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

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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

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Plan Ahead! Part II

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” Napoleon Hill

Here are some more resources and ideas for extended lesson plans in other subjects.

Arts, crafts and music—

If a subject is new to you or beyond your personal experiences or education, why not invest in a specialized curriculum.

Coyote Creek offers several sets of art lessons.  Their “Art Lessons for Children” contains six volumes; so if you bought the whole series, you could plan to explore approximately one volume per month for a traditional school year, or one every two months for a full-year’s art instruction. http://www.coycreek.com/artlessonsforchildrensixvolumeseriesondvd-2.aspx

Harrisville Design’s WoolWorks Curriculum for grades 3-8 offers 12 lessons which help you use fiber arts study to reinforce math, social studies, science and other academic subjects.  http://www.harrisville.com/woolworks.htm

Beautify your whole year with handwriting practice and/or calligraphy lessons.

Try the Barkowsky Fluent Handwriting system to help students learn neat and attractive handwriting. Also, as a fun combination of practice and creativity, have students try some calligrams—artful shapes made of handwritten words.  http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

To get even more creative and ornamental, why not introduce on-going calligraphy lessons? Calligraphy teaches coordination, neatness and attention to detail, plus it can be a very useful life skill.  It’s also an “art”/aesthetic outlet that may appeal to students who don’t consider themselves “traditionally creative”, because it is based on set rules and patterns, but allows for individual interpretation and technique. You can find an assortment of calligraphy instruction materials at the Farm Country General Store link below, or at your local library. http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=calligraphy&x=6&y=8

For more fun art lessons which combine the coordination skills for drawing and writing, be sure to visit Draw Your World. http://www.drawyourworld.com  Also check out their “Draw Write Now” book series for grades 1-8 and other art and handwriting materials in their on-line store.

Dale from North American Montessori Center’s “Friendship Quilt” project http://www.amonco.org/creative5/montessori_fall5.pdf  is a fairly short craft/sewing project. However, after students complete this quilt, perhaps they would be interested in collaborating on additional quilts.  There are many charity organizations that look for donations of blankets or quilts. You will find some here. http://familycrafts.about.com/od/craftingforcharity/Crafting_for_Charity.htm  A quilt could also be an attractive raffle or fundraiser prize.  Once students feel a sense of confidence from the first quilt, having them help make an additional quilt or two (perhaps with varying decoration techniques to introduce new skills) will help them develop more of a feeling of mastery. Repetition builds familiarity. If you make a quilt for charity, you might also get students interested in other charity craft projects, as well.

If musical studies are part of your year-long lesson plans, you can find musical instruments, sheet music, CDs, and more at TheMusicHouse.com. http://www.themusichouse.com , and a wide variety of music-oriented curricula and activities at Sing ‘n’ Learn. http://www.singnlearn.com

Gardening, science, and outdoor adventuring—

Rae from The Creative Process offers autumn planning tips in her Gardens for Schools. http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf   She also has lesson plans and curriculum resources for a classroom “Plant a Tree” project. http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall4.pdf

Exploration Education offers year-long science curricula appropriate for both traditional and homeschool environments for students from kindergarten through 10th grade. http://www.explorationeducation.com

The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, offers two free curricula—one for K-3, another for 4-8  http://www.elephants.com/curriculum.php

The Minnesota DNR has a great round-up guide to curricula and projects for a wide variety of science and outdoor subjects. Some are state-oriented, some are national. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/education/activity_guides.html

Nature journaling is a great year-long project which can be enjoyed by students of all ages. Because they are open-ended and potentially unstructured, each student can record new concepts, observations, and inspirations in their own way and at their own level. One student might write descriptions of what they see. Another student might sketch plants or landscapes. A third might (if observing nature in a place where it is permitted) gather leaves, feathers or other natural materials to identify and/or remind them later of things that they saw. If students have access to cameras, some might want to shoot and add printed photographs. Just make sure that the students have regular outdoor time, direct and encourage observation and identification, and see what your students decide to record. The following article has some good information and ideas to get you started.  http://covenantfamilytutorial.blogspot.com/2010/09/nature-journaling.html

Maybe this is the year to invest in a microscope http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=30 , grow an insectivorous plant http://www.workshopplus.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=2105&idcategory=36 , or set up a bat house http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=829&idcategory=0 . Nature’s Workshop Plus! has all those items and many more. Be sure to check their clearance items for some excellent deals on science and art products. http://www.workshopplus.com  You can also find high-quality science equipment at Lab Essentials. http://www.labessentials.com

Professional development—

You can also get a good start on your year’s strategies and goals with some professional perspective and enrichment.

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis and Victoria Kindle Hodson of LearningSuccess Institute have lots of good information and ideas for teaching children of all ages, personalities, and abilities. You can get a good idea about the kind of information they have to offer by listening to some interesting past interviews Mariaemma has posted on their site. http://learningsuccessinstitute.com/radioshows.html

North American Montessori Center also offers professional development courses.  See http://www.montessoritraining.net

Bookmark this post, and Plan Ahead! Part I so that you can refer to this resource information throughout the school year. 🙂

Stay tuned for more lesson planning ideas and resources that will be published in the weeks to come.

 

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December Holidays From Around the World

Georgette Baker is a professional performer of 20 years, a certified teacher who is also fluent in five languages, Spanish included. She lived in the South America 20 years and grew up singing the songs she has compiled in this book / tape. She plays the guitar, piano, accordion and a Venezuelan instrument called the ”cuatro” ! See http://www.cantemosco.com

She recently recently shared the following with AMC:

I will be performing at the following venues in the month of December. The events are all free and Plan today to bring your children to December Holidays From Around the World See locations below:

Chino Youth Museum Dec 2 from 3:30 -4:15
13191 Sixth St.
Chino, Ca 91710

Whittier Public Library  December 12, 7pm-7:45
7334 S. Washington Ave.
Whittier, CA 90602

Graham Library  Dec. 13, 3:30-4:15
1900 E. FIRESTONE BLVD
LOS ANGELES, CA 90001

Los Angeles Public Library  Dec. 17,   2pm
630 W. 5TH ST
LOS ANGELES, CA 90071

Georgette
Spanish songs and children’s music was created to document traditional songs and finger plays from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries. My name is Georgette and after living in South America for 23 years, most of the kid’s songs I could remember were in Spanish but I was sketchy on the lyrics and the music. Here I have compiled stories, preschool songs, traditional songs and games on Cd’s, all are English Spanish and many come with accompanying books! Share with your children your fun, favorite songs of yesteryear. Let’s sing! Cantemos!

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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

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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

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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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Classical Music Lessons for Children and Teens

Montessori Consistent Classical Music Lessons for Children and Teens
by Classical Magic

Available from Sing’nLearn

Winter – The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi
Written by Marjorie Persons

May Be Adapted for Presentations to Students 4 through 13 Years of Age


Winter celebrations are not complete without music. The Four Seasons, by composer Antonio Vivaldi, inspired Marjorie to write many interdisciplinary seasonal lesson plans for children ranging from PreK through Grade 8. The Four Seasons – Winter lesson plan incorporates science, social science and other activities to make an interdisciplinary unit study that is consistent with the Montessori method.


Marjorie compares and contrasts the Baroque Period with the Pilgrim’s landing at Plymouth Rock. Marjorie stated, “So children can develop a historical framework for the information they gather, I teach them one important date in American history for each century as a reference point.”


The lesson features biographical information about Antonio Vivaldi and provides a framework for helping students clearly see the relationship between understanding important music concepts through word study and listening exercises.

The free lesson plan, lyrics, suggested supplemental activities and links to additional resources are available for viewing by visiting
http://www.amonco.org/winter7/montessori_winter7.pdf


Spring – The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi

Lesson by Marjorie Persons

May Be Adapted for Presentations to Students 4 through 13 Years of Age

In this lesson, Marjorie helps usher in spring, with springtime curriculum integration ideas that spotlight Vivaldi’s masterpiece.

“Children learn music better with words and words better with music.” Marjorie noted. (No pun intended.) To help reinforce this concept, Marjorie provides exercises which help children discover various left to right and up and down movements used in music and in the rhythm of language.

To download this lesson and resource links, please visit Sing’nLearn and
http://www.amonco.org/spring7/montessori_spring7.pdf

Water Music – Alla Hornpipe by George Frideric Handel.

Lesson Plan by Marjorie Kiel Persons

Classical Magic®

Adaptable for Ages 8 – 14

Once again, history buffs will appreciate how well Marjorie connects her musical lesson presentations with historical events and figures. Marjorie sets the stage by providing the story behind the Alla Hornpipe from the Water Music. “King George I loved Handel’s music and asked him to compose special music for a royal water pageant down the Thames River in London. The king’s party enjoyed the festivities on the royal barge while Handel and his orchestra played the Water Music from a barge that floated nearby,” remarked Marjorie.

Marjorie, again, uses an interdisciplinary approach to help children and teens understand music concepts and theory.

Oh, How I Love Italy – Music, Art, and Food Seasoned with History and Geography
By Marjorie Kiel Persons

Classical Magic, Inc.

Marjorie invites students to vicariously spend the summer learning about Italy with books, art projects, Internet resources and by experiencing some delicioso Italian cuisine.. This innovative lesson plan can also be easily incorporated into a free unit study about Italy. Please see http://www.amonco.org/montessori_italy.htm for details.

To access Marjorie’s free lesson plan and links to other resources, please visit http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf

Autumn by Vivaldi – from The Four Seasons
By Marjorie Kiel Persons

Classical Magic®

Have you ever thought about introducing lessons involving apples, pumpkins, leaf rubbings with the study of Antonio Vivaldi and his composition, The Four Seasons? Marjorie will lead you step by step, on how to do so, plus she will even provide an autumn party theme that can be adapted for PreK – Grade 8. These creative ideas coupled with the indepth lesson plan are sure to make the musical experience come alive for students. Please see
http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

Besides the free lesson planning information, you will want to spend some time on the Sing ‘n Learn website. In particular, visit Sing ‘n Learn/Classical Magic. and click on Themes to Remember. While, at the website, you will want to explore other sections as well.

For additional music and art lesson plans which compare and contrast the Renaissance and Baroque Periods, please visit AMC Montessori Part I and AMC Montessori Part II

Enjoy!

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

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