Posts by: Montessori Teachings

Extension of the Geometric Cabinet

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Some of the older children have worked often with the Geometric Cabinet and like to complete extensions. Here a child uses stamps and colored pencils to create a book of geometric shapes. They are familiar with the names and have now started to write everything down. They enjoy making books of their own to take home.

Strawberry Hulling (and eating!)

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A wonderful and tasty practical life (food prep) activity is strawberry hulling. Here the child learns how to place their fingers in the special tool. (First they put on an apron, carry the tray to a table and wash their hands.)

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The child then takes off the green part by pushing down the tip of the huller and twisting.

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After she is done hulling she places the green part in a small bowl (to be throw away or composted later) and eats the yummy strawberry!

A Poem For Mother’s Day

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The afternooners wrote a poem for their mothers yesterday. We began this work by thinking of words that came into our mind when we thought of our mothers.
We had the children write them on sticky notes so they could be arranged and moved around.

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This is what they wrote:
Hug Kiss Cutest
Best Cook Baking
Brownies Muffins
Love

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The children put a lot of thought in how to arrange the words. It was wonderful to watch them work this out as a group.

After the words were written, they flipped the watercolor paper over and used crayons and watercolors for a wax-resist art project.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of our amazing Mothers!!!!

Opportunities for Writing

Writing and reading go together and we try to provide opportunities and encourage children to write. Montessori language work begins with the metal insets. Here a child learns to hold a pencil and gain some control while creating beautiful images in many colors. As they progress through the many works, children may want to begin writing letters. They move on to writing their name and pretty soon various messages. These messages can be anything from writing a sign to let others know to “take only one paper towel” to writing words in a book. Here are some examples:

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T Rex was dead in a big explosion. To: Angela

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Mother’s Day Book of Flowers

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Rose

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“ar” words

Children are not put under pressure to spell things perfectly but encouraged to express themselves by sounding out the words. Eventually, as they work through the language materials, they see many words and how they are spelled.

Washing a Cloth

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Step 1: Fill up the bucket. (this is after the work has been set up and an apron or smock is put on).

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Step 2: Get the cloth wet.

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Step 3: Place the cloth on the board and rub soap on it.

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Step 4: Place the board on your belly and begin to scrub the cloth by moving it up and down.

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Step 5: Rinse out the cloth and wring it as dry as possible.

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Step 6: Take to drying rack and use clothespins to secure.

Step 7: Repeat or clean up the work for the next child.

In a Montessori environment, we encourage self-sufficiency. Children at this age are learning to master their environment as well as the movements of their body. Multi-step activities such as washing a cloth allows a child to have the opportunity to build confidence, independence and concentration. At this point, most children will not be washing cloths with a washboard but this activity encourages concentration as the child becomes fully absorbed into their work. If you were to observe this child you may have seen joy and serenity and a sense of accomplishment at the end.

Parts of a Flower

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Spring has sprung and the flowers (and everything else it seems) has bloomed!

We study plants and flowers at this time of the year as the children are witnessing this change of season on a daily basis. We have been planting seeds, beans and potting flowers (Happy Mother’s Day) for our special Mothers! It was time to take a closer look at a flower and see all of the various parts.

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We call this work a flower dissection.

We take a tulip and very carefully cut the specific pieces off and place them on a black card so they are visible. We name each part and have the children match the parts of a flower cards to the actual flower pieces.

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We gave a small group lesson on this work and the children were then allowed to complete this independently. They were also able to complete their own parts of a flower book to take home.

Planting a Bean

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We have been learning about plants and the children have been able to grow wheat grass, sprout a seed and are now planting a bean.

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The work is set up on a tray. The children chose their name marker and put it in a small cup. Fill the cup with dirt using a tiny scoop.

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They then pick out a bean and push it into the dirt.

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Lastly, they fill up the tiny pitcher with water and pour it on the dirt.

Dr. Montessori felt that gardening was very important and rewarding for children.
They learn how to care for a living thing and also see a life cycle in action!

Table Washing (even the bottom)!

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One of the favorite activities in the classroom for teachers and students is table washing. This activity has so many benefits! It is a multistep activity that allows concentration to develop. On this day, two of the afternoon children decided to wash off pencil marks from the bottom of the tables. We helped them flip the table over (after they looked under and found the markings) and they completed everything else. They were so engrossed in this work! At one point one of the children looked at me and said, “This is just too much fun!” Such joy!

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The Geo Board

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We have another addition to the sensorial area of the classroom: the geo board. This board allows children to experiment with geometric shapes and various patterns. It also helps with fine motor skills! This has been a big hit this week. It was amazing to see all of the various patterns the children are making!

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