Sensorial

Happy First Day of Summer

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Today is the first day of summer and we spent it in a very summery way! We had some friends over and spent the day playing outside! I carried our Ocean fun outside again today by making some Oobleck for the kids. Bunny has been saying how she only wants to do science, so I made sure that I explained the science behind how the molecules behaved and she felt like we really did science! (I didn’t know how it work, but this blog shared their knowledge). We also made some hypothesis about what we thought some ocean animals would do if they were placed in the oobleck. Bunny thought that they would float, they didn’t. It was interesting to see how the liquid really baffled them! Plus it was full of sensory fun! This is really an outside fun thing. The best part of it had to be that it just hosed right off! So how did I make it? Simple:

~ 2 Boxes of Corn Starch (or six cups)

~ 4 1/2 cups of water

~ Few drops of food coloring

Mix it all together in a big bowl. It should look watery on top, but be solid on the bottom. When you scoop it up, it should be hard and almost dry, but as it sits in your hand it will “melt”. Then its ready to play! There is a ton of interesting science involved with all of this, and a lot of opportunities to talked about states of matter and making hypothesis! Have you tried this before? What do you love best about this? Share your ideas! I hope your summer kicked off to a lot of fun too! Happy Summer!

 

Pink Tower is New Again!

The last couple of days I have been trying to find ways to get Pup interested in the sensorial work again. I dont think that she is done with it yet, and I just needed to find something that will add a spark to this! So I found a great post on some Pink Tower and Brown Stair extensions! So I showed Pup some ideas and we picked one to do together! She loved it! We have done a quite a few of them the last few days! Even Bunny got interested! I see alot more of this in our future!

 

 
This week has been a great one for work time, but I have realized that we need to get back to making sure that work time is fun, interesting and challenging too! For Bunny, she needs to get back to having fun while she learns! Its not just about a to do list. This week has been a great start so far. Pup I think needs to be challenged more. So I have been trying really hard to pull out the extensions that I never have with her so that she can start to find new work on her own with the materials we have! It is so easy to get into a rut and not move out of it. How do you make learning fun and refresh old work?


Schooling in the Dark

Well..it wasnt really in the dark, but the electricity went out first thing this morning. I wasnt sure if we were going to do any school work today since we do our work in the basement and without lights its just a black hole! So, we improvised! School work was relocated to our playroom! It worked out pretty well. For Bunny I grabbed the fraction circles, and the geometry sticks. For Pup I grabbed some practical life trays and cylinder blocks! We have been really busy this week and that combined with the cold I caught the other day, we really havent gotten to any school work. So this was our day! I presented the next geometry work and the next fraction work! Bunny loved them and worked for a really long time! She is really understanding the fraction work and I know I she is going to keep running with it! I think we will be doing alot with them in the near future! She also LOVES the geometry sticks! We worked on building different shapes from the geometry cabinet (I dont have the cabinet, but I have the cards so we used those to learn some of the names). She didnt love trying to learn the names, but she enjoyed the challenge of trying to build them! 🙂

 
After that, we played go fetch with the fractions. I wrote a fraction on our chalk board and she went a got it for me! She did a perfect job and was almost board with it! So I asked her to pick some pieces out and then write the fraction she got. She thought that was fun and did a lot of silly ones like 3/3.  So we reviewed the numerator and denominator and then moved on to the next presentation! Bunny and I talked about equivalency! We worked together to figure out which fraction families could replace each other. For example, 1/2, is the same as 2/4, 3/6, 4/8, and 5/10. She loved this so much! I think we will do it again and I want to encourage her make some fraction books, and the other extensions in my albums!
 

 
While Bunny was working, Pup and I did some fun games with the cylinder blocks. I know that she likes them, but since they were presented early on, she really loosed a little interest because she thinks there is nothing new to do! So I pulled out some extensions for her to play with! The first thing we did was add the nomenclature that goes with the block, thick, thin, tall, short, etc. She really loves the idea of the different words and loved pulling the cylinders out and using the words to describe them! After we did that for a bit, I put two blocks together for her to work with! She liked that too! She told me that she really wanted to sit and make some discoveries! So we sat looked. I started to pull out a couple of the cylinders and lined them up. Pup thought that was the coolest idea ever and finished what I started. She told me it was a great discovery! 😉
 

 
She did a lot of other little thing too! She asked that I take pictures for her, so I will make sure to post them all! She likes to sit and look at the blog sometimes! I think that it makes her happy to see pictures of what she has done and what we do as a family!
 

 
So that this what we did while there was no power in the house today! On a side note, the girls had a great time watching the repair men climb the pole in the back yard to fix the problem. While they were working, Bunny wanted to know what electricity was, how much of it there was, how does it get in the wires, etc. I wasnt feeling well enough for a trip to the library to help her with the questions, so I guess I will try to get there tomorrow! It looks like maybe we will be learning about that!
 
What is always amazing to me is how kids will find something that is interesting to them and then will learn whatever they can about it, no matter what you do! The things Maria Montessori observed so long ago are still things that are observable today! Kids have an inner drive to learn and they want to do it! They are curious about life, how it work, and what happens! Just like the early humans, kids are using the unique gifts given to humans to learn, grow, and find new ways to do things!It is amazing to think that thousands, even millions of year have not changed the intelligence, the love, and the creativity of man! Kids are no different! They are born ready to learn, grow, and use their gifts.  All you need to do it prepare a place for them to find the information. The thing is that this place doesnt need to look like a Montessori classroom, it just needs to work for you and your kids. The beauty is that you work with them to find the best way! Then the learning that happens can go as deep as you let it!  So here is to learning! Happy Schooling Everyone!
 


Reading, Writing, and Work Time!

When the girls woke up this morning, I asked what they wanted to discover in school today! Well,  what they wanted to discover was words….lots of words! Pup has been try to sounds things out and I thought it was time to start teaching some sandpaper letters! Boy was she excited! She had a rug out, paper and pencil, and was waiting for me first thing! I showed her a few that we tried to learn a few months ago and this time she was ready! I showed her each one, and said it name. She traced it just like I did, said the sound, and then wanted to write them down! She worked so hard and we did it three times, then she asked for a new sound! I offered her two more and she wrote those too! I was really impressed and I think she is hitting her sensitive period of writing!

These are the letters we did today!
 
While I was working with Pup, Bunny pulled out the grammar farm all on her own and she read a bunch of labels! I was really proud that she chose to read on her own without my asking her to pick something!
 
 
After she read for a while, she decided that she wanted to write a book! And she did! She made up a character and wrote full sentences on each page! Instead of asking her to sound words out, I just told her the spelling and it cut down on the frustration for all of us and let her be successful! Since I know that she knows her sounds, I felt like I could just give her the spelling of a word and she would be able to look at it and “hear” the sounds herself! I guess backing off it working for now! Here is the book that she made today! I am over the moon about how hard she worked! 🙂
 

 
Isnt it a great book? I am shocked that she was able to write so much on her own! I havent been able to get her to write sentences and I know that this was alot of work for her today! I hope that with all of the help you all offered, I will be able to keep encouraging her and make sure I say things in a way that will help her correct her work and still be ok!
 
There was alot of other fun work done today too! Pup was rather busy and Bunny made sure she did a little bit of everything!
 

 
It was a great day here! I hope you are having a great week too! Happy Schooling!
 


Montessori Monday~ Work in session!

Well it has been a rather busy day! I feel like I have a million things to do and I really planned on taking it easy with school work. I figured that one more week of summer before we got into a full schedule would be a good thing for everyone (mostly because I am still working on that schedule)! But the girls decided that we should do school anyway. Who am I to say no? So they worked and worked hard! Bunny worked with some money, reading, and using the insets to practice pencil control (I showed her how to do the different designs)! She really enjoyed that! Pup was all ready to go to work! I showed her some new presentations with the Pink Tower and the Brown Stair. She really loved it! After I finished the presentation, she got to work. When I told her that I needed to help Bunny, she told me to be be quiet because she was making discoveries! 🙂 How precious is that? Here is pictures of my ladies hard at work!

Pink Tower on its side

She was so proud! 🙂

Here I have sorted the cubes out on two rugs. Pup has to build the tower. Its hard because she cant see them all at the same time. She did a great job! I was shocked to find that she could do it almost perfectly the first time! She did it once on its side, and the next time in the tower!

We also tried the Brown Stair in a vertical direction. She mastered the horizontal way the first time and vertical was no different! She is really amazingly good at these works!

After that she was on to some practical life work and she really made some fun discoveries! She poured out some colors and them was so excited to show me that one was bigger then the other. I need to talk about quantity terms I think for her! She is really into finding different sizes in things! I think that I will represent the cylinder blocks tomorrow for her! She will like to see the different sizes.

She did it! This was a hard one for her!
 
Bunny and I really worked on money today! She and I talked about how much each coin was worth. This is actually a hard concept for her to get. I think we are going to need lots of practice!!!!

She worked so hard though and actually kick me out of her area so she could work better! Hooray! Maybe she is getting better at working independently!

After that, Bunny was on to the insets! I noticed that she is writing really hard all the time. I am hoping that this work will help her with that lightness of touch!

 
So there we have it! Our work day! Things are getting to a point where the school work is going well and I think that next we are going to rock the Great Lessons!!!! Be sure to stop back! I am linking up to Montessori Monday! Stop by there and see all the awesome Montessori work! Happy Schooling!
 


Montessori Monday~ Air

I hope that you all had an amazing Easter! I know that we did! My girlies were super cute (if I do say so myself) in their Easter finery! I posted up all the pictures of them here!
Anyway, on to the business of the day….we are back to school today and working on the next element of our Waseca Biome Study~ Air! Since we were still recovering from all of our Easter fun, it was a simple presentation day. We talked a bit about how the plants use the air to grow and they make oxygen for the animals, and the animals make carbon dioxide which the plants need. It is a complicate “dance” that living things do with the air we so desperately need! After that I let the girls get to work with what they chose! I did make a few air related work and I think that there will be a couple more that will be added as we talk more about air this week. Here are the pictures of the trays I have out this week!

Blow Away or Stand Still
(this is like sink or float, the child guess what she thinks each object will do, then blows to see if it move or if it stand still!)

Sponge Tower
(Child will build the tower with the tongs and then blow it over!)

Blowing across the top of the bottles to hear the different sounds!
Our work time today was better then I thought it would be. Bunny worked on some reading and some skip counting. Pup and I worked together a bit today and I think that I need to really try and work more with her since she is clearly ready for the “big girl” work! She completed the binomial cube several times today for the first time and she was really proud!
More puzzles!!!! She has been on a roll with this!

This work was pretty tricky for Bunny, but she really was interested in trying to hear the different sounds that the bottles made!

Object boxes. Bunny read all the words today in the box! There are quite a few in there and she did really great! I think that we are getting closer to reading more!!!!

She was so very proud that she was able to do the binomial cube all by herself!

Both girls pulled out the different cubes! They really love these works and Pup is so happy that she was able to do the work on her own!

Skip counting by fives.

Pup and I played with the red rods! I laid down on the floor and she laid the rods the length of me! She thought it was super funny to “measure” me with rods!!!! After she did me a few times, I “measured” her! It was fun and she thought it was the best!

I showed her the red rod maze again. She handed me the rods as I needed them and she really has figured out which ones are the longest!

She also has been drawing! That is me with the red rods down the side there! I love that she is noticing and processing so much!
That is what we were up to today!!!! We are off to another good week I hope! Be sure to stop by later this week, for more air fun! I hope that you all stop by and see Deb at Living Montessori Now! I linked up there! Happy Schooling everyone!!!!

The {not so messy} Rice Sensory Play!

Today I needed to find something for Tadpole to do and rice is what I had on hand. Now, contrary to all Montessori Principles, I hate free sensory play when it has the potential to sped all over my house like a disease. I am good with play dough, I love to paint, I will bake all day, but give me a sensory bin that can be spilled a million ways….well let just say my kids have only done it a few times! The fact is I LOVE the idea of sensory bins! They are beautiful, and wonderful, and everything a kid loves! I really wish I was better about it, but I’m not. So today I really tried to think a way to let Tadpole have fun without me having rice ALL OVER MY KITCHEN!!!! So I tried to show him how to play in the bowl only. This work for a bit. He was very deliberate about his movement, but let’s face it, its just more fun to pour it really fast! 🙂 So, in a small stroke of genius, I put him and the bowl of rice on a table cloth in the middle of the kitchen! It was wonderful! The rice stayed mostly on the tablecloth, and Tadpole was able to really experiment with the rice! It turned out really well and when he was done I poured the rice back in the bowl, shook the cloth outside, and swept up the few remaining bits of rice! Perfect way to do rice!

How do you do let you kids have some sensory fun without having a huge mess too?


Montessori Work Day!

Today we had a great work day! Both girls enjoys quite a bit of hard work! I love it when we get down to work and all the girls do really well! It was a pretty typical day, but we managed to cover almost all the subject areas! Here is what we did!

We started off with some seasonal work off the shelves, but we quickly moved on to bigger and more difficult works!

I saw this amazing idea at Montessori Moments. You write letters on the chalk board and the child makes them disappear by tracing over them with a damp paint brush!!!!! Bunny loved it and it was a wonderful way to practice her letters! She started doing numbers and I pointed out that she as making them backwards (this has been a issue for a while and she not self correcting so its time for me to step in). This inspired her to later practice her numbers on some manuscript paper!

Pup has wanted to try the binomial cube for a while, so i showed her how to do it. It is really tricky for her, but she has been sticking with it. She was able to do all of it several times so long as I helped her a bit. She did concentrate really hard!

She was so happy when she got it all done!

After she finished her “math” (Binomial cube), Pup decided to water paint on the chalk board.

Wrapping gifts work

Pup spent a long time on the floor blowing a tiny piece of Styrofoam across the floor! Silly Girl!

Here is Bunny doing a reading work that I found on Chasing Cheerios! It is matching object with actions sentences! Its a great version of the early reading game where the child reads the paper, then does what it says! This uses objects and Bunny loved it! It took her a while to get the confidence up to realize that she can read them! But she did all four and was really proud!

We also played the addition snake game again! She likes it, but she only wanted to do it once.
At least I got the rules and process right! 🙂

Here is Bunny doing that number practice! I wrote the numbers at the top of the page for reference, and she wrote them below!

Here is her work. Mine are on the top line and hers are below! She had a hard time at first. They were going all different ways! So I told her that if she traced the sandpaper numbers first, that it would help her brain remember how the numbers are supposed to go. She thought that was a great idea and traced each number before she wrote it and the difference was amazing! I love Montessori material!

We also worked on a few double letter phonographs. She knows mostly all of them! I though we had quite a few more to work on, but we are almost through all of them! I guess I need to make some practice work for her to do with them!

We also played with metal insets and Bunny came up with quite a few things to make with them that are Christmasy!

Pup also tried some dressing frames. Bunny tried the tying frame again too! This pretty much wrapped up our work time today and I think the girls did a great job! Happy Schooling!
How has your school week been? Are you still doing school even though the holiday fun is starting up?


New Math Work {and awesome work day}!!!

Well today I stayed home this morning with the girls and got them into a really steady work period! It started off with Bunny wanting to write in cursive! Yikes! I was not prepared for that! So I quickly printed off a chart showing cursive letters and I showed her how to write her name in cursive! This led to me showing Bunny how to write on the lines with that think lined manuscript paper that the use in schools. It took a little bit, but she enjoyed trying to make the letters look like the sample page I wrote out! I was happy that she took an interest in this since her handwriting is something that we needed to work on! I guess keeping my mouth closed can lead to her taking an interest in exactly what she needs to learned! Montessori is awesome! 🙂

After she wrote a few words on her own she moved on to a new work that I made for her {does anyone else make materials while their kids are working hard at something else?}. This new math idea came from a blog Kingdom of the Pink Princess and I just had to try it! I wrote some simple addition problems on Popsicle sticks that didnt add up to more then 9. I then pulled out the spindle boxes, minus the spindles! The work for Bunny was to add them up and put the sticks in the slot that had the right sum on it. For example if the stick had 3+4, then Bunny would put the stick in the 7 spot. It is am amazing way to reuse the spindle box! Bunny loved it! She has been really excited about being able to add and subtract with her fingers and this let her practice that! As I watched her work, I realized that with all the adding on her fingers, she has memorized quite a few problems! She just knew so many more then I realized! Yeah for her!

While Bunny was working, Pup was hard at work too! Pup worked on the ring stacker and it was great to watch her self correct when she put them in the wrong order! After that she moved on to doing our napkin ring work from our thanksgiving trays. She really enjoyed this! After she got them all in the rings, she took them out and folded them all back up! Another work I was able to get her interested in was the red rods! I asked her to get the longest rod and lay it on the floor in another part of the room and we did this till the rods were built. Then she took them all back and put them in the proper order! I was shocked that she was able to do it well! She hasnt been able to do it before and I have been waiting for her just “get it”! She hasnt been able to line them up at an end though, but she did try! Maybe in the spring she’ll be ready for some sandpaper numbers! But sandpaper letters is what we moved on to after that! She loved tracing the sounds and then trying make them in the sand. She memory of the sounds isnt quite there, but I think it will happen as we go! 🙂 I have tried to play sound games with her, but she just doesnt have any interest in it. But I will keep trying!

When Pup was working, Bunny had really had taken off in math and wanted to learn more. So I pulled out some work that I thought Bunny would like, the squaring beads! I used the presentation that was in the Karen Tyler albums and she loved it! First we explored the beads by laying them all out in line with the squares at the end. Then i had her pick one of them and we saw how it folded up to become the same as the square. The we counted the beads one by one. Each time we got to the end of a bead bar, we put an arrow there with the number there! At the end I would say “9 is the square of 3” and we would do another one. We worked until we got too hungry and went to eat lunch!

 It was a really great work and I really motivated me to try harder to get more time in. They do so well when I make time to work with them! So I hope that you all have had a great week so far! We went together to see the Christmas Lights at our zoo tonight and the girls had an amazing time! Will be post pictures on that tomorrow!

Montessori Monday~ Christmas Season Fun!

Well everyone, I am finally on top of the holiday! I have Christmas trays out now! Plus I have a few more that I will change out as we go through the month! I hope that this will work. My thought is that we are going to be so busy doing so many other amazing things this month, that we may not get as much work time in with the trays. So this will allow me to change a few, but leave them out long enough for the girls to really work with them! So here is what I have out this week!

Sorting Buttons by Size
(This one was so fun because Bunny had no idea what it was for since all the buttons were together. 🙂

Sorting Buttons
(Bunny has been really into sorting!)

Spooning Beads into a vase with a Funnel
(yes this is still out! It is amazing how excited they are when I change the beads)

Polishing a Mirror
(I found a new mirror, so the kids are all excited about this too)

PomPom Tweezing
(This is really for Tadpole since he cant hurt it! We are still fighting the throwing works)

Tonging Ornaments into Box
(This was a big hit too! Another one for Tadpole. He is loving tongs, so I am giving him some options)

A Sensory Bin!
(Its been a while, but I found something that Tadpole cant choke on, that my dog cant eat,
and I dont need to sweep up every few minutes! Hooray!)
Here is what is in it:
Gift Bows
Tongs
Star Box (there is a button inside)
Giant Jingle Bell
Pinecone
Snowman
Snowflake
 Prophecy tray for the First Week of Advent 
(This tray had papers with the prophecy printed on in the lightest gray scale possible in Monotype Cursive. All the kids need to do is trace the words with a marker and then glue it on the purple paper.)

So needless to say there was a great deal of excitement over all the new trays! They really jumped right in when they got down to the school room. Bunny and Bug got right to work. Tadpole dug into the sensory bin right away! And Pup wanted to figure out what how she could do more then one at a time. 🙂 They worked so hard for quite a while, but it just didnt last as long as I wanted them to. I will be honest, we only worked for about 45 min. Oh well, it was one of those days! But they did do some good work while it lasted! Here is what we did!
Bug had a hard time with the chopsticks, but she tried it.

Tadpole loved this for about 2 minutes! 😉

Bunny really liked using the new mirror work!

As I predicted, Tadpole loved the tonging! He is still trying to figure out the open close, but he’s getting it!

Here are the girls working so well! I love that they look busy together!

If you noticed, after they finished, they switched trays! 🙂

Pup wanted to try this, so I helped her out a bit. This was really beyond her. She did well once I sorted out the sets and then asked her for the “next biggest”.

She moved on to the ornament work. She liked this one, but said that I put too many in the basket because they couldn’t fit in the box with the lid closed! So I guess my control was off! Montessori Kids are great! 😉

Bunny really liked this! She did a great job and wanted me to take a picture of her tray when she finished!

Here is Bunny tracing over the Prophecy card for the week! I loved that she Illuminated it with her own art work! She did a wonderful job! I hope that this work will, not only allow her to connect with the prophecy, but also her her handwriting as well!

She really concentrated on this!

Bug did this whole puzzle! I was proud of her since last time she tried it she couldn’t quite get it!

Tadpole really wanted to do a cylinder block! This was something that he actually sat and concentrated on for a bit! Yeah! I am seeing some growing in his work ability and that makes me happy!

There was also a ton of art work that got done, and some inset practice as well!

Bug was really proud of her work and carried it around the rest of the day with her!

Pup is really been working on her coloring! She is getting a hang of that three finger grip! 🙂

Tadpole even tried listening to a few sound containers. It didnt last too long, but he had fun.

Here is Bunny’s Advent wreath with the oval Inset!

Pup pulled the Binomial Cube out and tried it, but she couldn’t get it. So Bug took it over! With a little of my help representing it, she was able to do it and was really proud!

This of course inspired Bunny to pull out the trinomial cube. This lead her to realize that she forgot how to put it together! It took a bit, but she got it! I guess we will have to do it again!

Here is her word list for today. She is doing really well writing. I am trying to keep her interested. I hope that since she has been writing words with ease that reading is coming soon!

And, yes there is alot of hoping for snow here! 🙂 Bunny made this with the insets!
So that is our day today. Now in the spirit of honesty, this was the best few minutes of the day. I think that my girls were in time out almost as much as they were working. And even though it all looks so peaceful, I spent quite a bit of time yelling at my kids to stop yelling and to just listen to me. Sigh….it was a rough day. I love having a blog to stop and look at all the good moments. It helps me to see past the negative and to get the strength to go forward tomorrow. It lets me see the amazing progress and learning that my kids did while I was trying to get my head together.Do you have days like this?
Now, aside from my harder day, there are a ton of great moms out there with really wonderful weeks that are sharing ideas over at Living Montessori Now and  One Hook Wonder! I am linking up there!
On a another side note I was wondering what you all think of my blog. Is there something that could make it better or easier to use? Is there a certain type of post that you would like to see more of? Are the pictures helpful or too much? I just wanted to get your input since I write as much for me as for you! 🙂 You are all the best readers ever and I cant tell you how amazingly blessed I m to know you all! Thanks for stopping by and reading! Happy Schooling! 🙂

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