Ms. Courtney’s January 2017 Newsletter Article

Classroom News

We kicked off January by talking about all the different polar animals. The children enjoyed waddling around the classroom like penguins. Sorting different arctic animals and moving across the room like they do. The kids even got to use our scooters to swim through the water like penguins hunting for fish.

The second week in January we learned all about ocean animals. We learned about things that exist in an ocean habitat like sand, small shells, smooth stones, seaweed, coral etc. We had fun creating a Venn Diagram to discuss the similarities and differences between whales and sharks. The kids also discovered there are different zones of the ocean and different animals live in each. We sorted animals that live in the ocean from animals that live on land. The kids had the opportunity to enjoy a game of sharks and minnows.

After having Martin Luther King Jr. Day off we talked about how he was a hero because he was brave and honest. We shared who are heroes are and who we’d like to be like someday with the most popular answers being either Mom or Dad. We discussed how MLK made a speech and worked hard toward peace because back then people were treated badly if they did not have the same color skin. Each child made a picture of what their dream was and wrote about it. The kids helped create a friendship heart, a “Peace Dove” and a hand print peace sign for the classroom.

The next week we talked about tigers, lions, chimpanzees, kangaroos, elephants etc. Some of our friends even invited their favorite zoo stuffed animals to school to spend the day with them during work time, line time, recess, lunch and snack. We took turns playing Build a Penguin game which taught us how to count, visually match, take turns, and the different parts of a penguin. The kids made peacocks out of construction paper and a coffee filter, which turned out really cute. We enjoyed learning what creatures would be in our students’ zoo if they ran a zoo.

The last week of January we had a blast talking about all the different types of farm animals and what each farm animal provides for us. We talked about where milk comes from and what else we can get from farms like fruits, vegetables and grains. We even had the chance to milk a fake cow using gloves as the cow’s udders. The kids made a pig out of the letter P. We learned about different farm animals and created a diagram explaining what each animal is used for on the farm. We also discussed the different farm animals and place them in their homes on the farm. The kids learned that there are different types of farmers and they each have different jobs they do on the farm.

 

Academic Enrichment | Kindergarten

The kindergarten students worked hard on learning both static and dynamic addition and multiplication using the golden beads. They have even started working on more abstract materials like the stamp game and dot board to solve problems.

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
with Ms. Faith

The kindergartners finished up a story called Lion and School. This a story of a lion who wants to go to school with a little girl. He ends up helping her stand up to some bullies. After every reading, the group participated in an activity. They got to create a lion mask and then acted out a scene from the story. The kindergartners drew a picture of where they would like to take the lion, and they had to draw a picture of how the little girl acts on the playground after the lion has left.

The next story we read together was Coyote Rides the Sun. This is a Native American folktale about why the coyote’s tale and back are black. The coyote wants to be the chief of the animal people and thinks by riding the sun, they will respect him and make him chief. The kindergartners got to draw a picture of the coyote riding the sun, and why the coyote was able to ride the sun. For the last day, the students got to pick an animal from the story to pretend to be. They held a village meeting to vote whether they were going to make the coyote their chief or not, and what their reason was.

Science Enrichment

We conducted a blubber science experiment by first putting our bare hands in a bucket of ice water. Then we made a blubber glove using Crisco and Ziploc bags, when we placed our hands back in the ice water with the blubber glove on the fat from the Crisco protected the kids skin from the cold. This is how we discovered that whales, seals and walruses all have a layer of fat called blubber to insulate their bodies from the freezing water.

We made waves in the bottle and discovered that on our planet waves happen when our earth spins on its axis and water is pulled by gravity across the geological formations of the ocean floor. When we moved the bottle we got to see the energy move through the water to make waves, just like out in the deep blue sea!

During the week of MLK we took two eggs one white the other brown that have not been cooked and compared their similarities and differences on the outside and took a guess as to whether they will be the same or different on the inside. We determined even though different on the outside, they were the same on the inside, just like people!

We made an aluminum foil boat then placed it in a pan with water, after that we added a drop of dish soap behind the boat. The boat started moving forward because the soap was breaking up the surface tension in the water behind the aluminum foil. The surface tension then pulled the boat forward.

We did more experiments with surface tension by taking two pennies, one with a drop of dish soap on it and the other with nothing on it. We placed drops of water on the pennies to see which penny could hold more water. We discovered that the plain penny was able to hold much more water than the dish soap penny did. This is because the plain penny had a higher surface tension, so the surface is “stronger” and could hold together a larger number of drops Adding soap to the top of the penny lowered the water’s surface tension so the drops becomes weaker and broke apart sooner and easier.

Art Enrichment
Ms. Faith

In January, the young artists were able to experience creativity with clay. To start their creative juices flowing, Ms. Michele showed the class pictures of imaginary creatures such as, Centaurs, Griffins, and a Pegasus. The students then picked two or three pictures of animals they wanted to combined, and drew a made up creature, or imaginary creature as Ms. Michele calls this activity. The next week, student formed an armature out of foil, which is the inside part of a sculpture to create the body. Now it was time to get their hands on some clay. Ms. Michele showed them how to make some basic forms called a coil, which looks like a snake, and a slab, which looks like a flat, round, disk. Then the students smoothed the clay over their armature to start forming their creature. Once the armatures were covered, the class was able to add details like feet, wings, tails, and ears. Ms. Michele backed the creations, and the next week the young artists painted their imaginary creatures with tempera paint. This is always the best part, because we really see their creations come to live with colors. When everyone was finished, Ms. Michele gathered everyone in to a circle and the students shared their creature. They shared the creatures name, where it lived, and what the creature eats with the class.

On the last class of the month, Ms. Michele started a paper-weaving project. Students colored strips of paper, and then weaved them onto a large piece of paper. This project is great practice for fine motor skills, concentration, and hand-eye coordination.

Thank you Ms. Michele for your hard work, and creativity for our students. We are always excited to go to art class and to learn different art techniques.

Music Enrichment
Ms. Faith

This past month in music class, Ms. Lisa shared the story of Peter and the Wolf by Sergi Prokofiev.  The story is a musical symphony that was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow in 1936. Each character in the story is represented by a different instrument; the flute is used to copy the sound of the bird, the cat is represented by the slinking sound of the clarinet, the oboe plays a smooth sound that reminds the listener of the duck swimming gracefully on the water, the character of Peter’s grandfather has a bassoon which plays low and slow notes, and the hunters’ melody is loud and in a marching tempo with the woodwind instruments and timpani drums. Now the villain of the story, the wolf, has a sharp sneaky song that is played with the French horn, and last but not least, Peter, who is the hero, has the stringed instruments to play his triumphant and heroic theme.

The students enjoyed the story and learning about the different instruments and their sounds.  I was amazed at how well the children could recall which instrument played for the different characters each week.  Peter and the Wolf is a very exciting symphony, which captivated the students’ attention and was able to expose the group to many different instruments.


February 2017 Academic Enrichment Overview | Tallmadge Campus

February 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.

 

2/06: Introduction to fractions

  • Exploring fractions
  • Fractional insets (whole up to 1/12)

 

2/13: Geometric Shapes

  • Introduction to geometric shapes and constructive boxes
  • Geometric cabinet

 

2/20:  Geometric Shapes continued

  • Introduction to geometric shapes and constructive boxes
  • Geometric cabinet

 

2/27: Geometric Shapes continued/ Vowel and Consonants 

  • Introduction to geometric shapes and constructive boxes
  • Geometric cabinet
  • Hexagon, rectangle and blue rectangle boxes
  • Creating triangles, rhombus, trapezoid, parallelogram, squares, etc.

 

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

2/06: you

2/13: down

2/20: a

2/27: he

 

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

2/06: BAD, incorrect, awful, unsatisfactory faulty, defective

2/13: GOOD, pleasant, fine, honorable, wonderful, valuable

2/20: DRY, dehydrated, arid, parched

2/27: WET, damp, moist, soggy, drenched, soaked

 

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.

 

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. Courtney’s February 2017 Monthly Overview

Ms. Courtney’s February 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)

 2/06:    Pets/Valentine’s Day

  • The children will learn about a variety of pets
  • The children will learn about caring for a pet
  • We will discuss the differences and similarities between different pets
  • Valentine’s Day Party Friday, February 10th 9AM to 12PM

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter Q craft.
  • Pretend to be different kids of pets.

2/13:    Presidents

  • The children will learn how Washington was a great man, the father of our country, who led in war and peace
  • The children will discover that Abraham Lincoln is on the penny
  • The children will talk about what life is like for the Obama family in the White House
  • Box Tops Collection Deadline Friday, February 17th
  • Tallmadge Open House Saturday, February 18th 9AM to 12PM

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter R craft.
  • Learn about the presidents on coins, and then make coin rubbings.

2/20:    Dental Health

  • The children will practice teeth brushing using an egg soaked in tea
  • The children will see how a little hole in your teeth can get pretty unpleasant on the inside by watching how a hole in an apple rots
  • The children will talk about what foods are good and bad for their teeth
  • President’s Day| NO SCHOOL Monday, February 20th

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Watch Visual Phonics video to learn letters and letter sounds with Sign Language, and complete a letter S craft
  • Pass the tooth game where students pass a tooth with a cavity on it, whoever has the tooth when the music stops has to go to the “dentist”.

2/27:    Dr. Seuss/Eric Carle

  • The children become familiar with the similarities in an author’s body of work.
  • The children will gain an appreciation for the word play and rhyme featured in the work of Dr. Seuss.
  • The children will identify, produce and extend patterns.

Afternoon Group Time:

  • Read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and complete a letter T craft.
  • Read The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle, and paint toilet paper roll owls.

 

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

2/06: Qq

2/13: Rr

2/20: Ss

2/27: Tt

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

2/06: you

2/13: down

2/20: a

2/27: he

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

2/06: BAD, incorrect, awful, unsatisfactory faulty, defective

2/13: GOOD, pleasant, fine, honorable, wonderful, valuable

2/20: DRY, dehydrated, arid, parched

2/27: WET, damp, moist, soggy, drenched, soaked


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

  • Allow your child to help care for your pet
  • Take a trip to McKinley Presidential Library & Museum
  • Take your child to watch you get a dental checkup
  • Find objects around the house that start with the letter of the week
  • Visit your local library for a Dr. Seuss or Eric Carle reading.

 

 


Ms. Kate‘s February 2017 Monthly Overview

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

1/30: Living and Nonliving   

  • The basic needs of living things
  • Graphing what is living and nonliving
  • Making a venn diagram to explain living and nonliving
  • Making a collage out of magazines to find living and nonliving
  • Poem and song about living and nonliving

Afternoon Group Time:
Ms. Ame will be doing a variety of crafts, songs, and activities that will help the children get a better understanding of what is living and nonliving.

2/5: Nocturnal Animals

  • Creating a KWL chart
  • Leading a disscussion about day and night activities
  • Bats vs. owls using a venn diagram
  • Making a day vs. night bulletin board
  • Valentine’s day party, Friday, February 10th

Afternoon Group Time:
Ms. Ame will be doing a variety of fun and engaging activity and crafts on nocturnal animals

2/13: Fairy tales

  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • Elements of a fairy tale
  • Creating our own crowns

Afternoon Group Time:
Ms. Ame will also introduce a variety of fairy tales. The children will have fun doing different crafts, songs, and games!

2/21: All About Story Sequencing

  • Monday, February 20th, President’s day – No School
  • The Little Red Hen
  • Goldilocks and The Three Bears
  • Three Billy Goats Gruff
  • There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly

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

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

1/30: Oo
2/5: Pp
2/13:Qq
2/21: Rr

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

1/30: hen
2/5: bat
2/13: pig
2/21: fly

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes

  • Gather different sized boxes and create a castle together
  • After reading a book together see if your child can tell you what happened in the beginning, middle, and end
  • Take a night walk and see if you can spot any bats
  • Look through a magazine together and see if you can spot living and nonliving.

Ms. Kristen’s February 2017 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)

1/30: Transportation
-What is Transportation?
-Discuss trains and how they operate.
-Discuss airplanes and how they fly.
-Learning about buses and how they take us different places.
-Discuss boats and how they are able to float on the water.

2/6 :  Famous Inventors/ Valentine’s Day
-Discussing Thomas Edison and the light bulb.
-Learning about the Wright Brothers and the airplane.
-Discussing Ruth Graves Wakefield and the chocolate chip cookie.
-Discussing George Washington Carver and the peanut.
-History of Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s activities.
-Valentine’s day party, Friday, February 10th

2/13:  Presidents
-Discussing Abraham Lincoln and his life.
-Learning about George Washington, the father of our nation.
-Learning about our current president, Donald Trump
-Learning about the American Flag, and what the different parts symbolize.
-Discussing the Pledge of Allegiance and what the words mean.

2/20:  Dental Health
-Monday, February 20th, President’s day-No School
-Discuss Dental Health
-Learn what foods are healthy for our teeth.
-Learn the parts of the tooth.
-Why do we loose our baby teeth?
-Learn about the job of a dentist.

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
1/30: Kk
2/6: Gg
2/13: Mm
2/20: Oo

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
1/30: Kid
2/6: Go
2/13: Me
2/20: Off

Things to do at Home this Month to reinforce our themes:
-Make Valentines together with your child. Have them sign their own name to the cards.
-Practice saying the Pledge of Allegiance with your child at home.
-Practice teeth brushing with your child. Make a healthy snack together as a family that will promote dental health.
-Practice the letter of the week with your child by playing “I Spy”. This is a great way to help them learn initial sounds. Remember to focus on the sound of the letter and not the name of the letter.


Mr. John’s February, 2017 Monthly Overview

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

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

1/30: Internal Organs

  • Brain, Heart, Lungs
  • Large and Small Intestines
  • Stomach
  • Kidneys and Liver

2/06: Presidents of the United States

  • George Washington
  • Abe Lincoln, Franklin D Roosevelt
  • John F Kennedy, Barack Obama
  • Valentine’s day party, Friday, February 10th

2/13: Ancient Egypt

  • Egyptian culture and traditions
  • Buildings and contributions

2/20: Ancient Greek

  • Monday, February 20th, President’s day – No School
  • Greek culture and traditions
  • Buildings and contributions

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

1/30: Rr
2/06: Ss
2/13: Tt
2/20: Uu

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

1/30: BUT, cut, gut, hut, nut, jut
2/06: BUP, cup, pup
2/13: BED, fed, led, med, ned, red, net, ted
2/20: BET, get, jet, let, met, net, set

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.
  • Look at a United States map. See if your child can guess which state the presidents we learned about came from.
  • Go to your local library and explore books about the different ancient cultures and read them together.

 


Explorations of Elementary February 2017 Overview

Explorations of Elementary February 2017 Overview

Research

  • Our first year students will continue their planet research with Uranus and Neptune. These students will study platyhelminthes and nematodes.  First year students will continue studying stems and begin studying bulbs.  Research of the human skeleton will begin.
  • Second year students will continue their rock research with discussions about structures made from rock around the world. This will enable second year students to be the leaders in groups for the International Festival, where we will research and present information about these structures.
  • Third year students will continue researching the main characteristics of invertebrates, moving on to annelids. They will also study different plants and their characteristics, as well as, the habitat of different types of plants.
  • Students researching the human body will discuss the brain, the spinal cord, and the nervous system.
  • All students will learn about the Food Web and the inter-connectivity of living things.
  • We will be studying the continent of Africa. We will look at objects and photos from Africa, talk about some capital cities in Africa, and discuss native groups and their creation myths.
  • Math and Language lessons are given to children based on individual needs, instead of age level.

Reading Groups

  • One of our groups will continue with Where the Wild Things Are. Two groups will be reading My Father’s Dragon.  Our last group will finish The Bridge to Terabithia and begin on biographies.
  • For Writer’s Workshop this month we will practice “reading like writers” to find problems and solutions in realistic fiction to help us develop the characters we write about. We will learn how to stretch a story to build suspense.  For editing, we will focus on repetitive words, using dialogue instead of alluding to something, and correctly punctuating dialogue.

Spelling Groups with Ms. Sara

  • Groups 1 and 2 are going to be working on blended sounds and digraphs. They will be doing a new activity in class for this month. They will be drawing a picture of their spelling words, labeling them, and doing Rainbow Write.
  • Group 3 will be working on adding endings to words that end in Y to make them plural. They will be doing two new activities in class to practice their words. They will be writing their list in their dominant hand and then in their non-dominant hand. They will also be doing an activity called Hidden Picture. They will draw and color a picture, hide their spelling words in it, and have a friend find them.
  • Group 4 will be working on Long I words. They will be doing two new activities in class to practice their words. They will be writing their list in their dominant hand and then again in their non-dominant hand. They will also be doing an activity called Hidden Picture. They will draw and color a picture, then hide their spelling words in it, and have a friend find them.
  • Group 5 will be working on compound words. They will be working on two new activities in class to practice their words. The first one will be to write a letter to a famous athlete and include all of their spelling words. The second will be to define all of their words.
  • The homework coming home tonight, and for the entire month of February, will be for you to dictate a sentence to your child for each of the spelling words that are sent home, have them write the sentence, and underline their spelling word. Please make sure your child is beginning their sentence with a capital letter and using correct punctuation at the end.

Field Trips and Special Events

  • February 10: Valentine’s Party
    • The party will begin with a lunch cooked together, then continue with games and gym class. We will end with passing out Valentine cards to each other.  Please make sure only your child’s name is on the cards to make sure there is enough time for each child to pass their cards out.
    • Please help us make this lunch possible, by signing up to bring something if you can: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b48a8a92da6f94-valentines1
  • February 18: Tallmadge Open House
    • Please look for an email from Kelly and Brandy about a special Elementary event after the Tallmadge Open House. This is a great opportunity to come learn more about the Montessori Elementary philosophy, the social needs of the Elementary child, and how you can help them through this phase in life.  Bring all your Montessori Elementary questions!  This is a great learning opportunity for current and incoming families!
  • February 20: President’s Day – NO SCHOOL
  • February 24: Elementary Student Conference Day – NO SCHOOL FOR ELEMENTARY
    • Your child will lead their own conference this day. They will prepare a script for their conference, and present some lessons they have been working on.  We will be there to answer any questions about what they are presenting and to encourage your child to take ownership of their learning.

 

 

 


February, 2017 Academic Enrichment Overview | Cuyahoga Falls Campus

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

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

 

 1/30: Exchanging

  • Decimal System/Exchanging 1s, 10s, 100s and 1000s
  • Using single units, 10 bars, 100 squares and 1000 cubes

 2/06: Introduction to Multiplication

  • Exploring multiplication
  • Operations with the golden bead material
  • Practice with the nine tray and multiplication tables

2/13: Introduction to Fractions

  • Exploring Fractions
  • Fractional Insets (whole up to 1/12)

2/20: Geometric Shapes

  • Monday, February 20th, President’s day – No School
  • Intro to Geometric Shapes, Constructive boxes
  • Geometric Cabinet

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

1/30: first, than
2/06: other, some
2/13: more, these
2/20: would, about

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

1/30: APPROPRIATE, suitable, fitting, apropos, correct, proper
2/06: BAD, incorrect, awful, unsatisfactory faulty, defective
2/13: GOOD, pleasant, fine, honorable, wonderful, valuable
2/20: DRY, dehydrated, arid, parched

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.

 


Ms. Courtney’s December 2016 Newsletter Article

Classroom News:

December was filled with many fun winter and Christmas activities.  We started the month off with focusing on practicing our songs for the Christmas program.  The students worked very hard to memorize the lyrics and to get the motions and dance moves down just right.

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The students created paper plate Santa Claus. Along with a Rudolf picture by tracing the students’ hands for the antlers and feet for the face, then we added a red nose and eyes to complete the reindeer.  The students also made a paper Christmas tree. We enjoyed baking and decorating sugar cookies. They loved making candles and melted snowmen ornaments to put in their gift bags to their parents.

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We all enjoyed the students’ show and tell items and they enjoyed sharing with the class. The children especially had fun wearing their pajamas to school and watching classic Christmas movies like The Grinch, Frosty, and Rudolph.

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The kids did an amazing job at the Christmas program and were the cutest snowmen and women ever!

I hope everyone had a wonderful break and a Merry Christmas! See you next year!

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Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
with Ms. Courtney

The kindergartners learned how to measure in inches and centimeters using a ruler and tape measure. They even had the opportunity to have special lesson from a parent who showed them how to scale down the solar system and use inches to show the distance between each planet.

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Handwriting Enrichment | Kindergarten
with Ms. Courtney

The kindergartners have been working very hard on completing journal prompts on their own using letter sounds and sight words.

 

 

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Reading Group | Kindergarten
with Ms. Faith

In December, The kindergartners finished the series of poems with a poem called, The Lobster Quadrille. A quadrille is a type of lively square dance, which we all learned how to do! While I read the poem, the kindergartners clapped a beat and danced. After a few tries they caught on, and had a blast with the square dance. They learned some new vocabulary: porpoise, shingle, and askance. During the second reading, we had a discussion that analyzed the poem. The kindergartners had to think about why the characters in the poem made certain decisions, and what they think the character should do. The students also completed an art activity where they had to draw a picture of their favorite ocean animal. At the end of every art activity, the students take turns sharing their drawings.

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The next story we started is, Lion at School. This is a story of a little girl who does not enjoy going to school. She starts of to school one day late, and is not in a hurry to get there. On her way she meets a lion. This lion can talk and wants to go to school with her. They come up with a plan to tell the teacher that the lion is a friend and his name Noil. He joins her for the morning portion of school, and helps her stand up to an older student. In response to the story, the kindergartners drew a picture of where they would take a lion. After Christmas break, we will resume reading group, and finish Lion at School.

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Science Enrichment
by Ms. Courtney

Our students love our experiments and this month the favorite was our snow….
The students wanted to play with snow but since it hadn’t snowed yet, so we decided to make our own. We combined corn starch and white hair conditioner!  Who knew Science could be so much fun!

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Music Enrichment
by Ms. Faith

During December, Ms. Lisa created a festive atmosphere to gear the students up for the holiday season. We sang some Christmas favorites such as, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, Feliz Navidad, Jingle Bell Rock, and Deck the Halls. While we sang Jingle Bells, the student played bells to replicate the sound of the horses dashing through the snow while pulling the sleigh. The young musicians also used castanets, which are Spanish instruments that make a clicking sound, during the song Feliz Navidad. Ms. Lisa played games with the students where she would play a Christmas song and the students had to dance; once she stopped the music, students had to freeze. If they didn’t freeze, they were out. This is an enjoyable way for youngsters to learn listening skills, and to control their response time. To end the month, the class reviewed some musical terms that name the tempo of a musical piece. These terms are Allegro (fast), Adagio (slow), and Andante (medium). To reinforce the lesson, Ms. Lisa played a song called The Christmas Train, where the tempo changes from fast to medium then to slow. The students walk around in a train, and use egg shakers to make the sound of the train moving while Ms. Lisa played a triangle for the bell, and used a whistle for the train’s whistle. They had to move at the same tempo that song played. The students enjoyed walking in slow motion, then walking quickly on tiptoes. I’m sure the students are in the holiday spirit after all the great activities they participated in during music class!

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Art Enrichment
by Ms. Faith

This past month was filled with many wonderful winter and Christmas activities. In art we started a fun imaginary project called Imaginary Creatures. Ms. Michele shows the students different made up creatures such as a Pegasus, and a Griffin. These animals are made up of multiple animals combined. The students then got to pick pictures of three different animals. The young artists had to combine features of the animals and draw their new creature. After the drawings were done, the class got to color their imaginary animals and draw a habitat. Once everyone was finished, we all shared our animals and told where they lived and what the creature ate. Once we come back from Christmas break, the students will form their imaginary creature out of clay to bring it to life! Our last project of the month was a Christmas painting of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Ms. Michele showed us how to paint Rudolph step by step. The students picked which type of patterned paper they wanted, and then we got started. Ms. Michele showed us which shapes to make first, then painted the shapes in to create a rendition of the beloved Christmas character. Their paintings are hanging up in the entrance, so make sure to check out the students’ wonderful paintings!


Mr. John’s December 2016 Newsletter Article

It is the most wonderful time of the year… but I am not referring to the holiday season.  I am referring to the Holiday College Football Bowl Season.  The weeks preceding New Years Day you can find a College Football Bowl Game every day.  No matter how small the university or how ridiculous the sponsor for the bowl game, I find pleasure in watching College Football.  The College Football Bowl season is rivaled only with March Madness (My March blog may tout this is the most exciting sports season). So, as the Winter Solstice comes as well as over break, Mr. John was fully stocked up on Cheetos and root beer, and snacked on the Christmas cookies I received from families and watched a years worth of College Football in the time span of two weeks.  I wanted to thank all the families for bringing your children to Absorbent Minds Montessori School and for all of the generous gifts that I received.

As always O-H…

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All smiles                                                             Reading to each other

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A typical day in Mr. John’s class…napping (he, he…just kidding) This was our PJ and Movie Day!                                                   

 

 

Line Time

We spent the majority of the time practicing for our Christmas program.  Our little carolers performed nicely.  My big carolers did a fantastic job getting our students ready for the show!

 

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My Breakfast Club running amuck                 Card Sharks

We did have an alumnus, Avery who is in Kindergarten, read Madeline’s Christmas.

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Cultural Subjects

We can now count to ten in 20 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, Hungarian, Irish, and Kiswahili, Welsh.

 

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Just Cuteness                                                     Friends

 

Academic Enrichment | Kindergarten
with Mr. John

This abbreviated month found us learning a little bit about creepy crawly things.  Namely Insects and Arachnids.  We learned insects have 6 legs, an abdomen, a thorax, and a head in addition to two antennae.  They are also invertebrates. Arachnids are also invertebrates but have a head and a cephalothorax.

We ended the year by learning how to measure things with a ruler.  We learned how to measure in inches and in centimeters.  The students had homework measuring things around the house.  I was told this was a fun assignment.

Cultural Subjects
We can now count to ten in 21 languages(We can count to ten in 19 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, Hungarian, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemmish.

Handwriting Enrichment | Kindergarten
with Ms. Kristen

During the month of December, we began to work on cursive letter formation beginning with form drawing, which is a pre-cursor to cursive handwriting. We then focused on letter A-I and practiced writing simple words beginning with each letter. The Kindergarten students have also practicing answering questions in the form of a complete sentence, such as “ What is your favorite color?” and “ What do you want for Christmas?”. The children are doing so well with this and their handwriting is improving daily!

Reading Group | Kindergarten
with Ms. Kate

For the month of December our friends learned all about Fantasy. We read poems by Sylvia Plath, Edward Lear, and Lewis Carroll. With each of these readings the children were able to create an art activity, do a dramatization of the reading, and also discuss their Junior great book questions they did with their parents. One of the readings we did was called The Bed book. As a class we brainstormed different types of beds they would like to have. I love that the children had to really use their imagination and talk to their classmates about what they were thinking. We then created our own Right Sort Of Bed poem! When children work on these creative writing projects, the activity provides a framework of lines and verbal cues to help children generate and organize their ideas. The children really enjoyed reading these poems.

 

Science Enrichment
by Ms. Kathleen

We love Science here at AMMS! One of the favorite experiments we would like to highlight this month was Gluep/ Homemade Slime! Yes, as I’m sure you can imagine…it was a big hit!

This made by using Borax, White Elmer’s Glue (It has to be Elmer’s Brand) ,Water Food coloring.

The children watched Mr. John add the Tablespoon of glue to one cup of water then mix, then food coloring. then he added 1 teaspoon of borax with 3 more cups of water, he stirred until dissolved.Then when finished was a soft lump.

By combining Glue, Borax and Water a newly created Polymer will have characteristics of a Solid and a Liquid. A chemical reaction begins when Glue and Borax and Water are mixed to make a highly flexible Polymer. A Polymer is both a liquid and a solid.

The Children all (except a few because it is slimy to the touch) loved this experiment and were so happy to bring their own little bit home in plastic bags all provided by Mr. John.

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Music Enrichment
by Ms. Sabrina

This was a very busy month for our music class. The children learned many new songs and signs for the Christmas Show which they practiced during music class. Along with those songs and movements, they also learned Jinggle Bells freeze dance and Jingle Bell Rock. Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer with motions was so much fun!! Castanets were used (we love using instruments!). The children learned a lot about self control. Feliz Navidad was a song they sung, and they galloped to Deck The Halls!! Away In Manger was also heard, and it was beautiful. All the children did a wonderful job performing in the show! All of us also had such fun!!

 

Art Enrichment
by Ms. Ame

This month in December Miss Michele mixed it up combining art and physical movement! Miss Michele introduced some new pieces of art to the class, that all had one thing in common; they were pictures of people in different positions. The students then each took a turn being a model for the class. Each student took their turn on the stool in the center of the circle. Then they got to pick a prop and make a pose with their prop. There were globes, scarves, and other classroom objects they could pick from. Once they found their prop and pose, the students had about 1 minute per student to quickly draw their friend in the center. It was a good lesson that taught the students about drawing different parts of the body in different positions. It also helped them learn to look quickly for details when they are drawing something they are looking at. This lesson helped prepare them for the next weeks lesson where each student brought in a toy or object from home. Each student brought in their own object from home and put the objects in the center of the circle. Then the students drew the objects that they saw and had so much fun! Thanks for everyone for bringing in such wonderful objects! Thanks to Miss Michele for another wonderful year and we can’t wait to see what comes next!