Summer Recap: What a fun summer we had! There was lots of sun, water activities, popsicles, and in-house shows. We had quite a scare during the early weeks of the season due to earthquakes but happy that all seemed to calm down. Safety is the school’s utmost concern that fire and earthquake drills were done to make sure that everyone remembered what to do should another occurrence happen. July started with fireworks-the fourth of July celebration. On the 3rd, before the holiday, we did some school wide activities to kick off the Summer; we had 4th of July crafts, music and dance and bubbles and games. It was a nice day with the children moving from one activity table to the next in an orderly manner. Afterwards, the teachers and the children all helped clean up the area and put things away. The children made beautiful crafts for the Underwater Adventure unit; sea turtles, mosaic and octopi dot craft. I read two books about sea animals and the children drew and wrote some sentences about them. The outer space was another fascinating topic. We talked about the planets and tried remembering the name of each. They illustrated the solar system using the colored chalks on black construction papers. The book, “Only One You,” is a beautiful story, with a wonderful message by, Linda Kranz. The book talks about what the parent-fish said to their little one when he was about to venture out into the big sea. Our class focused on this book as a unit -lesson and, with a follow up craft. We painted rocks that are to be made into a riverbed to be placed in the garden. Mid-summer, we were talking about the farm. We made paper barn, coloring and cutting farm animals pictures. As a follow up lesson to our unit, we increased our vocabulary by talking about the special words used for the boy and girl animals, even baby animals. We also played games with animal sounds which the children really enjoyed. We took advantage of the summer’s more relax schedule to reintroduce some learning basics and Montessori practical life exercises. We covered how to carry a chair, open/close the box, returning materials on the shelf, rolling and unrolling mats, as well as the proper way of washing hands and walking inside the classrooms. Our summer was so exciting due to the in-house field trips. We had experiments, a visit from community safety helpers, bubble makers, a puppet show master and a magician. Professor Egghead and her experiments were awesome. The professor talked about the stages of matter, how matter change from one state to another, and the processes involved like condensation and sublimation which she explained through her experiments. The firefighters’ visit was a fun experience to learn about safety. The children were treated with a real fireman’s gear and firetruck. Bubblemania was so cool! Yes, the children had seen bubbles but not as big. Bubblemania’s bubbles were spectacular! They came in unbelievable sizes, shapes, and forms. Some bubbles were so big they encapsulated some children. Our water play felt like a water park trip with the water slide. I would like to thank our dear parents for their full support of our school programs and activities. The same was true of the spirit week, children dressed in our school shirt which were distributed the week before and showed their spirits.
September Recap: How fast this month went by! We are now in the second month of the school year. September went on smoothly. Our TK /K class was given review of the expectations of the classroom like how to handle the materials in the classroom, returning items to their proper places, how to line-up, walking in line, using indoor voices in the classroom, and many more. In Geography, the first lesson was the 7 continents of the world. The materials used for this lesson included the colored globe and the puzzle map of the continents also known as the planisphere.The children had a great time matching the puzzle pieces of the continents to the working map then checking their work with the control map. Older children went as far as tracing the puzzle pieces then coloring the continents following the colors shown on the control map. They also learned a song about the continents. Great job, everyone! In Zoology, the class started with the difference between living and nonliving things and the materials used were the living and Nonliving Cards. We had an interesting discussion in class about cars, boats and airplanes being nonliving. One of our boy with an inquisitive mind pointed out that they move on their own so why are they nonliving. In the end, the class agreed that living things move and grow. The children also studied the difference between plants and animals. We had classified nomenclatures on this. We had our first experiment for our first lesson in Science – Magnetic versus Nonmagnetic. We used a magnet and a set of items that the children tried the magnet to attract. Then, they placed the item under the labels “magnetic” or “nonmagnetic”. Perhaps the most exciting lesson was – All About Me. This lesson was both exciting and important because it made ach child a topic of lesson in our class. We had many follow up activities for this lesson.First, each child brought a picture and talked about themselves, like their age and their favorites. On another week, they brought a family picture where they said the names of their parents, siblings, and pets. Lastly, they made a poster project about the two activities. Our book of the month was, “The Kissing Hand,” by Audrey Penn. The book is about separation anxiety and how a mama raccoon helped her son get over it. We had coloring sheets and a craft done about the book. In Art, we did splatter painting, made self portrait, apple art, and made playdough for the school.
October Recap: What a fun Halloween we had! We had lots of costumes, great parent participation, and yummy snacks. Indeed, Halloween is one of the most fun celebrations of the year. The five senses were discussed to the class using the classified nomenclature on the 5 senses and the 5 senses sorting cards. The sensorial exercises that were shown to support this unit were: the tasting bottles, the smelling bottles, rough and smooth board, and the fabric box. Talking about feelings became an enjoyable experience for the children because of role playing games we had. Situations were given and each child was asked to show the feelings that the situations were giving them. It is curious to see that under the same situation children responded differently. In Geography, our lessons moved from the 7 continents to North America: our home continent. The puzzle map, control map, and the working map of North America were shown to help the children see how the map looks like from the air, compare the sizes of the countries, and the see the oceans that surround the continent. To give them the idea about the life on this place, the classified nomenclatures on the plants, animals, people, and famous places were shown and laid out on separate lessons. Land and water forms were discussed as well. We have the geography cards to show how each landform looked like. The children used the land and water form pans to recreate them on their own. In Zoology and Botany, the class continued working on the differences between plants and animals using the plant/animal classification cards. Furthermore, the harvest season brought more fruits, like apples and pumpkins. The children learned about the parts the fruits, using both the apple and the pumpkin as examples. Halloween animals were popular too, like the bats, owls, spiders, and it was fitting to talk about them and learn about the parts of their body. The class continued learning about the letters and their sounds using the sandpaper letters. The children continued practicing tracing and writing their letters and their names. They have been practicing counting and have been working on the sandpaper numbers, spindle box, memory game, and colored bead stairs. Our fine-finger exercises had been very helpful in preparing the young hands for writing. They had been doing a lot of washing exercises, opening bottles, clothes pins job, knob less and knobbed cylinders, cutting exercises as well as the more direct materials like the metal insets. Their coloring seemed to be improving too, doing the up and down coloring strokes, and coloring only within the lines. The children were also doing some vocabulary enrichment thru the Language boxes. We did the language boxes on the different fruits, plants around us, and things about Halloween. We learned a Halloween poem, 5 Little Pumpkins and recited it over and over. We had a Halloween action song too- Fly Little Bats. Our October book was We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt. This book was great to name the most popular trees that change their leaf color during Fall. As an art/craft we did the Fall mosaic this month. In Art, our focus was on George Seurat paintings. We did dot craft and made apple trees. We decorated our pumpkins and colored the spider and its web. We would like to thank our parents for their great support of our school fundraising, the Book Fair. Thank you for encouraging your child to participate in pumpkin decorating for Halloween, allowing them to bring pumpkins to school. Lastly, my sincerest appreciation for your continued support of our snack host program.
November Recap: The students enjoyed learning about, “Harvest and Healthy Bodies”. We read books about virtues, emphasizing on honesty, unity, responsibility, helpfulness and courage. November was the harvest month and because of the abundance in produce, it was also very important to talk about healthy bodies. The children learned about eating the right kind of foods, the importance of drinking a lot of water throughout the day, as well as being active and doing some exercise. Jackson Pollock was the artist of the month. The children participated in the “drip technique”. We used the technique to create fall crafts such as leaves and turkeys. In math, we are making progress counting and skip counting by 10’s and 5’s. The children practiced tracing numbers 11 through 19. They used the Seguin board with the colored beads and the ten bars for the exercises. In Geography, the map of the USA was the center of our activities. The children worked a lot on the puzzle map of USA and the nomenclatures on the plants, animals, and the famous landmarks of our country. We made a paper USA flag which was timely because we just celebrated Veterans Day. We added more things to talk about during our circle time. In addition to mastering the days of the week and the months of the year, we also talked a lot about the weather noticing the changes in the daily weather. Our focus animal was the bird. We talked about the parts of the bird and the different birds we see around.
December Recap: December had many celebrations. It was a merry month of religious and cultural holidays. The class started the month with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, reading stories and explaining the importance of the Menorah. On the second week, we talked about Kwanzaa which was a celebration honoring African heritage. Finally, on the third week of the month the class discussed Christmas which was a Christian holiday honoring the birth of the Messiah. As the class talked about these special holidays the children did some coloring pages and a craft for each of the holiday. In Geography, the class focused on the continent of Europe. As they studied the puzzle map of Europe, the children also worked on the cards of the people and places in Europe. They learned about places like Paris, Vatican City, Athens, London, St. Petersburg, and other important landmarks. The parts of the horse and the parts of the reindeer were the focused in Zoology. As an additional topic for Europe, the children also looked at the nomenclature pictures of animals and plants native to Europe. In Botany, the Conifer trees and Douglas fir were the focus for plants. We made many crafts for Christmas and we used them for our classroom decorations. We also did our Christmas recital where the children prepared songs and movements for the songs “Up on the Housetop” and “Jingle Bell Rock”. In art, the children created art pieces inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night, snowflakes using salt and watercolor, and making a snowman using rock painting. The children did a wonderful job during the holiday performance! They practiced all month long and they truly shined!
January Recap: January, we continued our lessons in Phonics and the children have been working hard learning their sounds. We have been using our movable alphabet and phonics baskets matching letters to the initial sounds of the objects. One of our friends has now started to read 3-letter words and sight words since he has been practicing reading the red phonics books series. Three of our friends seem to be ready to put sounds together, and the rest have been progressing steadily. As the sounds were introduced, tracing and writing letters followed. In math, we have been working on counting and writing numbers 1-30.
The class talked about hibernation and the animals that hibernate. Winter animals were discussed which included penguins and polar bears. Pictures of different kinds of penguins and the different kinds of bears were shown and introduced. Matching cards were used for the children’s individual practiced. In Botany, winter plants, fruits, and vegetables were also been discussed. We also mentioned the bulbous plants, plants that seemed to be dead on winter but are just actually sleeping. Bulbous plants reawakened when spring starts and produces beautiful flowers. In Geography, the continent in focused was Antarctica which main inhabitants include penguins, seals, certain birds, and a few scientists studying the continent.
February Recap: February was the month of celebrating friendship and awareness of our cultural diversity. As we celebrated Valentine’s Day, we emphasized the importance of love, friendship, and acceptance to make this world a better place to live. The children celebrated Valentine’s Day by passing out cards and sweet things to their friends and by having a snack party in the afternoon. We also observed President’s Day which reminded us responsibility, sacrifice and patriotism. As Valentine’s Day was observed, we gave the children the nomenclatures of this holiday – words like love, hugs, kisses, flowers to name a few.
We also continued working on the sandpaper letters and the movable alphabet learning more sounds and forming more words. In numbers, we moved to skip counting by tens, then adding units to the tens. They were on their way to counting up to one hundred. Aside from counting, the children were busy practicing writing numbers. Asia was the continent of the month. The children learned about the 49 countries and some of the most famous places and landmarks in Asia. As we talked about the continent, we had to study the plants and animals native to Asia. These were the lessons they had for Botany and Zoology. Little Blue and Little Yellow was the book of the month. As an artwork for the lesson learned from this book, the children made hearts painted with yellow and blue dot markers. Additional crafts done for this month included the Valentine cats and the cherry blossom trees.
March News: In March, the theme is Rainforest and South America. Celebrations included Dr Seuss’ birthday and St Patrick’s Day. South America is the continent-in-focus and our literature includes Dr Seuss’ classic books. Get ready with your green outfit, you don’t want to get pinched! Spring break is on the last week of March. Childcare is available by signup only, please see the information if you are interested.