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
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 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

Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 22

shallow focus photography of girl sitting on chair drawing on her paper on top of the table
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@zhenhappy
Good afternoon Montessori Kindergarten Families,
This week feels like we are getting back into the swing of things.  Our 100 day celebration was this week and the students had a great time hanging out with the other three kindergarten classrooms. We continued working on  South America in our micro discussions of Geography and continued working through what Geography means in our macro discussions - topics such as how do people live in other parts of the world.  We continued our Forces in Motion discussion in Physical Science talking about what items roll and also what other way objects can move (back, forth, up down, zig zag, etc.)  We continue to talk about the difference between fiction/nonfiction/poems and worked on how to assess the main characters and the setting of a story.  We have begun soft introductions of multiplication through skip counting and various works in the classroom.  And we are working hard on number writing practice.
A HUGE THANK YOU for the fantastic projects that have come in over the past few weeks for discussion. This by far is the BEST way I have found to help with peer to peer learning about the World we live in.  NEXT WEEK is the last week to bring in the projects as we will move on to our next Continent in February in order to ensure that I am able to at least touch on each one before the students move to First Grade.
One last thing (before I get into the week's activities):  One of the expectations of first grade is that each child has to be able to count to 100.  Will you check with your child and see if they have mastered this skill yet?  If he/she has not, you can find easy and fun ways to have him/her practice this concept.  (1) Have them count random items like buttons or blueberries, (2) find counting songs or counting videos for them to watch are just a few ideas.
-We have math journals that we work in each week that include all concepts we need to master before moving into first grade.  
-does it roll science experiment/graph
-write five sentences about the topic 'flowers' and draw a picture to go with the story and label the items in the picture
-create 10 frames (math)
-blue footed booby, finches
-continue to work on South America map
-landmarks: Mount Rushmore, White House, Stature of Liberty
-number writing practice practice booklets
-100 day celebration
-peruvian masks project
-Lincoln Memorial, capital building, Alamo
-sound table/reading
-sort objects by length (math)
-observation table/group projects presentation
-skip counting chains/multiplication
-what is a fiction book? What is the setting of a story?
-alphabetical order
-differences between fiction/non fiction/poems
-using nursery rhymes to identify sight words
-direction things can move
-fill in the missing number/sequence of numbers
-bald eagle/American flag
-people around the world/what are people like who live on different continents
-Video: Knuffle Bunny - what is the setting of the story? who are the main characters? What words would you use to describe the story?
South America ABCs this week: harpy, Inca, jaguar, kinkajou, llama
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Looking forward to more adventures together next week.
Mrs. Norgren