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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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Let the Games Begin!

This coming spring, light up your hands-on lesson plans with games.  See how easily games can be used with many of your existing Montessori presentations.    Take a moment now to look at some resources you may not have even considered.  You’ll notice that I have included a short quoted snyopsis in each of the recommended resources below.  Hopefully, this will save you time, as you search for the perfect games to add to your existing curricuum. 

Spring is the the perfect time to prevent lessons about nature and the environment.  Montessori Muddle has some innovative ideas of how to introduce games and other actiivities into the ecology and food-web presesntations. http://montessorimuddle.org/tag/environmental-science/  

Make the study of food chains come alive with Ampersand Press Nature’s Food Chain Game.  “Step into the forest and discover the fascinating world of natural food chains.  Cards represent animals and plants that are found in the forest.  Each card lists what the animal eats and what it is eaten by.  The game works just like the natural food relationships in the forest with players “eating” and being “eaten” just as they would be in the wild.  Rules include several versions to play.” 

Perhaps you are in the process of presenting lessons on biomes, as a logical extension of the Montessori Land and Water Form http://www.lordequip.com/land water.php exercises.   If so, consider the ones offered by Ampersand Press.  Children are offered 7 ways to play the Onto the Desert Game.   “Take a wild trek onto the desert.  Beautifully illustrated cards represent plants and animals that are found in the desert.  Element cards represent the powerful forces of nature.  Reveal the awesome balance of nature as you follow the chain of life in the desert.”  See http://www.ampersandpress.com/page2.html  for additional information. 

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For additional wildlife and nature extension exercises, visit Birdcage Press http://www.birdcagepress.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=3

 There you will find a collection of “wild card” games and book sets that are known to increase, memory, concentration, reading, visual processing and strategic thinking.  Topics include the following: North American Birds, Backyard Birds, Baby Animals Around the World, 52 Amazing Places National Parks, Dinosaurs, For the Love of Dogs, For the Love of Cats, North American Mammals, Bugs!,  and Who’s Hiding?

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Childsake also offers many excellent educational resources for those preparing presentations about the environment.  One book that is ure to catch your eye is the  Eco-Fun: Great Projects, and Games for a Greener Earth.

 In the forward to his book, scientist David Suzuki writes, “This book contains activities that will help you see and experience the world in a different way, bring you into contact with nature, and remind you that you are a child of the Earth.” Through a variety of fun-filled and intriguing eco-related activities, he encourages readers to get to know their world by working with air, water, soil, energy, plants and animals. The projects, experiments and games help understand the various elements, their role and interconnection as well as show how they are being damaged by recent human activity. This collection includes projects to create miniature forest ecosystems, make recycled paper and a veggie chili, measure air pollution and create a solar water heater, build wormeries and worm composters and make “green” household cleaners.  See http://www.childsake.com for additional information. To order, visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1550548239/childsake

Let’s not forget the younger set.  Fun Felt offers a nice selection of felt activity books that can be used in conjunction with games for preschoolers.  Fun Felt’s Toggle Books are 8.5″ x 11″ felt covered hard adventure books with interactive felt figures that teach early learning skills, similar to file folder games preschools use. “They are named Toggles because the book has a wide seam and folds in either direction!  Each set comes with felt covered book, felt figures, lessons, worksheets, activities, and reproducible art.   Perfect for the car, quiet time, and centers at school!”  Currently, Fun Felt is offering the following environmental themed books: Bees and Hives, Dino Days, Ducks on the Pond, and In the Jungle Toggle Books. To view the complete selection, visit  http://www.funfelt.com/toggles.html

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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 conatins 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. The resource guide, by Dr. Pam Schiller, includes creative activities and 2 literature links per song, that reinforce the important purpose of this kid-friendly, Earth-friendly, CD. The Wind; I’m Going To Plant a Garden; Cultivate, Germinate, Irrigate, Relocate; It’s Everyone’s World; My Kite; My Chance To Dance; My Brother, The Whale and more.”

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Look for the Guide/Extension Activities by Dr. Pam Schiller in the soon to be released AMC Montessori Spring Newsletter. 

 As you can see, movement and Montessori go hand in hand. 

Let’s look at two rather unique resources you can use in your school or home classroom. 

The Learning-Success™Institute continues to offer products and services that bring out the star in every child!  Kids who are tactile-kinesthetic,whole body learners, and/or like basketball will love the Basketall & Whole Body Memorizing activity.  Check out this free game and activity by pointing your browser to http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori summer2.pdf

Combine movement and music with the Music for Little Folks resources.  Gari Stein offers many different types of resources plus  a complete curriculum package for those preschoolers. Click on http://www.little-folks-music.com/CDs.htm  to learn more about this fun movement activities and songs, as well as additional products and resources.

Did you know that you could easily integrate a “game” into your Montessori reading music presentations?   Read the post http://www.whatdidwedoallday.blogspot.com/2013/03/montessori-music-reading-music.html  on What DID We Do All Day?  to access the lesson plus discover additional fun Montessori music based activiities found at this blog.

Why not create some Montessori math games using the following resources?

The LORD Equipment Company offers a free curriculum guide for the Money and Math Bank Game.

“From an early age, children are fascinated with money a they see the interchange at the grocery, at the bank, and changing hand a part of day to day transaction.. They observe with fascinaIon the feeding of money to countless machine that produce treasure of candy, drinks, gum, and game that challenge youthful energy at mega pizza parlors. This high interest factor suggest a natural learning opportunity, capitalizing on children’s enthusiasm. Money become a natural tool for their practice and exploration of basic math and economic concepts.

The Curriculum Guide for the Money and Math Bank (M&M Bank) s designed to be used in classrooms, club groups, faith based programs, or a a family project.  The M&M Bank is an instructional tool for teaching children basic concept about money and the economic fundamental of spending, saving, invesIng, and giving.” 

For complete information about the Money and Math Game please visit http://www.lordequp.com    To download the curriculum introduction and lessons, please visit http://www.lordequip.com/images/MMbank.pdf   You can view students working with the Money and Math Bank game by visiting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2JQ0ai9x8I

If you are looking for a new math app, check out the newest one from Hands-On Equations http://borenson.com   Download the free lite version called The Fun Way to Learn Algebra for the Kindle http://www.amazon.com/The-Fun-Way-Learn-Algebra/dp/B00H3DSEKU/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1390673188&sr=8-2-fkmr0&   “Post a comment and rating on the Amazon Appstore, copy your comment to info@borenson.com and we (Hands-On Equations) will gift the Hands-On Equations app of your choice.”

 Visit the Homemade Montessori http://homemademontessori.blogspot.com/2008/12/math-games.html blog for some additional ideas to use with your existing Montessori math curriculum. 

The Winter 2014 Olympics,  https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/2014-winter-olympics-lesson-planning/ allow children to watch thousands of athletes engaged in competition in a friendly, uplifting environment.

To help reinforce this cooperativeness of the Olympics use the Cooperative Games Lesson Ideas from The Creative Process.  “Cooperative games provide a shared experience of problem solving and achievement, and thus encourage repeat experiences throughout life.”

By using the The Everybody Stand Up (or Sit-Down) Together  and Arm Wrestling for Raisins, http://www.netposterworks.com/resources/curideas/cooperative-games.html   children learn the art of cooperation.  Interesting enough, theses games were played at the World Celebration Camp, an off-shoot of the World Peace Celebration http://www.creativeprocess.net/peace/

Whether you are tutoring in a one-to-one learning environment or  presenting lessons in a classroom setting, chances are using one or more of these recommended games will add a new dimension to your lessons.  In so doing, you will be helping to make your student(s) learning experiences more meaningful. 

Enjoy!
Heidi Anne Spietz
www.amonco.org

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The Natural Benefits of an Active Life

Anyone who has watched healthy children acting naturally has probably noticed how active they are.  They wiggle, fidget, roll around, jump up and down, charge, tumble, wave their arms, and generally just move with the verve and enthusiasm of youth.

Montessori classrooms allow students more physical freedom than traditional classrooms; but with the sedentary trend in leisure activities, it is especially positive for teachers and parents to encourage both children’s spontaneous physicality (at appropriate times) and more-organized physical activities

Below you will find both ideas for specific activities and information about the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle.

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Games and Physical Education

Younger kids often enjoy specific games, and these can be lots of fun for the whole family (or neighbors and/or friends) to play together. Perhaps you remember some from your childhood, and you can share those.  If you don’t (or if you cannot remember all the rules), check out this fun site, Games Kids Play.  http://www.gameskidsplay.net/

For some general P.E. ideas for home or homeschool, these articles have some great suggestions.

Simple Homeschool’s “Physical Education for Homeschooled Teens” has ideas for the whole family.

http://simplehomeschool.net/physical-education/

Brain Pop, Jr.’s Exercise page

http://www.brainpopjr.com/health/bewell/exercise/grownups.weml

These are some specific physical education exercises. http://teachers.net/lessonplans/subjects/physical_education

NAMC gives instructions for a full day of fun and games, during a Harvest Festival. http://montessoritraining.blogspot.ca/2008/10/montessori-harvest-festival.html#.Ufe2Dm3wb1A

Health and Nutrition

Here you will find some health, exercise and nutrition lesson plans.

Kids.gov’s “Exercise, Fitness, and Nutrition” lesson plans http://kids.usa.gov/grown-ups/lesson-plans/exercise-fitness-and-nutrition/index.shtml

 Gari Stein offers many different CDs, classes and more.  Visit  http://www.little-folks-music.com/background.htm  and look to the left of the page to see the complete list of music, dance and other fun activities and services available from the Little Folks Music website. 

 

The American Heart Association’s “Elementary Lesson Plans”

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Educator/FortheClassroom/ElementaryLessonPlans/Elementary-Lesson-Plans_UCM_001258_Article.jsp

NAMC’s “Nutrition is Part of the Prepared Classroom”. http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2013/06/nutrition-part-of-montessori-prepared-environment.html#.UfeysW3wb1A

Kimbo Educational has a whole series of  “Sing-A-Song & Dance Along” products to get little kids moving and learning at the same time.

http://kimboed.com/aerobics.aspx

Kimbo also offers the brand NEW Preschool Gym CD.  See http://kimboed.com/search.aspx?find=Preschool+Gym+CD

Older students may be familiar with the terms “aerobic” and “cardio” used in reference to exercise, but do they really know what they mean?  Check out these pages about aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic exercise for definitions, examples, and explanations of the health benefits of each type.

Georgia State University’s “Exercise and Physical Fitness Page”

http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwfit/aerobice.html

SparkPeople’s “Reference Guide to Aneaerobic Exercise”

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1035

To explore this subject in more depth, check out the Human Cardiovascular System Unit Study. http://www.amonco.org/montessori_heart_unitstudy.html

Hiking

Autumn can be a very appealing season for outdoor activities.  Most areas in the northern hemisphere have a mix of cooler and warmer days, with lots of brisk breezes to keep you invigorated.  In the fall – or during any temperate weather–  hiking is great exercise for all ages, an inexpensive activity, and a wonderful opportunity to chat, observe nature, and learn together as a family or group.  If they are introduced to hiking in a gentle and enjoyable manner at a young age, many children grow enjoy this healthy pastime more and more as they grow.

The Washington Trails Association shares some helpful hints for hiking with children in these two articles. http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/children/resources-for-families/how-to/tips-for-hiking-with-kids  and http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/children/how-to/keep-kids-adults-entertained-on-trail

It’s also important, especially with young children who are new to hiking, to remember Maria Montessori’s words. “But the child does not want to get anywhere; he just wants to walk, and to help him truly the adult must follow the child, and not expect him to keep up.” The activity, the movement, the sights and sounds are likely to be the main draw for young children. Goals, destinations and pace can come as an added interest later, if the child learns to enjoy very informal and spontaneous outings first.

Besides just the joy, new horizons and adventure provided by hiking, scientists are beginning to study the actual physical health benefits of this activity. Some of their findings are really fascinating! http://www.psmag.com/health/for-good-health-take-a-hike-3862

Gardening

Whether you choose to grow ornamentals, vegetables or fruit, gardening provides not only interesting agricultural and botanical lessons, but also provides a gentle, enjoyable and healthy source of exercise and fresh air.

This article lists some of the major health benefits of gardening. http://www.bordbia.ie/aboutgardening/itsgardentime/pages/healthbenefits.aspx

Rae from The Creative Process provides some interesting ideas about gardens for schools. http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

This lengthy PDF expands on the subject of planning and sustaining a school garden. http://www.ecoliteracy.org/sites/default/files/uploads/getting-started-2009.pdf

The broader benefits of exercise

Most of us feel good when we participate in healthy activities we enjoy, but scientists and health experts can give us reasons why, as well as listing benefits which extend far beyond the playground, trail or garden. 

“How Physical Activity Benefits A Child’s Mental Development”

http://www.howtolearn.com/2013/05/how-physical-activity-benefits-a-childs-mental-development

Dr. Mercola explains how exercise benefits children’s brain function.

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/01/20/physically-active-children-perform-better-academically.aspx

 

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So, maybe we should all take a page from the natural inclinations of childhood, and both encourage and participate in some sort of joyful, healthy movement every day, staring this autumn!

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