Monday, August 31, 2009

Saludable/No es Saludable - Healthy/Not Healthy

Here is a health activity I created for the kids. This activity is in Spanish. Saludable/No es Saludable (healthy/not healthy). I cut out different pictures from magazines and food store newspaper adds and glued them to card stock.

I also found some health worksheets they can color as a follow-up activity.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Counting Apples

Bella is really into numbers and counting so I made this math counting activity that I had seen at My Montessori Journey blog. I went ahead and made the file. Down load it here: the apple counting file. I want to be able to change the pictures Bella counts so I got an apple jpg file from google images.

On the back of each strip, I wrote the number that corresponds to the number of apples. The clothespins have the numbers 1 to 10 on them. The child places the corresponding clothespin to the strip. We count in Spanish and English.

Tips when searching google images
1. go to
2. enter what you are looking for and click on "images" at the top left of the screen
3. On the left side of the screen you will see Size, Type and Color. Search for Large images if you plan to make 3 part cards or want big images with nice detail. Choose Icon if you want small pictures like these apples for counting.
4. You can then choose a type. I chose Icon because I did not want real looking apples and wanted them really small.
5. Lastly, you choose color. I always choose Any Color.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kids New School

A few pictures at the kids new school. The school had a play time this week for the preschoolers so they could meet some of the kids, see the teachers again and just keep getting comfortable with the school.
This play area is directly outside the preschool rooms. You can see the porches of the preschool rooms here.
On the other side is the Natural play area. I'll post pictures of those when I get over there! From what I was told the kids switch play areas weekly. The kids will start Wednesday and start with 2 hours a day for this week and then their regular schedule of 3 hours a day starting next week. The kids are very excited.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Works at Home and Spanish

Some new works on the shelf. Two transferring activities: one rice and one bow pasta noodles to transfer with tongs. One simple counting puzzle for Bella. The counting puzzle comes with adding and subtracting. I use the adding and subtracting with sweet boy but not at the moment. I also have a bead activity.

I don't think I've shown these cards I have on the Spanish shelf before. They are to build vocabulary for the children. I purchased these for $6 at WalMart last year. They have about 40 picture/name matching. There are 5 cards grouped by color. It comes with the English and Spanish words to match to the pictures. Here is how I work with the kids. I line up the pictures on one side and the words on the other. I touch the word "La Pelota" for example and say in Spanish "Where is the ball". Then the child moves the word next to the picture while repeating the word.

I also have these 3 part cards. I have 3 part cards for everything: clothing, foods, fruits, parts of the body, home items, parts of the face, animals, etc. Some of these I downloaded from and some I got a copy from the school I taught at.

These cards are kept on the top shelf of the Spanish shelf in envelopes. These envelopes are the library card envelopes. I purchased some from a teacher store and found some at the Dollar Store.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fall School Plans

I have been working for some time on what I will be working on with the kids this fall. I posted here how the kids will be attending a Montessori school half days so I don't need to be teaching everything but re-enforcing and adding the extras: Spanish, Catechism, art, music(although they have music class 1 day a week at the school), and nature appreciation.

Here are some of the books I'll be using. I love the blog Wildflowers and Marbles and got some great ideas on books from The Morning Basket post.

I also had these books which I get ideas from and will use often.

The Morning Basket post by Jen gave me a great idea to do an Afternoon Basket. This will be a way for us to begin OUR time together. I will begin to use our Afternoon Basket on Tuesday even though the kids do not go back to school for another week and a half. Once it is put together and I start using it, I will post about it.

August is all about working on our routines and tweaking (fine tune or adjust) them until they work well for us. My son has now learned what tweaking means! We worked during the week last week on school after lunch just like it will happen when they go to school.
The only thing from this schedule that is not working is that Bella is not wanting to nap. She is 3 1/2 and really needs a nap but it is not happening yet. She hardly napped at home all summer due to our travels and just how busy we kept all summer. I'm thinking when school begins she will be very tired and might nap. But it was all OK. She worked on Spanish with Sweet Boy and I and she actually worked more than he did. She will do ANYTHING as long as she does not have to nap!!!

Our morning and evening routines are working great. The kids really like to look at the charts and see what they have to do next.

I like themes for each month so the September theme will be Healthy Habits (eating and body).

My next post will be on the works the children will have available or will work with me in the areas of Math, English, Spanish, and Sensorial. I know at what level they are in respect to these areas and will begin where they are and go where it takes me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Continent Boxes

I started our continent boxes last week. My son and I have been working on them and Bella has been helping with the pin punching of the continents. She can pin punch all day and be happy!!!!

The first thing I did was find items we already had. I went to our attic, pulled out old memorabilia boxes that my husband and I had and found all kinds of items from our travels. My husband was on a navy submarine for four years and traveled all around the world. On our honeymoon we traveled to Europe and growing up my family and I traveled to many states in the United States and I made several road trips after college. Since we are in Texas we get many gifts from students who are from Central and South America so our boxes started out plentiful!!

The second thing I did was send out an e-mail to my mom's group explaining what I was doing and asked if they had any items they would like to donate to our project. I received a BEAUTIFUL package from a Mom who traveled to Africa. She had sand, coins, post cards and art items. She also added some coins from Canada, India, and art work from India.

My husband got into it and sent a message on Facebook regarding our project. My husband is a high school teacher at a Talented and Gifted High School. A very small high school where everyone keeps in touch. Many alums are on Facebook and have gathered items for our boxes.

Pictured above is our first box. We of course started with North America. This was really a great lesson for my husband, son and I because we had not noticed before that Central America is part of North America the Continent. We are so used to saying North America, Central America and South America. This was a Geography Lesson for everyone.

The box is a photo storage box, on the front it says North America and on the inside of the lid is the pin punch of North America that Bella made with the name of the continent under it.

The coins are stored in envelopes that match the Montessori color of the continent. North America is Orange. I wrote the country of the coins on the envelope. I placed the paper money in clear plastic baggies (sandwich bags). Most of the paper money was old and delicate so this will keep it from getting torn.

Things I still want to add to this box toothpick flags (I've got them but have not sorted them) and a book or two.

Our next box that is almost done is from Asia. I'll post about that one next.

Here are some websites with other examples of Continent Boxes.
Montessori for Everyone
LaPaz Home Learning
Heart of the Matter
4Real Forums: Geography

If you know of other websites that discuss continent boxes, please post!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day Plans and Routines

School is starting in two weeks for my children and I am excited because they are starting a new wonderful Montessori school. Both will attend school from 8:30am - 11:30am. I am not excited about our lazy mornings coming to an end!

We all know how important routines and schedules are to children. My husband and I do not work in the summers so the routines go out the window. We are lazy, we travel, and spend lots of time at pools and water parks and with family. So today we began our morning routine and evening routine needed for us to get to school on time and live in peace and harmony. This gives the kids two full weeks to get used to being back in a routine.

I found a morning and evening routine chart from Our Montessori Story Blog and modified them for our style. Here is my version of the morning routine chart and evening routine chart. My son who will turn 6 in November can do the routines all by himself. My daughter who will turn 4 in November needs my help in some areas right now. I'll let you know what happens in the next 2 weeks. The kids share the same room so I hope that she will see her brother doing everything and do it herself.

Here is our day plans.
8:30-11:30 School
12:00-12:30 Lunch at home
12:30-1:00 Read a story to the kids and get Bella to wind down for nap time
1:00-3:00 Bella naps and sweet boy and I will work together (more on my work plans later)
If Bella does not nap or gets up early then she will work with us.
3:00-3:30 TV Time (Spanish Cartoon)
3:30-5:30 This will be spontaneous activities. It could be the kids playing outside, going to the park with our playgroup, play date, some music/art activity I come up with, etc. I also begin dinner at 5pm every day since my husband usually gets home at 5:30pm and the kids some times help with dinner.

I am planning on enrolling the kids on a one day a week afternoon class at the zoo on Tuesdays, if they still have openings. This would be one day a week 1pm - 3:30pm. I hate it that Bella will not take a nap but sweet boy wants to attend and I do not have anyone that can stay home with Bella while she naps or take sweet boy to the class. So both will attend!