Another short week for us. We are traveling Friday, and next Monday and Tuesday. Monday this week, we went on a field trip, and Thursday I am packing...so no afternoon school. Nevertheless, this is a bit of what we did this week...and what is going on in my head...
We went on a field-trip with T's old class Monday...to the pumpkin patch, though we really only saw pumpkins on the way out.
Inscribed and concentric figures, made these out of card stock, and store them in clear plastic pouches, sorted by shape only. Usually they come in a box with three compartments and there is a place for each colored set, and there are two more boxes for the different triangle and circle forms. Got the forms for these free from Livable Learning.
I seriously do not remember where I found a lesson for these. Meg's Montessori by Hand albums? (You can find these on the Yahoo group, Montessori by Hand and they are WONDERFUL.) But these figures start the Primary child with that nomenclature, inscribed/concentric, and they help the child gradate and pattern. All math prep.
I showed S the first sensorial presentation with a single colored set, and she never got away from that. I gently reminded her to explore, and only after this was it that she began combining colors, and varying formations.
Going over green sounds. I tried to make sandpaper letters, but they didn't turn out to my liking. I think I am just going to spend the money and order them. I feel this is where T is gaining traction in cursive. His penmanship is fine in print, but I'd really like him to switch to cursive.
Dwyer likes the child to learn both double letter sounds and single letter alphabet sounds at the same time. T didn't do this. So we are brushing up on his double letter sounds, partly for reading, and partly for spelling.
After going through the double letter sounds, most of which he already knew, he chose three that were familiar and used the green boards to practice writing them in cursive. He is actually very interested in practicing his penmanship, but just needs to be reminded to do so.
After two days working on those double sounds he has only 7 or so to practice writing, and really only one to learn in isolation. He likes to flip over the sandpaper letter and write the cursive letters from memory.
Nomenclature cards...for D, "no, mama, no jeep...car!" "No jet, airplane."
We like to take them out AND put them away, hooray!
"Oh, are you taking pictures?"
"How about this?"
"Hey, can you focus on this? Too close?"
Golden Beads, dynamic addition this week. After looking at a post by My Boy's Teacher, I decided to help S out a little bit. Sometimes we can get big brother to join us, but other than that it is just her doing all the "slow" work. So we each make a quantity, we each name our quantity, and then we smoosh them together and load them up on the horse to go to the King's palace. (It is his gold after all.) And then she organizes what is on the horse, (in this picture it looks like our hierarchies are backward.) and then she "finds" the large number card symbols that correspond to the physical quantity of "gold" the King requested. After collecting all the number cards, she does the magic slide and proclaims the number of golden beads the horse will carry to the King.
I think we have static addition DOWN! But the exchanging, was a little tricky. It wasn't what to exchange, it was why, don't you just want to keep 16 10-bars? Why does the King need larger pieces of gold? Why is there no blue 160 large number card? She seems to really like the back-story...the King and the horse and the gold, and the "why do we need to exchange at all?"
D at his own low table and chair.
Dot game. Somehow didn't get to this last year in Primary. I showed him how to do it with one color, since that is what I had at the moment. He decided after seeing all the different colors in the packet of dry erase markers that he'd use different colors to mark his dots. Though you can see below, the colors don't match the hierarchies.
I printed this sheet from Montessori Album and laminated it. It doesn't wipe well with a tissue after it has dried, so I just let him take a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe the ink and then we use a tissue or cloth to wipe up the color.
Reading, Two Old Potatoes and Me by John Coy.
Dot game, but this time with ear-phones because we had friends join us in the classroom this day.
Watercolor. The kids don't like sketching in pencil and then filling in with watercolor. They also are very into line-drawings and bleeding and blending aren't common in our pieces yet.
R doing metal insets. (She is almost 4.)
D doing metal insets.
O doing a hybrid of things. She is almost 2.
Fractions - finding equivalencies for 1/2
For some reason T and S are about the same place in the fractions work. I think it was just that T didn't do a lot of this in his third primary year. He does get the concept a bit more quickly than S, but she is keeping stride pretty well. Here he is helping her trace on her own paper.
D working on concentric and inscribed figures...in his own way.
The farm. I guess the sheep, lamb and pig weren't very favored that day.
Our friends R and O are moving to Madagascar next year and they brought along a few indigenous animals and insects to share.
T working with concentric figures. His projected "cone" figure reminded me of mathematical limits...and derivatives. I mentioned to him, though he may have not fully understood, that this figure is similar to how we find the volume of a cone...okay, when we are in calculus class doing proofs.
S is slowly gaining confidence blending, and I reminded of her of our friend "uncle ed" as we did this one. We are still incorporating a lot of the underpinnings of the Dwyer method, although with the oldest two, this is somewhat hampered by the fact that they already know the letter symbols, so they feel something is missing when we are doing sound games only. Anyway, a former teacher was kind enough to lend me her entire sound family file library, but the general idea here is that the child learns the sound family, in this case "ed" and then learns to blend just two sounds, "l" and "ed." There are at, ap, an, am, ag, ad, ab, et, en, ell, eg, ed, it, ip, ig, in, ill, ot, op, og, od, ob, ut, un, ug, ub, ut, uff, and up. Most all are cvc words, except for those with the double consonant, "ll" or "ff." I made these from pink printer paper, laminated them, and cut them out. And I made the envelope which I keep with the others in a plastic bin, from a manila file folder and packing tape. S puts an "s" on the folder when she is done going through it. Now that I am thinking about this, maybe I should add some pictures or object to go with this...thought that would make the material very complicated to organize.
This is where her sound family folders live.
The ones in front are the Dwyer sound folders I made for T. He is just about there. We just needed to spend a little extra time on his digraphs and phonograms since I don't think he got quite enough of these in third year primary. But since he can already read, and knows that shoe is spelled s-h-o-e, and not s-h-o-o, we are going over just the double letters and sounds and then skipping to the different ways these sounds are spelled, since he doesn't recognize all the ways quite yet. (He was in a formal primary class for two years, starting as a third year. Since he has a late summer birthday, and had speech issues, we decided to have him repeat his third primary year instead of continuing onto Lower El...so in the end, he has had two years of Montessori training at the primary level only.)
Brother, and breakfast on my face.
I showed S that when you rub the sage leaves, and the oil from the leaves makes your fingers smell nice. She thought that was interesting for about 2 nano-seconds.
LBF, with head-phones. My distracted boy. VERY distracted boy. It has been a little while since we've done this. He could rattle off the hierarchies quite readily, but couldn't remember subtraction. I want to make sure he is very comfortable carrying and borrowing before we move on from this stage.
I realized we did the primary dot game along with the elementary LBF material this week because I am still trying to figure out where he is in the grand-math-universe. He remembers some things I know he did in primary. He doesn't remember other things I know he did in primary, and there are still other things, like adding multiple addends I don't think he ever did in primary. So I am trying to fill in his gaps, but still move forward to more interesting lower elementary things his mind is perfectly capable of understanding. That being said, he can do the checkerboard beads but not the partial equation way. He still needs some help with his memorization of facts on this one, so again, we are going back and revisiting some of those primary works.
A new art medium...well new to them. Oil pastels. Another medium, like watercolor, that I felt I couldn't control very well. And didn't like the smell of either.
These ones are nice. Hard enough to withstand even a 2-year old's undue pressure.
Circles, work that shoulder and arm!!
It isn't entirely apparent in this terrible photo but S, after a suggestion, blended three different kinds of blue in her sky. She asked, after my suggestion that she try blending, "why?" "Why three colors of blue mama?" I replied that the sky isn't always one color blue. She liked the blending effect, but I think she still prefers her monochromatic drawings best where everything in the entire picture is red. I equate it to being the impatient artist that she is...there is so much to put down on that paper, and so much excitement in her hand that there is simply no time to change colors.
T was very interested in the new texture on the pastel paper I gave him. He didn't say anything about it being not white either. But he was shading, pressing, using light strokes, and finding interest in exploration.
Botany cabinet shapes. Did this one in a tracing manner, and will later add some nomenclature. Okay, although S love, loves, loves to draw, she still doesn't have a very fine hand. You can see here that her coloring and lettering is very scribbly. Drawing inside the lines is not a forte yet. I thought about metal insets and the lines you are supposed to draw, but she didn't want to do it that way when I suggested this. Hummn. Another way? And she has written "anan," which is Mama, backward and sort of tweaked S-style.
Going for it!
Detectives, right angle, , obtuse , and acute s.
Looking for equilateral.