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Page 72 – Discovering Moments of Happily Ever After

Our New Friends!

Yesterday I had the joy of watching two sweet kiddos. They are going to be joining us a few days a week for the next couple of months. Bug is almost 3 years old, and Tadpole is just 1. So needless to say this has altered my days and my classroom a bit, but I think it will be worth it. I had a lot of fun watching Bug start exploring our Montessori room, and I was amazed at how quickly she wanted to do work. She repeated several of the polishing works, and she also loved to play hopscotch. So I need to find thing with alot of movement for her to do.I also presented her with the Pink Tower. She put it together her own way, but she seemed drawn to it, so I’m sure that she will correct this on her own. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them!

Learning to Pour

Mirror Polishing

Learning Pink Tower

Matching Numbers

She decided to walk the line after her work was done all on her own!

Bunny doing secret messages

Pup doing our flower arranging

Pup spooning

Bunny concentrating on water transferring.

Tadpole is one and I didn’t realized that my house had become less baby proof as Pup has gotten older! 🙂 It has been my job this evening to make sure that I have everything ready for him to be mobile tomorrow! He is very interested in crawling everywhere and looking at everything! I also need to observe him more  tomorrow to see where his main interest seem to be. I have also been combing the internet looking for some good Montessori ideas for an Infant. Again, if anyone has any good ideas I would love to hear them! 🙂 So far I have made a couple of shelves in our classroom with things I think he may like, and I have made a few treasure basket. I think it will all work out really well. I just need to stay on my toes and keep doing some research. More about how this is going later! 🙂

March Sensory Bin

I wanted to post some more pictures of our sensory bin and tell you what I have in it. I know how much it helps me to know what other people are putting in their boxes, so I want to offer that to anyone else who is looking for ideas! 🙂 So here it is:

Our Sensory Bin has:
~ Beans (Black Eye Peas and Kidney)
~ Basket
~ Metal Spoon
~ Fake Grass
~Measuring Cups (1 cup, half cup, and a quarter cup)
~ Flower pot
~ Flour Scoop
Like I said this a simple sensory bin, but the girls really seem to love it when there is less stuff. The beans themselves are the big draw of this. I really am hoping that Bunny will experiment with the measuring cups (I dont have fraction skittles) and I hope that Pup will be interested enough to keep her busy while I do other lessons! 🙂
Tomorrow starts my first day babysitting! I really hope that it goes well! I think I’m ready! 

Our Shelves~ March

Well we are almost to March and my kids are begging for new works to do, so I have prepared our shelves with some fun new works! Our theme this month is Spring!!! We will be talking about the weather changes, plant life, and even baby animals. We also are going to be talking about Lent since that will be starting soon, but that is another post! :)I have done a lot more this month since I maybe doing some babysitting and will have another kiddo that needs work too! I hope that you like our work this month! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Practical Life
Flower Arranging (for Pup)

Flower arranging (for Bunny)

Spooning into Boxes

Wood Polishing

Shell Scrubbing

Water Transferring

Pouring Beans

Mirror Polishing
Language will be working more with the Moveable Alphabet and also working on phonogram cards.She needs to start learning those. I also see Bunny trying to read more Bob Books.
Secret Messages
(I will write out the word of an object and Bunny will figure out which object it is)

Button Sorting
Our sensory tub~ Simple and yet the kids love it!
Fabric Matching
Math will be working with the Golden Bead Material and also working with fractions in the sensory bin.

Sensitive Periods All Around!

Well today was a banner day here, and there was an explosion of learning! I love days like this, it make everything else worth it! Homeschooling can be really hard, but the payoff is great!
Montessori teaches that kids will go through a phase where they will do something with seeming endless interest. This is called a sensitive period. I noticed a few days ago that Bunny wanted to put letter sounds together everywhere! Today Bunny read her first BOB book! She was so proud, I was so proud, and now she is trying to read all of them! 🙂 I cant believe that she is reading! Now I just need to keep presenting the phonograph sandpaper letters so that we can keep the progress going!

The other amazing thing that “just happened” today was that Pup matched her first set of cards! We don’t have many objects to match that she can practice on, so when she matched cards today I was shocked! We have some Butterfly matching cards that she loves (there a bunch of of cards, but I just gave her 6 because she usually spreads them around the floor).  I laid out one line of the butterfly cards, and I asked her to match them. I showed her one, then it just seemed to click!!!!! She matched the rest then did it over and over again! I was so proud of her! I am also excited sine this means I can pull out some more work for her! I hope all of you had a good day too!

Africa Studies!

Well here is my third post today! 🙂 I like to have time to remember the best parts of my day, so this is kind of a stress relief! 🙂
Today we worked on Africa! I wasn’t going to do it the whole day, but that is how the interests here went! It started with Bunny playing dolls before we started school. She told me her baby loved Lions and that she was going to Africa so that her baby could see real lions. Well I took hold of this idea and helped her make a Kanga dress ( a traditional East African outfit). It was super easy to do with a piece of material I had in my stash! We tried it a few different ways and they all worked out, but the over the shoulder wrap stayed on the best! We also had her baby wrapped on her back for a little bit! She is SO cute!

Getting a picture was hard, she wouldn’t hold still! 

Baby wrap on! Too cute!

After we got the dress on, I thought it would be fun to watch some African dancing! Bunny and Pup LOVED it (so do I). All I had to do was find some videos on traditional African dance that were on the internet. We watch quite a few of them and they got to see the difference between the different cultures! While the videos where on, Bunny started to dance! It was so cute to watch her version of African dancing! 🙂  Even Pup gave it a try.

They loved watching the dancing!
She tried to put her beads on the gourd so that it was more like a Shakere Rattle.
Drumming African music.

We finished today’s study by making Braai Sarnies for lunch (here is a link for recipes). They are basically fancy grilled cheese. 🙂 They were good and I think the girls sort of liked them!

Our Braai Sarnies

So we will be talking more about the continent it self later this week! So stop back!

And The Winner Is……

Well today ended the giveaway! I had Bunny draw a number out of a basket to pick the winner, and the winner is:
#3~ Lori from Montessori MOMents!!!!!!
Be sure to send me an address of where to mail this to!
I am so happy to have some many people interseted in my little blog and I really wish I could give you all something! Thanks for participating and I hope that you will all visit again! 

Africa Continent Box!

This week we have turned our focus on the continent of Africa! This a personal favorite of mine. I love the vast culture and the colorful beauty of the different areas. I love the music and, though I have done much African cooking, it does fascinate me! Anyway, like all of my continent boxes I made all of the cards in them, and though I would love for them to be 3part cards, I couldn’t afford to do it. So there are basically pictures of the continent. Our Africa box is sorely lacking in cultural treasures as I don’t know anyone who has ever been there. (if anyone has an ideas of where to get some goodies for this let me know!) So here we go:

This box includes:
~ Pictures of African People
~ Pictures of African Food
~ Pictures of African Musical Instruments
~ Pictures of African Places
~ Pictures of African Birds
~ Pictures of African Animals
~ Giraffe, Zebra, Lion, Hippo, and Camel Figures
~ Nativity Set handmade in Africa with native materials
~ Dried Gourd
 (This just happened around Halloween while it sat on my counter as a decoration)

 Our Cards
Our Animal figures

The Gourd

Our handmade Nativity
I really love to look through the pictures in the boxes with the girls and today Bunny was pretending that her baby loved lions. She had a lion toy for it and she was telling the baby all about lions in Africa! So I think that the information is just sinking in, even if they are only looking at the boxes for a short time! Gotta love the absorbent mind! I will be posting more on Africa soon!

Manners~ Part 2~ Practical Life

Well the ice has hit here. A few days ago it was 55 degrees, and now we have a ton of ice that is covering everything that was out in the storm! Bunny wanted to go out in it SO badly! So out we went and it was cool to see all the ice and to hear the trees clicking in the wind. It is very beautiful though.

So here is the next part of my post on manners. As you know, I have really been working on grace and courtesy with  my girls this month, and I have been doing a lot of research on ways to teach this following the Montessori method. You will never guess what I found out. One of the very best ways to help kids learn good manners is to teach them to have good body control and discipline. This means that the first and best step to good manner is to give kids plenty of practical life practice. If you think about it, manners are all about controlling yourself and doing certain things in certain situations, and kids need to learn how to do that. So to give them lots of chances to practice their control over themselves will build their confidence and allow them to meet the challenges of social situations with ease! This sounded like a great way to really help me in my quest for kind and loving kids. So in addition to presenting Bunny and Pup with different guidelines of good behavior, I have offered more opportunities for practical life. We have always done a lot of things around the house, and I just thought that this would give them the practical life experience that they needed. But maybe they need a little more. I started thinking about it and realized that they need to do the practical life things “for real”, but they also need the trays that offer them a chance to really concentrate and fine tune their fine motor skills. So today we did some cleaning (we do cleaning on Mondays) and the school room really needed some work! Bunny swept (Pup did too), they both dusted, and they also wiped the tables. They just loved to see the progress. I told Bunny that she was more then welcome to clean whenever she wanted. I thought she knew, but she seemed surprised.

 After we had been cleaning, I thought that I would make some quick trays that had some traditional practical life work on them. I made a mirror polishing tray for Pup not too long ago and it was a great hit! So I got some more stuff together for the girls. They loved it! Here is what I made up:

Polishing Pennies
Hand Washing
Scrubbing a Shell

Reading Sensitive Period!!!!!

I am SO excited! Bunny is entering into a reading sensitive period! It really started after I was able present the moveable alphabet correctly. She started using it and then she started looking at road signs while we were driving and sounding them out. I was happy to think that maybe we would heading into a reading period soon. But then yesterday she really shocked me! We read our chapter of Little House on the Prairie before bed, and after it was done she told me she really wanted to learn to read. I told her that she has been working on it by working on her letter sounds. Then I thought I would show her the word “cat” on her Cat in the Hat book. She sounded it out and was surprised that she knew the word! I told her that she was reading! The we opened up to a page that had “cat, box, and hat” on it and she sounded those out too! Wow! She was beaming! She told me that she wanted to work on her letters in the morning and do it all day! 🙂 So I am guess that in the near future I will have a girl that is going to be working like crazy on reading! I thought that now would be a good time to get some BOB books. Thankfully our library has them so I don’t have to buy them right off. We’ll see how it goes! I am SO proud of her. Today she and I worked on “b” word using the moveable alphabet and she is just exploding in “reading” the sounds. She still hasn’t figured out how to “say it fast”, but she is getting it! We’ll just keep working on it slowly!

Another thing that we have been working alot with is Golden Bead Material. Bunny LOVES it. I think that she likes that it is all very organized. Today we played the exchange game to start to work on place value. She really enjoyed it. What we did was draw a number card and count that value of unit bead out and place them in the unit column of the board. We took turns doing this till we got to a number greater then 10. Next we would count out the beads and exchange the 10 units for a 10 bar. That bar goes into the next column. We did this till we were able to get to a hundred square! It was alot of fun. I realized, after we finished of course, that I made the game board the wrong way. The unit beads are supposed to be on the right, not the left! Still it was a great way to start getting her familiar with place value! 🙂

My First Giveaway!!!!!

Well everyone, the time has come for me to offer my first ever giveaway! I was in the store the other day getting calender pieces for our classroom and I realized that each thing I bought came with two sets! So I put together a full calender set for one lucky reader! The only thing that you will need is a bulletin board! This set will allow you to make a full calender for your classroom! It will include:

~ A calender
~ A set of numbers
~ Holiday and Special Day Cards
~ Month Names
~ Season Cards
~ Year Cards (2011, 2012, 2013)
~ 8 Laminated Moon Phase Cards
~8 Laminated Weather Cards
~ Days of the Week Pockets
~ Ribbon Date Hanger
~ Tacks 😉
Entering is really simple! There are several ways to enter! First let me know if you are a follower of my blog (if your not one yet what are you waiting for?), and second blog about this on you blog and link it back. That’s it! I will draw a random winner on Feb. 23. Good Luck!