Back to School
Summer Recap: The summer program went very well. The kids enjoyed the water play and the bubble days. The children were so excited when the Alhambra Fire Department came to visit. Firefighter Jose talked to the children about Fire Safety and gave all the children a coloring book and a sticker. Over the summer we got some new friends in our class; Jack, Mila, Liem, Mina and Alison. I thought this would be a great time to review and practice class rules, inside voices, care of environment, and greeting each other. The children were also given some lessons on paint using a sponge, water colors, and tempera paint, and know the primary colors. Thank you to all the parents who came to the End of the Year Carnival. The children really enjoyed all the games and treats.
September Recap: The first month of the school year has started off great. For one of our morning circle time I talked to the children about things that are magnetic and non-magnetic. They really enjoyed watching the magnetic objects stick to the magnet. The children had a lesson on how to peel and cut a cucumber. It is a little tricky for some of them but, they like eating part of the job and passing it out to their peers. Thank you to all the parents who were able to come to our Back to School Night, I enjoyed talking to you and sharing our day with you. This month the children practiced on using a glue stick and glue bottle. We did a class project on gluing a tree, the children did all the gluing on their own. Please remember to sign up as a snack host, the sign-up sheet is on our small bulletin board when you enter the class. I would also like to remind you to take your child’s water bottle home daily to be washed and write your child’s name on all personal belongings. The children having been learning about Beethoven, the instrument Piano and what the word composer is. In Spanish the kids learned how to great people, in cooking the children learned how to make a chopped fruit salad, in art the children learned about Jackson Pollock and made a self-portrait. For Computers the children were taught basic computer skills, how to use a mouse, how to open and close a computer and how to click on a mouse.
October Recap: It is October and fall is here, the kids are continuing to learn new things and better their already present skills. This month, the children learned about the seven continents, the phases of the moon, and the seasons. Like the season, our class also experience change when we said goodbye to Ms. Tiara and welcomed Ms. Mita as Primary 2’s new teacher.
October, the children learned about our Solar System, learning the order of the planets as well as different phases of the moons and constellations. The children then spent the rest of the month asking if Pluto was sad he was no longer a planet. This month brought some pretty cool projects for the kids. Their favorite was recreating the different phases of the moon using Oreo cookies. The kids also created Jack-o-Lanterns, Frankenstein’s, and witches in anticipation for Halloween. We had fun creating a “spooky” classroom for the kids to enjoy.
Enrichments brought some new lessons for the kids, learning about Frida Kahlo in art class, Mexico and Central America in Spanish class, Mozart in music class, and letters, songs, & colors in computer class.
Thank you to all the parents that came out to Open House. The children enjoyed creating the different projects to make their classroom looks amazing for all of you. Thank you to all the parents who signed up for snack host in the month of October as well. Please, don’t forget to sign up every month when possible. The signup sheet can be found on our bulletin board, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!
November Recap: November was a wonderful month! The children were continuously exposed to the theme of being truthful and helpful by different plays and activities. They also learned about maps playing with blocks and drawings. They were gleeful learning to sing the fifty-states song. The children were intrigued to know about the veteran and the Veterans Day confusing the Veterans Day with the Valentine’s Day at first by some, but soon rectified themselves from the comments of the more knowledgeable peers.
The children learned about how to recognize and distinguish between living things and non-living objects. It took some time for many of the kids to understand why trees are living things. The favorite was leaf rubbing and the thankful turkey for the art project.
Enrichments projects as always created some new ideas for the kids. We learned about one of the major American music genres, Jazz. In the Art class we explored pop art and the life of one of its leading figures, Andy Warhol. The children are excited with the cooking projects which they find exciting. In computer the kids learned about language, math and reading at their own pace.
We are deeply indebted and thankful to all the parents who find some time from their busy schedule to attend the Teachers – Parent meeting as in this conference the student’s progress in school could be clearly communicated to their parents, and in the case of a student who is having difficulty the parents’ cooperation in the effort to remediate any problems is enlisted.
December Recap: In December, we had some very interesting Montessori activities, recognizing and distinguishing between the states of matter. We named solids and liquids. Some students inquired about the third state – gas. This state was a little difficult for the children to grasp so we focused back on solids to liquids. The children looked at pine cones. They immediately related the pine cones to Christmas trees. Talking about Christmas leads to the other festivals and celebrations of the month of December, Hanukkah and the Kwanza. The children liked hearing about these festivities very much.
Enrichment projects provided new ideas for the children. In December, we learned about the Nutcracker song composed by Tchaikovsky. In Art class, we explored the life and the works of the master French painter, Edgar Degas. The children were engaged in their holiday cooking projects. In computer, the children learned about language, math and reading at their own pace.
January Recap: The children were welcomed back to the school after the holiday break. A few of them were slightly rusty at the beginning but as it is usual for the children, they lost no time in getting back to the groove.
January being the coldest and usually the wettest month for Southern California, the theme for the month was “Winter, Snow and Ice” and we learned about the winter weather and clothing. We also talked about how many animals hibernate to preserve their energy when movement is difficult and prey animals are rare to find. We explored some winter activities like building a snowman with snow and ice.
In keeping with the theme for the month, in geography we learnt all about Antarctica: Terrain, transportation, inhabitant like penguins. In zoology, we studied the life style of the arctic animals like Polar bears and the penguins especially the Emperor Penguins. Similarly, in botany we explored winter plants and in Science we learnt about water and water cycle, snow and icicles
Martin Luther King’s birthday is in January, so we talked about the meaning of his, “I have a dream” speech.
We had quite a fun humming along the contemporary music of the Beatles. We learnt about the French Impressionist paintings especially the work of the master painter of that genre, Claude Monet.
The children in my class were fascinated to hear the read aloud of this month’s book, “The Mitten,” an adaptation by Jan Brett of a Ukrainian folklore about of a boy and his lost mitten in the snow. An animal found it, felt its warmth and soon snuggled inside it, other animals including a bear soon followed suit. But the bear sneezed, and all the animals were thrown out of the mitten as result. The boy then recovered his mitten. The children were quite curious to know what a mitten is and why the animals went inside it. Once explained the mitten is a fingerless glove with a thumb and everybody including the animals like coziness and warmth during the very cold weather, they were satisfied.
February Recap: February being the last month of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it evokes hope that better days are coming. February is also the month of love and friendship because Valentine’s Day fall in this month. In the U S, February is celebrated as National Children’s Dental Health Month, American Hearth month, as well as the Black History Month. Two of our most well-known presidents’ birthdays fall in this month.
The theme was Friendship and Cultural Awareness. In the class we talked about Friendship and how to be a good friend. This month’s book ‘Little Blue and Little Yellow’ by Leo Lionni helped immensely in explaining the meaning of friendship to the children with its story and graphics.
In keeping with the Cultural Awareness part, we talked about the traditions and the values prevalent in the Asian nations like China, India, Japan and Korea. As quite a few children’s families are from these countries in our class, it was easier for them to comprehend and tell other kids about these.
In Geography, we covered the important landmark and monuments of the Asian countries mentioned above. Like, the Great Wall and the Terracotta Armies of China, the Taj Mahal of India, the Mount Fuji and Tokyo towers of Japan etc. We also discussed about the National Flag of these countries. Similarly, in Zoology and Botany we talked about Asian animals like Elephant, Bengal Tiger and Panda Bear and Asian plants like Bamboo.
In enrichment, the children learnt to sing children songs from China, India, Japan and Korea. They were told about the great Ukiyo-e painter from Japan, Katsushika Hokusai. They also munched Asian cookies and the Chinese New Year’s cakes.
The Valentine’s Day party was celebrated with quite a pomp. Many thanks to the parents who had signed up for the snack for the party!
March Recap: The advent of the month of March evoked winter was finally coming to an end and spring was in the horizon! That meant days were becoming longer and warmer and with daylight saving time coming into effect from the second week, the days definitely felt longer. The spring conjures the vision of greenery and what better sums up that vision other than an image of green trees and grasslands like Savannah which aptly was the theme for the month. When we talk about the Savanna we think about the vast African Savanna and the Safaris. The children learned about the African Savanna and how people go on an African Safari to watch and learn about various wildlife found in the African Savannah.
In geography, we explored the different important landmarks and landforms of Africa like the Pyramids and the Sahara. In botany and zoology, we covered the African plants and animals like the Lions and the African elephants. We celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday on fourth of March (as second of March, his official birthday fell on a Saturday), by reading his books. The children liked most of the books shared like Dr. Seuss’s ABC, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, Yertle the turtle, the Cat in the Hat etc.
In enrichment, the children learnt to sing children songs from Africa, Dinosaurs and spring. In art, we explored the African art and had projects associated with Dr. Seuss, spring and the St. Patrick’s Day. We tried some dishes from Dr. Seuss’ recipe in the Cooking.
April Recap: Spring is in full swing. The children are beginning to enjoy the sunny days. In April, the children learned about the continent of Australia, Islands, volcanoes, tropical plants and the animals that surround each of them. We discussed the geography, traditions and culture of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. They also learned about islands. What they consist of as well as determining the characteristics of an island as well as salt-water, fresh water and which animals can be found in each. Since Earth Day was April 22nd, the children also learned about recycling and what it means to reduce, reuse and recycle. We allowed the children to think up different things that can be recycled and how.
For enrichments the children learned about the different art styles found in Australia. In music class the children listened to traditional music from Australia, New Zealand and the pacific island. Then they created traditional dishes in cooking class. In computers they continued to work on language, math and reading. Spanish was learning about the vocabulary surrounding recycling and helping the planet.
Thank you to all the parents who came to Open House and saw all the crafts our kids worked really hard on. The kids were excited to create something new every week throughout the month. They learned something new about the island of Hawaii. And thank you to all the parents who continue to help us by signing up for snack host every month.
The month of May usually evokes the vision of the approaching summer but in Southern California this year it looked like we were still in the early part of the Spring. That meant the children could enjoy the milder sun of the spring for a while!
The theme of the month was the Whales and Migration. The children learned about different types of whale and their eating habits. They also came to know about migration and why and how the whales migrate. The children wondered about the size of a blue whale and surprised to know whales are not at all like fish but rather like human. Some of the children have seen whales and dolphins.
In geography, we explored the different landmarks and landforms of South America. We discussed the Amazon River and the forest, the Andes mountain range, the Galapagos Islands etc. We also talked about the people, culture and traditions of the South America, the countries like Brazil, Argentina, Chiles and Peru their and flags in South America. In botany and zoology, we covered the South American plants in the tropical forest as well as Pampas and animals like Anaconda snakes and Galapagos Tortoise. In science, we covered the life cycle of the butterfly and the frog. The children liked hearing reading from this month’s featured book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
During Enrichment, the children learned to sing Latin American children’s songs. In art, we explored the art from the native people of the Amazon region. We tried some dishes from the Latin America in cooking. In computers, they continued to work on language, math and reading at their own pace. In Spanish, we learned again about the South American culture and the typical lives of the children there.
Many thanks to all the parents who came to Mother’s Day celebration. We were overwhelmed by your kind generosity during the entire Teachers Appreciation Week. Thank you to all the parents who continue to help us by signing up for snack host every month.
June Recap: The theme of the month of June was the Community Helpers. The children learned about professionals who are extremely useful and helpful to the community. Initially the children had difficulty comprehending the concept of a community helper. However, once the examples were shown, they had much easier time. Most of the children have seen more than one community helper, such as the doctor or the nurse or the postman or the fireman etc.
In geography, the theme was our own beautiful state of California. We explored different landmarks of California like, Lone Cypress tree, the Santa Monica Pier, Disneyland and Golden Gate Bridge. As well as landforms such as the Mojave Desert, the Coastal and Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges, Yosemite Valley etc. It was surprising to hear some of the children already knew the state flower, the golden poppy. We also talked about the state Capital and Flag.
During circle time we covered more about our state. We also talked about the Summer Solstice. Then we talked about how special dads are. The book of the month was, The Little Red Hen, which is an old folk tale. The story is applied in teaching children the virtues of work ethic and personal initiative. In the biology lesson, the children learned about the state flower and all about the Ladybug insect.
For enrichment, the children learned to sing popular, summertime beach songs. In art, we explored the fine arts from our state. We tried some dishes which are especially unique in California like Avocado Toast. The students continued to work on language, math and reading on their own pace. In Spanish, we learned again about the Californian culture which are special and unique.
Many thanks to all the parents who came to the Father’s Day celebration. We appreciate all the parents who continue to help us by signing up for snack host every month.
Summer News: We welcome the month the summer months (minus the scorching Sun!) with open arms. We will have a lot of fun with water play, bubble play and water slides.