The Work Plan

Monday, January 31, 2011

Multiage Groups in the Montessori Enviroment

Although we don't have as many children that are in regular montessori classrooms, we do have the multiage groupings in our favor. This is a very important aspect when choosing to use the montessori method. I have had parents who enrolled, that were at first turned off that their two and a half year old would be working alongside another four year old fearing that they may be too socially immature and problems would occur. Another reason is that they were not ready to let independence develop. They really without saying it wanted a "daycare" where the provider cleans the child messes as the child walks away, they want a provider that allows the child to walk around with their sippy cup all day. Once I give them the run down on how their childs' day will go they become a little more comfortable. What actually gets them to enroll their child here is observing the children while they are working. I love the montessori method and I love it because I have seen children completely emerge since I begin implementation of the method. They are magnets to the work with no encouraging words necessary. The whole design of the program includes every kind of learner there is. What inspired me to write this post is my observation of the children right now working with the brown stairs. They were untouched for weeks at a time and as soon as one child discovered a brown stair extension everyone is wanting a presentation for some they want another.  

 It all started when I  presented the brown stair extension with the marble to Andrew.

Then Jamesha quickly got the brown stairs back off the shelf.  Ann whose face you can't see wanted to still work alongside Jamesha got the pink tower work off the shelf.

 Ann built the pink tower and then Jamesha was copying Anns' work with the brown stairs discovering an extension to this work.    
     Now Jessica and Vinny repeat the brown stairs work everyday.

Jessica and Vinny are just one year younger than the children in the first two photos. But just trust me they discovered this "new" work by observing their older peers and having the freedom to use the material.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hablo espanol?

We are very blessed  Lil and Jessicas' mom speaks fluent spanish and has offered to teach the children spanish two hours a week! The children had a blast with her this week. Miss M introduced the sound that "a" makes in spanish to the preschoolers. Also the alphabet song and spanish greetings Hola and Adios. They have a letter book to go along with their lessons that they color objects that start with "a", practice writing the letter "a", and then there is a page where they can draw or cut out and glue other pictures that begin with the letter "a".

                                             Our spanish letter Aa book.

 These are the objects in the spanish alphabet  "a'" box; abrigo, arbol, arana, aguja, avion. The children also learn the names of these objects in spanish.


The toddlers also receive lessons. Ms. M is giving them lessons on naming animals in spanish. They also matched objects to the pictures and to the spanish word.

I am very grateful to Ms. M  for volunteering her time and skills to our little school. The children are asking for more spanish. Whenever Ms.M brings her daughters to school the children greet her with HOLA! and beg her to stay to teach them more.                          

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Afterschooling Weekly Wrap Up #6

The last couple of weeks has been really busy for us on the home front. The kids have had projects due at school that involved a lot of their time to get it done exactly as they wanted it to be. I have been dealing with this same cold and runny nose that it has been just annoying. Now my two youngest are saying their throats, ears and foreheads hurt. Having children around us a lot has built up our immune system so we are not use to the common cold. We take our vitamins and enjoy winter, doesn't look like it might work out that easy this winter season. So moving along to our afterchooling I didn't take many pictures but I do have pictures of some of their works on subjects they wanted to know more about. 

Ken is still loving the American Girls series. Ken finished Addy's Surprise sometime last week and now is reading Happy Birthday Addy. I love these books too because Ken was not a child that would pick up a book to read on her own until she started reading this series. Now she sleeps with her books, they are always with her.

Michelles' newest thing is to learn all she can about all of the states. Michelle also did a beautiful book report on Ann Frank The Diary of a Young Girl along with a bulletin display. I wish I took pictures because now the teacher has claimed it as one of her favorite examples to show future students.

DJ completed the Master Reader Hooked on Phonics so now he is back to reading his Magic Treehouse books. The Eve of the Emperor Penguin and the companion book. DJ is really into this book now and has been doing some wonderful activities related to his readings.

                                   Color by number penguin poster.

                    Learning facts about different penguins.

                                          Penguin puzzle.

                                  Learning about Anartica.

  Ken continues to work with the Large bead frame and the Long Division Rack and Tubes. She is really improving in her math skills as well.  I think it is time for me to add some story problems to her choices, and add dynamic problems to her choice of math problems.  Michelle is excited about learning chemistry in school so I am going to put together some works in that department. All three of them have shown interest in learning the human body . 

        They love this flip chart and quiz each other on the facts.

 This book was an obvious winner for DJ because I found it in his hiding place:)

I put together this matching object to picture work.  I downloaded this from the The Learning Ark. N now has a montessori material shop with a lot of wonderful materials and a free download section. My camera dosen't do this work justice.

 Thank you for stopping by and reading about what the kids have been doing all week. Enjoy your weekend!!

Volcanoe Tray

                               Igneous Rocks: From Liquid Fire.

 To explain exactly how Igneous rocks are made I introduced the Volcanoe Tray. We discussed what igneous rocks look like depends on the type of lava it is made from and how fast or slow it cools. Well then the children ask "What is lava"? I tell them lava is created from magma. Now the questions won't stop and now I am starting to lose track of where this rock unit is going. Lol. We are definetly going to learn the parts of the Earth and visit Venus and Mars again.

                               We have been reading this book by Franklyn Branley

     What I liked about this book is that it was very informative, the pictures are perfect. I was able to read this book to my three and four year olds because the pictures were so great that we were able to use the pictures to read this book in a more of a  dialogue way. I would recommend this book for a older age group and especially if any child wanted to do research work about volcanoes.                                                                              

                                                  Volcanoe Tray

 In the cup is the vinegar, and inside the dish is the baking powder. The children use the spoon  for the baking soda. They also have to use the funnel  to get the materials inside our volcanoe model.

 This is what the volcanoe looks like. I used krazy glue to attach the measuring cup to our volcanoe model. Inside I placed drops of red food coloring. This model I brought ages ago at Hobby Lobby, and it does come with something that covers the bottom. I couldn't find the bottom to this so I had to improvise. What I do like about the way I did the bottom is now the children can see exactly what is going on inside the volcanoe.

                                 I also have some parts of the volcanoe cards on the shelf.

After doing our rock art activity last week the children have been wanting to know what are some other things they can use rocks for. I put this mortar and pestle work on the shelf.  It is filled with rock salt for the children to crush. I demonstrated what rock salt was used for by bring in some snow from outside and we watched it dissolve the snow.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day

In honor of Australia Day the children and I had a small discussion about the continent of Australia. We looked through our childrens' picture atlas and discussed some of the animals that live in this continent. The children learned that there are a lot sheep in Australia and so we also sorted sheep from cows. We reviewed where Australia is on our continent map puzzle . The children also placed the Australia flag on our World flag puzzle. Finally we made our own flags of Australia.

To see other children learning about geography and history please visit History/Geography exchange hosted by Children Grow Children Explore Children Learn

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Color by Number (Penguins)

I got a nice penguin activity book from the scholastic dollar deal ebook sale. There is a lot of activities that are hands on that could keep us busy with learning about penguins for a good six weeks. Today on the shelf I had this color by number penguin work. This work helps the children to become familiar with the 17 different types of penguins.

 Mumble took to this work immediately in case you didn't know Mumble is the name of the penguin in the movie Happy Feet. I use this name for Mumble because he is very fond of penguins and made me well aware of this when we first met.

 I colored the poster myself  for an example to hang on the wall by the shelf where the activity was shelved.
 That is Mumble holding the poster, he liked that he was able to take the poster off the wall to have it be a guide for him.

   Lots of concentration was going on while Mumble completed this work.

  Mumble did take a break from this work, he returned to this work after rest time.

Mumble was very happy about his finished poster that he could take home. We went over the names of the penguins and was able to find the similarities and the differences of the 17 penguins. Boy did I learn a lot today!! Lol.


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Writing Tray

 Inspired by two fancy pens, stamps and a mailbox, the writing tray made its' debut on the shelf. I know it  has a permanent spot on our shelves from the children responses. They all have been really emerging in their writing since a couple of presentations with the metal insets. I was trying to find another creative way for their new skills and there it was for a total of four bucks at Targets' dollar spot. I will change out the materials to go along with maybe the holiday or the subject area that the children have a high interest in. Last week they were writing letters of the alphabet, today Jamesha wrote a word. Jamesha didn't know how to read it , but she wrote papa. When she showed it to me we worked on reading the word. Jamesha was very happy to be able to read what she wrote, I believe for the first time she now understands the relationship between sounds and the written word. Beautiful!!

                                           The Writing Tray

The Writing Tray has a box with index cards and envelopes. A heart container filled with three heart stampers. Two fancy pens,a stamp pad and a empty mailbox.                                             

                                                  Let the writing begin!!

I should warn you that you should have a nice supply of index cards and envelopes close by, I had to restock it during rest time. The Writing Tray can be contagious!!