Monday, May 19, 2008

S Week

S week began with a review of our shapes. Below you'll see cookie cutters (esp. the square and shamrock, b.c they start with s). He traced inside them like he would the metal insets if he were at a real Montessori school. Teaching Montessori in the Home inspired me to try to make some. Being ambitious, I tried making them from foam board (I could have used 2 colors of card stock) and this template. The foam board and craft knife were a frustrating nightmare. I quit after 2 shapes and the pieces are still in my closet. Thus, the cookie cutters below. BTW, I'm not the only mom frustrated by making these with foam board. Stephanie opted for the card stock; they turned out great and her daughter loved them, too.We also reviewed our ocean cards b.c a starfish lives in the salty water. I cut a star from sandpaper and we rubbed over it with a crayon. I say "we rubbed" b.c he didn't really like the idea. Not enough bamming for him.Our neighbor gave us this sand art contraption from Crayola. It is loads of outside fun. Kids pull off stickers then pour on their preferred color of sand. Two weeks ago he finished the outerspace picture and started the horse. Today he finished the fish.
Lest you think that it was a perfect day - even though I had things planned, this is what really happened:

Once he was started on tracing the shapes, I left him alone to concentrate. Back at my post of loading the dishwaher, I looked up b.c I heard, "BAM! Pow! Yeah!"

He was throwing the pencils at the paper; cheering wildly when the pencil pierced the paper.

That's when I joined him with the starfish basket. I tried to coerce him to color over the sandpaper. He scoffed. I went back to laundry.

Minutes later I came outside to hang wet things on the line Here's what he was doing:
Can you tell what he's doing above? Throwing rocks into the paper. They made a louder sound and also BIGGER holes.

Why do I plan things?

On his own accord, he made a cup of soapy water and found his paint brushes. I tried to get him to make a s on the patio tile. He tried...once. Then decided to write his name. He wrote it backwards...well, sort of. He wrote JOHN but from right to left instead of left to right.
We compromised by letting me write his name in chalk then he got to destroy my creation (oops, did I just write that?) and paint over my chalk. At least he was practicing.
This (below) was the favorite morning activity. I knew it would be, because he got to play in the sink. First I explained the terminology of float vs sink. He's quite familiar with the words b.c he's bee taking swimming lessons. We sounded out the words together and I showed him how the word "float" was on top of the water (on the post-it note)...etc. Then I put the "float" post it on the left of the sink, and the "sink" on the right. I asked him to guess if things would float or sink before putting them in the water - but every single time he said, "I don't know." However, he was able to place the object in the proper location after the experiment.After lunch we did two more trays. First we talked about seasons -which is a difficult concept to grasp when you live in the desert! We read 4 books from the library (one on each season) and used a free download from Montessori for Everyone - that I saved to my hardrive a while back. I can't find it on her site anymore but there are plenty of other free downloads for seasons here.
Finally, this is a project I've been working on for a while. I've laminated different pictures from old magazines on 3x5 cards and plan to use them for multiple learning opportunities. On the back of each card I've written the name in block letters. He was able to identify all the cards except otter and eagle. When I flipped over the card, we worked on sounded out the word. We also had a short lesson on the difference between snowmen and snowman.

And, he sorted the pictures in 3 piles: animals, food, and other. Then we pulled out the pictures of things that began with s.

It's been a relatively good day. There are a few more tricks up my sleeve this week.


Shannon said...

I ended up ordering these from this buyer! I am thrilled with them and have no regrets!

Shelley said...

I went to a Montessori school from 3 years old - Kindergarten. One of the VERY few things I remember are the metal shape tracing things. Ours were silver outside and a red inside shape with a small wooded knob! I also remember what the playgound looked like, the layout of the room, and the bathroom (and how we could only use 2 squares of tissue in the bathroom, and they came out of the despenser like post-it notes - in small square sheets - that stressed me out!).

Morning said...

All brilliant ideas: thanks! I also have a bit of a 'bammer', with an attention span that can drive me scatty! I liked the chalk idea, and tracing shapes. Thanks!

Julie said...

I probably have a dumb question, but the metal insert shapes... or the shape activity... what exactly are you trying to do with it? Are you having them match it with the insert, or trace it, or color their own and make their own... or all the above... just wondering. Thanks... I am learning as well!!!

shan said...

what a great sounding week! i to tried to make them out of cardstock and all so far its on tha shelf not good i think i'll just use cookie cutters what a great idea! or buy some stencils from a teacher supply store!

Julie said...

Julie: here's a link to explain how to use the insets -

basically, the child is to trace the shape then draw a continuous horizontal line from one side of the shape to the other.

this exercise is to teach them muscle control and concentration in preparation for writing...maybe other things as well. Mr. Intensity doesn't hold a pencil properly or have control over it.

Julie said...

thanks Julie for the link... I appreciate it. you are a star!

Karin said...

Wow! You are awesome. Very interesting to see the process!


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