Tuesday 26 February 2013

Arty Synonym lesson

The girls were reviewing synonyms this week and I spotted a beautiful activity at Small World at Home

Unfortunately all my paint strips are in Rose's cutting box - when I went to retrieve them I was too late, she had already cut them into beautiful little squares : (

Not wanting to miss out on finishing our synonym review with an activity like this I put my thinking hat on and came up with a solution to my problem.

First step - Shading Art (& math & geometry if you are feeling desperate) - measure your paper and divide into 24 equal rectangles. Paint your boxes gradually shading to a lighter colour.

Second - when dry fill in the top box with a word and write the synonyms under.

Simple and didn't involve a trip to the DIY store ; )

Thursday 21 February 2013

Blend Dice

Tulip has been struggling with some of the green series reading work so I thought it was time to take a step back and review her blends (digraphs and trigraphs).
I took some foam dice and stuck the digraphs on. The idea being to use them in a number of different ways.

First - she rolls the dice and identifies the phoneme (sound).

Second - she uses the red dice to make a word or words with the sound.

Third - all the dice are laid out and I call a sound for her to identify.

So far its working and she is enjoying using the dice and sharing them with Rose. Any more ideas for using these dice would be greatly appreciated : )

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Valentines Freebie

I wanted to do something a bit different for the girls this year as our valentine themed activities always seem to revolve around maths.

Enter my new 'Valentine Fact and Opinion' activity. 
The girls have to first learn the difference between a fact and opinion using a cut and paste activity,

then sort out some V-Day fact and opinion cards

and finally - use the sweets provided to decide if a given card contains a fact or an opinion.

You can download your free copy here or on my download page. Please note I use English spellings but I have left the cards on the fourth page blank so you can use them for alternate spelling (or whatever sweet treat you have to hand)

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Increasing Attention Spans

One ethos of Montessori that I try hard to adhere to, is her advice to 'never interrupt a focus'. This leads to healthy levels of independence and greater periods of concentration.

But this isn't always as easy as it sounds - yes, I let them finish work/drawings/reading before I interrupt and yes, I never interrupt them when they are nicely playing by themselves (even if they aren't playing properly with the toy in question - like using a china tea set as a building tower) but there are mornings when I am sorely tempted to do otherwise.

Take this morning, 9:45 am and Rose is happily using bendaroos to make an ocean scene for her crocodile to play in, never mind that our work period should have started 45 mins ago or that she's been there for over an hour and not had a shower yet. I had to really take a step back and remind myself that I'm aiming for something more. 

Or last week when Lilly was writing and I wanted them at the table for lunch.

Am I seeing the payback? 
I have children that will happily sit for ages engrossed in their activities (and lessons) but the downside is I am constantly biting my nails and talking to myself - the mantra I mutter, you guessed  - 'NEVER interrupt a focus' : )

Sharing this at Montessori Monday

Friday 1 February 2013

Snake Sitting Lessons

The girls are lucky enough to be snake sitting for the next couple of months for my brothers snake.

It has encouraged some great learning activities including; measuring the length and weight of the snake (yes - it's longer than Lilly's leg), researching behaviour, eating habits, hibernation, albinos, nocturnal, snake anatomy  and reading loads of books about snakes (resulting in some tough questions like ' why are snakes classified as reptiles when some of them give birth to live young?') 

I love spontaneous learning : )

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