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Montessori Extras

Montessori Extras

Birthday Celebrations-Montessori Style

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

Who doesn’t love celebrating their birthday?!  Kids and adults alike love celebrating their born day.  It is a very special occasion that is shared with family and friends in a variety of ways.  Children in a Montessori classroom have a very unique way that their birthdays are celebrated and shared with the classroom .  It is termed the Celebration of Life; in which we celebrate and share aspects of each year of their lives on Earth. Each child excitedly waits for their turn to do the Birthday Walk each year on their birthday.

 

 

 

Montessori Walk Around the Sun Activity

 

 

The Montessori Walk Around the Sun is composed of a painted wooden sun with twelve points on the ends.  It also comes with twelve wooden months of the year cards for each of the twelve months.  The sun has a space for a candle as well, which is not included. Add a birthday and the Montessori Walk Around the Sun is ready for use!  For the activity, I put out the sun on a work rug, and have the children repeat after me saying the months of the year as I place them around the sun.  They have learned and memorized the months of the year this way!!

 

 

 

 

 

The Celebration of Life…

In a Montessori classroom, birthday are a tradition.  During this special ceremony, the child stands next to their birth month and holds a globe; which represents the Earth. They (as the Earth) walk around the sun.  Each trip around the sun represents one year that the child has been o the planet.  I begin the Montessori Walk Around the Sun by explaining to the children that we are the Earth and that the Earth goes around the sun.  I tell them that it takes the Earth three hundred and sixty five days to go around the sun, and every time it does, you get one year older; I also add, (except for Ms. Anitra who is 21 forever!) Haha!!!

 

                                 

 

I also ask that the parents send in photos from each year of their life, either as single, individual photos, or as a prepared birthday poster.  I also send out a form for parents to fill out that documents any significant milestones, firsts, or trips that they would like shared during the birthday celebration.  I’ve had some parents get quite creative with the birthday boards they’ve prepared!!

 

Along with the birthday walk and the picture board, I have a special song that we sing as the child walks around the sun.

“The Earth goes round the sun, the sun

The Earth goes round the sun.

The Earth goes round the sun, the sun

And (Child’s Name) turned one!”

 

Continue until the child’s current age is reached.

The children love joining in to sing this song!  I’ve even gotten in on the fun of the Birthday Walk!!

 

 

 

 

Birthday’s are a special time in a child’s life, so why not make it a day to remember!  The Montessori Walk Around the Sun teaches science, months of the year, history, and traditions all in one  It is that amazing of a thing to celebrate your child’s birthday Montessori style!

 

Anitra

 

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Montessori Extras Themed Activities

Activities, books, & ideas for Apples/Fall unit study

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

With the first day of Fall approaching on Friday, September 22nd, I am gearing up to begin a two week unit study of Fall and apples with my classroom.  Although here in sunny Southern California, it is far from feeling or looking like Fall.  The hotter Summer temperatures have slowly started to subside, and we’ve seen cooler temperatures this week, but we are from fro Fall weather.  Even though the Southern California weather is not fall friendly, I still am excited to start our Fall and apple unit study.

For the next two weeks; starting Monday; I will teach the young children in my class about how our environment changes for Fall, different leaves, the parts of an apple, how apples grow, and the different types of apples.  We will have apple tasting, and vote for our favorite apples, examine the insides of an apple, make leaf rubbings, and an apple blossom tree…just to name a few!

 

 

There are many books out there that could go with the study of Fall and apples, but I have chosen to share with you my favorite three books.  I have used each of these books over the years, and have found that these cover many of the topics and areas that I teach rather well.

 

Top 3 favorite books for Fall and apple unit

 

 

A Day at the Apple Orchard

 

By: Megan Faulkner & Adam Krawesky

A Day at the Apple Orchard follows a group of children through the apple orchard.  They pick apples, taste them, and make juice & cider.  The book also describes the life cycle of an apple blossom tree, and shows the growth through the different seasons.  This book is great when teaching how apples grow, the proper way to pick apples, and things that can be made from apples. It also discusses why it is important to protect apple blossom trees for continued blossoms.

 

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt

By: Steve Metzger

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt is a twist on the classic We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.  The children go on a hunt over the mountain, through the forest, around the waterfall, and across the lake.  Along the way, they find red oak leaves, hickory leaves, birch leaves, and maple leaves; until they encounter an unwanted guest!  This book teaches about different leaves, and is fun and entertaining!

 

Apples for Everyone

By: Jill Esbaum

Apples for Everyone has beautiful pictures that detail how apples grow, the different kinds of apples, talks about Johnny Appleseed, and discusses the history of apple trees.  This National Geographic Kids book has colorful and amazing photography that makes this book a favorite of mine.

 

 

I can’t wait to start our unit study of Fall and apples.  I have so many science, fine motor, art, language, and math activities planned for the next two weeks!

 

Want to follow along as we learn about Fall and apples?  Interested to see how our unit study unfolds?   Be sure to follow me on Instagram or Twitter for pictures of all of our activities and fun!!  I hope to see you there!

 

Anitra

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Art Montessori Extras

Simple & Easy DIY Rainbow Crayons

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.   Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

Crayons…who doesn’t love coloring!! I personally still LOVE coloring, and try to color as often as possible.  It is very relaxing and calming to either color a pre-made coloring sheet, or to just grab some crayons and make whatever I feel like!!  Do you color?  If not, you should pick up a new hobby…coloring!  There are so many amazing “adult” type of coloring books out now, this is a newer trend.

 

Working in a preschool classroom means there are many, many many broken, peeled, tiny and even chewed on crayons.  It is what happens in this environment.  If you have children, I’m sure that you’ve encountered such instances with crayons around your house as well.  You normally collect all of the broken, peeled, tiny and chewed crayons and put them in the trash.  They have little to no use…or do they?  Actually, they do!  You can use your old worn crayons and make Rainbow Crayons out of them!! Rainbow Crayons are fun and children have a great time helping with the process of making them.

 

Turn these…

 

 

 

Into these…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Rainbow Crayons: A Step by Step Tutorial

 

 

Supplies Needed:

1 6 cup muffin tin (I got one from the Dollar Tree, so I wouldn’t ruin my cooking one)

broken crayons

oven or toaster oven

 

STEP 1:

Gather as many colors of broken crayons as you can.  You want your rainbow crayons to be just that; rainbows!

 

STEP 2:

Peel your all of your crayons.  This can be a very long, tedious process, so if possible enlist the help of the children!  It is a great fine motor skill development activity for them!

 

 

        

 

 

STEP 3:

Break up the crayons into small pieces.  About half an inch should do the trick. Again, this process takes awhile, so have the children help you; as much as they can.

 

 

 

STEP 4:

Fill the muffin pan with the broken crayon pieces.  Try to get a good variety of colors in each cup, so that the colors are evenly distributed.

 

 

STEP 5:

Put in the oven.  I used a toaster oven.  I set it for 350 degrees, and set the timer for ten minutes.

 

 

                      

 

STEP 6:

Take out of oven and let cool for at least thirty minutes.

 

 

STEP 7:

Once completely cool,  remove crayons from muffin pan using a sharp knife.

 

 

    

 

 

STEP 8:

Your Rainbow Crayons are ready for use!  Enjoy!

 

 

Rainbow Crayons are so fun and as you can see, so easy to make!!! Beware though, once you make your children at home or at school Rainbow Crayons, they will “accidentally” break crayons and bring them to you to save for more Rainbow Crayons.  This happens to me almost daily; I had to gently remind all of the children in my class to be careful and take better care of the crayons.  I told them not to worry, we have PLENTY of broken crayons in our broken crayon bucket to make more Rainbow Crayons in the future!!

 

I hope you enjoy and use this step by step tutorial to make Rainbow Crayons to introduce into your classroom or homeschool soon!!

 

Anitra

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Classroom Content Montessori Extras

What is all the hype about? A detailed look inside a traditional Montessori classroom

By Anitra

You’ve probably heard about all the hype and craze surrounding Montessori and Montessori schools. Anything and everything from the teaching method,the classroom environment, child led activities, and Montessori materials.  But what does all that mean?  The Montessori method is a very unique, very distinct, very individualized learning environment with a proven way of teaching young children.

 

The materials, along with the carefully prepared environment, is what makes Montessori, Montessori.  There are various areas and activities of a traditional Montessori classroom.  This is what sets a Montessori primary (preschool) classroom apart from other preschool classrooms. Many people have heard of Montessori, but haven’t had the opportunity to actually see inside or visit a classroom.  Please be aware that there are many different Montessori run schools, each individually owned and operated; so unfortunately not every Montessori school classroom will be set up or run exactly the same.  With that being said; I try to keep a traditional Montessori classroom.

 

Curious to learn and find out more…?   The pictures are from my actual classroom that I currently teach in.  The shelves are child sized, with age appropriate, enticing materials.  The common item you will notice in most Montessori classrooms and materials is wood.  The use of natural wood for the shelves and materials, along with neutral wall colors, is meant to soothe the senses and and the attract the children to the beauty of the room.  Montessori classrooms differ from other preschool classrooms in that they are calming, peaceful, and uncluttered.

 

 

LANGUAGE AREA

 

“Language lies at the root of that transformation of the environment that we call civilization.” -Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 98

The Language Area is composed of phonetic sound recognition, three letter phonetic word building, four letter and more phonetic word building, and blends & phonograms.  The three letter words make up the Pink Level, the four letters and more make up the Blue Level, the phonemes and hard & soft letters make up the Green Level.

 

The Pink Level also covers word families, picture to

word matching, and easy phonetic sentences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Level also covers beginning & ending

consonant blends, and complex phonetic words

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Green Level also covers silent “e”, double vowel consonants, phonemes, and hard & soft letters

 

I also have opposites, parts of speech, sentence building & writing, and even antonyms & synonyms.

 

 

MATH AREA

 

“The results we obtain with our little ones contrast oddly with the fact that mathematics is so often held to be a scourge rather than a pleasure in school programmes.”-Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 170

The Math Area is composed of number recognition up to ten, mastering the teens & tens, and working on numbers up to one hundred.  This area also covers simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even division.  More complex works include place value, the clock, and fractions.

 

Number recognition from one to twenty, with various materials & activities to master these skills

 

Simple addition, the tens work, & the hundred board all round out the Math Area

 

 

Telling Time, Place Value & Fractions are the

more advanced Math activities

 

 

 

SENSORIAL AREA

 

“And if we look at the sensorial apparatus which is able to evoke such deep concentration…helps also to the development of the mathematical mind.”-Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 170

The Sensorial Area is composed of activities that engage the senses of the children.  There are activities for smell, taste, and hearing; and various materials that promote sight and touch.

 

Sensorial materials to manipulate sizes, color,

touch and hearing

 

Complex materials that introduce geometric shapes, as well as tasting & smelling materials

 

 

 

CULTURAL/GEOGRAPHY AREA

 

“…the child’s mind can acquire culture at a much earlier age than generally supposed, taking in knowledge is by certain kinds of activity which involve movement.”-Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 157

The Cultural and Geography Areas is the area of a Montessori classroom that frequently changes.  It is an area where new activities can be added on a weekly or monthly basis.  These areas are composed of science, botany (plants), zoology (animals), geography, and art.  This is by far one of the busiest areas of a Montessori classroom.

 

 

Study of continents, seasons land, air & water                                  Botany, zoology, & insect puzzles and magnets

 

 

Geography Maps

 

 

PRACTICAL LIFE AREA

 

“Activities here build on the child’s natural interest and help him develop good work habits, concentration, eye-hand coordination, a lengthened attention span and control of his body.”-Maria Montessori The Sense of Childhood, pg. 1

The Practical Life Area is another area of a Montessori classroom that changes frequently.  The Practical Life Area has many components to it that make it the most important area of a Montessori classroom.  Since children learn basic working, concentration, and eye-hand coordination skills, it is the prerequisite to all of the other areas in a Montessori classroom.  Activities could include spooning, using a ladle, pouring, scooping, and cutting.  This is by far the busiest area of a Montessori classroom.

 

Other activities include food preparation work,

and using tongs & tweezers

There are also washing activities, bubble making,

table setting, and water activities

 

 

 

All of the areas in a Montessori classroom contribute to the development of the whole child.  As stated before, not every Montessori classroom will be furnished and set-up exactly the same.  In quality, true to Montessori schools and classrooms, you will see similar setups and materials.  One of my favorite areas is the Practical Life Area, I like to come up with fun water work activities, food preparation works, and washing activities.  I like to add variety, and add activities that promote the individual needs of the children currently in my classroom.

 

 

 

Now can you see what all the hype is about?!  Trust me, the pictures just give you a small glimpse of what a Montessori environment looks like.  Can you imagine how wonderful it is to see the children actively working in a Montessori classroom…it’s PRICELESS!!

 

Anitra

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Back 2 School Classroom Content Montessori Extras

How using doTerra essential oils in the classroom helps with focus, concentration, & a peaceful environment

By Anitra

Being that it is back to school time, I am on a mission to start the year off right.  I want to set clear guidelines and rules of the classroom, and am looking to have the classroom run as smoothly as possible as soon as possible.  There are children returning from Summer vacation, children who are new, and others that were at the school during Summer Camp.  The beginning of a school year is the time to get everyone on the same page, and get everyone “normalized” within a quick time frame.

“Normalization” in Montessori terms is used to describe the process in which children in the classroom find inner discipline and peace, and the children are able to concentrate and focus on working freely throughout the classroom.  To assist with the process of normalization, a friend recommended the use of doTerra Essential Oils in my classroom.  Leticia Baxter is an Elite Wellness Advocate for doTerra Essential Oils, and she educated me on the positive effects of using the oils in my classroom.  The most important thing I learned about using essential oils is to do my research.  Not all oils are created equal, and doTerra oils have proven to be superior to other brands currently on the market.  To learn more about doTerra Essential Oils click here.

 

I invited Leticia to share some of the benefits of using doterra essential oils in your classroom (or home).  doterra Essential Oils offer a variety of oils for a variety of health benefits, however, Leticia discussed only a few; the ones that are beneficial for focus, concentration, and calming.  Without further ado-here are the benefits of using doterra essential oils.

 

Why Use doTERRA Essential Oils? How can they be a benefit to the home and classroom?

 

I am going to touch on a few doTERRA Essential oils and the amazing benefits of using them in the classroom.  

 

It is so important when choosing an essential oil brand! Many companies claim their oils to be therapeutic grade and some may be pure. In reality, very few of them are subjected to rigorous testing and standards for chemical composition.  doTERRA essential oils are cross tested to ensure both the exact purity and composition potency of each batch.   doTERRA works side by side with a global network of leading essential oil chemist and growers to ensure that our oils are the safest, purest, most potent and beneficial oils available in the world today.  Please make sure the oils you are using are to the highest standards of quality. You can really tell a difference not only in smell but when using.  

 

 

Lavender

The Oil of Communication

Lavender is known for its calming and relaxing qualities.  It helps reduce anxious feelings and helps ease feelings of tension. When you think of lavender… think all things calming.  Lavender has many uses and  helps with some of the following: restful night’s sleep, anxious feelings, emotional balance and sooths occasional skin irritations. These are just to name a few.  Lavender can be used aromatically, topically and internally. Be aware that this does not go for all brands of essential oils.  As long as there is a supplemental fact label on the bottle, you can use topically and internally. This is very important when using essential oils and why quality really does matter.

Diffusing Lavender in the classroom can help in calming the room and aid in better focus and concentration.

 

 

 

Balance

The Oil of Grounding

Sometimes life can bring on stress leaving us off guard and feeling overwhelmed.  This blend helps to restore and ground us.  Balance brings a feeling of calmness, peace and relaxation. It can evoke feelings of tranquility,  sense of balance and ease anxious feelings. Balance can be used aromatically and topically.  

Diffusing balance in the classroom helps ground the whole room, setting a calm peaceful environment.

 

 

 

OnGuard

The Oil of Protection

OnGuard supports healthy immune function and can be used to boost the immune system. It can also clean surfaces to protect against environmental threats just by adding to water for an effective all purpose cleaner.  OnGuard can be used aromatically, topically and internally.

Diffusing OnGuard in the classroom helps shield individuals from germs, bacteria, mold and viruses all while purifying the air.

 

 

Wild Orange

The Oil of Abundance

Wild Orange inspires abundance, fosters creativity and supports a positive mood.  Wild Orange has a variety of uses such as cleansing, uplifting, invigorating and lowering anxious feelings or nervousness. It can aid in increasing concentration, emotional balance and so much more.  Wild Orange can be used aromatically, topically and internally.

Diffusing Wild Orange in the classroom helps with concentration and focus while cleansing the air.

 Oh… and it smells amazing too!

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions, or are interested to learn more, please visit and contact Leticia Baxter at eoswithbaxter4.com.

 

About the Author:

 

Hi, my name is Leticia Baxter from eoswith baxter4.com.  I’m a stay at home mom who felt stuck in mom life.  I love being able to stay at home with my kiddos and be there for them, and am truly lucky and blessed to do so!  I found doTerra and it has helped me in so many ways!  Natural solutions using the oils has empowered my family and my life.  Why would I not share these life changing products with other?!  I love that I can offer others hope! I look forward to helping you!

 

 

So know that you know about the benefits of using doTerra essential oils, I will share with you about actually using them in my classroom.  My oil station is on a shelf in my classroom.  My set-up is quite simple and using the diffuser is easy too!  I use a small sized diffuser and add the oils to it.  The easy to follow steps are listed below.

-Fill the diffuser to the red dot with water.

-Add two to three drops of each oil (for a stronger, more noticeable smell,add more drops).  I personally stuck with the three drops

-This is where you can personalize the oil blends.  You can use one, two, three, or all four oils!  Depending on what your aim and goal is, you can pick different oils for each situation.

 

The children in my classroom absolutely LOVE the oils!  They walk around commenting on how good it smells.  It truly does work, I used them towards the end of the school year when the children start to get a little “unfocused”.  They worked amazing!  I noticed the difference in their ability to focus and concentrate, as well as the calming effect on the classroom overall.

 

I am so happy that I was able to find such pure, safe, and beneficial products to use in my classroom! What more could you want for your child or the children in your classroom?

 

Anitra

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Back 2 School Montessori Extras

10 back to school or homeschool activities to give your child a leg up on learning

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

Whether your child is going back to public school, preschool, or it is time to get back to your homeschooling routine, it means that it is time for your child to buckle down and get back to the academics.  In most cases, the time your child spends at school or preschool is not enough for them to them to master, learn, and even practice many skills necessary for their academic success. Phonetic letter sound recognition, number recognition, the ability to communicate effectively & use problem solving skills, and fine motor skills are all important aspects that are customary for children to know and master.

 

 

 

 

 

I have parents all the time asking me if there is something that they could be working with at home with their child.  I normally tell them to have their child read (if they are a reader), and advise them of a few resources for them to possibly purchase and/or add to their home.  As a teacher, I do not have just one academic area that I find is important over another one.  In my opinion, they are all equally important, and play an important part in the development of the whole child.  It is important to incorporate all aspects of a child’s development, as well as finding ways to promote fine motor, cognitive skills, and critical thinking skills.  Trust me, no teacher would be disappointed to have a class of well rounded students!!

 

The activities I chose for the list are ones that can be used in a variety of ways and incorporated for use at home as extra support, for your homeschool, or in a classroom to enhance your curriculum.  I have direct knowledge and have used many of these items from the list in various ways either in my classroom or as an addition to my curriculum.

 

 

10 Activities that can used as extra support for your child’s academic learning

 

Add & Subtract Abacus

The Add & Subtract Abacus is for three to six year olds.  It comes with a wooden base and the double-sided wooden boards.  The colorful beads make it easy to distinguish between each of the numbers.  This work is a way to explore numbers, colors, patterns, addition, and subtraction!  It is very multi-functional.

     Self-Correcting Alphabet Letter Puzzles

The Self-Correcting Alphabet Puzzles are for four to six year olds.  The wooden puzzle pieces have a colorful object for the corresponding letter sound on one side, and letters from A to Z on the other side.  The interlocking pieces make it easy for young children to self correct and promotes independence and success!

Alphabet Puzzle Cards

The Alphabet Puzzle Cards are for four to six year olds.  The interlocking alphabet cards come in a great wooden box for easy storage.  The self correcting interlocking pieces insures that the puzzles are solved and matched correctly!  These puzzle cards promote independence and

Wooden Letter Alphabet Magnets

The Wooden Letter Alphabet Magnets are for three to six year olds.  There are fifty two magnetic upper and lower case letters, that can be used for spelling, stenciling, matching upper and lower case, and for building words!  These letter magnets are great for all kinds of language ideas!

Self-Correcting Number Puzzles

The Self-Correcting Number Puzzles are for four to six year olds.  The wooden puzzle pieces have colorful, objects on one side, and numbers from one to twenty on the other side.  The interlocking pieces make it easy for young children to self correct and promotes independence and success!
World Map Floor Puzzle – 33 Pieces

The World Map Floor Puzzle is for six plus years old.  Although, we a little assistance, I don’t see why a four or a five year old couldn’t be successful with this puzzle.  The puzzle pieces are made with an easy, clean surface.  This puzzle map is perfect for introducing and learning about the continents of the world.

Turn & Tell Wooden Clock

The Turn & Tell Wooden Clock is for four to seven year olds.  The wooden base and large numbers make it easy for your child to be introduced to and practice telling time.  It has clickable hands to help mark off the minutes, it details hour, minute, half past, and quarter past.  There are also 13 double-sided time cards for practice as well!  This all-in-one clock is perfect for learning to tell time.

U.S.A. (United States) Map Floor Puzzle – 51 Pieces

The U.S.A. Map Floor Puzzle is also for six plus years old.  I believe that with a bit of assistance, a four or five year old would be able to do this puzzle in its entirety.  The extra thick puzzle pieces make this puzzle durable. This puzzle is great for introducing, learning, and studying all 50 States!

Magnetic Wooden Numbers

The Magnetic Wooden Numbers are for three to five year olds.  It comes with enough numbers to count from zero to twenty, and it includes five number signs as well!  These magnetic numbers can be used to introduce counting, number recognition, and simple addition & subtraction!

See & Spell Learning Toy

The See & Spell is for children four to six years old.  You can use the letters to spell the three and four letter puzzle words, spell other words, or use the letters as a stencil.  The cardboard puzzle boards and pieces are built for long lasting durability.  This is a spelling and fine motor activity wrapped into one!

 

 

Adding one or many of these activities to your child’s daily teachings will put your child on the right path to mastering many of the necessary skills needed for their future learning.  The activities are adaptable and allow for use in a classroom or homeschool environment, or just as a supplement at home for your child.

 

Anitra

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Montessori Extras

I’ve Been Nominated for the Liebster Award…again!!!

By Anitra

 

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award…again!  I am so grateful and thankful to have this opportunity again.  The first time around, I was a new blogger; crazy right, I’m still a new blogger!  But at that time, I had maybe 2 posts on my blog, about 10 Instagram and Twitter followers, and NO subscribers to my blog…it was a time when I thought that this whole blogging thing wasn’t for me.  Thank goodness I was nominated back then and accepted!  That nomination literally saved chronicles of a momtessorian!  I have met so many AMAZING people through my blogging journey since then, and it has just begun!  I know that I will continue to meet, make, and develop connections with so many more amazing people…like Shelanda Brown from Only Girl in the House, who nominated me!!!  She has a great family, travel and lifestyle blog and is a mom to three boys!  Thank you to Only Girl in the House, I really appreciate and feel the love!

 

As one of the  requirements for being nominated, I must answer the questions below, nominate up to 7 other great bloggers who I think are deserving, and send them a nomination along with a list of questions to answer as well.

 

Here are the questions I was given:

 

  • What is the most extreme thing you’ve ever done?

Start a blog and put myself and my thoughts out there for all to see.  It made me very vulnerable and it was WAY out of my comfort zone. Besides that, my personality is extreme enough I don’t really need to necessarily DO extreme things!! LOL!

  • If you give someone $1,000,000, who would you give it to?  Why?

I would give it to my 2 daughters.  They deserve to not have to struggle through life.  I would want them to travel and see the world.

  •  Apple or Samsung

Samsung all the way. Although, I do have an Ipod!

  • Name the top 3 beaches you’ve ever visited.

Cabo San Lucas, Puerta Vallarta, and the Oregon Coast.

  • When do you find time to blog?

Every moment that I have available.  I blog at work in my classroom, on my lunch break, at my daughters soccer games and practices, before I go to bed…it really is an addiction!

  • If you could have dinner with anyone past or present, who would it be?

My Maternal Grandfather.  I was really young when he passed away, and I only have photo memories of him.  I’d like to know who he was personally.

  • Who are you writing your blog for?

Everyone and anyone! I love writing and sharing activities from my classroom, from my years of teaching, and new lessons and ideas.  I hope that readers will find my blog useful.

  • What was the inspiration for the name of your blog?

chronicles of a momtessorian…I wanted to chronicle my journey of being a mom and a Montessori trained teacher; so what better way than to combine “Mom” and “Montessorian”!?

  • What’s your quote you live by?

“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”-Muhammad Ali

  • Money or fame?

You know, at this point, I’d take a little bit of both!  I wouldn’t mind having fame, and I’d sure wouldn’t mind having money too! Hahaha!!

 

Enough about me…now is the time for the next set of amazing bloggers to be recognized for the efforts!  Without further ado, I nominate the below 7 blogs for the Liebster Award!!!

 

Aubree at Simply Between Us

Lisa at Making Life Richer

Wendi at Learning Engaged

Chad at The Royal Brew

Hollie at Our Life’s Little Adventures

Yolanda at Yolo Mommy

Ashley at Faith + Motherhood

 

For the official rules, please click HERE.

 

If you accept this nomination please answer the above questions and nominate up to 7 blogs to continue the Liebster Award process.

Congratulations!

 

Anitra

 

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Back 2 School Montessori Extras

Back 2 School-The 4 Best Lunch Box Containers for Young Children

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

It is Back to School time! The early mornings, trying to get everyone out of the house on time, and making lunches.  Back to School means making and packing lunches. Whether you make and pack them at night or in the morning, it is still a chore to complete.  Making and packing lunches means endless amounts of zip loc baggies, tupperware containers, aluminum foil, ice packs and thermoses.  All the makings of a disaster for a teacher…let me explain.  In most, if not all, preschool (3 to 6 year old) classrooms in California, there can be a maximum of twenty four children and two teachers.  A ration of twelve to one.  If every child brings their lunch; all twenty four of them; that means that there are twenty four lunches that we have to help open.  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, that’s my point!  I work in a private preschool, and at least eighty percent of the children in my classroom bring a lunch from home.

 

It is very difficult to work and teach at a school who’s philosophy is based on the independence of the children, when parents do not promote independence for their child when considering the containers and baggies they put in their lunches.  For example, I understand that placing sandwiches in zip loc baggies are convenient and cheap, but most parents do not take into consideration how difficult it is for young children to open the baggies on their own.  It is actually pretty difficult for them.  On the other side, using tupperware containers are not any easier, as they tend to have very difficult lids that are not necessarily child friendly and easy to open for small hands.  Even though aluminum foil and thermoses help keep food warm in instances when there is not a way to re warm food, but they tend to be equally as difficult for young children to open themselves.

 

I have noticed throughout the years that the above listed ways to pack a child’s lunch are not practical for young children who need to learn to open things themselves.  It is customary in my classroom, and in many Montessori classrooms, that children be able to at least try to open their containers and such at lunch time.  In most cases, many of the children are very eager and willing to open their own things, and do not want the help of the teachers.  They are building on their ability to be naturally independent and self sufficient.  It is an important part of the Montessori philosophy to promote their inner ability to be natural learners.

With that in mind, I have come up with a list of lunch containers that are ideal in promoting the independence of your child at lunch time, which in turn leads to being independent at other feeding times as well!  The below list are of items that children have had in my classroom over the past one to two years, and are, in my opinion, the best “child centered” products for promoting independent little learners!

 

4 Best Child Centered Lunch Containers

(Items listed are listed in no particular order)

 

 

1. Bentgo Kids Childrens Lunch Box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bentgo Kids container is a popular one.  It has two easy to open snap tabs, and the multiple compartments allows you to provide a variety of lunch choices for your child.  It also comes in more colors for your child to choose from.  They are durable & leak proof; and the inner tray is microwave and dishwasher safe.  The outside has rubber coated edges for maximum durability, and it even comes with a free downloadable eCookbook!

 

2. Lunchbots Stainless Steel Lunch Container

The Lunchbots lunch container is also a popular choice.  It has an easy to open lid, and similar to the Bentgo box, it has multiple compartments to allow for a variety of food choices for your child.  The durable stainless steel is built for long term usage.  It is dishwasher safe, and also comes in a trio; with two different varieties for the trio box!

 

3. OmieBox Bento Lunch Box

The OmieBox lunch box comes with a kid thermos that is insulated.  It opens easy, as does the lunch box itself with a snap lid.  It also has multiple compartments to provide a variety of food choices as well.  The leak proof, double walled, air insulated lunch box can be used for hot or cold foods, and the insulated thermos will keep food hot for up to four hours!

 

 

4. Zojirushi Mr. Bento Lunch Jar

The Zojirushi Mr. Bento lunch jar is by far the most convenient one for keeping foods hot.  It comes with four smaller insulated containers with lids, that are easily stored inside the jar.  It can keep food hot (or cold) for up to six hours!  It is vacuum insulated stainless steel, with microwavable food bowls.  The bowls come in different sizes, and the jar itself comes in a variety of colors. It even comes with a convenient carrying bag!

 

All of the lunch containers will provide opportunities for your child to practice their fine motor skills.  It also gives them an opportunity to be independent.  Any activities that aid in your child being self sufficient and independent will in the long run lead to them being confident and autonomous in the future, and on in to adulthood.  Come on, now who doesn’t want their young child to be more independent?!

 

Looking for more Back 2 School posts?  All through the month of August I will be bringing you posts giving you Back 2 School tips! Enjoy!

Anitra

 

 

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Back 2 School Montessori Extras

Back 2 School-Routine and Schedule for Healthy Dental Habits

By Anitra

One or more of the products mentioned in this post were provided for free to facilitate a review.

Back in 2005, I took a break from teaching.  I had been teaching for about 5 years, and felt a tad bit burnt out.  I decided to go back to school, only this time, I went a completely different path; I went to school to become a Dental Assist.  I learned quite a bit, and enjoyed my new found career.  Later that year, I was recommended and hired for a position as a Dental Assistant in a Pediatric Dental Office.  I had lucked out!  I had the best of both worlds; I could still interact with children, and use my new found skills as a Dental Assistant at the same time.  I enjoyed working as a Dental Assistant, but I was never as happy as I was when I had worked in a classroom.  So, long story short; I went back to teaching.  I have been consistently in a classroom ever since…

 

Every February, during National Children’s Dental Health Month, I do a two week unit on dental awareness, dental procedures, proper brushing techniques, and other oral hygiene topics.  I teach them all about their bay teeth; which are lettered from A to T and their adult teeth; which are numbered 1 to 32 (if you have your wisdom teeth).  The most important aspects of the dental awareness themes revolve around proper brushing techniques, how often to brush, flossing, and using mouth rinse.  With Back 2 School quickly approaching, I think that it is a great time for families to develop a oral hygiene routine and schedule.  I know, it’s a pain to have to come up with another routine and schedule with your already busy life.  Well you are in luck!  I will share my oral hygiene routine and schedule that I have developed just for busy families!  It’s the least I can do to make your Back 2 School transition an easy one!

 

Start the school year off on the right path with these

6 tips to develop healthy oral hygiene habits

 

1. Limit the amount of sugar your child eats.

I know, what child doesn’t love candy…or cupcakes..or cake…or ice cream?  I do, and I’m an adult!  It is easy to let your child eat sugary snacks, but in the long run, it is not healthy for their primary (baby) teeth or their permanent (adult) teeth.  As you know, sugar that sits on the teeth can cause decay, which leads to cavities; or as I call them SUGAR BUGS!!!

 

2. Have your child drink lots of water.

Water is important not just to your child’s oral health, but is important to the overall health of their entire body.  When your child is thirsty, try to encourage drinking water as often as possible over sugary beverages such as juice and soda.

 

3. Use toothpaste that has fluoride in it.

Fluoride is a mineral that can help reduce tooth decay.  It helps to harden the enamel on baby and adult teeth.  A pea sized amount of toothpaste containing fluoride should be used for children three years and younger.  Using a mouth rinse that contains fluoride is also an added benefit.

 

4. Model proper brushing techniques.

A good motto to adhere to is 2 minutes, 2 times a day.The ideal brushing technique is to brush the molars (back teeth) on the tops of the teeth (the chewing surface) and make sure to get the inside and outside of them as well. For the front teeth, brushing in circles insures that you are brushing to the gum lines.

 

5. See a Dentist on a regular basis.

It is beneficial to see a Dentist twice a year to get regular cleanings, x-rays, and a check-up.  A Dentist may recommend more frequent visits if a child displays a tendency to build up plaque or is subject to tooth decay.

 

6. Set up a routine and schedule and try to follow it as closely as possible.

Having a routine and schedule for oral hygiene is the best way to ensure healthy habits.  Click below for your Back 2  School Oral Hygiene Routine and Schedule.

 

 

 

In order for you to develop a healthy oral hygiene routine and schedule, you will need the necessary items to assist you.

 

 

  • Man yourself with the proper tools

The toothbrush is the most important tool in ensuring a good cleaning between visits to a Dentist.   I recommend and have recently used a great toothbrush from mouthwatchersMouthwatchers is a toothbrush company that has a line of manual and power toothbrushes. They are very reasonably priced, and have an option of purchasing single or yearly toothbrushes.

 

I have a youth and an adult manual toothbrush.  The soft bristles are gentle on my gums, and there are two sets of bristles for an even better brush.  I used the youth toothbrush to reach my wisdom teeth and molars in the back, and it left them feeling clean like I had just left the Dentist!  I used the adult toothbrush for all of my other teeth; my incisors and canines.  Overall, both toothbrushes left my teeth feeling extra clean, and I will definitely be investing in more mouthwatchers in the future!  For even more great products, go to mouthwatchers.com

 

 

 

Combining the above tips with a good, quality toothbrush, added with a daily routine and schedule, will put your child on the right path to developing healthy oral hygiene habits early on.  It may be beneficial for parents of young children to assist them with the brushing, as it may be difficult for children to brush their teeth by themselves.

 

Enjoy this post?  Be on the look out for more Back 2 School posts for the month of August.

Anitra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Back 2 School Montessori Extras

5 Tips to Ensure Your Child Success in Preschool

By Anitra

It is definitely that time of year again…the start of another school year.  The time of year when children start to leave my classroom, and I start to get new children…It is a sad time of the year to see many of the children leave who have been with me for two, sometimes three years; but it is also an exciting time where you are anxious to get to know and love your new little friends!  It may sound cheesy, but I hold a special place in my heart for the children that have been in my classroom over the years.  I keep in contact with quite a few of their parents as well; as they have become my friends and I ask about their children often!

Parents choose to put their children in preschool for many reasons.  The reasons can range anywhere from building their social skills, to develop growth in language skills, to promoting growth in maturity.  The same came be said for why parents choose Montessori as well; and for more specific reasons.  The reasons why parents choose to put their children in a Montessori school are because it is an environment that promotes self care, care for others, independence, and communication skills.  The Montessori environment is a structured, yet loving place where children enjoy being a part of a community, take pride in their independence, and are involved in their learning.

It is the job of the Montessori teacher to teach, guide, and encourage the growth in the whole child.  The whole child is independent, is a natural learner, and is willing to take on care of themselves, the environment, and their peers.  Although the Montessori teacher is there to assist in developing the growth of the whole child, the parents are just as important to this process.  There are things that parents can do to prepare their children for entry into a Montessori classroom.

I get it…it’s hard for parents to come to terms with the children may no longer be “babies” and that they don’t want them to grow up so fast…Trust me, I know how it feels from both sides of the fence; as a mother and as a teacher.  But  PLEASE listen to me when I say, that you are doing your children a HUGE disservice when you do everything for them, linger around the classroom, call the school all day long, and hide out in the parking lot watching to make sure your child is doing ok!!!!! Yes, this actually happens…All. The. Time.  Please understand that if you trusted the school and teachers enough to enroll your child, please trust us enough to let us do the job you are paying us for…Ok, sorry. Rant over.  Some of the tips may seem obvious, while others you may have not even thought of.

 

Here are 5 Tips for Preparing Your Child for Preschool

 

1. Please DON’T stay too long at drop off time.

I understand that you may be nervous if it is your child’s first school experience.  But staying too long makes your child get comfortable with the idea that you will be staying with them all day.  It also makes it difficult for them to want to go explore the classroom and engage with the other children.

DO practice the motto, “short drop off, long pick up”.  Make pick up time a longer, engaging experience.  Trust me, most times when it’s time to go home, they don’t want to go!  It happens all the time.

 

2. Please DON’T leave without saying goodbye.

Of course it is important to practice the motto, “short drop off, long pick up:.  But never just leave without saying goodbye to your child.  It may cause feelings of abandonment, and make them feel as if the school and classroom are not a safe place.  Even if they are crying and sad, still say goodbye to them and leave promptly.

DO give them a hug and even a kiss goodbye, and encourage them to have a fun or good day while at school.  You can also add that you will be back as soon as you’re done at work.

 

3. Please DON’T say goodbye; leave the classroom or playground, and them come back.

This is a very common thing parents do.  It is very disturbing to your child, especially if they have calmed down and are otherwise distracted.  To see you come back, gives them the impression that they are leaving, and once you leave out again, the entire episode starts again…only this time it’s WORSE!

DO remember, once you say goodbye and leave, you mustn’t return…under no circumstances.   It is very hard; not only on your child; but on the teachers who have to find a way to calm and comfort your child.

 

**Number 4 is especially important in a Montessori environment.**

4. Please DON’T enable your child by doing everything for them.

By this, I am referring to self care activities that they can do themselves.  From an early age, please remember that your child is more capable of doing things for themselves than you give them credit for.  All they need is the opportunity.  I have parents ask me all the time, “They pour their own water and milk”.  The answer is yes.  If i didn’t teach them from the first day they start, all I would do all day is pour water and milk! I wouldn’t have a chance to do anything else.  It is not going to hurt them if they are able to do things themselves.

Making her own snack

 

DO provide opportunities for your child to care for themselves.  A few examples are to have them dress themselves, help clean up after they eat, pick out their clothes, feed themselves, serve themselves snack, or let them help you cook.  You’d be amazed at what your child is capable of, if they are given the chance!  Some of these activities can be introduced as early as two years old.

 

 

Helping to make fresh bread

 

Putting on shoes independently

 

5. Please DON’T discuss starting school with your child too much before they actually start.

I have gotten feedback over the years from many parents that informed me that the month before their child started school they were excited to go.  But by the time it was their start date, they would either push back the start date or not enroll at all.  I found that talking about starting school too much actually causes anxiety and has the opposite effect on a child, making them not want to experience going to school.

DO discuss with your child that they will be starting school.  Do so often, but not so often that they lose interest in wanting to go.  Casually mention it here and there to them, and if they start to develop signs of anxiety or nervousness, end the conversation.  You can always try talking to them about it at another time.

 

Following these tips can make your child’s transition (and yours), to a Montessori school an easier one.  By following a few; or all of these tips may even cause a teacher thank you!

So, THANK YOU!!!

Anitra

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