Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Math Concepts: Collaborative Art

During these first months of school, we have used the color red in our Practical Life shelves as a cross- curricular connection to the Montessori math material called the Short Bead Stair.  The number one is represented by the color red.  We thought we would invite the children to create a collaborative art project with the red, number one theme using a method inspired by a lesson found at Fairy Dust Teaching.  The project took a few days to complete and we plan to make one for each of the corresponding colors of the Short Bead Stair throughout the school year.

The first day, children used three shades of red to cover the canvas.

We encouraged them to have the colors touch each other and overlap.  

The next day, we added red gems, beads, and paper cuttings which had been saved from our Practical Life paper cutting activity.  The children filled a cup with these items, mixed glue and red paint, and poured it over the canvas.  What fun!
After the glue dried, we could see such interesting texture and color formations.

The last day, we added glitter with regular glue.  I am not a huge glitter fan, but must admit that this added a great quality to the project.

Number One:  Short Bead Stair 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Short Week and Conferences

It has been a couple of weeks since the last 'collection of photos' post - the first week was shorted due to a holiday and the this past week we had parent-teacher conferences.  Also, one day I dropped by camera and somehow lost all the pictures I took that day!  As a result, it seems I have way fewer pictures than usual.  In any case, wonderful work is happening in the classroom:

Adding color to our autumn leaf print activity.

Matching printed letters to cursive letters.

Practicing fine motor control while making an autumn-themed garland - placing craft leaves on to ribbon.

Counting, number symbol recognition, and understanding zero with the Spindle Boxes.

Independent work with the Article Box.

Buttoning practice.

Writing practice with the Sandpaper Numbers.

Experiencing smooth and rough textures with the Touch Boards.

Pre-reading: Finding the picture that is different.

Exploring pictures from the Continent Folders for South America.

Color mixing fun!

Refining the skill of using tongs to transfer.

Listening for sound with one of the Montessori Bells.

Metal Inset writing practice - two shapes and two colors.

Short Bead Hanger - reviewing numbers 1-9 and their corresponding colors.

Feeling the difference in weight of each quantity with the Spindle Boxes lesson - here the child has tied the quantities together for further exploration and understanding of quantity.

Concentrating to roll the mat "just right."  We enjoy practicing with the mat in particular because the children can use the lines as guides in keeping the mat straight while rolling - great practice!

Exploring size and dimension with the Pink Tower.

Using the smallest Red Rod to measure the differences of length between each rod.

Completing a Name Puzzle.

Linear counting with the Tens Board and Beads.

Numbers 11-19 with the Teen Bead Hanger.

Writing phrases with the Moveable Alphabet.

Letter writing practices with Sandpaper Letters.
Geography:  Sorting the Land, Air, and Water cards.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Name Puzzles and Name Tracing

Many of our students are finding delight in the following pre-reading and writing activities recently introduced to the classroom.  They are really nothing novel - just new to our classroom.  The first lesson is a simple name puzzle made from a set of nameplates - one set includes a child's first name and the second set includes a bag with the child's name cut into separate letters.

The top name plate acts a control while the child pieces together the letters of their name.

If interested, the child can then obtain a pre-cut piece of tracing paper and clip it their name plate to practice tracing.

Each child keeps their tracing paper and places their nameplate back on the shelf.
The puzzle pieces are housed in zip-loc bags (which also allows the students to practice opening and closing!), while  the name plates and tracing papers are filed in the divider. 

The clips are right next to the name plates and paper on this beautiful dish.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Glorious Autumn Leaves

The idea for this art activity was found at Deep Space Sparkle, a wonderful blog by an extremely talented art teacher.  In our classroom, we had the children work on this in several stages and the results were stunning.
Step one:  paint the veined (bumpy) side of the leaf with white paint.

Step two:  Press the leaf onto black paper  - we used a plastic work mat to cover the leaf which made it easier (and cleaner) to rub and transfer onto the paper.

Step three:  Repeat until desired effect is created.  Let dry.

Step four:  Add colors around the prints - we used sponges….
The paint here is still wet, and the colors quite vibrant.  Once the paint dried, the colors became muted….

…and even more beautiful!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Settling in...

There comes a time in the early part of the school year when one feels a distinct "settling in" of the classroom - I think we have made it to that point!  The children are comfortable with our classroom rhythms can anticipate general routines.  And it is wonderful!  Some photos from this week:

Folding practice:  "Oooh, look!  It's a triangle!"

Sorting blocks by color.

Story writing using the Story Paper lesson.

Making an autumn themed art project.

Numbers 1-9 with the Short Bead Hanger.

Color Mixing

Drawing with dry erase markers at the easel.  Afterwards,  the child washes the easel.

Writing practice with Sandpaper Letters.

Learning to use a glue bottle and making a collage.

Matching Numeral Cards to corresponding Number Rods.

Parts of a Tree puzzle - we are practicing holding each piece by the knob to help strengthen the pincer grasp.

Reading practice with Short Vowel Booklets.

Transferring water with a baster.

Metal Polishing - the children absolutely love this!

Using two Cylinder Blocks at a time.

Setting up the tablet from the Second Color Tablet Box to pair colors.

Writing practice on the chalkboard.

Sensitizing the fingers to get ready for Touch Board work.

Working with the Monomial Cube.

A three-period lesson with vocabulary shape cards.

Exploring magnetism with the magnet board.

Using a labeled control chart with the Parts of a Tree puzzle.

Matching number with the Math Step Board.

Pouring practice.
A collection of leaf rubbings in our Nature Journals from our outdoor explorations.

Visual discrimination of size with the Knobless Cylinders….

…and the Cylinder Blocks.