Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back to School...

...with an Asian theme!  Last week, we enjoyed a week off during our February vacation.  In all honesty,  it hardly seemed like a vacation as I am in the midst of completing my Master's program through St. Catherine University's AM2 (Acknowledging Montessori for a Master's) program and spent the entire week neck-high in coursework.  Nevertheless, I was able to hop into the classroom a couple times to put together a few new Practical Life lessons with an Asian flair.  We'll be spending some time in the classroom over the next weeks learning about aspects of this dynamic continent.

Spooning rice.

Transferring star anise.

Transferring beads with child-friendly chopsticks.  

Mandala variation with small stones...

... to place on the lines.  The backside remains blank for free-form designs.

A variation of the lesson from THIS post - a gluing/sealing activity.  Here, the children will be using yellow tissue paper squares to make the shape of Asia.  I appreciate how the slight variation changes the theme yet still allows for children to practice the same fine motor skills.

Continent Stamps: Asia.  We've been saving work from the North America and Europe stamps to make booklets - now the children will work on their page for Asia.  

So far, the children have been enjoying these activities during our first days back in the classroom after vacation.  There are a few more variations of lessons on this theme which I'll be sure to share in the near future.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hundreds and Hearts

What an eventful week with the celebration of the 100th Day of School on Monday and Valentine's Day on Thursday!  The children enjoyed our special activities (especially wearing our pajamas on the 100th day of school!) and of course exchanging Valentines.  Some photos from the week:

Making 100th Day of School necklaces
Memory Game of Numbers with items from around the classroom.  Here, the child has counted ten Knobless Cylinders and seven flags.

An extension activity using two blocks of the Solid Cylinders.

Caring for plants.

Pink Tower/Brown Stair exploration.

Painting hearts.

A new gluing activity:  Sealing tissue paper squares.

Keeping our floors clean (at least trying to!) with the Floor Scrubbing lesson.

Reading affirmation cards.  The child doing this activity wanted to copy them  by writing each one down.

Sandpaper Number writing practice.

Map of the World

Feeling differing weights with the Baric Tablets.

Writing practice with on the chalkboard - "Wet, Dry, Try."

Sewing practice with the lesson using the First Box of sewing activities.

Knobless Cylinder extension work.

Listening to the bells.

An older student giving a writing lesson to a younger one.

Table washing.
Making a special a Valentine surprise with colored water...

...and freezing them to make beautiful Valentine ice sculptures!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tissue Paper Hearts

Our focus of peace, friendship, and love has been perfectly timed with Valentine's Day.  This lesson is similar to the one found HERE from last year, only this time with a different shape and festive colors.

Three colors of tissue paper squares; tray with glue/water mixture, small brush, pencil; bowl for collecting tissue paper squares.  Behind this are the hearts traced on card stock.  
The materials set up at a table...
...and in use.
So pretty and fun!

Lining our hallway - they look great mounted on black paper, too!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

100 Days of School

Yesterday, we celebrated the 100th day of school in style - complete with pajamas!  It was a fun morning, for sure.  One activity the children enjoyed was making 100 Days of School Necklaces:

We set up a tray at a table with beads corresponding to the Montessori Decimal System material - green for units, blue for tens, and red for hundreds.  (Sorry for the blurry picture.)

Next, the child placed a bead for each number on a Hundred Board chart...

...then strung them onto a piece of string for the their very own 100 Day Necklace!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Anticipation

Our days have been filled with much anticipation - we have been counting the days until the 100th Day of School, and this coming Monday is the day.  The children are giddy with excitement as we are marking the occasion with a pajama day and special crafts.  Adding the to air of excitement is not only the upcomingValentine's Day celebration next week, but also the 'epic' snowstorm headed our way... And did I mention we also hosted moms and dads on two mornings for Parent Visit days?  Needless to say, there's been a lot to anticipate!  Some photos from this week:

Painting:  Controlling the Brush

History, calendar, and reading:  Days of the Week

Pink Tower/Brown Stair exploration...

...which turned in to this.  "Look, I made a Kindness Heart!"

Feeling differences in weight:  Baric Tablets.

Sorting animals by continent:  North America/Europe

Months of the Year

Map of Europe:  Tracing puzzle pieces and labeling the countries.

Teen Beads and Boards.

Handwriting practice with the Metal Insets.

Cards and Counters

Counting the beads of the Short Beads Stair...

...putting them in order and then coloring the beads.

Language:  Opposites

Writing preparation with the Botany Cabinet.

Sorting art cards by artist.

Learning to tell time by the hour.

"It's the same flag!"

Setting up the matryoshka dolls just right!