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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

Spring Forward 2014 with Timely Lesson Planning Ideas

I recently revised and uploaded the new 2014 AMC Montessori Lesson Planning Springtime Newsletter. To see the contents of this newsletter please see below.

Visit http://www.amonco.org/montessori_spring_handson.html

Peruse through the entire lessons.

Then, download the new AMC Montessori Hands-On Creative Lesson Planning Newsletter. You can also access this newsletter by visiting http://www.amonco.org and clicking on the new eBook Library.

Below, is just a partial listing of the offerings included in the newly uploaded AMC Montessori Spring Hands-On Newsletter.

Part I – AMC Spring Newsletter

Sandy R. Wilbur answers general as well specific questions which will help you to understand the benefits of bird-watching with children. You’ll learn how to get started, what types of products to buy, and what pitfalls to avoid, to name a few. Sandy is also sensitive to the concerns educators may feel about presenting lessons on this topic

Montessori Dianne Knesek reminds us that numeration is the basis for all math concepts. An important aspect of that understanding is the ability to sequence numbers from least to greatest. Exercises are very easy to make.

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Part II – AMC Spring Newsletter

Rae continues to show us why we should visit the Creative Process website. Her innovative ideas will greatly add to your spring lesson planning.

Dr. Borenson shares some free Hands-On Equations® Basic Algebraic Concepts.

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Montessorian Richard Lord offers free Downloadable “Simple Reading Books” & Free Geography Set of Land and Water Form Cards.

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Learn also how to make a flannel board from Fun Felt.

Part III – AMC Spring Newsletter

John shares his entertaining as well as educational activities entitled “I CAN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE and The Needle Proof Balloon.”

Nan shows us how to make some delicious peanut fudge. See how you can plan extension lesson exercises combining handwriting, cooking and illustrating!!!

Does your middle school student enjoy participating in fun, challenging puzzles? Are you looking for some activities to help your student prepare for the ACT or SAT?

In honor of two major spring holidays, Alan Stillson, the author of Middle
School Word Puzzles, invites you to find these words and expressions that are related to Easter or Passover. Alan also offers some fun, challenging food puzzles for middle school students.

It’s Time to Think Outside the Book and Kindle, Too! Curious? Read this section to find out how you can use the creative ideas of Rita Arpaia from Literatureplace.com in your home and school classrooms right now!

Part IV — AMC Spring Newsletter

Dale Gausman, from North American Montessori Center, offers the timely Introducing a Bird Feeder and Making Grass-Eggshell People. You will also found two additional outstanding Montessori extension exercises – My Family Tree and Marble Design Paper offered by NAMC.

Part V – AMC Spring Newsletter

Marie and Kim illustrate how drawing helps children develop a mental map.  Discover a Montessori extension exercise that is designed for age group 5 to 95. :)

t’s time to get up and “move” with Go Green!, a brand new CD form Kimbo Educational http://kimboed.com/gogreen.aspx#.UtRAIvZVe0e   “GO GREEN! Caring About Our Earth conatins song about playing outdoors, recycling, planting a garden, stopping pollution, and more inspire children to connect to the Earth and encourage them to be responsible for the Earth. Action fun and singable songs motivate children to be involved and to be aware of the outside world

Look for the Guide/Extension Activities by Dr. Pam Schiller in this section of the newsletter.

                                                               KIM9318CD 

Part VI – AMC Spring Newsletter

Dr.Borenson, from Hands-On Equations®, offers more samples of algebraic concepts.

Download free French and Spanish songs with translations from Professor Toto.

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Part VII- AMC Spring Newsletter

Ruth shares a needlepoint lesson which is designed for students 12 years and older.

Marjorie shares a classical music lesson plan for springtime from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi.

Larry and Karen from Farm Country General Store provide some mouth watering recipes to make your spring celebrations complete!   See Corn Casserole and Hot Fudge Toppings.

Don’t forget to read Part VIII – AMC Spring Newsletter

Celebrating the Personal Life of George Washington

Montessorians will appreciate the imaginative George Washington lesson planning ideas that author Sara Ambarian has provided. Traditional colonial recipes are featured and can easily be incorporated into Montessori’s practical life exercises. Sara has done an excellent job of presenting sufficient information about this subject, without bogging down educators with too much data.

Diana, from Nature’s Workshop Plus, knows that we are all looking forward to the beauty of spring, so she showers us with some springtime nature activities that are sure to be enjoyed in any Montessori environment.

The late Montessorian Kathy O’Reilly uses eggs as the focus of food related exercises. Her multi-subject integrated approach is supplemented with a Booklist for additional extension lessons.

This post contains only a very small sampling of what is offered in this newsletter.All of the lessons contained in the newsletter are free of charge. Visit http://www.amonco.org/montessori_spring_handson.html to download the newsletter in .pdf.

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz
http://www.amonco.org
Celebrating 26 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century

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Montessori Lessons to Jumpstart 2014!!

Happy New Year!!

Below are links to jump start your Montessori lesson planning for the new year.

Many of these lessons are free!

Getting Ready for a “New” Year

Animals in the Winter Unit Study Free Lesson Plans

Valentine Day Links

Montessori Winter-Themed Activities from NAMC Part I

Montessori Winter-Themed Activities from NAMC Part II

Gardening Year Round – Tips from an Expert

Beginning a Spring Garden at Home or School

Spring Tea

Year End Activities

Draw Your World Lesson Plans

Children’s Books for Summer Reading – Part II

Bird-watching with Children

Monthly Observances and Notable Data

Science Activity “I CAN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE!”


Celebrating the Personal Life of George Washington – lesson planning ideas

Valentine Origami Art & Math Activities

A Movie About Maria Montessori Worth Watching

AMC Montessori Winter Hands On Lessons

Hands-On Interdisciplinary Learning

Winter Science Links

Want more?? Click on the links below for additional free lessons and articles that are available only at the amonco.org website :

Italy – Links for a Montessori Unit Study

A Maria Montessori Movie Worth Seeing

Gardening Year Round – Tips from an Expert

Healthy Nutritional Tips for 21st Century Families

AMC Holiday Montessori Grammar Bingo and Extension Exercises

Apples and Oranges – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Study of the Human Respiratory System – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Medical Terminology – Links for Montessori Unit Study

The Human Cardiovascular System – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Cardiology Terminology

The Human Nervous System – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Let’s Go on an Animal Safari – See Part VII

More in store for you in 2014!

Visit www.amonco.org often throughout 2014 to discover new Montessori lesson planning.

Enjoy!
Heidi
http://www.amonco.org


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It’s Time to Try Something Different This Fall

The autumn months can be full of unique learning activities if you know where to look.    Why not experiment with something new and different this fall by using some of the activities featured at the websites below?

Begin by visiting Birdcage Press http://www.birdcagepress.com/, by participating in their beautifully illustrated stories and games, children can learn more about art, wildlife & nature, air & space and history.

Next, point your browser to Coyote Creek Productions http://www.coycreek.com/ where you will find a collection of DVDs featuring a four volume set of drawing lessons and an eight volume animal safari series.

Children in a Montessori learning environment use classified reading cards to identify and categorize different animals. Such exercises sometimes focus on helping the child learn about each animal’s habitat, physical characteristics, and relationship to other animals. The Coyote Creek Animal Safari series will bring this learning to life.   See Coyote Creek Productions http://www.coycreek.com/ full line of products, where you will find a collection of DVDs featuring this eight volume animal safari series plus a four volume set of drawing lessons DVDs.

Your next stop should be to Draw Your World http://www.drawyourworld.com/ After you have familiarized yourself with their product line, jump to http://www.drawyourworld.com/blog/ Take time to read through the various posts there.  You are more than likely to locate one or two of their featured resources or lessons that can be easily included in your existing reading, writing and drawing activities.   For example, this company offers a free Draw a Simple World Map hands-on lesson that can be used with many Montessori based geography lessons.  See http://www.drawyourworld.com/blog/draw-a-simple-world-map.html to download.

Use the free map from Draw Your World with the free set of Montessori land forms courtesy of LORD Company http://www.lordequip.com/ Download a set of land forms for global geographical investigations by visiting http://www.lordequip.com/land_water.php LORD Company also offers a wide selection of furniture plus other free downloadable resources.  See http://www.lordequip.com/ for details.

Add some music to the mix this fall by first visiting Gari Stein’s The More We Get Together http://www.little-folks-music.com/together.htm page.   You will find some invaluable resources you can include in your music programs this fall by clicking on the links to the left of the screen http://www.little-folks-music.com/together.htm plus an overview of The More We Get Together book.   Renowned author Gari Stein’s music career spans over 47 years.  As a seasoned ECE professional music consultant, she is in constant demand to develop workshops and teach new classes.

For Montessori based lessons that compare and contrast Renaissance and Baroque music visit http://www.amonco.org/spring2002_1.html These lessons can be integrated into existing Renaissance and Baroque art lessons by visiting http://www.amonco.org/spring2002_2.html

Next, hop on over to Kimbo Educational http://kimboed.com/ where you will find a nice collection of dance, fitness and singable songs DVDs and CDs.  Check out the new Kimbo Preschool Gym CD http://kimboed.com/preschoolgym.aspx#.UkHw_LxVe0c which will make fitness fun for 3 – 5 year olds.

 Speaking of fun, Hands-On Equations http://www.borenson.com/ replaces the fear and dread of learning algebra with pure excitement and joy. Take a moment right now to visit this website where you can view students solving equations using Hands-On Equations.  What you will readily notice in each of the video clips is that students are relaxed and thoroughly engaged in the hands-on algebra learning activity. Click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo6vvOnkErE to view an additional sample Hands-On Equations lesson.

Hands-On Equations also offers an app for the iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch.  See http://www.borenson.com/ for details.

The free Hands-On Equations Intro webmars are designed to address any questions you may have as well as provide a forum where you can learn more about the product.  Fortunately, the webmars are scheduled frequently throughout the year.   You can easily access the upcoming webmar schedule by visiting http://www.borenson.com/ Parents wishing to use the Hands-On Equations in a home setting should click on http://www.borenson.com/Home/ParentsHomePage/tabid/956/Default.aspx for specific information and resources.

Montessori educator Dianne Knesek is the creator of Conceptual Learning Materials, http://conceptuallearning.com/index.php?&vmcchk=1 a company based in Texas that services both school and home educators. Dianne’s intent has been to augment current resources and give greater opportunities for learning through discovery.  Her product line, http://www.conceptuallearning.com/component/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,9/which continues to expand, is currently used in countless schools and other settings throughout the United States.  To see an example of Dianne’s learning style, please visit http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf  Scroll down until you see the free lessons “Inequalities” and “Problem Solving”.   The Problem Solving Series by Conceptual Learning Materials is a three-way matching series that addresses critical thinking and problem solving for all levels from K through 6th grade.

Finally, Bountiful Spinweave http://bountifulspinweave.com/ is known as a complete resource for those interested in weaving and knitting activities.  A collection of yarns, books, gifts, weaving and spinning supplies can be accessed at http://bountifulspinweave.com/kids-page.php#.UkIC97xVe0c Bountiful even offers a special Kids Page http://bountifulspinweave.com/kids-page.php which features products that can be used in either a school or home setting.

We know that the benefits of crafting stretch far beyond just making memories.  First, young children receive practical life applications as well as learning how to combine colors and textures.  Second, crafting gives family members an opportunity to share a creative experience.   Third, we all know that you can’t put a price on the value of a handmade gift.   With the holiday gift season fast approaching, now is the time to embark on making some of these projects.

Use the resources from the websites above, plus the ones listed at http://www.amonco.org/directory.html, to make your lessons for autumn awesome.

The companies specifically mentioned above have generously donated prizes for the 25th Anniversary of American Montessori Consulting Drawing.  The contest ends on September 30th.  Don’t forget to enter the drawing by visiting http://www.amonco.org/directory.html Scroll down to the bottom of the page and complete the entry blank.

Enjoy!
Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting
www.amonco.org

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Let’s Celebrate Summer

As we approach the first day of  summer, take time now to focus or refocus on the summer months ahead.  You’ll discover why these links are well worth a second look.

http://www.amonco.org/montessori_summer_handson.html

AMC Montessori Summer Hands-On Learning Newsletter

http://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/experiencing-fine-art-in-person-with-your-children/

Experiencing Fine Art in Person with Your Children

http://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/indoor-activities-to-get-you-out-of-the-sun/

Indoor Activities Get You Out of the Sun

http://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/family-fun-and-outdoor-science-pursuits-a-%E2%80%9Cnatural%E2%80%9D-combination/

FAMILY FUN AND OUTDOOR SCIENCE PURSUITS: A “NATURAL” COMBINATION                                                

http://www.amonco.org/montessorisummergardening.html

MONTESSORI LESSONS -A Gardening Unit Study (With the Focus on the Summer)                                                         

http://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/innovative-montessori-music-for-the-summer/

Innovative Montessori Music for the Summer

http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2008/07/montessori-summer-activities.html

Montessori Summer Activities: Woodworking

I wish you and your family a very blessed summer.

Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting

http://www.amonco.org/

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Summer H20 Activities for Kids

Recently, we looked at some fun ways to introduce summer gardening “hands-on” fun.  This week, let’s focus on water experiments.  As the temperature rises during the summer months, invite your child to try a few of the ones listed below.

The spinning bucket experiment is perfect for the child in the 5 – 9 age range.  “Is it possible to not get wet with an upside down bucket of water over your head?” says Jocelyn Scotty, a Montessori teacher, former teacher educator and summer camp director.  See http://www.examiner.com/article/montessori-science-the-spinning-bucket-experiment to access directions on how to present this experiment.

Other Montessori-inspired summer water exercises presented by Jocelyn are available by visiting http://www.examiner.com/article/outdoor-montessori-water-activities-for-summer

Explore Montessori style physics by presenting a unit on water and buoyancy.  See http://makingmontessoriours.blogspot.com/2013/03/montessori-physics-water-buoyancy-unit.html  Making Montessori Ours for details.

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Additional resources ages PreK through 10 are listed below.

http://www.homeschooling-ideas.com/water-experiments.html Water Experiments

http://www.explorationeducation.com/activities/floatingEggs.html Floating Eggs

http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/product_info.php/cPath/27/products_id/4101 Where the Water Runs

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/22851/kid-science  Water Experiment Displacement

http://childfun.com/index.php/activity-themes/miscellaneous/714-sensory-table-activity-theme.html#sthash.sp8kitpZ.dpbs  Sensory Sand/Water Table Activity Theme

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/16046/buoyancy-experiement-for-kids   Sinking Ships

http://theimaginationtree.com/2012/02/water-bead-seaside-sensory-tub.html  Water Bead Seaside Sensory Tub

http://montessorimotherload.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/introducing-transfer-activities/   Montessori Water Transfer Activities

Water Gardens

Have you considered building your own water garden?  Members of your family can plan and build it together. Use the information here to help you get started with this project.

http://greensideupblog.com/2008/05/building-a-cheap-water-garden / Building a cheap water garden

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/water-gardens/Water Gardens

http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Outdoor-Projects/Water-Features/Ponds/how-to-build-a-water-garden-stream/View-All How to Build a Water Garden.

Finally, if you like to learn by watching demonstrations.  You Tube is full of useful videos that will show you how to construct a water garden as well as locate additional water exercises for children.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/ and use the key phrases “making a water garden” and “water experiments for children”.

Stay tuned, as we will explore more fun ideas for the lazy days of summer.

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz                                                                                                  http://www.amonco.org

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Making May Memorable with Flowers

Now that May is almost upon us, we see the full beauty of spring everywhere.  Since many of us don’t take enough time to stop and smell the roses, let’s make an exception, starting now. 

May is the perfect month to present lessons about flowers.  Your study doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  Design  your lesson plans, using a cross-curricular approach that involves Montessori practical life exercises, science, art, and other disciplines.  You can select which of the following resources below will fit your child’s individual interests.

The Internet is full of flower-themed resources, many of which are free.   For example, by visiting http://amonco.org/montessorisummergardening.html you can access free resources for making your own Montessori classified reading cards aids.  Links to finding facts about summer flowers,  flower diagram clip art, and the names of flowers in English, French and Latin  are just some of what you will find by clicking the link above.

Then, visit http://www.netposterworks.com/resources/curideas/flower-themes.html “Flower Themes, Flowers in Art” for some additional ideas for cross-curricular lesson planning.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to plant your flower garden.   Dale Gausman, from the North American Montessori Center, http://www.montessoritraining.net wrote an informative article to help you get started.  See http://www.amonco.org/spring5/montessori_spring.5.pdf for details.  Are you unsure of what to plant or where to purchase the seeds?   One resource you will want to explore is http://www.victoryseeds.com/ Victory Seeds.     Find some leads to obtaining free and cheap gardening supplies by visiting http://flowers.about.com/od/Flower-Gardening/tp/4-Ways-To-Get-Cheap-Or-Free-Flower-Gardening-Supplies.htm

Links to Montessori style sensory exercises involving seed matching, collecting seeds, and sunflower seed activities are available by visiting http://amonco.org/montessorisummergardening.html

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Click on the links below to receive some Montessori Practical Life inspired exercises for flower arranging::

http://www.infomontessori.com/practical-life/care-of-the-environment-arranging-flowers.htm

http://tothelesson.blogspot.com/2012/01/flower-arranging.html

Add some math to the mix.  Check out the following

http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2010/07/flower-math-activity.html “Flower Math Activity”.

Locate books and other resources about floriology and floriculture here:

http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=2621&idcategory=33

http://www.childsake.com

https://thesecretlanguageofflowers.wordpress.com

http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=flowers&x=0&y=0

Now that your child has had an opportunity to learn more about flowers, he may be open to creating his unique masterpieces by drawing or painting flower representations.

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Click on the image above to learn more about beginning drawing and painting DVDs available from Coyote Creek Productions.

Quickly locate additional beginning drawing and painting resources here:

http://www.artfulparent.com/watercolor-techniques-ideas-for-kids.html

http://www.my-how-to-draw.com/how-to-draw-flowers.html

http://www.allartsupplies.com/item.php?articleId=2057

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As you know, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day are just around the corner. Use some Montessori inspired ideas, plus other gift giving suggestions to make the most of these holidays.  Visit http://handsonaswegrow.com/simple-spring-crafts-for-kids/ “Spring Flower Crafts for Kids” to access free instructions for making some adorable flower-themed projects.

Make special memories at home, while creating a unique Mother’s Day or graduation gift.  Instructions for making a dried flower craft is available from http://www.grandparents.com/grandkids/activities-games-and-crafts/dried-flower-crafts grandparents.com

Other dried flower related craft projects are available here:

http://www.ehow.com/info_8180103_crafts-kids-dried-flower-bookmarks.html

http://mykidcraft.com/pretty-dried-flower-placemat/

 Finally, encourage your children to share their flower-themed gifts with others who may need some special encouragement.  Perhaps, you live next door to a shut-in.  Or, maybe residents of a nursing home or children’s hospital can enjoy your children’s crafts. As we know, flowers and flower-themed gifts often lift the spirits of those who are experiencing a difficult time.

My hope is that the collection of resources listed in this post will make May 2013 a month of memorable learning and giving. :-)

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz
http://www.amonco.org
Celebrating 25 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century

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Celebrate Spring with Fresh Arts and Crafts Projects

The colors and images we associate with spring are delightfully inspirational for creative projects. Why not celebrate the season with some fun art and craft projects and studies!

Make a lovely picture (and write a story, too) with Draw Your World’s free swan drawing lesson. http://www.drawyourworld.com/blog/swan-lesson-draw-write-now.html

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Even young students can try Mr. Kindergarten’s umbrella painting as a rainy day art project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDH4VUoYzFI

A teacher or parent can treat students to cute Easter-themed face paintings with these easy instructions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9FuKVr_MKg

Find a wide variety of miscellaneous arts and crafts for spring at these sites.  http://www.everythingpreschool.com/themes/spring/art.htm

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/spring/

http://www.thecraftycrow.net/easter/

For a fun craft project that then becomes a fun learning tool, check out FunFelt’s instructions for making your own flannel board.  http://www.fun-activities-for-kids.com/how-to-make-a-flannel-board

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Ruth Dilts Design offers free needlepoint coaster instructions for children. These would be a fun project for a Mother’s Day gift, or to use for an Easter gathering. http://www.amonco.org/ruthdiltsdesign1.jpg

For inspiration (or maybe to display and sell some of your own work?) check for spring arts and crafts festivals in your area.  http://www.festivals.com/arts_crafts_collectibles.aspx?cid=3

The Easter story has been the inspiration for many old and famous artworks.  View a variety of Easter-inspired pieces, as well as some holiday history and some other fun links, here: http://incredibleart.org/links/easter.html

A Ukrainian Easter tradition is pysanky, detailed decorated Easter eggs created using a traditional wax-resist method. This is truly art on an egg, and has a long historical tradition. http://www.pbase.com/m4/eggs&page=all  Older children and adults can try their hand with these free instructions, and learn more about the origins and symbolism of the eggs. http://www.learnpysanky.com/

Peter Carl Fabergé was a very talented jeweler who is most famous for beautiful egg-shaped artworks made for the last two czars of Russia. See some of his most famous works here: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/pics-the-best-of-peter-carl-faberges-exquisite-eggs/262919-11.html

Now that you have been inspired, create some spring-themed art of your own!

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Holidays and Observances

There are lots of interesting holidays and observances to learn about and celebrate in the upcoming months.

These sites include a variety of holiday and observance listings for the United States and worldwide.

http://www.calendar-365.com/holidays/2013.html

http://www.mnn.com/family/family-activities/blogs/multicultural-winter-holiday-celebrations

http://www.rochester.edu/diversity/calendar.html

http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/a-multicultural-australia/calendar-australia/

 Students may enjoy this simple overview with graphic presentation about holidays in America and how they are established.  http://www.wvu.edu/~exten/infores/pubs/fypubs/503.wlg_addendum.pdf

Rae at Creative Process shares some interesting additional background on the origins of holidays. http://www.netposterworks.com/holidays/index.html

Here are some lesson ideas for winter holidays from Scholastic. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/collection/celebrating-holidays-classroom

Teachers and parents will find many interesting multicultural education resources to enhance your holiday studies here. http://cybraryman.com/multicultural.html

* * * * * *

November 22, Thanksgiving Day—The historians at Plimouth Plantation share the origins and development of Thanksgiving as an American holiday. http://www.plimoth.org/learn/MRL/read/thanksgiving-history  Also, enjoy “The Thanksgiving Song” from I Remember Lou by Alan Stillson http://www.amonco.org/winter5/montessori_winter5.pdf

December 9, Hanukkah— Learn more about this important Jewish holiday. http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Hanukkah/History.shtml

December 25, Christmas Day—   Students can investigate the religious and secular traditions of this beloved holiday, both in America and in other countries, with these resources.

http://www.allthingschristmas.com/traditions.html

http://www.christmasnightinc.com/Nativity-Story-c114.html

http://www.infoukes.com/culture/traditions/christmas/

http://www.ireland-information.com/articles/irishchristmastraditions.htm

http://www.worldofchristmas.net/christmas-world/africa.html

http://www.ompersonal.com.ar/omchristmas2/christmas.htm

http://www.amonco.org/2fall_winter2001.html

http://www.amonco.org/1fall_winter2001.html

 

Also, check out “Winter and the Season of Giving” in the Montessori Classroom http://www.amonco.org/winter8/montessori_winter8.pdf

December 26, Kwanzaa— Here is an overview of the origin and traditions of this African-American holiday. http://www.theholidayspot.com/kwanzaa/history.htm

January 1, New Year’s Day 2013—Learn how people celebrate New Year’s around the world. http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia/explain/docs/newyears.asp  Also, students can follow the time of New Year’s celebrations around the globe with this fun website. http://www.timeanddate.com/counters/multicountdowna.html

January 21, Martin Luther King Day—Enjoy these lesson plans and links from Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/malu/forteachers/lessonplansandteacherguides.htm

Black History Month, February—Check out these links for Black History Month. http://www.factmonster.com/spot/bhm1.html

February 2, Groundhog Day—You can find lots of interesting Groundhog Day facts and a live streaming video here. http://www.groundhog.org

February 12, Lincoln’s Birthday—Find out more about our 16th President. http://sc94.ameslab.gov/TOUR/alincoln.html

February 14, Valentine’s Day—Find some theories about the origins of this holiday, as well as craft and activity links here. http://holidays.kaboose.com/valentines-day/history/val-history.html  

February 18, Presidents Day and Washington’s Birthday—Learn more about the man who is called “The Father of His Country”. http://www.mountvernon.org/meet-george-washington  

March 10, Daylight Saving— The history of Daylight Saving Time is really rather fascinating.  Why not take a little time to discuss it with your students. http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving   Older students (and teachers or parents) may also enjoy this in-depth and interesting look at the evolution of the idea. http://www.seizethedaylight.com

March 17, St. Patrick’s Day—For a little Irish perspective on “the wearing of the green”, enjoy the articles and recipes here. http://www.irelandforvisitors.com/articles/st_patricks_day_in_ireland.htm

March 31, Easter—Enjoy a look at Easter 2012 celebrations around the world. http://abcnews.go.com/International/slideshow/celebrations-easter-world-16082460

April 1, April Fool’s Day—Explore some theories and fun facts about the history of this “foolish” holiday. http://www.april-fools.us/history-april-fools.htm

April 22, Earth Day —You’ll find many interesting Earth Day lesson ideas for all ages here. http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson174.shtml

Let’s celebrate!

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Dinner & A Lesson – Bowling Green Daily News: Local News

Jenn Hewett at The Montessori School of Bowling Green says the children are concerned about what happened to Squanto and whether the Pilgrims …

via Dinner & A Lesson – Bowling Green Daily News: Local News.

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Practical Life Lessons for the Holidays

Holiday events provide a wealth of opportunities for children to practice their practical life skills. Of course children should be reminded of the basic grace and courtesy skills if they will be guests or hosts (if you will entertain at our home).  However, do not forget other activities which are natural practical life lessons, as well.  Choosing, washing, and donning holiday clothing are all good self-care activities. Straightening the house for guests or before putting up holiday decorations teaches care of the home environment.  Participating in decorating activities and/or food preparation gives the child a sense of their part in the event, as well as a chance to practice toward mastery of these household skills.

In guiding children through the many interesting activities and chores of the holiday season, remember the words of Maria Montessori “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” We all need to develop a sense of mastery and confidence, and these experiences when we are young provide the foundation for lifelong self-esteem and self-reliance.

Please enjoy the following practical life lesson resources.

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North American Montessori Center has provided a whole array of interesting holiday-themed activities that help children practice many different skills. Don’t miss the interesting and versatile Furoshiki fabric package wrapping instructions, the cute cinnamon-scented gingerbread men project, the counting exercises, flower arranging, and more.

http://www.amonco.org/winter1/montessori_winter1.pdf

Find another nice activity  that is appropriate for the holidays in their Napkin Folding Exercise.  http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2009/11/montessori-practical-life-activity.html

For more general information on day-to-day mastery opportunities, NAMC offers a very useful listing of Practical Life lessons here: http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2008/07/montessori-practical-life-at-home.html

Fun Felt’s Handprint Towel craft/gift project is a nice way to combine a fun craft with an item that can be used during daily activities.  http://www.amonco.org/winter5/montessori_winter5.pdf

Kimbo’s Self-Regulatory Exercises use music to help young children learn to concentrate and control their own bodies. http://www.amonco.org/winter7/montessori_winter7.pdf

Manners are the building blocks of the characteristics of grace and courtesy mentioned in the NAMC 3-6 Classroom Guides (http://www.montessoritraining.net/classroom_guides/default.htm). Find many manners books at Farm Country General Store.  They have a wide selection for different ages and personalities. http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=manners&x=6&y=3

Another important life skill for children to practice around the holidays is writing “thank you” notes. Find some good hints on the subject here:  http://www.drdaveanddee.com/thank.html and http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art37036.asp

Working together as a family is also a practical life exercise. Find suggestions for modeling positive perspective, gratitude, generosity, and more in Rethinking Holiday Priorities During Tough Times by Sara L. Ambarian.  http://www.amonco.org/winter8/montessori_winter8.pdf

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