Montessori Work Day

My Montessori Mess!

Well, I spent the day working on organizing the school room for starting our learning again! I am making a chalk board for our space, and I am figuring out how to make things flow! Want to see my results? Well here is what I have:

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Not what you thought you’d see is it? 🙂 What a mess. I emptied all the shelves and started to rearrange everything! My goal was to make things flow better and have cleaned space. I felt like there was stacks of stuff on the shelves that were not easy to get to. Plus, I didn’t need the table top chalkboard since I was making one for the wall. That freed up some space and it made me able to use it differently. I love using the Montessori materials as decoration,  but I felt like things were too cluttered. So we are changing that too. Plus, I am trying to make the art shelf stocked and ready! So….you will have to wait to see it all when its not a huge mess! I hope it will be in the next day or two! On a side note, I do know that not only is my school room a mess, so it my blog! I am working on that too! So now, it is time for me to stop talking (typing) and get to work! Happy School Planning!

Ocean Theme Fun!

Well summer is in full swing and full of fun! However, I get the feeling that my girls are needing a bit of nudge to starting finding some creative work and maybe a bit of learning too! Since we are planning on going to the Ocean this summer, I thought that making some ocean themed work would be fun! So a basket of books on the stairs, new art materials, some magic school bus movies on the computer, and some trays of ocean fun are now gracing the shelves of the school room. We are not really having school time, but I am hoping to read a book or two each day, and ask some questions to hopefully inspire some more learning! If not, there is plenty to create amazing ocean things! Now I know that you are dying for me to show you what we have so you can do it yourself, so here is what we have out for our ocean theme!

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Nature Tray with Ocean Items (Some of these are from our dear friends over at Mi Escuelita Montessori)

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Cards and Counters with Shells

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DIY Landforms with Rocks

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Sand Tray

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Learning the Ocean Names and Location

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Sifting Shells

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Shell Matching

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Shell Scrubbing

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Ocean Matching Game

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Matching Animals to the research book

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Ocean Origami Kit

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Now again, I really don’t think that we are going to be “doing” regular school work. It is summer though and summer is about playing and having fun! But, if my plans work, we can play with our learning! Now, if you want to see more amazing Montessori based by, be sure that you Montessori Monday! We are linking up there this week! I am also linking up over at Link & Learn!

 

Montessori Monday~ Botany~ Stem Week

Hi there everyone! I am happy to report that the this new site is ready for some new posts! Hooray! I have missed sharing all our fun! However, I am begging you to hang in there with me, things are messy all over, but we are working on getting it all there!

Last week we spent a lot of time talking about the stems of a plant! We observed how the plant takes water up from the roots by letting some celery suck up some food colored water! The girls love seeing this! It is such a basic experiment that never fails to seem like magic to kids! My girls are no exception! It was really amazing to see how the food coloring really allows you to see the veins of the leaf too!

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While we waited for the celery to become magical, we talked about the two different types of stems~ Woody and herbaceous. After a quick talk about the differences we walked the neighbor hood figuring out which ones were which in the plants we saw.  The girls were quick to understand it. I have found that although it is fun to sort cards, most of the time my girls would prefer to get out there and see it for real!

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Another thing we did last week was talk about the parts of a woody steam and look at an old stump in the neighbors yard! (She didn’t mind). Bunny thought it was interesting that they get new rings every year.

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Finally, to make the week a little fun, we decided to paint plants with all their parts! Not only that, but I thought it would be fun to use mediums to see how different each picture looked. We used water color pencils, watercolors, and tempera paint. They loved it, plus they got to see and feel how different mediums worked. Plus they got to think about the parts of a plant

 

So there you have what we have been up to with our Botany fun! I am sorry for the sideways pictures! I have been trying and trying to fix this, but I am new to Word press and cant figure it out! I am going to link up over at Montessori Monday, so be sure to stop by there for more amazing Montessori fun! I will be back tomorrow with lots more fun! Happy Schooling!!!

 

School Days

Our week this week was another good one! Pup is always so happy when I tell her that it is a school day and Bunny is moving along with her work really well. She may even not hate school anymore! I think that having the structured excitement of the Botany has helped make this better. She is starting to read pretty well and can get through a level one reader without tears! Hooray! We also had an interested experience in math this week with her. I was having her do some bead frame work with Large Bead frame. This meant that she was adding 5 digit numbers together. She did one problem 3 times and couldnt get it right. I am still not sure what went wrong because she understands how to move the beads and do exchanged and everything. After a half hour of tears, and a note telling me she was mad, angry, and sad I finally suggested that she just try one problem without the beads. What do you know, she got it totally right! She then did four more all of them right! I guess she just didnt need the beads to work the addition. What I am noticing with Bunny is that she abstracts really well. We do a presentation and she may work with the materials once or twice, but she really would rather do it without if she can. I think that I need to trust her ability to know when materials are needed and when they are not. For example, she didnt need the bead frame, but the other day she had the golden beads out for division! Another thing Bunny is doing is researching horses! She labeled her tracings and everything!

 



Pup is just busting ahead with her letters and tracing. She wants to practice her letters everyday so she can learn to read. We now officially have all the the sandpaper letters out. She knows almost all of them. There are a few that we are still working on, but she is proud. We are also using the moveable alphabet. Right now we are just hearing the sounds of a cvc word and finding the letters. She not quite there yet, but she loves to try! Pup is also still tracing everything she can! I ran out of tracing paper early in the week and she was pretty upset that we didnt go out to the store right away! 🙂 I think we have gone through more  then fifty sheets of the stuff in the past couple of weeks! She has also been working with some sensorial work!

 
 
 
 

That is our week! We also did a ton of great botany work, but that is another post! I hope you all had a wonderful school week too! Happy Schooling Everyone!

 
 


School Days

Today I had grand plans to play hookie from school and just get the house cleaned! 🙂 However, the girls had other plans! They begged to do school first! WHAT???? I wasnt sure who these kids were! 😉 So off to school we went! They worked really hard. Pup worked on the tracing project that she has worked on all week. She decided early this week to trace an entire Strawberry Shortcake book. She has been working on it for hours this week and she even wrote a story to go with it! I was really proud of all the hard work she did on this. She told me that she was SO glad that she she finished it today and that she was SO PROUD of herself! 🙂 Bunny was really busy this week! She did a ton of work with fractions, she did some money math, writing, and READING! Bunny has been reading alot more lately. She is still working on doing fluently, but she has taken to trying to read signs, longer books, and things I am writing! I am really proud of her! But I know you want to see some pictures, so here they are!

 

 

 
I didnt take as many picture this week because I was making materials while they worked! They have been working so hard this week despite having half a week of work! I am looking forward to more fun next week!
 


Botany~ Leaf Week

This has been a rather interesting week full of fun and friends, but not as much work. However, we did get some fun botany in this week (along with some other things)! We were talking about the parts of a leaf, what a leaf does for the plant, and about a few of the different types of leaves. We didnt get everything in that I wanted to, but we did do some of it! Bunny told me that she thinks she is learning to love school work again, so we must have done something right! 😉 Here is some of the things we did in Botany.

We explored the parts of a leaf by using a real plant! Since spring had decided to hide again and there is not much growing, I was very thankful for the plants that I did have in my house! It turned out perfect for looking at the parts of a leaf!

Pup and I did the parts of the leaf with the Montessori Botany Puzzle and with the traditional 3 part cards. She was mildly interested, but had other work that she needed to get back to.

Bunny and I went deeper. She found the parts on the plant. We then talked about how the plant makes its own food. I used a combination of presentations. I like how my albums talked about it simply with the chart. However, the Waseca Biome Study really described the way the molecules work together and how the leaf puts out oxygen. The Waseca Study explains how to demonstrate this using a group of kids, I used buttons instead. When I explained it that way, Bunny had an Aha moment! We used the buttons on a leaf and moved them around showing how the leaf takes in carbon dioxide and water. Then we see how the sunlight breaks the water molecule apart and and the hydrogen molecules hook up to the carbon dioxide! Then it is easy to see how the oxygen is free to go out into the air. The Botany chart I made illustrated that and Bunny loved it!

 
We also talked about the stomata that allow the gases to come in and out of the leaf. We were not able to see them on out plants without a microscope. However, we did an experiment where we put some fresh leaves in water and left it in the sun for a couple of hours. The time allowed the oxygen in the leaves to come out and form bubbles on and around the leaves! Bunny was amazed! I had forgotten about it and Bunny ran it to me and was SO excited to show me the bubbles!

 
Finally, we also finished up some of our other experiments from last week. Our seed experiment about the needs of plants work out pretty well (i may have accidentally let then dry out over the weekend). We did see that they all sprouted except the one with no water. Then we noticed that only the one with everything started to grow a little bit. It had the small leaves starting.
 
 
 
 

 

Here is Bunny’s report on the experiment!
 
We also measured the seedlings again! They are exploding! I really dont know what I am going to do with them! I am defiantly going to need to transplant them. Unfortunately it will at least be a few more weeks before I can plant them outside. By then I will have zucchini all over the house! We will see what happens! They grew about an inch in a week!

 
Another thing that Bunny is doing alot of is copy work! I have taken the three part cards  from Karen Tyler’s Course and photo copied then next to line paper. I then wrote out definitions for each part of the leaf, plant, flower, root, and stem. Bunny then takes blank one and copies the words and colors the picture. Pretty simple, but she is really loving it! It is a really great way for her to start practicing her handwriting and getting those letter going the right way!
Here is Bunny’s

Here is Mine. She did a pretty good job didnt she!

Hers above, mine below!

 
She has done a couple of the parts of a leaf. I included the ones she hasnt done yet too so you can see the definitions in case you want them!

 
So there you have our Botany for the week! I didnt get time to go into different shapes of leaves yet, but we will soon. Plus I wanted to take a leaf walk, but the rain and cold has made it really hard to get out. Maybe tomorrow! I hope you have had a good school week too! If you have a favorite botany idea, share it in the comments! Happy Schooling everyone!
 


School Days

Well this is the end of a pretty descent week! The girls were busy with all sorts of things! I thought that I would share some of their work with you all in one post! Here is what they have been learning!

Bunny and Pup started school the other day by measuring with markers! Pup had a great time hooking them together and measuring all sorts of things. Bunny then got involved too! It was a fun spontaneous learning moment!

Pup is also just starting to work with some of the moveable alphabet pieces. She isnt quite ready since she still has a hard time isolating the middle sound of a word, but she thinks its awesome to move the pieces around. She loves to pick out the sounds! She told me the other day that she needs to keep practicing letters so she can read soon!

The Easter Bunny brought some new playdough! So I set up a new tray. It amazes me how much Pup will roll, cut, and shape playdough!

Bunny pulled out her Golden Beads to do some division! I was really surprised that she chose to do it!
 
I also tried to do a chalk board version of the Hierarchical Material. I’m not sure that she quite got it and I dont think that this was the best way to do it. She seemed to get it, but I think it could have gone better. However, I cant afford the large material. Does anyone have an idea of how to do this?

She was so happy that she got the first problem right! 🙂

After she did one, she invited Pup to come sit with her. She asked Pup to name the numbers on the board! 😉 It was too cute!

I showed Pup a new work! She was interested for a little bit!

Pup almost has all the letter sounds learned! She is so proud of herself!

 
As you can see, Pup has really been busy and so has Bunny! I really hope that next week is just as good! Now I do have a bit of business stuff to talk to you about! You may have noticed that I have a few new links on the right hand side of my blog! These are my new affiliate accounts! What that means is that if you click on the button, and make a purchase from one of these suppliers, I will get a bit of sale! So here I am (shamelessly) begging you to think about making a purchase from Montessori at Home, Montessori Services, or from Kiwi Crate, then please stop here to access the site! I hope you all have a great weekend! I should have another awesome birthday party for you all to see this weekend, so stop on back! Plus there are some awesome giveaways coming up in the couple of weeks! Happy Weekend!
 


School Days

I realized that I havent updated much on what we have been doing in our school work lately! I think that we really havent been up to much. We basically are just moving forward in the work we have been doing! Bunny has worked really hard with fractions more then anything. She is also reading everyday and working on her project. We were able to sketch out a pattern plan for her skirt and it allowed some real life math practice. Pup has been really interested in coloring and writing letters in “words”. She is still not able to isolate the sounds in words to write them out, but we are starting to put the sounds she knows into words and she thinks this is exciting! Another new thing for her this week is the moveable alphabet! She knows almost all the alphabet sounds and I thought it was time to pull it out. She LOVED it! So we will start working with that! Pup is also coloring and creating things endlessly with all the craft supplies. But enough talk. Here is what we did this week!

 

 

 

Pup and learned about living and non living and the needs of living things!

All in all it was a good week! I love that they are interested and have been mostly good at working right along! I hope that you all had a great week! Happy Schooling Everyone!

 
 
 
 


School Week Wrap Up!

The week has been an interesting one. The time change really seemed to mess with all of our heads, so our work time in the beginning of the week was pretty rough. Everything was boring and both girls were rather less then interested in working! But we did get some good stuff done! Bunny (who decided that she hated math) started adding and subtracting fractions and she also was doing more work with the bead frame. She has been making some math problems on the chalk board all on her own and solving them. We also did a review on some of the grammar symbols we learned since we took a break from grammar. She also been working on All About Spelling and writing some letters to me! On a really exciting note, she has chosen a new project that I think will be a longer lasting one. She is going to design her own clothes! We’ll see how it goes! 🙂 Pup did her number rods all by herself, and she is working on her sandpaper letters! She also did a bit more work on her Cheetah project. She made a cheetah out of a pop bottle, painted some cheetahs on the board she made last week, and she traced an African map out of a book (she was really interested in where the water was). Here are the pictures of our learning!

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
So that was our week! It was really rough at points, but it ended well! Our Montessori work has been good. Pup’s interest in rivers has me thinking of some geography presentations, and maybe some zoology work tool. Her cheetah project seems to be winding down, so it would be a good time to add something new and fun! Bunny is still working away and I think that we are going to keep going with some fraction work and we are going to get back into grammar. Both are things she loves! I hope your week went really well too! Happy Schooling!


Montessori Monday~ Playtime and Montessori



Last week Pup was working more on her Cheetah project and as I worked with Bunny I realized that she was crawling all over the room with her stuffed cheetah in her mouth. She told me that it was her cub and she was the momma cheetah. She then proceeded to hide her cub in the tall grass and go hunting {Which was too cute}. She crept along the floor and then started to run on her hands and knees as fast as she could! She then brought her cub back some of the gazelle she caught. It was really sweet, but it got me thinking about play in the Montessori classroom. Traditionally Montessori classrooms dont have play as we know it. However, Montessori referred to the work a child does as play and games. Each and every work that was created was created to be play. Hmmm…it makes the whole view of Montessori just a little bit different, less ridged, and more accessible to me personally. However, it didnt address the issues of imaginary play. Honestly, Maria Montessori didnt believe that children needed that in the classroom. Why? That is the big question. Why no imaginary play? Well she observed that the child would rather learn to use the real material then to play with the toys that were in her first Casa. And you know what, she was right! Kids would rather help in the kitchen, then play with a kitchen set. Or they would rather sweep a real floor then use a pretend sweeper and rather wash themselves then wash a doll. But they cant always be using real things in a real place. Kids need down time too. They need to play. In observing my own kids and other kids, they love to work, but they also need to play. In fact sometimes their play is a reflection of what they have been thinking about and learning about, like Pup being a cheetah. They need the down time to absorb more fully the deep things that they were presented with, to explore new ideas, and to relax. Now these are just my observations, but I think that this is one of those “aha moments” that make me realize again that a Montessori homeschool is vastly different from a school. Playtime and work start to become the same thing and all an important part of total learning. So how do we make playtime and Montessori work together? Here are a few tips on what we do to make this work together:

1) Keep it simple We have mostly open ended toys. I have gotten rid of any movie or character toys and most toys that move, need batteries, and all that little junk stuff that seems to filter in!  We kept the blocks, the trains, the kitchen toys, the dolls, the Barbies, the Playmobiles, the Polly Pockets, animal models, and of course Legos! Everything has many ways to play with it. The people can go different places and be different things. They can work together and create all kinds of world. And the girls do! They are happier with a few baskets of good stuff then with a room full of everything!

2) Make it Pretty Like Maria Montessori says, the enviroment is the teacher. Make sure that everything is arranged well and organized in a way that allows for the child to see what he has to play with, and to be able to clean up what he got out. This doesnt mean that they will clean up one thing before they get out another. It is playtime, not school time. Mixing is encouraged and really good. It means that they are really experiencing their thoughts. You can even use rugs to help them create an area if you have more then one child and space is something that becomes an issues. However, sometime working together is better and more fun!

3) Make it Creative Creativity is so important! Playtime is not work time. So let the kids make things, make a bit of a mess, and really dig deep into what they are thinking. Art supplies (if possible), playdough, craft supplies, blocks, pieces of wood, what ever the kids need to create something that is meaningful! And relax….it can all be cleaned up (at least that’s what I tell myself)!

4) Make it Real This is super important! Add things to the play area that are real and are a part of what you are learning about! Studying the ocean? Add some shells and a blue material to the play area. Are they plaything kitchen? The come in with groceries, real ones! Are they making a house? Find some cardboard or blankets that you can leave for them to use! You dont need to say anything, just add it and see what happens. They wont always do something with it, but its there to think about! Play and learning is the same thing and if you have a real stuff then they are going to respond to that by applying what they are learning!

5) Make it Fun   This is not a structured time and its time for kids really be and explore their world in the safety of their playroom! So relax and let it happen! It will be messy, it will be a little bit out of control sometimes, but it will be good and it will make memories and thoughts real! And feel free to play too, but only if they want you there! It is their world, just like the kitchen is your world! Dont take over and do what ever you think it should be. Ask how and if you should do something! It will make their day and it will really help you get a chance to see into their minds a little bit!

6) Make it Practical Life Work Think outside the box and add some practical life work to their play area! Pour tea, give the baby a bath, invite your guests to a party, etc. You get the idea! Use water, beans, tables, whatever to let them practice all those skills that they have been practicing in their work time! They keep absorbing their skills while playing!

So those are some thoughts about making time for play within a Montessori home! They all work together and really there is room for both! It is a beautiful time in their lives and there is no reason to leave it out because it doesnt fit with an education method. Play! Its fun! Its Important, Its good for them! If you want to see some really awesome Montessori fun, stop on by Montessori Monday! I am linking up there so join the party! Happy Schooling and Happy Playtime!!!!

meireles.blossom@mailxu.com storniolo_yolando