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Moveable Alphabet

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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Language

Why I think that D’Nealian is superior to classic print

By Anitra

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

When I first started my Montessori training, I was trained using print.  This was at least 17 years ago, and I believe that most companies that sold Montessori materials only had the option of either print for the Primary and maybe cursive for the Elementary.  For most of my early years of teaching, I used print and was fine using it.  But I noticed early on that many children had difficulty in distinguishing between the “b, p,and d.  Depending on the manufacturer, the “q” sometimes was printed with a slight “tail” on the end, and sometimes it was not.  They basically were the same letter, just positioned differently.  As I kept teaching, I learned that it was becoming more common that the children in my class struggled with differentiating between those particular letters.

 

I was introduced to the D’Nealian style when my oldest daughter entered into the public school system for first grade.  It was interesting at first; I wasn’t sure how I felt about it; especially since I was only accustomed to using print.  I quickly found out the reasoning for using D’Nealian…it was a precursor to cursive.  It was still years later before I actually decided to take the chance and change from using print and switch to D’Nealian.

It was actually not until about six years ago did I make the full switch to using D’Nealian.  I was working at a small school, and the classroom language materials were all D’Nealian.  The sandpaper letters, moveable alphabet, and the font on the nomenclature (3 part cards) were all D’Nealian.  I figured that there was no better time than then to give D’Nealian a try.   I absolutely LOVED it!!!!  I noticed right away how easily the children confidently noticed the differences between the “b, p, d, and q”.  They no longer struggled on deciphering between those letters; and yes, it truly makes teaching cursive easier.

 

Shockingly, public schools NO LONGER teach cursive!!! I found this out when my youngest daughter was in public school.  My oldest daughter learned how to write in cursive at school, but my youngest did not.  It is really weird…how are our children supposed to learn how to sign their name if they are not taught how to write in cursive? I took that as a sign that I definitely needed to incorporate D’Nealian style into my classoom.   And I did…and the rest is history…

I use print sandpaper letters as a “first” lesson to learning the sounds.  I have created Sound Boxes; small boxes that have five sounds in each box with two pictures for each sound; using D’Nealian.  I also use the D’Nealian sandpaper letters once they have had lessons on at least four to six sounds.  Sometimes, it is easier for a younger child to recognize print than D’Nealian, so I use them in the very beginning stages of teaching sounds.  I also use the D’Nealian Moveable Alphabet.  This initial introduction makes the transition into teaching cursive a fairly easy one, considering the D’Nealian letters already have a slight slant to them, and many have the “tail” i was talking about earlier.  So yes, from my experience,  D’Nealian is superior to classic print.

 

Anitra

 

 

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