Mr. John’s March, 2017 Newsletter Article

On a personal note…

March was a hard month for my animals.  I had many deaths which does happen once in awhile.  It just seems that the animals get old and…. well, die.  With death comes life and new animals- which has been exciting in our room.  I did add Green and Brown Anoles and Long Tailed Lizards AND the popular Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.  These are calm and beautiful creatures are not like the cockroaches that shared my apartment in college at The Ohio State University.  Those roaches looked into my soul and gave me chills before they darted off behind the stove.  Dreadful beasts they were.  Although, it was sport for me and my roommate to capture them in the Roach Motel. A game so to speak.  The roaches toyed with us at times.  We would think we got a few the night before. Looking in the box and expecting to see roaches glued to the inner box only to have them taunt and mock us and some pretended to be stuck and when we picked up the motel they scurried out of the box behind the fridge laughing.   By Spring Quarter we all became friends and lived harmoniously together! We ate dinner together, watched TV, and sometimes they would go to out with us.  Although since they didn’t have an ID we had to sneak them in.  I often wonder what some of my six legged friends are up to now.

 

Observing Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
Green and Brown Anoles and Long Tail Lizard        

 

Line Time Lessons:

The beginning of the month brought us looking at various artists like Monet and Picasso.  We looked at Claude Monet’s water colors and his view of the world.  Monet’s view was not as interesting as Pablo Picasso’s.  The children laughed as they saw some of his “weird” pictures.  We went to the Akron Art Museum and learned that paintings consist of lines, shapes, colors, and textures.  The students had a blast at the museum!

 

  

“I Spy”  (Language)                                                        Young and old in a Montessori Classroom

                                                                                           

We turned our attention to our environment.  We looked at what pollution can do to our environment.  What air, water, littering and noise pollution does to our environment and what we can do to help clean our world.  We learned the 3 R’s … Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  I showed them pictures of polluted areas and clean areas then asked which they would rather live.  It was a resounding answer of a clean environment.  We now know that pollution is TOXIC!

 

The 9 Tray(Math)

We prepared ourselves for the International Festival about learning about our own great state of Ohio.  We learned that our official tree is the Buckeye tree,  mammal is the White Tailed Deer,  fossil is the Trilobite, bird is the Cardinal, flower is the Scarlet Carnation, insect is the Lady Bug, drink is Tomato Juice… get what the predominant color is?  The official rock and roll song is Hang On Sloopy and the state flag is the only state in the union that is not a rectangle.

 

     

9 Tray(Math), Kindergarten Binder work             9 Tray and Blue Rectangle Box(Geometry)

 

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!)

We had our cheeky leprechaun, Sean O’Keefe, visit us again.  He left the room a mess but left candy for the teachers and students.  I will catch you next year Sean O’Keefe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

                                                                       Sean O’Keefe aftermath

 

St. Patty Day Princesses

 

We had a wonderful field trip to the Akron Art Museum.  This yearly field trip is one of my favorites.  The docents do a great job of explaining the art and keeping the children’s attention.  The students love to see all the art and participate in the activities at the Art Museum.

 

Hands on at the art museum

I have a 9 year old Amaryllis flower that blooms every spring.  I am having the kindergarten students track and document the growth of this plant and form their hypothesis on how big it might get and what color the flowers will be.  They are measuring with a ruler and documenting in inches and centimeters the growth of this plant.

 

                                                             Tracking the growth of a plant

 

Spring has sprung.  Students noticed our flower in bloom looked like a work!

 

Visitor:

We had Ms. Taylor, a dental hygienist, come in and she gave a lesson how important it is to brush, floss, and eat healthy to protect our teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
-with Mr. John

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

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

The children learned how to write vowels and consonant blends in cursive this month, such as ” oo”, “ee”, “th”, “sh”, etc. We also ventured into more creative journal writing, answering questions such as ” If you could go on vacation anywhere, who would you take with you and why?” and ” Tell me two things you plan to do over your Spring Break”. I’m daily impressed with their creativity and excitement for writing!

Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate

For the month of March our Reading group read two wonderful stories called The Frog Prince, and Guinea Fowl And Rabbit Get Justice. With each of these stories the children were able to illustrate and write about what was happening in each of the stories. By illustrating, the children are visualizing the characters and setting of the story. As they make their own decisions about what the hardest thing is, they are learning that their individual perspectives on a story are important. They also had so much fun acting out the stories. Dramatizations can make it easier for students to take in detail and get plots straight! The children really enjoyed these stories!

Science Enrichment
-by Ms. Kathleen

This month in March we did 3 Science experiments,

  1. Density:  What happens when you put a lemon and a lime in a container of water? The lemon floats and the lime sinks. Why? because the lime is denser than the lemon, the lime has more water by weight in it, it is also guessed that lemons have more air in them which makes them float.
  2. Density: What happens when we mix oil, water and Alka Seltzer in a plastic clear bottle? But first we pour water into bottle about 1/4 full. Then pour vegetable oil into bottle until full, wait until it separates. Add 10 drops food coloring. Break a seltzer tablet in half drop into bottle. Watch it sink to the bottom and the bubble greatness begins, bubbles start wildly going up and down the bottle quickly almost in a dancing like fashion, truly entertaining. This fantastic experiment is because the oil stays above the water the oil is lighter than the water. Oil and water do not mix, the structures of the two molecules do not allow them to bond together. When the tablet pieces are added, they sank to the bottom and created a gas, As the gas bubbles rose, they took some of the colored water with them. When the bubbles reach the top, the gas escapes and down went the water. This was for sure one of the Children’s favorites this month because of all that it does, so fun to watch.
  3. Carbonation: What will happen when you place raisins in a fresh glass of ginger ale? The raisins sink to the bottom of the ginger ale. Then after just a few minutes the raisins get covered in bubbles and rise to the top. Then fall to the bottom. They repeat this pattern for several minutes. Why does this happen? The raisins are heavier than the ginger ale. When enough bubbles attach to the raisins they become” lighter” than the ginger ale. The bubbles raise the raisins to the top. When the bubbles reach the surface they pop dropping the raisins to the bottom again.

 

         Up up the dancing raisins go!

Music Enrichment

-by Ms. Sabrina

Music is so much fun! This month was all about good manners! A song and game about sharing was played! While listening to the directions in the song, the children passed and shared a ball, and had a lot of fun!  The magic words “please” and “thank you” were reinforced through song and by using movement and castanets. “You Have a Choice” was a song played during class, which taught the children that they had a choice to be kind. The children enjoyed using bells, tambourines and rhythm sticks as well this month. The children also learned the difference between forte and piano or loud and soft. They loved raising and lowering their voices with the music. Songs about forgiveness and telling the truth were also shared this month. Ask your child to share all these great songs!

Art Enrichment
-by Ms. Ame

The first week of March Miss Michele felt much better and brought some (much needed) sunshine into our rooms using modge-podge glue with different colors mixed in! The students each created their own sunshine using different colors. These masterpieces will look fantastic in a window that gets a lot of sunshine. The next week Miss Ame stepped in when Miss Michele was sick and taught an abbreviated art lesson on Andy Warhol, that’s what all those colorful cats were about! The students learned a bit about his life and the definition of pop art. The next week Miss Michele taught the students about the definition of monochromatic. Monochromatic means only using a single color.  The students each created their own “house” or creation out of gluing popsicle sticks. Then they painted their creation only one color. It was difficult to pick only one! The next week Miss Michele talked about complimentary colors and introduced the color wheel once again. The students had to identify the complimentary color to the color they painted their creation the previous week. Then Miss Michele provided small boxes full of all sorts of treasures! The students had to be very careful to pick out only the complimentary colored items and glue them onto their monochromatic creation! They turned out so beautiful! If you see yours on the art rack, feel free to take it home! We can’t wait for April and see what multicultural projects Miss Michele will have us make to display at the International Festival on the 21st!

 


Ms. Kate’s March 2017 Newsletter Article

Classroom News:

March was a busy month for us. The children had fun talking about Dr. Seuss, learning about different artists, and exploring the our five senses, and also learning about spring. We also had fun celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day.

   

The first week was celebrating Dr. Seuss. The children had a blast this week! Throughout the week the children were able to wear silly socks, mismatched clothes, have crazy hair, and wear a crazy hat! The first day we read The Cat In the Hat. After we read the story, the children were able to create their own cat in the hats out of red and white paper. We then took a silly picture! The next day the children were given a plain sock template and they were able to draw their silly sock they wore. We then made a silly sock graph. Having graphs is super important for children because they provide meaningful opportunity for children to represent and communicate important mathematical relationships. Later on we made green eggs and ham and had a taste test. Lastly we created another graph using all of the books we had read that week, and then graphing our favorites.

   

The theme for our second week was, Art Appreciation. This week we focused on different artists and their works. The children were able to create their own works from the artists they learned about. The first day we learned all about Claude Monet. We discussed landscapes and why he chose to only draw them. We also learned about oil pastels and how to blend them. The children then created their own landscape while using oil pastels. On the second day, we discussed Pablo Picasso and his different Periods. The children learned about his Blue period and how he was very sad. We also talked about his Rose period where he fell in love and became very happy and all of his paintings were a rosy hue. We then went over his angry period, where all of his paintings were a bit scary. I showed them how he would drew faces in a different way and how all of his drawing were different. The children then drew self-portraits, cut their pictures up and created their own Picasso with Ms. Ame. The next thing we learned about was Vincent Van Gough. The children learned the history behind his art, they were also able to explore his different paintings and why he painted certain paintings the way he did. The children then created their own 3D Sunflower portrait! They also had a lot of fun learning, exploring, and doing different types of art with Ms. Ame!

  

Our third week was all about spring and the different things that happen during this time. To start out the week we discussed the four seasons. We created a chart that was sectioned into four groups. We then went over the different weather that we get with each season, the clothes we might wear, what the trees are doing, and what the animals might be doing with each of these seasons. We then lead a discussion about the adult animal and what their baby animal is called. We read some wonderful books and then we played a fun matching game where we had to place the baby animal next to its mother. Matching games are great for children’s brain development because it provides an opportunity to master a skill, it also brings in deep concentration which is calming and deeply satisfying for the child, and it also demonstrates that they are capable of making the connection between the real item and the pictorial representation. We also went over the parts of the flower, and the life cycle of a chick!

   

The last week of March we had fun learning about our five senses. The first day the children learned about hearing and how the ear works. We also listened to an awesome CD that played different environmental sounds where the children had to guess what the sounds were. We then learned about touch and the children had to place their hand in the mystery bag and guess the item that they were touching. We also had fun learning about taste where the children got to taste something sweet, salty, sour, and bitter! We then played a take away game that explained all about sight, and lastly the children had to place a blindfold on while smelling different smells such as bananas, vanilla, lemon, peppermint, orange, and cinnamon. I loved seeing all the children’s facial expressions!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe spring break! See you in April!

 

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
-with Mr. John

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

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

The children learned how to write vowels and consonant blends in cursive this month, such as ” oo”, “ee”, “th”, “sh”, etc. We also ventured into more creative journal writing, answering questions such as ” If you could go on vacation anywhere, who would you take with you and why?” and ” Tell me two things you plan to do over your Spring Break”. I’m daily impressed with their creativity and excitement for writing!

Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate

For the month of March our Reading group read two wonderful stories called The Frog Prince, and Guinea Fowl and Rabbit Get Justice. With each of these stories the children were able to illustrate and write about what was happening in each of the stories. By illustrating, the children are visualizing the characters and setting of the story. As they make their own decisions about what the hardest thing is, they are learning that their individual perspectives on a story are important. They also had so much fun acting out the stories. Dramatizations can make it easier for students to take in detail and get plots straight! The children really enjoyed these stories!

Science Enrichment
-by Ms. Kathleen

This month in March we did 3 Science experiments,

  1. Density:  What happens when you put a lemon and a lime in a container of water? The lemon floats and the lime sinks. Why? because the lime is denser than the lemon, the lime has more water by weight in it, it is also guessed that lemons have more air in them which makes them float.
  2. Density: What happens when we mix oil, water and Alka Seltzer in a plastic clear bottle? But first we pour water into bottle about 1/4 full. Then pour vegetable oil into bottle until full, wait until it separates. Add 10 drops food coloring. Break a seltzer tablet in half drop into bottle. Watch it sink to the bottom and the bubble greatness begins, bubbles start wildly going up and down the bottle quickly almost in a dancing like fashion, truly entertaining. This fantastic experiment is because the oil stays above the water the oil is lighter than the water. Oil and water do not mix, the structures of the two molecules do not allow them to bond together. When the tablet pieces are added, they sank to the bottom and created a gas, As the gas bubbles rose, they took some of the colored water with them. When the bubbles reach the top, the gas escapes and down went the water. This was for sure one of the Children’s favorites this month because of all that it does, so fun to watch.
  3. Carbonation: What will happen when you place raisins in a fresh glass of ginger ale? The raisins sink to the bottom of the ginger ale. Then after just a few minutes the raisins get covered in bubbles and rise to the top. Then fall to the bottom. They repeat this pattern for several minutes. Why does this happen? The raisins are heavier than the ginger ale. When enough bubbles attach to the raisins they become” lighter” than the ginger ale. The bubbles raise the raisins to the top. When the bubbles reach the surface they pop dropping the raisins to the bottom again.
Up, up the dancing raisins go!

 

Music Enrichment

-by Ms. Sabrina

Music is so much fun! This month was all about good manners! A song and game about sharing was played! While listening to the directions in the song, the children passed and shared a ball, and had a lot of fun!  The magic words “please” and “thank you” were reinforced through song and by using movement and castanets. “You Have a Choice” was a song played during class, which taught the children that they had a choice to be kind. The children enjoyed using bells, tambourines and rhythm sticks as well this month. The children also learned the difference between forte and piano or loud and soft. They loved raising and lowering their voices with the music. Songs about forgiveness and telling the truth were also shared this month. Ask your child to share all these great songs!

Art Enrichment
-by Ms. Ame

The first week of March Miss Michele felt much better and brought some (much needed) sunshine into our rooms using modge-podge glue with different colors mixed in! The students each created their own sunshine using different colors. These masterpieces will look fantastic in a window that gets a lot of sunshine. The next week Miss Ame stepped in when Miss Michele was sick and taught an abbreviated art lesson on Andy Warhol, that’s what all those colorful cats were about! The students learned a bit about his life and the definition of pop art. The next week Miss Michele taught the students about the definition of monochromatic. Monochromatic means only using a single color.  The students each created their own “house” or creation out of gluing popsicle sticks. Then they painted their creation only one color. It was difficult to pick only one! The next week Miss Michele talked about complimentary colors and introduced the color wheel once again. The students had to identify the complimentary color to the color they painted their creation the previous week. Then Miss Michele provided small boxes full of all sorts of treasures! The students had to be very careful to pick out only the complimentary colored items and glue them onto their monochromatic creation! They turned out so beautiful! If you see yours on the art rack, feel free to take it home! We can’t wait for April and see what multicultural projects Miss Michele will have us make to display at the International Festival on the 21st!

 


Explorations of Elementary April 2017 Overview

Explorations of Elementary April 2017 Overview

Research

  • Our first-year students will continue their study of Simple Machines by constructing their own machine. Each student will also write an experiment card for their fellow students to be able to use their machine.
  • Second year students will move into the study of main characteristics of vertebrates. This will help them at the end of the year to make a Venn Diagram with the third year students about vertebrates and invertebrates. They will also focus their polygon study on triangles for this month.
  • Third year students will begin an in-depth study of the different groups of the plant kingdom.
  • Students researching the human body will finish up with organs and discuss our largest organ, the skin.
  • Students have been separated into two groups for the International Festival. Two second year students are in charge of each group. One group has chosen to research Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, and the other, Immortal Bridge in China. These groups will write a research paper, create a model of their landmark, and prepare a presentation.
  • We will be studying the continent of Australia. We will look at the currency of Australia, a timeline of the history of Australia, and creating Aboriginal Dot Art.
  • Math and Language lessons are given to children based on individual needs, instead of age level.

Reading Groups

  • Two groups are reading different chapter books from the Junie B. Jones series. A third group completed Bunnicula and is beginning a book from A Series of Unfortunate Events. The fourth group is continuing Hidden Figures and will have a special presentation for the International Festival.
  • For Writer’s Workshop this month we will finish our study of fairy tales. We will begin writing “All Abouts.” Our “All Abouts” will focus on different types of animals. Students will write everything they know about the animal of their choice, then will work with a partner to edit their work.

Spelling Groups

  • Our first group will continue their work reviewing long vowel spellings with long i, long o, and long u. The second groups will focus on silent letters, /aw/ spellings, and /s/ and /j/ spellings. The third group is completing the red level with contractions and moving on to study challenging long vowel words in the orange level. The final spelling group will study suffixes, doubling final consonants, contractions, and complete a final review of their level.
  • The homework for the month of March will be rhyming words for groups 1, 2, and 3. These groups need to write each spelling word once, then two words that rhyme with each word. Groups 4 and 5 will be doing “Code Words.” These students need to create a code for each letter and write their words using the code. The codes can be a symbol for each letter or a number for each letter.

Field Trips and Special Events

  • April 7: Dads and Donuts from 7-7:45am
  • April 7: Laser Quest Gym Field Trip
  • April 14-17: Easter Break – NO SCHOOL
  • April 19: International Festival Rehearsal
  • April 21: International Festival

 

 


April 2017 Academic Enrichment | 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.

4/03: Introduction to Pronouns

Rules of the pronouns
Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

4/10: Introduction to Adjectives

Rules of the adjectives
Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

4/17: Introduction to Adverbs

Rules of  adverbs
Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

4/24: Introduction to Conjunctions

Rules of conjunctions
Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences

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

**No Sight words or synonyms until 4/24/2017 due to the International Festival

4/24: look, many

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

4/24: Talk, Chat, Gab, Speak, Converse

 

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

 


April 2017 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.

4/03: Pronouns

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

4/10: Introduction to Adjectives

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

4/17:  Introduction to Adverbs

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

4/24: Introduction to Prepositions

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

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:

  • 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.
  • Practice identifying different parts of speech when reading 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


Ms. Kristen’s April 2017 Monthly Overview

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

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

4/3: Introduction To The Continents/ All About Africa

  • The location of the continents on the globe.
  • Using the Continent Map Puzzle to locate the continents.
  • Where is Africa? What is the weather like in Africa?
  • Landmarks and Animals that are indigenous to Africa.
  • Making an African animal craft.
  • Friday, April 7th | Dads n Donuts

4/10: All About Africa

  • Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Egypt
  • Making an African mask.
  • Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Morocco
  • Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Madagascar
  • Learning all about Kenya and making African Drums
  • Friday, April 14th | NO SCHOOL | Easter break

4/17: All About Africa

  • Monday, April 17th | NO SCHOOL | Easter break
  • Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of South Africa
  • Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Zimbabwe
  • Learning all about the culture, traditions, and people of Ethiopian
  • Discuss how soccer is a very popular sport in Africa.
  • Making African masks.
  • Wednesday, April 19th | International Festival Rehearsal
  • Friday, April 21st | International Festival

4/24: All About Spring

  • Learning all about the signs of Spring.
  • Learning about the parts of the flower.
  • Life Cycles
  • What animals are born in the Spring?

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

4/3: Aa

4/10: Cc

4/17: Rr

4/24: Tt

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

4/3: and

4/10: can

4/17: rag

4/24: the

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

  • Try making a new recipe as a family from a country we’ve discussed in Africa.
  • Discuss with your child their favorite animal that they learned about from Africa.
  • Practice identifying the continents on a map of the world with your child.
  • Practice with your child the name of our planet, continent, country, state, city, and their address.

Mr. John’s April 2017 Monthly Overview

What I will learn at school this month in Mr. John’s Class:

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

 4/03: Countries from North & South America

  • North America: countries, culture, climate, & landmarks and cuisine
  • South America: countries, culture, climate, & landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map
  • Friday, April 7th | Dads n Donuts

4/10: Countries from Europe

  • Europe: countries, culture, climate
  • Famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map
  • Friday, April 14th | NO SCHOOL |Easter break

4/17: Countries from Europe and Africa

  • Monday, April 17th | NO SCHOOL | Easter break
  • Europe: countries, culture, climate, famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Africa: countries, culture, climate, famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map
  • Wednesday, April 19th | International Festival Rehearsal
  • Friday, April 21st | International Festival

4/24: Australia, Asia and Antarctica

  • Antarctica, The Arctic region, map, flag, climate and animals
  • Windiest Place on Earth; covered in ice
  • Australia: countries, culture, climate, famous landmark and cuisine
  • Asia: countries, culture, climate, and famous landmarks and cuisine
  • Languages, flags and location on the map

 **There will be no words or letters of the week for April 04-April 22. We will use this time to practice individual lines with students**

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

  • As a family, come up with a food or dessert that authentic from a different country and make it together.
  • Pretend to go on a trip. Place chairs in the middle of the room (as your plane), bring a map! Point to a country and fly there! Talk about the animals you would see, the weather, people and anything else you would see or experience!
  • We will be practicing individual lines and songs in class in preparation for the Festival, lines will be sent home next week; please practice your child’s lines at home too!

 


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!