Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 21

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Hello Montessori Kindergarten Families,
Welcome to our first full week FULL DAYS back on campus! We ended this week in a spectacular way at the Multicultural Fair. Thanks so much to our parents that had tables at the event! And thank you to those who came and walked the Fair with the class. I truly hope you enjoyed it as well.
The following is a brief recap of the week. We have begun to delve into the foundation of History and Geography and in the next couple of weeks we will begin our Ecology unit:
-Physical Science — Force of Motion: occurrences on the playground. We talked about all the devices you can find on a typical playground and what force you would use to create movement: PUSH/PULL/BOTH. We also created some ramps in the classroom and charted on graphs the following information: Does it go down a ramp? Does it knock down a box? using everyday items
-Handwriting: lowercase h,b
-math: addition and subtraction (student’s choice)
-History: defined as the “study about how people, places and things in our world have been recorded on our Earth”
Lesson 1: How do we keep track history? the class was introduced to instruments used to mark time: kitchen timer, clock, watch, calendar
-Language: writing sentences that end in verbs
-Math: what two numbers comes before/what two numbers come after, recognizing numbers out of order (this is a GREAT ONE to practice at home!), domino math
-conjunction review — and — and introduce or
- Geography: South America — carnival, dolphin, empanadas
-Geography lesson using a map of Arizona, a compass and a small container of dirt. Geography is defined as “ the study of people and places in our world, and how the Earth has and is still changing today.”
-handwriting: q,x
-MOLA art (a style of artwork found mostly in South America)
-Discussion Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Video: Kid President (1st 2.5 minutes)

-Sentence building: “He had a dream”, what is your dream?
-Geography: South America — futbol
-Reading Comprehension: “My New Friend is so Fun” by Mo Willems, What are the characters, what is the setting? How can you figure out what the setting is?
-Living/nonliving: parts of a toucan
-Forces of Motion: roll/does not roll
-Review: Geometric solids (which shapes tend to roll)
-Geography lesson: primitive map making
Lesson: “A map is a picture that tells a story. Maps can make a large place look small. Maps show what a place looks like from up high. Some maps tell us about the weather while others tell us about where to find places/things and how to go from one place to another.
“Maps were first drawn with a stick in the dirt and then on cave walls. Later maps were made of clay. silk, parchment, sticks, paper, etc. Today you will find maps on your computer or iPad or GPS.
“1st map symbols were very simple and childlike. Symbols used were to indicate specific things like mountains, population. lakes, etc.
“People that make maps are called cartographers.”
-Geography: South America — Galapagos Island (review of land and water forms — archipelago)
Blue footed booby and finches are found here — try to research what they look like and bring a picture to school on Tuesday.
-handwriting/writers workshop — label parts of a person: head, feet, leg, hand, ear
REMEMBER: make your t-shirts for the 100 Day Celebration on January 23, 2018​
Have an adventurous 3 day weekend!
Mrs. Norgren

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 20

Good evening Montessori Kindergarten Families,
What a great first week back at school. So many students have clearly experienced many ‘aha’ moments over break and things that seemed difficult before we took the break now seem ‘so easy!’ Hurray! We began discussing South America in our Geography studies, began to work on crafting informational texts and in our History lessons began to discuss the passage of time. We are marking how many days until we become official first graders by placing a bean in a jar everyday. We have a new morning song called “Oh Mr. Sun” that we sing every morning. And we have begun to listen to the morning announcements over the P.A. system and stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance in keeping with our guidelines for our Social Studies unit. We also began talking about Forces of Motion from our Physical Science unit and discussed what items produce movement by needing to be pushed, which ones need to be pulled and which ones we can do both with. And we are back on schedule to have visits with Farmer Sean.
Thanks to all who were able to attend Parent Teacher Conferences this week. It is truly a joy to be a part of your families for this year (that is going so quickly). I hope you can feel the love, appreciation and commitment I have to the role I play in the life of your child.
History: passage of time/how do we ‘mark’ time
ABCs of South America: Andes mountains
Writing/Language: Read, Spell, Draw cvc, cvvc, cvcc words
Farmer Sean visits
Handwriting: lowercase r,n
Geography — begin pin poking work for map of South America
ABCs of South America: Bolivia
Math: what number comes before/what number comes after
Science: push/pull forces of motion
Handwriting: lowercase m
Reading: word match cvc words
Language — types/names of vegetables (healthy eating)
Language/Writing: introduction to conjunctions; using ‘and’ to join 2 sentences
1/2 day
South America Structures: Creating a structure that embodies the styles of homes found in South America. Discuss the similarities/differences of homes found in United States: balconies vs. patios, size of windows, height of buildings, color.
Write an informative narrative about South American Homes
1/2 day
free choice
sound table
Practice saying the Pledge of Allegiance
listening to announcements
Isaac’s show and tell: a device for practicing handwriting using a magnet and ball bearings
1/2 day
REQUEST: Can everyone please send in a composition notebook for us to compile this new quarter’s work in the classroom?
Thank you! And I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Mrs. Norgren

Photo by Rachel on Unsplash

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 19

Good morning Montessori Kindergarten Families,
Happy Christmas Eve morning! Finishing up the last days of 2018, we have so much to be thankful for. The friendships that have been built and the love and care shown in our community have been a beautiful to experience. We hope that your family enjoys this time together as we reflect on this school year and look forward to all that 2019 has to offer. Thank you for the
generosity of your gifts, donations and time in the classroom.
Montessori Beads — what
 numbers make ten/number bonds
Writers Workshop:
 Informative text: scarves
Video: History of Santa Claus —
Art/Cultural — complete Dreidels/discussion about the Hebrew letters displayed on the dreidel
Music Program practice
Character Trait: Helpful
Sing Christmas songs
Music Program Practice
Finish Writers Workshop: scarves
New writing lesson: read/spell/draw
Group Art Activity: Sight words- color by sight words Ornament
Sound Table/Reading with me
finish all holiday projects
Jingle jog
Language review: rhyming/what does not belong/beginning sounds — 2 person groups
Mini Art Walk — dreidels/ornaments/Christmas Cats
Sound Table/Reading with me
Book: “Jack B. Ninja” — what is the setting of the story
Choose your math
½ Day
Color by Sight word/Christmas Tree
Writers Workshop: Mittens — topic sentence/structure of a sentence/create your own sentence
½ day
Snowman collage/directed drawing
Movie: Frosty the Snowman 
Enjoy the break dear families! We will miss your kiddos and look forward to coming back fresh and ready to begin our adventures as we talk about preparing for first grade at our parent teacher conferences the FIRST WEEK back at school. Make sure to sign up on the link sent in the prior email.
Mrs. Norgren 

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 18

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

Good afternoon Montessori Kindergarten Families,
Just a few short days until we have our break. I will be sending a reminder email filled with all of the activities to plan on attending next week. Also, please keep in mind that NEXT Thursday and Friday, we have early dismissal at 11:00am WITH NO AFTERCARE options so please plan accordingly.
We finished our Laurel Burch inspired Christmas cats — you will see them displayed in next week’s art walk.
Introduction to blends through Winter vocabulary: skiis, sled, snowball, snowman, gloves — created a write the room activity to practice spelling and handwriting
Sing Christmas songs
Kwaanza video and discussion: 
Yuletide logs craft
Math: introduction to ten frame/teen number practice
Finish YAG and MAP testing
Finish Christmas cats
Sing Christmas songs
Continue teen number review
Listen to Kwaanza song: 
Character Trait Focus: joyful
Writers workshop: “I Like” statements — holiday theme
finish all holiday crafts
Choose your math
Video: the legend of the poinsettia —
Language: practice blends
Writers workshop: “My mom likes” — talk about adjectives
Begin Kwaanza necklaces
Math — teen numbers dot frames
Free choice — math and language
Character trait: forgiving
finish necklaces
Daisy’s birthday celebration
Cooking Day: Applesauce and Biscuits
Talk about Rosh Hashanah, read book “Apple Days” Book by Allison Sarnoff Soffer
Holiday focus: Hanukkah Video: 
Begin watercolor painting: dreidel
Math — small group single digit addition or choose your math
Have a good weekend everyone!
Mrs. Norgren