Monday, March 26, 2012

Primarily Colors

After our Rainbow and St. Patrick's Day themes I decided to move right into a closer look at primary and secondary colors.  This also gave me an opportunity to bring out Montessori color boxes 2 and 3 that I recently purchased from Kid Advance Montessori -- where I have ordered all of my traditional materials so far.  

We started by learning about the primary colors -- red, yellow, and blue.  I pulled out a bunch of craft supplies in those three colors and the kids made primary color collages as their art project for the day.  I also introduced color box 2 during circle time -- showing the kids how to match the colors.  And, I did a presentation on color box 3 - grading colors from darkest to lightest - with the primary colors only at this point.

Below are a couple pictures of one of the kids working with color box 2.  You can see from the pictures that he was very engaged in his work!

After we learned about the primary colors, we moved on to the secondary colors - orange, green, and purple.  I deliberately taught them in the order they come in the rainbow.  This way I can show the kids that each secondary color is in between the primary colors that make it in the rainbow -- something I had never noticed until I read it somewhere recently!

Here are some pictures of a couple more "color" works that I added last week.  I didn't add a lot of new work last week because some many of the rainbow works were also relevant to color.  And, the kids were still working their way through what I added the previous week.

These are "Mouse's Color Word Puzzles" from Making Learning Fun.
Sorting spools of thread by color.  The spools of thread have varying grades of each color so that it is a little bit more challenging than just sorting spools that are all exactly the same colors.

Last week we also started the geometric solids -- the kids are especially intrigued with the names of the solids!  Remembering all those names is definitely a challenge!

Here are some pictures of the kids working with the solids:

 I was so excited to see that this weeks Montessori Monday link up post was about the geometric solids!  Check it out for some great extension ideas!

Along with the geometric solids, we are also beginning to learn the names of the shapes in the geometric cabinet -- three shapes at a time.  I also found some great shape matching cards tucked away in one of my cabinets that work really nicely as another shape work to have out in addition to the geometric cabinet shapes.

Here are some pictures of the kids using the shape matching cards.  The really neat thing about these cards is that after you match the two sides of each shape, you can flip it over and there is colorful picture on the other side!  Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the cards once they are flipped over.  But, suffice it to say that the kids really like the pictures on the flip side of the cards!

Here are some additional pictures of the kids working with some other materials that are not new to the shelves this week:

Addition with golden beads!
Wooden letter/picture matching puzzles.
Teen bead hanger.
Bead stair hanger.
Red Knobless cylinders.
Last week was such an unusually warm spring week for Michigan -- so I took advantage and brought the kids outside almost every day!  Here are some pictures of our time outside:

Conspiring by one of the trees!
We had a dad assisting in the classroom on this particular day -- he got all the boys riled up and they were all wrestling him to the ground!
These boys gave him a run for his money!  Well, assist parents don't get paid, but you get the idea...

If you have noticed that most of the pictures I take are of boys, please do not think that I am favoring boys over girls!  I have an unusually high ratio of boys to girls -- especially in my 4's class.  There are 13 boys and only 4 girls in that class -- so it is very difficult to have an even number of pictures of boys and girls.

I would also like to share an awesome giveaway opportunity offered by Living Montessori Now and sponsored by Montessori Compass.   Montessori Compass is giving away one free iPad 2!  Click on the Living Montessori Now link above to find out the MANY ways to enter this giveaway!

I am linking up with Montessori Monday through Living Montessori Now:

Montessori Monday

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

At the End of the Rainbow

Last week was a crazy week for me, so I did not get to post about the Rainbow and St. Patrick's Day work we did at school.  My daughter, Froggy Boots, was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia on Monday afternoon and was not released until late Wednesday morning.  I ended up having to cancel school on Tuesday and Wednesday so that I could stay with Froggy Boots in the hospital. 

Despite canceling school one day for each class, we still managed to fit in lots of rainbow and St. Patrick's Day themed work.  Below are some pictures of the new work on the shelves last week:

Leprechaun hundred board extension from Lil' Country Kindergarten
Roll, Count, and Color Shamrocks to find the pot of gold from in the members area.
Lucky Charms graphing from 2 Teaching Mommies
Make a rainbow book from "The Learning Center, Inc. Preschool/Kindergarten"
Inside the rainbow book - color one color of the rainbow on each page.
Inside the rainbow book - on the last page, color the whole rainbow!
Mini Do-A-Dot rainbow marker page from Making Learning Fun
Fruit Loop rainbow from Making Learning Fun
Spooning plastic clovers from Michael's
Tweezing rainbow erasers from Target dollar section
Rainbow color discover bottles - if put on top of the light box, the colors shine!
For our art project this week we made Jello Scented Rainbows from Making Learning Fun.  This is a project I only do with my 4-year-old class because it requires a lot of following directions and fine motor skills.
Below are some other non rainbow or St. Patrick's Day related works that were new on the shelves last week:

Using a tiny screwdriver to put screws into a piece of wood.  One of my preschool Dad's made this for me!  Isn't is neat!
Pouring water into three small cups.
On the school day before St. Patrick's Day the leprechauns came and made a mess in our classroom.  But, in return they left us a note and a special golden treat at the end of the rainbow - we had to clean up the mess they made and then go on a hunt for each color of the rainbow - at the end there were golden chocolate kisses for each of the kids!  It was a fun time!

Rainbow Blog Hop

I am linking up with Living Montessori Now for Montessori Monday:

Montessori Monday

Monday, March 19, 2012

Embracing Tradition: Traditional Montessori Work

I have posted a lot lately about some of the more progressive work we have been up to in my classroom -- in other words, work made from non-traditional Montessori materials.  I have been wanting to post about our work with the traditional Montessori materials for a while now, but just have not had a chance.  So, here goes...

Sensorial Work:

It has been interesting to see the kids interests change in this area of the classroom.  There are some days when very few sensorial materials are used and yet others when there is not enough room on the area rug by the sensorial shelf for all of the kids who want to work in this area.  Here are just a few of my most recent pictures of the kids work with the traditional Montessori sensorial materials:

Pink Tower & Brown Stair extension work.
Cylinder Blocks - using all 4 together!
Geometric Solids - exploration after first presentation.
Knobless Cylinder blocks with extension cards from Montessori Print Shop
Geometric Cabinet - circles

Math Work:

Not unlike most Montessori classrooms, I have kids working are varying levels with math materials.  Some kids are still mastering counting and numbers 0-10, some are working with teens, some are working with tens, some are working on addition, some are working with the hundred board, and a couple are even working with the golden bead material (thousands).  These are my most recent photos of what the kids have been up to - not all levels of ability are shown in these photos.

Addition with bead stairs, addition booklets from Karen Tyler's albums, and sandpaper numbers (to help with numeral formation).
Teen Bead Boards
Teen Beads with extension from Montessori Print Shop
Bead Stair extension from Montessori Print Shop

Language/Writing Work:

Other than kids reading and looking at books, there has not been a whole lot of activity in the language/writing area of the classroom lately -- most of the kids have been focusing on other areas of the classroom.  I recently ordered two of the inset tracing trays as well as the proper size paper and paper tray.  Here is a picture of one of the kids using the insets for design with one of the new tracing trays and proper size paper:

Insets for Design
I am linking up with Living Montessori Now for Montessori Monday:

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Seuss, Seuss, and more Seuss

I was a little behind with my Dr. Seuss unit this year... Last week our theme was "Night Time," which I did not realize was during the same week as Dr. Seuss' birthday.  So, I decided to play a little catch-up and do a Dr. Seuss theme this week.  Better late than never!

Here are pictures of the new Dr. Seuss work I put on the shelves this week:

Cat in the Hat picture/letter match from Making Learning Fun.  Find the hat with the picture that begins with the same letter as is on each cat card.

1 Fish, 2 Fish counting with goldfish crackers from obSEUSSed.  Count the correct number of goldfish into each bowl.

1 Fish, 2 Fish addition with goldfish crackers from Dual Kinder Teacher.  Check out Living Montessori Now for ideas on how to use these printables.
Goldfish color graph from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.   Using the "color" goldfish, sort on the graph by color and then color in the graph.

Finish drawing The Cat in the Hat from Making Learning Fun.

The Cat in the Hat shape match from Making Learning Fun.  Match the shape on each oval to the shape on each cat's hat.

Here are some pictures of the kids using the new work.  (I figured out that if I take pictures of the kids from behind, their faces are not showing, so I don't have to worry about blocking them out!)

Goldfish color graph.

1 Fish, 2 Fish goldfish counting.

The Cat in the Hat shape match.

1 Fish, 2 Fish addition.
I wasn't able to get pictures of the kids doing all of the new work, but at least I got a few!  They all really liked the work that involved real goldfish crackers since they got to take them home after they did the work!  It's funny, I really feel like I am getting to know what kind of work the kids will be interested in now!

I am linking up with Montessori Monday through Living Montessori Now.

Montessori Monday