Back To School
Summer Recap: We had a wonderful summer, full of fun and activities. This summer we had water play every week. We continued to learn over summer about topics relating to Under the Sea and Rainforest. We also had a reptile show, and most of the classroom got to hold or pet a variety of reptiles.
September Recap: Beginning of September was our official start of the school year. We were excited to see many new faces to join our classroom. We began our year by learning “All about Me” and about the Globe. We focused on our family trees and our puzzle maps with continents. We started a new ongoing experiment of Sink and Float and we love to test new items and record our data. Also the enrichments are a huge success and the children are loving it, learning about Mozart in music, Paul Jackson Pollock in art, how to greet each other in Spanish, cooking cinnamon apples and learning how to use our computers.
Octob er Recap: We experimented with our five senses. With our sense of taste we used lemon, then lemon with sugar and lemon with salt. Every child had a different reaction and we discussed this with them. We used musical instruments to relate back to Montessori work, we shook those making different sounds. With our sense of smell we brought in the classroom some plants that have an aroma like, pine, lavender, basil, sage and eucalyptus. We then talked about what it was that we saw and what we smelt. Keeping up with the pumpkin theme in October, children baked a pumpkin pie during cooking enrichment for their classes to enjoy the following day. We continued to excel in ABC Mouse, and make more art projects with Ms. Buonocore, introduced to musical instruments, and learned about our body parts with Ms. Gonzalez.
November Recap: In November we did some fun art projects and the children loved the feather vs. fur. We also learned a new song in relation to Thanksgiving. During our circle time discussions, we talked about table manners and how to greet each other and guests. We have been taking care of our garden and the plants are growing. The children have been excited to watch the plants grow and help take care of them. The children also made their own food pyramid to show what they like to eat and what they should be eating. Our outdoor playground is growing, and we are very excited to have new additions to our playground. In our enrichment programs the children made pumpkin pies, apple turnovers and cheese cake pie in cooking. In Music the children learned about Jazz instruments and Andy Warhol. In Art the children made slime, turkey art and free self-expression to get their creativity to spark. The children continued their ABC Mouse and love all their enrichments.
December Recap: December was a busy and fun filled month. We learned about the winter season and the different holidays celebrated in December. The children enjoyed the books about Kwanza and Hanukah. They had many questions and comments about the different holidays. We also read books and sang songs about Christmas and holidays. We decorated Christmas ornaments that the children made for their parents as a Christmas gift. Our focus for this month was, Polar bears, reindeer, and the snow fox. We learned about snow and hot/cold. Also, for the month of December we talked about continent, Europe and country Italy and France. The children tweezer work and also did chopstick work. We worked in our gardens and were excited to see all of our vegetables growing.
January Recap: Happy New Year to all! We had a slow start, some of our class children enjoyed an extra long winter break with their siblings and family. During this month our children made beautiful art; the snowman, marbled eggs, handprint penguins and brush painted umbrella. We are glad the weather cooperated a little and the children could enjoy some snow and rain. Their imagination took off when we had an activity “Arctic animal in freezing cold sushi” Our classroom library books introduced our children to some new vocabulary-Hibernation, Igloo and Eskimo. In our garden we successfully grew lettuce, which we used in our lunch meal. The children also planted onions and are waiting to see the outcome. With our busy daily routine we look forward to our next months unit study and activities.
February Recap: This month we learned about cultural awareness and friendship through art. We made valentine stringed instruments. Using hearts and string, with heart knobs and base. We also created a farmer’s hat for the Chinese New Year and celebrated wearing them for snack. For our Asia art project, we made tiger cubs for our rainforest. This month was also Black history month, we learned about Fredrick Douglas and other leaders that influenced our culture. In our library story of the month we read “Babushka” from Russia and “Piñata” from south America. To commemorate our presidents, we made the Cherry Tree. Music was a big part of this month as well, we shared a rain stick to the children and mimicked the sounds of the rainforest. Our group discussion was based on the Olympic winter games. As a class we also worked on holding hands when we line up and go to the playground. Our Montessori lessons entailed math where we got to work with a memory game and counting hearts. Language consisted of vocabulary enrichment cards and community helpers. The children also had a chance to work on their pouring skills with a pitcher into a heart shaped bin.Our special project we did this month was working on our Friendship party and preparing for the event. We had tons of fun passing out our cards to each other and playing games like musical chairs. Our parents got to come and join in on the festivities which the children really enjoyed.
March Recap: This month we celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday by reading his books. We emphasized on rhyming words. We also studied about prehistoric animals, and the different names of dinosaurs. We reintroduced the use of reptile nomenclature cards. For our cultural lessons, we learned about St. Patrick and why he was so important to Ireland. We also read a story about the legend of leprechauns and their pot of gold. Our geography lessons focused on the continent of Africa. Children were introduced to the Africa puzzle map and various countries in Africa. Spring is here! To celebrate the arrival of spring children made sunflowers. We started to learn about the concept of metamorphosis through the life cycle of a butterfly. We made a life cycle of a butterfly art project to make this concept tangible. We made a variety of art projects this month to make learning fun, including fruit loop rainbows, marble dinosaur paintings, and sunflower seeds were used for out spring project. This month we incorporated the African language of Swahili into out math lessons by teaching children how to count in the language. Children also learned about land and water forms using the landform trays. We learned about the island and lake forms. We discussed the geometric solid form of a pyramid and incorporated that lesson into learning about pyramids in Africa.Our special project we did this month was studying the “parts of a clock”. With the time change we wanted to focus our attention on the time. We also had a chance to take out our green onions from our garden. Everyone got to take theirs home to enjoy. We also had a chance to talk about living and non-living things. Our enrichment was based on the upbeat African music and rhythm. The children got to enjoy some songs and music we could dance to and listen while we worked. Spring was also incorporated into our lessons and we enjoyed lots of time outside watching the season change.We had a long and busy month full of activities, the children really enjoyed our Dr. Seuss week and it was fun seeing all the children and staff dress-up.
April Recap: This month we learned about our planet Earth. We did a simple project about the constellations and astronomy. Our room discussed the solar system and the art project helped the children better understand our solar system. The children spent a few days working on the project learning where all the planets go and how far they were from the sun. Water conservation is a difficult topic for children at their age, but they have done a fantastic job of learning to turn off the faucet in class after washing their hands. Our children learned about new vocabulary words: marsupials and nocturnal. Who are they? And what is it that they do? We would also like to thank Ms. Battle for the recycled binoculars the children got to make this month. The kids really enjoyed playing with them. Our Montessori lessons entailed learning the difference between bay and cape. We learned about islands and lakes this month and gradually introduced them to land forms and what they are called. Our Practical life shelf has the “sink and float” exercise that the children love to do. Our special project we did this month was continuing our garden project. Our gardening work is showing, encouraging results are becoming apparent with our plants that are sprouting. The sweet peas we planted are sprouting abundantly and out children love to see what they call “spider web” of the peas vines growing and sprouting. We also had a chance to give our older kids lessons on making origami animals to help them learn about Oceania continents and their animals.Enrichment for this month was based on the traditional music from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Art from the Oceania Region, which included Aboriginal Art. This month was full of great weather and we were extremely excited to get back from Spring Break. Thank you to the parents with the snack sign-up, your children enjoyed being line leader, snack host and a leader for the day.
May Recap: This month we learned about South America and the Rainforest along with the Galapagos Islands. Our children learned the names of different countries in South America and at the same time discovered national monuments around the world. We focused on the natural beauty of these monuments and what they mean. As we learned about the Rainforest, children came to know the life cycle of the butterfly and the praying mantis. The children also had a chance to learn about different body parts an animal has. As we started to learn about the Galapagos Islands we came to know a scientist named Charles Darwin and his work. Our children had some understanding now that the Rainforest is important to us for many things like coco, coffee and medicine too. As part of grace and courtesy they are developing appreciation for our natural resources. Our Montessori lessons entailed practicing phonics and alphabet sounds at individual level. Children were also introduced to sight words and this month they were number words from one to ten. In geography, our children learned to work with Montessori puzzle maps of South America. Our special project we did this month was discussing our spring weather. We learned that some days can be cold and other days can be hot. The breeze is something everyone enjoyed which prompted the art project of making kites with water colors. Another special project the children observed was the butterfly life cycle. How life changes the form of growing and maturing was called metamorphosis. This month was filled with many activities, we celebrated Mother’s Day by having a Tea Party. We had dads help some moms as an expression of love for them. Our everyday classwork time was filled with the children observing the butterfly habitat in class. This month was also Teacher Appreciation Week and parents thank you so very much for expressing your appreciation. Thank you, parents, for signing up for parent teacher conferences. It was a pleasure sharing with you the uniqueness of your children with you. They are all a joy to have in class!
June Recap: This month we learned about our state California and about transportation. For our class, this was a fun unit of study to learn and talk about. All our children knew that they live in the state of California and the major elements of the state. For example, they knew we have the Pacific Ocean, beaches and that we have mountains. The bear on our state flag, made it easy for them remember the state flag. Our state is the flower poppy and children made a beautiful art themes to the flower. Our state bird, the quail is not very easy to find and see. I needed a little help from parents to show it to the children. A great place to take the children is the Magnolia Bird Farm. This would be a good place visit to plan this summer. Children are also amazed by light houses that are along our coastline. They said they were beautiful. For transportation, our children had a lot to talk about. We discussed the different ways that that the children have traveled. They remembered sitting in an airplane or in a big ship. It was not difficult for them to imagine using animals for transportation. For example, camels are used to travel across deserts or to go through narrow steep mountain paths. We welcomed several new friends into our class this month as well. Our Montessori lessons entailed some new concepts. We introduced some new sorting work, concentrating on large and small concepts. In math, we introduced, Greater than, less than; and equal to, as well as their symbols, to practice quantity. The picture cards for transportation were very much in use along with new vocabulary. Our special project we did this month was a gift for Dad! We had a very good celebration at our Father’s Day snack party. I thank all our dads for taking time off from work to attend and spend time in our class with all the children. This month was filled with fun activities. We worked in our garden and we were able to gather a couple of handfuls of green beans. The children enjoyed picking them and later tasting them during our lunch time. This month was filled with fun activities. We decided to plant pumpkins in our garden patch hoping to see the result by October, our Harvest time.