Ms. Kate ‘s April 2017 Monthly Overview

What I will learn this Month in Ms. Kate’s class:

 Themes of the week | Classroom group lesson time (in addition to individual Montessori Work time)

4/03: Europe and International festival practice

  • Italy- We will have fun looking for Italy on our Europe puzzle map.
  • Italy- Italy- We will have fun talking about Italy and making our own English muffin pizzas!
  • Germany- Together we will explore the Europe map and find where Germany is located
  • Germany- As a class we will go over Germany’s flag, and then make a tissue paper flag.
  • Netherlands- We will explore the Europe map to find where the Netherlands is located. We will then create our own special tulip!
  • Friday, April 7th | Dads n Donuts

Afternoon Group Time:
Ms. Ame will be doing a variety of crafts, and activities about Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands.

4/10th: Europe and International Festival practice

  • France- Creating a flag from France out of paint chip samples. We will also explore France on our map.
  • France- We will have fun creating an Eiffel Tower
  • Spain- learning about the traditional Flamenco dancing
  • Spain- making Maracas
  • Friday, April 14th | NO SCHOOL | Easter break

Afternoon Group Time:
Ms. Ame will be doing a variety of fun and engaging activities about France and Spain.

4/17th: Europe and International Festival Practice

  • Monday, April 17th | NO SCHOOL | Easter break
  • Ireland- We will explore the map of Europe and find Ireland on our map. We will also color the flag
  • Ireland- We will have fun creating a four leaf clover
  • Belgium- We will explore Belgium on our Europe map, and also color the flag
  • Belgium- As a class we will have fun making a windmill
  • Wednesday, April 19th | International Festival Rehearsal
  • Friday, April 21st | International Festival

Afternoon Group Time:
Ms. Ame will be doing a variety of crafts and activities about Ireland and Belgium

4/24th:   All About the farm

  • All about Farmers
  • Machines found on the farm
  • Different types of farms
  • Animals found on the farm
  • What do we get from different farms and animals

Afternoon Group Time:
Ms. Ame will be doing a variety of crafts, books, and lessons on the farm

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

4/3: Ww

4/10: Xx

4/17: Yy

4/24: Zz

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

4/3: rain

4/10: barn

4/17: hen

4/24: small

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:

  • Take a nature walk and collect different things you see. Come home a create a piece of art with all of your nature treasures!
  • Visit a farm and see all of the baby animals. You could also bring a journal and write and draw all of the animals you see.
  • Try to spot any of our rhyming words in Dr. Seuss books.
  • Be adventurous and try a new meal or snack together.
  • Go the library and go exploring with the different continent books.

Ms. Courtney’s April 2017 Monthly Overview

What I will learn this month in Ms. Courtney’s class:

Themes of the week | Classroom group lesson time (in addition to individual Montessori Work time)

4/03:    International festival

  • The children will learn about the geography, culture, and language of North America and South America.
  • Friday, April 7th | Dads n Donuts

Afternoon Group Time:

  • We will read about Vikings and then learn a game that they used to play.
  • We will read about Canada and then play Hockey which is a popular sport in Canada.
  • We will read about France and play the French version of Hopscotch which is played on a spiral shaped board.
  • Read a book about England, discuss the English tradition of tea time, then have an English tea party with tea and crumpets.
  • Discuss letter of the week and its sound, learn letters and letter sounds with sign language through Visual Phonics, and complete a letter X craft.

4/10:    International festival

  • The children will learn about the geography, culture, and language of Europe and Africa.
  • Friday, April 14th | NO SCHOOL | Easter break

Afternoon Group Time:

  • We will read about an African nation and then play a board game that originated in Africa.
  • We will read about an African nation and play a game of teamwork that originated in Africa.
  • Discuss letter of the week and its sound, learn letters and letter sounds with sign language through Visual Phonics, and complete a letter Y craft.
  • Learn how to say hello in different languages.

4/17:    International festival

  • The children will learn about the geography, culture, and language of Asia, Antarctica and Australia.
  • Monday, April 17th | NO SCHOOL | Easter break
  • Wednesday, April 19th | International Festival Rehearsal
  • Friday, April 21st | International Festival 

Afternoon Group Time:

  • We will read about Rome and learn how to play marbles which was a popular game in Rome.
  • We will read about Australia and learn a popular game from Australia played with marbles
  • Read about Latin American countries and discuss their culture of music, then make homemade maracas.
  • Discuss letter of the week and its sound, learn letters and letter sounds with sign language through Visual Phonics, and complete a letter Z craft.

4/24: Recycle/Reduce/Reuse

  • The children will understand the importance of taking care of the environment.
  • The children will practice ways to reduce waste in the classroom and at home.
  • The children will become more environmentally aware in their daily activities.
  • The children will learn the terms recycle, reduce, and reuse.

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Talk about how harmful pollution is to the Earth, and complete the “Who Polluted the River” activity.
  • Talk about ways to reuse everyday items instead of being wasteful and complete a water bottle fish craft.

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

4/03: Xx

4/10: Yy

4/17: Zz

4/24: Vowels

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

4/03: That

4/10:  Not

4/17: See

4/24: Big

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

4/03: NICE, friendly, courteous, good, pleasant, charming

4/10: SNEAKY, underhanded, dishonest, tricky, secretive, sly

4/17: BRIGHT, shiny, glowing, dazzling, lighted, vivid

4/24: DULL, dark, dreary, somber, boring, tedious

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:

  • Use reusable grocery bags.
  • Use a refillable water bottle.
  • Use natural light when applicable.

Explorations of Elementary 2017 February Newsletter

Explorations of Elementary 2017 February Newsletter

February was a month full of science experiments in our classroom.  While we conduct experiments each month, these experiments seemed to be class favorites.  We began the month with an experiment to determine if beans are monocot or dicots and ended the month studying the cooling process of the body.  In our anatomy lessons, some students continued their study with adding information about the brain and spinal cord, while others put together a child-sized skeleton and labeled its parts.  In Biology, we studied a food web and the interconnectivity of all things on Earth.

For our experiment about monocots and dicots, we used dried cannellini beans.  We used two beans for each student.  We put one bean in a damp paper towel and hung them in a sunny window to try to grow.  We also did an experiment to try to sprout a seed using the carbon dioxide and saliva in our mouths.  We had to soak the beans overnight in a cup of water, then the next day we placed the beans under our tongues.  We had to keep our mouths closed for 30 minutes!  Some beans were sprouted the next day, some a few days later, and some not at all.  From the growth of both sets of beans, we determined that beans are dicots.

All students participated in our Human Body: Cooling Process experiment.  We used our indoor thermometer for the experiment.  After waiting for the thermometer to reach room temperature, we soaked the bulb in rubbing alcohol.  We then took turns blowing on the bulb of the thermometer.  After about 15 puffs of air, we noticed a drop in the temperature.  We discussed that this is similar to our body producing sweat.  Blowing on the bulb made the liquid rubbing alcohol change to gas and evaporate, taking some heat with it.  Sweat on our bodies also takes heat away from our skin.  Students have tried this experiment over and over.  The most drastic drop in temperature was 4 degrees!

In preparation of our Elementary World’s Fair, we dove right into our 14-Point Study of a country of each child’s choice. Throughout the month, we have listened to traditional music from each country during our research.  Students researched 14 different topics like regions, climate, food, invasions, flora, and fauna.  Students recorded all of this information on note cards.  The next step is writing their research paper, complete with title page and bibliography.  Students will then create a trifold board to display their findings.  Make sure to stop by our World’s Fair on Tuesday, March 7, at 6 pm.

Our second years continued their study of geographic features and rocks by forming different features out of clay.  The students chose geographic features that are located in their country for the World’s Fair.  They have painted their features and will have them on display for you at our event!

Our students studying the body focused on the brain and spinal cord this month.  We learned the different parts of the brain and what they control without our body.  We learned what the spinal cord helps us do and how it works with the brain.  We created a spinal cord model using yarn and paper vertebrae.  Students have continued adding their research to their body model.

Two of our students have created a book club for our class.  At Community Meeting, they shared their idea, the rules for the club, and asked who would like to sign up.  Each Tuesday and Wednesday, our students meet from 9:00-9:30 for Book Club.  They vote on which book to read and take turns reading.  After reading, they discuss what they just read and what might happen next.  This group gives students the opportunity to take on different social roles, which is a need Elementary-aged children have.  Being in different groups and clubs, having different roles in those clubs, and following through with the responsibility of being a member prepares children for different work and social situations they will experience as older children and adults.

Kernel shed again this month!  He has grown about 14 inches since we first got him in the fall.  He is now 22 inches long and eats three mice each week.  Our students enjoy petting him and watching him grow.

For our Valentine’s Day Party, we enjoyed cooking together.  We made rolled out dough, spread on sauce, sprinkled cheese, and added toppings before baking our heart-shaped pizzas.  We prepared our fruit by washing and chopping grapes and strawberries for everyone to share.  The most exciting part for everyone was making Rice Krispy treats.  We melted our marshmallows and butter on the stove then mixed it together with our Rice Krispies cereal.  The students enjoyed pressing it into the pan.  After cooking together, some students washed dishes while others set the places at our tables.  Sharing these chores helps students become responsible and caring of our environment and each other.

After our lunch together, we played games.  We did a cupid’s arrow contest blowing q-tips out of a straw into a bowl.  The team that got the most q-tips in the bowl in one minute was the winner!  We also played a math facts “sumo wrestling” game.  Two students stood on either side of a rug, back to back.  Math facts were read to the students and the first to answer correctly took a step back.  Once students were heel to heel, they used their bodies to move each other off the mat.  Everyone thought this was a blast!  After our games, the students went to gym.  When they returned, we opened our valentines and shared treats with each other.

We are excited for March with all of our families!

 

 

 


Ms. Kristen’s February 2017 Newsletter

Classroom News:

The month of February was very busy in our classroom! We learned about types of transportation, all about inventors, our Presidents (past and present), and all about dental health! We also had fun celebrating Valentine’s Day!

        

Our Valentines Party was a great success!

During the first week of February, we discussed trains, boats, buses, and trucks and other forms of transportation. The children enjoyed categorizing the types of transportation into those used to travel on land, air, and water. The children also enjoyed working on an initial sound train work with Ms. Kerri during our afternoon group time. We also took time to discuss what Groundhog Day means and made predictions whether the groundhog saw his shadow. Unfortunately, he saw his shadow, which we learned meant we were in for 6 more weeks of winter!

Quintin showing of his handwriting skills!

We learned about famous inventors during the second week of February. We learned how Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, how Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity, and how the Wright brothers invented the first airplane. The children also decided to come up with some of their own potential inventions, such as a “make-up machine” and a ” a washer that makes cats”. I love how creative my students are!

   

 

During week three, we learned all about Presidents. We learned that the president’s job is to be the leader of our country and to work with Congress and the Supreme Court to make and protect the laws of our county. We also learned about the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and how he believed all people should be free. We also discussed 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. We also learned that 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 as well. We also, as a class, tried to memorize the names of the first ten presidents using the book, “ Yo, Millard Fillmore!”

Victoria practicing clothes pinning in the practical life area! This material helps to develop the child’s pincer grip, which is indirect preparation for writing. 

We learned all about dental health during the final week of February. We learned all about how when we are young, we only have twenty teeth when we are younger. Later, when we become adults, we have thirty-two teeth! We also learned the proper way to brush our teeth and what foods are healthy for our teeth. Ms. Kerri had the children make a list of what foods were good for our teeth and what foods are not good for our teeth.

Maren tracing and labeling the Part of The Leaf Puzzle! Did you know puzzles indirectly prepare your child for reading?

Finally…
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 arctic animals, such as the polar bears and penguins, and discuss which one is their favorite and why. Practice good dental hygiene with your child by practicing brushing their teeth correctly with them. Take a trip on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad together as a family.

Samantha and Hali sharing quiet reading time together in the Library.

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!

 

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
-with Mr. John

The Kindergarten students started the month by dabbling in multiplication.  I explained to them that multiplication was JUST adding multiple(many) times.  For example how many TIMES do we add 3 in the equation 3X4?  Simple, right?  Of course it is!

We then took a look at fractions.  Fractions are simply dividing things into equal parts being 2, 3, 4, 5 parts and up to 12, 100, 1 million parts.  Not only did we divide squares, circle, triangles into fractions but broke down how many boys/girls, who was in John’s, Kate’s, Kristen’s room, eye color, age, and who was a Buckeye fan (100% by the way).

We ended the month with a dose of geometry.  We learned that a triangle has 3 sides and 3 points.  A quadrilateral has 4 sides and 4 points.  Learning to count to ten in Greek came in handy when dealing with polygons ie… penta is 5 and a pentagon has five sides.  I threw in the right angle and what parallel means.

                                                                                     Kindergartners doing the Stamp Game (Math)

Cultural Subjects:

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 28 different languages (English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic w/the Lebanese dialect, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croation, Hindi, Flemish/Dutch, Malay, Cebuano, Farsi and Turkish!

Handwriting Enrichment

-with Ms. Kristen

In handwriting this month, we finished up the cursive alphabet and moved on to writing vowel blends such as “th”, “sh”,”ch”, “00”, etc. The children are also answered journal questions such as ” When is your birthday?” and” If you could go on vacation, where would you go and with whom?” Something to work on and practice with your Kindergarten student this month would be spelling words phonetically. I’m so proud all the Kindergartner’s progress this month! They are becoming amazing writers! 

Reading Group | Kindergarten

-with Ms. Kate

For the month of February our reading group focused on poetry. Together we read Knoxville, Tennessee, Picture Books In Winter, and April Rain Song. Each one of these poems were about a different season that the author truly loves. With each of these readings, the children were able to draw their favorite season and explain to their friends the reason they picked that season. They also had fun creating a drawings of their favorite book and what they like most about the rain. During our time together we go over different vocabulary that they see in their readings and discuss what those terms mean. Together as a class the children created a poem about summer in their city. I hope you enjoy this fantastic poem they created together.

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
I always like summer best
You can eat corn on the cob
Hot dogs on the grill
Sweet watermelon
And Ice cream

You can go to
The beach
To the pool
Baseball games
To the park
And take vacations

You can see
Butterflies
Green leaves on the tree
Birds
People playing outside
Lightning bugs at night.

 

Science Enrichment
-by Ms. Kathleen

This past month all 3 Science experiments were about Buoyancy; a force in a liquid pushing against an object in a liquid.

Floating and Sinking Oranges:  Mr. John peeled one orange and left the other peeled(boy did the room smell good!) the children placed in a tank of water. When dropped in the water, the orange with the peel on floated and the orange without the peel sank. This is because of air trapped by the peel making the orange float. The peeled orange has no air so it sinks.

Using oranges to explain buoyancy 

Play Dough Shapes A Bowl and a Sphere: The children dropped 1 piece of play dough shaped as a sphere in water and one shaped like bowl in water. The sphere shaped dough sank while the bowl shaped dough floated. This is because sphere shaped dough is dense and cannot push enough water out to stay floating. The dough shaped like a bowl is able to push out water equal it’s weight and therefore, floats.

                                                                                   Students pushing away water to explain buoyancy

Soda Float with 2 cans of Coke (regular vs. diet): We placed both cans of soda in the water. The diet floated and the regular sank. This is because regular soda contains sugar and diet contains artificial sweeteners. These artificial sweeteners may be 100 times sweeter than sugar, which means that less than a few grams of artificial  sweeteners are used in a can of diet soda. The difference in the amount of grams of sweeteners leads to a different density.

Using two cans of “POP” to explain buoyancy

Art Enrichment
-by Ms. Ame

Music Enrichment
-by Ms. Sabrina

A synthesizer was talked about.  It is a piano that can sound like a trumpet as well as other instruments.  It was used to play the game Cat and Mouse. It is a game to hone listening skills. Listening for the highest to lowest sounds.  The children had so much fun.  A song about being diligent was played. The children were taught to try and try and try again.  A train whistle was used, so was a triangle as well as maracas.  A dancing they went.

A new song about telling the truth was sung.  Sign Language was used and so were foot movements. The children also learned about echo’s via music.  The musical instrument used was the maraca. What fun the children had making echos. Performing with scarves were thoroughly enjoyed as well. Let the Sun Shine In was the song they danced to.

 


Ms. Kate’s February 2017 Newsletter Article

Classroom News:

This month was super busy for our classroom. Throughout the month of February we learned all about living and nonliving things, all about nocturnal animals, fun with fairy tales, and all about sequencing with fun picture books.

  

During the first week we lead a discussion about the basic needs of living things. The children did great with this. We then created a graph by using pictures that were living and nonliving and the children had to place them in right category. By doing this the children are understanding classification, and with using the pictures they can visually see the placement of the category. We then had fun the next day by bringing in hula hoops and the children had to sort objects into living or the nonliving area. By sorting, the children are understanding that certain things can be organized into certain groups so they can really get a better understanding of the concept that we are teaching. On the last day, the children were given a variety of magazines and had to cut out items that were living and nonliving. The children then had to place their pictures into the right category. I really loved this week because I feel the children really understood this concept!

  

The second week was all about nocturnal animals. The first day we constricted a graph called KWL which stands for What we know, What we want to know, and What we have learned. This is a great chart because the first category the children are able to use their knowledge that they already know on the topic. The second category the children really have to brainstorm together and come up with things that they really want to learn about the topic, then on Friday we gather up all of our information that we have learned and place it on the last category. We then had a fun activity called what we do in the day and the night. The children had to draw pictures of what they do in the morning and then they had to draw what they did at night. The children each stood up one at a time and talked about what they drew. By doing this the children gain confidence in themselves and it helps them use descriptive language. We then created a Venn diagram about bats vs. owls. A Venn diagram is a visual representation of the similarities and differences between concepts. It’s a way for students to help structure the way students think about the similarities and differences between concepts.

  

 

The third week we focused on fairy tales. Ms. Ame and I read a variety of fairy tales and constructed different lessons and crafts that went along with each book. We read the famous Little Red Riding Hood and made a chart that talked about what the setting was, who the characters were, the problem that was occurring in the story, how they solved it, and the lesson they thought the story was giving them. I really enjoyed doing this because it brought out new vocabulary and really made them think in a different way. Throughout the week I did this with many of the books I read. At the end of the week we went over the elements that you need to have in a fairy tale and then as a class we made up our own. It was so much fun!!

  

The last week we focused on sequencing. Sequencing is the process of putting events, ideas, and objects in logical order. Sequencing is important because we sequence all day. As you know we divide our time into what we need to do first, second, and last. We understand events in our lives by understanding the order in which they occur. This can be hard for young children to grasp, so this is why I choose to read many different books and have different sequencing activities for them to do to help better understand the concept.

 

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
-with Mr. John

The Kindergarten students started the month by dabbling in multiplication.  I explained to them that multiplication was JUST adding multiple(many) times.  For example how many TIMES do we add 3 in the equation 3X4?  Simple, right?  Of course it is!

We then took a look at fractions.  Fractions are simply dividing things into equal parts being 2, 3, 4, 5 parts and up to 12, 100, 1 million parts.  Not only did we divide squares, circle, triangles into fractions but broke down how many boys/girls, who was in John’s, Kate’s, Kristen’s room, eye color, age, and who was a Buckeye fan (100% by the way).

We ended the month with a dose of geometry.  We learned that a triangle has 3 sides and 3 points.  A quadrilateral has 4 sides and 4 points.  Learning to count to ten in Greek came in handy when dealing with polygons ie… penta is 5 and a pentagon has five sides.  I threw in the right angle and what parallel means.

  Kindergartners doing the Stamp Game (Math)

Cultural Subjects:

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 28 different languages (English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic w/the Lebanese dialect, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croation, Hindi, Flemish/Dutch, Malay, Cebuano, Farsi and Turkish!

Handwriting Enrichment
-with Ms. Kristen

In handwriting this month, we finished up the cursive alphabet and moved on to writing vowel blends such as “th”, “sh”,”ch”, “00”, etc. The children are also answered journal questions such as ” When is your birthday?” and” If you could go on vacation, where would you go and with whom?” Something to work on and practice with your Kindergarten student this month would be spelling words phonetically. I’m so proud all the Kindergartner’s progress this month! They are becoming amazing writers! 

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate

For the month of February our reading group focused on poetry. Together we read Knoxville, Tennessee, Picture Books In Winter, and April Rain Song. Each one of these poems were about a different season that the author truly loves. With each of these readings, the children were able to draw their favorite season and explain to their friends the reason they picked that season. They also had fun creating a drawings of their favorite book and what they like most about the rain. During our time together we go over different vocabulary that they see in their readings and discuss what those terms mean. Together as a class the children created a poem about summer in their city. I hope you enjoy this fantastic poem they created together.

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
I always like summer best
You can eat corn on the cob
Hot dogs on the grill
Sweet watermelon
And Ice cream

You can go to
The beach
To the pool
Baseball games
To the park
And take vacations

You can see
Butterflies
Green leaves on the tree
Birds
People playing outside
Lightning bugs at night.

 

Science Enrichment
-by Ms. Kathleen

This past month all 3 Science experiments were about Buoyancy; a force in a liquid pushing against an object in a liquid.

Floating and Sinking Oranges:  Mr. John peeled one orange and left the other peeled(boy did the room smell good!) the children placed in a tank of water. When dropped in the water, the orange with the peel on floated and the orange without the peel sank. This is because of air trapped by the peel making the orange float. The peeled orange has no air so it sinks.

Using oranges to explain buoyancy 

Play Dough Shapes A Bowl and a Sphere: The children dropped 1 piece of play dough shaped as a sphere in water and one shaped like bowl in water. The sphere shaped dough sank while the bowl shaped dough floated. This is because sphere shaped dough is dense and cannot push enough water out to stay floating. The dough shaped like a bowl is able to push out water equal it’s weight and therefore, floats.

                                                                                   Students pushing away water to explain buoyancy

Soda Float with 2 cans of Coke (regular vs. diet): We placed both cans of soda in the water. The diet floated and the regular sank. This is because regular soda contains sugar and diet contains artificial sweeteners. These artificial sweeteners may be 100 times sweeter than sugar, which means that less than a few grams of artificial  sweeteners are used in a can of diet soda. The difference in the amount of grams of sweeteners leads to a different density.

Using two cans of “POP” to explain buoyancy

Art Enrichment
-by Ms. Ame

February has flown by so fast! We started the month with painting our personally created clay creatures from January. The students used a variety of colors and spent almost the whole hour carefully decorating them. Once they dried on the drying rack, the students were able to take them home!

If you haven’t grabbed your child’s little creature, please do and take them home! Then Miss Michele began our next unit, weaving! She has started the students off with paper weaving. The students learned the pattern of over-under-over-under of weaving with large strips of paper. They will continue with weaving projects as we head into March. Keep checking the art carts to take home your students creations both from art and line time lessons! We are constantly creating all sorts of art projects each week!

 

Music Enrichment
-by Ms. Sabrina

A synthesizer was talked about.  It is a piano that can sound like a trumpet as well as other instruments.  It was used to play the game Cat and Mouse. It is a game to hone listening skills. Listening for the highest to lowest sounds.  The children had so much fun.  A song about being diligent was played. The children were taught to try and try and try again.  A train whistle was used, so was a triangle as well as maracas.  A dancing they went.

A new song about telling the truth was sung.  Sign Language was used and so were foot movements. The children also learned about echo’s via music.  The musical instrument used was the maraca. What fun the children had making echos. Performing with scarves were thoroughly enjoyed as well. Let the Sun Shine In was the song they danced to.


Ms. John’s February 2017 Newsletter

“I like everything I get in the mail for free!”

I love coupons!  You do not understand I am obsessed with coupons for restaurants.   I so look forward to getting the Red Plum coupons every week just to see if there are any coupons to Steak and Shake.  Ya, ya I know the coupons for the meals knock off about 50 cents a meal but it is the thrill of handing the coupons to the cashier when paying for the meal. Although, the BOGO for the milkshakes are where you save the real money.  The McDonald’s and Burger King coupons are … OK, BUT the Arby’s coupons are GOLD!  So if you are about to discard you fast food coupons please send them my way.  My children and I will be so very thankful.  Enough about me…let me tell you about our classroom!

Classroom News:

In February we learned about George Washington and how he was our first president and how Abraham Lincoln came from a poor family and freed the slaves.  We were introduced to Franklin F. Roosevelt and how he was president during World War II and how John F. Kennedy fought for equal rights.  We then learned that Donald Trump was current president. The children were taught that the president’s wives are called the first lady and that the president lives in the white house in Washington DC, and flies on a jet called Air Force 1.  We discussed what responsibilities the President has.  The children came up with keeping us safe, keeping the world safe and running the country.  Many coloring pages were used as well as coloring pages to help identify which president is on what coin.

         

3 part cards(language) and 100 board(math)           Scenes from my Snack Pack                                         

We went back in time and visited Ancient Egypt.  We know Egypt is located in Africa and the main civilization for Ancient Egypt was on the Nile River.  The pharaohs were the kings of Ancient Egypt and ruled their subjects.  We found that pharaohs has big egos and thought they were hot stuff because they wanted to be buried in big tombs.  So they ordered slaves to build the pyramids.  One pharaoh had the sphinx built with the body of a lion and his head.  Pharaohs wanted to be around forever and the Ancient Egyptians found a way to make the bodies last a long time after death and this was called mummification.

 

   

Knobless Cylinders(Sensorial)                        Pink Tower and Brown Stair Creation(Sensorial)

 

I Spy with my little eye(Language)

We traveled to Ancient Greece where we learned about the several gods and goddesses that live on Mount Olympus.  The king of all gods on Mt. Olympus was Zeus who was very powerful.  Zeus had a wife named Hera who was the goddess of marriage and the queen of Mt. Olympus.  Dare not sail the seas without pleasing Poseidon who was the king of the water.  Although, Aphrodite was the goddess of love but also protected sailors.   The goddess of wisdom was Athena.  You better behave or you will meet Hades the ruler of the underworld and his really mean pet Cerberus who is a dog with three heads.

    

Vowel Tree (Language)                                     More Pink Tower and Brown Stairs (Sensorial)

The month started off by going back in time and studying the Ancient Romans.  The Ancient Romans had similar Gods as the Ancient Greeks.  The king of all Gods in Rome was Jupiter and his wife Juno who was the Goddess of Marriage and childbirth.  Pluto was the God of the Underworld, Neptune was the God of the Seas, and finally we came across the God of War, Mars.  Did you notice that a lot of these Gods had planets named after them?

 

   

Knobless Cylinder Creation (Sensorial)         Cards and Counters (Math) 

Cultural Subjects:

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 28 different languages (English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic w/the Lebanese dialect, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croation, Hindi, Flemish/Dutch, Malay, Cebuano, Farsi and Turkish!

 

  

Color Bead Bars (Math)                                    Reading is FUN!

Polygons (geometry)

Academic Enrichment:

The Kindergarten students started the month by dabbling in multiplication.  I explained to them that multiplication was JUST adding multiple(many) times.  For example how many TIMES do we add 3 in the equation 3X4?  Simple, right?  Of course it is!

We then took a look at fractions.  Fractions are simply dividing things into equal parts being 2, 3, 4, 5 parts and up to 12, 100, 1 million parts.  Not only did we divide squares, circle, triangles into fractions but broke down how many boys/girls, who was in John’s, Kate’s, Kristen’s room, eye color, age, and who was a Buckeye fan (100% by the way).

We ended the month with a dose of geometry.  We learned that a triangle has 3 sides and 3 points.  A quadrilateral has 4 sides and 4 points.  Learning to count to ten in Greek came in handy when dealing with polygons ie… penta is 5 and a pentagon has five sides.  I threw in the right angle and what parallel means.

 

    Kindergartners doing the Stamp Game (Math)

Cultural Subjects:

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 28 different languages (English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic w/the Lebanese dialect, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croation, Hindi, Flemish/Dutch, Malay, Cebuano, Farsi and Turkish!

Field Placement Students:

Our field student from University of Akron Mr. John  in action.

  Mr. John from University of Akron (Field Student)

 

Handwriting Enrichment
-with Ms. Kristen

In handwriting this month, we finished up the cursive alphabet and moved on to writing vowel blends such as “th”, “sh”,”ch”, “00”, etc. The children are also answered journal questions such as ” When is your birthday?” and” If you could go on vacation, where would you go and with whom?” Something to work on and practice with your Kindergarten student this month would be spelling words phonetically. I’m so proud all the Kindergartner’s progress this month! They are becoming amazing writers! 

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate

For the month of February our reading group focused on poetry. Together we read Knoxville, Tennessee, Picture Books In Winter, and April Rain Song. Each one of these poems were about a different season that the author truly loves. With each of these readings, the children were able to draw their favorite season and explain to their friends the reason they picked that season. They also had fun creating a drawings of their favorite book and what they like most about the rain. During our time together we go over different vocabulary that they see in their readings and discuss what those terms mean. Together as a class the children created a poem about summer in their city. I hope you enjoy this fantastic poem they created together.

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
I always like summer best
You can eat corn on the cob
Hot dogs on the grill
Sweet watermelon
And Ice cream

You can go to
The beach
To the pool
Baseball games
To the park
And take vacations

You can see
Butterflies
Green leaves on the tree
Birds
People playing outside
Lightning bugs at night.


Science Enrichment
-by Ms. Kathleen

This past month all 3 Science experiments were about Buoyancy; a force in a liquid pushing against an object in a liquid.

Floating and Sinking Oranges:  Mr. John peeled one orange and left the other peeled (boy did the room smell good!) the children placed in a tank of water. When dropped in the water, the orange with the peel on floated and the orange without the peel sank. This is because of air trapped by the peel making the orange float. The peeled orange has no air so it sinks.

Using oranges to explain buoyancy 

Play Dough Shapes A Bowl and a Sphere: The children dropped 1 piece of play dough shaped as a sphere in water and one shaped like bowl in water. The sphere shaped dough sank while the bowl shaped dough floated. This is because sphere shaped dough is dense and cannot push enough water out to stay floating. The dough shaped like a bowl is able to push out water equal it’s weight and therefore, floats.

                                                                        Students pushing away water to explain buoyancy

Soda Can Float (Diet Coke v. Regular) We placed both cans of soda in the water. The diet floated and the regular sank. This is because regular soda contains sugar and diet contains artificial sweeteners. These artificial sweeteners may be 100 times sweeter than sugar, which means that less than a few grams of artificial  sweeteners are used in a can of diet soda. The difference in the amount of grams of sweeteners leads to a different density.

Using two cans of “POP” to explain buoyancy

Art Enrichment
-by Ms. Ame

February has flown by so fast! We started the month with painting our personally created clay creatures from January. The students used a variety of colors and spent almost the whole hour carefully decorating them. Once they dried on the drying rack, the students were able to take them home!

If you haven’t grabbed your child’s little creature, please do and take them home! Then Miss Michele began our next unit, weaving! She has started the students off with paper weaving. The students learned the pattern of over-under-over-under of weaving with large strips of paper. They will continue with weaving projects as we head into March. Keep checking the art carts to take home your students creations both from art and line time lessons! We are constantly creating all sorts of art projects each week!

 

Music Enrichment
-by Ms. Sabrina

A synthesizer was talked about.  It is a piano that can sound like a trumpet as well as other instruments.  It was used to play the game Cat and Mouse. It is a game to hone listening skills. Listening for the highest to lowest sounds.  The children had so much fun.  A song about being diligent was played. The children were taught to try and try and try again.  A train whistle was used, so was a triangle as well as maracas.  A dancing they went.

A new song about telling the truth was sung.  Sign Language was used and so were foot movements. The children also learned about echo’s via music.  The musical instrument used was the maraca. What fun the children had making echos. Performing with scarves were thoroughly enjoyed as well. Let the Sun Shine In was the song they danced to.


Ms. Courtney’s February Newsletter


Classroom

The first week of February the children learned about all the different types of pets and how to care for them. To wrap the week up the children made Valentine’s Day bags and heart wreaths at their Valentine’s Day party. I would like to thank all of the parents who made the party possible! As always it was very organized and successful.

The second week of February the children learned how George Washington was a great man, the father of our country, who led in war and peace. They discovered that Abraham Lincoln was also known as “Honest Abe”. The children organized the presidents from George Washington to Donald Trump and discovered that we have had 45 presidents.

   

The third week of February we discussed how different foods and drinks can affect our dental hygiene. We learned that our teeth get sad and full of tooth decay from sweets and soda and get happy and shiny and bright from brushing and eating healthy foods. The children played a game called pass the cavity, when the cavity landed on them they had to go to the dentist.

 

The last week of February we talked about Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. The children loved coming to school dressed up with their hats, silly socks, and wockets in their pockets! My favorite dress up day was Oh The Places You’ll Go I loved seeing what everyone wanted to be when they grew up.

 

Kindergarten

We started out the month of February by introducing fractions. We learned that we can divide anything as long as it can be divided into equal parts. Even our kindergarten class can be divided! 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 learned all about agons like pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon. The kindergarteners then started their grammar unit by learning their five vowels and what isn’t a vowel is a consonant. We learned a fun song to the tune of BINGO there are five letters that I know and vowel are their name O’s A,E,I,O,U  A,E,I,O,U   A,E,I,O,U  and vowels are their name O’s.

 

Reading Group

By: Ms. Faith

In February, the kindergartners received a new reading series called the Dragon Series. This series is set up just the same as the Sailing Ship series we have been reading since the beginning of the school year. The first story we read was The Princess and the Frog by the Brothers Grimm. In this story, a young beautiful Princess accidentally drops her favorite ball down a well, and becomes very distraught. A frog appears out of the well and starts to talk to her. He tells her that if he brings the ball to her then she must play with him, eat with him, and let him sleep in her bed. The young Princess agrees, but doesn’t believe that the frog would actually leave the well. The frog does in fact leave the well, and shows up at her castle that evening. She refuses to let him in because she is disgusted at the thought of playing with a slimy, cold frog. When her father hears of the situation, he makes her invite the frog in, because she made a promise and promises shouldn’t be broken. She ends up following through with her promise even if it is with an unwilling heart. One morning, the frog jumps out of her bed, and ends up turning into a handsome young Prince. They end up becoming best of friends, and the story even hints that they may get married in the future.

This story has a couple of lessons that the kindergartners learned from the princess. This lesson is that we should never go back on our promises, and if someone treats us with kindness, we should not treat them wrong because of how they look. The students got to participate in art activities where they had to draw what was the hardest part for the Princess, what they think the Princess and Prince enjoy doing together after he becomes the Prince. They also had to answer evaluative questions like, “Why must the Princess be playmates with the frog before the spell over him can be broken?”, and “Why does the Princess think that a talking frog ‘could never be a playmate to a human being’?” The kindergartners favorite part was getting to act out a scene from the story. They took turns being the frog, the Princess, and the King.

Science

Our first science experiment in February was to see if we could balance a ping pong ball using a hair dryer. We discovered the ping pong ball floated gently above the hair dryer without shifting sideways or flying across the other side of the room. This is because the airflow from the hair dryer pushes the ping pong ball upwards until its upward force equals the force of gravity pushing down on it. When it reaches this point it gently bounces around, floating where the upward and downward forces are equal. The child even had the opportunity to see if they could float 2 or even 3 ping pong balls as an extra challenge during work time.

 

The next experiment we did we poked sharp pencils through a Ziploc bag full of water, and discovered no water spilled out the holes because the Ziploc bag was made of a polymer. Polymers have long chains of molecules that are flexible. When we poked the sharp pencils through the bag, the pencil slid in between the chain of molecules that make up the polymer. The molecule chains made a seal around the pencil that wouldn’t let any of the water out.

For the third science experiment we filled glasses with different amounts of water. Each glass had a different tone when hit with the pencil, the glass with the most water had the lowest tone while the glass with the least water had the highest tone. The children learned that small vibrations are made when we hit the glass, this created sound waves which traveled through the water. More water meant slower vibrations so a deeper tone.

The last week of February we poured the same amount of water into two different clear plastic containers. Then we added the same amount of oil to the containers. We watched as the oil raised to the top of both containers. This occurred because the oil became lighter than the water. We then placed one of the containers in the freezer for a couple of hours. After we took the container out of the freezer we saw that the water moved to the top of the oil, because the water was now a solid and as it expanded it also became less dense than the oil.

Music

By: Ms. Faith

This past month, Ms. Lisa focused on what a piano is. She brought in her piano synthesizer and let the students explore it. We learned that a piano has white keys and black keys. Each student got a turn to play either the black or white keys to make up their own song. Ms. Lisa played the high keys, and the low keys to distinguish the difference between high and low notes. Since her key board is a synthesizer, Ms. Lisa would play different instrument sounds for the group, and the students had to guess what sounds she was playing. Some of the instrument sounds were trumpet, violin, guitar, and drums.

Ms. Lisa also reintroduced a game that is a student favorite here. It is called Cat and Mouse. One student is picked to be that “cat”, and all the rest of the students are the “mice”. Ms. Lisa places cheese in front of the “cat” for the “mice” to go and get. On her piano synthesizer, Ms. Lisa plays a song in high notes for the “mice” to go out of their mouse hole and grab the cheese. Once she plays the song in low notes, the “cat” comes in and tries to catch the “mice” before the get back to their hole. If someone is tagged, he or she becomes a “cat” as well. The students have so much fun tagging their friends, and are practicing listening skills, patience, and control in this game.

Art

By: Ms. Faith

Ms. Michele spent the month of February on a unit of weaving work. At the end of January she introduced paper weaving to get the students started with the idea of the pattern of weaving. Then, she moved in to a little more advanced weavings. She brought in her own personal weaving works to show the students different types of weaving art. Each student was able to use a small loom that Ms. Michele made to create his or her own textile artwork. A textile artwork is a decorative or practical piece that is made from plant, animal, or synthetic fibers. The younger students picked out different types of ribbon to use for their weavings, while the older students used different color yarn. Their weavings turned out beautifully and are hanging up on display on the bulletin board in the entrance. Make sure to check out their handiwork!

 

March 2017 Academic Enrichment Overview | Cuyahoga Falls Campus

Academic Enrichment Overview | Cuyahoga Falls Campus

Our Academic Enrichment time is daily from 12:00-1:00pm. This time is specifically designed for our Kindergarten students to join as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum with Mr. John. During this time Ms. Kristen also gives additional handwriting and journaling lessons. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level. Please read through what we will be covering during this time together below.

Reading Group Overview | Ms. Kate
Junior Great Books is a foundational reading program that introduces students to a variety of literary genres, while teaching critical thinking and comprehension skills. Our Kindergarten students meet twice a week as a small reading group. During this time, they listen to a story being read to them and take turns reading the story aloud. Students pause during readings to think critically about the story, identify the different parts of the story, such as the characters and main ideas, make predictions about what might happen next, and learn new vocabulary words, using the context to understand the meaning. Each week I will email information about the current story and any assignment information for at home work.

2/27: Geometric Shapes and Constructive Boxes

Geometric Cabinet
Hexagon, rectangle and blue rectangle boxes
Creating triangles, rhombus, trapezoid, parallelogram, squares, etc

3/06: Parts of Speech/ Grammar

Vowels, consonants and their rules

3/13: Parts of Speech/ Grammar

Introduction to nouns and their rules (name of a person, place, or thing)
Introduction to verbs and their rules (action word or something you do)
Vowels, consonants and their rules
Using worksheets, diagramming sentences and sandpaper letters

3/20: Parts of Speech/ Grammar

Introduction to the article
“the” hooks up with anything
“a” or “an”/ “a” hooks up with only consonants, “an” hooks up with only vowels
Using worksheets, diagramming sentences and sandpaper letters

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
2/27: write, them
3/06: then, out
3/13: they, that
3/20: have, this

Synonyms of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
2/27: WET, damp, moist, soggy, drenched, soaked
3/06: HEALTHY, hearty, athletic, sound, strong, fit
3/13: SICK, weak, unhealthy, ailing, infected, frail
3/20: Mean, selfish, unkind, malicious, hurtful

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:

Look for our words of the week when reading a story, cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
Practice using the different synonyms of the week in a sentence together.

Mr. John will be sending homework home to reinforce these lessons. Please turn homework into the orange box outside of Mr. John’s classroom. Please email him if you have any questions: jkotradi@thesmarterkids.com.


March 2017 Academic Enrichment Overview | Tallmadge Campus

Academic Enrichment Overview | Tallmadge Campus


Our Academic Enrichment time is daily from 12:00-1:00pm. This time is specifically designed for our Kindergarten students to join as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum with Ms. Courtney. During this time Ms. Courtney also gives additional handwriting and journaling lessons. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teachers on these and other materials at their level. Please read through what we will be covering during this time together below.

Reading Group Overview | Ms. Faith
Junior Great Books is a foundational reading program that introduces students to a variety of literary genres, while teaching critical thinking and comprehension skills. Our Kindergarten students meet twice a week as a small reading group. During this time, they listen to a story being read to them and take turns reading the story aloud. Students pause during readings to think critically about the story, identify the different parts of the story, such as the characters and main ideas, make predictions about what might happen next, and learn new vocabulary words, using the context to understand the meaning. Each week I will email information about the current story and any assignment information for at home work.

In March we will be reading a folktale from West Africa called Guinea Fowl and Rabbit Get Justice, and we will start a poetry series called Nature Speaks. The kindergartners will be completing art activities, writing activities, dramatizations, learning unfamiliar vocabulary, and answering analytical questions that go a long with the readings.

3/06: Parts of Speech/ Grammar

  • Introduction to nouns and their rules (name of a person, place, thing or idea)
  • Introduction to verbs and their rules (action word or something you do)
  • Vowels, consonants and their rules
  • Using worksheets, diagramming sentences and sandpaper letters

3/13: Parts of Speech/ Grammar

  • Introduction to the article (a kind of adjective always used with and gives information about a noun)
  • A definite article is the word “the”
  • An indefinite article is the word “a” or “an”
  • Using worksheets, diagramming sentences and sandpaper letters

3/20:  Articles

  • Rules of the articles
  • Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

3/27: SPRING BREAK

 

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

3/06: go

3/13: we

3/20: in

 

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

3/06: HEALTHY, hearty, athletic, sound, strong, fit

3/13: SICK, weak, unhealthy, ailing, infected, frail

3/20: MEAN, selfish, unkind, malicious, hurtful

 

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:

  • Look for our words of the week when reading a story, cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
  • Practice using the different synonyms of the week in a sentence together.

  I will be sending homework home to reinforce these lessons. Please turn homework into Ms. Courtney. Please email me if you have any questions:  cowens@thesmarterkids.com


Explorations of Elementary March 2017 Overview

Explorations of Elementary March 2017 Overview

Research

  • Our first-year students will begin a study of simple machines. During this study, they will learn different simple machines, how they work, and how we use them in daily life.  These students will each build their own simple machine at the end of our study.
  • Second year students will put together their knowledge of parts of the flower, monocots and dicots, types of stems, parts of the seed, and different leaf blades to study completeness of flowers.
  • Third year students will begin studying internal systems of vertebrates.
  • Students researching the human body will discuss muscles and the circulatory systems.
  • All students will begin research of landmarks formed naturally from rocks for our International Festival.
  • We will be studying the continent of Asia. We will look at objects and photos from Asia and will talk about many of its capital cities.
  • Math and Language lessons are given to children based on individual needs, instead of age level.

Reading Groups

  • One of our groups will begin reading the Frog and Toad series. Another group will continue My Father’s Dragon.  A third group will be reading Bunnicula. Our last group will be reading Hidden Figures and creating a timeline of the events from this true story.
  • For Writer’s Workshop this month we will study and write fairy tales. We will review popular fairy tales, then in our writing we will change roles of characters and change the problem in different stories.  We will also write our own fairy tale at the end of our study.

Spelling Groups

  • Group 1 will be reviewing all different short vowel sounds, long a spellings, long e spellings, and long i spellings. In class, one activity will be a short/long vowel reference chart where they will draw an example of each short/long vowel sound.  Their other activity will be drawing configurations of each word.
  • Group 2 and 3 will be working on -air, -ear, and -are words, /ow/ and /oi/ words, homophones, and silent letters. This group will be writing silly sentences about each word and writing word cousins.  Word cousins are a list of words that hint at the meaning of each word.
  • Group 4 will be working on prefixes, suffixes, doubling of consonants, and contractions. An activity for this group will be to write true and false questions for another member of their group.  The other activity will be to type each word three times on the computer.
  • Group 5 will be working on adding endings to words that end in e, prefixes, and suffixes. The activities this group will be doing are typing their words on the computer and making a chart of different endings, suffixes, and prefixes.
  • The homework for the month of March will be “Waterfall Writing.” This means writing a word beginning with one letter on the first line, then two letters on the second line, and so on.  An example will come home with their homework the first week.

Field Trips and Special Events

  • March 7: Elementary World’s Fair at 6pm.
    • Each child has prepared a research report and display board for a country of their choice. Each child will dress in a costume from their country and explain their findings as you stop by their stand.  Feel welcome to invite family and friends!  Our students have been working so hard!
  • March 13: Our kindergarten students will begin visiting. Some of our students have been paired up to help them and make them feel comfortable in our environment.  This is a great opportunity for even our youngest students to be role models for our visitors!
  • March 14: Cleveland Metro Parks Farmpark Field Trip.
    • Please dress appropriately for the weather. We will be outside almost the entire time we are there.
    • Please pack a disposable lunch in disposable containers.
    • If you have volunteered to drive, you will receive an email soon about which children will be riding in your vehicle, along with directions and the time to arrive.
  • March 18: Father/Daughter, Mother/Son School Dance 2-4pm
  • March 24: Pajama Day
  • March 27-31: Spring Break