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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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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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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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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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Buckeye Class:

This month was all about bugs, flowers, and gardening. Our April showers brought us beautiful May flowers all around our school. In the beginning of the month, we finished up learning about butterflies, and moved on to other insects, their importance to us and the environment, and their role in the plant world. We still have our caterpillars in our classroom and it has been a wonderful learning opportunity to witness their metamorphosis. Each morning the children come in curious to see if a butterfly has hatched. The excitement was high when this finally started happening!

The children learned some interesting facts about ladybugs and many created ladybug life-cycles made out of painted paper plates. They learned about the parts of an ant and how ants work together in a colony. Your child might be able to sing about the parts of an ant/insect to the tune of “head, shoulders, knees, and toes”. It goes ¨Head (Point to head.) Thorax (Point to chest.) Abdomen – abdomen! (Point to stomach.) Head, thorax, abdomen – abdomen! And eyes (Point to eyes.) And mouth (Point to mouth.) And antennae, two (Stick 2 fingers up.) Six legs (Wiggle 3 fingers on each hand.) And there’s an insect for you!”

Besides insects the children learned about the life-cycle of a bean and they planted their own bean seeds to take home. We looked in-depth at flowers before we dove into the amazing world of bees. Bees communicate with one another through a “waggle dance”, and the children enjoyed dancing their own waggle dance with “freeze movements”. Highlight of our learning about bees was probably the “Cheeto Pollen Experiment”. During circle time children were given a paper flower and bee. The child’s fingers became the bee’s legs and each child was given a Cheeto to place in the middle of their flower. Their bees would fly to another child’s flower where the legs would touch the pollen (Cheeto), and from there to another flower. The pollen stuck to the bee’s legs (the child’s fingers) and would leave a residue on the paper flowers. This fun experiment showed the children how bees are pollinators and move pollen between flowers. Of course, it was nearly impossible to prevent the children from eating a Cheeto and at the end they were each given one fresh Cheeto to eat (if they chose to).

It has been wonderful to see the children so engaged in our spring units. They clearly enjoy learning about nature and our natural world, and they love helping out in our vegetable garden! We continued the message that was emphasized in April, especially around Earth Day, that we need to take care of nature and should be kind to all creatures that we share our planet with.

“When Children come in contact with Nature, they reveal their Strength” ~Maria Montessori

 

Hemlock Building:

A warm welcome to all of you. We cannot believe that we’re nearing the end of the school year.  April showers bring May flowers as we can see flowers everywhere. Each one of the children has bloomed like a flower in our classroom. We teachers enjoy their beauty and fragrance.

May month has been dedicated to butterflies, seeds, flowers, and pollination. Children learned the parts of the butterfly, a seed, and flowers, and enjoyed making books. They could see the interconnection between them. Children watched the life cycle of a butterfly.  We had live caterpillars, which were kept in our classroom. Children could see the progression of a caterpillar to a butterfly with their own eyes. They were happy to plant seeds in our garden, water them and enjoy eating the lettuce leaves.

Children also learned safety methods for summer activities.  They learned both land and water safety protocols. Science experiments were a major hit, such as why things look different inside the water, why apples float, where is the equilibrium in boiled and raw egg, why the straight stick takes little bend inside the water. Children enjoyed doing yoga poses. Bread cutting, and peanut crushing food works are major hits as usual. They calm their bodies by doing Zen Garden work.  We look forward to our class picnic at St. Edward Park.

We enjoyed singing “Each of us a flower, and Ladybug” songs. We celebrated Cat (6 years), Kerris (5 years), and Billy (5 years) birthdays. Happy birthday to them.

 

“The greatest gift we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of freedom. And development is a series of rebirths.”                                                                                    ——Dr. Maria Montessori.

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Buckeye Building:

We hope everyone enjoyed their spring break.  With this beautiful spring weather, we will begin to eat lunches outdoors as well as have a space for the children to work outside.

This month we started off by learning about the parts of an egg. Later we decorated egg baskets.  We also had an exciting egg hunt and each child got to search for an egg with their name on it.  An art project we did was making chicks in eggs with cotton balls and egg cartons.

We have been singing lots of new songs at circle.

An art project we are doing for Earth day is gluing blue and green scrap paper on to paper printed with our Earth.

A new job in our classroom is the peace keeper.  The peace keeper is in charge of keeping the peace for one day.  They help other children who are having a difficult time being peaceful.  A conversation is had between the two children who need peace and this is facilitated by the peace keeper.  The children take turns talking by holding the peace rose.

We also learned about plants and their parts and will soon be planting a garden of our own!

 

Hemlock Building:

The Hemlock class began the April month with more information about our beautiful state of Washington.  We talked about the beginning of flight, the Wright brothers and today’s Boeing company and learned the names of different planes.  We went on to talk about the 1962 World’s Fair and the Space Needle.

Spring  Break gave us a wonderful chance to enjoy sunny weather and time with our families. During that time, the container gardens on our back porch were made ready for vegetable planting.  Kids  helped Mrs. Leach plant vegetables  and we hope to be able to harvest some yummy vegetables to sample before the end of school. At one of our circles, we learned more about the parts of a carrot and sampled different colored carrots to see if they tasted different.

Earth Day was April 22nd and all that week we spent time learning more about recycling and its importance, how to keep our earth beautiful and not litter, and ways to save water when hand washing or brushing teeth.  We learned about  birds, showed bird nests, talked about migration and bird habits.  The kids each made their own bird and we are enjoying them “flying” around our classroom.

At the end of the month we will learn about seeds and have more science.  The outside patio area is set up with tables and a carpet  so that kids can take their chosen work  during work time outside if they wish.

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