Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sewing Drawers

I've really tried to focus on something unrelated to my Montessori life during this Christmas vacation - really, I have.  The thing is, I can find something "Montessori" in just about anything!  Such was the case when, in an attempt to clear my mind of all things Montessori-related, I revisited my old hobby of counted cross-stitching:

Revisiting a favorite hobby - the beginnings of my latest endeavor...
While enjoying the simple quietude of this pastime, it came to me...  sewing drawers for the classroom, of course!  And with that, while removing some of the rustiness of having not cross-stitched in over a decade, I began formulating my plan for some sewing lessons in the classroom.

Enter the sewing drawers - I've started with three, but have ideas for at least three more:

Sewing Drawers

Drawer one:  Sewing with yarn on white shelf-liner.  Embroidery hoop with shelf liner; blue needle is hard to see in this photo, but it is directly behind the two choices of yarn; scissors.

Drawer two:  Sewing on burlap with embroidery floss.  Hoop with burlap; several choices of  embroidery thread wound on clothespins; small sewing scissors; needle.

Drawer three:  Cross-stiching.  Hoop with gingham (ideal for introducing cross-stitch); color choices of embroidery thread; scissors; needle.
Next to the drawers will be three baskets for the child to gather the necessary materials from the drawers and bring to a workspace.  Each drawer is set up so that only one child may be using the materials from any given drawer at a time.  These lessons will come after much practice with the preliminary sewing lessons such as the lacing shapes, sewing block, Threading a Needle as seen HERE, and working with pins:

Transferring straight pins.
I can hardly wait to introduce the lessons in the sewing drawers to my students.  Later, for some variation, I plan to change the yarn, fabrics, and add beads for the children to embellish their sewing creations.  Also, I have plans to add more drawers for learning to sew buttons and make small pillows...  But first we'll start with these first three sewing drawers, and I'll be reminded of how inspiration came to me when I least expected it - I'll let you know when I finish my latest cross-stiching project!

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Montessori Monday

Saturday, December 22, 2012

We made it!

You can imagine the energy level in the classroom with the closeness of Christmas vacation, gift exchanges, three Birthday Walks,  and two straight days of not being able to go outside...!  Whew - we made it - and I'm ready for vacation! :)

This student started with the atlas - looking through pictures for North America.  Then, he retrieved the Continent Folder pictures, and finally got the globe.  After all of this, he proceeded to color a Map of the World! :)

Revisiting the Bow Tying Frame.

The kids enjoy practicing their numbers with the chalkboards.

The Sand Tray has become a fast favorite to practice writing!

Independent language work with the Preposition lesson.

Strengthening of the pincer grasp - using tweezers to transfer small bells.

Language:  Letter sound and symbol work.

Examining feathers from our Nature Shelf.
Linear and skip counting with The Hundred Chain.

More letter sound/symbol work.

Language work:  matching holiday-themed pictures.

An extension of the Geometric Solids - sorting cards by shape.

Careful planning and execution with the Pink Tower and Brown Stair.

Linear and skip counting - all of the Short Chains.

Decimal System Cards and Beads

Caring for plants.

The Individual Silence Game.

Counting and one-to-one correspondence with the Number Rods.

Building words with the Moveable Alphabet.

Animals of the World

The bells - matching pitch.

Refinement of writing skills with the Botany Cabinet.

Pictures of Europe with the Continent Folders.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Beauty in Simplicity

Each year, the children make a special gift to give to their families at Christmastime.  This year, in keeping with a "woodsy" theme generated by our Christmas Wreaths poem, the children made beautiful ornaments to give to those their families.

Reindeer moss, an assortment of small pinecones and acorns, red berries... fill into clear ornaments.
Beauty in simplicity.
The children are filled with joy to give these to their family members! :)

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Let There Be Peace

I am profoundly and deeply saddened by the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut.  A third grade teacher interviewed after the heinous crime talked about what she told her children during the ordeal.  It helps me articulate my own feelings as I share with you our photos from this past week:  "I told the kids I love them and I was so happy they were my students."

Exploring the content of the North America Continent Box.

Pink Tower/Brown Stair extension work.

Animals of North America.

Writing practice with Sandpaper Numbers.

Days of the Week

Multiplication practice.

Making a map of North America.

Coloring a Nutcracker - We have also been enjoying reading the story and listening to the music of this classic!

Odd and even numbers with the Cards and Counters.

A variation of our balancing golf tees and marbles lesson  - here, we have placed a wooden spool (supported by playdough on the bottom) in each space on the blue tray.  The child then places a golf tee into the spool followed by the balancing of the marble on top.  

I've added a brass Menorah in celebration of Hanukkah to our metal polishing items - the kids have loved it!

Creating shapes with the Constructive Triangles (first box).

Numbers 1-100 with the Hundred Board.

Counting the Decimal System.  Here, I have asked the student to place three hundreds on his tray.

Cultural studies: Placing candles in a menorah.

Matching Animal Tracks

Letter 'c' sound/symbol work.

Listening - Montessori Bells.

Writing preparation with the Botany Cabinet.

"This is a cube."  Learning the names of the Geometric Solids.

Word writing practice.

Puzzle Map of Africa.

Painting with two colors.

The Hundred Board

Visual discrimination of length with the Red Rods.

Math work with the Spindle Boxes.
During our Spanish lessons, the children have been painting (with watercolors) these beautiful peace doves to be displayed at our local public library...

Paz en la Terra
Peace on Earth