Summer Recap: We had a fun filled summer in room 5! We started off by celebrating the 4th of July with a fun marble and paint activity. We also got to enjoy an exciting bubble show. We dove into some fun underwater adventures by learning about unique sea creatures. The children showed their creativity with jellyfish art. To beat the heat the children were able to enjoy their very own water slide that they loved to climb and slide down. August started with reading the book “Only One You” where the children learned the importance of being yourself and how special it is to be you. They even got to show their individuality with a rock painting activity that will be displayed in new rock bed by the garden. We spent the rest of August down on the farm learning about animals and fun farm songs. We got to learn how to shuck corn and milk a cow made of cardboard. We ended summer with some school spirit by showing off our crazy hair and socks. Our families even got to join in on the fun with our end of summer carnival where we had games and yummy food.
September Recap: Our summer break is over, and we started the new year with some of our old friends and some new activities to get to know each other. It was good to see the energy and the excitement in children to be in the classroom and their eagerness to start the year. We started with a simple introduction of the classroom and some basic universal classroom rules. This made our newcomers more comfortable joining our class. During the month of September, our literature book was, “The Kissing Hand” and our children made a simple handprint project – right-hand, left hand. Also, in our practical life area the children worked on washing their hands and learning to put gloves on. Our group discussions were about family units, such as relatives and the children shared who is in their family and what makes them so special. During this group time, children were also introduced to variety of exercises, for example – walking on the line, carrying the work exercise, keeping the work organized on the rug area, use of books, waiting for their turn, use of proper vocabulary, etc. During the work time, small group lessons were given in science subjects like – sink and float, magnetic/nonmagnetic, and magnifying glass work. As for geography we discussed land and water globe, followed by the continent’s ocean globe. Individual lessons were about pre math concepts and learning alphabet sounds. Thank you, parents, for giving photos to work on our “All About Me” and family tree projects. Stop by our classroom and see the work put together with the help from our children. One of our group discussions were about the famous biography of Johnny Appleseed followed by an apple printing project. This project will blend in with our study of botany ‘ fruit’. Our first fall/autumn project was a painted leaf. This is a perfect time of the year to go on a nature walk and collect leaves. Please bring in any unique leaves you find to our share day – Friday!
October Recap: October started with the continuation of the daily routine with addition of some new exercises. Our Literature book was “We are Going on a Left Hunt”. Reading this book several times during the morning circle discussion time, helped our children get acquainted with new vocabulary, the order this story progresses, the real knowledge of different tree names and the shape of the leaves. The Montessori leaf cabinet provides all the variety of leaf shapes with names for our group to learn in further details. Our five senses was October’s unit of study. Our children saw many presentations given from our sensorial area. The children worked in small groups on the exercise of color tablets, music instruments, rough and smooth boards, mystery bag, and tasting – sour/sweet/ salty water. Our special art project was making a ‘Fall’ tree using the real tree bark and potpourri leaves. On our practical life shelves, children were working on leaf sorting, decorating peacock with feathers, and wringing a dishtowel as well as pouring, stringing, squeezing the sponge exercises. For our children the best part of the day comes when we play the audio CD of the book “Big Pumpkin”. This story is about a witch wanting to make a pumpkin pie from the pumpkin that grew in her garden. The witch, ghost, mummy, the vampire and the bat had to put their efforts together to make this happen. Our children cannot resist singing along and acting out the story. We are continuing with the individual and the small group lessons with language and math exercises. Our special thanks to parents for making the snack schedule work so smoothly. Our children are benefiting, besides tasting good variety of snacks, they are learning to serve themselves adequate amount of food that eliminate any waste. The art project our children did on owl helped them learn about nocturnal animals. Thank you, parents for fulfilling the books wish list during the scholastic book fair week. Our garden patch is looking good. Every time we work in our patch, we review all the work we have put in so far. Now the only work we have left to do is pull weeds and water the sprouting snow peas. Watching and observing the growth give our children little sense of accomplishment.
November Recap: The month of November started with the studies we undertook during the last days of October. The book for our language and literacy study was “Fill a Bucket” by Carol McCloud. This was a difficult concept for the children to understand, but as we practiced our grace and courtesy lessons, the children were able to grasp the concept of the story. During group discussion we talked about eating nutritious food, visits to the doctor and dentist, sleep, and rest, playing outdoors and enjoying the sun. We also discussed hand washing and items that belong and don’t belong in our mouths. Children loved the vegetable printing project we did as part of our healthy eating theme. We learned about the parts of a tree during our Botany lesson. For Geography, we studied the state of California, USA and explored our national treasures, the forests, coastal beaches, mountains, lakes, light houses etc. We were also able to recognize the connection between the number of stars on our flag with the number of states in our country. Our Practical Life exercises included pouring water using a gravy boat and a turkey baster. We continued our individual lessons in Language, Math, and our Phonics program. November’s Enrichments included learning about Ludwig von Beethoven and some of his Classical music. In art, we painted using Jackson Pollack’s “drip” technique and in cooking, we made several seasoned themed snacks, such as cinnamon apple chips, mini pumpkin pie rice krispie treat and pumpkin pie smoothies. Thank you, parents, for assisting with the snack schedule sign up.
December Recap: December was a short month; but as far as work goes, our children did equal amount of work as any other month. Coming back from the Thanksgiving holidays, they had lots to talk about and shared their stories during the group discussion. Our language and literacy program book was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Our children understood the story at their level. They realize that it’s important to take care of the trees not only because they give us shade in our playground; but they are useful in so many other ways…fruits, medicine, wood to build a house etc. We also talked about caring for our parents and helping them because they help us. In the subject of botany, we talked about winter greens or the Christmas trees. This was something children liked to learn and could easily understand. In geography, our children were introduced to the continent of Europe. The puzzle map of Europe is little challenging but knowing the names of different countries and the food that they already love like pizza, pastry, sweets made them aware of different culture. During circle time we shared the photos of people, costume, architecture, famous landmarks etc. We also talked about the topic of winter solstice. Why are the days short and the nights are long? In zoology, presentation was given with the horse nomenclature cards. Simultaneously learning the parts of a reindeer was more interesting for our group. The children enjoyed making their starry night painting and learning about Van Gogh. The zucchini chips were an interesting creation for the children. Computers is always a favorite for the children as well. The children also enjoyed all the festive holiday music. A special thanks to our parents – Mr. Vizzapu and Mrs. Jarrar for taking special time and talking to our group of children about ‘ celebration’. Celebrations are in every culture. The way people celebrate is by family and friends gathering, making special food, songs and dance and prayers. Our children loved the new playground they got!! We like how it makes our garden patch stand out. Parents, please visit our patch with your child and watch them grow. A visit from Santa was a super hit. The magic and wonder never fades away. Thank you, parents, for helping our children participate in the book gift exchange.
January Recap: Upon returning from winter break, we were able tell that our children missed working in the classroom. Dr. Montessori looks at it as love for order and structure in the environment. Many needed this break to adjust to the new season and spend quality time with family. As our children bundle up every day to stay warm; they are learning about the colder seasons. We used this opportunity to study Arctic animals and their nature given coats that keep them warm. Our language literacy book was The Mitten by Jan Brett. Our children were able to follow this story and enjoyed coloring page art straight from the book. During the month of January, we studied snowmen and upon returning from winter break discovered that many of our children went to the snow and made their own snowman. We created snowmen in the classroom based on the popular song “Frosty the Snowman”. Our group discussions consisted of reading books about Arctic life, hibernation and sharing pictures. One of our science experiments was adding ice cubes to a glass of water and watching the ice melt. For our Grace and Courtesy lesson, we talked about fairness as being one aspect of social adjustment that continues into adulthood.
February Recap: With Open House in the first week of February; our month began with the joining of families. We reviewed the work the children do on a daily basis and presented it to their parents. We discussed the progress they have made throughout the year. Thank you, parents, for attending this special event with your child. Our book of the month was Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni. This is a simple story about friendship and how having a friend makes one a better self. We also used this book to make a science project and a color wheel. The children are familiar with primary colors due to our sensorial exercises so creating other colors is something they find interesting. Our Valentine’s day party was a big success. Passing out and receiving Valentine’s cards initiated memorable interactions between the children. Our Montessori group discussions included geography, zoology and Botany. We talked about the continent of Asia. China, India and Japan were a few of the countries we focused on. We studied pictures, animals and landmarks of each country. In zoology children were introduced to the panda bear and learned several new facts. In botany, we observed the root of a plant under a magnifying glass. Children were surprised to learn that bamboo is a type of grass and the wind instrument ‘the flute’ is made from it. The children also made a simple project using silk, where they learned the life cycle of a silkworm. For science we talked about the water cycle! Another topic of discussion was our presidents and how their picture is on money.
March News: In March we are exploring the continent of South America and the Rainforest. We are looking at maps of South America along with the equator. We are also studying the animals in the rainforest and what makes them special. We are celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday and his contribution towards literacy. We are looking forward to all the exciting things happening in March!