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

Mrs. Semmah: Read Across America Day

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 is Read Across America Day!  It is also Dr. Seus
s’s Birthday. This is a day to celebrate the power of reading. We had lots of fun enjoying Green Egg and Ham pretzel treats and Hop on Pop Popcorn Balls,  creative snacks that were provided by our class parents. Many thanks for all the contributions and for making it an enjoyable Read Across America Day! The children were very happy to walk into the classroom wearing their pajamas, carrying their stuffed animals, and with their favorite books.They also loved reading aloud Dr. Suess’s rhyming book Hop on Pop.  

Helping your children master the language through a daily reading routine is essential to keep them engaged. Introducing the children to the joys of reading is a Montessori theme to entice their desire for learning from their early stages. The idea is to guide the children to grow a love of reading. Maria Montessori said that children “can go on to any limit guided by the single passion for reading”. We celebrate reading everyday to help the children develop a love of reading and books. So maintaining a consistent reading routine, every day, and at an early age is important to nurture the children’s profound love for lifelong reading.           

Have fun at reading time.

Kaoutar and Sara

Mrs. Semmah: Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of LOVE. A day when we may honor other beautiful values that make human life wonderful. Like selflessness, friendship, and affection.

In our classroom, we did many crafts including hearts painting on canvas using pompon, dye coffee filters valentine heart craft, and children’s thoughts about the meaning of love. We also read some books that emphasize the notion of love.

On Tuesday we enjoyed a belated classroom Valentine’s celebration! We had a special Valentine’s snack of fruit and heart cookies. The children enjoyed giving out the special valentines they made for each other.

Many thanks and appreciation to everyone for the food the supplies contributions and for making this celebration a success.

Read Across America Day/Pajama Day is this coming Wednesday, March 2nd. The children are encouraged to wear their favorite pajamas to school and bring in their favorite book and stuffed animal.

Peace and love for all.

Kaoutar and Sara

Mrs. Semmah: The Developmental Stages of Writing

Children’s writing may include scribbles or separated letters and looks very different from adult writing. Vertical lines through paper may correspond to a whole story. Letters of a child’s name may stand for a letter to his or her family. It is very fascinating to observe the children using a series of letters to express their thoughts. They also show their motivation for reading and writing. Our role as parents and teachers is to provide an environment rich with resources for writing.

In our Montessori classroom, we have the moveable alphabet as a significant resource to compose words or stories before writing them on paper. It can be used for building words or building sentences to express a story. It is a hands on experience for the child to hear the sound and feel the matching letters by his hand. They begin using consonants that match some of the sounds in the story they are writing. This is an example of a transitional stage. Below, I have included a chart of developmental stages of writing which helps teachers and parents to identify children’s developmental stages. It helps us understand where our child is and what stage is next.

Wishing you a peaceful weekend.

Kaoutar and Sara

Mrs. Semmah: Asia Bengali Culture

Last month we studied one of the largest continents, which is Asia. We learned about flags, animals, and read books about Asia in general. It was a delight to have our Director of Admissions and Parent Relations, Mrs. Paromita, share some insights with the children about the culture of India, especially the state of West Bengal. This region of India Kolkata which is the capitol of West Bengal is inhabited by people who speak Bengali as their primary language in addition to the Hindi and English.

Mrs. Paromita talked to us about the symbolism of the Indian flag. The three colors are: saffron which stands for strength and courage, white which indicates peace and truth, and green symbols refer to the fertility and growth of the land. A blue wheel in the center is known as the Dharma Chakra. Mrs. Paromita also showed us a long piece of sari which is a traditional dress worn every day in India and other Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal. She also showed the children “ghagra choli” and kurta pajamas.  It was fascinating to know that Indian brides have been wearing red for their weddings for centuries.

Mrs. Paromita also presented the Bengali numbers that had different symbols from the international numerals. One interesting fact is that the number 8 is also a Bengali symbol referring to the number 4 in Bengali culture. And in the end, Mrs. Paromita delighted the class with her dance to Bengali music. She was moving in the classroom space so rhythmically and beautifully and sharing a joyful piece of the Bengali culture.

I am looking forward to meeting with your during Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday, February 17th. Please use this link to access the sign up for your conference.

Peace and love.

Kaoutar and Sara