“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and strength, use it to create.” -Maria Montessori
My favorite thing about the Montessori Elementary Curriculum is the amount of opportunities students are given to use their imagination to learn, create, and grow. This week we have seen students take an interest in something and run with it. We had two first year students, inspired by the nest in our room, complete a research report about wasps. Other students that were inspired by their research spent time observing the nest. Our second and third year students were responsible for reading the laws of the universe and coming up with their own science experiment to demonstrate to the class how the law works. Our fourth and fifth grade students started their first “Word of the Week” project where they chose any word that they thought others wouldn’t know and needed to come up with a creative way to show what it meant. When students have the opportunity to follow their interests and use their imagination, they often create something that exceeds our expectations and combines skills from many areas of the classroom into just one work!
A Peek into Next Week
Next week, we will begin our Spelling Assessments. The following week, we will begin our first Spelling lesson and homework! First year students will learn about the history of clocks, the noun, fractions, and the first plants. Second year students will practice greater than and less than, feminine and masculine nouns, the intersection of two straight lines, and work with our Animal Kingdom Chart. Our third year students will solve equations with the squares and cubes of numbers, will learn about suffixes, will begin their study with congruent figures, and will study the taxonomy of vertebrates. Fourth year students will review the commutative and distributive laws of multiplication, will begin advanced grammar studies, will continue their study of Pythagorean Theorem from last year, and will study basic life processes. Fifth year students will complete the Table of Pythagoras, will continue studying Native Americans, will study energy on earth, and will begin studying advanced botany.
Our Ramseyer Farm Field Trip is Friday, September 21. Please make sure to turn in your permission slip!
Picture Day – September 26
Sign ups are ready for “Bring Your Parent to ‘Work Time’.” You can sign up here.
This past week we focused on community helpers in honor of Labor Day. The students not only learned about firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, veterinarians, construction workers, paramedics, farmers, mail carriers, chefs etc. They had the opportunity to meet and get to know some of them. The students and I greatly appreciate those that volunteered their time to come in and speak to us about their careers.
Family Medicine Doctor
HR at Goodyear
September 21 | All School Field Trip | Ramseyer Farms
Weekly Lesson: Cardinal Directions- The Kindergarten Students learned about the Cardinal Directions. We learned north is always on top, south is always on the bottom, east is always to the right, and west is always to the left. We went into a bit more detail when using the Cardinal Directions. In between north and east is called northeast and so on… We traveled from continent to continent asking what direction we needed to go to get to the appointed continent.
Handwriting: We continue to practice the pre-cursive writing exercises big and small loops connected, tents (upside down v) not connected and connected.
Cultural Subjects: We now can count to ten in 6 languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, and French).
Weekly Lesson- Hemispheres
Synonym of the Week- sad (miserable, gloomy, depressing, downtrodden, glum, unhappy)
Weekly Theme: The first week back to school we looked at the globe of the Earth. It is in a shape of a sphere. We noticed the Earth is covered mostly in water but does have land. The pieces of land are divided and called continents. There are seven continents and each have a fun fact. North America is where we live, South America has the Amazon Rain Forest, Europe has many countries, Africa has really cool animals, Asia is the biggest continent, Australia is an island and is called The Land Down Under, and Antarctica is the coldest continent and no humans live there. We went over what countries are in each continent (except for Antarctica).
Handwriting: We are practicing our introduction to cursive exercises by writing simple symbols such as the big and small loops (look like cursive e and l) upside down and right side up cups (n and u), circles and flat tops (o and r).
Cultural Subjects: We now can count to ten in 4 languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, And Spanish).
Next Week: Weekly Theme: Cardinal Directions (N,S,W,E)
Synonym Of The Week: FAST (hurried, speedy, brisk, quick, swift)
The opening week is a joy and a challenge all wrapped into one. I love the fresh start, seeing returning students, and meeting new ones. The first few weeks of the new school year during line time we go over the rules of the classroom. We go over our “Big 4” rules… 1.) Walking (No running in the classroom). Because if you run and fall into a shelf or hit your hear on the concrete floor which will win your head or the shelf? 2.) Use your listening ears. 3.) Keep your hands and body to yourself. The one I feel is most important… 4.) Be respectful. Which simply means be nice to people or treat people how you would like to be treated. We also go over how to carry, roll, and unroll a mat, put our shoes and slippers neatly on the mat (straight, together, and toes touching the wall). We pick up where we left off with the returning students with lessons and evaluate and access where the new students are.
I do have to say that the first week went very smoothly. I do need to thank Kathleen with her 5 plus years working with me and Ashlie who did a wonderful job being her first week with me for the smooth start.
Peek Into Our Week:
We learned how to count to ten in 3 different languages (English, Sign Language, and Latin)
“Let us start with one very simple reflection: the child, unlike the adult, is not on his way to death. He is on his way to life.” – Maria Montessori
The first week of school is always one of my favorites. It is a time to welcome new friends, to catch up with old ones, and to see which children are almost as tall as me after a summer of growing. The first week, we always begin with “The Great Lessons.” These lessons were designed to give children an imaginative presentation of the beginnings of the universe, life on Earth, communication, numbers, and geometry. You can read more about “The Great Lessons” here. We also take a lot of time to build community during the first week. We play games together and have presentations from children of all ages to encourage collaboration and trust between all members of our classroom. Empowering students of all ages also enables children to feel confident in their ability to try something new before seeking help! We are so happy to have all of you back with us and are excited to learn more about our new families!
Ask your child about the fun games we played!
“A Peek into Next Week”
Next week we will begin a more typical schedule. We will begin art, music, and gym enrichment classes! Students that did not have a reading assessment in August will complete one with me next week. We will continue some of our supplementary lessons to “The Great Lessons.” We will discuss “The Story of Geometry” and “The Story of the Babylonians” to learn about rope stretchers in Egypt and the degree symbol. We will have our first Teacher-Student Conferences Friday. Please refer to the “Meet the Teacher Review” email if you need a reminder about these conferences!
NO SCHOOL – Monday, September 3 – Labor Day
Thursday, September 6 – First Art and Music Classes
Friday, September 7 – First Gym Classes – Bring a water bottle and tennis shoes!
“Bring Your Parent to ‘Work Time'” – Learn more and sign up here.
These last two weeks, the kindergarteners listened to a story called The Frog Went A Travelin. This story is Russian folktale about a frog who wants a different life and decides to travel south with a flock of ducks. The frog’s pride gets the best of her when villagers notice that the frog is traveling with ducks. She wants to fly lower for them to see and ends up shouting that she is the one who thought of the idea, and ends up falling and landing in a pond.
The kindergarteners practiced reading the underlined parts of the story aloud with me. They are improving in reading on their own and knowing when to read their part. They also completed art and writing acitivities.
What will happen if we put vinegar and baking soda in a sandwich bag?
We put vinegar in a sandwich bag and added baking soda, and the zipped sandwich bag popped!
Mixing vinegar and baking soda causes the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to react with acetic acid (vinegar) releasing carbon dioxide gas and making sodium acetate. The CO2 gas production caused the ziploc bag to pop.
Fire Resistant Water Balloon
What will happen if we put a flame under a balloon? What will happen if we put a flame under a balloon filled with water compared with putting a flame under a balloon with no water? The balloon without water popped when a flame was placed under it. The balloon with water in it did not pop when a flame was placed under it.
The thin balloon allows the heat to pass through very quickly and warm the water. As the water closest to the flame heats up, it begins to rise and cooler water replaces it at the bottom of the balloon. This cooler water then soaks up more heat and the process repeats itself. In fact, the exchange of water happens so often that it keeps the balloon from ever popping! The carbon was deposited on the balloon by the flame, and the balloon remains undamaged.
Paper Towels vs. Diapers
-Absorption “ To take something in”
What will happen if we pour water in a container containing paper towels and another container containing Sodium Polyacrylate(the stuff in diapers)? Which will hold more water, paper towels or Sodium Polyacrylate?
The container with the paper towels absorbed some water but not all the water. Some of the water spilled out of the container. The container that had Sodium Polyacrylate absorbed all the water. None of the water spilled out of the container.
The Sodium Polyacrylate holds more water than paper towels and is therefore, more absorbent.
Magic Milk Rainbow
“A property of a liquid keeping an object from going into the liquid”
What will happen if we put drops of food coloring on the top of milk in a bowl and place dish soap in the middle of the milk?
We placed the drops of food coloring(green, red, and yellow) on top of milk in a bowl and we put dish soap on the end of a Q-tip in the middle of the milk.
When we dipped the dish soap soaked Q-tip in the milk the food coloring swirled!
Food coloring is less dense than milk so it floats on the surface of the milk. When the dish soap touches the milk, the milk’s surface tension changes and the milk begins to move in an attempt to keep normal surface tension. This movement causes the food coloring to mix creating a milk rainbow.
Pop Rock Expander
What happens when we mix Pop Rock candy and soda? Should we ask Mikey?
First, get an entire package of Pop Rocks into a balloon using a funnel and place the balloon over the mouth of a bottle of soda. Grab the balloon and dump the Pop Rocks into the soda. And then the balloon was inflating!
Both candy and soda contain pressurized carbon dioxide gas. When the Pop Rocks are dropped into the soda, aome carbon dioxide is able to escape from the high fructose corn syrup of the soda and, because the carbon dioxide gas has nowhere to go in the bottle, it rises into the balloon.
What are the bubbles? What will happen when we put cooked spaghetti in a fresh glass of baking soda/vinegar mixture?
We made a “batch” of baking soda/vinegar mixture(2 cups of water and 2 cups of vinegar). We dropped several strands of cooked spaghetti into the baking soda/vinegar mixture, Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the water/vinegar mixture.
The spaghetti sinks to the bottom of the baking soda/vinegar mixture. Then when the baking soda is added bubbles are produced lifting the spaghetti throughout the liquid.
The carbonated bubbles rise to the top “pushing” the spaghetti towards the top of the bowl creating dancing spaghetti,
Tea Bag Hot air Balloon
What will happen when we set fire to an unused, empty tea bag?
First we cut the unused tea bag and discarded the tea leaves and then made the tea bag into a shape of a cylinder. Mr, John set fire to the tea bag, As the tea bag burned, it began to float up.
When the tea bag burns down it gets lighter in weight and the air around the flame gets hotter. Hot air rises and once the burnt tea bag is light enough it gets carried up with the hot air.
-A state of matter “A fluid containing solid particles”
What will happen if we mix cornstarch and water?
We mixed cornstarch and water and slowly put our finger in the mixture. We quickly hit the mixture.
When we slowly put our finger in the mixture it went into the mix like a liquid. When we quickly hit the mixture our fingers stayed dry, out of the mix. It felt like a solid.
By mixing the cornstarch and water we created a state of matter known as suspension. When we hit the Cornstarch Suspension it felt like a solid because its molecules line up. But it looks like a liquid and acts like a liquid when no one is pressing on it because the molecules relax.
This week we talked about what a portrait and a self portrait means in art. Each of the students drew a picture of themselves using crayons and colored pencils and then we made a “silly” self portrait similar to Pablo Picasso famous cubist art! The students loved talking about their silly portraits and what crazy things they were adding to their faces!
Week of May 7th
The students enjoyed making clay pots a few weeks ago so we got out the clay and created some goofy monsters! Watching them use their imaginations to create something only they could envision was so much fun. Each one was truly unique!
Week of May 14th
This week we talked again about self portraits and how we could make a portrait more “life-like”. Using construction paper, the students created 3D portraits that resembled themselves. They really enjoyed finding ways to create hair that stuck out from the paper!
Week of May 21st
For our final art class in Tallmadge I created art stations that involved some of the students’ favorite mediums. We had a really fun sculpture station, a chalk and oil pastel station and a watercolor/paint stamping station. Giving the students time at each one to explore and create was the perfect way to end the school year!
This week we learned about ending punctuation. We discovered the period and when using is just kind of gives a statement without much excitement or emotion. We learned more about the explanation point and when used there is excitement and emotion! Finally, we learned the question mark is at the end of a sentence when a question is asked. These children are smart, right?