September Recap: In September, we learned that there are seven continents. We talked about the colors used to designate the continents. We learned that the continents were once all connected. We studied the parts of a plant. We read a book about plant parts. We made our own flowering plant using construction paper, glue, and sequins with flowers. We talked about what plants and animals need to stay alive. We read a book about the needs of plants and animals. We discussed that needs are different from wants. Our Montessori lessons entailed serving of snack through our Snack Host program. We used our cvc word cards to write words. We used puzzles to look at the different classification of animals. Our special project this month was about ourselves. We drew pictures of ourselves and learned about how to shake hands and greet people. Enrichment for this month was based on how to use the computer mouse. How to control the mouse to pick and point what learning activity you want to do. September was the first month of school and everything went very well. We are all getting to know each other and enjoying learning.
October Recap: In October, we learned about the planets and how they orbit the sun. We read about the sun being a star and how important the sun is to life on our planet. We learned that Pluto is no longer considered a planet. We learned about the continent of North America. We looked at a map of North America and saw the different countries. We colored flags of Mexico and Canada. We read a book about nocturnal animals. We learned how bats are nocturnal. We learned bats are the only mammals that fly. Our Montessori lessons entailed sweeping and cleaning the tables. We talked about caring for our learning materials and keeping our classroom clean. Our special project for this month was making our own globes. We used balloons and paper Mache. We covered the balloons then painted in the continents. Enrichment for this month was based on the use of a computer mouse. This month was a great month. We got to know each other better and we worked hard.
November Recap: In November, we learned about animals that are native to California. We looked at photos and discussed what animal group they belonged to. We then placed them into their proper category of California Marine Animal, California Land Animal, or California Air Animal. We talked about the different types of animals. Our Montessori lessons included reading the book Fill A Bucket. We talked about how being helpful and peaceful helps people fill their buckets with happiness. We talked about how you can help fill people’s buckets and fill your own. We talked about having empathy for other people. Our special project for November was making bag turkeys. We took brown paper sacks and stuffed them with newspaper. We cut legs, feathers, eyes, and a beak from construction paper. We glued the turkey parts to the bags. VOILA we have a turkey centerpiece. Enrichment for November was based on the art of Andy Warhol. In Music we focused on the genre of jazz music. We painted flowers colorfully like Andy Warhol. We listened to jazz music and used our rhythm sticks to beat out the time of the music. November was a time for meeting with parents and becoming familiar with the lives and customs of our students.
December Recap: In December we discussed the difference between deciduous and coniferous trees. We talked about how deciduous trees lose their leaves and coniferous trees are forever green and therefore called evergreens. We looked at pinecones and learned how they are the reproductive unit of a coniferous tree. We learned about the continent Europe. We looked at famous landmarks in Europe including The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower. We compared animals of Europe to animals of North America. We have worked very hard on reading three letter (cvc) words. We listened for beginning sounds in words. We looked at beginning blends. Our Montessori lessons entailed how best to cover our cough. We talked about the best way to say, “Yes, thank you” and “No, thank you”. Our special projects for December revolved around making gifts for the holidays. We also practiced singing songs for our holiday performance. Enrichment for the month covered the art of Edgar Degas. He is one of the founders of the Impressionistic school of art. He is famous for his paintings of ballet dancers. In Spanish we learned some Spanish holiday terms. December was a fun month full of singing and art. The time flew by to bring us to our holidays spent with family. Have a wonderful winter break. We look forward to seeing everyone back on January 2, 2019.
January Recap: In January we learned about the continent of Antarctica. Our class looked at a globe and located it at the bottom of the Earth, the South Pole. Students looked and read about the different types of penguins that live there. They learned how only scientists live on Antarctica. We discussed Winter and how cold it is and what are the proper clothes to wear. Students read books on animals in the winter and how some animals hibernate. The class learned that some animals migrate or go south for the Winter. We made fake snow! In January, our school celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. We listened to a book about him and his beliefs. Our classroom discussed treating people fairly and equally. Our Montessori lessons for January entailed learning about how to handle with care, the learning materials. Students talked about what is an inside voice and what is an outside voice. Another Montessori lesson was a review of something the students have already been taught, but needed a reminder, how to wash your hands thoroughly! Our Special Project for January was the weaving of a rug. We used a shoebox as a loom and yarn as our warp and weft. It required good hand and eye coordination and a lot of concentration. Enrichment for January included listening to the music of The Beatles and looking at lovely Edgar Degas artwork. In computers all of the students are getting much better at using the mouse and finding work they like. January was a month of readjustment after the long holiday break. All of the students are getting back into their work rhythm.
February Recap: In February, the Kindergarteners learned about the continent of Asia. The class looked at its location on our planet Earth. We also read about the Great Wall of China. The class studied the Giant Panda. We read how giant pandas only eat bamboo and learned that giant pandas have two sets of teeth just like humans. We learned that their teeth are extremely strong enabling them to chew hard bamboo. Our class celebrated two holidays; Valentine’s Day and President’s Day. We read about George Washington and his love for dogs. We looked at pictures of Abraham Lincoln and read why he was called “Honest Abe”. Our Montessori lessons included lining up procedures and how to do it safely. We talked about friendship and what makes a good friend. We shared Valentine cards with our friends. Our special project for February continued with our weaving of rugs. We used our weaving skills to make our Valentine card holders. We will use our skills to make friendship bracelets. Enrichment for February included listening to Asian music, art projects for Valentine’s Day and learning friendship words in Spanish. February was a month filled with friendship. Valentine’s Day gave the students the opportunity to share cards and food with their friends and to feel good about giving.
March Recap: In March, we learned about the continent of Africa. We looked at the Great Sphinx and the pyramids. We looked at a map of Africa and located important African landmarks. March is Dr. Seuss month, so the students listened to the books, “Green Eggs and Ham”, “The Lorax”, and many others. We made green eggs and ham and shared them with our friends. We have been studying rhyming words since we are listening to Dr. Seuss through books like “Hop on Pop”. While studying Africa, we learned about “Adrinkra cloth and the country of Ghana. We looked about how many animals roam the vast grasslands. We learned how flamingoes are native to Africa and they get their distinctive feather color from the foods they eat. Our Montessori lessons entailed greeting people and taking turns. We practiced shaking hands and asking how people are. We talked about politeness and waiting in line. Our special project was making our own Adrinka cloth. Adinkra cloth is made by the Ashanti people of Ghana. The prints are made by printing on cloth. Adinkra cloths were worn by African royalty. Enrichment this month included African necklaces. In Spanish the students studied dinosaur names. In computer, each student continues to develop their confidence. March was a month full of fun. We had a visit from leprechauns celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Dr. Seuss is always an important author of our times and we celebrate him because he is a large part of American culture.
April Recap: In April, we learned about the continent of Australia. We looked at Australian animals like the kangaroo and the koala. We learned kangaroos cannot hop backwards and that koalas only eat certain types of eucalyptus tree leaves. We studied volcanoes. The students made their own volcano in our sandbox and made it erupt using baking soda and vinegar. We explored the chemical reaction of mixing baking soda and vinegar and learned how there are three different kinds of volcanoes. There is a region of the world called the Ring of Fire, showing where most of the major volcanic action is located. The children were so surprised to look closely at the map and discover that we live on the Ring of Fire! In Math we started working on subtraction. We were introduced to the minus symbol and how we find the difference. Our Montessori lessons entailed lining up in an orderly way. We worked on our table manners, proper etiquette, and how we should eat over the table, and place our napkins in our laps. April’s special project was making a didgeridoo. A didgeridoo is an Australian musical instrument. We took paper tubing and decorated it with paint. Enrichment classes revolved around computers, music, Spanish, art, and cooking. All of the students continue to improve in their use of a mouse and mouse pad. As the computer enrichment teacher, I have been working with the students on learning to have control over the mouse and using it to glide over the mousepad to make controlled movements.
May Recap: In May, we studied the continent of South America. We looked at the flags of the countries and made some of our own. We talked about llamas, galapagos turtles, and quetzals. We learned about the Amazon Rain Forest. Our South American project was making rainsticks. Another topic we learned about was the migration of three different types of whales. We looked at the gray, humpback, and blue whales. We labeled maps of their migration routes. We measured the length of a blue whale. A science area that we studied were butterflies and their life cycle. We learned about the egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages of a butterflies cycle. We raised our own butterflies. Our Montessori lessons entailed how to wait patiently, how to pour a drink, and how to fill somebody’s bucket. We practiced pouring water into cups and serving them to our friends. We talked about lining up and how we must wait our turn. Our special projects for this month were making maracas and rainsticks. The maraca is a Latin American instrument. The maracas were made with plastic eggs and plastic spoons. We placed corn kernels in them and shook away. We made rainsticks by reusing paper towel tubes and placing roofing nails and rice inside them. We decorated our rainsticks using permanent markers. We listened to a book entitled The Rainstick. The story is about a boy and how drought has come to his land. He is sent out to find the rain and finds a rainstick which he brings back to his village. Enrichment for May was based on a South American theme. We mixed up food with a South American flavor and we listened to music from South America. In Spanish we learned the words for different types of clothing and food. May was a busy month with Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, and conferences. Thanks to all of the parents that made these days more fulfilling. I enjoyed talking to the parents about their child and how well they are doing. For our Mother’s Day gift we decorated visors for our Moms.
June Recap: In June, we learned about the state of California. We learned that the capital is Sacramento. We looked at the state flower, the California poppy and the state mammal, the California Grizzly bear. We located famous landmarks such as the Hollywood sign, Half Dome in Yosemite, and the Golden Gate Bridge. We talked about how Death Valley has the hottest temperature ever recorded. We also learned about Ladybugs. We learned that ladybugs do bite. They have a bad smell which keeps predators away from them. We learned they do have eyes and antennae. A third theme we learned about were Community Workers. We talked about jobs in our community. We read books about Dentists, Principals, Teachers, and Custodians. We discussed what jobs our parents have and what they do at work. Our Montessori lessons entailed talking about being patient and always showing courtesy to others. We talked about treating people fairly and how we want to be treated. We keep practicing how to clean up after ourselves. Our Special Project for this month was making a map of the United States. We used poster board and traced the United States puzzle map. We located the capital and placed a star where it is located. We wrote in the names of the states and colored our maps. Enrichment for June included listening to the Beach Boys in music class, painting California poppies, and singing songs in Spanish. One song we practiced is Paz y Libertad which we are singing for Graduation. The month of June was a time of finishing up assignments and thinking about our friends. We made gifts for our Dad for Father’s Day and had Donuts with Dads to celebrate. We are sad to see some of our friends graduating and going on to new schools.
Summer News: For the next months of Summer, we are looking forward to a lot of fun. We have many interesting activities planned. We are getting visits from Magic Joe and Ranger Jack. We are looking forward to a reptile show. We have Water Play Days and Bubble Play Days. We have a new water slide. Yeah! We have projects themed around Underwater Adventures, Outer Space and Down on the Farm. For 4th of July we have a week of Party in the USA. On August 2nd, we will have our annual school carnival with a train ride, petting zoo and real ponies! We are looking forward to a great summer!