We started April finishing our study of biomes with lessons on mountains and polar regions. We imagined how it would be to live in those biomes, what kind of clothes we would wear, what food we would eat and so on. We looked at pictures with examples of both biomes, and talked about animals and plants that live there, and the modifications they make to be able to thrive in those conditions.
When our biome unit was over we moved our attention to the study of flowers. Our first group lesson was on the parts of a flower and their functions. The kids enjoyed learning scientific names like corolla, pistil, stamens and sepals. Children dissected flowers, identified their parts and got some pollen on their fingers.
We also talked about the flower life cycle and needs of flowering plants. We studied still life masterpieces by famous artists and tried our hand and drawing a still life ourselves. We finished our unit study on flowers by eating flowers: broccoli and cauliflowers. Some children liked the smell and texture of them and some didn't, but most at least tried. Some children were quite surprised that they liked it. The comment I heard most often was: "It's crunchy!"
This month we have spent some time working on our auction project with help from our wonderful Ms. Michelle. We can’t wait to share with you the result.
Lastly, we celebrated Earth day at a concert by Eric Ode. As always he was a lot of fun!
Biomes were the focus of our study in March. The children have learned to identify different parts of a biome: the soil, water, air, energy from the sun, plant and animal life. As we looked at deserts, oceans, tropical and temperate forests, grasslands and wetlands we talked about each part of the biomes and how do these look like for each of them. How much energy from the sun does a desert get? How much water? What kinds of plant and animals live in the desert? What about an ocean?
We had a lot of fun taking imaginary trips to different parts of the world and trying to guess how it would be to live there. We still have two more biomes to discuss: polar regions and mountains. We will do that after the break.
Also in March we learned about two holidays celebrated by our families: Ayyam-i-Ha, a Bahá'í holiday of gift giving, showing love, fellowship and unity and Martisor, a Romanian celebration of the coming of spring. We were very grateful for this opportunity. Thank you to Lana, Rodi and Sara and their families for sharing their traditions with us.
In April we are going to study flowers and their parts and life cycle. We will also look at flowers in art and in culinary uses.
We spent February studying Washington state. We started by looking at its geographical location. We talked about the name of the region Washington state is a part of; the Pacific Northwest and its meaning, and found our neighbors on the map: Canada, Idaho, Oregon and Pacific Ocean.
We talked about the name of our state and where it came from, the flag of Washington state, its symbols: apple is the state fruit, coast rhododendron is the state flower, willow goldfinch is the state bird, steelhead trout is the state fish, and green darner dragonfly is the state insect. We will continue the study in the coming weeks.
We also talked about the native people of this area, read stories, looked at art of Pacific Northwest and studied the salmon’s life cycle.
Like every year, we celebrated Valentine’s Day by exchanging cards. We have also learned about Ayyám-i-Há, a celebration of love, fellowship and unity. Thank you to Lana and her mom Ms. Mahnoosh for sharing their tradition with us!
In January our focus of study was the United States of America. We started by locating it on the map and finding the names of its neighbors. We looked at the US flag and talked about its symbolism, and listened to the National Anthem and talked about and practiced proper etiquette required. We talked about different biomes of the USA: polar, desert, grassland, and temperate forest and the people and animals that live there. We also worked with the US puzzle map, naming all 50 states and building the puzzle. We have also read some Native American stories.
We celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. day by reading a book about him and talking about inclusiveness and kindness to others. We also celebrated Lunar New Year with families sharing their traditions and gifts with us. We are so grateful. Thank you!
In February we are going to talk about Washington State and learn about the people, animals and plants that live here. We will also learn about the State symbols, the flag, and more!
We spent December learning about different holidays children in our class celebrate with their families. Through reading stories and visits from parents, the children had a chance to learn about Hanukah, Christmas and Ayyam-i-Ha. We also made our holiday gifts with help from Ms. Michelle, our art specialist.
In January, we are going to talk about United States of America, its symbols, people, places, animals and plants. Then, to follow up, in February we will study our own state.
In November our topic of study was North America. We started by locating it on the globe, then on the map of the world. We named all the countries that are a part of North America and matched them with their flags. We looked at different biomes of North America: from polar to tropical rain forest, from wetlands to deserts, from mountains to grasslands and we looked at native people who live there. We also learned about plants and animals of North America.
We had fun taking part in our own elections and deciding on our next cooking project. Soup won over salad, so we made stone soup for our Thanksgiving lunch.
In December we are going to talk about different holiday traditions. If you have a children’s book about a holiday you celebrate as a family, please feel free to send it to school with your child; we would love to read it during circle time.
Our focus in October was directed toward learning more about our bodies. We identified different parts of our bodies and ways we use them. We even sang Head, shoulders, knees and toes in two languages! We also learned a little about how our bodies work. We started with looking at our skin, then our bones, muscles and skeleton. Children really enjoyed comparing a book about bones with a small model of a human skeleton. We even talked about internal organs and their functions, and children started recognizing what the brain, lungs, heart and stomach look like.
We also talked about feelings and the importance of facial expressions in recognizing what others are feeling. That lead us into reviewing the Zones of Regulation, a systematic approach to self-regulation we use across the school.
In November we are going to talk about North America, it’s people, fauna and flora as well as biomes. We will also touch on what elections are and will hold our own elections, to decide what our next cooking project will be. We will let you know the results!
We have spent the month of September getting to know each other: learning each other’s names, temperaments and settling into our own routines. The returning students have been working hard to make the new students feel welcomed in our community. We have also been working on grace and courtesy of a Montessori classroom: using walking feet, walking around works set up on the floor, respecting works of others and others’ need to focus, which includes not interrupting someone’s work and using soft voices in the class.
On September 21st we celebrated the International Day of Peace by joining the children all over the world in singing “Light a Candle for Peace”. It is becoming our little tradition, as we have done it last year as well. We have also been taking a moment almost every morning to sit down, calm our bodies, light a candle and “make silence” together.
Getting together for a class picnic was a lot of fun, as was making pickles, having our first music circle with Ms. Amy and first art with Ms. Michelle.
Next month we are going to talk about ourselves – our bodies: bones, muscles, organs and our senses. We will also touch on our emotions and the way we express them.
Encouraged by beautiful weather Verde students focused on gardening and parts of plants in April. We spent a lot of time outside with Ms. Katherine planting and getting ready for the plant sale currently ongoing at MCH. In the classroom our focus was on parts of plants and their functions. We asked why plants need roots, stems, leaves, and what do they look like in plants big and small. We also talked about different parts of plants we eat; not just roots, leaves and stems, but also fruit and flowers! Ms. Angela came to Verde to cook with children, they made a soup using different parts of plants.
We also talked about landscapes and seascapes and looked at and compared art by Gainsborough, Bruegel, Hiroshige, Hokusai, Turner, Van Gogh, Hopper and Signac. Children had a great time drawing their own landscapes.
Together with the rest of MCH community, Verde students took part in the Hop-A-Thon, and annual event to help raise awareness of MD and raise money for research of the disease.
In May we are travelling once again to the Southern Hemisphere, this time to learn about Australia, its people, fauna and flora. If you have traveled to Australia, please consider coming to Verde to share your experiences.
March found us deep in outer space. We wrapped our space study and turned our interest into our own planet – Earth. We talked about how our planet is built, all its layers, and made a clay model of it. Some children used different size circles from the Geometric Cabinet to trace and make their own paper models. We also talked about volcanoes, how and why they erupt, and simulated our own eruptions with a small model of a volcano, baking soda and red colored vinegar. It was very exciting! Children are still reproducing this little “experiment” on their own.
Also in March we were very proud to perform in front of the whole MCH community at the Annual Montessori Week Celebration and sing our song “What Will The Weather Be Like Today?” accompanied by Ms. Amy. We worked very hard to get ready. It was as exciting as hosting the open house for parents and having our students be the teachers and guides. I couldn’t be more proud observing Verde students giving their parents tours of our classroom and showing them their favorite lessons.
In April we are going to focus on gardening and parts of plants. We will also look at ways nature is portrayed in art, especially in landscapes. We can’t wait to go out into our beautiful school environment and draw.