Explorations of Elementary | Week 1

The first week brought lots of excitement as old friend were reunited after the summer break. We also enjoyed seeing our new friends who have joined our class this year. We would like to welcome Ainsley, Scarlett, Trevor, Harrison, Maddex, Kasey, Nick and David to the world of Elementary! We promise an exciting adventure.

Over the course of the first few days we spent time touring our classroom, reviewing general ground rules, discussing our daily schedules, and setting the stage for a year of incredible growth and learning.

The idea of discussing rules and going over things the kids should already know may sound like a waste of time. However, as with everything in Montessori, there is a reason. This is such an important exercise because the first two or three weeks prepare the students to work productively in the classroom environment. We want the children to be focused on their work and progress through the curriculum. Since we teach so much more than academics, there must be time spent training the children in the ways of work, time management, respect and manners, as well as how to be a good citizen and contributing member of our classroom family. We must be consistent in every aspect during this critical time. Find out more information in this link https://www.apprenticeshipcommunity.com.au/.

We did find time to bring a little fun into this first week with several new games and team building activities. The favorite game was Australian Dodge-ball where the teachers took on the students. This round, the students won the title, but I foresee a rematch in the near future! One of the favorite team activities was building a bridge to cross the yard as a group, where students used a scooter, pool noodle, hula-hoop, and carpet square. They all had to cross together by using the items to stand on/in. I think everyone learned a thing or two about working together and how to be part of a team.

Everyone enjoyed learning about each other and sharing their own Brown Bag Biography. We saw several pictures of fun family vacations, trophies and medals from sport competitions will engraved by Sheridans Badges & Engraving with the kids name. It was wonderful to see the things that make each of us unique, and the things that we all have in common. What a wonderful group we are, and what a wonderful year we are going to have together!


September 2015 Academic Enrichment Overview | Tallmadge

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 their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level.

8/25: Continent globe & map

  • Intro to globe & maps
  • Characteristics of globe & maps
  • Identify Continents
  • Review of three countries in each Continent and fun facts!

8/31: Directions

  • Recap of Continents/Review of three countries in each Continent and fun facts!
  • North, South, East & West
  • Work on the directions using Continent Map

9/8: Hemisphere / Equator

  • What are hemispheres? North/South/East/West hemispheres
  • What is the equator? Location of equator

9/14: Bodies of water surrounding North America

  • Review Hemispheres/ Equator
  • Hudson Bay (N)
  • Atlantic Ocean (E)
  • Gulf of Mexico (S)
  • Pacific Ocean (W)

9/21: Ohio and surrounding States

  • Ohio (location, characteristics, facts, abbreviation, flower, tree, mammal, fossil, flag)
  • Pennsylvania (nickname, abbreviation) Kentucky (nickname, abbreviation)
  • West Virginia (nickname, abbreviation) Indiana (nickname, abbreviation) Michigan (nickname, abbreviation)

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
8/25: go, has
8/31: will, him
9/8: up, so
9/14: see, her
9/21: are, was

Synonyms of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
8/25: FUN, amusing, entertaining, enjoyable, merry, pleasant
8/31: FAST, hurried, speedy, brisk, quick, swift,
9/8: SAD, miserable, gloomy, depressing, downtrodden, glum, unhappy
9/14: SLOW, unhurried, gradual, sluggish, stagnant, lethargic
9/21: BORING, drab, dull, lifeless, mundane, monotonous

Things to do at Home this Month:
Ms. Courtney will be sending homework home to reinforce these lessons. Please turn homework in each morning. Please email her if you have any questions: cowens@thesmarterkids.com.

 


Ms. Courtney’s Class September 2015 Monthly Overview

Themes of the week for the months of August and September

8/25 and 8/31: Ground Rules

  • Learning to greet others.
  • Learning to have conservations.
  • Learning to speak to others.
  • Learning to listen to others.
  • Learning to respond to others.
  • Learning to say please and thank you to others.
  • Learning to observe others.
  • Learning to respectfully interrupt.
  • Learning from others.
  • Learning to open door for someone else.
  • Learning to recognize situations in which to help others.
  • Passing in front of another respectfully.
  • Learning how to say excuse me.

9/8: Community Helpers

  • The students will learn about police officers, fire fighters, mail carriers, soldiers, bakers, farmers, doctors, and teachers throughout the week. They will not only learn about these community helpers; they will also be able to explain in detail why each one is very important to our lives.

9/14: My Family

  • The students will illustrate a picture of their family.
  • The students will have a discussion on the importance of families to each of us and the students will be able to identify one reason why their family is important to them.
  • Create a family tree together (Due Friday September 12th)

9/21: Feelings/Emotions

  • The students learn how to identify, handle, and understand the things they may feel and how to act about them.

Letters of the week

8/25 and 8/31: None

9/8: Aa

9/14: Bb

9/21: Cc

Sight word of the week

8/25 and 8/31: None

9/8: the

9/14: of

9/21: an

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

  • Try to find objects that begin with the letter of the week wherever you go with your child.
  • Encourage grace and courtesy when you see your child displaying it to another or you.
  • Talk about the importance of 911 and when you should call and practice dialing it.
  • Practice dialing your telephone number with your child.
  • Start a family tradition by setting a night a week aside for a family movie or game night.
  • If your child displays an emotion they are unfamiliar with talk about it and how to handle it together.

 

 


Ms. Kate September 2015 Monthly Overview

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

8/26‐
09/04 Rules of the Classroom/Respect

  • We respect each other
  • We try our best/we learn from our mistakes
  • We are a team/we celebrate each other’s success
  • Tour of the classroom and introductions of materials
  • Using the words “please, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry.” Write a class poem to emphasize the use of polite words.
  • Create a kindness quilt to help students think about and how to show acts of kindness.

9/07: Friendship

  • Work on social skills/ how to develop friendship
  • What are good qualities in a friend?
  • How do friends build community?
  • Create together a class web of friendship word
  • Second line time: Going over calendar, weather, and Spanish words and numbers. Friendship lessons and crafts!

9/14: All About Me!

  • Our similarities and differences
  • I’m special because…
  • Our Birthdays
  • Identifying our emotions
  • Starting on Monday Ms. Kate will be sending home a paper bag with each of your children. Please have your child decorate their bag and fill it with three of their favorite things. Please bring back on Friday.
  • Second Line Time: Going over calendar, weather, Spanish weather and words. Having fun doing all about me activities and games!

9/21: Family

  • What is a family
  • Graphing our families/ family celebrations
  • Create a family tree together (Due Friday 9/21/15)
  • Second line time: Going over calendar, weather, Spanish numbers and words. Having fun reading books on Families, creating a family portrait, and sining songs about families.

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

  • 9/07: Aa

  • 9/14: Bb
  • 9/21: Cc
  • 9/28: Dd

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

  • 9/07: Cat

  • 9/14: Pig
  • 9/21: Ball
  • 9/28: Bug

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

  • While reading a book have your child point to all of the A’s she/he can find. Have them do this with the sight word “the.” Play I‐Spy using things that only start with the letter A.
  • Make a collage with pictures and objects that start with the letter B.
  • Place words around the house and see if your child can find the word “to.” When your child has gathered all of his/her “to” 
cards count together how many cards they have found.
  • Make a kindness jar. Each day pick an act of kindness out of the jar and act on it:)
  • You and your child write a special letter to a friend.

Ms. Kristen September 2015 Monthly Overview

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

8/24: Grace and Curtesy / Ground Rules

-Learning Control of Movement-Rolling A Rug, Carrying A Tray, and Carrying A Chair.
-Learning Grace And Curtesy- How to Introduce Yourself, How To Say Please And Thank You, How -To Interrupt Another.
-Learning classroom rules.
-Discussing what it means to be kind to others and what are “kind words”.
-Making a “Kind Words Chain” in pre-school lesson.

 

8/31: Grace And Curtesy/Ground Rules

-Reading the book, “ The Bear That Was Chicken” and discussing with the children how they felt -before coming to school and how they feel now about school.
-Lessons on saying “Excuse Me”, “I’m Sorry”, and “ Thank You”.
-Singing songs and playing game to review what we’ve learned about classrroom rules and manners.
-Having the children write our classroom rules and display them in the classroom.
-Read the book “ There’s A BirdOn Your Head”. Discuss how to speak to someone when we’re frustrated.

 

9/7: All About Me

-“ Who’s Baby Picture Is This?” guessing game. (Be sure to send in a baby picture of your child with them this week.)
-Disccussing what makes each of us special: hair color, eye color, likes and dislikes, our birthdays, our names, our emotions, etc.
-Graphing our differences such as hair and eye color.
-Practicing saying our full names.
-Learning our birth dates.

 

9/14: All About Apples

-Read the story “Little Bear’s Star”- Story about an apple.
-Sorting apples by size and color.
-Learnging the fractions of one whole and one half using an apple.
-Taste testing different color apples and making a graph, as a class, of our favorites.
-Learning the Apple Life Cycle.

 

9/21 All About Community Helpers

-All About Firefighters and Police Officers
-All About Doctors and Nurses
-All About Construction Workers
-All About Transportation Workers
-What Is A Community Helper?

 

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

8/24: Aa
8/31: Cc
9/7: Rr
9/14: Tt
9/21: Review Of All Four Letters

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

8/24: at
8/31: cat
9/7: rat
9/14: tap
9/21: Review All Four Sight Words

 

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.

-Discuss with your child what they learned about Community Helpers. How can your family help our community.

-While reading to your child, point out the sight words they are learning this month.

-Find a fun apple recepie to try as a family. Let yor child practicing measuring the ingrediants, assemble the ingridiants, etc. Discuss with your child the other things that can be made with apples.


Mr. John September 2015 Monthly Overview

On Your Mark. Get Set…. !

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

8/24-8/31: Ground Rules / Introduction of Materials

  • 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
  • Daily demonstration of materials from all areas of the classroom

9/07: Healthy Habits

  • The importance of washing hands, bathing, brushing teeth (eliminate germs, prevent cavities)
  • The importance of sleep. Why we need sleep & sleep cycle
  • The importance of exercise (walking, running, swimming, etc)
  • The importance of eating well (“grow foods”)

9/14: Food Groups

  • Eating Healthy, Moderation
  • Focus on the different food groups, sorting foods belonging in each
  • Servings and examples of each

9/21: Living / Non Living

  • Living things (grow, reproduce, obtain and use energy, exchange gases) adapt to their environment
  • Non Living things, examples
  • Categorization of Living and Non Living

09/28: Mammals

  • Introduction to mammals, examples of mammals
  • All mammals have hair, warm blooded, eat mother’s milk
  • All mammals are vertebrates (spine), lungs to breathe, born alive
  • Bats are the ONLY mammal that can fly

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

8/24: Aa

8/31: Bb

9/07: Cc

9/14: Dd

9/21: Ee

9/28: Ff

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

8/24: BAT, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, sat

8/31: BAN, can, dan, fan, man, pan, tan

9/07: BAP, map, cap, gap, lap, nap, sap

9/14: BAG, sag, jag, lag, nag, tag, rag wag

9/21: BAD, dad, fad, had, lad, mad, sad

9/28: BIG, dig, fig, jig, pig, rig, wig

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

  • Make a collage with pictures and objects that start with the letters of the week.
  • While eating together, categorize your meal into food groups with your child.
  • Follow this link to find a worksheet to complete together for living and non living things. (Circle the living things and color together)http://worksheetplace.com/index.php?function=DisplaySheet&sheet=Circle-the-living-things&links=2&id=&link1=241&link2=257
  • Read a book about your child’s favorite mammal together!

September 2015 Academic Enrichment Group Lesson | 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. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level.

8/24: Continent globe & map
-Intro to globe & maps
-Characteristics of globe & maps
-Identify Continents
-Review of three countries in each Continent and fun facts!

8/31: Directions
-Recap of Continents/Review of three countries in each Continent and fun facts!
-North, South, East & West
-Work on the directions using Continent Map

9/07: Hemisphere / Equator
-What are hemispheres? North/South/East/West hemispheres
-What is the equator? Location of equator

9/14: Bodies of water surrounding North America
-Review Hemispheres/ Equator
-Hudson Bay (N)
-Atlantic Ocean (E)
-Gulf of Mexico (S)
-Pacific Ocean (W)

9/21: Ohio and surrounding States
-Ohio (location, characteristics, facts, abbreviation, flower, tree, mammal, fossil, flag)
-Pennsylvania (nickname, abbreviation) Kentucky (nickname, abbreviation)
-West Virginia (nickname, abbreviation) Indiana (nickname, abbreviation) Michigan (nickname, abbreviation)

 

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
8/24: go, has
8/31: will, him
9/07: up, so
9/14: see, her
9/21: are, was

 

Synonyms of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
8/24: FUN, amusing, entertaining, enjoyable, merry, pleasant
8/31: FAST, hurried, speedy, brisk, quick, swift,
9/07: SAD, miserable, gloomy, depressing, downtrodden, glum, unhappy
9/14: SLOW, unhurried, gradual, sluggish, stagnant, lethargic
9/21: BORING, drab, dull, lifeless, mundane, monotonous

Things to do at Home this Month:

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

 

 


I Have Become Comfortably Numb….

     I… Have Become Comfortably Numb      

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It is early June and I am, what Pink Floyd said, definitely, Comfortably Numb! Maybe not so much comfort but shell shocked or PTSD.  During the Summer I will not miss waking up before the sun rises and will appreciate waking when restaurants start to serve off their lunch menus.  Hmmm, should I not go to sleep until after midnight??  That is to be determined, sometimes it becomes even harder to sleep since I have sleep apnea, luckily I found the most comfortable Full Face CPAP Masks for my face and that helps. Catching up on movies, bike riding and hiking are on the agenda.  But I do love teaching children and would NEVER have it any other way!  I will miss all of the students! I am honored to teach your children and getting to know our families. Each one of my students have left a lasting impression.  I just wonder if I leave as much of an impression with the students and their families?  Let me know if I did by “friending me” on Facebook.  I am not hard to find (their are only a few KOTRADIs in this world).  Any alumni are welcome to come read to my class throughout the school year.  So in ending…. Have a great Summer, a great life, be happy and stay sincere.

It seems this year was a bit more difficult saying good-bye to families.  I am not sure why but it really felt that way. Maybe I had to say good-bye to a few families who have been part of the Absorbent Minds family for six years or on field day I had two alumni visit or I should say another crack at dousing Mr. John with water.  These girls are so big now.  As they were running around the playground I went through this wired, surreal flashback and I remembered them as they were in preschool.  Then attending my daughter’s eighth grade graduation there were a handful of  “kids” there that I taught when they were in preschool. Two are going to be juniors, three are going to be freshmen in high school. It just kind of put things in perspective on how time trudges on. Heavy sigh…

Line Time

The circle of life studied last week always involves food and eating to stay alive.  This is where we looked at several food chains. We looked at a two part food chain involving a mouse and grains.  We looked at several three part food chains such as snake/mouse/grains, hawk/snake/mouse, bear/big fish/small fish.  We went so far to look at some four part food chains Hawk/snake/mouse/grain.  We learned about being on the top of the food chain and the bottom of the food chain.  We also learned the animal that “hunts” for the food is the predator and the animal that gets eaten is the prey.

The second week of May was a great time to talk about the seasons.  We started with spring and talked about how it gets a bit warmer but we get a lot of rain and plants and flowers start to come out.   Then we talked about summer and how it is hotter because the earth tilts closer to the sun and the days are longer.  This is when plants grow tall and flowers are in full bloom.  Autumn or fall comes next and the weather gets a bit chillier.  The leaves turn beautiful colors then fall to the ground.  The final season is winter and it is the coldest season of the year.  The earth is tilted further away from the sun and the days are shorter.  We end up getting snow in the winter.

Put on your space suit and get ready to explore our solar system.  We started with discussing the planets nearer the sun them worked our way to the furthest reaches of our solar system.  Mercury is our first planet and is the closest to the sun.  Venus is the second planet.  Even though it is further away from the sun it is the hottest planet in our solar system.  The third planet is near and dear to our hearts.  It is the planet earth.  It is the only planet in our solar system that has life.  The next planet is Mars and is known as the red planet.  The next planet is the biggest planet in our solar system and has a big red storm that has been raging for centuries.  That planet is Jupiter.  Saturn is the next planet and has really cool ring around it that are pieces of rock and ice.  Uranus is next and it spins up and down instead of side to side like all the other planets.  Neptune is the last planet in our solar system.  I did not forget about Pluto.  Oh! Poor Pluto.  Pluto was once a planet but now has been demoted to a dwarf planet.

We then talked a bit about what we want to be when we grow up.  We discussed careers such as nursing, being a doctor, a veterinarian, and of course an exciting, lucrative, and fulfilling career in teaching.  We had Jordyn’s mom come in and discuss what a surgical nurse does.  The children walked away with a plethora of O.R. goodies.

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The last week I talked about being safe.  I reminded the children to always stay close to their safe side adult, always look both ways before crossing the street, never talk to stranger or go near wild or unfamiliar animals.  I also reminded them that police officers and firefighters are our friends.

The last week of school I give the kindergarten students the honor of running line time.  They do need a bit of help but they do believe they are the BMOC (big man on campus).

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Cultural Subjects

We are holding at counting to ten in 26 different languages.

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Kindergarten

We started May by discussing the preposition.  Where oh where can we find a preposition?  Well, I told them a preposition was a “where word” NOT a “werewolf”.  The kindergartners brushed up on their knowledge of the interjection.  The interjection adds emotion to the sentence but we did find out that if we eliminate the interjection from the sentence, the meaning of the sentence really does not change.  We learned what punctuation is used at the end of a sentence.  We use a period (.) when we are stating something.  We use a question mark (?) when we are asking a question and we use an exclamation mark (!) when we show excitement or a lot of emotion. I introduced the students to the rules of capitalization.  We learned that words at the beginning of the sentence, the word I, and proper nouns need to be capitalized.    We played “mad libs” and ended our lessons on grammar by watching Grammar Rock.  For the last week we just reflected on our year, what we learned, and our favorite parts of kindergarten class.  It was a GREAT year!

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Music

This month Ms Lisa reviewed with the students all the skills they have learned since the beginning of the school year. She had the children sing John Jacob Jingle Hiemer Smith where they sang it real low and then loud this is one of the newest songs they had been learning. Then, she concentrated on all the other songs and dances that they have been practicing since the start of the school year, such as I Caught Myself a Baby Bumble Bee, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, The Mexican Hat Dance and classical music played while they danced and twirled colored scarves. Ms. Lisa also took requests from the children and they chose the Ball Game where they pass the ball around in a circle while music is playing and stop passing when the music stops, eventually more balls are thrown in during this activity.The other request the kids had was the Cat and Mouse game when Ms. Lisa plays High music all the children crawl around the floor and pretend to be mice, then when the Low music is played on her key board one person (child or teacher) sitting on the side lines hurries in and tries to tag the mice. If caught, those children become a mouse (this is their most favorite thing to do in music class). She also reviewed musical notes and the keyboard throughout the month.

Art

This month students enjoyed art lessons inspired by Vincent Vaughn. Children designed their own fancy bedrooms! They had to include in their bedrooms two patterns drawn on card stock then folded into a cube to make it look like a room and Ms Michele provided many different kinds of materials to make the furniture in their bedrooms, they also contacted The Century Guild’s custom woodworking to get some ideas, and for the living room and other areas of the house they went to different places like the fine furniture stores denver and find what’s necessary for this. For the next project they made three dimensional animals made out of pipe cleaners. Ms. Michele also brought to school this month potted flower plants put them on the tables in the class room. The children sat around the tables and painted the likeness of the flowers. Many beautiful flower pictures were drawn.

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Science

This month Mr. John had many jaws drop in science class. In the 1st class this month he mashed up bran flakes with water(looked like a brown mud like substance) then put in a zip lock bag and put a magnet to the bag and the magnet stuck.Why? because of the iron in the cereal, iron is a metal so the magnet will stick.The next class, Mr. John took Metamucil, green food coloring and water mixed it IMG_20150528_101934all together and then heated up in the micro-wave. He then took it out and it looked like green slime! It’s texture completely changed! He then ate the slime surprising and grossed out all of the kids. What happens is the fiber in the Metamucil and water make an edible substance.The last class this month he took a tea bag cut it open and dumped the leaves in the trash,then set the empty bag on top of a glass plate then set it a flame with a lighter. First it burns down the tea bag then when it burns down to the very bottom it floats away high up into the air. Heat rises all that heat and smoke pushed the bag into the air.

 

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On June 5th, field day,  Mr. John did his annual experiment with candy mentos and 2 litter bottle of diet coke (this a favorite every year always lots of yelling and playful screaming). Aspartame and carbon dioxide in the diet soda mixed with gelatin and gum Arabic in the mentos cause it to foam and blast like a volcanic eruption!
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Field Trip

We had a great field trip at the fire station where we toured the fire station, saw a fire fighter put on his gear, went through a fire engine and an ambulance.  We learned that the fire fighter wash their trucks and can’t take them to a drive through car wash because they are too big.

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2014-2015 May/June Newsletter

May was such a busy month! Our class dove into water and learned about the sea and jumped into a space shuttle and flew into outer space. Our class also had fun learning about plant life cycles and had a blast during Grandparents Day and at our field trip to the zoo!

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The first two weeks we explored the animals of the ocean. We first started by defining mammals. I explained to them that they are warm blooded and both land and sea mammals have hair on their bodies and give birth to their babies. The first mammals we talked about were the dolphin and whale. The children learned that dolphins can stay under water for 15 minutes, but can’t breathe under water so they have to come up for air. The children learned that they live in groups of ten to twelve and that there are thirty-six different kinds of dolphins. During this discussion we talked about how the Killer Whale is the largest dolphin.

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The second mammal in the sea that we discussed were whales. The children learned that since whales breathe like us they can only stay under water for a short period of time and then they have to come up for air by using their blowhole on the top of their heads. They also learned that there are two types of whales: the Baleen and the Toothed whale. The children were interested in what whales ate and how fast they can swim. Together we looked through books and found out that whales can swim up to 30 mph and that baleen whales eat krill and toothed whales eat small fish and other small mammals. The last mammal of the sea we discussed was the Manatee. The children found out that manatees were first found out by fishermen who saw the long tails and thought they were looking at mermaids! The children also learned that they could weigh as much as 2000 lbs., and can swim up to 20 mph hour but usually cruise around the sea at 2 to 6 mph. Also, during that week the children made a Venn diagram about fish and mammals. The children did a great job with this activity. They knew that fish do not have lungs, but have gills instead. Mammals are warm-blooded and fish are not. That most mammals live on land, but fish have to stay in the water and both have a vertebrate. What smarties I have!!

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We then focused on outer space. During this time we learned about the solar system, stars and constellations, galaxies, the eight planets, the sun and moon, the space shuttle, and the first man who walked on the moon. Wow, what a busy couple of weeks! We first stared out by creating a web of the solar system. Throughout our space lesson the children added the information they have learned onto the web. During our lesson, the children learned about the eight planets since the 9th planet is now a dwarf planet. They learned the order of the planets and neat little facts about each one. They loved learning about Jupiter and its famous hurricane like storm. They thought it was pretty cool that Mars is called the “red planet” due to the red dirt, dust and sky. We also learned about how there are thousands of different galaxies and how the spiral shape is the most common type. The children also learned about night and day. For this activity I had one child stand in the middle of the circle and pretend they were the sun. I then had another child pretend to be the earth. I explained to them that the Earth takes 365 days to orbit around the sun, but as it’s orbiting it is also rotating. The kids loved this activity!! During this time we talked about what stars are, the lunar eclipse, the different constellations, and about observatories. We then talked about Neil Armstrong and how if they went to the moon they would still see his footprint. Near the end of our outer space lesson the children learned about life in space, gravity, and astronauts. I showed a video of a launch and what it is like for astronauts up in space. The children loved it!!

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We then focused on the plant, butterfly, and frog life cycles. The children learned the parts of the flower, what plants need to grow, and the purpose of the stem. We also had fun placing celery stems into dyed water to show how plants drink through their veins. We also had fun learning about the different stages of the butterfly and what metamorphosis was all about. Lastly we learned out the different stages of the frog with amazing books and videos!

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Also, during this month we celebrated Grandparents Day in our classroom. The grandparents were able to come in and join us for a special line time, Science class and then a craft. It was such a special day for the children.

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With the last two weeks remaining, the children had a blast learning about different insects. The children discovered that insects have six legs but spiders and other arachnids have 8 legs. The children were also able to learn the life cycle of the butterfly and find out why bees are so important to us. We also had fun discussing ladybugs and other beetles. During the last week of school the children learned about who invented ice cream, watched a video about how ice cream is made, learned all about camping. Also during the last week we had an ice cream party and a mock campout with smores! Wow what a week we had!

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I can’t believe how fast the school year has gone by. I have truly enjoyed watching my kiddos grow throughout the year. I will miss them so very much. Also, thank you to all of my families, for everything that you have done this year. I wish the best of luck to those families who are going to new schools and look forward to seeing everyone else next school year! Have a great summer!!!

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Music

For our last month in music class, Ms. Lisa reviewed many skills we have been working on throughout the year. To review loud (forte) and soft (piano), the children played tambourines and bells during different parts of a song. We then danced with scarves to some smooth (legato) music and then popped some bubbles to jumpy (staccato) music! To practice using our listening ears, Ms. Lisa had us play a pass and roll ball game. We had to work together to keep the balls moving in circle, but had to listen carefully and stop when the music stopped! We also worked on learning whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes. Ms. Lisa had the children play rhythm sticks to “Great Big Stars” to keep the beat with the quarter notes. Another musical instrument we worked with was Ms. Lisa’s keyboard (piano). She explained to the children that the keys on the left side of the keyboard make low sounds, while the keys on the right side make high sounds. Lastly, we played the cat and mouse game to review high and low sounds. The children loved when the low sounds were played on the keyboard and the cats came out to catch the mice! Thanks Ms. Lisa for such a fun music class!

Science

In science this month we learned that we eat metal! Mr. John mixed together bran flakes cereal and water in a bag. When he rubbed a magnet over the cereal, black spots appeared. These black spots are iron. So since iron is a metal, we eat metal in cereal!

In our next experiment, we made green goo! Mr. John mixed together water, green food coloring, and Metamucil powder. The children made hypotheses on what would happen if you put the mixture in the microwave. Many of the children said that the mixture would turn to goo. Mr. John explained that once the mixture cooled down it would turn to goo because the polymers in the powder stick together.

During our last experiment we made a tea bag fly up into the air. Mr. John asked the children what they thought would happen when he lit an empty tea bag on fire. Some children said that the tea bag would melt. When he lit the tea bag, the bag burnt down a little and then flew up into the air. Why? When the tea bag began to burn it got lighter. The air around the tea bag got hot and made the paper rise.

Art

In our first art class, we studied the artist Vincent Van Gogh. We looked at the painting he did of a bedroom. Then the students created their own bedrooms out of cardstock and other art media. In their bedrooms, the children had to create two patterns.

In our second art lesson, the children got to use their imaginations and creativity to create shape animals by gluing strips of paper into different shapes and then gluing these shapes together. Ms. Michele demonstrated to the children how to glue strips of paper into circles, hearts, ovals, etc. When the children were done, they had created 3-dimensional art since the animals were not flat.

In our third art lesson, the children got to observe and paint flowers. Ms. Michele brought in pots of flowers and set them on the tables. She showed the children how she observed and then painted what she saw. She demonstrated how to paint stems, leaves, and then flowers. The children’s paintings had lots of color!

In our last lesson, Ms. Michele reviewed the color wheel. She asked the children what primary, secondary, and complimentary colors were. Then she showed the children that they would be working with pipe cleaners to create an animal. Ms. Michele twisted and bent pipe cleaners to show the children how to make bodies, eyes, and other parts of animals. Making these animals was a good way to get the students thinking about the animals at the zoo!


2014-2015 May/June Newsletter

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Classroom

We started off May talking about the Solar System. The children learned the positions of the planets and their relative sizes and distances. They had a blast using 3D models of the sun and planets to put in order. We talked about how the sun is the biggest star and why it is so important. We discussed the different phases of the moon and made a classroom book of the phases during preschool lesson.

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The second week of May we talked about dinosaurs and what their habitats were like then the children did a dinosaur dig with our practical life work throughout the week. They learned different physical attributes of dinosaurs and their names. The children demonstrated an understanding of herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. We also made real life size paper dinosaur feet to compare to theirs in preschool lesson.

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The third week of May we talked about transportation the children quickly developed an understanding that transportation means to carry things from one place to another. We named all the different methods of transportation like plane, car, boat, bike, horse, train, bus, subway, helicopter etc. The children also had a blast painting with different forms of transportation.

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The children really enjoyed the last week of May when we talked about sports. The children used their gross motor skills to march, skip, gallop etc. They learned how to engage in imaginative and creative play indoors and outdoors involving their friends. We played a lot of games that involved team effort and good sportsmanship.

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The first week of June we focused on summer games, activities, and experiments the children could do at home. We also talked a lot about summer safety rules while playing outside and playing with or in water. The children also practiced A LOT and setup for the talent show.

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I hope everyone has a fabulous summer and I can’t wait to see all the smiling faces in the fall!

Kindergarten

In kindergarten lesson we finished our work with grammar. We went over how interjections help a sentence show more emotions, and we went over when to use a . ? ! We then reviewed when we capitalize words in a sentence. We capitalize the beginning word of a sentence, proper nouns and “I”.

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Science

The first week of May we did a fire resistant water balloon experiment. We filled a balloon with water, held a lite candle underneath it, and the balloon never popped! Water is a great substance for soaking up heat. 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 soot on the bottom of the balloon is actually carbon. The carbon was deposited on the balloon by the flame, and the balloon remains undamaged.

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The second week we did a pepper and soap experiment. We filled a bowl up with water and sprinkled pepper on top of it. Once we added the soap the pepper instantly went to the sides of the bowl. The first question to ask is why the pepper flakes float. Why don’t they sink or dissolve in the water? Well, pepper is hydrophobic, meaning that water is not attracted to it. Because of that, the pepper can’t dissolve in the water. But why do the flakes float on top of the water? Water molecules like to stick together. They line up in a certain way that gives the top of the water surface tension. Because pepper flakes are so light, and hydrophobic, the surface tension keeps them floating on top. The next question to think about is why the pepper shoots to the sides when soap touches the water. Soap is able to break down the surface tension of water that’s part of what makes soap a good cleaner. As the soap moves into the water, and the surface tension changes, the pepper no longer floats on top. But the water molecules still want to keep the surface tension going, so they pull back away from the soap, and carry the pepper along with them.

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The third week we made our own functioning compass. All we needed was a magnet, needle, cork, tape and bowl of water. First we rubbed the needle against the magnet, then tapped it to the cork, and dropped it in the bowl of water. We watched in amazement as the needle briskly turned so that one end was pointing north. Wondering if it was a fluke, we dropped the needle in over and over again, and each time the result was the same. The needle would turn until it was pointing north.

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Art

By: Ms. Faith

To finish up an awesome year of art, Ms. Michele brought in some great projects for the students. The class got to make a 3-D animal out of construction paper using methods learned at the beginning of the year. Some of the animals students made where giraffes, dinosaurs, and foxes. To make their animals, they had to twist, bend, and glue the construction paper together. The next week, each student got to share one thing he or she learned from art class over the year to start off the lesson. Ms. Michele then reviewed what a tint and shade are, which a tint is any color mixed with white and a shade is any color mixed with black. Next, the class got to study real flowers for inspiration and then everyone headed outside to paint their own flowers while enjoying a lovely day. Our last lesson ended with the inspiration of our school’s field trip to the zoo. The students discussed what animals they want to see at the zoo to refresh their memory of zoo animals. The class then made their very own animals using pipe cleaners. Ms. Michele showed them how to build a frame for their animal and how to wrap and twist pipe cleaners around each other to make a solid creature. After everyone was finished, the students lined their animals up and got to look at each other’s creations just like they were at the zoo.

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The students absolutely love having art with Ms. Michele and we hope she has a great summer!

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Music

By: Ms. Faith

I can’t believe the school year is over, but we have had a great time in music class with Ms. Lisa! The students learned new music concepts this month, staccato and legato. Staccato is the musical term for notes that are played short and detached, legato is the musical term for notes that are played smoothly and in a flowing manner. To help the students learn the concept of staccato, Ms. Lisa played a song called “Bubble Song” and she blew bubbles for the class to pop to represent the shortness of the notes. We then danced with scarves to a song that played legato notes and waved the scarves around smoothly and when the staccato notes started, we danced quicker and used sharp motions with the scarves. The next week, our students’ grandparents got to come have a special music class during the schools’ grandparents’ day. The children got to show off their knowledge of musical terms and great memories. One of the grandparents even got to be a volunteer to help out with one of the activities! Everyone had such a blast enjoying music together.

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Thank you Ms. Lisa for a wonderful year of music! We hope you have a great summer and can’t wait until the first music class in the fall!

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