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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Upper Elementary Breakfast

Thanks to all the parents and grandparents who came to the U​E breakfast!

We have field trips coming up to the RES and the 5th years will go to cabin days next week...we need drivers for that trip!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Upper Elementary Update

There is a whole new meaning to space in the classroom! 

The Big Bang has created a hole in the ceiling to our universe.  

Imagination, Creativity, and Inspiration are everywhere.

Friday, September 19, 2014

ETHOS Science Center

On Tuesday the lower elementary classes traveled to Elkhart where they spent the morning at ETHOS Science Center. The name stands for Encouraging Technology and Hands-On Science, a very appropriate name for the students’ visit!

Each student participated in three different activities including an introduction to several of the animals at the center, an exhibit scavenger hunt, and a visit to the star lab. The center’s animal wrangler took the bearded dragons and the ball python from their tanks to give the students a close up view which included being able to touch the animal.

During the exhibit scavenger hunt the students moved through the exhibits in pairs and small groups doing activities and marking them off of their lists.  In the star lab the students sat inside an inflatable dome and learned about stars and constellations.

On our return to school the students in Room 106 wrote about their field trip. Some first year student comments included:

  • “Today we went to ETHOS Science Center and we learned about the stars.”
  • “We learned about holograms. I love holograms.”     
  • “We learned about the stars and the bearded dragon. My favorite was the Earth spinning on air.”
  • Second year students wrote:
  • “What I liked best was holding the bearded dragon and exploring all of the science stuff.”
  • “We went on a field trip to ETHOS Science Center. My favorite thing was the star lab. I liked the star lab because we saw constellations. I saw the Big Dipper.”
  • “I did electricity experiments. I got to pet a bearded dragon and a ball python. Its name was B.P. It was fun.
  • Third year students also enjoyed the field trip and wrote about their favorite activities.
  • “One of my favorite things to was the exhibits. I liked the hologram exhibit. It had a whole bunch of holograms.”
  • “Today we went to ETHOS Science Center. In the star lab I learned that the North Star never moves.  We also did a science hunt. We got to go in the hologram room. Pictures looked like they were coming out of their frames.”
  • “I want to go back to ETHOS.”

I am positive that all of the students and teachers would agree!

Friday, September 12, 2014


Ask the UE students about the DEADLY GLOW experiments that they have been conducting.

After Camp Eberhart, we learned about invisible ultra violet rays from the sun. How can we protect ourselves from them?

Using uv beads, the students enjoyed coming up with many new “What If” imaginative ideas to test the beads and see if and when ultra violet rays are reaching them. Experimenting with ways to block the sun rays was very imaginative and successful. Predictions were flying everywhere! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

6 + 1 Traits of Writing Lessons

The Lower Elementary students are enjoying participating on the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing Lessons.

Our lessons use picture books to model good writing and provide our students with fun writing experiences.  What a better way to inspire our young writers than by celebrating he design, illustration and words of fine literature?
Currently, we are learning to generate ideas. The trait of ideas deals with the heart of the piece of writing. What is the topic?  Is the topic narrow enough so that the writer can be specific with lots of good details?  Is the topic interesting, and does the writer have knowledge or experience on that topic to make the writing come alive?  

Young writers do not always think they have strong ideas for writing.  As we read the pictures books together, we talk about the writer's idea and how often a simple idea became an inspiration for the book.  The children learn to see they can use the ideas in the picture books as springboards for ideas in their own pieces. 

Each month, we will introduce a new trait.       

The six traits are:
1.  Ideas
2.  Organization
3.  Voice
4.  Word Choice
5.  Sentence Fluency
6.  Conventions

Friday, September 5, 2014

107 Ground Rules

There is a huge misconception that Montessori means that the children are free to do whatever they choose and that the class is not structured.  This is not the case at all!  That would be complete chaos and how would anything get accomplished?!  It really comes down to those ground rules!
The children are free to choose the work that they do as long as they are following the ground rules and there is structure created by these ground rules. 
In our classrooms the children developed the classroom ground rules.  Such as

1.  We use inside voices
2.  Be kind and respectful.

3.  Be a good role model always

News from 106

Last week was a busy and exciting time in Room 106. The students made new friends and reconnected with classmates as the new first year and the returning second and third year were together for the first time. Our new students were each given an older buddy to help them navigate in the school environment. The students got to know each other a little better as the first few students presented their “getting to know me” sharing, a small collection of items that tell about their interests.

Another daily highlight for our students was joining their friends in Room 107 for the presentation of the five Great Lessons. These Montessori lessons are given at the start of each school year and open the area of the curriculum for further exploration and study.  The students enjoyed the lessons and the follow-up activities. After the first lesson the students used oil pastels to draw their impressions of the beginning of the universe on black paper. Many students chose to draw volcanoes. After the lesson on what makes humans special the students traced their hands and wrote several words to tell what they love inside of the hand.  Inspired by the history of writing, the students created their own messages on paper from brown paper bags. After they crumpled the paper it resembled the animal skins that people used before the invention of paper.

We are looking forward to many more exciting weeks of learning.

Submitted by: Mrs. Reynolds & Ms. Sonia