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

 

 


Ms. Courtney’s March 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)

 3/06:    Insects

  • The children will identify animals that belong in the insect category and those that do not.
  • The children will learn there are over five million different kinds of insects in the world.
  • The children will identify the main parts of an insect.
  • The children will learn ways insects can be helpful and ways insects can be harmful.
  • March 8th DINO-LIGHT field trip Playhouse Square
  • March 10th Pre-Kindergarten and Pre-Elementary Conferences

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter U craft.
  • Learn about lady bugs and complete a lady bug craft.
  • Diagram of an Insect- We will watch a video clip about insects and create a diagram labeling the parts of an insect.
  • Insects Can, Have, and Are Chart- We will fill in a chart about insects using verbs, nouns, and adjectives.
  • Shape Insects- We will use our imagination and pre-cut shapes to create our own insects.

 

3/13:    Plants and Flowers

  • The children will discuss the four elements needed to grow a plant. Soil, seeds, sun and water.
  • The children will observe and describe similarities and differences in the appearance and behavior of plants and flowers.
  • The children will identify major structures of plants (seeds, roots, stems, leaves).
  • The children will understand the life cycle of plants and flowers and what they need to grow.
  • The children will discover that plants provide resources for clothing, food, and oxygen.
  • Saturday, March 18th Mother/Son, Father/Daughter Dance 2-4

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter V craft.
  • Observe a Venus Fly Trap and learn about where they live, what they eat, and how to take care of one.
  • All About Plants Chart- We will discuss different characteristics of plants and create a chart explaining the characteristics.
  • Jack and the Beanstalk- We will read Jack and the Beanstalk and then grow our own beanstalk in a plastic bag.
  • Diagram of a Flower- We will discuss the parts of a flower and what a flower needs in order to survive then create a diagram explaining the topic.

 

3/20:    Butterflies and Caterpillars

  • The children will discover that butterflies go through stages of growth & changes called life cycles.
  • The children will design a butterfly of their own using shapes and creativity.
  • The children will create a mobile to represent each stage of the Life Cycle of the Butterfly.
  • March 24th Pajama and Show-N-Tell Day

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter W craft
  • Act out the life cycle of a butterfly and create a butterfly craft.
  • Butterfly Life Cycle- We will learn a song about the life cycle of a butterfly and then create a diagram about it.
  • Symmetry- We will discuss what symmetry is and create a butterfly with symmetrical wings.
  • Puffy Caterpillars- We will create caterpillars out of popsicle sticks and pompoms.

 

3/27-3/31: SPRING BREAK

 

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

3/06: Uu

3/13: Vv

3/20: Ww

 

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:

  • Take a walk and see how many insects you can spot.
  • Plant a flower or garden.
  • Visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
  • Take a walk and see how many butterflies and caterpillars you can spot
  • Make dinner with foods that start with the letter of the week.

 

 


Mr. John’s March 2017 Monthly Overview

What I will learn this month in Mr. John’s Class…

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

 2/27: Ancient Rome

  • Roman culture and traditions
  • Buildings and contributions

3/06: Pollution and Recycling

  • What is pollution? Air, water, noise, littering
  • What is recycling? Ways to recycle
  • Ways to save energy
  • Arbor Day/Earth Day

3/13: Oceans

  • Ocean Life, Whales
  • Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
  • Salt water, fresh water
  • Saturday, March 18th: Mother/Son, Father/Daughter Dance 2-4

3/20: Landmarks of the USA/The state of OH-IO

  • OHIO, surrounding state, state flag, flower, bird, state seal, historical landmarks
  • Landmarks such as Statue of Liberty, Mt. Rushmore, Golden Gate Bridge, and Grand Canyon

  3/27:        SPRING BREAK

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

2/27: Vv

3/06: Ww

3/13: Xx

3/20: Yy

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

2/27: ben, den, hen, men, pen, ten, yen

3/06: beg, keg, meg, peg, leg

3/13: bell, gel, mel, nel, sell, well

3/20: back, hack, jack, lack, mack, knack, pack

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.
  • What can you recycle at home? How can you conserve excess energy?
  • Take a trip to the Cleveland Aquarium together and explore ocean life!

 


Ms. Kate’s March 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)

2/27:      Dr. Seuss Week

  • Reading The Cat and the Hat; having fun making our own hats.
  • Reading Fox in Sox; creating a silly sock graph
  • Green eggs and Ham; taste test and graph
  • Read Put Me in the Zoo; create one of the characters
  • Graphing our favorite book

Afternoon Group Time:
Ms. Ame will be doing a variety of crafts, and Dr. Seuss activities.

3/6:          My Five Senses

  • Sight- play a fun take away game
  • Sound- guess that sound game
  • Taste- taste test
  • Touch- a fun hand-print craft
  • Popcorn game using all of our five senses

Afternoon Group Time:
Ms. Ame will be doing a variety of fun and engaging activity and crafts on the five senses

3/13:       Art Appreciation

  • Monet- oil pastels
  • Van Gough- creating sunflowers
  • Richard Shilling- nature and earth art
  • Creating sculptures with clay
  • Splatter painting with Jackson Pollack
  • Saturday, March 18th: Mother/Son, Father/Daughter Dance 2-4

Afternoon Group Time:
Ms. Ame will be teaching all about the famous artists, and doing a varirty of crafts and activities on this subject.

3/20:       All About Spring

  • All about the four seasons
  • Animal moms and their babies
  • Life cycle of chicks
  • Parts of the flower
  • PJ day and show and tell

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

3/27-3/31:    Spring Break


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

2/27: Ss

3/6: Tt

3/13: Uu

3/20: Vv

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

2/27: green

3/6: yum

3/13: art

3/20: tree

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 adventures and try a new meal or snack together.

Ms. Kristen’s March 2107 Monthly Overview

 

What I will learn at school this month in Ms. Kristen’s Class:

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

2/27: All About Dr. Seuss

  • Discuss Dr. Seuss and his life.
  • What makes a rhyme?
  • Cat In The Hat Craft
  • Read “ Oh The Places You’ll Go”.-Discussing where we would like to travel, if we could travel anywhere in the world.
  • Read Green Eggs and Ham.

3/6: All About Outer Space

  • Learning all about the Moon.
  • What is a Star?
  • Discovering the planets in our solar system.
  • Learning all about Astronauts and their job.
  • Learning all about the constellations.

3/13: Continue Learning About Space

  • Learning about the Space Shuttle.
  • Watching the Moon Landing.
  • Who was the first person in Outer Space?
  • What is a Dwarf Planet?
  • Testing a real telescope.
  • Saturday, March 18th Mother/Son, Father Daughter Dance 2-4

3/20: All About Ohio

  • What makes a state?
  • Famous sites in N.E. Ohio.
  • Learning about our state flag.
  • Learning about our state bird, insect, and flower.
  • Graphing how many of us live in Akron, Stow, Cuyahoga Falls, etc.

3/27-3/31: Spring Break

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

2/30: Qq

3/6: Bb

3/13: Ww

3/20: Zz

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

2/30: Quick

3/6: Bud

3/13: Was

3/20: Zip

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

  • Read a Dr. Seuss story with your child. Point out the rhyming words. Writing your own story with rhyming words together!
  • Visit the Planetarium at the Natural History Museum in Cleveland.
  • Practice your address with your child. This is very important for them to start learning early!
  • Discuss with your child which planet they would like to visit and why.

Explorations of Elementary 2017 January Newsletter

Explorations of Elementary 2017 January Newsletter

We are already a month into 2017, and the students are right back to working hard!  We have had a wonderful month together with exciting, new lessons and practicing our favorite materials from before break.  The Bohr Diagram, using the microscope, and Writer’s Workshop inspired a lot of great learning this month!

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Our field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History was something the students have been looking forward to for a while.  Our tour guide, an archaeologist, was very knowledgeable, patient, and funny.  We started our trip looking at animal fossils that were found in Ohio.  During this part of our fossil workshop, our guide taught us the difference between mastodons and mammoths.  We were even able to hold the fossilized tooth of a mammoth and feel the ridges in the molars where they ground up grass.

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While moving through the museum, we talked about different plant and animal life throughout different time periods.  Our guide explained to us that paleontologists and archaeologists use fossils to learn what adaptations animals had, what they ate, what their environment was like, and how they perished.  We also learned how fossils are found, how they are named, and how different museums can share, or trade, fossils.  We were able to hold dinosaur coprolite (from the Greek words Kopros Lithos, meaning “dung stone”) and part of a rib from a dinosaur, probably a long-necked herbivore, that was 150 million years old.

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After our fossil tour and workshop, we enjoyed lunch together, then were able to explore other exhibits on our own.  Our first years are studying the planets, so we made sure to check out information about the formation of the universe and see pictures from the surface of Mars.

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Our second years are studying rocks, so we stopped by the layers of the earth, rock formation, and crystal formation exhibits.

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Our final stop was the exhibit about early humans, and how humans have changed over time, to enrich the study that our fourth years are doing.  After the visit to the museum, we made fossils of our own!

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In the classroom, we have focused on memorization of multiplication facts with the first-year students.  Maria Montessori believed this had to be done before age 8 to really be internalized.  We show students a variety of ways to practice their math facts, so it is interesting, instead of a chore.  Some students have used the Multiplication Finger Charts, some work with bead bars, and some with the Stamp Game.  Having a variety of ways to learn a skill ensures that students can learn something essential to further education in the best way for their learning style.  Having a variety, also allows students to not get bored and to feel confident in their abilities with a material that is just right for them.  To quote Maria Montessori, “Free choice is the highest of all mental processes.”

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Older students have been working with decimal fractions in a variety of ways.  Some students have learned how to read decimal numbers, and build them with our materials, while others are multiplying decimal numbers.

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Our students studying the body focused on the digestive system this month.  We did an experiment using soap, a cotton ball, milk, and food dye to show how bile breaks down fat in your stomach.  We talked about the parts of the digestive system and how they work together to deliver us the nutrients we need from our food.  Along with this, our first-year students practiced reading food labels to find out what in their lunch was the healthiest, and what they had that should only be consumed occasionally.

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Vinny and Kernel also had exciting months.  Vinny the Guinea had a “Magic Kingdom” built for him by a student.  He now has his own place to go through tunnels, over ramps, and eat from the treat tube filled with our homemade treats (a student helps prepare the treats below).  Kernel finally interacted with some students.  After months of me handling him, and students observing, he was ready for students to pet him!  Two brave first graders were the first ones to try!  They were nervous at the beginning, but ended up very proud of themselves.  These pets have already taught our students many lessons on care and compassion.

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We look forward to February with you!

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Ms. Kate’s January 2017 Newsletter Article

Classroom News:

The winter months are flying by and hopefully spring will be upon us soon! This month the children have been enjoying our different themes and working hard on all of the works and our different practical life activities!

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For the first week the children learned all about hibernation. The first day we brainstormed together about what they thought hibernation is. The purpose of brainstorming in young children is such a key ingredient of the creative writing process. Brainstorming also helps your child focus his or her attention on a certain topic, and it also encourages the child to share their ideas with their peers. During this week we read a book called Animals in Winter by Henrietta and Richard Van Gelder. This book had such wonderful illustrations that showed the children which animals hibernated and how they prepare for the months they will be resting. We then had a discussion about Migration, hibernation, and adaptation. Ms. Ame and I created a three part card work that went with our lesson. The children each came up and chose an animal and then had to decide which category they belonged in. Lastly, we sang a wonderful song about hibernation, which you will find in your child’s song folder.

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The second week sparked a lot of interest in the children. We learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The first activity we did was called “Being Treated Equally.” Now, before I led any type of discussion I passed out a snack to just the boys. I then started reading the book ,Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King. All through the book the girls were wondering why I wasn’t giving them any snack, and a few became upset. I didn’t explain to them why I did what I did until the story was over. I then asked the girls how they felt not receiving a snack. Haidyn said, “I really felt left out.” Another child yelled out, “I felt mad when you didn’t give us anything!” I then talked about how at one point in our country’s past, African Americans were not able to do the same things that white people were able to do and further explained that this is how they felt. I then shared that a man named Martin Luther King changed all of this! I loved this activity because I think it really got the children interested in who he was and how things were back then.

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The second activity was called, “We’re all the same on the inside.” This was a simple exercise on how we can look different on the outside, yet be the same on the inside. I first showed the children a brown egg and then a white egg. I asked them to describe what they see. I then asked what they think each egg will look like on the inside. Almost all of them said the brown egg would be brown in the inside. I then cracked open both and the children were amazed to see that both eggs looked the same. After the activity we talked about how all of us look different but we think and feel the same things on the inside! It was an awesome activity!! The next day we discussed Rosa Parks and the bus boycotts, freedom marches, sit-ins, and the civil rights movement. We also listened to a song called “We Shall Overcome,” a powerful song about what Martin Luther King wanted for himself and others. After the song, we brainstormed some hardships or changes they have overcome or will have to in life. Our class also led a discussion on peace and what that meant to them. We then created a peace sign by using different craft items. I really love how the children came together and really tried hard understanding this topic!

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The third week we discussed the Arctic, and the animals you can find there. The first activity we did was read a book called This Place is Cold by Vicki Cobb. Together we had a discussion about where the Arctic is located, how plants survive in the frigid temperatures, who lives in the Arctic, and some of the animals you will find. The next activity we focused on was all about walruses. We read some fantastic books, then we created a walrus puppet. I love these activities because by coloring, gluing, and cutting the children gain fine motor skills, patience, and step by step instructions. Our class also had fun talking about polar bears and making polar bear badges. And lastly, we read a book called The Bravest Dog Ever The True Story of Balto by Natalie Standiford. We then talked about the importance of sled dogs and did a fun dog sled craft! We had such a fun January!!

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Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
-with Mr. John

This month we started our section in Math. We learned about the unit (ones), ten, hundred, and thousand columns. The kindergartners composed numbers, and were introduced to addition with and without carry overs.

Cultural Subjects:
We can count to 10 in twenty four different languages (English, Latin, Sign Language, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, and Welsh Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, and Malay).

Handwriting Enrichment
-with Ms. Kristen

During the month of January, the Kindergarten students learned the proper formation of I-T. They also began to work on copying sentences in cursive. Some of the journal questions we answered were, “ Who is our new president?” , “ What city do you live in?”, and “ What is your middle name?”. These simple questions gave the children a chance to practice their letter formation that they have been learning since the beginning of the year! I am so proud of the progress our young writers have made!

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate

For the month of January the children read two stories called Lion At School, and Coyote Rides The sun. After we read both stories we went over any vocabulary the children weren’t certain of or they have never heard of. The children them completed an assigned drawing that allows them to record their early responses to the selection. When the children choose their illustration , they are visualizing the characters and setting of the story. Throughout our readings we lead our at home discussions, and created a song that was based on the story Coyote Rides The Sun. The class brainstormed together about why they might wake up before dawn. Is it because they are going on a trip? Is it a special holiday? Below is the class song they created together. Enjoy!!

Early Morning Song
Awake in the hour before dawn,
Awake in the hour before dawn,
So I can get to school on time,
So I can open presents on Christmas day,
So I can look for Easter eggs,
So I can go downstairs and have some peace and quiet,
So I can watch t.v.
So I can catch a plane to Disney World,
So I can pack up for the beach
Awake in the hour before dawn.

                                                 

Science Enrichment
by Ms. Kathleen

Leak Proof Baggy: What happens when we poke holes with a pencil in a baggy filled with water?
Plastic bags like these are made out of our favorite materials, polymers! Polymers are long chains of individual molecules, called monomers. when you puncture the bag with a sharp pencil, you’re separating polymer chains without breaking them. The long chains of molecules than squeeze in tight around the surface of the pencil, preventing any sort of leak. The Children really enjoyed pencil after pencil being poked through the ziplock plastic bag without any leaks.

Biodegradable Packing Peanuts: What happens when you put them in a pitcher of water?
These packing peanuts are made from Starch, with a lot of air pockets. The Starch peanuts once wet dissolve in water just like sugar does. the children loved saying Abracadabra as Mr. John put the peanuts in water and they disappeared.

Absorption, Wet Paper Towel Verses Wet Diaper which will hold more water?
Mr John poured water all over a paper towel and a baby diaper and hung them both over his head, the wet paper towel dripped all over him and the diaper filled with water did not. This is because inside the baby diaper there are molecules called polymers inside, They are the small crystal like substance inside the diaper. A polymer that hold a large amount of water is called a gel, gel absorbs a solvent or water. This why the paper towel did not hold the water but the diaper did. All the children squealed with delight as Mr. John’s head got all wet from the soggy paper towel.

 

Music Enrichment
by Ms. Sabrina

Peter and The Wolf are back! We are learning the characters of the story, as well as the instruments involved. The children are internalizing the story well. They can tell what characters and what instruments are entering the story. The children have such great listening skills! Another listening game was also played is called Cat and Mouse! The children listened well to directions, and did what was asked skillfully. They loved performing an emotion in the song with the maracas as an instrument! Music is always so much fun with Ms. Lisa!

 

Art Enrichment
by Ms. Ame

January has been cold but Miss Michele’s imagination has been on fire! Miss Michele has started one of her most creative projects of the year! The first week the students learned about mythical creatures and took 3 different animals(one mammal, one reptile and one with wings) and created their own animal on paper! The students first sketched their animal with a pencil and then colored it in! The next week, the students used their drawings and used foil to create a base for a model of the creature! This was a little tricky for some of the younger students but all the students worked hard! After they had made the base, they then covered the foil with a white clay. They added small details like legs, eyes, mouths and wings. Miss Michele is going to bake these creations and then next month the students will decorate them! Thanks Michele for another great start to the year!


Ms. John’s January 2017 Newsletter Article

Making Montessori Great Again:

This title is just a little bit of cheekiness and a lame attempt at political satire on my part.  HEHE.  If you follow me on Facebook you’ll notice I stay clear of the subject of politics.  Actually, this babbling will have nothing to do with politics but thoughts about the Montessori classroom and my belief in HOW GREAT it is!

When I first was introduced to the Montessori philosophy I thought to myself…  The students will run a muck.  There is no organization.  There will be no discipline.  In my head were thoughts of a wild chaotic classroom where the children are CRAZY!

As I quickly discovered the students almost immediately start to choose work on their own, work well with others, and work well by themselves.  The teachers have a detailed plan of what the students are to be presented, or need extra work on.  So, there is a method to the Montessori madness!  No other learning environment will you get children at 3 years of age having the freedom to choose their own works or the older children taking on leadership roles.  The great Montessori environment is an amazing thing.

 

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                                                          My Breakfast Club taking over my seat

Classroom News:
We all returned to school after a well rested winter break.  Due to the long break we did a refresher week covering the classroom ground rules.  We went over the four basic rules of: 1) No running in the classroom.  We do not run because we can get hurt or hurt someone else.  2)  Use our listening ears.  The students pay attention to the teachers during line time and before cleaning the room and line time.  Important information is shared during line time and listening is a sign of respect and courtesy.  3)  Keep our hands to ourselves.  We do this to honor other student’s personal space.  In addition, we do not hit, punch, push or do anything to physically hurt other students.  4) Respect others.  This is basically being nice to your fellow students.  Use nice words, smile instead of giving mean faces, sharing, and helping those in need.

 

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Handsome guys                                                 Cheesecake smile

We also talked about family (since we spent so much time with them over the holidays).  We talked about our mom and dad and what we call them (Mommy, mama, daddy, and papa).  We also have grandparents that we call yaya, papu, oma, papa to name a few.  We told stories about our aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course our brothers and sisters.  We determined that pets are part of our family even though they are not human.

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Elephant exercise                                              My Snack Pack

To honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we learned a bit about his life and his accomplishments.  The students became actresses and actors as they recreated Rosa Parks making her stand on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  The students enjoyed playing the part of the bus driver, Rosa Parks, “the mean guy”, a police officer, Martin Luther King Jr., and passengers on the bus.  We discussed our differences such as skin color, eye color, hair color, and gender.  Then we discussed how we are similar.  We talked about our differences.  We talked about if someone with red hair wouldn’t be allowed to do art “just because” they have red hair or if anyone who had blue eyes would have to go to a different classroom with less materials, broken crayons, or no books “just because” they have blue eyes.  To illustrate this, I had only boys fetch the chairs for the skit and brought that to the attention of the class.  We had some very sad girls…. I did let the girls take the chairs back after the skit.

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                                                                          Anyone can sit anywhere.  Thank you Rosa Parks

We started to learn about our body and how it works.  We learned about our five senses (touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste).  Did you know you can “feel” with any part of your body?  We hear loud noises, quiet noises, high and low noises.  We need light to see and if we close our eyes we can’t see.  There are good smells like cinnamon, vanilla and bad smells like a dirty diaper and vinegar.  My favorite was the taste test where we tasted sweet (sugar water), salty (potato chips), sour (pure lemon juice), and bitter (unsweetened baking chocolate).  The children enjoyed “most” of the tastes.

 

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                                              Taste test (dark, unsweetened baking chocolate)

We ended the month about learning more about our body.  We looked at the skeletal system and if we didn’t have a skeleton we would be one messy blob on the ground..  We learned the skull protects our brain, the rib cage protects our lungs, and the spine keeps us sitting and standing straight.  We learned technical terms for our arms, leg and our digits which is a funny name called phalanges. We brought our life sized foam puzzle into our room.  His name is Elvis because we learned about the pelvis and it was a cool rhyming name.

 

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Learning about the skeletal system

 

We had a former student, Anna F. read to our classroom her favorite book with seventeen stories about pirates.

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                                                                           Alumnus reader

Cultural Subjects:

During line time lesson we can count to 10 in twenty three different languages (English, Latin, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemmish, and Serbo-Croation).

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Chore time

 

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 BFF’s working together

 

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
-with Mr. John

This month we started our section in Math.  We learned about the unit (ones), ten, hundred, and thousand columns.  The kindergartners composed numbers, and were introduced to addition with and without carry overs.

Cultural Subjects:
We can count to 10 in twenty four different languages (English, Latin, Sign Language, Spanish, German, French, Greek,     Japanese, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, and Welsh Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, and Malay).

Handwriting Enrichment
-with Ms. Kristen

During the month of January, the Kindergarten students learned the proper formation of I-T. They also began to work on copying sentences in cursive. Some of the journal questions we answered were, “ Who is our new president?” , “ What city do you live in?”, and “ What is your middle name?”. These simple questions gave the children a chance to practice their letter formation that they have been learning since the beginning of the year! I am so proud of the progress our young writers have made!

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate

For the month of January the children read two stories called Lion At School, and Coyote Rides The sun. After we read both stories we went over any vocabulary the children weren’t certain of or they have never heard of. The children them completed an assigned drawing that allows them to record their early responses to the selection. When the children choose their illustration , they are visualizing the characters and setting of the story. Throughout our readings we lead our at home discussions, and created a song that was based on the story Coyote Rides The Sun. The class brainstormed together about why they might wake up before dawn. Is it because they are going on a trip? Is it a special holiday? Below is the class song they created together. Enjoy!!

Early Morning Song
Awake in the hour before dawn,
Awake in the hour before dawn,
So I can get to school on time,
So I can open presents on Christmas day,
So I can look for Easter eggs,
So I can go downstairs and have some peace and quiet,
So I can watch t.v.
So I can catch a plane to Disney World,
So I can pack up for the beach
Awake in the hour before dawn.

 

Science Enrichment
by Ms. Kathleen

Leak Proof Baggy: What happens when we poke holes with a pencil in a baggy filled with water?
Plastic bags like these are made out of our favorite materials, polymers! Polymers are long chains of individual molecules, called monomers. when you puncture the bag with a sharp pencil, you’re separating polymer chains without breaking them. The long chains of molecules than squeeze in tight around the surface of the pencil, preventing any sort of leak. The Children really enjoyed pencil after pencil being poked through the ziploc plastic bag without any leaks.

Biodegradable Packing Peanuts: What happens when you put them in a pitcher of water?
These packing peanuts are made from Starch, with a lot of air pockets. The Starch peanuts once wet dissolve in water just like sugar does. the children loved saying Abracadabra as Mr. John put the peanuts in water and they disappeared.

Absorption, Wet Paper Towel Verses Wet Diaper which will hold more water?
Mr John poured water all over a paper towel and a baby diaper and hung them both over his head, the wet paper towel dripped all over him and the diaper filled with water did not. This is because inside the baby diaper there are molecules called polymers inside, They are the small crystal like substance inside the diaper. A polymer that hold a large amount of water is called a gel, gel absorbs a solvent or water. This why the paper towel did not hold the water but the diaper did. All the children squealed with delight as Mr. John’s head got all wet from the soggy paper towel.

 

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                                                                    “Willing Volunteer”  😉

 

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                                                                     “Unwilling volunteer”  🙂

 

Music Enrichment
by Ms. Sabrina

Peter and The Wolf are back! We are learning the characters of the story, as well as the instruments involved. The children are internalizing the story well. They can tell what characters and what instruments are entering the story. The children have such great listening skills! Another listening game was also played is called Cat and Mouse! The children listened well to directions, and did what was asked skillfully. They loved performing an emotion in the song with the maracas as an instrument! Music is always so much fun with Ms. Lisa!

Art Enrichment
by Ms. Ame
January has been cold but Miss Michele’s imagination has been on fire! Miss Michele has started one of her most creative projects of the year! The first week the students learned about mythical creatures and took 3 different animals(one mammal, one reptile and one with wings) and created their own animal on paper! The students first sketched their animal with a pencil and then colored it in! The next week, the students used their drawings and used foil to create a base for a model of the creature! This was a little tricky for some of the younger students but all the students worked hard! After they had made the base, they then covered the foil with a white clay. They added small details like legs, eyes, mouths and wings. Miss Michele is going to bake these creations and then next month the students will decorate them! Thanks Michele for another great start to the year!


Ms. Kristen’s January 2017 Newsletter Article

Classroom News:

January was so much fun! The children were so happy to come back after Christmas Break and begin to work in the classroom. We teachers missed them as well!

During the first week of January, we reviewed our classroom rules. We were reminded of how to carry a tray, how to walk on the line, how to roll up our rugs, etc. This was a great reminder coming back from a two week break, and a great introduction to our classroom for our new friends. Our returning friends were a great help to our new friends when it came to teaching them the rules of the classroom.

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Samantha is working on the lacing cards. This material from the Practical Life Area helps to develop the child’s sense of order, concentration, coordination, and independence.

During the following week, we learned about Peacemakers. You might have heard your child talking about what it means to be a Peacemaker at home. We learned that a Peacemaker is someone who is kind, who helps others, who does not hurt others, who uses kind words, and does not argue with others. We talked about great Peacemakers, such as Maria Montessori, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and Mahatma Ghandi.

During week three, we learned all about Nutrition and Healthy Eating. We learned about the Food Pyramid and what foods are “Grow Foods” and what foods are “ Sometimes Foods”. We even placed a card work on the shelf to heolp the children practice their new found knowledge. The children also enjoyed making a healthy snack durring afternoon group time when we made Ants On A Log! The children surprised us and even asked for more celery!

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Maren is working on the Movable Alphabet. She is using it to identify initial sounds of the objects in the picture. 

We also learned all about the Five Senses, during the last week of the month. The children enjoyed learning about all of the different parts of the tounge and how our tongue helps us to taste bitter, sweet, sour, and salty things. The children also enjoyed playing the game “ Hello Friend, Do You Know Who I Am?”, where each child took turns being blindfolded and, using their sense of hearing, guessed which friend was speaking to them. We also enjoyed taste testing jelly beans during afternoon group time and guessing which flavors we had been given!

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Quintin uses his voice to guide our new friend, Asher, in drawing a shape on paper, while Asher is blindfolded.

I hope you will take time to explore what we’ve learned with your child at home as well! When cooking, playing, eating, or taking a walk outside, discuss with your child which of their five senses they are using. Review with them what it means to be a Peacemaker, and ask them how they can be a Peacemaker at home. Take time to find a healthy rescipie to make together as a family.

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Hannah is working on the sewing material from the Practical Life Area. This will greatly help develop Hannah’s focus and concentration. She also is having loads of fun!

In conclusion, I want to thank you for letting me serve your children. Maria Montessori believed that we, as directresses, are mainly observers and servants of the child. She believed this so much, that she credited the children she worked with when she said, “It is not true that I invented what is called the Montessori Method. I have studied the child, I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it, and that is what is called the Montessori Method.”I consider myself blessed to be a observer, student, and servant of your child, and it is a true joy!

 

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
-with Mr. John

This month we started our section in Math. We learned about the unit (ones), ten, hundred, and thousand columns. The kindergartners composed numbers, and were introduced to addition with and without carry overs.

Cultural Subjects:
We can count to 10 in twenty four different languages (English, Latin, Sign Language, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, and Welsh Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, and Malay).

Handwriting Enrichment
-with Ms. Kristen

During the month of January, the Kindergarten students learned the proper formation of I-T. They also began to work on copying sentences in cursive. Some of the journal questions we answered were, “ Who is our new president?” , “ What city do you live in?”, and “ What is your middle name?”. These simple questions gave the children a chance to practice their letter formation that they have been learning since the beginning of the year! I am so proud of the progress our young writers have made!

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
with Ms. Kate

For the month of January the children read two stories called Lion At School, and Coyote Rides The sun. After we read both stories we went over any vocabulary the children weren’t certain of or they have never heard of. The children them completed an assigned drawing that allows them to record their early responses to the selection. When the children choose their illustration , they are visualizing the characters and setting of the story. Throughout our readings we lead our at home discussions, and created a song that was based on the story Coyote Rides The Sun. The class brainstormed together about why they might wake up before dawn. Is it because they are going on a trip? Is it a special holiday? Below is the class song they created together. Enjoy!!

Early Morning Song
Awake in the hour before dawn,
Awake in the hour before dawn,
So I can get to school on time,
So I can open presents on Christmas day,
So I can look for Easter eggs,
So I can go downstairs and have some peace and quiet,
So I can watch t.v.
So I can catch a plane to Disney World,
So I can pack up for the beach
Awake in the hour before dawn.

 

Science Enrichment
by Ms. Kathleen

Leak Proof Baggy: What happens when we poke holes with a pencil in a baggy filled with water?
Plastic bags like these are made out of our favorite materials, polymers! Polymers are long chains of individual molecules, called monomers. when you puncture the bag with a sharp pencil, you’re separating polymer chains without breaking them. The long chains of molecules than squeeze in tight around the surface of the pencil, preventing any sort of leak. The Children really enjoyed pencil after pencil being poked through the ziplock plastic bag without any leaks.

Biodegradable Packing Peanuts: What happens when you put them in a pitcher of water?
These packing peanuts are made from Starch, with a lot of air pockets. The Starch peanuts once wet dissolve in water just like sugar does. the children loved saying Abracadabra as Mr. John put the peanuts in water and they disappeared.

Absorption, Wet Paper Towel Verses Wet Diaper which will hold more water?
Mr John poured water all over a paper towel and a baby diaper and hung them both over his head, the wet paper towel dripped all over him and the diaper filled with water did not. This is because inside the baby diaper there are molecules called polymers inside, They are the small crystal like substance inside the diaper. A polymer that hold a large amount of water is called a gel, gel absorbs a solvent or water. This why the paper towel did not hold the water but the diaper did. All the children squealed with delight as Mr. John’s head got all wet from the soggy paper towel.

 

Music Enrichment
by Ms. Sabrina

Peter and The Wolf are back! We are learning the characters of the story, as well as the instruments involved. The children are internalizing the story well. They can tell what characters and what instruments are entering the story. The children have such great listening skills! Another listening game was also played is called Cat and Mouse! The children listened well to directions, and did what was asked skillfully. They loved performing an emotion in the song with the maracas as an instrument! Music is always so much fun with Ms. Lisa!

 

Art Enrichment
by Ms. Ame
January has been cold but Miss Michele’s imagination has been on fire! Miss Michele has started one of her most creative projects of the year! The first week the students learned about mythical creatures and took 3 different animals(one mammal, one reptile and one with wings) and created their own animal on paper! The students first sketched their animal with a pencil and then colored it in! The next week, the students used their drawings and used foil to create a base for a model of the creature! This was a little tricky for some of the younger students but all the students worked hard! After they had made the base, they then covered the foil with a white clay. They added small details like legs, eyes, mouths and wings. Miss Michele is going to bake these creations and then next month the students will decorate them! Thanks Michele for another great start to the year!