Welcome to CH4. This is the perfect place to see quick snapshots of our classroom. We'll be updating this page often with classroom news, blurbs about the day-to-day and notes about enrichment activities. This is an easy way to see what's gone on in the classroom without having to log in!
Documents to be downloaded such as our class list, the CH handbook, handouts from Back to School Night as well as more private information such as our allergy list, children's names, and many more pictures and videos can be found on the password protected part of this site. Please log in to access those.
Welcome to the public webpage for CH4. This is a perfect place to see snapshots of our day -- circle time, individual work time, group lessons, etc. Remember to log-in to our password protected site to see photos, videos and for all information regarding the children in CH4.
We're looking forward to a great 2014-2015 school year!
On Thursday we celebrated the Festival of Lights with the entire school in the multi-purpose room. It was a wonderful morning hearing about different holidays that are observed all over the world with a focus on how light is incorporated into the celebrations!
On Monday, Gretchen (Mia's mom) came into CH4 to talk about how their family celebrates Advent. We talked about the Advent Wreath and how candles are lit each Sunday in December to represent hope, peace, joy and love.
If you would like to come into CH4 and talk about a holiday your family celebrates please sign-up on our sign-up genius.
On Tuesday we learned our new sound of the week... /r/. We have objects out on the Sound of the Week table like rat, rock, rolling pin and rooster!
In the late morning, two of our buddies from LE2 came over to read to us as well as to be read to! CH4 children took turns reading and listening to Amato and Katherine read. A few times a week, two friends from LE2 will visit CH4. We're very excited about having elementary children visit our classroom on a weekly basis!
On Monday we talked about Cradles to Crayons. We talked about children who don't have things they need like warm clothes, backpacks or clean underwear. We talked about how Cradles to Crayons helps by collecting items and donating them to families who need them. Many children told us when they grow out of clothes, and when the clothes are still nice without rips or holes -- they would like to donate their clothes to Cradles to Crayons! We told them there is a collection bin right at our school!
In the classroom we have a card making table. Children can write thoughtful messages like "have a great day" or "I hope this makes you smile" and they can also draw pictures. We will be donating our cards to Cradles to Crayons -- so even if some children don't have items to give away we can all help make a difference by sending a card!
All this week we have been talking about "being thankful" -- what it means, how to show it, and what/who we are thankful for. The children are cutting out/pin-punching paper leaves and writing down things they are thankful for. We hope to make a banner of all the leaves to hang in the classroom.
On Wednesday the second years got a chance to bake pizza bagels for everyone in CH4 for snack! The first years received a group lesson "watch my apple grow" and the kindergartners practiced for Montessori Across the Ages (MATA). Wednesday evening the kindergartners presented at MATA along with the elders at each level (LE, UE, MS). They presented dynamic addition with the Bank Game!
On Tuesday at the octagon we were introduced to our new Sound of the week: /l/. We saw objects with the beginning /l/ sound like lock, lightbulb, lettuce and lemon. We also read a book about LOVE! The Sound of the week will be out on the Sound of the Week table for the rest of the week!
On Monday morning we celebrated Diwali with the help of Rohan's mom - Enery, Diya's mom - Hemali and Surina's mom - Shalini. We made paper lanterns and painted canvases (both projects will be coming home this week), listened to stories about Diwali and had a special group snack! Please sign up on our sign-up genius if you'd like to come in and talk about a holiday your family celebrates.
On Wednesday at the octagon we were introduced to our new art project. It involves the word "the" PLUS creating a tree with colorful leaves out of paper. It was very popular today and will be out for the rest of the week!
On Tuesday at the octagon we were introduced to our new Sound of the week /e/. We thought about words that started with the /e/ sound, looked at objects like elephant and egg, and used the 'e' Sandpaper Letter!
On Monday at the octagon Biff talked about Unicef. We talked about how in lots of places around the world people do not have clean water and how Unicef is an organization that helps raise money to get clean water all over the world. In addition, they help get medication and vaccines to people who need them, help rebuild schools and houses after natural disasters as well as raise money for various necessary supplies like mosquito nets. Biff talked to the children about their Unicef boxes and how they have 4 tasks:
1. Bring their box home 2. Take their box out trick-or-treating (if they're going trick-or-treating) 3. Show it off and tell people they are collecting for Unicef 4. Return their box to school on Friday
We also talked about various ways children who do not go trick-or-treating could participate in the money collection and help Unicef. In the past, children (and parents) have asked local stores to allow them to leave their Unicef box near the counter for a bit or parents have brought their child's Unicef box into their work. You should be seeing Unicef box coming home today (or tomorrow).
At the end of recess on Wednesday we did yoga outside on the grass! At the octagon we watched how to make "ghost pencils" -- our new art work on the Art table. It will be out for the week -- you may see some ghost pencils coming home soon!
On Tuesday at the octagon we were introduced to our new Sound of the week /s/. We read "Skip through the Seasons", held objects with the beginning /s/ sound like six, seastar, skeleton and scoop! Then we all got the chance to sound out the Sound of the Week!
On Monday at the octagon we talked about what friendship is and how to be a friend. We read a few stories during the day that showed what friends can do for one another. Then we all got a chance to speak about what we think being a friend is.
On Friday at the octagon we received a lesson on leaf rubbing! The work is out in the art corner for all to try. We had a day filled with yoga, our regular work period, Art, freeze dancing in the afternoon and a birthday walk! What a busy day!
On Wednesday at the octagon, Ben visited CH4 and talked to us about seeds and planting. He introduced us to our new planting work (we're growing radishes!), and sang a planting song on his guitar. Ben is not only LMS' farming teacher; he is an LMS alum!
On Tuesday at the octagon we were introduced to our new Sound of the Week /q/. We all practiced saying our sound of the week, saw objects that had the beginning /q/ like sound queen, quarter, quartz and quail and we worked with the q Sandpaper Letter. The work will be out on the Sound of the Week table for the rest of the week!
On Friday at the octagon we learned how to carry a chair and the importance of tucking in our chairs when we leave our spot at a table. We talked about how to wait patiently for a teacher's, or a friend's, attention when they are talking to someone else (placing your hand on their shoulder works really well!). We were also introduced to our yoga pose of the week!
In the afternoon, we had recess on the Upper Field where the elementary children play. It was so much fun!
On Thursday at the octagon, Tarrence visited CH4 and read the story "Amazing Grace". The story is about a girl who wants to be Peter Pan in the school's upcoming play and some children say she can't be the part in the play not only because she's a girl but because her skin is brown. We talked about how everyone, no matter if they are a girl or a boy, or have light skin or dark skin, can do the things they would like to do. We talked about "girl colors" and "boy colors" and how it's okay for girls to like blue and for boys to like pink. We talked about boys being ballerinas and girls being firefighters. When asked if it was possible for a girl to be a firefighter, one child put it best by answering, "that is a ridiculous question... of course they can!" :)
On Wednesday at the octagon we were introduced to a new art project including ripping paper (it's a favorite!) and gluing paper onto a paper plate to make a pumpkin! Art projects stay out for five days -- maybe you'll see a paper pumpkin come home soon!
On Tuesday at the octagon we were introduced to our Sound of the week /g/. We used the Sandpaper Letter, practiced saying the /g/ sound and saw objects with the beginning /g/ sound like goat, guitar, gorilla and gum.
In the afternoon, we spent time in the Art room with Ellen from Ocean World. She brought lots of living creatures and artifacts to LMS for us all to explore. We had to wash our hands really well before putting them in the tank filled with living animals. Ask us why!
On Monday at the octagon we talked about different family dynamics. We read a story and talked about how families consist of the people who love us most! Then we all got a chance to draw a family picture that will hang in the classroom.
In the afternoon, the Ks had library and the second years had a group lesson about continents & maps vs. globes.
Tomorrow is very exciting day -- Ocean World! Stay tuned...
On Wednesday at the octagon we saw our brand new art table work: 5 Little Pumpkins. We read "From Seed to Pumpkin", sang the "5 Little Pumpkins" song, and saw our new art work that includes a poem, gluing and using a special hole punch to make pumpkins!
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the weather was so nice, we ate lunch outside! It was so much fun!
On Monday, at the octagon we saw a new work in the classroom: the life timeline of Maria Montessori. We talked about Maria Montessori as a peacemaker.
On Tuesday, at the octagon we were introduced to our new Sound of the Week /d/. We worked with the Sandpaper letter for /d/ and saw objects with the beginning sound /d/ like dolphin, dog, dinosaur, and duck.
We also had our very first fire drill this morning! We did very well leaving the building quickly and quietly!
On Tuesday, we were introduced to our new sound of the week /a/. We each got a chance to say a word that begins with the /a/ sound like apple! There are few objects with beginning sound /a/, the "a" Sandpaper Letter and the Sand tray on our sound of the week table!
On Monday, we had our first lesson in food prep! We watched how to prepare a toothpick kabob of mini tomatoes and cheese which was then left out as a work for the entire morning. This multi-step work included handwashing, wearing an apron, counting out tomatoes and pieces of cheese and pricking a toothpick through each of them (being careful not to prick our skin!). Children were able to prepare as many kabobs as they'd like, and when they were ready to have snack, the food they each helped to prepare was available to eat!
On Friday, the whole school attended an assembly to celebrate International Peace Day (Sept. 21). We sang "Light a Candle for Peace", heard from Aline and Tarrence and then we all walked around the Peace Pole that's behind the elementary building.
We also had our very first Art class in the art room, and had an afternoon filled with yoga with Kira! What a day!
On Tuesday, we were introduced to our Sound of the Week /o/. We worked with the Sandpaper Letter and saw objects that all had the beginning /o/ sound like octopus, ostrich and owl. We took turns saying the /o/ sound so that everyone was able to hear. All week, the Sandpaper Letter, the sand tray and the /o/ sound objects will be on the Sound of the Week table!
On Monday at the octagon we talked about peace, what a peacemaker is, where we each feel peace (like at home, school, near the beach, at the zoo, in mommy's/daddy's arms) and then we read the poem above. Children were able to decorate their poem anyway they'd like; you may see poems coming home on Friday in your child's work folder!
On Friday, Sue our Art teacher visited CH4 and read us the book "The Dot". Then we toured the Art room with Sue and learned about aprons, some projects children will be doing and all about "free choice" in the art room. Art starts next Friday - be sure to dress appropriately! :)
On Thursday we started the day inside and got straight to work. All the children made their choice of work and were able to eat canteloupe for snack. Toward the end of the morning, Fred stopped by to say "hello" to everyone. Fred is not only the kindergarten Chorus teacher but he's also the "siblings" teacher so many of our CH4 friends see Fred daily!
On Wednesday, the kindergartners visited with Alisha (the PE teacher) in the gym. They listened to ground rules of PE class (wear sneakers and listen for the whistle) and found out they'll be running two whole laps around the gym at the beginning of each class! PE begins next Wednesday, please remember to send sneakers for running around!
While the kindergartners were at the gym, the first and second years enjoyed doing yoga with Kira!
We had a great day! We enjoyed the weather outside and at the octagon we talked about our classroom groundrules. Our discussion lasted longer than expected so our conversation on groundrules will continue tomorrow! We had group snack (grapes and crackers) and then had a work period. Lunch was a busy time! Some of us forgot napkins and place mats so please pack them tomorrow! In the afternoon, Laurel (the librarian -- pictured above) came to introduce herself and visit with us. At the end of the day we practiced walking in a line, all around the playground! We can't wait until tomorrow!
On Thursday, new children arrived for their second day of school. A rainy morning kept us inside but it didn't stop us from having fun! Children were introduced to many Practical Life works as well as Sensorial works. We ended the morning with lunch and everyone got to experience the lunchtime routine.
On Friday, returning children arrived for their first day of school. It was a sunny morning and we started with recess. When the bell rang, everyone lined up, picked up their backpacks and they were ready to find their new cubbies, new work drawers and new folders inside. At the octagon, we sang our Good Morning song, talked a bit about our summers, voted to come together later in the morning for group snack, and then the children really wanted to get to work! They found works they had missed over the summer, and many children jumped right back into asking "can I have a lesson on this?!" It was as if no time had passed at all!
Picture albums from both days have been uploaded onto the private page, as well as a 2-minute video of Friday. Take a look!
*Please remember to pack a placemat and a napkin each day with your child's lunch.
We look forward to seeing everyone on Monday! Keep in mind arrival may take longer on Monday as all children are adjusting to their new routine. Please be patient :)
This year, we have a yellow flag that will be hanging near the second black gate on "indoor dismissal" days. We have "indoor dismissal" on wet, extremely cold, or extremely hot days. When you see the flag, be sure you stop your car before the crosswalk because it means we will dismiss from the classroom. Please do not pull up all the way to the benches like usual. This way, indoor dismissal moves along quickly and children get to their cars without walking very far in the rain/ice/heat/cold.
We had a great first day with our new friends in CH4. We were busy on the playground, touring the Children's House, having group snack and singing songs. We look forward to seeing all our new friends again tomorrow (half-day, with lunch), and to seeing our returning friends on Friday (full-day, with lunch)! Log-in to check out the pictures from their first day!
Lunch is a great time for children to become conscious of healthy eating and food diversity. We encourage you to pack nutritous meals for your child's lunch. We are a nut-free classroom and we ask that you do not pack candies or chocolates for your child. Lunch is a very important part of your child's day! It's a time to socialize, to sit with and talk with their friends, and of course, to eat. Please keep in mind, that independence is key when packing various containers and utensils in your child's lunch. Be sure your child practices opening and closing his or her containers at home a few times. We are always nearby and can help but we know that children really want to do things for themselves. If containers are too large to fit in their grasp, or too tight to open (sometimes we even have trouble!), their independence is reduced.
In CH4, children set up their lunches at their lunch space. We've developed a routine so that a few times a week, teachers choose spots for children -- this encourages children to break out of the comfort zone of their friends and talk to everybody in the room; and then a few days a week children have free choice of who to sit with. They'll take everything out of their lunchbox and place it on top on their placemat. A placemat, like a work rug, defines a child's space on the table. We encourage children to eat their main meal first, and then any fruits or vegetables or dairy items, followed by their treat (typically we know which item is the treat because it's usually the first item the child will choose to eat!). We also encourage children to eat before they drink, that way they don't fill up entirely on juice or water. We have children that like to eat their food randomly; a little bit of this and then a little bit of that. That is okay, too. We follow the child.
Your child's lunchbox each day should include their food, a drink, utensils, a placemat and a napkin. Most often, what we see works well, is when parents supply 2 small towels (the size of face cloths). This way, one towel can be used as a placemat and the other as a napkin. Plus, they are easily washed and can be reused. We encouage you to pack reusable containers opposed to ziploc bags. We are always talking to the children about recycling and how we try not to waste whenever possible.
As a gauge, so that you know how much your child has eaten, any food not eaten will be sent home.
Next week, NEW CHILDREN, will be having lunch in CH4 on Thursday. Even though, it's a half-day and children are dismissed at 11:40 we feel it's important children practice having lunch with their new community and see what the lunchtime routine (set-up, eating, clean-up) will look like. Please keep these tips in mind when you pack your child's lunch.
RETURNING CHILDREN, will be having lunch in CH4 on Friday as it's a full-day.
We're preparing the classroom and we're in the middle of getting all the materials exactly right. We're excited for the children, new and returning, to work with the materials, get their hands on their favorite works they have missed over summer break and for sitting at our "octagon" and chatting all about these last few months.
Dilani and I (Jasmine, your children will most likely call me Jas, so can you!) have been anxiously awaiting the 2013-2014 school year. We've enjoyed our summers; Dilani has been scrapbooking and reading and just finished up her summer by traveling with family to Nova Scotia while I spent a good portion of my summer traveling down the west coast with my husband and relaxing in the sun. We couldn't be more excited to welcome Kira to our CH4 team who had quite the summer herself! Kira spent most of her summer at NEMTEC, a Montessori training institute, and her spare time was spent swimming in Walden Pond. She is both our new assistant and is also completing her Montessori internship in our room. The CH4 CLASSROOM had a busy summer also. We're happy to reveal that we've been given a brand new ceiling, and wonderful new lights (the kind that offer soft lighting just like natural light from the windows). It helps make the already beautiful environment gentler on the eyes.
We hope to see all of you at Back to School Night (BTSN). We have some CH4 & LMS handouts to give you (all of which will be available on the webpage under the DOWNLOADS section -- on the password protected end of the webpage... so you'll need to log in to access those), your arrival/dismissal car tags, we'll be showcasing some very important Montessori lessons, chatting all about the whats and the whens and the whys of a Montessori classroom, walking through this webpage as well as our newly "revamped" sign-up genius and then we'll enjoy a potluck dinner together. We've started a discussion board to be filled with general topics you'd like to hear about during BTSN (you'll need to log in to access that). Let us know what you'd like to know!