Geography

Montessori Monday~ South America Contient Box



Well everyone, I did a little “blog cleaning” and updated some of the paged up at the top of my blog. This means I added some of the theme tray posts to the Our Trays page, and I realized that I never finished my Continent boxes! Shame on me! So I am going to add the last couple of them in this week! I hope you enjoy what I have, and as always, if you have an idea of what else can add, leave me a note! 🙂 I made all the cards in the box and I would have liked to have added a copy to make three part cards, but I ran out of money. All of the cards were made using pictures I found online, but you can buys a really awesome set from Montessori Print Shop. Anyway, here is what I have for South America. I really dont have very many items in this box since I dont know anyone in South America yet, but like all my other boxes, this is a work in progress!

 
This box includes:
~ Pictures of South American People
~ Pictures of South American Food
~ Pictures of South American Musical Instruments
~ Pictures of South American Places
~ Pictures of South American Birds
~ Pictures of South American Animals
~ South American Birds from the Exotic Birds Toob
~ Iguana and Lizard Figures
~ Llama and Giant Tortoise Figures
~ An Emerald Stone

 
There you have it. I think that this box is the least filled and yet it is the one that the kids really love to get out! I think maybe its because its pink! 😉 Do you want to see more AMAZING Montessori fun? Be sure to stop by Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now! I am linking up there!


A Week in Reveiw

Well I have taken a ton of pictures this week and we have gotten alot done with 5 days of school! So I have decided that I will post them in one good LONG post! 🙂 So kick back and have a cup of coffee (tea, water,soda…whatever)! Here is what we have been up to discovering this week!

Pup is working SUPER hard with her letters. She has mastered two new ones this week and I even started stringing some of the letters together and sounding them out. She is loving it! Plus we have been playing lots of work games too! She calls it her “Spy” game! 🙂

 

 

 
She has also been working really hard to master those numbers! It seems like we have been trying to remember 6,7,8,9 forever! But she is still loving working together with them, so we will just keep tracing them! She also pulled out the spindle boxes and did the 0-4 perfectly on her own. She tried the 5-9, but she needed some help which she asked for.
 
 
 

 
Pup also pulled the globe off the shelf and did some geography work on her own! She set up the globe and a battery powered candle to be the sun! She then got the continent puzzle and I helped her with the names.
 

Pup also did a bunch of playdough work and practical life trays.
 

 

 
Now, Bunny has been doing great work too! She has been doing lots of geometry and work with angles and you have all seen. We also have have been getting into more of the operations work! We sat down the other day and pulled out the golden beads. I needed to find out where she was at, what she remembered and what she had mastered. I was really surprised by what she knew! She did a multiplication problem with three exchanged and no problems! So I pulled out a divison card for her to do. She needed a little refresher on it, but she loved it and after one problem, we switched over to the stamp game. She did great and loved thinking about dividing things up between different people at at party! 🙂 She also worked with the division board and we played addition board bingo!
 

 

 
 
 
Bunny has also been doing her own research. She has decided that she wanted to know about penguins. She I have been reading what she wants to know and she is writing about what she is hearing. She has also expressed an issue with her inability to spell properly. So I am looking into getting All About Spelling. Anyone have thoughts about that? Right now I am correcting her spelling after she writes it out. Then she writes out the proper spelling on her finished picture. It actually is increasing her confidence knowing that I will give her the right spelling. We also got to do the verb presentation. I didnt get to any of this in the primary work, so we are more or less getting to an introduction of the grammar symbol, we will go much deeper next year! She has also been reading more! Hooray! She read Dr. Suess’s Foot Book several times!
 

 

 
Another thing that we were able to do this week was to talk about the tilt of the earth a little bit more. We discussed how the tilt creates the solstices and longer days or shorter days! Plus about how the sun’s heat isnt hitting the earth in a straight line. I didnt get any pictures of our one presentation because I was too busy talking and moving the globe around the “sun”! 🙂
 

 
Ok…so that I think is a majority of what we have done this week! I have been pleasantly with all the work they have done and to be honest, there have been alot of moments where I have been sitting and just…well sitting! They seem to have needed to get back to work and once I get them down there, they are super happy. They have been pretty tired in the afternoons, but I think that all that work is wearing them out!  I really hope this week will be just as good! Happy Schooling Everyone!
 


Montessori Monday~ Snow Trays!

Well as promised I have officially made us some winter trays! The girls love them, even Bunny! I seriously love theme planning but I had thought that my life would be easier if I stuck to only traditional Montessori trays instead of changing them out all the time. It would be easier, but not nearly as much fun! So we are back to planning new trays monthly or so! So, I know that you are dying to see what I have made up! My goal was to try and find new and interesting exercises since Pup has mastered so many of the primary Practical Life presentations (that is a hazard of starting early and have a big sister to watch all the time). Here is what is on our shelves this month!

Ice Sorting

Whole Hand Transfer

 Dropping Snowflakes into a  vase

Snowflake Matching

Glitter Snow Dough

Shoveling Snow
 
As you can see we are all set for winter, but we are not just stopping there! I also have plans to start talking about the seasons of the year with the girls this week! Bunny has been learning about the earth and its tilt, so this will follow up nicely to it! Plus Pup is interested too! I will be using the presentations from my Elemetary Albums for Bunny and adapting them for Pup to hear too! If you want another great resource for this work in the elementary (and older primary), you can visit Waseca Biome Study. They have an amazing presentation as well and its free!
Finally I have some of the Montessori For Everyone work out as well! The one we did today is a seasonal clothing sort! This was a little tricky for Pup, but I think that if I take out the spring and fall sets, and just sort winter and summer for a start, it will be easier! They also have a matching game for each season, and that’s all free material! Be sure to check it out! Do you need more amazing Montessori fun? Check out Montessori Monday for TONS of links to great Montessori work! I am linking up there too! Happy Schooling Everyone!


The Earth Goes Around the Sun….

…and it also spins around and around! That is what we are learning here! Bunny and I got to another lesson today about how the day and night are a part of how the earth turns around. This lesson led us to talk about how noon is when we have the sun right over us and how that translates into the hours of the day. I think that she thought it was pretty cool! We also did the other lesson about AM and PM and what that means. Of course we pulled out the clock and talk some more about it too! These lessons are simple and easy to do. I made the charts that we needed and once I get my scanner fixed, I will share them with you!

 
Pup listened to our lesson for  bit, but she was rather confused and so I sat down with her afterwards! We talked about how the earth goes around the sun. Then I showed her that the earth also goes around and around, once a day! We did this for a bit and she really got it! She even drew a picture!
 

 
So there you have it! We are going to do some more work tomorrow too! I cant wait to keep learning together! Be sure to stop back, I hope to show off some fun Christmas/ advent work that I have out in my atrium posted this weekend, plus some other fun ideas! Happy Schooling Everyone!




Montessori Monday~ Space Unit!

Well as promised we are jumping into space! 🙂 It is seems weird to me to not do a Christmas theme, but we are ready to learn so we will! 🙂 I think that to bring it all together with the season, I will talk about the star that shone over the stable! We started the week off with some new trays! I went all out like I used to and made about four new trays! I wish I could do some more, but space is limited in the school room. Pup was really excited about then though! She did alot of good work today with the new work! Here is what is out right now:

Balancing Planets on golf tees

 
Sifting planets

Universe Stringing Beads
(I spent a ton of time looking for star shaped beads, but I couldnt find any)

Pin Punching Planets
 
 
 
The girls were working alot today and we were able to get a great space lesson in today! I started with the planets and how they and earth orbits the sun! I did the orbiting lesson from the Karen Tyler album for Pup and I did the same lesson for Bunny out of my elementary albums!
 
Making our little earth orbit the sun!

In the elementary albums, the demonstration was to use a bead on the end of a string and swing it around in the air to see how the orbit goes. Bunny thought it was great!

We only get a 2 billionth of the heat of the sun! Bunny didnt understand, so we wrote it out and showed it as a fraction family! She was AMAZED and wants to know more about big numbers. I dont have the hierarchical work, does anyone know how else I can show this to her?
 
When we finished out presentation, Bunny got to work drawing a book of the planets that orbit the sun!

 
So that is our space kick off! Both girls are excited and I would love to keep it going! I am hoping to have Bunny get to the presentations about how time and the sun are connected and maybe even get us outside for some stargazing! I hope you all are having a great week! If you want to see more great Montessori fun, stop by Montessori Monday! Happy Schooling!


Working hard and Having Fun!

Today we got back into the school room and I made sure that I had more grammar work for Bunny to try! She is head over heels in love with the grammar symbols and I cant seem to get the presentation fast enough! So today, after our noun presentation last week, we were ready for the article! If I would let her (and be ahead enough myself) she would have me tell her about all of them at once! We talked about it for a bit and I think that later this week I will try and introduce the adjective! 🙂

The first work she chose to do today was to draw all the grammar symbols. She also drew lines in the the directions that they rocked. She loves them!

Here is her notebook page with the articles and nouns labeled!
 


While I was working with Bunny, Pup got into the continent boxes and found the zebras in Africa. She was very excited and found them all. I sat with her for a bit after that and showed her how the pictures on the from were the same as the puzzle pieces. I also pulled down the globe and I asked if she knew where the land and water were on the globe. She pointed out the color parts as land, I told her they were called continents. Then I asked her what the blue was and she told me the oceans! 🙂 Funny girl! I had no idea that she knew that! So I showed her how she could trace the puzzle piece, and I had some stickers with some African animals. So we looked through the animal pictures in the box and she picked out the right animal stickers to stick on her continent! She loved this! In fact she loved it so much she did South America next! 🙂

 

 
 
Today I also introduced Bunny to the small bead frame work. I tried this a while ago, but I had tried to make my own bead frame and it really didnt work out too well! So I bought the Large Bead Frame, and I am showing her how to use it as the small bead frame too! 🙂 She really loved it, and she did 5 addition problems all on her own! We also talked about exchanges and she did it without a thought once I showed her! It has been a while since she has done any larger addition problems that required exchanges, so I was happy she retained it!
 

She also read a book! I was proud that she read the whole thing! It is really challenging for her to read and I was glad that she was trying so hard!
Later this afternoon, Bunny got out her rock and started looking at them. We talked about crystals and how they are minerals that had time to grow into crystals in the rock. She has really been interested in rocks and I am trying to help her stream line her research idea. She said she wants to know everything, but that could take a lifetime. So I was trying to help her see what she really wants to learn about. This is where the research following the first great lesson has gone! I think will offer her the chance to make a model of the earth and see if she is interested in that! It will allow us to see where the rocks are formed! Does anyone know of any good Montessori rock cards or nomenclature?
 

 
So that is what we were up to today! It was alot of work but not a ton of time! Both girls have had a great time and that is what matters! When school is fun, everyone is happy! I hope you are having a great week so far! Happy Schooling!


Observation

If you have been reading along here for the past few weeks, you know that we are currently on a school break, but that we are still learning plenty! In the past week, my girls have done math, reading, biology, geography, writing, and a few other things as well. The best part of it all is that my girls have no idea that they are “doing school”! I love that! As you can see from the pictures above, Bunny did some follow up map work from the book study she was doing the other day!  I love that watching what they are interested in and what draws their attention is giving me a chance to provide learning opportunities that are perfect and effortless! Bunny told my friend the other day that we arent doing school, and I said that we were still learning. Bunny said that she like to learn, but only when it is fun like it has been! 🙂 What I simply love is the ability to sit back and see what Maria Montessori saw, learning is seamless and deep if the child is allowed to work! Oh sure there is way more to this, but observation is a key! Without it, we can only give work that we think they need and this isnt always right. This is what I think happened to us at the end of the year. In Montessori, there is a plan, but following the child is the most important. To do this we need to watch and listen, to see what is capturing their passions and interest, and then present ideas accordingly. In hind sight, I realize that there were certain presentations that I should have done a LONG time ago, but I wasnt watching closely enough. I thought I needed to follow the proper path set out in the albums. But sometimes this is not what the child is trying to learn! One example of this would be the math facts with Bunny. She was so excited to learn them back in the winter. I should have pulled out the addition strip board then and there, but I waited until we had gotten though what I thought I needed to present to her. What happened? She lost interest and was board with the work when I showed it to her. If I had showed it to her back in the winter, would she have worked with it joyfully like a game instead of grumbling over it? Maybe. Maybe not. So once again, I find myself trying to get back to the basics of what Maria Montessori discovered about teaching children. Observation is important and should be done daily. Sitting and watching is good, but sometimes there isnt time for that. Sometimes it is taking note of something that your child shows you, and idea that they share, a picture that they drew for you, or a book they are carrying around! What makes observing easier is that kids usually want to share something that they think is really cool or that they are proud of! Are they pointing to letters and making sounds like they are reading, it maybe time for sandpaper letters. Can they count to 100 by 10s? Then they are ready for bead chains. It may not always be that easy, but alot of times it can be! That being said, I have been thinking that maybe it would be fun to have a book discussion here on the blog! I am hoping that some of you would be interested in joining me reading The Montessori Method or the Secret of Childhood together! Once a week, I will post my thoughts and you can share yours! We can all get back to basics together! If you are interested, please leave a comment and let me know! Happy Schooling!
Oh and if you get a moment, stop by Circle of Moms and vote for your favorite blog! I am there along with a bunch of other amazing blogs!

Learning with Books!



As summer rolls on here, I have noticed how amazing a good book is to learning! Bunny has found certain books inspiring and most of the time, it inspires her to do something creative as a result of it. Today was a perfect example of this. The book was a story I grabbed at the library to read. It honestly isn’t a well written story and I really didn’t like it a lot. It was good for a quick good night story, but I wouldn’t read it more then once. However, this book captured Bunny’s imagination! In the story, Isabella is asked by her Dad to help out with his to do list. She always tells her Dad that she is somewhere else. One time she is an archaeologist at the pyramids, another time she was an artist at the Eiffel Tower, another time she was the Statue of Liberty, etc! I did love that it incorporated all of these great places in the world, so did Bunny! She read this book and then it started a whole day of little projects! She started by drawing a picture of Big Ben in London (it was in the book) and a picture of the Statue of Liberty. This she made into a card to send to her writing bunny in England. She even wrote a bit of it herself! After that she dug out the Around the World Toob Objects from the continent boxes. I suggested she could make a map of where Isabella went or to make a map book of where the different landmarks are in the world. She didn’t like my ideas however, and instead matched them to the book. She even sorted them by tall landmarks and short ones. I can see how amazingly easy it is for her to want more information and to go after it, just from reading a book! I am hoping so very much that this is a good start for the fall when I introduce the Great Lessons! The Great Lesson are stories told in a Montessori Elementary class about the beginning of the world that are a told in such a way that they inspire a child to look for more information! The goal is that we can inflame a child’s imagination, and this will lead them to want to learn more! So it is fun to watch Bunny start to learn that way. To hear a story and then learn more about something in the story is a HUGE part of the Montessori Elementary. It is so cool to see how it works so naturally! I again am so amazed at the gift of watching a child learn naturally! It really affirms my goals to stick to the basics, and keep it simple in the fall!

Soil Exploration!

As promised, I have pictures of our amazing soil exploration today! It turned out to be such a beautiful, very windy day! So after a bit of work time in the basement, we headed out to my husband’s construction yard. We have a bit of property that we use for our business and there is a ton of overgrown land. I thought that it would be the perfect place to dig a hole or two! So we loaded buckets, shovels, and containers in the car and off we went! On the way there, we talked about the different layers of the soil and about the different kinds of soil. We also talked about what makes up the soil. Bunny seemed to retain a great deal of the information! When we got there we looked around at all the different kinds of dirt that was around. There was topsoil, and lot of clay (which is the main type of soil here). After digging around a bit, we got to work making our own representation of the layers of the soil. We started with bedrock, then smaller stones, then subsoil (clay here), next we added some topsoil, and finally we added some organic matter (dead leaves that will add nutrients to the soil). It was pretty cool! Bunny made a small one in a cup. After we talked a bit about each layer and how the organic material turns into soil, we dumped out the big one and I offered to let Bunny make the big one again on her own! She did and she got all the layers just right! It was great fun! While we did this, Pup played in the dirt! She was SO dirty and so happy! She was running and grinning and scooping dirt the whole time! Here are a few pictures of our day! 🙂

Here we are looking at the different grains of the dirt and the clay.

Here is our layer of the soil container. The second one Bunny made was better, but my camera battery died before I could get a picture!

Bunny really love the clay we dug up! This is what a majority of the soil in our area looks like!

As you can see it was a good morning! All of these explorations came out of the waseca biome study! We learned alot and it has been so cool to see how what we learned about rocks in the fall ties in here! I wish you all Happy Schooling!


A Winner and a Gift for All!!!!

Well today is the day! I am here to announce the winner of the Worldwide Montessori Course! I was very delighted by all the response and I wish that I could give all of you a seat in the course, but I just cant! So I have entered all the numbers into the random number generator and the winner is number 18~ Kimberly!

Kimberly said:
“I would LOVE to win this course! I think it will really help me in teaching not only my own children, but also the ones I teach on Sundays! (I just wish it was available years ago when my oldest was this age!!)”

Congratulations Kimberly!!!!! Please send my your contact info. within the next 24 hours so I can get you the information you need! If I don’t hear from you, I will have to choose another winner! I cant wait to hear from you!

And for all the rest of you I have a special little gift from Karen! She is offering all of my readers her Geography album for FREE!!!! The whole and complete album for all of you!

I really hope that you enjoy this! I love how she brings the geography to a personal level for the children! And if you really like this, be sure to stop by visit Karen at Worldwide Montessori to check out her course! She has a new starting on March 1!!! It really is worth it all! 🙂 I have been doing a lot of thinking and prep work for our classroom the last few days. I am hoping that it really makes our work time longer and more productive! We are continuing our Body theme and I am really working on getting things in gear! So stop by tomorrow for Montessori Monday and I will have all my new things ready for you to see! Happy Schooling!

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