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Classroom Review

Front Class:

Our class has begun our study of Australia this month.  We enjoyed listening to didgeridoo music and learning about marsupials. The koala and kangaroo are particularly fascinating to our young learners. Students are learning to recognize the shape of the continent and its many different biomes. We even made Anzac biscuits, a special Australian cookie!

Everyone looked forward to Valentine’s day. Students got creative by decorating bags with red, white, and pink paint. Students experimented with printmaking, using cardboard tubes dipped in paint to make hearts. Stickers and collage materials were added as designed by each child.  On Valentine’s day students exchanged Valentines with their friends, passing them out with a little help from the teachers. Its always an exciting event, and this year was no exception!

Earlier in the month, we had some special visitors. Dressed like tooth fairies, guests from a local dentist office came to teach us about healthy habits for dental health.  We learned that fresh fruits and vegetables are good for our teeth and that we should limit sweets, sugary snacks, and sticky foods. Water is a great drink choice for tooth health. Students went home with their own, new toothbrushes along with the important reminder to brush two times a day.

Please don’t forget to sign up for conferences, the sign-up sheet is located just past the front door in the coatroom.  

If your child stays for lunch, we wanted to mention our lunch utensils.  Please try to remember the necessary utensils when packing your child’s lunch.  If you forget, we do have utensils they can borrow, but we want to make sure they don’t go home with your child.  We have painted the ends of our lunch utensils light blue, so if you see one come home with your child, please send it back to school. Thank you!

Back Class:

It’s finally sunny and beautiful outside! These 30+ days of rain didn’t come easy for us – we sometimes had to stay inside for the whole day, get socking wet while playing outside (still having a lot of fun) and constantly change our wet clothes. But we’ve survived the rain and are super excited to observe the signs of the upcoming spring! We’ve started the month of February with exploring land and water forms. We’ve memorized the shapes and names and had a plenty of practice with filling the forms up with water and observing how it distributes all around the land. We learned about the opposites and the differences between lake and island, gulf and peninsula, strait and isthmus, and bay and cape.

Also, this month we enjoyed decorating bags for Valentine day celebration and making special cards for the parents. We were excited to share Valentine cards and gifts with all the friends in the classroom.  As Valentine day is about acceptance, appreciation and love, we focused on the themes of friendship, love and kindness. We read stories and talked about what it means to be a good friend and what can we do to make a someone feel good.   

Last week we started an Ocean Unit. We’ve learned about names, locations and main characteristics of the five Oceans. Our Practical Life and Sensorial areas are now filled with new beautiful works showcasing shells, pearls, sand and fish. Be on the lookout for our Ocean art projects that will soon start coming home with your students. 

Last week we also had visitors from a local dentist clinic. Three dental assistants came to our classroom to talk about dental hygiene. They played games, demonstrated teeth cleaning techniques and explained which foods are good and bad for our teeth. 

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Classroom Review

Front Class:

Hello 2020 and welcome back to class!

We hope you had a lovely break and we would like to thank you for all the wonderful gifts we received! You are very generous and they were all appreciated, we hope all our Thank you cards made it back in return.

We are off to a great start. January is the time of year when the children come back refreshed from the break and eager to try new things or get right back into the swing of more involved works.

This month we will be talking about land and water forms with the children (lake, island, peninsula, gulf, cape, bay, isthmus, straight). After the introduction in the large group setting everyone will have a chance to experience these forms for themselves in the practical life area.

A new land, air, and water work were also added to the geography shelf amongst other new works throughout the classroom.

We hope to see many of you at Kindergarten night. The third-year is when it all comes to fruition and the children are excited to be leaders in their community (especially a middle or younger child can benefit greatly).

 Just a couple of housekeeping items in the end:

Our front door opens from 8:55 till 9:05 after that we are giving lessons to your children in the classroom. Pick up time to go home is from 11:25 till 11:35 after that we are helping students with their lunches in the classroom.

Please remember to bring a pair of indoor shoes for your child as we do fire drills once a month.  We file outside as quickly as possible, we cannot stop for outdoor shoes and it will be wet in socks.

Show and Tell is every Wednesday! We encourage parents to help the children come up with three interesting facts about their object.

We hope all of you made it safely through this year’s first snow, let’s hope this was all we are getting this winter.

 

Back Class:

We hope all of you had a wonderful start to the New Year! Time sure seems to fly by – we are so busy, we often feel that way. We never hear a child say “It is January already!?” Children seem to embrace the present. They live in the moment. This is why we work very hard in our classroom to allow each child to spend as much time as they want on any activity they choose, with as few distractions and interruptions as possible. It is our goal each day to prepare the classroom environment in a way that ensures this can happen. 

This month we learned about several people who in a peaceful way contributed to change and made our world a better place, people who are or were ‘Peacemakers’. We talked and read about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Maria Montessori, and others. We talk a lot about peace in our classroom, about helping others, responsibility, respect, honesty, equality, and just being a good human being. We introduced the Peace Rose, which is specifically for two children to use when they are arguing about something, or for one child to use when they are feeling a bit overwhelmed by their emotions and need to take a break. 

January was also, of course, all about snow. We had three snow days after all! The children enjoyed learning and talking about how snow is made. We started learning about landforms, about opposites, AND about the Lunar New Year. 

Kindergarten Information Night was rescheduled for Wednesday, January 29th. If your child will be a Kindergartner next year, please come with questions about this very important year. The Kindergarten year in a Montessori classroom gives the child an experience like no other. Not only do they get to be a leader and a mentor, but they also develop skills they have been practicing for a couple of years here. The Kindergartners continue to grow socially and emotionally while still in a safe and nurturing environment where they know everyone, staff included, and everyone knows and loves each child.

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Classroom Review

Front Building:

 

In the front class, December began with making a personal Christmas gift for parents, including card and wrap.  We went on to learn about many holiday traditions.  Mrs. Dykstra taught us about the story of St. Nikolaus, a German tradition, and brought nutcrackers and goodies to taste.  Mrs. Brunswick and Talia’s mom Karen taught us about Hanukkah and how to play the Dreidel game which has been lots of fun to do with friends. Mrs. Leach told the traditional story of Christmas and the baby Jesus.  To go along with the holiday spirit, the kids have really enjoyed singing carols, especially Rudolf and Jingle Bells, dancing the dreidel dance, and making ornaments for the tree. Our last day of school we had our book exchange and it was fun to be able to take home a new book to enjoy over the holidays. The kids seem very excited for time off with family and celebrating this festive time of year. We also hope you have time to relax!

 

Back Building:

 

Thank you all for bringing in the item your child chose for the feast. They all helped in preparing for the feast by cutting the vegetables and making the butter. We also baked pumpkin bread together. The children enjoyed a great thanksgiving feast. We are learning about different holidays in December, Mrs. Dykstra from the front class talked to us about St Nicholas. She explained how the Germanic countries celebrate St Nicholas and she brought in beautiful decorations they use during the holiday and shared with the children some yummy Lebkuchen a German cookie.  Mrs. Pozen at circle shared about Hanukkah. She brought in her beautiful menorah and lit it up for the children to see. They learned a dreidel song and enjoyed delicious latkes. We also talked about kwanza and the principals, Christmas and the story of baby Jesus. We learned about how Christmas is celebrated around the world. With the Christmas tree up the children enjoyed making different ornaments for the tree as class projects and were busy with making a gift for their parents. We have been singing holiday songs like jingle bells, Rudolph the red nose, 12days of Christmas and Frosty the snowman…They are also busy with their Montessori materials making maps and learning the parts of a tree.  Some are busy with numbers and some with sounds. Thank you for bringing a book for the book exchange.

We wish you all Happy Holidays and a happy new year.

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Classroom Review

 

Front Building:

Our class has had a great November so far.  We have had a couple different guests come in.  Ms. Govindaraj, from the back class, came in at the beginning of November and gave a wonderful presentation where she told us the story of Diwali and made beautiful sand art.  We also had Elliott’s dad come in and teach us about health and teeth, we each got to listen to our heart beats!

In class we are learning about the parts of a turkey and the parts of a pumpkin.  We have also begun a corn art project with Ms. Dykstra that will be coming home soon.  Another area of study we started was geography.  We started with learning the names of the continents. At circle we saw a demonstration of how the earth is a sphere and how it can be made into a flat map.

Ms. Dunnington has been telling us about the story of the pilgrims coming to America on the Mayflower and what early colonial life was like.  To prepare for our Thanksgiving feast, we peeled and cut apples for apple sauce with Ms. Dunnington and will be preparing lots more including pumpkin bread, corn, and turkey, as we get closer to our feast next Wednesday.  

The holiday season is coming up and with that come many holiday projects.  Your children will be plenty busy with these exciting projects.

Back Building:

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost here! It seems like only yesterday we carved pumpkins for Halloween! That was an amazing day at Creative Montessori! Most of the children came in wearing costumes. We had a little parade in the morning where children had a chance to show off their costumes and sing their favorite Halloween song “Witches’ Brew” all together. Our young students were excited to discover many unusual works on the Practical Life shelves, such as eye ball tweezing, spider sorting and finding brains and fingers in the witch’s brew. Also, our students were very enthusiastic about preparing a giant pumpkin for carving by pulling all the seeds out of it. 

At the beginning of November Ms. Govindaraj made a beautiful presentation about Diwali – the Hindu festival of light. She shared a story of this holiday, drew rangolis – beautiful, intricate patterns created with colored sand and flower petals. Our students marveled at different brightly colored saris she brought in for demonstration and even had a chance to learn how to put them on. 

For the past month we have been learning about pumpkins and exploring bats and their special characteristics. Many students enjoyed working on their own Parts of the Pumpkin, Leaf, and Bat books.  A couple of weeks ago we started to learn about continents. We looked at the Globe, named seven continents, and learned how and why the Earth looks flat on a map. This presentation sparked the interest of many children. Since then we’ve been busy memorizing names of the continents and drawing maps. 

Recently we have started talking and sharing stories about Thanksgiving. We discussed the importance of being grateful and having an attitude of gratitude. Students had a chance to decorate a Gratefulness Tree by writing what they are grateful for on its’ leaves. Also, we learned and read some stories about Native American culture. 

We wish all of our families happy and peaceful Thanksgiving!

The school will be closed on November 28th and 29th .

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Classroom Review

Front Class:

During October we are welcoming two new students, Elsie and Enzo, to the morning class.  Hello and Welcome!

In the beginning of the month Mrs. Brunswick shared her celebration of Rosh Hashana with us.  Thank you for letting us participate in the Jewish New Year!  This month we have looked closer at the parts of a leaf, rubbed different leaves and collected all colors of fall leaves on the playground and sang songs about leaves.  Next we took a closer look at the bat and the spider.  Even our big Halloween project is also a spider.  You might have gotten a glimpse of them hanging in the window right now.  Then they come home to decorate your homes.  Other artwork with a spider theme is also available during work time.  

A big Thank you goes out to Adele’s big sister Emilia, a CMS alum, who came to read to our students in the PM class.  An other Thank you to all the parents for signing up and making time in your busy days to come and talk to us about your children at conference time.  We learn so much from you that helps us on a daily basis to create a better learning environment for your children.  We are currently working on some fun songs for Halloween.  For a while we will color a large pumpkin in class before it gets a nice carving for the big day.  Children get to come in their costumes on the 31st.  As a school we will parade on the playground and enjoy a closer look at the many costumes.  In the classroom we will take individual costume pictures for a matching photo work that will bring lots of joy when we put it out in the new year.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Back Class:

After seven weeks of school we can say that we have our routines in place and have gotten to know all the rules that make a classroom run smoothly.  We have a great group of kids who care about one another and their classroom!

We hope that those of you who came to Curriculum Night left with a better understanding of what your child’s day is like.  It is our goal that each child feels secure, physically and emotionally.  We want each child to feel free to be who they are and explore whatever interests them.  

This month we embraced fall and will continue to do so next month.  We learned about leaves and why they change color in the fall.  We moved on to spiders and talked about the differences between spiders and insects, and we learned about the parts of a spider and the life cycle of a spider.  We stressed the message that spiders are our friends and that we treat all living creatures with kindness and respect.  We have started learning about bats ad will end the month with pumpkins and, of course, Halloween!  On the day of Halloween your child is welcome to come to school in a costume, if they wish.

It was great seeing many of you during conferences and hope you got all your questions answered.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us any time with any questions or concerns you might have!

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Classroom Review

Front Class

Our new school year has started with the opening of our remodeled building.  It is beautiful both inside and out!!  The kids are doing a good job of getting used to a new school routine.  The beginning of a school year always involves meeting new kids and teachers, understanding the rules of courtesy and kindness, remembering to put work away, push in chairs and to start being self aware and independent.

Circle time has been about learning each others names, singing, movement, and practicing sitting around the circle.  We have recently started our Wednesday Show & Tell, learning the Pledge of Allegiance, and doing the daily calendar.  Saturday, Sept. 21st, was International Peace Day for the Montessori Community so we’ve talked a lot about peace and celebrated on Monday, Sept 23rd by joining with the back class to form a circle outside of holding hands and singing a practiced song about peace.

As summer slowly fades away, we will learn about the fall season.  The children will have work and art projects that will emphasize this new season.

We are off to a grand start!  Your children are delightful and fun which will make for a wonderful year.

Back Class:

We​ ​had​ ​a​ ​great​ ​start​ ​this​ ​school​ ​year.​ ​Kids​ ​have​ ​been​ ​introduced​ ​to​ ​each​ ​other,​ ​and​ ​are​ ​busy meeting​ ​old​ ​friends​ ​and​ ​making​ ​new​ ​ones.​ ​We​ ​have​ ​talked​ ​about​ ​our​ ​classroom​ ​and​ ​circle​ ​time rules.​ ​It’s​ ​nice​ ​to​ ​see​ ​the​ ​returning and new children settling​ ​in,​ ​learning​ ​to​ ​take​ ​care​ ​of​ ​the​ ​classroom​ ​by​ ​rolling​ ​their mats​ ​and​ ​putting​ ​their​ ​materials​ ​away​ ​nicely,​ ​so​ ​they​ ​are​ ​ready​ ​for​ ​the​ ​next​ ​person.​ ​We’ve​ ​been singing​ ​“Buzz,​ ​Buzz,​ ​Bumblebee”​ ​to​ ​help​ ​us​ ​remember​ ​each​ ​other’s​ ​names.​ ​Namaste song to calm ourselves. Our grace​ ​and courtesy​ ​lessons​ ​are​ ​helping​ ​children​ ​to​ ​be​ ​kind​ ​and​ ​helpful​ ​to​ ​each​ ​other.
We​ ​have​ ​talked​ ​about​ ​fire​ ​drills​ ​and​ ​fire​ ​safety.​ ​We​ ​have​ ​also​ ​practiced​ ​our​ ​first​ ​fire​ ​drill​ ​for​ ​this school​ ​year.
We learned about plants and parts of the plant , children got to see a whole plant with its roots, stem, leaves and flowers and got to observe it up close. As​ ​​ ​a​ ​small​ ​unit,​ ​we​ ​have​ ​started​ ​learning​ ​about​ ​apples;​ ​talking​ ​about​ ​the​ ​parts​ ​of​ ​an​ ​apple, tasting​ ​apples,​ ​and​ ​learning​ ​different​ ​kind​s ​of​ ​apples.​ ​Soon​ ​we​ ​will​ ​be​ ​talking​ ​about​ ​fall​ ​and​ ​how our​ ​world​ ​changes​ ​during​ ​this​ ​season.​ ​We​ ​will​ ​also​ ​learn​ ​about​ ​pumpkins.
We​ ​are​ ​so​ ​pleased​ ​with​ ​the​ ​children’s​ ​progress​ ​so​ ​far,​ ​and​ ​we​ ​look​ ​forward​ ​to​ ​seeing​ ​everyone continue​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​this​ ​year!

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Classroom Review

FRONT BUILDING:

We began our month with the end of our dinosaur unit study. We discussed the possible theories about the reason for the dinosaur extinction (asteroids, many volcanic eruptions…or climate change?)

The children enjoyed a visit from a group of young adults where they were able to see a real robot that was built by students. We also had a visit from a very enjoyable, energetic librarian from the Kenmore library including singing, reading, and fingerplay.

Hopefully, spring break was enjoyed by all!

We have started putting together our top-secret Mother’s Day present.

Our Easter egg hunt is always an exciting time, and it is so heartwarming to see the children’s excitement in finding their eggs.

We continue to celebrate many, many, many birthday circles this month! The kiddos look so forward to this production.

Our tadpoles have arrived, and while it will be many, many weeks before they completely transform, it will be fascinating to see the changes!

Next, we will spend some time talking about Earth Day and will do a project to celebrate this concept. We will focus on taking care of our planet and our surroundings including how we can all recycle, reuse, upcycle, protect and reduce.

BACK BUILDING:

The children in the back class have been enjoying the dinosaur unit they learned about how the earth was formed the three periods of the dinosaur and learned in detail about different types of dinosaurs. 

They got to be a paleontologist by trying to dig out a dinosaur fossil, obsessed dino egg hatch. 

Then we saw how the dinosaur got extinct. 

In preparation for the egg hunt, the children made their egg baskets. They had fun hunting for their colorful egg. 

We have introduced two new tadpoles in our class.  We will be observing and learning the different phases of the frog for the next few weeks. 

In Science, we saw how to find out a raw egg from a boiled egg when they ate mixed. 

Then we learned the parts of an egg too. 

We are talking about earth day and how to recycle many things.

Soon we will start to plant flowers and vegetables in our garden. 

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Classroom Review

Front Building:

A big Thank You to all our parents who were patient and came in later in the month and after hours for their conferences! We appreciate your flexibility and enjoyed talking with you about your children’ s progress.

This month is still all about dinosaurs in the front class, and we managed to go through the three dinosaur periods: Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous while taking a closer look at at least two different species from each period.
We talked about what they ate and what we call meat-eating dinosaurs (carnivores) and plant-eating dinosaurs (herbivore) and when they ate both, they were called omnivores. There was not a single flowering plant around though.
The times when dinosaurs lived were much more tumultuous, too. Volcano eruptions and earthquakes and a large lake in the middle of what is now the continent of North America. The continents themselves shifted a great deal during the millions of years when these large lizards like creatures dominated planet earth, from one mega-continent called Pangea to two big continents called Laurasia and Gondwanaland to what we have now with seven continents.
Some reptiles were flying, and others remained in the oceans, so they were technically not dinosaurs, but they are still interesting to discover nonetheless. What makes a dinosaur different from a reptile is that the legs are coming out straight from under the pelvic bone and do not go out sideways.
Our classroom was full of busy paleontologists at work, we watched hatching dinosaurs and dug up some pretend fossils of our own. In math, the children measure different types, and in the language, they can make their own dinosaur facts book. There were several art projects related to the unit, and we will continue to put out more for the next few weeks till spring break. Then the extinction is near, and after our break, we will be off to new adventures

The children still get to go on the beautiful nature walks and even there they can discover relicts from the dino world. Ferns used to be the size of trees, not bushes and Holly as well as Ginko were favorite herbivore foods!
Thank you for making sure your children wear appropriate clothing on their outings as it can be muddy and a little colder in the forest.

This month our field trip is a visit from the local fire department.
What an exciting time for the children to see all the equipment and different compartments on a big fire engine as well as loose a little fear of a firefighter in full gear with helmet, a breathing mask and all. They seem much more prepared on what to do in the event of a fire (keep doors closed, stay low to the ground and do not hide from the firefighter when they come to rescue).
The morning class was able to witness a real call and saw how fast everything was packed up, and the crew was gone to help.

Another big Thank You goes out to our Mrs. Brunswick for coming to share her Purim tradition with our school and for making Hamantaschen with the children. The children rolled out the dough and cut it into circles, then filled the middle with jam and folded it into a triangle. That cookie shape represents the hat of the villain Haman in the Purim story. They tasted delicious!
She also read the story during circle time and told the children about creating baskets with goodies for friends and neighbors during the holiday.

Back Building:
It was beautiful to see many parents at our parent-teacher conferences in March. Thank you for taking the time to come and meet us! Our main curriculum unit for this year is “study of Dinosaurs,” which is very popular among kids. We started “study of Dinosaurs” with learning Big Bang Theory and how over millions of years animal life has evolved from fish to amphibians to first reptiles. Starting this week, we studied three periods of the dinosaurs: Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. We found several interesting facts of the Triassic period, like different plants, animals that lived during that time also learned that grasshoppers began their life in this Triassic period. We will continue exploring exciting facts about Dinosaurs that lived during those times. The classroom has many unique works and arts to support this unit.

We have also continued with our science experiments: we performed a demonstration on how supercontinent formed.
We also learned about Refraction and conducted an experiment on how light switched its direction when it moved through two different mediums.

On Fridays, in German Circle, we are learning about shapes and colors. Kids are showing lots of interest and are very interactive throughout the German Circle.

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Classroom Review

Front Building:

This months’ review begins with a wonderful visit from the Bellevue Museum.  Our kids learned about woodland animals and were able to feel animal pelts, scat, touch skulls, and discern the different footprints from various animals.  Although the school was not open on Valentine’s day because of the snow, we had a belated celebration and distributed Valentines to all our friends and enjoyed a special and yummy treat together.  

Our major curriculum unit this year is the study of Dinosaurs which will be very popular with the kids.  We started off by talking about the Big Bang Theory and how over millions of years animal life evolved from trilobites to small invertebrates and to fish and on to the first reptiles.  The three periods of the dinosaurs, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous, will be the foundation as we learn many interesting things about the dinosaurs that lived during these times.  The classroom will have many special works and art to support this unit.  We are all happy to get back into our school routines.  We’ve all missed each other!

Back Building:

What an interesting month of February we have had thus far!  In early February we were lucky to have a, visitor from Bellevue Museum come and teach us about bears, skunks, squirrels, deer, coyote and other animals who live in the Pacific Northwest.  They brought animal furs, tracks, bones, and answered the students’ many questions. 

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we prepared our Valentine bags and made an“I Love You” sign language Valentine’s Day card and then celebrated a week late due to all the snow.  Thanks to all the sign teachers who were able to come and shovel the driveway so we could resume classes safely!  

We have been continuing our science lessons on Tuesday afternoons.  Students learned about sound waves by doing an experiment that combined both music and science with a homemade glass bottle xylophone. We’ve also explored surface tension.

We are in our peace unit currently.  We have a meditation work out on the shelves that allows the children to set up a meditation area and sit while they feel their love.  We also introduced the love lights.  Love lights can be worn by a child who feels their love is shining brightly and it encourages the children recognize the feeling of love inside their bodies.

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Classroom Review

Front Class:
It was wonderful to welcome back all of the children in January from the winter break!  They all seemed to really miss each other and had a lot of events and stories from the break to share with one another. 
We spoke at circle time about our new season change ( welcoming in winter  ) … and changes we may see in the world around us.
In the practical life area, we introduced peanut grinding, and the children are loving this.
Land and water forms have been a recent topic: for example, lake vs. island, peninsula vs. gulf and so on …
The children are also enjoying our sink/float work.
We continue to introduce new scientific concepts, often on Tuesdays. 
Martin Luther King was discussed including his focus on working for fairness for all, and how kindness toward one another is essential.
We are continuing our weekly nature walks in our nearby park. 
Recently we talked about 10 landmarks around the world and some interesting facts about them.
Coming up, we will learn about the Chinese New Year holiday, and we will begin in February our extensive study of dinosaurs.
We will cover the big bang theory, ​Pangaea, the 3 dinosaur periods, and specifics about the dinosaurs….and more.
Some of the recent  songs we have enjoyed are ” On top of spaghetti, all covered in cheese…”, and “There was a chubby snowman.”
Thank you for sharing your children with us!

Back Class:
The children were joyful to meet after the two weeks break, and they shared their fun events about their break. 
The children all settled in quickly and smoothly. They were excited to see the class with a lot of new winter work. Even though there was no snow outside children got to make parts of a snowman book, a snowman project, and snowflakes. 
We moved into geography and talked about the sandpaper globe and colored globe. We showed the children how flat maps are formed and the difference between the Western Hemisphere and the Eastern Hemisphere. 
Then we talked about landforms, the difference between lake and island, gulf and peninsula, bay and cape, and strait and isthmus.
Soon we will be talking about the layers of the Earth then we will move onto our Peace unit. 
In science, we did a solubility test, and we also made Crystals.  The children were excited to see the crystals formed. 

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