December 2014 Newsletter

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

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During the first week of December, we learned about weather. The children enjoyed learning about the job of a meteorologist how it is their job to scientifically predict the weather. Ms. Kim and I also have been having the children keep track of how many Sunny, Cloudy, Windy and Rainy days there have been this month. In true Ohio fashion, there were more cloudy days. I’ve also noticed that the children have been paying attention to the weather report in the mornings before school, and have been sharing what the Meteorologist has stated that the weather will be like that day!

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During the second week in December, the children learned about the different parts of the orchestra. They learned that all instruments belong to a “family”, such as String, Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion. The children also enjoyed listening to sound clips of the different instruments in our parts of the orchestra work, and placing the cards in each family of instruments from the highest sounding instrument to the lowest sounding instrument. The children also enjoyed making a book of all of the instrument families as well with Ms. Kim during Pre-school Lesson.20141212_102140

During week three of December, we learned about the different symbols of the Holidays. First, we learned about reindeer, which are also called caribou. We learned that they are mammals and that they are herbivores. The children also enjoyed making a reindeer craft with Ms. Kim. We also went over to Mr. John’s room to make Ginger bread houses with Ms. Dana and also over to Ms. Kate’s room to make reindeer food!

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Enrichments:

In music class, Ms. Lisa got the students ready for the Christmas season! First, they did some review with “Penny the Pony”. Ms. Lisa used “Penny the Pony” to review the musical words for slow, medium, and fast. Then the children used egg shakers, bells, and castanets to help them sing and keep the beat to Christmas songs. We sang “He’ll Be Coming Round the Chimney”, “Jingle Bells”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, and “Deck the Halls”. Thanks to Ms. Lisa for getting us into the Christmas spirit!

In science, Mr. John did a very gooey experiment! He used water, green food coloring, glue, and borax (laundry detergent). First, he made the water green by adding the green food coloring. Then, he added the glue and borax to the water. When the borax was added, the mixture turned to goo! The borax acted like a polymer with the other ingredients. It didn’t matter if you stretched or pulled the goo apart. It always went back together.

In art, Ms. Michele continued her unit on shapes. During our first art lesson this month, the students looked at a painting to find different shapes, objects and lines. Then, we looked at another painting that only had circles, but these circles were different sizes and painted different colors. Next it was the children’s turn to create their own shape paintings. First, they used oil pastels to draw different sized shapes all over their papers. Then, the children painted their papers with watercolors. Painting over the oil pastels with the watercolors is a resist technique. The oil pastels resisted the watercolors, but the watercolors showed on the other parts of the paper.

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Our next art lesson also used shapes, but we used the shapes to make self-portraits. First, we looked at the artwork of Pablo Picasso. Picasso’s paintings allow you to look at pictures and objects from different perspectives. Some of the children looked at a painting and saw musical instruments, while other children saw a face. The children were able to see these different objects because of the different shapes Picasso used. After we learned about Picasso, the children created their own self-portraits using different shapes cut out of colored construction paper. Ms. Michele had the students first cut out large circles for their faces. Then, the students used their imaginations to cut and glue down other face features.

In conclusion, I would encourage you to track weather patterns with your child at home. Play I Spy with your child to practice the letter sounds they are learning at school. Take time to listen to classical music with your child and ask them about the different instruments they hear. As Maria Montessori stated,”We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master.” I agree, and it is truly a pleasure to serve your children.

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December 2014 Newsletter

 

Mr. John’s December Musings…..

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Line Time Lessons:

My class is racing along. My knee is healing to the point where I only need the blasted cane to go up and down stairs. And FINALLY have my voice back and in a few days I will get reacquainted with my old friend ..sleep.  All the students are advancing nicely in academics and socially. Overall, I would brag that my class is well behaved and hardworking. We took the month of December preparing for our Christmas show. Kathleen and Dana did a fantastic job getting the students ready for the big stage by teaching the children the tunes, lyrics, and movements to the songs.

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Cultural subjects:

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

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Kindergarten lesson:

We went over the characteristics of the five classes of animals (mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds). Our white board was filled and I told my kindergarteners that most adults did not know as much as they do. We then went over the parts and characteristics of insects and arachnids. Did you know a tick is an arachnid? We pulled away from animals and we learned how to measure with rulers (both inches and centimeters).
The kindergarten class can count to ten in 19 different languages… English, Latin, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, and Irish.

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Music:

December was a fun filled month in music class, Ms. Lisa kicked off the holiday season will hits like jingle bells and ruldolf the red nose reindeer. The kids got to dance and ring their own bells to jingle bells. We learned how to keep the beat and listen for the speed to change in our songs by using castanets. Rainbow sparkles came to sing with us and help us learn the correct names for musical notes. Can’t wait to see what new songs and dances we will learn in the new year!

Science:

This month in science the kiddos got to make glue, this is a mixture of borax, white glue and water. Mr. John asked our young scientists what their hypothesis was for this experiment, there was a variety of very good answers! The end result was a soft lump of goop that the children were allowed to tale home! There were some very happy kiddos after this experiment. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings!

Art:

This month in art class we learned about Kandinskey and Picasso. For our project that focused on Kandinskey the children drew a variety of shapes using oil pastels and then painted over those shapes with water colors. The end result was a beautiful collage of color! For our lesson on Picasso the children made faces using various shapes and colors. Can’t wait to see what creative projects Ms. Michelle will have in the new year!

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December 2014 Newsletter

Week 14

Our first day back was quite exciting as we rode the bus to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for our World of Rocks class. Students were excited as the entered the classroom of the museum. At each table rock specimens had been placed for us to examine. Our first task was to determine if the rocks were sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic. After we labeled our rocks, we began learning more about each rock type.

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We learned about two different types of volcanoes and the differences in their eruptions, and how this causes different rocks to form. At the end of our class we identified over 10 rocks by their scientific names. Students were both amazed and intrigued by all the differences between rocks.

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The day back in the classroom was extremely focused and meditative in an unusual way as if the students missed working in the classroom fervently. Walking on the line was near perfection and students settled into work immediately. It was a day of extremely productive, self-chosen work along with more exploration of the Timeline of Human Beings and some new dance moves for our up-coming Christmas show. Students also completed 100 bags for the church to fill with food to donate to the homeless with unique decorations and up-lifting messages to bring happiness to others who may need our support.

Friday, our students had fun eating lunch together and showing off their favorite sport in the form of spirit wear during our celebration of winning the Box-Tops contest. Brandy ran a mini-contest for the kids on a trivia question about her apparel that the kids had a blast guessing. Thank you parents for making this happen!

Week 15

Even though our students attend specialized classes for various subjects, all of those subjects are available and on-going throughout the week as students are interested. This week, a focal point on music and art came in the form of a book from South Korea, “The Yellow Umbrella”, which is a book read in dramatic music [as opposed to words] and is the journey of umbrellas and rain. Some students were inspired to start creating their own books by sketching out ideas of pages to paint. Also musically related, students worked hard on their articulation of words to improve their Run-DMC song’s speed and clarity. Be prepared to see their literary skills at work!

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Students really seemed to feel the winter break coming and were extremely focused on Mastery and finishing projects. Every student achieved Mastery in at least one or more lessons this week. Also, the props for the Christmas show were made by the students along with the cute sewing project the students took home to give as Christmas presents. The weather did not deter the students from some heavy duty physical exertion during recess as tag and basketball have become extremely popular in the gym. They really seemed to be relishing their last bit of school before leaving.

Week 16

Even though most of the week rotated around preparing for Friday night’s show, students also worked on lessons. Wednesday, the students spent the morning attending the Latin Festival. Students broke into teams and played Latin festival games, competed in Limbo and enjoyed a special feast together. All had a great time. Friday, the students had a pajama day complete with popcorn, movies and a special sharing time with friends. Everyone rested all snuggled in their pajamas, covers and pillows relaxing before the “Big Night”.

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This week, students really took a close look at all of their performance pieces they were preparing for the school performance and stepped up their individual focal points while practicing with friends. Each Elementary student had a special part in the program focused on them and also, a diverse part in all of our group performances. Students put their best foot forward showing their newly honed skills of dancing to various song styles and eras, acting, speaking, playing piano and also, playing hand bells. The Elementary students were phenomenal Friday night.

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Latin
In December both Latin classes focused on the Roman festival of the Saturnalia.
After learning how the ancient Romans celebrated this holiday, the students participated in activities related to the festival. For example, they learned to gamble with knuckle bones, a favorite game played by the Romans. The students also constructed and arranged boughs in the custom of the ancients. In addition, they designed and decorated Saturnalia cards. Finally, on December 17th the classes participated in a re-enactment of the Saturnalia by playing various games and enjoying Sigillaria, dolls normally exchanged during the feast.

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Week 17 – 18

Happy Winter Break! See you in the New Year: 2015!


January 2015 Monthly 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 together as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level.

1/5: Introduction to 9 Tray/ 45 layout/composing numbers

  • Learning what is and says ( 1, 10, 100, 1000)
  • Reinforce by placement and identification of numbers within each decimal place
  • Reinforce number placement with creation of numbers

 

1/12: Introduction to addition

  • Working with 9 tray / 45 layout
  • Using single units, 10 bars, 100 square and 1000 cubes

 

1/19: Introduction to exchanging

  • Introduction of exchanging 1s, 10s, 100s and 1000s
  • Using single units, 10 bars, 100 squares and 1000 cubes

 

1/26: Introduction to multiplication

  • Working with 9 tray / 45 layout
  • Using single units, 10 bars, 100 square and 1000 cubes

 

Synonyms of the week

1/5: LOUD, noisy, piercing, deafening, booming, crashing, boisterous, raucous
1/12: QUIET, peaceful, mute, calm, silent
1/19: SKINNY, thin, lean, emaciated, scrawny, slender
1/26: FAT, overweight big, bulky, heavy, plump

 

Letter / Sight Words

1/5: Mm / I

1/12: Nn / is

1/19: Oo / up

1/26: Pp / see

 

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.
  • You can view this link to give you more information on how the math materials are used in the Montessori classroom http://www.montessorialbum.com/montessori/index.php?title=Math
  • You may also google the name of the work to find more videos and information on the purpose of that material.

Ms. Courtney January 2015 Monthly Overview

1/5: Polar Animals

  • The children will be making their own snow.
  • The children will talk about ice fishing and then do their own ice fishing in the classroom.
  • The children will experience what it is like to be a penguin.
  • The children will learn about all of the different polar animals.

1/12: Ocean Animals

  • The children will learn about the ocean habitat.
  • The children will compare their length to a blue whales length.
  • The children will create waves in a bottle.

 

1/19: M L King

  • Monday, January 19th– NO SCHOOL (MLK DAY)
  • The children will learn what a hero is.
  • The children will create a classroom “I Have A Dream Book”.
  • The children will learn that even though everyone is different on the outside, we are all the same on the inside, through an egg experiment.

1/26: Zoo Animals

  • Learning about different animals we find at the Zoo.
  • On Thursday 1/29 each child is invited to bring their favorite stuffed animal. The animal should be one commonly found in a zoo. They can have snack or lunch picnic style with their stuffed animal.
  • The children will create zoo cookies.

Letters of the week

1/6: Mm

1/13: Nn

1/20: Oo

1/27: Pp

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

  • Go to the pet store together and have fun exploring different animals.
  • Try and spot all the different animals outside during winter.
  • Have a birthday party for M L King.
  • Talk to your child about what his/her dream is and share yours.

January 2015 Monthly 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 together as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level.

1/05:     Introduction to decimals/ columns

  • Intro to decimals
  • Learning what is and says ( 1, 10, 100, 1000)

 

1/12:     Introduction to 9 Tray/ 45 layout

  • Recap of decimal system
  • Reinforce by placement and identification of numbers within each decimal place

 

1/19: Composing Numbers

  • Working with 9 tray / 45 layout
  • Using single units, 10 bars, 100 square and 1000 cubes
  • Reinforce number placement with creation of numbers

 

1/26: Addition

  • Introduction of addition
  • Using single units, 10 bars, 100 squares and 1000 cubes

 

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

1/05: oil, people

1/12: come, number

1/19: could, who

1/26: now, made

 

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

1/05: LOUD, noisy, piercing, deafening, booming, crashing, boisterous, raucous

1/12: QUIET, peaceful, mute, calm, silent

1/19: SKINNY, thin, lean, emaciated, scrawny, slender

1/26: FAT, overweight big, bulky, heavy, plump

 

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.
  • You can view this link to give you more information on how the math materials are used in the Montessori classroom http://www.montessorialbum.com/montessori/index.php?title=Math. You may also google the name of the work to find more videos and information on the purpose of that material.

 

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.

 


Mr. John’s January 2015 Monthly Overview

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

1/05:     Review of Ground Rules

  • Ringing of the bell, circle walk, line time
  • Process of working with a materials, rolling mats, carrying trays & work areas
  • Respecting teachers, classmates and the materials
  • Grace and Courtesy lessons

 

1/12: Martin Luther King Jr./ Similarities and Differences

  • History of MLK, Rosa Parks.
  • Our similarities and differences (eyes, hair, gender and skin color)
  • MLK/ Rosa Parks skit

 

1/19: Five Senses

  • Monday 1/19- NO SCHOOL (MLK Day)
  • Introduction to the Senses
  • Focus on each Sense throughout the week
  • Activities and experiments to support our knowledge of the senses

 

1/26: Skeletal System

  • Arms, Hands and Fingers
  • Ribs, Pelvis
  • Legs, Feet and Toes

 

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

1/05: Nn

1/12: Oo

1/19: Pp

1/26: Qq

 

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

1/05: BOB, fob, gob, job, lob, mob, rob

1/12: BUG, dug, hug, jug, mug, tug

1/29: BUN, fun, nun, run, sun

1/26: BUB, cub, hub, pub, rub, sub

 

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.
  • Play “I Spy” with items beginning with the letter of the week, or find things around your home that begin with the letter of the week.
  • Talk about what makes you the same and different from your child. Do you have the same hair and eye color? If not, where did they get their eye color from?
  • Take turns trying to write your name on a piece of paper blindfolded. Wow! We appreciate the sense of sight!
  • Quiz your child about the different bones of the body, see if they can point to where their Femur is or tell you what their Phalanges are.

 


Ms. Kate’s January 2015 Monthly Overview

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

1/5: Whales

  • Facts about Whales and different types of Whales
  • Create a Whale Chart
  • How do Whale’s float? “Staying Afloat” Science experiment on density

Afternoon group lesson:
All about the artic: Various crafts, location of the artic on the map, its inhabitants and arctic resources. 


1/12: History of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Similarities and Differences(hair color, eye color, likes, dislikes)
  • Egg experiment (brown egg vs. white egg) discuss their differences on the outside– discover how they are the same on the inside.

Afternoon group lesson:
Variety of crafts and activities to learn more about MLK JR. 


1/19: Polar Pals

  • Monday 1/19 ‐NO SCHOOL (MLK Day)
  • The Arctic Climate, Map of the Arctic
  • Exploring the worlds of the Polar Bear, Seal and Walrus.

Afternoon group lesson:
All about hibernation: information, activities, and crafts to teach us about hibernation.


1/26: Penguins

  • Facts about Penguins, why don’t they fly?
  • How Penguins communicate
  • Where Penguins live

Afternoon group lesson:
All about snow: how snow is formed, different activities, crafts and science experiments to help us learn about snow.


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

  • 1/05: Nn
  • 1/12: Oo
  • 1/19: Pp
  • 1/28: Qq

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

  • 1/05: am
  • 1/12: go
  • 1/19: at
  • 1/26: they

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

  • While reading a book have your child point to all of the letter of the week she/he can find. Have them do this with the sight words as well.
  • Play I‐Spy using things that only start with the letter of the week/ sight words.
  • Go on a whale hunt! Draw whales or print out whale pictures and hide them around your house. Have your child count out how many whales they have found, or place them in different categories.
  • While reading to your child have him/her pick out the sight word “am.”
  • Go outside in the snow, fill a spray bottle with food coloring and water. Have your child spray out the letters and sight words we have been talking about all month. Also your child can create an Alaska theme using seals, polar bears, walruses, and penguins.

 


Ms. Kristen January 2015 Monthly Overview

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

1/5:        Ground Rules Review

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

 

1/12:     Peace Makers

  • Maria Montessori-Her life, mission, and how she was a peacemaker.
  • Mother Theresa- Her life, mission, and how she was a peacemaker.
  • Martin Luther King-His life, mission, and how he was a peacemaker.
  • Discussing how we are also able to be peacemakers.
  • Dicussing how to build each other up. Introducing a sand sculpture making activities which will teach how to give compliments

 

1/19:     Art Appreciation

  • Monday 1/19- NO SCHOOL (MLK Day)
  • Painting-Discuss the medium of painting.
  • Sculpting-Discuss the medium of sculpting.
  • Drawing-Discuss the medium of drawing.
  • Photography-Discuss the medium of photography
  • Discussing colors and how they are used in different mediums of art.

    

1/26:     The Five Senses

  • Learning about our sense of hearing and about the different  parts of the ear.
  • Learning about our sense of taste and the different parts of the tongue.
  • Learning about our sense of touch.
  • Learning about our sense of smell. Discussing how our nose functions.

 

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

1/5: Nn

1/12: Vv

1/20: Uu

1/26: Xx

 

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

1/5: Nut

1/12: Vet

1/20: Up

1/26: Box

 

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

  • Practice using “Please” and “Thank You” at home with your child, especially at play time or at the dinner table
  • Take a trip to the Akron Art Museum or Cleveland Museum of Art as a family. Discuss the colors and the different mediums of art used. The Akron Art Museum has many family activities throughout the year, check out their calendar!
  • Discuss with your child who their favorite peace maker is they learned about in class. Discuss with your child how they can be a peace maker at home.

December 2014 Monthly 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 together as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level.

12/1: Use of a Ruler

  • Inches and Centimeters
  • Measuring with a ruler– practice with many different objects
  • Recording measurements


12/8-12/19: Christmas Program

  • We will be taking time with the children to practice and prepare for the Christmas Show.

12/21—1/4       Christmas Break—School Resumes Monday, January 5th

Synonyms of the week

12/1: NO, negative, never, nay, nope, nix
12/8: HAPPY, glad, cheerful, content, jolly, pleased, joyful, ecstatic

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

  • Bake holiday treats together.
  • Make homemade ornaments and festive decorations together.
  • Watch classic winter and Christmas movies together.
  • Go caroling as a family.
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter as a family.
  • Play outside as a family and enjoy the winter weather.