Monday, October 10, 2011

Jumping into Fall!

I have been so busy with preschool and home life that I did not have a chance to blog last week.  I guess it's good that I'm busy, but I missed being able to share what I was up to last week at my preschool!  So, I'm going to try and squeeze the last couple weeks into one blog.

In an attempt to make it easier for me to complete my blog each week, I am going to just post pictures of the work we are doing in the classroom, and not of the kids actually doing the work (at least for the time being).  It takes me a long time to go through and block out all of the kids faces -- which adds a significant amount of time to the whole blogging process.

So, here we go!  This month our general theme is "Fall."  We are learning about the signs of Fall, apples, pumpkins, spiders, and Halloween.

Here is the work I've added to the shelves this month so far:

I added the knobbed cylinder blocks #'s 2 and 3 and the corresponding yellow and green knobbless cylinders.

This is a leaf shadow match that I found at Homeschool Creations.

This is a visual discrimination work -- the child must find and circle the picture in each row that is different from all the others.  I also found this at Homeschool Creations.  I laminated the paper and provided and dry erase marker and eraser so that many children can do this work over and over again.  The kids have really enjoyed this work!

This is Fall leaf pin pushing.

This is a Fall tree tear or cut work.  The kids color the tree trunk, cut or tear (depending on ability) the Fall colored paper strips and glue them to the tree.  The tree pattern is from Making Learning Fun, but I do not remember which theme it is found under.

These are the ever popular sticky-back foam leaves and leaf stencils, which I added to the art area.

Here is the art shelf.

I just added playdough to the classroom today!  There are large leaf, apple, and acorn cookie cutters and small leaf and acorn cookie cutters along with rolling pins.  This work is set up for two kids to use at the same time.  The playdough I made with a recipe from My Montessori Journey.  I added apple pie spice to it and it smells amazing!  This table was never empty throughout the entire class period!

This is an adaptation of a one-t-one correspondence work.  The child places one leaf in each section of the tray.

This is the "Squirrel Acorn Counting Book" from the Free Printables section of Child Care Land.  I added some plastic acorns that I bought at Micheal's and a small stuffed squirrel.  The kids count the plastic acorns along with each page in the book.  This has been a very popular work as well!

This is a Scarecrow numerical order puzzle from Homeschool Creations.  The kids put the numbers in order to create the final finished puzzle seen in the picture below.

Completed Scarecrow numerical order puzzle.

This is a Fall patterning work also from Homeschool Creations.  The kids complete the pattern using the small cards in the metal dish.

This is a book called "Falling Leaves" from Making Learning Fun.  It is a Fall leaf color book.  I have the example book for the kids to refer to as they color their own book.  I also have the color words in each book underlined in the color that they represent.

This is an "Apples" book from Making Learning Fun.  It is about the different colors apples come in.  This work is set up similarly to the "Falling Leaves" book.

This is a Parts of an Apple work.  There are parts of an apple 3-part cards from abc teach and below those is a 3-part tray that had a whole apple in the first section, half an apple cut lengthwise in the second section, and half an apple cut width wise in the third section.  I will be adding fresh apples every day.  There is also a small magnifying glass so that the kids can take a closer look at the parts of an apple.

These are my own homemade dressing frames!  The velcro dressing frame is on the left and the snapping dressing frame is on the right.  The kids did not really get into the velcro dressing frame -- I think it was just to easy.  But, I did have several kids try the snapping dressing frame.

This is an idea I found several months ago on the My Montessori Journey blog.  There are fake fabric leaves with small slits cut into the middle of each.  The ribbon has a button sewn to each end.  The child takes the button on the end of the ribbon and strings it through each leaf.  This is a great variation of a buttoning dressing frame!

This is an idea I found on the Quiet Book blog.  The tree is made from the pattern included on the blog and with green and brown felt.  I sewed snaps onto the tree and the opposite side of the snap onto each of the six apples.  The kids can then button the apples onto the tree.  This is a great alternative to the snapping dressing frame!

This is a Fall spooning work.  The child uses the spoon to pick up one plastic acorn at a time and more it to the orange leaf bowl.  I found the leaf bowls in the Target dollar section and the acorns at Micheal's.

This is a dry pouring work using the cherries from the game "Hi Ho Cherry O."  I cut the stems down on each cherry to make it look like an apple!  The small pitchers are from Meijer.

My 4-year-old class has been delving right into sandpaper letter sounds.  To go along with the sandpaper letters I have been working on putting together some letter sound bins for each of the letters.  This is definitely a work in progress!  So far I have a bin for each letter (purchased at the Dollar Tree), a letter/sound card printed/laminated/cut out for the front of each bin, a small "Really Useful" brand box with letter/sound objects for each letter/sound, and some old school letter books that a wonderful former co-op family gave to me just today!.  The letter/sound cards are from the subscription area of Montessori For Learning.  The sandpaper letters are not in the bins yet because I am still using them mainly at the letter/sound table with the kids. 

Here is a picture of the sound bins that are out right now:

Also out on the shelves this week (and last) are the insets for design along with colored pencils stored in small glass baby food jars.  I put this work away before I had a chance to take a picture of it -- my 3-year-old class has not yet had a lesson on these materials and so they are put away before the start of each 3-year-old school day.

Well, there you have it folks!  We have definitely been busy at preschool the last couple weeks!  I will be adding more work to the shelves every day, so I'll post again next week with the new additions!

I am linking up with Montessori Monday through Living Montessori Now and One Hook Wonder.

Montessori Monday


  1. Looks Amazing!!!!!! I love it! I also will be stealing a few of your leaf ideas for this week's leaf theme! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ms. Mieke, I absolutely LOVE how sparse and organized the space looks. Less really is more! Also, I love how you work in natural fibers (I saw some felt, glass, and baskets). What a sweet place you have made for your students to learn!

  3. Thanks Keri and Stephanie!

    Keri -- I am noticing that the baskets, glass, etc. really attract the kids attention! And, I totally agree that less is definitely more! It has been a learning process figuring out how many activities I need to have out in order to both keep the kids engaged as well as not making the room over-stimulating.

    Stephanie -- I can't wait to see what you do this week!

  4. Awesome activities, Mieke! I'm so impressed with your creativity in making materials. I think your homemade dressing frames are more appealing than ones you can purchase! I've linked your post to my Montessori-Inspired Autumn Leaf Unit at