Geoboard - Three Ways
Otis has been home from school for the previous three days, so we have pulled out a couple of new actions! Above is a standard geoboard with the extra turn of utilizing grid paper. The kid draws contours on the paper subsequently makes the shapes on the plank. When utilizing the geoboard Otis normally makes random shapes and sometimes creates a graphic or small scene. Above he is using a transparent plank on the light table. I made Otis this natural geoboard - inspired by this post at Fairy Dust Teaching. I really like the way that this is a little rustic and gets the kid think a little differently about making the shapes. It seems slightly more brilliant too!
Alphabet Puzzle Tote
Have you got an Alphabet Puzzle or Moveable Alphabet at home? If so, this is a really enjoyable action that augments knowledge on the shapes and type of letters. I wouldn't do this in a way to teach children their letters or to examine them but to reinforce their knowledge. I would include letters they are confident with alongside letters they may be struggling with. Select the letters from the Alphabet Puzzle (or Moveable Alphabet) and place these in the Enigma Bag without the kid seeing. Invite the child over to sit down at a work mat or table. Invite the little one to set one or both hands in the bag and one at a time, without glancing, identify which letter they may be holding.
The notion is that through touch the child forms a picture of the letter in their head. If they can remember the sound of the letter it can help raise their link between the sound and the shape and type of the letter. As an extension, when you have contained vowels and consonants you may also invite the kid to generate some words with the letters they've identified.
Above Otis puts his hand in the Puzzle Bag and feels for a letter. He's identified this as a 'w'. He places the letter on the mat and puts his hand back in for another letter. The Puzzle Bag is one of our favourite stuff which we have used many times over time. Otis used his first Mystery Bag as a toddler with a couple household items in it. It actually heightens their sense of touch. Our Mystery Bag is a straightforward silk lined, drawstring bag. I generally keep it to around five things in the bag. With all actions at home, I try to be sure it stays engaging and lighthearted. If you give this a go I hope you love!
Montessori Sea Shell Activities You'll Love!
My children love tasks that involve natural materials. Where there is something for them to hold, feel, touch. Where there is something that's interesting, with fascinating little details. Today I'm featuring some Montessori Shell Tasks that I understand you'll love. Above and below is a shell sorting action that I presented to Otis this week.
The Shell Poster (left in top image) is from Montessori Materials and the Univalve/Bivalve sheet is from Montessori for Everybody.
Cleaning a sizeable shell - Brosser un gros coquillage at Le blog de Sylvie d'Esclaibes. This really is a fantastic notion, the majority of our shells are unclean and could do with a superb scrub! Fitting shells to cards - Apprendre avec des coquillages at Les ateliers de Céleste Pédagogie Montessori et instruction biologique. This post has a free download of the shell cards. Another example of matching shells to cards can be found at Les aventures chez nounou Marie. I consider they're using the lovely shell set and matching cards from Michael Olaf! The cards hold the name of the shell which introduces the language element and permits the parent or caregiver to provide the little one together with the proper terminology. This is from one of my favorite nature tables (which contained lots of shells) where Otis is making depressions with the shells into sand. I recall one of Caspar's favorite activities when he first began in his Cycle One classroom (in Canberra as a three-year old) was a tray with all different sorts of shells plus a simple magnifying glass. There is something particular about sea shells!
Geometry Love- Montessori Stuff for Geometric Form Work
You might have estimated following yesterday's post, that we have been doing plenty of geometric contour work around here! We have been using the Geo Strips (number 3.) and I'm frequently asked about them. So I've compiled a quick list of some other geometric contour construction sticks and bits that might be helpful for a Montessori home or classroom!
1. Learning Advantage Connecting GeoStix (Australia here).
2. Learning Resources Geometric Shapes Building Set (similar Australia here).
3. Geo Strips (Australia here) (you are able to see Otis using the Geo Strips in this place).
4. Wikki Stix Basic Contours Creative Entertaining Kit.
5. Learning Resources Transparent Anglegs (the Anglegs come in various sizes too!).
6. Montessori Geometric Stick Stuff (Australia here) (I love this image from Westside Montessori School of the Montessori Geometric Stick work, with a brief description).
Playdough - Four Ways
Otis is five and loves playdough now more than ever. I've written occasionally about how we use playdough, always with different things and in different colours, textures and scents. Adding essential oils to playdough is a necessity. Here are four methods we are currently reveling playdough.
1. Alphabet Stamps. This is an excellent early literacy action, recalling it's best to start with lower case letters.
2. Other Stamps. I didn't realise how much fun this would be. We have a lot of stamps at home so there is always lots for the boys to pick from. I've likewise wiped down our Melissa and Doug postages and these work extremely well with the playdough too!
3. I really like combining natural materials with playdough. Feathers, shells and pinecones may also lead to creative play with playdough. We don't have these chewing gum nuts in our neighbourhood so I purchased them through The Natural ReSourcer, they make the cutest small caps or hats.
4. Galaxy Dough!! It's just black playdough with lots of glitter blended through. Otis was amazed! It's interesting to play with as it is so different to our other playdough. They often have a lot of distinct colors of food colouring which would make a good change from the conventional colours you see in playdough. We could make a group of playdough all in exactly the same colour but in different shades - lovely! We use playdough and Alphabet Stamps from Joyful Hands Happy Heart. I hope you've appreciated this small peek into our playdough play!
Using Scales and Balance Pails
Below are some other Montessori and Query-Based learning notions that I love. These actions are also extremely simple to put together. Our scales were around $15, or you also could use kitchen scales, and we just use materials we already have at home! So a number of these examples use natural materials but I also like the thought of utilizing standard size blocks (#8) where the blocks are of equal weight. I adore the sensory table for younger children (#6). I think I will attempt a set up like #3 next, where the kid has a variety of stuff to consider and record - it seems excellent for some additional mathematics and literacy skills!
1. Balance pail with loose parts at How we Montessori (on our shelves here).
2. Maths In the Playground with An idea on Tuesday.
3. Magnet Trays and Scale Weighing at Learning Cente of Dundee Omaha, Nebraska
4. Drop Inspired Weighing Task with Equilibrium Scales at Montessori from the Heart.
5. General Mathematics Provocations at Welcome to Primary.
6. Equilibrium Scales in the Sensory Table at An Everyday Story.
7. Equilibrium scales at How we Montessori.
8. Exploring Measurement Through Play - Mass at Suzie's Home Education Thoughts.