The Work Plan

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Putting Things Into Holes

Earlier this week I observed Happy putting these pegs into the hole of one of our shelves.

  Happy has been working with the material above for quite some time. Happy loves putting the pegs in the hole and using the hammer. I  think the best part of this work for Happy was putting the pegs in the hole which she is very good at.  In effort to stop putting the pegs down our holes of our shelves I presented her the Knobbed Cylinder Block 1. Let me just share with you that she is no longer putting the pegs in the holes and is very happy with her new work.


Confession: Before I begin using the Montessori Method I used this shelf for various things. When the children would put things down the holes of the shelves, I would stop them by covering the holes. They would manage to uncover the hole and still keep putting things down the hole. A power struggle would take place and I would "win" by removing the shelf.  Now I keep this shelf in our learning enviroment to look for readiness that Happy demonstrated. Isn't it a wonderful thing that if we can continue to be life long learners we can even learn things from how a particular way a shelf is made. Most important, if we are observers of the child we can follow the child and be able to understand what next step they are needing in their development.                                                                                                                                                                                      

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Keeping Those Hands Busy!!

 Wet pouring hasn't been used as often as it should be. The children are really good at dry pouring. They still need support with wet pouring so I am at odds to present extensions to this lesson. I do know that most of the children begin their work period with their most favorite activity that usually dosen't offer much of a challenge but it is still satisfying to them and allows them to gradually throughout the work period become more focused and begin to work with materials that do offer them a work more catered to their individual goals. In effort to take advantage of this process I have added hand works to the Practical Life area. They love to make stuff all of the time so I thought it would be fitting to kind of add these works to bring a new flavor to what the Practical Life Area can also offer them.


                                              Sewing buttons.

Our fabric and thread box. This holds the materials that the child can use to make their own works of arts with the sewing needle.

                                  A closer view of some of the matrials inside the box.

                                                The sewing tools basket.

                                               The beginners weaving loom.

                                                  Our large weaving loom.

This is the first time that I have had a whole shelving unit dedicated to hand works.  I am excited to see how this plays out with the children.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our New Scrubbing Table

 I put together a scrubbing table for the children. I have been personally longing for the one avaliable at Monstessori Services but it just isn't a feasible option right now. I  presented it to the children yesterday. It is now one of their favorite things to do. Everytime one child completed the work another child was waiting to do the work.  We only had a washcloth to use yesterday, hoping for some more dirty laundry( did I just say that).

The pitcher is used for retreiving water from our water source. I have a line marked with a line for how much water it needs to be filled with. The scrubbing board and an apron is in the dishpan on the left, this is the dishpan where they will be doing the scrubbing. The dishpan on the left is for rinsing, Below the table on a shelf is the laundry detergent.

                                           Our clothes line for hanging the wash.

                                                               Our laundry basket.

  Mumble joyously scrubbing. I have since moved the table on the otherside of the wall. It was too tight of a spot with our pet Max behind him.


Monday, December 27, 2010

From Concrete to Abstract

                          Division with Racks and Tubes (Long Division)

 Before the child works with the Division with Racks and Tubes they must have worked a lot with the golden beads, stamp game and division board. Maria Montessori referred to this material "as an arithmetical pasttime for the child" At this level more importance is given to the quotient, that is, what each unit receives, not so much to the quantity divided.  I don't have any prior experience with this work I am learning this material I am using the album avaliable at  Montessori Teachers Collective. I feel this is a perfect example of how the Montessori Method develops. I am fortunate to work with children of different ages and capabilities that I can get sneek peeks in to how this whole thing develops. Dr. Montessori was so brilliant in how she developed her materials that it just tickles me when I get a light bulb moment. When I received this material and opened the box I have to admit I was intimidated, the work is huge!

          I wasn't able to photograph the thousand board that goes along with this work.

                                                 Here are my girls helping me set up this work.


This work is usually seen in the 6-9 classroom. I hope this helps someone to keep continuing with the montessori method especially when it may appear that there are days that your child may not be learning. Yes, they are learning, they are going from concrete to abstract, keep the faith!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!! Make A Difference

Every year at this time I reflect on different events that has happened over the past months.  I can say I have a loving God who continues to carry me even when I become weak in my faith. My family has received a lot of worldly possesions, and have grown spiritually as a family unit. It is time for us to pay it forward and spread  love outside our home in a concientious effort. This year we are working on a  New Years' Resolution that will allow us to give back to our community. We have named the year of 2011 "Make A Difference". We will complete at least one community service project a month starting in the year 2011. We are still brainstorming the list of possibilities, I will be sure to post this list just in case it can give you ideas if you were thinking about doing community service projects. As for my personal resolution I am going to take one day at a time, because really we are only promised today.
                              Here are some pictures of my kids enjoying their vacation at home.

                                     Making gummy Santa candy.

                   They completed this Gingerbread house entirely on their own.

                                           Cookie decorating.


                                         This Christmas Morning
                      Already working!! Enjoying some of their Christmas presents.

                             Ken soaking her Rock-Wool Cubes, preparing for her plant seeds.

                                                   Building a Solar Energy House.

        DJ modeling his new suit. DJ says he is wearing this to his first job interview.

Thank you for all of your lovely comments, and for reading this blog. Everyone of your comments have inspired me to think outside the box.                                 

                                                Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy People !!

Everything went well this week as we celebrated Christmas as a school family.  Here are some highlights of our festive week.                                                       

                                                              Playing with play doh.

                                                       Making hand prints.


                                                    Decorating Rudolph.

                                                              Sporting the headband.

                                                              Making Christmas cards.

                                                      Making gingerbread men necklaces.

                                                              Collaging a wreath.

                                                Rather hold the present than open it. So cute!!

Guess he got what he wanted.

                                                                   Eating  good !!
 We have said our farewells and wished each other Merry Christmas. They all come back on Monday.  I guess it is time for me to clean up and relax with some  hot cocoa.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Littlest Matryoshka

I had no idea how much the children would love working with the Matryoshka dolls. So I found the book The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Demas Bliss. I fell in love with this book, and so did the children. I am going to try to give some details of the story without telling the story. For those of you that have never read this book before I don't want to spoil the ending for you. The story starts in Russia where Nikolai a dollmaker carves the Matroyshka dolls. He declares to the dolls "You are six sisters". Nikolai names the dolls, and puts one inside of each other.  Then Nkolai sends the dolls off to a toy shop in America. Anna had a pedestal base so she could not fit inside any of the dolls. She has the fanciest flower on the front of her apron and the wiseset  look in her eye. Nikolai says good-bye to Anna and tells her "Keep your sisters safe inside you and may you find a happy home".  Now they are on their journey to America. When they arrive it is in March the very end of winter. The sisters make it and are placed on the shelf in the store and Nina the littlest sister was brushed off the shelf by a shopper with a puffy coat on. No one but Ninas' sisters notices what has happened. Now, I'll stop here so that you can get the loving feeling I felt when I read the ending of this beautiful story.
                                                                The cover of the book.

                                 Activities With The Matryoshka Dolls

   The Matryoshaka Dolls were first presented as a practical life exercise. Open and Close.

                                           Sensorial. Arranging dolls from biggest to littlest.

 Once we read the book. The children were excited to call their dolls by name. Unfortunately the set of Matryoshka dolls we have only have five sisters.

 The children also colored the Matryoshka dolls with this coloring page that I found on the website Making Learning Fun.

 The book has an Authors Note in the back. So we found out that nesting dolls were first made in China.  The idea came to Russia in 1890"s. One artist Sergei Malyutin designed the first set of Russian nesting dolls , the largest, a peasant girl with with a babuska (kerchief) on her head. Many regions in Russia took up the art. We learned what the word Matryoshka comes from, The common peasant girl female called Matryona which is derived from the word mother, and the dolls have become a symbol of motherhood and fertility.

Come and share your adventures in time and space at History/Geography exchange hosted by Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Montessori Monday

 We are still working here. We will have Friday off and return on Monday. This is still a daycare, I work when parents work . Which is a wonderful thing if you live in Michigan where the economy is bad! Finding a job is hard.  Here some pics of the kiddos working in action.

                                                         Practical Life

                                                                 Watering plants.

                                                             Velcro dressing frame.

                                                                    Scissor practice.


                                       Pink level matching words to pictures.

                                                                  Metal Insets.

                   Matching socks.  I added more socks to make this more challenging.



                                                      Cards and Counters variation.

                                                       Graphing our favorite way to stay warm.


                                                      Parts of the tree cards.

                                                Watching the earth orbit the sun.

                                                                 Owl craft.

                                                           Solar System puzzle.

To see other children doing montessori activities please visit One Hook Wonder.