Sunday, June 28, 2009

Montessori work: Friday June 26th

Ladybugs on a Straight Line. The NCM Fall guide has an original work called "Bears in Line" & I'm using this idea (using 2 strips of felt on a felt board) with 10 ladybug counters that we already had.

We created the 'straight line' with the felt, counted the ladybugs onto it & then discussed which ladybug was at the 'front' & which was at the 'back', which was 'last' and which was 'first' and played games with moving them around into different positions.

Lovely chose this bead threading pattern activity which has been a fave lately.

You get a straw & 2 little pegs each & a selection of beads - make sure you have an even number of each colour - and then you take turns, one person makes a pattern on the straw that the other person matches and then you lay them together to check them. We've had this out for ages but just this morning I came across an old post from Laura at My Montessori Journey & remembered that the idea was originally hers. Thanks Laura :)

Spooning and pouring popcorn kernals. Spoon kernals into the jug & them pour them into the 2nd bowl. Switch bowls and start again. Lovely wasn't interested in the spooning part (despite the funky spoon that I was quite excited about including on this tray!) but really like pouring and swapping the bowls over.

Button frame. This is the pj top from a teddy bear we called 'Button Bear' but L had been finding it hard to do.

I just stapled the top to this little frame & although it's still a challenge he can do it all by himself now.

Salt dough. I'd never made Salt dough before but it's super easy (1 cup of flour to 1 cup of salt & 1/2 a cup of water. Combine. Ready!). I made some for myself also :)

L really dug the shaker I filled with flour (to sprinkle onto the mix if it was too sticky) & his dough sure wasn't sticky by the end! We've got our creations drying on wax paper now & will hopefully paint them next week.

Colour stacker. L made a person shape & inquired about sawing off the stick (err, no...) before putting it back together correctly. He hasn't used this in ages & I'm sure he used to have trouble rebuilding it when he finished but he's got it now.

We also: Played the Silence Game, sang a few songs & I showed him some warm-up stretches and Yoga Poses (from the NCM guide) which he wasn't into but think he'll warm to them. I loved doing them. More Yoga! Our last thing was reading a book together - Mr Brown can Moo! Can You?

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Comments :


  1. I'm so excited that you ordered the NCM curriculum, and I can't wait to hear more about it. I'd just about convinced myself not to get it, but now I'm intrigued again. Would you recommend it?

  2. I am very interested in what you have to say about the NCM curriculum. Please let us know!

  3. I'm really happy with the guides :)

    I think they're great. Now, I know that it's a bit controversial to use a Montessori "curriculum" guide & if I had a beautiful, completely stocked Montessori classroom I might choose not to use one either.

    But... My reality is not exactly a purist Montessori classroom as much as I might wish it to be &, personally, I find the guides give me some new ideas for each day & some really interesting activity ideas, songs, art activities and more *as well as* introduction of the Montessori materials and typical Montessori presentations.

    The issue of international postage meant that I ended up buying all 4 guides at once but it isn't too much of a splurge if you were to buy just one of the guides to trial (start with the Fall one) if you live in the US. Then you can see if it works for you without buying the whole set.

    I didn't buy the companion guide. I can see that it would be a handy addition (and would have chosen it if money weren't an issue) but if you know a bit about Montessori & how/where to look for lessons online, then you can get by without it - which also cuts back on the expense of buying all of the guides.

    Let me know if you decide to get them & I'll keep you up to date as I work through mine :)

  4. The NCM books are great - chock full of ideas! I have used the bears on a line with my new children, and bears on a circle to help them understand how to sit in a group. It has worked really well! It ended up with my calling my children "my bears", and when lining up outside (we have 2 classes) I would call for my "bears", then we would count my "bears". The children loved it!

  5. Amber, thanks for commenting about the guides. I am really considering them!
    Anyway, thanks for your comment on my blog about our house. It was built in 1923. We bought it from my grandparents a year ago, just months before my grandfather passed away. We are slowly working on fixing it up. It is small, but I absolutely LOVE it!
    Thanks for the comment!

  6. Thanks so much for all the great ideas and photos. So glad I found your blog! Lots of inspiration here for me (:

  7. Did you buy the NCM art curriculum, too? It sounds very interesting, and I'd love to know more about it if you are using it :)

  8. Hi Melissa :)

    I didn't buy the Art curriculum but there are art activities & ideas for everyday (& instructions for each week) within each guide. I've just posted about today's workcycle & we were using the NMC guides again so the songs & fingergames & some of the ideas (like using green water) came from the guide. There is so much in there that we couldn't possibly do a full day in one of our 2 hour-ish workcycles alongside Lovely having free-choice from the cupboard. I had wanted to present the Red Rods today & I didn't even get to them! Tomorrow...

    I'm sure you'll see more mention of the NCM guides over the next few weeks (& hopefully months!) as we continue to work through them. Lovely & I only do 2 workcycle mornings each week so it will take us a while to get through even the Fall guide.


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