Days of the Week

Well I have decided to finish our talk about the calender this week. Bunny really isn’t that interested, but I thought that I would just keep at the theme this week and move on next! I had a brainstorm on how to help Bunny understand the value of a day, week, month, and year. I though that I would use the Montessori Bead material to help her grasp the number of days in each. So I put a unit bead for a day, and 7 bar for a week, four 7 bars for a month ( I also showed three 10 bars to show how some months have more days), and I put 3 hundred squares, six 10 bars, and a 5 bar to show the days in a year. I wasn’t sure how this would work, but she was really impressed with the how she could see the days. I don’t know if anyone else has thought of doing this for calender work, or even if┬áthat’s how you are supposed to do it, but it really seemed to help her get it! After I presented it to her, I asked if she would like to write the names of each value to go under each group on the tray, and of course she did! ­čÖé Here is our time tray.

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After that it was business as usual! Bunny did some work with the cylinder blocks. Then she tried to put the blue cylinders into the corresponding cylinder block. This was super challenging for her! I think that we will work more with that. I may offer her the chance to work with two different colors later on.

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Bunny didn’t want me to take any pictures until she was done! So no pic of her working so hard!

I was very proud of Pup today too, since she was almost able to complete a work cycle! She got out a rug, got a cylinder block (with some help since they are a little big for her), did her work, then put it back (after a small reminder) and “rolled” up her rug!

Our other big news today is, that we visited an Atrium for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and the girls LOVED it! The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a program that was designed by one of Maria Montessori’s collaborator Gianna Gobbi and Sofia Cavalletti a bible scholar. It is based on the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and Marie Montessori education principles! It is a wonderful way for the girls to experience God in a deep, hands-on way. If you want to know more about this here is a link to their national office. http://www.cgsusa.org/

Well…today was not how I planned.

So today was one of those days that just didn’t go as planned! Sometimes you just have to know when to quite. School work was not a good idea. We did try it, but no was able to concentrate, so we just let it go today. I don’t know if that is something that is a good idea, but sometimes it preserves the sanity of the mommy and the fire of learning in the kids! ­čÖé We were trying to talk about the days of the week, but short of a couple of songs, it was not fun for anyone. Bunny just doesn’t want to talk about this. Its moments like this that I really feel like I need more information and training in Montessori to know what I need to be doing. Do I let it go totally and move on ( I mean she will pick it up as we work on our daily calender) or do I try┬ánew activities┬átomorrow? If there are any thoughts on this, please let me know.

On the plus side, Pup has been working with the cylinder blocks with great concentration and she even is playing with the Pink Tower (no one else up to this point has even shown interest in it). She is also LOVING her winter dressing basket! I think that I will have to make a new one each month. She seems to really like the “dressing up” aspect of it!

Bunny has been creating alot with paper still! She thought of rolling it up to make some 3D thing. If I let her create, she will go for hours! She also did some botany puzzles ( I gave them to her for Christmas and she loves them. I dont have the control charts out for them yet, I will bring those out later). She also cleaned her room, and cleaned all the baseboards yesterday.

So that is what we are up to right now! Let me know what you think or if you have ideas! I love comments! ­čÖé

That’s right….another AWESOME giveaway!!!!!!

I don’t know what it is, but I keep coming across the best giveaways ever and I would love to win this one! It is at Itsy Bitsy Learners and they are giving away a Worldwide Online Montessori Course for Pre- Primary!!!!! I have been trying to find a course to take so that I can really do thing right for the girls and this is a chance to WIN one! All I can say is that this really made my day better! I hope you will check it out! Good Luck!
http://itsybitsylearners.blogspot.com/2011/01/win-worldwide-montessori-online-course.html

Making Dinner

The other day I decided that I really needed to work on practical life things with Bunny and Pup. They love to help in the kitchen, and so I let them make dinner! It turned out much better then I thought! They are really quite good at listening and helping when I get out of the way and let them work! It also goes much better when they each have their own work to do. We had meatloaf and rolls for dinner. Bunny did the meatloaf almost by herself (I told her what to put in and how much, but she did the rest) and Pup made the crescent rolls ( out of a can, but she “rolled” them herself!). It was┬áa huge success! They both were very proud of their work and ate dinner without any problem (Pup must have eaten 3 rolls).

 Pouring SO carefully
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 Adding milk
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 Grinding carrots
(I know that using a grater would have been better “work” but baby carrots are too small)

┬áMixing (she didn’t like this part)

 Making them mini meatloaves

┬áPup “rolling” her rolls (it was more of a fold)

She did SO well!
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So from now on I think that we are going to do alot more “work”. Montessori was right about┬áwork bringing peace and contentment to the child! Both girls were so kind and nice the rest of the evening. They really do enjoy it if you let them do it themselves. Bunny used to help me clean the house all the time, but then she lost interest and I let it go. But after the dinner they made,┬áI realized that maybe she just masted the tasks I gave her and I never gave her something more! So tomorrow, (its clean the house day after school time) I will offer a variety of tasks that both girls can do to help out. I’ll let you know how our practical life work goes!

Shoveling and Scooping!

Well I haven’t posted much lately. Sorry. We have been so busy with errands, meeting, and general house stuff. Unfortunately that means that our school has kinda been uneventful. So I have some cute and sweet day to day things that happened after my last post that I thought I would share.

Tuesday (after I posted my blog post) the girls both got some great practical life experience! With all the snow that fell. My hubby had to shovel when he got home form work, and Bunny got to help with her shovel! It was so cute to watch her trying shovel all that heavy snow, but she did a great job, and I know she felt so big! ­čÖé

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While Bunny was out with Dad, Pup (who is too small to try and walk through all that snow) got to fill up the new bird feeder! She loved to scoop out the seed from the bucket and pour it into the funnel! (After that we had a sweeping lesson!)

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 To end the day, my hubby let both the girls crawl into a box that had come (I finally got the baskets for my toy cabinet. They look good!). The girls loved to jump in the packing peanuts! The photo op was just too good!

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┬áYesterday, my sister decided to go to Hobby Lobby and pick up some painting stuff to make some paintings for the walls in my front room. Now neither of us are painters, but I saw some awesome birds that were on some canvases at Pier 1, and I wasn’t able to┬ápay $60 for them. So she said we should try to make them! So far they aren’t looking too bad. I’m really surprised. I will post some pics on them in a few days when they are done! Till then have fun!

Seasons and the Year

We have jumped back into our Montessori classroom guild (for a while at least). January is all about time. So we start with the seasons, then move into the calender (this program moves at lightening speed, so I only use bits and pieces of it each month, the rest I come up with as I go).┬áThey introduce the Celebration of Life ceremony at this point, but I think that I will hold off on that till Bunny’s birthday in a couple of weeks. So anyway here is what we have done the past couple of days.

Seasons´╗┐
On Monday we talked about the seasons and I was very delighted to find out that Bunny had absorbed some of it without me telling her! So we read a few books in┬á our circle time about the seasons and then I showed her the four seasons cards that I printed from ´╗┐http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/. I told her to match the tree with the correct season name. She cant read so I told her to listen to the beginning sound. She did and she matched them all correctly!!! Yeah!
After we made a seasons wheel. First we traced a plate and cut out a circle. Then she wrote the season names on the wheel (I sounded them out for her). Then she stuck season┬ástickers around each word. Finally we cut out an arrow and stuck it in the center with a brad. So now we have a wheel that will point to the correct season! She loved it! (I did laminate the wheel part before I put on the arrow since the stickers weren’t staying well. I went to cut it and I was promptly told that “I can do that MOM”. ).
Bunny working on the seasons wheel. Pup wanted to do it too.
Seasons Wheel´╗┐
Then we did some seasonal clothes sorting cards:
 (they were from http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/ too)
We also played with some of the regular Montessori materials as well! It was a good day!
Months of the Year´╗┐
Today we moved on to months of the year.´╗┐ Bunny is trying very hard to understand the concept years, months, days, and minutes. So I thought that this would something that would be good for her to learn. We started our school day with circle time┬á(as always) and we read a few books on the months in a year. She like those quite a bit. Even pup listened to some of them. ­čÖé Next I printed out the calender set from http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/. Its part of their free downloads (They have the best selection of freebies. That’s where you can find all of the things I used in this blog). I printed off on complete set, then I copied the calender part 11 times ­čÖé I had Bunny write out the names of each month at the top of a calender page and then write the year on each page too. She is really in a writing sensitive period it seems, cause she did it all and wanted to keep going. So I had her fill in the January calender┬ásquares with the right numbers. That started to get a little frustrating for her toward the end, but she was really proud of her work! So was I! I figured we can do the other months as we go!
Working SO hard´╗┐
Finished January Calender´╗┐
I also found a months of the year work that requires her to put the months in the right order. We did it once, but it is still a little hard since we are still learning their order and she cant read. It does have a control chart thought, so she can practice. ­čÖé I printed that out at (you guessed it!) http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/
So that is our update for now! ­čÖé The snow is starting to fly again here (we are supposed to get 3-5 in. today) so be prepared for more winter posts!

Independence is Good!

In Montessori schools there is a great emphasis on independence. Since we have been doing a winter theme in our schoolroom this month, I thought that I would make a winter dressing basket for Pup. This will allow her to practice putting on mittens, hats, scarves, etc. I had the idea a couple weeks ago, and I finally got it together today (I kept forgetting!). The basket has a bunch of things in it:

Thin Mittens
Thick Mittens 
Hat
Ski Hat
A Scarf
Socks
Boots

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Pup was so excited about it that it never made it to the schoolroom before she was in it! ­čÖé┬á Bunny soon joined her and they spent a good part of the morning in winter gear!

Putting on her own mittens!

Look at them working so hard!

Isn’t she cute?┬á

The other inspiration for this was the few inches of snow that we got last night! (I know that its not much for around here this time of year, but the girls were excited). So after a little work this morning we headed out to the park for some sledding! Bunny was so excited I thought she was going to explode! Pup was not real thrilled with the idea of snow pants or the boots. We were there early enough that there wasn’t many people on the hill. Bunny wanted to go down right away!

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She loved it this year. Last year she was still little unsure! After sledding for a bit, we went out to the pond and played on the ice! Bunny loved it! Pup was too cold to care and getting tired. So we went back to the hill for a few more runs down on the sled before we headed home! Bunny wanted to go down the hill alone. I wasn’t sure, but she really wanted to, so I said ok. She went right down and loved it!
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I was SO proud of her. She was proud of herself! So today was a great day for Independence! Pup learned to put her own hat on , and Bunny went sledding down the hill alone! Hurray for Independence!

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