Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Geometry Training: Constructive Triangles

After the elementary child has gone through the geometry cabinet lessons posted previously he is ready to begin the Constructive Triangles.

Rectangle Box Series 1
Control Chart of each quadrilateral formed with this material and labeled.
Labels: Constructive Triangles, parallelogram, rhombus, square, trapezoid, rectangle, rhomboid, rhomboid, rhomboid

Begin your lesson by saying:
Triangles have three sides, quadrilaterals have four sides. These triangles are called constructive triangles because we can use them to build quadrilaterals. How can we make one four sided shape with two three-sided shapes?
You will show the child how we can make parallelograms, rhomboids, squares, rectangles, and trapezoids. Elicit from the children the name of the shape you have formed.

This work is put on the shelf. You may add colored construction paper to match the triangles. The children at a later can trace the quadrilaterals they construct, paste and label in their geometry notebooks.

You can show the students how Engineers and Architects use triangles. Find pictures of different structures like bridges and buildings where you can see triangles.

Blue Rectangle Box - Series 1

Blue Rectangle Box - the triangles are all blue with no black lines.
Labels - Blue Constructive Triangles, rhombus, square, trapezoid, rectangle, parallelogram, rhomboid, rhomboid, rhomboid, concave, and quadrilateral.

This is a more advanced work. There are no longer guidelines (no black lines on the triangles), and the child is working to discover figures. This is a preparation for equivalences. Guide older children to observe the relation ship between the number of lengths in the triangles and the number of quadrilaterals it is possible to form. In the equilateral triangle (all 3 sides equal) it is possible to form only one quadrilateral figure. In the isosceles triangle, there are two lengths, and it is possible to form two quadrilateral figures. In the scalene triangle, there are three lengths, and it is possible to form three quadrilateral figures.

The Last Section on Constructive Triangles is the
Blue Right Scalene Triangles - Series 1

There are 12 scalene triangles in this box. All blue and all the same size. With these triangles you demonstrate to the student how to create different stars - twelve point, six point, four point
Diaphragm with twelve sides, six sides, and four sides.

Start by asking the child to analyze the triangles with respect to sides and angles. He or she will discover with your help that these are all right scalene triangles.

The child can trace this one and make a pinwheel!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I wish I did not know so much about Education

I wish I was one of those mom's in my kids schools who had little clue of what Montessori is and just took my kids to school, dropped them off and happily picked them up in the afternoon. I wish I did not know so much about the Montessori Philosophy, had not visited so many schools(traditional, montessori, public, private), and not had so many conversations about what a Montessori school should be or not. Why do you ask? Because then I would live a very happy life not agonizing about the schools my children attend and if they are the best schools for them. I would not be picking at every little thing that I felt was going against Maria Montessori's philosophy. I would sleep better and my husband would sleep better!!

I wish I was not a college professor who got to see what our public schools are producing. It scares me when 60% of our students are taking developmental reading, writing and math, when our students score low in critical thinking skills and only care to know what is on the test. What is the minimum they have to do to get the grade they feel is 'ok' for them? That is what they want to know.

I wish I was my friend Shannon, who has worked in business all of her life, and does not research or read about education, is not around a family of educators, and is only concerned about how safe is the environment her child is in and is he happy. This makes me peaceful just writing about it!! No stress!

I am currently going through an inner turmoil about my son's school. I am not happy with their Montessori Program and have to make a decision on what to do with him. He is going into Kindergarten so I feel horrible moving him at this point. What I really want to do deep down is home school my children. I love to teach them at home and love to be out learning through nature as much as we possibly can. I would stop teaching Spanish but I cold not stop teaching at the College. Even though my College teaching is ALL Online, "Could I handle it all?".

So, I pray to God that he allows me to truly see these schools so that I can make a good decision on what I should do about my children and their education.

Any comments/thoughts/or advise are welcomed!

Spanish - What we have been up to at the school

It has been a while since I posted about what I am teaching in the classroom.

In the Primary classrooms we have learned two new songs.
We are learning parts of the body other than “head, shoulders knees and toes….” And clothing.

El Burrito Enfermo by Jose Luis-Orozco– The Sick Donkey. A very cute song about a donkey that is sick, His head hurts so the doctor gives him a black hat.
His throat hurts so the doctor gives him a white scarf.
His ribs hurt so the doctor gives him a yellow jacket.
His heart hurts so the doctor gives him lemon drops
Nothing hurts so the doctor gives him apple slices.

To learn other pieces of clothing, I have big flash cards (81/2 by 11) with a piece of clothing on it and we sing a song while passing it around the circle. For example: For a shirt we sing, Pasame la camisa, pasame la camisa, pasame la camisa, pass me the shirt. We pass the card of the shirt around the circle while we sing the song and then I’ll give a command like “stand up if you have a pink shirt”…. Etc…

Parts of the body
The Sick Donkey song above goes over a few parts of the body and the kids have already done the head shoulders knees and toes song. The next thing I do is the song “Mi Tia Monica” by Jose Luis Orozco “My Aunt Monica” Aunt Monica likes to dance with her entire body: eyes, eyelashes, eyebrows, nose, head, shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees and feet. This is a super cute song. We have so much fun with this song! It comes from his CD called Diez Deditos.

Lower Elementary

In the lower elementary we do the same songs. In addition, they have worksheets with all of the clothing and parts of the body where they get to write the Spanish name and then we play Bingo. I did not make the bingo cards for these so I cannot upload them. The bingo cards were already made before I got to the school. I had to manually cut and paste to make exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it! But, these pictures are all in the Viva el Espanol System A, B , C Workbooks.
Lately I have taken 5 to 10 minutes of the class to ask questions and get the students response (conversational Spanish). For example: what do you wear when it is cold, what do you wear when you go to the beach, what do you wear when it is hot, what color is your favorite shirt. I will ask a question directed to the entire class and specific to a student so they get the language of when I am asking one person vs. everyone.

Upper Elementary

In upper elementary we have been working on clothing, foods, vegetables and fruits. They also have worksheets which they write the names and glue in their notebooks like lower elementary. The also play bingo to learn the vocabulary and we also have conversational Spanish. In addition the Upper Elementary has workbooks where they read and answer questions in Spanish in complete sentences. I encourage the students to do things like write their grocery lists in Spanish and write down what foods they see in Spanish on a menu at restaurants.

The Lower and Upper Elementary will have testing for the next two weeks so we will not have Spanish. I will only be seeing the Primary Classes.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's Gardening Time!

Spring is here and we've started to work on the yard and flower beds. The kids even got started to work in the little garden they made last year. This year we are going to add another little garden in another part of the back yard. Slowly we will end up with a beautiful back yard!!

This weekend we are going to plant some seeds and see what we grow for our garden! I will post pictures.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I won!

I never, ever win any contest I enter until this last week! Lori at Montessori For Everyone has been having giveaways this month because she is celebrating her online store's 4 year anniversary! She is currently giving away a $100 gift certificate and until the end of March you can get 25% off on anything in her store.

So, a week ago I found out that I won some beautiful, laminated Research Guides. I will be using these with my son this summer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spanish During Spring Break

After getting back from Sea World Texas, I decided to have my 5 year old son, who is starting to read, to create little booklets for each letter of the alphabet and then find the little objects that go with the letter. I have a box with tons of little objects for sound boxes. The great thing about this exercise is that he has to recall what the object is called in Spanish and then decide if it starts with the letter we are working with or not.

We are starting with the letters that are consistent in Spanish and English.
a, e, i, o, u, d, f, l, m, n, p, r, s, t.
Then two letter-sound associations according to their spelling patters:
ca, co, cu, ce, ci: ga, go, gu, gue, gui, ge, gi, güe.
Then letters unique to the Spanish alphabet ch, ll, ñ, rr.
Finally, emphasize phonemic awareness of sounds in Spanish that are often confused: b, d, j, silent h, x, v, y.

I went to this webpage to print the booklet he created. First-School, the website has many pre-school activities in many different languages. You will have to print 3 pages total to make the little booklet.

This little book has 5 pictures of things that start with the letter 'A'. You cut out the pictures and then the child glues the pictures next to the word. I picked up the picture of the abeja and asked him "where is the abeja". He would point to the word and glue the picture next to it.

The work sheet that has the pictures also has the letters to cut out. He chose to cut out the letters and trace them.

Here are some objects we found that started with 'A'. (el
árbol, el automovil, el angel - tree, car, angel) Here is a list we also made that we need to keep our eye on when at the store. la abeja, el asno, la araña(I know we have some plastic ones around here some where), la ardilla, el asno, el águila, la avispa, el arco iris. (bee, donkey, spider, squirl, donkey, eagle, wasp, and rainbow)

I will be working on one letter a week. My daughter, who is 3 years old, worked along side of us. She played with the objects and just asked what they were in Spanish and I also printed some worksheets for her to color.

I put this baggie and the little book in a basket on the shelf and asked him to copy the words in the space provided and color the little book if he wanted to. The kids love the little objects so it will be fun to go look for the objects we need.

I really enjoy doing this with him. It is different enough from what he does at his Montessori School which helps to get him to sit and work with me on his Spanish.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back from Spring Break

We are all back at school after a wonderful Spring Break! The weather could not have been better here in Texas. We all went to to Sea World and toured San Antonio. The kids loved it and most of all they love the hotel! My 5 year old son loves staying at a hotel. He loves everyone in one room! We also visited the local zoo which we are members and enjoy often and even spent a few days sick with a cold.

SEA WORLD, San Antonio, TX

River Walk, San Antonio, TX

The Local Zoo

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Two Great Blogs - Teaching Spanish and Homeschooling

I recently found these great blogs that I have to tell you about. This is actually a very interesting story. I found two blogs by the same folks. The people that blog are the Grandma and her three Daughters.

They have two Blogs. One on homeschooling called Teaching Generations and one on teaching Spanish called Wanna Jugar with Migo?. The Mom, now the grandmother, homeschooled her 5 children when homeschooling was not even heard off. You have to check her homeschooling story out here. It is beautiful. I am seriously considering homeschooling my children and find these stories inspiring. The Grandmother has 22 grandchildren and her 3 daughters now homeschool.

The homeschooling blog has tons and tons of materials to help your children learn how to read.
The Spanish blog, my favorite of course, is full of ideas and resources to help your children learn Spanish. They are currently having a giveaway on a Bilingual Music CD. I had not heard of this CD so I will have to check it out if I don't win! Maria Del Rey: Giveaway

Thank you Ginny, Johanna, Amy and Tati for such great Blogs!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Geometry Training: Geometry Cabinet Triangles

The Triangle drawer in the Geometry Cabinet

At the Elementary Level triangles are first presented to a first grader without ever talking about degrees and by second or third year we go into degrees. The children learn the terminology acute, obtuse, and right angles but never look at the degrees at the beginning. This was hard for me to get used to. As adults we want to go straight into talking about degrees!

The first presentation is triangles by sides.

Start with the equilateral triangle, the isosceles and finally scalene.
"This is an equilateral triangle" "What do you notice about this triangle"
Rotate triangle in its frame, it fits in its frame no matter what.
Reverse the triangle and attempt to pass the triangle through the frame. What do you observe?
Discuss the etymology of the word.

The second presentation is to present the triangles by angles.
Start with the right scalene triangle. 'There are two ways to describe triangles, one by looking at its sides and the other by looking at its corners.

"A triangle with one square corner is called a right triangle." Put the triangle inside the square frame to show this. Now show the plastic measuring angle that comes with the geometry stick box or you can use a protractor like in the picture above. "This special triangle has a corner marked in red because it is a right angle" "We can use it to check for right angles". If you are using a protractor, you will need to paint the corner red!

"This is an obtuse triangle, it has no right angles" Show with the measuring angle. It has one angle larger than a right angle." Measure the triangle against the measuring angle to prove this.
Lastly is the acute triangle.
You can distribute triangles from the Detective Triangle Game so the children can classify.

Here is the Detective Triangle Game.

Third presentation
Lastly is to identify all of the angles by their sides AND their angles. You will work with the triangle work chart below and the triangle drawer.

This chart has SIDES at the top (equilateral, isosceles, scalene) and ANGLES on the left side of the chart (obtuse, acute, right). So, we place the isosceles, acute triangle in its correct place, etc..

Now the children are ready to play the detective game. The game comes with these strips of paper that children use independently to find the triangle described. Example: "the large yellow right angle"

Here are the descriptions of the triangles. You have small, medium and large triangles that are blue, yellow and red. After the children play this game a few times they get it! You may want to begin by having only a few out so that it does not become so overwhelming. Maybe all large triangles of the three different colors.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Geometry Training: Geometry Cabinet Elementary

In the elementary school, the presentation is at the level of words. We appeal to the imagination. In the elementary school, we give the name of the figure and then proceed to a type of the three-period lesson. The lesson is in the form of a conversation about the figures, their names, and properties. We give the name of the figure and some information about it, either the derivation of the name or some interesting point about its shape.


Lay out the regular polygons without naming them and ask the children what they observe about them.
The presentation for these shapes asks you to dramatically roll the shape and ask what kind of ride would you have with each shape. First start by asking what kind of ride would they have on a bicycle with wheels shaped like circles? (smooth) How about shaped like a decagon, as you roll it dramatically... how about a triangle, hexagon? etc...

The second lesson would be to actually have the children learn the names of each shape and number of corners or sides for each shape using the three-period lesson.

Activities children could do:
1. make a polygon booklet with the names of the shapes and a definition they make up themselves.
2. a poster of the shapes
3. match labels to the cards
4. art project: create animals using the shapes and name the animal
5. Geobards

In my manual there are one or two or even three lesson per drawer: Polygons(2 lessons), Quadrilaterals(1 lesson), Curved Figures(1 lesson), and Triangles(3 lessons).

My next post will be on the Triangle drawer since there is three lessons to this drawer.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Geometry Training: Geometry Cabinet Primary

Introduction from the Montessori Research and Developemnt Manual.

In the Children's House, the presentations are at the level of movement and word. This movement is of the eye and had. The children trace the figures with the utmost care. This is done with the standard three-period lesson. The teacher traces each figure and gives its name. Then she repeats the name of each figure as she places it on the mat. She proceeds to the second period, asking the child to show her various figures in response to oral leads. Finally, in the third period, she points to a figure and asks the child to name it. In this lesson, there are usually three figures involved. Very few words are used. The important concept we want the child to absorb is the name of each figure.

Here is a great video on how to present the circle drawer to the Primary Children. Geometric Cabinet Presenation

There are two homeschool videos on You Tube on the Geometry Cabinet...this is NOT the way to do it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I got an AWARD!

Thank you to Wee Peareas for giving me "The Lemonade Award" which is passed to bloggers for showing great Attitude and/or Gratitude! Check out her Easter Bunny Children's Swap. It looks like fun!

When you receive an award you then nominate others Bloggers. Here are my nominations.
Check these great blogs. I found out about them when I participated in Jo's last Phonics Swap.
They are all Montessori related. I have about 10 blogs I follow that deal with just Montessori Education!

Our Montessori Story - four Christian mothers of ten children who meet three days a week to teach their kids about God and life the Montessori way.

What DID We Do All Day? - a home school mom of two children who is documenting their progress in following the Montessori method at home. She was actually my swap partner for the phonics swap. The swap allowed us to learn a lot about our children and where each of us lives.

The Wonder Years - also a home school mom teaching using the Montessori Method. She is certified in Primary Montessori and has beautiful pictures of the works she has for her Toddler and Primary Child.

P.S Montessori - a very funny Primary Montessori Teacher at a Public School in Washington DC. She was also my swap partner.

If you are nominated:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link this post to the person from whom you received your award.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Geometry Training: Presentations and Organization of Materials

The top tray shown in the picture above is called the Presentation Tray. All of the figures in the cabinet are dominated entirely, or at least partly, by ten. 10cm side(s) or diameters.

Order of the Presentation Tray for Elementary School -
Presentation Tray: Triangle, square, circle
Rationale: The triangle is the first possible polygon, the square is its successor, and the circle is the limit of an infinite series of regular polygons. A polygon is closed figure made by joining line segments, where each line segment intersects exactly two others. Here is a nice website that explains and shows you what is and what is not a polygon. Figures and Polygons

Organization of the Geometry Cabinet for Elementary School
Drawer 1 - Triangles
Drawer 2 - Quadrilaterals
Drawer 3 - Regular Polygons
Drawer 4 - Curved Figures
Drawer 5 - Rectangles
Drawer 6 - Circles

First Year Presentations
The first-year student learns to name all of the Geometric Solids and the shapes of the Geometry Cabinet. The student also works with Constructive Triangles to see how geometric forms are made. Basic geometric nomenclature is introduced.
Presentations - Polygons, Quadrilaterals, Curved Figures, Triangles, Seven Triangles of Reality
Constructive Triangles - Rectangle Box: Series 1, Blue Rectangle Box: Series 1, Blue Right Scalene Triangles: Series 1, Drawings of Stars, Drawings of Diaphragms

Second Year Presentations

The second-year student works through the geometric nomenclature learning the name, etymology and definition of the following basic concepts: lines, angles, figures, triangles and quadrilaterals. More important than the nomenclature is the opportunity to construct and explore these principles using the Geometry Stick Box.

Presentations - There are many presentations, to many to list, so if you download the table of content of the manual found here, Montessori Research and Development Website, you will be able to see them in detail. Pages 60-218 are the presentations for this level.

Third Year Presentations

The third-year student continues his/her work with nomenclature with the study of polygons and circles. Once again the emphasis is on the child's exploration. The child who discovers the significance of pi when working with circles will remember it much longer than the one who has memorized it from a book.

Nomenclature Organization and When to Present the Lessons

I wanted to mention that the manual contains a copy of all of the Nomenclature so you can make these if you are not able to purchase them. Our instructor, who taught Lower Elementary for many years and now teaches Upper Elementary told us about how she organizes these materials and how she incorporates Geometry into the weekly lessons.

1. She has a specific day and time that she introduces new Geometry Lessons. Since you are working with three different levels, there are three different times.

2. She has a different colored folder/envelop for each Nomenclature section. For Example: Basic Concepts Nomenclature would be in a green Folder. All Geometry Nomenclature Folders are in a File Box accessible to the students and the only thing on the shelf is what they are currently working on.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Geometry Training Introduction

Well, I finished my Geometry Classes this past weekend. We spent approximately 28 hours between two separate weekends on Geometry! It did not feel that long. I LOVE math....I think I say that about all of the subjects, ha! I love everything but felt very comfortable in this class since I knew the concepts. I don't think I mentioned this in my Geography Training Postings but during Geography training, I kept saying "I did not know that...I did not know that...Wow... really?...". Me and half of my class! When it comes to Geography, before my training, I knew less than a 3rd grader! A Montessori 3rd grader that is.
We spent the rest of our time discussing Peace Education. I will be posting in the near future about Peace Education.

Geometry Overview from Montessori Research and Development Geometry Manual I - Elementary Level 1

Level 1 - Children's House and 1st Grade as a review - Exploration of Plane and Solid Geometric Forms
The children learn the forms in a general, sensorial way. For example, the child at this level learns that a square is a sqaure because it has a particular form: four equal sides. No nomenclature. Materials Used: Geometric Cabinet, Constructive Triangles, and Geometric Solids

Level 2 - 1st and 2nd Grade - The child begins to explore the forms and their details. The child learns the properties of forms he is familiar with from work at the previous level. For example: the square has four equal sides and four equal angles. Materials used: Geometry Stick Box, Geometric Cabinet, Constructive Triangles, Geometric Solids, and Geometry Classified Nomenclature

Level 3 - 2nd and 3rd Grade - Concepts of Congruene, Similarity, and Equivalence
Through understanding of these concepts is essential to successful transition to the next levels.
Materials Used: Metal Insets of Fractions (square, triangle), Constructive Triangels, Geometry Stick Box, and Insets of Equivalence
Level 4 - Area
Level 5 - Volume
Level 6 - Relationships

I will leave you with two pictures. This was the first time I had ever seen this material. Lovely, Lovely! It will be used in many of the lessons I will post about.

Geometry Stick Box.

Geometry Stick Box - Relationship Between Two Lines.