Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 17

Hello Montessori Kindergarten Families,
Happy Sunday! I hope you are enjoying the cool weather and all of the fun activities going on around town. It is so fun to run into your families as we are out and about enjoying the holiday season.
We are finished with week 1 of MAP testing and are preparing for another week of testing. There is still plenty going on in the classroom. You will begin to see some of what we have been up to on the walls of our school. We continue to work on Writers Workshop prompts where we incorporate sight words, handwriting, structuring sentences and creativity. We also began to learn about many traditions celebrated in November and December, beginning with Diwali and Winter Solstice. The students created rangolis and yule logs. The class is transitioning to more of the responsibilities for care of the classroom and now sweep and wipe tables after lunch along with the other responsibilities they have for preparing for lunch and cleaning up after eating together as a class. And we celebrated two birthdays this week!
Finish Great Horned Owl Writing Prompt
“I am a great horned owl. My name is ___________. I like to ___________.”
History/Time: Day of the Week and Months of the Year
Diwali and all of its traditions including Diyas and Rangolis

Math: single digit addends
Language Lesson: Introduction to Verbs
Math: Introduce number lines/addition
Practical Life — Sewing Circle: introduction to sewing using sewing cards
Handwriting: lowercase “l”
Review addition vocabulary: addend, sum
Free Reading: Cultural Holiday books
Character: Content
Isaac’s Birthday celebration
Food tasting: Rambutans
Verbs Review
Character: Virtuous
Handwriting Centers: days of the week/months of the year/major cities in Arizona
Math: number line addition
Cultural/History: Winter Solstice
Ember’s Birthday Celebration
Math: number line addition
Language: Noun/Verb connection
Cultural: yule Logs/art project
Video: Winter Solstice 

Start Art Masterpiece Holiday Theme: Christmas Cats
Math: what comes before/what comes after
Review: numbers 11 and 12
Complete various projects half day/absent students
Noun/verb group game
Video: Winter Solstice 

I hope to get the sign up link out this evening for our cooking project on Friday. Have a good rest of your weekend.
Mrs. Norgren

The Best looms are found in nature - here's how to make your own nature loom

Make a natural loom from a tree stump.
photo credit: https://babbledabbledo.com/art-and-design-for-kids-natural-loom/

Here is the beginning of a series of the things we do when we are NOT TEACHING art.  some you may catch up posting pics of on my instagram account.  There is so many ways to take creativity and nature and bring them together to make some exquisite memories with your loved ones. 

CLICK HERE for instructions

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 16

Good morning Montessori Kindergarten Families,
16 weeks of learning and growing together. This has been quite a journey getting used to being a part of a Charter School. What I love about the environment is your child gets an amazing opportunity to connect with so many wonderful teachers and have amazing experiences that just would not be possible for me to give him/her if I want to stay aligned with the beautiful Montessori curriculum — which of course I am biased but I LOVE teaching it and inviting your child to discover the world through the approach. There are definitely times it can be a bit overwhelming. There is so much to communicate because there is so much going on all the time. So it is definitely a give and take to have the opportunity to have these additional experiences and I am growing along with you. Your trust and patience with this process is DEEPLY appreciated. I could not do what I do without your support. Thank you.
Continue to work with the Botany Cabinet
Free Reading: Penguins, Chickens, Owls, Flamingos
ABCs of North America: Yukon and Zuni
Character Trait: Mannerly
Handwriting: lowercase k
Study of Great Horned Owls
Reading: “Great Horned Owls” by Melissa Hill
Vocabulary: predator, prey, hatch, danger, swoop
Choose your math
Writers Workshop:
choose a story prompt
1. write the topic sentence
2. write a second sentence about your story
3. label your picture
Language: compound words review — take the words apart
Review of North America — through living and nonliving and plant/animal sort cards
Review of teen board
History Lesson: time broken down by morning, noon and night
Book: “Do You Really Want to Meet an Owl” by Bridget Heos
Choose your math
Stella’s Birthday Celebration
Math: What comes before? What comes after?
Group Lesson: Subtraction Strip Board
Language: Compound Words Review
Handwriting: your choice
Geometry/Sensorial Lesson: Constructive Triangles Rectangular Box (1)
A bit of information about this material:
“The constructive triangles are used to demonstrate that all plane geometric figures can be constructed from triangles. There are five boxes: 2 rectangular, 1 triangular, and 1 large and 1 small hexagonal. Each box contains triangles of different sizes, shapes, and colors. With the exception of Rectangular Box 2, black guidelines are painted in different positions on the triangles to help the child to construct other figures. This should be encouraged as an exploratory work that will provide a foundation for later concepts of equivalency, similarity, and congruency.”
Read more here: 
Handwriting:First and last name written on all work
Penguin symmetry and label three parts of the penguin using phonetic spelling
Intro to adjectives
lowercase: j,y
Continued conversations about owls
Vocabulary: camouflage, nocturnal, prey, pupil, swivel, talons
Begin prepping for Great Horned Owls art and writing project
Sponge painting with acrylic paint
Watch MAP video and prepare students for MAP TESTING NEXT TWO WEEKS
Group time: life cycle of a turkey
Autumn sort cards — two person work
Character Trait: thankful
Mrs. L talks to class about rules in P.E.
Yoga sequence: I am kind, you are kind, we are kind, to ourselves and to each other
Continue working on Great Horned Owl project
Handwriting: lowercase p
Have a lovely weekend!
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 15

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Good morning Montessori Families,
Thanks so much for extending grace to me with communication responses. With the move, the holidays, a house guest, Josey’s softball games and non existent internet at our new place, my response time may not have been as quick as you have experienced from me in the past. We hoped to be settled in (ha ha! at least with internet access — still trying to locate shoes!) by this weekend so that I can at least return to the routine we have established together.
Here is a recap of Thanksgiving week:
Kevin’s Celebration of Life
life cycle of a penguin
Land and Water forms: strait and isthmus
North America: living vs. nonliving
Handwriting: lowercase e
Writers Workshop: beginning/middle/end of a story
History: Seasons — how they mark time/history
Continued Conversations about bodies of water/art project: island, lake, strait, isthmus
Fire Drill
Cooking Day — so awesome! Tex Mex Quinoa YUM
Math: what comes before/what comes after
North America: Grand Canyon Project shared with class
Handwriting: your choice worksheet
We are thankful place mats — thank you for all the leaves that we had to choose from. We began the morning with the investigation of our Botany Cabinet and discovering what types of leaves are available in Arizona. Why do we have a botany cabinet? Directly, the Botany Cabinet is a great activity for a child to develop visual discrimination. The activity relies on the child being able to distinguish one leaf shape from another. Indirectly, the Botany Cabinet is preparation for further botany work in the Primary and Elementary classroom, including developing appropriate language and investigation of the natural world.
We looked up the word “botany” in the dictionary. We discovered we had eight different types of leaves to work with for our project. When creating the place mats, we applied the use of fractions and pattern making to create the designs you see on the placemat. We also included the poem we say before we each lunch together every day (please forgive the typo UGH!)
Math: Crisis of 9
Zoology: Penguins
Stay tuned for this week’s newsletter!
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 14

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Good morning Montessori Kindergarten Families,

It was so good to see you all at our Learning Celebrations this week. Your children were so excited to be able to show you how much they have learned and grown in our 14 weeks together. It was beautiful to watch everyone become immersed in the environment that we all have created together. It was TRULY student led and as a teacher I felt very blessed to witness it.

Some of the work you saw in your child’s working folders included:
-one of our first art projects based on the theme “living and nonliving” — flowers and cow skulls inspired by Georgia O’Keefe

Image result for cow skulls georgia o'keeffe

-flip book: life cycle of a bat
– “A Noun is A …” book written by your child where they had to choose a person, place, thing illustrate it and write the sentences on his/her own — including spelling the words phonetically
– Map of North America — I want to share a bit about what went into that project. The countries were ‘cut out’ through a pin poking activity — NOT scissors — and was completed entirely by your child. Pin poking helps a child develop his/her pincer grip, co-ordination, and concentration. A child must be able to sit and focus, be ready to handle a sharp object without hurting themselves or others, and show interest in the activity. The placement and the writing of the countries and their names was also done by your child. This really is a BIG work.

No school

-Riot’s Birthday Celebration
-Introduce: Turkey, Penguins, chicken, turkey, kitchen utensils language work and life cycle work for the month
-Physical science: Matter — solid, liquid, gas
-Group discussion: chickens-where do they live? How do chickens begin their
lives? What does a rooster look like?
-H.W.T: practice review of all uppercase letters/ introduce lowercase u and cvc words with “u”
-Continue illustration work on “Seeds” book


-ABCs of North America: Tornado
-Character trait: responsible

Working Meetings: ½ day and full day
 — COMPLETE map of North America
-Complete illustration of “Seeds” book and cut/assemble/bind
– Matter: focus on liquid
-Begin Weaving project: review of Native American textiles
-ABCs of North America: Umpire
-Character trait: kindhearted
-Language: singular vs. plural
-Math: single digit addend + addend + addend
-Focus: egg, baby, mother penguins

-Whole Group: punctuation — introduce exclamation point
-Physical science: solid/liquid/gas
-Solid- can it change shape?/ Liquid- does it change shape?/What is similar? Different?
-Language: 2 person work sorting/matching
-ABCs of North America: Vancouver
-Character trait: Neighborly
-Introduce spelling practice with moveable alphabet

-Group Math: single digit addend + addend + addend
-Morning work: choose your handwriting
-Physical Science: Land and Water Forms
-Introduce: lake and island
-Solid vs. liquid: holds/conforms to shape of vessel

-Everyone at Sound Table today
-North America: White House
-Character: Brave
-Full day: finish weaving project
Extend the Learning: Demonstrate with an ice cube solid, liquid and gas — 

Thanks to all of you who were able to volunteer your time this week!

See you all tomorrow,
Mrs. Norgren