Lower Elementary’s Week

We had a very productive week!

The first years have been loving their lessons. They heard the “Love Story of Lines” during geometry this week, where they learned about convergent, divergent, and parallel lines. They used the box of sticks Montessori material to explore these concepts. In grammar, first years have learned about adjectives, nouns and articles.  As an extension, they were introduced to a work called the grammar dice, where the children practice the parts of speech they have learned so far this year while making up funny sentences.

The second year group enjoyed learning how to subtract fraction insets using the Montessori protractor; a concept that can be challenging for some, they grasped so quickly! I was impressed. Just like the first year group, the second graders are loving the grammar dice work to practice previously learned grammar such as: nouns, articles, adjectives, verbs, prepositions and adverbs!

Last but not least, the third years have been enjoying their hands-on geometry follow-up. They have been using the box of sticks to explore the diagonals in various polygons and now will use this material for a new unit on circles. As for language, the third year group received the first sentence analysis lesson. They are now learning to look at words not as parts of speech, but rather as how they work as parts of sentences.

Lower El’s Week

A Newtown Strong Therapy Dog visited our classroom on Tuesday! Maggie is a 7 year old Golden Retriever and with so many animal lovers in the class, they were thrilled to spend some time with her. Maggie will return to class each Tuesday morning for the next several weeks.

With the weather warming up, we will be spending more time outside. If you wish, please send in bug spray with your child’s name on it. We will keep it here in school for the remainder of the year.

As a reminder, next Thursday 5/12 will be Moving Up Day for the third graders. They will spend half the day with Upper Elementary. On Wednesday 5/11 the Kindergarten class will join Lower Elementary during an hour of the morning work cycle. This will be great practice for the first and second years to practice their new mentor role. We are looking forward to it!

Lower Elementary’s Week

As we enter May, the end of the year seems right around the corner, and I can’t help but reflect on each child’s progress throughout the year. I am so pleased to see what a compassionate, kind-hearted, unique group of students we have in the classroom!

Lower El: Reading and Science

This week in Readers Workshop the students enjoyed re-telling stories to a partner. They learned to compare their re-telling to ice cream cones, the more scoops the better. Just like retelling, more details the better! Remembering the order of a story, and story details, is key to understanding. Good readers can anticipate the next part of a story, which helps beginning readers to form good guesses about unfamiliar words and advanced readers to learn to read more quickly. In addition, being able to put information in a sequence is also an important part of problem-solving in all subject areas.

For our science this week, the kids were so enthusiastic, learning about sound vibrations. They were able to get their hands on a material to test out vibrations in different types of matter. They investigated what happened when putting a vibrating tuning fork in a bowl of water.

Lower El: Poetry and Songs

In Writers Workshop we have started a new unit on poetry! The children have learned that poetry is a special type of writing that follows a pattern. To kick off our unit, we started learning about acrostic poems. The children are most familiar with this type of poetry because we do them during our class birthday celebrations. Each child is learning to choose a topic word, brain storm ideas or phrases to fit the topic, and then write their poem.

In addition, the children and I have been working on a song and dance for the past couple of weeks. This song is called “La, La, La, Si.” Encourage your child to teach you or another loved one the song/dance!

Lower El: Learning about Biomes

This week in Lower Elementary the students started a study on biomes. We learned that biomes are natural areas on Earth where certain types of plants grow and animals live. There are over thirty types of biomes on Earth. We are taking a closer look at nine of those biomes; wetlands, grasslands, oceans, deserts, temperate forests, mountains, tropical forests, and polar regions.

For follow up practice, there is a material called Biome Readers. This work introduces different plant and animal life that are within each biome. The children are loving working together!

History in Lower El

The kids are thrilled to be back! The classroom has been buzzing with excitement being back with familiar faces and friends.

Before break, the students began a series of lessons on the study of time. This week, we took a closer look at the year and its parts. These lessons also introduce the concept of equivalent fractions. We took a look at the full year and compared it to one whole. We cut the whole into twelfths, and noticed that the year can be divided into twelve equal parts as well. Each twelfth is called a month. The children also learned about subdivisions of the year; semester, quadrimester,  and trimester.  Each subdivision has a suffix “mester” which means month in Italian!

Lower El Research Projects

The children were so excited the past few weeks as the anticipation of sharing their research with their friends and family crept up. They were thrilled to be sharing their projects with their classmates, who they love so deeply. The third-year students had their first official public speaking experience, presenting to their classmates. They were amazing! Although it was optional, some second and first years wanted to present to their peers as well! They were all so brave! All of the children worked diligently and should be very proud of their work, as am I.

I hope everyone has a great spring break! See you in two weeks.