Peek At Our Week – Cherry Blossom – Week of 11/29/21

A Peek at Our Week in the Cherry Blossom Classroom!

The Cherry Blossom Classroom has been learning all about Holidays!  We started with Thanksgiving – we discussed Pilgrims and Native Americans, feasts to celebrate the harvest, and things that we are grateful for.  We hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

This week, we discussed two holidays – Hanukkah and St. Nicholas Day.  We talked about where in the world these two holidays are celebrated, the history behind the celebrations, and the symbols associated with the holidays.  We created menorahs in class and will have a special St. Nicholas Day surprise on Monday!

Wooly Bear Winter Predictions!

One of our students found a couple wooly bear caterpillars at her home.  She shared pictures of Spark and Rambo and we observed how much brown and how much black we saw on the caterpillars.  We discussed that some people believe the wooly bear caterpillar can predict what type of winter weather we will have just by how much brown and black you see on their bodies!  FYI, the wooly bear caterpillars are predicting a long, cold, snowy winter!

All New Works for December!

Take a look at all of our new work trays for December!  We are having so much fun exploring new materials!

 

 

Enrichment Spotlight – Music with Ms. Lisa!

Cherry Blossom students are working hard preparing for our Christmas Show!  We practiced singing on stage this week!

Peek Into Next Week!

We will continue our study of different holidays around the world – focusing on Kwanzaa and Las Posadas.  We will also continue preparing for THE CHRISTMAS SHOW!

Letter of the Week: Yy

Number of the Week: 1-10

Important Dates:

Christmas Show Rehearsal: Wednesday, December 8th

Christmas Show: Friday, December 10th

Pajama Day: Friday, December 17

Winter Break – No School: December 20-December 31.  School Resumes on Monday, January 3rd.


A Peek at Our Week – Cherry Blossom – Week of 11/1/21

A Peek at Our Week in the Cherry Blossom Classroom!

We continued our focus lesson on Animal Classification this week!  We reviewed vertebrates and invertebrates. We introduced two vertebrate animal groups – Birds and Fish!  We learned the difference between warm blooded and cold blooded, feathers and scales, lungs and gills!

One of our amazing parents shared with us their bird feeders via their live cam this week! We were able to observe various types of birds throughout the day. We discussed male vs female, the different colors we saw, and the foods they ate. We even saw a few squirrels! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing experience with us!

If you’d like to check this out with your child at home, follow this link: https://youtube/MtGUTs_HgcE

We also took a field trip to Mr. John’s classroom to observe all the different fish he has in his aquariums. We observed how the fish move their fins and tails while they swim, and looked hard to spot gills. We found it super interesting that fish breathe through gills!

Art for Kids Hub!

During our bird and fish lessons this week, we took some time to draw our own animals using Art for Kids Hub on YouTube! These are wonderful step by step art lessons for kids and the children loved challenging themselves!

And just for fun… a joke from one of our friends.

“What is pizza plus dice?”

“Domino’s!”

Enrichment Spotlight – Science with Mr. John!

We absolutely love Thursday afternoons when we get to visit Mr. John in the Science Lab! We are doing very well using our 5 senses to observe as scientists and vocalizing our hypothesis before each experiment.

Happy (belated) Halloween from the Cherry Blossoms!

Thank you for joining us for the first annual Absorbent Minds Truck or Treat!

Peek Into Next Week!

We will continue our study of Classification of Animals.  We will review Vertebrates and Invertebrates. We will review Mammals, Bird, Fish,  and introduce Reptiles and Amphibians!

Letter: Ii

Number: 9

Languages:  Counting in German and ASL

Important Dates:

November 12: Parent/Teacher Conferences – No School for Students

November 24-26: Thanksgiving Break – No School!


A Peek At Our Week – Cherry Blossom – Week of 10/25/21

A Peek at Our Week in the Cherry Blossom Classroom!

We continued our focus lesson on Animal Classification this week!  We reviewed vertebrates and invertebrates. We introduced two invertebrate animal groups –  Insects and Arachnids!  We learned that insects have three body parts (head, thorax, abdomen), and six legs!  We also spent some time discussing arachnids and learned that they have two body parts (cephalothorax and abdomen) and eight legs!  We talked about spinnerets and the different types of  thread spiders use, and learned that spiders turn insects into smoothies so they can drink them!  A little bit gross and a little bit fascinating!

Mr. John kicked off our arachnid lesson by visiting our classroom with his tarantula!  Some of us were curious, some of us were cautious, but we all asked LOTS of questions!

Oh my, the Handwriting!

Cherry Blossoms worked hard on their handwriting this week!  You’ll notice theres a few different ways that teachers will introduce handwriting skills.

Our youngest students will work with the sand tray and the sandpaper letters.  This gives them a very sensory based approach to beginning those handwriting skills.

As our fine motor skills strengthen, children will be introduced to either the chalkboard or dry erase board.  We begin by introducing the baseline, midline, and top line that will assist us in forming our letters. Then we introduce beginning strokes, such as swing, down, and circle.  These movements will form our cursive letters later!

After our children are comfortable with those beginning strokes, they will be introduced to individual sandpaper letters.  We will practice tracing the sandpaper letter while being introduced to the language that assists us in forming that cursive letter.  For example, the letter t is formed by “begin at the baseline, swing up to the top line, down to the baseline, pick up your pencil, and cross at the midline.” Then we will use that language we learned and practice forming our letters on the chalkboard or dry erase board!

Once we are comfortable with that skill, we’ll practice in our handwriting folders!  Phew!  Handwriting is hard work!

Enrichment Spotlight – Music with Ms. Lisa!

Ms. Lisa has been working with us on recognizing whole note, half note, quarter note, and eighth note and what that sounds like in music.  We also have been working on allegro (fast) and adagio (slow).  We practiced with our bodies in music class, but we also practice with our lunch song before we eat!

WE WERE BOOED!

 

Peek Into Next Week!

We will continue our study of Classification of Animals.  We will review Vertebrates and Invertebrates. We will review Mammals,  and introduce Birds and Fish!

Letter: Jj

Number: 8

Languages:  Counting in German and ASL

Important Dates:

Monday is the last day! : Usborne Book Fair – Join us in person or online! https://v2805.myubam.com/

November 5: Trunk or Treat

November 12: Parent/Teacher Conferences – No School for Students

 


A Peek At Our Week – Cherry Blossom – Week of 10/18/21

A Peek at Our Week in the Cherry Blossom Classroom!

We started our focus lesson on Animal Classification this week!  We talked about vertebrates and invertebrates and took some time to feel our own back bones.  Then we introduced our first animal group –  Mammals!  We learned that mammals have hair or fur, are warm blooded, give birth to live young, and that babies drink their mother’s milk.  We were very excited to learn that we, as human beings, are mammals!  Ms. Sam also sang a fun song with us this week that included animals from all of our different groups!

Working In Pairs!

One of the benefits of a Montessori classroom is the ability for older students to work with younger students.  As our school year continues, we will see more older children offer to help a younger student that needs a little direction.  This has so many benefits! The older student will learn patience and understanding as they work with the younger student.  The younger student is more open to accepting redirection and problem solving.  They both will learn empathy for others as they experience that no two people learn the exact same way.

Enrichment Spotlight – Library with Ms. Cat!

The Cherry Blossom class went upstairs to the Library to visit Ms. Cat this week.  She read us a hilarious book called Fall Mixed Up and we giggled a lot!  Ms. Cat also sang some fall songs with us!

ATTENTION CHERRY BLOSSOMS!

Join Ms. Sam and Ms. Tonya by wearing your fun Halloween attire on Wednesday and Thursday next week!

 

Twinsies!  Check out our cool new watches!!!

Peek Into Next Week!

We will continue our study of Classification of Animals.  We will review Vertebrates and Invertebrates and Mammals. And we will introduce Insects and Arachnids!  We will also be talking about Halloween of course!

Letter: Hh

Number: 7

Languages:  Colors in German and ASL

Important Dates:

October 26 – November 1: Usborne Book Fair – Join us in person or online! https://v2805.myubam.com/

October 29: Halloween Party

November 12: Parent/Teacher Conferences – No School for Students

 


A Peek At Our Week – Cherry Blossom – Week of 10/11/21

A Peek at Our Week in the Cherry Blossom Classroom!

We continued our classroom study of Fall and the change of seasons, with a focus this week on leaves.  We discussed the parts of a leaf, as well as why leaves change color in the fall.  We talked about how chlorophyll is the green pigment inside of the leaf and its job is to absorb the sunlight and change that sunlight into food for the tree.  We also discussed how the pigments yellow, orange, and red are inside of the leaf all along, but the chlorophyll covers it up during the spring and summer. During Preschool Lesson, Ms. Sam introduced us to a science experiment where we saw that leaves breathe! Lots of awesome facts this week! We also made beautiful leaf suncatchers that you can spy hanging up in our windows of the classroom.

 

What have the 4 year olds been up to in our mixed age classroom?

This child is Weaving Ribbons in our Practical Life area.  Weaving is an excellent activity to work on the child’s fine motor skills.

This child is working with our Touch Tablets from our Sensorial area.  These tablets consist of different types of sandpaper, ranging from less rough to roughest.  The child can use their sense of touch to either pair the matching tablets or gradate them, or they can do both at once!

This child is working with the Table Top Rods with Symbols (In Order) from our Math area.  The Table Top Rods are a smaller version of a familiar classroom work – the Number Rods!  The child practices placing the numerals in order from 1-10, and then counts the blue and red sections of the rod, matching them to the correct numerals.

This child is working with Cards and Counters from our Math Area.  We include different types of cards and counters in the classroom to keep this work interesting for the children.  We’ve been working with trees and leaves for a couple weeks.

This child is working in his Handwriting Folder, a part of our Language area. Each week we study a new letter within our classroom. We not only practice the letter name and letter sound, we also practice writing our letter of the week. We write our letter in the air with our arm, on a large piece of paper, and then in our Handwriting Folders.

This child is working on coloring a World Map in our Geography area of the classroom.  Each of the continents have a corresponding color within the Montessori Classroom.  We’ve been focusing on North America because that is where we live, but the class favors Antarctica because of the penguins!

This child is working on Tracing and Labeling the Parts of a Tree from our Science area.  The child traces the control card, and then uses the control card to assist in writing the parts of the plant.  The child can also color this work to match out Parts of a Tree nomenclature cards like this child is doing!

Enrichment Spotlight – Art with Ms. Varela!

Ms. Varela introduced us to Vincent Van Gogh and his paintings of sunflowers.  We have spent the past couple of art lessons creating our own paintings of sunflowers using watercolor pencils!

 

Peek Into Next Week!

We have completed our study of the season of Fall/Autumn with a focus on plants.  Next week we will begin our Classification of Animals study which will last a few weeks.  We will begin with Vertebrates and Invertebrates and Mammals.

Letter: Vv

Number: 6

Languages: Greetings & Manners in German and ASL

Important Dates:

October 26 – November 1: Usborne Book Fair

October 29: Halloween Party

 


A Peek Into Our Week – Cherry Blossom – Week of 10/4/21

A Peek at Our Week in the Cherry Blossom Classroom!

We continued our classroom study of Fall and the change of seasons, with a focus this week on trees.  We discussed the parts of a tree, as well as its life cycle.  We even practiced being a tree as we practiced yoga and mindfulness.

This week was also our very first Wildlife Wednesday! On Wildlife Wednesdays we will travel outdoors, weather permitting, to explore all that nature can teach us.   This week our focus was on the change of seasons and how that was effecting the trees.  We were scientists using our five senses! We observed, took notes, and had a wonderful discussion about all of the changes we noticed!

 

We also had a new Enrichment begin this week! Our after school instructor Miss Emily will be visiting our class on Fridays to teach us American Sign Language! We practiced our letters and were introduced to the signs for colors.  We already use some ASL signs during our day so we are very excited to learn more from Miss Emily this year!

 

The Cherry Blossom Class has been loving this warm fall weather!
   

Even firefighters have some learning to do!  We were lucky enough to watch the firefighters practice using their hoses in our parking lot this week!

Peek Into Next Week!

We will continue to learn about Fall/Autumn, as well as study the Parts of a Leaf.  We will be discussing why leaves are so important to trees and why they change colors in the fall.

Letter: Nn

Number: Review 1-5

 


A Peek Into Our Week – Cherry Blossom – Week of 9/27/21

A Peek at Our Week in the Cherry Blossom Classroom!

This week was all about Fall.  We talked about all of the things we will notice as summer changes to fall.  The temperature outside will become cooler, the leaves will change colors and fall from the trees.  We talked about what different animals, like squirrels and birds, are doing to prepare for the change in seasons.

We also discussed the 4 Seasons this week.  This is a topic we will return to several times this school year as we take the time to observe the world around us as it changes.

Also… Happy Birthday Ms. Sam!  We hope you enjoy your special day!

Your Children Worked HARD This Week!

We saw our first signs of normalization within our classroom this week. “Normalization is the foundation upon which ‘spontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others.…’ (The Absorbent Mind) arise. It is a time where children learn to focus and concentrate their energies for long periods of time, while taking personal satisfaction in their work.”

https://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2008/04/stages-of-normalization.html

While the plan may have been to study the seasons, your children had other interests in mind.  For them, this week was all about letter sounds, sand trays, and the continents!  So we followed their lead, introduced them to some new work activities, and watched as the amount of time they are able to focus on a work grew and grew.  Ms. Sam and Ms. Tonya are so proud of our Cherry Blossoms!

This child is using the Sand Tray with the Sandpaper Numbers to practice writing the numerals with her finger.

This child is using the Sand Tray with the Cursive Sandpaper Letters to prepare for handwriting.

This child is reviewing the letters and letter sounds that we have been working on in the classroom.  He is using his knowledge of letter sounds to place the picture under the sound that the word begins with.

Ms. Tonya introducing a child to the Moveable Alphabet.  This child is using her knowledge of letter sounds to sound out the words “cat”, “car”, and “rat” using pictures as a guide.

This child is being introduced to the names of the continents using the Continent Globe and the World Map Puzzle.

Ms. Tonya introducing a child to an extension with the World Map Puzzle.  Now that this child is comfortable with the map of the continents, he can trace them to create his own map.

Check out that map!  Do I also spy the word “World” written  on the top in cursive?!?

Work Plans are still going well in our classroom with our older students!  Some of the children have begun to write their own work choices onto their work plan!

Peek Into Next Week!

We will continue to learn about about Fall/Autumn, as well as study the Parts of a Tree.  We will spend some extra time outside this week as we observe some of the trees around our school building.

Letter: Ee

Number: 5

Sight Word: is

PICTURE DAY is on Tuesday, October 5th!  

For Parents that signed up to be a party helper – look for the Halloween Party Sign Up in your email soon!  Halloween Party with be on Friday, October 29th!


A Peek Into Our Week – Cherry Blossom – Week of 9/20/21

A Peek at Our Week in the Cherry Blossom Classroom!

This week was all about PUMPKINS.  We held them, danced around them, read about them, and discussed their life cycle all week long.  But the best part about learning about pumpkins is getting to visit a real life pumpkin patch at Ramseyer Farms!

A new enrichment for us this week – Library with Ms. Cat!  We will visit the library here at Absorbent Minds every 3 weeks.  Ms. Cat talked to us about the library, introduced us to the vocabulary words: cover, spine, and author.  We even went on a bear hunt and practiced mindfulness by pretending to be a tree.

In the classroom, we introduced work plans to our older students.  Work plans are an important organization tool for students in the Montessori classroom.  We have listed the different academic areas of the classroom on the work plan, with pictures that match the labels on our shelves.  The students use their work plan to help them choose a work from each area of the classroom.  They then place a checkmark on their work plan and periodically check in with a teacher who assists with writing down the name of the work.  Students will be using work plans daily in Kindergarten and the Elementary classroom, and the work plans we use in our classroom are a wonderful, age appropriate, introduction!

Peek Into Next Week!

We will be learning all about Fall/Autumn and the Seasons.  We are very excited to watch the leaves change colors and fall from the trees.

Letter: Tt

Number: 4

Sight Word: she

 


A Peek Into Our Week – Cherry Blossom – Week of 9/13/21

A Peek at Our Week in the Cherry Blossom Classroom!

This week was all about Living and Non-Living.  We discussed how we determine if something is living or nonliving.  All living things need food, water, and clean air.  Living things will grow or change, react to their environment, and reproduce.  We practiced determining if something was living or nonliving and read the best book – I am Josephine and I am a living thing!

Also, in true Cherry Blossom fashion, we learned more by singing and dancing with our friend Jack Hartmann.

https://youtu.be/tzN299RpJHA

 

Preschool lesson continued our study of apples by reviewing the life cycle of an apple and parts of an apple.  We also made a super cute apple craft!  You can check it out in the hallway.

 

More Enrichments this week!  We attended our first Music Class with Miss Lisa.  We tried out Taekwondo with Master Barnick.  We drew a beast with Ms. Varela in Art Class and hypothesized about sinking and floating with Mr. John in Science Class!

 

Happy Birthday to our newest 4 year old and our newest 5 year old!

 

What have the 3 year olds been up to in our mixed age classroom?

 

This child is working with the Tonging activity from the Practical Life area.  Currently, we have small acorns to tong on our tray.  We will change out the items used for tonging every couple weeks to keep this tray interesting to the children in the classroom.  Tonging is a wonderful activity to encourage fine motor development that the children will need for handwriting!

This child is working with our Knobbed Cylinders from the Sensorial area.  The children use the pincer grasp to hold onto the knob of the Knobbed Cylinders to take them out and place them back into the appropriate space.  There are 4 sets of Knobbed Cylinders which allow the child to explore different depths and widths.

This child is working with the Number Rods from the Math area.  This is a child’s first introduction to quantity as they count each red section and each blue section of the rod, using one to one correspondence.  They are also able to visually see that nine is larger than three.

This child is working with Picture Matching from the Language area.  This type of matching activity helps develop focus in the Montessori classroom.  We will change out the cards every couple weeks to keep this activity interesting to the children.  They are currently matching picture to outline which makes the activity a little more challenging.

Peek into Next Week!

We will be learning about PUMPKINS!  Those round, bright orange, fruits that make us so excited for the First Day of Fall which is on Wednesday!  We’ll be ending our week with our field trip to Ramseyer Farms!  Miss Sam and Miss Tonya are so excited to see you there!


A Peek Into Our Week – Cherry Blossom – 9/6/21

A Peek at Our Week in the Cherry Blossom Classroom!

This week was all about APPLES! We talked about the different parts of an apple and created books to work on our handwriting skills.  We also learned about the life cycle of an apple from seed to harvested apple. We read many books and were so excited each time one of our friends brought an apple in their lunch.  If your family takes a trip to the apple orchard soon, please send us a picture!  

We also had in introduction to Geography this week.  We talked about the globe and looked at the Sandpaper Globe where we discussed land and water.  We’ll talk more about air, land, and water next week!

Preschool lesson included many activities this week!  Miss Sam worked with us on name recognition, color mixing with primary colors, and learning to count to 10 in German!  Miss Sam introduced us to another globe found in our classroom while we looked at Europe and found Germany on the map of Europe.

 

This child is working with our letter of the week – a!  We practiced saying the name of the letter, the sound the letter makes, and some words that start with that sound.

Letter a can also be found in our Handwriting Folder!  We’re practicing writing uppercase A and lowercase a.  Why do we teach handwriting in cursive?  Research indicates that cursive trains the brain to have better hand-eye coordination and reading efficiency.

Enrichments started this week!  We attended Art Class with Ms. Varela and Science Class with Mr. John!  Ms. Varela taught us about the different shapes you would find in art – lines, curved lines, dots, and circles.  We studied the art of Wassily Kandinsky, looking for the different shapes and enjoying the bright colors he used.  We then brought our new knowledge into our classroom and created our own art inspired by Kandinsky!

Happy Birthday to our newest 5 year old and our newest 3 year old!

 

Peek into Next Week!

We will continue our study of Apples, Kandinsky, and introduction of Geography.  We will also discuss Living vs. Non-Living and talk a little about plants!  Our field trip to Ramseyer Farm is coming up soon, information came home in your child’s folder!

Miss Tonya and her family visited the apple orchard over the weekend!