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. 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 Semmah: The Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Like most primary classrooms in the springtime, we continue to learn about the life cycles of plants and creatures found in nature. In our classroom, we set up an “observation station” with a magnifier and four caterpillars for children to see the life cycle of a butterfly take place. Every day they visit the observation area and some of them write and draw what they have observed. Children are very fascinated by the rate of change and growth of the caterpillars. Everyone is eagerly awaiting the chrysalises, the final phases of the caterpillars’ development before they emerge as butterflies.

We also went for a nature scavenger hunt on our playground. Children had so much fun carrying their clipboards with a checklist and hunting for natural objects including soil, leaves, and bugs!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Kaoutar and Sara

Mrs Semmah: Earth Day

Earth Day is all about our beautiful earth environment and a reminder of how we all interact with it. Earth Day is a reminder about our precious and limited natural resources and the need to be considerate everyday about our planet earth. We can simply celebrate it by planting a tree, digging a garden, or going for a nature walk.

In the classroom, we have our science unit on how plants grow and we are planting more seeds for Earth Day. We incorporate the Three Rs about “reduce, recycle, and reuse” by using the recycling bin as part of our daily routine. We also read books in celebration of Earth Day to learn how to be mindful and caring about our planet Earth.

Wishing you a happy Earth Day.

Kaoutar and Sara

Mrs Semmah: Spring Into Science (Parts of the Plant)

This week we learned about parts of a plant. During circle time, we introduced new vocabulary using pictures. We also discussed the set of works each part plays in the life cycle of the plant. Seeds: grow a new plant. Roots: take water from the ground for the plant. Stem: carries water to the leaves and holds the plant. Flower: makes more seeds. In the art area, the children were able to label the plant parts using a cupcake liner, pipe cleaner, yarn, and sunflower seeds. They also pasted the labels for each part. We also read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. It helps children follow the life cycle of a flower on an easy-to-understand level.

It was very lovely to see parents volunteering at our school building. The children were very excited and happy to share these precious moments of hand printing on the bench with their parents. Very special thanks to our class parents Lidia and Kenyon for organizing this event and to all the parents who contributed to making this beautiful bench.

Wishing you a peaceful weekend

Kaoutar and Sara

Mrs. Semmah: Spring Into Science

Spring is here. The days are warmer, and the trees are sprouting. The weather is welcoming us to go outside more often than any other time of the year. The children start wondering about the changes around them in the spring season. It introduces a wonderful occasion to grow their curiosity to explore their environment.

As we know, the Montessori approach focuses on caring for our environment. Part of our daily classroom tasks revolves around taking care of our indoor plants by watering them, ensuring access to sunlight, and shining the leaves with wet cotton.

During spring we are going to learn about planting and gardening. The thematic unit of plants can extend for several weeks, with different activities to plant and observe the changes. This week we learned about living things and non-living things. At circle time, we showed the children images of living things and explained their need for food and water, to move, grow, breathe, and reproduce. Nonliving things don’t eat food, can’t move on their own, don’t breathe, and can’t reproduce or grow. We also read books about living and non-living things. The children are so excited to bring one item from home that is living and non-living.

Enjoy your wonderful weekend.

Kaoutar and Sara

Mrs Semmah: High-Level Questions For Your Child’s Day

High-level questions are great tools in the classroom and at home. Asking deep and thoughtful questions can spark children’s natural curiosity. High-level questions are never yes-or-no questions. It is always a question that different children will answer in their own way. When the question is effective, the children will provide lots of details in their answers and are more likely to use complex sentences. As a parent, when you ask your children about their day at school, do they respond with a simple “good” or “okay”? Here are some open-ended questions to assist you in starting a conversation about your child’s day at school.

What was the best thing about your day at school?
What was the hardest thing about your day at school?
What was the funniest thing about your day at school?
What was the kindest thing someone did today at school?
Did something happen at school today that make you feel proud? Tell me about it.
What book did your teacher read today? Tell me about the story.

You know your children best and you can paraphrase with wording in a manner that will keep them engaged.

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming a new three year old to our classroom. All the children did a great job as a welcoming committee with smiles, kindness, and showing him around the classroom.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Kaoutar and Sara

Mrs. Semmah: Montessori Practical Life – Washing a Table

Children always love to mimic their parents, especially when it comes to chores. They are motivated by their sense of exploration, independence, and the fun of learning new skills. For three year old children, there is something very special about chores that people consider regular, like washing dishes, washing clothes, slicing carrots, etc. These activities are very exciting and stimulating for the children.

Many exercises of the practical life area in our classroom include the use of water and the children are spontaneously drawn to play with it. After introducing the beautiful work of washing a baby, washing little animals, and washing dishes, we introduced washing a table this week. The activity seems very simple, but there is much more to this practical life lesson that interests the children. Beginning with carrying the water in a pitcher and pouring it in a basin, this activity enhances the children’s coordination to follow a sequence of steps. When the children become engaged in scrubbing the table in a circular motion, they increase their span of concentration. In the process, they indirectly memorize the sequence of steps to wash a table. Finally, they develop a nice work habit by putting away the lesson where it belongs.

We encourage children to do fun tasks and activities at home with their parents or their older siblings like cooking, baking, or washing dishes. Children love to see and feel their contribution to the whole family.

Enjoy your spring break.

Kaoutar and Sara