Saturday, September 14, 2013

Finding our Balance

Our class seems to be moving along quite well and we are getting used to our new daily rhythms.  It appears the group is quite capable of a a fairly long work period in mornings. The children's individual activities have been balanced by group circle times highlighting the Montessori Grace and Courtesy lessons.  Of course, our outdoor play is a highlight for many!  Here are some photos from this week:

Odd/even numbers with Cards and Counters.

The children still very much enjoy this rock painting activity!

Working with the Hundred Board.

Numbers 11-19 with the Teen Beads.

Writing with the Moveable Alphabet:  I asked, "What did you have for breakfast today?"

Magnetic/Non-Magnetic science activity.

Making a Mondrian paper collage.

Color-coded Decimal System symbols...

...and their corresponding quantity of Golden Beads.

Counting the Tens Board with Golden Beads.

Math concepts including zero with the Spindle Boxes.

Working with a set of Knobbed Cylinders.

Writing practice on the squared chalkboard.

Tracing Sandpaper Numbers.

Geography:  Land and Water Forms - Lake and Island.

Quantities 1-10 with the Number Rods.

Visual discrimination of size with the Brown Stair.

Reinforcing initial sound of objects with the letter symbol.

Parts of a Tree puzzle.

Beginning sounds of words with the Moveable Alphabet.
Reading practice with the Phonetic Object Box.

Addition with the Stamp Game.

Fine motor practice with weaving.

Teen Beads and Boards.

Sewing practice.

Reading practice with the Language Step Board.


  1. I am not very used to Montessori so I have these questions:
    1) How do children decide what stations to go to? Is it adult picked or child picked?
    2) If it is child picked, what happens if more than one child wants to work at a station?
    3) If it is child picked, is it okay if a child goes to the same station day after day or is there a way to encourage them to be at word stations and then math stations to get experience with everything?
    4) How many work stations do they do a day? If they do more than one how do you have them rotate?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! I love your site - it gives me lots of inspiration on ideas for my own classroom.

    1. Hi Sadie,
      Children in a Montessori setting choose the materials with which they want to work for as long as they wish to use it as long as: 1. They've had a lesson with the material 2. They are using the material safely and with purpose 3. No one else is using the material. If someone is using something that they wish to use, they wait until the first child is finished and he or she places it on back on the shelf.
      Most children go through 'sensitive periods' where they will go to the same lessons (math for example) day after day. Overtime, a child's interests usually shift and they may then become interested in other areas. Some children may require a little more guidance into these subject areas and interest can be ignited through various creative techniques. For example, if a child is all about tractors, I might provide a set of three part cards naming the various parts of a tractor or other machinery. In this way, the child is building vocabulary and provided with opportunities for reading and even writing if he or she wishes to record the words...
      We do not have 'stations' but rather an open classroom where the children move about freely, choosing their own activities and making meaningful choices based on their own impulses. You might find the following link of interest as it highlights student rights and responsibilities in the Montessori setting:

  2. Thanks for the inspiration for the new school year!

    It looks like you have the plastic Land and Water Form trays and that you painted the portions that represent water. If this is the case, could you tell me what paint you used? I'm assuming it's waterproof for when the students fill the tray with water.

  3. Hi Jen,
    Yes, it did paint the Land and Water Form trays - I think I used a regular craft paint which was water-based acrylic... (It was a long time ago and I don't really remember!!!)