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5 Key Tips on Implementing Montessori at Home

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the links and purchase products.  Please see the Disclosure Policy for more information.

 

Do you homeschool? Looking in to the Montessori Method for your homeschooling needs? Are you a daycare provider that would like to develop a specialized home space for your child? Are you a parent that would like to introduce key elements, thoughts, and practices of the Montessori Method into your home on a regular basis?

 

Are you interested in developing a better understanding of the Montessori Method?

 

Are you unfamiliar with the Method and its’ principles?

 

Don’t know where to begin?

 

Well, you are in luck! Whether you are familiar with the Montessori Method or not, there are some basic ideas and principles that you should know before you decide on fully implementing the practices of Montessori. There are many types of publications, websites, and information available that explains the Montessori Method. The information can come from various organizations and/or people, that provide information on the method. The main problem that I have noticed is, that the information is not always verified or come from a reputable source.

So, why not learn the ins and out of the Montessori Method from a trained Montessori teacher? Montessori trained teachers learn, study, and analyze Maria Montessori, her teachings and publications; as well as her philosophy, writings, and materials regarding the development of children and their education. Based on some of her writings, the tips below will give you a bit of insight on the basis of the Montessori Method, as well as tips on implementing the ideology.

 

The beginnings of the Montessori Method:

The Montessori Method is an educational and teaching system that was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator whose philosophy is based on creating a self-directed, hands on learning environment where children are encouraged to be the natural learners that they are. Independence, character development, and the development of their natural abilities are key components of the Montessori philosophy. Children thrive in an environment where they are active participants in their learning, are encouraged to explore their surroundings and have free choices in selecting activities. The method promotes child centered, developmentally appropriate activities, and fosters the development of the “whole child”. To learn more about the Montessori Method, be sure to check out the American Montessori Society website.

 

5 Key Tips for Implementing the Montessori Method at home
 
  1. Montessori activities should be child centered:

“The free choices made by the children enabled us to observe their psychic needs and tendencies”.-Maria Montessori, The Secret of the Child

One of the key concepts in introducing Montessori practices and principles is to ensure the environment and activities are child centered. Provide activities and items in the environment that are developmentally appropriate. Furniture should be child sized and items for the child’s use should be easily accessible for the child.

 

  1. Montessori activities should follow the child and their interests:

“The first thing to be done, therefore, is to discover the true nature of a child and then assist him in his normal development”. –Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood

When preparing the environment and activities, be sure to take into consideration what your child enjoys doing and learning. Provide activities that are focused on the child’s interests and allow them to decide on their activity choices, as well as taking note of things that may be of little to no interest to them.

 

  1. Montessori environments foster independence:

“The child’s conquests of independence are the basic steps in what is called his “natural development”.-Maria Montessori, Absorbent Mind

Create opportunities for your child to be independent. Providing opportunities for children to be independent builds confidence and fosters a sense of accomplishment. Encourage your child to do things independently; start with simple activities; then following the child’s development, increase to more complex activities.

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  1. Montessori fosters the development of the whole child:

“There is in the child a special kind of sensitivity which leads him to absorb everything about him, and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life”.-Maria Montessori, Absorbent Mind

Create and provide a wide variety of activities that encompass many different topics, subjects, and skills. Support the development of their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs by introducing your child to activities that will stimulate and foster their overall growth.

 

  1. The Montessori Method and environment contributes to the thought that children are natural learners:

“Before elaborating any system of education, we must therefore create a favorable environment that will encourage the flowering of a child’s natural gifts”.-Maria Montessori, The Secret of the Childhood

 

Prepare an environment that allows your child to learn from it. Have various activities that teach many different concepts, so that your child can intuitively learn from the activities. Introduce activities that allow your child to explore, create, and motivate their ability to learn naturally.

Are you intrigued to learn more about implementing the Montessori Method at home? Need ideas on activities to implement into your home? Please feel free to email me so we can discuss the details of my Montessori in the Home Activity & Ideas Plan!

 

Want to learn more about the Montessori Method and implementing it in your home?  Check out these books to give you more insight and understanding into the principles.

 

How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way

by Tim Seldin

 

 

Montessori at Home Guide

by A. M. Sterling

 

 

Teaching Montessori in the Home: Preschool Years

by Elizabeth G. Hainstock

 

 

Montessori at Home: A Complete Guide to Teaching Your Preschooler at Home Using the Montessori Method

by Heidi Spietz

 

 

Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook: A Short Guide to Her Ides and Materials

by Maria Montessori

 

Hoping that you have greater knowledge on the Montessori Method!

Keeping these tips in mind when implementing the Montessori Method will put you on the right path to creating a child centered and independent learning environment for you child.

 

Anitra

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4 of the best kids subscriptions you need to sign up for RIGHT NOW!

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on and purchase products.  Please see the Disclosure Policy for more information.

 

The latest, newest, and most popular thing nowadays are subscriptions.  There are subscriptions and subscription boxes for anything and everyone in your family.  Clothing, razors for shaving, shoes, toys, educational homeschool items…you name it, there is a subscription for it!  Obviously subscriptions make life for a busy family EXTREMELY easy; you can pick what you want or need online, and it gets delivered right to your door!  it doesn’t get any easier or convenient than that, that’s for sure!

 

 

With all the buzz and hype surrounding subscriptions, I decided to give you my list of top 4 subscriptions for kids.  Each subscription varies in price, products, ages, and frequency of the subscription.  A few of these I remember having a subscription to when I was younger, and I absolutely loved them!  I subscribed to a few of these for my daughters when they were in elementary and middle school as well, and they still talk about how much they loved getting “mail” and having their own products delivered to our house that belonged to them.

 

Subscriptions are great for everyone; and depending on what topics interest your child or children, you are surely to find one or more of these subscriptions that your child will fall in love with!

 

The 4 BEST kids subscriptions you need to sign up for RIGHT NOW!

 

Little Passports has four different monthly subscriptions ranging in ages from three to twelve years old. Little Passports is an award winning subscription that allows children to learn about the world through monthly subscriptions and activities.

The Little Passports Early Explorers

Ages 3 to  5

The characters take you on a worldwide adventure, perfect for the younger learner!

The subscription comes with:

  • high quality stickers
  • trading cards
  • flashlight game
  • photo postcard
  • letter from characters Max and Mia
  • fun souvenirs
  • activity booklet

Skills taught:

  • Geography
  • Following directions
  • Color recognition
  • Fine motor control

 

The Little Passports World Edition

Ages 6 to 10

The characters take you on a trip around the globe and teach your children about world cultures!

The subscription comes with:

  • high quality stickers
  • activity sheets
  • photo postcard
  • letter from characters Sam and Sophia
  • fun souvenirs
  • bonus recipes and crafts
  • online games and activities

Skills taught:

  • Geography
  • Country recognition
  • Imagination
  • Empathy and Memory

 

The Little Passports USA Edition

Ages 7-12

The characters take you on trip to explore and visit the 50 states, famous landmarks, and state history!

The subscription comes with:

  • 32 page state journal
  • educational stories
  • hands-on activities
  • tasty recipes
  • fun facts
  • 3D landmark models
  • online photo album and more

Skills taught:

  • State recognition
  • Creative thinking
  • Reasoning and logic
  • Focus and attention

 

The Little Passports Science Expeditions

Ages 9+

Help the characters solve scientific mysteries while they collaborate with international scientists!

The subscription comes with:

  • achievement badges
  • 8 page experiment guide
  • 16 page comic book with glossary and activities
  • lab notebook prompts
  • experiment kits
  • bonus online video

Skills taught:

  • Experimentation
  • Problem-solving
  • Observation
  • Note taking

 

Little Passports also has a huge selection of individual products as well as the subscriptions.

 

 

Curiosity Pack is a monthly subscription that inspires a love of learning through activities that teaches children to be caring and empathetic while learning letters, numbers, science, and art; just to name a few.  They have two subscription options; and a Personalized Learning Plan, perfect for home school, depending on what your needs are.

Countdown to Kindergarten

Ages 3 to 5

Teaches the academic and social skills children need for Kindergarten.

The subscription comes with:

  • Curiosity pack or a book pack
  • Curiosity packs include: the Letters pack, the Numbers pack, and the Feelings pack
  • Each pack includes parent education, ready to use activities and information about child development

Skills taught:

  • real world learning situations with numbers and letters
  • feel more comfortable about a new environment
  • develop empathy

 

Change Makers Club

The Change Makers Club is an 8 week subscription that teaches children to be empowered to change the world for the better!

Ages (0-5) Know Your Power

Ages (6-8) Connect & Amplify

Ages 9+ Be the Change

The subscription comes with:

  • Weekly email plans
  • Downloadable activities to print and complete
  • Scripts and questions
  • Profiles of other kid heroes that have mad a difference

Skills taught:

  • Explore and learn from your community
  • Help your child identify themselves as a helper
  • Articulate and communicate values

 

 

Highlights Magazines have been a childhood favorite for more than 70 years!  Their subscriptions magazines provide opportunities to learn through games, puzzles, rhymes and more!

High Five Magazine

Ages 2 to 6

The monthly High Five Magazine is geared toward the younger, inquisitive learner.

The subscription includes:

  • Easy recipes and crafts
  • Action rhymes that encourage exercising
  • Stories from other parts of the world and cultures
  • Hidden pictures

Skills taught:

  • Boosts thinking and problem solving
  • Includes basic concepts of science, nature and art
  • Teaches word recognition
  • Introduces math concepts
  • Promotes values and creativity

 

Highlights Magazine

Ages 6 to 12

The monthly Highlights Magazine is designed for school aged children to build upon and expand on the skills they learn while in school.

The subscription includes:

  • Hidden pictures
  • Stories from other parts of the world and cultures to expand empathy
  • BrainPlay and other features to let them know their opinion is valued
  • Crafts and science experiments

Skills taught:

  • Attention to detail and concentration
  • Fascinating science and nature topics
  • A chance to see their own creative work in print
  • Critical thinking and creativity

 

Highlight has many other products as well, such as clubs, apps, toys, and books.  Check out all they have to offer here.

 

 

Zoobooks Magazines teaches children about all things related to animals.  They have three different subscriptions, that are great for child up to twelve years old!

Zoobies

Ages 0-2

The subscription comes with:

  • Lift the flap and peek-a-boo features
  • Beautiful photography
  • Durable toddler tough pages

Skills taught:

  • Mind building concepts like colors, shapes and sizes
  • Ideas for nature fun for the whole family

 

Zootles

Ages 3 to 6

The subscription comes with:

  • Amazing photographs
  • Fun cartoon characters
  • Fascinating illustrations

Skills taught:

  • Games, puzzles and activities in the Fun Pages
  • Access to online learning
  • Loads of ideas for extended learning opportunities

 

Zoobooks

Ages 6 to 12

The subscription comes with:

  • Amazing wildlife photography
  • Games and puzzles
  • Online access to Secret Jungle Club

Skills taught:

  • Learn about animal habitats
  • Social life of animals
  • Conservation
  • Encourages kids to be life long learners

 

 

These subscriptions provide variety for all ages and all stages of development.  Any one of these would be a great addition to any classroom, home school curriculum, or as a beginning to your child’s life long learning adventure!

 

Happy subscribing, and I hope you find a subscription that fits your child’s educational needs!

 

Anitra

 

 

 

Classroom Content Practical Life

10 amazing Valentine’s Practical Life Activities

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on and purchase products.  Please see the Disclosure Policy for more information.

 

Valentine’s Day is 13 days away, and I have begun decorating and planning for the Valentine’s theme. With it being the beginning of a new month, I am busy creating and putting together many new works and activities for all areas of my classroom.  The Practical Life area is no exception.  I try to change out my Practical Life activities and exercises at least a few times a month.  That way, the activities keep the children intrigued and happy to explore the Practical Life area of the classroom.

The Practical Life area in a Montessori classroom or home school is the area of the classroom where children develop the necessary skills related to the care of self.  Many of the works foster fine motor skills, grasping, cutting, transferring, and hand eye coordination.  These skills are a necessary precursor to writing, reading, and mathematical functions.  There are many activities that can be included in the Practical Life area; there are no limits as to what you can add!  It is important however to consider the different developmental stages of the children in your classroom.

For more information on the importance of the Practical Life area and a description of the other areas of a Montessori classroom, you can read What is all the hype about? A detailed look inside a traditional Montessori classroom.

Whenever possible, I like to tie in the Practical Life area of the classroom with the weekly theme.  There are so many amazing activities to do for Valentine’s Day, so this is a theme that we do for two weeks!  The pictures are of actual works in my classroom, and will be introduced one at a time over the next two weeks.  Take a look, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did putting them together!

 

 

10 Amazing Valentine's Themed Fine Motor Activities

 

1. Pink playdough with heart shaped cookie cutters in different sizes

Make heart shaped cutouts using playdough and cookie cutters

Materials:

  • a tray
  • playdough
  • heart shaped cookie cutters
  • rolling pin (optional)
  • a pair of scissors (optional)

Objectives:

  • grasping
  • fine motor skills
  • hand eye coordination

 

 

2. Hanging heart doilies with clothespins

Hang the heart doiles around the top edge of the basket using clothespins

Materials:

  • rectangular basket
  • heart shaped doilies
  • clothespins

Objectives:

  • fine motor skills
  • pincher grasp
  • pencil grasp

 

 

3. Heart bouquet

Make a heart bouquet using heart cake toppers

Materials:

  • plastic heart cake toppers
  • glass vase
  • a tray

Objectives:

  • fine motor
  • eye hand coordination

 

 

4. Heart shape cutting

Follow along the line and cut out the heart shape

Materials:

  • scissors
  • paper with heart shaped traced on it
  • hot dog tray

Objectives:

  • scissor practice
  • fine motor skills
  • hand eye coordination

 

 

5. Transferring plastic hearts with a small, flat spoon

Transfer the hearts from one bowl to many using a small, flat spoon

Materials:

  • a tray
  • 1 large glass bowl
  • plastic hearts
  • a spoon

Objectives:

  • pencil grasp
  • fine motor
  • hand eye coordination

 

 

6. Valentine’s Pony Bead Sorting

Using their fingers, pick out and sort all of the pony beads by color

Materials:

  • a tray
  • 1 large glass bowl
  • 3 to 5 small bowls
  • pony beads in different colors

Objectives:

  • fine motor skills
  • sorting
  • hand eye coordination
  • pincher grasp

 

 

7. Transferring heart shaped jewels using a tea infuser

Transfer all of the heart shpaed jewels from one bowl to the other using the tea infuser

Materials:

  • 2 glass bowls
  • tea infuser
  • heart shaped jewels
  • a tray

Objectives:

  • hand grasp
  • hand eye coordination

 

 

8. Transfer heart shaped beads with tweezers

Transfer heart shaped beads from one bowl to many using tweezers

Materials:

  • a tray
  • heart shaped beads
  • 1 large bowl
  • 2 small bowls
  • tweezers

Objectives:

  • fine motor skills
  • hand eye coordination
  • pincher grasp
  • pencil grasp

 

 

9. Transfer heart confetti using a meduim sized spoon

Transfer the heart shaped confettin from one bowl to the other using a meduim sized spoon

Materials:

  • a tray
  • -a medium sized spoon
  • heart shaped confetti
  • -2 small bowls

Objectives:

  • hand eye coordination
  • grasp

 

 

10. Pin poking heart shapes

Using a large push pin, poke around the heart shape close enough to be able to punch out the shape.

Materials:

  • a tray
  • a small bowl
  • a large push pin
  • a poke mat
  • heart shapes to poke

Objectives:

  • fine motor skills
  • hand eye coordination
  • pincher grasp
  • pencil grasp

 

 

Many of the materials in each of these activities can be found at the Dollar Tree, believe it or not! They havegreat Valentine’s themed itmes, perfect for any classroom or homeschool environment.   I get all of my trays, glass bowls, and many other items from there as well.  You’d be amazed at the wonderful finds and great quality classroom itmes they have!  Check out the Dollar Tree; you can even order in bulk online!  You can’t beat that!

 

I will be posting pictures of the children in my classroom doing all of these activities, so be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

 

 

Anitra

 

Montessori Extras Parenting Teaching

Which school model is best for your child? Traditional or Alternative

By Anitra

 

Keeping with the theme about the various learning styles of how children learn and the multiple intelligences, I find it only fitting to now discuss school choices.  I thought that it would be good to discuss and compare the two educational models.  My hopes in comparing and laying out the differences in the models would be that parents have enough information to make an informed decision on choosing what type of school is right for their child (ren).  Although I am a Montessori trained professional, I support any and all educational settings that have the best interest of the child and their needs as their objective.

 

 

Last week, I posted about the different learning styles and intelligences on how children learn. According to psychologist Gardner, there are eight different learning styles.  In case you missed it, you can read it here.  Like I stated before, it is important to find out what type of learner your child is so that you can decide which type of school environment fits their learning style the best.  There are two main educational models to choose from when selecting a school for your child.

 

I will break down and compare both educational paradigms so that you have a clear understanding of each type, and can make an informed decision when selecting a school for your child.  This comparison is helpful when selecting a preschool, elementary school, middle school or high school.  There are many choices that have become popular over the last ten years, and the different types of educational environments either supports one of the two models I will discuss or a sort of combination of the two.  Each type has very distinct characteristics that set it apart from the other.

When I was younger there was one choice; public school.  Many of the alternative schools that exist and that are popular today weren’t an option or even a possibility.  Now, parents have the choice to choose the educational environment that they feel is best for their child.

 

Comparison of two educational models

 

Traditional Model:

Founded on the theory of Behaviorism

Example: Public school education                                                               

1. The student is viewed as the passive recipient of the transmission of knowledge.  The learning environment is teacher centered and directed

2. A product oriented, linear curriculum: building block type of model; in which a foundation of information is built upon. Once information is presented, it is rarely revisited.

 

 

Focuses on:   

*group orientation and instruction

*students are taken through a predetermined curriculum

*information is disseminated through lecture, reading of textbooks, rote memorization of abstract facts, testing the facts in a standardized manner, and evaluation is through a system of grading.

*subjects are offered as separate disciplines

*chronological grouping of students

 

Fosters:    

*knowledge of basic skills: recall of facts and surface information, mechanical use of abstract operations

*a perspective of heteronomy: refers to action that is influenced by forces outside the individual

*an external locus of control

*dependence upon the authority figure

*convergent thinking (finding a single best solution to a problem)

*competitive organizational structure based on mutual respect

 

Alternative Model:

Founded on the theory of Constructivism

Example: Montessori Education

1. The student is viewed as an active participant in constructing knowledge.  The learning environment is child led and directed.

2. A process oriented, non-linear curriculum: spiral type of model; in which knowledge areas are visited and revisited at higher and higher levels of difficulty and complexity.

 

Focuses on:

*individualized orientation and instruction

*the curriculum is developed to meet the needs of the students

*information is disseminated through demonstration, hand-on use of concrete materials, shared inquiry, child/teacher collaboration, portfolio assessment, and descriptive evaluation.

*subjects are offered as integrated disciplines

*multi-aged grouping of students

 

 

 Fosters:

*an understanding of the process underlying learning, knowledge of basic skills: functional application, ability to access information,

problem solving, and critical thinking skills

*a perspective of autonomy: refers to action that is not influenced by forces outside the individual

*an internal locus of control

*independence and self-responsibility

*divergent thinking (finding a variety of possible solutions to a problem)

*cooperative organizational structure based on mutual respect

 

 

 

It is important to take many factors into consideration when selecting a school environment for your child.  Their individual learning style, the philosophy of the school, the academic structure of the school and compatibility with your personal learning goals for your child should all be considered.

As stated above, an example of the traditional model is public school education and an example of the alternative model is Montessori education or other academic/philosophical based schools.  An example of a mixture of the traditional and alternative models is a charter school.  Many charter school offer a blend of sit down classes as well as home school or independent study.  There are so many choices to choose from, and it is important that each parent and family to research and determine what is the right fit for their child(ren) and family.

 

Anitra

 

 

Montessori Extras Parenting Teaching

What Kind of Learner is Your Child?

By Anitra

 

Everyone in the world has their strengths and weaknesses.  Some are natural athletes; while others have to practice and train to become a good athlete.  Some people are naturals when it comes to academics; while others mat struggle a bit and have to study in order to do well in school.  People are so different; it is even amazing to see how different or similar your child are to you, and to see how different or similar siblings can be.  For instance, I have two daughters.  One is in college, and the other is in high school.  My daughter in high school goes to the same school her sister did.  She has many of the same teachers as well.  They didn’t actually go there at the same time; my oldest was a freshman in college when my youngest was a freshman in high school.

 

There are many kids and teachers alike that are shockingly AMAZED that they are sisters!  My oldest daughter was not as social as my youngest is.  Academics came easier for my oldest daughter and she had to work hard to excel in sports.  My youngest daughter on the other hand is a natural athlete, and learns better with visuals. Unfortunately, most public schools are do not teach using many visuals. So you see, although they are siblings, they are like night and day!  My oldest daughter is more like me; academics comes fairly easy to me and my youngest daughter is more like my husband in that he also learns better by seeing.

 

It is important to realize how your child learns early on. If you have younger children, it can help you in deciding what type of preschool to enroll them in; or if you should home school them.  Determining what type of learner your child is also is important in the later years of schooling as well.  Not all children are meant to sit for hours at a desk and listen to a teacher teach from the front of the classroom.  Some children need to be engaged in their learning, they need to be able to freely move about, explore, and actively take part in how and what they learn. There is so much to consider when choosing the right school path for your child.  Being aware of how your child learns will help you decide what is right for your child.

 

So…Do you know what type of learner your child is?

 

According to psychologist Howard Gardner, there are eight types of intelligence. Early on in his research, Gardner had discovered seven intelligences, but later added the eighth.  He believes that everyone has a small part of all the intelligences within them.  But he also believed that over the years; a person develops one area of intelligence more thoroughly than the other areas and that becomes their primary way of learning.  To learn more about Howard Gardner and his theory of multiple intelligences and to find out your multiple intelligence, please click here.

 

What kind of learner is your child?

 

Interpersonal

-Thinks by bouncing ideas off other people

Also known as “The Socializer”

LIKES TO:

  • have lots of friends
  • talk to people
  • join groups

IS GOOD AT:

  • understanding people
  • leading others
  • organizing
  • communicating
  • manipulating
  • mediating conflicts

LEARNS BEST BY:

  • sharing
  • comparing
  • relating
  • cooperating
  • interviewing

 

 

Musical

-Thinks via rhythms and melodies

Also known as “The Music Lover”

LIKES TO:

  • sing, hum tunes
  • listen to music
  • respond to music

IS GOOD AT:

  • picking up sounds
  • remembering melodies
  • noticing pitches/rhythms
  • keeping tune

LEARNS BEST BY:

  • rhythm
  • melody
  • music

 

 

Bodily-Kinesthetic

 

-Thinks through somatic sensations

Also known as “The Mover”

LIKES TO:

  • move around
  • touch and talk
  • use body language

IS GOOD AT:

  • physical activities
  • crafts

LEARNS BEST BY:

  • touching
  • moving
  • interacting with space
  • processing knowledge through bodily sensations

 

 

Naturalistic

-Thinks by relating to the outside world

Also know as “The One With Nature”

LIKES TO:

  • grow things
  • be in nature
  • camp, hike, and bike

IS GOOD AT:

  • memorizing
  • observing
  • recognizing patterns in nature

LEARNS BEST BY:

  • classification
  • exploration
  • touching
  • examining

 

 

Spatial

-Thinks in images and pictures

Also known as “The Visualizer”

LIKES TO:

  • draw, build, design
  • daydream
  • look at pictures
  • watch movies
  • play with machines

IS GOOD AT:

  • imagining
  • sensing changes
  • mazes/puzzles
  • reading maps/charts

LEARNS BEST BY:

  • visualizing
  • dreaming
  • using the minds’ eye
  • working with colors/pictures

 

 

Logical-Mathematical

-Thinks by reasoning

Also known as “The Questioner”

LIKES TO:

  • do experiments
  • figure things out
  • work with numbers
  • ask questions
  • explore patterns and relationships

IS GOOD AT:

  • math
  • reasoning
  • logic
  • problem solving

LEARNS BEST BY:

  • categorizing
  • classifying
  • working with abstract patterns/relationships

 

 

Linguistic

-Thinks in words

Also known as “The World Player”

LIKES TO:

  • read
  • write
  • tell stories

IS GOOD AT:

  • memorizing names, places, dates and trivia
  • word puzzles
  • writing

LEARNS BEST BY:

  • saying
  • hearing
  • seeing words

 

 

Intrapersonal

-Thinks deeply inside of themselves

Also known as “The Individual”

LIKES TO:

  • work alone
  • pursue own interests

IS GOOD AT:

  • understanding self
  • focusing inward on feelings/dreams
  • following instincts
  • pursuing interests/goals
  • being original

LEARNS BEST BY:

  • working alone
  • individualized projects
  • self-paced instruction
  • having own space

 

Finding out your child’s learning style and strengths is important in finding the right learning environment for your child.  There are many alternatives to public school.  Charter schools, home school, private schools, Montessori schools, and  hybrid schools are all environments that accommodate the various types of learning styles.  One of my favorite quotes is pictured below; it speaks volumes and is a huge part of my personal teaching philosophy.

 

 

 

I am more of a Linguistic learner…

What’s your learning style?  What is YOUR multiple intelligence?

Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Anitra

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classroom Content Math Montessori Extras Parenting Science Sensorial Teaching

20 STEM Activities perfect for your child and home

By Anitra

 

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

 

Are you intrigued how the latest ideas are being created?  How Elon Musk, Owner of Tesla Inc. came up with the fully electric vehicle and the world’s first fully electric semi-truck?  Ever wonder how a 3-D printer was made?  I know I am curious and downright fascinated by the inventions that have taken over our world in recent years.  Without showing my age, I remember being in high school and the technological innovations that were all the rage were the world wide web, DVD’s, and the Prius; the first mass-produced hybrid was introduced!! Isn’t that crazy?!

With everything we do being so technologically based, it is no wonder that STEM is becoming one of the fastest growing educational programs out there.  All the newest advances, all the newest ideas and all the newest breakthroughs are science, engineering and technologically based.

 

In order to keep up with the technology of the world, it is important to introduce these types of activities, skills, and thinking to children.  STEM has slowly made its way into the mainstream public school system, but has had a place in private schools, Charter Schools and alternative schools around the country.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the goal of STEM is to provide opportunities for the youth to thrive “where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know and have the skills and knowledge to solve tough problems, gather & evaluate evidence, and make sense of information”.

Children must be exposed to situations in which they can learn, develop and use the skills necessary to compete in our ever changing world.  I have compiled a list of 20 STEM activities that you can incorporate in your classroom or home to give them exposure to these objectives.  The activities are geared for children three years of age and older.  Due to small parts/objects, these activities are not intended for use with children under three years of age.

**Important note: an item search from any of the links will take you to the desired product**

Item descriptions courtesy of discountschoolsupply.com.  Used with permission.

 

20 STEM Activities for your child and home

 

1. Exploring Circuitry Light Blocks

Item #LSTAX

Explore circuitry and creativity through illuminating open-ended play! Using LED technology, each block lights up when connected to the base or another lit block. A glowing introduction to engineering and STEM.

 

2. Primary Science Color Mixer

Item #COLMIX

Let’s mix some color up and experiment!

 

3. Tornado Tube

 

Item #TORN

Tornado Tube employs hydraulic principles to create the vortex of a tornado within a bottle. Connect 2 empty plastic soft drink bottles together, fill one of the bottles 2/3 full with water, turn it over, spin, and watch the tornado appear.

 

4. Rainforest Cloud Biome Kit

Item #RAINFST

Grow your own tropical rainforest in this unique planter! Rain swirls on top of containers help regulate where water falls to maintain the best conditions for your plants to flourish.

 

5. Solar Building Windmill

Item #SUNMILL

Easy build-it-yourself windmill powered by the sun!

 

6. Brilliant Builders

Item #STRAW

Make structures big enough to sit in or as small as a shoe box.

 

7. Blue Sands Alive

Item #COLSABL

A soothing sensory experience

 

8. Snappy Sticks Building Set

Item #SNAPSTIX

Imaginative open-ended hands-on fun!

 

9. How Long Is It? Measuring Tape

Item #BIGM

This oversized measuring tape is scaled in inches and centimeters. With a large carrying handle, rewind knob with a clicking action, and a 36″ tape, young children will find it easy to manipulate and learn the skill of measuring.

 

10. Platform Scale

 

Item #SCALE

See and compare weights and measurements. Easy to read and accurate with metric and standard English display. Scale measures liquids and solids in the removable pan.

 

11. Height and Depth Measuring Blocks

Item #DEPTH

A unique way to learn about both height and depth!

 

12. STEM Exploring Engineering Set

Item #STEMSY

STEM learning made simple! Introduce and explore all 6 simple machines as you make amazing discoveries, design solutions for real-world problems and conduct your own investigations.

 

13. Hydroponics Lab

Item #H2OGROW

Investigate the hidden magic of plant roots!

 

14. Botany Lab Experimental Greenhouse

Item #BOTANY

Students learn about plants and seeds by conducting experiments in a specially-designed botanical laboratory with greenhouse domes.

 

15. STEM Force and Motion Discovery Set

Item #FORCE

Design engineering challenges with this exclusive STEM set! Discover science concepts while predicting, measuring, collecting and comparing data.

 

16. Classroom Measurement Set

Item #MEASURE

Children can practice customary capacities, liquid measurement and metric conversions with this set.

 

17. Smartcar Logic Puzzle

Item #SMARTCAR

Challenge kids to build a car with 5 different blocks in this unique logic game!

 

18. Number Tower

Item #NUMTOWER

Select a number block then stack the cubes, counting each as you go – it’s fun to learn about numbers! 22 pieces total, numerous ways to use, self explanatory with lines indicating cube spaces on the back of each number block.

 

19. Jenga

Item #JENGA

The original wood block stacking game!

 

20. Root-Vue Farm

Item #ROOT

Watch carrots, radishes and onions take form before your eyes through a sturdy, styrofoam surround with break-proof acrylic viewing window. Complete instructions plus tested experiments.

 

STEM Related Books

 

1.Our Physical World Books-5Titles

Item #EBOOKS

The perfect introduction to physical science. Easy to understand explanations of how basic physical principles of science relate to our world.  Titles in set include: All About Matter, Electricity All Around, Learning About Rocks, A Look at Magnets and Soil Basics

 

2. Science Vocabulary Books-4 Titles

Item #NATWORLD

Explore nature from the smallest insects to the tallest trees!  Includes these titles: Learning About Animals, Learning About Trees, Learning About Insects, Learning About Plants

 

3. Weather Watchers Books-6 Titles

Item #TWISTER

Young readers fascinated by the changing skies can focus on different types of weather and its causes.  Titles Included: Clouds, Lightning, Rain, Snow, Sunshine, Thunder, Wind

 

4. How Do You Measure? 4 Titles

Item #MEABKS

Learn about measuring units and picking the right tools.  Titles Included: How Do You Measure Weight?, How Do You Measure Liquids?, How Do You Measure Time?, How Do You Measure Length and Distance?

 

These activities and books are meant to be an introduction to STEM education.  Giving children the opportunity to engage in hands on learning is important and imperative to the future of science, technology, engineering, and math.

 

I have found a few new activities from this post that I will be incorporating into my classroom.  I hope that you are able to find and add some of these interesting, fun, exciting activities to your environment as well!

 

Enjoy!

 

Anitra

 

 

Classroom Content Montessori Extras

30 Holiday Books to add to your collection TODAY!

By Anitra

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

Who doesn’t LOVE a good book?!  Books are the gate to literature, reading, and language.  Exposing children to books early on in their lives aids in their language development.  Something as simple reading to your child will open up a whole world of learning for them!

Are you looking for books to add to your classroom library or for your children at home for this holiday season?  Well this Ultimate List of Holiday Books has you covered!  The list consists of 30 books with everything from Winter, snow, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.  There are many classics on the list, as well as some new ones or some that may be unfamiliar to you as well.  I wanted to have a good mix of books on the list to add some variety to the list.  I hope you are able to get a hold of some of these great selections this holiday season!

 

The Ultimate List of Holiday Books

1.

by Ezra Jack Keats Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
2.
3.
 
by Juwanda G. Ford Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max
 4.

There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow!

by Lucille Colandro Illustrated by Jared D. Lee

 5.
by Norman Bridwell Illustrated by Norman Bridwell
 6.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?

by Jane Yolen Illustrated by Mark Teague

 

 7.
by Cecily Kaiser Illustrated by Brian Schatell
 8.
by Jane Yolen Illustrated by Mark Teague
 9.
by Caryn Yacowitz Illustrated by David Slonim
 10.
 
by Chris Van Allsburg Illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
 11.
by Lauren Thompson Illustrated by Stephen Savage
12.
by Lauren Thompson Illustrated by Jon J Muth
13.
by Nick Cannon Illustrated by AG Ford
14.
by Norman Bridwell Illustrated by Norman Bridwell
15.
by Lisa McCourt Illustrated by Cyd Moore
16.

Can You See What I See?

by Walter Wick Illustrated by Walter Wick

 

17.

Clifford’s Christmas 

By Norman Bridwell , illustrated by Norman Bridwell

 

18.

Christmas Morning

By Cheryl Ryan Harshman , illustrated by Jenny Mattheson

 

19.

Christmas Tree!

By Wendell Minor , illustrated by Wendell Minor

 

 

20.

Snow

By Marion Dane Bauer , illustrated by John Wallace

 

21.

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah

By Susan L. Roth , illustrated by Susan L. Roth

 

 

22.

Snow! Snow! Snow!

By Lee Harper , illustrated by Lee Harper

 

 

23.

Hoppy Hanukkah!

By Linda Glaser , illustrated by Daniel Howarth

 

 

24.

Winter

By Janie Carr

 

 

25.

It’s Winter Another Season Book

By Jimmy Pickerin

 

 

26.

The Seven Days of Kwanzaa

By Angela Shelf Medearis

 

 

27.

Mooseltoe

By Margie Palatini , illustrated by Henry Cole

 

 

28.

The Legend of Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens

By Joe Troiano , illustrated by Lydia Halverson

 

29.

Santa’s Reindeer Games

By Samantha Berger , illustrated by John Manders

 

30.

The Littlest Reindeer

By Brandi Dougherty , illustrated by Michelle Todd

 

 

 

I hope that some of these books bring back great memories and that some of them become new favorites and you make new memories with them!  Books are always great to have, no matter the time of year!

 

Happy Reading!

 

Anitra

 

Art Montessori Extras Parenting

Easy Christmas hanging photo tree craft

By Anitra

 

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

It’s that time of year where shopping for gifts is in full spring!  I personally always LOVED when my daughters would give me handmade gifts for holidays; these are the ones that I still have and hold dear to my heart.  When children make things, they feel a sense of pride, accomplishment, and joy knowing that they created something so special for someone they love!

 

With that being said…Are you looking for an easy child made craft to give as a Christmas gift?  This hanging photo tree is fun and would make a great gift for parents in your classroom, grandparents, or other relatives!  I am actually making these this year in my classroom, and I am getting quite a few compliments on them from the other teachers in the school!  It is fairly easy and inexpensive, but it does require an adult’s aid. Hope you like our parent gifts for this year!

 

Christmas Hanging Photo Tree Craft

Materials/supplies needed:

clothespins

Christmas ribbon

-Beads (either Fused beads or Pony beads)

White wire hangers

Wire cutters

Hot glue gun

Hot glue sticks

Acrylic paint

 

Step 1:

Cut the wire hanger to your desired length with wire cutters.

 

Step 2:

Determine how many clothespins you would like your photo hanger tree to have, and paint them with acrylic paint.  I decided that six clothespins would be efficient, and I chose to paint them green.  Make sure to paint all sides of the clothespins.

 

Step 3:

Decide what kind of beads you would like on your photo hanging tree.  Put the beads on the wire base.  I decided to use the Fused Beads in green and red.  For the beads, I used fourteen of them, in alternating colors.

 

 

Step 4:

Put your freshly painted clothespins on your wire base.  Place each clothespin in between every two beads.  I also left two on each end to complete the look.

 

Step 5:

Using the hot glue gun, glue a fused bead onto both ends of the wire base.

 

 

Step 6:

Using the hot glue gun, glue the end of a pre-cut piece of ribbon onto the fused beads on the ends of the wire base.

 

Step 7:

Your hanging photo tree is complete!  Just add pictures and hang!

 

 

 

This was a really fun activity that the kids made.  The only part that I would suggest an adult do is cutting the wire hangers with the wire cutter and any part of the project using a glue gun.  Other than that, children can do the rest!  We will be wrapping these up for the parents and giving them for presents in a few weeks!  I’m happy with how they came out, and they didn’t take long at all to do.  I actually did 21 of these, and it didn’t take long at all!  The acrylic paint dries fairly quickly, so it made it easy to paint all sides in one day.

 

I hope you enjoy our craft, and hopefully you will make your own hanging photo tree!

 

Anitra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classroom Content Math Montessori Extras Practical Life Themed Activities

13 December Practical Life Activities for home or school

By Anitra

 

With November slowly coming to an end, it is time to shake up the shelves and add some December themed activities to them.  Changing out the activities frequently; but not too frequently, keep the children engaged, interested, and excited about working in the Practical Life area.  For those unfamiliar with the Practical Life area in a Montessori classroom or homeschool, it is the area that has many components to it that make it the most important area of a Montessori classroom.  They learn many practical, self help & care skills; hence where the name Practical Life stemmed from.  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.

 

As Maria Montessori stated,“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.

 

Pictures of my classroom Practical Life shelves

 

 

If you would like more information about the Montessori Primary (preschool) classroom and all the areas of the environment, please click here to read my post where I describe in detail the Montessori environment.

 

I like to keep the work on the shelves fun and if possible, theme related.  For December, my themes are snow, Antarctica, Winter, Hanukkah, and Christmas.  The 15 December themed activities are actual activities that I use in my classroom.  I have tweeked, added to, and taken away various activities over the years, but this is my set up for this December.  I hope you enjoy them!

 

13 December Themed Practical Life Activities for home or school

 

 

1. Using tongs to transfer large jingle bells

Children love transferring objects.  This work is great for that!

 

 

2. Stringing large bells on pipe cleaners

This is a more complicated work.  It takes patience to string the bells on the pipe cleaners.  Some challenges are good for them!

 

 

3. Spooning “snow”

This spoon is wide and flat.  It is good to have a variety of different sized and shaped spoons for transferring works.

 

 

4. Using a ladle to scoop Christmas peppermint erasers

Using a ladle is another way to add variety to your activities.  The children LOVE the themed erasers as well!

 

 

5. Using a small spoon to transfer snowflake erasers

It may seem repetitious, but having the varying sized spoons adds a different element.

 

 

6. Using a medium spoon to transfer one to many with snowman erasers

Transferring one to many adds another element to a an activity.  It adds an option that wasn’t previously used in the other works.

 

 

7. Using tweezers to transfer small jingle bells

Tweezers are great for transferring objects.  They are a little more challenging than using tongs.

 

 

8. Using a tea infuser to transfer snowman erasers

A tea infuser is a very unique tool to use for transferring.  It allows the child to use their “squeezing” capabilities.  It is a favorite!

 

 

9. Building a snowman

Make and put out the pieces to build a snowman.  A top hat, a large circle, a medium circle, a small circle with eyes & a nose, and add a few buttons.  Children have everything they need to build a snowman!  This is another favorite in my classroom!

 

 

10. Art sponge-painted polar bears

White paint, a small sponge, a polar bear stencil, and blue construction paper make for a fun polar bear!  I have them “dab” the sponge up and down to give the textured look of fur or snow.  These are FUN to make!

 

 

11. Making a snowman

Make a snowman with a snowman and hat template.  On the tray there is a pencil and crayons, so after the children trace the snowman and the hat, they can decorate their snowman as they like!

 

 

12. Hanging felt snowflakes with clothespins

Using clothespins, children will pin the felt snowflakes around the outside of a rectangular basket.  This is another favorite, and has been proven to be difficult at first, but they end up getting the hang of it!

 

 

13. Pin-poking a snowman

Using giant sized push pins, (after receiving a lesson on the safety of the push pins), children can poke around the outside lining of the snowman.  If they take their time, follow along the black line, and place their poking close together, it is easy for the snowman design to be punched out.  They then can take it home!  Pin-poking is a favorite by EVERYONE in my class!

 

 

BONUS!!!!! A couple of Math December Themed activities!!

14. Snowman counting with buttons

Children can practice their counting skills with these snowman labeled zero to ten.  The children can count and place the corresponding number of buttons under each snowman.  This is another favorite!

 

 

15. Mitten counting with felt snowflakes

Similar to the snowman counting, children practice their counting skills with the mittens labeled one to ten.  The children count and place the correct number of snowflakes under each mitten.

 

There are so many other amazing ideas that I incorporate into my classroom during the month of December.  So many that I am probably going to put together a “Part II” of the December Themed Activities for home or school, and include more of the math and language themed activities.  Be on the lookout for that in a week or so!

 

If you noticed, I use very simple, easy to find materials that I get from either the Dollar Tree or the 99 cent store to put together my activities.  There are two main reasons for that: One, they are cheap, and if something gets broken; no big deal, I’ll just replace it since it only cost a dollar!  The second reason is that you can put together a shelf full of activities for around $20.00!!  Is that not amazing?!

 

I hope that I was able to inspire you and encourage your creative juices to go out and get some materials and put together some of your own amazing activities for December!  Now get out to those dollar stores and get to finding some great stuff!! Happy Hunting!

 

Anitra

 

Parenting

Holiday gift ideas that are educational…and still fun!

By Anitra

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

 

Oh boy, it’s that time of year again…Christmas gift shopping time!  I know that many of you have probably already started (or even finished) your gift shopping, but there are many of you that haven’t started because you have no idea what to get your children.  There are many desirable toys out there right now, and trying to get your hands on the latest toy may be close to impossible.

 

As a mom, I understand how much you dread adding to your child’s already large collection of toys.  Toys that make noise, toys they begged for and no longer play with, toys that they haven’t played with in months, but if you try to throw them away or donate them, that will probably start World War III!!!

 

Sound familiar?…I had this happen to me over and over again; year after year.  Now that my girls are older, I don’t have to worry about this.  But for those of you who have younger children, I am here to help in your search for great gifts for your children that are educational, and yet, still fun!!!  Why not get them something that they can actually learn some valuable skills from?  The items on the list can educate your child in a variety of subjects; the body, rocks & minerals, geography, art appreciation, shapes, sorting, math, time, language, and one of my personal favorites, yoga! They are also for many ages, as young as birth and up to age 8!

 

As a mom and an educator, I tried to pick the best options that I would pick if my girls were still little.  I hope you enjoy my choices!

**Brief descriptions under products are from Montessori Services®, used with permission**

 

 

True-to-Life Human X-rays

Ages 5+

“Children can feel their bones from the outside through their skin and muscle. This x-ray set shows children what their bones actually look like. Showing the body’s outline around the skeleton, young children are able to relate the x-ray bones to visible body parts (arms, legs, etc.). Young children might assemble a 5′ 6″ skeleton with these x-rays or guess which body parts belong to which bones.” -Montessori Services®

 

 

Rock Science Kit

Ages 5+

“Children will learn to look for luster (the way a mineral reflects light) and hardness (measured on the Mohs scale), for example. This starter kit includes 15 numbered specimens that represent the full range of types of rocks, a small magnifier, and activity guide offering more test ideas for further study.”-Montessori Services®

 

 

Mineral Science Kit

Ages 5+

“Children will learn to look for luster, (the way a mineral reflects light), hardness (measured on the Mohs scale), and color (with a streak test) with this starter kit.  This kit includes 15 numbered specimens that represent the full range of types of minerals, a small magnifier, a nail and tile for testing, and activity guide offering more test ideas for further study.”-Montessori Services®

 

 

Shape Sorting Box

Ages 2+

“Toddlers love matching these simple blocks to the cutout shapes in the lid of the box. In fact, they love it so much they do it over and over!”-Montessori Services®

 

 

 

Yoga Pretzels Card Deck

Ages 4+

“Pick a card from any of nine categories and find an imaginative way to start your children bending, breathing, and stretching with yoga.  This mind/body practice develops children’s strength and flexibility, helps improve their concentration, and builds self-esteem. Engaging step-by-step illustrations show a playful, imaginative pose or activity on one side, with activity instructions or simple visualizations on the other. Try partner poses or choose a fun group game, such as “Yoga Pretzels.” The companion booklet helps any adult design a safe and fun practice for children.”-Montessori Services®

 

Beginner’s World Atlas

Ages 5-8

“Large, easy-to-read maps introduce youngsters to the world and each of its seven continents. Stunning photographs, carefully selected for their appeal, supplement the maps.” –Montessori Services®

 

 

Famous Paintings Cards

Ages 3+

“You’ll learn where Dali’s inspiration came from, why Magritte painted improbable scenes, how many dots are in a Seurat painting, and so much more.  These cards beg to be lingered over—looking at the painting on one side, reading the interesting facts on the back. Young children will enjoy the pictures; older ones will love the stories of the paintings and the artists; adults will find them engaging, too.”-Montessori Services®

 

 

Classic Judy Clock

Ages 4+

“The Judy Clock has movable hands and large, clear hour numbers on the face.  Grasp the knob on the minute hand to turn it and watch the visible, working gears simultaneously move the hour hand. Children clearly see that turning the minute hand one complete revolution causes the hour hand to move forward one hour.”-Montessori Services®

 

 

Sum Swamp

Ages 5+

“Take a skill-building journey through a whimsical land where adding and subtracting dice numbers determines your fate.  Players will master basic operations and learn about number relationships such as even and odd or “less than” and “greater than.”-Montessori Services®

 

 

Count Your Chickens

Ages 3-5

“All 40 baby chicks are out and the fox is loose. Young children will be eager to work together to collect the chicks. Picture-based play makes it easy for everyone to participate.  Spin the spinner, count the spaces together, and move the mother hen. Then return that many baby chicks to the safety of the coop.  A very appealing way to learn and reinforce counting skills.”-Montessori Services®

 

 

Happy Hats Beginning Reading Game

Ages 4+

“Play and read with your favorite characters from the popular Bob Books® series.  Children explore initial consonant and short vowel sounds as they form simple words. For each word they create, they collect a “Happy Hat.”  Includes board, 44 hat token, 40 word ending cards, 4 characters & stands, spinner, a word list, and complete instructions.”-Montessori Services®

 

 

My First Dictionary

Ages 5-8

“A brilliant bridge between a picture dictionary and a text-only dictionary! Early readers will find a picture clue alongside the definitions for words selected with early readers in mind.  Alphabetical listings help children look up and decipher unfamiliar words. Includes tips for parents and nine dictionary games.”-Montessori Services®

 

 

A few other great gift ideas…

Do you have a child that LOVES books?  Well, Scholastic has a wide selection of books that any child will love!!  Simply search by age, author, or title!

Scholastic Books 

Do you have a younger child or infant?  MontiKids provides quality, educational Montessori products for children birth to three years of age.  Check out their toy timeline, which gets more challenging as your child works their way through each level!  Materials sent directly to your home every three months!

MontiKids

 

 

These are some of my favorite products as an educator.  Many of these products I have even used before in my classroom, so I have first hand knowledge of how awesome they are!!  I hope that I helped you out with your shopping list for your littles, and I wish you a happy shopping season!!

 

Anitra