Friday, July 6, 2012

Booklets and More Booklets...

Summer vacation.  Time to relax, rest, rejuvenate...  Well, perhaps in a perfect world that would be the case!  Between getting the floors refinished in the classroom, familiarizing myself with a new computer, and keeping up with three kids at home, however, I can't say we've been relaxing around here... ;)  Nevertheless, one of my favorite things to do (and believe it or not, it is relaxing for me) is to make materials for my classroom.

Can you guess what is happening here at my dining room table at home?
One of the items on my to-do list is to make new record keeping booklets for Sandpaper Letters.  Please read more about them in THIS POST if you are interested in understanding more about how these are utilized.  I know this little project is something that has to be done at some point before school starts, so I went ahead and finished it - one less thing to do in those busy days right before school  begins...

While making a new set for this Fall's students, I thought about how successful these record keeping booklets had been last year.  They not only helped me in keeping track of each child's progress, but also became a meaningful source of motivation for my students and me.  An exclamation could always be heard when a new letter was placed in a booklet - "Oh yay!  I got a letter in my booklet!" or "I have so many letters in my booklet - I only have two more left to do!  Let's do more Sandpaper Letters!"  One can imagine the motivation these exclamations from my students provided me.  As a result of the success with the Sandpaper Letter booklets, I have decided to make a set dedicated to math lessons with the Number Rods and Sandpaper Numbers.

Math Booklet for tracking lessons with Number Rods and Sandpaper Numbers .
Here, I will use the same principle as with the letter booklets - the first line of a triangle around a number will indicate introduction of a Number Rod for a particular number, the second line of the triangle will indicate that the child is working on the Number Rod,  while the third line of the triangle will indicate mastery of the Number Rod.  One aspect which slightly differs with the math booklets is that the record keeping is for  tracking two different  materials - the Number Rods and Sandpaper Numbers.  Therefore, once a child has a full triangle around a number, I will know they are ready for a corresponding Sandpaper Number introduction.  The introduction of the Sandpaper Number will be marked with a small dot inside the triangle.  When a child has mastered the Sandpaper Number, the triangle in their booklet will be lightly shaded and the number recorded in their booklet.  Also, if the child chooses, enough space can remain on each page to draw pictures which correspond with the number, i.e. eight stars to go with the number eight.

This shows that the child has mastered the Number Rod (triangle around the number),   has been introduced to the Sandpaper Number (dot inside the triangle), and mastered the Sandpaper Number (shaded triangle).
While it might seem a bit complicated, it works for me in the midst of lessons.  I can easily see which numbers have been introduced, and which one the child is working on or mastered.  Also, these booklets are a quick reference while inputting information in student Montessori Compass reports.

I have a feeling these math booklets might generate just as much motivation for lessons with the Number Rods and Sandpaper Numbers as the letter booklets made for language Sound Games and Sandpaper Letters!

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  1. This is a creative and fun way to keep track and to inspire work with sandpaper numbers, number rods and sandpaper letters. I really love it. I need to get busy and add it to my list of things to do for the summer. Thank you so much for your ideas.

  2. You're welcome, Discovery Montessori! It really has been an effective way for me to keep track and it is appealing to the children - they love to keep track of their progress too.

  3. Great idea! I've tried various ways to keep track of students' progress, and this makes sense. I think I'll try it for my daughter's letters. Thanks!

    1. Good luck - I'm sure you will find it useful and be able to personalize it to suit your needs very easily! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!