Mr. John November 2016 Newsletter

The Mortar Between The Brick:

It seems that the assistants of the classroom rarely get the attention or accolades they really deserve.  We all know or should know that a classroom can NOT function without the support of the assistant teacher.  Their role goes beyond the title of assistant.  At Absorbent Minds Montessori School they are referred as Co-Teachers and rightly so.   They are an integral part of your child’s academic, social, and emotional development and without them I would not be able to present lessons and have a controlled, normalized classroom as I do now.  Sabrina, Kathleen, and I work as a well oiled machine.  It is almost like we all know what we are thinking throughout the day.  Each one of us have different responsibilities geared towards our strengths so we can maximize the production of the classroom (that last comment was my business background coming to the surface).  Without the assistant/co teacher the classroom would not function as it does now. Kudos to the Assistant. I thank the Co-Teachers for their dedication.  I am blessed to have two great teachers in my classroom.

ITC Publications develops a range of user friendly resources to support teachers and schools in their desire to promote effective teaching and learning. You will find Australian starter diary to help to keep you organised with day-to-day teaching and administration tasks while making lesson planning enjoyable and the teaching of higher-order thinking a breeze.

Classroom Line Time:

The class went back in time and studied dinosaurs.  We learned the names of 5 dinos  (T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, and Brachiosaurus) and if they were meat eaters (carnivores) or plant eaters (herbivores).  We learned when they lived and I introduced the phrases “extinct” and “fossils” what they meant.  We read “Dad is a Dinosaur”, and Dinosaurs go to School”


(Cultural Subjects: Plant and Animal Puzzles)                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Math:  The 9 Tray)          

We then learned about Pilgrims and Thanksgiving.  Our craft was making feathers and putting what we are thankful for.  The feathers were put on turkeys that we placed on the bulletin board.  Hand print turkeys and pilgrim hats were also made for the holiday.


(Sensorial: Puzzles)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Sensorial: Sorting)   

The third week in November, which was a short week, we discussed Buckeye Football.  It was appropriate since “THE GAME” was that Saturday.  If you child hears someone shout O-H they will give a resounding response of I-O!  They know Hang On Sloopy is the official rock and roll song of Ohio and will yell O-H-I-O and do the hand gestures as they sing the song.  Some of your children may refer to Xichigan as that state up north.  We watched several Ohio State Buckeye video highlights and the children especially loved “Script Ohio” and  TBDBITL    The score….30-27  Go Buckeyes!!!


(My Breakfast Club taking over Ms. Kelly’s desk)                                                                                                                                                                                             (Cultural Subjects: Amphibian Bin)

Classroom Cultural Subjects:

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


(Math:  The 9 Tray)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (Math: Addition Board)             

Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
with Mr. John

We started out our month by introducing your children to high finance. We started out identifying coins (all different variations) of the penny, nickle, dime, and quarter. We looked at half dollars and dollar coins. We also went over the value of each coin. We then looked at the different “paper” bills.

We then changed our course to looking at what makes a living thing… a living thing. Living things reproduce, take in nourishment (eat), exchange gases (breath), grow, and move. We looked at different animals and the characteristics of animals. Mammals are vertebrates, warm blooded, have hair or fur, born alive, and drink mothers milk. Reptiles are vertebrates, cold blooded, dry scaly skin, born out of hard shell eggs. Amphibians are vertebrates, cold blooded, soft moist skin, born from jelly eggs. Birds are vertebrates, warm blooded, have feathers, born from hard shell eggs. Fish are vertebrates, cold blooded, have scales, born alive or from jelly eggs.

Cultural Subjects:
We can count to ten in 19 different languages.  We can count in English, Latin, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Irish, and Kiswahili.

Reading Group | Kindergarten
with Ms. Kate

What I truly love about our reading club program is that with this particular curriculum it really helps the children get a better understanding of asking questions and sharing answers about the meaning of a story or poem. Throughout these past few weeks the children enjoyed reading The Tale Of Two Bad Mice, Bouki Cuts Wood, Night Into Dawn, and Fantasy. With each of these readings the children will read the selection several times and will work with it through a variety of drawing, writing, and oral activities. The children absolutely love to act out certain scenes in each of the selections. Dramatizations can make it easier for students to take in details and get plots straight. But they also help students interpret a story, as they think about what a character is thinking feeling. So the next time your child brings home their Junior Book Club reading book, Pick a story out and act it out together!!

Science Enrichment
by Ms. Kathleen

This month students learned about cylinder Strength. For example,  what happens when we try to balance books on paper wrapped into a cylinder? The children all placed a book on top a papers rolled up length wise to form a cylinder. They all watched as the paper cylinder supported all the books! The strength of the geometrical shape known as the cylinder is one of the most structurally sound and strongest shapes. Once the paper was made into a cylinder with the help of rubber bands the tube now supported the weight of each book the children placed on top.

Students also loved the “Frightened Pepper” experiment.  When Mr. John places pepper in a bowl for each child. He asked our scientists, what will happen when the children place a Q-tip with dish soap on it then placed a drop of soap on top of the water. The children all watched their own bowls as the pepper moved to the sides of the bowl. Why is this? It is because the dish soap lowers the surface tension. The water surface is strong enough to hold up light-weight objects such as pepper. Dish soap mixes with the water molecules and lowers the surface tension, when dish soap is placed near the pepper, the surrounding water has a high surface tension and exerts a force that pulls the pepper away from the dish soap.


(Science: Cylinder Strength)                                                                                                                                                              (Science: Learning the behaviors                                                                                                                                                            of Polymers) 


(Go Buckeyes!!!!!  Secret Message on PTFE)                                                                                                                             (Science:  Children acting like frightened                                                                                                                                                                    pepper)           

Music Enrichment
by Ms. Sabrina

The children learned so much in Music class this month. As a bonus they also had an awesome time (and the teachers do too)! The children used their high voices and their low voices. Ms. Lisa’s songs teach us lessons. For example, they learned about having choices and whether to have a bad attitude or a good attitude.

Students also worked with the bells and tambourines, switching back and forth.  They love using instruments in Music class. The children learned about sharing from one of Ms. Lisa’s songs and by passing and rolling a ball back and forth. A listening game was also played, using egg shakers. They listened for directions to stop, go, jump, spin, tip toe etc. Dancing included! A song about emotions was also learned. Emotions are just feelings, neither good nor bad. Tambourines were used, and our emotions were talked about. An echo game was also played, where voices bounced back and forth and we also had fun with our egg shakers again. Ms. Lisa also planned a dance where cooperation was required was executed well by the children. What another great lesson taught through music! They rocked it! The children also began to practice their Christmas songs this month, in preparation for the Christmas Show.  Our students learn so much through music and movement and Ms. Lisa’s lessons!

Art Enrichment
By Ms. Ame

The first week of our November Art class, Miss Michele brought the playground inside the classroom. The students used different shapes of paper to create their own three-dimensional art. The students created slides, swings, tunnels and other imaginative playground creations. These creations were very impressive!

Next, Ms. Michele had students use both oil pastels and watercolors to create an underwater scene. The students first created their scene by drawing underwater plants and different sea creatures using the oil pastels. After they had completed their creatures, they used blue tinted watercolors to create the underwater effect. The oil pastels “resist” against the watercolors so that they keep their original colors and only the white part of the paper turned blue. It was a surprise for some students and a great lesson to teach the art of resist!

Students also created self-portraits in Art this month. This can be very tricky, but Ms. Michele guided the students in drawing the shape of their face. She provided each child with a mirror so they were able to look directly at their own face to draw the shape and colors of their faces, encouraging them to notice every detail! Ms. Michele also talked about the proportions of their faces, such as how the distance from the top of their head to their eyes is equal to the distance from their eyes to their chin. This made it easier for the children to place their eyes, nose and lips in the correct place in their portrait.
The students enjoyed these art projects this month. Ms. Michele’s art projects are one of a kind. Keep an eye on your student’s folder for these special creations as they are sent home!