The week of April 22

Parents,

Please remember that Monday is an early release day. Morning class is from 8:30 to 10:30 and afternoon class is from 11:00 to 1:00.

We just got our eggs to incubate from the Fremont high school FFA program.  The eggs should hatch around May 8th.  It is always amazing to watch this process!  To go along with this we will be talking about the life cycle of a chicken this week.

We will be putting the finishing touches on our class play Anansi and the moss covered rock. You should be getting an invitation but just in case this does not make it home here are the important details.  The performance will be Friday April 26th in the small gym.  The morning class will perform at 10:30 am and the afternoon class will be at 2:00 pm.

This week we will be finishing up our study of fruits.  On Wednesday we will be making a fruit salad.  Please send your child with a piece or small serving of their favorite fruit.  If their favorite fruit is watermelon (or any melon) please only send a slice 😉

We will talk about the animals of the African grasslands as well as introduce our next simple machine, the pulley.

I cannot believe that the year is coming to a close.  May can be a crazy month so I wanted to give you all a heads up on some important dates.

  • DIBLES testing this week (kindergarten students only)
  • Shadowing in lower elementary Monday April 29 (kindergarten students only)
  • KEEP assessment will be done April 29 – May 3 (kindergarten students only)
  • May 17th Early Childhood Field day .  We will be going to Oak Lawn park for our field day
  • May 20 Bridging ceremony (graduation).  There will be no class this day only the graduation.  More details will be coming soon.
  • May 21- 23 Early release for Parent Teacher Conferences
  • May 24 early release for the last day of school

We could use a few more eggs for our food prep job.  If you would be willing to donate please sign up here https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/470987

 

Thanks to the many parents who have donated supplies!! Your support is invaluable!

Have a great week!

Ms. Jen, Ms. Jess & Ms. Kimber

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Bird report

Parents,

On Monday I sent home a homework project with all kindergarten students.  If you kindergarten student did not bring this home here it is so you can work on it.

bird home project

Please email me if you have any questions.

Ms. Jen

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The week of April 15

Parents,

We are learning about the 7th habit of happy kids this month which is sharpen the saw.  Sharpen the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you.  Last week Ms. April from one of the lower elementary classes came in and did a guided meditation with us to help us sharpen our saws.  This week Ms. Steph will come in a guide us through some yoga moves.  We talked about how when our bodies and minds are calm we are able to accomplish a lot more!  We will continue our study of Africa and its grasslands.  We will talk about one group of people who live in the grasslands, the Maasai. We will also talk about the parts of birds.  We will do a group activity with incline planes this week as well.

On Monday April 29th our kindergarten students will be shadowing in a lower elementary class. For those of you who are not familiar with what shadowing is let me fill you in. Each one of our kindergarten students goes to visit one of the 9 lower elementary classes.  They are partnered up with a student from that class and then they do some activities and work int hat room with their partner for about an hour and then they come back to our class.  This is a great chance for them to see what they get to look forward to next year as well as ease some of their fears. Please make sure that you child is at school on the 29th.

Have a great week!

Ms. Jen, Ms. Jess & Ms. Kimber

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The week of April 8

Parents,

This month we will begin a new continent/biome study: the grasslands of Africa.  The new vertebrate we will be studying is birds.  For botany we will be talking about fruit.  Our simple machine we will introduce is the incline plane and we will be talking about the element of form in art (it’s like shape but 3D).

We have a lot of fun and exciting activities to go along with our new units of study but there are a few I want to make you aware of.  To kick of our study of birds we will be having a presentation at the school with some live birds.  Your child should have brought home an information sheet just before spring break but if not here are the details.  The bird show is happening on Tuesday April 9th at the school in the small gym.  We are having one presentation for both the morning and afternoon  classes.  This means that the morning class will stay late on Tuesday and the afternoon class will arrive at school early.  I apologize now to those of you who are creatures of habit, this might mess up your schedule on Tuesday. We are asking that our afternoon students be dropped off at 11:15 am and our morning students be picked up at 12:00 pm.  Families are welcome to attend.

This month we will be doing a partici play. We have this scheduled for Friday April 26.  I will post more information when it gets closer but we want to invite families to mark that date and plan to attend it will be amazing.

We have some new practical life activities out like peeling, slicing and eating hard boiled eggs as well as making quesadillas.   If you would like to help with some of the supplies needed for these activities here is the link to sign up https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/468810

With the warmer weather (hopefully its coming sooner rather than later) we would love to have a few new sand toys for recess.  If you would like to donate an item to use in the sand box we would greatly appreciate it!!

My Montessori thought for the week is one that I recently shared with my colleagues. I was in a Montessori class taught by Paul Epstein.  He posed the question “What do the children in your class want most from you?” I would add what do the children in your house/family neighborhood want most from you?  Many of the Montessori teachers who were there gave answers such as love, attention, a friend, a confidant.  He accepted all the answers but said that we had all missed the mark.  While children might want all of these things at some point it is not what they want most.  At this point he had my full attention.  What was it that my students wanted most from me?  Dr. Epstein said what children want most from the adults in their lives is for the adults to be authentic, meaning giving them our true selves.  This then raises the question of how do we give the children in our lives our true, authentic selves?  In the book The Tao of Montessori Catherine McTamaney says ” Authentic, selfless love for the child revolves around an authentic, self-love”.  It’s so important to take time to refill our reservoirs so we can in turn refill the reservoirs those wonderful little people around us.  So spend a little time this break refilling your reservoir!

Have a great rest of your spring break!  See you on Monday

Ms. Jen, Ms. Jess & Ms. Kimber

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Yearbooks

LAST CHANCE!

Yearbook Order Deadline: 

THIS FIRDAY, March 29   $25.00 

$3.00 extra to have your name printed in awesome metallic foil on the cover

   

Order Online at: ybpay.lifetouch.com

 CODE: 13283719  

 

Just as a heads up for parents/families who are new to our school.  On the last day of school we  set aside time for yearbook signing.  For those who do not purchase a yearbook we will provide them with materials to have their friends sign.  The students usually love this!

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The week of March 25

Parents,

This week we will be reading the first book in the Magic Treehouse series Dinosaurs before Dark. This will be our first chapter book we will read as a class and is a great way to wrap up our study of reptiles.  We will be planting seeds in our garden as well as doing some more experiments using our simple machine:  the wedge.

This Friday we have our field trip to the Dinosaur park.  Your child will be bringing home a reminder paper on Monday.  We will be meeting and picking up from the Dino park.  The morning class will arrive at the Dino park at 9 am. and be picked up at 11:30 am and the afternoon class will arrive at the Dino park at 12 pm and be picked up at 2:30 pm.  Right now it looks like there is a chance of rain on Friday so please dress your child for the weather, PLEASE!!!We are in need of chaperones for this field trip.  If you are available please email me.  Be aware that as much as we love your help as chaperones we will not be able to cover your cost so plan on paying you admission.

This month we have been talking about the 6th habit of happy kids which is Synergize. Here is what Stephen R. Covey says about synergize

“To put it simply, synergy means “two heads are better than one.” Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation. It is teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems. But it doesn’t just happen on its own. It’s a process. . . Valuing differences is what really drives synergy. Do you truly value the mental, emotional, and psychological differences among people? Or do you wish everyone would just agree with you so you could all get along? Many people mistake uniformity for unity; sameness for oneness. One word–boring! Differences should be seen as strengths, not weaknesses. They add zest to life”.

Last Friday we practiced synergizing in 2 different ways and both were amazing.  We have been learning about Henri Matisse and the beautiful collages he created later in his life. We made a Matisse inspired collage with the help from everyone.  It was so creative.  We also joined with Ms. Martha’s class to use the big parachute in the gym to do some activities that took a lot of team work and cooperation.  With both of these we talked about how much better outcomes can be when we synergize.

Spring break will begin on Saturday March 30 and will go through April 7th.  I hope you have a fun and safe break.

Thanks for all your support.  Have a great week!

Ms. Jen, Ms. Jess & Ms. Kimber

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The week of March 11

Parents,

This week is literacy week. Today we read the book I am peace by Susan Verde. This book is our theme for literacy week.

During literacy week students can bring books from home for the book swap. This is a great opportunity to share books with one another. Tuesday night is Literacy Night. Please come with your family and enjoy fun games and activities, as well as an Usborne book fair. It is at the school from 5:30-7:00 PM. Come dressed as your favorite storybook character and have fun celebrating literacy with us!

Throughout the week we encourage students to be reading at home and at school. Our literacy committee created a beautiful tree in the front of the school. Each time a student reads a book, they get to add a leaf to the tree. Please encourage your children to spend time at home reading good books! We want our tree to sprout a lot of leaves! I will have copies of the leaves in our classroom and Ms. Jess and I can help them fill them out.

Lastly, we will have a read-a-thon on Friday.   The morning class will read from 9:30 to 10:00.  The afternoon class will read from 12:00 to 12:30. Students are encouraged to bring a favorite book from home to enjoy. Please no pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals.

We will continue our study of Oceania and its deserts.  We will talk about the parts of a reptile and some of the different types of seeds there are.  We will also continue looking at levers.  Our artist this month is Henri Matisse.  Please remember that Friday is early out.  The morning class is finished at 10:30 and the afternoon class is finished at 1:00 pm.

Have a great week!

Ms. Jen, Ms. Jess and Ms. Kimber

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The week of March 4

Parents,

I cannot believe that March is here!  This week we will introduce our new biome: deserts.  We will still be talking about Oceania this month.  We will also introduce our new vertebrate: Reptiles.  In botany we will be talking about seeds and in art we will be talking about the element of shape.  I am excited because we will begin studying simple machines over the next few months.  For the next 2 weeks we will be talking about levers.

I have had several  parents ask about our next field trip.  We will be going to the dinosaur park on Friday March 29th.  There will be more details to come but I wanted to give you plenty of  heads up so you can put it on your calendars.

In practical life this month we will be making fairy bread to go along with our study of Oceania as well as fruit smoothies.  We are in need of a few ingredients.  Here is the sign up if you would like to help out. https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/463449

Have a great week!

Ms. Jen, Ms. Jess & Ms. Kimber

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The week of Feb 25

Parents,

This week we will be doing a close read on the life cycle of frogs.  Each day we will talk about a different stage in their life cycle.  We will be making a book of our own as well to show some of what we learned.  We will also talk about the plants in the wetlands as well as some of the different types of amphibians. We will also finish our study of day and night.

One of the most popular jobs in our classroom have to be the cooking jobs.  This year we have made toast, orange juice, hot chocolate, and most recently banana bread muffins. We all assume that the reason these activities are so popular is the product they result in.  Montessori philosophy has a very different idea. Paula Polk Lillard said in Montessori a Modern Approach

“Instead of opportunities for serious accomplishment in our culture, we supply our children with expensive toys, hoping that these will occupy them. . .Why do we give the child toys that occupy him instead of involving him in the life around him in a meaningful way as they do in other cultures? Montessori felt it was because the adult in our culture realizes this would entail certain accommodations on his part, and he is so intent on his own production and achievement that he is unwilling to make them. . .Instead of giving the child toys that have no meaning for him, the adult must prepare special activities within his environment that will aid in the child’s development. . . The parent must observe the child closely, and watch for the kinds of activities he chooses spontaneously  . . . and then make them more available with variations and expansions of them” (p. 116).

I know that most parents have extensive to do lists and the thought of adding one more thing (especially one that involves your child cooking something) could test your limits.  I do not think that any parent buys toys with the thought of just occupying their child so they won’t bug them, but when we shift our focus to how we can involve our children in meaningful ways it can change our thinking on what we might purchase for them.  Just some food for thought 😉

Here is the recipe for our muffins if you want to try it at home

Banana Bread for One

  • 3 tbsp  white flour
  •  1/16th tsp salt
  • 1  tbsp very-ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp applesauce (you could use butter or cooking oil)
  •  1 tbsp milk of choice or water (we have been using water)
  • 1/4 tsp  vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/16  baking soda
  •  1 tbsp sugar.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix all the ingredients. Pour into an oiled (or sprayed) muffin pan. Smooth top of batter. Cook for 10-14 ish minutes. Or you can microwave it in a silicone muffin pan for 1 to 2 minutes on high.

Have a great week!

Ms. Jen, Ms. Jess & Ms. Kimber

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The week of Feb 18th

Parents,

It was great to talk to so many of you at parent teacher conferences. In the book Montesori A Modern Approach by Paula Polk Lillard she says “Montessori regarded the parent as a partner in the child’s schooling.  This recognition of the parent’s legitimate role in the child’s education can give the parent a new way of viewing himself and the school.  The school is no longer seen as the authority issuing orders to the parent and child alike. Instead, the parent is invited into the classroom. He shares in what is going on there and in the hopes for the future of the child and the class” (p. 145).  Ms. Jess, Ms. Kimber and myself all see the parents in our class as our partners in the child’s education.  We not only appreciate your support but we could not do this work without it.  Thank you!

This week we will talk about the animals of Oceania’s wetlands as well as some of the major landmarks in Oceania.  We will introduce the different parts of an amphibian.  We will continue our study of day and night by taking a look at nocturnal and diurnal animals.  On Friday we will have a special visit from Riverton music to help us learn about the Bass section of the orchestra.

If you are interested in volunteering in our class you can just send me a quick email letting me know when you would like to come in.  We love to have parents come in and help.

Have a great week!

Ms. Jen, Ms. Jess & Ms. Kimber

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