Montessori21stCentury’s Weblog

Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

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

Leave a comment »

Celebrate American Montessori Consulting’s 25th Anniversary

Enter the American Montessori Consulting Drawing and Win Prizes (Click Here.)

1st Place AMC Montessori Winner Prizes Include:

Preschool Gym CD (Making Fitness Fun For 3 -5 Year Olds from Kimbo Educational)

$25.00 Gift Certificate from (Draw Your World)

Potholder Loom (Makes 2 Beautiful Potholders) from (Bountiful Spinweave)

Animal Safari (A Learning Journey) Creepy Critters from (Coyote Creek Productions)

Animal Safari (A Learning Journey) Tongues, Tails, and Scales from (Coyote Creek Productions)

Animal Safari (A Learning Journey) Wild Wetlands from (Coyote Creek Productions

Art Lesson for Children with Donna Hugh Volume 5 (Animals of the Rain Forest) from (Coyote Creek Productions)

Art Lesson for Children with Donna Hugh Volume 5 (Plants of the Rain Forest) from (Coyote Creek Productions)

(Hands-On Equations Learning System(from Hands On Equations)

Reading, Writing and Spelling in Spanish II from (American Montessori Consulting)

2nd Place AMC Montessori Winner Prizes Include:

The More We Get Together from (author Gari Stein)

Montessori Writing Center Sequence Set from (LORD Company)

$50.00 Gift Certificate from (Conceptual Learning)

Art Lesson for Children with Donna Hugh Volume 1 (Easy Watercolor Techniques) from (Coyote Creek Productions)

Art Lesson for Children with Donna Hugh Volume 2 (Easy Art Projects) from (Coyote Creek Production)

Animal Safari (A Learning Journey) Born in a Barnyard from (Coyote Creek Productions)

 3rd Place AMC Montessori Winner Prizes Include

Inspirational Art Cards from (Birdcage Press)

Quick-to-Knit Scraf Kit from (Bountiful Spinweave)

Animal Safari (A Learning Journey) Animals and Man from (Coyote Creek Productions)

Art Lesson for Children with Donna Hugh Volume 4 (Felt Pen Fun) from (Coyote Creek Productions)

Reading, Writing and Spelling in Spanish II from (American Montessori Consulting)

4th Place AMC Montessori Winner Prizes Include:

 Potholder Loom (Makes 2 Beautiful Potholders) from (Bountiful Spinweave)

Animal Safari (A Learning Journey) Wild World Habitats from (Coyote Creek Productions)

Animal Safari (A Learning Journey) Animals of the Amazon from (Coyote Creek Productions)

5th Place AMC Montessori Winner Prizes Include:

 Art Lesson for Children with Donna Hugh Volume 3 (More Fun with Watercolors) from (Coyote Creek Productions)

Animal Safari (A Learning Journey) Exploration Dinosaur from (Coyote Creek Productions)

(Click here) to enter the drawing!!

Join the Montessori for the 21st Century E-mail List (Subscribe Now)

Heidi Anne Spietz

American Montessori Consulting

http://www.amonco.org

1 Comment »

The Three R’s for Autumn Lesson Planning

Reading, writing and arithmetic are the building blocks of our children’s education, so it’s always worth spending a little extra energy in finding fresh and engaging materials on those subjects.  It is especially appropriate as we start the traditional school year to provide extra review and practice to make sure students are “tuned-up” and ready to work after the summer holidays.

Check out the links below.

General lesson plan ideas

Ten Things to Remember When Presenting Montessori Activities. http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2013/07/ten-things-to-remember-when-presenting-montessori-activities.html#.UfQIqFNVevs

Point your browsesr to Montessori Classroom: Activity Ideas for the First Day of School  http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2008/08/montessori-classroom-first-day-of.html#.UfQJkFNVevs

Check out this round-up of lesson plans and activities on a variety of subjects.

http://k6educators.about.com/od/lessonplanheadquarters/Lesson_Plan_Headquarters.htm

Only Passionate Curiosity has compiled an extensive list of free homeschool curriculum resources, including pre-K through grade 12.

http://www.onlypassionatecuriosity.com/free-homeschool-list

HomeschoolViews links to a wide variety of free unit studies, administrative helpers, activities and fun items to print out for homeschool and other educational uses.

http://www.homeschoolviews.com/resources/printables.html

EverythingHomeschooling has another large listing of free homeschool lessons.

http://www.everythinghomeschooling.com/free.aspx

Autumn-themed unit studies/academic lessons

HotChalk’s Lesson Plans Page provides an extensive array of links to lesson plans, videos and other resources related to the seasons.  Check them now for autumn ideas, and bookmark them for later in the year.

http://lessonplanspage.com/seasonal-lesson-plans

You’ll find seasonally-themed ideas and much more at the Activity Idea Place. http://www.preschooldirectory.123child.com

Hands-On Autumn Adventures gives ideas for autumn weekend and school day outings, as well as other related activities.

http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

Free reading resources

Need some new book adventures?  Here are several good lists of K-3 reading books (and some higher grades, too).

https://www.literatureplace.com/

http://school.familyeducation.com/summer/reading/38769.html

http://txesla.net/gradesk3.html

http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr244.shtml

The Lord Equipment Company’s Simple Steps Reading Series combines phonics and sight word practice with an opportunity to create your own book as a student project or gift for a child. 

http://www.lordequip.com/parables/parable.htm

Montessorian Cathie Perolman offers her HANDS-ON PHONICS program from Joyful Noise Prodcutions.   http://www.shop.joyful-noise.com/HANDS-ON-PHONICS_c19.htm

Writing resources

Montessori Mom shares instructions for making and using a Montessori Movable Alphabet. http://www.montessorimom.com/moveable-alphabet

Access a free Montessori blue line paper PDF here.

http://www.lordequip.com/images/bluelines.pdf

Find out more about  the Barchowsky Fluid Handwriting technique.

http://www.bfhhandwriting.com

You’ll find lots of free handwriting practice sheets at these links.

http://www.softschools.com/handwriting/alphabets

Draw Your World combines art with writing and spelling practice.

http://www.drawyourworld.com

For older students, here are some free typing resources.  http://www.typingweb.com and http://www.typing-lessons.org

Word puzzles and games (Grown-ups will enjoy some of these, too!)

Enjoy these free Montessori educational bingo games. http://www.amonco.org/montessori_grammar_bingo.html and

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

Word search, crosswords, hang-man and more make it fun to practice spelling and comprehension.

http://www.funenglishgames.com/wordgames.html

http://www.primarygames.com/puzzles/word_searches.php

http://www.wuzzlesandpuzzles.com (Math puzzles here, too.)

Try out Alan Stillson’s Middle School Word Puzzles here: http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall4.pdf and here: http://www.amonco.org/creative6/montessori_fall6.pdf

Math practice and puzzles

You will find a variety of mathematics lesson ideas for K-5 students at Kids.gov.

http://kids.usa.gov/math/index.shtml

HomeschoolMath.net lists resources from kindergarten all the way through high school. http://www.homeschoolmath.net/teaching

Math.com’s “Teaching Math at Home” listings concentrate on inspirations and ideas and on-line courses. http://www.math.com/parents/homeschool.html

Check out math curriculum ideas listed by grade level.

http://homeschooling.about.com/od/currmath/qt/mathcurriculum.htm

Enjoy some free samples of Dr. Henry Borenson’s Hands-On Equations. http://www.amonco.org/creative3/montessori_fall3.pdf

Try out this math sequencing exercise from Conceptual Learning.  http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall2.pdf

If math seems difficult or stressful for your students, perhaps you will find some inspiration in this interesting blogpost on “unschooling” math. http://www.ordinarylifemagic.com/2012/03/unschooling-tools-math-play.html

* * * * * *

Whatever strategies you implement, here’s hoping that your students get a great start on their academics this year!

Leave a comment »

Accentuating Autumn with Some Fresh Lesson Planning Ideas

With autumn just days away, it’s time to review what’s new and relevant for the autumn months.

Please click on the following links for free lesson planning information:

Fun Filled Fall PreK – High School Lesson Plans

Leave a comment »

Time to Tune Up on Math

Although most of us believe in learning through day-to-day life year-round, the start of a new school year, is a great time to refocus on core academic subjects and explore new skills. Many parents and educators worry about loss of math proficiency over the summer months, and some students feel a little intimidated when it is time to return to more-traditional math studies. Whether your students are a little rusty, they need a little fun motivation to get in the swing again, or you merely want to evaluate their current skills, we hope you will benefit from the following mathematics resources.

*****

Dianne Knesek of Conceptual Learning Materials, Inc. has shared some useful free math exercises and ideas at http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall2.pdf and http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf.  At her website, http://www.conceptuallearning.com, you can find many more math products which focus on mastering incremental concepts rather than repetitive drills. The products span kindergarten through 8th grade, and cover subjects such as place value, sequencing, time, money, decimals, percent and pre-algebra.

For free algebra exercises, check out Dr. Borenson and Associates’ submissions from Hands-On Equations at http://www.amonco.org/creative3/montessori_fall3.pdf and http://www.amonco.org/creative6/montessori_fall6.pdf. The Hands-on Equations system for “demystifying” algebra can be used for students as young as 3rd grade.  Find out more about the research behind Dr. Borenson’s system and how you can implement it with your students at http://www.borenson.com.

Younger mathematicians can benefit from the Math Board program from Insta-Learn.  Students can work their way through different levels of self-paced and self-checked exercises, which teach numbers, sums, money counting, and more. See more details at http://www.insta-learn.com/html/math.html. Insta-Learn also offers similar programs for perception and language skills.

Excellence in Education offers a wide variety of educational materials, including a wide variety of mathematics curriculum offerings. Find respected names like Saxon in levels from early elementary to calculus, as well as many interesting products that relate math to other academic subjects, use humor to teach, and/or give students a hands-on experience.  Also, don’t miss their interesting Game Curriculum, which uses fun board games to help hone student skills. http://www.excellenceineducation.com

Another great hands-on learning method for math and other academic and social lessons is Story Time Felt. This classic learning toy offers children a quiet play/lesson time that can be stimulating without over-stimulating. Perhaps you remember felt board activities from your own educational, Sunday school, and other home-play past. If not, we predict a few minutes’ worth of play will have you hooked on this open-ended, creative learning product. Find counting and other number-oriented sets here– http://www.funfelt.com/math.html — but don’t miss their felt boards on other subjects, their “quiet books”, and other old-fashioned, low-tech, American-made products.

1 Comment »

Starting the School Year Right: Back-to-School Ideas for the Montessori School and Home Classrooms

Most of us—teachers, parents, and students alike—want to start each school year off as pleasantly and productively as possible.  If you are reading this, you are obviously taking extra steps to make the most of the educational opportunities available, which is wonderful both for you and for the children with whom you come into contact.  We hope that some of the following ideas will help get you in the spirit as you start the new school year.

Remembering why we’re here

Since Maria Montessori’s philosophy is child-centered and prioritizes an orderly, inspirational atmosphere, your mindset and focus as a facilitator are crucial. Perhaps you could benefit from a little inspiration “from the source”, in the form of the following Maria Montessori information:

http://www.essortment.com/maria-montessori-biography-20482.html

http://thinkexist.com/quotes/maria_montessori

You can also read more about Maria Montessori and other famous people with Montessori education connections at The Creative Process: http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

Meeting new classmates and working as a group

Dale Gausman, from North American Montessori Center, shares a simple “Getting to Know  Each Other” activity, which  focuses on listening and speaking skills while helping students relate to one another.

Rita, also from North American Montessori Center, provides instructions for making a “Friendship Tree” with personalized, hand-printed paper leaves for each student.  This fun project will also make an attractive classroom decoration.

Find both of these classroom ideas at http://www.amonco.org/creative3/montessori_fall3.pdf

Hands-on gardening projects

Another way to get students working together right from the start, and to celebrate the start of a new class community is to plant a tree. Rae, from The Creative Process, provides lesson ideas and resources for this class project here:  http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall4.pdf

More information and educational ideas are also available from the Arbor Day Foundation:

http://www.arborday.org/arborday

Continuing with botanical/gardening themes, Rae also encourages you to use autumn to plan for your classroom spring garden. This makes good sense for gardeners young and old. Many autumn garden chores can make spring planting easier, fall is when seed catalogs become available to plan your order, and off-season planning can increase interest when spring arrives. Also, looking at the photos and descriptions of beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables is very cheering as the weather starts to turn cool and gloomy.  See Rae’s tips here: http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

Why not kick your garden plans into high gear with new resource material to study over the fall and winter?  Farm Country General Store has a number of interesting gardening books, like All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew, on sale now at http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/product_info.php/products_id/929617

For more fall garden planning/chores, check out these interesting sites:

http://www.the-landscape-design-site.com/blog/2008/10/fall-gardening-checklist-preparing-the-fall-garden-for-spring

http://accomplishedwoman.blogspot.com/2009/09/gardening-fall-plan-for-spring.html

http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/plan-your-spring-garden/index.html

Staying calm and focused

Many children (and adults) find the start of school stressful, with re-adjusting to a more structured environment, spending more time away from family, meeting new classmates, etc.  To help, Georgette Baker of Cantemos bilingual music and books suggests simple “Relaxation Exercises for the Classroom”. These techniques are basic enough to use with very young children, but can also benefit all of us – in or out of the classroom or homeschool environment. Why not take a moment to find out more at: http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

*****

For more miscellaneous ideas, here’s a round-up of back-to-school ideas for both classroom and homeschool environments:

http://homeschoolparent.blogspot.com/2011/07/homeschool-organization-inspiration.html

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/8164433/tips_for_incorporating_a_back_to_school.html?cat=2

5

http://www.flylady.net/pages/FlyBacktoSchool4.asp

http://www.lmma.net/montessori-education/beat-those-back-to-school-blues

http://tips.atozteacherstuff.com/back-to-school-tips

http://backtoschool.about.com/od/forteachers/Preparing_for_the_First_Day_of_Class.htm

For all of your year round lesson planning, visit
http://www.amonco.org and
http://www.amonco.org/directory.html

3 Comments »

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

2 Comments »

September Montessori Drawing – The Celebration Continues

The American Montessori Consulting Resource Directory Celebrates 10th Anniversary – Enter the drawing for a chance to win special prizes See http://www.amonco.org for a
description of the prizes.

Visit http://wwww.amonco.org to enter.
Scroll down until you see the entry form!

It’s time to enter the special AMC September drawing.

September 1st Place Prizes donated by the following companies:

Bountifulspinweave.com
Cantemosco.com
Little-Folks-Music.com
Hands on Equations
The Creative Process
Homeschool.Literatureplace.com
AMC Montessori Bookstore

September 2nd Place Prizes donated by the following
companies:

Conceptual Learning – A Montessori Company
Kimbo Educational
Learning SuccessInstitute
Coyote Creek Productions
AMC Montessori Bookstore

Visit http://www.amonco.org for a complete description of prizes available.

Heidi

Leave a comment »