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Friday, May 29, 2009

Practical Tuesdays!

I just wanted to announce that I'm going to start Practical Tuesdays! I needed some encouragement to work with my 3 year old (and my older kids!) with the practical life activities. I get caught up with the other subjects I keep forgetting, oops! Every Tuesday (until I run out of ideas), I will post a practical life activity that you can do with with your child using stuff you probably already have or you may need to buy 1 or 2 things for it. Either way they'll be cheap fun ideas that you can do every Tuesday and have your child practice and master throughout the rest of the week until the following Tuesday! I'll try to include pictures, but sometimes I get too busy.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Botany Cards: The Leaves #43-56

Last update for the weekend! These cards took awhile to make, my kids were nice and patient with me :) Remember the definition file is a post from a few days ago to make your classified nomenclature.

#43-56 pictures and labels (simple nomenclature)

#43-56 Booklet

#43-49 Wall Chart

#50-56 Wall Chart

Botany Cards: The Stem Length #40-42

Botany Cards: The Types of Stems #35-39

Here is the next set of cards for the Botany 1 manual from Montessori Research and Development. I added labels for my old posts and added the labels on the left side of this blog. Now you can click on "botany" on the left side of the blog and it'll show you all the posts I've made with the botany cards. Look in those posts for the blank definition file to make the definitions. Everything else is here.

#35-39 Pictures and Labels

#35-39 Wall Chart

#35-39 Booklet

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Botany Cards: Parts of the Stem #24-34

More cards! My elbow is hurting now, so I'll have to take a day break. I have a condition on my right elbow that's like tennis elbow, but it's on the opposite side of my elbow so it affects my ulnar nerve, which is harder to deal with (IMO) because just bending my elbow (like for irritates it and of course you bend your elbow all the time. It's annoying to deal with. Anyways, here's your next set of cards!

#24-34 pictures and labels

#24-34 Booklet

#24-34 Wall Chart

You can use the blank definition file in the last post for your definitions. If you have ideas for other Montessori cards you'd like to email me. I just added my email address on the top left hand side of my blog. Thanks!

Botany Cards: The Shapes of Taproots #19-23

More cards, finally! Adobe Photoshop is working much quicker now that I've updated my computer. I'll hopefully be getting more cards out much more quickly. Please let me know if there are any mistakes. I haven't printed out any of my botany cards yet, as I'm not beginning to teach it until september so if I have mistakes I probably won't notice until August. I work hard when I make them so I shouldn't have mistakes, but I am human! #19 does not have a picture card (just a label) and it is not on the wall chart because #19 is "the shapes of taproots" in general and it'd confuse the kids. Also please remember that the definition is blank cards and the booklets has the picture card and a blank card for the definitions. I have no way to prove you have bought the Montessori Research and Development Botany Manual 1 and if I post the definitions it will be copyright infringement on their manual. You can add a text box inside each blank card and type up the definition inside before printing, this is why I have them Microsoft Word format instead of a pdf. Please leave a comment, I love reading them! Here are today's set of cards:

#19-23 pictures and labels

#19-23 Wall Chart

Botany Definitions

#19-23 Booklet

Botany Cards #13-18 Wall Chart FIXED!

Thank you to a reviewer you pointed out that one of the labels on the Botany wall chart #13-18 was mislabelled. I fixed the mistake and reuploaded. I put it back in that previous post, so if you downloaded before today, then please go back and download the new one. The post is here.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Botany in the Window

To make the cards more hands-on and kick off the wonderful warm weather, my son and I grew a bean seed in our window. I used to do this over and over as a kid, I just loved it. This was just an activity we did out of boredom one day and I plan to do it again in a week or so with different types of seeds. Here's how to do it...


1 paper towel
1 ziplock bag (sandwhich sized)
1 seed
tape & a sunny window

Fold the paper towel so it's the right size to fit inside the bag. Get the paper towel wet and then push on the paper towel to remove excess water. Put a seed in the middle of the towel. Close the ziploc bag..push the bag while closing to remove as much air as possible. Then tape it on a window with the seed facing outside.

**I did this experiement on the same day I planted my garden because my kids are always bummed out that they have to wait 7-10 days in the germination period until they start seeing the small plants they helped me plant. So this way the got results much sooner. We talked about how the seeds grow roots first and then the stem and we have to wait until get it's tall enough to poke through all the soil we buried it in before we get to see the plant. Then I had my son draw a picture in a little book everyday of the seed and write a sentence or two about what he observed. we found that the 3rd day the bean seed was cracked and the 4th day we had roots.

This also is a great way to show your kids the primary root and secondary roots, the root hairs, root tips and if you have a magnifying glass the root caps as well. They really get a up close and personal look with these. There's no way to transplant these in a garden without damaging the roots so after the plant as made a stem and it's first leaves we take it out to 'feel' the roots and make it a multi-sensory learning experience, which we all know how children learn quicker and retain the information better when more senses in the brain are used. The roots will only stay healthy for about an hour or so before they start browning and you can use this as a learning experience as well about the importance of making sure your plants have enough water and how the soil retains the moisture for the water to keep the roots moist, etc. You can see how long until the plant dies once the water source has been removed as well.

This is a "root viewer" for kids. I don't know how well these work and I'm guessing you need to plant the seed toward the side of the glass and not in the center. These cost around $25-30. You can easily just use a wide mouth mason jar (for canning) to plant them as well. But this would be a great activity to do after the ziploc baggie so they can see the plant mature. Plant different types of seeds so you can see the different types of roots like a carrot or radish for a tubular seed and then some other seeds. It will make your summer a great learning experience. Don't forget to take pictures every couple of days or everyday and make a scrapbook so your kids can go back and remember the stages of how the plants grow. You can also have them add labels to one of the pictures and definitions of the parts next to another one. It will make a great botany learning book that they'll love even more since they made it themselves and they can use it to review whenever they want to help them retain the information. My son is always so excited to show people what he did and he loves taking pictures of everything so we will be taking pictures this morning of our plants and we will make a scrapbook at the end of the summer or as we go along.

Lastly, (I know this is a super long post, thanks for staying with me) you can use the tiny section of the stem from the ziploc baggie and tiny section of the leaf and one of the root tips and the primary root and put them on microscope slides and view them under a microscope. We just bought a microscope, so I'm excited to use it for this as well!

"I Spy..." Adjectives and Guess What? Game

I Spy...

To teach children ajectives, play I Spy. You can't play I spy without using a ton of adjectives. So explain to the kids what an adjective is and then explain how to play I spy. I spy something green, hard, bumpy, sharp, old, big, expensive, etc. Have them say that sentence two or three times per round until someone guesses it.

Guess What?

This is a guessing game. You will need to prepare some cards before hand. Just cut out some pictures from a magazine, old book or draw one and put them on 3x5 cards. Then have your child describe the picture without saying what it is and see if you or the other kids can guess what the picture is. Some ideas for pictures would be animals, people they know, a school, bus, boat, landscapes and other things your child is familiar with.

The "Go" Verb Game

This is a fun way to teach verbs to young kids. My kids got a kick out of it. Explain to them that verbs are action words, meaning they are a word that you can go and do. Then tell them to "Go..." and put in a verb and watch them do that or pretend to do that if they don't have all the things to do that particular verb (like writing...just have them pretend to write). Then start mixing in words that aren't verbs like say "Go beautiful" or "Go chair" and see if they can recognize that that's not a verb because I can't go chair. It doesn't make sense! My kids have fun acting it out and they think the non-verb words are funny in the game. I tell my kids to make a game show wrong answer sound....that odd sound the game shows always play when the contestant gets the answer wrong...I tell them to make that sound when the word isn't a verb.

Post-It Nouns

First, sorry for not posting for a while! My computer had issues...I took it into staples and had it leave it there for a while for a free tune-up and then they told me it needed more memory (ram) so that my photoshop would run properly so I could make my cards! Thanks to I was able to get a lot of memory to add to my computer at 1/3 of the cost. It's a great site!

Anyways, my son's favorite thing to do is to take those minitature post-it note pads and a pen and walk around the house to find all the nouns. Then he writes the noun on the post-it and sticks it to that object. He comes and gets me when he's done and then I go and find them all. It makes him feel like a detective, finding the nouns and then I feel like I'm on a savanger hunt trying to find all the post-it notes. This also helps with spelling as he trying to write words sometimes that he's never tried to write so make sure you take the time and teach him any words they misspelled and have them rewrite it below. I haven't been doing this, but I just though of it and will do it next time....keep all the post-it notes and attach them all to a blank sheet of paper and add it to their langauge art folder.