Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We're back!

I can’t believe how long it’s been since our last update! I figured I would take a few days off after RJ’s birthday party but it turned into a very long vacation from our blog. I apologize to my handful of readers for being away for so long. I have sure missed posting but things were a bit hectic for a while and it took me some time to get back into the swing of blogging…

Although I haven’t gotten around to posting all this time, we have maintained our weekday routine. Our ”school class sessions” are Monday through Thursday in the late mornings, where we spend 1-1/2 to 2-1/2hours (depending on what kind of mood the kids are in). We don’t have formal class time on Fridays, instead we visit our local library for pre-school story time, a craft, and each of the kids gets to check out one book for the week. After the library, we visit one of the local parks on the way home. We have quite a few parks to choose from so the kids enjoy visiting the different playgrounds and also seem to get pretty excited about what snacks I pack for us.

A lot has gone on in the classroom since our last post but since I cannot manage to cover everything, here are some of the highlights...

RJ received THIS stringing/beading set for his birthday, and it has been a fun addition to the shelves. Initially the boys would get sidetracked and start racing cars throughout the classroom (instead of stringing), but now they enjoy stringing and parking all the cars back in the basket without too much distraction.
Another activity that has been enjoyed the last few weeks is a water transfer activity using a turkey baster. This is the first water activity that I have made available for the kids indoors so I was a bit nervous about the possible spills but it has turned out well. Enzo is trying if for the first time in the picture below.

I originally thought this activity would only be for CC and Enzo, but RJ was very adamant about trying it the day I introduced it. This was during a rough few days of teething for RJ so I mostly gave in to avoid more weeping. Although I was expecting RJ to spill water, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t too much.
Language materials have also recently been added to the classroom. I decided to follow the method used by My Montessori Journey, a wonderful blog written by a Montessori preschool teacher. This blog is very well organized and is great at thoroughly explaining many Montessori activities. Anyhow, her language system which divides the alphabet letters into three groups is explained on THIS POST. We are currently learning the red letters and are working on “r” and “m”. Here is a sample of the sandpaper letters and little sound books that I made.
Here is CC showing the front of the little “m” sound book and saying “mmm”.On the picture below you can see CC writing the letter “r” with her finger on a sand tray (our version of the sand tray is actually a zen garden that I purchased at a yard sale for $1). In the background of the picture you can see RJ on the floor. On this particular day he laid around a lot while chewing on his blanket to sooth the teething)
In addition to having the letter/sound materials available in the classroom for the kids, we are also regularly reading the “My Sound Box” books that I found at the library. These books have been a good way to reinforce the sounds that we are learning in the classroom outside of the classroom setting.

CC has known the alphabet letters for some time now. She easily learned the sounds and was interested in writing before she turned three (pre-Montessori). She now sort of legibly writes most of the alphabet but only in Upper Case. Although she already knows the sounds, our new language materials have introduced an opportunity for her to learn the lower case letters and how to correctly write each letter. Enzo currently only recognizes a few of the letters of the alphabet so I am looking forward to finding out how our new language activities help him learn sounds.

The last picture I will share today is one of all three kids actively working on their own. RJ is practicing pouring with teacups, Enzo is working on THIS counting puzzle (which he has improved on), and CC is working with numbers and counters. I love to see all three kids actively involved with their work. There aren’t very many of these moments when the classroom is actually quiet…

1 comment:

  1. will u ever write again in this blog? just found it today :)