Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apples, Apples Everywhere!

Miss K's Circle Time theme for this week is apples, and it's all apples, all the time around here, starting with the apples and apple cider we enjoyed during yesterday's field trip.

This morning, Miss K told the kids the story of Johnny Appleseed, and she and the kids cut open an apple, examined its core, and then discussed how seeds grow into trees that produce more apples.

On the playroom side, where Miss D manages the two-year-olds, she kept them busy with this fun apple tree activity:

How cute is that?

Our work time went so, so well today! Over the weekend, I set up the /r a m f b i t g/ portion of the language area that Laura at My Montessori Journey uses in her classroom. (Again, have I said thank you? Thank you!!)

I sat down with all of the kids (minus Miss C's son, whose brother was at home sick with a very high fever - get well soon, little guy!), and we started by playing "I Spy" again. I showed them some clipart images that I laminated (rocket, apple, monkey, fire truck) and said, "I spy something that begins with the sound /r/," etc. Then I introduced the sandpaper letter r and explained, "This is how we write the sound /r/," or, "This is the sound /r/." The kids flew through this, so I introduced a, m, and f, and then we sorted all of the laminated clipart pieces under their appropriate beginning sound:

I still haven't had time to figure out how to upload documents here, but I'll be happy to make these clipart collections available for download if anyone's interested.

Next we made red sound books for each child and glued r, a, m, and f into their books. Tomorrow I'll introduce b, i, t, and g.

Next, Miss D's son wanted to try the rice tray to practice writing the letters. (Today I switched cornmeal out for rice - I'm still trying to find the right material for this activity. The cornmeal was dusty, and no one seemed to like it. Our sandbox sand is similarly fine and dusty. The rice was OK today - I'll continue to monitor it and see what the kids' reaction to it is.) As with everything else in a small classroom such as ours, his enthusiasm was contagious, and all of the kids wanted to take turns writing letters. I was thrilled that Miss D's son wanted to try this activity, though; he's a big guy - like future-football-player big - and he has these big bear paws for hands. He tends to shy away from writing, so if he takes to this activity, I think it will be a real confidence booster for him.

Next the kids took a break for snack (including the apple they cut up during Circle Time), and then my daughter and Miss D's son worked on last week's cutting activity while Miss K's daughter worked on the numbers and counters:

Miss D's son working so hard at making very fine blades of grass

Great job!

Miss K's daughter working with the numbers and counters

As I've mentioned before, Miss K's daughter is a real builder. She took this activity out because she wanted to make towers. I told her she could make towers as soon as she was finished finding the right number of "friends" for each of the numbers. She loved it, and I was able to brag on her and use her beautiful work to give everyone a lesson on odd and even numbers.

Here she is putting her work away so she can build towers

When she started stacking the counters to make towers, it occurred to me that she might want to try building towers with the knobless cylinders. She was eager to try it, so we put the numbers and counters away and got the knobless cylinders out. No go. I had mentioned the word "cylinder," and I think she thought I was talking about the wooden cylinder blocks. She walked over to them and said, "I want to build a farm."

Here's her beautiful farm. She does all four blocks with ease now.

While Miss K's daughter was building her farm :), my daughter and Miss D's son finished the hundred board that he set aside last week. They worked together very well and finished the board quickly. This is an area where Miss D's son excels (I've mentioned before that he has a real head for numbers) but in which my daughter needs practice.

Uh oh, I see a problem...

It was so hard not to say anything! They filled in all 100 spaces before they noticed their error. Two numbers ended up switched, and much to my delight, my daughter knew very quickly how she could fix the problem! That showed me real advancement.

Next up, Miss D led Music Time. She taught the kids a song about apples, of course, and they also used instruments and movement in about 5 other songs - she does a wonderful job with this!

Finally, we introduced our Bible Verse and story for the week, "E" from My ABC Bible Verses: "Even a child is known by his deeds," Proverbs 20:11.

This was by far our best day yet!


teachingtinytots said...

i've been following your blog and love it! while i don't do but very little montessori i love reading about what you do and have gotten some neat ideas! i have alot of crafts and lessons for the younger set if your interested check me out!

Julie said...

As for uploading - have you looked at box.net? It's free and an easy site to use.

As for the texture, writing letters, have you thought of trying lentils or split peas? They come in several colors. :) We're doing a craft with them later today.

Jennie said...


Thanks for the box.net tip - I'll look into it!

The Dancy Family said...

Thanks for your patience with my little builder!
I loved the language arts lessons you did this week & the kids seemed to as well. Great job!
What a fun apple week we had! On to ole Christopher Columbus next week.