the difference between carnivores and herbivores.
• Discuss how Dinosaurs left fossils, which give us “clues” about them.
• Discuss different types of dinosaurs such as T-Rex, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops.
• Discuss how dinosaurs all hatched from eggs.

5/18: All About Reptiles and Amphibians
• The difference between reptiles and amphibians.
• Learning about the Frog Life Cycle
• Learning about snakes, lizards, and alligators.
• Learning about turtles and frogs.
• Making a ven diagram of the differences between reptiles and amphibians.

5/25: All About Mammals
Learning the physical characteristics of mammals.
Learning about bears, monkeys, and lions.
What do certain mammals eat?
Where do certain mammals live?

6/1: All About Summer Fun/Safety
• Learning all about camping.
• Making ice cream.
• Learning about “stranger danger”.
• Learning when to call 9-1-1.

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
5/4: Yy
5/11: Ss
5/18: Ii
5/25: Pp

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
4/6: Yet
4/13: Set
4/20: Lip
4/27: Pit
Things to do at Home this Month to reinforce our themes:
• Discuss with your child their favorite types of dinosaur they are learning about.
• Take a trip to the zoo with your child. Discuss the different types of animals you see.
• Play “ I Spy” with your child using the letter sounds of the letter of the week.
• Discuss summer safety with your child (stranger danger, swimming safety, etc)


March 2015 Newsletter

The month of March has been very busy in our classroom. The children are loving being able to finally go outside and enjoy the warm weather! We’ve also learned all about Dr. Seuss, Space, Ohio, and about North America!

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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 Comes Back” with Ms. Kim and making a “Cat In The Hat” craft that you might have seen displayed on our bulletin board in the hall! The children also enjoyed learning about rhymes, making their own “plane ticket” after reading “Oh The Places You’ll Go”, and eating “ green eggs” made using green pudding and vanilla wafers.

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In week two, we enjoyed learning all about 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. We also learned first hand how a telescope works! The children also enjoyed making their own constellations using stickers with Ms. Kim! The children even asked me to keep the space books on our Science shelf for an extra week, because they were so interested in learning more!

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We learned all about Ohio during week three! The children learned all about 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 in order to protect their nest. We also learned that our state capitol is Columbus, and that our state tree is the Buckeye Tree.

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For St. Patrick’s Day, the children also enjoyed making a shamrock craft with Ms. Kim during Preschool lesson, and reading a story about how St. Patrick’s Day became a holiday. The children really enjoyed decorating their shamrock with Lucky Charms!

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During the fourth week of March, we began our discussion about countries and continents. We began by discussing that a continent is a large “chunk” of land that is divided up into smaller “ pieces” called countries. We then took out the map of North America puzzle and began to name some of the countries. We learned all about Mexico, Canada, and The United States, and I even discussed with the children a trip to Haiti that I took several years ago. The children are enjoying learning about new cultures and customs of other countries, and they have been asking great questions!

Enrichments (Ms. Kim)

Music

In music, the children spent time getting familiar with the piano (keyboard). They listened to different high and low sounds, animals, sounds in nature, and musical instruments. Sometimes Ms. Lisa played a sound on the piano, and the students had to guess what the sound was. The children practiced listening for the differences in high and low sounds by playing the Cat and Mouse game. “Mice” came out to play when high sounds were played, and “cats” came out to play when low sounds were played. Ms. Lisa explained that the high sounds on a piano are on the right, while the low sounds are on the left. The children got to play both white and black keys on the piano.

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Science

During the first half of the month Mr. John did experiments with objects that either sank, floated, or did both! First we made hypotheses on whether or not a crumpled piece of construction paper would float or sink in water with dishwashing soap. The piece of paper floated in plain water but sank in the soapy water. The paper was able to sink to the bottom because the dishwashing soap breaks the strong bonds in plain water.

Next we made hypotheses on whether or not raisins would sink or float in a glass of ginger ale. When the raisins were dropped in, they floated and sank repeatedly. Mr. John called them “dancing raisins”! Ginger ale and other soda pops have carbon dioxide bubbles. These carbon dioxide bubbles attached themselves to the raisins and brought them to the top. Once the bubbles popped, the raisins sank to the bottom.

For the last experiment, we looked at hot and cold water. When a jar of cold blue water was placed on a jar of hot red water, the water mixed and turned purple. When we switched the jars and put the jar of hot red water on top of the jar of cold blue water, the water did not mix or turn purple. Why? The hot water must be on the bottom for the water to mix because hot water is less dense than cold water.

Art

For our first art lesson, we looked at Dr. Seuss’ artwork. Ms. Michele read the students Fox in Socks to show how imaginative Dr. Seuss was. Then the children created their own imaginative or “dreamy” piece of art by drawing with oil pastels.

Next Ms. Michele taught a lesson on mosaics. She explained how Romans made mosaics using many tiles. The pictures created by the tiles were made to remember important events that had taken place. So, the children thought of things that were important to them and then created mosaics of these things by gluing down square pieces of foam.

 

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For our last lesson, Ms. Michele discussed the artist James Demski or “JIMBOT”. This artist has created artwork with many robots. So, the children had fun drawing their own robots with oil pastels. These robots did many things like cutting grass, cleaning, and cooking!

This coming month, I encourage you to review with your child what they have learned. Take time to look at the night sky as a family and look for some constellations. Try a new Mexican restaurant together. Read Green Eggs and Ham together with your child and point out the rhyming words.

Maria Montessori said that,”To aid life, leaving it free, however, that is the basic task of the educator.” I consider it my joy and privilege to aid the lives of your children, and in turn, I enjoy watching them thrive in the freedom they have to learn and discover!