Friday, November 22, 2013

Part 2 Week 13 Nov18, 2013

Today, Friday, we are tired. Wednesday we had friends visit. Thursday all four of us, spent the day in Washington, D.C. yesterday visiting to the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. So, today, we are all tired and we didn't do a lot of anything particular.

So here is the short story...

Putting work away...

Taking out new work.

D also likes to take out the nomenclature cards we have for the Primary level. Here D is getting that Sensorial experience, what part of the bird goes where. In a bit we'll go over all the names of the body parts, though he already has most of them down. We are still a little confused about who has a nose, who has a muzzle, and who has a beak. These sensorial explorations help the Elementary child delve further into the anatomy and physiology of the animal.
 I got most of the cards from Helpful Garden and then made my own folder labels which you can find on my Primary Printables Page. Here you can see D picked the folder with the bird and a pencil. The pencil denotes that this folder contains the blank, black and white bird nomenclature pages where the child would color the specified body part, write in its name, and make a booklet of his/her work. The other set of folders without the pencil contain just the laminated nomenclature cards.
Remember the Decurion Division with Ninjas? Well, T decided that he had it down. After doing three problems independently, he asked what was next. I said, three digit division with our red-centurion ninja. He said, when can I do it? After I set this up (with construction paper underlays because I didn't think I'd need red felt this soon) he immediately grabbed the problem slip out of my hand, set up his quantity, and got to work, giving the largest hierarchy (thousands) to the centurion (red-ninja), the next largest hierarchy (hundreds) to the Decurion (blue-ninja) and the next largest hierarchy (tens) to the foot soldier. He was exchanging, counting, and then giving each the next largest hierarchy distribution when the thousands ran out all on his own. I was made seriously obsolete. How am I going to keep up with this kid?


We did a little exercise with the Noun Family and objects. A lot of the next grammar lessons suggest the teacher ask for "a noun family" for a specific object. See the sled in her left hand? The guide would ask, "please give me a noun family for this object." The child would reply, "a red sled," or "the small sled." S did none of those. She wanted to sound out the sounds in the name of each object and didn't remember what a noun was, an article was, nor what an adjective was. Hummmn. She was able to describe these two days before. My guess, is that she just wasn't interested at that moment.
O working with the pink tower!

Pink tower, making sure it was all there. Our friend O, who is 22 months, was over and she was working with it. S was helping.

S showing R how to do the bead chains.
We also got to have a very special birthday celebration! R just turned 4 years old!
She held the earth and walked around our sun as we sang, "The Earth Goes Around the Sun" for each year of her birthday.Then her mother described to us what R was like when she was younger.
Our version of the song goes...
"The earth goes around the sun, the earth goes around the sun, the earth goes around the sun, tra-la, and now you're one..." (the tune is The Farm and the Dell.)
Thanks so much for sharing your special day with us! Happy Birthday R!

The National Museum of the American Indian has this really cool section called ImagiNATIONS, just for kids. I'd say its for pre-school through the low grades. We went Thursday with T's old Montessori class. You get these passports, and as you complete each "station" you get a stamp. Most activities are hands-on and you learn about some of the fundamental needs of humans and how these native communities across the Americas met those needs. 


Balancing in a kayak isn't as easy as one might think.

I used to hate wearing snow-shoes when I was a kid. Back then, I didn't know that wasn't something most people did.

Here D is learning that a small pressure point, like a foot for example, sinks into the snow. When you enlarge the area and distribute the weight, the larger snow-shoe will not sink into the snow.

My third grade teacher lived in a Tipi!

These exhibits cover all of the Americas, so it was interesting to see other types of shelters used in different regions.

Got some new books from the museum.
D pulled out each dressing frame in turn this morning. His little fat strong fingers did a pretty good job considering he hasn't practiced with these very much. D is just shy of 2 1/2 years old. I think he liked the snap frame the best.

Buttons are a little more difficult.

Getting ready to float an egg. And sink one too.
My hand-drawn collection of science activities is on my Elementary Printables Page.

Someone stole all the science activities.

Some handwriting practice for T. He is a quick study, and can form most letters from memory, but he just needs to get in the mindless habit of making those letters that hold hands.

Painting, stamping...refused to use the smock...

We talked a little about the blue geometric solids and how they look if you view them from the side and from the top. Then we used a permanent marker/sharpie to draw on the watercolor paper and then filled in the forms with color. S was vaguely interested. And then proceeded to make cats and goody bags. The latter we established were the same shape as a cone.

Clay/Playdoh work.

These are the new word cards I made for S. Dwyer recommends that the child learn all the single sounds and up to 14 phonogram sounds together before he/she learns the symbols, or the alphabet, that represents these sounds. S already knows her single-letter alphabet, but doesn't know the key-phonogram combinations so we are starting with the phonograms now. 
Dwyer also assumes that because of the child's extensive prior aural prep work that he/she would be able to easily understand the blending part of consonant blends. These children will have already worked on orally segmenting the sounds in multi-syllabic words. S hasn't done this part yet either. So I've organized this set of cards by phonogram, sh, th, ch, ai, ee, ie, oa, oo, ue, ou, ar, er, ir, and some word examples for some phonograms have consonant blends, or double consonants. The above is our folder for SH. We'll just be going over these blends as they come up.
NOTE: I am not an expert in linguistics and reading, but I just followed my instincts, and my research and came up with a possible solution that could fit our unique situation. If it doesn't work, or doesn't fit right, we'll try something else. If you think that this would help your child, go ahead and try it. You can find the file here and on my Primary Printables Page. (UPDATE 11/25/13 this doc has some phonogram problems. I have taken down the file to fix it. )As for us, S put up a huge fuss at first. She cried because her larger-sized CVC folders had gone away. (These new folders are very petite.) That was two days ago. After we discussed that "s and h" combine to make a unique and special sound, she was able to sound out all the cards in this folder, one right after another, with little-to-no-problem. It was about a 30 second lesson. 
And here we have our yellow belter ready for beginner sparring. Mama is feeling a little apprehensive. 


  1. I ADORE that last picture. I'm going to show that to the boys!

  2. Also, I'm puzzling over where you might have lived that had you snowshoeing regularly and that you had a teacher who lived in a tepee.

  3. Abbie, I see you are getting more and more into painting. I like to take the botany/zoology puzzles, trace them, then paint them with watercolours. I got this idea from themoveablealphabet - here is one of many articles she has on teaching to paint in Montessori environment -

    Gorgeous pictures. Thank you!

    For your up and coming reader, you might like the phonogram strips I made at


    1. I've been thinking about doing just that with the puzzles to make the activities I see Nienhuis has. And thank you for that tip about the phonogram strips. She is still intimidated about seeing more than one word at a time, but I am sure we'll get there soon, and I'll be sure to take a look at your post! Thanks.

    2. Abbie, one thing I kept dearly to during this sensitive reading stage was to never ask Izaac to read out loud anything. I waited and waited for him to read things spontaneously. It really worked - he is so bold in just reading anything, even if he gets it wrong, which I don't care about. The whole thing, where you don't ask "what does it say", but rather, "what do you think I'm thinking?". Also in matching words, I never worried about him looking at the back to match - this was still learning and something I believe helps. He has a problem with doing every "perfectly", which is slowly diminishing as I encourage and joke with him that I don't want perfect. No perfection today! I play games with him like this.