Montessori21stCentury’s Weblog

Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

Christmas Coasters Tutorial

“I am SOOOOO behind on my Christmas sewing!! ARGH!!!!! I have so many things that I need to make!! I need a longer day, people.

After I dragged out my Christmas decorations I realized that I realllllly needed something for people to put their drinks on, water rings make me crazy. So I decided to whip up a couple of coasters and then I decided to add a mug rug.

This is so fast. I mean SUPER fast. Like 10 minutes for a few of them fast.

You can even use up scraps! Perfect!!!” From Stacey Sews and Schools

http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/2014/12/christmas-coasters-tutorial.html

Christmas+Coasters+Collage

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Apple Angel Food Recipe

Conceptual Learning

Copyright 2011 – 2015

All Rights Reserved.

Website: http://www.conceptuallearning.com/

Recipe Submitted by Montessorian Dianne Knesek

Apple Angel Food

Prepare angel food cake batter.

Mix in 1/2 lb of pecans.

Pour into angel food cake pan.

Slice a couple of Granny Smith apples on top.

Bake as directed.

Cool.

With spatula, loosen cake from sides

Place on platter and invert

Serve and enjoy!

About Conceptual Learning

Conceptual Learning Materials has introduced several new series into the Insights into Math Concepts line.

To ease the children into more abstract fraction work, we have introduced “Fraction Match,” a series of 15 matching exercises that include graphics, verbal expressions, and fraction symbols for various configurations. These include numerators of one, numerators greater than one, fraction of a set, improper fractions, mixed numbers, fractions on a number line, equivalencies, and simple addition of fractions. The work is appropriate for students in 2nd through 4th grades. Other recent fraction releases include “Fraction Operations” which focuses on addition & subtraction of unlike fractions. “More Fraction Operations” includes multiplication and division of fractions and mixed numbers as well as a comprehensive overview of all fraction operations. Previously released fraction series include “Fraction Concepts,” “Fraction Line and Labels,” and “Fraction Order.”

Three levels of time have also been introduced. The incremental matching cards encompass time to the hour, half hour, quarter hour, five-minutes, and time intervals of varying difficulty.

“Introduction to Decimals” has been expanded to include mixed rounding and as well as operations involving one and two-place decimals. Previously released decimal series include “Decimal Line and Labels,” “Decimal Order,” “Advanced Decimals, ” as well as “Decimal/Fraction Equivalencies.”

Please contact us for a new catalog and be sure to visit http://www.conceptuallearning.com

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Dianne Knesek

Editor’s Note:

Receive additional lesson plans, craft ideas, recipes, and more by visiting http://www.amonco.org/montessori_fall_handson.html

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Explore the Beauty of Autumn through the Arts

The exciting colors and interesting silhouettes of autumn can be very inspiring creatively; and arts and crafts projects and musical interludes can provide students with a welcome break from their re-immersion into academics during the back-to-school season.  So be sure to take some time to explore the resources and opportunities available to help kids explore the beauties of the season with arts, crafts and music.

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General free art resources

Dick Blick’s free art and craft ideas

http://www.dickblick.com/lesson-plans/grade-level/k-4

Montessori On a Budget’s listing of free Montessori art downloads http://www.montessori-on-a-budget.com/2011/03/friday-free-downloads-montessori-art.html

Miscellaneous autumn-themed arts and crafts

Squigly’s autumn arts and crafts ideas

http://www.squiglysplayhouse.com/ArtsAndCrafts/Holidays/Autumn.html

My Blessed Life links to 12 fall kids’ crafts.

http://myblessedlife.net/2011/09/fall-kids-crafts.html

Personalize your classroom with a Friendship Quilt, a project from Dale Gausman at NAMC. http://www.amonco.org/creative5/montessori_fall5.pdf

Leaf art and crafts

The contributors to the ProTeacher Collection share many interesting autumn leaf and related autumn projects and lesson plans. http://www.proteacher.org/c/100_autumn_leaves__fall_art_projects.html

Here are 25 crafts using or replicating autumn leaves. http://www.remodelaholic.com/2012/09/25-leaf-crafts

Turn autumn leaves (or prints of them!) into butterflies.

http://www.artprojectsforkids.org/2012/09/butterfly-leaves.html

Autumn Colors Tissue Paper Art Project http://www.amonco.org/creative5/montessori_fall5.pdf

Here is a very striking, but fairly simple, watercolor technique using actual leaves as templates. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwBM11Wmpo0

For more ideas, look at these professional artists’ and photographers’ autumn compositions.

Top 6 Incredible Artworks Made from Autumn Leaves

http://inhabitat.com/top-6-incredible-artworks-made-from-autumn-leaves

Dan Bacich’s leaf paintings

http://www.autumnleavesart.com/paintings.php

Miscellaneous autumn art examples at Fine Art America

http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/autumn+leaves/all

Here are some examples of the autumn nature photography of Alexander MacPhail, from a hike on Mt Passaconway and the Sandwich Range, New Hampshire.

http://whitemountainsojourn.blogspot.com/2012/10/9-29-12-mt-passaconway-sandwich-range.html

Apple art and crafts

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on drawing a red Delicious apple, with an in-screen “draw while you learn” feature. http://www.drawinghowtodraw.com/stepbystepdrawinglessons/2011/10/how-to-draw-realistic-or-cartoon-apples-with-easy-step-by-step-drawing-lesson

This is an interesting time lapse of an artist painting a still life with apples.  It contains rather advanced shading, but could still inspire students with new ideas for techniques to try. Students may also get a kick out of comparing the original apples that inspired him with the finished product. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7WtTtaEems

Easy Apple Crafts for Kids

http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2012/08/easy-apple-crafts-for-kids.html

Crafty Crow’s apple crafts

http://www.thecraftycrow.net/2011/09/apple-crafts.html

Video: How to Craft Apple Stamps

http://www.howcast.com/videos/343105-How-to-Craft-Apple-Stamps

For some additional apple themed lesson planning, peruse through the unit study Hands-On Autumn Adventures – Autumn Leaves, Pumpkins, and Apple Classification Harvesting Activities and Unit Studies  http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

Need a little more inspiration?  Why not bake Oma’s Cake, a German recipe using pears or apples, and let the fruity, cinnamony fragrance stoke your autumn spirit! http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

Pumpkin art and crafts

Even your youngest students can have fun, with your help, making adorable fingerprint pumpkins. http://www.billybear4kids.com/Learn2Draw/FingerPrints/Pumpkin.shtml

Simple Kids’ Crafts breaks the process of drawing a pumpkin down into very simple steps. http://www.simplekidscrafts.com/?z=summer-drawings-how-to-draw-a-pumpkin

Whether for carving or just on paper, these cute jack-o-lantern face ideas will get kids inspired to expand their own pumpkin caricatures. http://www.how-to-draw-cartoons-online.com/drawing-pumpkin-faces.html

Combine some really fine watercolor art techniques with color theory, art appreciation, literature, and Canadian geography in this well-presented pumpkin art lesson for young children. http://www.scs.sk.ca/van/inventions%20articles/inventions%20articles/Giant%20Pumpkins.pdf

Now that your students are comfortable with their shapes, why not try sculpting some of these traditional autumn motifs in sandable, paintable/stainable home-made wood dough? Richard from The Lord Company shares a recipe and instructions. http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall2.pdf

Music and poetry

Get into the spirit of the season with fun autumn songs and rhymes!

NIEHS’ Kids’ Pages:  Songs

http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/songs

Early Years Experience’s Songs and Rhymes Page

http://www.bigeyedowl.co.uk/show_songs.php?t=50

Preschool Express’ Music and Rhyme Station

http://www.preschoolexpress.com/music_station.shtml

Go more in-depth with Classical Magic’s lesson plans revolving around “Autumn” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.  http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

There are also a number of neat YouTube videos like this one that use Vivaldi’s “Autumn” as the background music for beautiful scenes of grape harvests, mushrooms growing in the woods, autumn foliage, and more seasonal sights your students might enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uaVhKocqPw

For more suggestions of classical pieces children might enjoy, as well as ideas for getting students involved with the music, check this blogpost.

http://www.prekinders.com/classical-music

Want to get more hands-on? Anna from Wood, Etc. shares instructions for making a Zebra Stick Craft. http://www.amonco.org/creative08/montessori_fall8.pdf, and Lois from Bountiful Spinweave, shares instructions for making the Broken Rib Scarf with Seed Stitch Border. 

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It is a common theme in literature and poetry that autumn is a sad time of year, and although many writers have lauded autumn  in their own ways, http://www.livinglifefully.com/fall.html , perhaps Samuel Taylor Coleridge explained the beauty and spirit of autumn the best.

Why is it that so many of us persist in thinking that autumn is a sad season?

Nature has merely fallen asleep, and her dreams must be beautiful

if we are to judge by her countenance.

 

Help your students see, explore and appreciate the beauty of this magical season through the arts!  Refer back to this post during the next few weeks to see how you can infuse some of these creative ideas into your existing curriculum.

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Autumn Adventures in Hands-On Science with Exploration Education

Maria Montessori knew that children would tire of memorizing facts and learning about scientific concepts that seemed vague or difficult to comprehend.    Without the relevance of seeing how science can actually relate to everyday life, children can become disinterested and disengaged from this discipline.  Therefore, home and school educators are continually searching for ways to make this subject exciting and meaningful.   They want exercises that are easy to present, easy to understand and encourage the student to engage in further independent reading and study.    Exploration Education meets these goals and more by specializing in a unique science base hands-on curriculum that can be tailored to meet the student’s needs.   See http://www.explorationeducation.com for complete details.

 
You can access the following free hands-on activities that you can use right now and in the months

 
Money to Burn
Push or Pull
To Float, or not to Float
Air Lift
One turn deserves another
Floating Eggs
It’s Needling Me
Optics
Plastic Milk
Soap that grows
The Invisible Leash
The little big bounce
Can do
Speed boat soap
The Flame Proof Balloon
I can’t take the pressure
Static Charge
Needle proof balloon
Simply Sound
Heat Transfer, thermodynamics, and a rubber band
To view these activities please visit:
Exploration Education Activities.

 
Some of these activities can be downloaded into .pdf format. See below.


AMC Summer Hands-On Newsletter
AMC Fall Hands-On Newsletter
AMC Spring Hands-On Newsletter

Be sure to stay tuned to Montessori21stCentury for the unveiling of the winter hands-on newsletter where you will find an additional activity in .pdf format from Exploration Education.

Finally, don’t forget to enter the special AMC 25th Anniversary Drawing.  To see the list of prizes available visit Montessori 25th Anniversary Drawing.

To enter the drawing, please visit AMC Online Resource Directory  Scroll to the bottom and complete the entry blank.
 
Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting
www.amonco.org

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The Natural Benefits of an Active Life

Anyone who has watched healthy children acting naturally has probably noticed how active they are.  They wiggle, fidget, roll around, jump up and down, charge, tumble, wave their arms, and generally just move with the verve and enthusiasm of youth.

Montessori classrooms allow students more physical freedom than traditional classrooms; but with the sedentary trend in leisure activities, it is especially positive for teachers and parents to encourage both children’s spontaneous physicality (at appropriate times) and more-organized physical activities

Below you will find both ideas for specific activities and information about the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle.

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Games and Physical Education

Younger kids often enjoy specific games, and these can be lots of fun for the whole family (or neighbors and/or friends) to play together. Perhaps you remember some from your childhood, and you can share those.  If you don’t (or if you cannot remember all the rules), check out this fun site, Games Kids Play.  http://www.gameskidsplay.net/

For some general P.E. ideas for home or homeschool, these articles have some great suggestions.

Simple Homeschool’s “Physical Education for Homeschooled Teens” has ideas for the whole family.

http://simplehomeschool.net/physical-education/

Brain Pop, Jr.’s Exercise page

http://www.brainpopjr.com/health/bewell/exercise/grownups.weml

These are some specific physical education exercises. http://teachers.net/lessonplans/subjects/physical_education

NAMC gives instructions for a full day of fun and games, during a Harvest Festival. http://montessoritraining.blogspot.ca/2008/10/montessori-harvest-festival.html#.Ufe2Dm3wb1A

Health and Nutrition

Here you will find some health, exercise and nutrition lesson plans.

Kids.gov’s “Exercise, Fitness, and Nutrition” lesson plans http://kids.usa.gov/grown-ups/lesson-plans/exercise-fitness-and-nutrition/index.shtml

 Gari Stein offers many different CDs, classes and more.  Visit  http://www.little-folks-music.com/background.htm  and look to the left of the page to see the complete list of music, dance and other fun activities and services available from the Little Folks Music website. 

 

The American Heart Association’s “Elementary Lesson Plans”

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Educator/FortheClassroom/ElementaryLessonPlans/Elementary-Lesson-Plans_UCM_001258_Article.jsp

NAMC’s “Nutrition is Part of the Prepared Classroom”. http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2013/06/nutrition-part-of-montessori-prepared-environment.html#.UfeysW3wb1A

Kimbo Educational has a whole series of  “Sing-A-Song & Dance Along” products to get little kids moving and learning at the same time.

http://kimboed.com/aerobics.aspx

Kimbo also offers the brand NEW Preschool Gym CD.  See http://kimboed.com/search.aspx?find=Preschool+Gym+CD

Older students may be familiar with the terms “aerobic” and “cardio” used in reference to exercise, but do they really know what they mean?  Check out these pages about aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic exercise for definitions, examples, and explanations of the health benefits of each type.

Georgia State University’s “Exercise and Physical Fitness Page”

http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwfit/aerobice.html

SparkPeople’s “Reference Guide to Aneaerobic Exercise”

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1035

To explore this subject in more depth, check out the Human Cardiovascular System Unit Study. http://www.amonco.org/montessori_heart_unitstudy.html

Hiking

Autumn can be a very appealing season for outdoor activities.  Most areas in the northern hemisphere have a mix of cooler and warmer days, with lots of brisk breezes to keep you invigorated.  In the fall – or during any temperate weather–  hiking is great exercise for all ages, an inexpensive activity, and a wonderful opportunity to chat, observe nature, and learn together as a family or group.  If they are introduced to hiking in a gentle and enjoyable manner at a young age, many children grow enjoy this healthy pastime more and more as they grow.

The Washington Trails Association shares some helpful hints for hiking with children in these two articles. http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/children/resources-for-families/how-to/tips-for-hiking-with-kids  and http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/children/how-to/keep-kids-adults-entertained-on-trail

It’s also important, especially with young children who are new to hiking, to remember Maria Montessori’s words. “But the child does not want to get anywhere; he just wants to walk, and to help him truly the adult must follow the child, and not expect him to keep up.” The activity, the movement, the sights and sounds are likely to be the main draw for young children. Goals, destinations and pace can come as an added interest later, if the child learns to enjoy very informal and spontaneous outings first.

Besides just the joy, new horizons and adventure provided by hiking, scientists are beginning to study the actual physical health benefits of this activity. Some of their findings are really fascinating! http://www.psmag.com/health/for-good-health-take-a-hike-3862

Gardening

Whether you choose to grow ornamentals, vegetables or fruit, gardening provides not only interesting agricultural and botanical lessons, but also provides a gentle, enjoyable and healthy source of exercise and fresh air.

This article lists some of the major health benefits of gardening. http://www.bordbia.ie/aboutgardening/itsgardentime/pages/healthbenefits.aspx

Rae from The Creative Process provides some interesting ideas about gardens for schools. http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

This lengthy PDF expands on the subject of planning and sustaining a school garden. http://www.ecoliteracy.org/sites/default/files/uploads/getting-started-2009.pdf

The broader benefits of exercise

Most of us feel good when we participate in healthy activities we enjoy, but scientists and health experts can give us reasons why, as well as listing benefits which extend far beyond the playground, trail or garden. 

“How Physical Activity Benefits A Child’s Mental Development”

http://www.howtolearn.com/2013/05/how-physical-activity-benefits-a-childs-mental-development

Dr. Mercola explains how exercise benefits children’s brain function.

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/01/20/physically-active-children-perform-better-academically.aspx

 

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So, maybe we should all take a page from the natural inclinations of childhood, and both encourage and participate in some sort of joyful, healthy movement every day, staring this autumn!

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Setting Up The Classroom for Success

The classroom environment provides the foundation for all the learning that will take place in the school year.  A pleasant, comfortable location with good organization, friendly interactions, and caring attention gives children their best chance to grow both personally and academically.

 

Whether this is your first year teaching or homeschooling, or your twentieth, you may find some helpful ideas in the following links

 

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“Getting to know you” tips for teachers and students

 

Starting a new schoolyear and meeting a new class group can be a challenge for both students and teachers.  Get off to a good start with these free tips, activities and lesson plan ideas.

 

Scholastic.com’s “Getting to Know Your Students http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/getting-know-your-students

 

Educational Leadership’s “How to Get to Know Your Students” http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb12/vol69/num05/How-You-Get-to-Know-Your-Students.aspx

 

UALR’s Getting Acquainted Activitieshttp://www.ualr.edu/blstanford/id18.htm

 

Sugardoodle’s “Get to Know You Games”http://www.sugardoodle.net/Get%20to%20know%20you%20games

 

Good Character.com’s Friendship Lesson Planshttp://www.goodcharacter.com/YCC/BeingFriends.html

 

NAMC’s Friendship as a Theme in the Montessori Classroomhttp://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2013/06/focusing-on-desired-behavior-montessori-friendship-theme.html#.UfexiW3wb1A

 

NAMC gives advice on various behavioral problems. http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2013/05/behavioral-challenges-montessori-class-gluing.html#.UfezPm3wb1A

 

Classroom set-up and dynamics

 

These two articles present tips and techniques for creating a Montessori classroom, either in a traditional setting http://www.amshq.org/Montessori-Education/Introduction-to-Montessori/Montessori-Classrooms.aspx

 

or in your own home. http://thelittlelist.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/setting-up-a-montessori-classroom-at-home

 

Bright Hub Education describes some of the components of a positive learning environment.http://www.brighthubeducation.com/classroom-management/13907-creating-a-positive-learning-environment

 

Teaching with Cents has some cute and clever ideas for do-it-yourself classroom tools and organizers. http://teachingwithcents.com/7-tools-for-classroom-set-up-and-organization

 

Georgette Baker from Cantemos suggests a relaxation exercise for the classroom. http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

 

Learning styles

 

It is always important to remind ourselves that children are individuals with their own learning styles and aptitudes.  When we work with those natural tendencies and abilities, children flourish and growth is fostered.  

 

For whole body learners, tactile-kinesthetics, and basketball lovers of all learning styles,  Mariaemma from Coaching for Learning Success offers a fun basketball memorization game. http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf

 

Get off to a fresh, positive and organized start this year, and here’s to great relationships, great personal growth, and great academic progress!

 

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Some 1999 Fall Lessons and Resources Revisited – Part I

Are you looking for additional Canadian Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and other worldwide autumn/winter holiday lesson planning information?  If so, you’re likely to find some of  what you need in the original AMC 1999 autumn issue.  This issue, located at  http://amonco.org/fall99.html , has just received a facelift.

Put some spice in your pumpkin presentations by perusing through this issue. Locate a special pumpkin unit study that can be easily adapted for either a Montessori school or home based classroom.  If you are currently creating your own fall themed classified reading activities, check out the pumpkin based investigation link.  Jot down the types of activities you wish to use for your classified reading presentations.  With your list in hand, you can quickly and easily make an interesting pumpkin classified reading card activity that your students are sure to appreciate.

                

Help children experience the majestic beauty and meaning of this upcoming season.  Participating in hands-on exercises involving autumn leaves,  analyzing and creating fall themed poems, and investigating and using Thanksgiving recipes from the past, helps students truly experience just some of what autumn has to offer.

This 1999 issue http://amonco.org/fall99.html also contains lesson planning for several upcoming holidays including Christmas and Hanukkah.   All dead links have been removed and new ones with fresh autumn themed material have been added.

Many of the older AMC issues are in the process of receiving a facelift, so stay tuned for more fall and winter based resources in the weeks to come!!    🙂

Heidi Anne Spietz

American Montessori Consulting

Celebrating 24 Years of Serving School and Home Educators

Montessori for the 21st Century

http://www.amonco.org

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