Language

More noun work- the FARM!

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The farm was brought out and the nouns were labeled!! Very exciting times! This child is a kindergarten age child and is now reading fluently. We are working on phonograms to ensure there are no holes in his reading abilities but he is very interested in grammar! After completing some other noun work (See last week’s post) he asked to work with the farm.

This work will expand as he will move on to adjectives with the boxes and then add those adjectives to the nouns here on the farm. After a while (learning articles, verbs etc.) he will be making full sentences and understanding the parts of speech!

Nouns!!

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This afternoon/Kindergarten child is zooming along in his reading!!! He has worked his way through many of the language materials and is now reading many phonograms and is able to sound out all phonetic words. We have now begun the study of grammar. He explored some of our noun boxes and then went to work making his own “noun book.”

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This child does not usually draw many pictures but took great pride in making pictures of many different nouns!

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Creativity in a Montessori classroom

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Here is an example of some work done last week that highlights some creativity Montessori style.  Since this child has sewn a lot over the past one and a half years, she wanted to make a bunny stuffed animal.  She traced it on the fabric and sewed then stuffed!  She then decided to write a story about the bunny.  This child is in a strong sensitive period for language.  She has gone through our first reading series and can read books with three letter words (phonemic and some sight words) but has now also begun to sound out everything she sees and loves to write on her own!  She wrote a three page book about the bunny and also declared, “I am the author AND the illustrator!”  This page says, “My bunny loves to ride her bike.  She has lots of snacks.”  After the pages were done, she chose a cover for her book.  Being in a Montessori classroom she has learned the skills to complete such activities and she reported that she was very proud of herself and excited to have completed this work!

“Following the Child” An example

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In order to maintain interest in a task such as using the moveable alphabet and writing, sometimes a teacher has to find ways to motivate the child. (Especially children who are very capable and do not like to make a mistake!) This can be done by finding something they are interested in such as sewing and making it into something that also involves a “work” they should begin to do as well. We have several children interested in sewing and decided to have them sew a “stuffed animal” as long a they wrote a story about it at the end.

First up was drawing the creation on paper.

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The child then cut out the animal and we traced onto material. We used a hoop to make the fabric stable while the child sewed their animal. While doing this the child is thinking about their character, title, story line, etc for their book.

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Here is a photo of the first stuffed animal! This child wrote a story by telling me the words to write but has now been using the moveable alphabet! We have three other stuffed animal creations and stories going. They may be done by the end of this month! Exciting!!

Metal Insets

What is a metal inset???
Metal insets are 10 geometric shapes consisting of a frame and an inset. They are placed on a sloping board and used with squares of paper, an inset tray and colored pencils. The aim is to prepare the child for writing. Other objectives include: develop control and precision of movement, give the opportunity to hold a pencil correctly, give experience with anti-clockwise movements (top to bottom and also left to right) which will later be used for writing, indirect preparation for art, development of pattern, color and shading.

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The child chooses the inset he/she wishes to work with and places it on the frame. Then paper and pencils are added and the work is taken to a table. This child was very curious about the insets and so was given a lesson.

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After being shown how to hold the pencil, he traced around the inside of the inset again and again. The frame is the control of error, the pencil stays inside that shape. The other hand is helping by keeping the frame still. Two hands are working together and this helps to increase that hand/mind connection.

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This child was so happy to continue making inset after inset and only stopped because it was the end of the morning. Dr. Montessori recognized that when children are working on a skill and deep in concentration they will be content and fulfilled. This child was so calm and peaceful after completing these insets. The next morning he came in and got this work out again.

There are many exercises we do with this material and the children will be engaging in this as the year progresses.

Writing and Illustrating a Book

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As we have many children on the path to reading, we thought it would be fun to make our own books to read. We start by taking a piece of paper and folding it into eighths.

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Turn it into a W and the cut along the middle fold.

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Let it drop open and you will have a small book. We talked to the children about being an author- someone who writes the book (or thinks the words and someone else writes them down) and about being an illustrator (someone who draws the pictures- these pictures explain what the words are about.) We made several books! Some were stories about a bat or even Benjamin Franklin, others were more instructional (How to Draw a House) and a few were more along the lines of reference books (Flowers or Rainbows). Here are some examples…

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The children were VERY proud of their work. They loved being able to take home their own book. This is a great activity for any age child.

Reading a book!!

After working through our first sequence of reading skills, this child is now reading books! This is very satisfying to the child who has worked hard working with the movable alphabet and other materials sounding out three letter c-v-c words, phrases and sentences. Because these books are phonemic, she can sound out most of the words independently which is another key in successful reading. There are always a few words that cannot be sounded out phonemically and we prepare the children with sight words. For example, the word “is” is not phonemic as the ‘s’ sounds like a ‘z’. So, we write these on special cards and she will practice sight words in the book prior to reading the book. She is progressing through a series of books which increase in difficulty.

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Reading- Sentences!

The c-v-c series continues (see previous posts) after phrases to sentences.  After a brief lesson on punctuation and capitalization, the child is now able to read sentences.  She has had so much practice reading (sounding out) the three letter words and practicing sight words that she has almost no difficulty now with these sentences.

The pig in the pen

She then decided to write the sentences down.

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What an accomplishment!

Reading Phrases

This child has progressed through understanding the phonemic sounds of letters, using the movable alphabet to spell three letter c-v-c words, reading words and matching them to pictures (lots of 3 letter c-v-c words) and has studied sight words. She is now ready to begin reading phrases. Here she reads the phrase and then practices writing it down.

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She will then progress to sentences and the reading short phonemic based (like the Bob series) books.

Reading- matching words to pictures

Movable alphabet

This child has progressed through the movable alphabet with c-v-c objects and pictures.(Please see previous posts!)  She is now moving to reading the words and matching them to pictures. She has completed these cards individually and wanted to do all five cards at the same time. She has a very strong phonetic base and is able to sound out the words. After she completes a work like this, she writes them all down to take home.