Hope everyone had a good holiday season. It was nice to see refreshed faces and renewed energy come alive on everyone’s face after the much-needed break.
December was about spending quality time and we celebrated the same spirit in the class by making hot cocoa together from scratch.
They also had an opportunity to learn about the art of compassion by bringing donations for HOPELINK. They exuberated the essence of giving by decorating a box for collecting the donations.
This month we had our practical life area filled with jingle bells, tying ribbons, gift boxes, Christmas trees, and ornaments. It was also fun to learn names of vegetables in Spanish and make clay gingerbread men for their families in art class. We also learnt about the festivals around the world and hibernating animals. There were stories and songs around why birds migrate and how animals prepare themselves for winter. In January we will be learning about insects, spiders, their body parts, and life cycles.
Wishing all the families a very happy 2018 once again!
This month was all about being grateful, more fall leaves, apples, corn and turkeys. We also studied our unit of North America.
Our circle time was a busy time with reading books on the tradition of Thanksgiving and children sharing their personal stories on how they celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. We also spoke about being grateful for our blessings.
Students enjoyed the special apple tasting and studying parts and life cycle of an apple. In art, the children enjoyed making art work with corn, fall leaves and pin poking turkeys and scarecrows. Our unit study on North America was great fun and informative. Students learned about the major countries of the continent, their iconic landforms and places.
We were graced by a visit from Margaret Read McDonald, who is renowned children's author. She read stories written by her in her own unique and child-friendly way. Our Spanish class with Mr. Shawn was about honing vocabulary of the names of animals, colors and common phrases and greetings. Our art teacher, Ms. Michelle, did some wonderful winter landscapes.
Next month we look forward to enjoying festivities around the world, learning about winter season and studying animal hibernation.
October started off with parent teacher conferences and it gave us a great opportunity to know each other better.
The children got more comfortable with the routines in the classroom. We made a great progress in putting our grace and courtesy lessons learnt last month in to action.
There are many ingredients that go into making a Montessori class successful and one of the more important ones is the attention we pay to grace and courtesy.
This is the term we use to describe manners and learning what it means to be polite. Some of the examples are:
· How to make eye contact before speaking.
· How to ask if you’d like to join or watch someone else’s work.
· How to work together and take turns.
· What to say when you are offering or receiving something.
· How to take care of your surroundings.
· How to be kind to others.
We learnt a lot about community helpers. We had firefighters visit our campus, which gave a good visibility into their profession. They spoke to children about how to respond in case of emergency. Children also got an opportunity to look closely at their uniform, inside the truck and all the other tools and accessories. It was also fun when one of our parent volunteer Ms. Maggie Stewart visited our class and spoke about Scientists. She demonstrated some cool science experiment.
Besides that, the whole month was all about Halloween, pumpkins, fall colors and leaves. There were lots of stories with Ms. Eela, songs with Ms. Amy, crafts with Ms. Michelle, Spanish with Mr. Shawn and it all finally concluded with children flaunting off their Halloween costumes and enjoying fun activities at the harvest fest with families.
Its been a busy first month in Azul. Most of the children are now settled in the new classroom. It is amazing to see how their eyes lit up with joy instead of tears on arrival. We are so grateful to have such cheerful and enthusiastic bunch of children who come all charged up and eager to learn.
Past few weeks we have spent time to understand each other and the new environment. This included getting to know teachers, classmates, classroom routines, safety and lots of lessons on grace and courtesy.
Besides learning, there was lot of excitement to go outside and play with their classmates, feed the goats, and chase rabbits, ducks and roosters. It was a perfect time for them to enjoy fall harvest in our school garden. Many of them enjoyed the taste of freshly picked tomatoes, kale, and chives. Our little pumpkin patch is also coming along very well and soon children will see how big pumpkins grow in just few weeks.
We are all excited to celebrate our theme on "community helpers" in the month of October. We hope to inspire children to appreciate the efforts community helpers put in to make our lives better and motivate them to be one.
May seems to have passed by just as quickly as it arrived! It was a flurry of activity here in Azul from special projects to exploring our outside environment, it has been a joy to see the children explore their outdoor surroundings and connect themselves to nature.
We wrapped up our April Curriculum theme of Spring, and began to explore outside and learn about plants Native to the Pacific Northwest. Our school is lucky to have a great nature trail and outdoor area that has so many beautiful native plants. In the classroom, children had an opportunity to learn about different native leaf shapes and different native flowers with leaf and flower cards.
Our month of May began with the children working hard on our class auction project for the schools 30th Anniversary party. Each child was able to create a leaf on the tree with their fingerprint. Ms. Ilyoun added some beautiful origami to this to create a wonderful piece of art. Thank you to all who were able to attend!
Following the auction project, Ms. Michelle began working with the children on an involved Mother’s Day project. It was lovely to see the children working so hard and to hear them express their love for their Mothers. Ms. Ilyoun also guided the children in creating some beautiful cards and Art for Mother’s Day as well.
I am simply amazed at how fast this school year is flying by! It is hard to believe that there are less than two months left of the school year already. This month, the children have been exploring anything and everything spring! From walks on the nature trail, to sprouting seeds, and creating ladybugs, butterflies, and flowers with paper, the children have learned so much.
Ms Ilyoun gathered bean seeds and each child had a chance to take them home to watch them sprout. We also went on a walk along our nature trail, in search of different types of leaves. Some children have also had a chance to learn about the life cycle of a ladybug and create their own book about that life cycle.
This month we spent some time discussing ways to help our Earth, in celebration of Earth Day. We learned all about how we can turn our food leftovers into rich soil for plants by composting. In correlation with the continued weekly Gardening with Miss Katherine, we also talked about what kind of tools you use in a garden, and their proper names.
Our school was able to have another celebration for Earth Day this month, in addition to what we did in the classroom. Eric Ode, a talented musician, sang songs and read stories to the children, all having to do with plants, flowers, and animals. The children really enjoyed singing along with the songs and hearing the wonderful stories.
Next month, we will be delving into the world of Botany! We will be exploring our natural surroundings at school and learning all about plants that are native to this area. Coming up in May we also have a special Parent Education Night, where each child gets to come the classroom with their parents and show them a work that they love.
Ms Sarah & Ms Ilyoun
With the blossoming of daffodils just outside our classroom, and the beautiful cherry blossom trees surrounding the Playground area, it seems that Spring has finally arrived! The children have had a chance to do some Gardening this month with Miss Katherine, planting a variety of vegetables. They have also continued Farming with Miss Deanna, giving the children a chance to interact with our school animals.
Our curriculum theme for the month of March was Nutrition: The Food We Eat. The children have had a chance to learn about what nutrients are in our food, and what they do for our bodies. They also had a chance to incorporate food with art by creating apple and sweet pepper prints with paint.
During the month of March, we celebrated Maria Montessori through a variety of songs from all classrooms at our school. It was wonderful to hear the children sing the song they have been practicing with Ms Amy during Music class at the Montessori Week Celebration.
Coming up in April, we will be studying all things Spring. I look forward to discussing and exploring plants native to the Pacific Northwest, learning about the types of plants that will be blossoming during Spring, and what kind of weather we might see here during the Spring season. As a reminder, the first week of April is our school's Spring Break.
Ms Sarah & Ms Ilyoun
I’m amazed that we are already at the end of the Winter season and looking into Spring, but here we are, at the end of February, with March looming in front of us.
Our theme this month was focused on Artists, specifically those from the Impressionist era. As a group, we have discussed where in the world these artists mainly lived, and have looked at a variety of paintings from this era. The children each had a chance to make their own Impressionist art work, through the use of dot painting. We have also learned about a few influential artists from the Impressionist era, including Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, and Paul Cezanne. On our shelves this month, to go along with our Impressionist theme, was a jigsaw puzzle of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry, Starry Night”.
Along with studying Impressionism, we also discussed two holidays that happen in February: Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the children all helped to make Valentines Cookies, which they then got to take home. We also celebrated by bringing Valentines for each of our classmates and exchanging them. To honor Presidents Day, the children got to explore a language work which involves identifies each of our past Presidents.
Our school was lucky to have a special visitor this month! Nicole, from the Seattle Opera Company, came and introduced the children to what an Opera is, what the conductor does, and also did some interactive storytelling. This month marked the beginning of Gardening and Farming with Miss Katherine and Miss Deanna. The children got to plant tomato seeds in the greenhouse with Miss Katherine, while Miss Deanna has been introducing the children to the various farm animals and showing them how to interact with the animals.
Coming up in March, we will be studying all about Nutrition. Specifically, about the foods we eat and what they do for our body. In March we have a wonderful event planned to celebrate the school's 30th Anniversary. It will be on Saturday, March 18th from 10 am-12 pm.
Ms Sarah & Ms Ilyoun
It feels as if January has just flown by! With the shortened weeks due to holidays, and a short day due to ice this month, it's hard to believe that February is already upon us, but here we are! We started the month with getting back into the groove of things, so to speak, after two weeks off for the Holidays. As a group, we practiced how to move in the classroom, how to wait patiently, and how to use words to express ourselves.
This month we explored the continent of South America. We started by learning the names of the countries in South America, and continued our exploration through learning about the type of animals that live there, and exploring the culture of South America through a variety of books. Some children chose to color in an outline map of South America and label each country.
This month, our school was visited by a Guyanese drumming circle! The children were thrilled to listen and interact with the musicians, as they played a variety of drums for the children, and showed them how to make music with their bodies. Some of the children were given an opportunity to play these drums. The look of pure joy on the children's faces was priceless.
For art this month, Miss Michelle spent time with the children working on a variety of Art projects, one of which incorporated the study of Impressionism. Miss Amy has been working with the children on learning a song for the Montessori Celebration event coming up in March.
The children have continued their Spanish with Miss Sonja, learning a variety of words, including colors, animals, and body parts. Miss Sonja has also begun to teach the children the difference between large and small. We were lucky to have a family bring in a Piñata that they had made at home. The children thoroughly enjoyed trying to hit the Piñata to let out stickers that had been put in there!
Coming up in February, we have Parent-Teacher Conferences, and we will be studying the Art of Impressionism!
Ms Sarah & Ms Ilyoun
This month was filled with lots of excitement, from the upcoming holidays to the excitement of possible and actual snow. We begin our month by finishing up our November theme of Bodies of Water, and beginning to introduce the children to our December theme, Music Around the World.
The children had a chance to hear what Jazz music sounds like, and also had opportunities throughout the month to play a variety of instruments, from the triangle to the maracas, to a small drum. We continued our exploration of music with picture and word cards of all different kinds of instruments from around the world. In keeping with our music theme, the children each got to make their own castanet instrument!
There was a lot of excitement during the first week of December when Mother Nature decided to bring a few snowflakes to the Pacific Northwest! We embraced this excitement and took the children out for a walk on our schools nature trail, in search of “snow”. The children were very curious about how snow is made, so we spent some time this month talking about weather and what kind of clouds and temperature make snow. We also discussed the difference between big and small snowflakes.
For art this month, Miss Michelle spent time with the children helping them each create a special holiday gift for their parents. The children were very excited to have a “surprise” for their moms and dads. Miss Amy has been singing a variety of Holiday songs with the children during the last week of December before the Holiday break.
The children have continued their Spanish with Miss Sonja, learning a variety of words, including colors, animals, and body parts. This month, the school set up donation boxes for a variety of goods to be donated to Mary’s Place, a charity organization which provides basic needs items for children, women, and families. A big thank you to everyone that so generously donated!
Coming up in January, we will be studying the continent of South America. I look forward to exploring this with the children! Happy Holidays to all!
El Salon Azul Co-Lead Teachers