Ms. Courtney’s October 2016 Newsletter

Primary Room

During the month of October the class learned about all the changes that happen during the beautiful Fall season.  For the first week we discussed leaves, how and why they change, and different types of leaves.  The kids also enjoyed collecting their own leaves for leaf rubbing.

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The second week of October the students learned about apples.  They got to taste test several different types of apples and vote on what was their favorite kind.  We discovered what the inside of an apple looks like and how they grow.  Some of the students even brought home beautiful paintings using apples as stamps.

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Next, the class learned all about pumpkins.  We were able to explore the inside of what pumpkins look like by digging out the insides to separate the seeds from the pulp. The next day, the class was able to bake a pumpkin pie and try it. The students even made a Venn diagram comparing pumpkins and apples.

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The fourth week of October we turned our attention to bats.  We learned about different types of bats and even found out that there is a bat that is as small as a bumblebee! The class discovered how and where bats sleep and that they find their food through echolocation. Make your next corporate event one to remember!

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During the last week the class learned about different body parts. The students even learned about the lungs and heart and made their own models. We introduced our anatomy apron and the children enjoyed learning about the organs and where they belong by attaching the fabric organs to the apron!

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I wanted to thank all the parents who helped out with the Halloween party.  It was definitely a success, and the kids enjoyed all of the crafts, games, and delicious food. We could not have had a more successful party!

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If you haven’t already please sign up for parent/teacher conferences, they will be held  on November 14th.

 

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
We went over telling time to the hour, half past, quarter after and quarter till. The kindergartners have been working hard and doing a great job on their journals. We will begin telling time to the minute the week of November 7th. Please review our updated overview.

 

Reading Group | Kindergarten
with Ms. Faith

Our kindergartners are gaining such great comprehension skills by participating in the Junior Great Book series. In October, we read The Frog Went A Travelin, Night Into Dawn, and The Tale of Two bad Mice. Within these stories, your kindergartners are learning higher-level comprehension, by having discussions to analyze the stories. Some of the activities the students get to complete are drawing parts of the stories, writing responses, writing poems, and even acting out parts of the stories. When they complete a picture, or writing response, the kindergartners are able to share with the group. I enjoy hearing their responses to the discussion questions, and seeing their detailed drawings. I am excited to see how their reading comprehension will improve by the end of the year. Thank you parents for reading with them over the weekends, and helping the kindergartners write their questions to share with the group.

 

Science
Over the past month, the students have been learning about the science behind the changes we see during fall.  We found out that the leaves change color because they are not receiving enough chlorophyll to keep their color green.  The students also learned the life cycle of apples, pumpkins, and bats.

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We also enjoyed some science experiments we turned milk and vinegar into plastic by mixing milk and vinegar together, then straining out the clumps to mold. The lumps left behind by the strained milk are called casein. Casein is a material that is produced when the protein in the milk reacts to the acid in the vinegar. The casein separates away from the acid and forms the lumps. It is plastic-like, but true plastics are made from polymers and not milk and vinegar.

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We dissolved sugar cubes in both hot and cold water and discovered that the cold water wasn’t able to dissolve as much sugar as the hot water. The hot water dissolved more because it has faster moving molecules which are spread further apart than the molecules in the cold water. Since the hot water had bigger gaps between the molecules, more sugar molecules were able to fit in between.

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We also transferred water using ‘capillary action. We took two paper towel ropes (or wicks) and put one end into two side glasses with water and the other side into an empty glass in the middle. The wicks started getting wet after a few minutes and after about an hour we noticed that the empty glass was starting to fill with water, and it kept filling until there was an even amount of water in each glass.

Lastly we made a hovercraft with a balloon, bottle cap and CD. As the air flowed downward out of the balloon and through the bottle cap, it built up air pressure under the CD. That air pressure lifted the whole hovercraft off the flat surface as air began to escape evenly all around the edge of the CD. Making the CD float on the cushion of air.

 

Music
This month Ms. Lisa focused on songs with manners and character building. We sang a song about having a choice about being kind and how to act when they are mad or upset. The students also played a game of rolling a ball to each other while singing a song about sharing. The class got to practice their listening skills by listening to different animal sounds, and then guessing what animal they were hearing. Throughout the course of October, your children got to use some different instruments, such as bells, tambourines, and egg shakers. They learned the rules of playing like a band. They had to wait until everyone had an instrument, and when Ms. Lisa told them to, they could pick up their instrument and play with her. This teaches the students self-control, and how to be patient. The young musicians have improved their ability to follow Ms. Lisa’s lead, and wait so patiently. Along with learning important musical terms and skills, we got to sing some old favorites like Skinamarinky Dinky Dink, and Skip to My Lou.

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Art
In the month of October we Ms. Michele taught us about some great artists, and techniques. The first week we got inspiration from an artist named Charlie Harper, who in known for his artwork with birds and animals. Ms. Michele had the students pick an animal to create out of construction paper shapes. They glued the shapes to a piece of construction paper to create their animal. We had lions, flamingoes, lizards, and much more. The next project was dealing with mood in art. Ms. Michele based the lesson off of Edward Munch’s painting The Scream. They saw happy paintings, sad paintings, and mad paintings. They then used oil pastels on black construction paper to draw themselves screaming and what was making them scream. The last week, the students got to make their very own playground. Ms. Michele showed the class pictures of different playgrounds from around the world. Before starting, Ms. Michele reviewed her rule of using liquid glue, which is, “Just a dot does a lot!” Each child was given a piece of green construction paper and the twisted, crimped, or made shapes to glue together and make their crazy playground.

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Explorations of Elementary 2016 – November Overview

Explorations of Elementary 2016 – November Overview

Research

  • Our first-year students will begin researching Mercury and Venus. Each month they will research another planet, or two.  They will end this research with a presentation of a famous scientist or astronomer.
  • Second year students will continue their rock and mineral research with a focus on the types of rocks, rock identification, and rock testing.
  • Third year students researching the human body will focus on the eye, the tooth, and the tongue.
  • Our fourth-year students will begin researching Ohio History.
  • All students will begin an in-depth study of South America. For this continent study, we will focus on the music, languages, and currency.

Reading Groups

  • One of our groups will continue reading selections from our Junior Great Books, one group will be reading stories about friendship, one group will be continuing The Tale of Despereaux, and one group will be starting Where the Red Fern Grows.
  • Within reading group, we will introduce or review present and past tenses of verbs.
  • Some groups will study antonyms and synonyms.
  • We will begin putting together research reports and introducing/reviewing how to write a bibliography.

Spelling Rules

  • Student will continue practicing spelling rules within their spelling groups. Students will have high-frequency words and special spelling cases.
  • Spelling homework for all students in the month of November:
    • Pyramid Write – on handwriting paper, your child will write their words in the shape of a pyramid each week. It will be demonstrated on their first sheet coming home October 31.

Field Trips and Special Events

  • November 1 – Book Fair Week
  • November 11 – Progress Reports Sent Out
  • November 14 – Parent-Teacher Conferences: This conference is parents only; childcare will not be provided. Please sign up using sign-up genius.  Information on how to sign-up was sent by Ms. Kelly.
  • November 16: OCC Packing Party
  • November 22: Harvest Party. Parents are welcome at this event!  It will take place in the afternoon and we will have the Epic Events party rental service so everyone can enjoy it.  More information will be sent out shortly!

 

 


Ms. Courtney’s November 2016 Monthly Overview

Our thematic lessons in addition to Individual Montessori Work Time.

11/7: Food Groups/Nutrition

  • The children will become aware of five food groups (dairy, protein, vegetables, fruits, and grains).
  • The children are made aware of different foods from each food group.
  • The children are informed that eating different foods from each food group will help them grow, think, and have energy to play.
  • The children will learn how to recognize different foods from each group.
  • The children will sample a variety of healthy foods.
  • Progress reports November 11th

11/14: Indians/Pilgrims

  • The children will learn about the items Pilgrims used long ago.
  • The children will learn very that life was difficult for the Pilgrims in America and that everyone, including the children, had to work hard.
  • The children will learn where the Pilgrims left and where they were headed in America.
  • The children will be reading and learning about the very first Thanksgiving.
  • PT conferences November 14th (no school for students)

11/21: What I am thankful for

  • The children will learn the meaning of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for families, friends and special things in times we share.
  • The children will learn doing things for others is important, and makes us feel good inside.
  • The children will learn that we can show thankfulness all the time, not only during holidays.
  • The children will learn there are many ways to share.
  • Harvest Festival November 22nd

11/28: Christmas Program

  • The children will be practicing for the Christmas show throughout the day.

Letters of the week

11/7: Jj

11/14: Kk

11/21: Ll

11/28:

Sight word of the week

11/7: for

11/14: have

11/21: play

11/28: look

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

  • Perform a simple cleanup task for a needy neighbor. It might be as simple as raking leaves from a yard or driveway, or tidying a porch or garage.
  • Make Thanksgiving dinner together.
  • Make a weekly menu together to place on the refrigerator that is balanced according to the food pyramid.
  • Read labels of food together.
  • Let your child pack their lunch.

Academic Enrichment November 2016 Monthly 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 together as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with Ms. Courtney on these and other materials at their level.

Junior Great Books Reading Group

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 your child’s reading group teacher will email information about the current story.

 

11/7: Telling Time to the minute

  • Review previous lessons on telling time
  • Introduction to the minute
  • Flashcards, Clock & Worksheets

11/14: Currency/ Coins

  • Introduction to coins (pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters)
  • Identifying coins and amounts
  • Working with coins and worksheets
  • Introduction to dollar bills
  • Identifying dollar bills
  • Working with money and worksheets

11/21: Parts of Animals

  • Parts of the mammal, reptile, amphibian,
  • Parts of the bird and fish
  • Working with the animal puzzle and control chart

11/28: Continue Parts of Animals

  • Parts of the mammal, reptile, amphibian,
  • Parts of the bird and fish
  • Working with the animal puzzle and control chart

Synonyms of the week

11/7: OLD, ancient, elderly, used, seasoned, mature

11/14: BIG, vast, gigantic, huge, large, enormous, colossal

11/21: SMALL, tiny, miniature, minute, little, petite

11/28: NO, negative, never, nay, nope, nix

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.
  • Practice telling time on the clock at home. When you sit down to dinner, ask them to tell you what time it is, when they go to bed, have them check the clock. Have fun with Time!
  • Practice exchanging money with your child. When you go to the store, have them help you pay!

Academic Enrichment November 2016 Monthly 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 together as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum with Mr. John.  Ms. Kristen begins this group time with 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. 

Junior Great Books Reading Group

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 your child’s reading group teacher will email information about the current story.

 

10/31: Telling Time to the minute

  • Review previous lessons on telling time
  • Introduction to the minute
  • Flashcards, Clock & Worksheets

11/07: Currency/ Coins

  • Monday 11/11 NO SCHOOL/ Teacher In Service Day (Parent//Teacher Conferences All Day 8am-7pm)
  • Introduction to coins (pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters)
  • Identifying coins and amounts
  • Working with coins and worksheets

11/14: Currency/ paper

  • Introduction to dollar bills
  • Identifying dollar bills
  • Working with money and worksheets

11/21: Parts of Animals (Intro)

  • Harvest Parties 11/22/16
  • Wednesday/Thursday/Friday NO SCHOOL—Enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!

 

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

10/31: how, each

11/07: said, by

11/14: been, down

 

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

10/31: OLD, ancient, elderly, used, seasoned, mature

11/07: BIG, vast, gigantic, huge, large, enormous, colossal

11/14: SMALL, tiny, miniature, minute, little, petite,

 

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 telling time on the clock at home. When you sit down to dinner, ask them to tell you what time it is, when they go to bed, have them check the clock.  Have fun with Time!
  • Practice exchanging money with your child. When you go to the store, have them help you pay!

 

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

 


Mr. John’s November 2016 Monthly Overview

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

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

10/31:    Insects / Arachnids

  • Characteristics of insects, examples of insects (invertebrates)
  • Antennae, head, thorax, abdomen, six legs (some have wings)
  • Characteristics of arachnids, examples of arachnids, 8 legs (invertebrates)

11/07: Dinosaurs

  • Naming and Identifying Dinosaurs
  • Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, Brachiosaurus
  • Plant eaters (herbivores), Meat eaters (carnivores)
  • Where the Dinosaurs lived and how long ago they lived
  • Fossils and Extinction

11/14: Thanksgiving/ Native Americans

  • Mayflower, Native Americans
  • When the Pilgrims came to America
  • Who the Pilgrims were and why they came
  • The Mayflower
  • Native American shelters, nomadic, settlers

11/21: Family

  • Members of a family, family traditions and holidays
  • Family birthdays, vacations
  • Family pets

Harvest Party 11/22/16

Wednesday-Friday NO SCHOOL

 

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

10/31: Kk
11/07: Ll
11/21: Mm

 

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

10/31: OX, box, fox, lox, pox, sox
11/07: BOT, cot, dot, got, hot, lot, not, pot, tot
11/14: BOP, cop, hop, mop, pop, top

 

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.
  • Explore your neighborhood. See if you can find any fossil plant prints on rocks in your yard or neighborhood.
  • Make fall crafts together to help decorate your family Thanksgiving table.
  • Look through family photo albums together and talk about your family. What does each family member do for a job?  Where did you grow up?  What unique traditions does your family have?

 


Ms. Kate’s November 2016 Monthly Overview

11/01: Nutrition

  • How can we keep healthy, what foods can we eat?
  • Food groups, healthy habits and exercise
  • What are germs, how are they spread?
  • The difference between healthy and non healthy foods
  • Learning about My Plate

Afternoon group time with Ms. Ame: Various crafts, songs, and activities about nutrition

11/07: Transporatation

  • Different types of vehicles
  • How we travel
  • Creating a water, sky, and land chart
  • Learning about traffic lights
  • All about maps

Afternoon group time with Ms. Ame: Having fun learning about transportation, learning new songs, and doing various transportation crafts.

 

11/14: History of Thanksgiving

  •  All about Pilgrims
  •  All about Native Americans and Squanto
  •  The Mayflower
  •  Being Thankful

Afternoon group time with Ms. Ame: Having fun learning the history of Thanksgiving with Ms. Ame

11/21: Thankfulness and Turkey Day crafts

  •  I’m Thankful tree
  •  Tissue paper turkey
  •  Mayflower craft
  •  Tuesday is our Harvest party!
  •  No school Wednesday-Friday! Happy Thanksgiving!

Afternoon group time with Ms. Ame: Thanksgiving crafts and songs.

 

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

11/01: Hh
11/07: Ii
11/14: Jj
11/21: Kk

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

11/01: dog
11/07: tree
11/14: lid
11/21: zap

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

  •  While reading a book have your child point to all of the letter of the week she/he can find. Have them do this with the sight words as well. Play I‐Spy using things that only start with the letter of the week/ sight words.
  •  Go on a family hike together
  •  Have your child help you with your grocery list. Cook dinner together!
  •  Make a book about all of the things you and your family are thankful for. Share your book with your family on Thanksgiving Day.
  •  Look through magazines together and make a collage of all the healthy foods you find.

I’m All Lost In A Supermarket……

The Summer of 2016 was a busy busy busy Summer for Mr. John.  I took on a few Summer jobs to pass the time more quickly and to earn some extra cash money.  I have been working child care at the church I attend for the past few years, but that is only a few hours on a Sunday morning.  I was recommended to do home care for children who have mental disabilities. Numerous mental treatment and therapies are available online. For instance, if you visit experienceibogaine.com, you can see the discussion about ibogaine medicine for depression and addiction and iboga reviews from people who have come through Ibogaine treatment program. I was not sure how I would do with this job.  Would I like it?  Would it be too difficult?  It turns out I love it!  I love getting to know the children, their families, and pets.  These children are sweet, great, loving children.  I feel as if I am part of their family every time I work with them.  I feel working with these children has made me a better teacher and a better person.   Mid-Summer I was approached from an employee from Blossom Music Center because they needed help for The Warped Tour (Security, new PC term is Crowd Management).  I said, why not, interviewed, and got the gig.  It was a long, sweaty, hot day but it was a blast.  I was asked if I would work more shows, to which I agreed.  Again, it was a blast (even the country shows).  I thought once concerts ended I would be done, but I was contacted to work security (ooops, Crowd Management) at Blossom’s haunted house.  People always told me I was a people-person.  Also, I’ve been told I had a knack with “kids and dogs”.  With that said…. my next employment endeavor, dog walking.

“It is so quiet in here.  It is so calm.”  This is what I have been hearing from parents and current teachers about my room.  Usually it takes a good 3-4 months for my room to become normalized, but this year it is on its way to being normalized in about a month.  I credit those around me for the earlier than usual success.  Miss Kathleen and Miss Sabrina are wonderful teachers and work well with the students.  They are fun yet firm and know how to handle difficult situations well.  When I mentioned “those around me” I didn’t only mean the teachers but I want to give credit to the older students, the leaders of the room.  They are showing the newer/younger students how to work with materials and are guiding them through the classroom.

 

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Line Time Lessons:

We started out the year by learning the ground rules of the classroom.  Use walking feet in the room.  Use inside voices. Keep our hands/bodies to ourselves. BE RESPECTFUL.

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We learned about healthy habits.  Some healthy habits are washing our hands, brushing our teeth, eating healthy foods, and my favorite, getting enough sleep. Keep yourself healthy and buy prescription drugs at https://www.ukmeds.co.uk/treatments/acid-reflux/lansoprazole-15mg/ to prevent different kinds of illness. Staying healthy also means to stay out of drugs because it can cause drug addiction. If you know someone who is suffering from substance abuse visit https://aspirehealthnetwork.com/oregon/.

In the vein of healthy habits we delved into another of my favorite subjects, food.  We leaned about the different food groups, grains and cereals, fruits and vegetables, dairy (my fave), meats and proteins, and sweets. It’s very important when on rehab to know the consequences of withdrawal, learn more on http://fherehab.com/news/how-heroin-withdrawal-affects-users/.

The best place to purchase this breast cream is directly from the manufacturer where you’ll also find the best price. You can do this by simply placing an order on the official website and your order will be delivered to your doorstep in days.

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We explored what makes a living thing, a living thing.  We all knew the rats were living and my shoe was not living but why?  Living things reproduce or have babies and humans care about their babies a lot and even get everything ready with the help of products from sites as https://top10bestpro.com.  They grow.  They eat or take in nourishment.  They breathe or exchange oxygen.  And we all agreed living things move (I’m still not sold on the locomotion thing).  The big question was… are plants living things?  We went through the list and determined plants are living things.

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Children love animals and I enjoy teaching the children about different types of animals.  This month we started discussing mammals.  I chose mammals because we are mammals.   We learned that mammals have hair or fur, are born alive, and drink mother’s milk when first born.  We learned that mammals are warm blooded (their body temperature remains constant) and that they are vertebrates (have spines).  We learned that dolphins and whales are mammals and that the bat is the only mammal that can fly.

 

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We had an University of Akron Field Student join our teaching team.  Here is Shelly working with children.

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Cultural Subjects:

We can count to ten in 11  languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic with the Lebanese dialect, Italian).

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Academic Enrichment (Kindergarten students | Group lesson with Mr. John)

Let’s travel around the world!  This past month we trekked around the world.  We learned where, and fun facts about the seven continents.  I made sure that out kindergartners knew “Central America” was not a continent, but part of North America.  We learned about the cardinal directions including N.E., S.E., N.W,, and NW.  My K Kids know where the Equator and Prime Meridian are, and how the divide the Earth into hemispheres.

We took a closer look at North America (because we live there).  We identified the bodies of water that surround our continent (Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Hudson Bay, Gulf of Mexico, and The Great Lakes (H.O.M.E.S).  We then learned many fun facts about the state of Ohio and what are Ohio’s surrounding states, their nickname, and their abbreviation.  We ended learning about all the places we live.  Our galaxy, our solar system, planet, hemisphere, continent, country, state, county, city and out street address.

 

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Cultural Subjects:

We can count to ten in 12  languages (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic with the Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian).

 

The children are having so much fun learning in Art, Science and Music!

Art:

In Art students are learning about monochromatic colors, primary colors and secondary colors. The children enjoyed painting, as well as learning about complimentary colors and making warm and cool colored mosaics.

Science:

In Science they are learning about “chemical reactions”, ” the mass in a specified volume”, ” density “, and ” the difference in the weight of two objects of the same size.”

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Music:

Music, of course is a hit with the children! They absolutely love the songs, as well as the movement activities presented. The children loved playing with the bells, the castanets, the maracas, and the rhythm sticks among others! Please converse with your children about these amazing classes.


Ms. Courtney’s September 2106 Newsletter

We started off our school year focusing on grace and courtesy to teach and fulfill our student’s innate need for order. Every student has a need to know and to absorb the social structures in order to be more at ease in their environment. Grace and courtesy lessons give the student the vocabulary, actions, and steps required for them to build their awareness and responsiveness of those around them. We worked on walking in the classroom, using our inside voices while in the school building, using kind words to one another, using safe hands, how to clean up our area when we are done working and how to use our words to express our feelings.

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The third week of school we talked and learned about community helpers. We had many parents, family members and friends volunteer to come in and talk to the children. They briefly described their occupation, they talked about where they work, what they wear, tools they use, and tasks they perform. I would like to thank all of the volunteers that came into the classroom! It was a wonderful learning experience for both the students and teachers!

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The fourth week of school we discussed families, each student had a chance to share their family tree with their friends. Their family trees included their name, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The children enjoyed learning more about their friends and where they come from. It was great to see the students discover the differences and similarities in all of the families and accept every family for who they are.

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The fifth week of September we talked about feelings and emotions. The students brainstormed things they could do when they were angry, happy, sad, frustrated, and excited. Then they discussed with one another whether the reaction they came up with was a good choice or a bad choice. The students did a great job learning how to manage their emotions. We role played how to process, identify and appropriately express their emotions as much as possible. After a few days of talking about feelings and emotions it was great to hear the students tell their friends what they were feeling and why on their own.

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The last week of September we explored the five senses of touch, sight, smell, taste and hearing. During this week the students got a chance to identify the different senses. Compare and classify items using their sense.

Kindergarten

We kicked off Kindergarten with a lot Geography. The students learned about the seven continents, fun facts about the continents, and a few countries in each continent. The students became very familiar with the cardinal directions, the equator, the prime meridian, and the hemispheres. We took a look at our home state of Ohio and the surrounding states (their abbreviation and nickname). Make sure you ask your child all about Ohio! They will be able to tell you that the cardinal is the official bird, scarlet carnation the official flower, lady bug is the official insect, and tomato juice is the official drink. They learned how we are the buckeye state and that the official rock and roll song is Hang on Sloopy. The kindergartners also learned about landforms. Ask them what the definition of a lake, island, bay, peninsula, gulf, harbor, cape, isthmus, straight, chain of lakes, and archipelago.

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Art 

By: Ms. Faith

The first month of school has definitely flown by! We had many wonderful lessons with our art teacher, Ms. Michele this month. Each week Ms. Michele focuses on an art concept and teaches the students about a famous artist who used the concept, and does a project focusing on certain skills with the concept. The first week, the students learned terms like warm and cool colors, primary colors, tints, and monochromatic. Then they learned the rules about markers and drew shapes with monochromatic colors (one color). It was really entertaining hearing the students say monochromatic!

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The second week, Ms. Michele focused on primary colors, which are red, blue, and yellow. She focused on an artist named Piet Mondrian, a Dutch painter who liked to use geometric shapes and primary colors. The students used red, blue, and yellow construction paper to create a house and then outlined the shapes in black strips of construction paper to resemble some of Mondrian’s works.

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The third week we reviewed what primary colors are and then learned about secondary colors, which are the colors created when primary colors are mixed together. The students used watercolors and mixed them on their papers, to paint a magical garden. They drew flowers, animals, insects, and whatever else that would be in their garden before painting. The next lesson focused on complimentary colors, which are colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel. Ms. Michele had the students draw silly monsters with pencils and then using complimentary colors, they colored in their monsters with oil pastels. For our last art lesson the students reviewed what warm and cool colors are. They picked either warm or cool colors and made a beautiful leaf mosaic.

We are all excited to see what we learn in art class next month!

Music

By: Ms. Faith

Throughout the last month, the students have learned so much in music class. Our new students got to meet Ms. Lisa, our wonderful music teacher, and our returning students were able to show the new students how music class works. We learned the rules for music class such as, not picking up the instruments until Ms. Lisa says it’s OK, raising our hands to answer a question, and to be respectful to Ms. Lisa’s instruments. Already, the class has improved with being patient and following directions! Some of the instruments the students were able to use were, egg shakers, castanets, rhythm sticks, bells, and tambourines. The students were also introduced to many musical terms like, forte (which means loud), piano (which means quiet), the names of notes, staccato (short, quick notes), and legato (long, smooth notes). Along with all the great instruments, and terms, we sang some really fun songs! We got to sing John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, La Raspa (A Spanish hat dance song), The Ants Go Marching, a silly song about a skunk, and much more. During music class the children are gaining wonderful music skills as well as coordination with movement. We always look forward to music time with Ms. Lisa!

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Science

For our first science experiment we used skittles to learn about density. Density is the measurement of how much of something (in this case sugar from the skittles) can be packed into the same space (in this case it’s the water). So less sugar equals less dense solution; more sugar equals more dense solution. Basically a less dense solution is lighter and will float on a more dense solution because of this we were about to make a skittle rainbow.

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We did an experiment using static electricity to move a soda can. When we rubbed a balloon through our hair it created invisible electrons (with a negative charge) on the surface of the balloon. This is called static electricity, which means “non-moving electricity.” The electrons had the power to pull the soda can (with a positive charge) toward them.

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We used hydrogen peroxide, dry yeast, dish soap and food coloring to make elephant toothpaste. The foam we made was special because each tiny foam bubble was filled with oxygen. The yeast acted as a catalyst (a helper) to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since it did this very fast, it created lots and lots of bubbles, which is why the bottle got warm.

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Water is a great substance for soaking up heat that is why we were able to make a water-proof balloon. We filled a balloon with water and held a lit candle under it, to our surprise it didn’t pop. The thin latex balloon allowed the heat to pass through very quickly and warm the water. As the water closest to the flame heated up, it begins to rise and cooler water replaced it at the bottom of the balloon. This cooler water then soaked up more heat and the process kept repeating itself. The students wanted to know what would happen if I turned the balloon so that the candle flame was close to the side of the water balloon, the balloon popped because the water was not conducting the heat away from the surface of the balloon. The students noticed there was soot on the bottom of the balloon, but it was actually carbon. The carbon was deposited on the balloon by the flame, and the balloon itself remained undamaged.

We put apple slices in jars and covered the apples with salt water, vinegar and lemon juice. The students made predictions about what would happen during the apple science experiment. The next morning we checked on them and saw some changes. The apples in the lemon juice looked great, but the ones in the vinegar and salt water had started to turn brown. A lot of the students had hypothesized that all of the apples would stay fresh or rot. We started to realize our predictions were not going to come true. Over the next week all of the apples were even browner except the one in lemon juice! We concluded that acids in general don’t stop apples from browning, that something else in the lemon juice must be helping them stay fresher.


Explorations of Elementary 2016 – August/September Newsletter

Explorations of Elementary 2016 – August/September Newsletter

The first two weeks and the month of September have seemed to fly by!  We have really enjoyed getting to know our students and watching them learn to be a part of a team.  Our team building games allowed many different students to have the opportunity to be a leader.  We picked teams at first, then allowed the students to choose their own to figure out and assist each other in their strengths and weaknesses.  During our first two weeks we introduced and reviewed the rules of our classroom.  Having a multi-age classroom allows the returning students to be guides for the younger ones throughout our environment.  Seeing returning students take the lead and feel a sense of responsibility for setting the example is always exciting to watch.  We discussed the Constitution and its history, then split up into groups to make one for our classroom.  To get to know each other, we shared timelines of some important parts of our lives so far!

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While we were getting to know each other, two new friends joined our environment!  Vinny the Guinea Pig and Kernel the Corn Snake are now deeply loved parts of our environment and Biology curriculum.  Learning about and taking care of these pets has been such a great experience for all the children, and us.  We feed Vinny and clean out his cage together.  We give him extra love every Wednesday, and occasionally some fruit at lunch time.  Kernel is still warming up to us, so we have discussed his scientific classification (Pantherophis guttatus), his natural habitat, how long he will eventually get (5 feet!), and how he will eat.  While we are waiting for him to come out of hiding, we created “Snake Handler” licenses that qualify each student to observe the snake, one at a time, carefully.  As long as the children follow the snake’s safety rules their license will not get revoked.  They took such pride in making these licenses and it helped them realize how important it is to make sure we are treating our animals carefully and kindly, even if we are so excited about them.

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Our students participated in Montessori’s Five Great Lessons and their supplemental lessons.  We have discussed many different viewpoints of how the universe was created, how life came to be on earth, how humans came to be on earth, and the invention of language and numbers.  During the supplemental lessons we discussed the Story of Geometry, and how the Ancient Egyptians used a right-angled triangle to measure fields, and the Story of the Babylonians and their creation of the symbol for degrees.  In Physical Science, we have studied the Laws of the Universe.  Students especially loved practicing the laws of Inertia and Centrifugal Force.  In Biology, some students have started classifying living things into five kingdoms, some have started classifying animals by phyla, and others have learned the order of taxonomy.  In Math, we have started comparing fractions by greater than or less than, reviewed subtracting with the Golden Bead Material, practiced writing equations for squaring and adding and subtracting decimals.  We have discussed the shapes in our Geometric Cabinet, as well as, the size of angles and the intersection of straight lines to form oblique or perpendicular lines.

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During our Morning Meeting we allow five students to share exciting news from the day before.  This gives children time to share their exciting news without interrupting work time.  Sometimes during Morning Meeting we talk about important life skills.  One morning, we discussed being kind to others and how, according to Kid President, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, you aren’t thinking hard enough.”  Each student drew another’s name out of a basket and wrote something kind about them on the board for everyone to read during the day.  We saw children interact with others they usually may not, and expressing that gratitude by working together or simply giving each other a hug.

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In Reading Group, we have two groups reading different stories of our Junior Great book series.  Another group is reading The Tale of Despereaux.  Our final group is reading The Indian in the Cupboard.  We have introduced and reviewed the parts of a book, including the title, author, illustrator, copyright date, publisher, and dedication page.  We have discussed and listed various fiction and nonfiction books in the classroom.  We have also started learning about the elements of a fiction story.  The students have enjoyed comparing the settings from their different reading selections.

Our students were so happy to go on our first field trip to Stan Hywet.  Many of them want to return during the holidays to see the decorations and lights.  While on the trip we learned about the history of the Seiberling family and what their 65 rooms and 70 acres were used for while they were living there. We learned about the famous musicians that played in the music room and the way firewood was moved throughout the house to their many fireplaces.  Our guide introduced us to the kitchen which was just renewed by Armoires de cuisine, and the numerous work-spaces for butlers and maids using kitchen appliances.  Our students wanted to know where they kept their televisions!  Our class explored the grounds independently where we got a close look at the butterflies and different habitats of Akron wildlife.  Although there was a splash fountain in the Playgarden, our favorite part of the grounds was the Japanese Garden. At the time of the service, Adelaide based pest control experts will identify the nature of your problem and the appropriate treatment, eco-friendly/government-approved method we can use. The students walked all of the different paths and found frogs.  We took a picture together on a large rock and on our way out past a fountain.

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Spelling and Enrichments

By Ms. Sara

Some of our students went to the Taekwondo demo where they enjoyed learning a few basic moves and playing some fun games. A few of our students went to the Kids Bop dance demo where they learned a few basic stretches and the beginning moves to a dance. In Art class the students have been working on Mandalas. Mandalas are geometric figures representing the universe. They have really been enjoying this fun and colorful project. In Music class the students have been working on reviewing musical terms and symbols including beat, forte, double bar line, repeat symbol and many more. They have testing their knowledge of these terms with games.

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In Spelling groups 1 and 2 they have been working on the short vowel sounds. We have gotten through a, o, and i, and this week they are working on u. They have been doing activities in class including rainbow write, word family charts and writing sentences using their spelling words. Next week their homework will no longer be writing their words three times each, they will be bringing rainbow write home instead.

In Spelling group 3 they have been working on the long vowel sounds. They have done a,e,o, and are working on u this week. Their lessons include learning the different letter combinations that make these sounds. They have done activities including definitions, sentences, alphabetical order, word family charts and rainbow write.

Spelling group 4 has been working on long e sounds and all the different letter combinations that make the long e sound. This week they are working on long i. Their activities have included writing paragraphs, definitions, word family charts and alphabetical order.