January 20, 2015
We had such a busy week, we definitely needed a 3 day weekend! Everyone is feeling more settled and have worked so hard on their weekly requirements and lesson follow-ups. Every day this week the students were busy working together or by themselves to complete as much work as possible. Many happy students were so very proud of their achievements this past week.
Both Ms. Carol and I are doing lessons with everyone on clocks and telling time. We have excited students who are loving these lessons and practicing telling time.
Third graders have also started having weekly Informal Writing lessons with Ms. Nicole and the Upper Elementary. The students really enjoyed thinking creatively about different subjects and are going to have extra practice to improve their writing skills.
This week, students teamed up with another student in a different grade and chose a continent they were interested in and conducted research on it. Students learned how to use encyclopedias, non-fiction books, and other reference materials to answer questions about their continent. Some students even made small projects, like a map or a poster, based on what they learned.
In Life Science, students also chose different animals to research on and have been working hard on developing projects for their animals. Many creative ideas and a lot of really detailed research has been going on about their animals.
During Talk-About this week, we introduced the Zones of Regulation. The Zones separate emotions and feeling into 4 colors, red, yellow, green, and blue. Extreme emotions like fury are red, feelings of uneasiness like excitement or worry are yellow and feelings like boredom, sadness, and tiredness are blue. Green is being okay, happy, or relaxed. The Zones are a reminder that the best way to stay focused at school is to be in the green zone and if you are feeling other ways you may need to take a break or do something else to help get back in the green. We implemented the Zones of Regulation last year in the classroom, and it worked well in helping students describe their feelings and better understand the feelings of others.
Don't forget that we have a field trip on Friday, January 23, to the Cedar River Watershed. We still need a couple more drivers to join us from 9:30 to 2:00. Please let us know if you are interested as soon as possible. There will be a more detailed email in a few days that will specify what your child needs to bring on Friday's outdoor adventure.
We will also be sending out an email to sign-up for a time for conferences on Friday, February 6. It will be similar to the conference sign-up in the Fall. You will give us 3 times that will work for you, and we will respond back with the confirmation as soon as possible.
We hope you had a great 3 day weekend!
Ben & Carol
January 10, 2015
Wow! What a great break we had. It was a much needed time of refreshment for all of us. We hope it was the same for your entire family.
There has been a lot of ground covered academically since the beginning of the year and a lot to go in order to finish our year strong, as usual.
Most of the students have been enjoying the cursive handwriting they have been learning and practicing. It has been fun to watch them improve and start to use it in their daily work.
We are seeing a developmental growth spurt in the First Grade students – one that we always see around the 1st of the year. They are all moving through the math materials and some are even beyond the stamp game in their math. They all started Rocket Math upon returning from Winter Break (as I am sure you’ve heard) and Monday and Tuesday we heard the excitement of their accomplishments in the words, “Ms. Carol, I rocketed! I rocketed!” YES!! The tried and true, well-loved Rocket Math! Second and Thirds are making so much progress in Rocket Math too. Keep practicing every day for 5 minutes!
In upcoming curriculum, geometry will involve more angle work, we work more on measurement in the future, start learning more about time, and I’m excited about the upcoming presentations on the human body (skeletal and organs) because there is some really fun follow up work. Students are also about the begin mini Continent Projects, so that they practice their independent research skills before we come to Passion Projects in April. In other geography work, we are going to be learning about watersheds and going on a field trip to Cedar River Watershed on January 23 (we need drivers on this fun outdoor adventure!).
Talk About and Mindfulness has proven to be productive for the students, and the entire community, as well. The goals of mindfulness work involve the strengthening of compassion for others, cultivating peace and learning loving-kindness. We are working with the book Talkabout for Children, Developing Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem by Alex Kelly. Our Talkabout work is fun for the kids; this enables them to learn more and feel motivated for the sessions.
Progress reports are soon to be ready; you'll receive your child's report in email on Jan. 30.
We look forward to seeing you at the Continental Breakfast on the 30th. This is an event we host twice a year. Parents are invited to come into the classroom from 9:00-10:00 on Friday morning. You will have the opportunity to see your child's work, drink a cup of coffee, eat a light breakfast snack, chat with other parents and enjoy the hour in the classroom.
Thank you for all you do to support the MCH staff in the education of your child.
Have a great January and we hope to see you at the Continental Breakfast.
Mr. Ben, Ms. Mary and Mr. Robin
El Salon Morado Lead Teachers
Montessori Children's House
5003 218th Ave. NE
Redmond, WA 98053
Founded in 1987