Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hearts, P.J.'s, and Lots of Snow

February has been a busy month, complete with several snow days and weather delays.  The children have been understanding, and quite adaptable with each day's weather-related changes.  In addition to these slight disruptions in routines, we have also been anticipating Valentine's Day, along with the 100th Day of School which was commemorated with a pajama day.  Needless to say, it is been quite an "exciting" couple of weeks as we have watched the 100th day be rescheduled several times due to snow days, while looking forward to the fun of Valentines Day.  We have focused very much on the ideas of love, kindness, and understanding, especially at this time of year.  I share with you some photos of our (abbreviated) mornings together:

Extension work with Second Color Tablet Box, a wonderful variation designed by our Assistant Teacher.

Sensorially exploring the shapes from the Geometric Demonstration Tray.

Paring colors with the Second Color Tablet Box.

Practicing threading a needle, a preliminary lesson to the rest of the lessons in the sewing sequence.

Enhancing visual discrimination skills - matching objects to their filled-in outlines.

Examining cards from the Continent Folders while building vocabulary and  language skills.

Number writing practice on the squared chalkboard.

Subtraction facts with the Math Drawers.

Beginning sound work with the Moveable Alphabet.

Valentine play dough (chocolate scented!).

Filling vessels to the line with colored rice.

Opening and Closing practice with heart-shaped boxed.  Each one contains a heart for added interest.

Seasonal math extension.

Letter identification and matching.

Building writing skills by tracing leaf shapes while learning the names of each one.

Pre-writing Rock Painting activity (never gets old!).

Another lesson made by our Assistant - Fine motor practice with beads and posts.

Careful exploration with the Pink Tower and Brown Stair.

Valentine lacing practice.

The Sand Tray is a perfect place to practice writing numbers!

100th Day Do-A-Dot activity.

Sorting coins.

Answering the question, "What does 100 look like?" with pieces of sea glass and a 100 Board chart.

Precisely placing the Pink Tower Cubes to line up two edges.

Caring for classroom plants.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

100(+) Acts of Kindness

This year, our class has been working towards the completion of 100 Act of Kindness in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.   We began this project on MLK Day with hopes of reaching our goal by the 100th Day of School. With Valentine's Day occurring around the same time, what better time of year to complete this challenge?  We invited our entire school community - parents, grandparents, neighbors, to participate with us.  The children eagerly brought their notes of kindness to school where we collected them in a special place.  Each week, we read the notes, admiring and appreciating the kindnesses that were shown.  We documented each act of kindness with a heart on a 100 Board Chart.  It shouldn't come as any surprise, but we surpassed our goal, and came in with 114 acts of kindness!
Once the notes were read, documented, and counted, we were sure to include them for our classroom's Kindness Wreath.  All morning, the children helped to tie on ribbons.  In doing so, some  bits of the grapevine wreath broke off, and a hidden message appeared in their pieces:


May it serve as a reminder to us all!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Winter Classics

Our classroom has been abuzz with lively winter activities since our return in the new year.  We also notice measurable progress within the children's Montessori lessons as they are mastering concepts, and receiving subsequent lessons.  What a delight to notice these developments because it serves as evidence of the student's comfort and ease in the classroom.  What is most rewarding, is knowing that the majority of our students were new to the environment in the fall, and now they have created a classroom culture all on their own.  Please find a few photos from around the classroom over the past two weeks:

Using a sifter to separate colored rice and flour. Here, the child is spooning the mixture into the sifter...

...and sifting the flour to separate the rice.  As you might imagine, this lesson has been in constant use!

Fine motor development with this water transfer work using a pipette.

Linear and skip counting with the Hundred Chain.

Quantity and number symbol with the Short Bead Hanger.

'Winter Trees' nuts and bolts variation to build concentration and coordination.

Making mixture to use a whisk to make bubbles.

More quantity work with the Short Bead Stair.

Saying the letter sound and finding its match on the Alphabet Roll.

Building snowflakes with few peices, following the visual cues from the cards.

Playing a distance matching game with the Brown Stair prisms and set of cards.

A fun variation:  Using clothespins to hang snowflakes on the clotheslines

Carefully pouring water into four cups.


Identifying the ending sound that is different.

Extension work with the the Second Color Tablet Box.

Linear and skip counting while comparing Short Chains.

Number writing practice on the squared chalkboard.

Here the child has created with the Pink Tower and Brown Stair, and is drawing his creation.

Rhyming mittens.

Recording work with the Teen Beads.

Naming continents with the Map of the World.

Magnetic or Non-Magnetic.

Setting up the Small Number Cards for addition with the golden beads.

Success with addition!