Bumblebee Classroom

Bumblebee Classroom – Aug. & Sept. 2018

Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Category: Bumblebee Classroom, Lafayette Campus

The new school year has begun and the hive is a buzzz! The Bumblebees have started the year excitingly. Greeting old friends and new ones. Getting to know each other. Working and playing together. We are learning our routine and the classroom rules. #Safety first. It’s our number one rule. We also celebrated our first birthday of the year! Happy Birthday, Theo! Thank you for celebrating your special day with us.

We are learning so many things in all the areas of the classroom. In Practical Life we are practicing gross and fine motor skills, through, whole hand transferring, pouring, and, spooning. We are also practicing rolling a rug, pushing our chairs, and, sitting at circle. The children are doing so well.

In Art we are exploring different media: crayons, colored pencils, paper, scissors, glue, and play-do. We are making apple trees, the bee cycle and coloring apples.

In Sensorial we are working on discrimination of size. Biggest to smallest and thickest to thinnest using The Pink Cube and The Brown Prism. We also introduced The Primary Colors: blue, red, and, yellow.

In Botany we are studying plants and apples.

In Zoology we are studying animals and bees. We have covered Living and Non-Living, Plants and Animals, Parts of the Apple, and the Bee cycle.

In Geography we are covering the 7 Continents, Air/Land/ Water, Animals of the World and singing the Continents Song!

In Language we are learning our Initial Sounds, the alphabet, vocabulary and puzzles.

In Math we are learning 1:1 correspondence to 10. We are reviewing the Teens (11-19) and Hundred Board (1-100).

We will keep you posted on our upcoming studies.

Bumblebee Classroom – July 2018

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
Category: Bumblebee Classroom, Lafayette Campus

This month we celebrated birthdays: Avery, Luki, Willie, Otto, and Elliot! We also had Hat Day, Pajama Day and Beach Day! We said good-byes to children heading to Kindergarten and beyond and welcomed some “soon-to-be” Ladybugs to Bumblebee!

This blog post we shine the light on our weekly yoga practice with Roxanna! She has written a post about what the children are practicing in this session.

Light Shine Yoga

Hi parents! It’s an honor and pleasure to be with your children and teach them yoga; I love seeing their progress each week as they develop their strength, concentration and balance. For this 10 week series, we are working on a Warrior sequence, which includes conversations about how a warrior develops inner strength and focus to stay grounded and present to all of life’s invitations and challenges. Our sequence includes a particularly beautiful posture called “Humble Warrior” which the kids practice with particular reverence. It is absolutely heart opening to see these kiddos bowing down in humble warrior.

Speaking of heart opening, we have been practicing a particular pranayam* and mudra** lately. It is called “Heart Breath” and we start the class this way along with our usual Namaste. In Heart Breath, each child is invited to sit comfortably, place their hands on their heart and close their eyes. We take a deep inhale and on the exhale, send love to our hearts and bodies. For the second round, I invite each child to think of somebody they love (e.g. their mom or dad, a sibling, a grandparent, etc.) and take a deep inhale. On that exhale, I ask the children to imagine sending love to that special person. For the third and final heart breath, I ask the children to imagine something/someone (e.g. relative, friend, animal, tree, earth) that might appreciate some extra love and on that third inhale/exhale, they send love to wherever they chose. It has been incredibly sweet to hear the impromptu sharings of the kids telling me who or what they chose to send love to.

I invite you to try this Heart Breath practice at home with your children. It’s a wonderful way to come to stillness, be in the present moment and it can relieve tension and stress. Yoga is a wonderful thing to incorporate at any age, and it’s such a gift to be introduced to yoga and meditation as a child, because they are all such natural yogis! Maria Montessori was a big proponent of children using their bodies: “Movement, or physical activity, is an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside. Through movement we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.”

Namaste,

Roxanna

*pranayama – breath control
**mudra – hand position

Bumblebee Classroom – June 2018

Friday, June 29th, 2018
Category: Bumblebee Classroom, Lafayette Campus

Graduation Celebration!
The children practiced their songs with Ladybugs for weeks before our celebration! The Ladybugs and Bumblebees did a fantastic job and each received a Certificate of Accomplishment! It was a wonderful evening!

Baby Bird Visit Day
Last week, Ingela invited her friend to bring in baby birds from his farm in Byron where he raises birds. Nick brought in about a dozen baby ducks and guinea fowls that were 24 hours old. Ingela showed us the different duck eggs where the babies had hatched. The children enjoyed holding the baby birds.

We celebrated three birthdays in June!
Maeve turned 4 and we had a Happy Birthday and farewell circle for her as she made her way back to Germany.
Leanne turned 3 and we got to sing Happy Birthday in Polish!
Frederick turned 4 and we enjoyed the book of his photos when he was a baby!

We are studying the Oceans and Ocean life and Planets in June. In July we are going to be studying Famous Artists and Art Appreciation!

Bumblebee Class – May 2018

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018
Category: Blog, Bumblebee Classroom, Lafayette Campus

This month we celebrated two birthdays!

First was Cali’s!

Next up was Katherine’s!

 

We also welcomed two new Bumblebees, Maeve and Elliot.  Maeve joins us from Germany for the month of May:

This month we studied the metamorphis of a caterpillar to a butterfly, watched the caterpillars eat LOTS, build their cacoon and become beautiful monarchs.  We released them one morning in the yard!

 

We celebrated Cinco de Mayo by making guacamole and enjoying it with chips and some dancing!

We had a wonderful time preparing for the Parents’ Appreciation Brunch!

Here is a short video and associated photos of the children preparing their gifts:

Eliza’s Grandma visited us from England and helped us with our work and watched our Yoga Class:
 

We love our Yoga classes on Tuesdays especially since we now have Yoga Mats!

Norma’s Gardening Groups started this month!

           

Worktime photos!

   

We continued our study of South America by learning about the layers of the Rain Forest and the animals that inhabit each layer:

We also worked on finishing our Australian animal books:

Thanks for sharing the happenings in our classrooms!

Bumblebees: April Fun 2018

Monday, April 30th, 2018
Category: Bumblebee Classroom, Lafayette Campus

April began with Spring Break Camp at school with Alyssa and Lupita!

 

We also welcomed a new student into Bumblebee Classroom.  Her name is Leanne and she will be turning three in June.

We celebrated Scarlett’s 4th Birthday this month:

We also welcomed Jake’s Mom into the classroom to do a fun art project making pinwheels and art with magic rainbow scratch paper!  Thank you Michelle and Jake for the fun projects!

We joined Ladybug classroom and had a presentation from Kiele’s parents this month about Fire Safety and demonstrating Drop, Cover (your face) and Roll.  Kiki’s Dad showed us how a firefighter has to put on their gear and we counted the seconds while he QUICKLY put it all on. It was a little scary seeing him in his mask but we learned that the firefighters need this for protection and we shouldn’t be afraid if we see them like this…they are still the same firefighter underneath it all — it was still Kiki’s Dad!  We made firefighter hats and learned how to Drop, Cover and Roll from Kiki’s Mom.  Thank you Kiki, April and Doug!

 

We are studying Australia and Parts of the Flower this month and had new works for both.  We made flags and maps of Australia, learned the animals of Australia (kangaroo, koala, kookabura, sugar glider, dingo, wombat, platypus, emu, echidna and bilby) and made aboriginal inspired kangaroo art.  We learned about the landforms island and archepelago.  We did flower arranging work and Parts of the Flower.

    

Our favorite photos:

Washing clothes and hanging to dry is one of our favorite outside works:

   

One day we marveled at all the hail that was falling on the playground!

Thanks for sharing the happenings in our classroom!

Bumblebees: March 2018

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
Category: Bumblebee Classroom, Lafayette Campus

Birthday celebrations in early March:

First was Eliza’s 3rd:

 

Then Jake turned 4:

 

We also had Naomi and her Mom, Nancy, come in and talk about Chinese New Year and showed us how to make Red Lanterns.  Naomi handed out red envelopes to all the children:

Jake and his Mom, Michelle, came in and made tissue paper flowers with us in Afterschool too!

And the highlight of the month was having our families come to see our Art Gallery:

Kayla works on her self-portrait

Camila works on painting her clay bowl 

 

We started our study of Frogs in March and learned about different types and Parts of the Frog.  We also had a visit from Lila’s tadpole!

 

In After-school we built and experienced an exciting volcano eruption!

 

Yoga and Mindfulness in the classroom…

  

 

We made Spring Baskets and decorated “Eggs” with a cool machine that Simone brought in…she demostrated in circle time and in Ladybug classroom.  A special thank you to Simone and her family for donating the Eggs and Coloring Machine:

  

Many families ask, “What is ‘Sound work’?” Children learn to identify the name of the letter “a” with the sound it makes, /a/ as in “apple”.  Children work in groups, sing songs, play games such as “I Spy” and then work on writing the letter in a sand tray and on paper:

 

Some classroom moments:

Fine Motor & Scissors activities:

Working (and eating!) with Friends:

   

 

Thank you for sharing the happenings in our classroom!

Bumblebees: February 2018

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018
Category: Bumblebee Classroom, Lafayette Campus

February is a short but full month!  Lots of celebrations and happenings!  

This month we welcomed Mikayla to our classroom!  Please join us in welcoming her and her family to our school.  Mikayla is four years old and comes to us from a Montessori school in Berkeley.  

We also celebrated three birthdays!  The first was Naomi turning 3:

Next was Miles turning 5:

And finally Angelina turning 5:

We have been growing into our Caterpillar classroom with small group lessons in all our curriculum areas including Spanish.  We will continue using the classroom in March and in April will migrate our first Caterpillars and have more circle times and lessons.

A lesson in Parts of the Fish                   Talking about Africa

We celebrated our 100th day of school by ceremoniously changing the number of days in school to 100 and counting lots of things…100 pennies, 100 pom-poms, stringing 100 beads and more:

We made Groundhog Day crafts and learned that there will be six more weeks of Winter 🙁

Valentine’s Day was a wonderful time to deliver our Valentines to our friends as we decorated our bags the day prior:

Sharing is our favorite event on Wednesdays!  Children have an opportunity to share a page from a favorite book, something from nature or something they made, or they can talk about something.  Children stand up in circle, say their name and show/tell their sharing and then take questions/comments!

Continuing our Botany studies, we are learning about stems, from small flowers to LARGE bamboo:

Photos from After-school:

Painting Projects in After-school:

Outside Time Fun:

Classroom Moments:

Doing the Moveable Alphabet and making words, practicing our reading with Rhyming, Sound-Letter Correspondence, Magic “E” and blending sounds:

Doing an Art Project with the Ladybugs…tracing their bodies:

 

We heard the story of the Chinese Zodiac animals and learned which animal we were born under (rabbit, dragon, goats, snakes & horses!):

We had our first Earthquake Safety Practice this month!  Children learned to Drop, Cover and Hold and quietly found a table to go safely under until they heard us say, “All Clear”:

 

Next month we begin our study of Europe, talk about Spring holidays and learn all about the Frog!

Thanks for sharing our classroom happenings!

Bumblebees: January 2018

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
Category: Bumblebee Classroom

We welcomed two new children and families this month!

Kiele

Angelina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiele or “Kiki” and Angelina or “Angie” join us from Miss Mireya’s previous school.  Both are four years old and have transitioned easily into our classroom!  Please join us in welcoming them to Bumblebee Classroom!

We celebrated two birthdays…

Camden turned 5 at the end of December! His Mom and two younger sisters joined us for the celebration!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also celebrated Lila’s 5th birthday!

Here are some scenes from worktime:

We are studying Africa this month.  We are learning about the animals in Africa and the different biomes where these animals live (desert, grasslands, wetlands, mountains).  We are trying on clothing from a region in Africa, reading African stories and making maps of Africa:

Helping each other happens a lot in our classroom, especially with challenging jacket zippers and shoes!

Scenes from worktime:

 

 

Scenes from outside time:

    

Thanks for sharing the happenings in our classroom!

Bumblebees: December 2017

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
Category: Bumblebee Classroom

Shannon will be coming out of the classroom at 1pm each day to work on her part-time administrative Director duties.  She will remain on-campus and available to teachers and families.

Families have already welcomed Mireya Espejo to the Bumblebee Classroom on December 6th.  Mireya works from 8:30 to 4:30pm providing classroom support throughout the day, nap/rest time and after-care.

Mireya comes to us with over 16 years of teaching experience as a Head Pre-school and TK teacher.  She is passionate about teaching and has been enjoying getting to know the Bumblebee children and families.  She is enrolling in Montessori training classes early next year.

 

We are also pleased to welcome Roxanna Kopp Smith as a part-time Yoga instructor and Substitute Teacher beginning in January.  As a mother of two teenagers, a life-long practitioner of yoga, and a former Growing Light teacher, Roxanna brings her experience, enthusiasm and open heart to her yoga classes for children.  She has an M.A. in Psychology and certified to teach Hatha, Yin and Kundalini Yoga.  She has just returned to the Bay Area after spending the Fall semester traveling on the West Coast, living on the road and homeschooling her 15-year-old son.  You can read more about Roxanna at https://roxannakoppsmith.com.

Roxanna will be offering the Bumblebee students a 10-week class that meets once a week on Tuesday mornings for 30 minutes at a cost of $50/child.  Each class will include asana (physical poses), meditation, mantra, and pranayama (breath work).  Each class will be specifically tailored to young children.  Here are just a few of the benefits that children practicing yoga receive: body awareness, reduced anxiousness, mental focus and learning the practice of presence, all of which are important life skills at any age.  Registration forms will be forthcoming in the new year.

 

The First Few Weeks of School!

Friday, September 15th, 2017
Category: Bumblebee Classroom, Ladybug Classroom, Lafayette Campus

The first few weeks of school have been filled with new routines and new friendships!  In both classrooms, Ladybugs and Bumblebees are busy learning the new works.  We also started KinderDance with our favorite teacher, Kira!  We loved learning to dance and move to Kira’s great music!  One of our favorite dance steps was the “Scottish Walk”!