Montessori Monday, Math Madness!!

Montessori Monday Math Madness

Why and How?

This week for Montessori Monday I decided to write about Montessori Math.  I wanted to tell you why I LOVE Montessori Math and how it works.


Let me start off by saying that I am TER I BLE at math!!  I just didn’t get it.  I am incredibly visual and kinesthetic and if you said to me what is the square root of sixteen I would look at you with a puzzled face and say what kind of plant makes a square root? Yep, it is that bad!  Well let me tell you that I went to high school and college and did not truly understand math until I was completing my Montessori certification and I had to figure out what the square root of the pink tower was that I finally had my AH HA moment!  You know the one where the light turns on and everything seems glorious?!  I finally could visualize math and how it works.  It is amazing that I literally had to go back to preschool to learn, but that is what it took.  Now I do understand math and I am thrilled to give kids that glorious AH HA moment at such a young age! 

Montessori math is completely concrete and hands on!  No boring drills and flashcards.  You start with the basics and build on it through mastery.  This week I am going to talk about steps one through three.

The first step is the sandpaper numbers and counters.  I always introduce these concepts simultaneously in order to reinforce one to one correspondence.  This is a fun math activity because you can add different themed counters all year long! 

Start this math work as a sensory activity.  Have the child trace the number and then repeat in different sensory materials such as sand, rice or shaving cream. 
After they trace and repeat have them count the number of items they have traced. Mix the numbers up to reinforce number recognition. 

The second step in the Montessori math process is the number rods.  The number rods are a versatile tool that will be used all the way into kindergarten and beyond.  You start very basic by counting the colors on the rods.  You will then combine the number rods and sandpaper numbers followed by red and blue patterns.  After the child can successfully count to higher numbers they can make a number rod maze!!  They LOVE this activity and repeat it often.  Finally the number rods will be used for addition and subtraction!  Talk about a fabulous concrete math tool!! 

Geometry is the third step of math that is covered in the Montessori curriculum.  Constructive triangles are a tool that can be hard for even adults to complete however, with proper training and building concentration children as young as three can accomplish this task and with great joy! 
Constructive triangles come in a wooden boxes with multiple triangles in different sizes with a larger triangle to use a self correcting tool.  The children must match the colors and the black lines to make a larger trianle.  This work gets progressively more difficult and requires a great deal of concentration to complete. 

Never underestimate the mind of a young child.  It is truly an amazing thing!  They are an empty vessel and it is our job to fill them up!  Happy Montessori Math Madness day!  I am linking up with for Montessori Monday!  
Montessori Monday


President's Day Activities

President's Day Activities
This week we are studying President's day and we are celebrating George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's Birthdays.
We started out with the movie Getting to know Abraham Lincoln (click below for a preview) and a song we also did a movement activity where we started out small and grew taller and taller like Abe Lincoln. 
Here is the Presidents Song we sang.

 Last week we also learned about Abraham Lincoln. We talked about how tall he was and I decided this would be a great estimating and measuring project. The first thing we did was have the kids all estimate how tall they thought Abraham Lincoln was. After that we measured how tall he actually was, and drew him paper.  The kids were so excited to see how tall he was and wanted to see how tall they were in comparison.  They got to lay down and we measured with the measuing feet.  The kids counted the feet and inches on thier own and I recorded their answers.  When all the kids got a chance we hung him up on the wall and even the teachers were able to record their heights! 
We made George Washington and Abraham Lincoln lapbooks to review all we learned about president's day. 
We made George Washington and Abe Lincoln portraits for the covers of our lapbooks.
The kids drew their own faces!  I was impressed!!  :)

We made log cabins out of sticks.

For snack I bet you can guess what we had....Log cabins!! 
We used a graham cracker for the base and cream cheese for the glue.  A few of the kids used a small pretzel for the window!  So creative!  I have also done this with the pretzel rods and peanut butter. 
 Our math activities this week are all about money math!  We learned about the quarter and we counted by ones to 25 and counted by 5's to 25.  Also we sorted money and made money patterns.  The older kids did basic money adding and matching sets.  (sorry I didn't take pictures of our math activities) 
For art we will make quarter and penny rubbings, Lincoln and Washington portraits, Cherry tree handprints with tissue paper cherries and cherry pie baking.  
For the cherry pie you just put cherry pie filling in a 9X13 pan and put bisquits on top of the pie filling.  Dap the top with butter and bake at 350 for 20 min.  I will post pictures later this week.

On Wednesday we will do a science experiment with pennies.  What liquid will clean a penny best?? 
Our languge lessons will be based around our first 25 sight words on president silloettes and the "ig" family as in wig.  I am excited about the wig ideas I have this week, I have about 15 wigs I am bringing to school and the kids will get the opportunity to sort CVC words and if they rhyme with wig they will run and place them under their wig.  The read aloud book we are reading this week is:
Abe Lincoln at last

We will finish the week by making powder wigs and acting out a president's day poem as I read it. 
 Here is my February Pinterest Board for more President's day ideas! Kidzone Teacher Mama Feb Pinterest Board
Like most Americans, I truely admire the integrity and hard work these great men have done for our country.  They set a standard that is hard to come by these days.  I think it is important to teach children about the high standards that were so important to these men.  I want my children to have a good example to model. 
I hope you found some ideas you can use in your classroom or at home with your own kids. 

Thematic Thursday Dental Unit

This week our Thematic Thursday post is about Dental Health!  It is so important for kids to learn at an early age how to take care of their teeth.  Developing good dental habits young will stay with kids for a lifetime.  Studies now show that poor dental health can lead to heart disease among other ailments and diseases.  Ok, sorry I sound like a textbook...let's get to the fun part!

We had a parent who is a Dental Hygenist.  She came in a gave a presentation for us.
She taught us the proper way to brush our teeth.
We handed out tooth charts to all of the kids to brush in the morning and at night.  They color a sun and a moon everytime they brush thier teeth.
"Brushing" teeth with toothpaste paint for art.
We just used toothpaste and added some white paint.  The kids all got a toothbrush to paint with.  The art made beautiful texture strokes. 
We made faces with marshmallow teeth.  We talked about how kids have 20 teeth, it was so cute to watch them try to squeeze 20 marshmallows on their mouths.  I asked them all to draw their faces on plates and then draw a big mouth to glue marshmallows on. 

Work time
For work time we had dental health works out to extend our learning.  Our work time is about 1 and a half  hours long.  During work time I go around and work with them individually.
One of our practical life works was to use pink playdough and beans to make a smile with twenty teeth.  This work reinforced counting, fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.  It was too funny also! :)
Hahaha!!  That is all I have to say about this picture!

This was so incredibly fun!  I put chocolate frosting on elk teeth and the kids had to brush off the "tooth bugs".  They really got into this and got down and dirty.
Tooth cleaning work

For Math we used tooth counters and beans for teeth.  They had to match the number to the number of dots and then count the beans.  This counting activity went up to 25!  Great number sense practice.
For math we also practiced matching number words and numbers up to twelve on toothbrushes.
Finally we did a group project where we cut food out of magazines and took turns pasting them to the chart on good for your teeth or bad for your teeth.  I thought it was so cute a couple kids found toothpaste and mouth wash and they said "this is really good for your teeth!"  Even though it wasn't technically food they put it on the chart anyway!  

February is Dental month, I would love to hear any ideas of what you are working on for dental month! 

Word Work Wednesday Part 2 Valentine's Day

Word Work Wednesday Part 2
Valentine's Day Writing
We read this book
In the book it talks about all of the reasons why Mouse likes his friends. We used that as a springboard discussion to play the warm fuzzy game. Each kid drew a name stick from the jar and wrote a nice thing about the person on the stick. Everyone closed their eyes and one at a time a child stuck the post it on the friend they wrote about.  This was fun and went along with our kindness character trait. 
Then we read this book.

After we read the book we did an interactive writing activity.  We made a bubble map titled "If you give a mouse a Valentine"
The kids all wrote what they thought the mouse would want if they gave him a Valentine. 

They used their ideas from the bubble map to write their sentences.  When they were finished writing, they cut out hearts to display their work on.
We also practiced our cutting.

Here is our board to display their creative writing projects!


Word Work Wednesday Part one Groundhog day

This week our writing workshop was about Valentine's day and Groundhog day!  For Groundhog day we started with a story and a movement activity we danced to the song shadow dancing and then we found a partner and played "shadow does" It is just like simon says.  I read them Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the weather.

They love to draw pictures and I really enjoy watching their creativity come out in their drawings, so we started with a drawing and labels. 
This one said that his groundhog forgot to brush his teeth haha too cute!

This one added the extra labels hole, and tooth.

If you look closely at these drawings you can see the 3 check marks for them to check their own work. I don't even have to remind them of this anymore.  We extended this activity by doing science experiments and art projects on shadows.  We went on a shadow hunt outside and measured our shadows throughout the day.  Finally, they all made a groundhog to attach with their writing paper.  I love how they turned out with so much personality! :) 

Part 2 of Word Wednesday will have our Valentine's day writing.
Let me know what your Groundhog day writing ideas are! :)