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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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Classroom Review

Front Building:
November felt very settled as the kids were wonderfully engaged in lots of work and making friends.  Teachers have had several months now to know and appreciate each child and what they bring to our classroom.  We’ve been studying the life cycle and parts of a pumpkin, Mrs. Sudha has taught us about the Diwali festival and the kids have been making Thanksgiving artwork and cards.  We are learning about the Thanksgiving story and celebrated with a feast of vegetable soup that the kids helped make complete with handmade butter on bread and pumpkin pie.

Back Building:
We are now past Halloween and entering into the holidays.  We are getting those warm coats on and rolling into Thanksgiving.  The kids are making a fun Thanksgiving project with lots of colors and a cute little turkey on it or course.  They can’t wait to take it home and show it to their families.  We are currently discussing Thanksgiving and what it’s all about with some great books at circle time.  We recently read a book to the children called Stone Soup, which teaches happiness through sharing. In the book a soup is made by a village that’s been through famine and war and three strangers come along and they make a soup for everyone.  The entire village comes together and contributes to the making of the soup.  The children are going to be doing the same thing and bringing in their own veggies to add to a soup that will be made for the Thanksgiving feast!   The kids are so excited about bringing their own vegetables.  The children are learning a lot each day.  They are making friends and having lots of fun.

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Classroom Review

Front Building

After nearly two months, the children have done an excellent job adjusting to the classroom routines and discovering their role and their independence. This “settling in” has allowed us to introduce many more of the traditional Montessori materials. The new Fall season is a focus including why leaves change color in the Fall. We have tied this in with singing fall songs at circle time. At circle time we have been reciting the pledge of allegiance daily and introduced a job board where the children are selected to do jobs like the calendar, straightening the book corner, and leading the pledge of allegiance. They are very excited about these tasks and jump up ready to participate! On Tuesdays, we usually focus on science and Fridays the focus is French. We have spent some time talking about our peace curriculum and the virtues that go with peace. Some other subjects include: introducing continents, apple parts, life cycle, and tasting. Also parts of a spider.
We are looking forward to our Halloween celebration with costumes and stone soup. We will also care and dissect a pumpkin.

Back Building

At the back class children have settled in nicely. We have been talking about fall, fall weather, why leaves change colors and all about apples. They learned parts of an apple, different types of apples and they got to taste fresh apples, apple smoothie, and apple cider.
Then we moved on to spiders. Parts of a spider and we talked about different kinds of spiders and their webs. We had fun projects making spiders and spider webs.
Now it is all about bats why they are mammals and how they move at night and hunt their food.
On Tuesdays afternoon circle we do a science experiment and we been seeing why apples turn brown and how we can avoid that.
Did an experiment to show how air ( oxygen ) is used for burning.
Solubility and how in hot water sugar dissolves faster than cold water.
We had a fun way to learn echolocation by trying to catch a bounced back ball when the child was blindfolded.
Soon we will be learning all about pumpkins. Their life cycle and parts of a pumpkin. It is a fun time of the year when we start singing some Halloween songs and making Halloween projects.
The children enjoy leading the show and tell circle. They do love yoga too.
We also practiced Fire and earthquake drills.

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Classroom Review

Front Building:

We!come everyone!  Welcome back returning families and a warm welcome to our new families in the front class!

The first few weeks are usually our time to get to know one another and familiarize ourselves with classroom routines and children’s schedules.

This takes time and luckily we have a wonderful group of returning students who help ease the new ones into our room. Lots of “necklaces” (symbols to wear during work time that are color coded from our peace arch) have been given out already J

We have worked hard for the last weeks on: sitting criss cross in circle, raising our hand when talking, listening skills as well as how to roll up a mat (work space for one or two children on the carpet), returning work to the right spot on the shelf after using it and pushing in our chairs. All these details that help make a classroom full of eager learners function. Once the ground rules are established, we can dive into more individual lessons with the children. We are fortunate to have three adults in the class. This year we welcome Mrs. Brunswick to help us on the practical life side of the room. Some children still need assistance in the bathroom and a lot require help when putting on shoes and coats. If you would like to practice taking off outside and putting on inside shoes and vice versa, please do! The coat trick is neat to learn how to put on ones own jacket. If you like, we can give you a lesson, so you can help your child to be more independent, too.

During circle we introduced our classroom rules, our jobs board (calendar/weather, flag and book corner helpers), several well known and liked children’s songs and our “Sing peace around the world” song (check it out on YouTube) which we will sing alongside thousands of Montessori Schools in the country and world wide on Friday the 21stfor world peace day. Books are always a part of our good bye circle right before release time, too.

We are off to a good start and hope to see you all for curriculum night on October 10th!

See you there, your front room teachers.

Back Building:

We had a very smooth first few weeks of school! Joining our class this year, we welcomed 8 new children in the class this year. This can be an exciting time for our “returning” children who enjoy taking on a leadership role in introducing the classroom and how things work. During our circles, we have spent our time on our classroom rules, calendar, reading books and singing songs. We have talked about fire drills and fire safety. We have also practiced our first fire drill for this school year. As a small unit, we have started learning about apples, talking about the parts of an apple, tasting apples, and learning different kind of apples.

In recognition of World Peace Day, we have been practicing our peace song (“Light a Candle for Peace”). We gathered with the whole school for a candlelit celebration to sing our song together on the 21st in unison with other schools around the world.

New materials are introduced daily and many lessons are being given on our Montessori materials. We are so looking forward to what the rest of the year brings!

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Classroom Review

FRONT CLASS REVIEW

Well… following the raising and releasing of the ladybugs, and Earth Day education…we are fully immersed in “everything spring” and launching into summer.

Each child has taken at least one nature walk to St Edward’s Park and enjoyed adventuring through the many trails off the beaten path. We have identified some types of plants, listened for new sounds, and experienced touching and smelling some of the plant life in the park.

At circle time, we have talked about insects, worms, slugs, and snails. We observed live worms to see if they preferred dark or light, moist or dry, cheese or potato peels.

We spoke of summer safety including wearing helmets, boat and water safety, talking with strangers, crossing the street, and wearing sunscreen and (possibly) bug spray

Science and botany have been popular subjects. We enjoyed watching propagation happen in our room. (We grew plants from root cuttings!) We have also been identifying flowers. We

currently have some zinnias with colored water…the children have been amazed at the changes happening to the flowers each day! Perhaps the most exciting activity has been the planting of our garden! We have prepared the soil, weeded, planted seeds, planted starts, and watered endlessly. We have tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, radishes, strawberries, and marigolds.

Upcoming, many summer birthdays will be celebrated in the classic Montessori way this month and next. A fire truck will also be visiting at the end of this month! We are looking forward to our annual class party, field day, our St. Edwards Park field trip on the 30t​ h​ and 31s​ t​ (weather pending), and our end-of-year picnic!

At this year’s end, we are so proud of your children’s growth and accomplishments! Thank you for sharing them with us.

BACK CLASS REVIEW
This month, we’ve been putting a focus on nature! We’ve learned about the parts of a flower,

examined different types of flowers, and studied earthworms and their role in nature. Our praying mantis eggs hatched, and the children enjoyed watching hundreds of the insects in their bottle “habitat.” We’ve planted a vegetable garden, and the children are taking turns caring for the plants. The children have also been enjoying our nature walks on the paths of St. Edward State Park.

We have also started a peace unit, where the children are learning to find their “inner peace,” calming themselves down, practicing respect for others, and respecting the classroom materials and rules. The children have been enjoying our yoga exercises, which also can help us feel more peaceful!

During science this month, the kids enjoyed watching a dancing jelly bean, floating eggs in salt water, and making invisible ink.

At the end of this month, we will be going on our “big” class walk to the playground at St. Edward State Park, which the children are looking forward to.

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Classroom Review

FRONT CLASS REVIEW
Finally spring is here! We are very excited to move into flower and insect themes for the remainder of April and May. 

Our body unit ended with class conversations on how to keep our bodies healthy and safe. The children learned about fitness, drinking plenty of water, getting good sleep, and healthy eating. We also talked about peaceful and mindful living and did some yoga. We hope this was helpful going into the break! 

It was great to come back to the classroom and see how excited the children were to be back together! Everyone was recharged for more classroom work. For the first few days after break, we prepared for our new classroom pets: ladybugs. They have finally arrived, and now it is up to us to keep them healthy and growing. We learned about their life cycle, food needs, and habitats, and will continue to watch them change over the next few weeks. 

Meanwhile, our Earth Day project has been underway. Ms. Kenzie spearheaded our planting art project in the true spirit of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Our “caterpillars” can be planted in the ground as is, and will sprout beautiful nasturtiums, which are edible and can be added to salads for a nice point of interest! 

We have also begun our nature walks. We are learning a new “earworm” (song) for the walk, so stay tuned. It is all in the spirit of understanding the wonderful world around us. Please dress your children appropriately on their nature walk day so they are ready for a walk in the forest. Thank you parents! 

BACK CLASS REVIEW
This month, the kids have been having fun with our nature theme! They have planted flowers, observed ladybugs, and taken part in nature walks. Early in April, the children began learning about Earth day. In celebration of the holiday, they used their “green thumbs” to decorate little caterpillar planters and plant beautiful nasturtiums to take home and watch grow! 

After spring break, the children started learning about different kinds of insects, including ladybugs, which we were able to experience firsthand in the classroom. Near the end of the month, the children were able to release the ladybugs and watch them take flight. For the next month, we will have a praying mantis in the classroom for the children to observe! We also have had many ladybug-themed works and activities, which they have been enjoying. 

Another adventure for our classroom began this month with nature walks to St. Edward State Park, where the children have been exploring nature with all their senses. Groups of ten children will continue to take part in nature walks with Molly Leach and another chaperone. 

We have also done some fun nature-themed science experiments this month! The children are observing white tulips that have been placed in colored water. We will see the tulips absorb the water along with the food coloring! We will also be observing an onion and a piece of lettuce to see if a small piece of a vegetable can sprout. 

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