The month of October has been a very busy month in our classroom! Fall is in the air and the children have been learning a lot about fall, Halloween related animals, healthy eating habits, and all about Pumpkins.
During the first week of this month, the children learned about Farm Life and about all the animals that live on a farm. We learned signs for farm animals in American Sign Language, watched a video of a chicken being born, and learned about the life cycle of the chicken. The children also had fun making butter the “old fashioned” way; using heavy cream and shaking it in a mason jar. It was very yummy!
In the second week of October, we learned ab44out Healthy Eating Habbits. We first learned about the Food Groups: Grains, Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables, Beans and Legumes, and Oils and Fats. We learned about what foods are “Grow Foods” (foods that help our bodies to grow), and what foods are “Sometimes Foods” (foods that we should only have sometimes). The children also had fun during preschool lesson making a healthy snack of wheat bread, peanut butter, bananas, and raisins, shaped like a bear!
In week three, we learned about spiders. We learned that spiders are arachnids, which means they have eight legs and two main body parts ( the head and cephalothorax). We also began reading the book “Charlotte’s Web”, about a spider named Charlotte who befriends a pig named Wilbur.
During week four, the children enjoyed studying about bats. We learned that bats are mammals, and that many use echolocation to find their way around their environment, as many bats cannot see. Also, we learned that some bats eat insects and the blood of other animals, while some bats, such as the fruit bat, eat fruit. We also read the book “Stellaluna”, about a baby bat who gets lost from her family, but ends up making friends with a family of birds she meets.
During the last week of this month, we learned all about pumpkins and Halloween. We learned that pumpkins can be more than just orange. We also learned that we can make many different things from the pumpkin, such as pumpkin pie, baked pumpkin seeds, pumpkin fluff, etc. The children also enjoyed coloring a white pumpkin with crayons during work time. We also learned about the different parts of the pumpkin, such as the stem, the seeds, etc.
In music class, the students practiced forte (loud) and piano (soft) by singing hello to Jerry the Giraffe and Frieda the Frog. They really enjoyed using the instruments of tambourines, castanets, and egg shakers to help move to music. Ms. Lisa helped the students practice their listening skills by having them freeze when the music stopped playing. Then, she reminded the students of allegro (fast) and adagio (slow) by having them dance with leaves (colored scarves). Lastly, the students practiced following directions by dancing the Hokey Pokey! What fun!
In science class, Mr. John taught the concept of density. He showed the students that oil and water do not mix because oil is less dense than water. The students even shook a bottle with oil and water many times but every time the oil floated to the top! We knew that the oil and water did not mix because the oil was a lighter color than the water with food coloring. To explore more about the concept of density, the students tried to get a ketchup packet to sink. When they said sink the ketchup packet sunk. When the students said float, the packet floated back to the top. Was it magic? No Mr. John was squeezing the water bottle. When the bottle was squeezed an air bubble in the ketchup packet got smaller. This made the ketchup packet more dense so it sank. I wonder if we will have any magic in science next month?
In art class, the first two weeks were spent on a project that included the students own junk! During the first week, the students glued down their junk items to popsicle sticks. Then, the second week the students painted these works of art one primary color. To learn the complimentary colors, the students then added objects that were the complimentary color to the color they originally painted with. This was a great way to learn primary and complimentary colors at the same time! Since winter is upon is, Ms. Michelle thought it would be a good idea to study the artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Georgia O’Keeffe is known for painting close ups of flowers. The students drew and painted flowers using oil pastels, markers, and water. Lastly, Ms. Michele introduced the students to observational art. The students brought in their favorite toys and set them together in the middle of the room, some brought cars some brought the best soft baby dolls for toddlers. The students sat around these toys and were told to draw what they saw. Not only did they draw their own personal toys but other toys as well!
This coming month, I encourage you to practice with your child what they have learned. Maybe take a fall hike and play “I Spy”, make a pumpkin recipe together as a family, or discuss a healthy meal you and your family can make together. Maria Montessori believed that our children learn from participating in everyday activities out in the world and in the home, so please include your child in your party preparations, grocery shopping, household chores, etc. This will go a long way to aiding your child in their development!
Themes of the Week (in addition to Montessori Work time)
Learning ASL family signs.
Sharing our Family Tree projects.
Members of our family, family traditions and celebrations.
Discuss how pets are also part of our families.
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
11/17: 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
Working on our center pieces for the Thanksgiving Feast..
11/24: 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
Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
11/03: Jj 11/11: Ee 11/17:Hh 11/24: Nn
Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
11/03: Jig 11/11: Egg 10/17: Hop 11/24: No
Things to do at Home this Month to reinforce our themes:
I encourage you to include your child in the preparation of one of the dishes for your Thanksgiving meal. Look up a new recipe 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 with 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.
The beginning of the school has gone very well! Our returning friends have enjoyed getting back into the “swing of things”, and our new friends have enjoyed learning the routine of our classroom and making new friends.
During the first week of school, the children began learning about Grace and Courtesy and learning the ground rules of our classroom. The children learned how to roll and unroll a rug, how to carry a tray, how to place works back in their original place on the shelf, etc. Learning and reviewing these ground rules has set a nice tone in our classroom for the beginning of the year. This also will help promote the child’s sense of organization as they work in the various areas of the classroom. During the second week of school, we learned more about Manners and more about Grace and Courtesy. We learned how to say “Please” and “Thank You”. We also learned how to solve conflict by reading, “ There’s a Bird On Your Head” by Moe Williams, and discussing how, when someone is doing something that bothers us or hurts our feelings, we can solve the problem by using our words. In week three, our theme was “All About Me”. The children enjoyed bringing in their baby pictures and guessing who’s baby picture was which. We also charted our hair and eye color on a bar graph. We also talked about our talents and abilities and what makes us unique. We also began learning our Birthday’s and practicing our full names. We also discussed or talents and abilities and what makes us unique. During the fourth week, we studied apples. The children enjoyed learning the names for all the parts of the apple. We then learned about the life cycle of the apple and we learned that flowers adorn apple trees in the spring, then the apples begin to grow during the summer, and then finally the apples are ready to be harvested in the fall. The children also enjoyed making prints from apples on paper during preschool lesson and learning about the fractions of one whole, one half, and one fourth by watching me cut the apple so that the pieces formed those fractions. In the final week of September, we learned about Autumn. We sorted leaves by their colors and shapes. The children really enjoyed singing songs about Fall as well, and discussing what activities we can do in the Fall. I even brought in my ukelele to accompany them! In the coming weeks, I would encourage you to take a walk with your child and collect leaves. Ask your child what colors they see. Another fun learning activity at home would be to make a new apple recipe together as a family. Include your child in the preparation, measurements, etc. I consider it a privilege to be a part of your child’s education. I look forward to what this school year has in store! EnrichmentsIn music class, the children were introduced to Ms. Lisa’s puppets of Alley the Alligator, Tina the Turtle, and Wilma the Whale. These puppets had the children’s singing voices warmed up by singing Hello. The children sang and danced to familiar songs such as the Hokey Pokey, I’m a Little Teapot, and All Around the Mulberry Bush. Ms. Lisa instructed the children to do specific body movements to these songs. Ms. Lisa introduced the children to whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes. We practiced the length of these notes by using rhythm sticks. We also learned the music words for loud, soft, fast, and slow. The children had so much fun using egg shakers and pretending like they were on a train to practice fast and slow speeds! In science class, we first learned that scientists ask questions all the time. They try to answer their questions by making hypotheses. A hypothesis is a guess of what will happen during an experiment. Sometimes scientists guess right but sometimes they are wrong. Our first science experiment included a bottle filled with vinegar and balloons filled with baking soda. We wanted to know what would happen if we mixed the baking soda and the vinegar. Many of the children thought that the bottle or the balloon would explode! Each child took a balloon filled with baking soda and put it on top of the bottle filled with vinegar. When the baking soda shook out of the balloon and mixed with the vinegar the balloon inflated. How did this happen? Mr. John explained that when the baking soda and vinegar mixed a gas called carbon dioxide was made. This gas filled up the balloon. Our next experiment included eggs, salt water, and fresh water. We wanted to find out what would happen to an egg put in salt water and an egg put in fresh water. Would the egg float or sink? Many of the children guessed that either the eggs would float or sink. The children took turns placing eggs into each water. Each time, the egg placed in salt water floated, and the egg placed in fresh water sank. Mr. John explained the concept of density. The salt water was more dense so the egg was pushed to the top. The fresh water was less dense so the egg sank. There was nothing to push the egg to the top. In art class, we first learned what an artist was and what they do. Ms. Michele asked if certain things in the classroom were types of art. Our first artist we learned about was Eric Carle. The children learned that Eric Carle is an author who illustrates his books by making tissue paper collages. What is a collage? A collage is a picture made up of other pieces of paper and other pictures. Ms. Michele showed the children different textures and how to rub them onto tissue paper to make different designs. Once the children had their textured tissue paper, they glued them down to make an animal like Eric Carle. We also learned all about primary colors. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. If you mix two primary colors together you get a different color! The artist Piet Mondrian painted with primary colors to fill in different shapes. The children first glued down popsicle sticks to make shapes like rectangles, squares, and triangles. Then, they used primary colors to paint in their shapes like Mondrian. We are looking forward to the month ahead in Art class!
Themes of the Week (in addition to Individual Montessori Work time)
08/25: Grace and Courtesy / Ground Rules
Learning Control of Movement-Rolling A Rug, Carrying A Tray, and Carrying A Chair.
Learning Grace And Courtesy- 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.
9/1: Grace And Courtesy/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 classroom rules and manners.
Having the children write our classroom rules and display them in the classroom.
Read the book “There’s A Bird On Your Head”. Discuss how to speak to someone when we’re frustrated.
9/8: 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.)
Discussing 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.
9/15 All About Apples
Read the story “Little Bear’s Star”- Story about an apple.
Sorting apples by size and color.
Learning 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.
9/22 All About Fall
Discuss differences between Summer and Fall.
Go on a nature walk outside to find leaves.
Painting with leaves.
Learning the parts of the leaf.
Learning Robert Frost poem about Fall.
Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
9/25: Review Of All Four Letters
Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
9/25: 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.
Go on a walk as a family. As Fall comes, point out the differences you see in nature, now that the weather is changing.
While reading to your child, point out the sight words they are learning this month.
Find a fun apple recipe to try as a family. Let your child practicing measuring the ingredients, assemble the ingredients, etc. Discuss with your child the other things that can be made with apples
This last month of school was busy and productive in our classroom! During the first week, we learned about fish and other creatures of the ocean. We started off the week by learning the parts of the fish during morning circle time. We then discussed the characteristics of fish. We learned that fish breathe through their gills and breathe oxygen from the water. We also learned that fish have scales, and fins to help them swim. During preschool lesson, Ms. Kim continued the discussion by teaching the children the names of all five oceans. The children also enjoyed learning about sharks, turtles, and octopuses. We learned that a shark’s entire body is made up of cartilage, just like the cartilage that is in our ears! The children also made a fun jellyfish craft with Ms. Kim during preschool! In week two, we learned about Community Helpers. We learned that a Community Helper is someone who has a job helping others, such as a doctor, a fireman, a police man, a teacher, or a mailman. We also learned that our moms and dads are community helpers in our homes because they love and take care of us. We also learned ways we can be a community helper in our homes and communities as well. We learned that by simply helping mom and dad with household chores, keeping our rooms clean, helping little brothers or sisters, etc. can help our family in a big way! Students also enjoyed making a fireman’s hat craft, and police badge craft, and a doctor bag craft with Ms. Kim in preschool. We also had fun singing songs about firemen and policemen during circle time. It was so much fun! During the third week, we studied mammals. We discussed the characteristics of mammals. We discovered that mammals have hair or fur on their bodies, that they breathe oxygen from the air around them, that they give birth to their young, that they feed their young with milk from their body, and that they are warm blooded. The children also enjoyed learning the parts of the horse, and reading the book, “It Could Sill Be A Mammal” during circle time. We also learned about Lions and Grizzly Bears. We learned that Grizzly Bears live in dens, and that the female Lion is actually in charge of hunting for food. The children also enjoyed making a Lion and Grizzly Bear craft with Ms. Kim during preschool! In week four, we learned about reptiles and amphibians. We learned that a reptile has scales or scutes on their body, they lay eggs, and they leave their young once they are born. The children enjoyed learning about lizards and snakes, and even about Komodo dragons! We learned that the Komodo dragons bite is poisonous, and that Komodo dragon will even eat people! Luckily they live in Indonesia! The children also enjoyed learning about frogs and their characteristics and life cycle. They also enjoyed making a frog craft with Ms. Kim during preschool. During week five, we learned about summer safety. We learned about safety when riding in our car, safety in our home, when riding our bikes, at the pool, which need to be clean with a cleaning service from http://cortspools.com. We also learned how to dial 911 if there is ever an emergency. Ms. Kim also used the story of Little Red Riding Hood to illustrate to the children why we should not talk to strangers. I would encourage you this summer to take time with your child and practice their letter sounds with them. Even playing simple games such as “I Spy” will help with this. I also encourage you to make a trip to the library to find books on subjects that interest your child. Reading with your child will instill in them a love for reading as well! I have enjoyed this year immensely! I hope your children did as well! It is my privilege and honor to be their teacher!
The month of April was very busy in our classroom! The children have been working hard and learning so much. With practicing for the International Festival, Dads and Doughnuts, and all the other fun activities we had this month, time just flew by! During the first week, we traveled to Africa. We also discussed how the people in Africa dress. Ms. Kim had the children make beautiful African necklaces from pasta. We also made African tribal masks! We learned about the pyramids of Egypt, the African Savannah and all the animals that live there. Students loved learning to play a children’s game from the country of Kenya called Mancala! During the second week of April, we explored the continent of Europe. The children enjoyed learning about how the Germans invented pretzels, about how the Leaning Tower of Pisa is in Italy, how Ireland is called the Emerald Isle, and Norway is famous for the Bryggen in Bergen. I especially enjoyed sharing pictures of my trip to Bergen, Norway with the children and sharing about the people and the culture there! Students also enjoyed many visitors that came in to share about their experiences or heritage in different countries this month. Thank you to those who came and spent time teaching our students; we loved it! In the third week of April, we explored Asia! The children enjoyed listening to a CD of my choir singing Russian music, learning how people in India celebrate Diwali (which is similar to New Years), and learning how to say “hello” and “goodbye” in Japanese. (Also, did you know Russia is part of two continents? Europe and Asia!) During the fourth week of April, we traveled to Australia! We learned about all the different animals that are native to Australia. We learned that kangaroos, wombats, and koalas are classified as marsupials, which means the mothers carry their young in pouches. We then traveled to Antarctica. We learned the continent of Antarctica is not claimed by any one country, but is used by many scientists around the world for research. Since no country governs Antarctica, it does not have a flag or any ruler. We also discussed how many of the animals in Antarctica can stay warm because they have a layer of blubber underneath their skin! The children very much enjoyed their trip around the globe and learning about the seven continents. For each country they learned about, the children also had the opportunity to color a flag of that country during work time. The children also enjoyed learning how to work on the Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia map puzzles. The map puzzles have become very popular in our classroom. It is wonderful to see their knowledge of the world around them growing! Take time with your child over the next few weeks and discuss with them which country was their favorite. Which continent might they want to visit someday? Which food that they tried at the International Festival was their favorite? I consider it an honor and a privilege to work with each of your children. They teach me new things every day!
This month was a busy month in our classroom! We have been learning a lot (myself included) and the children are working very hard!
We started off the month of March by learning about Dr. Seuss and his life. We learned that his real name was Theodore Seuss Giesel. We also learned that he became good at rhyming because he and his mother played rhyming games and made up silly words together when he was a child. We also read some of his famous stories such as “The Cat In The Hat”, “And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street”, “The Lorax”, and “The Sneeches”. We even had fun in class making our own “Dr. Seuss” book. Ms. Kim brought in some “rhyming words” cards with different pictures on them. I then asked the children one by one to come up and find two cards with pictures of objects that rhymed. Next, the children came up with a rhyming sentence using those two words. We then turned those sentences into a book and drew pictures to illustrate the sentences. The children had so much fun making their own book!
The second week in March, we began discussing our world. Going from biggest to smallest, we discussed how we all live on the planet Earth, on the continent of North America, and how we all live in the United States. Next, we all live in Ohio, and then many of us live in Cuyahoga Falls (or in the surrounding cities), and how all of us go to Absorbent Minds Montessori School! We then learned about the continent of North America. I started the week off by introducing the North American puzzle map to the children during our morning line time. We put each country back in place one at a time and went over the names of the countries. We also discussed that English and Spanish are the main languages spoken in North America, the exceptions being Haiti, where they speak Creole, and parts of Canada, where they speak French. Also, in learning about North America, we learned about Ohio and that it is the state where we live. We learned that the Cardinal is our state bird. Ms. Kim also did a fun craft with the children where we made Cardinals out of paper plates. Next, we learned there are many people who farm or who work in factories in Ohio as well. We also learned that the Buckeye Tree is our state tree. We also found out that there is also a famous astronaut from Ohio, John Glenn! We then “traveled” to Mexico. We learned that people in Mexico speak Spanish and often eat rice and beans and beef and vegetables. We also learned that flour tortillas are often place on the table at meal times in Mexico. Students enjoyed eating tortilla chips and salsa while listening to authentic Mariachi music! We also enjoyed reading about the ancient Aztec and Mayan peoples, who were the ancient native people of Mexico. We also learned that they built pyramids in Mexico. Students were taught a pyramid is a square based triangle.
During the third week of March, we focused on the continent of South America. We learned about the countries of Peru and Brazil. We discussed how Brazilians speak Portuguese, which is a language similar to Spanish and how they celebrate “Carnival.” This is where the Brazilian people wear brightly colored costumes and decorate beautiful, colorful parade floats. We also learned about the Amazon Rainforest and the different kinds of animals that live there, such as the tapirs, the jaguar, and the spider monkey. We also learned that the Llama lives in the Andes Mountains in Peru, and people in Peru often raise them as livestock!
I encourage you as parents to take time with your child this month and ask them about what they have learned about the countries and continents. Maybe take time and cook a traditional Mexican dish as a family. Go to the library and find books to read with your child about animals that live in the Amazon, or go to the Zoo now that the weather is becoming warmer and find animals from the continents we have learned about.
As always, it is a pleasure and a joy teaching your children! We have fun every day learning from each other in our classroom!
The month of February was a busy month in our classroom. The children worked very hard, and we learned a lot in just a month!During the first week of February, we talked about Groundhog Day! The children enjoyed learning about groundhogs and making their own groundhog puppet to take home. The children also enjoyed watching the video coverage from the previous day to see if the groundhog saw his shadow. We were sad to learn that he did see his shadow, but we know spring will be here soon enough!
We also talked about dental health in our classroom since it was National Children’s Dental Health Month. We discussed the different ways we can take care of our teeth by brushing, flossing, and eating healthy food. The children also had fun brushing pretend teeth!
We also talked about our pets and how to best care for specific pets. The children loved Ms. Kim’s guessing game where she described a pet and the children had to guess which animal she was referring to. We also graphed how many of the children had dogs, cats, and fish.
A big topic of conversation this month in our classroom was the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The children enjoyed discussing the different sports they watched with their families on television. Many of the children expressed that they would love to learn to ice skate or ski so they could one day go to the Olympics. We also kept track of many gold, silver, and bronze medals the United States won. In total, we won nine gold medals, seven silver medals, and twelve bronze medals! We even watched a video of a medal ceremony and talked about how important that moment is for an athlete.
During the second week, we learned all about Abraham Lincoln and his life. We explained that Abraham Lincoln was our president and that he wanted everyone to be free. We discussed that because Abraham Lincoln was such a wonderful president, his picture is on our penny and the Lincoln Memorial was built in his honor.
We also discussed penguins and penguin facts with the children. We discussed how penguins are black and white in order to protect them from predators in the ocean, such as whales and seals. We also learned that not all penguins live in cold climates and that some actually live where it is hot! The children also had lots of fun making a penguin craft with Ms. Kim!
During the third week, we discussed the job of the President of The United States and where he lives, and he is only able to be elected president twice. The children were amazed to find out that the White House has one-hundred and thirty-two rooms! We also learned that our current president’s name is Barack Obama.
We also learned what it means to be patriotic and reviewed some of our national symbols, such as the bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty, etc. We then learned about the Pledge of Allegiance and what the words in the pledge mean.