Monday, September 29, 2008

Spanish Montessori Week 1

This post is about the Montessori School I work at. Just to refresh, I teach Spanish 4 hours a week at a Montessori School. I teach the Primary classes 30 minutes one day a week (Ages 3 - 6 Three classrooms), the Upper Elementary 30 minutes 2 days a week (Ages 6-9 One Classroom) and the Upper Elementary 30 minutes 2 days a week (Ages 9-12 One Classroom). This is Week 3 so I will post Week's 1-3 this week to catch up.

Week 1:
For the Primary classes, I reviewed some of our songs "Buenos Dias"-"Good Morning", "Los Elefantes"-"The Elephants", "Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas y Pies"-"Head Shoulders Knees and Toes", "La Araña pequeñita y grandotota" "The little and big spider", "Adios"-"Good-bye"

For the Lower Elementary we worked on Greetings and reviewed songs "Buenos Dias"-"Good Morning", "Los Elefantes" "The Elephants" and "Adios"-"Good-Bye". Here is the the Greetings activity.

The students were paired up. Each student had a script to read shown in the picture below. Before we did this group work, I presented the lesson in this manner.

Teacher: What do you say when you see your friend in the morning?
Children: "Hello or Hi" I layed out a strip of paper big enough for students to see " ¡Hola!".
Teacher: What do you say back when someon greets you?
Children: "We say Hello back" I layed out another paper strip with the word ¡Hola!.
Teacher: Some times we ask "How are you?" to someone we greet. In Spanish, ¿Cómo estás? means "How are you?".
and so on....

I modeled with a student. I had the paper with the number 1 and another student with the number 2. The number 1 goes first and the number 2 responds. Some students needed a little help and some got it right away and even swapped papers.
Some great questions that came out of this lesson: Why is there an upside down question mark and exclamation point? Why do you say "yama" instead of "lama".

For the next few weeks, I will ask two students to come to the center and do this with me so they get to practice.

Upper Elementary worked on speaking. We reviewed more extensive Greetings, Introducing themselves and others to someone, and asking basic questions to get to know someone like "where do you live", "how old are you", "what is your phone number". All of this is review from last year.

Shopping at Goodwill

I use to love to shop at Goodwill and had not done it lately until I saw a post on MontessoriFreeFall. The minute I read her Goodwill post which I cannot find right now, I went to Goodwill! I only had 30 minutes to shop because Goodwill was closing but I found some great things in a short amount of time. I will be making another trip soon!

This $3 game I will use with my kids to practice the names of family members an pets in Spanish and the rooms of the house. "Is the baby in the kitchen"! Upstairs? Downstairs? You could make this game from poster board and laminate and make the people and laminate them also.

These are some desk accessories that I have not determined their use yet but I am sure I will find something for them! Only $1 each.

I also found another game that I want to use with my Spanish classes to work on numbers and adding. I did not even get to look at all of the books, puzzles, toys, baskets, containers, etc...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Montessori Elementary Training - Zoology

Well, I have been gone a while from my blog. I've been so busy with work. I started teaching Spanish at the Montessori School the 16th of this month, plus my College work, volunteering at the school and my Montessori Trianing, it has been a little hectic.

I had my first part of the Zoology training this past weekend. We will be meeting 3 more times to finish Zoology and Botany. We meet 8 hours a day on weekends. My instructor for the science training is amazing. She was a Science major and you can tell how much she likes it! Here are some pictures of the lessons. I did not have my camera one day so I still need to get those pictures from another student.

Phylum Porifera

Phylum Cnidaria

A cute art project for the Phylum Mollusca.

We ended on Sunday by talking about the Biomes and how our Instructor teaches her students about the Biomes, ie: Grasslands, Desert, Tundra, Freshwater, Marine, Forest. This picture is of her example of her little animals and plants from the Desert Biome. She made a really cute Desert print bag for these items. She keeps the Biomes in separate plastic drawers for the children to explore. She poses questions like: What color are most of these animals? Why? They discuss the cactus and why it has thorns. They discuss the amount of rainfall, what these animals eat and drink.....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Spanish Work modified by my son

Here is a work that my son changed up. I have different shapes from my Creative Memories scrapbooking items for the kids to trace and then name them in Spanish but they did not like this work. My son saw these bath tub items among my things in my school cabinet and he changed the shapes for the duck and fish.

When he is done tracing I write the name in Spanish and he cuts it out and puts it in his Spanish notebook. I figured I can find many other items around the house for him to trace.

I remember when he was two years old and we would spend hours outside tracing things with chalk. We would trace his hands and feet, my hands and feet, his cars and trains and any other toys he could find.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Spanish Work

Here is what I and the children call the Spanish Shelve! This shelve contains only Spanish language work. I have other Spanish work that gets swapped with these. I also sometimes have the same work and just change one thing about it to get the children's interest again. I will give you an example below.

Any time we work on any work like Art, Math, Science, Sensorial, and Culture, I try to speak only in Spanish but I have lived in the United States since I was 11 years old so English comes easier to me.

The Spanish Shelve and all of their work is located in the dinning room which is between the kitchen and the living room.

On the top shelf is this matching work. Currently my son and I work on this together. My goal here is to work on vocabulary. In the little envelopes to the left are the other cards separated by topics. These are the library card holders found at the teacher stores. The colors coordinate with the cards. Green cards go in the green envelope. I purchased this at Wal-Mart in their book section. It also came with the English words but I put those away.
To the left of this you will see a little bowl which I did not photograph. That has finger puppets which I use for story telling. I purchased 10 finger puppets of animals from IKEA for $6.

My son knows all of his letters and sounds in Spanish, this is mainly for my daughter. Next to this is a little white basket with this work that I showed in a previous post.

This is the work I showed in yesterdays post. Here is one work that I change up. I change the colors and what is in the little bowl for matching. I only change one color every time I change.

The last item is a Spanish puzzle for my son.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My son gave my daughter a Lesson!

Today two wonderful things happened. First, my son came home from school and after a 30 minute cartoon and 30 minutes of riding his bike he started to work on the Spanish materials I put out for him. My soon to be 3 year old just follows our lead and is always engaged in the art work I have out. My son has been the challenge because he never attended Montessori School until now. My daughter on the other hand has attended Montessori school since February of this year. As I started to re-arrange the work on the shelf and swap things my son started to want to work. Both children worked for about 1.5 hours. From about 4:00pm-5:30pm.

The second thing that happened, and I so wished I could have recorded this, was that my son gave our daughter a lesson on the Spanish color matching work. I have seen his teacher give lessons and he did it EXACTLY like her. I just watched from far away where my son would not notice me and at the end I took these pictures.

He got the work off the shelf in a slow and careful manner and said in a low and slow voice "I am going to show you some Spanish work". He used the super low voice, asked my daughter to put her hands behind her back and cross her legs and watch. He sat down and carefully laid out the color cards, He picked the red pom-pom and said "this is *rojo" as he sat it down on the red card, can you say "rojo". My daughter said "rojo" and he said "very good" in that sweet happy teacher voice! He finished showing her the work (and she paid attention) and then showed her how to put it up. I just wanted to jump for joy!!! Maybe he will be a future Montessori Teacher!
*rojo is the color red in Spanish

My daughter then proceeded to take the work off the shelf and complete it!

Tomorrow I am going to post pictures of the Spanish work I have on the shelf at my home and the Spanish work they did today. My son even made up one work for us to put on the shelf!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Things I've learned

Here are a few things my son has shared with me about what he has learned.

What he has learned that he has shared

When I ask him what he has learned he says "nothing". Later in the day, usually at dinner or before bed he will share with us something he has learned. He has shown me how to pick up and move a chair correctly and quietly, pick up and put down a heavy object, carry a tray and softly put it back on the shelf, roll a work rug, and he tells me "we respect the materials, that is one of the ground rules". I just love it when I see him do these things because I tried so hard to teach him these things over the summer but he was never interested.

Just yesterday he picked up an art piece I have in the middle of the dinner table. I asked him to please put it back because it might break. He said "let me show you how to put it down". With both hands he slowly and gently returned the art piece on the table and said quietly "did you hear that!". He then went on to say "I am going to pretend that I am going to work with the stamps (the stamps on my art shelf on a tray)" He picked them up and said "See you pick them up with both hands" he sat the tray down...picked it up again and walked back to the shelf and put the tray on the shelf again and sad "you put it back softly".

His Classroom

I took this picture after the kids had setup for nap time so the classroom is a little messy. It is a very large classroom.

You will notice taped to the windows the kids bean experiments. The children started their unit on seeds and plants with an “experiment” today and I got to help out. Each child placed a lima bean in a plastic bag that also contains a moist paper towel.