Saturday, December 27, 2008

Geography Training Part 4

Political Geography: The Geography Cabinet
These are pictures from our presentations of the geography cabinet. I am missing a picture of the Europe presentation. Each student chose a map to present. We traced the map from the control map and labeled, researched our country and presented. Everyone added a few things outside of the lesson in the manual like: books, games, and cultural items.

North America

The drawing of North America you see above is traced from the control map and then colored by the student.

Labels of the countries in North America and Oceans around North America.

South America




The 3 part poster is a students work from this teachers class. The clear box you see to her right contains cultural items from Australia.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Geography Training Part 3

Political Geography: The Geography Cabinet
The geography cabinet introduces the political landforms on a sensorial
level. Elementary level children without Primary experience will be
introduced to all of the continents first to get a concept of the whole.
Then focus on the child's country, state, and city.

The organization of the geography cabinet depends on where the child
lives. The pattern is: the world, the child's continent, the child's
country, the continents nearest and the child's country.
For a child that lives in the United States the organization would be:
the World, North America, United States, South America, Europe, Asia,
Africa, and Australia.

Materials used with the geography puzzle maps are:
The second and third globes, paper for drawing the maps, labels, control
maps for each puzzle, and blank maps for each puzzle map.

The World Puzzle Map

If we need a map to help us get around can we put a globe in our pocket?
This is how our trainer started this lesson. She proceeded to draw a
quick outline of the world on a grapefruit and then cut the peel of the
grapefruit and flatten it to take us from the 3D to the 2D map.

The children can now conduct a geography self-test of the World and
Ocean Research.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!

Christmas in Brownsville, Texas!
This how we spend Christmas every year, celebrating my husbands Mexican traditions.

The Posada
Here is information about the Posadas from Wikipedia. My husbands sister was the last house of the Posada so she had the big party with the food, pinata and music!

Las Posadas (Spanish for "the inns") is a nine-day celebration with origins in Spain beginning December 16 and ending December 24. It is a yearly tradition for many Catholic Mexicans and some other Latin Americans and symbolizes the trials which Mary and Joseph endured before finding a place to stay where Jesus could be born, based on the passage in the New Testament, the Gospel of Luke (2:1-9):

Typically, each family in a neighborhood will schedule a night for the Posada to be held at their home, starting on the 16th of December and finishing on the 24th. Every home has a nativity scene and the hosts of the Posada act as the innkeepers. The neighborhood children and adults are the pilgrims (peregrinos), who have to request lodging by going house to house singing a traditional song about the pilgrims. All the pilgrims carry small lit candles in their hands, and four people carry small statues of Joseph leading a donkey, on which Mary is riding. The head of the procession will have a candle inside a paper lamp shade. At each house, the resident responds by refusing lodging (also in song), until the weary travelers reach the designated site for the party, where Mary and Joseph are finally recognized and allowed to enter. Once the "innkeepers" let them in, the group of guests come into the home and kneel around the Nativity scene to pray (typically, the Rosary). Latin American countries have continued to celebrate this holiday to this day, with very few changes to the tradition. In some places, the final location may be a church instead of a home. Individuals may actually play the various parts of Mary (María) and Joseph with the expectant mother riding a real donkey (burro), with attendants such as angels and shepherds acquired along the way, or the pilgrims may carry images of the holy personages instead. At the end of the long journey, there will be Christmas carols (villancicos), children will break open piñatas by striking these colorful papier-maché objects with bats while blindfolded to obtain candy hidden inside, and there will be a feast. Traditionally, it is expected to meet all the invitees in a previous procession.

Making tortillas!

Wrapping Presents!

Making cookies for Santa!

At church Christmas Eve going to kiss baby Jesus.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Geography Training Part 2

First Knowledge of the Earth: Fourth Globe
This globe is used parallel to the study of landforms. There are many markings on this globe. Separate lessons for each part is given: Lessons on meridians, parallels and time zones.


This is a students project on lines of latitude and longitude. The children learn that these lines help us tell where things are on a map and in order for people to know more accurately where they are on the earth.

Continents Nomenclature

Extension Work

This is a cloth world map with labels of the continents and oceans. It also comes with a wooden block that has pictures of the continents to play different games.

These sentence labels were created by our trainer for her classroom to have the students work on complete sentences. She also has questions and answers like these for the oceans.

This picture shows the block and how you can also add the animals indigenous to the continents.

My next post will be on the Geography Cabinet.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Geography Training Part 1

My Geography training class was this past weekend. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it! I wish I would have had this when I was in school. One thing I enjoy in our classes is the fact that we are shown what the children due in the Primary Classroom and are taught lessons that I call "review" for children who attended primary.

First Knowledge of the Earth: First Globe - The first globe introduced or re-introduced to an elementary child who was in the primary classroom is the globe with two surfaces: smooth (blue-painted) representing water and rough (sandpaper) representing land.

First Knowledge of the Earth: Second Globe - The second globe (not shown in this picture) is tan and blue, both painted surfaces.

First Knowledge of the Earth: Third Globe - The third globe is the globe with the colored continents. Water - Blue, Africa - green, Antarctic - white, Asia-yellow, Australia-brown, Europe-red, North America-orange, South America-pink. In Primary the children learn the names of the continents, their location, the countries, and information like which is the largest and smallest Continent. We review and continue in the elementary classroom to learn the oceans and seas.
When the third globe is introduced the children are asked to draw each continent in a simple geometric shape, not the exact contour, but freehand. See the picture below for examples. This is usually introduced in the primary classroom.

First Knowledge of the Earth: Fourth Globe - This is the traditional globe. At this point, geography takes two parallel directions: political geography and physical geography.

Political Geography is the study of the earth in relation to people as they have lived on different parts of the earth, assigned names to landforms and areas, developed customs, and established arbitrary boundaries between land areas.

Physical Geography is the study of landforms. There is taxonomy of landforms, called geomorphology. Physical geography also deals with the development and formation of landforms.

Physical and Political geography are studied in parallel in the classroom.

More on this in my next post. I have a lot of pictures to post on geography so come back!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It is Christmas at Home!

We changed our dinning around a little. The kids work used to be where the long serving table is now. We moved the materials to the other side. This made our dinning room look much bigger and the kids now work on the other side away from the main walking area. We were always stepping over them!
Here is the other side

The cabinet above is where I keep all of the kids supplies.

I took this picture 2 days ago and I have already changed something here! I have replaced a necklace bead activity with a lacing activity I just purchased second hand. I also added the Giraffe puzzle below.

I've had this for a long time. My son understands the count down to Christmas now so he is interested in changing the numbers!

For miscellaneous crafting activities. I have been printing many ideas from the Internet from making Santa, Elves, and Ornaments to making a Reindeer's head from the kids hand and feet prints! My son will actually ask me to look up things on the Internet to do.

This is a wooden Giraffe Puzzle with numbers on one side and the alphabet on the other. I just purchased it from Pier One Imports. My son really likes it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Spanish - Last Week Before Holiday Break

This was the last week for Spanish at the Montessori School I teach part-time. The children have two more weeks of school but they are getting ready for their December Play.

Primary Children
The primary children are learning a new song "Pin Pon". I found one version of the song on-line but this is not exactly how we sing it. But you get the idea of the song here. I have only taught the first part of this song. When I first introduce a new song, I give them a little story about the song and I translate. Later on, I will ask questions to see if they know what we are saying. Some children will ask what something means if they do not understand. In the future, I want to incorporate items to go with the song.
We also sang "Feliz Navidad"!

Lower Elementary
We worked on learning how to express some feelings like: Tengo Calor, Tengo Frio, Tengo hambre, etc.. We played charades to practice these.

Here is what I did.
1. I listed these expressions on a piece of paper and their meaning. Children are sitting on the rug in a circle. One piece of paper for every two students. These hand-outs are found at the bottom of this blog.

2. We went through the expressions twice so they would know how they are pronounced.

3. I had strips of paper of the same expressions for one student to pick and act out while everyone else guessed in Spanish.

4. I made sure to model first. I picked a piece of paper, got up and went to one side of the room, and acted out my expression.
The Children absolutely LOVED IT! The ones that don't usually want to participate were so excited!

5. We went around to everyone and started over on the expressions when we ran out. Everyone that wanted a turn, got a turn.

Here is the expressions handouts:
Handout 1
Handout 2

We also sang "Feliz Navidad" and began working on the weather. We added the weather cards to our Calendar Work.

Upper Elementary
The upper elementary students received their workbooks this week. "Viva el Espanol System A". I am using the scope and sequence for Viva el Espanol for Lower and Upper Elementary but only the Upper Elementary have a workbook. I assigned them their homework on Tuesday and it was all done on Thursday. They were so excited to receive a workbook!

We have also started working on a small script. They are writing a small script on going to the Doctor. Two students are group together, one is the Doctor and one the patient. They must write the script together using the new vocabulary we are learning plus what they have learned. Tengo.... Me duele.... Parts of the body..... and any new vocabulary they need to make their script work.

Once they are done, I will film them again using my little digital camera. They really love to see themselves on camera! These skits are about 2 minutes long.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My daughter at school - 2008

Here are some pictures of my daughter working and playing at her school! Thank you so much to her teacher for taking these. I was so excited to see her at work!

Work Time!

Play Time!

Story Time!

Lunch Time!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pink-Blue-Green Series in Spanish?

Can you follow the same Montessori English Language Sequence for teaching Spanish?

A reader of the blog asked me this question and after some research I found out the answer is “Yes!”. I found out from a teacher who trained and taught in Mexico that she followed the same sequence followed to teach English.

Montessori Educativos - She recommended this company. It took me a while to figure out where the prices in American Dollars were located but finally found them. To get the list price go to this link. It is at the very bottom of the main page where it says "Lista de precios en dollares". It is all in Spanish, not sure how to get it in English.

This company sells the Pink-Blue-Green Series Cards in Spanish:
Widening Horizons
Pink Series: Introduces three letter phonetic
Blue Series: Includes longer phonetic Spanish words
Green Series: Introduces the non-phonetic Spanish sounds like gue, gui,
I have not purchased any products from this company, but if you have or know someone who has, please let me know.

Other companies that sell Spanish Materials:
Amonco - I found on-line
Touch Spanish - used at my daughters school

Training History 6: Development Of The Notion Of Time - The Clock

This is a continuation from the other Training History Posts.

We were shown two clocks in our training class.
The Judy Clock - What I liked about this clock is that as you move the second hand the hour hand moves. Also, the minute and hour hands are clearly different in length.

The Montessori Teaching Clock - What I love about this clock is the fact that the children have to put it together which makes them very aware of the different parts of a clock. The hour hand does not move as the second hand moves. This clock was designed by a Montessori teacher. Notice the 12 glass 5-bead bars used for the minutes. A circle carved into the center of the clock face holds red plastic fraction insets that help children grasp by sight and touch what is meant by the terms half-past, quarter-past, and quarter-till. Beautiful clock!

I found this Tutorial online on teaching children how to tell time very helpful.

Linear Timeline
Hourly time with linear time line: This should be done after an introduction of time (they should know that each numeral represents an hour of the day, one to twelve, that there are 12 hours for he day and 12 for the night, with 24 hours for the entire day)

Using a narrow strip of thin, flexible cardboard equal in length to the circumference of the clock with numerals one to twelve marked in sections of equal lengths AND Labels with AM and PM AND A set of twenty-four command cards for each hour.

We can represent the hours with the hour strip. Place the strip around the clock to illustrate how it is the same size as the circumference of the clock. Ask the children what time they do certain things during the day like: what time they get up in the morning, what time they start school, go to lunch, end school, eat dinner, go to sleep, etc... They will place an arrow at each time on the hour strip. Ask if this is morning or evening. For example: Do you eat dinner at 6 in the morning or 6 at night. Explain the AM and PM labels and have them add the AM or PM Labels.

Other Clock Lessons included in our manual:
Half hour time
Quarter past time
Quarter to time
Five minute time
One minute time
In all of these lessons the children practice with the clocks, worksheets, and the children stamp clocks, draw the hands, and label the time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

All in a days work!

My husband was out of town for 4 days this past week and I was sick most of that time. I finally felt better on Sunday so I worked on house chores which the kids helped with and they also worked a lot with the works on the shelves. Here is a few pictures of their Sunday morning.

The kids come in and out of the backyard while working. I love our backyard. It is big and shaded by an almost 100 year old Pecan tree.

My sweet girl! She is getting very good at these. These are creative memories patterns.

Stamping. After this, he ended pulling out ALL of our stamps and stamped his heart away and colored them all in!

Leaf Rubbing.

My sweet boy! He is adding a leaf next to the leafless tree! He said he needed to draw the leaves that had fallen!

Playdough, a daily favorite. I purchased Christmas cookie cutters for the playdough and intended to put them out in December but my son knew I had purchased them and was eager to get them out!

Washing Dishes.

A puzzle. We just got this one. My son always wants my help the first time he gets a new puzzle. He then does it over and over and over again until he has mastered it. I personally LOVE puzzles. When I grew up my parents did not have a lot of money. My mom said that puzzles were the most inexpensive toys she could purchase for us so she bought a lot of them for us! As a child we played lots of board games, cards games and worked on puzzles. My father loves board games and cards games and I loved how we spent hours playing these games. He is a mathematician so I learned probability with cards games!

My son comes home everyday from school writing a letter or number he worked on that day at school. Here is K and k.

And our calendar. I changed it up last month because they were not at all interested in it. I just purchased an English Calendar and added the names of the week in Spanish under the names of the week in English.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Elementary Classrooms Calendar Work

Here is the Lower Elementary Calendar Work that I blogged about here. The calendar has the days at the top in Spanish and English. Under the calendar there is a red pocket chart with the questions and answers for the students to complete with the days of the week.

So far, we have worked on what day is today, what day was yesterday and what day is tomorrow. I also have cards that will work on the date - la fecha and the weather - el tiempo.
Here are the links to the documents to create this work.
Calendar Work 1
Calendar Work 2
Calendar Written Work 1

One of the students put "jueves" on the very top question, that is not suppose to be there!

I have this same work in the Upper Elementary Classroom.