Back To School
Summer Recap: The summer went on so fast. With all the fun activities and exciting topics that we talked about, summer seemed to just fly by. The activities involving the parents are wonderful because it emphasizes on the importance of the cooperation between parents, teachers, and the child for learning to be successful. Starting with the picnic at the park and ending with the carnival was just fantastic. Parents, teachers, and children all walked together and ate lunch like one big family. What a great way to show the importance of working together. The children were amazed with the reptiles they saw during dinosaur week. Most of the reptiles are only found in certain areas of the world. The police officers gave great tips to be safe at home, school, and community. The story reader from the Pasadena Library read stories that were both humorous and had good moral lessons. Lastly, the carnival was a blast! The parent participation made the whole event fantastic.
September Recap: The children were asked to bring in baby, birthday and vacation pictures. We talked about each other and shared experiences we have had. The children enjoyed talking about themselves. We started our school year by creating rules for our classroom. The children were refreshed on how to roll a mat, how we sit properly in a chair and how to carry one. They also practiced making their mats for rest time. We have incorporated a new snack program and the children learned how to serve their own snack during work period. I am happy to announce that with the daily phonics work; the class has been quite busy. At this time, we have 7 students that are ready to join our beginner readers group! Our class is also in the process of updating our Montessori materials. The children completed their first family project by creating a self-timeline. Timelines will be due Oct. 13th. It was great to meet with all you wonderful parents at back to school night. I enjoyed the time with you all! We also completed a beautiful fall mosaic that we have posted up in our classroom. Our culinary adventure has begun with making butterfly pizzas and breakfast sushi made
October Recap: For the month of October, we started it out with a sharing area topic-why do we see, hear, smell and feel things and what parts of our body enable us to sense these. Then we read books on the 5 senses explaining how we use our eyes, nose, ears, tongue and skin, and how these are connected to our brain. Our class also explored their feelings and what makes them feel emotions like gladness, sadness, anger and many more. We played a game called “Show Me” where they showed their best emotions/feelings. The children seemed to enjoy it. October is also our month for our home continent-North America. We have a set of classification game cards that we have been using to identify what sense do we use? In this game there are pictures of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. The children then are shown pictures of flowers, fire, a skunk spraying and many more. The child is to classify the pictures as to what sense is being used. In studying North America, we showed the puzzle map where the children learned the names of the countries. We also talked about the animals found in North America like the bison, opossum, and many more. Pictures of famous landmarks were also shown and talked about. The study of North America is timely with the story of Christopher Columbus’ journey to the Americas. As a project, the children colored, cut, and pasted 3 ships to the picture of an Ocean. The story of his journey was read to the class. Halloween is one of the most fun celebrations of the year. We did quite a lot of projects based on the holiday. Parents brought pumpkins, so the children could decorate them in class and they colored haunted houses while imagining all the spooky things. They also painted bats and witches. Thanks to our parents for making our Halloween parade and party a success. The enrichment of cookery had such yummy recipes! Everyone comes out happy after the cookery class. To start the fall season, we started with apple pie-in-a-cup and grape caterpillars. As Halloween approached, we made hotdog mummies and witches brew.
November Recap: Another busy month for us! Our theme has been about the harvest and our healthy bodies. We discussed the harvest practices that we use and what others do in other parts of the world. We also looked at fruits and vegetables that are in season. Coinciding with this, the children were given lessons on 2 nomenclatures; kinds of fruits, and kinds of vegetables. The importance of eating fruits and vegetables were emphasized and follow ups were given during lunch and snack time. The updated version of the food pyramid was discussed. As follow-up activities, I brought to class supermarket flyers which then children cut out pictures and later classified these pictures into categories; grains, vegetables, fruits, and meats. The children also had a great time practicing some kitchen skills such as washing, cleaning, cutting/slicing, and peeling fruits and vegetables. In Botany, we focused on two of the most popular fruits of the season, pumpkin and corn and we talked about the life cycle and parts of these fruits as well. Birds have been our main lesson in zoology. What makes a bird different from other animals was discussed and we studied many kinds of birds. In Geography, the children are learning the map of USA. To make the topic closer to their hearts, each child named the states that they have visited and were shown where these states are on the map. As a fun activity, the class played a guessing game, the teacher named the famous places and the children named the state where they are found. We had two holidays for this month. We discussed the significance of Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day. Two projects were completed for Thanksgiving, the turkey and the Thanksgiving banner. In cooking class, we made animal quesadillas, fall trail mix, and turkey snacks. The children loved our cooking class! Parents remember to bring a sweater or jacket with your child daily as the mornings and afternoons are getting cooler. Please check our finished work box and take home your child’s work daily.
December Recap: The class had plenty of discussions about the four popular holidays in December which are Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Las Posadas. The children learned a short rhyme from the book “The Ginger Bread Man” and we got journal writing inspirations from the books “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell” and “Trim the Tree.” They were mesmerized with the storybook “What Do Snowmen Do at Night” and “Twas The Night Before Christmas.” In language, the children worked on the nomenclature of winter clothing. As a parallel exercise, we worked mostly on the dressing frames with buttons, zippers, and bows. Some of the children in the class had a hard time learning the conventional way of putting their jackets on. Ms. Erika showed them another way and it was like magic. Everyone now is very excited to do this “new” way of putting their jacket on. For Cultural arts, the lesson was about the continent of Europe. The children were working on the puzzle map and the nomenclatures of animals, plants, and landmarks found in Europe. We had three birthday celebrations for this month which were Katelyn, Caidan, and Clayton. These three birthdays plus all the December holidays made this month truly memorable. The children also created Christmas decorations and hung them on the classroom walls. As the year comes to an end, I am happy to announce that more children have started reading phonetically. They are reading 3-letter words and sight words. Their handwriting also has improved greatly. They have gotten use to using lined paper and are writing following the lines. In the middle of these celebrations, the class is also a bit sad as three students will be moving on to other places; Allison, Rachel and Katelyn. We will miss them dearly. In cooking class, we made healthy but yummy Christmas themed dishes. Grinch Kabobs and Banana & Strawberry Snowmen were on the menu.
January Recap: Happy New Year to all! After the merry winter break, here we are back and refreshed. Our theme for January is winter animals and hibernation. We discussed the polar bears, penguins, seals, whales, geese, and squirrels. We talked about their hibernation and why some animals needed to migrate to warmer regions rather than sleep through winter. Our continent in focus was Antarctica-the frozen continent. We located its position on the globe, its animals, and the people that do their studies on this continent. We also talked about the difference between Antarctica and Arctic, why one is a continent and the other is not. We also located the North and South Poles. The children always needed to mention that the North Pole is where Santa is. We also found a short poem about January and the children recited it during our circle time. Our classroom crafts included snowmen/snowwoman with colorful hats. This was the class crafts pertaining to the funny story “What do Snowmen do at Night?” We also had finger painting titled “Snowy Night” and a cut-and-paste artwork penguin. Our young readers are increasing in numbers. We have more children ready to start the phonics reading. As they read more words, the word writing skills needed to keep up, so we implemented more writing exercises. Towards the last week of January, half of the class can now write 1-100 on their own. These children are now starting the primary concept of addition, hurray! I am happy to say that parents have been giving positive feedbacks about our reading and math programs.In cookery, we made berry smoothies, apple bagels, and rainbow sandwiches. No bragging but cookery is their favorite afternoon class! I would also like to take this chance to thank the parents for their continuous participation in the snack host program.
February Recap: This month, the theme was Cultural Awareness and Friendship. We have looked at multicultural traditional costumes and shared what does it mean to be a friend. The children created a love bucket and it is used to remind the children that we want our buckets full of kind actions and words. We filled the bucket with felt hearts to demonstrate the concept of having a full bucket rather than an empty one. The Continent we have been exploring is Asia. We discussed animals that live in Asia and read the comedy story about Panda Pants. We learned the names of some of the countries in Asia using our Asian Label Box. The globe has served as a visual tool, to look at the Asian regions. We have been reading story books about Asia as well. We learned the locations of volcanoes around the world and discussed the parts of the volcano. The class created a volcano by pouring vinegar and baking soda into an apple. They watched as the volcano erupted! The children really enjoyed this science project as we ended up doing it twice! The class learned about Valentine’s day, President’s day, Ground hog day, and Chinese New Year through storybooks. The children celebrated Chinese New Year by throwing confetti and dancing. They had a chance to exchange their goodies on Valentine’s day. We thank all the parents for signing up to bring in food items for our Valentine’s day party. It was a success! The children created cherry blossom trees and rainbow hearts to decorate our classroom. Volcano Valentines’ were made as well and given to our parents. We celebrated Chinese New Year by making paper lanterns and we created Philippine flags. Our class also made paper plate turtles and dinosaur bones. The children have continued to practice writing their numbers 1-100 and many have been working on their addition problems using manipulatives and our short bead stairs. Several children have continued reading their red booklets independently. We have been cooking up a storm this month! The class has prepared mixed berry cones, apples and marshmallow mouths for dental month and they even built log cabins out of pretzel sticks and cream cheese in honor of president Lincoln.
March Recap: We started the month by celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday. We read his most beloved books like Fox in Socks, Cat in the Hat, Put Me in the Zoo, and Horton Hears a Who. In Zoology, we studied the parts and life cycle of an amphibian. We also talked about Dinosaurs; how they lived a long time ago and became extinct because of sudden climate change. Aside from amphibians, which hatch in the spring, we also studied bees and butterflies. It is just right to study these insects and make the children understand that they are also animals. Just like the amphibians, bees and butterflies have life cycles too. All three undergo a complete change we call metamorphosis. As we talked about bees and butterflies, there was a lot of discussion on flowers. In Botany, we dedicated this month to the study of flowers. The children were surprised about the many uses of flowers as food, in cosmetics, perfume, food coloring, and many more. Spring is the season when life begins, animals are born, and plants start growing. We did some gardening and started planting our seeds. We used garden tools and the children learned the names of the garden tools. The continent we focused on and studied this month was Africa. The children learned many things about Africa and its richness. It is rich in Safari animals, diamond, oil, and diverse group of people. It also has the longest river and the largest desert in the world. In our cooking class we did many yummy snacks. We did the Banana Strawberry Hat, Fruit Leprechaun, Rice Crispy Eggs and Lemon Sour Patch grapes. I would like to take this chance to thank all the teachers and staff who stepped in and made my class routine continue as usual in my one-month absence. I apologize for my sudden leave due to a medical reason and I am happy that everything ran smoothly. Thanks also to our parents for your understanding and get well wishes and cards.
April Recap: April was the month we emphasized on our home, planet Earth. We studied about the land and water composition that make up Earth and we talked about the air that we breathe. We read books about the importance of recycling to minimize pollution as well as planting more trees to clean the air. Maria Montessori has books that talk about each child’s “cosmic task” of being the protector/conservator of planet earth. What a perfect time to remind the children of their “cosmic task”. As a final activity, each child in our class came out with a pledge on how they could help conserve/protect the earth and the environment. In cultural studies, we focused on Oceania. We talked about its territories and how each has a different landform and geographic make-up that affect the weather. We learned about the animals of Oceania; the unique Kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, koala, platypus, wallaby, and many others which are not found anywhere else. In language, our vocabulary enrichment activities included the farm animals, animal babies, animal sounds, and things found around the farm. Animals that lay eggs was our Zoology theme. As a focus, we talked about the chicken in a more detail way talking about its parts and its life cycle. As the weather of spring swings wildly-hot one day and raining the next day, we had the chance to talk about how the rain is formed through the water cycle. We had a class experiment on how rain and clouds are formed, talk about preschool scientists! Cooking class is always everyone’s much anticipated enrichment activity! We made banana sundaes, toasted bread bears, and fruit pizza.
May Recap: The merry month of May went by swiftly. So many interesting things the children learned, fun things they did, and colorful things they saw. We started out by introducing the continent of South America and continued to introduce its most famous landscape-The Amazon Rainforest. Thru the puzzle map, the children learned about the countries of South America. They compared the shapes of the countries discovered their sizes; which country is the largest, smallest, and which one has the longest coastline/beaches etc.
The children were dazzled with the colorful animals found in the continent; from the scarlet ibis, to the white cockatoo. All the colors seemed to be represented by a certain animal in the rainforest even the plants are unique in this part of the world. Learning about the people and their culture was an eye opener to the children. From their colorful costumes and celebrations to their rich past, South America is a country with many stories to tell. The most challenging lesson for this month’s theme was when we talked about the plants and animals that live on each layer of the rainforest. To do this, the children needed to know first the plants and animal’s stories, their habitat and activities.
Another fond memory of this month was our class pets-the butterflies. Each class were given nine caterpillars to raise. The nine containers were intentionally left on one corner of our classroom, so the children could watch their day-to-day development. They were so excited to see them grow, grow cocoon, then become a full butterfly. During this real-life experience on metamorphosis, the children practiced patience, being gentle, being observant, and learning to let go. In the end, the class released the butterflies in the garden. As beautiful as they are, the monarch butterflies belong to nature and must be brought back to nature.
During the cooking class we made many yummy dishes like, watermelon, pizza, crackers, and bean tostada and banana crepes.
June Recap: We finally arrived at the end of the school year!
Preparation for the graduation kept the class really busy this month. Scheduling rehearsals was a challenging but somehow, we managed to do it. Thanks to the cooperation of all the staff. To all my colleagues, my heartfelt appreciation to your cooperation and creative input. I would like to thank all the parents, families, and friends of our graduates for coming and joining in this special event.
The graduation was bittersweet! We are happy celebrating because we achieved our goals and so the children are moving on to the next level. At the same time, it brought sadness seeing our friends leaving one by one. I am so proud of our graduates! They were challenged, and they prevailed. All of them are reading, writing, and doing arithmetic. I am confident that they will shine in their new schools.
Congratulations to our graduates! Please feel free to come and visit us, your preschool family anytime. We would like to know your progress in your new school.
Another event we had for June was Father’s Day Coffee time and it was successful! All our dads came-it was a sweet sight to see the children having a special time with their dads.
As for our lessons, transportation is one of their most enjoyable topics to talk about. We talked about the different modes of transportation. During the Friday share day, we saw many kinds of cars, planes, and boats. Some of these are toys and some are miniature collectibles.
Talking about California was an eye opener. This lesson resulted to well-participated discussions. Children could really relate to our topics since they are familiar to the cities and the landmark, as well as to the state’s animals and plants.