The month of February was very busy in our classroom! We learned about types of transportation, all about arctic animals, our Presidents (past and present), and all about dental health! We also had fun celebrating Valentine’s Day! Thank you to all our parent volunteers and helpers, and especially Ms. Kim for making our party such a success!
During the first week of February, we discussed trains, boats, buses, and trucks and other forms of transportation. The children especially enjoyed the “ Sink or Float” experiment in afternoon group time. We also discussed which forms of transportation go in land, air, and water. We also discovered that the children are very interested in boats, and had many questions about them! We discovered there many way to get from one place to another!
We learned about many different types of arctic animals during the second week of February. The children learned how many arctic animals have a layer of blubber underneath their skin and how is keeps them warm at night. They also learned the male Emperor Penguins take care of their eggs while the female Emperor Penguins go and search for food. The children also enjoyed learning about Arctic Wolves, Polar Bears, and Beluga Whales. The children especially enjoyed making a Penguin craft with Ms. Kim during afternoon group lesson.
During week three, we learned all about Presidents. We discussed the president’s job is to be the leader of our country. We also learned about the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. We also talked about George Washington and how he was the first President of the United States. We also learned that George Washington’s picture is on the quarter and the dollar bill. Abraham Lincoln’s picture is on the five dollar bill and the penny. Some of the children also took it upon themselves to write the names of the presidents in order during work time.
We learned all about dental health during the final week of February. When we are young, we only have twenty teeth! Later, when we become adults, we have twenty-eight-thirty two teeth! We also learned the proper way to brush our teeth and what foods are healthy for our teeth. The children also enjoyed making a craft with Ms. Kim during Preschool lesson where they made a mouth with construction paper and marshmallows for teeth! The children also enjoyed a visit from a dental hygenist, who taught us how to brush our teeth and why we don’t need to be scared when we go to the dentist.
Academic Enrichment Afternoon Lesson with Mr. John
We started out the month introducing addition using beads. The introduction of beads shows the kindergartners a solid correspondence between the symbol and quantity. I also showed the students what tools could be used in their own classroom to help with addition, such as the table top rods, color bead bars and addition strip board. We briefly touched upon addition with exchanges (carry over’s). We then touched briefly on multiplication. I explained multiplication is simply adding multiple times. Introduced fractions the last week of the month. We learned that we can divide anything as long as it can be divided into equal parts. Even our kindergarten class. We divided our class from girls/boys. Mr. John’s, Ms. Kate’s, and Ms. Kristen’s class, and eye color.
We then learned about different shapes. We knew that a triangle has three sides but we learned that a triangle with three equal sides is called an equilateral triangle, with two equal sides is an isosceles, and with no equal sides it is called a scalene triangle. Any shape with four sides is a quadrilateral. Some examples include a square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezoid, and a chevron. We realized that the Greek language was very important when learning about the pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon.
The Kindergartners now can count to 10 in twenty six languages…English (that is our native language), Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Hebrew, Swedish, Korean, Polish, Hungarian, and Tagalog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano.
Ms. Kim’s Corner:
In music class this month the children sang hello to Alley the Alligator and Frieda the Frog. We reviewed the musical words for loud, soft, slow, and fast! To review the story, Peter and the Wolf, we acted out the characters in the story. Once the children heard the musical instrument, they acted like the bird, duck, cat, wolf, Grandpa, or Peter! We remembered this story very well. Next, we reviewed the whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes. The children clapped the beats of the notes first. Then Ms. Lisa had the children use rhythm sticks to practice these notes in songs like “Grandfather Clocks” and “Yankee Doodle.”
Our first science experiment this month required a can of Coca-Cola and a can of Diet Coke. The children made hypotheses on what would happen to each can of soda when dropped into a tank of water. Would they sink or float? We discovered that the regular can of Coca-Cola sank and the Diet Coke floated. Mr. John explained that the regular can of soda has real sugar which is denser, so it sinks.
Our next experiment involved Bran Flakes cereal and magnets! Mr. John mixed the Bran Flakes cereal and the water into a plastic Ziploc bag. He explained to the children that the cereal contained the metal iron. The children made hypotheses on what would happen when a magnet was rubbed over the cereal. We saw black spots when the magnet was rubbed over the cereal. These black spots were the iron. So yes we eat metal!
Our last experiment of the month was called, “Dancing Raisins”. Mr. John asked the children what they thought would happen when raisins were dropped into a glass of ginger ale. Most of the children said that the raisins would either sink or float. Well we were surprised when the raisins sank but then floated back to the top! In ginger ale, there are carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles grabbed onto the raisins and carried them to the bottom, but once the bubbles popped the raisins floated back to the top.
At the beginning of the month, Ms. Michele read the students the book, The Snowy Day. Then they created a snowy day picture by first gluing down cotton balls as snow. Next they drew themselves playing in the snow. As a final touch, Ms. Michele let the students sprinkle on a little glitter on their snowy pictures.
Next the students created art that would get them thinking about the International Festival. Ms. Michele had the students watch a video on the Chinese New Year. In this video there was dragons and lions dancing to celebrate the new year. Ms. Michele had the students create a lion or dragon by decorating two already glued paper cups. They got to be creative and put feathers, construction paper, pipe cleaners, crayons, markers, and eyes on these creations!
Lastly, please take time to practice with your child what they are learning here at school. Ask your child about their favorite President of the United States. Take a trip to the Zoo to visit some of the artic animal, such as the Polar Bears and Penguins, and discuss which one is their favorite and why. Practice good dental hygene with your child by practicing brushing their teeth correctly with them. Take a trip on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad together as a family.
Maria Montessori stated , “If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind?” I am so proud to be part of a school where we teach not only letter sounds and and numbers, but a sense of order, concentration, coordination, and independence. These qualities are the most important skills a child can learn at an early age, and I love watching your children grow closer to mastering these every day! I am so proud of all of our students hard work this past month and I consider it a privilege to be their teacher!