Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Solstice

Today we read my favorite book about the first day of winter, called The Shortest Day:  Celebrating The Winter Solstice.  I love how it told of the different ways the world has celebrated and recorded this particular seasonal change.  The illustrations were beautiful, and there are actual experiments noted in the back, like measuring the length of a shadow like the Chinese did over 3,000 years ago.

We were lucky enough to have a dusting of snow, and a snowball fight!



We sang the Birthday Celebration song, with a twist ending for today.  If you have a candle and a globe, you can travel while you sing.  Be sure the child only travels 1/4 of the way around the sun, one trip around would be one year.

The Earth goes 'round the sun
The Earth goes 'round the sun


It takes twelve months, fifty-two weeks, three hundred sixty-five days.
And now it's winter (we ring a bell, our favorite from the Christmas Tree).

Here is a link to a wonderful site about this day:

www.candlegrove.com/solstice.html

Shaving Cream Fun

We love this!  Simply squeeze some while shaving cream (we like the pretty scents) onto a tray and add a few drops of gel food coloring.  A fun sensorial experience.  When the shaving cream dried out, it kept its shape, and made lovely colors on the paper.









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Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Environment (as it evolves)

I realized that I have not posted pictures of our little classroom yet.  We do not have all of the typical Montessori materials, yet we have what we need as this room is not our child's only school experience.  The collection will build over time, I'm making new things every week.  It is very different from school, as the classroom areas are mixed, yet ordered.  This is was is out every day, but I often pull out items for special occasions or unit studies. 

View from the child's level

view from my height


This is where we keep puzzles, and our sets basket

Under this couch we keep the movable alphabet (so the tots don't tear it apart).  I keep special books out, relative to the time of year on the ottoman.  Looks like I left my water on the floor...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mama Stories: Following The Child


The one thing all Montessorians have in common is that they "Follow The Child" in their teaching and in their parenting.
Just recently, I was happy I listened to my instincts and followed my child.  One of my tots is terrified of man dressed as Santa.  Happy from a distance, a wave at the mall has her enchanted.  However, she snuggled in tight to Daddy when it was her turn.  I know many parents that would have her 'toughen up' and just sit for the picture.  I do not feel for my child that is was worth it.  Little Sarah was just as happy to wave from afar, and our listening to her request saved her the stress of being frightened for a simple photograph.  She is still talking about how amazing it was for Santa to wave to her!  That was one parenting moment where I followed my child.  On the way home, we were both thankful that we knew enough to let her be.  How about you?
Feel free to comment here and share your Follow The Child story.

Versatile Blogger Award!



Award Rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.  Thank you, Leann at Montessori Tidbits!
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 10 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (in no particular order…)
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.
7 things about myself

I love my new school so much I keep pinching myself, is this real?
If one more stranger asks me about my twins, I may pass them a pamphlet on zygosity.
I get so much stress relief from making new materials, there goes yoga!
I should probably get back into yoga.
My children are so different from one another, it is such a gift.
I want Santa to bring me a laminator, really- I've been good all year.
I'm thankful for my parents, the best babysitters in the world.

And now passing it on....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Print Shop Giveaway!

This is exciting.  Montesssori Print Shop is hosting a giveway at their site!  Simply comment at the link for a chance to get a pdf worth $300.

Click Here:  Montessori Print Shop Giveaway

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fantastic Friday

Update:  This post as been featured on Living Montessori Now!!

We were so excited to have some Christmas items on our shelves this week!  The first thing she did is ask for a photo with her shelf.  I love Friday afternoons, because big sis and I are alone (and snuggling) while the twins are napping.  The top is a baster transfer, with water.  Color wheel watercolor transfer, link below.  Montessori Pink level word work, with our new movable alphabet.  Such focused work!






The color wheel work is free!  Visit the blog,  Mama Jenn.

After naps, Bean showed the tots what was new.  We found snowflake transfer, water squeezing, and a new open and close activity- full of holiday cheer!!







Happy to be linked up with:


Living Montessori Now



No Time For Flash Cards

















Friday, December 3, 2010

Metal Insets, Lesson and Suggested Order


Metal Insets
Area
General~ Language
Specific~ Motor Preparation

Materials
  Two trays of geometric shapes
  Ten metal insets and frames
  Tray
  Three pencils
  Metal Inset Paper

Aims
Direct~
Development of eye hand coordination
To gain mastery over control of small movements
Develop control of a pencil
Develop a geometric sense
Stimulate artistic sensibilities
Develop ability to a plan a design

Indirect~
Preparation for writing
Indirect preparation for geometry

Preparation

  Chalkboard activities
  Practical life and sensorial activities

 

Age

First year Montessori student

 

Presentation of Lesson

  Choose tray, three pencils, paper, and metal inset frame and bring to table
  1.  Trace the inset holding the inset with sub dominant hand, stopping at the point in which you began (2 o’clock)
  Use both sides of the paper
  2.  Draw lines inside top to bottom and then left to right
  3.  For Cursive preparation, start at the top and go to the bottom, tracing along the inset line before going back up again



Work of the Teacher
Points of Emphasis
  Begin with circular shapes
  Show a good pincer grip
  Start at 2 o’clock
  Hold inset or frame with sub dominant hand
  Reinforce top to bottom and left to right

 

Language

  Color of pencils
  Shape you choose

Points of Interest

  Shapes
  Tracing a shape
  Colors of pencils
  Making a design

Work of the Child
Points of Conscious
  Pressure of pencil
  Writing is a mechanical skill

 

Control of Error

  Frame and inset
  Teacher

Variations

  Change colors

Extensions
  Change shapes
  Use the blue inset to trace instead
  Turn the shape
  Make a book
  Sewing the design
  Embellishment