Friday, 25 September 2009

Life Science files

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have just uploaded to My store some of the life science materials that I posted about last month.

I also wanted to thank everyone for their comments. I absolutely love comments and I appreciate every one that you leave. This month I have been very very busy and have hardly had the time/energy to reply and I'm very sorry for that. I promise you all I'll be back in action very soon [as soon as I get myself organised].

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

I love awards

A while ago I received two blog awards :), many thanks to those who nominated me!

The first award is from Leptir:
Rules for the award- Tell your readers 10 things about you that they may or may not know, but are true. Tag ten people with the award, and be sure to let them know they have been tagged (a quick comment on their blog will do). Don't forget to link back to the blogger who tagged you.

So here are ten things:
1. I just started a Montessori degree course today
2. I'm a vegy
3. My favourite colour is purple
4. Last week I left school after 6 every day
5. I'm about to start a research project about handwriting
6. I believe 100% in the montessori method, no one can even try to convince me that something is wrong as I have an answer for everything!
7. I used to do a lot more crafts and art, slowly the time for these things have vanished
8. I don't have a sense of smell
9. Little-N looks just like me when I was 5 :)
10. I drive a VW

I would like to pass this award onto the following blogs

The second award was from Spors in the Desert

Saturday, 19 September 2009

First week of school

School reopened and we have had a wonderful very busy week!
I'm so happy that the week went well [I panic a few days before school starts], the children went straight to work and everyone continued as if they have been here all throughout the summer.

This year I have 6 children ranging from the age of 5.5 to 9. We decided not to take on any new children and instead focus on giving these six children 100%.

Day 1 started with a recap of the responsibilities of the class. We have three responsibilities :
1. To respect the environment, each other and the materials
2. To choose suitable work and complete the activities
3. To prevent disturbance

Once the children were reminded of their responsibilities they were allowed to freely choose work. Most children immediately went to the library and looked at the new books we had. Some children got out the maps and another decided to start the school year with a poem.

Last year was very free and easy going, this year I plan to have a bit more structure. The day schedule is as follows

9.00 the children arrive and go straight to the garden. At this age the children come to school full of energy and have lots to say to each other. In the garden, I get them to run around and chat as much as they want so that when we come into the class everyone is calmer and ready to work.

9.30 The children come into the class and we have the morning group. Each morning my group is different, I usually do three things. An action activity, a grace and courtesy lesson, and a little talk about something interesting that is relevant to that day. The group lasts 15-20mins.

9.45 The children set off to work. Some of the children are working from individual weekly plans which I plan with them on Mondays. The other children are working from daily plans which we plan daily. The children can freely choose any activity in the class whether its on their daily plans or not, but they must complete the work on their plans. I check their plans regularly to ensure that everyone is on track. The children are allowed to take their activities to the garden and work, but during the workcycle the children can not run, climb or use the slide in the garden.

12.30 - 1.30 The children tidy the class, check everything is in order and then prepare for lunch. After they eat their lunch they can run around in the garden and play games.

1.30 The children come back inside the classroom for a short group [5mins] and then everyone returns to work.

2.45 The children tidy up and do their cleaning chores.

3.00 Everyone gets ready to go home, except Little-N who always stays late with me as I finish things off

So far this schedule is working great, but I am prepared to change it as needed. A Montessori teacher should always be ready to adapt and change her class to suit the children's needs.

Now for the interesting part, a few pictures of work that I managed to capture during the week:
Sanding the wooden beams in the garden. We purposely left these poles un-sanded so that they children can do them.
Little-N feeling Autumn, working with the leaves cards that I got from
Recap on Grammar work.

These children chose to research about parrots.
Working with the parts of a volcano cards.
Map of Europe work.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Grammar Shelf

School will reopen next Tuesday :) and I've slowly been preparing my classroom for the new year. Today I reorganised the Grammar shelves. It took at least 6 hours and I have a few things left to do. I'm soo tired!!!
This is a picture of the grammar farm. The boxes in the front contain the word cards and the basket to the right holds the small objects for the farm. The children don't use all the objects at once, instead I encourage them to choose 6-8 noun cards and take the corresponding objects to a mat. Then they can take the parts of speech that we have studied and build sentences using the cards. As you can see everything is beautifully colour coded.
This shelf contains the box of grammar symbols [to the left], the grammar terminology cards, the grammar booklet and the grammar solids.

On this shelf I have 'Past and Present box', ' Infinitive Verb box', 'Article box' and 'The article game box'. The article game is an activity where the children choose either 'an' or 'a' to put before a noun. I also have a vase of three different flowers that are used for introducing adjective. To the right is the detective adjective game [which i will post about later].
The top shelf in the above picture isn't grammar! I thought I'd also share how I keep the classroom reading books. the little brown shelf unit is soooo handy and was about to be thrown away when someone thought I might find use for it. On the top I have placed the insets for design which my children use to make patterns. To the left I have a few series of phonetic reading books and a dictionary. To the right I have 8 stages of the Oxford Reading Tree books. I must say these are every child's favourites and have been a great investment! The small shelves in the middle contain the sight words boxes and a few grammar introduction boxes for the children to work with.

A new addition to the shelves are these grammar symbols practice cards. These are used to reinforce the symbols used for the different parts of speech. There are two different levels.
The first level has a sentence written on the front. The child reads the sentence and places the correct symbols above each word. . .
The the child flips over the card to see if s/he put the correct symbols. The child then writes the sentence in his/her grammar book and draws the symbols above.
The next cards have a string of symbols. The child takes a card and writes his/her own sentence using the symbols as a guide. I encourage the children to write the words in the correct colours.

There are other grammar activities but these are not ready on shelves. Instead the children have a list of materials that they should collect for the lesson. There is another grammar series which I haven't found the time to make yet.