Back To School
Summer Recap: The beginning of the summer started out great with our picnic in the park. The volunteers did such a great job helping the teachers at the park with the keeping the kids together. The children learned about ocean animals and we also talked about community helpers. We had a visit from the Alhambra police department, which the children enjoyed. The story book lady who came from the Pasadena library was very fun and told the children stories with great enthusiasm. I would have to say the highlight for our class was the Reptacular Reptile show. The lizards, snakes, turtles, and the legless lizard was all the children could talk about that day. The carnival was also a very exciting day for the class. They were anticipating it the whole week.
September Recap: This month the children were given a self-timeline project and they all turned out very nice. Thank you to all you parent’s for helping your child with this. The children were given some lessons on the life cycle of an apple and land, air, water. Back to school night went well. Thank you to all the parents who attended. It was a pleasure speaking with you about your child and the classroom. In Spanish, the children have been learning some basic phrases this month like “Hello” and “Goodbye”. In Music, they learned a continent song and a four oceans song.
October Recap: This month, the children had a visit from the Alhambra Fire Department, which they enjoyed because they got to see the fire truck. The children have been enjoying the sense of touch job that was in the cultural area. The children drew different feelings such as: happy, sad, silly, and mad. Ms. Cristina also talked with children about what these different feelings mean when we feel them. The children were given a lesson on how to paint a bat by using Dot art. Some of the children have been working on the day of the week job and writing them down as well. We read the book “Big Pumpkin” by Erica Silverman and made a witch for the main character of the story. The children made a witch and a paper plate pumpkin for art.
November News: This month we talked about healthy and unhealthy food. The children looked at a food pyramid and we discussed the different foods from the 6 categories. The children also cut up different types of fruit in half and looked at the flesh; they really enjoyed the dragon fruit. The children had a lesson on the puzzle map of the USA. We also received some new jobs for the math shelves so some of the children have been getting new lessons! Thank you parents who donated books from our book fair, it was so kind of you. Thank you to all the parents who brought food for our Thanksgiving feast, the kids enjoyed all the food. Please remember to bring a jacket for your child, it is cold outside during the 8.00 am playtime. This month the children did a variety of activities for Music, Art, Cooking, Spanish, and computers. The children really enjoyed the happy tooth sad tooth activity.
December Recap: In December, the children learned about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Omisoka, and Saint Nicholas Day. The children had an art job where they would decorate a Christmas tree using glue and tissue paper. They also had a four-season’s job where they would put the four seasons in order as well as the clothing for that season. We have a new sensorial job called Trinomial cube and many of the children received a lesson on this. Many of the children in the class are still practicing the puzzle map of the USA and we have learned the puzzle map of Europe. It’s so great to see them excited and enjoying these jobs. For our last week of school in December the children enjoyed arts and crafts that were holiday related. The children made animal habitats and we discussed the different kinds of habitats that animals live in. For enrichments, the children learned about Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In music class, and for cooking children made different types of European dishes. In computer class, the children continued various activities to help their language, math, and reading skills. In Spanish, the children learned holiday words and how to say the 4 seasons. This month, for art the children learned about Edgar Degas and made a Dreidel craft for Hanukkah.
January Recap: In January, the children are learning about Antarctica and Arctic animals such as Polar bears, Arctic foxes, Sea otters, and many others. The children have been doing matching cards of different penguins and learning their names. They have been enjoying learning the parts of a penguin. Some children are learning how to cut paper the proper way by following dotted lines. This is helping their fine motor skills. We have also been reading books about Penguins and learning about how they survive and take care of their babies. All the children learned about Martin Luther King Jr and his famous speech. We talked about freedom, peace, and equality. Many of the children loved coloring the picture of Martin Luther King. We introduced the decimal system in a lesson during circle time and the children learned many different facts about a Polar bear. Many of our friends brought in items to share in the classroom which related to our theme. The children took turns doing the pom pom art that we had. We have continued to work on our practical life skills such as sweeping, feeling fabrics, painting and counting. Our class has been working quietly and everyone seems to be happy working with their jobs. The children continue to have the ability to choose works that they have already had a lesson on.
February Recap: The first week of February, all the children traced their hands on pink construction paper and created hearts to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We also made Chinese paper lanterns in honor of Chinese New Year. The children have really improved in their fine motor skills by participating in the many art activities we have. I introduced a new job during circle time called skip counting by 5 and 6. Many of our friends have been working on this job happily. In addition, I also taught them the countries on the Asia map. The children also learned about the many kinds of reptiles such as the sea turtle, alligator, and coral snake. Each child now has an assigned seat during circle time. This has really helped the children to focus during this time and learn new lessons that are presented daily. During circle time this month, we have presented jobs such as our matching cards of plants in Asia. With this work, the children learned different types of plants that grow in Asia. The kids also seemed to enjoy our new flower hole punching work. One of the children’s favorite works was our kindness bucket. The children learned to help each other by rolling each other’s rugs and the older children guided the younger ones to put back their jobs in the correct areas. In Art class, every child had fun mixing up our primary colors to create new colors. In week two, we had our Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year parties! We had a very good time on Valentine’s Day by being together with all our friends, eating snacks and passing out our goodies to each other. It was a fun time as well for Chinese New Year. I brought in a lion head to share with the children and we talked about the traditional lion dance. Thank you, parents, for helping at the Valentine’s party and bringing treats for all the kids and teachers.
March Recap: For the month of March, we did lots of fun activities involving dinosaurs. The children enjoyed the dinosaur sensory box and creating macaroni dinosaur art. The children also learned about amphibians and looked at the different types of toads and frogs. New materials were put out on our shelves in the classroom throughout the month. The children also received a lesson on rhyming words and matching lower case letters to the capital letters from A to Z. After presenting a lesson on parts of a flower, all the children had the opportunity to color the parts of a flower on their own. First week of March, we had a fun filled week celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday. The children did arts and crafts of Dr. Seuss and seemed to enjoy reading his fun books throughout the week as well. New lessons were given in language and math. We worked on our 3-part cards in language. For our cultural studies, the children learned in depth the life cycle of a frog and even created booklets to remember the order. We discussed the various types of flowers that grow in Africa. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we hand painted Shamrocks. All the children made a Maasai necklace that is worn by African women. The children enjoyed wearing their necklaces and learning about the different types of jewelry that are worn by people of Africa. The last two weeks of March have brought us to gardening. We discussed and learned about how to use gardening tools and started to plant our seeds in our garden. In addition, we explored the names and faces of various animals that live in Africa. The children also learned about the parts of a bee and the life cycle of a plant. In art class, we made a newspaper pig and prehistoric rubbings of dinosaurs. During our circle time, we continued to discuss and learn about how to be courteous towards our friends, family, and teachers. In science, the children explored and experimented with food coloring and a mix of candy to make a rainbow.
April Recap: April was an exciting month for the Primary 2 class. We learned many exciting things in our Science, Geography and Botany units of study. Given that April was “Earth Month, “a good deal of emphasis was placed on our home, planet Earth. We studied about the land, water & materials that make up the Earth as well as the air we breathe, and some of the plants and flowers on Earth. We also studied about the different types of pollution and the importance of recycling to reduce the effects of pollution. Each of these topics had specific lessons and interactive learning. Earth studies including the four main cloud formations were learned as well. We did several lessons that involved visual and tactile skills to that needed to be used. In Science, we showed the children a Volcano diorama which we made erupt. This lesson instructed the children about the effects of pollution that naturally occur on Earth. During our Geography lessons, we learned about the different oceans and land masses and how they all differ geographically and how they all effect the worlds weather. We made a sample Island and Ocean out of clay and water and had matching games of the different animals that live there. We also studied the Life Cycle of the Chicken in Zoology. These lessons had numerous matching activities and the children really enjoyed this work. In Botany, we learned about different types of flowers. We performed flower sorting exercises by colors and shapes and implemented cutting exercises as well. All the children were very excited to learn these topics and participate in the activities associated with the lessons.
May Recap: May was a fast paced month at Little Acorn Academy for the Primary Class #2. The Children participated in many exciting and educational activities including Language, Zoology, Science, Geography, Botany, and Math.
In May, the children studied the Rainforest and South America. Topics included animals of the Rainforest, Plants of the Rainforest, Flowers of the Rainforest, and their Fruits. Addition, we learned about South America. Children studies the names of each country, where they are located in South America, and each countries flag design and color. Children enjoyed making presents and having a Mother’s Day party.
Each of these topics had specific lessons and interactive learning. Rainforest studies included unique flowers and animals illustrated in Montessori nomenclature cards and plastic replicas, where children learned the names of the plants and animals.
In Language, children are using alphabet matching cards in which each letter represents animals of the rainforest. This teaches children three things at once: upper and lowercase letter matching, the alphabet and the animals of the rainforest.
In Zoology, we studied the lifecycle of the butterfly. These lessons had numerous matching activities including plastic replicas of the Butterfly in different stages of life. Activities also included tracing and coloring the Butterfly. These curriculums were enjoyed by all the children. The class raised several butterflies and observed them grow through their different life cycles as a science experiment. We also learned about different parts of the Sloth, Gorilla, and Fish by presenting with animals puzzles, nomenclature cards.
During our Geography lessons we learned about different countries in South America, their location, their national flags and famous landmarks. Children learned the name and location of each county by using the Puzzle Map. Matching cards were used to study the flag (part – whole). Children also placed model flags on miniature poles into a foam South America map for the matching country. This Montessori activity taught children to identify the name of the country and corresponding flag.
In Botany we learned about different types of flowers and fruits. We performed sorting exercises by color or shape, and cutting exercises. Children saw and smell tropical fruit from the rainforest enhancing their sensory learning.
Addition time was spent in mathematics this month tracing numbers and counting rainforest animals.
June Recap: During this month the children learned the different parts that make up the world of transportation and our beautiful home we call California. This was accomplished by presenting educational activities which included topics about our state flag, state animal, state flower, state birds and the many different ways we can travel throughout California. We also had additional fun learning about the some of the different plants and trees California provides.
In Zoology, we studied about the cactus, palm tree, and sequoia tree. We provided the children with a 3D visual aid of a decorated plastic cactus. They were able to feel the texture of the cactus, eliminating the sharp spikes. Children were provided with cut outs of a cactus, palm tree, and sequoia tree that consisted of the child tracing them and coloring. The children also created cactus hands through art. Each child added their own interpretation of the sharp spikes on their cactus hand art.
The children were shown the California flag. They were given the opportunity recreate the California flag with specific colors of the flag on a printed flag paper. Children learned that the brown bear is one of the symbols of the state of California.
The California poppy flower was explored. We introduced it in a puzzle form, where the child had to recreate the picture of the flower. The children also had the opportunity to design the state flower with glitter glue during their art class enrichment program. They also were able to create a palm tree in cooking class with grapes, pears and graham crackers. Children painted a brown bear, using sticker footprints. For music, California songs were introduced such as the Beach Boys, as well as the state song “I Love You, California”. We also had the chance of reading Thomas the Tank Engine’s story books read during enrichment.
With regards to transportation, a train puzzle was introduced, this puzzle consisted of numbers matching with every piece. The child had to create the puzzle with the matching numbers. They were also given rectangles containing a single letter of their first name. These were placed out of order so that the children can arrange them to spell out their name and create a train that is carrying freight. This specific, teacher directed activity, was a success as the children were able to identify each letter and use the sounds to make sure they covered all letters. Children also painted colorful hot air balloons. The three layers of transportation was also introduced to the children. It allowed the children to sort water, land, and air vehicles by using manipulatives to match the label of the function of the vehicle. Picture books were read such as Sally’s Great Balloon Adventure, Little Plane learns to Write, Planes Fly! and Airplanes which the children enjoyed. Children were also able to recreate a traffic light post. During outside play they were able to use a stop sign to play a “stop and go” game within a group.
Our class had an opportunity to experience a science project that included milk, food coloring, and dish soap. Children were able to pour milk in a bowl, choose two different colors of food coloring to add into the bowl of milk. Then they picked up a pipe cleaner that had the dish soap and dip it into the bowl of milk and food coloring. They experienced the reaction that the food coloring had against the soap, as well as mixing the two colors they chose to make a whole new color. The children were mesmerized with this specific job.
Father’s Day celebration was a great success and the children were able to spend time and eat some pastries and milk with their Father/Grandfather or special someone. Children were able to give out their Father’s Day presents along with a card. The “Daddy and Me” project consisted of designing a colorful fish. This project was meant to spend quality time with fathers or someone special.