Maple Room is a Children’s House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Cory Hall and Amy Lawrence are the classroom’s co-teachers.
Posted by Maple
Thank you parents for another wonderful school year! Thank you for sharing your children with us. We have enjoyed every minute! We want to extend our best wishes to those children leaving the Maple Room, whether it is to move to another school or to the next level (Lower Elementary). Over the summer, spend as much time with your children as possible. Take your own “family” field trips to the zoo, library, art museum, and local parks. Learning opportunities will occur naturally in any environment. Thank you parents for your participation, help, and unbelievable support in your child’s education. Have a great summer break! See you soon!
Amy and Cory
Posted by Maple
The end of the school year brought many special projects and activities, such as creative art work, outside water play, and guest visitors from the Toledo Zoo. Words cannot express how much fun we had. Therefore, we would like to share just a few of the moments captured with you! The kids(and parents) were amazing during these very busy days!!
Goodbye for the Summer
Posted by Maple
You are very special children and that you should know.
How we loved to be your teachers, how fast the year did go!
Please come back to visit us as through the years you grow.
Try hard to learn all that you can. There is so much to know!
The one thing we tried to teach you , to last your whole life through,
Is to know that you are special just because you are you!
(Adapted from www.kinderthemes.com)
It has been a pleasure having you in the Maple Room. It is amazing to see how much you have grown. You have been great role models and helped in the classroom by giving lessons to younger children and by showing responsibility in taking on “jobs.” You have had fun times working with friends in the classroom and playing outside. There have been special occasions, like birthday celebrations, Pizza Days, the French Sing-Along, and visiting the Lower Elementary classrooms. Remember those extraordinary times. We would like to wish you the best of luck in everything you do. Have a great summer!
Lots of Exciting News…
Posted by Maple
The Maple Room friends have been very busy in the past couple of weeks. Many new topics have been introduced as we approach the end of another school year. Here are some of the units we have been exploring:
We traveled to a new continent in geography. It is the second largest continent in area and home to the world’s longest river- the Nile. If you guessed Africa, you are right. It is the green continent on our continent puzzle map. We talked about how Africa has the second largest population among the continents and that there are many languages spoken there too. We examined the different types of climates, such as the dry desert area (with camels), snow capped mountains, and tropical rainforests. Some of the countries of Africa were examined more closely, such as Kenya, Chad, Egypt, and the favorite of the children- Madagascar! The kindergarteners enjoyed researching and recording some information about Africa to share with the younger children. Work choices on the shelf included books about the people and animals of Africa, animal puzzles (elephants, tigers, lions, giraffes), coloring a map of Africa, and labeling a book of African animals. The children painted their own African masks and pin punching animals to make an African safari.
To many children, April 22nd is just a regular, ordinary day. We explained that April 22nd is Earth Day every year. It is a day to remind us to take care of our planet by keeping it clean. Reducing the amount of resources we use (water, gas), reusing things (boxes, plastic bags), and recycling things (plastic, paper, aluminum) is a great start in helping to improve our living conditions. The children helped sort and recycle everyday “trash” from our homes, such as glass jars, paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, pop cans, water bottles, newspapers, etc. into the appropriate recycling bin. Many children realized they were already recycling in their own homes. We talked about how many things in our garbage cans can be recycled and used again. It is important to help our Earth stay clean not just on Earth Day, but every day, and everyone can help with this huge and very important project.
A little over a week ago was our UT student Sydney’s last day in the Maple Room. We would like to extend a sincere thank you for all of the time and effort she spent helping in the classroom. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!
Money work was replaced by fractions work. Many children were attracted to this work. We learned different fractions showed different parts of a whole. Work choices included fraction cones, food fraction puzzles, and tracing insets that show 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, and 1/5 of a circle. A challenging work involved putting together many pretend pieces of pizza to make about eight whole pizzas. The pieces showed sixths, eighths, twelfths, and sixteenths. The children experimented and discovered if you put together two of the 1/4 pieces that you made 1/2.
A variety of skills were utilized in the works throughout this area, such as tweezing, straining objects in a bowl of water, and hand transfer using small objects. Many of the girls are interested in fixing hair, so we put a work on the shelf to fix the doll’s hair by brushing it and putting in clips or pony tail bands. Other works included stringing beads to make a bracelet and polishing sunglasses and a mirror. This work was inviting to many friends.
Grandparent’s and Special Friends Day-
Friday was a very special day for the children and teachers. We had many special visitors in our room. The children’s faces lit up when they saw their loved ones. They were busy showing work to them from the time they arrived until the time they left. Many hugs, kisses, and smiles were shared. The grandparents shared stories with us about the children and could not have been any prouder. They were also impressed with the difficult work choices of the children. Many chose work with the children and the children were like the teachers showing them how it was done. Several grandparents and special friends were down on the floor right along with the kids. The time spent seemed to fly by. Children who did not have someone special attend because their loved ones live in another state or even another continent were “adopted” by another child’s grandparents and enjoyed the morning. It was a wonderful experience for everyone!
Before Spring Break…
Posted by Maple
Weather is what is happening outside. In our transition from Winter to Spring, many types of weather have been observed. The children have been our meteorologists, using the terms snowy, rainy, windy, sunny, cloudy, warm, and cold to describe the weather in Ohio. Every day, they ask if we are able to go outside . We look outside to see what it is doing, as well as look at the temperature, to make an informed decision.
Our UT student performed an experiment with the children to make it “rain.” They had a cup with water at the bottom and then shaving cream was sprayed at the top of the cup. The children were able to choose two different colors of food coloring and squirted a few drops into the shaving cream. When it was heavy enough, the colors started to come through the shaving cream to make a little “rain.”
Another activity involved making a water cycle bracelet. We read a book called A Raindrop’s Journey as an introduction. Each child then made a bracelet. The colors each represented a part of the water cycle. For example, light blue represented the rain, green represented the grass, dark blue the puddle, yellow the sun, clear the water evaporating, and white represented the clouds. It is a continuous cycle. Other activities on the shelf were a weather bear to dress, pictures of different types of weather to sort, and coloring and labeling a weather dictionary. Sometimes, we observed many types of weather in one day.
A Peace Wreath
Peace is a topic that is constantly reinforced in a Montessori classroom. The children use the peace rose to problem solve and practice using their words to compromise and find solutions on a regular basis. Recently, the Maple Room friends worked together to make a peace wreath. Each child dipped one hand into paint and pressed it onto a white paper in a circular pattern next to their friend’s handprint. After the paint dried, the children told the teacher what was peaceful to them and their words were transribed onto the handprints. It was a beautiful work of art when completed and helped to reinforce our sense of community. Examples of things that made our children feel at peace included reading a book, painting a picture, riding a bike, playing a game with a parent, swinging on a tire, walking the dog, etc.
New geometric solids were added to the shelf. They included the square based pyramid and the triangular based pyramid. A challenging activity involved matching the appropriate bases to the geometric solids. For example, a prism had a square base and a rectangle base. A cone had a base in the shape of a circle. The children really enjoy using the knobless cylinders in the sensorial area. An extension this past week involved tracing the knobless cylinders onto the corresponding colors of construction paper (red, yellow, blue, green), pin punching or cutting them out, and gluing them onto paper in a design ( using cards giving choices of patterns or their own designs).
The sense of smell was introduced. The nose sends messages to the brain which helps us know if something smells good or bad. Activities on the shelf included smelling jars in which the children had to match the pairs with the same smell. Vanilla, lavender, cinnamon, lemon, and citrus made up the smells in the jars. Smelly markers were used to match and color various pictures of food, such as watermelon, black licorice, cherry, and grape. We had to be careful not to get the markers too close to our noses as we enjoyed smelling them. Also, smelly pencils (called Smencils) were used for writing words. They did not have any color, but had wonderful scents.
The older children have enjoyed learning about nouns, verbs, and adjectives. This can be a difficult concept, but hands-on activities made it a little easier. One lesson involved labeling nouns around the classroom, such as pencils, shelf, table, pink cube, etc. Another activity was making a noun, verb, or adjective chain depending on which part of speech the child was working on at the time. A child would write a noun (or verb or adjective) on a strip of construction paper. They would then have it stapled to make a circle. They would then write another noun (or verb or adjective) on another strip of paper and link it to the first strip. The chains would vary in length depending on the interest 0f each child.
St. Patrick’s Day
Here are some special moments from the activities and sing-along on St. Patrick’s Day.
**Just a reminder: Please make sure your child has a change of clothing appropriate for the season in their backpacks. If it is warm enough and the weather cooperates, we will be going outside more regularly. In case a child gets wet or muddy, they feel more comfortable changing into their own clothes. Thanks so much for your help and support. We hope you had a wonderful Spring Break and will see you soon. We can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures!!