Thursday, 30 July 2009

Little-Ns dead bug collection

Little-N has started a collection of dead bugs. I think its great that he's found something he loves collecting. I remember all the fun I had when I used to collect stickers as a child. He finds his bugs in all sorts of places and usually they're already dead. I've made it clear that we're not going to kill any bugs.

We're storing them in these pill boxes that I got from a local pound store, each bug has its on compartment. Little-N has categorised them, so he has all the beetles in one row, all the bees and wasps in another and so on.

Most of the bugs he decides to keep are intact. He regularly puts them each under the microscope to look at them in closely. He's used our bug book to identify each one and then researches about their habitats and life cycles.
At the moment we have 9 bugs, I'll keep you updated. I can't wait to see how many he'll have by the end of the summer.

Does anyone know any good bug encyclopedias?

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Letter positioning

Little-N has been spontaneously writing a lot more here and there. He has a few words he writes over and over, like LEGO, police and cheerios! His writing Isn't that great, but good enough for me to read. To help with his writing we did a letter positioning activity. To do this you need the moveable alphabet and lined paper or a lined mat. Lets hope he remembers how they're positioned when he writes them!!

Monday, 20 July 2009

An independent learner

Last summer I spent a while planning and setting up activities that I would do with Little-N. This summer I can't plan anything because he's learning so much without my help. So I've decided to stand back!

All the activities in a Montessori classroom have a common purpose, Independence! When a child is young you can see them being independent in their environment, helping themselves to a snack, cleaning after themselves, getting dressed and so on. But when the child gets older you see another side of independence and if Montessori is done correctly in the 3-6 age group you should have an independent learner at the end.

Looking back at my posts from last summer, I can see a huge difference in Little-N. Here is what he is up to:

Little-N loves encyclopedias, he has about 5 big ones and a few topic ones. I usually buy them second hand. Almost everyday he will independently take out a few and flick through the pages until he finds something that will interest him. Then he would read about it and sometimes draw it. I've shown him how to use an index. He isn't very confident with it yet, but sometimes I'll find him trying to look up a word. I leave him to find things out himself and I stand as far back as possible. Children can't develop independence if we are always there trying to help them, sometimes we've got to leave them to work things out for themselves.

A few days ago Little-N was reading about vultures and eagles. He had the animal encyclopedia open on a page of interest and he was drawing something about that animal. Sometimes his pictures are beautiful with lots of details that I can clearly see, but other times he's draws to much I have no idea what he's drawn. The important thing is that he has somehow recorded his understanding.
Little-N is a confident reader and with the correct reading books at his reach I often find him reading independently for hours. The other day he had about 12 books out and he'd read them all. As a Montessori mother it's so warming to see the fruits of all the effort I put in to helping Little-N become an independent learner. Those of you who are homeschooling don't give up its just a matter of time and your Montessori child will grow.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Little-N’s fascination with creepy crawlies

For the last few months Little-N has been obsessed with bugs. He’s been finding them, keeping them, feeding them, watching them grow and researching all about them. He's been a lucky little boy as most of the times the bugs find him instead of him searching.

This is a stag beetle that Little-N found in the logs at school.

This is a stag beetle larva that Little-N found in the logs at school. We kept it for a few days at home and Little-N was so attached to it. He actually carried it and kept it in his pocket for a while!!!

Bees are his favourite and surprisingly he is able to catch them and carry them for a walk with only one sting so far. He thinks bees are the best insects as they make the honey he loves with his breakfast.
Here's one of the many caterpillars Little-N found. We kept this one and it turned into a moth.

Little-N was extremely lucky to witness a caterpillar transform into a pupa.
Little-N has also been climbing a tree that fell down in a storm.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

End of year PLAY!

School has finished for the year and we ended it in style with a child lead party.
As this was the first year we had a 6-9 class everyone was watching us closely, and even closer as the year came to an end. It was expected that my class does something really special for the end of year party, I spent ages thinking of ideas and even ask for help here.

Then I realised that I didn't need to do any planning, I have a class full of bright and imaginative children, so I left it up to them to decide what they wanted to do.

They loved the 'If peace is...' book and they quickly planned who would say what and how. They recited this as a poem and some of the children had props. I was amazed at the little details they put in. The only thing I needed to do as a teacher was help them bring their ideas all together. Many thanks to Annicles for suggesting the book.

Here is Little-N saying his line in the poem, I still can't believe he had the courage to say his part infront of all the parents!!

They also preformed a play that was based on a story they wrote called 'The parachute'. This was my classes version of 'Not now Bernard', but with a twist. Basically it's about a monster that came to school and went to each teacher, biting her leg or slapping her back, none of the teachers noticed it was a monster and continued working. The story ends with 'The monster stood up on a chair and shouted I'm a monster. Everyone screamed! Then the primary children came and killed the monster. The primary [6-9 class] children then gave the monster to Ms N to put under the microscope. The next day two children were looking at the monster and his eyes opened....'

This is the scene when the children were killing the monster after he trashed the stage.

Here is Little-N acting 'Ms N' and looking at the monster under a microscope.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Pictures from June

Here are some pictures from last month, too much was going on and I didn't always have the luck of catching the amazing things on camera. The children have all done so well and its sad to see this school year end. Last month I presented Great Lesson 1, but all the pictures came out fuzzy so I'll have to represent it and take some more photos to share with you.
Little-N working on some addition sums in a workbook. We don't usually work from workbooks, but sometimes the children like it after working with the concrete material.
Grammar : Definite and indefinite article game
Making Origami frogs and butterflies.
Patterns made on geometric peg board.
A caterpillar in a Pupa.
Great Lesson 1: The bright light
Independent research on sharks done by two students 5 yrs and 6yrs.
Little-N working with the long 5 bead chain and magically he can now count in 5s.
Addition with the stamp game with change.
Grammar: Infinitive Verb
Grammar: Practice with farm and grammar symbols
Little-N sticking in some pictures in his science book the pictures are of living things that are either from the plant or animal Kingdom, the children found these pictures on on the Internet and made their own sticking worksheet.
Working with the green box 'ee' and the small moveable alphabet.
The 1000 chain that was too long for my class. The children did this two days in a row in a group of three children.