Mr. John’s December 2015 Newsletter


….  Father Christmas Give Us Some Money….  That song just make me laugh.  While the majority of people are listening to the classic Christmas songs of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra I lean toward more….  contemporary artists such as The Kinks/ Father Christmas, Chris Squire/ Run With The Fox, Greg Lake/I Believe In Father Christmas, Pretenders/2000 Miles, London After Midnight/ Christmas Song, Waitresses/ Christmas Wrapping, Band Aid/ Do They Know It’s Christmas,  David Bowie& Bing Crosby/ Little Drummer Boy,  Cruxshadows/ Happy Christmas(cover), The Pogues/Fairytale Of New York City,  U2’s poem/Driving To Midnight Mass On Christmas Eve… You get the picture, not my dad’s Christmas Songs!

With a heavy heart I must inform you that we lost the matriarch of my rat colony, Blixa.  She was one of the original rats in the room.  She developed a tumor, which most rats do, and she passed last month.  But I did get a new Blixa and she is doing well!

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Line Time Lessons:

We spent the majority of our time preparing for the Christmas show.  Our little Muppets and Sesame Streeters did an Ab Fab job!

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Cultural Subjects:

We can now count to 10 in 18 different languages.  (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic with Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, and Irish).



(Feeding time with the snake, Elise)


Students enjoyed their Montessori Work time this month. Much of our group time this month was used to prepare for the Christmas Show, but Music, Science and Art continued as usual.


Ms. Lisa continued to introduce new songs and movements to the children. They loved singing Jingle Bells, while ringing their hand bells. Skipping around the room was so much fun, while pretending to be reindeer! We also were appreciative of her help practicing our songs for the Christmas Show!


For the first week of December, Ms. Michele had the children finish their warm and cool color tile mosaics from last month. The second week Ms. Michele had the children draw their self-portraits. The children used mirrors and pencils to first draw an oval for their faces. Then they added eyes, nose, mouth, ears and eyebrows. Lastly they added details such as shoulders and hair.



Mr. John did three experiments with the children, in Science Class. They enjoyed wondering whether it is the lemon or the lime that would sink (or float), they enjoyed seeing the colors on the Skittles spread in the water. The red color in the peppermint candy did the same thing as well. Please talk to your children about these activities that they so love!

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

Then we slithered our way into discussing reptiles.  We came to the conclusion that the snake is the most popular reptile. We learned reptiles are cold blooded, vertebrates, lay hard shelled eggs, and have dry scales.  Lizards, snakes, and turtles topped the list of reptiles.

We hopped into our discussion of amphibians. We all agreed that the frog was the most popular amphibian and that amphibians are cold blooded and vertebrates.  We also learned that their skin is moist and soft and that they can live on BOTH land and water. Amphibians lay eggs but the eggs have no shell but are like jelly.   We found that frogs, toads, and newts were amphibians.

We swam to our friends called fish.  We learned that fish are cold blooded (their body temperature changes to the temperature in their environment) and are vertebrates.  We learned that most fish have scales, gills and fins, and some fish lay eggs and some fish are liver bearers (babies are born alive). We introduced a new word, “habitat”.  This is where something lives and the fish’s habitat is the water. The children were thrilled to learn that the shark is a fish.

We then flew with the animals called birds.  Birds have feathers, are warm blooded, and are vertebrates.  All birds lay hard shelled eggs and have wings.  All birds have wings but some birds are flightless (cannot fly) such as the penguin, ostrich, and emu.

We looked at some creepy crawlers that were a bit different.  They were invertebrates.  we looked at insects which have a head, thorax, abdomen, six legs, and two antennae.  Beetles, flies, bees, butterflies, and crickets are all insects.  Arachnids are invertebrates but have eight legs, cyphelothorax, and abdomen.  Spiders, scorpions, ticks, and mites are all arachnids.

We ended 2015 learning how to use a ruler.  The students went home and measured many things in inches and in centimeters.

We can now count to ten in 20 different languages.  (English, Sign Language, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic with Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Irish, Kiswahili, and Welsh).

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