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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

Montessori Resources 2015 Kindle Version is Now Available!

Whether you are looking for Montessori apparatus to purchase for your classroom or suppliers of Montessori materials for home use, you are likely to find just what you need in Montessori Resources. You’ll find reviews of highly recommended resources and products designed for preK and K through grade 10, tips on how to use the resources in a Montessori setting, information on where to buy supplies for integrated lesson planning, recommended computer software and sites where you can get free lesson plans and resources online.

Download directly at Amazon.com by visiting

http://www.amazon.com/Montessori-Resources-Complete-Materials-Teachers-ebook/dp/B00YGCAUXA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440271433&sr=8-1&keywords=Montessori+Resources++Kindle

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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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Study of the Human Digestive System – Links for a Montessori Unit Study

The K-12 links found by visiting http://www.amonco.org/montessori_medical_digestive.htm will lead you to articles, hands-on activities and other exercises that are compatible with the Montessori classified science reading cards, creative writing and other extensive lesson

Here is a sampling of what you will find:

Free Diagrams for Classified Reading Cards

Lesson Plans About Digestive Function

A Study of the Digestive System for Secondary Students

Gastrointestinal Terminology Pronunciation

Additional K – High School Respiratory and Cardiovascular Lesson Plans

Some of the lessons will be useful for postsecondary students as well. When I taught medical terminology at the college level, I divided the presentations into the basic study of Greek and Latin prefixes, roots and suffixes and then proceeded to have the students focus on the study of a body system, i.e. digestive, circulatory, etc.

Each week, I initially spent some time on the review of basic roots, prefixes and suffixes. The students practiced pronouncing the words and combining the basic roots with different prefixes and suffixes to form new words. So that the students could fully appreciate the topic at hand, we used diagrams, audiovisual aids and discussed medical laboratory tests, x-rays and clinical applications where the medical terms would be used. The students then independently studied diagrams and a select a list of relevant medical terms matched to the body system or medical topic being presented.

Flash cards work well in helping to learn the new language. This is particularly true for students who are now older but worked with the classified reading cards when they were younger. A concentrated study of the Greek and Latin word elements is also useful for those preparing to take ACT and SAT tests.

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz

American Montessori Consulting

http://www.amonco.og

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Children’s Books for Summer Reading – Part I

Sara L. Ambarian

Copyright 2014

All Rights Reserved

Website: http://condortales.com/bridestouch.html

Children’s Books for Summer Reading:

Part 1–Resource Partner Picks

Article by Sara L. Ambarian

As parents and educators we all understand both the importance of reading and the potential for engagement which can be found in the pursuit. This potential is even more impressive when students have choices about what books they will read.

Many of us remember the excitement of “library days” in school, with the whole collection available to us, and the decision of what to read next all ours to make.  Many of us have retained that excitement into adulthood; so a trip to the library, book store, on-line vendor, or even our own home book collections feels like the beginning of an adventure for which we are completely in the driver’s seat.

If we can help the children in our lives develop that same enthusiasm and curiosity, we have given them a priceless, life-long gift.

In addition, Maria Montessori said, “The first essential for the child’s development is concentration.  The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” 

Both listening as someone else reads aloud and spending independent time reading can be very effective activities for allowing children to develop concentration.  In our modern, fast-paced, over-stimulated world, it is harder—and more important—than ever to help children learn this skill.  Reading time (whether in a group or solo) can put the brakes on a busy world, as well as opening up many new horizons for our children and students.

With summer reading season coming up, we asked the American Montessori Consulting Primary Recommended Resource Center partners http://www.amonco.org/resource_topic.html to share with us some of their favorite children’s books. Here are the recommendations and some comments of the business people who responded.

* * * * *

Gari from Music for Little People, http://store.musicforlittlepeople.com/info.html , likes the following books, which unsurprisingly involve singing and movement.  She recommends: 

A, You’re Adorable by Martha Alexander—“Once the adult and child know this song well, the child can sing the letter and the adult answer, and vice versa.

[If you’re not familiar with the song by Sam Lipmann, Buddy Kaye, and Fred Wise that inspired this board book, you can hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TyQlIatSJ8&feature=related  ]

This Little Chick-by John Lawrence—“This can be sung to the tune of ‘Mulberry Bush’.”

Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown—“This book suggests lots of movement. Have the children do the different movements and the control is, ‘now run back to me’, etc.”

* * * * *

Larry and Karen at the Farm Country General Store, http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com , suggested several well-loved series which could provide many hours of happy reading over the coming summer.  

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Henry and Ramona series by Beverly Cleary

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Ligia from Childsake said it was not easy to decide on just a few favorite children’s books.  The ones that came to mind, however, were these:

Farewell to Shady Glade by Bill Peet

Flute’s Journey by Lynne Cherry

Tree of Life by Barbara Bash, which tied in her estimation with

Alejandro’s Gift by Richard E. Albert

To find more of Ligia’s recommendations of books about nature and the environment, visit her website, which includes about 400 more titles. http://www.childsake.com

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Kathie from INSTA-LEARN, http://www.insta-learn.com , like many of us, remembers many happy times reading – and re-reading—favorite books to her own children. These were her family’s most memorable:

Peeping Beauty by Mary Jane Auch

The Easter Egg Farm by Mary Jane Auch

Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman

Dumbstruck by Sara Pennypacker and Mary Jane Auch

* * * * *

Stephanie from Professor Toto, http://www.professortoto.com , remembers reading and enjoying these books during her own childhood. 

The Madeline Series by Ludwig Bemelmans

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Choose Your Own Adventure books (Various Authors)

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

The Dark Crystal by A. C. H. Smith

The Berenstain Bears Series by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Fear Street & Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

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Diana from Nature’s Workshop Plus, http://www.workshopplus.com ,  recommends the following classic stories, especially as read-aloud books. 

Hans Brinker; or, the Silver Skates: A Story of Life in Holland by Mary Mapes Dodge

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Rascal by Sterling North

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

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Rita from Literature Resources Online, LLC, https://www.literatureplace.com ,has shared a 65-book list of award-winning fiction books which she calls “Today’s Classics”. Find that list here: http://www.amonco.org/summer6/montessori_summer6.pdf

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Georgette of Cantemos Bilingual Books and Music, http://www.simplespanishsongs , recommends the following stories:

As the grandmother of four children under the age of 6, I love to read to them the book, Everybody Poops, by Taro Gomi. It results in giggles, but also in engrossed listeners. This book is used in Japanese schools; and it informs children that creatures that eat, poop. Some do it in the water, while on the move, in diapers or in the toilet. It is educational not only because it makes a body function a normal topic of conversation, but it includes drawings of wild animals and their names. My grandchildren, clamor for it, sit close, laugh and learn. Ah, if every learning experience were that fun! This book can be used for kindergarten through 6th grade.

Lucas and His Loco Beans, by Ramona Winner, is a story about a boy whose grandfather shows and explains about Mexican Jumping Beans. This educational story is written in rhyme and introduces Spanish words. It also gives a complete explanation of how a moth lays her eggs in a flower, and the larva end up in the seeds. The feeding of the larva is what causes the motion of the bean. This book is good for kindergarten through 6th grade.

You can also check out Georgette’s own chapter book, Andy and the Gold Mine. Here is a description of the book in Georgette’s own words, and an activity she has provided for your students. 

Andy and the Gold Mine introduces California gold mining in a true story adventure. Ten year old Andy spends summers in Randsburg, CA. One year, after a harrowing encounter with a rattlesnake in an abandoned mine, Andy finds the Butte Mine. Jake, an experienced miner shows Andy how to crush rock and rinse the powdered stone to find the specks of gold. Students can be shown where Randsburg, CA is, and learn about a town that had one of the most abundant gold mines of the time.

The story ends with young Andy, taking his gold dust to the General Store. The store manager pockets the gold vial and puts a few coins in the register. A complete discussion about honesty can be started or students can speculate about what really took place.  Ages 8-11

ACTIVITY- students could each bring in a rock about the size of their fist, sit out in the playground, crush the rocks with rubber mallets (while wearing protective glasses), put the powder in Styrofoam bowls with water, swirl it around, allowing the large sediment to settle to the bottom and experience the type of work done by young Andy who in the end (with much trial and error) did find some gold dust.

Read the second part of this two part article by pointing your browser to

AMC Montessori Summer Hands-On Newsletter Part 4

 

About Sara L. Ambarian

Copyright 2014

All Rights Reserved.

Website: http://condortales.com/bridestouch.html

Sara L. Ambarian is an author, designer, illustrator, wife and mother with professional and personal experience in a wide range of subjects, including: arts and crafts, fashion, weddings, homeschooling, cooking, nature, and travel.

With summer reading season coming up, we asked the American Montessori Consulting Primary Recommended Resource Center partners http://www.amonco.org/resource_topic.html to share with us some of their favorite children’s books. Here are the recommendations and some comments of the business people who responded.
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Montessori Summer Gardening Unit Study

Below, are links for a complete summer gardening 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 books.

This unit study was brought to you by Heidi Spietz. To learn more about Heidi, click here.

Montessori Classified Reading Cards and Other Aids to Learn About Summer and Year Round Gardening

Make Your Own Classified Reading Cards for PreK – Grade 5
Nurturing Budding Botanists – Learning and Teaching the Basics
of Plant Science

Names of Flowers in English, French and Latin
Names of Vegetables in Spanish with Pronunciation Key
Names of Fruits in Spanish – Spanish Vocabulary
Names of Fruits in Spanish – with Pronunciation Key
Free Flash Cards – Vegetables – English
Free Flash Cards – Vegetables – English
Free Flash Cards – Vegetables – French
Fruits and Vegetables – Frutas y Verduras
Vegetable Names in European Languages
Names of Flowers in English, French and Latin
Mature Flower Diagram Clip Art
Plant Cell Wall Diagram Clip Art
Summer Flowers – Names and Facts
Northwest Coloring Book Scientific Plant Name Index
Let’s Study About the Cycle of a Flowering Plants and Trees
– Extension of Montessori’s Classified Reading Cards for Elementary Students

Plant Identification by Characteristics (Reference Guide)
The Garden Game

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Sensory Exercises/Motor Development Involving the Study of Summer Gardening

Sunflower Seed Activities (Pre K – Grade 6)
Seed Match
Collecting Seeds – Fun for the Whole Family
Learning Center Grdening Table for the Classroom
A Close-Up Look at Seeds
Backyard Detective
Sensory Table (Sunflower Seeds)

Practical Life Exercises Involving the Study of Summer Gardening

Summer Flower Bulbs
Itching to Plant (Germinating Seeds)
What Shall I Grow?
Home-grown “Fast Food” for Busy Families by Sara L. Ambarian
Gardening Year Round – Tips from an Expert
Learn What Mulch Can Do For You!
International Gardening Information – Scroll Down Half Way through Newsletter
A Child’s Garden
Grow It Cook It
Planting a Gardem – Lower Elementary Ages
Garden Planters and Containers
Preparing a Container Garden
Gardening Tools
Homegrown Vegetables in Any Space
Complete Gardening Archive
Organic Garden Seeds
Wildflower Seed Planting Instructions – Wildflower How-to-Guide

Language Lesson Planning for Elementary and Middle Students

My Vegetable Gardening Diary
Special Summer Food Fun – Word Puzzles for Middle Schoolers
The Secret Garden
Garden Tales
Montessori Gardening Grammar Bingo
Growing Poems
Experience of Nature (Flora: Plants & Flowers) PreK – Grade 2
Recommended Children’s Poetry Books (Ages 4 – 8)
Recommended Children’s Poetry Books (Ages 9 – 13)
Figurative Speech: Analogies, Similes, and Metaphors

Science and Social Science Lesson Planning for Elementary and Middle Students

Growing Plants Unit Study – Upper Elementary Level
Vegetable Planting Guide Worksheet
Blue Potatoes, Orange Tomatoes (Grades 2 – 6)
Comparing Leaves
Growing Plants Unit
Science With Plants
Cultivating Hope
Microscopes for Observation and Science Experiments
The Garden Game
Cultivating History Lessons Gardens for Schools
Planting a Gardem Thematic Unit Study – Lower Elementary Ages
Vegetable Guide to Planting in Late Summer
Seeds to Plant in Late Summer/Fall
Farmers’ Almanc Gardening Calendar
Plant a Summer Crop of Beans
Curriculum Connections
The Science of Gardening
Harvest of History – The Farmers’ Museum
Aromatic History
– Herbs in Colonial Life
Hands On Flower Model

Music and Art Lesson Planning for Elementary and Middle Students

Let’s Make Pressed Flowers – Elementary Level
Draw Your World – Drawing Enriches the Curriculum
Flower Themes, Flowers in Art
Sharing Food, Food in Art
Changing a Flower’s Color
Seed Collages (Scroll down until you see this activity)
Painting a Garden (Scroll down until you see this activity
Flowers Posters, Prints, Charts, Photographs & Calendars
Garden-Inspired Performing Arts
Sing and Learn About Science

Math Lesson Planning for Elementary and Middle Students

It’s Juice! Reading and Interpreting Graphs
Exploring Math in the Garden
Sprouting Math Activities – Algebra
http://www.kidsgardening.org/article/grappling-data
Sprouting Math Activities – Problem Solving
Flowers: Graph & Graph Again
Inside hte Coordinate Grid

Business Marketing Activities

Plant Sale Grows Kids
Peddling Plants
Cultivating Funds with Indoor Plants
Fungi Fever

Additional Extension Exercises – Let’s Write, Discuss and Talk About Gardening

Granny’s Garden School
More Fruits and Vegetables
How To Pick Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Season
Farmer’s How to Pick Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Spanish
Farmer’s Market Fruit and Vegetable Bargains
Curriculum Connections – Incorporate Selected Ideas for Montessori Environment
Write Your Own Books – For K – 3rd Grade(Part I)
Write Your Own Books – For K – 3rd Grade (Part II)

Visit American Montessori Consulting and look under New and Notable for other unit studies. Copyright 2007 – 2013 Heidi Spietz – American Montessori Consulting

 Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz

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Summer is Coming – Part I

Many of us have wonderful memories of our childhood summers and/or look forward to the summer fun with our own children, grandchildren, or other young people in our lives.  There is certainly no question that the summer months are full of possibilities, both for fun and for learning.

The AMC Resource Partners shared some of their favorite summer memories, from childhood and now, in “Summer Fun Makes for Summer Memories”. http://www.amonco.org/summer8/montessori_summer8.pdf  In this article, you will also find tips for successful road trips, accessing junior ranger and other summer programs, encouraging creative pursuits and cooperative projects, and more.

Check out these websites for some interesting general summer lesson planning resources.

http://www.educationworld.com/holidays/archives/summer.shtml

http://busyteacher.org/classroom_activities-vocabulary/holidays_and_celebrations/summer-activities/

http://www.proteacher.com/160023.shtml

If you are looking for some engaging summer reading, review Children’s Books for Summer Reading,  Parts 1 and 2.  http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf and http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf

Summer can also be a relaxing time to work on creative writing. Here are some ideas, if your students need a little nudge of inspiration to get started.

http://homeschooling.about.com/cs/unitssubjhol/a/sumwrit.htm

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/writing-activities/summer-writing

http://suite101.com/article/summer-writing-ideas-for-kids–books-journals-and-games-a218728

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8LaCTimmHFZakhhMHh5NzE3VkE/edit?pli=1

Shopping, cooking, chores, travel, and many other activities offer great opportunities to practice and put to use the math concepts learned during the school year.  For more-structured summer math fun and practice, check out these free resources.

http://www.homeschoolmath.net/

http://www.kidzone.ws/math/

http://www.teachervision.fen.com/math/printable/50722.html

Dr. Borenson and Dianne from Conceptual Learning each share some additional Montessori-appropriate math here: http://www.amonco.org/summer/montessori_summer1.pdf  and here: http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf

If outdoor dining is part of your summer schedule, you might enjoy another look at last summer’s “Learning is a Picnic” resources. https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/learning-is-a-picnic-part-two-adventures-and-activities/

Stay tuned.  Summer is Coming- Part II will be unveiled next week.  🙂

 

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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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Exploring Holidays and History

 

Spring brings many special holidays and historical events to enrich our homes and classrooms. Enjoy these resources to help your students understand and explore these interesting observances.

For a round-up of various links for January and February lesson plans and ideas, visit: http://www.amonco.org/jan_feb_celebrations.html   

Black History Month – February

Black History Month, observed in February since 1926, provides many interesting opportunities to explore history, culture and food.  The Creative Process can get you started with their “Celebrate Black History Month” page, linked here: http://www.amonco.org/spring8/montessori_spring8.pdf

You will find more information, resources and recipes in the links below.

http://www.lessonplanspage.com/blackhistorymonth-htm , http://seasonal.theteacherscorner.net/black-history-month , http://www.thinkfinity.org/?q=black-history-month , and http://www.soul-food-advisor.com/black_history_month.html

Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 1809

There is no question that Abraham Lincoln is one of the most famous and most admired presidents of the United States.  Many states no longer observe his birthday as a separate holiday; but his life, accomplishments and assassination are at the heart of one of the most complex and pivotal eras of American history.  President Lincoln’s life and career make an excellent basis for unit studies. Explore these interesting websites for more information.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/abrahamlincoln , http://www.nps.gov/abli/index.htmhttp://www.civilwarhome.com/lincolnbio.htm , and http://www.primaryteachers.org/abraham_lincoln_unit.htm

George Washington’s birthday, February 22, 1732 (Presidents’ Day observed February 20, 2012)

Sara L. Ambarian helps us get to know the man who is called “the Father of our Country”, with information about George Washington in her article, “Celebrating the Personal Life of George Washington”. You’ll find additional educational links about our first president at the end of the article. http://www.amonco.org/spring8/montessori_spring8.pdf

For more presidential lesson ideas, read “It’s Time to Think Outside the Box and Kindle, Too!” from Literatureplace.com, with its suggestions for studying Thomas Jefferson. http://www.amonco.org/spring3/montessori_spring_3.pdf  You can also enhance your studies of government and politics with a batch of the famous, traditional and tasty Senate Bean Soup, from Dale and Rita at North American Montessori Center. http://www.amonco.org/spring4/montessori_spring4.pdf

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17

Visit these links for lesson and craft ideas for the “greenest” spring holiday! https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/st-patricks-day-crafts-origami-and-more  http://www.fastq.com/~jbpratt/education/sstudies/geog/stpatricks.html  and http://www.edhelper.com/st_patricks_day.htm  

Easter, April 8

Georgette Baker from Cantemos offers some fun projects for Easter and other spring holidays.  Check out her festive hat and easy tie-dye instructions. http://www.amonco.org/spring1/montessori_spring1.pdf  

For long-lasting Easter fun outdoors, Jan from Garden Artisans shares a cute Hippity Hoppity Bunny Topiary project here: http://www.amonco.org/spring2/montessori_spring2.pdf  

Bake up an interesting Italian tradition with Mary Ann Esposito’s Neopolitan Stuffed Easter Bread.  If desirable, you could make it easier, more economical and/or more kid-friendly by replacing the fancy imported meat and cheese with meat or cheese of your choice.  It might also be more kid-friendly if you dice the meat and cheese a little smaller than Ms. Esposito does in the tutorial.  The recipe is full of interesting Easter symbolism, and what child wouldn’t be fascinated (as Ms. Esposito was herself) by the whole raw eggs baked into the bread! http://www.ciaoitalia.com/seasons/20/2020/neapolitan-stuffed-easter-bread  

Find more Easter inspiration at the following sites.

http://www.preschooleducation.com/aeaster.shtml , http://www.bobsedulinks.com/easter.htm  and http://www.holidays.net/easter/index.htm

Cinco de Mayo, May 5

Cinco de Mayo is not, as sometimes assumed, Mexican Independence Day (a separate holiday which is celebrated on September 16). It marks the Battle of Puebla in which Mexican troops defeated French troops. Find out more at: http://www.mexonline.com/cinco-de-mayo.htm  

For introduction or reinforcement of Spanish language lessons, check out the offerings from Cantemos http://www.amonco.org/spring1/montessori_spring1.pdf  and Professor Toto http://www.amonco.org/spring6/montessori_spring6.pdf  

For Spanish-speaking students or those learning Spanish, check out our Unit Study Lesson Plan About Mexico in Spanish. https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/a-unit-study-lesson-plan-about-mexico-in-spanish

For more lesson ideas and some recipe ideas for Mexican food to make, check these interesting sites.  http://seasonal.theteacherscorner.net/cinco-de-mayo/ , http://recipesource.com/ethnic/americas/mexican /, and http://www.mexicanrecipes.org /

Mother’s Day , May 13

Parents and educators are always looking for ideas and resources for the popular holiday, Mother’s Day.  Dale Gausman from NAMC lists some books and ideas in his article, “Mother’s Day in the Montessori Classroom”. He also provides some lesson plan ideas for older students.  http://www.amonco.org/spring6/montessori_spring6.pdf

These websites provide some additional ideas for crafts and decorations.  http://www.mothersdaycentral.com/mothers-day-crafts/  and http://www.divinedinnerparty.com/mothers-day-ideas.html

Memorial Day, May 28

Memorial Day is a solemn, but potentially important holiday with which to acquaint children at age appropriate levels. NAMC’s Dale Gausman discusses the history of and Montessori perspective for teaching about Memorial Day in his “Montessori Curriculum Ideas for Memorial Day”. http://www.amonco.org/spring7/montessori_spring7.pdf

Find more information on the history of this day of remembrance, at: http://www.history.com/topics/memorial-day-history  and http://virtual-markets.net/vme/memorial/dvm_mem.html  

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For more seasonal and holiday observances for educators, visit: http://www.netposterworks.com/holidays/index.html  and http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays

For more about holidays, in a convenient monthly chronology, see Rae from The Creative Process’s “Monthly Observances and Notable Dates”. http://www.amonco.org/spring2/montessori_spring2.pdf

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Refocusing on Reading and Writing

As you and your students switch gears from summer leisure into the increased structure of the school year, you will want to refocus on the basics.  Here are some interesting and helpful resources to add to your reading, writing and spelling lessons.

If you need ideas for your reading program, Rita Arpaia of Literatureplace.com is debuting a new and improved version of their Bookfinder search tools in September.  Start With The Winners will allow even more convenient access than ever before to Literatureplace’s comprehensive list of award-winning children’s books. Find out more at: http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall4.pdf

Elaine from Kimbo offers a Literature Link Activity to the book The Mitten by Jan Brett. http://www.amonco.org/creative5/montessori_fall5.pdf  For more free activities for The Mitten and other Jan Brett books, visit http://www.janbrett.com/mitten_masks_main.htm and http://www.janbrett.com/bookamatic/hedgies_book_a_matic.htm . For more literacy-related products from Kimbo, visit their site: http://www.kimboed.com/literacy.aspx.

The Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting System offers an easy-to-teach and easy-to-learn writing method for students of all ages. Find more information, plus a link to free instructions and patterns at http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

To give older kids a tune-up on various word skills, check out Alan Stillson’s Middle School Word Puzzles at http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall4.pdf and http://www.amonco.org/creative6/montessori_fall6.pdf. Find more free sample puzzles for children and adults, or order Alan’s books, at Stillsonworks. http://www.stillsonworks.com

Find a wide variety of spelling lesson resources at http://www.excellenceineducation.com, http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com, http://www.insta-learn.com/html/language.html, and http://www.workshopplus.com

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For more information and resources for reading, writing and spelling—

Find more book lists appropriate to your needs and school/family values and priorities:

http://reading.org/Resources/Booklists.aspx

http://www.johnsenfam.com/index.htm

http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/forparents/tp/summer_reading.htm

http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr244.shtml

Access interactive spelling and vocabulary exercises at AAASpelling.com. http://www.aaaspell.com/spell-index.htm

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