## Friday, April 30, 2010

### The Water Cycle

This week we wrapped up a unit on the water cycle. The kids really enjoyed our various lessons and activites. We made rain gauges, unfortunately the rain stopped after we put our rain gauges outside. So to gain a better understand of how to use a rain gauge,  I put a pouring water to the line activity on the shelf. I wrote the numbers one through four on the glass. The children would call out which number they were going to pour to and this seemed to get to the point of the job of a rain gauge. Independently when pouring they were just pouring to a line. The best enjoyed activitiy was making the water cycle bracelet. I found this activity at Making Learning Fun. I presented the activity by making a bracelet and saying what the color of the bead represented. Once it was on the shelf the children chose the work and made their bracelets.

## Thursday, April 29, 2010

### Mathematics

I set up this variation of cards and counters after observing the kids playing outside, they were counting sticks to build a fort. Now the math area has been  a more interesting area to observe the children in. This work has been out for two weeks now, and they are still  working with this.
This math game is great. The picture dosen't show, but it goes up to the number ten. The child can match object to picture, they can choose what number to count by the object, they can also use this work to order numbers. I have presented this work in different ways to match the skill where the child is at. I found this work here.

## Wednesday, April 28, 2010

### Language Explosion !!!

The kids vocabulary here has been growing daily. The two year olds have been able to say what they want and need, and have shown a great love for books. They have been very careful with the books, and have put the books back on the shelves. A couple of months ago when they were allowed to touch the books they were grabbing more than one book at a time,sit down,open one book, then walking away from them. Guiding with the montessori method has taught them how to handle books ,and take care of the enviroment. They are very proud of coming to "school" everyday. The three and up gang have asked so many new questions. When some respond to my questions they are using words like usually, actually. Storytelling has been a wonderful time and most children are answering the questions that we are discussing at the moment.

I always felt that having a second language to explore is fun and a valuable asset. With all of the language development going on I didn't want to miss their sensitive period and have decided starting next week to implement a foreign language to the children. I decided to expose them to the Latin  language. I will be using SongSchool Latin by Amy Rehn you can find this program at Classical Academic Press there they offer many other languages and resources to help you along the way. I started this program with my own children a year ago. They loved it , but it slowly got pushed aside.  The program is geared  to begin with children as early as three years old. It comes with a great music cd that help the children learn the language through music. Also it has a companion workbook that  helps the child who can write to practice the language by reading and writing, also there are plenty of extra activities to go with each lesson. This program is exactly for anyone to teach Latin who hasn't had any exposure to the language at all. I am trying right now to put together three part cards. For now I think the music is so great that they will enjoy that. I am anticipating the moveable alphabet may even get worked with more.

## Tuesday, April 27, 2010

### Toddler Tuesday

The toddlers have been very busy bees lately. Here are  some of the activities that they have been working with.  Graham crackers were crushed with a mortar and pestle. This activity was really interesting to watch, they really worked on having to wait to eat  after others had to be served. Practing using a knife to slice the foods was most often selected work. Lacing and sorting lace by color of the shoe kept this child working for a twenty minute period. Toothbrushing  has been a everyday thing here now. After lunch the children work on lining up as a group to brush their teeth. This so far has been the best practical life skill that I have been able to introduce, and the parents are loving it. " The Five Ladybugs" have kept the children staying  attentive for a story for a five minute period during small group. This activity they have been counting and telling the story with me as I am reading it. They have also been choosing this activity for independent work. Tonging  fruits a big hit as well. This group of toddlers really enjoy almost anything that has to do with food.
They love their independence and want more new things to do everyday. So very often towards the end of the week I may have to change out objects. Some have their favorites, so sharing has been  reviewed daily. Thanks for stopping by so I can share what work these wonderful toddlers are doing. If you want to see what others are doing with their toddlers head over to onehookwonder.

## Monday, April 26, 2010

### Montessori Monday

The children last week tried out some new things, They really still stayed mostly in the practical life area, which was just fine with me. The Practical Life actvities prepare them for all the other areas. We are not in a hurry here and we enjoy our moments of order. My oldest in the group is working with the blue constructive triangles. He spotted the new design cards and got busy. He stayed focused and created another piece of work, by tracing the six point star, he only asked me if I could write the name of the design for him on the paper. The next picture is a example of sequencing the growth of the Oak tree. The child colored, sequenced, then glued  the cards on the construction paper.  Last week I also was given the opportunity to present the teen board for the first time. I say the student was ready, so the presentation went well.  This child started the montessori method when I did in November. I am really proud of Tie -Tie. This is not his real name. I know I will probably be talking about him alot. The other child is excavating for rocks. This girl with the letter Z is coloring with great concentration and giving this work great deteail,  Z is the first letter in her name, and she is really proud of that. Creating works for children is becoming a really fun hobby of mine. When I see the enjoyment and the learning they are engaged in I continue to do better . I really enjoy learning from them. If you want to see what others are doing go over to OneHookWonder

## Sunday, April 25, 2010

### Science Sunday: Perfume Laboratory Part 1

The language activity "Where Does Things Come From?' has taken over. My children, the school children have all been asking me where do various things come from. My oldest daughter wanted to know exactly how you get perfumes from flowers. This time I happened to be one step in front of her and showed her this perfume laboratory kit that I have been waiting to use with my girls. The kit comes with well written instructions so this experiment she could do all by herself. The picture on the top shows the contents of the kit.
Here are the steps to perform the experiment.
First, {Extracting} you use the tweezers to put the base perfume samples into the syringe. Secondly {Separating }you fill up the little cup with 10ml of warm water and use the syringe to get 5ml of the water. Shake the syringe until the sample is just a soft mass of fibres. Thirdly{Filtering} wet a small pinch or cotton and put it in the syringe right over the spout, then pour in the perfume from the cup. The last thing is to put the syringe over the vial and pour the perfume into the vial, now label the vial with your own chosen fragrant name.
I really was impressed with the smell of the perfume, maybe it's because my daughter made it. I am trying to figure out how to put this on the shelf next week for the children . I am sure they would love to give their mothers' some homemade perfume for Mothers' Day. My daughter is now working on making perfume from real flowers, and some potpourri . Stay tuned. Now go check out what others are doing with Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom.

## Saturday, April 24, 2010

### The Pottery Wheel

Today was a really gloomy day outside, So I decided to take a rest. While I was resting  my husband called me to come see this, our daughter Ken working on her pottery wheel that she received  as a Easter present. My husband helped her mold and get a rhythm, in no time she was on her way to making something that made her smile. I really love the times when our children take steps to do things that will help them feel proud and grow. Making pottery involves a lot of patience and practice before it can become a skilled craft. Ken says she loves feeling the clay, molding the clay and using her foot pedal at the same time.The pottery wheel was purchased at Target for \$15.00, others wanted at least ten dollars more.I just got a burst of energy, Thanks Ken for motivating me today.

## Friday, April 23, 2010

### Sprouting Seeds

One of our do it yourself projects this week was a "Sprouting Seeds" work. On the shelf were the supplies needed and a picture of each direction. I found this in the Plant series by Evan Moor. The Plant theme is geared toward prekindergarten which makes it even easier to break things down for those who may need that. The child simply completes the four steps and places it in the container. Now we are observing our lima beans and hope to record the growth. By the way Evan Moor has other themes for prekindergarten the units come with lots of creative ideas and activities in all areas. I have used all of them in the past. They also come with storybooks to print. Each child eventually did this "Sprouting Seeds" work, others even explored the bean by taking them apart.

## Thursday, April 22, 2010

### Happy Earth Day!!

This week we have enjoyed some wonderful earth related activities. I have a this  to share today.
Since the children enjoyed the the language activity Where Do Things Come From? I decided to put together a paper making work. The supplies are in the picture, the water bottle is filled with warm water the child fills the bottle with recycled paper and shakes it until it turns into pulp.This is a way not to have to use  the blender so you won't need adult supervision like you do with the blender. First you fill your blender with water and recycled paper. Next you blend the paper to make the pulp. Then pour the pulp into the dishpan and stir it, add water unti it looks like porridge. Now the fun part place the plasic mesh tray with one of the screens on the bottom in a angle in the dishpan get enough pulp so that it is spread evenly on the tray . Place the other screen on top and shake off the excess water. Last place your paper on a cloth remove the screens and wait for it to dry. This activity was a great hands on experience, and  the children have continued to wait for their turn. The last picture shows how this work was set up on the shelf. We have done plenty earth related activities I will post about later.The Earth is just what these kids love to talk about. So thanks for reading I will be linking this activity at HomeschoolCreations where you can see what others are doing with their preschoolers.

## Wednesday, April 21, 2010

### Pandora Gets Jealous: Book Review

This book review was done by my daughter who is twelve years old. She reads all the time and can read fast with great comprehension. Heres' her opinion about Pandora Gets Jealous by Carolyn Hennesy.
This book is about Pandora Atheneus Andromaeche Helena (Pandy) daughter of Prometheus.  Long ago mankind was very selfish, there weren't any sacrifices to the Gods. If there were any sacrifices they were only bad parts while saving the good parts for the feasts. Zeus then took fire from the earth leaving it freezing. Prometheus the Titan took fire by his hands giving it back to Earth.  When Zeus found out he gave Prometheus a big punishment. A vulture came and feasted on Prometheus' liver. Prometheus was a immortal so his liver grew back which made his punishment last for years. When Zeus ended Prometheus' punishment he gave him a box with seven terrible evils sealed inside, like jealousy and vanity. If anyone was to break Zeus' seal the earth would fall into destruction. One day Pandora found the box and opened it at school. Now Pandora must capture all the evils, she already found jealousy. I really enjoyed this book. My favorite part was when Pandora found out she had the power to control fire. I spotted this book at Barnes and Nobles on the shelf marked for middle school aged reading. This is just Book One there are others in this series.

## Tuesday, April 20, 2010

### Toddler Tuesday

The ages that  I care for range from six months to twelve years old. Here are some works from the toddler group. They are finger painting using yellow and green they liked how it felt on their fingers. I had to quickly wash hands because they really wanted to touch everything after this. This toddler is reciting "Five Speckled Frogs". Its always a winner when I add the props to the oral poem or story, sometimes they even end up retelling their own.  I know she shouldn't be standing on a chair, but what do you do when their right about to put the smallest cube on top?This child almost got this one without any assistance at all.(By the way I did redirect her to the carpet with a mat.) Color box #1  She is matching, and not at all interested in knowing the names yet. Well this is just a glimpse of how our toddlers have been learning the montessori way. I am heading over to read what others are doing with their toddlers at onehookwonder

## Monday, April 19, 2010

### Montessori Monday

Today there wasn't any new lessonsI learned for this group Monday just isn't the day to do this. Some activities that  I was able to take pictures of is a language activity that I  downloaded from http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/ Where Do Things Come From? I found matching objects so the children could get a more concrete understanding of this work. Another activity that I saw a child stay engaged for a while was matching numbers to the outline, he started making it a number line activity, matched, and the placed it on the tray to show me his work. Again this two year old really amazes me. She pays close attention to the olders, when someone was fininshed sweeping, she ran for it so she could give it try. She always stays focused on her task, it may not be for long, but that is what she does. You may recognize her in other photos. This child shows interest in almost every subject.  Again she is two years old!!  The overall activity level was very high today the children were ready to come to work today. The weather today didn't allow for much outdoor play. They used the best of their work time today.  I will keep my fingers cross but it looks like everything is coming together here. Once again I would like to thank onehookwonder for allowing me to share. By the way I am just learning how to blog, I have no idea how to grab a button, or how to get my pictures to go with what I am talking about.  Please continue to read and maybe, just maybe you will be able to see growth.

## Sunday, April 18, 2010

### Review and Reflect

One of the things that I really love about the Montessori Method is that you must look deeper into yourself to become the best guide for the children. Well one thing that constantly sticks out about me is my voice level. It is much too loud. It also causes confusion to others that I am not speaking to. This week I am going to  tape record my voice during all interactions with children. Hopefully knowing that I am being recorded will allow me to be more concientious. I know that a quieter and calm voice breeds good results. Another observaton that I made about myself is appearance. I must look more professional too. I have worked in the basement of our house for eight years now, so I have kinda resorted to anything that has been made out of sweatshirt material you know what I mean? So tomorrow I will start with at least a nice polo top and some jeans that are actually ironed. So many times I have told the children to use their "inside voices". I guess it time to show them exactly what an "inside voice" sounds like, I will start with me first. I know once I master these two things the enviroment will be able to be better "prepared enviroment". Observations of ourselves is just as important as observing the children.

## Friday, April 16, 2010

### "Look Mrs.T I Did It!!!"

The famous words that children were saying  sounded oh so good! I couldn't keep up with the work all of the children were showing me today. Here are a few pictures I  managed to be able to take. Pay close attention to the skills these little ones were showing. For example making circles, holding the marker, tracing sandpaper letters. The reading work was a printable from The Activity Mom.

## Thursday, April 15, 2010

### Zoology

Since all of the children have a shared interest in animals I  gave the lesson on plant vs animal sorting. This work consists of different pictures of animals and plants, with labels of the headings as well as the definition that shows the difference between the two. I purchased these cards from montessori for everyone. The response was incredible as each child came over to see how much fun the child I was presenting was having, so this turned into the "work" that everyone wanted to do, which led into a lesson waiting for our turn. We made a graph of "What animal would you like to be?" and shared why. We did a participation story Why Am I Small? this was about a meerkat discovering his special skills and learns to appreciate his size. The children today did a uniterrupted work period of one hour today. This is the first for us, and it is the first week I can say I have been able to follow each child. I have been very concious of why I am  putting this work on the shelve, who am I trying to follow and present this work for. I have created a mental picture where I can see a name tag right next to it. So far the child that I have been thinking about for that work has enjoyed it when I showed it to them on the shelves. I am still trying to work on being more observant, and using a quieter voice.

## Wednesday, April 14, 2010

### Just Like Magic

Today for a group presentation  I introduced Liquid, and Solids. We read a couple of pages from the book below. This book gives a very good explanation of what liquids and solids are , the kids were able to relate to the geometric solids very quickly as we were searching for solids in the classroom. Then we did this experiment that shows how liquid can change into a solid. In the tube is Instant Solid Powder by Smart Tubes I purchased this at our science museum here in Lansing, Michigan. Next to it is our liquid of choice water.So you measure the powder to the amount of water, and like magic it turns into a solid. So to prove that the liquid turned into a solid this child had to turn it upside down to see if it would spill. Lots of fun this was. The Smart Tubes comes with other experiments that we will also try.