Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Part 1 Week 13 Nov18, 2013

Goodness, I was worried that our momentum would have waned over the weekend, but no. The kids had me running to keep up. Especially S. She whipped through 7 sound folders Monday. And finished Tuesday!  These are groups of single words with "family endings" like -at-ab-et-ug, etc. She even did an adjective grammar box. Oh my, she is certainly going in the right direction. Now I have to figure out what is next on our reading list because what is next will probably be this week, not next week. :) Again, I am not complaining.

This is our noun family. The mama is the noun and the two children, the small light blue triangle article and the medium dark blue triangle adjective must stick with the noun and go wherever she goes. The article and adjective are all triangles because they are all related, but the noun is the largest because the albums say it is the most important.

My husband actually came up with this idea: little puppets on sticks. The kids loved them and didn't realize until I pointed it out, that their outfits denote which part of the family each represents. These pretty much represent T, S and me. I scanned each and you can download and print your own set if you too are afraid of the Troll Dolls they recommend in my Montessori Elementary Language Album. This doc has both the black and white version that you can color yourself, and a color version that you can just print, cut, laminate, cut, and stick on a popsicle stick. You can find the printable here, and on my Elementary Printables Page.
I have a hard time drawing hands.

T already did the 3-1 Adjective grammar filling box last week, but I wanted to keep S in the loop. She has been participating in all our grammar lessons, but as a very beginning reader. So, I decided to make some phrases and cards for her too, all CVC and easy sight words of course. The 'theme' for the first adjective filling box is "color", so I used the phonetic 'tan' and 'red.' 
Here S selects a phrase card and read the first phrase. Then she finds the color coded word cards that match and places them in the same order as the phrase. Then she uses our article, adjective and noun pyramids to decide which word is which, and then moves them to their corresponding slots in the grammar box.
I like how this sequence reinforces correct reading sequence, and recognizing different parts of speech as both individual words and in context. I certainly never learned grammar in school like this.
There are two different grammar box color schemes. This one is the traditional coloring, black/tan, brown, red, green, purple, pink, blue, yellow.
I've uploaded the file to share and in the same file, I also did (6) adjective phrases for the 3-2 adjective box theme "size" so I did 'big' and 'fat.' You can find this download in PDF form here and on my Elementary Printables Page too.

A puzzle on loan from our S's former Montessori teachers

A little flag pin map action.

T is doing Adjective Filling box 3-2. The theme is size. I made the phrase cards myself, but the other colored in cards are from Montessori Print Shop. I realized that I wasn't going to be able to afford that much ink, so I am going through the rest of all our grammar filling boxes and re-laying out everything. Ugh. AND for all that work, I can't even share it with you since I paid for the original file. I was able to share the CVC-Adjective boxes since I made these up myself and they are my own original work. If I keep doing those easy-reader boxes, I'll continue sharing them of course.

Phonogram Dictionary for T. We use the Dwyer method of exploring reading and writing. After a certain point, the child will know all the typical (is it 14?) phonograms, like ai-ee-ou-etc., how they are spelled and what they sound like. This doesn't mean that they always remember all the different ways you can spell the long 'a' sound, or the 'ai' sound combo. So this is where this little booklet comes in handy. Say the child is reading in his book and come across the word meat. He doesn't remember what 'ea' say. So he looks that letter combo up in the dictionary and finds that it says the same thing as the key combo 'ee.' Ahh, now he knows that 'ea' in "meat" says the long 'e' sound.
Jeepers this was a lot of tedium. I had another three bound at the same time since I was going to make one for S, one to have on hand, and one more for you the reader...but after cutting 32 tiny tabs, that wasn't going to happen in the same afternoon. So, maybe after Christmas?
I also wanted to show here how tiny this dictionary actually is. T's hands are of a 7 year old...but following the directions in the Dwyer pamphlet, this booklet is only is 7cm wide and 22cm tall. And the tabs, for those of you out there attempting to make your own, are all about .7 cm in height. Thank you to My Boys Teacher and Kingdom of the Pink Princesses for their inspiration and insight on this matter.

A little linear counting, or rather, just putting the numbers in order. This is the 6-cubed bead chain and this chain equals 6^3.  There are prepared number tickets for all the multiples of six up to 216. The child will count in a linear fashion, using the tickets to label the last bead in every bar. This work is preparation for multiples, cubing, and perhaps also divisibility.
Typically, this work is done in Primary, but T wanted a flashback and I took it mean we could do some memorization of math facts! The memorization is coming along SLOWLY.

And looky there, who across the way wanted to do the very same thing, at the very same time. She has gotten quite independent with the square chains.

Reading...'gucks' (translation=trucks.)

This is a little thing I've done partly because we are on a different floor of the house than we normal, and partly because S, loves picking at her scabs and always is in need of some Band-Aid at the most in-opportune time. So, it is a self-help system. I decided to use non-licensed character bandages to deter too much unnecessary use. But as you can see, each child Monday had a real reason for a Band-Aid. S helped D put on his.


Note: sorry these pictures are a bit dark. I used a different lens since I needed to get the wide angle. This is a BIG work.)
And the Division with Bows, or in this case Ninjas. (Thank you My Boys Teacher for your wise advice on this! If you'd like a really great description of the what and how and why, go see her blog post about Decurion Division or Division with Bows, or when you have boys, 'with Ninjas.') T seemed to get this pretty much right away. S seemed to be lost half the time, and totally understanding it the other half of the time, and yet completely annoyed that they were ninjas, of all things, the third half of the time.
The point of this work is a sensorial experience doing two digit division. I came up with 4572 divided by 12. We create the quantity and then portion it out among 12 individuals. We could use 12 ninjas, (and we do sort of) but in this case, we have a boss-ninja who collects for 10 ninjas, our Decurion, and two individual ninjas who collect for themselves. We see that each individual ninja in the end receives our quotient 381 golden beads.
Typically this is done in Primary, but I don't believe T ever got to this. Since he has lost interest in the LBF, and the checkerboard, I decided to start some new works. In this case test-tube division. Seeing how I know he did unit division way-back-when, I figured this was the logical place to pick up division once again. And a good place to tread-water for a while since our racks and tubes are on back-order...until who knows when.

So, we started with a number assigned by Mama: 4, 572.
They selected the large number cards that represent that quantity and then gathered the corresponding quantity of golden beads on a tray. (We are starting with a large quantity, hence the large number cards, and dividing it evenly into smaller quantities.)
T getting a little ahead of himself.

The part you don't see: we talked about how the green ninjas just work for themselves, and represent only themselves, or one just unit and the unit color is green. Then we talked about how the blue ninja represents 10 green ninja workers, and therefore must get paid enough to give each of his ninjas the same amount, or must receive 10 times what the other green ninjas get. We also talked about how the blue color represents 10s. (The green pieces are felt. It was easier and cheaper than trays. Oh, and got these Ninjas at the Dollar Tree store. They come in packs of 2 ninjas. Green and blue come together and red and yellow come together, and then I think that there is another colored pair. )
So we started to portion out the 4,572 golden beads on the tray, starting of course with the highest hierarchy, the thousands. The blue guy gets 1,000 when the green guys get 100. Blue guy gets 10 times what the green guys get.
To begin, there were four thousands and after the second go-around, (blue guy had (2) thousands and each green guy had (2) hundreds) when we gave the blue guy his third thousand, there turned out to be not enough hundreds to complete that dole-out. So, we exchanged a thousand cube for 10 hundred squares and gave the last green guys their 100 squares. After this there were no more thousands, so we needed to start giving the blue guy the next highest hierarchy, the hundred squares.

Here you don't see, us giving the blue guy in total 8 hundred squares, and 10 times what the green guys get, which was 8 ten bars.
Also, somewhere in there, we ran out of 10 bars for the green guys, and had to exchange a hundred square to finish the portioning.
After all the hundred squares were given out, we were left with 1 ten bar and two units.
So again we started with the largest hierarchy and the blue guy got the ten bar, or 10 times what the green guys got, and each green guy got a unit.
We counted what each single ninja got...not the blue guy, since he represents 10 ninjas, but what was next to the green ninja on the green felt piece. We found that each ninja would get 381 beads of gold.
So we placed at the top, our large dividend cards and smaller divisor 12, and then to the right of that, our quotient, 381. (We used large number cards to note the larger number we were dividing up, and small number cards to note the smaller portion that results.)

After this, we set to work proving that the blue ninja did in fact have in his stash 381 beads of gold for each of 10 green ninjas he represents. This is where the easy felt pieces came in handy...and some extra ninjas. I think I bought 12 green, 12 blue and 3 red ninjas in total.
So we start with the thousand cubes, and discover that there are not enough to give each of the ten green ninjas a thousand cube. So we exchange them all for hundred squares and portion them among the 10 green ninjas until we don't have enough to going around again.

Then we trade in our not-enough-to-go-around again hundred squares for ten bars...we needed to borrow from the decanomial layout. And then we portion the ten bars out among the ten green ninjas.

When we don't have enough 10 bars to go around and give everyone 1 again, we exchanged our last 10 bar for 10 units and gave each green ninja one.
Then we counted how much one ninja got, or how much was on one green felt piece, and it was 381 golden beads. So that blue guy DID have 10 times as much as the green ninjas!

As we were doing our proof, this is how we kept the other two original green ninjas, standing at attention, while our attention was on the blue ninja.

T was so excited about these plastic ninjas and wanted to play with them upstairs...I told him that after he can do three digit division and doesn't need this work anymore, that he can bring all the ninjas upstairs. Goodness, that means 26 ninjas floating around my house...
Oh, and by the way, these are alien ninjas according to my husband. I didn't even read the package.
Color Tablets Box 2 - D was a little happier when we were working this work, but here he looks a little dejected. He does a perfect job matching colors so now we are working on the names of all the colors. Inside my head, I am always wondering, so, do they really understand that it is a color that you are naming? Colors are such subjective qualities. But children do. Though D thinks that "red," "yellow," and "orange," are all WEE-WOOH for fire engine and the siren sound it makes.

S is here signing the outside of her LAST sound family folder. She got through all 26+ of them. B, D, H, P, and W are still sticky at times, but she really gained a lot of momentum and went flying through the second half. Now I have to figure out what is next. Puzzle Words and Phonograms, but these lessons need to be brief still and to the point. She was quite happy with herself...for about three seconds. That's my girl!
Like My Boy's Teacher's students, T chose Division with Ninjas right off the second day. He wanted to use those red ones too, but Mama wasn't ready. He can do this quite readily, and speedily all by himself. Is it possible that he just doesn't need that much repetition, especially if HE feels he is ready to move on? Or is repetition good? Does it depend upon the child? Can he really fully have that deep understanding of this work after only 32 hours?
Oil Pastels. Terrible pencil grip. A lot of arm and shoulder work going on here, but very colorful!
He has on his thinking lips.
This is what S ALWAYS draws. We were in Staples the other day, and they had that poster display you can write on to "test-out" the Sharpie pens....well she didn't want to leave. She was drawing kitties, and "goodie-bags" and suns to her heart's delight.
When T is left to his own devices and told to choose work, he chooses the easy stuff. The stuff he knows. The stuff he did in Primary. Today, Tuesday, I didn't have them do particular works. We have had a ton of lessons in the last week or so, and I wanted to see what works they would choose on their own. I also told them that they could ask me for work suggestions if  they couldn't think of something they wanted to do. So, here T is doing, incorrectly, the dot game. He did eventually finish with the correct answer.
I've been meaning to put out some advance practical life for the older two. This is one that I hold near and dear to my heart. Okay, maybe not the plastic mesh part, but the wool yarn and the hand sewing. S wanted to do this right away. I hope to encourage T to do it too. Maybe I'll need to come up with something more ninja-like.
And then the pin-punching. So Primary, but that is where the kids were going today. Way back in the summer I'd set up the classroom with a lot of primary materials because I thought that is where S would need to be. (Little did I know that she needed something entirely different. So there may be some changes after Christmas to reflect our very young primary and two lower elementary students.) Anyway, this is pin-punching the continents and creating a continent map. I picked up this idea during our last visit to our old Montessori school. S didn't want to stop. I could tell her hand was getting tired, but there she was, still punching it out!
And of course who MUST get in on the action?
These cork pieces, I've found, aren't the best, though they create a nice punching surface. They kind of fall apart a little. They are from Ikea.
That's it for this edition. Check back Friday for a Part 2 update.


  1. I didn't see this post until today! It didn't show up in my reader! However, in your most recent post you referenced using the ninjas in this one so I knew to go looking. Great photos! (As always!) Great idea using the felt mats or paper mats instead of trays. That's a great alternative to trays. We happen to own 15 or twenty trays but who does that?

    My favorite picture is when he is staring at that troop of ninjas in formation on the tray. Fun!

    I am so envious of your pin maps! I don't have the budget for them and have to make them. TOTALLY dragging my feet on that project.

    Speaking of projects, I feel like I wrote about it somewhere (but couldn't find it)...making that phonogram dictionary almost killed me. My husband keep coming up to me and saying "just buy one!" And I said, "there's nowhere to buy one!"

  2. I was going to post a link to your noun family printable on my Facebook page and/or pin it. However, when you post to Facebook it puts up to a picture usually. Is that okay?

    Also, is your "no pinning" policy still in place? It's FINE if it is, no pressure, just checking.

  3. I'm really enjoying your blog!

  4. Oh, and have you ever read the Korean jini binnie books? Your noun family reminds me of the characters. If you're interested, I can send you a link to one of those books.

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I am glad that you are enjoying looking around the blog.

      I have not heard of the Korean Jini Binnie books. I don't speak or read Korean (well, I can sound stuff out, but I don't know what any of it means unless it is an English word spelled in Korean) but my husband can. And the kids love reading Korean books with him and their grandparents. (They don't speak or read Korean either, they just like hearing it in Korean and then get it translated.) So, please do send me the link. I'd love to see it.

  5. Abbie,

    Sorry it took so long for me to give you the link. It's http://www.yes24.com/24/Goods/3645617?Acode=101
    When you go to the website, there will be an icon that you can click to view the video. It takes a few minutes to load and then you'll be able to see it. Let me know if you have any difficulties with viewing it.