Geoboard – Three Ways
Otis has been home from school for the past three days, so we have pulled out a couple of new actions! Above is a typical geoboard with the extra turn of utilizing grid paper. The child draws shapes on the paper subsequently makes the shapes on the plank. When using the geoboard Otis normally makes arbitrary contours and occasionally creates a picture or minor scene. Above he’s using a transparent plank on the light table. I made Otis this natural geoboard – inspired through this post at Fairy Dust Teaching. I really like how it’s a bit rustic and makes the kid think only a little differently about making the contours. It seems somewhat more brilliant too!
Alphabet Puzzle Tote
If so, this really is a really enjoyable activity that reinforces knowledge on the contours and type of letters. I’d not do this in a way to teach children their letters or to examine them but to strengthen their knowledge. I’d comprise letters they’re confident with alongside letters they may be fighting with. This is a simple activity of putting the letters from an Alphabet Puzzle or Moveable Alphabet into a Mystery Tote and letting the youngster by making use of their hands and their sense of touch simply to identify each letter. Choose the letters from the Alphabet Puzzle (or Moveable Alphabet) and put these in the Mystery Tote without the child seeing. Invite the kid over to take a seat at a work mat or table. Invite the child to place one or both hands inside the bag and one at a time, without peeking, identify which letter they may be holding.
The idea is the fact that through touch the kid forms a picture of the letter in their own head. If they are able to remember the sound of the letter it can help increase their link between the sound and also the shape and form of the letter. As an extension, when you have comprised vowels and consonants you may also encourage the kid to make some words with the letters they’ve identified.
Above Otis puts his hand in the Puzzle Tote and feels for a letter. He has identified this as a ‘w’. He sets the letter on the mat and sets his hand back in for another letter. The Puzzle Tote is one of our favourite stuff which we’ve used many times through the years. It actually heightens their sense of touch. Our Mystery Bag is a simple silk lined, drawstring bag. I usually keep it to around five items in the tote. These posts reveal a number of the ways in which we have used the Mystery Bag (or Mystery Box). With all activities at home, I try to keep it engaging and light-hearted. In the event you give this a go I hope you enjoy!
Montessori Sea Shell Tasks You Will Love!
My kids adore tasks that involve natural materials. Where there’s some thing for them to hold, feel, touch. Where there is something that’s interesting, with fascinating little details. Now I’m featuring some Montessori Shell Activities whom I know you will adore. The kid sorts the shells (into the big jars) into Univalve or Bivalve.
The Shell Poster (left in top image) is from Montessori Stuff and the Univalve/Bivalve sheet is from Montessori for Everybody.
Cleaning a large shell – Brosser un gros coquillage at Le blog de Sylvie d’Esclaibes. This is an incredible notion, nearly all of our shells are unclean and could do with an excellent scrub! Fitting shells to cards – Another example of fitting shells to cards can be found at Les aventures chez nounou Marie. I consider they are using the wonderful shell set and matching cards from Michael Olaf! The cards hold the name of the shell which introduces the language element and allows the parent or caregiver to supply the little one together with the proper terminology. This really is from one of my favourite nature tables (which contained tons of shells) where Otis is making imprints with the shells into sand. I recall one of Caspar’s favourite actions when he first began in his Cycle One classroom (in Canberra as a three-year-old) was a tray with all different kinds of shells and also a simple magnifying glass. There is something exceptional about sea shells!
Playdough – Four Ways
Otis is five and loves playdough now more than ever. I have written occasionally about how we use playdough, always with different items and in different colours, textures and smells. Adding essential oils to playdough is vital. Here are four ways we’re currently reveling playdough.
1. Alphabet Stamps. This is a superb early literacy action, recalling it’s best to start with lower case letters.
2. Other Stamps. We’ve got lots of stamps at home so there is always lots for the boys to pick from. I have also wiped down our Melissa and Doug postages and these work really nicely with the playdough too!
3. Gumnuts and Sticks. I really like combining natural materials with playdough. Feathers, shells and pinecones may also lead to creative play with playdough.
4. Galaxy Dough!! I first read about Galaxy Dough at Fairy Dust Teaching. It is only black playdough with plenty of glitter blended through. It ends up all dark and sparkly – just such as the galaxy. Otis was amazed! It is entertaining to play with as it’s so different to our other playdough. Limelight (a craft shop in Australia) and cake decorating speciality shops have black food colouring including in a powder form. They often have a lot of distinct shades of food colouring which may make a pleasant change from the conventional colours you see in playdough. We could make a set of playdough all in precisely the same colour but in different colours – wonderful! We use playdough and Alphabet Stamps from Joyful Hands Joyful Heart. I am hoping you have enjoyed this small peek into our playdough play!
Geometry Love- Montessori Stuff for Geometric Form Work
You might have estimated following yesterday’s post, that we’ve been doing a lot of geometric contour work around here! We have been using the Geo Strips (number 3.) and I’m often asked about them. So I Have compiled a quick list of some other geometric shape building sticks and bits that may be helpful for a Montessori house or classroom!
1. Learning Edge Connecting GeoStix (Australia here).
2. Learning Resources Geometric Shapes Construction Set (similar Australia here).
3. Geo Strips (Australia here) (you can see Otis using the Geo Strips in this post).
4. Wikki Stix Basic Contours Creative Entertaining Kit.
5. Learning Resources Transparent Anglegs (the Anglegs come in different sizes too!).
6. Montessori Geometric Stick Stuff (Australia here) (I adore this picture from Westside Montessori School of the Montessori Geometric Stick work, with a simple description).
Using Scales and Balance Buckets
Yesterday I wrote about one of our task trays with scales (balance pail) and some coloured glass beads, shells and wood pieces. Here are some other Montessori and Inquiry-Based learning thoughts that I love. These actions are also extremely simple to put together. Our scales were around $15, or you can use kitchen scales, and we only use stuff we already have at home! I adore the sensory table for younger children (#6). I think I’m going to attempt a set up like #3 next, where the child has a variety of substances to consider and record – it seems fabulous for some additional math and literacy skills!
1. Equilibrium bucket with loose parts at How we Montessori (on our shelves here).
2. Maths In the Resort Area with An notion on Tuesday.
3. Magnet Trays and Scale Weighing at Learning Cente of Dundee Omaha, Nebraska
4. Fall Inspired Weighing Action with Balance Scales at Montessori from the Heart.
5. General Mathematics Provocations at Welcome to Primary.
6. Balance 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 Notions.