Saturday, February 18, 2012

Montessori Monday

We've been going through some big changes over the last few weeks.  We changed school rooms, added new materials to our shelves and have changed the pace of our learning time.  We've also been decluttering the house to improve our overall environment.

After reading the scope and sequence at Our Montessori Story, I have been trying to present the materials in that order.  We are starting in period one.  I know that it is below Mustang for sure and mostly below Charger, too, but the activities teach things that build on each other.  I want to be sure that Mustang and Charger at least have a chance to try each thing and not just assume they know them. I also want to make sure that they don't miss out in case there is something intrinsic that they wouldn't have otherwise learned.  It is already very obvious that most of the activities are 'below' Mustang as she will try them once and then move on.  Mini Cooper, on the other hand, will sit and try things over and over again.  It's very interesting to watch.  There have, and will be, some exceptions to this since I am trying to move along for Mustang in math.

These are the presentations made over the last 2 weeks.

Practical Life:

Rolling, unrolling, and carrying a mat.

Pouring beans between two jugs.  I found this lovely set at, of all places, Walmart!  I was pleasantly surprised.

Lifting, carrying, and setting down a chair.  Also, sitting down quietly.


Opening and closing tray.  Mini Cooper and Charger, especially, tried this a lot.

I kept having to add more things so that Mini Cooper had items she could successfully open.  I've since added a few additional items as well.  I left the harder ones (contact cases, lotion bottle) there for her to try.

Spooning between two bowls.  Currently, we are using lentils.  Spooning isn't on the Gettman list, but it is on the list from My Montessori Journey.  I will be using both.

On Valentines, Mustang set the table without being asked to surprise me :).


Pink Tower  (Mini Cooper).  She built it perfectly more then once one day, but hasn't done it correctly since.

Brown stair (Mustang and Charger).  

Which turned IMMEDIATELY into brown stair/pink tower extensions.

There has been a LOT of building around here.

Mustang saw me printing out extension cards and couldn't wait to try them.

You can find them at Walk Beside Me.

I also presented the red rods to Mustang and Charger.  I don't have any photos of the initial presentation, but I showed Mustang how to make the maze later.  She really enjoys it.  Charger tries but simply isn't there yet. That's okay.  

She was in the designing mood.  


Mustang  is working through All About Reading, Level 1 (review coming soon) and First Start Reading (read review here).  They are not Montessori, but I plan to stick with what's working since I don't yet have my footing with the Montessori language.  Plus, we REALLY like both of these programs and they seem to go well with each other, too.  Mustang is just about ready to finish book A of First Start Reading and move to book B.

Charger has been working on 3-part cards-these are for the short U sound.

He has also been doing sequencing cards.

I found a workbook at the Dollar Tree that had tons of beginning sequencing worksheets.  Instead of using them as worksheets, I cut them out and made cards out of them.  He loves putting them in order and then telling me the story of what is happening.

He's also been playing a lot of parking lot games.  And, I mean A LOT.  I first saw this back on My Montessori Journey  and had even played it with Mustang a couple years ago.  But, I had no idea how much he would like it.  I played with him one day, and the next day he came down to the school room-10 cars in hand and asked if he could please have his language lessons right away.  I will probably do a post just on this, because I don't want you to miss this idea if you have a 4 year old boy :).

Mini Cooper and I have been exploring our alphabet boxes.  I have since taken away the letters since I haven't introduced her to the sandpaper letters, yet.  We are just learning vocabulary.  She has speech issues, so it's good to have lots of words to practice.

We have also been doing 2 of 3 part cards.

And matching objects to pictures.  I think this is language?  The cards are from Montessori For Everyone.


I introduced Mustang and Charger to the number rods, which I have no photos of (forgot to charge my batteries that day).  Mustang got it right away.  Charger certainly understood it, and did well, but it was so fun to watch him figure it out.  He would count one rod and then another to choose the right one.  When he put them away, he didn't count, he was estimating length and that was really neat to watch.  I love watching my kids figure it out rather then just repeating things back to me!

One morning, Mustang noticed that the rods 'matched.'  I suggested she try matching them.  

I had her use 2 mats and bring the red rods to the blue and red.  Took a little effort, but she got it.


We have started Geography lessons using Karen Tyler's album.  I really like it so far.  You can get it free if you sign up for the Living Montessori Now newsletter.

Charger exploring the Geography tray.

Mustang making a map in the sand.

As you can see, it's been a busy couple weeks.  This week will be a bit slower school-wise with lots of family coming to visit.  But, we got a box of new materials today so I'm looking forward to working again.  

We have been working on our environment, too.  You may notice a new laminate floor and work rugs in the photos.  But, you wont notice the 5 trash bags and one box of items that went off to the thrift store (not from the school room itself).  The changes have been minimal for now, but we have big plans and I am looking forward to the result. As I mentioned in my post in becoming a Montessori home, I am working to change not only our lessons, but our entire home environment so I'll be documenting that, too.

Hope your week was fun and full of learning.  Thanks for stopping by!

God Bless :)

We're linked up:
Montessori Monday


Mama Bird said...

Great post, I have been wanting to move not a more Montessori approach as well, thanks for the extra push:) how is explorer doing now?

Anonymous said...

You guys have been having a blast!! So much fun! Love the new floor! I need to hear about the parking lot game!

Deb Chitwood said...

Awesome work ... I love seeing the basic activities as well as some amazing sensorial extensions! It's so much fun to see Montessori in action in your homeschool! (Congrats on the decluttering work, too!) Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

Stefanie said...

How wonderful! Looks like the kids are enjoying the changes.