Saturday, September 20, 2008
Think I have one more automatic post scheduled for tonight. Back soon!
Friday, September 19, 2008
I have a confession to make...
I CANNOT stop buying books at the thrift store. My store has books for $.20 a piece and $3.00 a bag sales about once a month. So...I keep them organized by splitting them into categories and keeping them somewhat sorted on the shelves.
The shelf shown is for school books only and the books are sorted by Art/Practical Life/Sensorial, Science, Math/Language, and Geography. I even had a shelf left for our anatomy and leaf puzzles.
Now our normal day to day books are another story and are a huge mess!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I have a TON of art/craft supplies and was incredibly overwhelmed with them last year. So this year I knew I had to come up with a solution. Finally, I broke down and bought 2 Five drawer plastic stackable systems. I just have them stacked on top of each other and now my supplies are sorted into different drawers. They are easy to find and easier to put away. (and yes...that top drawer is filled up with Pompoms...pathetic...but I got a huge bag at a yard sale. Any ideas on what I can do with them?)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Another quick and easy work to make! I literally just bought small bottles of seasoning at a local grocery store. I covered the labels with strips of red or blue paper and Josh is to open the lid, smell it and compare. He can check his work by looking at the number I wrote on the bottom.
I made the sound bottles last year but just showed Josh how to use them this past week...not sure what I was waiting for! He got them all correct right away so I will add more soon!
But I did want to show you how easy they are to make. I used yogurt smoothie bottles...they were 2 different brands but the same bottle. It worked well because the caps were different colors. I added beads, sand, rice, and peas to the bottles and labeled the bottoms.
As Josh would say, "Easy Peasy!"
Monday, September 15, 2008
Just a quick word about our calendar time. We do the date, say the days of the week, go over weather and the season. Then we talk about how many days we have been in school. To keep track we use the white laminated arrows you can see above the calendar and in the picture below. I write the number on the arrow with a designated marker (e.g. blue for September) so that we can look back and see the different months easier.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This is my version of the sound bags. I just bought tiny paper bags at a party store, lowercase letter stickers at www.michaels.com , and filled them with the appropriate items (beginning with the letter sound on bag) that I found around the house.
As you can see for /f/ I have frog, frame, fish, flower, five, and fire truck. I have also included a small letter f cut from felt.
I store them all in a cart on wheels, so that Josh can just grab one or two depending on what he is doing with them. The middle "drawer" has a large white sheet of felt and 2 sets of sound picture cards that I want him to work on that week. (he sorts them)
He actually chooses this work pretty frequently. He likes all the tiny items in the bags. He also gets a kick out of the items I have "borrowed" from him.
Friday, September 12, 2008
This is a tool I used in my classroom so that the students are able to actually see how much they can read. It gives them confidence and inspires them to sound out "harder" words.
This is Joshua's that is sticky tacked to his bedroom wall and he just LOVES to read a few words and add them to the caterpillar every night before bed.
We also use a pointer (ya know, wooden spoon) to have him read the ones already up on the wall.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
This is our Culture shelf. Since we are not really starting anything (subject wise) right now it mostly has work from last year. So while we establish routines, he can choose (starting on the top left)
Next is our Sensorial shelf, this is the least used...any suggestions?
(starting on the top left)
Knob less cylinders (need to print extensions still!)
The not pink tower
Color box 2
Our Language shelf...
Non metal insets
What doesn't belong cards (association)
Name practice wipe off card
visual discrimination cards
Stamp word making work
Our pink work is on a different shelf system with the sound bags etc... Will post that soon!
Base Ten Blocks (instead of golden beads)
Tangrams with sheets
Paper chain counting work from Childcare Land!
Geo board work
Our version of the spindle boxes
Other math work...like hundreds board and addition snake game will come out later.
Practical Life shelf...
Nuts and bolts
sand pour (just as a refresher! Water in a few days with real pitchers!)
water dropper work
NEW hammering work
New cutting work
Our dressing frames are around but have not found a home yet!
Thursday, September 04, 2008
The day seriously was not looking good...
However, we had an unexpected visit from a new blogging friend The Freak of Nature herself (and her ADORABLE family). What started out as a ROUGH day turned into quite a delight!
They are moving to the area and we could not be happier! I cannot wait to get to know all of them better and to have another Montessori Mommy so close! So yeah me!
I am heading to bed now...too much excitement. I WILL finish the classroom this weekend so pictures next week! HOLD ME TO IT!
So anyway, when we started on this journey, the summer Josh turned 3, I was busy trying to gather what I needed and get everything ready. One lovely morning I was out shopping the garage sales when I stumbled upon...
It is PERFECT for us. Here is a description and close up picture! The really great unexpected charm of the blocks is that the inside of each block is decorated like a different room of a house. Josh just loves this. He builds the tower (because you need to use the material correctly before you can "experiment") then he grabs our tiny math bears and creates wonderful homes for them with amazing stories for each. So the activity turns into a language exercise.
Oh, and by the way $4.00! You know how I love a good deal!
So, once again...that is how we made it work for US!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Josh received this set of Wedgits for his 3rd Birthday! He was thrilled and used them right away. However...since then he barely touches them. This has been really frustrating me because I thought he would love them and to be honest....I do. I often choose to work with them.
So...anyway, I was hesitant to buy the design cards because I was afraid they would squelch his creativity. But, a few weeks ago, I found them at my favorite local toy store for 20% off. I grabbed them and I tell you friends...I am SO glad I did.
He loves them! He builds the cool stuff from the cards and then plays creatively with his creation. He puts the little white pieces inside and pretends they are guys for his rocket ships etc...
So...how we made it work for us? We gave Josh a little inspiration for his creativity!
I am hoping to do a semi-regular post about adaptations we have made that have helped. Hope you enjoy our ideas.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Culture This is a really neat activity from Kelly's Kindergarten in which the child learns to use a magnifying glasses. The cards have teeny, tiny versions of the larger pictures. You just use the magnifying glass to figure out which match.
Practical Life These are from this set of nuts and bolts and are just for practicing to screw and unscrew.
Math Finally, we have a set of Cuisenaire Rods with cards that I made using 1 cm graph paper. He can also make his own designs. I will soon be adding blank graph paper for him to record what he has designed.
On another side note...you will notice a lacking in the sensorial area! That would be because Josh NEVER chooses anything from these shelves and I am still racking my brain to figure out something that will attract him. Currently we have
knob less cylinders (he does use these...)
Our not so pink tower
...I think that is it...ANY SUGGESTIONS????