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!


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.