Montessori Monday Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!!

Preschool Class doing the "dragon dance" with the Chinese Dragon we made

Here are some pictures a parent took for me of our Chinese New year celebration last year.  We Studied Asia for about a month, and then we had our Continent party by celebrating Chinese new year.  The whole class worked together to make this Chinese Dragon.  His face is made out of cardboard, paint and tissue paper.  His tale is made out of gossamer and the kids construction paper hand prints to look like scales.  We watched the "Dragon Dance" on you tube and learned a dance to perform with our Dragon.  We also watched the episode on Ni Hoa Kailan about Chinese New year.  We learned that everyone has to work together to make the Dragon move.  It was a great cooperative learning experience. 

Our Works 
Here is one of our works a Chinese Animal Memory game. 

Chinese New Year Symbol Stamps

Our Names in Chinese and  Chinese Character painting.  We painted Characters with ink. 

Chinese counting, Chinese Animals, Chinese New Year Word book from Enchanted Learning.  We also made Clay maps of China and made the flags of Asia. 

Books We Read

We were lucky to have a mom from our school come in to give a presentation about Chinese New Year.  She is Chinese and is from China.  She made all of the kids name in Chinese. 

During the week we discussed the traditions of Chinese New year.  I brought a read envelope for each child with a quarter in it (which symbolizes good luck)
We worked on our sweeping skills and swept off the back porch (to sweep away last years bad luck)
We all tried on new silk Robes from China (to symbolize starting the year new)
To help us remember the places in Asia we learned the geography songs from Asia while we practiced our Asia Montessori Map. 

Party Time!!!
Our Chinese New year puppet, Chinese Artifacts, Chinese Noisemaker favors

We made Chinese Dragon hats and had Chinese food for a snack

If you haven't studied Asia I highly recommend it.  It is a very fun and educational unit.  For extensions we did a unit study on pandas.  I can't wait until we celebrate again next year!


"Chromosome and Little Chromosome"

I have decided to make a schedule of blog post topics.  Monday will be Montessori Monday, Tuesday will be tell me a story Tuesday, Wednesday will be Words and Writing Workshop Wednesday, Thursday will be Thematic Thursday, Friday will be Math Fact Fun Friday, Saturday will be Science and Social Studies Saturday, Sunday will be Scripture and Simplify Sunday. 
Today I am starting with Science Saturday.  We had an awesome parent volunteer come in and tell us all about DNA!  We call it DNA day.  She taught us about the "big chromosome and the little chromosome."

What Kind of Hairline do you have?

We compared and contrasted our hairlines (straight across, widow's peak) She explained what characteristics went together to make up your genetic DNA.  Widow's peak is a "big chromosome" and straight hairline is a "little chromosome". 

We learned what characteristics were DOMINANT (big chromosomes) and what were RECESSIVE (little chromosome).  She taught us that Dominant Chromosomes were more likely to be passed on. 
Trenton and Grammie comparing traits that were passed on.

Having grandparents, parents, siblings and even twins in class made our comparisons so much fun and interesting!!  The kids were able to have a true to life visual of what it means to have "dominant genes". 

Comparing "big chromosomes" and "little chromosomes" for eye color

We graphed our eye color and hair color to determine if our class had more "big chromosomes" or "little chromosomes" (sorry I didn't take pictures of our graph :( I am trying to take more pictures)

"Special" genes

She explained that we have attached ear lobes or detached earlobes and that how your ears are shaped can point to other "special" things about your body.  We have a little boy in our class who has "special" shaped ears and he also has "special" kidneys.  We learned that the kidneys and ears develop at the same time and that is how scientists can use those clues to diagnose children.  This little guy felt so important that he got to be used as an example for "special" genes!!  It was priceless. 
After we were done we made dna models with toothpicks and marshmallows and we made our me faces with haircolor, eye color, widows peak or not, attached or detached ears. 

Here are a few links to learn more about DNA. 
Have a fun Science Saturday!!

Here is an incredible Freebie to go along with DNA from Science Stuff.  DNA FREEBIE CLICK HERE  It is for older kids but could be used for homeschool and could be modified for younger kids.  Thank you Amy for Sharing and Thank you Charity for posting on


Love for the Liebster Blog Award!!

I am super excited that Monica from Teaching for treasures offered me this fun award for new bloggers!!

Here’s an explanation of what the award is all about:
Liebster means “dearest” in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve.
In order to accept the award, the blog owner must do the following:
1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award.
3. Pick out five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have been nominated.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.
I am honored and excited to accept this award and would like to pass it on to the following great new blogs!

Check out these Fabulous new blogs and keep supporting new blogs!!  Keep the great ideas pouring in! :)

More Penguin Activities

More Penguin Activities!!
Are you all getting sick of hearing about penguins yet??  Haha, well too bad I have more activities to share.  The Chart above is what we did today with preschool to review the facts we have learned about penguins.  For some of our activities we used Deanna Jump's Penguin unit

We fed the penguins gold fish crackers.  After we fed them we counted how many fish we fed them and wrote the number on a piece of paper. 

Penguin dial a sum math with penguin counters.  I found this activity here creative classroom 123

Classifying penguins by type.  They sorted the penguin and placed them by their type.  On the back of every picture was the name of each type of penguin for self checking.

Penguin sorting.  This is a more difficult sorting activity because the penguin manipulatives look very similar so they really have to pay attention to the details.

We discussed how male penguins choose the best pebble to give their mates, just like daddies give mommies a rock to ask her to marry him.  This activity is a fine motor activity placing pebbles on fish suction cups to remind them of this fact. 

Label the penguin.  After they labeled the penguin, they drew their own penguins and cut out strips to label.  This is our Pip puppet form the adventures of Pip.

One of our science activities we did was illustrate how the penguins' waxy feathers do not get too wet in the water.  We drew penguins and pushed really hard with the crayons, then water color painted over them watching the water and paint bead up and roll away. 

Counting penguins book and penguin manipulatives to count along with the book.

That is all I have for tonight.  I have more pictures to post tomorrow!  Thank you for all of your comments and support as I slowly learn all about the world of blogging!!  I am really having a great time sharing all of my ideas with you and learning all of yours!!


Penguin Brainercise

Penguins, Penguins and more penguins!!  We had a blast today studying more about penguins.  As we finish up our unit on penguins we have been reviewing all of the knowledge that we have learned in fun useful ways. 
We started off our day with Penguin Brainercise.  I have been doing a ton of research on brain activities and have been using what I am learning at school.  One of the things I learned is how important pairing movement with music and basic facts is a huge brain exercises that produces positive results!!  That is how I came up with content based Brainercise. 
 Today we got out the tumbling mats, tunnel and balance beam.  We sang songs, listened to music, did tumbling exercises based on Penguin movements and our new penguin vocabulary!!  Talk about a Brain workout!!  It was awesome!! I am sorry the pictures didn't turn out so great.
First we "Huddled" like penguins then we sang our songs.

Next we "waddled" like penguins sideways on the balance beam, while we were still singing and listening to music!

After that, we "flew" through the water...still singing!!! ;)

Finally we "tobogganed" like penguins on our bellies on the mat!!! 
These activities were so much fun and the kids loved using their new vocabulary!  After we started our day with Brainercise, the kids were ready to learn and on task all day.

Fonts by Lettering Delights
Graphics by Thistle Girl Designs

Our Homeschool far!

Here are the pictures of our homeschool room so far.  I am still going to add a few bulletin boards and white board and our centers will change throughout the year.  We also have an art center and unit studies/science/social studies center in our family room that I will post pictures of later.
This is our Art/Writing bulletin board and our writing workshop center.  I am eventually going to add our "I can" posters to the front of my cabinet

Allie's Desk and our meeting area.  I am adding a white board and learning board above the chart paper. 

These are our math and geography tubs.  The top row is math trays and those will change daily.  On top of the shelves is a Vocabulary work box and a dictionary.  I will be adding a pocket chart for Vocabulary and the bulletin board will be our math board.

Our Reading center.  Allie's goal is 50 books!  Everyday she will fill out the reading response page on the clipboard hanging by the bookshelf.  It will change daily with different reading response activities. 

Our Writers workshop center.  She will sit on the fitness ball to aid in movement while she works.  There are spelling activities, letter writing, stamp stories, sticker stories, sentence building, journal prompts, poetry, paragraph trains and recipe cards for writing recipes.  This center will change weekly with new writing activities.  So far this is her favorite one!!  Usually she hates to write!!


One of our math trays

Our Learning shelves, Games, curriculum book boxes, finished tray, finished early boxes and activities.

Our Lego table.  This will change with theme based activities. 

I am super excited to finally have this set up and ready to teach!!  It is going to be a great week.