Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 23 - February and the 100th day

Dear Parents,

Just a reminder that next week is Valentine's Day.  We ask that if you want to bring in cards for the 27 students you keep the recipient nameless as to make it easier for your child to pass it out at circle.  We also ask that food treats are save for home and not something friends pass out in class, as we have many food allergies and concerns not just nuts and coconut.  Cards are safe and simple.

This week started off exciting with our 100th day celebration.  We also had two birthday walks and a snow day.   Pizza day was early (Thursday) and Friday we had the entire school to ourselves. 

Monday:  This is a 100th day of school.  We celebrated by marking the blue ten groups of ten sticks with a big red ribbon to represent the hundred family.  Then we jumped into N's 5th Birthday walk.  Happy Birthday N!  A few new works are out on the shelf: a new Russian Doll and Coffee Bean Crush.  The Russian Doll is unique because of its size and that it has ten dolls in total.  It can be a hard twisting work getting the pieces apart and back together.  Other popular works include POA bird, POA frog, POA turtle, Asian Country Names, Asian Map, geometric shapes, geometric cabinet.

Tuesday:At morning circle we went over the calendar and date.  It was still impressive to the kids that we don't have to count the groups of ten anymore, now that they are bound together in a hundredth group.  After circle, we had had a fun work cycle.  Sra. Rosa was out sick today so we had a little long work cycle and then got to enjoy the warm and wet playground.  (As you can tell the kids really enjoy the melting snow and the muddy field!)  Popular works include:  sound association, the letter on the back game,  writing works, stamp game, North America and Asian Maps, USA puzzle map, and bead math.

Wednesday:  Snow Day.  I hope everyone enjoyed the afternoon snowstorm and made some snow people!

Thursday: Today we review the weather and calendar.  It is exciting for the children today, since its pizza day and at midday recess they are the first kids to make tracks in the playground yard.  At midday recess we had many conversations about the shapes the ice made (Can you find another triangle shape?  This has six side.  It has a hexagon shape. ect..) Other popular works include sound association, spelling books, 6 cube chain, coffee bean grind, measured sand, cat and fish sand, and heart lacing.  We ended the day with a reading from Max Celebrates Chinese New Year, by Adria Klien.

Friday:  Today was C's 4th Birthday Walk.  We enjoyed hearing about your chickens, and horses and farm animals.  Thank you for celebrating with us.  We also had a guest Mr. O in our class, demonstrating some lower elementary math.   We were happy to teach him some of our practical life works, such as coffee grinding.  Popular works included sandpaper letters, geometric shapes, stamp game, bead math, art, and name tag tracing and bank game.  We ended the day reading Elephants Cannot Dance and I Really Like Slop, by Mo Williams.

Week 22- Kindess and Respect

Week 22-  Kindness and Respect

Hey Parents!

As January Ends, there are some minor celebrations in February to keep on the calendar.  It appears that Monday Feb 5th will be our 100th day of school.  In the preschool we have been tracking this day and will celebrate the hundredth stick with a red ribbon.   Valentine's Day (Feb 14th) is also approaching.  We ask that if you want to bring cards to class, that they are not addressed to anyone in particular, so it easier for the children to pass them out at circle.  We also ask that there are no food treats involved, as we have so many allergies this year.  Again this is all optional and we will give the students time to create cards in class as well, so no pressure to even make or buy cards.  But a reminder that there are 27 students in the class.

This week we began talking about equality and kindness.  We talked Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King Jr, and Rosa Parks and kept it in the context that ownership of people is wrong, kindness matters, we each make choices everyday to be kind and respectful to each other, and our world is a diverse and beautiful place.  A Taste of Colored Water, by Matt Faulkner; Just Like Josh Gibson, by Angela Johnson; and Circle Unbroken, by Margot Raven is included in our library this month.

In other news, sadly our playground was covered with melting ice, and we deemed it unsafe for the children to play on, so we had a lot of indoor recess this week.  Mother Nature should help us by the weekend, but early in the week we felt the risk of concessions was too high to risk playing outside.  Instead we have some open recess indoors with Legos and coloring and sometimes sang songs at circle.

Monday-   We began the day with a Birthday walk for V, who turned 6 years old.  Thank you for your gift of Winnie the Pooh and a book of poetry.  We enjoyed you reading to us this afternoon!  The classroom is transitioning over to reflect Valentine's Day (Feb 14th) and the Chinese New Year (Feb 16th- year of the Dog).  The children enjoyed finding the new practical life works, namely the heart lacing work and Valentine Card making work.  Some of the children enjoyed the challenge of push pinning a dragon, which requires at lot of concentration and coordination.  Other popular works include, sound association lessons using sand paper letter, stamp game, bead math, bank game and US puzzle (larger version using a control map).

Tuesday-   At circle today we read Sojourner Truth, Preacher for Freedom and Equality, by Suzanna Slade.  We talked about how a long time ago people thought it was okay to own another person, but we now know it was wrong.  People can't be owned and we should always treat each other with kindness and respect.   Many new works in the practical life section require more organization and coordination.  The sand cat and fish pour require fine targeting skills while pouring and organization/recall to know the steps to fix the spilled sand.  Measure scoop brings in the dimension element to a quantity of sand.  A full third of a cup looks much smaller in a large bowl, but it is the same quantity as it is transferred from object to object.  I'll try to write a little about each new work each day.  We also had Spanish Class with Sra. Rosa and reviewed farm animals with the beginner group, fruits with the second years and days of the week with the 3rd years.  Popular works include:  Sound Association, pouring tea equally, bank game, POA turtle, POA bird, POA horse, subtraction book, button snake, and name tag tracing.  We also read another chapter in the Polar Bear at Dawn, Magic Tree House book.

Wednesday-  We began the day reading Rosa, by Nikki Giovanni. We talked about the events that led to Rosa Parks in terms of fairness and what how we can bravely stand up for it.  The highlighted new work is the sponge squeeze, where you immerse a sponge in water and use a  side lemon press to squeeze the water out, thus strengthening your hand for writing.  Music Class with Mr. Wolfe went well as we did music motion songs and practiced for Arts night in April.  Other popular works include: POA turtle, Stamp Game, landforms, and whisking bubbles.

Thursday:  We began the snowy day, talking about the calendar as it is our first day in February.  We notice that it is the 98th day and that we have two more days till the 100th.  Today highlighted work Candy Cane Crush, which is very attractive to the children because its smells like a candy cane and they use a mortar and pestle to crush it.  This is a temporary work as we have a limited supply of candy canes but it will switch to egg shells crush in the next week or so.    Popular works today include stamp game, bead addition, US puzzle map (using the control), land form map, and amphibian continent matching.  Today was also our third Thursday Pizza day.

Friday:  Our second snowy day in February.  Again at circle we reviewed the calendar and date.  Highlighted work is the Chinese marble transfer, which is a spoon transfer between bowls but with more marbles extending out the concentration of the child.  Some of the new works were adjusted for degrees of difficulties today, but all remind in the same spirit.  An interesting observation was all afternoon work was done on the runs.  No one choose to work at the tables.  Popular works today were dictation, clock book, stamp game, sand pouring, name tag tracing, and sound association.

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend.  See you on Monday!

Ms. Becky and Preschool Staff

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Week 21- Parent's Night and Arctic Regions

Dear Parents,

To sum up the week, it was busy.  As a class we are continuing the Arctic regions and exploring Penguins in particular.  Wednesday, we took special care of our classroom to prepare for Parent's Night.  Thank you to all the families that were able to join us.  It was so exciting to see the children show off their works and accomplishments to you.  The rest of the week was spent getting back to our usual January- ski week schedule.  Also sorry this week was heavy on the pictures.  We couldn't  exclude families in our week's activities, so we have included Parents nights.  We hope you enjoy!

Monday-  We started circle talking about the 90th day.  We are now halfway through the school year.  We also introduced a Polar Region work aimed at the younger children to identify where each type of animal in a basket lives in the polar habitat.  Popular works include Atomic Board, painting, spelling works, Stamp Game, Multiplication book, Funnel Pour and Penguin Build.  We also had a fun time at recess exploring the frozen terrain in the playground and making ice bergs in the small pool of water.  (Note to parents shoes and clothes will be wet for the coming weeks- thanks for all the spare clothes!)  We began the Magic Tree House #12: Polar Bear Past Bedtime.

Tuesday-  We had a later start to the morning thanks to a two hour delay.  Students jumped right into work cycle and had optional snack.  Despite the morning delay we still had Spanish class with Sra. Rosa and reviewed farm animals and parts of the body.  After Spanish class we had a quick morning circle to talk about our class sharing for community meeting.  At 11:00 am we went to community meeting hosted by the lower elementary.  We shared with the school our Parts Of A Frog books, Stamp Game works, Multiplication books, painting/color mixing and our Push Pin works.  After community meeting we had a brief indoor recess focusing on music and motion and then ate lunch.  After lunch, popular works included funnel pouring, color wheel puzzle, penguin build, stamp game, landforms and a new work button: an adjective game.  We read another chapter in the Polar Bear Past Bedtime.

Wednesday- Today was a very long day for many of our friends!  At morning circle we reviewed the calendar and weather and talked about Parent's night.  Work cycle was spent giving vowel blend lessons, adjective lessons, cutting works, color wheel puzzle, and landform map.  Mr. Wolfe came to sing and do movement music with our class today, and we start practicing a song for Art's night.  The children decided to spend most of the afternoon cleaning the classroom to impress their parents.  It always amazing to see them really scrubbing table and windows (I often wish I could take a few home to help me clean my house!)  We ended the day with folk and silly camp songs because it was too wet to have recess outside, especially after the children worked so hard cleaning everything.

Special note:  I enjoyed the turnout at Parents night.  Thank you to all the families that came and allowed their children to show off their hard works to you.   It was such an exciting opportunity for them to show off their knowledge and acquired skills, since Montessori school traditionally don't produce much paperwork at this age range.  I appreciate the effort each family made to return after dinner to school.  I hope you enjoyed Parent's night as much as I did.

Thursday (Pizza Day)- Today everyone is a little tired from last night's Parent's Night.  At morning circle we review some animals that lived in the Antarctic region and read Penguins, a Life in the Colony, by Willow Clark.   Popular works throughout the day include, Map Mapping, POA fish, Initial sounds, Bank Game, Stamp Game  and Bead Game Addition.  In the afternoon, we read Where is Home, Little Pip? by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.

Friday-  Started the day with the date and observed that we are very close to the 100th day of school.  Review Arctic Regions and read Fluff and Billy, by Nicola Killer.  The most popular work today was cutting works.  At one point, I couldn't believe how many children were focused on either cutting along the lines of paper or creating beautiful snowflakes.  Art expression through painting or drawing was also very popular.  Other notable works include Bank Game, Name tag tracing, dictations with watercolor, map making, Yoga poses, landforms, and the updated US Puzzle.  (I exchanged the labeled US puzzle with a large unmarked and slightly harder puzzle form.  The state are unlabeled, but its fun to hear who recalls where each state goes by its shape and name.)

Let's hope this weekend warms up a bit and the ice rink that was formally our playground returns to a safe play condition.  See you all next week!

Ms Becky and the Preschool Staff.