Saturday, May 31, 2014

Montessori Mornings

This time of year is so exciting because the children have made such progress in their lessons and activities.  As I observed throughout this week, there were several mornings when every single work mat was in use and all the open floor space was covered - what a joy to see!

Making a booklet of Australian animals.

Writing with the Moveable Alphabet:  'my dad opened up the sop.  my mom is baking pies.'

Retrieving quantities with golden beads.

Making a collage with foam shapes.

Numbers 1-25 with the Math Step Board.

Subtraction practice with the Math Drawers.

Adding with Short Bead Stair beads.

I just LOVE this picture - caring for plants in the foreground, tracing shapes in the back…  How delicately the hands are being used!

From the other side - just as stunning. :-)

Tracing various triangles from the Geometry Cabinet.

Carefully studying size and dimension with the Pink Tower and Brown Stair.

Counting by tens after completing the Hundred Board.

Dot art with markers.

Linear and skip counting with the Hundred Chain.

Static addition with the golden beads.

Introduction to the decimal system - counting 'one ten' with 'one unit.'

Reading practice and recording words with pictures on paper.

Fine motor control - transferring small flowers with tweezers.

Handwriting practice - this child copied and illustrated a poem. 

Clapping out and sorting words by syllable - another wonderful lesson by Trillium Montessori.

These students declared today is "Sewing Friday!"

Reading practice with the Vowel Tree.

Exploring the Fraction Circles.

Linear and skip counting by sixes using the Short Chain of 6.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Purple Violet Vinegar

One our teachers knows a lot about wildflowers and recently took us on an outdoor expedition to find various types.  What fun we had!  Wild purple violets grow prolifically just beyond our playground and we were sure to gather a few extra for this project.

Use just the heads of the purple violets...

…and add some white vinegar.
Look at the color after sitting overnight!

This is what was left after straining the violets.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Waltzing Matilda

If I pause and think of our week together in the classroom, the first thing that comes to mind is, "Waltzing Matilda!" and the children singing it with huge smiles on their faces…  What a fun song to learn  - with words like 'jumbuck,' 'billabong,' and 'swag man,' who can resist?  Clearly, we are enjoying learning about Australia!

Australia Continent Folder Cards.

Pre-reading:  Bird matching activity.

Tracing the Parts of a Bird Puzzle and pin pushing it out.

Sorting animals by continent.

I watched the child in this photos roll and re-roll the mat several time to get it just right and straight.

Checking work with the Hundred Board using the control chart.

Pouring dry material using a funnel.

Using a small baster to transfer water.
Grading the color tablets around the globe.

Meet Sydney, our newest classroom pet - we wrote down ideas for a name and this was the selection from a random draw.  Sydney is named after the largest city in Australia.

Working with numbers 1-25 using the Math Step Board.

Picture to picture matching.

Practicing addition with the Stamp Game.

Reading sentences.

Exploring the Pink Tower and Brown Stair.

A lesson about matter:  Solids:  Hard as Rocks.

Using the Binomial Cube as an engaging puzzle.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Peace Table Upgrade

It seemed our classroom began running out of space at our Peace Table.  Several special items call our Peace Table their home including, the peace cards, peace rose, picture of Maria Montessori, decorative stones, and a collection of peace-education related books.  We were simply running out of space and things were feeling crowded.  Enter the newly acquired 'Peace Shelf' made from trusty wooden crates from the craft store:

The Peace Rose has a more prominent place of honor, along with a portrait of Maria Montessori.  Also,  the books are more easily accessible - prior to this, they were housed in a basket under a small table.

Overall, we have a bit more space to appreciate our peace area, and room for more!
A view from another angle.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Patterning with Stamps

This has been a lesson has been actively used since it was introduced late last week.  It is a an engaging patterning activity which promotes pre-reading, literacy, language, and math concepts.  The koala and kangaroo pictures are intended to go along with our unit of study for Australia.  Many of the children have been creating stories while making their patterns, associating their knowledge from the Aboriginal stories we have been reading together.  Here is the lesson on a language shelf:

Far left - strips of paper with eight sections; tray with stamps, pencil, stamp pad; mat underneath with two pattern cards.

The materials set up at a table with an ABB pattern card.  The other pattern card is for  an AB pattern.

Completed strip with ABB pattern.
As with other activities in the classroom, the child replaces all of the materials used in the lesson and brings it back to its place on the shelf, readying it for use by the next child who wishes to use it.