Thursday, 28 July 2011

School room makeover

We've had abit of a change in our schoolroom over the last week - so here's the almost finished article.
(please ignore the pile of papers under DD6's desk)

We've used the door for our poster display - currently contains the scripture of the week, our periodic table and an Egyptian poster.
On the left as you enter is our newest piece of furniture - the girls really enjoyed helping strip and sand it.
It houses our extra art supplies, advanced PL activities are in the drawer (in an attempt to keep them away from DD2), nature display shelf and the base is for all our paper needs.

The rugs fit nicely down the side of the cupboard and our music box. The mantle shelf is for our colour coordinated pencils, spare books and lego boxes.
The older girls have their desks/workboxes under the display and chalkboard - I was a little unhappy with having the blackboard too high for the little ones to reach so compromised by giving their desks blackboard lids.
to the right is our reading area - squishy beanbag and book shelf along with all our manipulative's (stored on the window ledge) and eye level displays of the artists we are currently studying.
then the youngest two have their desks, workboxes and calendar display. You may recognise the old red table currently stashed behind their desks - I'm still trying to decided where it should live. DD2's sensory tub lives under her desk.
which brings you round to our Montessori shelves with our continent boxes stacked at the side.
and back out the door. Due to space restrictions (I think I've managed to fit alot into a room 2.5m x 4.6m) I've removed the computer, not ideal, but they now use the one downstairs which at least causes less disruption to the others. I've also moved all my lesson materials, remaining Montessori equipment and games up to the attic which creates a clearer space - It is slightly annoying to keep going upstairs when I forget something we need for a lesson but I'm sure I'll adapt : )

The girls love their revamped space - I caught them in there this morning as soon as they were out of bed. Also a truer indication of their appreciation is that the 'new' space has remained spotless for the last 3 days (long may it continue)

I'm linking this up at Not back to school blog hop

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Advanced Practical Life

DD8 and DD6 have been working on a number of advance PL activities and I though this would be a good time to share.

They are both knitting a doll with various outfit changes (with Nanny's help)

DD8 has also been working with her loom

Both have french knitting kits that they have been slowly working on - I think they are making a scarf for me for Christmas because they keep hiding their work (and then forgetting where its hidden)

and they are all super excited about a new book called ''felties'' and have each picked one to make.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Tools and Practical Life activities

Over the weekend I got creative and used some balsa wood to make a set of teens boards.
DD2 decided that it was too much fun for just mummy and 'borrowed' my tools

She had so much fun that I knocked together a couple of quick tool trays for her.
first a screwing tray - two different types and two different tools
then a building tray - balsa wood, glue and my jnr hacksaw (note I will be heavily supervising this tray)
and finally a sanding tray
On an aside - when I popped these trays out the screwing tray had a queue : )

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Still life

This morning was sunny for the first time in ages so we absconded to the garden to look at flowers and see how our veggies were growing.

We collected a couple of nice blooms and popped them in a vase to draw

they had great fun learning to draw what they actually see not what they think they see.

On a side note, lessons have been very light over the last 2 days due to a nit outbreak  - which necessitated  brushing with a nit comb through all that curly hair (sigh) DD8's took over 65mins to brush : (

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Don't you just love it when they make their own lessons

Last night I was desperately trying to finish some sewing for school and left the sewing box out. When I got up this morning I found the girls had pulled all the spools of thread out and were playing with it - thankfully, before I could tell them off, I listened to what they were doing - DD8 and DD4 were helping DD2 match the 'mummy' threads to the 'baby' threads by colour and checking the names with her :)

once they had finished that they decided to use them as building blocks
Later in the day, while playing in the garden DD6 & DD8 decided they were going to do 'school' - they made some leaf books (leaves held together with a stick) and wrote in them with a stylus made from a twig and were having writing and spelling lessons.

it was great to see such imaginative and educational play.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

K activities

 DD4 has had a busy week so far - she's worked on life cycles
 had the 'introduction to quantity' presentation and 3 part lesson

decorated a new box - this is currently her favourite activity - she has been know to claim a box before its contents have been used :) 
 penny polishing again (and again)
 and using the new mosaic toy
This toy has proven popular - DD6 and DD8 commandeered it once the younger girls had finished

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

States of matter - part 2

We did some extension work to follow on from our states of matter activity last week - a great little experiment involving dried peas.

We 'pretended' the chick peas represented the molecules in each state of matter - first came solid where the peas were packed close together
then water - they stirred the peas with their finger to make it appear separated and to move freely
then gas - the peas were poured into a zip lock bag and shaken vigorously, the result was the 'molecules' spread out and free to move.
once the 3 main states were reviewed we used our 3 part cards and looked at the different properties of each (liquid moves freely to fill its container, is visible etc)
Next we discussed how solids, liquids and gasses exert pressure
We started with the solid - lifting it and describing it  - discussing how gravity pulls the block down and how it shows that a solid exerts a pressure downwards not sideways or upwards.
next we half filled a zip lock bag with water - again lifting and describing it - poked a finger into the side of the bag and watched the indentation fill in again when the finger was removed followed by a discussion on how the downward force of gravity causes the water to spread out evenly (causing sideways pressure in this instance) the bag of water shows that liquids exert pressure downwards and sidewards but not upwards.
For gas we used a filled balloon - again lifted and described it - push a finger gently into the top of the balloon and watched what happened when we removed it - this happened because the air molecules inside the balloon push in all directions at once - as gravity does not noticeably pull air downwards this allows gases to exert pressure in all direction -downwards, sideways and upwards.
Finally we used a candle to again demonstrate how you can change states using energy (in this case heat) and the best part of this activity is that when the wax liquid drips off the candle (away from the heat source) it set back into a solid reinforcing the concept that when the energy is removed it reverts back into its original state.

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