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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

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

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.

AL_V1_Cover_DVD

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 27 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century

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Summer is Coming – Part II

The beauty and slower pace of summer brings out the artist in some children (and adults.) If you have an art fan in the house, check out these neat summer art inspirations, especially the Van Gogh sunflowers and underwater self-portraits, which really show off each child’s personal style. http://pinterest.com/dbart/summer-lesson-plans/

You will find more miscellaneous summer arts and crafts here:

http://pinterest.com/lnmontessori/montessori-art-music/(Montessori art and music)

http://lessonplans.craftgossip.com/category/kids-crafts-by-the-season/summer

 Maria Montessori once said “…the senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.” Many children find nature a feast for their senses, especially in summer, when plants and animals are growing strong.  If your summer plans include getting up close and personal with nature, you will find great information and ideas here:

http://www.workshopplus.com/

http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/

http://www.squidoo.com/naturestudywithchildren

http://simplycharlottemason.com/2007/07/25/8-reasons-to-do-nature-study/

http://simplehomeschool.net/5-tips-for-nature-study/

Getting too much sun during your outdoor activities, or visiting a historical site on summer travels?  This free pioneer bonnet pattern sews up fairly easily with a very attractive result.  Children will need a little help interpreting and taping together the pattern, partly due to the multiple pretty brim styles included; but the actual sewing would not be too difficult for a child who has done a little sewing and has helpful adult supervision.  http://www.sewchicpatterns.com/free.html

A lot of museums, zoos, cities, counties, etc., schedule inexpensive or free activities for children and families during the summer months. Search the internet using your local city, county, or venue name and “free summer activities”, “free summer classes” or “free summer camps”, and see what is offered in your area. You might also consider these nationwide ideas.

http://www.crystalandcomp.com/2011/05/80-inexpensive-or-free-summer-activities-for-kids/

http://freebies.about.com/od/freestuffforkids/tp/classes-for-kids.htm

http://stayathomemoms.about.com/od/activitiesandfun/a/free-summer-program-for-kids.htm

Although summer  is almost two months away, but we all know it usually seems to fly by.  So, start making plans now to make the most of this wonderful season!

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Summer is Coming – Part I

Many of us have wonderful memories of our childhood summers and/or look forward to the summer fun with our own children, grandchildren, or other young people in our lives.  There is certainly no question that the summer months are full of possibilities, both for fun and for learning.

The AMC Resource Partners shared some of their favorite summer memories, from childhood and now, in “Summer Fun Makes for Summer Memories”. http://www.amonco.org/summer8/montessori_summer8.pdf  In this article, you will also find tips for successful road trips, accessing junior ranger and other summer programs, encouraging creative pursuits and cooperative projects, and more.

Check out these websites for some interesting general summer lesson planning resources.

http://www.educationworld.com/holidays/archives/summer.shtml

http://busyteacher.org/classroom_activities-vocabulary/holidays_and_celebrations/summer-activities/

http://www.proteacher.com/160023.shtml

If you are looking for some engaging summer reading, review Children’s Books for Summer Reading,  Parts 1 and 2.  http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf and http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf

Summer can also be a relaxing time to work on creative writing. Here are some ideas, if your students need a little nudge of inspiration to get started.

http://homeschooling.about.com/cs/unitssubjhol/a/sumwrit.htm

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/writing-activities/summer-writing

http://suite101.com/article/summer-writing-ideas-for-kids–books-journals-and-games-a218728

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8LaCTimmHFZakhhMHh5NzE3VkE/edit?pli=1

Shopping, cooking, chores, travel, and many other activities offer great opportunities to practice and put to use the math concepts learned during the school year.  For more-structured summer math fun and practice, check out these free resources.

http://www.homeschoolmath.net/

http://www.kidzone.ws/math/

http://www.teachervision.fen.com/math/printable/50722.html

Dr. Borenson and Dianne from Conceptual Learning each share some additional Montessori-appropriate math here: http://www.amonco.org/summer/montessori_summer1.pdf  and here: http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf

If outdoor dining is part of your summer schedule, you might enjoy another look at last summer’s “Learning is a Picnic” resources. https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/learning-is-a-picnic-part-two-adventures-and-activities/

Stay tuned.  Summer is Coming- Part II will be unveiled next week.  🙂

 

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