Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mission Accomplished

My family and I have just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. where we enjoyed the sights as well as catching up with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  This is what awaited me in the mail upon our return:

It has been quite a journey and I am very thankful for my supportive family and friends who have helped me along the way.  I realize that a goal fulfilled does not signify an end -  rather, it paves the way toward fresh beginnings and allows for new dreams to unfold.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

This Is It!

The last week before summer vacation...and I do not have many picture to show for it.  Our classroom was abuzz with many Birthday Walk celebrations and two mornings of hosting the children's fathers for 'Donuts for Dad' (in honor of Father's Day this weekend).  Even amidst all of these extra activities, and during the last days of school, several children requested new lessons.  It inspires me to know how eager the children are in their quest for knowledge.

Cards and Counters - extension activity.

Teen numbers with the the Teen Bead Hanger.

Number writing practice.

Handwriting practice with Metal Insets.

Combination of the Decimal System Cards and Golden Beads.

A variation with the Solid Cylinders using all four at a time.

Number writing practice in the Sand Tray.

"Fifteen," counting with the Teen Beads.
It has been quite a year!  I am looking forward to spending time with my family and enjoying the slower pace of summer vacation.  As always, it will be a time of renewal and provide opportunities for me to cultivate new ideas for the new school year ahead! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Timeline of Work

My assistants and I have come up with an engaging solution for children benefiting from visual references while choosing activities during our Montessori work periods.  We came up with a timeline (of sorts) a child creates while choosing lessons.

First, I purchased sticky-back velcro and adhered it to the upper part of our lower classroom window.  Then, I laminated numerous photos of materials and lessons throughout the environment and placed a small piece of velcro to the back of each one.  The photos are stored in a box near the windows.  The child simply chooses lessons from photos in the box and attaches each one to the line, creating a visual timeline of the activities he/she has chosen to complete.

This photo shows the line of photos attached to the top of the window...

The photos to choose from...

"I'll do the Number Rods next!"
Once a lesson is completed, the photo is removed from the line and placed back in the box.  The next photo on the line gives students direction and purpose as they navigate the classroom throughout the work period.

This has helped a handful of children to make meaningful choices in their work and stay focused on tasks.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My School Wiki Page

I invite you to check out the wiki page I created last semester as part of my Master's degree program.  Readers will find lots of information about Montessori theory as well as many parent resources:

Be sure to navigate the page using the links at the bottom...


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Busy Times...

One more week left of school and we are still going strong!  We also have be preparing for hosting the children's dads next week for our annual 'Donuts for Dad' event...  It's been a busy week:

Science: Sink/ Float

Understanding zero with the Spindle Box lesson.

Pre-writing:  Painting on rocks with water.

Practical Life:  Wood Polishing

Creative exploration of the Sensorial materials - it was wonderful to see how this student correlated the Cards and Counters math lesson to this Sensorial work!

Gathering some golden beads necessary to complete Dynamic Addition.

Math work with The Dot Game.

All four Solid Cylinders at a time.

Yoga practice.

Static Addition with the Golden Beads.

Europe:  Continent Box

Puzzle Map of Australia.

Setting up the Large Number Cards for addition with the Golden Beads.

Building fine-motor and concentration with sewing practice.

Number Rods and Cards

Extension activity with the Knobless Cylinders.

Working creatively with the the Pink Tower and Brown Stair.

Writing practice with the Botany Cabinet leaf shapes.

Feeling varying weights with the Baric Tablets.

A sneak peak at our gifts for Father's Day - shhh, don't tell! :-)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sink or Float?

The children have been captivated by the following simple experiment.  When I demonstrated the activity at circle time, they clapped with delight throughout the lesson!

Our Sink or Float science lesson:  labeled tray, bowl with various items to test; clear bowl of water; small towel.

Testing the objects and placing them in the labeled circles.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Symmetry and Paint

This lesson has been in perpetual use ever since it was introduced to the children last week.  It is an activity I posted about long ago in THIS post about painting with spoons.  The only difference this time around is that three colors are used instead of two.

The materials for Painting with Spoons set up on the shelf.
Once the children set up the materials, they use the spoons to place paint on their paper.  Then they fold the paper in half and gently rub the page:

Here, the student has spooned the paint onto the page and is in the process of  rubbing the page...
...and revealing the beauty of symmetry!
Our classroom has been filled with delightful exclamations and encouraging words from peers who gather to watch these creations unfold.  Pleasant voices saying, "Oooh, that's beautiful!" and "Wow, nice work!" make us all smile!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Summer is in the Air...

...and we are still going strong!  I can hardly believe we are in the home stretch of the school year with a little over two weeks to go.  Here are the photos to share from this week:

Working with numbers 1-10:  Fish and bubbles - you can imagine how the children love this activity!

Making a mosaic with a new gluing activity.

Exploring the contents of the continent box for North America.

Understanding decimal symbol and quantity.

Numbers 1-100 with the Hundred Board.

Building concentration and fine-motor skills with weaving activity.

Sewing practice.

Letter writing practice in the Sand Tray.

Word-building with the Moveable Alphabet.

Practicing with buttons on the Large Button Frame.

Understanding quantity and symbol with the Spindle Boxes.

Number Rods and Cards

Refining the tactile sense - matching fabrics by touch with the Fabrics lesson.

Teen numbers with the Teen Beads and Boards.

Number writing practice.