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.
Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting