Nov 17, 2008

Exploring, Experimenting, and Happy Birthday, Daniel!

Again, I'm just going to focus on the "new" things they got to do this week. I'm not sure what I will post about next week, because I'm not planning on adding a lot of new. I've been thinking and working on switching from "fall" to Christmas after Thanksgiving. That means, since we only do Totschool 2 or 3 times a week, and I switch boxes every time we have it, that they will only see the current activities in this state 5 more times at the most.

First, I added more body part cards to Abbie's cup. I have tons of these made, but am only putting a few out at a time. She enjoys these because she can do them easily. She chooses a card and shows it to me. I ask her what it is, and after she names it, she points to the corresponding body part on her, me, and whoever else is close enough. And as I was typing this, the idea came to me that I should have a baby doll close by during this activity. She adores babies, so that would add an extra dimension of joy to this work.

She also enjoys the pattern blocks and card. She always finishes the triangles, her favorite shape, and I can usually get her to finish at least one other shape before I let her put it away.


These are cubes that snap together. I have heard them called by many different names. We call them Math Links. I originally bought them to teach Kaytie and Nate place value and we have used them for everything but. When I presented these two colors to Daniel, (there are 10 of each color) I modeled laying them out in an ABAB pattern. He caught on quickly and enjoyed himself. He enjoys order and sequence.


Abbie, however, skipped that part, and went right to the extension: stacking the cubes. I did eventually get her to sort a few of the cubes by color. She took great delight in saying, "Orange!" but I could never get her to repeat, "Brown."

Every week, I've been putting out crayons and an ABC color sheet, but they showed no interest until this week, when I added a clipboard to the activity. Then they were interested!

Scissors work is rising in popularity. Daniel chose it twice this week, and did markedly better the second time than he did the first. Once I get him interested in something, he is a quick learner, the trick is getting him interested. So far, I'm just giving him strips of paper to cut, not marked or anything complicated.



This was the favorite new activity this week. I found the cheese shaker (I think that is what they are called?) at the Dollar Tree. It is the perfect size for dropping toothpicks into the holes. Abbie did this FOUR times in a row, which tells you how much she enjoyed it. I showed her how to take the lid off and dump them back out again, which added to the fun. :)

Daniel did it "correctly" a few times, and enjoyed that, but then, because he is such a curious boy, he began to explore the materials. He shook the jar, both empty and full of toothpicks, with the lid on, and then off, he rolled it, he tried putting the toothpicks in without the lid, he experimented different ways to dump the toothpicks out of the jar, he looked through the jar, and into the jar. All of which I enjoyed watching, but my favorite was when he did this:

then announced, with wonder in his voice, "It sounds like a helicopter blowing its nose!"



I added another ball, jar, and tube to this activity. One ball was too big for one jar, a fact that Daniel discovered with glee! He spent a lot of time playing with this, discovering different ways to to roll the balls from jar to jar and from tube to tube. This kind of work is what Daniel most enjoys. I think he is going to be a scientist when he grows up.



I put out "go-together" cards. The big kids used to have fun with these. I found them at the Dollar Store and thought it was a game. I had no idea they are actually a pre-reading learning game! Daniel did it fairly easily, but Abbie had no clue.






The spooning rocks activity had been neglected lately, so I added bigger, flat, green rocks, and sparked some interest. I had to keep an eye on Abbie though, or she would use her hands or just pour them from cup to cup.

I added a memory game, which Daniel and I played together. He still hasn't quite gotten the concept, but he seems to enjoy playing.

As they become more and more accustomed to the school routine, I get braver and braver in what I am willing to set out for them. A teeny bit of water, a leaf sponge, and two bowls comprise our sponge transfer. This is actually a favorite of Abbie's, she will play with it until she runs out of water because it is on the towel and her apron. :) For some strange reason, I never got a picture of her at it, though.


The last new thing we started this week, was because of a bad habit that Abbie started. She was pointing and saying, "That." But when I offered her what she was pointing at, she would say, "No. That." and point at something else. So I started making her get her own. When she immediately demonstrated that she could do this successfully,


I moved everything from the floor between their mats, to the couch and love seat. Now they must get everything themselves, and then return it. Sometimes that requires making two trips, because I refuse to spend money and storage space on trays. They are young, they have energy to spare. :)


Here's Abbie's opinion of Montessori Totschool...

At the end of the week, Daniel got to celebrate his third birthday.


His cake was decorated with his own Thomas trains.


He got some awesome new Thomas' to play with!


His big sister supplied him with the hat and whistle.


And his cousins came over for ice cream and cake.
For more Totschool posts, go to Carissa's place and please, pray for her family.

3 comments:

Kysha said...

Happy
birthday to your little one! They are so cute. It looks like you've had a great week. I love the cheese shaker idea! I'm heading to Dollar Tree today. :)

One More Equals Four said...

Very cute! You have some great ideas! Hope Daniel had a great birthday!

One More Equals Four said...

It is for all these creative ideas I left you an award on my blog, go check it out when you get a chance!

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