Tag:

Whole Child

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 Montessori Extras Parenting

6 tips on finding a Montessori preschool for your child

By Anitra

 

Are you interested in finding a quality Montessori preschool for your child?  There are many things to consider when searching for a Montessori school for your child.  It is not an easy feat to entrust your child and their safety & well being to others.  It is important for you as a parent to feel comfortable, confident, and trust in the place where you will leave your child.  It is also equally important for your child to feel safe, be happy, and feel welcomed to a place where they will spend a good amount of their time.

 

 

With that being said, please know that not all preschools, schools or child care centers are created equal.  Things to consider are school philosophy, program type, extracurricular activities offered, location and price.  There are also other things to look into as well; considering each Montessori school is privately owned and operated.  The Montessori name, method, philosophy, teachings and materials are not trademarked.  Each Montessori school owner has the right to interpret the Montessori method and philosophy as they see fit.  Which means that two Montessori schools right down the street from one another can have many similarities, and just as many differences.  For more information on what makes Montessori unique, please check out my post What’s so special about Montessori…? EVERYTHING!.  If you would like more information in the work and materials in a Montessori classroom, please check out my post What is all the hype about? A detailed look inside a traditional Montessori classroom.

 

When you are ready to begin looking at schools to choose, first start with an internet search of local Montessori schools in your area.  Narrow it down to no more than 5 schools.  Look through their websites, check out any online reviews they may have, and call the school for additional information on their enrollment process.  Once these things are complete, you are ready to incorporate the tips below in selecting a school for your child.  I have included a free checklist at the bottom of the post as well!

 

These 6 tips will help you select the right Montessori school for your child

 

Tip #1

Visit and tour the school(s) you are interested in

It is important for you to go to the school and tour the facility.  During the tour, the school administrators should walk you around the entire school and the playground as well.  Take special note of the cleanliness of the school overall and the condition of the playground & equipment.  The school should look appealing to the eye, and the playground should have safe, child appropriate equipment & toys.  If anything catches your attention or stands out, be sure to ask the administrator about it.

 

 

 

Tip #2

Ask about the schools philosophy

Of course the main philosophy of the school will be the Montessori method.  But each school has a separate school philosophy on how they view early childhood education.  It is important to ask about how they deal with behavior problems, if they are religiously based, and most importantly, their take on how children learn and develop.  See if they follow authentic Montessori practices such as the 3 year age span, allowing children to be independent, and providing a child based environment.  Make sure that their school views are similar to your own personal views on what you expect for your child.

 

 

 

Tip #3

Ask to observe a classroom in action

While on the tour of the schools, most administrators will show you a classroom in action.  Seeing a classroom in full swing will give you a small idea of how the children move throughout the environment, if they seem comfortable in the classroom, and how the teacher(s) interact with the children.  Look for any clues of children being excluded,take notice of the teacher’s tone of voice, and watch to see how they children interact with each other.  In a true Montessori classroom, the children move about freely & confidently and seem engaged in their work with a buzz of conversation happening around them.  The teacher(s) are engaging and interacting with the children in a positive, respectful manner.

 

 

 

Tip #4

Ask administration about teacher turnover rates

In the child care industry, Teacher turnover rate can be common and can be higher than in other professions.  This occurs for a number of reasons, but when a school can retain their teachers for more than two years, that is a positive sign.  If teachers stay for extended time at a particular school, it may be due to the school being supportive of their staff and their needs.  When schools value their teachers, and the teachers feel needed & important, they tend to stay at a school for a longer period of time.  Ask the school administrator how long their teachers have been at the school.

Tip #5

Ask neighbors, friends and co-workers about the school

The best way to get an accurate review or opinion on a school you’re interested in is to ask around.  Ask your neighbors where they send their children, ask friends and co-workers if they have had any positive or negative experiences with a school you may want to tour.  Let’s face it; if you’re interested in trying a new restaurant, you reach out to others to get their opinions about the restaurant.  So why not do the same for a school you may be interested in sending your child too?  You can never be too safe when it comes to your child.

 

Tip #6

Check to make sure the school is licensed with the state

Every child care center, preschool, or day care center providing care to children in a business capacity should be licensed in some form or another by the state they are conducting business in.  Here in California, EVERY child care center, preschool, day care center or home day care MUST be licensed by the state in order to operate.  Each child care facility goes through a rigorous checklist of standards BEFORE they are licensed.  They are also subject to frequent inspections from the state at any time.  California has an online database of all licensed care providers that are licensed in the state.  By simply going to the state website, you can enter in the name of the child care facility you are interested in, and get detailed information about that facility.  Such things as licensing date, licensee name, any violation of state standards they have received, and the amount of children they are allowed to have at the facility.  This information is public knowledge, and available at all times.

 

 

Following these tips can definitely help in finding the right Montessori school for you and your child!  I always say that I don’t just have the child in my classroom, but the entire family as well.  It is important for you as a parent to be able to interact, communicate, and mesh well with the school and the teacher.  You must feel welcomed and part of the overall school community in order for you and your child to have a great experience!

 

 

Interested in getting the FREE checklist for Selecting a Montessori Preschool for Your Child?

It’s yours, just click below for your FREE download!

 

Classroom Content Montessori Extras Parenting Teaching

5 things to NEVER ask your child’s teacher

By Anitra

 

Being a parent and putting your child in school for the first time is not an easy thing to do.  I know how hard it can be for parents to leave their child for the first time at a child care center.  I remember when I had my first daughter, I stayed home with her until she was about 18 months old.  When I landed my first teaching job as an Assistant at a Montessori school, I had the opportunity to take her with me.  She was in the Toddler classroom, while I was in the Preschool classroom.  Dropping her off with complete strangers was just as traumatizing for her as it was for me.  She cried; I cried…I tried going to check on her, and I was not allowed.  The teachers in the room said it was best for me not to let her see me, as it would make her adjustment even harder. The hardest thing for me to do as a mom was to trust in the teachers and their professional abilities and opinions.  But in order for your child to have a successful time in school, you must trust and believe in your child’s teacher(s).  It is not easy to do, but it is necessary for your child’s educational journey.

 

 

Fast forward to when she moved into the Preschool and a lot of academics began to be introduced.  I wanted her to learn everything possible, learn her shapes, write her name, read at an early age, know all of her numbers, and be one of the smartest children in the classroom.  I wanted to see instant results and her progress lined out, but her teachers informed me that it is just not that easy.  I was confused and frustrated, and as I learned more about child development, what they were telling me started to make sense.  I knew to trust in her teachers and in my child’s inner abilities and development.  I knew to trust in what they do and the process.  So you see?  I get it, I understand as a parent that you want the best for your child, and want your child to learn as much as possible.

 

With all this being said, as a teacher, I understand how my daughters teachers felt at the time.  When curious about your child’s progress, ask specific questions about their development.  There are a few questions that you should NEVER ask your child’s teacher.  Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of other things that you CAN ask your child’s teacher, but there are 5 questions that educators prefer you never ask…

 

 

5 things to NEVER ask your child’s teacher…

try to avoid asking these questions when seeking information regarding your child’s learning

 

 

1.How is my child doing?

Most times, this is asked at a time when the parent is on their way to work and don’t have a lot of time to get this answered accurately.  This question is too generic and extremely hard to answer.  It is a very broad question, and without having a more specific question, the answer you get may also be broad.  When I get asked this question, I commonly answer with, “Good.” I am unsure of exactly what they are asking to know about, so the generic question unfortunately gets a generic answer.   Instead of asking “How is my child doing?”, you could ask, “How is my child doing on learning their numbers?” or “How is my child doing on writing their name?”.

 

2. Why isn’t my child learning to…?

This question is one of the hardest questions to answer.  I understand that parents we have an idea of what we feel our kids should be learning and at what pace.  The one thing that most parents don’t realize is that children develop at their own pace.  We can expose them to various activities and lessons, but they will master these skills when they are ready to.  It cannot be rushed or forced, and it is important for educators and parents to follow the development of the child.

 

3. Is my child behind at all for their age?

The answer to this question is one that many parents do not like to hear.  It is difficult to pre-determine exactly what a child will have mastered by a certain age.  The answer to this question goes back to the previous question.  If you follow the development of the child, then they are not behind for their age.  Children advance at different stages and ages, and children will progress at a pace that is right for them.  It is sometimes difficult for parents to accept this answer, but reassuring them of their child’s natural abilities to learn helps to put them at ease.

 

 

 

 

4. Where is my child in comparison to other kids their age?

The worst thing a parent can do is to compare their child to other children.  It is a common practice, but it does nothing except put undue pressure on the child.  When parents compare their child to other children, it leads to them setting unrealistic goals for their child, which they, in most cases, cannot reach.  Again, remember that each child develops at their own individual pace, and will progress at their own stage.  Some children reach some milestones at earlier ages than others, but it is important to remember that it is not important when they reach the milestone just as long as they reach it.

 

5. Is there anything I can work on at home?

If your child is in preschool, you are entrusting the school educators to teach your child.  You are leaving them in our care so that we can teach them things like academics, socialization skills, and following directions to name a few.  As an educator, it is my responsibility to teach every child skills that will be needed later on in their educational journey.  I teach them based on their personal developmental needs and abilities, and try to instill a love of learning in every child that comes through my classroom.  I feel that having parents work on skills or tasks at home may overwhelm children.  I encourage parents to leave the teaching to us educators in the classroom setting, and just let their children play, relax, and enjoy quality time with them while at home.  There will be plenty of time in the future when they will have tons to work on at home later on in school.

 

I have been teaching for over 17 years, and these 5 questions are questions that are always asked by parents.  As a professional educator, who has studied child development, I feel that letting children develop naturally at their own pace they will reach their full potential.  As Maria Montessori said, “Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.” 

 

Trust me, your child’s teacher will thank you for not asking these 5 questions!

 

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

 

 

Classroom Content Montessori Extras

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

By Anitra

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

LANGUAGE AREA

 

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

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

 

The Pink Level also covers word families, picture to

word matching, and easy phonetic sentences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Level also covers beginning & ending

consonant blends, and complex phonetic words

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

MATH AREA

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Telling Time, Place Value & Fractions are the

more advanced Math activities

 

 

 

SENSORIAL AREA

 

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

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

 

Sensorial materials to manipulate sizes, color,

touch and hearing

 

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

 

 

 

CULTURAL/GEOGRAPHY AREA

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

Geography Maps

 

 

PRACTICAL LIFE AREA

 

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

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

 

Other activities include food preparation work,

and using tongs & tweezers

There are also washing activities, bubble making,

table setting, and water activities

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

Anitra

Save

Save

Save

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

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Back 2 School Montessori Extras

Back 2 School-Routine and Schedule for Healthy Dental Habits

By Anitra

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

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

 

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

 

Start the school year off on the right path with these

6 tips to develop healthy oral hygiene habits

 

1. Limit the amount of sugar your child eats.

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

 

2. Have your child drink lots of water.

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

 

3. Use toothpaste that has fluoride in it.

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

 

4. Model proper brushing techniques.

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

 

5. See a Dentist on a regular basis.

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

  • Man yourself with the proper tools

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

Anitra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Back 2 School Montessori Extras

5 Tips to Ensure Your Child Success in Preschool

By Anitra

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

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

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

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

 

Here are 5 Tips for Preparing Your Child for Preschool

 

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

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

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

 

2. Please DON’T leave without saying goodbye.

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Making her own snack

 

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

 

 

Helping to make fresh bread

 

Putting on shoes independently

 

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

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

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

 

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

So, THANK YOU!!!

Anitra

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save