The Month of November has been very busy in our classroom. We’ve learned about Families, Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for so far this year! Ms. Kim and I are especially thankful for the opportunity to teach all of your children! It’s amazing to watch them learn and grow!
During the first week of November, the children learned about Families. We learned about all the different members of our families, we discussed what we love about our families, and the children also enjoyed sharing their family tree projects as well! The children also enjoyed making their own placemats for our upcoming Thanksgiving Feast. We also made special Pilgrim hat centerpieces to decorate our tables for the Feast!
In week two, we learned about Turkeys. We learned about the parts of the Turkey, learned that the male Turkey “trots” or dances in order to attract female turkeys. We also learned that Turkeys can actually fly short distances. The children also enjoyed coloring Turkey themed centerpieces for our Thanksgiving Feast! I also demonstrated a parts of the Turkey three part card work, and we placed it on the shelf so the children had the opprotunity to work on it.
We learned about Pilgrims and their journey to America the following week. We discussed how the Pilgrims came to America on the Mayflower. We learned that once the Pilgrims came to America, they befriended the Native Americans, who showed the Pilgrims how to plant crops and how to hunt for food. The children also enjoyed making Native American headdresses and necklaces to wear to the feast. We also discussed what it means to be thankful and all we have to be thankful for in our lives.
Academic Enrichment with Mr. John (Kindergarten Students)
The kindergartners have learned how to tell time. We ended our section of telling time by learning how to tell time to the minute. We have done many worksheets, use flashcards, and used a toy clock with movable hands to help us learn to tell time. Then we delved into everyone’s favorite thing…money. We learned about coins; what they look like and how much they are worth. The kindergartners learned how to count coins when presented with multiple coins of different denominations. We went over bills including the ever elusive two dollar bill. We ended November with learning the parts of plants, flowers, leaves. And learned about the parts and characteristics of the mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird, and fish.
The kindergarten class can count to ten in 17 different languages… English, Spanish, Sign Language, German, French, Japanese, Greek, Arabic (with the Lebanese dialect), Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, and Polish.
Enrichments (Ms. Kim):
In music, the students got to practice their loud (forte) and soft (piano) voices to sing hello to Nemo the fish, Tina the turtle, and Allie the alligator! Then, we practiced playing egg shakers, listened to the triangle, and pretended to be on a “Christmas” train all at once. The children loved this song because they got to practice slow, medium, and fast speeds. We also sang some other Christmas favorites like “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls.” Ms. Lisa reviewed the whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes by having the children first identify the note and then clap the number of beats for each. In addition to teaching us her fun music lessons, Ms. Lisa helped us with our Christmas songs for the show. Thanks Ms. Lisa!
In science, our first experiment used play dough! Mr. John shaped half of the play dough into a bowl and the other half into a sphere. He asked the children which one would float and sink. We discovered that the sphere always sank and the bowl floated even though each contained the same amount of play dough. Mr. John explained that the bowl had more surface area which pushed the water away. In our next experiment we explored absorption with a diaper and paper towel. The children made hypotheses on which they thought would hold more water. We discovered that the diaper was able to absorb much more water than the paper towel after pouring water on each. The last experiment of the month involved skittles. Mr. John sorted skittles by color on a plate. He asked the children what they thought would happen when he poured water over the skittles. Many of the children said that the skittles would float. When the water was poured over the skittles, the dye off the candy started to run off. However, the colors did not mix! We learned that there is a wax on the candy that does not allow the water to mix the colors.
In Art Ms. Michele started with reviewing primary and secondary colors on the color wheel. Then she explained what complimentary colors were. (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/purple) Next the children did some drawing at the table with oil pastels. Ms. Michele had them draw lines on white paper with one color pastel. To finish the project, the students painted with the color compliment to the oil pastel they used to fill in the paper. To end the month, Ms. Michele did a leaf project. First the children drew a leaf on white paper with a pencil. Then they took a glue bottle and outlined the leaf drawn. (Ms. Michele told them “Just a line is fine.”) After the leaf was outlined in glue, the children took one color of yarn and placed it on top of the glue. To fill in the leaf, the children glued in warm (orange, yellow, red) and cool (purple, green, blue) color foam tiles to create a mosaic.
I would like to encourage you to include your upcoming holiday preparations. Include your child in the preparation of your holiday meal. Play “I Spy” when you are shopping at the grocery store. Discuss with your child what they learned about the Native Americans and the Pilgrims. Review with your child what it means to be thankful and ask them what they are thankful for in their life.
Also, I want to leave you with a quote by Maria Montessori. She stated that we should, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” I encourage you to let your child be as independent as possible. They will astound and amaze you with their capabilities!