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Summertime Music and Movement Activities

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Activity Submitted by Elaine

Numeral Dance

Tune: Do Your Ears Hang Low?

Directions: Give each child a magnetic numeral or numeral card to hold in their hand. Ask children to name the numeral they are holding. Demonstrate each of the movements called for in the song (wiggle, tap, twist, and so on). Invite children to listen carefully for their numeral and then move as directed by the lyrics.

The numeral dance is fun.
It starts with numeral one.
There’s a move for you,
and that’s all you have to do.
So gather near;
your numeral you will hear.
Then you can dance with me.

Can you wiggle numeral one?
It’s time to have some fun.
Can you tap numeral two?
You know what to do.
You can dance with me.

Can you twist numeral three?
As twisty as can be.

Can you float numeral four?
Can you soar across the floor?
Can you spin numeral five?
Let’s all do a little jive.
Can you slide numeral six?
Show us all your little tricks.
Come and dance with me.

Can you snap numeral seven?
Let’s keep the party revvin’.
Can you shake numeral eight?
You’re lookin’ really great.
Can you shimmy numeral nine?
You’re lookin’ mighty fine.

The numeral dance is fun,
but now it time to run.
So let’s move once more;
spin and slide across the floor.
Let’s all shimmy. Let’s all soar.
Let’s all wiggle. Let’s all shake.
Let’s all snap. Let’s all tap
Now let’s take a break! Whew!

Make a set of numeral cards using numerals cut from sandpaper. Encourage the children to trace the numerals with their fingers.
Challenge pairs of children to shape their bodies to create an assigned numeral.

Literature: One, Two, Three to the Zoo, By Eric Carle
Activities for Celebrating “America Through Song” by Elaine Murphy

These activities are excerpts from the guide written by Dr. Kathryn A. Short, for Kimbo’snew CD release: “Songs About America,” Celebrating America Through Song.

Blow Ye Winds – a sea chantey about whaling ships and clipper ships from the late 1700’s into the 1800’s.

Show children pictures of whaling and clipper ships.

Gather children around the perimeter of a parachute, instructing them to hold onto the edge. Have children walk around in a circle while singing the lyrics (if you do not have the recording, this can still be good, imaginative play set to any music.) On the chorus (or on cue), stop and face the center while gently shaking the parachute up and down to symbolize the blowing wind on the water.

Paddle Wheeler – Students recognize that there are various kinds of transportation used in different time periods. In this case, the song is about a paddle wheeler that was used to ply the Mississippi back in the early 1900’s.

Show a picture of a paddle wheeler, perhaps the most famous of all, The Delta Queen!

Using a map, locate the cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and follow the path of the Mississippi.
Erie Canal – Boats traveled the Erie Canal in New York State, beginning in 1825. This marvel of engineering and human labor opened up the American frontier and made westward expansion inevitable. The song was written in 1913 as a protest to the coming of the mechanized barge, which would replace the mule.

This familiar, old favorite song, can be acted out. Have children divide into two groups to simulate the canal, and face each other. Another group become the barges, and travel through. On the chorus, “Low bridge, everybody down,” the canal partners join hands to form a bridge, so the “barges” have to duck down to travel through.

Wabash Cannonball – The first Wabash Cannonball was a mythological train, dreamed up by a hobo in the 1880’s. The song about this imaginary train became so popular that the Wabash system in the Midwest named its express run the Wabash Cannonball. It ran between Detroit and St. Louis.

Everyone can sing the song while the children line up to simulate a train. The first child can wear an engineer’s cap, and the teacher can blow a train whistle for sound effects. Pretend to go to some of the places mentioned in the song, e.g., Atlantic and Pacific oceans, New York, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Chicago, woodlands and more.

About Kimbo

For information on purchasing this very special recording, “Songs About America,” Celebrating America Through Song, please call Kimbo Educational, 800-631-2187.

Several of the songs on this recording have a transportation theme, providing a unique way of reflecting America’s history. Children will also learn about geography from the lyrics and the activities.

Visit to discover the other fine products available through Kimbo Educational.

For more lesson planning ideas

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Sizzling Summertime 2015 Lesson Plans


Learn how to make and fly a kite in your neck of the woods.

Planning a trip to Southern California? All the fun is not necessary had at the amusement parks. Take a side trip to Seal Beach, a quaint beach town, that has much to offer. While there, you won’t want to miss the monthly Seal Beach Kite Club meetings. Click here to see what the city of Seal Beach has in store for you and your family. Then, venture to Hobby City for some additional free hands-on fun.


Learn how to make a band in minutes. Yes, you and your children can make a coffee can drum and yogurt container shakers by following the easy instructions provided by

Montessorian Dale Gausman will show you how to make and introduce rhythm sticks in your school and home classrooms. Click here for details.

The Blow Ye Winds , Paddle Wheeler and Erie Canal – and Wabash Cannonball are free extension activities from the guide written by Dr. Kathryn A. Short, for Kimbo’s CD release: “Songs About America,” Celebrating America Through Song.. See Kimbo for details.

Download The Number Eating Alligator from and discover how these songs can be incorporated into your ECE and elementary math and music lesson planning. Click here for details.

Marjorie Kiel Persons presents two marvelous integrated lessons for your summer music presentations. – Water Music Alla Hornpipe by George Frideric Handel. and Oh, How I Love Italy ? Music, Art, and Food seasoned with History and Geography See Click on this link to access both lesson plans.


Dale Gausman, owner of the North American Montessori Center, shows how children can plan, prepare, and execute a Spring or Summer Tea. Dale’s Friendship Salad makes a perfect addition to the Spring Tea menu or any other event planned for the upcoming months. Click here for details.

Encourage children to try making some new recipes this summer! Make lunchtime interesting by including some rollie poultries and stuffed apples into your meal planning. See

Learn how to present an authentic Montessori food unit study featuring the yummy Watermelon Blueberry Banana Split recipe.

DIanne Knesek, Montessori teacher and owner of Conceptual Learning, shares a mouth watering Summer Fruit, Cheese, and Meat Kabobs recipe. Visit this link for complete information

Planning a unit study about pirates? Try these three pirate snack ideas – Treasure Chests, Pirate Ships and Cannonballs, all of which, can be easily integrated into any pirate unit study. Click here to access the recipes.

For a festive change, create your own hot dog buffet and serve some fudge cupcakes for dessert. Then, cool down your lazy afternoon with some delicious green smoothies.


Are you looking for an additional aid to help inspire good penmanship? Nan Barchowsky may have just what you need. Check out A Bit of Yarn for Good Pen Hold by clicking here.


Begin the summer science learning adventure with hands on fun. Children will discover how to change the color of a flower and how water travels up plants by participating in the Changing a Flower’s Color activity submitted by Dale Gausman. See for details.

John, from Exploration Education, presents an excellent, fun-filled simple and effective activity about static electricity is for children six and up. Click here for details.

Invite children to vicariously go on an animal safari! To access resources for a unit study, visit

Children marvel at identifying the different birds that they encounter at the park, beach or even in their backyard. Find out how Backyard Birds can be incorporated into your ornithology presentations by visiting

Rae, from Creative Process, shares a leaf print activity that combines the study of botany with art. To access this information, visit

Richard, from the Montessori Materials LORD Company, is offering FREE reading books, and a Montessori land and water labels

Easily create a seashell unit study. Quickly locate links to seashell classification materials and other resources by visiting


Summer gardening can be especially meaningful if you plan ahead. A Gardening Unit Study (With the Focus on Summer)Montessori Lessons will provide the info you need to customize your garden lesson planning. Find the gardening resources and lesson plans now, so that you embark on your summer gardening journey when late May arrives.

In Nurturing Budding Botanists – Learning and Teaching the Basics of Plant Science, author Sara L. Ambarian has provided the indepth botany lesson planning information and resources needed Click here for details.


Receive some free hands-on algebra exercises designed by Dr. Henry Borenson See Hands On Equations for details. Check out DIanne Knesek’s Montessori problem solving lessons by clicking here.


What type of learner is your child? Mariaemma, from Coaching for Learning Success(tm), has the resources you need to discover the answer to this question, plus she has generously contributed her Basketball and Whole Body Memorizing Activity. Access this information, as well as The Whole Body Learner – Gifted for Moving! article by visiting Click here for details.

Stillsonworks offers more unique puzzles designed for middle school students. Try your hand at the free exercises included by clicking here Access additional FREE puzzles for children/teens by visiting

Be sure to check out the cooperative games by Rae from Creative Process. (Click here for details.)

THIS and THAT…. Additional unique, creative lesson planning info.

Rae from Creative Process generously has provided the following free activities], articles, and lesson plans: Calendar Activity, Teacher as Curator : Setting up a School Gallery and Sharing Food, Food in Art? Access this information by clicking here

Are you taking your class on a literature journey? Why not start with the classics. Let Rita Arpaia of show you how. Point your browser to Read Rita’s other articles and learn more about how’s resources for your school and homeschool libraries.

Sara Ambarian has written a two part article which will further help you with your selection of children’s books. In Part I of her article, you will learn about the books selected by the AMC resource participants.

In Part I read about community recommendations. This balanced article is sure to help you select just the right books for your school and homeschool classrooms.

If you would like to view the complete table of contents of the newsletter, or you have experienced any difficulties accessing the links above, please visit

Now, with these fun activities, recipes and lessons, you are set to make this summer the best yet!

Heidi Anne Spietz

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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.


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 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.


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.


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.



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


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.


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 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.


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 “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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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 to download the newsletter in .pdf.


Heidi Anne Spietz
Celebrating 27 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century

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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.

AMC Montessori Summer Hands-On Learning Newsletter

Experiencing Fine Art in Person with Your Children

Indoor Activities Get You Out of the Sun


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

Innovative Montessori Music for the Summer

Montessori Summer Activities: Woodworking

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

Heidi Anne Spietz

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Seashells – Links for a Montessori Unit Study



Below, are links for a complete summer seashell unit study. These PreK and K-8 links will lead you to articles, hands-on activities and other exercises that are compatible with the Montessori classified reading cards, phonics, grammar, creative writing, science, social studies and other extensive lesson plans found in Montessori lesson planning

Montessori Classified Reading Cards and Other Aids to Learn About Seashells
Classifying Seashells
Shells & Conchology Educational Posters
Crustaceans & Mollusks Educational Posters for Science Classrooms, Homeschoolers
Seashells of the World
Seashells of North America
Take a Beach Walk
Seashell Collections
Fun with Seashells
Comparing Seashells
Crustaceans – Free Montessori Cards for Classified Exercises
Seashells and Starfish – Integrated Montessori Learning
How to Collect Seashells
Seashell Identification
Seashell Identification guide
Sea Shells (Plus Free Printables)

Sensory Exercises/Motor Development Involving Seashells
Montessori Tray, Seashell Sorting
Seashells in the Mystery Bag


California Seashell Company – Click Here for Seashell Collections and Seashell Resources

Music, Literature and Art Lesson Planning Sites about Seashells
Montessori Seashell Crafts
Ideas for Seashell Crafts
Seashell Crafts for Kids
Seashell Pencil Holder
What Do You Do with 1,000 Shells?
Shells – Kids Konnect (Many links to seashell website for interdisciplinary study)
Seashells by the Sea Shore!
Summer &; Beach Crafts for Kids: Ideas for Summer Arts and Crafts Projects
Large Seashell Projects for Kids
Legend of the Sand Dollar
Seashell Literature
Crafts and Poems for Preschooler
Shell Metaphor Poem
Video Tutorial – Sea Shells
Sea Shell Music
Seashells Mapping – Language Arts

Math Related Seashore Resource Links for Elementary and Middle School Students
Montessori at the Beach;: Numbers and Counters
Seashells: The Plainness and Beauty of their Mathematical Description
Seashell Anticipation Guide
Math Story Word Problems

Science Related Seashell Links for Elementary and Middle School Students
Science Projects on Seashells
Homeschooling on the Beach – Part I
A Seashell Lesson: Writing for Detail and the Scientific Process
Seashells by the Seashore
Seashells Mapping
More Fun with Nature (Section about Seashells)
Seashells, Crabs and Sea Stars
Mad about Seashells
Seashells, Crabs and Sea Stars
Seashells of North America
Seashells of the World
Seashell Q-W-L Chart
Science Projects on Seashells
A Seashell Lesson: Writing for Detail and the Scientific Process
Seashell Identification Science Lesson

For additional Montessori lesson planning, please visit
American Montessori Consulting

Heidi Anne Spietz


Summer is Coming – Part II

The beauty and slower pace of summer brings out the artist in some children (and adults.) If you have an art fan in the house, check out these neat summer art inspirations, especially the Van Gogh sunflowers and underwater self-portraits, which really show off each child’s personal style.

You will find more miscellaneous summer arts and crafts here: art and music)

 Maria Montessori once said “…the senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.” Many children find nature a feast for their senses, especially in summer, when plants and animals are growing strong.  If your summer plans include getting up close and personal with nature, you will find great information and ideas here:

Getting too much sun during your outdoor activities, or visiting a historical site on summer travels?  This free pioneer bonnet pattern sews up fairly easily with a very attractive result.  Children will need a little help interpreting and taping together the pattern, partly due to the multiple pretty brim styles included; but the actual sewing would not be too difficult for a child who has done a little sewing and has helpful adult supervision.

A lot of museums, zoos, cities, counties, etc., schedule inexpensive or free activities for children and families during the summer months. Search the internet using your local city, county, or venue name and “free summer activities”, “free summer classes” or “free summer camps”, and see what is offered in your area. You might also consider these nationwide ideas.

Although summer  is almost two months away, but we all know it usually seems to fly by.  So, start making plans now to make the most of this wonderful season!

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Let’s Celebrate Summer

Please visit to access the updated 2013 version! 🙂

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

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Fun With Numbers

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Mathematics need not be an intimidating subject.  Although some of us are naturally more gifted with a talent for number-related exercises than others, these essential life skills can and must be mastered, at least at a certain level, by all children, if they are to function successfully in their adult lives.

An important step in that mastery for many students is building math confidence from a young age.  Math confidence starts with numeral familiarity, and it can further be built by including fun and interesting numeral and math activities daily throughout a child’s life.

As parents and teachers, we need to look for ways to keep numbers prominent in children’s lives, and to help children have both daily successes and daily play with numbers and math.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

* * * * *

Elaine from Kimbo gets the fun started with their “Numeral Dance” activity.  Children from ages 4 to 8 spin, twist, shimmy, shake and act out other motions as they sing along and display their assigned number.

Dianne from Conceptual Learning has shared some great interactive math exercise pages from their problem-solving program.  Each problem includes three steps: 1) a question,  2) a number sentence or strategy, and 3) an answer.  The three sections can be used together, in a sort-and-match exercise; or the questions can be used for independent problem solving, with the other two sections providing a double-check on the process and answer.

Dianne also presents some useful pre-algebraic problems for your students in her “Inequalities” exercises. Find them both here:

Borenson and Associates present three algebraic activities for your students to practice.

* * * * *

Looking for more ideas?  Check out these ideas for children of all ages and learning styles.

Students who learn by sight and hearing may enjoy counting songs and videos. You can find many of them free on-line, like these:, , , ,

For older students, here is a really cool math “magic trick” .

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has a fun website for kids called “Kids’ Zone” which includes interesting poll questions, quizzes, graphs and other free activities related to statistics and probability.

Cooking can provide great opportunities for students to practice math skills.  Halving or doubling recipes, making substitutions, converting from standard to metric (or back), and many more common kitchen operations can help children with math mastery.  The links on this page provide lots of measurements and proportions you can use to explore math in the kitchen.

If you would enjoy a math project you can eat, 1-2-3-4 Cake is a delicious traditional yellow pound-cake-type recipe.  You may have a favorite version, and you may find other versions if you look; however this one is fairly standard.  It’s also a good choice because it sticks to the number pattern fairly very closely (which is especially important if your students tend to be very literal, as some children are.)  This recipe is often baked in a loaf pan, like other traditional pound cakes. It also tastes delicious with a teaspoon of  lemon or vanilla extract added.

Not a big baker?  Here is another simple number-oriented recipe that is hot and hearty for the whole family. 1,2,3,4,5 Chinese Spareribs have a sweet and sour flavoring that’s sure to please. For this traditional cut-rib recipe, ask your butcher to cut your ribs in thirds when you buy them. (Small children especially love the little ribs’ size.) If you have older students who are working on fractions and/or might enjoy a zestier rib, make these additions to the recipe above: 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon sesame seeds, ¼ teaspoon black pepper (coarse or fine ground), and 1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder.

For a different kind of “hands-on” number-oriented recipe, how about making a batch of rolled spice or sugar cookies, and cutting them out in the numerical shapes?  You can use pre-made or home-made paper stencils and cut the shapes (carefully) with a paring knife, or you can look for number-shaped cookie cutter sets like these.

Encourage students with interests in arts and crafts to get creative with numerals and math.

You can make your own math games at home from common household and craft items.

For more number-oriented crafts and activities for young students, visit:

Needle arts like hand-sewing, cross-stitch, embroidery and needlepoint, provide both good practice for hand-eye coordination and constructive, creative practical life skills. Very young children can be taught simple needlework techniques, and those techniques can be one more way to familiarize them with numerals (and letters.)

Stitching alphabet and number samplers is a very old tradition which can be fun for modern children as well.  This webpage for the Samplers International exhibit, now closed, at the Benton County Historical Society and Museum in Philomath, Oregon, shows a variety of wonderful and inspiring samplers, both historical and modern.

Here are some interesting tips for teaching needlework to young people.

These pages provide some good free resources on basic needlework stitches and techniques.

This one is very detailed and also has tips for left-handed stitchers!

This one is video for visual learners!

Does a sampler project sound too complex? Stamped cross stitch is a good beginner project for young needleworkers—and parents or teachers who are inexperienced in the needle arts—because the size and location of stitches is visually provided. Beginners need only to cover each “x” with embroidery floss.

Here are two cute examples of stamped cross-stitch items with numerals on them. This baby bib pair features numbers and letters in a fun design.

This set of quilt blocks includes both the letters A, B, and C and the numbers I, 2, and 3 with cute baby animals, which can be made into a baby blanket, throw blanket or wall hanging. You could also split the 12 blocks between 6 students, giving each one ABC and one 123 block to complete.

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