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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

December Learning Adventures for Children

December is a month where traditions and learning activities go hand in hand. Here are some ideas to help you with your lesson planning. http://www.pinterest.com/amcmontessori/december-learning-adventures-for-children/

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2014 Winter and Holiday Lesson Planning for the Classroom

main_winter-1

Winter and the holidays are now just around the corner, and once again, the AMC resource participants have not let their readers down. Many of the participants have contributed outstanding lesson plans, recipes, crafts and other interesting activities that you can use right now in your school and home classrooms. Below, are just some of the highlights of what you will find in this issue.

Part 1

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

In Part 1 you will discover the following:

Rae, from the Creative Process, has offered numerous free activities that will spark the imagination of your students: Scribble Designs, Masks and Mask Making, A Sharing Food Unit Study, Teaching Alternative Energy Ideas, and some timely information to help you get ready for a “new” year will all add some zip to your winter lesson planning.

The North American Montessori Center (NAMC) offers a blog filled with Montessori activities for school and home school educators.    See the end of Part I to discover the Montessori Magnetic Chips, Snowman Picture and Christmas Flower Arranging activities.

Part II

See http://www.amonco.org/winter2/montessori_winter2.pdf

A yummy Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Cutouts is a delicious treat that you will want to include for your holiday celebrations.

Nan Barchowsky has generously contributed her Big Numbers Writing Activity. Receive directions and templates for a writing activity that you can use right now with your children.

Why not have some hands on science fun this winter? John, from Exploration Education, introduces the “Air Lift” and “To float, or not to float?” science activities.

Next, turn your attention to creating some integrated social studies lessons by using the Christmas in Australia unit study.

Finally, try your hand at making a delicious crustless pumpkin pie.

Part III

See http://www.amonco.org/winter3/montessori_winter3.pdf

Receive a direct link to a Montessori Napkin Folding exercise courtesy of the North American Montessori Center (NAMC). Children will enjoy this practical life exercise as they participate in preparing the holiday dinner table for guests.

Nothing smells better during the cold autumn and winter months, than walking into a room filled with the smell of baked apples. The Ginger-Coconut Baked Apples recipe submitted by NAMC is sure to delight your family and friends.

Dale has also shared the Montessori Button-Buddy and Acting Out How Animals Survive Winter exercises. This latter exercise will greatly aid children in their understanding of hibernation, adaptation, and other key science terms. Receive step-by-step instructions on how to present these lessons, plus extension exercises for further applications.

Richard, from LORD Company, has uploaded some various Montessori related free materials for you to use in your school and home classrooms. You will also find two geography-based resources in this section of the newsletter. Download a free set of Land and Water Forms Cards from LORD Company. Birdcage Press has provided an amazing set of materials that can be used for a unit study about ancient Egypt.

Are you looking for something different to bring this year to your favorite annual holiday potluck?  Let Sara Ambarian walk you through the steps to creating a delicious Ginger Turkey Salad.  Just click on the link above to get the recipe and additional accompanying information.

Part IV

See http://www.amonco.org/winter4/montessori_winter4.pdf

The Scented Basket project, contributed by Mariaemma of Coaching for Learning Success, provides an opportunity for your students to learn more about art, and they will end up with a special holiday gift in the process.

Dianne, from Conceptual Learning, provides yet another tasty Nutty Chocolate Pudding Squares treat that will be enjoyed by guests at your holiday parties. Dianne has also contributed some outstanding Montessori Math Sequencing lessons in .pdf Elaine, from Kimbo Educational. Kimbo has a number of multicultural CDs and songs. In this section of the newsletter, you will find some lyrics from Kimbo Educational’s new Hanukkah and Chinese New Year CD. You will also receive some valuable resource lesson planning information for the Chinese New Year.

Dr. Borenson, from Hands On Equations, has once again contributed a free hands-on algebra activity. In Part IV, you will also discover more about the free Montessori Animals in the Winter unit study. Hands On Equations has recently unveiled some exciting new algebra program apps for the Android, iPad and iPhone! See Part IV for details.

Are you tired of including the same holiday side dishes to your holiday meals?  Why not try some additional new recipes this year?  Let Sara Ambarian show you how.  Check out her Zesty Cranberry Relish and Cheesy Baked Cauliflower recipes here in Part IV, plus other new tasty recipes that have been added to other sections of this newsletter.

Part V

See http://www.amonco.org/winter5/montessori_winter5.pdf

Have some fun with words pertaining to food this winter! Alan Stillson has generously contributed to yet another edition of the Montessori seasonal newsletter. See this section to access the free Middle School Word Puzzles by Stillsonworks.

The Handprint Towel activity is a wonderful hands-on project, with the dual effect of doing something truly meaningful with children and helping them to create a gift with lasting memories. The younger set will also enjoy Karen’s special Pumpkin Pie Scented Playdough recipe.

Ligia, from Childsake, submitted an easy to make, delicious Holiday Cheesecake. Yum!!

Next, get ready for some sizzling science with The Little Big Bounce Science Activity!

Finally, Montessorian  Dianne Knesek has generously shared some Montessori math based lessons that your children are sure to enjoy!.    You can find instructions to downloading some of her free “Exchanges” and “Roman Numerals” activities by clicking on the link above.

Part VI

See http://www.amonco.org/winter6/montessori_winter6.pdf

Another recipe that is sure to delight the chocolate lovers in your family is Farmer’s Favorite Fudge recipe, courtesy of Farm Country General Store.

Gert, from Kimbo, shares her personal holiday favorite recipe for our special winter issue. Read the history of The Grandma Cake – A Celebration Tradition and encourage the children in your life to make their own special Grandma Cake.

Elaine, from Kimbo Educational, makes informal entertaining quick and easy with her delicious Spinach Dip Recipe. Elaine also provided a literature link activity for Three Little Kittens.

Alan Stillson has included an interesting holiday-themed song from his hit play, I Remember Lou.

Now, for some soapy science fun!!! You read that right. John, from Exploration Education contributed a free Soap That Grows lesson in .pdf which contains all of the illustrations, pictures and detailed lesson plans you need to make this activity a success.

Part VII

See http://www.amonco.org/winter7/montessori_winter7.pdf

As the weather cools down, many of us will spend more time in the kitchen. We’ll be making the usual family favorites as well as trying different recipes that are eye-catching. Another new recipe added to this issue, Bauernfruhstuck, (German Farmer’s Breakfast), is presented by Anna and Wolfgang.

Take a stroll from Germany to France to discover a light and fluffy French favorite.  Professor Toto offers the French Crepes recipe which will tie right in with an existing Montessori curriculum.   This practical life exercise can be used as part of a unit study about the French culture; or, it could also be used for specific multicultural celebrations.  Last but not least, this dish would be a scrumptious addition to any holiday meal.

Rita, from homeschool.literatureplace.com, has written an interesting article for homeschoolers.  Historical Fiction: Where Fact and Fiction Merge Planning a New Literature Program for Your Child will be a boon for parents who have been searching for ways in which to select and organize their booklists.

Music lovers will appreciate the winter-themed music lesson planning ideas featured in this section of the newsletter.  .The Winter by Vivaldi unit study can be used in conjunction with art, science, existing music and geography activities, to name a few.

Please see http://www.amonco.org/winter7/montessori_winter7.pdf
to view this entire lesson plan.

Now that you have some new lesson plans, delve in and begin to put some extra sparkle into your school and home school settings. I wish you a fun-filled winter.

Visit American Montessori Consulting and look under New and Notable for additional articles and free lesson plans.

If you are looking for service oriented projects, please visit Community Service Projects for the Upcoming Holiday Season

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

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Sights and Smells of the Season

Winter and the holidays bring many beautiful things to see, many wonderful things to smell, and many happy traditions and memories to share.

Sights—

If you cannot get outside (or you live in a temperate climate) share the beauty of the season with your students through some gorgeous winter photography. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/23/45-winter-wonderland-photos

http://www.squidoo.com/winter-pictures

There are many lovely winter scenes in fine art, as well.

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O134147/snow-scene-children-leaving-school-oil-painting-vautier-benjamin

http://www.oilpaintingfactory.com/english/Search.aspx?key=snow%20winter

It can be fun to have students express their own winter visions through photography and/or art.

If you have access to appropriate camera equipment for the ages of your students, why not let them try their hands at some winter photography. Most of us, young and old, have admired the famous photographs of the National Geographic Society.  This short article lets us learn from the professionals how to take better photos of people, animals and nature. http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/activities/moreactivities/photography101/

For other creative media, some students will have plenty of ideas from their own imagination. If students need more inspiration, have them go outdoors (if practical), look out a window, or look through a book or magazine or on-line.

Students can share their vision of a perfect winter day with this easy but versatile painting lesson.  http://www.deepspacesparkle.com/2009/01/22/winter-scene-drawing-and-painting/

You could also encourage students to present their winter scenes with collages or textile artwork.  (Textile art needn’t be an elaborate appliqué or quilting project. Very attractive scenes can be made with cut-out pieces of felt glued to a felt or paper background, for example.)

Here is a nice example of a winter landscape simplified into a quilt. (Be sure to scroll the slide show both ways for more interesting landscape quilts, both simple and complex.) http://quilting.about.com/od/picturesofquilts/ig/Art-Quilts-Gallery/Solitude-Landscape-Quilt.htm

This is a good explanation of the process of simplifying a photo or live scene into graphic basics for paper or textile interpretation. http://www.quiltingdaily.com/blogs/quilting-daily/archive/2010/08/03/how-to-make-a-landscape-quilt-the-easy-way.aspx

This short tutorial does not show collage/textile landscape examples. However, it gives a good explanation of the elements of landscape art and how to simplify them.  http://www.slideshare.net/ms_slu/collage-landscapes

Here are some links for fine art paper, multi-media, mosaic, and fabric/quilt landscape techniques and examples for more ideas and inspiration.

http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/winter+abstract+landscape/canvas+prints  http://lonecrowart.blogspot.com/2009/05/abstract-landscape-collage-steps.html

http://sandrameech-art.blogspot.com/2011/01/images-in-landscape.html

http://pinterest.com/kathadill/landscape-art-quilts

http://www.mosaicart.us/#mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=0&p=0&a=0&at=0

If your students are not excited about landscapes, why not try some seasonal still life art or photography using holiday food and/or decorations?

Here are some general still life resources:

http://www.art-is-fun.com/still-life-paintings.html

http://www.nga.gov/kids/DTP6stillife.pdf

http://www.drawinghowtodraw.com/drawing-lessons/nature-drawing/drawing-still-lifes.html

http://painting.about.com/od/artistreferencephotos/ig/Reference-Photos-Still-Life/

Find out more about food in art through history from Rae at The Creative Process. http://www.netposterworks.com/resources/curideas/sharing_food.html

Smells—

Some Texas middle and high school students share their favorite smells in this article.  Perhaps you can have students write or tell you about their favorite smells. http://www.valleymorningstar.com/articles/smell-96788-favorite-world.html

Start your youngest students exploring and identifying scents with the Smelling Bottle exercise for preschoolers from Dale at NAMC. http://www.amonco.org/winter3/montessori_winter3.pdf

You will find a variety of experiments for various age groups which focus on our sense of smell here.

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/smelltaste.html

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/chsmell.html

http://www.cln.org/themes/smell.html

Scent Baskets from Mariaemma at Coaching for Learning Success are an easy craft and decorating project in which all ages can participate.  http://www.amonco.org/winter4/montessori_winter4.pdf

FunFelt Scented Playdough Recipe combines a favorite activity with favorite aromas of the season.  http://www.amonco.org/winter5/montessori_winter5.pdf

Cakes and other goodies baking in the oven are always welcome smells in our homes. Gert Kimble of Kimbo Educational shares her traditional family recipe for Grandma Cake, which she has baked over 400 times for holidays and other celebrations.  http://www.amonco.org/winter6/montessori_winter6.pdf

Ginger is a lovely, warming smell in the winter. Try these Ginger Coconut Baked Apples. http://www.amonco.org/winter3/montessori_winter3.pdf

Another favorite winter spice is cinnamon.  Find a variety of cinnamon –spiced recipes here: http://allrecipes.com/recipes/herbs-and-spices/spices/cinnamon/top.aspx

If your students doubt that cooking can appeal to both our eyes and our nose, look at this cute Christmas-themed veggie plate! http://inspiredatmyisland.blogspot.ca/2012/09/lunch-love-part-iii-veggie-licious.html

For a lovely scent in your home or classroom that doesn’t require cooking (except if you choose to dry your orange peels in the oven), consider having students mix up a spicy potpourri.  This recipe is especially good for younger children, because there are no essential oils or toxic ingredients.  It also has rich, festive scents that would make it a nice holiday gift. http://www.ehow.com/how_8244416_make-potpourri-spices.html

Hope you enjoy many wonderful sights and and smells this winter season!

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Get in the Spirit — Gathering and Giving

“Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water -it will make ripples throughout the entire pond…”

― Jessy and Bryan Matteo 

Autumn brings many opportunities to celebrate and show appreciation. Hospitality and generosity are important virtues to help children develop at a young age, and they make holiday gatherings and gift-giving and –receiving situations much more enjoyable for everyone.

It is healthy for children to help plan, set-up, and cook for gatherings, so they learn the effort that goes into (and the pleasure that can be derived from) serving others and making them feel welcome. Children’s natural creativity and enthusiasm in the preparations can also add a lot of charm to an event. 

You can also reinforce positive attitudes about patience, thrift and the satisfaction of a job well-done by encouraging children to make and give home-made presents rather than store-bought items. 

Children sometimes need specific guidance about proper behavior in social situations, which you can provide through practice and also good role modeling.

With a little planning, patience, creativity, and perhaps some of the ideas below, hopefully everyone will enjoy the celebrations of the season—and the lessons they teach.

Party preparations and decorations– 

If little ones have trouble remembering all that belongs on the table, you might download a cute free placemat which shows a proper casual place setting. http://www.positivelysplendid.com/2011/05/dinnertime-doodle-mats-ssg-idea-16.html or try your hand at some more decorative, but still instructional, mats like these. http://simplekids.net/learning-to-set-the-table

Why not try some fancy napkin folding to dress up your seasonal table? For paper napkins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG-cG939aR4 For cloth napkins. http://bumblebeelinens.com/napkinFolding.php

Have students channel their arts and crafts talents into projects like these that can double as party decorations, place mats, and other theme-setting items. http://www.allkidsnetwork.com/crafts/fall

For lots of cute decorating ideas and planning tips for sharing Thanksgiving festivities with children, check out Thanksgiving Kids. http://kidsparties.about.com/od/thanksgiving/tp/ThanksgivingHub.htm 

Combine nature study with homemaking with inspirations from these free fall party centerpieces and other decorating ideas from Chickens in the Road.  Show your children that you don’t have to be fancy to be festive. http://chickensintheroad.com/house/crafts/how-to-decorate-for-an-autumn-party-for-free

Here are cute tablecloth and trivia ideas for family dinners from Rachel Hollis (though the garland made of book pages seems like it might send a rather mixed message to young people).http://mychiclife.com/2012/02/26/nate-berkus-family-style-entertaining/ 

Turn cheap, flimsy window screening in festive leaf shapes http://www.crafts-for-all-seasons.com/autumn-leaf-craft.html

Later in the season you could make cute Snow-Covered Pine Trees http://www.amonco.org/creative3/montessori_fall3.pdf

Home-made gift ideas—

Hostess gifts are a gracious gesture in a hectic world. Some of these are simple enough for children to help make. http://momadvice.com/blog/2009/12/a-round-up-of-homemade-hostess-gifts 

A wide variety of gift projects using many different skills and techniques. http://www.llemonade.com/gifts.html 

Here is a great round-up of easy gifts kids can make from the UK’s Activity Village. http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/gifts_kids_can_make.htm 

Mix-in-a-jar recipes are fun gifts to make with children of all ages because there is no cooking required. Many recipes make enough to keep some and give some as gifts; but if one you like does not, have older kids do the math to make a larger batch! http://marymae.tripod.com/jarlinks.htm , http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/christmas/gifts , http://www.mixesinajar.com

Introduce students to the concept of felting wool with this Felt Ball Ornament project and some other felting activities. http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf 

Use a tile, paint, and some cork to make a Kitchen Trivet. http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall4.pdf

Learn to needlepoint with a continental stitch on plastic canvas.You can make very attractive coasters with these instructions for students 8-12 years old. http://www.amonco.org/creative6/montessori_fall6.pdf

It’s not too early to start work on home-made gifts for Christmas, either. http://spoonful.com/christmas/homemade-christmas-gifts

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa

Putting on our party manners—

Here are lots of good ideas for helping children know how to behave in a variety of social situations. http://childcare.about.com/od/behaviors/a/manners.htm , http://www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/1132 , http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/25-manners-every-kid-should-know-by-age-9-2480238.html

“Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving…. Accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.”

― Alexander McCall Smith, Love Over Scotland

Enjoy your holiday gathering and giving!

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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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Practical Life Lessons for the Holidays

Please see https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/practical-life-lessons-for-the-holidays-2/ for updated 2014 lesson planning ideas!

Enjoy!

Heidi

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Fun Filled Fall PreK – High School Lesson Plans

Please visit Accentuate Autumn with New 2012 Lesson Plans for free updated lesson planning.

Enjoy!

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

Copyright 2012 American Montessori Consulting

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Christmas in Australia – Links for a Montessori Unit Study

How is Christmas in Australia celebrated today and in years past?

How is it celebrated today (Compare and Contrast)

Christmas in Australia
Christmas in Australia – Overview
How to Celebrate an Australian Christmas
Christmas Traditions – History of Christmas
Christmas Australian History
Christmas in Australia – Food, Music, Traditions, Church Services
Christmas in Australia – A Child’s Point of View

A Look at Australian Christmas Flowers and Plants

Australian Christmas Plants
Christmas Bells – Blandfordia

Australian Christmas Recipes

Anzac Biscuits
Aussie Cooking – Christmas Recipes
Australian Christmas Recipes

Free Maps of Australia
Map of Australia
More Maps of Australia

Let’s Write and Discuss – Christmas in Australia

Christmas in Australia
Write Your Own Books – For K – 3rd Grade(Part I)
Write Your Own Books – For K – 3rd Grade (Part II)

Christmas Around the World (Part I)
Christmas Around the World (Part II)

Copyright 2007-2010 American Montessori Consulting

To access these links, please visit Christmas in Australia Unit Study

Heidi
http://www.amonco.org

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Last Minute Montessori Holiday Practical Life Lesson Planning

Start the countdown to Thanksgiving, Black Friday and beyond. Some last minute Montessori style practical life lessons that will help you make the most out of the holiday season are listed below. Click on the links to learn how you can help your children discover the joy of cooking, gift making and more.

Read Thanksgiving Thoughts: Passing Along Some Positive Perspective with the Pumpkin Pie – http://www.amonco.org/sara_ambarian08.pdf

Thanksgiving Thoughts Passing Along Some Positive Perspective with the Pumpkin Pie
by Sara Ambarian

and


Re-thinking Holiday Priorities During Tough Times

by Sara Ambarian


Scrumptious Gingerbread Muffin Recipe

by Montessorian Cathie Perolman


Making Apple-Cinnamon Muffins

by Montessorian Dale Gausman


Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Cutouts

by the late Montessorian Kathie O’Reilly

Montessori Napkin Folding Exercise
by Montessorian Dale Gausman

I wish each of you a very blessed Thanksgiving and holiday season with your family and friends. 🙂

Heidi Anne Spietz

American Montessori Consulting

http://www.amonco.org

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Montessori Service Community Projects – It’s Not to Late…

It’s not to late to make a difference this holiday season. Commit to do something fun yet really meaningful for those in your community who are are sad and lonely. Become involved in a project and possibly enlist the help of other families and friends.

First, call your local nursing home or children’s hospital and explain that you would like to bring handmade gifts to the patients. Find out the do’s and don’ts of acceptable gift giving. Now, get busy and make a difference. 🙂

Visit AMC Montessori Community Projects today!

Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting
http://www.amonco.org

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