Saturday, June 2, 2012

So Much Montessori!

While we did take a break from new activities before and after we moved due to packing and getting settled, we have still been up to a good deal of general Montessori work! Check out our last post for Math activities and look for an upcoming post on Literacy as well. Please excuse the photos as they're all from my phone while we wait for our computer to be fixed. I can't wait to use my camera again! If there are errors in my post I apologize...working at the library on a time limit is tricky but I'm determined to catch-up with blogging! 

Practical Life

Montessori shoe polishing is a classic, but Tyler doesn't have fancy shoes that require such he cleaned the dirt and chalk from his sneakers instead. He enjoyed this!

Tyler happily helped to pack all of his toys and stuffed animals. This, along with conversations about his toys going onto a truck and being driven to a new house, helped him through the moving process.

We have sliding glass doors in our new home that are great for window washing! I taught Tyler how to use a squirt bottle (water and vinegar) and cloth to clean the windows. He mostly loves to squirt, but occasionally will wipe it off as well.

This has also started him on table washing. I just love the bunny ears in this shot!

Tyler isn't big on tonging lately unless he's tonging out of water. Here I used a bowl of water, three ping pong balls and a tray separated into three spaces for one to one correspondence for him to use. He happily transferred back and for for a long time. It's all about finding what drives him!

Pouring Water. I found these cute little pitchers from The Christmas Tree Shop.

I found these place mats (and many other wonderful items) at a daycare closing sale. The child sized silverware and glasses were a Christmas Tree Shop find as well.

I've created a whole cupboard for Tyler so that he can get his own glasses, plates, bowls, and silverware for snacks and meals. He loves this independence! I am considering putting snacks here as well.

This vase and flowers were part of his spring display last year and now sit in the middle of his new, much larger table (if you follow along on Facebook you may know that I'm starting a home preschool!). These are decorative and also used for flower arranging activities.

This is a shot from our old house. Before we left, Tyler helped me pick flowers from our garden, fill the vase with water and arrange the flowers. They then sat on his table for almost a week before there was any kind of purposeful spilling incident which surprised me!

Learning to pour from a pitcher into a glass. I put just enough water in for him as he's just starting to learn this skill.

These pretty bowls and little ceramic ladle spoon were great Christmas Tree Shop finds. Tyler loves spooning beans and I'm  happy to have something other than plastic for him to use.

Cutting fruit and vegetables isn't a favorite for Tyler as touching these items are hard for him with his mild sensory issues. He managed to cut the banana here, but touching it wasn't very comfortable for him. I was proud of him for pushing through and wanting to finish.

Making his own smoothies every morning (with a bit of guidance) it something he really looks forward to. He loves telling me all of the items that we need as well as the steps he needs to take.

He also enjoys making my morning eggs with me. He is the master of the salt and pepper shakers, helps fold the eggs and enjoys pushing them around on the pan from time to time.

If you follow along on Facebook, you may know that we started Potty Learning after Tyler stated that he wasn't wearing diapers anymore. Here he is excitedly running his urine to the potty to flush! Don't mind the drop cloths all over the floor as we were having work done in the upstairs bathroom, but do notice the coat hooks on the door that are right at Tyler's level!

Sensorial, Math, Science, etc

We recently started keeping track of the weather each day. Tyler really enjoys finding the weather cards (free from Montessori Print Shop) that match what's going on outside each day as well as checking and writing the temperature on our chart with marker (laminated).

We don't have an outdoor thermometer yet so we do use the Weather Channel app on my phone to see the temperature for now. Tyler noticed the dot that stands for degrees as well as the "F", so I talked to him about what that meant. He then drew it on his chalkboard. It was 69 degrees (backwards six) when he decided to write this one. He often wants to check the temperature a couple times a day.

Before we moved I cut pictures of girls and boys from magazines and had him sort them. Easy and fun, though he did struggle a bit with this one.

Soring his new forks, spoons and knives.

I have a huge box of National Geographic Animal Cards that I purchased at a garage sale many years ago that I unearthed when we moved. I sorted them into categories and Tyler chose three of them to sort. He chose snakes, cats and insects here. We currently have a tray with turtles, snakes and lizards.

Using a map that I've had for ages, Tyler has been learning the continents. We've made this more fun by using some of his toy animals and having them "walk around" on their appropriate continent!

Using sea shells I found as a teenager on a family trip to Cocoa Beach, Tyler practices using a magnifying glass. He certainly likes this one!

This work was supposed to be using a hammer to nail golf tees into styrofoam, but Tyler didn't like that idea at all...he wanted to push them in by hand. Sure! He enjoyed counting each on as he put them in the counted backwards as he removed them.

We then sorted the golf tees by color and he wanted to add the number in each group into his calculator to see if we got the right number total.

Tyler has enjoyed reading a digital clock but fell in love with this Melissa and Doug clock I found at the daycare closing sale for a dollar. He is determined to learn how to place the hands correctly to show the current time. He has some work ahead of him on this one, but he'll get there!

Tyler has never been a huge fan of the classic "clothespins on a rim" work, so I made it more interesting to him by adding numbers. Using garage sale stickers and an old container I placed 1-5 on one side and 6-10 on another and wrote numbers 1-10 on pins. He doesn't seem to realize at all that he's doing clothespin work with this but does great! Don't mind his old table by the way...and know that not all markers and crayons that are "washable" really are... Oops. I hope to paint this one soon.

We printed off the free set of Large Numbers Cards from Montessori Print Shop recently and Tyler has enjoyed sequencing them!

Once day I drew stick figure people and Tyler became interested in how to do it too. These are some of my favorites of his!

Tyler also became interested in writing his name. He gets several of the letters then wants verbal instruction from me. The letter "r" is really frustrating for him and makes him mad. He tends to leave it off all together which is fine! I just follow his lead...

For Memorial Day we studied the American flag, talking about how many stars and stripes were on it as well as talking about the concept of a "flag". Here he worked to create his own. He really wanted to be sure he has 50 stars!

I bought an old lite bright at a garage sale last year, assured that it worked. It didn't, but it's been fun for Tyler anyhow and great for small motor/pincer grasp work.

Tyler has been teaching our cat, Tomas, his numbers. He has been very eager to do this and gets upset if his pupil walks away or isn't interested... I can't wait to start our preschool so that he can enjoy teaching, and learning from, other's the Montessori way!

Outdoor Adventures

Before we moved from our old home/state, a neighbor found a black widow spider and caught it in a jar! Though I'm a bit scared of spiders, even I enjoyed looking at this beautiful girl. It was a neat moment!

We've worked hard to take Tyler to many different festivals, parks and community gatherings in our new city. Here he met a llama, w hich was neat as he's such a fan of the Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney.

Living in a more country setting has been so great for our outdoor learning. It was hard to even find a rock living in a major city before this! Here we gathered all sort of nature items to use for cards and counters.

Ty found out that picking "flowers" for Mama on our walks makes Mama break out into huge grins...

On our one mile walk to playground once a week, we tend to find so many interesting bugs, animals and plants. We leave extra early so we have lots of time to explore and still get there on time. Here Ty spots an ant and stops to find out where he's headed. I love these moments!

There's many wooded areas in our neighborhood to check out. I'm in heaven and Ty has been really excited too!

Our new neighborhood has a creek! We did find that this particular creek has a very muddy bottom that I got a bit stuck in when we tested it, but we hope to find a rocky, safer creek bed around soon.

We've of course brought our water table outside, adding food coloring and dish soap for added interest!

Ty hasn't been in a pool since he was  nine months old. This was a treat! I hope to get him into swim lessons at our local pool this summer.

Our first outdoor painting at our new home. We have carpet in our new house (and very light carpet at that) so we just haven't painted as much. There's very little "safe" space for Tyler's full body painting sessions, but I'm working on getting something together for him that we can both be happy about. He still loves painting!

Letting the paint dry before going inside and getting in the tub!

Hope you've enjoyed catching-up with us!