Summer Recap: During the month of July, we began our summer program by celebrating the 4th of July! The children were so excited to see the bright and beautiful fireworks! We made fireworks for craft. Our theme for the first two weeks was Underwater Adventure, we made octopus and talked about creatures that live in the ocean. The children even pretended they were sea animals and we swam across the room. For our Montessori jobs the children were introduced to new craft jobs with lots of colors. Since summer is here, we have been participating in more outdoor activities that include water. The children love bubble day, water play and the water slide. We also take time to water our garden. The plants are growing so fast right before our eyes! August was a hot month. Our students enjoyed the hot summer. During this month we had a bubble show. They were excited to see the giant bubbles. Some of the children were able to step inside of the bubble house. It was a great experience! The students received a visit from the Alhambra Fire Department. The firefighters taught us how to stay safe and what to do if there is a fire. They were able to put the fire uniform on. The uniform was heavy. We are so proud of the bravery and strength of the firemen. The theme for two weeks in August was farm. The children had so much fun singing songs, reading stories and making crafts related to farm animals. Their favorite was making a lamb during craft time. We practiced animal sounds as we prepared our project.
September Recap: Fall is here and all of us are excited to start our new school year. Little Acorn is proud to welcome all new students. We are looking forward to guiding and nurturing them with our Montessori curriculum. For September the theme was all about me, making friends, introducing our families and ourselves. We kept in mind the Montessori aspects of practical life, teaching the children spooning. They were able to spoon different items like water and beans. For our sensorial job, the children used their finger muscles to work with knobbed cylinders. In language, we used sandpaper alphabets, numbers 1-4 puzzles and matching science and culture discussed continents singing songs and maps. We talked about what we do in school such as being social, following directions and good behavior. The children talked about who is in their family, their values. Family heritage can provide their own identities and open up a new world into other cultures and traditions. The children were encouraged to make friends by smiling, making eye contact and treating others the way we want them you treat us. We also taught the children how to take care of themselves by eating healthier, getting regular exercise, dressing neat and getting enough sleep. For art we made a school bus and painted it with yellow. We made an, All About Me, book then a handprint mural.
October Recap: October’s theme was all about five senses and feelings. Children develop through experiences. These usually work together to give us a clear picture of the world around us. This includes taste using our tongue, hearing using our ears, seeing using our eyes, smelling using our nose, touching with our fingers. Sensory play is beneficial for children. It helps to build nerve connections in the brain, strengthens motor skills, supports language development, critical thinking and problem solving. We discussed eyes are for seeing. Then we played the I Spy game. For smelling, we smelled mint leaves. With our ears we listened to musical instruments. For touch we felt the texture of fabric. With our tongue we tasted different foods. We talked about the fall season explaining how the weather changes to cooler air. The morning and nights are becoming shorter. The leaves change their colors to red, brown, yellow, and orange. We did projects with handprints using fall color tempera paint. The children made fall leaves, trees, a Jack-o-Lantern using google eyes. Then we enjoyed creating various Halloween projects like spiders, bats, and ghosts. We read books related to the fall. The Halloween parade was a lot of fun! It was celebrating the ghost and the ghoul season with remarkable pageants of costumes. All children looked amazing dressed up. Thank you, parents who volunteered to hand out candies for trick or treating.
November Recap: Our theme for November was “Healthy Bodies and Harvest.” The children learned about harvesting and what we grow in the fall season, emphasizing on the foods we should eat to keep ourselves healthy. Along with eating good food, it is very important to get enough rest and exercise. To have a healthy body one must be happy and content with what one has in life. For our curriculum we talked about the location of the United States of America on the globe. Then we sang the continent song. The children enjoyed reading books related to the fall season. Children made art projects such as Thanksgiving cards, place mats with handprint turkey and marble painted fall leaves. For our enrichment cooking class, we made cinnamon apple chips. It was such great and healthy treat! During share days children bought items beginning with letters i, j and k. The children learned a little about the history of Thanksgiving. We read books about how the pilgrims left England, came to the states. The native Americans helped them build houses, grow crops and hunt Turkeys. In return the pilgrims threw a feast in order to thank the native Americans since then the tradition of Thanksgiving began. We asked the children what they are thankful for, then we shared our own holiday traditions. Many gather with close friends and family members, feasting together and enjoying the delicious food like yam, turkey, corn, pumpkin pie and more.
December Recap: December was all about giving and appreciating one another. The children learned about the different holidays and about the winter season. We discussed the four seasons on Earth. Winter is the coldest time of the year, occurring between autumn and spring. During this time the weather changes, the nights are longer, and the days are shorter. The trees shed their leaves and in some locations it snows. Many enjoy the winter sport of sledding and skiing. The children learned about the unique traditions, celebrations and holidays that occur around the world during the month of December. The children learned about Christmas, which is one of the most widely known December holiday. We discussed how the holidays are celebrated differently in America and in Europe. For example, here we leave cookies and milk for Santa and in Europe they leave pie and brandy. We finished up the month discussing Hanukkah or Chanukah an eight-day Jewish celebration and Kwanzaa an African American celebration of life. During the month of December, Santa visited our school, the children were excited to take photos and receive cookies. The dress up week was fun, and the holiday recital was spectacular! We read books related to the holidays and made different crafts. The children decorated our class with holiday décor. We also made gifts and Christmas cards for parents whom we very much appreciated. The holiday book exchange was very exciting. Talking to children about different holidays is a great way to teach them about diversity among different cultures and religion, it allows the children develop a sense of respect for others while expanding their views of the world and the people in it.
January Recap: Our theme for January was all about “Winter Animals and Hibernation”. We touched base on what a habitat is, explaining the environmental conditions to survive. A habitat could be for animals or plants. The availability of food was the focus we discussed. People prepare for different weather just like animals. They prepare by wearing thick clothes, boots, gloves and hats to keep warm. We use heaters or firewood to provide warmth. Animals do not have these options. Some animals are not able to survive through extreme winter. They go through a process called hibernation, sleeping for a long period of time. To prepare for hibernation, they eat a lot of food during the fall season so they can survive the cold harsh winter. Their metabolism burns calories slow to save energy.
We created different projects such as paper penguins, mittens and marble paint polar bears along with paper Chinese lanterns to celebrate Chinese New Year. Also, in celebration of Chinese New Year, one of our student’s grandparents performed the dragon dance. We also did a science project making snow using shaving cream and baking soda. We read the book, The Mitten, which is about a boy who was playing out in the snow and loses his mittens. Some animals find it and try to make it their home to stay warm. This teaches the children that scarcity of space could be harmful. For example, when a lot of children try to go down the slide at the same time there isn’t a lot of space between them and they can get hurt. It also teaches them obedience.
February Recap: February’s theme was Cultural Awareness and Friendship. We talked about cultural diversity which is a quality to respect each other’s differences. We also discussed what is friendship and how to make and maintain friends? Explaining that friendship is spending time together, sharing, ideas, having fun, respecting each other’s uniqueness. We touched base a little about the presidents. We mentioned Abraham Lincoln and George Washington who helped to run the country. George Washington’s legacy endures as one of the most influential in American history as the first president of the United States of America. We read the book Little Blue and Little Yellow. This story is a journey in which the parents of little blue and little yellow realizes what happens when they share a hug.
We made crafts on friendship tree with handprints, colored the map of Asia, made heart wreaths and happy heart men. The experiment of mixing the colors blue and yellow was very interesting to the children they were very excited to see the color change to green. We celebrated Valentine’s Day with a party during morning snack. The children passed out cards and treats to friends which was a lot of fun. We demonstrated how to cover a cough and sneeze, proper nose blowing and washing hands and staying germ free.
March News: In March we will discuss our theme The Rainforest and South America. We will discuss the animals who live in the rainforest and share why they are special. The class will learn about the food, music customs of South America. Lastly, the children will celebrate St Patrick’s day, so don’t forget to wear green! Spring Break is the last week of March and Little Acorn will be providing daycare by signup only. Please see the office if you are interested in your child attending!