Wednesday, November 6, 2019

School days

Bubs was working on positioning of lines and types of angles today.

Mumbs took a stab at lacing.

Nito working on the distributive law of multiplication.
T-Man working on handwriting with the sand tray.  

Bubs loves these snap circuits!  He has been working on some new engineering/coding material that I should hopefully be posting about soon.  

Mumbs loves the smooth/rough boards!

Nito was presented lines today.  This is a terrible angle, but the blue water represents the horizontal line like what you would see if you are looking out at the horizon while on the beach.  He could easily visualize that since we went to the beach a few months ago.
The follow up to his presentation was the nomenclature booklets.
Sorry this picture is blurry.  He tried his best to match them up.  He still needs some practice on this one.  Thankfully he can check the control booklet because I can't remember all of those things!

T-Man was finally shown watercolors.  He was so excited to be able to use the materials that he always sees his brother doing.  
Of course it didn't take Bubs long to get out his version of painting after he saw T-Man.

Nito started working on homophones.  He was able to name quite a few not on this list.  I think he got this pretty easy and we can move on.

I introduced the idea of magnetism to Bubs.  The first lesson was just the idea of the magnetic force and then he went around the room with his clipboard trying to stick magnets to everything.  He recorded his answers on his table.  It was super cute.  He looked all official!  All he needed was a pencil behind the ear to pull off the look!

Nito was shown addition of fractions.  Oh my goodness, for anyone who knows how animated Nito is, they would appreciate this.  We did 1/4 + 1/4.  He came up with the answer of 2/4.  Then as part of the presentation he is supposed to see if any larger fractions fit within the space on the inset (which teaches reduction of a fraction).  So he checked thirds, no.  He checked halves, YES!!  He jumped out of his chair and starting laughing, "Ha Ha Ha Ha".  He was so excited that it fit.  You can only guess his enthusiasm when he reduced 1/4 + 3/4.  Yes, it equals 1 whole!!  

Mumbs working on the binomial cube.  Does it ever surprise anyone else when you come to see your child working "next to" the work rug instead of actually on it?!  I mean, I guess I have to give her credit for getting one out.  Now, I just need her to actually use it.

Because this guy is perfectly chill not using a work rug at all.  I got this crazy, wild, colorful rug to add some fun and color to the classroom, but I don't see how they can actually see their work without a work rug, especially something like color tablets!

T-Man working on the addition strip board.  Man......I didn't have the heart to tell him that his strips were not going to fit at that particular desk.  He is so stubborn sometimes and has to learn the hard way.  Well.....he did when they all started falling off.  He threw himself on the ground and started crying.  It was actually quite comical and we all started laughing.  Then he busted out laughing and we moved him to a work rug with much more room to spread out.  

Rotation of the Earth

Ok so this presentation is a bit cray cray and hard to capture in pictures.  I tried my best!  I will continue to post as we work through the album on the subject.  I enjoyed doing this presentation with my boys, because......they are boys!  I asked them to gather the materials and they were giddy knowing that it involved bricks, a crazy lamp without its shade, string with a nut on one end and the best part which was so intriguing..........the BATHROOM!!!!  Well, I needed a dark place so what better place than that right?  I mean we are in the basement so it works perfectly since there are no windows.  That being said, don't mind the toilet, shower, whatever else crazy you might see in the background.  Focus on the materials! Ha.

I started off explaining how the Earth rotates around the sun on an invisible string, which is where the nut on a string came into play.  Now, when you are swinging this around your head for the visual, be sure not to whack someone or something in the process!  Pretty sure I hit my eye the first try.  Moving on......I told the boys that I would let them try under my supervision, but that it was not a toy and I wouldn't leave that on the shelf for them to "investigate further" with it.  We all know how that story would play out.  

I went on to explain that the Earth moves around the sun, but that it also turns on itself in the process.  In the picture above, Bubs is the sun and Nito is spinning himself dizzy while he is "trying" to circle Bubs without hitting the toilet or the shower at the same time.

Here is the fun part.  Turning off the bathroom light and turning on the lamp.  The lamp clearly represents the sun and we have the globe for our Earth.  The story continues to talk about how much of the sun's rays actually hit us and what would happen if the Earth did not turn on itself.  The lamp shines on one side of the Earth and then creates a shadow on the other side.  Bubs was quick to announce that this is how we have night and day (he clearly had this presentation with Kui when he was younger).  But for Nito and T-Man, they were just enjoying the presentation..

These charts help to show how large the sun is and how powerful the rays can be.  I don't believe you can see it in this picture, but there is a small circle on the bottom right hand side of the chart on the right.  It represents Earth.  This shows the child how small Earth is to the sun.  The chart on the left symbolizes what would happen to the Earth if it did not turn on itself.  The portion that was in the sun (the flames) would essentially burn up over time and would never be able to sustain any type of life.  The portion that was in the shade from the sun (the icicles) would freeze and also never be able to sustain any type of life.  

I basically stopped the presentation there on that day.  The boys wanted to play a game with the globe and we chose different countries.  They would make the country be sleeping, eating breakfast, taking a nap, etc.  For example, Bubs chose Japan.  He said he wanted to make Japan sleeping.  So, Nito found Japan on the globe and moved it into the shadow of the sun's rays.  Although this was a silly activity, it was a great impromptu geography lesson!


Ah the checkerboard.......It has to be one of my favorite lower elementary materials.  I'm not quite sure why I haven't posted on this yet.  My mother, Gigi, was very kind to make me this checkerboard which can be rolled up and stored like a work rug for the child.  She saved me some precious moolah and also made a decimal checkerboard while she was at it.  It's great to have a supportive grandmother!

The checkerboard has 4 rows and 9 columns of squares arranged in hierarchical colors: green for units, blue for tens, red for hundreds, and green for thousands.  These are the same colors used in previous math materials so the child will be very familiar with them.  The columns range from unit to millions while the individual squares account for units to one billion.  The individual rows not only represent value, they represent the partial products of multi-digit multiplication!  The child can make some large numbers (which Bubs was always excited to do).

Some people are hesitant to start this work for a child if the child has not learned all of his multiplication facts.  However, because the child uses bead bars, there is no need to have the facts memorized.  The child can multiply large numbers while skip counting with the bead bars.  After much use of this material, the facts are mastered. 

Nito has already worked with the checkerboard before.  Today, I presented the 2 digit multiplicand and 2 digit multiplier.  I will walk you through the steps.
The problem is 79 x 12.  He uses the color coded numbers I made for him which correspond to the square on the checkerboard. (Green for unit, blue for ten, etc.)
First, he turns over the ten card for both the multiplicand and the multiplier.  He is focusing on the units first.  He will multiply 9 x 2 which is 18.  He places a brown 8 bar in the units square and a red 1 bar in the tens square.  This now reads "18".  
Second, he turns over the 9 unit card and turn the 7 tens card face up.  Now he is ready to multiply 7 and 2 which is 14.  Now, for the child who is first learning this material, they will focus on the fact that it is 14.  However, as the child progresses, we point out to them that it is really 7 tens and 2 units which makes it 70 x 2.  Therefore the answer is 140, not 14.  This is why you see the yellow 4 bead bar in the tens square and the red 1 bar in the red hundreds square.  The green unit square still only has the brown 8 bar.  
Now the child has successfully multiplied the multiplicand by the unit of the multiplier.  It is time to move on the ten of the multiplier which is the blue 1 card.  The child starts over with the green 9 unit card being flipped over and will now multiply the 9 by the 1.  A blue 9 bar is placed in the ten square above the green unit square.  Remember, we are really multiplying 9 x 10.  This makes the unit have zero and the ten have a 9 bar.
The steps are repeated as before.  The green unit card is flipped over and the blue ten card is face up to now multiply 7 x 1 or really 70 x 10 giving us 700.  We place a white 7 bar in the red hundred square.
The multiplying is complete and now requires us to push all of our beads together.  We do this in an orderly fashion of pushing each column diagonally to the left staying with the same color squares.  For example, the blue 9 bar from the ten square on the second row gets pushed diagonally to the left to end up in the blue 10 square on the bottom row.  Continue with all squares with beads.
Once all of the beads have been pushed to the bottom row, exchanging must begin.  Starting with the units and working left, start exchanging bead bars to end up with one per square. 
The final answer should look like this.  
79 x 12= 948

Saturday, November 2, 2019

School Days

The last few days have been pretty productive in our classroom.  I have to admit that it is probably because I finally got my boys a planner to write down their work each day.  It is a bit non-traditional in Montessori to write down what the kids are expected to do in one day, but it has really helped build my boys work ethic and I think I will stick with it for a few months and slowly wean them off of it.  For whatever reason, they just haven't built that inner discipline to be able to choose something off of the shelf correctly.  Ok, there really isn't a right or wrong way to choose something off of the shelf, but when they are constantly choosing snap circuits or reading a book, I had to drawn the line, or at least come to a happy compromise, for the moment!  Record keeping in Montessori is something on my list to blog about in the near future.

Nito working on the decanomial square (sensorial decanomial) again.  He has such a sense of order and this material really speaks to him.  The main purpose of this material is to help the child discriminate size, shape, and color.  It is also a preparation for math and squaring.  I also think that it pulls Nito in because of the visual harmony that is established and he can see when he gets off of the pattern.
T-Man was presented the short chains earlier this week and has taken them off of the bead cabinet everyday since!  It is a great early work for multiples.
Nito working on Grammar Box II.  He loves finding the patterns of the different plurals for nouns.  For instance, to add "ies", almost every word ends in the letter "y".  
Mumbs "built" the pink tower. However, when I started asking her to find me the largest one, the next largest one, and so on.....she built the tower easy peasy.
This was her building it onto the stand to put it away after about the 5th time.
Nito started the suffix chart today.  As soon as I started showing him the materials, Bubs interrupted and said, "Oh, that is not fun Nito!"  I quickly told him to hush and get back to his work!  He's tainting the fresh perspective of his brother.  Now, this isn't the first time this has happened in the classroom.  Kui was notorious for tainting Bubs' view on fractions and it is quite difficult to undo something like that, no matter how fun you try to make fractions!
After the presentation, Nito DID happen to say that it was fun.  I was happy to hear that.  As for the picture above, the child chooses a word from the chart.  The base (root) word is put in black and then the suffix is added with the red moveable alphabet.  The same will apply when he works with the prefix chart.
T-Man working on his letters on the chalkboard.  He's a lefty like his mama (and Gigi)!
Mumbs and I worked on the action cards.  These are great for her age because she loves looking at the pictures.  We can easily do a three period lesson.  For example, show me "licking".  Hand me "hugging".
Bubs worked diligently for quite some time with the geometric form of multiplication.  He was excited to have a new presentation and it involved colored pencils!!  He does really well in math and picked it up quickly.
T-Man is still working on his beginning sounds using the movable alphabet.  He is struggling a bit with the transition of how the sandpaper letters look versus the movable alphabet letters.  There is a bit of a difference, which is overcome fairly easily with a little bit of practice.  The older children worked through it fine.  Unfortunately, It's the downfall of not buying the expensive Neinhuis materials.  :(
Bubs working on the names of the oceans and seas of the world.  

Friday, November 1, 2019

Bells - Matching by Sound (Round 2)

I have to call this post "Round 2" because I first posted this for Bubs and Nito about 4 years ago.  See that post here.  At least the bells have held up for the next round of kiddos to use them.  I still have more up and coming children and I'm sure they will continue to last.  Perhaps I will eventually splurge and by the official Montessori bells.  They are pretty fancy on a nice stand and have a real damper!  Ooh la la.  Here is a picture.

Mumbs and T-Man spent an hour working with the bells.  It was the first time Mumbs had worked with them.  She was really just T-Man's partner, but we won't tell her that!

Here is our set of bells.  There are 8 white bells and 5 white bells with black handles, which are the chromatic ones.  The matching set is behind and colored brown.  We are gradually adding more music materials, but I have to admit that it gets pushed to the back of the line in presentations.

So before we could even start, the toddler had to have her OWN work rug with her OWN bells.  I gave her the sharp notes and she didn't know any better.

Mumbs is setting up her bells.  She was the ringer.

T-Man sat across the classroom and waited for Mumbs to ring her first bell.  His goal was to find the matching sound of the bell that she rang.

He rang each bell and if it didn't match, he placed it in a pile.

T-Man starts to make a pile of his correct pairs.

The two little rascals finally finished and celebrated together!!