Thursday, January 29, 2015

School Days - Wednesday and Thursday (1/28-29/15)

Yesterday we didn't really have school because my presentation took all the time we had. I planned my presentations and the first one on my list was the second part of Combining. This presentation included demonstrations on mixtures and chemical reactions. It took me all of one hour to set up, with a baby in tow. Then it probably took another 30-40 minutes to present...with a baby in tow. Not recommended. I'm sure everyone knows that you shouldn't be using toxic chemicals while holding a baby. Which is exactly what I didn't do, no I wasn't holding him, which is exactly why it took so darn long. I had to have the doors open for ventilation and he kept trying to go out in the backyard to attack the kitty in between my demonstrations. Time spent taking gloves off and on while chasing a baby between experiments sure does add up! We will be sure to have daddy around for all our next experiments! I originally intended to give this presentation last week but things just don't happen the way planned with the baby around.  I didn't want this to get pushed yet another week. I still have to give the last part of Combining which deals with crystals (saturation and supersaturation) before we can be done with this section of geography.

So, needless to say, I didn't get any pictures of the demos :(. I still have one of them sitting on my dinning table because it never reacted the way it was supposed to. Probably because I used the wrong kind of sugar or didn't add enough potassium chromate or...or...or..any number of things I forgot or misunderstood. Either way the kids got the point. The mixture demos were smooth as well as the following 3 chemical reaction ones.  We basically showed that mixtures don't cling together and can separate and that chemical reactions are when things combine to form new things.

So on to today:

Swiper practicing handwriting! That's the double fisted crayon grip! 

Tes setting up the formation of numbers work.

Tes giving me the beads that correspond to the number cards. As you can tell she is getting it wrong. She started giving me 6 ten-bars for the 6 card, but then she realized as she saw that she already laid down a ten-bar. So she put the 6 tens back and grabbed 6 units in the cup. Love it when they fix their own mistakes! She actually gets these right every single time, so she doesn't really NEED the practice, but she keeps choosing this work. As Montessori says, the children will repeat things numerous times as it is fulfilling some internal need. 

Here MJ was working with grammar box 5 again. This is the second filler box for this grammar work. His reading has been improving. He is reading more fluently and not so "choppy". Hopefully we can move on to grammar box 6 next week. 

Cat also worked with the grammar box today. She is on 2 and this was her second filler box. She changed her mind about liking this one. She said it was "hard" and "boring". She did it like a pro for it being Each phrase card only has 2 words on it, one of them being either "a" or "the"!

Today I introduced Tes to the teen beads. This works helps the children memorize the names of the teens. Here she is counting the beads for "thirteen".

When I ask her to show me which set of beads is which teen, she puts Uni next to it. That is Uni for unicorn :).

And she wanted to pose for this one.

Cat working on congruency. I introduced the first presentation for geometry today. Really I should have started with the story of geometry, but baby was sleeping so I jumped right into this work to avoid itty bitty hands on itty bitty insets! 

Here she is seeing if they are congruent by putting them back to back to verify same size and shape.

Then someone woke up.

And was so excited to be alive and headed straight for the insets!

Practicing giving things to me.

And don't forget to taste it!

Cat confirmed these are congruent.

We also went over similarity. She showed me 2 squares that were congruent and 2 that were similar (same shape, not same size).

Cat putting her work away. Those are the cabinets that hold all the iron insets for geometry and fractions. One cabinet is empty. I'm waiting on the remaining insets to be delivered soon.

Tes working on the trinomial cube. She needed a little help because she got one of the layers wrong. She sometimes puts the top layer in the middle and things don't line up correctly. But she catches herself because she uses the lid to check the red, blue and yellow pattern on the side. When it is wrong, she tries to fix it and then tells me so I can help her figure out why it's not right.

This has nothing to do with Montessori :)! He is so not normalized yet! 

Practicing rhythm :) and taste testing as always.

I gave the suffix and prefix presentations to Cat and MJ today. MJ had this last year but then never touched it again and Cat had it earlier this year and also never touched it again. So I figured we'd have it as a refresher. Next week I'll be requiring follow up work on this as well as presenting compound words. These tackle boxes hold our phonogram alphabets. They are just little cards with each letter of the alphabet on them so the kids can manipulate with word study stuff. I purchased these sets from Jessica over at Garden of Francis.

And Swiper handing us all the bead squares from the cabinet one at a time. You should see the floor, which I didn't take a picture of. Beads everywhere. I think all babies are drawn to this gorgeous material! And by the way, that cabinet is on wheels, so it is always in different parts of the room. Just in case you were confused by trying to figure out the layout of the room!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

School Days - Monday and Tuesday (1/26-27/15)

So Tes and Swiper both had fevers this past weekend. They are both better now but have moved into the runny nose stage. Swiper is still clingy and not completely his 100% self yet. So school has been on the back burner for the last two days. We still gave it our best shot though!

Here is Swiper making a mess! He pulled down the cd box and is trying to open a case! Don't mind the junk in front of him. That is the landing spot for all things needing to exit the classroom :).

Cat worked on labeling some bead chains yesterday. Cyndiquil (might have spelled that wrong) helped out. He's a Pokemon, in case you were wondering. The bead chains are used for lots of different things. In this work she is practicing multiplication facts as well as setting a foundation for cubing and squaring work later on.

Tes practiced her "m" on the big blackboard.

Swiper getting stuck in the easel.

Like I said, Swiper has been icky the passed few days. I spent most of Monday trying to put him down for a nap. He was fussy and didn't want to nap nor be awake. Not sure how that works but it is what it is. This is what I came back to. Cat and Tes sorting through shape and color flashcards. I guess easy work is the choice when mommy can't present much. I need to get some workplans going with Cat and MJ so these kids of activities happen less.

MJ waiting patiently for me to present something to him after the 4th interruption from Swiper! I ended up giving him the lesson but we were both so worn out that I'm not sure he retained any of it.  I'll likely have to do it again to see what he remembers.

And that was all we had for yesterday. Today was only slightly more productive.

Tes worked on more letters. We started a new board with lines for ascenders and descenders but I had her practice the letters on a blank board first. She likes to put happy faced in all the spaces just like her big sis :).

Cat giving Swiper a walking lesson. 

Yay for "p"!

MJ working on more gems with clay. He could do this all day long! He just about did.


Cat worked on forming more numbers on the large bead frame. We did numbers in the millions today! She enjoys this, which is good because she needs lots of practice in order to move onto the next phase...writing them on paper.

Oh my gosh, please ignore that nasty dirty totally undusted vent back there. Ick! Dusting is on the list for school chores tomorrow. We don't even have a school chore list but we will tomorrow!

Tes wanted to play the hide and seek game with the sand paper letters. She hid them all over the room and I told her which one to go fetch. In Montessori, children learn the letters by their sounds, not by their names. It is less confusing when they learn to read and write. When they see the letter, they automatically think of the sound it makes. So when I ask for a letter I ask for "the letter that makes the sound 'p'". When she brings the letter back to me, I have her trace it and she puts it back into the box.

Found "uh".

Tracing "uh". :)

I introduced Cat to the grammar boxes today. This is grammar box 2. She thought she was going to hate it but ended up liking it. She very specifically said "I like this work", when we were done.

For this work she reads the phrase/sentence on the large/long card. Then she finds the corresponding words that make up the phrase/sentence and places the symbol for that part of speech for each word. 

Ok, so I took another crying pic! :( I didn't mean for him to look at me when I took it. He was throwing a huge fit because we took the grammar symbols away from him. He tried to swipe a little blue triangle and stick it in his mouth. They sure are pretty and oh so colorful! He threw himself on the floor. After I snapped this shot, he screamed! Like breaking-glass screamed. He was frustrated :(. He moved on fairly quickly though. He's easily distracted at this age.

MJ also got some grammar box work in. I introduced grammar box 5. This one introduces prepositions. He enjoys doing the commands, but not sorting out all the word cards. This work is supposed to be done by age 8. MJ turned 8 in December. I'm just trying to finish these up quickly so we can get going on logical analysis. Then we can revisit this stuff and go deeper. And yes, that is a chair lying on the floor to the right. Swiper push it over so he could use it as a walker to get to the other side of the room.

Here is one of his completed sentences. There are 2 or 3 sentences on the card. The only difference in each sentence is the preposition. He replaced "with" with "without". Huh?

Doing one of the commands from a sentence.

Looking for a card. See the "prism under the cylinder". Montessori subjects are integrated into each other very nicely. The prism and cylinder are from primary work he did a while back. The sentences use commands to pull lots of things the children are familiar with that are elsewhere in the classroom.

This is what our schoolroom floor looked like when we were done. Just so you know. It's not nice and purrty in here very often. I think most of this was Swiper, but some of it was Tes. The kids like to pull things from the school room to play with afterwards. And NOT in the way Maria Montessori intended. Hopefully some of the materials purposes are being absorbed through their play. Hopefully :).