Finding Mommy....a quest to find myself
I thrive in a creative environment. When I stayed home I was always making projects with the kids and things for my home, when I was in the classroom full time I was always coming up with creative new ways to make learning fun and ways to enhance our school. This year I am mostly an administrator and with that comes a lot of rules, regulations, policies, procedures and RED TAPE!!! Although I know these things are a necessary evil in business and life but I miss the days when I got to create and play all day.
I am happy to say that I am in a good place in my life. I have a job that I love, I work with my best friends, my kids are happy and healthy and we are at a place where we can save some money for the future.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
How to teach preschoolers to be thankful.
What does it mean to be thankful? That is a big word for preschoolers. How do we teach them to say thank you, show thankfulness and mean it? From the time that children can speak we teach them to say thank you. It becomes expected and automatic but does it mean anything?
I think that in order to teach children to be grateful we have to model it. Just like everything else in their world they have to see it to believe it.
generic but as the month goes on it becomes much more specific and thoughtful. We also have love letters in February. Each of my children has a mailbox by their door. Through out the month we write love letters to each other and put it in their boxes. The letters start out with I love you because.... It is a fun way to show why we appreciate each other.
I hope these simple steps to gratitude will help you focus on what is important this year and maybe remember it for years to come. Have a blessed holiday with your families and friends!
Friday, April 18, 2014
I am sorry it has been awhile! To make my blogging quest more fun and interesting I decided to do a series on kid's parties. I have done so many that I am going to start showcasing one a week. I am also going to use this as a platform for guest bloggers...fun right?! This week I am going to kick off my new series with a Star Wars Party. I hope you can use some of these ideas for your kid's parties, I also used this same theme as one of our summer camp themes so double duty!
For the Birthday party I wanted to make the setting in the dark to have black light activities. We bought our black light from amazon.com and our lava lamp also. I got a lot of my black light ideas from http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/ and my sister from Appleby Party Designs. This part of the party was super fun to plan with my kids. We did experiments to see what did and didn't glow before the party to make sure it was all going to work. We made glow bottles, I will list what was in each bottle.
1. Tonic Water, snakes and marbles
2. yellow Glow water (see below for instructions)
3. Orange glow water with Marbles and pom poms
To make glow water you just take the inside ink compartment out of a highlighter and soak it in water. Seriously it is that easy! After you make glow water you can use it for all sorts of things!
We had a table set up for the kids to choose a Jedi Name and write it with a highlighter on white paper. We tried black paper and that did not work.
We sprayed a HUGE bowl of mini marshmallows with glow paint and hid glow in the dark stars in it for a sensory box. I found florescent play dough that also glowed in the dark. We made a water table with glow water, glow in the dark stars, marbles and glow in the dark beads from oriental trading.
The kids were all asked to come dressed as a star wars character and we made each kid a light saber out of pool noodles, those things are so resourceful! We cut them in thirds and added black and silver duct tape stripes and a red square for the button. As soon as everyone arrived my husband was upstairs getting ready for the big surprise!! My two girls and their cousins began Jedi training with the kids which is similar to the one they do at Disneyland. They had it all choreographed. When Jedi Training was just about done the music turned to the dark side and Darth Maul entered through fog (my awesome husband).
Monday, September 16, 2013
There are many different areas in a Montessori Classroom. This is one of the many reasons why I love the Montessori method. It appeals to my ADHD, multitasking brain! One of my favorite areas of the classroom is the Geography and science center. We basically have a whole room dedicated to Geography and Science at our school.
I often find that by studying geography and social studies the children are able to learn and absorb so much more based on the fact that their interest levels are so high! It is exciting to be a part of. Through out the year I will add our various continent studies and extension activities. Our first continent study of the year is Africa. We began the year by introducing all of the continents, learning the continent song and what the continents look like.
Here is our Continent map I purchased this map from www.alisonsmontessori.com along with several other Montessori supplies. Then we studied the shape and landscapes of Africa. We made a bubble map about Africa and we added more facts daily as we learned more. We studied the African animals because the landscapes of Africa are so diverse we discussed the different landscapes first and the habitats of different animals that lived in Africa.
Rachel Supalla :)
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Sensory math! Sorting coins that are "hidden" in water beads.
Show me the money!! I mean really, who isn't excited about money? Kids included. It is natural for children to have a desire to learn about money. It is a part of our everyday lives. We should take this opportunity to teach them about something when their interest is high. I like to introduce money around President’s Day. We start with a discussion about Washington and Lincoln and that leads into learning about pennies and quarters.
Another good time to build excitement about money is on St. Patrick’s Day when you can go on a search for the money at the end of the rainbow.
This is when you can introduce the nickel. We start with sorting coins, nickel , quarter and penny. I use clear water beads and hide the coins to sort in the water beads. After they have mastered that I add in the dime. The next step after they have mastered coin sorting is to introduce the coin values.
I do this by making it a Montessori counting work, I use sandpaper numbers to help reinforce the value of the coins and have objects to count to reinforce one to one correspondence.
At the end of our money unit we celebrate with a PJ day and snack money store. Each child brings in a snack and I pass out coins for them to count out to buy snacks.
This was a fantastic learning experience and super fun to top it off!! Have fun showing the kids the money!
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Back to Montessori School
Going back to school is always an exciting time for teachers, moms and children. With all the excitement how do teachers plan for phasing in the Montessori curriculum? This year was especially challenging for me because we have the most new students we have ever had. We only have 4 2nd year students and no elders (Kindergarteners) so the remaining students are all brand new to the Montessori Method. When I am starting out the year my practical life shelves are empty with nothing but trays on them. This year I am trying a new method of color coding trays and shelves to help with classroom management. Carrying the trays, walking the line while carrying the tray and returning the empty tray to the correct shelf has all been a part of my phasing in process this year.
My math shelves start out with basic Montessori materials, sorting, counting and shapes. Right now we have our back to school sensory box out as well.
Our science shelves are empty with the exception of a nature tray for exploring.
Our line activities begin during circle time and then we extend the line to the bathroom and eventually the main flow of the classroom has a line. While planning walk the line activities I always make sure to incorporate the theme, fun songs and activities to go along with it. The children do not know that while we are singing fun songs and doing different arm movements or sounds that they are mastering walking the line in the process. Dr. Jean www.drjean.org and http://www.jackhartmann.com/ are two great artists that I use for line songs.
It is incredible how valuable these simple phasing in activities are. Usually around week 4 you can walk into the classroom and see the children working on mats, walking on lines, carefully carrying trays with glass pitchers and bowls on them, and using grace and courteousy with their friends and teachers. I do not think the Montessori Method can work without proper time for phasing in. Let me know how you phase in your curriculum or classroom management for back to school. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.
Monday, July 2, 2012
It has been too long since I last wrote! I just wrote a blog post for PreK and K sharing and you can find the post HERE. I talked about how to start a writing workshop in a Montessori classroom. The main thing is to instill a love of writing in a child at a very young age. Writing can be a daunting task for children...and adults! If you can find a way to make it fun and have meaning it doesn't feel quite so much like work.
I think that in a preschool class having daily or weekly drawing workshops it teaches the children to draw with purpose. Draw to tell a story. This will get the child excited and begin the writing process. Once the child is comfortable drawing with meaning then you add more complex steps such as labeling, writing a sentence using the labels and eventually a story.
Check out my post at PreK and K sharing and I promise I will write again very soon! I have missed blogging and I am excited to be back!