Thursday, May 20, 2010

Some New Work & Some Classics

This week, Big Bro and Little Bro have selected a mix of familiar and new work...

New Work:
Little Bro tried out something new that I put together as an informal assessment tool to see how he is doing with sound / letter identification, number recognition, and beginning and ending sounds.
Made up a board with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 1-10, and his name.
Folded up the paper so that he would be able to clearly see the different spaces for each letter and number. We used decorative glass aquarium pieces as the markers for the various games...
Then, did a presentation about how to use the board and the different games he could could to play to go with the board.

Sound identification:
Gave him a word and he had to identify the beginning sound and place a glass piece on top of the corresponding letter...
Gave him a sound and he would say a word that starts with that sound...then, he would find that "letter that makes that sound" and cover it with a glass piece...
Gave him a word and he had to identify the ending sound and then, he had to cover the letter for the corresponding word...

Letter identification:
Did both in order and out of order...
Number / numeral identification and basic math skills:
He did number recognition and then, some simple addition and counting...
For the letters in his first name... he did how many letters in his first name, how many sounds in his first name, how to spell his first name, etc.

He also revisited one of his favorite works, a really neat wooden puzzle. In addition to using the pieces within the puzzle frame, Little Bro then took the block puzzle pieces out and did some building with those.

What can I say but that the boys love building?

Speaking of building, Big Bro decided to revisit the constructive triangles.
Suspect that he decided to revisit them because he overheard me talking to a friend about the various extensions to go with these, as well as some helpful links I had found to go with the constructive triangles.
Yesterday, as I was talking to her and emailing her, it seemed to pique his interest...
Sure enough, last night when it was time for him to select his first work for this morning, he selected the constructive triangles.
He did some of the extensions that Dr. Daniel Jutras had shared with us this past fall at the International Montessori Conference.
Then, he got into making his own extensions.
Big Bro is at the end of his 3-6 cycle, and seems to have a keen interest in doing extensions.
Have been fine with this, because I am completely confident that he has mastered the underlying skills that each classic Montessori work presents to a child... 
Big Bro will be moving on to 6-9 in the fall or late summer, depending on how quickly I can either make the materials or can purchase them for this new cycle...

Luckily, we are using the Waseca Biomes Curriculum, so this covers ages 3-8 and gives me some wiggle room insofar as the transition.

Am still not sure how it is going to work with doing both 3-6 and 6-9, but suspect that he might do a little bit of both at first...

In addition to the constructive triangles and the sound / letter games, we have also started in with reading about the world's rain forests.

We do not have work out on the shelves to go with this theme yet, but will soon have some three part cards of rain forest animals, parts of the frog, mas showing the rain forest biomes, and some materials about the indigenous peoples who live in tropical forest biomes throughout the world.

New Theme - Rain Forest:
Our introduction to rain forests is starting out well with some great books...

We have hopped into three so far...

We ordered several books from Amazon and each day, a new package has been delivered to our door.

We also have some that we found at our local consignments stores.

Was really excited to find this book, as it is in Spanish.

In addition to reading during our homeschool morning, we are also reading some rain forest themed books as bedtime books with the help of Daddy.
Dear Hubby is great about reading with the boys at night.
Initially, it was with some coaxing from me to get him to be the one reading the books.
Now, it has become part of our bedtime routine.
It is so nice to have him read the majority of our books at bedtime, because it kind of brings him into the fold of what we are doing within the scope of homeschooling...and it gives me a chance to relax and enjoy listening to someone else read.

At night time, I have also been researching various rain forest Webquests, as well as other interactive projects.
As Big Bro will be moving into 6-9, it seems that integrating technology into his daily routine is going to become more important.

As far as how we have ended up doing rain forests, from time to time, I will ask the boys what they would love to learn about next...Little Bro said, "frogs" and Big Bro said, "the future"...

Well, we have also been working on learning about the biomes of the world and so it worked well to tie things together by exploring rain forests.

I have plenty of resources for Little Bro on frogs of the rain forests, and plenty of resources on the uses of tropical plants in medicines, the conservation efforts that various groups are trying to promote in an effort to save the rain forests, etc. so hopefully,we are covering all of the bases...

One of the things I hope to do with this is to tie in practical life skills by doing some cooking projects using items grown and harvested from the rain forests, such as Brazil Nuts.

As I get some practical life work and recipes together, will post and share them with you, so be sure to check back...

1 comment:

Discovering Montessori said...

I am looking forward to seeing all your rainforest activities. Your montessori looks like a lot of fun

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