Mar 22, 2009

Totschool with shelves

We had another full and busy week. I have re-arranged my school system and we have shelves! I won't go into all of the furniture shifting that we went through to get three empty shelves, but we are really enjoying not having to get everything out every time we do school. The kids have the same stuff all the time, now, and I up-date their shelves every weekend. I am so thrilled to have this set-up, but I am also grateful that this was a gradual process, because I have had NO issues with them getting into the shelves when we aren't doing school. Anyway, this week, Daniel chose...

The mystery bag.

Flower arranging. I bought two more bunches of flowers, and dug out this old basket to store them in. The vase fits in the basket, too, so they just carry it back and forth all in one piece. We started with the tall, thin vase, but it was too tall and too narrow for our short stemmed flowers, so I got the bubble vase instead. Both vases came from Dollar Tree.

He chose this puzzle almost every day. I found it at the Dollar Tree and snatched it up because you don't often find things that feature lower case letters, although they are more important than upper case. I am not a true Montessorian because I don't teach lower case first. I teach them at the same time. And Daniel is also learning sounds along with the letters. I have to keep reminding myself that he is learning three things at once, because he is learning much more slowly than Kaytie and Nate did. It's so hard to keep in mind not to compare my kids because they are so close in age and I can still remember what Kaytie and Nate were like at this age!

He also frequently chose this new work. I put a handful of Skittles in one of their toy pitchers to practice "real pouring". I don't know if it's the pitcher or the Skittles, but they are drawn to this like they never were drawn to bean pouring.

He played Roll a Color with anyone who would play with him. I love this game, because I don't have to supervise if I'm not playing. It is so easy that they play it entirely on their own.

He also chose Alphabet Bingo and spent an entire school morning playing with the blocks and animals. But I didn't take pictures of those choices. Daniel's preferred method of doing school is to find a few things that he likes and do them over and over and over again.

Abbie chose:

Color matching. A lot. She really loves it when I am willing and able to talk her through it. She will wave a stick at me and ask, "What color this?" So I'll ask her what color it is and she will chose the matching card and I will say "That is yellow!" or whatever color it happens to be. She can match them entirely on her own, but she is still learning the names.

Skittle pouring. I could not get her to pour correctly, but she had a blast pouring them back and forth, transferring them with her fingers, and enjoying the texture.

Sound match. This is really too hard for her, I have it out for Daniel, but she loves to choose it and almost always gets one correct. Lucky guess, probably. Then she will miss two and get the last one right because it is fairly obvious.

She loves these little puzzles, and has finally gotten to where she can do them independently. I have about six letters and five numbers out right now.
And she had to try her hand at the new puzzle as well. She did much better with this one than with our wooden uppercase puzzle. It surprised me actually, how far she got before she needed my help. ABC puzzles are her favorite things because she gets to sing the song.
She chose this several times, and counted with me to ten each time. I was so pleased that these little bath mats had exactly ten suction cups on them! It worked out just perfectly for our purposes.
And she chose flower arranging as well.
Her un-pictured choices were, mystery bag, books, Alphabet Bingo whenever anyone was playing, and the blocks and farm animals.
We also had St. Patrick's Day fun. We played outside with balls. We examined bugs, and played at the park a couple of times. Oh, and drew with sidewalk chalk before school one morning. That is what is all over Daniel's pants in a few of the pictures.

For more Totschool fun, check out the Linky here.


Bernadete said...

I love the flower idea, perfect for spring!

pucktricks said...

Another pouring idea is rice, it's a bit more messy, but it's another texture to try.

Too Many Kids In The Bathtub said...

I am not sure if you remember me. My name is tara from the babyfit message board. I am so amazed to have found your blog just out of nowhere. How are you? I have a blog too.

hope to talk to you soon.

PS. I LOVE the center idea with the shelves.

TheRockerMom said...

I will have to get some flowers for RockerTot to arrange. I found the same puzzle at the Dollar Tree this week, lol. What is the mystery bag?

pucktricks said...

I love your blog and gave you an award at mine, come and get it!

Spesamor Academy said...

Hi, Tara!
Thank you, Pucktricks! :)
Rockermom, the mystery bag is a twist off of the Montessori idea. I just toss about 5 small objects into a bag and they try to ID them by feel. They really get a kick out of this, although I have to talk fast to get them to say what it is BEFORE they pull it out of the bag. lol I put new stuff in it often, so they don't ever know what to expect.
Isn't Dollar Tree an awesome store!?!?!


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