Happy Holidays!

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I. TODDLER NEWS
I can’t believe December is already here, bringing us 2015 right around the corner. We have been diligently working on introducing the sounds of the letters a to z. As we are working on the last set of letters, you might want to pick up on this great learning opportunity at home, too. Just remember that we are learning the letter sounds, not the letter names. The children really enjoy repeating the sound and then finding an item that starts with that sound. For example, say “a” (sound for short a) then say alligator, apple, etc.

November was full of excitement as the children worked very hard on their November and Thanksgiving art projects. They made a wreath using their hand tracings, a corn stalk, a turkey and a basket with fruits. The children love keeping their little hands busy with arts and crafts.

II. PRESCHOOL NEWS
This semester is almost over and the holiday season is about to start. I am very glad that the students have made significant progress academically and in other areas as well. Their communication skills have tremendously improved; they learned how to take care of themselves and the environments; they learned how and why to respect others, to behave and to use good manners; they gained self-confidence and self-esteem. I am very proud of them. I look forward to the parent-teacher conference to share the detailed information on their progress with you at the end of this semester.

We did our “First Thanksgiving” project. It is our tradition to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and learn history at the same time. We also learned rhymes and songs and did art and craft projects about the Pilgrims and Indians and the turkey. We had a wonderful time at our Thanksgiving party and our performance for our friends in the other classes was very successful. In science we studied how materials with different densities reacted in water. They learned the words ‘density’ and ‘volume’ and discovered how to raise and lower water levels using marbles. The students were excited and had so much fun during these experiments.

This month we will continue introducing the children new knowledge while reviewing the concepts we have previously learned. We will be learning and singing holiday songs and doing arts and crafts about Santa, reindeer and other holiday related projects. We are looking forward to meeting with you at our parent-teacher conference.

III. ELEMENTARY NEWS
We have been studying the countries and capital cities of North America and South America. The students are now able to name the body parts of the frog and the fish as well as the parts of a tree. The parts of an atom were introduced and they expressed amazement in learning that everything is made of atoms. We made projects and learned songs related to the Thanksgiving celebration. We discussed the Thanksgiving holiday and reasons for celebrating it.

During the month of December, we will continue to study the structure of the first ten kinds of atoms. We will practice playing different rhythms using rhythm sticks and other percussion instruments.

We will also continue working on reading and spelling skills as well as studying about colors and musical notes. We will begin to name the body parts of the tortoise and bird. We are planning to finish our family chart, using pictures of the child and his/her family members.

May the peace and joy of the holiday season be with you as we culminate the year of 2014 and welcome 2015!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I. TODDLER NEWS
November has arrived!  This is the month of giving thanks!  We will be working on some Thanksgiving projects and learning what it means to be thankful or grateful.  We will be having our Thanksgiving party on November 25th.  It will be a fun day of culture and special snacks.  Children will be able to wear traditional clothing to celebrate their heritage.  We will be learning this special song for our lesson on being thankful:

Thank You
(sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)
“Thank You” are two magic words.
Say them loud so they are heard.
“Thank You” are the words we say.
We give thanks in many ways.

During the month of October, we started to work diligently on letter sounds. As you may have noticed, we are not introducing the letters in alphabetical order; instead, we are going in an order that allows the child, in their future lessons, to make many words with the letters they have learned. For example, they have learned the letter sounds of s, m, a and t so they can make words like sat, Sam and mat. We will continue introducing new letter sounds throughout the month of November.

II. PRESCHOOL NEWS
The holiday season is coming. We have so many fun activities planned for our students. We will be learning songs and rhymes and doing arts and crafts related to Thanksgiving. This is a great opportunity to learn about our country’s history. We will be talking about Pilgrims, Native Americans and the Mayflower voyage to the Americas. In addition, we will do a project on “The First Thanksgiving” and the children will celebrate Thanksgiving with a Thanksgiving party/cultural day.

The first months of the school year have been such a success as children have settled into daily routines and schedules of the classrooms. The children all have respect and care for each other and for our school. Last month we worked on some cool science experiments. We mixed primary colors to make secondary colors, made rainbow swirls using milk, food coloring and liquid detergent and learned how to float a paper boat on top of the water.

We have now made it to the middle of the semester. The students are all working very diligently on their respective Montessori materials, all grasping many new concepts and making improvements in their handwriting. We are very proud of their progress and believe our students are making this a very successful semester so far.

Fall is a colorful season of harvest. It was a good time for the students to revisit the garden and look at our colorful harvests of fruits and vegetables. They recognized a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, banana peppers, green onions and eggplants; they also found pomegranates, persimmons and apples growing on the trees. Our students got to experience the harvest season first-handedly, observing where some of their foods come from, which satisfied their curiosity.

III. ELEMENTARY NEWS
The children enjoyed and showed much excitement during their exploration inside and outside the school identifying herbaceous plants during September and October. This month we are starting to form different shapes out of geometric plane shapes, such as making a parallelogram using two triangles.

November will be a colorful month for us. We will investigate some characteristics of colors. Bugs and crawling creatures are subject for scrutiny this month, too. Bugs are very cooperative with us as we find some of them on our playground useful for our investigations, such as grasshoppers and rolly-pollies. We will also continue working on plants and animals, living and non-living things and incorporate shapes into our environment.