I cannot believe we are one month into the school year already! Our returning friends have enjoyed getting back into the “swing of things”, and our new friends have enjoyed learning the routine of our classroom and making new friends!
During the first week of school, the children began learning about Grace and Courtesy and learning the ground rules of our classroom. The children learned how to roll and unroll a rug, how to carry a tray, how to place works back in their original place on the shelf, etc. Learning and reviewing these ground rules has set a nice tone in our classroom for the beginning of the year. This also will help promote the child’s sense of organization as they work in the various areas of the classroom.
During the second week of school, we learned more about Manners and more about Grace and Courtesy. We learned how to say “Please” and “Thank You”. We also learned how to solve conflict by reading, “There’s a Bird On Your Head” by Moe Williams, and discussing how, when someone is doing something that bothers us or hurts our feelings, we can solve the problem by using our words.
In week three, our theme was “All About Me”. The children enjoyed bringing in their baby pictures and guessing who’s baby picture was which. We also charted our hair and eye color on a bar graph. We also talked about our talents and abilities and what makes us unique. We also began learning our Birthdays and practicing our full names. We also discussed or talents and abilities and what makes us unique.
During week four, we learned all about Community Helpers. The children were excited to learn about all different types of professions that help people in need. We enjoyed a visit from Bennett’s mother, who is a nurse! She told us what it was like to be a nurse who works in a hospital and we learned how nurses help people everyday. The children also enjoyed learning about other types of community helpers, such as firefighters, paramedics, teachers, veterinarians, or inclusive a dentists as the Aesthetic Family Dentistry, PA for cosmetic changes. The children also enjoyed making firefighter hats and doctor bags with Ms. Kim during afternoon group time!
During the fifth week, we studied apples. The children enjoyed learning the names for all the parts of the apple. We then learned about the life cycle of the apple and we learned that flowers adorn apple trees in the spring, then the apples begin to grow during the summer, and then finally the apples are ready to be harvested in the fall. The children also enjoyed making apple sauce and taste testing different kinds of apples during our afternoon group time.
In the final week of September, we learned about all about Friendship. We also discussed what it means to be a friend and how friends are kind and loving towards one another. The children also enjoyed making a book together about how they are a friend to others during our group time. Also, in celebration of the International Week of The Deaf, we also learned some ASL signs to go along with the song “ Make New Friends”.
Academic Enrichment (Kindergarten students | Group lesson with Mr. John)
Let’s travel around the world! This past month we trekked around the world. We learned where, and fun facts about the seven continents. I made sure that out kindergartners knew “Central America” was not a continent, but part of North America. We learned about the cardinal directions including N.E., S.E., N.W,, and NW. My K Kids know where the Equator and Prime Meridian are, and how the divide the Earth into hemispheres.
We took a closer look at North America (because we live there). We identified the bodies of water that surround our continent (Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Hudson Bay, Gulf of Mexico, and The Great Lakes (H.O.M.E.S). We then learned many fun facts about the state of Ohio and what are Ohio’s surrounding states, their nickname, and their abbreviation. We ended learning about all the places we live. Our galaxy, our solar system, planet, hemisphere, continent, country, state, county, city and out street address.
Enrichments (Ms. Kim):
In music this month, students sang hello to Rainbow Sparkles the Dragon, Jerry the Giraffe, Frieda the Frog, and Bernie the Bernard! Ms. Lisa introduced whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes. She had the children use rhythm sticks to practice the beats of each. We used the rhythm sticks to “Ants Go Marching” and “Hot Cross Buns.” The children also got to play castanets, egg shakers, and tambourines throughout the month! Ms. Lisa taught the musical words for loud (forte), soft (piano), legato (smooth), and staccato (jumpy). We even learned a Mexican hat dance!
Our first science experiment involved baking soda, vinegar, and balloons. Each child took a turn shaking baking soda out of a balloon into a bottle of vinegar. When the baking soda mixed with the vinegar, the balloon filled up. We found out that when the baking soda and vinegar mixed, a gas called carbon dioxide was formed which filled up the balloon. Our next science experiment taught us the concept of density. We took two eggs and dropped one in a cup of salt water and one in a cup of water without salt. The children made hypotheses on whether the eggs would sink or float. Each time we tried it, we found that the egg dropped in salt water floated and the egg dropped in water without salt sank. This was because the salt water was more dense than the egg and pushed the egg to the top. Our next experiment on density involved colored water and vegetable oil. We first filled a bottle with colored water. Then we poured vegetable oil on top. The children made hypotheses on what would happen when we shook the bottle. Every time we shook the bottle, the water and oil did not mix. The oil is less dense and will always float back to the top.
Ms. Michele started art this year by teaching the children the colors on the color wheel. She pointed out the primary colors (red, blue, yellow). She then taught the children what monochromatic art was. We learned that it is art made with one color. First the children drew shapes with a black marker. Then they colored in the shapes with one color marker to make it monochromatic. For our next art lesson, the children glued down primary colored construction paper cut-outs to create a house. They then outlined the shapes with strips of black construction paper. In our third art lesson, Ms. Michele taught secondary colors on the color wheel. (orange, purple, green) Then the children drew an item he or she would see in a garden. Then they painted in their drawings with watercolors that they could mix to create secondary colors. For our fourth art lesson, Ms. Michele taught the complimentary colors on the color wheel (orange/blue, purple/yellow, red/green). The children practiced complimentary colors by picking a pair and using these to color in a complimentary monster!
In the coming weeks, I would encourage you to take a walk with your child and collect leaves. Ask your child what colors they see. Another fun learning activity at home would be to make a new apple recipe together as a family. Include your child in the preparation, measurements, etc.
Also, on a personal note, I would like to thank Ms. Kim for all her hard work she has put into helping to make our classroom such a wonderful environment,for being such a wonderful teacher, and for being such a wonderful friend to me. I know that her new students will be blessed to have her as their teacher!
Maria Montessori stated that, “ Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.”. I agree whole heartedly and strive everyday to teach much more than academics in our classroom. Real change in our world begins with our children!
I consider it a privilege to be a part of your child’s education. I look forward to what this school year has in store!