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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Practical Tuesday!

After making my last post, I just realized it was Tuesday so I decided to add another post for Practical Tuesday. I really don't know how often I'll be able to update this blog, but I'll just do what I can!

Today's Practical Tuesday activity will be sponge squeezing. My kids love doing this activity and I love it because the more practice they get at this, the less water I have on my beautiful hardwood floors when the kids help me clean :) You need a pitcher, two bowls, a sponge, and a hand towel. Fill a small clear pitcher of water up to a water line (draw a line, so the kids don't overfill when they do this themselves). I got a clear plastic small pitcher at our party supply store for about $2. Then pour the water into a bowl, showing the kids the correct way to hold a pitcher and pour. Then put the sponge in the water, let it soak it up then lift the sponge over the water and squeeze just a small little squeeze and wait until it stops dripping. Then move the sponge to the other bowl and squeeze all the water out. Continue until all the water is transferred from the first bowl into the second. The towel is there to clean up any water drips! This would be a fun activity for a warm summer day to do outside. After they are done with this activity and they want another fun thing to do with the water that would be great for their motor skills, just give them a paint brush (a real paint brush for painting houses, not a craft one) and a small bucket of water. Show them how to paint the fence (or your house, deck, patio...anything), by doing a nice stroke up and a nice stroke back down. Have them paint your fence with all the water. My 4 year old thinks this is the best to do. She loves to paint and this is just as exciting to her as real painting for some reason!

Making Smelling Bottles and Sound Boxes

There are so many ways to make smelling bottles. I know some people who use old film canisters or baby food jars to make them. I never liked these options very much because it's difficult for my 4 year old to get the lids of these items. Instead I made my smelling bottles with our Easter eggs! What else are we going to do with all those plastic eggs? I used all the same color of easter eggs. Then put a cotton ball in each egg. This is where you'll put the scent. Most scents are clear. Just put a drop or two on the cotton ball (that's all you need!) and close the egg. Some scents like vanilla and butter flavoring you can get clear at Joann's, since this what they flavor frosting with, so it won't change the color of white frosting. Also, you can use essential oils as scents as well. Make two eggs of each scent for the kids to match up. If you would like it to be self correcting, with a permanent marker draw a small little shape at the bottom of the egg so that when you match the scents up the two eggs having a matching shape at the bottom. Using the eggs also helps you store them easier and have the kids match them up easier and it makes it more fun! Using a cardboard egg carton and since there's two in a row, have the kids put the eggs matching in the rows side by side :) Then just store them in the egg carton. To make it more fun, have your kids paint the egg carton for you. My kids had a fun time playing with the easter eggs and matching the scents up! *Note the picture, is not a picture of my eggs :( My husband's laptop has the camera connection and he took it today!

For sound boxes, use the film canisters since it's more dificult to remove the lids or use eggs and just glue them shut (although I really like the film canisters better). You can usually get film canisters for free at a photo lab. Just ask! Fill the canisters with different items to make different sounds...rice, beans, small bells, a large nut, etc. Make matches!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Great New Website!

I've just recently come across a new website for getting really good montessori cards/materials to print and use. It's called Montessori For Learning Instead of charging a small fee for each item you'd like to download, there is a small $4.49 fee for a month's worth of access to the site to download and print as much or as little as you'd like. Join for just one month or join for several months, it's up to you! New materials are added weekly. There's even a free section to get you started. I was a member this last month and was thrilled to download many great math and reading resources to use for my kids. We aren't using a montessori album anymore, but we still use our many montessori materials to supplement our school work! With my son, I always wished there was more math worth...especially for the golden beads. I knew I could always create some, but I just wasn't find the time. There are a lot of activities for math and reading up right now. My daughter is excited to get to work with this golden beads this year.

Also, on the website you'll find administrative forms, fun materials like dominoes that go with the blue reading series and many other things!

I receive many emails from people all over the world, I still can't believe how many people follow my little blog! It's amazing and I'm glad you are all able to use my materials I've created for my children. The most common questions I'm asked are about what manuals are the best. I can't answer that because I haven't owned all the different manuals. I can say that I've owned almost all of the Montessori Research and Development manuals and I found them to be a great deal. They are inexpensive, well thought out, clear and precise and come with everything you need to create black and white cards for the activities. I personally, just wanted more exciting cards, which is why I started this blog! If you work in a montessori school, I highly recommend them.

However, if you are a homeschooler or just a stay-at-home mom, I would highly recommend that you go to the Montessori For Learning website...since I am not actively making cards right now, this would be a great option. You will get albums and the cards that you can download separately or just download a set of cards and it has the instructions from the album right there. This will help any Montessori parent understand what each material is for and how best to utilize it with their children. I will be using the cards I got from the site!

Stay tuned:

Soon I will be uploading pictures of a felt continent map I made for my kids. I just realized I never posted pictures. We had a homeschool group come over one day a week for several months last year and we used this huge map I made, along with the world puzzle map and many other resources. I'll tell you all about it (with instructions) very soon!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Fixed the Link...

Sorry, about not having the correct link to my new blog. I just fixed the last post to have the correct address, but here it is again for those of you that'd like to check it out:

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Blog

Hi everyone! My kids have really been leaning towards another style of learning lately, so I apoligize for not posting lately. I've been trying to figure out what is best for my kids and what they want. I have decided to try a different approach for the time being, so I don't know that I will finish the botany cards, at least for a while. However, I will most likely make beginning sounds and some phonics and other cards for my 3 year old. So don't totally ignore this blog! I won't be deleting it and I will post things, just not regularly. Sorry!

I did however, start a new blog about education resources. I will be reviewing education games, manipulatives, software, etc. I have been purchasing a lot of fun education games to make school a lot of fun and it's always hard for me to decide what to spend my money on and what not to at our local "teacher/education" store. So I thought this would be a great way for other parent's/teacher's to learn about the different games and things available and make a better informed decision about what to or what not to buy than I did! LOL. If you have a game you love or one something you were mad you wasted your money on, please send me a picture or link to the product and a review and I'll post it on my new blog. Please check it out! I just started it today and I'll be posting to it at least weekly!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Multiplication, Division, Addition & Subraction Strips

Sorry for being MIA. I babysat last minute for my neighbor, full-time all summer long to her two girls in addition to my 3 kids. It was a busy period since her kids were really young (3 yr old and an infant). Then September I was getting my kids school flow going and this october has been a nightmare! First, my grandma passed away and I flew out of town for that and then my husband brought the wonderful swine flu home from the hospital and decided to infect all our kids and me. On top of that I got a really bad cold. We are all okay and I'm almost over my cold now, however, my husband just came home from the hospital again with a fever and strep throat. I really hope, he doesn't infect us all again! Anyways, back to montessori things....

I downloaded and printed out (for free) Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division strips and their answers from months ago. They are redoing their website, so it's not currently uploaded. At the bottom of the website is an email address, if you wish to contact them and see when those will be back up for printing. My problem with the strips is that my son takes forever to find the answer paper. He'll answer the problem quickly, but then takes 5 mins (not joking) to find the right answer paper to put next to the problem. Then this activity takes the whole day and we don't get any other schooling done. I've tried to fix the problem by just giving him the problem strips and putting them on the floor in a row and then having him just right the answers on the paper in order down so I can check them. It worked okay, but wasn't nearly as fun and hands-on as he likes. So I came up with a solution today. I pulled some ceramic tiles out from my craft room. They are called "make-it mosaics" and they are about 1" square ceramic tiles. I had a small bag of 25 tiles that I bought a long time ago for about $2-3. If you use a dry erase board marker, it wipes right off! So now I give my son the problems, the tiles, and a marker. He writes the answers on the tile and puts it next to each problem. When he's done I check the answer and we wipe the tiles clean for next time. He loves writing on the tiles and it's so much quicker. Click here to see the tiles. I bought my tiles at Michaels, but I'm sure they can be found in the craft sections of Joann's, walmart and hobby lobby as well. They are really popular and come in all different colors.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Practical Tuesday: Turkey Baster Activity

Turkey basters are a great first-time activity for 2 1/2 year olds and up. You need a sponge, baster, 2 glasses, food coloring. Give the child 2 glasses, one filled up with water and one empty. Put a couple of drops of food coloring in the water to make it colored. Then show your child how to use the baster by squeezing all the are out, keeping it squeezed and then inserting it into the water. Release it and watch it fill up with water. Then life it out slowly and hold it over the water to wait for the drips, then bring the baster into the empty glass and squeeze the water out. Have your child try to transfer all the water into the empty glass. Then have them transfer it back. Show the child how to clean up any messes with the sponge. It's a fun little activity that works on those pincher muscles, concentrating and coordination. As we progress, we'll do these activities with smaller tools, but start with the larger ones first :)

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