Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday, way late this week… February 9, 2012

This past weekend was really busy.  Monkey turned 5 years old on Saturday and since then, we’ve been battling various rounds of illness in the house.  I’m also currently working on some curriculum development stuff for next school year (reading content standards and developing a science and geography & culture curriculum).  So, unfortunately this week’s posts are kind of drive by posts…

 

I changed out the sensory bin to get rid of the Christmas theme and add a different winter theme. It's pretty much the "winter that wasn't" here in central Ohio, so I put a fake snow sensory bin out. It's a bag of pillow fluff (from the sewing aisle at any craft store), some foam snowflakes, pom pom "snowballs", and some polar animals--penguins, seals, whales, etc. The kids actually love this bin a lot, surprisingly. I thought they weren't going to stick with it long, but they actually do play in it for a long time every day!

 

Up close in the bin

 

Both girls really loved color mixing work, so we had that out a lot. This one involves 6 test tubes with 1 tube filled with red water, one with blue water, and one with yellow water.

 

I also brought out some quill writing. We had a pheasant feather from a nature walk a long time ago. I snipped the end so that it had a diagonal point. Then I mixed some black tempura paint with a little bit of water. The kids loved making little messages with the quill!

 

Making a collage of triangles!

 

Monkey making about 2 dozen messages with the quill. 🙂

 

Monkey liked working with the test tube color mixing so much that she rarely gave it up. So, at the last minute, I brought out an old ice cube tray and filled it with water (1/3-1/2 of each cube filled). I put red, yellow, green, and blue food coloring in 4 of the cubes and let her go all out mixing the colors.

 

Look at all of her pretty colors!

 

Using tongs to transfer glass beads into the heart tray.

 

Montessori Monday October 4, 2011

 

Here is the weekly review of Bug and Monkey’s week in the Montessori room!

Monkey working on a sewing activity. She had to "sew" the clothes onto the teddy bear by lacing the shoelace through the holes.

I put out some fall themed play dough this week--this one is dark orange with gold glitter and cinnamon in it.

 

Bug putting the plastic fall leaf trinkets into the holes on the ice cube tray

 

Close-up of the tray

 

Bug trying to imitate the picture on the book

 

Monkey received her official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (with an addition learning disability). As part of her autism, she has a very difficult time with naming emotions, and with emotional regulation. This week, I developed this work to help her learn the names for the emotions. I took the book "The Way I Feel" and created cards of all the feelings using pictures of real children. Then Monkey matches the card with the page while we read the book.

 

Monkey matching the cards.

 

I also made a second set of cards with those emotions that Monkey generally has difficulty with in her own life. These are kept in a basket on the main level of the house so she can choose a card to describe her feelings.

 

Monkey has a big problem with aggression and rages, so I also pulled out one of Jedi's old tubs of theraputty and put it in the feelings basket. When Monkey is feeling very angry, she can go to the basket, pull out the "angry" card and the putty (which she calls "angry putty" ) and work with the putty to help her calm down. It's a very firm putty, and stretching/pulling/twisting/hitting it seems to help her calm down.

 

The "Please Touch" table for the next couple weeks--various samples of leaves with their seeds.

 

Some more of the leaves and seeds.

 

Creating fall leaves out of coffee filters. I cut small leaf shapes out of coffee filters. Then I gave Bug & Monkey little jars of water & food coloring (one jar has yellow and one jar has orange), and some eye droppers.

 

After the leaves were dry, I taped them to some construction paper branches and hung it on our back door. I love how the sun shines through it!

 

Bug doing her new favorite thing...snipping paper.

 

A sound matching work. I put four pairs of bells from our handbell sets on a tray along with a blindfold. The kids then matched the bells by sound.

 

Bug thought it would be an awesome thing to take out all of the knobbed cylinders....

 

Monkey jumped in to help once Bug realized it wasn't the best idea to take all of the cylinders out at once and put them in one big pile...

 

Have a great week everyone!

 

Catching Up…last week's Montessori Monday October 1, 2011

 

So first off, let it be known that whatever kid hid the camera cord is hereby known as the queen (or king) of hide-and-go-seek.  Over a week later, and it’s nowhere to be found.  So, a brand new card reader was bought today and now I can finally get pictures off the camera!  Now it’s time to play catchup.  So,  here are the pictures that were supposed to be posted a week ago. 🙂

 

Bug using watercolor paints to color her Caterpillar C.

 

A leaf matching work--I put 2 of each shape/color silk leaf on a tray for the girls to match.

 

Using an eye dropper to transfer the water from one jar to the other.

 

Since we were learning about autumn and the changing leaves, I brought out a tray from the botany cabinet so the girls can match the leaf shapes

 

The girls painting

 

Monkey working on her letter C book

 

Dot painting the letter C

 

Monkey using the eye dropper

 

All three kids changing the seasonal tree from the green leaves of summer to the red/yellow/orange leaves of fall.

 

The sensory bin was also changed from the summer sand/beach theme to the autumn theme. It has straw in it (in the craft aisle at major craft stores), small plastic colored leaf beads, silk leaves, gords, wooden vegetables (from the toy kitchen), and various scoops/rakes/containers

 

The kids' new favorite work--raking leaves! Since we don't have any large trees on our property yet (and thus no leaves to rake), I filled a pan with silk leaves. The kids then throw the leaves in the air and use the small rake to rake them up.

 

Bug tossing the leaves in the air.

 

The seasonal tree fully decorated.

 

The girls playing in the sensory bin.

 

The kids also got to see a little wildlife. Our new neighbors were excavating for their landscaping and accidentally destroyed a rabbit nest. After rescuing the baby bunnies, they called us over so the kids can see them (such awesome new neighbors...they've only lived there a couple months and they've already call us for homeschool science lessons!)

 

We ended our unit on the letter C the way anyone would...by making c shaped chocolate chip cookies covered in chocolate icing. Monkey hasn't forgotten the letter C yet, so I'd say this worked. 😉

 

Our autumn math work...pumpkin patch counting! This is based of the numerals and counters work. I printed out 11 identical close-up pictures of a pumpkin patch. On each picture, I wrote a number from 0-10. Since our children are also quite young, I wrote an x for each number in the patch. Then, using foam pumpkins, Bug and Monkey place the correct number of pumpkins in each patch to match the number written on each card.

 

A close-up of the work. This is the '5' card, and so there are 5 x's in the patch. A pumpkin goes on each x. If the child is older or can recognize numbers, you wouldn't need to put the x's on.

 

Montessori Monday September 6, 2011

Bitty Bug is 2 years 8 months old.  Monkey is 4 years 7 months old.

Here is the weekly review of the work Bug & Monkey did in the Montessori room.

Monkey painting her dinosaur poster.

 

Bug enjoying pitting cherries. She *loved* how messy this job was!

 

Bug doing dot art for "B is for Butterflies"

 

Bug using the metal insets to color a rectangle

 

Bug chose to draw the lifecycle of the butterfly

 

Bug snipping paper

 

Lifecycle of a Butterfly work on the "Please Touch" table

 

Some butterflies for the kids to observe

 

The "please touch" table for the next couple weeks (there are also butterflies under glass for them to observe). On our main level, we raised some butterflies from caterpillars, so the kids also witnessed the life cycle in person.

 

Paper snipping work

 

Small button dressing frame

 

Monkey and Bug working with clay

 

Sand pouring

 

Balancing glass marbles on golf tees

 

Matching boxes with lids

 

Monkey mixing colors in the test tubes using an eye dropper.

 

 

 

Toddler Tuesday August 10, 2011

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 2 years 7 months old

Just a random picture of Bug to start out with--she's always trying to make her dresses twirl

 

Bug looking at the Forest in a Box pieces

 

Putting together a puzzle of a cow

 

Bug and Jedi looking at a porcupine quill

 

Using food coloring & water and an eye dropper to make designs in a coffee filter

 

Pouring glass beads from one pitcher to the other

 

Some flowers I made out of pipe cleaners for Bug to put in the holes of the spice jar

 

Bug hammering golf tees into clay

 

Working with clay

 

Scooping rice from the big bowl to the smaller bowls

 

Stacking bead blocks

 

Working with the tool blocks

 

 

Montessori Monday December 5, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 10 months old

This week, Monkey jumped right back into things after a couple light weeks due to the holidays and illness.  She was really happy to get back into things as well!  I had quite a few new holiday-themed work out this week too.

Monkey and Jedi opening the day's door on the Lego advent calender. We don't usually do the themed ones, but Jedi is really into legos, and we couldn't resist having a new lego creation to build every day in December!

Using a spoon to transfer red, green, clear, and blue glass beads

Trying to feel which baric tablet is heavier and which one is lighter

Exploring the thermic tablets and sorting them by material

I put out three different types of boards that use screwdrivers. Monkey really loved working with these!

Another of the boards

Sorting Christmas buttons by color

Using the fraction skittles. She had actually used these in her homeschool co-op class, so she went straight to it.

This was a new work that I just purchased. Every numeral tablet is broken into a puzzle where the number of pieces equals the numeral in the tablet. This work is really interesting, but the first thing monkey did was tip the entire thing over without knowing what was inside. So, we spent a good hour putting all the pieces back together! Jedi tipped it over too on another day (nope, my kids don't wait for help with anything! LOL!) and even he found it really challenging, and he's 7. This might be something that goes back in storage for another year or two...we'll see if monkey wants to work with it this week, and if not, I'll put it up until she's a bit older.

Working with the spindle rods. Monkey really really was interested in these this week, so we worked on them a lot!

Working with the peg board

Monkey loves mixing colored water into new colors! She did this one a lot.

I also introduced the landform trays this week. Or rather, one landform tray. We worked on "island" this week. She loved making the fish go in the water and the animals on the land!

Decorating the mini Christmas tree. She loved this one too! She actually didn't want to take it apart again, but Bug wanted to work with it too, so we couldn't keep the mini tree decorated. It was a very popular work with the girls.

A clothes pin work. I glued shimmery foam balls to the end of clothes pins, and then cut a Christmas tree shape out of green felt. In order to decorate the tree, Monkey had to practice opening and closing the clothespins.

The December sensory bin...white felt strips, red/green/white pom poms, foam snowflakes, little penguin and snowman figurines, some clear red/green/clear "gems", red/green/gold pipe cleaners, and some more of the shimmery foam balls.

 

Montessori Monday, plus a preview of our Tet Trung Thu work September 20, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 7 months old

This week, Monkey had a busy week in her homeschooling room.  She’s really loving her time in there, and sometimes I have to just call it a day after 4+ hours even though she’s still wanting to work (I only do that for things we really need to do…like pick Jedi up from school or hit an appointment).  Quite a change from the kid who only wanted to work 15 minutes at a time a few weeks ago!

I have a lot of picftures, so I’m going to just get straight to the weekly summary, and then add a sneak preview of the Tet Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn Festival) work that Monkey will be doing this week.  It’s only about 1/3rd of the lessons for Tet Trung Thu, but it at least gives a little sneak peak before I post the summary next Monday.

Monkey sorting "clean" vs "polluted" for her ecology work

Using an eye dropper to mix colored water

Planting flower seeds. First she filled the pot with dirt, then poked a little hole, put the seed in, covered it up, and then added a little water.

Scrubbing a baby. She had to pour the water into the tub, get the baby's clothes off, wet the washcloth, put soap on the washcloth, scrub the baby, rinse the baby, dry the baby, and then put the baby's clothes back on

Using a paper punch to punch holes in a strip of paper

Using one of the sets of visual discrimination cards. She had to match pairs based on one changed facial feature on each card

In the kitchen! Monkey, Bug, & Jedi making cookies

 And a sneak peak at this current week:

Pouring sand with a Sake set, and using a Vietnamese soup spoon to transfer glass pepples

Pouring water with a tea set

Using chopsticks to transfer harvest items from one basket to another

Cutting lines to make paper lanterns (this is one of 2 different types of lanterns she'll be making this week. She's also going to make lanterns to light later in the week)

Making Vietnamese Tet Trung Thu basket masks

Getting ready to make moon cakes