Summer Recap: It was a fun and exciting summer at Belltower Montessori Academy! Our theme was Ocean Life. We learned about the various species of crabs, jellyfish, fish, turtles, whales, sharks, and rays. This broad subject allowed us to enhance our vocabulary and enrich our appreciation for our underwater world. The children enjoyed bringing ocean themed items from home and gave wonderful presentations on their chosen share item. Our group time consisted of stories on ocean life and group talks about the use of sunblock. We discussed the affects sunscreens leave on our reefs, oceans and its creatures. We learned about the new products on the market that can protect us from the sun, while protecting our ocean and marine life. Our in-house sand experience was a huge hit! The children had so much fun using this sensory experience to dig and find hidden sea creatures and shells. To go along with our theme, they got to show their creativity in building things with sand and clay. We also created art with paints and oil pastels. Our special art projects included jellyfish, crabs, turtles and seahorses. The children were so excited with our in-house field trips. The reptile show was amazing! We enjoyed learning about the eating habits, characteristics, and living environments of the various reptiles. The excitement grew when we were able to touch and hold these amazing creatures; snakes, lizards, and a 50yr. old turtle! The laughs continued with a fun filled magic show. The magician was comical and friendly while performing many marvelous tricks! He made the show even more enjoyable by choosing volunteers from our audience to assist him. It was a great experience for all of us! The month of August has been a lot of fun. We have been reading aloud The BFG by Roald Dahl. The children have been so involved in the story that when chapters end on a cliffhanger they do not want to stop! We have also been learning about the different jobs around the farm and what it takes to keep it operating. We also discussed different types of farms that that do not have farm animals but produce crops. Some farms produce things to be consumed by humans such as milk, and eggs. We also learned that sheep can see behind them without having to move their heads, the children thought this was most impressive fact about any animal we have learned about. The petting zoo was a great way for the children to have hands on connections to what they were learning. We also learned how to make dolls out corn husks!
September Recap: Welcome back parents! We are excited to be in our new classroom this school year. I am pleased to share that our class has grown to 15 friends. The children are happy to see each other and have been getting to know their way around the new room. As each day passes they learn to adapt and navigate in functional ways with their peers. September’s Themes are All About Me, World Continents, and Apples. The children are already off to a great start working hard. They have been sharing interesting facts about themselves and their families, including their favorite activities to do outside of school and where their families are from. Room 1 has quite a multicultural family. We are going to have a lot of fun this year learning not only the various continents and animals but about the peoples and customs and cultures from each, using personal information and experiences. How exciting! I invite you parents to contribute as well. If any of you would like to come in and spend some time with us sharing oral stories, reading, playing musical instruments, doing a craft or cooking project related to your homelands and culture, we would absolutely love to have you. The children have begun learning all about apples. We have learned about the life cycle of an apple tree, the parts of an apple, John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, and some new songs. The apple nomenclature work is enhancing their vocabulary and their awareness of the many different types of apples choose from. Last Friday we had our apple taste and comparison study of six different kinds of apples. To my surprise, a large majority of kids liked the Granny Smith, sour apple the best. We discussed the many foods we can make using apples. I invite you to expand on this at home and perhaps make something delicious with your student. Also, Apple picking is always a big hit with children this age. Apple picking in Oak Glen or Julian would be a wonderful family outing where you and your child can enjoy doing this.
October Recap: October is always a fun time for the kids! This month’s themes were Planets and Our Solar System & North America. The children in room 1 have enjoyed using our new classroom materials for this month’s units of study. They had a great time putting together the solar system floor puzzle and discussing the characteristics of the planets. There was lots of excitement when we got to observe the automated 3D model of our solar system in action during our morning group lesson. The children also enjoyed our studies about North America. We have been learning about our Canadian neighbors to the north of us as well as our Mexican neighbors to the south of us. Topics such as weather, food, culture, animals, & flags of Canada, USA, and Mexico have been studied in detail. October is the perfect time to also learn about pumpkins and squash, the life cycle of a pumpkin, & to enrich our vocabulary with pumpkin and squash nomenclature. We also have discussed the terms of nocturnal, hibernation, and the characteristics of mammals through the readings of our new fall books. We have studied grizzly bears, raccoons, owls, & bats. We have enjoyed making lots of fun art projects. Please drop by our classroom to see our fall artwork displayed on our classroom walls. This month we had a Scholastic book fair! The children were very excited and loved being able to pick out and purchase their own books. Book fairs are always a great way to encourage reading both at home and at school. They children were very happy to share their new books with their classmates. Thank you all for your support! The Fall Carnival was another gun activity that we had here at Belltower Montessori. The children could hardly wait for it to begin! We had a great turnout, lots of fun games, an amazing group of parent volunteers, and a lot of fun! Thank you to all for your support and making it a great success! November’s themes will be Virtues & Values, Grace & Courtesy, Peace, and the geography of the beautiful USA. We look forward to jumping into the new learning experiences.
November Recap: We had such a busy month in room 1. I was pleased to find out that everyone is up to their reading level standards. Everyone shows a great level of participation during group discussion as well. What a well-rounded group of children. This month we discussed places to visit in our state. Children shared their adventures to beaches, museums, light houses, and many other places. Children discussed places they have been and shared their adventures through dialog with their classmates. Our Montessori focuses this month were living vs nonliving things, color mixing primary colors, deciduous vs conifer trees, as well as setting the table. We also planted new things in our garden. We planted basil and tomatoes. We got a chance to see our squash growing as we planted. Thank you for all that came to parent teacher conferences. Your interest in your child’s education will encourage your children to do better in school
December Recap: The month of December was a fun month for us here at Belltower. Thank you for welcoming me into the classroom. This month we worked on a candy cane science experiment. The children love hands on learning opportunities. The children had a great time performing for you all during our Holiday performances. Thank you to everyone that helped make this day special for the children. We made Christmas themed crafts and learned all about how Christmas is celebrated in different countries around the world. We started on our new work plan folders as well. The folders are intended to keep track of what your child does each day and keeps track of progress. The Montessori lessons we worked on were movable alphabet, decimal system, usa maps, land forms, snake game, and the short bead frame.
January Recap: January was a fun month. We were joined by new friends and learned about the continent of Antarctica. The students had a great time making snow together in the classroom. We discussed animals that hibernate and created a collage together. We also began working with the different continent maps. I hope you all had a wonderful winter break with your family and friends.
February Recap: February was a month full of friendship and love. The children had a great Friendship Party. Thank you to all the parents who provided treats for our celebration. We had such a great time learning about the continent of Asia and Lunar New Year. The children made Chinese Lanterns and watched a video about the history of the Lunar New Year. Our science experiment involved us making a baking soda and vinegar volcano. The children were amazed as they watched it erupt.
They also experimented with colors by watching water “walk”. We observed how primary colors mix to make secondary colors. We did color mixing and counted with the decimal system numbers. As a group we talked about the importance of friendships and how to take care of our teeth. We are also looking forward to our family tree presentations that the children will be bringing into class!
March Recap: In March we learned all about Africa! The children learned that Africa has 54 countries with more than 1.1 billion people and Nigeria is the largest country in the continent. They learned about Madagascar, the animals indigenous to that island, and that it is in the Indian Ocean. The children were fascinated that Africa is home to the longest river in the world, the Nile and that the Sahara Desert is the driest and hottest desert in the world! Their favorite lesson this month was learning about the mammals who live in this part of the world, like the Elephant, Giraffe and Cheetah. I hope that they share all the fun facts with you that we went over in class.
We continued our lessons on grace and courtesy by making sure that the children are cleaning up after themselves and are being respectful of their environment. They have done a fantastic job at working as a class and encouraging each other to be kind and helpful. As a class we are continuing to work on our basic time telling skills and are referring to the clock throughout the day.
I would like to give a special thank you to our parents who helped put together our class’s family trees. The children were thrilled to learn about each others family’s and exceeded all my expectations with their presentations! In honor of Dr. Seuss, we made individual hot air balloons and posted them on our classroom window titled “Oh, the places we’ll go”, if you would like to take a look. For science, the children made mini volcanoes by experimenting with baking soda and vinegar. They were able to see the chemical reaction and take note of it and share with the class. For our science group activity, we observed “Magic Milk” the children were able to see how different substances react which each other when mixing different density’s. For enrichment we focused on African music and sounds, paintings and colors associated with the culture and popular foods!
April Recap: In April we learned all about the continent of Australia. We learned that it is home to 2.8 million people, although it is the smallest continent it is also the 6th largest country. Australia is sometimes referred to as the “Island continent” because of its size and isolation to the rest of the world. The children were fascinated that although they speak English in Australia, they also have many different names for the same words that we use. As a class we discussed the different species that call Australia their home such as the Koala, Dingo, Duckbill Platypus and the famous Kangaroo! The children learned about their zoology and how certain traits make them survive in their habitats. We also continued our lesson on hibernation and which animals awake at springtime.
Our Montessori lessons entailed focusing on cleaning our classroom and how to care for our environment. The children shared ideas on how to be a good helper at home by cleaning up after themselves. The children are continuing to enhance their skills on telling time and counting money. For Earth Day the children played a sorting game after learning the importance of recycling and learned about the different ways we, as a class, can help keep our Earth beautiful. For art we made paper mache globes, where the children learned to use new exciting materials and build on a project day by day. As a class we learned about the water cycle and life cycle of a seed, they enjoyed watching bean sprouts grow on the window and how plants need water and sunlight to grow. The children enjoyed handling the prisms and learned how colors separate merge to make rainbows. “The Week of the Young Child” was a huge success! Many of our children participated in spirit week by dressing up as their favorite superheroes and princesses, tasting yummy new healthy snacks, and having friendly competition outside on the playground for Sports Day! During our Enrichment programs we explored music, art and food from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
May Recap: We had tons of fun in the month of May. We explored the continent of South America, learned about whale migrations and watched the butterfly life cycle from our classroom. South America is home to more than 385 million people, with 12 countries and the largest being Brazil. The Amazon River is the second longest in the world. Some animals that live in South America are Tapirs, Piranhas and Anacondas. South America is also home to many endangered animals such as the Jaguar, the Giant Otter and the Amazonian Manatee.
We have continued our work on the concept of time as a class and there has been tremendous individual growth. The children practiced skip counting to 100 by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. We encourage the children on a daily basis to be a good helper by always offering to help tidy up their environment and show kindness to one another. Learning about whales and their migration patterns was so interesting. We talked about different types of whales and discovered that the Blue Whale is the largest living animal in the world. We loved watching the process of our caterpillars create their chrysalis and then transform into butterflies. Celebrating our Moms was the highlight of our month, we are thankful for all you do. I would also like to extend a big thank you for all the thoughtful gifts I received for Teacher Appreciation Week, it is truly appreciated.
June Recap: The end of the year has arrived it has been an amazing year filled with laugher and fun. We had an extra special month celebrating Father’s Day, prepping for graduation and learning about our beautiful home state of California. We discussed how California became a state, the state bird (Quail), and the states flower, the Golden Poppy and flag. We explored some of the beautiful mission and danced to the music f the Beach Boys! The children learned about some of California’s famous landmarks including, The Golden Gate Bridge, The Hollywood Sign, Disneyland and well-known beaches!
Our Father’s Day had an amazing turn out, the children sat down and shared their gifts and colored with their dads! We are so thankful for all of the dads that were able to make it. Preparing for graduation was well worth the hard work, the children performed wonderfully, and their dedication paid off! We hope that you enjoyed the performance and speeches as much as we did. We are sad to see our families who are leaving us go, but we wish you all the best of luck n the future! Be sure to come back and visit anytime.
Summer News: We are excited for a fun filled Summer! We are ready to celebrate the USA, dive deep into the under-water adventures and bas of into space and that is just the beginning! The children will be having fun exploring life on a farm, and then will jump into spirit week. The summer will be closing with a week of fitness fun, and we look forward to teaching the children about how to make fitness fun and exciting. Don’t forget to check the calendar for our Water days, and have your child bring a towel, swimsuit, water shoes and sunscreen. We cannot wait to kick start our Summer with 4th of July fun, Thank you as always, Ms. Easton!