Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 29

five red apples on white surface
photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@twinsfisch

Good afternoon Montessori Kindergarten Families,

Week 29 is in the books!  As we prepare for MAP testing, we also continue to learn and grow in our math, language, science and geography experiences.  The week we also started our Ecology unit.  The quarter we are learning a new morning song "If I had a Hammer" - here is a link to the song: ______

Math lesson: tens and ones place value review
Writers Workshop: review sequencing of a story
Writing: personal narrative
Geography: Australia - is it a continent or a country?
Language: noun/verb review 
Sound table

Geography - Uluru art project and informative writing 
Video on Uluru:
Engineering: What is an invention?
Review: telling time
ABCS OF Australia: boomerang

Finish ulura project
Talk about Student Treasures book collaboration
Math: length and measurement review
Invention: What problem does it solve?
Video: Kid President on inventions - ______________

Math: What is a Venn diagram
Prepare for MAP testing
Language: antonyms/synonyms/homonyms review
Sound table
Art: Directed line drawing - kangaroo
Continue working on student book

Ecology lesson - land/water/air
pollution vs clean
Zoology: What is a marsupial?
Video: Why do kangaroos have pouches? _______________
Math: review skip counting - 2s,5s,10s
Continue working on student book

Have a good weekend everyone. MAP testing is next week so please make every effort to be on time to school and have your child eat a hearty breakfast.

Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 28

children and woman sitting on floor with pillows
photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@plmka
 Good afternoon Montessori Kindergarten Families,
This week was filled with celebration over watching your children take ownership of their learning.  So many beamed as they shared the concepts they have learned. My highest JOY is to see their confidence grow over these last weeks in the classroom in their reading, writing and math skills.  Thanks so much for partnering with me to help guide their mental, emotional and academic lives.  
As I mentioned in an earlier email, I discussed with the class a Spring Break project where they create a map of their room, home and neighborhood.  I leave it up to the student as to his/her interpretation of what "neighborhood" means.  We will discuss this more as a class when we come back from the break.  
So you may wonder what the thought process is behind teaching Geography from both a global and personal perspective concurrently. This link offers some wonderful insight as to why this is part of the Montessori tradition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UhDWmd7kco - the discussion on this topic starts about 10 minutes into the video.
personal narrative review
sequencing/handwriting sentences
choose your math
new works in Practical Life area
Write the room: length and measurement
Geometry review - 3D objects - three part cards
Science - Uranus painting and video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UhDWmd7kco
Time - review of parts of the clock; the role of the hands on the clock
Begin creating Solar System books
prepare for student led conferences
1/2 day
science - Neptune painting and video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM22MyLaRSs
diagramming sentences - small group work - nouns, articles, is there a verb?
math: what is a number sentence? how do you create a picture from reading a number sentence?
sight words spelling/dictation
Student led conferences
1/2 day
Science - create our new planet presentations day 1
choose your math
choose your language
Student led conferences
1/2 day
Science - create our new planet presentations day 2
new language work in the classroom
free choice full classroom
Thanks to everyone who sent in disinfecting wipes! We are cleaning and preparing the room for another quarter of joyful learning.  We appreciate each of you. 
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 27

assorted-color origami on table
photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@dev_irl

Good afternoon Montessori Kindergarten Families,
The following is the newsletter that I missed last week:
Begin discussing Opinion Writing 
Writers Workshop: Work on parts of a sentence
Science: Mercury painting
Opportunity to do a sewing work
Review of facts about Mercury
Time: 3 part cards
ILP progress testing
Science: Earth painting
Your choice math and language
1/2 day
ILP progress report testing
Science: Mars painting
ILP progress report testing
your choice: math and language
Science: Jupiter painting
Post narrative writing exercise all week
Science project - create nebula jars
Review of student work - prepare for student led conferences
Time - :00 and :30, parts of a clock
Thanks for your patience!
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 26

boy looking through telescope
photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@teddykelley
 Hello Montessori Kindergarten Families,

We had our field trip.  It was such a great way to hang out and enjoy each other's company.  What an incredible environment to experience together.  We had a short week but there was no interruption in our learning process.  We continue to work through our Astronomy unit focusing on Venus, Saturn, Nebula and phases of the moon.  Speaking of the moon, we learned about Snow moon.  We let Saturn inspire us to complete our informative text for Writers Workshop.  We learned about Rosa Parks, taking advantage of having ridden a bus on our field trip and  we created a collage to extend the learning (and of course an excuse to create art!).  We continued studying nonstandard measure. And everyone has now had a lesson on the moveable alphabet.  This material allows the student to focus on phonetic sounds and allows those who struggle with writing to begin to practice spelling.  
field trip
- Government: Statue of liberty line drawing and video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usHRc7G0gVo
- nonstandard measure
- moveable alphabet
- phases of the moon
- Rosa Parks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sqiZ7agt4Q only watched a segment of the video
-Language - fix the sentences
-Venus/facts about Venus 
-Lesson: phases of the moon
-sound table
-Writers workshop: Venus
-sight words/sound table
-nebula video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJVy9P3XSVE only watched a portion
Have a great weekend! I am looking forward to seeing you  all at the Montessori Fundraiser on Saturday.
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 25

girl wearing blue romper holding teal watering can
Add caption
 girl wearing blue romper holding teal watering can
photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@jonathanborba

Good morning Montessori Kindergarten Families,
Valentines Day AND cooking and all the learning that occurred in between - what an incredible week.  Your child may have told you we are tracking the amount of days it takes to 'grow a first grader' by adding a bean to a jar every day.  It is fun to watch the 'days' add up.  I see such growth in the area of reading, writing and math.   Thanks so much for your assistance at home with counting not just 1-100 but with concepts like 'what comes before' and 'what are the 2 numbers after...' - very helpful concepts as we deepen our math skills.   For phonics, questions like 'what is the middle sound you hear' or 'what other word do you know that starts with..." are important to language growth.  
We completed our South America study this week and projects started to go home on Friday. The other hands on activities associated with this study are being saved for the Student Led Conferences coming up - sign up genius link will hopefully be sent by the end of this weekend. This conference is not mandatory and if you are not able to attend,  I am happy to send home the portfolio your child created - please allow your child to present the information inside to you so he/she can experience the pride of his/her accomplishments.  Conferences are held the first week in March.
1/2 day students took some work home on Friday.  Because of Picture Day and Valentines Day, I was not able to cover everything I planned during class time so I wanted to make sure they were able to work on the concepts by sending them home.
- CVC middle sounds
-History: how to read a calendar
-length/measurement using unconventional materials (how many paper clips long is this pencil?).  Review of estimation concept
-read/spell/draw spelling
-Create the sun using rays, symmetry, warm colors
-Handwriting: b vs h (lowercase)
-Writers workshop: sequencing FIRST, THEN, NOW - How to build a snowman in three steps
-CVC middle sounds
-Black History Month: Jackie Robinson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3SVWz5MdEw
-Art collage: Jackie Robinson
-Geography: map a part of the room
-Science: Forces of motion review
-Government: Study of Abraham Lincoln
-Science: Review of planets, order, rotation, orbit
-Sound table
-Valentines Box Fashion show
-Practical life: making jam - blackberry and strawberry/taste test 
-Artist of the Day: Jim Dine - create 4 Hearts inspired painting https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/dine-four-hearts-p04226
-Geography: create a map of the room - north/south/east/west
-read/spell/draw spelling words
-write the room South America
-math journal
-Government/Writers Workshop: Draw Abraham Lincoln, write 2-4 facts about his life
-science: Is Pluto a planet? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZfi89JiXKM  - the three rules that all planets follow
Thanks so much for all the support our community feels from you all.
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 24

multicolored learning toys
photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@vbcreative

Good afternoon Montessori Kindergarten Families,
February brings new opportunities to learn more about the world around us.  This month's main themes are the Solar System and Black History Month.  We are exploring these topics with our art and writing components and well as our language and sorting work.  We continue to discover the main components of a good sentence: capitalization, spacing between words and punctuation at the end of the sentence.  We expand these ideas in our writing by asking ourselves: does the sentence make sense and does the illustration I create contribute to the words I have written.  We have the pledge of Allegiance about 90% memorized and we started learning the National Anthem.  We learned about Ruby Bridges and we talked about Mercury and Venus.  We rounded out the week with a quick review of compound words and (action) verbs.
-American Landmarks review: Empire State Building, Grand Canyon, Betsy Ross, Mount Rushmore, Statue of Liberty
-Write your numbers: how high can you go? 20? 40? 60?
-introduce blends through rhyming words
-what is a paragraph
-read/spell/draw activity
-missing addends
Length and measurement - longer/shorter
-National Anthem
-Create the cover of your book: You are a Writer!
-5 rules of writing
-black history month
-Lesson: map a section of a room
-Introduce Barak Obama, Nelson Mandela, Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman
-Forces of motion: push/pull/both
-verbs review
-Introduction to the Solar System - learn song "We are the planets" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbei3VZjZ48
-sewing lesson
-bald eagle line drawing and graphing - write informational text
-Ruby Bridges art project
-Complete the Sentence worksheet using sight words; does the sentence make sense?
-missing addend review
-what comes before/after
-informational text writing - come up with your own topic
Did I forget to send the video link last week on The White House? Here it is! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnBcUJ7duDY
Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 23

pile of story books
photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@anniespratt

Good afternoon Montessori Kindergarten Families,
This week was filled with art projects that focused on South America and writing assignments that focused on Government.  I am always blown away by the incredible abilities and talents I have the privilege of witnessing in the classroom.  Students got a crack at drawing George Washington and The White House - both of which are on display - and we created Maracas and many have finished their map of South America.  In Math, we are reviewing length and measurement and we are working on how to find the missing addends in single digit addition problems.  And we celebrated a birthday and did another one of our amazing cooking adventures.  Plus we officially welcomed two new students into our community.
ONE MORE THING: the South America projects have been INCREDIBLE!  Thank you for supporting this amazing way to learn and grow in our knowledge of the world.   Please encourage your child to finish up her/his project to present next week as we are finishing up our study of South America.
math journal
History lesson: how to read a calendar
work on map of South America all week: assemble and write country names and label map
Food tasting: plantains
History Lesson: the age of trees (looking at tree slices)
Draw George Washington
Video about George Washington: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lXnfitSoYw
Handwriting: number practice/writing sentences
Choose your math
Video: How to play maracas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUgj-aL6EXg
Book: "Katie and the Spanish Princess" by James Mayhem
Review: American Landmarks
Draw The White House
Choose your math
Art masterpiece - Kandinksy - work on fundraiser project
Math Journal
Math lesson: How to find the missing addend
Handwriting/Language/Writing Informational text - write about The White House
Language Lesson: pronouns
Book: "Have you seen my Elephant" by David Barrow 
Cooking Experience - Peruvian Chicken Soup
Listen to Peruvian Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQs_oy2O7Uw
Language Lesson: conjunctions
Handwriting/Writing Review: punctuation marks - question mark/exclamation point
Sound Table/reading
South America ABCs topics
Fun facts about Maracas
Full day: Maracas art project
1/2 Day: sensorial/practical life
Work on South America maps
Sound table/reading
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Mrs. Norgren