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!