Thursday, 27 October 2011

Get your craft on!

OK - needed cheering up today so decided to make something for Christmas.
really simple craft - cost £2 and took 15 mins but cheered me up no end : )
I put sticky pads around the candle and slowly stuck mini candy canes on
and finished with a red ribbon.
Rose's face was a picture when she saw what I was making - have promised she can help me make the bigger one (if she doesn't eat the canes before I get them on)

Todays tot trays

Here is a sample of Rose and Tulip work today

Rose - number tray

materials sorting - separating metal, plastic and wood.
She also used her pumpkin trays again.

Tulip - more pink reading
parts of a leaf felt puzzle
she joined in with the pumpkin trays and did some phonics work.

This kept the them busy while Lilly and Sunflower did some more animal research.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Animal classification charts

The girls have worked on Animal Classification this week. They have drawn and annotated their chart
We discussed how they originally sorted their buttons (see here) using many different methods and that we can sort the animal kingdom the same way.

We used Montessori Print Shop's Endothermic or Ectothermicsorting lesson,
Oviparous or Viviparous,
Herbivore, Carnivore or Omnivore,
and their Nocturnal or Diurnal lessons
These are great activities which come with an explanatory sheet, sorting exercise and control chart. The photos as always are amazing and the girls were really impressed with the work and shocked at some of the results (Sunflower couldn't believe some of the nocturnal animals)

We followed up with some narration and some animal research work.
Some product was provided free to me for the purpose of review. I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Pumpkin Trays

Here are Rose and Tulips pumpkin trays
Rose has pumpkin numbers,
pumpkin spooning,
pumpkin scissor practice
and pumpkin sweeping.
Tulip has pumpkin seed counting,
pumpkin life cycle from Montessori for everyone,
pumpkin cards from Montessori Print Shop

and we labeled the parts of a pumpkin.

They washed and carved their pumpkin and I also gave them some pumpkin coloured play-doh.

I probably should of realised that play-doh and pumpkin seeds would be an interesting mix - seems I'll be removing seeds from the play-doh pot for a while :)

check out Montessori Monday for some more great ideas

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Alphabet Wall Envy

I have been impressed by a couple of alphabet walls I've spotted on the intenet but we lack the space for a full wall effect, so I decided on words at strategic points in the school room.

I managed to source some great wooden letters and spent a few evenings decorating them.
These are my first two
I am still working on a couple more - investigate, discover and imagine are the next ones I'm thinking of.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

TOS review - Visual Latin

"That’s what we (Visual Latin) want to give your children: pure delight in learning a new language. And along the way, we want to strengthen their understanding of English grammar and powerfully expand their English vocabulary."
I've been wanting to introduce Latin into the girls work (to make prefixes and root words easier to understand) for a while, so jumped at the chance to try visual Latin. I was nervous to start as it's something I've never studied but we all fell in love with this programme after the first lesson : )

Your guide/teacher is Dwane Thomas and he has a friendly, fun approach combined with short, easy to understand lessons. Both Lilly and Sunflower really enjoyed these lessons especially as they found words they recognised from day one - they both took great pleasure in explaining to DH that peninsular is Latin and means 'almost an island' - and they have requested these lessons often.
Each lesson is broken into 3 video sections - grammar, language and translation - lasting approx 10 mins  each combined with 3 follow up worksheets which are a great reinforcement of what they've just learnt. We worked through one lesson each week spread over 3 days - a welcome addition to their workboxes as it required no planning on my part and they really looked forward to the days it was in there.

Visual Latin is recommended for age 9 and above but Sunflower did join in (almost 7) and was fine with some assistance from Lilly.

We were given the download version ($25 for lessons 1-10 ) but a DVD is also available ($80 for lessons 1-30 or $30 for lessons 1-10) as well as live lessons ($115)
The only downside was downloading does take a while (but tuned out to be well worth it)
I would highly recommend this product and would suggest you go check out their six free introductory lessons here.

See what the other crew mates thought here.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Introduction to Electricity

I presented the following tray (torch and balloon) and asked:
If they knew why the torch worked?
How we turned it on?
What would happen if we left it on? 
What's inside it that makes it work?
We discussed how electricity makes it all work. Then I showed them the balloon and asked if they knew why it was on the tray (static electricity). We used this as a launching point to discuss the two types of electricity (current and static) and a quick history of electricity.

I then provided them with a circuit set and asked if they could make the light bulb work

after a few trials they got it working - which provided a great opportunity to discuss the rules that make circuits work.

we then changed our circuit slightly so we could test the conductivity of various materials (paperclip, plastic, rubber, wood, nail etc.)
and researched why certain materials conduct electricity.

The older girls wrote up their work while Tulip worked with her pink reading.

Rose used her trays again
and a tree puzzle
Both Lilly and Sunflower worked on their Latin.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Why do leaves change colour?

When you get asked a question like this you know it's going to be the basis of your lessons.

We started with a little hands on activity - I asked 'what colours are the leaves in autumn?' and I laid them out on the mat as they called each colour out (if you look closely you'll notice that the green, yellow and orange leaves are all the same shape - you'll need this for the next step)
next I laid the same shaped leaves on top of each other (green, orange then yellow) and asked if they knew why leaves were green - once they came up with chlorophyll as the answer we discussed how the days are shorter in autumn so the leaves make less chlorophyll and eventually stop (lift the green leaf off)
when the chlorophyll runs out you see the orange and yellow of the leaf - those colours are always present but are hidden beneath the green.

Next we discussed the red leaf - the red colouring happens if glucose is trapped in the leaf when photosynthesis stops.
Brown is from waste left in the leaf.
Lilly and Sunflower wrote this up for a poster (using some leaf prints from the other day)
while they did Rose and Tulip tried a leaf matching activity

and looked at the parts of an apple (from Montessori Print Shop)

When they had finished we all worked on some leaf types 3 part cards
looked at a leaf skeleton whilst learning the parts of a leaf.
To finish we used the parts of a leaf 3 part cards (Absorbent Minds
and labelled the parts on a leaf rubbing

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