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Classroom Review

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

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Classroom Review

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

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

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

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

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Classroom Review

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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Classroom Review

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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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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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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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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