Sunday, January 31, 2016

Montessori Showcase

It's been a very busy week!  The children have been working with a strong sense of independence while being receptive to new lessons as they master older ones.  Also, our classroom has seen a number of visitors of new families planning for next school year who are interested in learning more about our program.  We are eager to share our school and showcase the hallmarks of Montessori classrooms.

Counting numbers in Russian.

Logical Adverb agreements.

Logical Adjective agreements.

Zipper Frame practice.

Counting, quantity, and concept of zero: Spindle Boxes.

Gross motor control:  Tossing a bean bag into the basket and jumping over the rope.  Fun!

Multiples of five: Multiplication Bead Bars

Addition facts with the Addition Strip Board.

Practicing letter sounds and symbols with the Language Step Board.

Preparing the hand for writing while experiencing smooth and rough textures: Smooth and Rough Boards.

Comparing Land and Water Forms (strait/isthmus) to their cards.

Writing practice with Rainbow Letters.

Continued reading and writing practice with the Reading Drawers material.

Beginning stages of making Layers of the Earth booklets.

Understanding teen numbers with the Teen Bead Hanger.

Building concentration and fine motor control with weaving.

Symbolizing phrases with Grammar Symbols.

Addition with the Snake Game.

A fun sequence and drawing activity for Valentine's Day.

Pairing fabrics using only the tactile sense (the child is blindfolded).

Memorization of subtractions facts using the Subtraction Strip Board.

Sorting images into Land/Air/Water categories.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Learning from Each Other

"It is not only from their individual work with the materials that children learn.  Once children discover something, it is only natural to want to share it.  'Hey!  Look at this!'  If the children have the liberty to move and interact freely within the classroom, they seek out one another; they find the experts, they ask questions, they watch each other, they talk to each other, they interact with each other.  Learning is not an isolated process of absorbing facts; learning is a cultural and social exploration of engaging with a constantly changing environment.  Our classrooms are not 'teaching-based' environments; they are 'learning-based' environments" (Andrews, 2015, p. 55-56).

"they watch each other…"

"they seek out one another; they find experts…"

Andrews, Sarah Werner. (2015).  The social relevance of Montessori in the first plane.  The NAMTA journal, 40(2), 31-61.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Making Clay Beads

We have been enjoying a new version of bead stringing in the classroom - making our own beads!  I have always known the importance of working with clay for children especially as a means of motor development and artistic expression.  Here, the children have been shown various steps for making and collecting small clay beads to be strung to make necklaces once dried.  As we have been proceeding with the theme of the Short Bead Stair in our Practical Life activities, I thought this might be a clever way to tie in the number eight, which is brown.

The materials set up on the shelf.
Container with clay; small dish with toothpicks for making the holes in the beads; wooden board for a workspace; paper plates to collect the beads once made; basket of dried beads; basket with string and scissors, small dish to count out eight dried beads.

Once a child brings the materials to a table and makes their beads, they bring the plate to our drying rack so the beads may dry overnight.  The next day, the beads are transferred to the basket so that children may count out their beads to make a necklace, using the rest of the materials on the shelf.

"Number Eight Necklace" corresponding with the Short Bead Stair.
Most of all, I love how much pride the children take in making their necklaces, wearing them, and sharing them with others.

The Latest

Please enjoy latest group of pictures collected over the past two weeks from around our classroom:

Examining continent cards of Antarctica and comparing to pictures in an encyclopedia.

Practicing subtraction with the Negative (Subtraction) Snake Game.

Weaving (using some ribbon and a shelf rack).  In this picture, the child weaving is listening to her friend practice reading - how sweet!
 "The curious cat toward the brown pony," learning about prepositions…
…  and making sure the animals of the farm match right up!  

Subtraction math facts with the Negative Strip Board.

An extension activity with the Geometric Solids.

Three-part cards of the continents.

Function of words:  Verb

Pink Tower building.

45 Layout in process...

…and the 45 Layout completed!

Phonogram Sandpaper Letters.

Sounding out and writing words.

Checking work with the Subtraction Control Chart.

'I am a Peacemaker' necklace making.

Multiplication Facts.

Spelling 'ai' words.

Fine motor development with transferring tweezers.

Solidifying concepts of place value.

Reading number symbols and later retrieving quantities with golden beads.

Binomial Cube puzzle.

Carefully preparing a polish cloth during Leather Polishing.

Preparing the hand for writing and distinguishing smooth and rough textures with the Touch Boards.

Exploration of length The with the Red Rods.