Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Plan - Co-Op Days

Before school started, Miss C and I got together to make a plan for our co-op days. This is how we laid things out:

Circle Time:
- Pledge
- National Anthem
- Welcome Songs
- Calendar
- Circle Time theme
- ASL letter of the day
- Review previous letters learned
- ASL sign of the day (related to our Circle Time theme)
- Review previous signs learned
- Introduce any new work on the shelves
- Pray
Work period
Work period
Read one story and verse from My ABC Bible Verses

As you can see, we've added a little bit of sign language. Miss C's son loves learning sign language and already has a pretty big sign vocabulary, so we're going to implement that vocabulary further.

I also plan to introduce a daily yoga pose, which I'll post about soon.

We're going to start My ABC Bible Verses all over again this year. I looked around online and found many, many sets of Bible verses for each letter of the alphabet, but when you take the verses out of context and just have the kids memorize them, they don't make a whole lot of sense. That book has so many valuable lessons that Miss C and I decided to follow it again this year.

Yesterday was our first day, and things went very well. I'll try to post pictures soon!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Plan - Circle Time

Here is how I plan to run Circle Time:

Pledge of Allegiance
National Anthem

Sit Down Song:
Tapping at the window, tapping at the door.
Everybody sits down when we count to 4.
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 !

[To the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb"]
We welcome you to school today,

School today, School today,

We welcome you to school today,

To learn and grow and play.

We're glad to have you here today,

Here today, here today.

We're glad to have you here today.

Yes, it's a special day!

[To the tune of "Skip To My Lou"]
Hello everybody, how do you do? (Wave at children)

Hello everybody, how do you do?

Hello everybody, how do you do?

How do you do this morning?

I'm fine (point to self), I hope you are, too (point to kids)

I'm fine, I hope you are, too

I'm fine, I hope you are, too

I hope you're fine, this morning!

Turn to your partner, shake their hand

Turn to your partner, shake their hand

Turn to your partner, shake their hand

Shake their hand this morning!

[To the tune of "Good Night Ladies"]
Hello, (child's name); Hello, (child's name);

Hello, (child's name), it's nice to see you today.

[go around the circle and sing for each person]

Review month (Sing “Months of the Year” song)
Review calendar day
Review year
Review day of the week (Sing “Days of the Week” song)
Review season (Sing “Seasons” song)
Discuss the day's weather

Circle Time theme

Close Circle Time in prayer

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Can't Believe I'm Saying This, But...

...I think I'm almost ready!

School doesn't start for 17 hours, and the Montessori room is pretty much ready to go! I have a few more things to do (I have to finalize my circle time plan for tomorrow, I have to put the finishing touches on a couple more PL activities, and I have to make a poster and cupcakes for my middle daughter's third birthday tomorrow), but I'd say I'm about 97.5% done! As a procrastinator extraordinaire, this is a major accomplishment for me. Typically, I'd be working until 3:00 in the morning (rationalizing it by saying that I'm a night-owl, anyway), and I'd go to bed disappointed and kicking myself because I hadn't planned ahead.

So instead, I'm going to toot my own horn for a second (please bear with me :). I often get discouraged, thinking that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks," that I'll be a procrastinator forever, that at this point in my life I just am who I am and I will never improve. But this is real, actual, visual proof that I CAN change and I CAN do better. Woohoo!

Here are some shots to document what I hope will mark the end of my procrastination days:

If only I had taken some "before" pictures so you could see what the room looked like when I started (let's just say that Maria Montessori would have been mortified!). More about how I managed this miracle transformation coming soon...

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Plan

Here in Northern Virginia, school starts next Tuesday. I've been busy lesson planning and getting everything set up, and I'm feeling pretty good about how things are coming together.

This is how our Kindergarten year is going to look:

On Mondays and Wednesdays, Miss C and her two sons are going to join us for Montessori work. I will lead my soon-to-be 5- and 3-year old daughters and Miss C's just-turned 4-year-old son in the Montessori classroom, while Miss C plays with her soon-to-be 2-year-old son and my 17-month-old daughter in the playroom. It's a small crew, and I was hoping more kids might be able to join us, but we've yet to find another family that is interested. As things stand right now, I think the setup will work out great - I was just kind of hoping that we could find a family with a kindergartner so that my oldest daughter would have someone to work with/challenge her (last year, one of the wonderful things about Miss D's son was that he and my daughter were such nice complements to one another - she excelled at reading while he excelled at math, etc.).

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my daughter is going to take classes at a homeschooling cooperative hosted by a local church. On Tuesdays, she'll take an Elementary Bible class (at the same time the church hosts a Mom's Bible Study with free childcare!), and on Thursdays, she'll take a Beginning Art class and an Elementary Science class.

On Fridays, we'll do Montessori work or we'll take a field trip somewhere.

Through my husband's work, we have access to one Rosetta Stone language (for free!), so we're going to learn Spanish as a family.

I think it's shaping up to be a great year. If you're in the Northern Virginia area and would like more information about possibly joining our little co-op, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email through the "Contact Us" link on the left.