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Classroom Review

Hemlock Building:

Welcome to our March newsletter. We can’t believe that 3 months are gone this year. Happy news to share with you all. All teachers are vaccinated. It’s unbelievable that a year has gone by since this pandemic started. We are very thankful to all of you for your great support during this pandemic time. The children’s cooperation in this predicament is beyond measure. Sure, they have all benefited by coming in person. It’s great to meet all parents and converse with them about their loved ones. Thanks for your efforts to be on time and made the conference a great success. If you have any concerns, you are always welcome to reach us through email or phone.

The month of March is dedicated to Washington state. Our state is offering many things to learn. We covered the topics of the Columbia River and its geological effects. The Grand Coulee dam, visited Mt. Rainier and its national park to get to know the peak and live around it. We revisited the history of the Mt. St. Helens eruption and kids enjoyed the volcano experiment. We saw the stages in Salmon life and its journey to the Ocean and back to its birthplace. Children are thrilled to see our famous Orca, the marine mammal, and its family lifestyle. The formation of Puget sound and its offers to our state. We enjoyed the experience of living on an Island by visiting the San Juan Islands. Children are excited to learn about the Boeing factory and different types of Airplanes. We all took the elevator to the Space Needle top and were seated in the Revolving restaurant. It’s great to know about Native Heritage and the great expedition of Lewis and Clark.

Children enjoyed making the Columbia river, Mt. Rainier, Easter egg baskets, and chicken hatching artworks. Color mixing and coffee grinding are our great hits. We talked about St. Patrick’s Day and welcomed the spring season.

We had a wonderful guest performance by Vimala, a Karakattam (folk dance) from Tamil Nadu, India. Thanks to Vimala.

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

 

Buckeye Building:

Children have been enjoying singing the “the family of the sun” song. We have talked about the planets and we will be moving on to talking about black holes superNova and outer space. The children will be excited to learn about Rockets, space stations, and space suits.

As spring is here we will be talking about plants and we will be doing some gardening.

We had two visitors visiting our school this month

We had the two visitors from the University of Washington Nutrition Department come in and talk to the children about fruits and vegetables and how to plant seeds. They let the children plant some seeds.

Vimala a friend of Mrs. Govindaraj visited our school to show the children the ancient Indian folk dance called karakattam. This dance is performed in praise of the rain Goddess. Performers balance a decorated pot on their head and dance. The children enjoyed watching Vimala dance. They got to try to balance an empty pot on their heads.

We talked about St Patrick’s day. Some children shared their joy of setting up leprechaun traps.

With Easter around the corner, children have started making their Easter egg hunt baskets. They are excited to see some spring flowers blooming around the school.

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Classroom Review

Buckeye Building:

We finished our peace curriculum ending the unit about love as we entered into February. It is so good to see many children wearing love lights representing the kind gestures they are showing their friends. The children were busy making valentines for their loved ones and decorating bags for the valentines they received last Friday. We celebrated the holiday with some fun circle games followed by a very tasty strawberry shortcake treat.

We are thrilled to have Ms. Ross back teaching two days on Tuesday and Thursday. For those who are new this year, Ms. Ross co-taught with Ms. Govindaraj last year before the pandemic and is now ready to be back in the classroom part-time. Ms. Leach continues to teach on Monday and Friday in the morning with Ms. Govindaraj.

We are off to outer space for our in-depth unit for the next couple of months. At circle-time, we introduced the concept of models using our sandpaper and continent globes to show the earth. Ms. Govindaraj displayed how to put a model onto a map by cutting a playdoh sphere in half and flattening it on a board, showing the children the two hemispheres of our world. We sang the continent song “Tell me the continents…” hoping the names will make it easier for the children to remember. Next, we introduced the eight major landforms using our beautiful wooden carved-out molds for the children to fill water. They particularly like to use land and water objects to put on the forms.

We started with the “Creation Story” and talked about the Big Bang theory and will work down to our universe, galaxy, planets, earth, and space exploration. We were excited to share the news of the recent rover landing on Mars and hopefully will show a video of the actual landing.

Hemlock Building:

The Hemlock building has begun our major curriculum unit on our State of Washington. The kids are enjoying learning about many of the things they have seen themselves. A few of the topics are our state flag, flower, bird, orcas, apples, biomes, many of our mountains and major rivers, the Mt. St. Helens volcano eruption, salmon life cycle, Ballard locks, Boeing, and Lewis & Clark Trail. Mrs. Fidelis has put together many new works for the kids to support their learning of Washington State which have been well received.

Even with all this, we have celebrated three birthdays, welcomed several new students, talked about Presidents Day, Chinese New Year, and had a super fun Valentine’s Party. The kids decorated Valentine bags to hold the cards that their fellow students brought to give out. Much of the day (Friday, Feb. 12) was spent distributing the cards which are always something kids look forward to. We also had a simple snack of popcorn and apple while we played games as a group like “Who’s Missing” and “Musical Chairs”. The kids were amazingly good at listening to directions, waiting their turn, and being good sports. I love how the kids treat each other with respect, try to be helpful to each other, and enjoy doing things as a group.

The snowfall presented a chance to talk about snow and snowflake shapes. It was perfect timing for kids to enjoy the snow yet not present any school closures.  Our last connection to current events was the landing of the lunar rover on Mars. The kids are interested in outer space and to see pictures of Perseverance on the red planet was an amazing thing to be able to show them.

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Classroom Review

Hemlock Building:

A warm New year’s welcome from the Hemlock teachers. January is the month of transition and doorway to new beginnings and also a month of past reflections and new resolutions and hopes. Children learned the specialty of January and why it got the name. We revisited our classroom rules and older children made a skit on our rules.

The core fundamental philosophy of the Montessori curriculum is peace. Children learned about inner peace, classroom peace, family, and community peace. They realized the importance of learning and respecting the difference among cultures. We talked about Martin Luther King Junior day and his contribution to equal rights and peace in our country. Their curiosity about the colored bottles in our classroom is solved by getting the explanation of each bottle’s meaning, like friendship, love, peace, joy, kind words. They also came to know that peace helps us to achieve self-confidence and courage.

We took a space voyage and excited to visit the exact moment of our universe’s birth, called the big bang, and visualized its expansion. We also traveled to our solar system and looked at our celestial bodies and took a deep dive into Earth’s layers. After our safe return to Earth’s surface, we admired the beauty of the landforms of our Earth.

Children were excited to make snowflakes, winter caps, and a snowman. We celebrated Leon’s 4th birthday on the very first day of our school. Happy birthday, Leon. We also welcomed two children, Kaya our returning student of the past year, and Owen to our Creative family. Welcome, Kaya and Owen.

Buckeye Building:

Welcome back to school. We are glad everyone had a safe and relaxing winter break. All the children have settled back into their usual routines quite nicely and with very few reminders.

At circle, our class has been learning about peace and how to calm ourselves when we get upset.  We talked about how filling our lungs with oxygen helps us to think clearly and let our love shine.  Sitting up and straightening our spinal cord helps our bodies receive messages from our brain and send them out to our body more efficiently. We are now discussing the peace bottles each day.  Red represents truth, orange represents personal best, yellow represents peace, green represents friendship, blue represents kind words, and purple represents joy. Next month we will begin our unit on Earth and space.

We appreciate everyone doing their part in flattening the curve of Covid-19 by social distancing, staying home when necessary, and taking all other health precautions; thank you!  As a reminder, some children’s masks get very wet or dirty throughout the day, so it is not a bad idea to send them with an extra clean mask in their backpack.

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Classroom Review

Hemlock Room:

December seemed to just fly by. We started the month learning about Hanukkah, its traditions, foods, songs, etc. We made a class menorah out of fresh limes and an orange. The kids had lots of fun playing the dreidel game and dancing to the dreidel song at circle time. We went on to learn about many Christmas customs throughout the world including St. Nicholas and the story of Mary and Joseph.

The kids were very busy making tree ornaments, gifts and cards for parents, and holiday projects. We learned several Christmas songs but the most favorite song was when we used the individual bells to sing Jingle Bells. Scarf dancing and Freeze dancing to Christmas songs were also popular.

The last week of school included our book exchange which the kids always seem to like and a small party that included healthy cookies that the kids made with Mrs. Fidelis and some fruit that looked like a Santa hat.

We look forward to seeing everyone again in January and hope that this holiday break will be relaxing and joyful for all.

 

Buckeye Room:

December began with making a personal Holiday gift and card for parents, children enjoyed wrapping it up too. We learned about many holiday traditions around the world including the story of St. Nikolaus, a German tradition and we lit a menorah and talked about Hanukkah. The children learned how to play the Dreidel game which has been lots of fun to do with friends. They also learned the traditional story of Christmas and baby Jesus.

To go along with the holiday spirit, we Put up our Christmas tree and the children have enjoyed making ornaments for the tree and singing carols, especially Rudolf and Jingle Bells and dancing the dreidel dance. We had our book exchange and it was fun to be able to take home a new book. Our holiday party was fun children were excited to have the carrot cake which they helped make. We wish you all happy holidays and also hope you have time to relax!

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Classroom Review

 

Buckeye Classroom Review:

In the Buckeye Room, the children have been settling into their works more readily engaging in new zoology works like Parts of a Bat and Turkey.  Tweezing kernels off an ear of Indian corn has become the favorite.  They even used the kernels to make their paper corn.

Circle topics are learning all about bats and parts of the corn and discussing how corn grows.  New works like metal polishing, rice grinding, turkey art projects have been shown.  Many new thanksgiving theme songs and poems have been introduced.  We were delighted to have our first in-house field trip with Dr. Gulbadan (Gagan and Preet’s mom from the Hemlock Room) who talked to the children about our mouth hygiene and how to take care of our mouths by eating healthy foods and brushing/flossing twice a day.  Remember to floss at night.  The celebration of Diwali starts the Festival of the Lights’ celebrations this month.  Ms. Govindaraj talked about how the festival originated, how they celebrate and she showed the children how to design a Rangoli.  She also shared her most precious Saris.  At the beginning of November, the circle room has a new peace light that shines all day in the classroom.  Each day a new color represents ways on how to make our classroom more peaceful.  Red (Honesty), Orange (personal best), Yellow (peace), Green (Friendship), Blue (kind words), and Purple (joy).  We will have a Thanksgiving celebration on Wednesday. The children have added thankful feathers to Chester our turkey.  They will churn cream into butter and add it to their ear of corn on our feast day.  We are grateful for all our wonderful CMS families.

 

Hello Hemlock families,

November is the month of Thankfulness and we are thankful for many things. It is such a pleasure to see children settling into their routine. Their understanding and cooperation in the current predicament are beyond measure.

We started our month with Early pilgrims, why did they move out of their country, their journey in Mayflower, and their life in a new country. We also talked about what are we thankful for. Children were happy to make turkey feathers and wrote what were they thankful for. They also made a turkey and corn. They happily participated in preparing cornbread and pumpkin pie and learned to make butter. As part of the Thanksgiving tradition, we all had a Happy Thanksgiving meal with children by saying the Thanksgiving poem, which they practiced for quite some time.

As we prepare for our winter months and holidays, some animals are busy preparing a hibernaculum to take a long deep sleep called hibernation. We were excited to learn why they take a deep sleep and the places.

We welcomed 2 new children into the CMS family and were happy to celebrate the birthdays of Evelyn, Jackson, Jack, Talia, and Jibek.

We were thankful to Gulbadan, (Gagan and Preet’s mom) who talked about dental care and Mrs. Govindaraj for Diwali.

On behalf of CMS teachers, we wish you a blessed, happy, and peaceful Thanksgiving.

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Classroom Review

Hemlock Building

The Hemlock building (front building) is in full swing with kids that are comfortable at their school, enjoying making new friends, and looking forward to learning things at circle and through their individual Montessori work. We have been studying parts of an apple and parts of a pumpkin as well as Life Cycle of a Pumpkin.  We also fit in some science about air pressure. We’ve been studying a fascinating flying mammal, the bat, and all of its unusual ways.  Some kids will choose to make Parts of a Bat Book.  We will also soon talk about how to be a community helper.

Halloween is children’s favorite celebration! Our Practical Life area has really taken on the theme of Halloween. They have been hard at work with special seasonal projects, singing Halloween songs, and listening to spooky stories.  Every year we practice a song called ” Witches Brew” so that during our Halloween celebration on Friday the 30th we can sing it together and have our costume parade for kids that want to wear a costume.

Buckeye Building

We have made it through another month safely and happily! Thank you all for wearing masks and staying home when necessary.

This October we have been learning about invertebrates, arthropods, and spiders. Now we are beginning our unit on pumpkins which includes the parts of a pumpkin and the life cycle of a pumpkin. The shelves are full of Halloween themed materials which is very interesting and exciting for the children. The children have all enjoyed painting jack-o-lanterns on the easel and creating spiders with paper, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. As the end of October comes, we will learn new Halloween songs!

Every Friday we continue to learn new ways to communicate without our voices with a sign language lesson at circle.  On Wednesdays everyone looks forward to a science experiment at morning circle.  Also, on Wednesdays, is show and tell.  Each week we let a child to lead the show and tell circle, they ask their friends “to whom does this belong” as they hold up a show and tell item.  The leader is also allowed to excuse a child from circle if they are being interruptive.  It is exciting to see how respectful the children are to each other at this time.

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Classroom Review

Hemlock Building:

It has been wonderful to have in-person learning with kids at Creative Montessori.
We are adapting to the new rules as temperature taking and wearing masks. Kids have adapted so quickly to the environment and are doing a great job. In the classroom, children are getting to know each other, teachers, and new procedures. In circle time, we have been learning each other’s names and 5 classroom rules which are: Be kind to everyone, touch your work only, using walking feet inside the classroom, put away the work after being done, use indoor voices. It has also included singing songs, show and tell & celebrating two birthdays. We have started our Continental studies and will learn about fall season which includes, why leaves turn into colors, parts of a leaf, and a leaf rubbing. We will also learn about parts of an apple, types of apples, and an apple experiment.
Each month kids practice fire drills and how to stay safe, which will happen at end of September. The smoky unhealthy air kept us indoor a lot but the children enjoyed our indoor recess toys.
During our 2-hour work time, kids have eagerly explored the work set out for them and got many ones on one lesson from teachers on shapes, colors, numbers, sounds, science, reading, and math. We have a small group of children but they are eager learners and delightful to be with.

Buckeye Building:

We had a nice start to the new school year and everyone adjusted to the different schedules. The children are all doing great wearing their masks and reminding friends if it moves down to pull it up. Our new children have settled in comfortably and our returning children are helping the new ones to get settled.

We have been busy introducing classroom rules and going over general grace and courtesy. Our grace and courtesy lessons are helping the students adjust to our classroom ways and to be kind and helpful with one another. Circle time we sing songs to learn each other’s names i.e. “Buzz, Buzz Bumblebee, can you say your name for me”. Also at circle time we go over the calendar and assign classroom jobs, pledge of allegiance, and check the weather. Children have been shown how to clean their spills and put work away neatly, walking around the mats and rolling up their mats to put it away. Most importantly how to get the teacher’s attention when she is busy. We will be practicing our first fire drill for this school year. We learn what to do when the alarm goes off and where we go. We will begin a short unit on apples, learning parts of an apple, apple tasting, apple art, and reading Apple Star Story as well as learning about Fall and how our environment changes during Fall.

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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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