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Montessori Lessons to Jumpstart 2016!

Happy New Year!!

Below are links to jump start your Montessori lesson planning for the new year.

Many of these lessons are free!

Getting Ready for a “New” Year

Animals in the Winter Unit Study Free Lesson Plans

Valentine Day Links

Montessori Winter-Themed Activities from NAMC Part I

Montessori Winter-Themed Activities from NAMC Part II

Gardening Year Round – Tips from an Expert

Beginning a Spring Garden at Home or School

Spring Tea

Year End Activities

Draw Your World Lesson Plans

Children’s Books for Summer Reading – Part II

Bird-watching with Children

Monthly Observances and Notable Data

Science Activity “I CAN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE!”

Celebrating the Personal Life of George Washington – lesson planning ideas

Valentine Origami Art & Math Activities

A Movie About Maria Montessori Worth Watching

AMC Montessori Winter Hands On Lessons

Hands-On Interdisciplinary Learning

Winter Science Links

Want more?? Click on the links below for additional free lessons and articles that are available only at the amonco.org website :

Italy – Links for a Montessori Unit Study

A Maria Montessori Movie Worth Seeing

Gardening Year Round – Tips from an Expert

AMC Holiday Montessori Grammar Bingo and Extension Exercises

Apples and Oranges – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Study of the Human Respiratory System – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Medical Terminology – Links for Montessori Unit Study

The Human Cardiovascular System – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Cardiology Terminology

The Human Nervous System – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Let’s Go on an Animal Safari – See Part VII

More in store for you in 2016!

Visit www.amonco.org often throughout 2016 to discover new Montessori lesson planning.

Enjoy!
Heidi
http://www.amonco.org

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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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Summer is Coming! – Let’s Celebrate

As we approach the first day of  summer, take time now to focus or refocus on the summer months ahead.  You’ll discover why these links are well worth a second look.

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

AMC Montessori Summer Hands-On Learning Newsletter

https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/experiencing-fine-art-in-person-with-your-children/

Experiencing Fine Art in Person with Your Children

https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/indoor-activities-to-get-you-out-of-the-sun/

Indoor Activities Get You Out of the Sun

https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/family-fun-and-outdoor-science-pursuits-a-%E2%80%9Cnatural%E2%80%9D-combination/

FAMILY FUN AND OUTDOOR SCIENCE PURSUITS: A “NATURAL” COMBINATION

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

MONTESSORI LESSONS -A Gardening Unit Study (With the Focus on the Summer)

https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/innovative-montessori-music-for-the-summer/

Innovative Montessori Music for the Summer

http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2008/07/montessori-summer-activities.html

Montessori Summer Activities: Woodworking

I wish you and your family a very blessed upcoming summer.

Heidi Anne Spietz

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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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Plan Ahead! Part I

 Part 1—Daily Almanac and Observations, plus Miscellaneous Learning Resources

“If you have no idea where you want to go, it makes little difference how fast you travel.”  Italian Proverb

As summer winds down and autumn studies loom, now is the time to start (or finish) researching and planning fresh lessons and routines for the coming school year. 

A good place to start looking for ideas and resources is this list: http://www.amonco.org/directory.html  Also, the internet is full of good ideas and resources for classroom activities and lesson plans.  The following are just a few ideas you might consider out of the almost unlimited possibilities.  Happy planning!

Daily almanac and observations–

Day, date, time, sunrise, sunset, length of the day, phase of the moon, current weather conditions, forecast weather (short and long-term), upcoming celestial events, and important events on this date in history are only some of the types of daily information and observations your students might enjoy researching and recording to start each day. 

Keeping a journal of this sort of information can be interesting and informative. It can provide good practice for spelling and handwriting. It also adds some routine and structure to the school day. If you keep the journal, it can also provide conversation starters and teachable moments when comparing past data with current data (especially weather observations) in successive years.

http://www.timeanddate.com

http://www.seasky.org/astronomy/astronomy-calendar-current.html

http://www.historyorb.com/today

To record your own daily weather observations all you really need are an outdoor thermometer, a window or door to check current sky conditions, and a notebook.   You can also easily find the daily forecast on-line on a local news site or by typing in your city or zip code (for the US) here:  http://www.weather.gov

However, if you want to get into more depth, look for inexpensive “weather stations” (digital or traditional) which include other instruments like barometers (to measure barometric pressure)  and hygrometers (to measure humidity), or which record the high and low daily temperatures. Nature’s Workshop Plus! sells an economical weather station with a thermometer, hygrometer, and barometer http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=2113&idcategory=0  , and the Farm Country General Store has a variety of interesting weather books. http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com

You can also look for (or sometimes construct your own) rain gauges, weather vanes, windsocks and other instruments to help students understand and evaluate atmospheric conditions. Some students love the extra data they can gather from this sort of instrument. The following article by Geoff Jenkins of the Royal Meteorological Society in the UK has many inspiring ideas and tips for home and school weather observation.  http://www.rmets.org/sites/default/files/pdf/simweameasurements.pdf

The famous Old Farmer’s Almanac has a website which provides lots of interesting information, including weather forecasts.  Be sure to check out their articles on predicting the weather, and maybe have students try their hand at a forecast! http://www.almanac.com/weather

For an example of a very detailed daily weather report, check out the Appalachian Mountain Club’s forecasts for local recreational enthusiasts.  Perhaps one of your students would like to report specialized details like ground/trail conditions, or might think of their own weather-related observations to record. http://www.outdoors.org/recreation/tripplanner/go/pinkham-washington-weather.cfm

For daily weather stories and facts, check out The Weather Notebook. http://www.weathernotebook.org The archives of this National Public Radio show produced by New Hampshire’s well-respected and historic Mount Washington Observatory provide nine years’ worth of brief, interesting weather stories. These free, easy-to-access tidbits of history and information would dovetail well into a morning Pick a year and the current month, then look for today’s date for a topical weather story.

Miscellaneous learning resources—

Core academics are always an important part of lesson planning, and they can also be subjects that are hard to keep fresh and interesting for students. Look now for free lessons and curriculum plans like the following.

General curriculum resources. http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers , http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/showthread.php?t=109114 , http://www.galileoeducation.org/Homeschooling.html ,

Daily quick facts and short exercises can be a fun way to help students learn new information and practice skills they are learning.

Free daily math problem for grades 1-8. http://www.mathbuddyonline.com/common/mbqad.html

SuperKids offers a free “word of the day” as vocabulary boosters for students from upper elementary through high school. http://www.superkids.com/aweb/tools/words/wod.shtml 

Sciensational has free daily science and math facts. http://www.sciensational.com

For older children, more advanced students, or kids who really want to test their intellectual limits, try these sites with more-advanced daily challenges. http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday , http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day  , http://www.imo-official.org/problems.aspx

This article explains how you can use the “word a day” strategy to teach or learn foreign languages and provides links for nine languages plus sign language. http://www.childrenlearninglanguages.com/Vocabulary_and_LanguageSkills/Word_of_the_Day.html

Also, look around for open-ended materials that encourage a creative use and/or lot of interaction, like this cool writable globe from Schoolmasters Science. http://www.schoolmasters.com/categories/productDetails.cfm?product_ID=16685&div=sc&category&bc3&details You could start your year’s geography study with this blank globe several different ways, depending on the age and skills of your students.  With very young students with limited geographic knowledge, you could only mark countries, oceans, etc., as you study them.  With older students, you could have them do a “challenge” attempt at naming the countries; and then spend the rest of the year researching the countries and landforms they did not know initially.

If your lesson plans for the year ahead include any sort of science, art, or other “fair” projects, you may find the following article from Catholic Homeschooling Resources inspiring.  It describes their Annual Project Fair, and shares some interesting ideas for project types, as well as fair organization

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