Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Golden Circles

Our students have been very much engaged with a new art lesson that is currently on the Art shelf.  I love that it combines mathematical concepts with art - here, the children are tracing ten circles with a golden crayon and filling in the resulting design with water colors.  The gold, of course, corresponds to the ten bar in the decimal system materials - please find more information about that in THIS post.  While the activity is not intended to replace any math lesson with the Montessori materials, it is meant to provide opportunities for children to creatively make their own connections between materials and areas of study.
First the child traces ten gold circles using a golden crayon.
The resulting shapes are filled in with watercolors.
Here are just a few samples of the the children's finished work:





Saturday, April 30, 2016

Headed for Gold!

Yes, it is true - these lessons have demonstrated magnetic appeal, and the children have been thoroughly enjoying the theme of gold (which you can see more of in THIS POST).  Before sharing our classroom photos from this week, here are some  close ups of additional activities on the Practical Life shelves:

Pincer grasp sorting.

Sorting with a spoon - there were smiles all around when the children discovered this  nesting doll spoon.

And, who could resist this golden egg which houses the play dough?  

And now for some action photos from around the classroom:

This lesson has intrigued the children: Clipping barrettes onto a ribbon - so simple, yet allows  practice of many skills!

I saved this black, divided tray from a box of glue sticks - look how lovely the gold beads are in this transfer lesson with tweezers!

Map tracing continues its flurry of activity - we now have an entire collection adorning our classroom walls.

Some children simply could not resist the weaving activity using these various gold ribbons. 

Pairing verbs and adverbs - the conversations that occur during these types of lessons are just as valuable as the materials themselves.

Writing practice and letter sounds with Sandpaper Letters.

Coffee filter Earth Day craft.  These turned out very beautifully and can be found in our hallway by the cubbies.

As mentioned earlier, the map making frenzy is apparent in our classroom! :-)

Constructive Triangles: Exploring how triangles form new shapes when placed together .

Beautiful, exploratory work with the box of circles...

…likewise with the box of triangles.  I love how this work was being completed side by side, with one student inspiring the other.

A fun tin to practice Opening and Closing - each section contains a golden pom pom .  When added together they equal ten.

Linear and skip counting practice, along with number symbol recognition using the Short Chain of Six.

Sorting the Geometric Solids into groups: one that roll, ones that slide and ones that roll and slide.

Solidifying concepts of quantity with the Spindle Boxes.

A beautiful matching activity - 'Peace' in various languages.

Spelling practice with the Small Moveable Alphabet.

Pairing primary and secondary colors with the Second Color Tablet Box.

Number writing practice with Sandpaper Numbers.

Learning about suffixes.

Reading word family books.

Subtraction Snake Game...

…and checking one's work - all the beads are paired evenly with the ten bars and gray bars.

Learning American Sign Language letters - the child pairs the printed letter to the small, cursive letter on the sign language card (red), then practices signing the letter.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mother's Day Vase

In case anyone is looking for a Mother's Day gift idea, here is one that we have been preparing.  Such sweet colors and the leaves are the child's thumbprints:

Mother's Day Vase

We used basic acrylic paints for the flowers, stems, and leaves followed by a coat of Mod Podge just in case…  There is still time to make these sweet gifts - I hope it might be useful for someone! :-)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Good As Gold

I can hardly believe that this journey started almost two years ago with the number one and the color red!  Here we are, all the way at number ten - gold!!!  What a time we have had with various Practical Life activities which correspond to each color/number of the Short Bead Stair.  The children have gained a deeper understanding of the Short Bead Stair and its connection to other math materials and lessons.  We have so enjoyed our collaboration in a series of art pieces that adorn a long hallway leading out to our outdoor space.  How we all have been looking forward with great anticipation for the number ten - gold evokes such a celebratory mood!  Here a few pictures of these festive shelves:

Wet Transfer Practical Life 

Dry Transfer Practical Life

Making bracelets.

Finger Knitting and Crochet trays - How much fun is that yarn?!

Weaving with various gold ribbons.

One of the tweezing activities - I think the gold foam gives the tray a whole new look!  
As you might imagine, the children have been quite excited about the gold.  Actually, the teachers have been too! :-)  There is certainly much to celebrate as this color reminds everyone where we started, and how far we have come over the past two years.  

More 'golden updates' to come! :-)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Looking Back to Begin Anew

How fortunate we are to have had some vacation time over the last week.  Spring Break is always refreshing as the days are brighter, the air is warmer, and the flowers are blooming!  As we approach the end of our vacation week, I took the opportunity to look back on our photos from before the break.  It is an ideal chance to jog one's memory while revealing a path forward.


Symbolizing verb labels...

…and recording them on paper.

Carefully practicing writing techniques with the Metal Insets.

Understanding place value.

Learning about the decimal system and how many tens are in one hundred.

Division with the Stamp Game.

Examining rocks.

Visual discrimination of size with the Knobless Cylinders.

Exploring with Superimposed Geometric Figures (squares only).

Sorting images of animals:  Herbivore, Carnivore, or Omnivore.

More division with the Stamp Game.

Carefully comparing the Brown Stair and the Pink Tower.

Sequencing and number symbol recognition with the Math Step Board.

It is with a great sense of accomplishment that the children make these discoveries!

"Oh wow!  The triangles made a rectangle!" with the Constructive Triangles.

Building writing confidence with the 'Wet, Dry, Try' method.

Tracing over a map of Africa...

…coloring in the countries...

…and admiring one's work.  It looks so colorful and lively in the window!

Transferring water with a baster.

Symbolizing verb/adverb phrases.

'Shading' with the Metal Insets.

Creative exploration and careful work with the Sensorial materials.

Learning to fold cloths on the lines.

"This on is the isthmus," with the Land and Water Forms.
Looking forward to our return on Monday.  Stay tuned for some pictures of the latest shelves - gold for the number ten!