Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Learning Ark Montessori Materials Shop

Finally after many years of making Montessori materials and years of waiting for my brother to make my website, I am happy to say that I now have a Montessori download material shop. The website isn't perfect yet and my brother has to finish the design and hopefully make it match my blog.

You can now buy my files from my online shop and I will be constantly adding new files. I am aiming to add at least one new file a week. You can sign up to the newsletter at the shop for updates.

I will still be making free files, but they will be moved and posted on my shop where they can be downloaded for free.

I will be preparing some discounts and giveaways for followers on this blog and those who sign up to my newsletter.

I have already added a free download to my shop, I have blogged about it here and you can download the file here.

My wish is that people who use my files will gain benefit from it and more importantly that the children/students will enjoy working with the materials. If you have any questions or problems with my shop feel free to email me

Working With The Sandpaper Letters

A while ago I posted about the sandpaper letters and explained how one should introduce them to a child. There are many activities you can do along side the sandpaper letters to provide a child with further practice, here are a few that I do with my children and a free download:

1. Matching objects by beginning letters.
This is by far the favourite activity that children enjoy. The child takes a basket of carefully prepared objects and matches them to the correct letters.
If you have a class of children you can store the objects in drawers as in the photograph below. If your homeschooling you can simple prepare a basket for your child and change the objects regularly.

2. Sand tray: I have a post about it here.

3. Matching pictures by beginning letter. These cards are used in a similar way to the objects mentioned above. I have uploaded the file for these cards to my material store and can be downloaded for free from here.
4. Fill in the letter craft activity. This isn't strictly a Montessori activity, but I did use it in my class at one stage. The child can take a letter sheet and decorate or colour the inside of the letter. I found that parents liked to see this activity and some creative children enjoyed it.
5. Make your own letter book: I don't have a picture of this, but its a lovely activity. The child will go through a selection of carefully selected catalogues and choose pictures to cut out that begin with the letter they are learning. The child will then stick these letters in a book. The end product will be a 26paged letter book that contains many pictures for each letter. Some children like this, but only a few actually complete the a book with the whole alphabet.

There are many many activities you can do, if you have a good Montessori compatible activity that can be done while the child is learning with the sandpaper letters, blog about it and link back to this post [or leave a comment]. It will be lovely to see what other people are doing.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Long Multiplication With the Stamp Game

I presented long multiplication with the stamp game to Little-N. There are many steps in this activity and I was worried that he would get confused, but he understood it so well and only needed one presentation.
Here is an outline of the steps:
Question: 105x12

At first he will get 12 green unit skittles and place down the side of the mat to represent the multiplier. He already knows how to do this from working with the stamp game with short multiplication.

He begins to put out the stamps to represent the multiplicand 105. He soon realises that it will take so long if he has to take out 105 12 times.

We discuss another way of making our multiplier 12 in skittles, he decides to use 1 blue ten skittle and 2 green unit skittles.

He begins to put out the stamps to represent the multiplicand 105. We talk about being fair to each skittle, if we give 1 unit skittle 5 unit stamps then we should give 1 ten skittle 5 ten stamps to be equal. Little-N got it straight away.

After all the stamps have been given out Little-N counts and changed where necessary to find the final answer.
His answer is correct. Now lets try a harder question. Little-N then worked with this independently on some much harder questions. I am so proud with the way that he handled this concept of long multiplication, it was like second nature. He later showed my husband how to do it and my husband was confused.

Lesson to be learnt, some of the later Montessori activities and materials will look very difficult and confusing to an adult, however a child who has gone through the Montessori education will be prepared in so many ways so that each new activity is easy to grasp and understand. Little-N understood this activity quickly because he worked with all the sensorial materials, practical life, mathematics materials, he worked through the golden beads and other activities with the stamp game, everything built his understanding of numbers and mathematics so that when he comes to learn harder concepts he is able to easily grasp them. Do not under estimate the power of a Montessori mind!!!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Bead Stair Extension Activity

I made this activity for children to work with after being presented to the bead stair. For this activity you need:
-A mat
-A bead stair
-Correct number of beads matching the bead stair
-Pipe cleaners cut to different lengths

The child counts and builds the bead stair. He can then sort the pipe cleaners in order of length. The child will start with one, find one red bead and thread it on the first pipe cleaner. Next he will find two green beads and so on.
In the end the child has constructed a bead stair. This activity will provide the child with plenty of opportunity to count 1-10 and recognise the colour coding for each number.

I didn't have bead in the correct colours, so I painted mine and the children still love them.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Learning Ark Montessori Materials Shop

I've been very busy lately teaching, making materials and preparing my new shop which will be launched soon.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A Montessori shop in French

A friend of mine has recently open a Montessori material shop which sells downloadable materials in French.
She has translated many of my documents to French and made some of her own files. Pop over to her shop and take a look.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Free Downloads

Someone notified me that the link to my free downloads is not working. I have linked to all my files here on this post. I will add to this list as I post new material. Please let me know if a link is not working or if there is an error on a file. Feel free to download and use these files but link back to my blog when you share them. Do not copy or sell these files.





Organ Cards - post

Monday, 3 January 2011

Same blog different design

I have been playing around with the design of my blog to suit my new logo, I intended to use purple as my main background colour to suit my wardrobe but some of my followers have informed me that the purple is too strong hence I have chosen to side with the blue theme.

I may take a few days to decide what design to stick with. Comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.