Tag:

Literacy

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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Product Reviews Reading

Book Review: The Sorry Sticks: A Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure

By Anitra

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

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I am so excited to be able to do a review of book two of the Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure series!  The children in my class loved book one, and were equally as excited when I told them about book two!  If you recall from the review of the first book, author Bryony Supper is an actress and comedian from England, who has now used her humor to write books for children.  Her book series is quite unique and fun!

 

 

The Sorry Sticks: A Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure

 

 

Book two in the twelve book Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure series did not disappoint.  The Sorry Sticks is just as entertaining, fun, and silly as the first book!  In this book, Pasta Kid Victor Vermicelli and Val the Vermicelli snake have been speeding and receive a ticket.  Their friend Lola Lasagne tries helping them by calling for The Sorry Sticks and the Pasta Petz.  This book shows how important it is to say sorry and apologize if you’ve done something wrong.

 

 

The Sorry Sticks provides colorful characters, an engaging story, and a great life lesson!  The kids really enjoyed this book as well!!

 

A look at the characters of the Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure Series…

The characters and their pets are cleverly created using different types of pasta!!

 

Pasta Kidz

 

 

Pasta Petz

 

 

 

For more information about the Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventures and author Bryony Supper, please click here.

A big THANK YOU to Bryony Supper for providing me a copy of the book, I really appreciate it and enjoyed sharing her work with my classroom!

 

Anitra

 

 

 

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Product Reviews Reading

Book Review: The Inventing Tubes: A Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure

By Anitra

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

It is no secret…I LOVE BOOKS!!!  So when I was presented the opportunity to review a book, I jumped on the chance!  The book comes all the way from England, my dream place to visit!  It is written by Bryony Supper, who is the creator of Pasta Kidz & Petz.  Bryony is an actress and comedian, who has used her humor to write books for children.  For more information about Pasta Kidz & Petz and Bryony Supper, please click here.

 

The Inventing Tubes: A Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure

 

The first book in the twelve book series of the Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure series is The Inventing Tubes.  The book feature a few of the various Pasta Kidz and Petz characters.  Marc Macaroni and Sarah Spaghetti want to use the Inventing Tubes to invent a pastaball to use in the Pasta United soccer game.  Sarah gets impatient and doesn’t read the instructions.  Instead of a great pasta ball, she instead invents a CRAZY BALL!!!

 

Pasta Kidz

 

 

Pasta Petz

 

 

The crazy ball couldn’t be caught, so Marc and Sarah enlist in the Pasta Petz; Spud and Mumbo to help catch the crazy ball.  The Petz arrive in their amazing Pastamobile and get rid of the crazy pasta ball.  Sarah learns a valuable lesson; be patient when doing things and follow instructions!

 

I read this book to my class of children 3 to 6 years old.  They absolutely LOVED it!! They really liked the silly characters; they enjoyed the pasta hair that they have.  The characters are easy for young children to relate to and fall in love with.  A favorite part of the book was when Spud and Mumbo showed up in the Pastamobile!  It was hilarious!

 

Pasta Petz Pastamobile

 

I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait to see more of the titles!  A big thank you to Bryony Supper for the signed copy of the book, I really appreciate it!

Enjoy!

Anitra

Favorite Book Friday's

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

By Anitra

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

 

Favorite Book Fridays Series Post #5

Favorite Book Fridays is back again!

Looking for a favorite book to call your own?  Well, look no further!  This weekly series was created to assist you and hopefully your child in finding YOUR favorite book.  I don’t know about you, but this weekly series is a highlight of my week!

 

Each week, I find myself searching through my collection of books to find books that you may not be familiar with or that may not be as mainstream as other books by other authors.  One of my goals of this weekly series is to hopefully introduce you to a book that is new to you and your child and to promote a love of reading that will last into adulthood. This series is dear to me, as it really delves into my love of books, and the diversity and variety of books that are available out there for young children.  I am ecstatic to bring you this series every week, and I hope that you are enjoying this weekly series as much as I am!

 

Title: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

Author: Simms Taback

Illustrator: Simms Taback

 

I came across this book in my early years of teaching.  It has an older, classic feel to it, but nonetheless, it has a catchy, lively story and eye-catching illustrations.  It has a great, practical lesson at the end, which I think is important for children to learn.  The story is about finding a way to be happy with what you have.  This book is a winner of the Caldecott Medal and the National Jewish Book Award for Children’s Picture Book.

 

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

 

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat is a story about a Jewish farmer that has an overcoat.  His overchttps://chroniclesofamomtessorian.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1155&action=editoat get old and worn, and he decided to make something else out of it.  He continues to remake things from his overcoat; a jacket, a vest, a scarf, a neck tie, a handkerchief until  he ends up with just a button.  In the end, he loses his button; but concludes that “you can always make something out of nothing.”  The illustrations are very colorful and vibrant with the use of watercolors, collage, and die cut  imagery.  It is a method that is similar to that of the illustrations of Eric Carle and Leo Lionni.

 

I love the moral at the end of the story.  It is something that I feel everyone; children and adults, should learn.  It’s not always about what you have, it’s about making the most of what you have and finding a way to make something out of nothing!  This is something that can be used for various aspects of daily life, and I think that it is brilliant that it is taught in a book for young children!

 

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

Anitra

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Favorite Book Friday's

Edward the Emu

By Anitra

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

Favorite Book Fridays Series Post #4

 

Favorite Book Fridays is becoming one of my favorite topics to write about!  I am having a great time sharing my favorite books with everyone, and I am getting great feedback on the books that have been featured on the weekly series.  This weeks choice is a good one as well; it will not disappoint!  I read this book earlier this week in my classroom as a part of our study of Australasia (the continent of Australia, the island of New Zealand, and Papau New Guinea).  We learned about the animals of Australasia.

 

A change in your regularly scheduled programming…

This weeks Favorite Book Friday will feature two books!  That’s right, every once in awhile I will feature two books on Favorite Book Fridays!  The two books featured are books that have a part 2 or a “to be continued” book that follows the first book.  I am excited to share with you the first of the two book features.  I hope you enjoy them both as much as I do!

 

Title: Edward the Emu

Author: Sheena Knowles

Illustrator: Rod Clement

 

I first stumbled upon this book back when I first started teaching, over 17 years ago.  The story itself is about accepting who you are, and being comfortable who you are.  I especially enjoy the clever, rhyming text that is catchy and fun.  The pictures are some of the favorites in all of the hundreds of books I own.  They are drawn with such character, details, and with vivid colors.

Edward the Emu

Edward is an Emu that lives in a zoo.  He gets bored being an emu, so he decides to go and be other animals in the zoo.  He becomes a seal for a day, a lion for a day, and a snake for a day.  Then he finds that the emus are what most people come to the zoo to see, and decides that he should be an emu again.  But, when he gets back to his den he notices that he’s been replaced…by another emu!  Edward the Emu has a good life lesson on confidence and self esteem, and reminds you to love yourself, just the way we are!

 

But wait…there’s more!

 

And if Edward the Emu wasn’t great enough…there is Edwina the Emu!!!  Edwina is the emu that was brought in to take Edward’s place once he went missing in the zoo. The story is just as well written as Edward the Emu, with the same rhyming, catchy text and the amazing illustrations.  I think that the illustrations in both books are magnificent!

 

Title: Edwina the Emu

Author: Sheena Knowles

Illustrator: Rod Clement

 

 

Edwina the Emu

 

Edwina and Edward enjoy the zoo, and one day Edwina announces that she has laid ten eggs!  They decide that Edward will stay home and sit on the eggs while Edwina goes out to find a job.  She tries being a ballerina, a chimney sweeper, and a waitress, but to no avail.  After not being good at any of the jobs, sh then she figures out what her job should be…a mother!

 

Both of these books will surely have you wanting more.  They both are great additions to any classroom, teacher, home school, or child library!  I hope that you enjoy them both as much as I do.

 

Until next week, Happy Reading!

Anitra

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Favorite Book Friday's

The Napping House

By Anitra

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

 

Favorite Book Fridays Series Post #3

 

It’s that time again for Favorite Book Fridays!  Looking for a new favorite book to introduce to your child or the children in your classroom or home school?  I created this weekly series to share with you some of my all time favorite children’s books.  I love books!  I have over one hundred books in my personal collection, and I still add to my collection as often as I can.  Here is post 3 of the weekly series, Favorite Book Fridays.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

Title: The Napping House

Author: Audrey Wood

Illustrator: Don Wood

 

This book has actually been one of my favorites for awhile.  I have read other books by this husband and wife duo, and frankly, they put out amazing content and products!  They are also author and illustrators to another one of my favorite children’s books; The Big Hungry BearThe Napping House has a repetitious story line that is fun and silly, and keeps young children intrigued from beginning to end.  The amazing, colorful, and beautiful illustrations are an added bonus that compliments the story very well.

 

The Napping House

The Napping House is a story that tells the tale of a Granny sleeping on a rainy night.  Gradually, many members of the family pile on top of the napping Granny and get cozy.  A child, a dog, a cat, and a mouse are just a few of the characters that pile on top of the napping Granny.  Eventually, the pile of characters gets a tiny character that wakes one member of the family, and sends off a chain reaction!  They then become too much for the bed to handle, and down they all go!  Children love watching the bed get heavier and heavier, as the members of the family keep piling on.  They laugh with delight as they get woken up in such a silly manner.  When morning comes, no one in the house is sleeping anymore.

 

This is a favorite of mine because of the silly nature of it.  “Silly” is a common trait I look for when selecting a book to purchase and add to my children’s book collection.  I look for books that have a good story line, that are silly in nature, and that are not too long.  I also tend to steer clear of children’s books that have a lot of words on each page and those that don’t have a lot of pictures.  The pictures, along with a decent amount of words on each page, is what will keep young children engaged in the book.

I hope that this book becomes one of your favorites too!  Although this book doesn’t have a catchy tune or song to go along with it, the story and the pictures are sure to capture children’s attention, and become a classic that is read time and time again!

 

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

 

Anitra

 

 

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Classroom Content Montessori Extras

Why child made mini books are important-Montessori Extras

By Anitra

Making mini books is an activity I learned in my training.  Not all training programs discuss or touch on mini book making.  I am very fortunate that my training did cover it, because it is something that I use on a regular basis.  Before I get into what mini book making is, I should give you a little insight about where the mini book originates from.

 

Mini books come from Nomenclature cards.  Nomenclature cards; or 3 part cards as they are frequently referred to in a Montessori classroom, are cards that come in 3 parts; hence the name!  The word “nomenclature” comes from the Latin word “nomenclatura“, which means to give or assign names to things.  The first card in the nomenclature set is the label card, which is a picture and a word associated with the picture.  The second card in the nomenclature set is the picture card, which is just the picture.  The third card in the nomenclature set is the word card.

 

Nomenclature cards; 3 part cards Butterfly Life Cycle

 

Nomenclature cards are the basis for mini books.  I try to use mini books often in my monthly curriculum.  Mini books are child made books that represent the parts of ____, the life cycle of ______, or the can be the inhabitants of _____.  Child made mini books have benefits to child’s overall development.  Mini books are a good way for older children to begin to associate pictures with words and their meanings.

 

Mini Books are blank copied mini pages of a given parts of ____, life cycle of ____, or inhabitants of ____.  The teacher provides a “Master Mini Book” that has either been handmade or commercially copied (with permission).  I tend to use a combination of both handmade and commercially copied.

 

The Master Mini Book is colored or copied by the teacher.  I normally copy my masters onto white card stock for durability.  Once I have each of the pieces of the master book colored and cut out, I then glue it onto another piece of card stock.  I normally chose a color that compliments the colors of the mini book.  I use various ways of completing the label part of the Master Mini Book.  I use writing, printed words, or a label maker to make the label for each part.  It just depends on your personal preference.  After this, I laminate all of the Master Mini Book pages.  I ALWAYS laminate EVERYTHING that the children will handle on a regular basis.  It provides more durability, and a longer shelf life for the work I create.  SIDE NOTE: *If you don’t have access to a laminator, you can use a roll of clear contact paper*.  After I laminate each page of the Master Mini Book, I use a single whole punch and punch a whole in the top left corner.  I then attach a medium sized book ring, so that it is easy for the children to flip through the book to get to each page.  And that’s it…easy instructions on making a Master Mini Book!

 

Along with the Master Mini Book, I also provide the necessary coloring tools to complete the book, and a pencil for labeling the book.  I tend to put all of my materials for mini book making on a tray, so that it makes it easier to present it to the children.  It also makes it easier for use for the time we are studying a certain subject.

 

Parts of a leaf mini book

 Parts of a butterfly mini book

 

As I stated earlier, mini books have benefits to a child’s development in many areas.  Mini books nurture a child’s language development; such as their communication, literacy, and interest. Mini books also contribute to their cognitive development; such as inquiry, curiosity, and knowledge.  They also help with fine motor skills, while having to color within the lines, a certain part or area, and use of pencil writing skills.

 

Ways that mini books benefit a child’s language development

1.They foster and build vocabulary

Mini books foster and build a child’s vocabulary.  When a child colors and labels each part of a mini book, they are learning new vocabulary words.

2. They help with identifying part of a whole

When children make mini books, it teaches them the various parts of a whole or characteristics of a given subject

3.They help with recall(memorization)

When children make mini books, they are able to take them home, and hopefully will share about each part of their mini book, which helps with recall skills.

 

Animals of South America mini book

 

Not only do mini books provide a child with enhanced vocabulary, knowledge, fine motor skill development, and memorization; they also are a fun and interesting way to introduce new topics.  Making learning interesting is the best way to ensure that children will openly and willingly want to learn and become the natural learners that are.

 

Anitra

 

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Favorite Book Friday's

Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake

By Anitra

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

 

Favorite Book Friday's Series Post #1

 

Looking for a favorite book to introduce to the children in your classroom or your own children?  I created this weekly series to share my favorite children’s books.  I love books! I have over a hundred books in my personal collection, and am still adding to my collection as often as I can (as long as my hubby doesn’t find out!).  This weekly series of posts kicks off with a bang!  This book is sure to crack you up!  It is one of my prized possessions.

 

Title: Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake

Author: John Lithgow

Illustrator: Jack E. Davis

This book was first introduced to me about ten years ago.  I was working at a private preschool, and shared a restroom with the classroom next door to me.  The teacher in that classroom would play the CD that comes with the book, and I remember always hearing the kids singing along.  They would all sing so loudly, laughing in between verses; about a pancake.  Yep. A pancake.  One day, I had to ask the teacher in that classroom about the silly pancake song that her children were always singing about.  That was one of the best things I’ve ever asked about.  The teacher let me borrow the book, and It instantly became one of my favorites.  I borrowed that book at least three to four times a week, and one day, she surprised me with my own copy!  I was so happy, and have made it a favorite of many children over the years!

 

Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake

 

Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake is about a girl, Annie May who decided to make a pancake for lunch in her oven.  Well, the pancake decided that he wasn’t going to be Annie May’s lunch, and jumped out of the oven and ran away!  The hilarious story tells how the runaway pancake ran around town, meeting other people who also wanted to have him for their lunch.  After meeting each person, the runaway pancake would sing a silly song about how he got away from them all.  Until finally, that runaway pancake met his match. The sly, old, red fox.  The CD that goes along with it is THE BEST PART of this book!  The story is narrated by the author of the book, John Lithgow.  His enthusiasm, energy, and charisma is a perfect fit for this silly, fun book.  Not only is it a great story, the pictures are amazing as well.

I hope that this book will become one of your favorites for your classroom, homeschool, or child.  But beware, the silly song is VERY catchy and will have you singing along in no time!

Enjoy, and happy reading!

Anitra

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Language Reading

Reading in a Montessori Primary classroom

By Anitra

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

Reading is one of the most important skills learned in life.  Everything in our world revolves around reading, and the importance of teaching the fundamentals of reading is key to a child being a successful reader.  The foundation of an excellent reading program must be implemented from the beginning stages of learning and teaching sounds.  In a Montessori Primary classroom, this is done with the phonetic sound of each letter, as well as the ending sound for “x”.  I know that many people believe that teaching young children to read at a young age is not age-appropriate or may not even be possible.  I am here to tell you that it is indeed possible, and that teaching a young child to read is age-appropriate when the child shows signs that they are interested and have been exposed to an environment that is rich in language.  In Montessori, it is customary to follow the child’s natural development and direction.  Don’t get me wrong, teaching young children to read can be a long, detailed process.  The process of reading is one of my favorites!  The look on their faces when they know that they have learned to read is priceless…

Bob Books

 

I have a complete reading program that I have developed over my years of teaching.  I use the infamous Bob Books, which you can find almost anywhere these days.  There are many different sets of Bob Books; I use the Beginning Sets 1 to 5. I also use a record keeping form that I created that lists all of the books, a space to write the date that they check it out and return it, as well as a space to include new sight words that are introduced throughout the books.  (There will be a subsequent post related to  sight words).  Each new reader takes a letter home regarding the policies for reading.  The letter goes over the “Reading Folder”, the reviewing of sight words, and where to return the books each morning (The labeled “Book Bin”).  Each child also has a “Reading Folder” with their name on it and it is used to take the books back and forth each day. I created the reading folders from inexpensive folders that have a zipper close, and labeled them with each child’s name using a label maker…VERY simple and cheap, but efficient. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Reading is such a big deal, and a HUGE accomplishment.  In my classroom, when a child reads their first Bob Book, we stop what we are doing.  I ring the bell, and announce that child x has read their first Bob book.  Then I have the entire class clap for them!  It makes them feel so special, and shows them how proud we are of them as a class.  It also sets a bar in the classroom that can be reached and is motivation for them.  Any way that I can make them feel special, I do.  After a child has completed all five sets of Bob Books, we again stop what we are doing.  I ring the bell, and announce that they have read all five sets of Bob Books; another amazing accomplishment.  The most important thing about reading is to make sure that the foundation is set firmly so that a child will not experience failure. Succeeding in reading is not a small feat, but it is a rewarding one!

Anitra

 

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