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Classroom Review

Hemlock Class

In the Hemlock Room, It is such a pleasure to see children settling into their routine, more readily engaging in new works. We started off this month by learning about corn, parts of a corn and how corn grows. We talked about turkeys and Parts of a turkey. They are enjoying making a Parts of a Corn and Turkey books. Tweezing kernels off an ear of Indian corn has become the favorite.  They are even going to use the kernels to make their paper corn.

We discussed about why some animals are busy preparing a hibernaculum to take a long deep sleep called hibernation. They were excited to learn why they take a deep sleep.

The story about Early pilgrims, why did they move out of their country, their journey in the Mayflower, and their life in a new country. We also talked about what are we thankful for.

The children happily participated in preparing cornbread and learned to make butter to enjoy in class.  As a part of the Thanksgiving tradition we had a Happy Thanksgiving meal with the children and recited the child’s Thanksgiving poem, which they practiced for quite some time.

New works like metal polishing, rice grinding, cinnamon grinding have been shown.  Many new thanksgiving theme songs and poems have been introduced.

We have been practicing some brain gym exercises and different breathing exercise to calm ourselves down.

Buckeye Class

This November we had our first conferences of the year.  It was wonderful getting to speak with most parents in person about your children and get a feel for how the children are doing from the parent’s perspective.

At circle we are talking about the peace bottles.  Each colored bottle represents a different virtue of peace.

         Red – Truth

         Orange – Personal Best

         Yellow – Peace

         Green – Friendship

         Blue – Kind Words

         Purple – Joy

Each day we focused on a different virtue and throughout the school year, if a conflict arises, we can think back to our peace bottles and remember to honor the virtues. We also brought out the peace rose.  The peace rose is something we keep on the shelf and the children can take it out if they need to have a conversation with another child to resolve a conflict.  The children take turns talking as they pass the rose back and forth.

Another circle topic this month was thankfulness.  We asked the children about what they are thankful for in their lives and they later got the chance to write it on a small leaf and hang it on our “thankfulness tree”.

We will also be having a thanksgiving feast at the end of the month.  We read the book Stone Soup which is about a community of people adding things they like to a soup so they can all enjoy it. Each child gets the opportunity to bring in a vegetable of their choice to add to our own stone soup that we will cook and eat together.  We also made butter by putting heavy whipping cream in a jar and shaking it.

We are continuing the nature walks that we began last month.  Every child is able to go on a nature walk every other week.  It is exciting to see how the forest changes as the weather gets colder.

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Classroom Review

Classroom Review

Buckeye Class:

This month we’ve been embracing fall (although the weather on most days still felt like summer!) The children learned about seasons, what happens to the trees, why leaves change colors, and why they eventually fall off.

During circle time on Indigenous Peoples Day we discussed what this day means, and learned a little bit about the European explorers, the mapmakers, the spice traders and the Native Americans.

After this, we moved on to zoology and explaining the difference between vertebrates (animals with a backbone) and invertebrates (without a backbone). The children had the opportunity to sort a variety of animals into the respective categories. We learned about spiders (invertebrates!), their body parts, and looked at many different kinds of spiders. Your child might have brought home a “My Parts of a Spider Book”. We also stressed the message that spiders are our friends and that we treat all living creatures with kindness and respect. We have started learning about all things pumpkin, and several fun pumpkin activities have been brought in. Towards the end of the month Ms. Govindaraj from the Hemlock classroom will talk to us about the Hindu festival of Diwali, and we will end the month with bats, owls, Dias de los Muertos, and – of course – Halloween! On the day of Halloween your child is welcome to come to school in a costume, if they wish (no weapons or scary costumes, please).

Two circle time songs the children especially enjoyed this month are “Way up high in the apple tree (five red apples smile down at me)” and “Five little pumpkins (sitting on a gate)”:

 

Way up high in an apple tree

Way up high in an apple tree,

5 red apples smiled down at me.

I shook that tree as hard as I could,

Down came an apple! Mmm, mmm… it was good!

Way up high in that apple tree,

4 red apples smiled down at me.

   3 red apples…

      2 red apples…

         1 red apple…

Way up high in that apple tree,

No more apples smiled down at me.

I shook that tree as hard as I could,

Down came no apples! They’re gone for good!

Way up high in that apple tree,

No more apples left for me.

_________________________________________

Five little pumpkins 

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate

 The first one said, “Oh, my it’s getting late”

 The second one said, “There are witches in the air”

 The third one said, “But we don’t care”

 The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run”

 The fifth one said, “We’re ready for some fun”

 Then “Ooh” went the wind and out went the lights

 And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight

Hello Hemlock families,

           Welcome to the October month news edition. We enjoyed every bit of the extended summer. Like the outside weather, our classroom is packed with laughter. Children come around with classroom routines and getting to know each other. We, teachers get to know the new children. It is great to see the older children help the younger ones with the classroom rules and work. We could see Dr. Maria Montessori’s envision of the mixed age group being fulfilled.

We started this month with apples which are our state fruit and went on with spiders and pumpkins which can be seen in every other grocery store. We learned the parts of an apple and pumpkin by dissecting them. We learned the life cycle of them too. We talked about the different types of apples and enjoyed the mindful eating of apple slices. We learned about the oxidation of apples and why apples float in the water by experiments. We enjoyed carving the pumpkin and made a Jack-O-Lantern. Children were excited to nail the pumpkin. Children learned about the life cycle and parts of a spider. They were thrilled to see the exoskeleton of a big spider.

They also watched the growth of the spider by an experiment. To our surprise, there was a huge spider web in our back window with a spider in the middle. Children searched every place in the playground for a spider web. They made parts of a pumpkin, spider and apple books. We talked about gourds as they share a common family with pumpkins and Day of the dead and how Halloween started.

Way up in the apple tree, itsy bitsy spider, 5 little pumpkins and witches brew were hit songs among them. We look forward to seeing the children dressed up in their Halloween costumes. We had a chance to explore our rainy-day playthings because of the bad air quality. Ms. Govindaraj enlightened us about Diwali, a celebration from India and one that she celebrates each year.

 We can’t wait to see you all in the conferences on November 3rd and 4th morning and November 18th for PM children. We are closed on November 11th Friday for Veterans Day and November 24th and 25th for Thanksgiving.

“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of the society.”

————–Dr. Maria Montessori.

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Classroom Review

Hemlock Building

Welcome back returning students and a big welcome to the Hemlock class for our new students!

It has been a good start into our new school year. Mrs. Fidelis, Mrs. Govindaraj and Mrs. Dykstra are looking forward to a great year with your children.

All beginnings are not the same and as it takes some students longer to get accustomed to a new routine, it is easier on others. The nice thing is, we have a lovely community where some older students take the younger ones under their wings and everyone is most understanding with the sad faces. We all had to learn. It will get better!

We have a nice group of children, who are kind and helpful with one another:-)

In the first few weeks we take the time to explain the ways around a Montessori classroom and make sure the children understand why we push in a chair and return work to the shelf; why a mat on the floor is a workspace to be respected and that works are for individual children and we take turns doing them. At snack/lunch time children take out their own food and clean up after themselves. We are there to provide support but the goal is to support your children in helping themselves.

If you like, you can continue this at home as well and let your child/ren do as much for themselves as possible and help you, too. Folding washclothes, sorting socks, setting utensils on the table for dinner, watering plants (outside first:-), counting apples at the store when putting them in a bag etc. are all great ways to incorporate your children in meaningful activities.

We tried to catch water bottles as they came to school and mark as many as possible to prevent a mix up. The same issue will arise as it gets colder and jackets come to school and so many other personal items (hats, scarfs, gloves etc.). Please help us and remember to mark all of your child’s belongings! If you do not want to write on an item, use a piece of masking tape which can be removed.

If you have general questions please feel free to ask during our Curriculum Night on the 22nd of September. Individual conversations will have a time and place during school conferences in early November where you have all of your child’s teachers undivided attention. We are looking forward to telling you all about your child’s discoveries by then. (Sign ups for conferences are available by late October).

Thank you for trusting us with your children, it is a pleasure to work with them and to get to know each individual child!

Buckeye Building 

Here’s to welcoming 15 returning families and 9 new!  We are so thankful to be lucky enough to spend this time with some of the youngest members of your family.

We launched off with our five classroom rules.

  1. Be kind to everyone
  2. Touch only your own work
  3. Work quietly, use walking feet inside and inside voices
  4. Use the materials gently
  5. Put your work away ready for the next person

We have been learning ways we can take care of our environment, lots of lessons on grace and courtesy, how to carry a tray, walking around our mats, rolling up our mat, and how to wash hands and blow our noses.  These skills will make your child feel successful and kind in their classroom community.

International Day of Peace was on September 21 where we learned the song “Light a candle for Peace” and joined our friends from the Hemlock class to sing all together.  We will be teaching the peace virtues in a couple of weeks.  We are now learning about our world.  We introduced our sandpaper globe showing land and water.  The colored globe identifies continents.  At circle we showed how to take a sphere and make it flat like a map.  The children really enjoy singing “I am a pizza.”  In the next couple of weeks, we will be teaching all about Fall.

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Classroom Review

Classroom Review

Hemlock Building

The Hemlock building has spent much of the month of April planting and growing things.  We started with making the Seed Eggs made of paper scraps and native flower seeds.  Each child brought home an egg to plant in their own gardens.  After Spring break, we planted our own vegetables and flowers in raised planters located in the playground area.  The kids took turns amending the soil, planting the beginning plants and now the kids will be sure they are watered.  Soon we will sample and harvest some of our vegetables like carrots, beans and snap peas.   We also learned about the parts of a bean and each child planted their own bean to water and wait for a sprout to grow.

      In thinking about Easter, we learned the parts of a flower and the parts of an egg.  We had a science experiment where we put an egg with its shell in a glass of vinegar for 2 days to see what happened. It was fun to see an egg with no shell left that we could call the ” naked egg.”

       Earth day was the 22nd. We talked about how we can conserve water and be kind to the earth.   Mrs. Govindaraj littered the school grounds with papers, cans, cartons, etc. and the kids collected them and decided if it should go in the recycle, garbage, or compost bins.  This was a lot of fun for the kids.

        We will spend the last week of April learning some basic yoga and beginning French for colors and numbers.

Buckeye Room

It has been wonderful meeting all the new children and being in our new classroom.  Work time has been very busy with presenting lessons to our new students while the returning students are forming new friendships.  We have many advanced materials being used by our older students and lots of practical life works being done by our younger ones.

Ms. Ekstrom helped the children make seed eggs for our Easter egg hunt.  They took paper blended it in water then added wild flower seeds.  Hopefully they all went home and planted in the garden.

Before Spring Break we were able to get outside in our garden prepping the soil for the seeds that the children planted.  At circle we have been learning the life cycle of a plant, the layers of earth and how we can take care of our earth.    The children enjoy singing “Each of us is a flower”, “The Sun shines on everyone” and “Wheels on the Bus.”  We have been enjoying the warmer days outside and can’t wait till we can eat outside.

Thank you all who came in for conferences.  It is so nice to be able to share with you what your child is doing at school.

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Classroom Review

A warm welcome to the March edition. Spring is the season of new life. As spring started on March 20, our new building came to life on March 17th. In the past six and half months, we as teachers and children learned a lot. We learned to collaborate, cooperate and be kind to each other, especially to be patient. Thanks to Mrs. Leach who was patient and valiant enough to lead us through this tough predicament. Thanks to all the families, who were patient with us. It is sad for the teachers to from the children, but they are in the new building with a new adventure. Seeing them every day during afternoon recess is a great comfort. We wish them all the very best.

We begin March with Oceans as our unit study. We learned 2/3 of our earth is covered by water and each waterfront got its own name. We dived deep into oceans to find out its layers, animals who live in each layer, and how much sunlight each layer gets. We learned the adaptation methods the animals have in Ocean.

From Ocean, we took a big diversion towards Deserts. We learned the locations of Deserts on Earth, how they were formed, and temperature. We marveled at how animals and plants protect themselves from excess heat and manage to live with less water and adapt to their environments. We visited the burrows the animals dug and the Oasis where the palm trees grow. We wondered how much water a Camel can drink at a single time and where the water is stored in its body. We learned how people, who live in the desert protect themselves and turned some desert areas into amazing cities, an example is Las Vegas.

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and learned how it came into existence. On March 18th and 21st we welcomed in our new children.  They waited a long time with their parents for the building to be complete.  A huge thanks to them. As warmer days are about to start, please send water bottles with names and raincoats for rainy days.

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”                                  ———–Dr. Maria Montessori

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Classroom Review

Our major curriculum unit on biomes of North America is in full swing! Throughout the month of February, the children learned about the animals, plants, climate, and many other interesting facts of four biomes – the temperate forests, grasslands, wetlands, and mountains. The children had the opportunity to make booklets with the different animals, and the teachers brought parts of some of the soil and vegetation of the biomes into the classroom. This gave the children the chance to have a hands-on experience. Of course, our weekly nature walks are the best way to experience one of the biomes (the temperate forest) right outside our door.

February was also all about celebrating: Chinese and Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day and Carnaval (Mardi Gras). The children learned about the meaning of these celebrations and were able to fine-tune their art skills by creating different arts and crafts. Valentine’s Day is always a highlight for the children, and they enjoyed decorating their own Valentine bag to hold the cards that their fellow students brought to give out. Distributing cards into the bags of each child is something the kids always look forward to.

February 17th was Kindergarten information night. The Kindergarten year in the Montessori classroom gives the child an experience like no other. Not only do they get to be a leader and mentor, it is also the year the skills they have been practicing and developing for a couple of years really come to fruition. The Kindergarten year gives the child the chance to further grow socially, emotionally, and academically, while still in a familiar, safe, and nurturing environment where they feel comfortable and all staff knows and loves each child.

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Classroom Review

January Classroom Review

 

We hope all of you had a wonderful start to the New Year! We welcomed the children back after winter break (a day later as planned, due to the snow day) by talking about their break and snow, we reviewed some guidelines and celebrated a few birthdays. We also talked about recycling and how this is an easy way for all of us to help out the environment. This topic includes a new “work” for the children to practice sorting a stack of cards with pictures of trash items and putting each item in the appropriate small container – garbage, recycle, or compost. Several other new materials and activities were introduced, such as table washing and a variety of winter art projects. The children also enjoyed a musical circle on rhythm with the use of tapping sticks.

We talked about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., MLK Day, and the importance of this day. We will continue to focus on this subject matter during February, Black History Month, but throughout the entire school year we incorporate discussions about diversity, equality, acceptance, inclusion, respect, tolerance, and every day we aim to practice behavior in our classroom that represents these values.

We immediately dove into lots of new learning at the beginning of 2022 – the children learned about opposites, as an introduction to land and water forms. The landforms they learned about are island, peninsula, cape, and isthmus and their opposite water forms lake, gulf, bay, and strait.

The third week we started our unit on Biomes. The children will learn that a biome is a community of plants and animals inhabiting a large geographical area having a particular climate and soil. In order to make this material general enough for young children, the Montessori curriculum categorizes 8 biomes in the world: deserts, grasslands, mountains, oceans, polar regions, temperate forest, tropical forest, and wetlands. To further keep this extensive topic age-appropriate, we will focus on the biomes of North America. This unit will continue throughout February and will be wrapped up in March, just in time for us to get excited about spring!

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Classroom Review

 

We’ve nearly come to the end of our third month and the children seem to be enjoying their friendships and have become so respectful of others, as well as their classroom materials. We, teachers, feel lucky to have a front-row seat in watching this unfold!

This month began with a little spider education. We talked about the parts of, types of, and the life cycle of a spider. We found out what they eat, how they eat, and where and how they build their webs. During circle time we learned about the 3 states of matter and their qualities (solid, liquid, and gas) with physical examples. I think they thought it was funny watching water be poured from a cup to a plate to show that a liquid takes on the shape of the new container.

The Thanksgiving holiday brought on talk about Pilgrims and why they immigrated, their journey and life aboard the Mayflower, and how they adjusted to a new world. This included the importance of their first harvest and their encounters with the Wampanoag Native Americans.

The idea of being thankful was a focus. We’ve been practicing a poem that will be recited while we enjoy our Thanksgiving-style feast. We made our butter also! Ask your child to recite the poem “A Child’s Thanksgiving”.

The children began leading the show and tell circle. This is a much-awaited event. It is a big deal! We also celebrated many birthdays this month.

A special thanks to Isabella’s mom for coming in to share one of her family’s annual traditions. She shared information about the Day of the Dead and how it is celebrated with candles, food, and honoring friends and family that have passed, just to name a few.

Thank you also to Ms. Govindaraj for sharing her Diwali (Deepawalli) tradition with the class, including a story, Diya, rangoli, clothing, and more.

If you have a talent, a skill, a tradition, or even some fun and interesting information you would like to share during a short circle, please let us know.

It has been fun getting to know your children and their personalities and learning styles!

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Classroom Review

October is the autumn month, surrounded by colorful leaves and pumpkins. As the outside gets cooler, our classroom is packed with warmth joy and laughter and kids are settling down with their routines. We are happy and grateful to be part of their learning process. The conferences went very well and we were delighted to talk about your child. Thanks to you all who made the effort to share about your little ones.
Apples and pumpkins have been our focus at circle times. We started our month with apples, our state fruit, and learned the parts of the apple by doing a cross-section of it and also, we got to know the varieties of apples grown in our state. Children enjoyed the apple tasting of different types and voted for the best ones. We learned the life cycle of a pumpkin and parts of a pumpkin by dissecting it. Children made a model of an apple and pumpkin for art projects. We had two fun projects of an erupting apple (Apple volcano experiment) and if the apple sinks or floats.
We learned that our planet Earth is in space, and we studied the model of the Earth and how it is covered with water and land, called oceans and continents. The children were shown how our globe is split into two hemispheres by making playdough hemispheres at circle time. Children were thrilled to know that 71% of our Earth is surrounded by water, called oceans, and learned the names of them.
Next week will be fully dedicated to Bats and Halloween. Children will have a parade in their costumes, and Halloween activities on October 29th.

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Classroom Review

We are all so happy to welcome the kids of Creative Montessori back to school as we begin Fall 2021.  Returning and new kids alike are settling into new routines, learning about the classroom, establishing good rapport with teachers and making new friends.

The first weeks are always about grace and courtesy and getting to know each other.  Kids begin to know that they need to be kind to everyone, put their work away cleaned up for the next person, only walk inside and speak quietly, and touch only their own work.  We talked about how to stay safe on the playground, use the book corner, bathroom rules, and how to get help from a teacher.  The kids were also shown how to carry and push in a chair, carry a tray, and roll up a mat.

September 21st was International Peach Day.  In preparation, the kids learned the song “Light A Candle For Peace.”  It was a perfect opportunity to discuss what is peace, how we can be peaceful, the virtues of joy, kindness, friendship and love.  On the 21st, we made a circle together around a candle and sang our practiced song as many Montessori classrooms did around the world.

The last part of September will be spent welcoming in Fall and understanding the changes that will be occurring, especially the color changes in the leaves.  New art projects and songs will support this new season.  Our nature walks to St. Edwards Park have begun and we will see Fall start to arrive first hand.  Several children have already had birthdays celebrated at school and every day includes some singing or a story and of course, laughter!

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