A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of January 13

“Free choice is one of the highest of all mental choices” -Maria Montessori

Parents, I wanted to write about the importance of free choice in educating your child as a whole and a few other benefits of being in a Montessori environment for an entire three year cycle, but found an article that I liked even more Increase your chances of success with in no time.(plus there are cool pictures and descriptions of materials)! Here you can read about what your child gains in a Montessori classroom and why our philosophy really makes a difference in this short article. There is also a video if you prefer that way of learning!

Lower Elementary

This first year student is working on her spelling assignment. She is doing an activity called “Michelangelo” where she tapes her paper under a table and writes her words three times each while lying down. Students love to practice spelling in creative ways!
This third year student is working on adding and subtracting time by completing word problems. Learning to add and subtract time helps our students keep track of how wisely or unwisely they are spending their days.

Upper Elementary

Our fifth year students have been researching classes of mammals. This student has chosen to research the Xenarthra group, which includes sloths, armadillos, and anteaters. These students researched topics like muscular and skeletal systems and reproduction, wrote a rough draft, completed a final draft, a visual aid, and will be presenting their project during an oral report. Head over to our Instagram to see more photos of her work!
This sixth year student has been working on “American Women in History” research. He chose to learn about Sally Ride. After researching, he wrote a five paragraph essay, created this trifold board, and will be presenting his research to his friends today!


Enrichments by Ms. Erica

Ms. Dayna is teaching the students about composition.


  • NO SCHOOL – Friday, January 17 – Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • NO SCHOOL – Monday, January 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Thursday, January 23 – Cleveland Museum of Natural History – First and Second Grade

A Peek at Our Week | Ms. Courtney’s Classroom | Week of May 28th

It is hard to believe that the year has come to an end and some of you will be moving up to the elementary program, going to new schools or returning next year. I want to let everyone know it was a great year, and that I enjoyed every moment of teaching all of you. We made a lot of great memories with a lot of jokes and silliness about different topics including BBQ puns. I hope you feel the same and that you will take what you have learned this year and build on it as you continue your education. If you are not returning next year, please come back to visit all your teachers, because we will truly miss you!

Talent Show

Water Games

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of November 5

“The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.” – Maria Montessori

One of my favorite things about the Montessori Elementary Philosophy, that also might be the toughest thing to adjust to as a new Elementary student, is the amount of responsibility and freedom our students have. I envy that they have the opportunity at the age of 6 or 7 to begin learning how they learn best, how to manage their time, how to prioritize, how to ask adults or peers for help, how to work with people that aren’t your best friend and still produce a great project, how to reflect on your week of work and social interaction and find ways to improve, things to be proud of, and to set a goal for the following week. While this is a struggle for some new students more than others, they are always, always trying again the next week. Their peers are asking how their conference went and asking them what they think they could improve, or telling them they did a good job and that they noticed how hard they worked on a certain assignment. I see students asking others if they can help them plan their time or if they can explain what they have found to be successful in the past. I hear older students saying things like, “Oh, I remember that work. I had a hard time with it, too, but it gets easier when you practice.” Imagine if, at their age, you had the support system of friends, that you may have known longer than your own siblings, that are (almost) always willing to encourage and guide you when you struggle, and that never stop believing in you. Why weren’t we all educated this way! Find more useful information a level tuition centre and get educated.

The first year students have recently learned how to use a dictionary. They have been practicing alphabetizing for a few weeks and we discussed how that work helps with a dictionary. We found guide words on each page and talked about how to find the part of speech, pronunciation, and definition. Our first year students can now participate in our “Word of the Day” and find the homophones on their spelling lists.
Some of our students traveled to Tallmadge Circle a few weeks ago to review how to use a compass and to create a map. Our students have been sharing their colored map and explaining what they found most exciting and most challenging about the project. Some of our students shared organization tips and coloring ideas!
These second year students are measuring angles they have drawn using a protractor. Now that many of our second year students can add on paper, they can check if their angles are indeed supplementary or if they need to remeasure.
These second year students are practicing reading numbers on the Checkerboard. Before they can multiply large numbers, they need to be able to read their multiplicand, multiplier, and product. To prepare them for recording a product, they write down the number they have read after a friend lets them know that they have read it correctly. These students are reading the number 999,999,999!

“A Peek at Next Week”

Next week, first year students will subtract on the Small Bead Frame, will practice dividing syllables, will continue studying the Fundamental Needs of Humans, will begin dinosaur research, and review the external characteristics of mammals. The second year students will review Rainbow Factoring, will study past and present tense verbs, will continue studying the Fundamental Needs of Humans, and will draw angles with a protractor. Third year students will add fractions with like denominators, continue studying Fundamental Needs of Humans, will discuss singular possessives of nouns, and will discuss the main characteristics of cnidarians. Fourth year students will find common factors, will practice writing commas and quotation marks in dialogue, will continue studying area, and will classify kingdoms of living things. Fifth year students will find the divisibility rules of 11, will study garbology, will find the parts of a circle, and will research mammals.


  • Thursday, November 15 – Operation Christmas Child Packing – please check out the messages in Remind from Ms. Lisa to get more information
  • Friday, November 16 – Parent-Teacher Conferences – This is a No School Day for students and there will not be childcare available. Please send me any lessons you would like to see during our time together!
  • Tuesday, November 20 – Ms. Courtney’s room and our room will cook and bake together to celebrate friendship and the things we are thankful for. Your child will not need a lunch this day. Please look for the sign-up list soon to help us make this possible.
  • Thanksgiving Break – November 21-23

A Peak at Our Week | Elementary | Week of September 3

“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and strength, use it to create.” -Maria Montessori

My favorite thing about the Montessori Elementary Curriculum is the amount of opportunities students are given to use their imagination to learn, create, and grow. This week we have seen students take an interest in something and run with it. We had two first year students, inspired by the nest in our room, complete a research report about wasps. Other students that were inspired by their research spent time observing the nest. Our second and third year students were responsible for reading the laws of the universe and coming up with their own science experiment to demonstrate to the class how the law works and they experiment the education technology by hand. Our fourth and fifth grade students started their first “Word of the Week” project where they chose any word that they thought others wouldn’t know and needed to come up with a creative way to show what it meant. When students have the opportunity to follow their interests and use their imagination, they often create something that exceeds our expectations and combines skills from many areas of the classroom into just one work!

Our introduction to the solar system is always an exciting lesson. One student is the sun and other students get to be the planets. To show students how far our planets are from the sun, we use the scale of one step = 36 million miles! Our friend holding Neptune had to take 78 steps away from the sun to show that it is 2.8 billion miles away! You can barely see her in this photo! The students that did not hold a star or planet had a race around the solar system towards the end of our lesson. Before we went inside, our second year students shared something they learned about each planet from their research as first graders.
A second and third grade student work together on their Laws of the Universe lesson. Today, they will present their poster and experiment to the rest of the class. These students are going to teach their friends about inertia!
These first, fourth, and second grade girls are working together on our volcano experiment. In the elementary classroom, students are able to complete experiments on their own using experiment cards about anatomy, water, air, matter, and many other topics. If students are interested in discovering something we don’t have written out, they are able to research an experiment or idea and write a material request if we do not have what they need. This is another opportunity for students to be creative while practicing the Scientific Method and learning to cooperate with others.
These first grade girls have worked for two weeks on their wasp research! They used book and internet resources to write over a page of research. They also are making progress on a paper mache nest. To complete their report, they drew a picture of a wasp nest and added some laminated wasp specimens. They finally laminated their work and hung it near the nest so others could learn, too!
Inspired by the ongoing research, this first year student is getting a closer look into the nest!

A Peek into Next Week

Next week, we will begin our Spelling Assessments. The following week, we will begin our first Spelling lesson and homework! First year students will learn about the history of clocks, the noun, fractions, and the first plants. Second year students will practice greater than and less than, feminine and masculine nouns, the intersection of two straight lines, and work with our Animal Kingdom Chart. Our third year students will solve equations with the squares and cubes of numbers, will learn about suffixes, will begin their study with congruent figures, and will study the taxonomy of vertebrates. Fourth year students will review the commutative and distributive laws of multiplication, will begin advanced grammar studies, will continue their study of Pythagorean Theorem from last year, and will study basic life processes. Fifth year students will complete the Table of Pythagoras, will continue studying Native Americans, will study energy on earth, and will begin studying advanced botany.


  • Our Ramseyer Farm Field Trip is Friday, September 21. Please make sure to turn in your permission slip!
  • Picture Day – September 26
  • Sign ups are ready for “Bring Your Parent to ‘Work Time’.” You can sign up here.

A Peek into Elementary Enrichments | January 2017

January has come and gone, but with it came some outstanding enrichment experiences for our Elementary students. This month carried a theme of revisiting old skills and techniques, both in the content and activities. Fueled by the energy of a new year, students celebrated what they have already accomplished, and prepared for all the new things to come. Let’s take a look inside the enrichment classrooms for this month.


In Art, students took a step back in history and became a team of time traveling artists. They researched ancient art forms, including cave painting and hieroglyphics. After their research, students created their own cave paintings by hanging canvas on the walls and painting while standing up. These painting included traditional bison, mammoths, symbols, and stick figures, along with some current millennia surprises. Through this alternative approach to painting, the students internalized some of the real life struggles that went into cave painting, i.e., there is nowhere to rest your elbow, and how difficult it is to portray complex ideas through symbols. Returning to their time machine, the students later created self portraits in the style of ancient Egyptian carvings. These portraits were challenging for the students in a different way than the cave paintings in regard to the flatness and perspective. Though these works are still in progress, the students are proud of their work and in overcoming these artistic challenges. As in all Art education, this connection to the past is essential to developing their current skills, and in understanding where these skills originated from.



In Latin, students focused their attention on Zeus, Hades, Pan, and Dionysus. This interesting combination of characters led to fascinating conversation among the students and sparked interest, which led to independent research. Students depicted these characters interacting with each other, and made pseudo-comics based on historic paintings and woodcuts. Alongside this research, students also completed word searches, crosswords, and word scrambles regarding the gods and goddesses. It is obvious through their works that the students are not only learning the facts about these historic figures, but also thoroughly understanding their roles between each other and in this ancient culture.



In Music, the students celebrated their fantastic performance at the Christmas show with a party in Music class, it was a great party withy music and a bouncing castle from Jumpers Jungle. They sang along to some of their favorite songs, played freeze dance, and appreciated their peers as they played songs they have been practicing on the piano. Later in the month, they took a step back and practiced the fundamental skill of singing simple songs with emphasis on ascending and descending notes. The task of singing in front of their peers was occasionally unnerving, but with the help and support of the class, each student felt encouraged to participate. Is has been proven that musical therapy works really good for special education,  here you can find special education teachers job opportunities. Toward the end of the month, the students were very excited to rediscover the bucket drums in a more creative setting. They practiced rudimentary cadences, played “repeat the beat,” and bucket drum telephone. The students also took this opportunity to explore all the different sounds the buckets could make when set on their side, facing each other, etc. This exploratory setting allowed the students to revisit an instrument they truly enjoyed playing, but in a way that was driven by their own curiosity.


January’s Enrichment classes all came with their own form of a time machine- revisiting an instrument in a new way, recreating ancient art through ancient techniques, and researching ancient cultures. This retrospective was a great way to welcome the new year! We can’t wait to explore what February has to offer in Art, Latin, and Music. For more information regarding our classroom work you can contact us via phone or through our new help desk that we’ve begun using thanks to these help desk solutions.

Ms. Courtney’s May/June 2016 Newsletter


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.

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.

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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.

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.

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


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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The Rhode Island Work Injury Lawyer was forced to change the regulations. Dipped headlights were permitted as long as the driver had headlamp covers with three horizontal slits. It is a crime in every state for a motorist to operate a vehicle while impaired by the effects of alcohol or other drugs, check out Newport Beach Dui Lawyer including prescription medications. Consuming these substances can lead to substance abuse, follow serenityplacement https://followus.com/serenityplacement to learn more about it. To help drivers see where they were going in the dark, white lines were painted along the middle of the road. On the instruction of Domestic and Divorce Lawyer Overland Park Curb edges and car bumpers were also painted white. To reduce accidents a 20 mph speed limit was imposed on night drivers. Ironically, the first man to be convicted for this offence was driving a hearse.

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The kids also discovered how clouds form using a jar of water, food coloring and shaving cream. They learned when water vapor rises into the air the vapor hits cold air, it turns back into droplets of water. Those tiny drops of water floating in the air collect and “stick” together to form clouds. When clouds get so full of water that they can’t hold any more, the water falls back to the ground as rain.


By: Ms. Faith

To get everyone one in the mood for the warmer weather, Ms. Michele had the students make a fun monster ice cream cone. The group got to cut out scoops of ice cream in whatever color of construction paper they wanted. After they glued the scoops to a cut out cone, they got to make silly creations. We saw bunny ice creams, dog ice creams, and even silly monsters! The students had a blast with this activity.

In continuation of the summer theme, the next projects brought us under the sea. The young artists drew themselves with oil pastels to look like they were swimming. Then they painted the water with watercolors over top. Because of the oil base, the watercolors resist and won’t stick to the oil pastels.

For the last class of the school year, Ms. Michele gave the group a review of colors. We went over primary, secondary, complimentary, warm, and cool colors. The students then had to cut out a butterfly, making sure that the wings were symmetrical. They had to pick one of the groups of colors that Ms. Michele had taught them about throughout the year. Their butterflies turned out beautiful and no one looked the same. Thank you Ms. Michele for another great year of art lessons, and stirring the creative minds of our students!

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By: Ms. Faith

Goodbye now we sing. Goodbye now we sing. It’s time to go. Goodbye now we sing. This is a song Ms. Lisa sings with the students at the end of every music class, and it seemed fitting for the last newsletter article of the school year. One of the activities Ms. Lisa did with the class was of course, Cat and Mouse, which quickly became a favorite among the children this year. Ms. Lisa played different instruments on her keyboard and the students had to guess which instruments were being represented. I have to admit, some of the instruments stumped me! Some of the instruments were, drums, guitar, a cowbell, and a triangle. I am amazed every time how well the group can identify which instrument Ms. Lisa is playing.

We also participated in some rhythm activities using rhythm sticks and scarves. We tapped out beats, and danced around with the scarves to music. To end our time in music class, Ms. Lisa did a review of the musical notes, Peter and the Wolf, and the musical terms staccato and legato. We were all sad to say a final goodbye to Ms. Lisa, but look forward to seeing her again after summer break!

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April 2016 Academic Enrichment 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. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level. 

Reading Group (Junior Great Book Program):
In March we began our focused reading groups for our kindergarten students.  Kindergarten students are meeting with Ms. Kate on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Ms. Kate will keep you updated, most work will be sent home on Wednesdays and will need returned the following Monday for their next lesson.


4/04:     Introduction to Pronouns


4/11: Introduction to Adjectives

  • Rules of the adjectives
  • Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences


4/18: Introduction to Adverbs

  • Rules of the adverbs
  • Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences


4/25: Introduction to Conjunctions

  • Rules of the conjunctions
  • Worksheets, grammar symbols, diagramming sentences


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


Ms. Kristen’s February 2016 Newsletter

The month of February was very busy in our classroom! We learned about types of transportation, all about arctic animals, our Presidents (past and present), and all about dental health! We also had fun celebrating Valentine’s Day! Thank you to all our parent volunteers and helpers, and especially Ms. Kim for making our party such a success!


During the first week of February, we discussed trains, boats, buses, and trucks and other forms of transportation.  We recommend if you you’ve applied for a commercial truck insurance quote and you want to know what to expect price-wise? Click here to visit truck insurance comparison for free. The children especially enjoyed the “ Sink or Float” experiment in afternoon group time. We also discussed which forms of transportation go in land, air, and water. We also discovered that the children are very interested in boats, and had many questions about them! We discovered there many way to get from one place to another!


We learned about many different types of arctic animals during the second week of February. The children learned how many arctic animals have a layer of blubber underneath their skin and how is keeps them warm at night. They also learned the male Emperor Penguins take care of their eggs while the female Emperor Penguins go and search for food. The children also enjoyed learning about Arctic Wolves, Polar Bears, and Beluga Whales. The children especially enjoyed making a Penguin craft with Ms. Kim during afternoon group lesson.


During week three, we learned all about Presidents. We discussed the president’s job is to be the leader of our country. We also learned about the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. We also talked about George Washington and how he was the first President of the United States. We also learned that George Washington’s picture is on the quarter and the dollar bill.  Abraham Lincoln’s picture is on the five dollar bill and the penny. Some of the children also took it upon themselves to write the names of the presidents in order during work time. 


We learned all about dental health during the final week of February. When we are young, we only have twenty teeth! Later, when we become adults, we have twenty-eight-thirty two teeth! We also learned the proper way to brush our teeth and what foods are healthy for our teeth. The children also enjoyed making a craft with Ms. Kim during Preschool lesson where they made a mouth with construction paper and marshmallows for teeth! The children also enjoyed visiting an orthodontist, who taught us how to brush our teeth and why we don’t need to be scared when we go to the dentist.


Academic Enrichment Afternoon Lesson with Mr. John
We started out the month introducing addition using beads.  The introduction of beads shows the kindergartners a solid correspondence between the symbol and quantity. I also showed the students what tools could be used in their own classroom to help with addition, such as the table top rods, color bead bars and addition strip board.  We briefly touched upon addition with exchanges (carry over’s).  We then touched briefly on multiplication.  I explained multiplication is simply adding multiple times.  Introduced fractions the last week of the month. We learned that we can divide anything as long as it can be divided into equal parts.  Even our kindergarten class.  We divided our class from girls/boys.  Mr. John’s, Ms. Kate’s, and Ms. Kristen’s class, and eye color.


                    Multiplication Equation

We then learned about different shapes.  We knew that a triangle has three sides but we learned that a triangle with three equal sides is called an equilateral triangle, with two equal sides is an isosceles, and with no equal sides it is called a scalene triangle. Any shape with four sides is a quadrilateral.  Some examples include a square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezoid, and a chevron.  We realized that the Greek language was very important when learning about the pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon.

The Kindergartners now can count to 10 in twenty six languages…English (that is our native language), Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Hebrew, Swedish, Korean, Polish, Hungarian, and Tagalog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, Welsh, Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano.

Ms. Kim’s Corner:

In music class this month the children sang hello to Alley the Alligator and Frieda the Frog. We reviewed the musical words for loud, soft, slow, and fast! To review the story, Peter and the Wolf, we acted out the characters in the story. Once the children heard the musical instrument, they acted like the bird, duck, cat, wolf, Grandpa, or Peter! We remembered this story very well. Next, we reviewed the whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes. The children clapped the beats of the notes first. Then Ms. Lisa had the children use rhythm sticks to practice these notes in songs like “Grandfather Clocks” and “Yankee Doodle.”

Our first science experiment this month required a can of Coca-Cola and a can of Diet Coke. The children made hypotheses on what would happen to each can of soda when dropped into a tank of water. Would they sink or float? We discovered that the regular can of Coca-Cola sank and the Diet Coke floated. Mr. John explained that the regular can of soda has real sugar which is denser, so it sinks.

Our next experiment involved Bran Flakes cereal and magnets! Mr. John mixed the Bran Flakes cereal and the water into a plastic Ziploc bag. He explained to the children that the cereal contained the metal iron. The children made hypotheses on what would happen when a magnet was rubbed over the cereal. We saw black spots when the magnet was rubbed over the cereal. These black spots were the iron. So yes we eat metal!

Our last experiment of the month was called, “Dancing Raisins”. Mr. John asked the children what they thought would happen when raisins were dropped into a glass of ginger ale. Most of the children said that the raisins would either sink or float. Well we were surprised when the raisins sank but then floated back to the top! In ginger ale, there are carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles grabbed onto the raisins and carried them to the bottom, but once the bubbles popped the raisins floated back to the top.

At the beginning of the month, Ms. Michele read the students the book, The Snowy Day. Then they created a snowy day picture by first gluing down cotton balls as snow. Next they drew themselves playing in the snow. As a final touch, Ms. Michele let the students sprinkle on a little glitter on their snowy pictures.

Next the students created art that would get them thinking about the International Festival. Ms. Michele had the students watch a video on the Chinese New Year. In this video there was dragons and lions dancing to celebrate the new year. Ms. Michele had the students create a lion or dragon by decorating two already glued paper cups. They got to be creative and put feathers, construction paper, pipe cleaners, crayons, markers, and eyes on these creations!

Lastly, please take time to practice with your child what they are learning here at school. Ask your child about their favorite President of the United States. Take a trip to the Zoo to visit some of the artic animal, such as the Polar Bears and Penguins, and discuss which one is their favorite and why. Practice good dental hygene with your child by practicing brushing their teeth correctly with them. Take a trip on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad together as a family.


Maria Montessori stated , “If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind?” I am so proud to be part of a school where we teach not only letter sounds and and numbers, but a sense of order, concentration, coordination, and independence. These qualities are the most important skills a child can learn at an early age, and I love watching your children grow closer to mastering these every day! I am so proud of all of our students hard work this past month and I consider it a privilege to be their teacher!

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Ms. Courtney’s March 2016 Monthly Overview

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

2/29: Dr. Seuss/ Eric Carle

  • The children become familiar with the similarities in an author’s body of work.
  • The children will gain an appreciation for the word play and rhyme featured in the work of Dr. Seuss.
  • The children will identify, produce and extend patterns.

3/7: Insects

  • The children will identify animals that belong in the insect category and those that do not.
  • The children will learn there are over five million different kinds of insects in the world.
  • The children will identify the main parts of an insect.
  • The children will learn ways insects can be helpful and ways insects can be harmful. Learn more about the to improve your skills.

3/14:  Plants and Flowers

  • The children will discuss the four elements needed to grow a plant. Soil, seeds, sun and water.
  • The children will observe and describe similarities and differences in the appearance and behavior of plants and flowers.
  • The children will identify major structures of plants (seeds, roots, stems, leaves).
  • The children will understand the life cycle of plants and flowers and what they need to grow.
  • The children will discover that plants provide resources for clothing, food, and oxygen.

3/21: Butterflies and Caterpillars

  • The children will discover that butterflies go through stages of growth & changes called life cycles.
  • The children will design a butterfly of their own using shapes and creativity.
  • The children will create a mobile to represent each stage of the Life Cycle of the Butterfly.


3/28-4/1: SPRING BREAK (school resumes Monday 4/4)


Letters of the week

2/29: Uu

3/7: Vv

3/14: Ww

3/21: Xx

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

  • Talk to your child about their favorite Eric Carle or Dr. Seuss book and why they find that book interesting.
  • Visit your local library for a Dr. Seuss or Eric Carle reading.
  • Take a walk and see how many insects you can spot.
  • Plant a flower or garden.
  • Visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
  • Take a walk and see how many butterflies and caterpillars you can spot
  • Make dinner with foods that start with the letter of the w

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine | January 2015 Newsletter

IMG_20150109_093641                     “Weird Scenes Inside The Goldmine”

Geeez, it is really cold without hair. You may have noticed that I hadn’t had my haircut since the second week of the college football season (the loss against Virginia Tech). Since that haircut, the Buckeyes went undefeated, won the Big Ten Title, Beat Bama in the Sugar Bowl, and beat Oregon to capture The National Championship. Not that I believe in the jinx or anything but why take the chance on angering the universe? I endured many comments during this time of having flowing locks such as being called emo boy, hippy chic…? Justin Bieber, the biebs, Fabio, Ringo, Rapunzel, Shaggy, and a sheep dog.  So I went with the Joey Bosa look to the Urban Meyer look. It was all worth it!!!!  THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY 42 | Oregon 20!

I want to give a warm welcome to Ms. Ame (pronounced Amy) who is our new full time assistant in Mr. John’s class. Introduce yourself and say “HI!”

We also had an alumnus, James W. read to the class.  All Alumni are welcome to read to the class when they are available, so please contact me!



Line time lessons:

We all returned to school after a well rested, extended winter break. Due to the long break we did a refresher week covering the classroom ground rules. We went over the four basic rules of: 1) No running in the classroom. We do not run because we can get hurt or hurt someone else. 2) Use our listening ears. The students pay attention to the teachers during line time and before cleaning the room and line time. Important information is shred during line time and listening is a sign of respect and courtesy. 3) Keep our hands to ourselves. We do this to honor other student’s personal space. In addition, we do not hit, punch, push or do anything to physically hurt other students. 4) Respect others. This is basically being nice to your fellow students. Use nice words, smile instead of giving mean faces, sharing, and helping those in need.

To honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we learned a bit about his life and his accomplishments. The students became actresses and actors as they recreated Rosa Parks making her stand on a bus in Montgomery Alabama. The students enjoyed playing the part of the bus driver, Rosa Parks, “the mean guy”, a police officer, Martin Luther King Jr., and passengers on the bus. We discussed our differences such as skin color, eye color, hair color, and gender. Then we discussed how we are similar. We talked about discrimination and segregation. We talked about if someone with red hair wouldn’t be allowed to do art “just because” they have red hair or if anyone who had blue eyes would have to go to a different classroom with less materials, broken crayons, or no books “just because” they have blue eyes. I had only boys fetch the chairs for the skit and brought that to the attention of the class. We had some very sad girls…. I did let the girls take the chairs back after the skit.  Ms. Kelly did a line time lesson with two eggs( 1 white and 1 brown).  she asked the children if the eggs looked the same on the outside and the children obviously said they were different.  Ms. Kelly then cracked each egg to reveal they were the same on the inside.  You all know what the lesson was trying say.


Next we sniffed, touched, heard, saw, and even tasted things around us. We learned about our 5 senses. Our sense of touch can determine if something is cold or hot, rough or smooth, hard or soft. We also learned that we can feel on any part of our bodies. When we feel something it sends a message from your skin to your BRAIN. The sense of smell captures scents in the air, goes in our noses, and sends a message to the BRAIN. We learned the sense of sight happens with our eyes. The eye captures light, the light passes through the eye and sends a message to the BRAIN. The ear provides our sense of hearing. The ear captures sounds, the sound travels through the ear canal, hits the ear drum, the ear drum vibrates and sends a message to the BRAIN. When you lose your sense of hearing, hearing aid audiologists help and treat you to hear better. The sense of taste happens in the mouth particularly on the tongue. The taste buds on the tongue capture the taste and sends a message to the BRAIN. We did have a taste test of sweet (sugar water), salt (salt water), sour (lemon juice), and bitter, my favorite (unsweetened baking chocolate). For the baking chocolate we use most of our senses. We started out by looking at the pieces of chocolate. Then we felt the piece of chocolate and smelled the piece of chocolate. THEN….. We tasted the piece of chocolate.   If it looks like a duck, it may not be a duck. I have to admit this is one of my favorite activities on line time.


We ended the month with learning about our body. We looked at the skeletal system and if we didn’t have a skeleton we would be one messy blob on the ground. We learned the skull protects our brain, the rib cage protects our lungs, and the spine keeps us sitting and standing straight. We learned technical terms for our arms, leg and our digits which is a funny name called phalanges. We brought our life sized foam puzzle into our room. His name is Elvis because we learned about the pelvis and it was a cool rhyming name.

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Cultural Subjects:

During line time lesson we can count to 10 in 19 different languages (English, Sign Language, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, and Welsh. In kindergarten we can count in the same languages with the addition of Dutch/Flemish.


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This month we started our section in Math. We learned about the unit (ones), ten, hundred, and thousand columns. The kindergartners composed numbers, were introduced to addition with and without carry overs.