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Spring Forward 2015 with AMC Lesson Planning

I recently revised and uploaded the new 2015 AMC Montessori Lesson Planning Springtime Newsletter. To see the contents of this newsletter please see below.

Visit http://www.amonco.org/montessori_spring_handson.html

Peruse through the entire lessons.

Then, download the new AMC Montessori Hands-On Creative Lesson Planning Newsletter. You can also access this newsletter by visiting http://www.amonco.org and clicking on the new eBook Library.

Below, is just a partial listing of the offerings included in the newly uploaded AMC Montessori Spring Hands-On Newsletter.

Part I – AMC Spring Newsletter

Sandy R. Wilbur answers general as well specific questions which will help you to understand the benefits of bird-watching with children. You’ll learn how to get started, what types of products to buy, and what pitfalls to avoid, to name a few. Sandy is also sensitive to the concerns educators may feel about presenting lessons on this topic

Montessori Dianne Knesek reminds us that numeration is the basis for all math concepts. An important aspect of that understanding is the ability to sequence numbers from least to greatest. Exercises are very easy to make.

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The Language Salons are the brainchild of Director François Thibaut, who’s been a foreign language teacher since the late 1960’s. Thibaut’s best known for founding the renowned Language Workshop for Children and the Cercle Franco Americain French of Adults program in 1973. Read about this program in Part I of this newsletter.

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Part II – AMC Spring Newsletter

Rae continues to show us why we should visit the Creative Process website. Her innovative ideas will greatly add to your spring lesson planning.

Dr. Borenson shares some free Hands-On Equations® Basic Algebraic Concepts.

 

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Montessorian Richard Lord offers free Downloadable “Simple Reading Books” & Free Geography Set of Land and Water Form Cards.

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Learn also how to make a flannel board from Fun Felt.

Part III – AMC Spring Newsletter

John shares his entertaining as well as educational activities entitled “I CAN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE and The Needle Proof Balloon.”

Nan shows us how to make some delicious peanut fudge. See how you can plan extension lesson exercises combining handwriting, cooking and illustrating!!!

Does your middle school student enjoy participating in fun, challenging puzzles? Are you looking for some activities to help your student prepare for the ACT or SAT?

In honor of two major spring holidays, Alan Stillson, the author of Middle School Word Puzzles, invites you to find these words and expressions that are related to Easter or Passover. Alan also offers some fun, challenging food puzzles for middle school students. Check out the new free samples from Alan’s newest book, Brain Warmer Uppers, as well.

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It’s Time to Think Outside the Book and Kindle, Too! Curious? Read this section to find out how you can use the creative ideas of Rita Arpaia from Literatureplace.com in your home and school classrooms right now!

Part IV — AMC Spring Newsletter

Dale Gausman, from North American Montessori Center, offers the timely Introducing a Bird Feeder and Making Grass-Eggshell People. You will also found three additional outstanding Montessori extension exercises – My Family Tree,  Marble Design Paper, and  Montessori Easter Activities: Ukrainian Easter Eggs in Culture and Science Curriculum with free .pdf downloads – all offered by NAMC.

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Part V – AMC Spring Newsletter

Marie and Kim illustrate how drawing helps children develop a mental map. Discover a Montessori extension exercise that is designed for age group 5 to 95. :)

It’s time to get up and “move” with Go Green!, a brand new CD form Kimbo Educational http://kimboed.com/gogreen.aspx#.UtRAIvZVe0e “GO GREEN! Caring About Our Earth contains song about playing outdoors, recycling, planting a garden, stopping pollution, and more inspire children to connect to the Earth and encourage them to be responsible for the Earth. Action fun and singable songs motivate children to be involved and to be aware of the outside world

Look for the Guide/Extension Activities by Dr. Pam Schiller in this section of the newsletter.

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Find the lyrics and directions for the song, “The Alphabet March and Match”, by Pam Schiller, Ph.D., from the new Kimbo Educational CD release, Move and Learn.

The focus of the song is on letters, which aids in literacy knowledge. Move and Learn is a unique resource, providing 17 guided, action-packed educational songs, featuring concepts and skills that are necessary for every child to learn, including numbers, colors, literacy and more.

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Part VI – AMC Spring Newsletter

Dr.Borenson, from Hands-On Equations®, offers more samples of algebraic concepts.

Download free French and Spanish songs with translations from Professor Toto.

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Part VII- AMC Spring Newsletter

Ruth shares a needlepoint lesson which is designed for students 12 years and older.

Marjorie shares a classical music lesson plan for springtime from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi.

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Download the new, free “Anti-gravity water – is it possible? science activity from Exploration Education.

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Don’t forget to read Part VIII – AMC Spring Newsletter

Celebrating the Personal Life of George Washington

Montessorians will appreciate the imaginative George Washington lesson planning ideas that author Sara Ambarian has provided. Traditional colonial recipes are featured and can easily be incorporated into Montessori’s practical life exercises. Sara has done an excellent job of presenting sufficient information about this subject, without bogging down educators with too much data.

Diana, from Nature’s Workshop Plus, knows that we are all looking forward to the beauty of spring, so she showers us with some springtime nature activities that are sure to be enjoyed in any Montessori environment.

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The late Montessorian Kathy O’Reilly uses eggs as the focus of food related exercises. Her multiple subject integrated approach is supplemented with a Booklist for additional extension lessons.

This post contains only a very small sampling of what is offered in this newsletter.All of the lessons contained in the newsletter are free of charge. Visit http://www.amonco.org/montessori_spring_handson.html to download the newsletter in .pdf.

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz
http://www.amonco.org
Celebrating 27 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century

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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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Decorating the Holiday Table with Your Child

Tis the season to apply Maria Montessori’s Practical life Exercises to decorating the holiday table.  For starters, children can learn how to properly fold and place the napkins on the table.  See  http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2009/11/montessori-practical-life-activity.html#.UnPdiiRpet8  NAMC Montessori Teacher’s Blog.

table+set                                                From NAMC Montessori Teacher’s Blog

Find an NAMC lesson presentation for holiday flower arranging by visiting http://www.amonco.org/winter1/montessori_winter1.pdf

Nan Barchowsky, a recognized handwriting expert, offers some valuable tips on how to improve your child’s handwriting.  See http://www.bfhhandwriting.com/blog/    Nan’s program is used by countless schools and homeschoolers.  See http://www.bfhhandwriting.com  for details.  Even in this “electronic age”, handwriting is an essential communication skill.  To improve comfort and coordination, Nan Barchowsky of Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting suggests “A Bit of Yarn for a Good Pen Hold”. http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf

Find instructions for making some beautiful hoilday place cards by visiting http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/11/holiday-table-place-cards-made-with-paper-bags.html

Here are some other sites to explore.

http://momitforward.com/kid-friendly-craft-thanksgiving-turkey-place-card-holders

Decorative Thanksgiving Turkey Place Card Holders

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2fnohSFZcY

Homemade Christmas Place Cards – YouTube

http://www.imagitek.com/xmas/crafts/

Christmas Place Mats

http://www.imagitek.com/xmas/crafts/basket.html

Candy Basket

http://ministry-to-children.com/christmas-crafts/

Free Christmas Craft Ideas for Kids

http://www.hgtv.com/entertaining/20-gorgeous-holiday-table-settings/pictures/index.html

20 Gorgeous Holiday Table Settings

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-christmas-tree.html

Origami Christmas Tree

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-modular-holiday-wreath.html

Origami Holiday Wreath

http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/christmas-homeschooling-activities-books-crafts-and-printables-list/

Christmas Homeschooling Activities, Books, Crafts and Printables List

http://www.bountifulspinweave.com/kids-page.php#.UoGcRI6R-lI

Pot Holders

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

Pine Cone Christmas Tree

Have fun exploring these activities with the children and teens in your life!

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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2014 Winter and Holiday Lesson Planning for the Classroom

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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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Spring into Reading, Writing and Other Expressions

Good language skills are important for children, both for learning and for self-expression.  Children are especially receptive to language-related learning during what’s called the “sensitive period of language” between birth and about six years old.  (For more on this subject, please see: http://www.amonco.org/spring6/montessori_spring6.pdf )

Take advantage of this absorbent period of your students’ lives with lots of time in conversation and reading aloud.

Poetry has interesting rhythms and repetitions to engage and enchant young listeners.  Look for poetry books in your local library, or get started with some spring-themed poetry here: http://www.poemhunter.com/poems/spring/

For more read-aloud fun, look through these suggestions of spring-themed books.

http://www.readingrockets.org/articles/books/c346/

http://theoaklandjournal.com/childrens-book-reviews/spring-chrildrens-book-reviews/

http://suite101.com/article/5-spring-themed-books-for-children-a95709

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/526716-may-2011-spring-time-theme-master-list-and-general-discussion

Combine reading and writing practice in a non-traditional way with Nan Barchowsky’s “Make Your Own Illustrated Favorite Foods and Recipes Notebook”. http://www.amonco.org/spring3/montessori_spring_3.pdf

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For another educational “twist”, consider these biography projects that aren’t traditional informational narratives, in “It’s Time to Think Outside the Book and Kindle, Too! from Literatureplace.com.  http://www.amonco.org/spring3/montessori_spring_3.pdf

Additional new resources to look at include:

https://www.literatureplace.com/Start_with_the_Winners/awards_institution.asp  Link to Institution Awards

https://www.literatureplace.com/Start_with_the_Winners/awards_yrc.asp   LInk to Young Readers’ Choice Awards

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On a related subject, check out these non-traditional book report ideas which give students options in how they share their impressions of the books they read.  http://ksumail.kennesaw.edu/~jcope/Eng3391/ABRIdeas.pdf

http://teachnet.com/lessonplans/language-arts/more-ideas-than-ever-book-reports/

Have some fun making books with the children in your life.  For details, see http://www.amonco.org/fall_sup1.html

Anytime is a good time to reinforce children’s interest and proficiency in language skills, so why not try something new today?!

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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!

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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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Grammar, Writing and Word Play

 The language arts provide the foundation of a student’s ability to express themselves effectively, both through speech and in writing.  As parents and teachers, we are wise to continually look for new and engaging ways to help keep the children in our lives sharp in language-related abilities.

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Even in this “electronic age”, handwriting is an essential communication skill.  To improve comfort and coordination, Nan Barchowsky of Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting suggests “A Bit of Yarn for a Good Pen Hold”. http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf

Richard, from the Lord Company, has shared some free writing downloads. Students trace words and numbers and also fill in corresponding figures in the appropriate colors. http://www.amonco.org/summer7/montessori_summer7.pdf

Nan Barchowsky has also shared “A Page for the Letter O”. http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf

AMC’s “Montessori 2012 Summer Olympics Grammar Bingo” game is a fun way to combine an exciting international event with some solid academic practice. This versatile free game download can also be customized to other themes and even learning a second language. Follow the links here: http://www.amonco.org/summer3/montessori_summer3.pdf

Let your 8-14 year old students test their knowledge of sports and skill at word play with some Stillson Works Middle School Word Puzzles examples. http://www.amonco.org/summer7/montessori_summer7.pdf

Unscramble some summer food words with more Stillson Works Word Puzzles which can be found here: http://www.amonco.org/summer3/montessori_summer3.pdf

For more free grammar and writing resources –worksheets, games, quizzes and more—for students young and old, check out these sites:

http://prek-8.com/english

http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hme

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/guides/Education/Elementary-School-English.pg_00.html

http://www.internet4classrooms.com/lang.htm

http://www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources

http://www.dailygrammar.com/index.html

http://lessons.englishgrammar101.com/EnglishGrammar101/Foreword.aspx

http://www.ihbristol.com/learn-online/exercise-general.php

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Let’s Celebrate Summer

Please visit https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/lets-celebrate-summer-part-i/ to access the updated 2013 version! 🙂

Heidi Anne Spietz
www.amonco.org
American Montessori Consulting
Celebrating 25 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century

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ACCENT ON ACADEMICS—Reading, Writing, Math, And Science

As teachers and parents, we know you are always looking for new ideas for teaching basic academic subjects.  Here is a round-up of useful resources.

READING–

Richard from The Lord Company is still offering Simple Reading Books. http://www.amonco.org/winter3/montessori_winter3.pdf

Find lesson plans to use with the Three Little Kittens story from Elaine at Kimbo. http://www.amonco.org/winter6/montessori_winter6.pdf

Enjoy Free Middle School Word Puzzles from Alan Stillson’s Stillson Works. http://www.amonco.org/winter5/montessori_winter5.pdf

For a fine variety of classic American and world literature books for all ages, check out the selections at Farm Country General Store (many titles are currently on sale) http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/index.php/cPath/17_48  and Wholesome Books.  http://www.wholesome-books.com/store/literature.html

Literatureplace.com offers an historical fiction reading guide. http://www.amonco.org/winter7/montessori_winter7.pdf

For a neat assortment of art examples which features people reading, see The Creative Process.  http://www.netposterworks.com/literature/reading_in_art.html

WRITING–

Nan Barchowsky offers Big Numbers, a handwriting exercise using the elements of the Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting system. http://www.amonco.org/winter2/montessori_winter2.pdf

MATH–

Look over this Math Sequencing Activity from Dianne at Conceptual Learning. http://www.amonco.org/winter4/montessori_winter4.pdf

Dr. Borenson of Hands-On Equations offers free algebra problems here: http://www.amonco.org/winter4/montessori_winter4.pdf

MISCELLANEOUS SCIENCES–

Zoological study goes seasonal with the Animals in Winter Unit Study. http://www.amonco.org/winter4/montessori_winter4.pdf

For more on this subject, Dale Gausman from NAMC provides an activity plan for Acting Out How Animals Survive the Winter. http://www.amonco.org/winter3/montessori_winter3.pdf

Sample southern hemisphere Christmas flora in the Christmas in Australia Unit Study. http://www.amonco.org/winter2/montessori_winter2.pdf

Richard from The Lord Company offers Water and Land Forms Cards and Labels, with interesting ideas about how to use them differently for younger and older students. http://www.amonco.org/winter3/montessori_winter3.pdf

Enjoy Dale Gausman of NAMC’s Smelling Bottles Experiment for the littlest kids. http://www.amonco.org/winter3/montessori_winter3.pdf

For another interesting olfactory experience, try Mariaemma from Coaching for Learning-Success’ Scented Basket Project. http://www.amonco.org/winter4/montessori_winter4.pdf

Find out more interesting facts behind the science of our sense of smell here: http://www.stumblerz.com/science-of-smell/

Share this fun explanation of scratch-and-sniff technology with your sticker-crazy students. http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/science-questions/question274.htm

Another interesting and easy sense of smell experiments for 5th-8th graders can be found here: http://www.education.com/science-fair/article/kiss-and-smell/

Rae from The Creative Process gives ideas for teaching children about alternative energy sources like solar and wind. (Next to last set of articles.) http://www.amonco.org/winter1/montessori_winter1.pdf

Experience physics in action with this simple experiment from John Grunder at Exploration Education. Find free Air Lift Experiment instructions here: http://www.amonco.org/winter2/montessori_winter2.pdf

For older students, delve more into physics with his Soap That Grows experiment. http://www.amonco.org/winter6/montessori_winter6.pdf

 

 

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