Mrs. Lopes: An Exciting Week in Primary!

We have had a busy and exciting week here in Primary!  Completing our butterfly life cycle study, beginning our last continent study unit of the school year, and attending a program about sound presented by the Everwonder Children’s Museum!

This week our caterpillars finished their metamorphosis and came out of their chrysalises as beautiful painted lady butterflies.  We finished up our study of the butterfly life cycle this week by observing our butterflies for a few days and then releasing the butterflies out on the playground.  It was so fun to watch the butterflies flutter away and the children enjoyed tracking where they all flew off to.

As we finished up the study of the butterfly life cycle, we also began our last continent unit of the school year, Australia.  Australia is such an interesting continent due to its size and the fact that many of its native animal species are only found in Australia.  We will be exploring the animals, culture, and landmarks of Australia over the next few weeks.

On Thursday, the Everwonder Children’s Museum came to our school to present a program about sound.  The children listened to a book about familiar sounds and learned how we get to hear those sounds.  They also learned how sound travels through solids, liquids, and gases.  After the introduction, the children had the opportunity to explore making sounds with different instruments and materials, as well as make a rain stick to bring home.  They all throughly enjoyed the invitation to make lots of noise!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Amanda & Heather

Mrs. Semmah: Sounds Around Us

On Thursday, we had a visitor from the EverWonder Children’s Museum.  She facilitated with the class some scientific experiments to help the children “see” sounds. We hear all different types of sounds every day, however, have you ever explored sound at a visual level? How is a sound created? Through some scientific activities presented to the class, we learned that sound is a type of wave and the children had a chance to visualize sound waves by exploring a variety of sound experiments.

First, our guest explained the significance of being a scientist by listening, observing, and asking questions about things around us. Then, she asked each child about their favorite sound?

  • Soren likes lion sounds
  • Jonathan loves dog woofs 
  • Levi likes cat sounds
  • Carter prefers dog sounds
  • Ella V. likes elephant and cheetah sounds
  • Rusher prefers to hear a dinosaur roar
  • David loves birds’ tweets
  • Joey likes the piano sounds
  • Christopher loves dogs and banjo sounds
  • Lucia loves unicorn sounds
  • Remington likes cricket sounds

It was very sweet to hear the preferences of each child and observe their engagement. Our visitor and sound expert also read a book about different sounds around us. Then, using different recycled tools to demonstrate the relationship between sound and wave, we explored sound vibration levels and learned how the vibration size determines the volume. A larger vibration yields a louder sound and a smaller wave results in a softer sound. Our visitor also talked about rain sticks and how people in the past who lived in rainforests used them to send messages to one another. The cool visual experiments helped us see the passage of sound through matter and learn how sound travels through solids, liquids, and gases. The children enjoyed being little scientists, experimenting with different sounds around us. They also had lots of fun creating their rainstick and bringing it home.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.

Kaoutar and Sara

Mrs: Doyle: A Busy Week!

On Thursday, Everwonder Children’s Museum visited FWM for an in house program to teach us about sound. We listened to a story about sounds that were familiar to the children, explored sound waves, vibrations and even made our own rain stick!  We learned how sound travels through solids, liquids and gases.  The highlight though was using everyday objects to create unique and sometimes very funny sounds.

Our five painted lady butterflies emerged from their chrysalises this week. We were lucky to see them do so during class time!  Also on Thursday, we carried our butterfly habitat to the butterfly garden in the play yard and released them. It is always a moment of wonder and beauty to see the life cycle of a butterfly unfold before us.

Wishing you a week filled with peace and love!

Michelle & Liset

Mrs. Doyle’s Class: New Places, New Friends and New Experiences!

We are now studying the continent of South America in our classroom.  South America is pink on the Montessori map and a topic of great fascination for the children.  It is a beautiful region of our world with vibrant cultures, traditions and has a wide range of climates and terrains.  South America is the fourth largest continent in our world and is comprised of twelve individual countries.  It is connected to North America by the Isthmus of Panama. An isthmus is one of the landforms we are currently studying.  The largest country in South America is Brazil and the major languages spoken are Spanish and Portuguese.  The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world and contains 40% of the world’s animals and plant species.

On Tuesday, Maggie a Golden Retriever from Newtown Therapy Dogs, visited our classroom.   Each Tuesday, for the next several weeks, a therapy dog will be spending time in our classroom.  Our older friends will get to read quietly for a short time with a therapy dog.  Reading to dogs is a unique, calming and comforting experience that everyone truly enjoys. Our younger friends will spend some quiet time each week with a dog as well.  The children asked some great questions to get to know Maggie better.  They wanted to know how Maggie became a therapy dog, where she lived, what she ate and how old she was.

This week, the Kindergarten children welcomed a few friends from the toddler program for a short visit. Many of our Toddler friends will be moving into Primary next year.  While the Primary classroom they visited is not necessarily the one they will be in next Fall, it does allow them to have a concept of what it looks and feels like.  The highlight for me was when I asked a Kindergarten student to give a lesson to one small visitor and his reply was ” I can’t give any lessons right this second because I’m too buys chasing this guy!”

Wishing you a week filled with peace and love.

Michelle & Liset

Mrs. Lopes’s Class: April Showers Bring May Flowers

The quote, “April showers bring May flowers,” has always been my favorite way of explaining the weather during the early stages of spring. As we started May this week it felt like we had more rain and clouds than sunshine, but it is important to remember the beauty that emerges after the earth drinks up all that rain! As May comes into view, so have the colorful blossoms of flowers and vibrant green buds on the trees. Without those April showers, none of these things would be here for us, which is one way of remaining positive during those dreary, rainy days.

That rain also keeps us inside the classroom longer during our morning work cycle. Sometimes it is hard for the children to sit and concentrate without releasing some energy outside, but this past week has been filled with some amazing moments of focus and perseverance.  The children have been so engaged in their work, some days they forget about going outside and lose themselves in the activities around them. Their ability to work for longer periods of time just goes to show how much they have grown over the course of the year. The children are confident in themselves and excited to continue to learn and grow as individuals.

You could say that these April showers have made our children grow, and soon bloom, as we head into our final full month of the school year, May!

You will see in the photos the kindergarten children had two exciting events this week.  We had our toddler moving up visits on Tuesday.  A couple children from Mrs. Wilson’s class joined us and the kindergarten children showed them around the classroom.  We also had the Newtown Strong Therapy dogs visit us and the kindergarten children had the opportunity to read a book to Teamo.

Wishing you a beautiful week,

Amanda & Heather

Mrs. Semmah Montessori Celebration Of Life

Everyone wants to be remembered and cherished on the special day they were born. Every week during May and June we are going to celebrate the life of one of our beloved children. In this blog, I’m going to explain how the birthday walk takes place in our classroom. The Montessori Celebration of life is a lovely way to celebrate a child’s birthday at a school.

Our birthday walk begins by placing a mat with illustrations of the sun and the seasons and with labels that represent each month of the year, as well as the seasons.  We light a candle that represents the sun, and a child carries the globe that symbolizes the earth. Then we discuss the fact that it takes one year for the earth to orbit around the sun. The birthday child stands beside his birth month. Then the teacher reads the life story up until the age of one and shows the child’s photos at this stage. After that, the birthday child starts walking slowly around the sun one time again, with the globe in his hands stopping when he reaches his birthday month. While the birthday child walks, the children who are sitting in the outer circle sing a song.

The earth goes around the sun

The earth goes around the sun

It takes 12 weeks 52 weeks 365 days in a year.

Then the reading of the life story continues until age two. The birthday child walks around the sun again, and the children in the circle sing the birthday song again.

This continues until the child’s life story is complete. Then, we sing “the birthday song” in French and English and the child blows out the candle. Then the children enjoy a special birthday snack at the big table.

This week, We had our toddler moving up visits on Tuesday.  A couple children from Mrs. Wilson’s class visited our classroom to experiment the primary. We also had the Newtown Strong Therapy dogs visit us and some of the children had the opportunity to spend a peaceful time with the dogs.

Thank you so much for Kenyon our class parent to devote his  time to collect the beautiful cards.  Children write cards  with lots of love, Sara and I enjoy each one of the lovely cards.

whishing a peaceful weekend.

Kaoutar and Sara

Mrs. Doyle: Head, Thorax, Abdomen, Abdomen!!!!

We are hard at work becoming entomologists.  This is always a favorite unit of study for the children.  An entomologist is a scientist who studies insects. We began our unit by discussing what we already know about insects, what they are and what they can do. We discovered that insects are slimy, little, gross, soft, and hard. Insects can crawl, sting, bite, eat, fly, walk upside down, and jump. We learned that insects lay eggs, have antennae, three main body parts, a head, thorax and abdomen, eyes, and six legs. Insects are also cold blooded, have an exoskeleton, and many have wings. We found out why a spider is not an insect. Ask your child to see if he or she knows why.

We also welcomed five tiny caterpillars to our classroom. It is so exciting to observe each step of the fascinating life cycle of the Painted Lady Butterfly. Right now our caterpillars are busy eating,  spinning silk and growing bigger every day. During this incredible period of growth, they will shed their exoskeletons four times and grow more than ten times their original size! When they have finished growing, the caterpillars will climb to the top of the cup. Once there, they will hang from the paper disk in a “j” shape under the lid. They will shed their exoskeletons one last time before they pupate and form a chrysalis.

Wishing you a week filled with peace and love!

Michelle & Liset

Mrs. Lopes: The Magic of Metamorphosis

“Growth is not merely a harmonious increase in size, but a transformation” -Maria Montessori

This week we have been learning all about the life cycle of a butterfly.  We had five caterpillars join our classroom last week and the children have been captivated by the rate of change we observe each day.  The caterpillars arrived very tiny and over the last week have grown and shed their exoskeleton several times.  We are anxiously waiting for our caterpillars to enter into the final stages, the chrysalises, before emerging as butterflies.  The children have spent many days learning about the magic of this transformation called metamorphosis, and are eager to see when our butterflies will join us!

We also had so much fun going on a nature scavenger hunt outside this week.  With the warm weather finally arriving, we were all excited to do some outdoor learning.  Children were given a checklist to search for natural objects on the playground – rocks, leaves, soil, and of course some insects.  We collected as many as we could find and the children were thrilled to share all the objects they were able to collect!

Have a wonderful week,

Amanda & Heather