Photo of The Week
There seemed to be a theme this week of catching Lucie trying to mimic works that she has seen other people doing.
Before attempting the knobbed cylinders, one should sit on them first, yes?
Then when one is putting them away, one should decide to pull out the knob less cylinders that are the opposite progression of the block you are working with and match them up. It's all about the spontaneous work....
Language this week was just a review "quiz" to see how they are understanding the plural spelling rules before we finally move on from our extensive noun study this fall. This picture, however, was really all about Lucie and more of her mimicking! She clearly knows her plural spelling rules as well ;)
Caleb finished the last level of the Egyptian numeral cards from ETC, subtraction. Overall he really enjoyed this unit, however, we found A LOT of mistakes in the card work. Basically every level had at least one mistake. A bit of a disappointment for a pricier material. If life was in a different place right now, I would definitely contact the company but I have no time for that so we just pulled out the errors and trashed them (after triple checking between Caleb, Aidan, and myself since none of us are exactly fluent in hieroglyph).
In preparation for more bedrest as my pregnancy progresses, including possibly another hospitalization, I pulled all of our "Green H" (aka Ancient History) books off of the shelf for easy assignment if our other lessons are interrupted.
Today Lucie practiced putting away the color tablets in the box. This started as another mimic of using the color tablets (much improved from earlier efforts than involved simply dumping the boxes together), but ended up being a mini-lesson on how to line them upright so they all fit. Toddlers love to dump and fill so this ended up keeping her focused much longer than most things do.
We are continuing our work with invertebrates this week. The first two pictures are a memory game with all of the invertebrates from the Coral Reef Mat (Waseca). We have one rug on the far end of the room with all of the wooden pieces for the invertebrates. On the other end of the room we have the mat and the corresponding research cards. I name an invertebrate and ask them to find it. If they can't remember, I let them look at the research card but they can't take it with them. In all of the pictures, it looks like Lucie and Logan are doing this work but really it was a lesson for Kylee and Logan.
As a more advanced work, the boys worked with the Tree of Life (also Waseca). We started by assembling all of the branches. Then we removed all but the invertebrate phylum and found the corresponding leaves. Then each boy chose one phylum to write a paragraph about. Some differences in writing expectations at this age: Aidan (11) is expected to write 3-5 original sentences with some semblance of proper organization (main idea, supporting details). Caleb is allowed to copy individual sentences from the research cards and reorganize them into his own paragraph. I ask him to include at least one original sentence as an introduction or conclusion (which I usually have to support quite a bit). Caleb types most of his paragraph written work as this is the best modification for his handwriting/fine motor struggles. He likes to make his writing different colors.
The wood and leather polishing works were on a long backorder from Montessori Services this fall. Even though I didn't present them yet, their mere appearance on our front porch meant a renewed interest in the silver polishing at the same time.
Caleb and basic facts are having a difficult relationship. He can do abstract addition, subtraction, and multiplication easily but he doesn't know any of his basic facts. In the end his answers are almost always 100% correct but there is this super delay/gap due to the lack of basic facts. I have been encouraging him to work with the corresponding charts more and have even gone as far as having him bring out the control charts to use as a "calculator" while he is working on larger problems. For some reason, however, he is really resistant to this idea. He wants to figure it out by himself! On Thursday I actually observed him walk around the desk 4 times while slowly adding up 6X7 (correctly). His speed doesn't seem to bother him in the least, but I know how much he will struggle in math later if we don't find a way to cement them in his brain.
Today we pulled out the Timeline of Life, exclusively looking at invertebrates. Our favorite fossil site has blank booklets and activities for several of the early invertebrate types. The boys are fascinated by trilobites (they think it is so cool they have their own line on the big timeline) and Kylee was excited about crinoids. We have examples of both in our fossil collection. When reading the booklet about crinoids, Kylee remembered that one of the examples they mentioned (Feather Stars) are also included in the invertebrate set we worked with the day before using the coral reef mat.
While I tend to stay away from too much cutesy seasonal stuff as it is not very Montessori, I do have a file for each month of the year with a few supplemental type activities. Often they will revolve around the liturgical calendar, but there are also a few other things I have put together over the years or seasonal cutting strips or coloring sheets I have printed off. Kylee is matching numerals to words through the teens.
This is another activity from our seasonal file. Graphing is in the Montessori curriculum, but it is one of the areas I think Montessori is a little weak in during the earlier years. Definitely fine in the broader scope and sequence (I don't have my albums in front of me, but I don't remember actually seeing it covered in math, only in other subject areas- maybe we haven't gotten there) but not covered much at all in the early years and I think the basics should be covered then. These are the sorts of things I look for in my seasonal activities to supplement with.
Shortly after I took this picture, I was going upstairs to give our iPad to Tim because I suspected it was having issues and I tripped. I'm fine and so is Siena, but school time came to an abrupt photo taking halt as I was sent to bed to rest. Tim says that falling up the stairs is exactly what I am supposed to be avoiding while "taking it easy" and I suppose even I am forced to agree that is probably true. He also says that getting hurt by falling right now is the equivalent of "tripping at the finish line" since we have made it this far in getting from 18 weeks to viability (only 4 days away). I suppose I am forced to agree that is also true.