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!


Ms. Kristen’s December 2016 Newsletter Article

Classroom News:

The month of December has been full of fun and merriment in our classroom! The children have enjoyed learning about Arctic Animals, the Weather, the different parts of the Orchestra, and about different symbols of the Holiday Season. We had a blast!

In week one, we learned all about Arctic Animals. We learned many Arctic Animals have white fur or feathers that aide them in hiding from predators in their environment. For instance, a penguin is both black and white, so that when it is looked at from below in the water it blends in with the sky above, and when it is looked at from above, it blends in with the dark water below. The children also enjoyed an experiment Ms. Catie conducted with them on how blubber helps to keep arctic animals warm. She had the children take turns placing their hand inside a Ziploc bag covered in butter. She then had the children place that hand into ice water. The butter acted as insulation, much like blubber, and helped keep their hands warm, even in the ice water!

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Callen and Liam were so interested in musical notaion that they wanted to copy a piece of music on to staff paper!

 

During the second week of December, we learned about weather. The children enjoyed talking about the job of a meteorologist how it is their job to scientifically predict the weather. Ms. Catie and Ms. Kerri and I also had the children keep track of how many sunny, cloudy, rainy, and snowy days there were that week. Not surprisingly, there were more cloudy days. We also conducted a weather related science experiment as a class. We taped a Ziploc bag filled with water to the window in our classroom and watch throughout the coming weeks as the water level at the bottom of the bag decreased and condensation formed at the top of the bag, which was a great visual representation of how clouds are formed!

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Tenleigh enjoying a book about Arctic Animals!

 

During the third week in December, the children learned about the different parts of the orchestra. They learned all instruments belong to a “family”, such as String, Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion. I also showed the children my ukulele and how the different lengths and thickness of strings on the ukulele produce different pitches. The thinner the string, the higher the pitch. The thicker the string, the lower the pitch. The children also enjoyed listening to music from the different families of the orchestra during their afternoon work time as well!

 

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Samantha decided to put her amazing handwriting skills to practice and wrote Santa a letter!

 

During the fourth week of December, we focused on preparing for the Christmas Show. We also made candy cane ornaments with Ms. Catie and Ms. Kerri. Pajama Day was also a blast, and the children loved wearing their p.j.’s and watching movies! We also made gingerbread houses with graham crackers, marshmallows, and M&M’s. It was a well deserved rest after all of their hard work so far this year!

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Avery Ucker, Audrey’s sister, came in to read a story to our class!

I would encourage you to watch the weather report with your child. As a family, track how many sunny, cloudy, rainy, and snowy days there are for a week. Listen to classical music with your child and discuss the different instruments you hear. Find a cookie recipies to make together as a family. Make your child a part of the preparation, measuring, and baking.

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Mia and Kailyn work on the Mirror Polishing Work, which teaches the child a sense of order, concentration, coordination, and independence!

Maria Montessori stated that Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” As a Montessori Directress, it’s truly been my privilege to watch your children grow and learn through working with the materials in the classroom. Through their interactions with each other, I have enjoyed watching your children form lasting friendships and learn to resolve their own conflicts peacefully. I am so proud of all of their progress so far this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next have of the school year brings!

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Academic Enrichment Group Time | 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 highligh 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.

 

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 Jingle 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 week’s still life 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!


Ms. Kate’s December 2016 Newsletter Article

Classroom News:

I love this time of year! The pretty lights, fun music, everyone smiling, and the children full of excitement!! Even though we were only in school for just a few short weeks the children were busy getting ready for our annual holiday program, making fun holiday crafts, and enjoying the hustle and bustle of the classroom! Throughout the month of December our class had fun learning about how children and their families celebrate Christmas from around the world! The first country we talked about was Mexico. We began by reading the story The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie de Paola, and then created our own poinsettia craft out of paint, glitter, markers, and grocery bags. For preschool lesson, Ms. Ame had the children make another Christmas craft from Mexico . The second country we visited was Germany. The children learned that the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree originated from Germany and that the trees were decorated with candles, apples, and spiced cookies. The children them created their own tree by dipping a toilet paper roll into paint and making prints onto paper. They also used glitter, colored paint, and stickers to decorate their tree. The children also created another Christmas tree by using different sized green paper and placing them in order from longest to shortest.

 

 

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“ Joyeux Noel” is how you say Merry Christmas in French. In France, the traditional Christmas Eve meal, Le Reveillon, means “ waking up” and includes many courses of food. The children created their own Le Reveillon menu out of magazines. They cut out foods that they would like to eat on Christmas Eve night, pasted them on a folded menu they created and labeled what they glued on. They turned out fantastic! The following country we had fun with was Italy. The children had a blast doing the traditional Italian art of curling paper called Quilling. They learned that the Italians created beautiful quilled ornaments to decorate their ceppos, which is a small triangular ladder. The last country was England. The children thought it was so funny that after children wrote their letters to Santa they then threw them into the fireplace hoping that they would go up the chimney so that all their wishes would come true. I then explained to them that an English tradition included caroling from house to house and that the families would come in for Wassail. We also read a book about St.Lucia. The children learned that on every Christmas eve she would go out with her wreath with candles on top and deliver warm food to those who have no food on the coldest winter day. Then as a group the children constructed a crown of their own just like St. Lucia did.

 

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The children really loved learning about the different traditions. They couldn’t believe how people in different countries celebrated Christmas. Throughout December our class made different holiday crafts, gingerbread houses, and playing different games from around the world. The last week before our break our theme was all about giving not receiving. The children did different acts of kindness throughout the last week. The first activity we did was we made a chart that displayed the differences between a want vs. a need. I loved how the children really grasped this concept! We then created a kindness paper chain. Each child had to stand up and talk about how they would show kindness either to a friend, or someone in need. The children really put a lot of though into their answers. I then asked the children what activity they would like to do for someone or something, and they chose to make bird feeders for the birds. I thought it was super sweet that they wanted to give to the animals as well. Lastly, as a class we decided that we wanted to give clothes to the people in need. For the entire month of December our families have been bringing in clothes and placing them into bins. In January our class will be separating these clothes into the different age groups and heading down to Good Neighbors to donate these items. I could not be more proud of our kiddos. Thanks to Ms. Ame for her wonderful kindness club our children are really and truly understanding the meaning of kindness.

 

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Academic Enrichment Group Time | 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.

 

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 Jingle 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!


Explorations of Elementary December 2016 Newsletter

Explorations of Elementary December 2016 Newsletter

December was a short, but exciting month.  We spent much of December reviewing lessons and getting ready for the Christmas show.  Most of the time in a Montessori Elementary classroom, we present lessons in small or large groups because of the need to collaborate at this age.  One of the privileges we have of being a multi-age classroom is the time we can take to review things one-on-one with students to prepare them for the new lessons the New Year will bring, while other students continue their own choices of challenging work.  This month students continued their independent research.  Some students were researching vertebrates, while others were researching the different vertebrates and invertebrates in different time periods.

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Our student studying the human body did experiments to learn about the heart and the lungs.  To show how blood pumps out of the heart, we used a bucket full of water and a tennis ball with a hole cut into it.  Each student filled up the ball with water and squeezed it to pump the “blood” out.  We discussed the way blood enters into our heart and where the blood goes when the heart pumps it out.  We looked at photos of blood cells and watched a video of how it moves through different parts of the body.  These students practiced checking their pulse and tried different activities to make their hearts beat faster!

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We created our own lung to demonstrate the way our diaphragm and lungs work together to circulate oxygen.  In our bodies, when you inhale, your diaphragm goes down and your lungs inflate, and when you exhale, your diaphragm rises and your lungs deflate.  We blew one breath into our top balloon to make our “lung.”  When each student pulled on the bottom balloon, or diaphragm, the balloon would inflate, just like our lungs.  When the students would release the balloon, or diaphragm, the balloon would deflate, demonstrating how we exhale.

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Along with learning how our bodies work, we spent a lot of time working on our life skills.  Some students baked bread for our class as part of a measuring lesson.  We enjoyed watching the bread being kneaded, rising, and baking in the machine throughout the day, as well as enjoying the smell!  After it was done, we all tried it together and shared with Ms. Courtney’s class.  On Pajama Day, we worked together to bake Christmas cookies.  We had to measure, mix, roll out the dough, cut the cookies, and wash the dishes.  When the cookies were done, we made frosting to cover them with.  We enjoyed the cookies and our visiting friends’ company while watching The Tale of Despereaux.  The students that read the book were excited for this part of the day!

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While we were working hard with independent research, group work, and studying the human body, we also had to prepare for the Christmas Show!  A lot of hard (and fun) work from the students goes into putting on the Elementary portion of the show.  Our students came up with a list of countries they were interested in learning about, then once we narrowed it down, each group had to research their Christmas tradition.  The students then worked as a team to write their scripts, design their costumes, and make their own props.  After that we had to practice, practice, practice.  While the performances seem brief, the amount of teamwork and dedication from the students is something they are so proud of!  Thank you to all of the families for your help practicing, putting together costumes, and attending the performance!  We couldn’t do this without you!

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Welcome back and Happy New Year!


Ms. John, January 2017 Monthly Overview

January 2017

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

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

 

1/04:     Review of Ground Rules

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

 

1/09: Martin Luther King Jr./ Similarities and Differences

  • History of MLK, Rosa Parks.
  • Our similarities and differences (eyes, hair, gender and skin color)
  • MLK/ Rosa Parks skit
  • No School: Friday 1/13-Teacher In Service Day

 

1/16: Five Senses

  • Monday 1/16- NO SCHOOL (MLK Day)
  • Introduction to the Senses
  • Focus on each Sense throughout the week
  • Activities and experiments to support our knowledge of the senses

 

1/23: Skeletal System

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

 

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

1/04: Nn

1/09: Oo

1/16: Pp

1/23: Qq

 

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

1/04: BOB, fob, gob, job, lob, mob, rob

1/11: BUG, dug, hug, jug, mug, tug

1/18: BUN, fun, nun, run, sun

1/25: BUB, cub, hub, pub, rub, sub

 

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

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

 


January, 2017 Academic Enrichment | Cuyahoga Falls Campus

January 2017

What I will learn in Academic Enrichment with Mr. John

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

  

1/04:     Introduction to decimals/ columns

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

 

1/09: Introduction to 9 Tray/ 45 layout

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

 

1/16: Composing Numbers

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

 

1/23: Addition

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

 

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

1/04: oil, people

1/09: come, number

1/16: could, who

1/23: now, made

 

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

1/04: LOUD, noisy, piercing, deafening, booming, crashing, boisterous, raucous

1/09: QUIET, peaceful, mute, calm, silent

1/16: SKINNY, thin, lean, emaciated, scrawny, slender

1/23: FAT, overweight big, bulky, heavy, plump

 

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

  • Look for our words of the week when reading a story, cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
  • Practice using the different synonyms of the week in a sentence together.
  • You can view this link to give you more information on how the math materials are used in the Montessori classroom http://www.montessorialbum.com/montessori/index.php?title=Math. You may also google the name of the work to find more videos and information on the purpose of that material.

 

Mr. John will be sending homework home to reinforce these lessons. Please turn homework into the orange box outside of Mr. John’s classroom.  Please email him if you have any questions: jkotradi@thesmarterkids.com.