Summer Recap: This summer was filled with fun activities. We learned about farm and sea animals. Along with farm life, we explored pirates and ships! We used our imaginations and dove right into exploring the sea. Our friends had extra fun learning about ships while coming to school dressed up as pirates. We explored what crops are harvested on a farm and the animals that live there. We learned new songs that incorporated farm and sea life. We also learned about the anatomy of crabs and horses. Our Montessori lessons included puzzles related to our theme. We also worked with cylinders. Working with cylinders is a fun way for children to work on fine motor skills while learning about liquid measurements. Last month we planted sunflower seeds along with other plants. As time went on while manding our garden we discovered that we now had a huge sunflower! Our children were fascinated with our massive flower. We also had some exciting in-house field trips. We had a reptile show filled with different scaly and slithery creatures. We also had a magic show with a great magician that kept the kids guessing with anticipation. Parents also had the opportunity to participate in our family picnic. Families came in to join us to have a lovely lunch while building a sense of community. The kids also had tons of fun with water activities during our splash days. To end our summer with a bang, we had school spirit week. Every day was a different fun activity to show our school spirit.
September Recap: This month was a great start to our school year. We had some fresh new faces that started in the classroom and we are ecstatic to have them! We also had Back to School Night that gave parents the opportunity to explore the classroom and Montessori materials. We met new friends as well as continuing to grow bonds with children from our summer program. With our new friends, we made sure to discuss our classroom and school rules to sustain safety and manners among our peers. Some of our friends that have been here a while helped to guide our newer friends by setting positive examples. This month we learned about plants and animals. We discussed the things plants and animals need to thrive. We talked about what we can do to help plants grow. We also studied the life cycle of plants and the parts of a plant. The geography study we focused on this month was the seven continents. We discussed the continents and oceans using a colored globe for hands on visual learning. Our Montessori lessons entailed pouring and sorting in our practical life area which helps with a child’s independence and concentration. We also worked with puzzles that focused on parts of a flower which coincides with our theme. Another activity the children enjoyed was the hundred board which helps with number recognition and sequencing. Our special project we did this month was planting in our garden. We decided to plant sunflowers as well as pumpkin, and squash. The kids got to dig the soil, put the seeds in, and water it as well! We are very excited to watch them grow.
October Recap: October has been a fun and full of adventure. We learned all about the solar system, planets, and astronauts. We had some awesome guest this month for health and safety week. We had fire fighters come and show us some of their cool tools while teaching us about fire safety. We also had a dentist come and teach us why it is important to brush our teeth. We also had the Fall Carnival, open house, and our book fair. Books are a great way to teach early learning and a love for reading. We planted squash this month in our class garden. It is interesting for the students to see the way vegetables sprout differently than flowers. We also made pumpkin art as well as a bat project. We had a leaf hunt. We talked about how leaves fall from the trees and change colors during this season. Our class walked around campus and gathered leaves and compared all the different shades of Fall colors. The children were fascinated to learn that leaves change so many different colors.
November Recap: November was another great month for us here at Belltower Montessori. This month we focused on virtues and values. We talked about what we are thankful for and how to be helpful. We also talked about Veteran’s day and why this holiday is important to honor those that protect our country. The children enjoyed learning about the 50 states and the United States flag. Our Montessori lessons focused on living and nonliving, parts of a tree, color mixing, and cleaning up spills. One of our fun activities we did this month was making placemats that we used during our holiday feasts. Children had an opportunity to decorate their mat and write on them what they were thankful for.
December Recap: December was a great month for the children in room 5. They were so excited to learn all about the celebrations around the world during the holiday season. I hope you all had a wonderful winter break with family and friends. We learned about Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and the family traditions that our classmates share with their families and friends. The children were excited to learn the unique traditions some of their classmates had. The children were working hard making their Christmas gifts for you. We had such a fun time during our Christmas celebrations and performances. Thank you to all of you that came to participate with us and were a part of our celebration. The children were excited to have their visit from Santa as well. The children carried the lessons of the Giving Tree book into their holiday season. The Montessori lessons we focused on were walking in a line and keeping the classroom clean while picking up after themselves.
January Recap: January was a fresh start to the new year. After returning from the holiday break we spent time focusing on remembering class rules and getting back into our daily routines. We also focused on grace and curtesy as well as proper hygiene. Winter has arrived and it was nice to see the snowcapped mountain tops in our morning routs. The children enjoyed our snowmen art that showed the before and after results of temperature changes. Our older children in room 5 focused on Antarctica in geography, word formation in language, color box III in sensorial, and learning the concept of zero in math.
February Recap: February was a very busy month filled with tons of activities and lessons. The children created beautiful art projects for their Valentine’s Day celebration. We practiced grace and courtesy lessons on sharing and waiting for your turn. Our focus for geography was Asia and we talked about Chinese New Year and the zodiac sign “pig” this year. As a group activity, the children decorated “The Pig” and we displayed in in or classroom. For Chinese New Year our children learned about recognizing the flags of the prominent countries in Asia, Russia, China, Japan and India. I hope that all our parents received the sponge painting project on the Great Wall of China.
Our book for the month was Little Blue and Little Yellow. This story blended in perfectly with our sensorial color tablet work and the introduction or primary colors and secondary colors. Montessori lessons were given on ten boards, alphabet sounds, magnifying glass and baster work. Our same and different exercise was more involving, where the children had to search for two identical objects in the classroom environment. In botany we observed the roots of grass and made new discoveries about how things grow.
March Recap: Africa was our focus in our circle time group discussion in March. We talked about different facts that the children knew about African like Mancala the game, pyramids, the island Madagascar, and animals of the rainforest. The children were very interested and participated throughout the lesson, by sharing knowledge that they had about the continent. Children also learned about the parts of a river and how to distinguish between them. Our older group of children continued working on geometric cabinets and learned about polygons. In our garden, the children planted a variety of plants like basil, mint, bell peppers, and squash. They have been very attentive to the area and even pulling weeds and watering when needed.
Our Montessori lessons entailed marble painting on a clover leaf which was a wonderful exercise to develop spacial connections. We helped promote finger dexterity by pulling cotton balls apart and also reintroduced our Color Tablet Box II. Our ongoing special project this month was the rainbow and the science behind it. We showed how watering when there is sunlight will create a rainbow because reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets result in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. March was a busy and highly informative month!
April Recap: In April, the children revisited the lessons on the formation of islands and lakes. During circle time, we discussed volcanoes, the layers of the Earth and watched a short clip on volcano eruption. Our children were fascinated and in awe about the information we gathered and shared during our lessons. Our biology lessons were centered around the anatomy of a turtle. We read a book titled, “What’s Inside an Egg” and discussed different kinds of reptiles and the vocabulary to go with it. We also worked on the parts of an insect, with our main focus on bees and how they play an important role in our ecology. Along with our lessons on bees we revised and studied the parts of a flower and the life cycle.
Our book of the month was, “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” which was especially enjoyed by the younger children in our classroom. The children enjoyed the ease of illustration which kept them returning to the book. Because our study was heavily focused on Island Nations, we talked about the different vegetation and saltwater vs. fresh water. For our special project this month we experimented with vegetable printing! The children made beautiful art projects using potatoes, broccoli stems, etc.
May Recap: May was one of our longest and busiest months! We began our unit of study on whales by watching a video clip on migrating whales. During our circle time group discussion, we learned that whales are also mammals, like us. We compared our similarities like – eating, breathing air, and how we take care of our calves, etc. For art the children made and designed their own whale fin to emphasize the fact that each whale is unique and different and that these markings help researchers track them.
Our geography unit for the month of May was the continent of South America. Children learned the names of the many countries, flags, and natural resources they provide. Rain stick was a unique sound instrument they learned about. We very briefly discussed the turtles on Galapagos islands, and our children were introduced to one of the worlds famous scientist, Charles Darwin. Our zoology lesson was focused on amphibians and birds. The children can’t wait for the birds to land on the bird feeder they put out in the garden for them.
Our Montessori lesson was based on a book by the author Eric Carl –The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The Very Hungry Caterpillar arrived at school at the beginning on the month just in time for our lesson on the Life Cycle of a Butterfly! Every day for more than two weeks they observed the caterpillars grow, turn into chrysalis and finally a butterfly emerged! This was a wonderful lesson for our children about patience and hands on experience with metamorphosis. We added new exercises in our language area and new books about current subjects in our library.
Our Mother’s Day Tea Party made this month very special. Thank you, parents for signing up for conferences, staying involved in your child’s routine and activities is the key for successful parenting. As we are going through a variety of topics and subjects, we are approaching the last month of this academic year.
June Recap: June was yet another business month full of celebrations! We started off June’s circle time with lessons on “daddy’s” in the animal kingdom. They learned new vocabulary of what baby animals and their parents are called such as; cow and calf. Our children had a blast during our Father’s Day celebration and couldn’t wait to give their clay coin dishes to their dads! During our group discussion time we also talked about the Californian Desert and the vegetation and the animals who can survive in that habitat. We had an ongoing discussion about the importance and roles that community helpers have in our lives. The children shared what they want to be when they grow up and how they want to help their community. This lesson really promoted excitement and ambition in our yearly discussions about what we want to be when we grow up. Parents, we hope you noticed the easel work coming home with creative drawings on community helpers. Some of our children graduated and went on to kindergarten so it was a very sad but sweet time for us. We wish them the best of luck in all of their educational achievements!
Summer News: This month is the start of our Summer program! We are very excited to start it off with 4th of July and plenty of water play to keep cool! There are many fun activities and entertainment so please refer to our Summer Newsletter. I would like wish everyone a safe and fun Summer and I hope to see many familiar faces for the start of our new academic year In September!