May, the last full month of this academic year!

The highlight of the month of May was that we were able to take a tour to the brand new building, the Cougar Café, Sports & Activity Center!  After the Opening Ceremony on April 29th, the classes took turns in taking their first steps into the long-awaited new facility next door.   It’s now our turn as a class!

When we entered the main door on the ground level, it was actually the 2nd floor of the building, where the Cougar Café will be located.

When we went in, there were no tables or chairs yet in the eventual new Cezar’s Kitchen cafeteria.  The blinds on the windows were down, but when they’re up, it’s a grand view.We can wash our hands without touching the faucet; it’s all automatic!  The Montessori children will still be eating in the classroom for now, but from First Grade through High School, this is where the children will have their lunches every day.

We went down the stairs to what is the 1st floor, which is where the Spectators’ Stands are located.  One more flight of stairs down led us to the Gym Court on B1.

We sat down on the bleachers and looked down onto the Gym court, which is on B1.Isn’t the court bright and beautiful?We went down to the full basketball court.We then descended another flight of stairs to B2, where our PE rooms, Activity Rooms 1, 2, and 3 are.  Activity Rooms 1 and 2 can be combined to make one large room.  There are big mirrors for dancing! And two sets of stereo-and-sound systems.We love our new Cougar Café, Activity & Sports Center.  And it’s conveniently right next door to our Montessori building, and faces the Fine Arts Building where we have our performances.

Being the month of May, we held lots of special events.When you enter the Montessori building, you could see Yoroi Kabuto in the foyer for Boys’ Day (now called Children’s Day).

We decided to make our own Kabuto (helmet) using newspapers.

Each child colored the Koinobori “carp streamer”, and placed it on their own kabuto!

We actually wore them on our heads!  “Happy Children’s Day”!  Oops, be sure to hold on to it so it doesn’t fall off.

Each child folded their own smaller Kabuto using origami paper.

On another day, we had a second chance to go into the new building.  We were invited to the exhibit by the Adult Enrichment classes.  Even our parents are learning new things at school! There were paintings, a photography display, and ikebana flower arrangements.  A classmate’s brother is in 8th Grade, and he came over to read to our class a fun story about a monster, as part of his English speech class.   The children loved the book he picked for them. Thank you so much.

Because of Covid-19 this year, we were unable to invite the parents over to observe our class as in the past. There is so much learning going on in the classroom to observe firsthand.  Hopefully, when this pandemic is over, our parents can come and observe our fun classroom.

For the Spring Concert, each child learned three dances: the class dance, by age group, and the whole Montessori dance routine. Our class performed the song “Happy” by Pharrel Williams.  We practiced in the Upper Rec Hall (URH). 

For the final performance, we videotaped the dance in the Fine Arts Auditorium so we could send the event to our parents online.

The photos below of the performance were taken by Ms. Furstenau.  We did our final dance routine in front of the Fine Arts Building: a mob dance involving the entire Montessori school, children, teachers, and assistants. Again, filmed for later viewing online by the parents.  Mr. Hitchmen is the P.E. teacher for 5-6 year-olds.  The class is a lot of fun.  They use Activity Room 3 in the Basement of the new gym, where we can run around and even do rock climbing!  (Photos taken by Ms. Furstenau.)

During the spring, we learned about the “Life Cycle of a butterfly”.  We read a lot of books about butterflies in the process. Each child colored the Monarch butterfly and cut it out. After laminating and putting a magnet on the back, the children tried to find places where their butterflies could rest… but it had to be somewhere “magnetic”. They had fun guessing where first, and then experimenting with their butterflies. We could hear the children say, “Is this magnetic or non-magnetic?”

The children put a little bit of glitter on their butterflies as well.

Eventually, we found a good resting place for our monarch butterflies, right by the window looking out to their natural habitat.

Here is a sampling of some of the class’s butterfly-related activities.

We even formed a huge butterfly life cycle puzzle. The children always cooperate on such group discoveries and get it done.  Each child made a wheel of the Life Cycle of a Butterfly.

Happy Mother’s Day card with many happy thoughts and love!  We painted our hands to make a handprint.  It tickled!

Sketching a plant.  We first needed to observe carefully.

Our annual Sports Day was held on May 21st, in the new Sports Center for the first time.  We also used the Montessori URH and LRH.  Each class did a parachute, and popped some popcorn; wish they were real!!

And back in the classroom… being creative while learning!

Life cycle of a frog;  The adult frog lays many eggs. The baby frog is called a tadpole. Then it grows legs and a tail and becomes a froglet. Then the last stage is the adult frog, and the cycle begins again.

Reading phonetic cards, then opening it to see the picture inside to confirm.

An older child helps a younger one to learn their teens.