Friday, October 10, 2008

Sail, Sail, Sail Your Ship...

(Sorry, that song has been stuck in my head all week!) Miss K wrapped up this week's Columbus Day lesson by having the kids make their own ships using a snack-size Pringles container, a popsicle stick, some playdough, and a white index card. Then they tried to sail their ships from Spain to North America:

Using only their breath, the kids tried blow their ships through water from one end of a tub to the other - it was harder than it looked!

The sails on Columbus's ships displayed various things Columbus felt loyal to, including a Y for Queen Isabella and an F for King Ferdinand, so Miss K had the kids decorate their ships' sails with things they wanted to tell the world about themselves: that they "came in peace," that they loved Christ, etc. They were really proud of their ships and loved this activity.

After Circle Time, we reviewed the eight "red" letters (r, a, m, f, b, i, t, g), and then I introduced the first four "yellow" letters (p, o, n, l). First we played I Spy to get the kids listening for the sounds, then I showed them the actual letters and had them sort phonetic pictures for each letter. Laura at My Montessori Journey has spiffy pre-made letters for the kids to paste into their Sound Books once they've mastered a new letter, but of course I've been having to make my own. Up to this point, I had been printing out a sheet of letters and then cutting them out for the kids to paste in. On this day, I was running a bit behind and hadn't gotten a chance to cut out the letters. But it actually worked out really well, because my daughter wanted to use scissors to cut out the letters herself. I didn't get a picture of her work, but she did a really precise job, so that hardly any white paper could be seen along the edges of the black letters - it was very sweet to see her concentrating so hard, and the whole exercise ended up being a nice extension to the Sound Book. I haven't gotten around to uploading documents yet, but when I do, I plan to make the phonetic pictures and Sound Book letters available for download.

Miss D's son wanted to try the Sensorial puzzle I had introduced the day before, and he chose to make a ship:

My daughter chose to work with a drawer from the Geometric Cabinet:

She matched the circles to all three sets of cards. When Miss D's son was finished with his ship, I set the thin outline cards on one side of the room and the circles on another and asked each of them in turn to "find me this circle...," while pointing to one of the cards.

Miss K's daughter started with her current favorite activity...

...only today she made a "football game." ;)

All three kids had a nice time working together with the knobless cylinders:

Miss K's daughter worked with the fabric box, and then she and my daughter built the pink tower/brown stair extension:

For Arts & Crafts, the kids finished the calendars they started three weeks ago; they turned out great! Miss K put a lot of effort into this ambitious project, and it deserves its own post - be on the lookout.

Finally, we finished the day with jobs and the F verse and story from My ABC Bible Verses: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

I have been so impressed with the kids' ability to learn these verses. Every day we go over all of the letters from the previous weeks, and with very little help, they can recall all of the verses. By the end of the week, they get a little antsy to move on to the next letter, but by doing one letter a week, the verses and stories seem to be sinking in.

Sadly, Miss C and her sons were absent all week due to illness. We'll be taking next Monday off for Columbus Day, but we're looking forward to having the whole group together when we meet again next Tuesday.

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