Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 13

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Good morning Montessori Kindergarten Families,

Happy Armistice Day! I want to take a moment to thank everyone that has served and those who have supported and encouraged and stood by service members. It is call that has a heavy price tag attached to it and you should never be forgotten for the sacrifices that have been and continue to be made.

We started our physical science unit this week discussing matter in all sorts of creative ways as you will see in the daily notes. We continue on with our conversations about North America and invite any new projects that have been created to be dropped of at school once they are complete. Our working meetings has been a lovely addition to our classroom time. We had our first Art Masterpiece lesson with Mrs. M on Monday. Finally we created a mural to celebrate the Veterans we know of in our class. If you did not get a chance to send me the name of one you know, you can still do so and we will add the name to the mural.

The class is SO EXCITED for our Learning Celebration this week. I hope that you are all able to attend.

Art Masterpiece with Mrs. M:
 Thankfulness project “3 Poplar Trees in Autumn” by Claude Monet (Impressionism)

Three Poplar Trees in the Autumn

Introduce new sight words
Handwriting: lowercase a,d
Physical Science: Matter Defined: something that takes up space
Dimension #1: Size: small, big, little, tiny, huge, medium
Observation Table: Textiles from Native Americans/Language cards of various Native American textiles
ABCs of North America: Ontario
Character: Humble
Labeling Maps of North America

Morning: your choice from each: math, language, handwriting
Physical science: Matter — mass — Heavy, light
Using scales: bucket scales
H.W.T: lowercase c,o,w,d,a
Video: Matter Chatter 

Gradation of color: Color Box III
Art Project: Veterans Mural honoring the Veteran families represented in our classroom: Red Poppies
Character trait: generous
ABC’s of North America: pinata
Quiet Reading: penguins, owls, turkeys
Working Meetings: ½ day and full day — map of North America
Continue working on Veterans Day mural
Handwriting: Sentence writing — 4 word sentences
Physical Science: Matter — Texture
Your choice: math, language — one in each category
Everyone at Sound Table today
North America: Quetzal
Character: loyal
Whole Group: starts seeds to plant book — illustration
Finish Veterans Day mural: cutting, gluing, handwriting, organizing, collaboration
Physical Science: matter/shapes — revisit geometric solids work
Video: Measure weight for kids: 

Measure land, water, air jars using a postage scale — light, heavy revisited
Begin 2 person teams: working on sight words
North America: Rockies
Character: Obedient
Group work: Life cycle of a bat flip book
Morning work: choose your math and language
Physical Science: Matter — Color

Everyone at Sound Table today
Continue reading book on bats
Work on illustrating pages 3 and 4 of seeds book
North America: Sequoia
Character: Wise
Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Remember NO SCHOOL on Monday.
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 12

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Good afternoon Montessori Kindergarten Families,

It is been 12 weeks of working, growing and sharing together as a community. I truly hope this has been a beautiful experience for your families. I marvel at the opportunity to witness the changes in your children as they are introduced to new concepts and then delight and thrive in the processes that a Montessori classroom offers. This month we are moving into becoming more independent in the classroom as each one becomes more comfortable with what a work cycle entails. Specifically, this means that every day each student has an opportunity to work on language, math, handwriting and cultural studies with practical life and sensorial activities rounding out the day.

This week we began having working meetings when we sit together and bring our folders which contain some of our long tern activities like creating and publishing a book, writers workshop activities and our maps of North America and we discuss how we can help each other to complete the tasks and discuss anything new we may be learning in the creation process.

The building projects that have come in based on the theme North America have been incredible! You would be so proud to see how each one has been able to stand in front of their peers with minimal prompting and give us his/her three interesting facts. The bonus is how I have witnessed spontaneous encouragement like “great job!” or “that is so good” and to hear from students who may not necessarily speak up in group time share with confidence.

Morning Handwriting/Writers Workshop: Punctuation: period/question mark/Noun/Article
Rhyming books
Write the room North America: A-F
Book: Stelluluna
Quiet reading: books on seeds and bats
Handwriting: v,w
Publishing a book: “A Noun is a…”
Math your choice: addition or subtraction
Math lesson: ten board
Character trait of the day: patience
ABC’s of North America: kayak
Sorting/Language: seeds/planting,bats, spiders, life cycles
Morning Handwriting: uppercase J
Smelling jars: pumpkin spice seasonings
Make cover of book “A Noun Is a…”
Life cycle of a bat
Bat gestation vs. human gestation
60 days vs 270 days In tens/more/less/larger/smaller
Begin community work meetings:working on publishing our books together
Math review: skip counting by 5’s/5s cubed bead chain
Character trait: industrious
ABC’s of North America: lobster
Early Dismissal: 11:00AM
Language work in groups: lesson on alphabetizing
Art: draw a scarecrow/lesson on the purpose of scarecrows
Continued conversation: life cycle of a bat
Sequencing: how to roast pumpkin seeds
Shared snack/food tasting: pumpkin seeds
ABCs of North America: Maple
· Choose handwriting option from your cubby
· ​Choose math option from your packet
· ​Practical life decreased to 2 bookshelves
· ​Working meetings
Goal: more independence
Student presentations:
· ​Redwood forest — (use of nonstandard measurement to figure out width of trees), Looked up bark in the dictionary
· ​Niagara Falls — watched a video of what Niagara Falls sounds like
· Big Ben — Video: sound of Big Ben
Narrative writing lesson: talked about beginning, middle and end of a story
H.W.T: START LOWERCASE: t,o,c,w,s to make cvc words
Working meeting: construct our maps of North America
Morning work: choose your math
Working meeting: Continue book making — A Noun is a ____
Small Group lesson on adjectives
Finish reading Stelluluna — look at  the skeleton of a bat wing vs human arm
Student presentations:
· ​Golden Gate Bridge
· ​Chicago Water Tower
Character trait: loyal
ABCs of North America: Niagara Falls
Next week, we will start a weaving project to accompany our study of Native Americans. If anyone has any weaving/baskets/etc. that you wouldn’t mind allowing us to have in our class next week, we would be so appreciative.
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 11

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Good Morning Montessori Kindergarten Families,

I can’t believe how quickly this month has gone. To say that your child is learning and growing at a rapid pace seems like an understatement. These last few weeks have been full of discovery and interest in the life cycles we have been exploring and in our book making skills. Plus we have extended our learning on measurement because so many are fascinated by measuring everything in our room! A few have created their own charts to document their data. It is an honor to see each one take ownership of his/her education.
We began to create our individual maps of the main countries found in North America and I anticipate we should have them created and labeled by mid November, just in time for our Learning Celebration on November 15. We finished our 4 day project of making individual dream catchers which you can now see displayed outside of our classroom. And we explored symmetry by creating individual spiders; those can be found hung in the classroom. And we did a cool experiment to discover why spiders do not stick to their webs.

We finished up our 30 days of emotions this week. Next conversations will center around character. So the progression is Peace — kindness — emotions — character and then we go back and review as needed tying all four concepts together.

Writers Workshop: sentence/question/exclamation
Introducing: mini reader stories/comprehension questions
Art Lesson: spiders/Native American/North America tie in — dream catchers
Math Lesson: subtraction
Emotion of the Day: Calm
ABC’s of North America: Finger Lakes
Afternoon Lesson: Land and Water globe/Land, Water, Air Lesson
Sorting/Language: land, water, air/autumn/living or nonliving/plant or animal
Handwriting: I, T

Morning Handwriting: C,O
Art walk: Native American Homes
Science Experiment/Spiders: Why don’t spiders stick to their webs?
Symmetry/line: complete the drawing of a spider
Morning Lesson: what is a line?
Math: fill in the missing number/sequential numbers
Math: what is the difference between 1,10,100,1000
Day 2: Dreamcatcher project
Video: Why don’t spiders stick to their webs? 

ABCs of North America: Grand Canyon
Morning Handwriting: J
Continue dream catchers
Morning Lesson: Math — addend + addend + addend
Continue lesson on Lines: making lines with our bodies
Book making: making rhyming books
Language/Dictionary lesson: plow, harvest, barn
Emotion of the Day: valued
ABC’s of North America: hockey
Spider Vocabulary: venom, paralyze
Handwriting- START LOWERCASE: c, o
Use rulers to create lines on our chalkboards
Continue Pin poking work of the countries: United States and Mexico and Canada
Begin to construct our countries into a map of North America
Continue working on dream catchers
Silence Game
Book making: begin making “A Noun is a…” book
Morning work: all levels math
Handwriting: numbers choice 1–10 repetitive or 1–30 tracing
Continue book making: A Noun is a ____
Finish Dream catchers
Group Lesson: Create 8 types of lines/turn them into a figure/object
Handwriting: lowercase s
Continue Pin poking work of the countries: United States and Mexico and Canada and continue on…
Video: All About Bats 

Emotion of the Day: zealous (LAST DAY)
ABC’s of North America begins: JAZZ
A quick reminder about the Building project for North America — I hope your child has shown some interest in creating one!
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 10

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Good morning Montessori Kindergarten Families,

I apologize for being in your inbox so much this week — feels like the first week of school, eh? I have a ton to communicate with you and want to make sure you are part of the process in your child’s education. I am trying my best to create an appropriate subject line just in case you need to find something quickly. That said, be on the lookout for a Signup Genius link for our Autumn cooking project Pumpkin smoothies! BIG THANK YOU to Lincoln’s mom for sharing a recipe that covers all allergies in our classroom. I hope to have the class creating the smoothies this Thursday.
OKAY so on to what we did this week 🙂

Morning Handwriting: Uppercase A-Z worksheet, 1–20 fill in the missing numbers
Book making: parts of a pumpkin, parts of the spider, continents, sight words
Morning Lesson: subtraction
Emotion of the Day: Nervous
ABC’s of North America begins: alligator
Observation Table: Autumn leaves from Michigan
Afternoon Lesson: Trinomial cube
9:31am — 9:56am: P.E./10:00–10:30am: Farmer Sean

Morning Handwriting: Writers Workshop Lesson 1
H.W.T: C,O
Morning Lesson: measuring with a tape measure
Lesson: What are 3 part cards/the language of Autumn cards
What number comes before____
What number comes after ____
Emotion of the Day:
ABC’s of North America begins: bison
Afternoon Lesson: rhyming words using sight words
9:31am — 9:56am: P.E./12:47–1:12pm: STREAMS

Morning Handwriting: Draw AND write a story about a spider
Moby Max testing
Morning Lesson: types of Native American Homes/create a structure out of clay
Language/Dictionary lesson: what does it mean to ‘molt’ (how would we look this word up in the
Video: All about animals: Spiders 

Insect vs. arachnid
Emotion of the Day: worried
ABC’s of North America begins: cowboy
9:31am — 9:56am: P.E./9:56am-10:12am: library/12:47–1:12pm: library
Morning Handwriting: Write the Room: Native American Homes
Science: Review of how to read a thermostat
Moby Max testing
H.W.T: C,Z,O
Morning Lesson: Countries of North America
Begin Pin poking work of the countries: United States and Mexico
Math: Addition word problems (oral lesson)
Color the Bead Bars — 1 to 10 review
Emotion of the Day: angry
ABC’s of North America begins: dreamcatcher
9:31am — 9:56am: P.E.
Morning Handwriting: Life cycle of a pumpkin sequencing and writing work
Science: Review of how to read a thermostat
Moby Max testing
H.W.T: Q,G
Morning Lesson: Finish Native American Homes Structure
Continue Pin poking work of the countries: United States and Mexico
3 part cards lesson: Life Cycle of a Spider
Book: Spiders by Laura K. Murray
Emotion of the Day: yucky
ABC’s of North America begins: everglades
What state do we live in?
What country do we live in?
What continent do we live on?
Art: begin making dream catchers
9:31am — 9:56am: music/ 10:55–11:20 p.e./1:15–1:40pm library
Extension of Learning: see Building North America Structures project email

Thanks for all you do to allow for our classroom to have so much FUN learning together!

Warm regards,
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 9

Good morning Montessori Kindergarten Families,

It was such a JOY to be able to meet with each of you to celebrate all of the milestones the students have experienced personally and collaboratively. I hope that the journals that went home brought about some laughs, conversations and celebrations as well as a deeper view of what your child is doing in class and the beauty and depth found in a Montessori classroom. I believe we have discussed in newsletters and conversations about a program we use called MRX which takes what is taught in a Montessori classroom and translates the concepts to correlate with Common Core Standards which is the guidelines that Arizona follows. If you are interested in that report — it is a bit more lengthy than the one page ILP you received — please let me know and I will be happy to email it to you.

We began our discussions about Autumn and began to talk about what Autumn looks like around the world beginning with North America. We began conversations about ending punctuation adding to what we have discussed about what makes a sentence a statement vs. a question. I introduced a pin poking work which helps with pencil grip and the students have loved it. We begin by poking out 2D geometric shapes but soon this will transition to pin poking maps of the Continents. I introduced the 5s chain from the Montessori Bead Cabinet and we counted by 5s to 25 (5 squared) and 125 (5 cubed).
-cvc spelling by counting sounds
-Handwriting: 1/2 V,W Full Day: Z

Life Cycle of a pumpkin
We watched this video with a fun rhyming song and then we discussed the 6 steps in the life cycle of the pumpkin and diagramed it together as a class: 

Math Conversations: Will numbers ALWAYS get bigger? How will we know when they are supposed to get smaller? Introduced the word ‘subtraction’
Played the Silence Game
your choice handwriting page
Wednesday — Friday Early Dismissal 11:00am
– Discuss parts of a pumpkin
-Write first/last name and numbers 1–20
-Sound table/reading
-What goes at the end of a sentence: beginning discussions of period vs. question mark
-Drew a pumpkin and its pumpkins, wrote labels phonetically and glued them to the drawing, watercolor painting
Enjoy the week dear families and thanks for all you do to support and nurture this community.
Mrs. Norgren