Friday, March 2, 2018

Windy Day Fun

Here in Maryland the wind-magedden has shut down our schools. As I sit here on my couch I cannot help but think of this as the ultimate teachable moment. Wind=FUN (safely indoors of course)

I know what your thinking. How do you make wind inside? Just give a toddler a flag and watch them run around whipping it through the air. Look out!

Here are several teachable windy day activities for kiddos ages 1-99.
Have fun an be safe!

1. Science: make pinwheels, tornado bottles and learn about air
NASA kids
2. Art: make kites, windsocks, flags
Look at Di Vinci' s drawings
3. Languge: draw letters on paper and place around the house. Scatter cotton ball "clouds" on the floor. Give everyone a straw and call out a letter. Children use the straw to make wind and blow the clouds to the correct letter
4. Social studies: tell the story of the history of flight.
5. Practical life: popcorn, soda water, drink with straws make meringue cookies
6. Math: measure the wind
7. Music: windchimes, wind flutes

Peace, love, and pinwheels ♡

Friday, April 14, 2017

Animal Photography

Place based education and Montessori go together. In the book "Place Based Education" by David Sobel, there are amazing stories of Montessori schools  (elementary, middle and highschool) who adopt this path when a farm school isn't an option.
After listening to Sobel speak at the NAMTA conference, and observing and networking locally with a large public Montessori Highschool that is "Place based", I found a small oasis. Today my son age 12 and I completed our first class at the local animal shelter. We can now do laundry, file paperwork, help run the store, greet in the lobby and explore other classes and certifications. My son is interested in animal photography now and will persue his next class sponsored by Purina...who knew?! I'm looking into fundraising and or event coordination there (in addition to bottle feeding kittens ♡)
I can't help but imagine the infinite lessons and possibilities.
Place Based Education+Montessori

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Garden 2017

I'm so excited to begin my 2017 garden. This year, in addition to the school garden I am taking on a city plot! Happy tilling...

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cultural Literacy

Literacy is more than reading. Did you know it took thousands of years for humans to develop the system of written symbols? The truth is, literacy begins as basic communication and efforts to interact with others. When babies coo, and initiate meaningful eye contact with parents and caregivers this is the beginning of literacy. With all of the resources available today, it is tempting to download the latest reading app or game to teach letters and "reading" skills to children. 
These educational tools, while they seem to work for their purpose, lack human communication in fullness which includes tone, intonation, facial expression, body language, cultural context and complete sensory input.  How and why then do we expect something that is taught dynamically, to be learned electronically? How can we expect children to become literate solely through alphabet training and practice work?
Below is the iceberg concept of culture. Ponder this:
Image result for iceberg concept of culture
 A wise adult uses all that family culture and society provides to teach and create meaningful and purposeful communication experiences. These experiences vary, and set the tone for foundational literacy and future reading and writing experiences. In Montessori classrooms, we lay the foundation of phonics, functions of words and fine motor development, at home you can teach your child the cultural aspects of communication and voila, we find literacy is a partnership!
 Here are the 4 aspects of Montessori language training to incorporate at home.
*these come from the very first page of my Montessori Language album* 

1.       True Stories

·         Parallel to all language work

·         Each story lasts no more than 5-7 minutes

·         Tell the story rather than read it

·         Begin with stories of known people such as family members.
EXAMPLE: "Great grandma cooked gravy in a big pot and ladled it over my potatoes. I loved seeing the steam rise and I couldn't wait to taste such a savory dish!"
move on to artists, composers, explorers, or inventors as your child shows interests.


2.       Poems and Rhymes

·         Words to songs are taught as first poems

·         Invite your child to act out poems

·         Change your tone and intonation

·         Recite a new poem each week

3.       Self-Expression

·         Encourage your child to be a part of natural conversation

·         Begin by modeling, telling something that happened during your day

·         Never require your child to talk, as listening is part of conversation

 4.       The Questions Game

·         Play games such as knock-knock (your child stands on one side of the door and knocks. You ask “who is it?” Your child answers with his or her name. You pretend to try and recall who they are and ask them to describe themselves. “How old are you?” “What are you wearing?” “What color is your hair?”

·         Begin with simple elaboration and move towards guiding your child to answer in complete sentences.



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Weekly Ad Flowerpots

Supplies: Weekly ads from local stores, a ruler, and tape

Roll sections of the ads around the ruler and secure with tape.

make a bunch! (about 30)

Tape prepared sections together.

I made several sections so they would be manageable.

Begin rolling. If you made small lengths, tape them on as you reach
the end making a continuous coil.

Tape the end to secure. This is what you have.

Use your thumbs to press the bottom down and pull the sides up,

Adjust the final product!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Age Appropriate Chores

This has been gracing social media for several months. I feel this is worth the BlogSpot.
Montessori on!

Windy Day Fun

Here in Maryland the wind-magedden has shut down our schools. As I sit here on my couch I cannot help but think of this as the ultimate teac...