Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Week 3 Wrap-Up

What a great day! Miss K was here to lead Circle Time (hooray!), and she continued her lessons on the four seasons. She led the kids in the song they've been singing all week (to the tune of "My Darling Clementine"): "There are four seasons, there are four seasons, there are four seasons in a year; spring and summer, fall and winter, there are four seasons in a year..."

Each day this week she has shown the kids a little book she made with a photo of the same tree during the different times of the year. Today she brought a bag full of clothes and let the kids take turns pulling out mittens, pants, a bathing suit, an umbrella, flip flops, fleece pajamas, rain boots, etc., and then they discussed when the kids would typically wear the various items. The kids loved taking turns pulling a different item out of the bag and being surprised at what they got - it was a great activity!

Our Independent Work time went very smoothly. My daughter has become very interested in dominoes lately, so I took a page out of Homemade Montessori's playbook and created an addition activity using dominoes up to the double six. However, yesterday my daughter had started work on the hundred board and wanted to keep it out to finish today; I told her about the domino activity and explained that she wouldn't be able to do it until she finished the hundred board. Deal, she said.

When we started our Independent Work, Miss K's daughter went straight for the dominoes on the shelf (our dominoes just happen to have color-coded dots, and they looked very colorful and pretty in the bowl I put them in). She loves to build things, and she made a bunch of neat symmetrical patterns with the dominoes while my daughter finished the hundred board:

With Miss K's daughter busy with the dominoes, and my daughter eager to finish the hundred board so she could get to the dominoes, and with Miss C's son busy with the bead stair and hanger (his current favorite activity), I scrapped my well laid plans to introduce an activity to the group. Today, though, everything worked out. As soon as my daughter finished the hundred board, Miss K's daughter wanted to give it a try, so I presented it to her while my daughter got to work on the dominoes.

I was so impressed with Miss K's daughter's work on the hundred board! She just turned three in April, and she got all the way to 30 before she wanted to do something else. The incredible thing about the hundred board is that, even if a child can't really recognize the numeral "27" as being "twenty-seven," the hundred board shows them the inherent patterns in numbers. She knew where the numbers belonged three- and four steps ahead. It was really neat to watch!

The wooden cylinders were a big draw today, with Miss K's daughter, Miss C's son, and even my 2-year-old getting in on the action. Miss K's daughter worked on all four blocks at one time:

Our decision to move snack into the classroom went pretty well. My daughter and Miss K's daughter said they were ready for a snack as soon as it was put out, so they stopped, got themselves a snack, cleaned up, and then got back to work. Miss C's son wasn't ready for a snack then, so he kept working until a little while later. There was much less of an interruption to the kids' work cycle, and I think we'll continue to do it this way in the future.

Miss C's son doing a puzzle:

At around 11:15, I had to ask the kids to put their work away (!), and Miss K led them in an Arts & Crafts activity. Miss K traced the kids' hands on brown construction paper four times, and then she cut out their hands and used them like tree trunks, which the kids then decorated according to what a tree would look like during the different seasons. It was a great activity that Miss K must have put a LOT of time into, and the kids loved it.

Miss K put each of the kids' trees together into a book so that they could each have their own book showing how the same tree changes during the four seasons.

Miss C's son's trees, before being made into a book:

We closed with letter C from My ABC Bible Verses. It was a great end to a great week!


The Dancy Family said...

I just love the montessori materials! I was amazed as I watched SG do the hundred board. She is just beginning to understand that the only thing changing as she counts aloud is the tens spot & I think that seeing this visually displayed on the hundred board will make this more concrete in her mind. I really appreciate the time you spend learning how to present the materials...that makes the materials successful!

Xia said...

I love those trees!