Friday, March 16, 2012

Montessori Teachers Unite!

Very excited about the schedule of workshops! Hoping for some inspiration to share on this blog!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fun with Compound Words

I remember doing these when I was a kid; I loved pairing them up! The kids in my classroom have fun with this work; they get a kick out of mixing them up. A popular one is Cowfoot.

Don't worry, we made sure they knew the correct combination, but we all like to be silly once in a while!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Colorful Community: Classroom Handprint Wreath

This was such a fun project I took on with the kids in my class. Although I ended up covered in paint, the end result was something the children did together and truly enjoyed it!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Math Time

That dreaded word...Math. I don't know why, but when I think of numbers, my heart rate goes up and I want to hide under a rock. I truly believe that I bring with me some unnecessary experiences from early on and I can't seem to let them go. I think we all have our strengths, and our weaknesses, but I also believe that we can change.

I am in the middle of my Montessori math training and I am trying to let go of old ideas and have a fresh perspective, just like children have. Because learning new skills is not just for children!

So I had to create a 1:1 correspondence game and I came up with this "Ducks around a Pond," scenario. It's so important to have colorful and aesthetically pleasing works out in the classroom for children because they will find joy in working with something so beautiful. I'm not saying this is beauty at its best, but I don't think it's too bad, and I had fun making it!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Back at it!

I fell off the blogwagon. I was doing so well and I was so motivated and then... well, I moved. Man oh man, talk about being pulled out of my comfort zone! I had a great thing going at my old place; all of my student teaching syllabuses were up on the wall ( amid some smaller wedding photos that kept me smiling), I had the laminator set up and all was well. It took me a couple of weeks to work my way back into another groove, which I am happy to say has happened.
But wow, do I have a lot of work to do! The good news is that most of it is super fun! Last night I spent the majority of the evening creating some rhyming and matching games that will soon be in the classroom. And now that I am feeling so much more comfortable leading groups, Elton and I (yes, he is a big part of my planning) enjoy planning out some fun activities! I am still singing. I am still singing all the time and last night I made up a song about the letter "P" and sang it today, it was kind of a big hit. If you email me, I might be able to give you the rights for a good price. One verse preschool songs don't come cheap folks.

I'm loving life right now and I am so enjoying teaching these kids. They inject in me with a new energy I didn't even realize I had, and I find that it spills over into my personal life. Anyway, this is a short post because I need to go buy a lamp. Boring, but so necessary, I can't see so well at my desk. No good. So, off I go, but here is a look of one of my favorite recent works, the Attribute Game inspired by no other than, Elton the Dog!

Friday, October 21, 2011

And Then I Sang...

One of the things I am learning is that part of being a good teacher is having a pocket full of, no wait, a bag full of tricks for moments when kids need some... refocusing. When I first started teaching, I was petrified of sitting in front of twenty one children and talking, never mind singing a song or doing a presentation. I didn't even know any songs, or so I thought. This year, it's a whole new ball game. I don't have many tricks in my bag, but one of them works like a charm, and that is my singing voice.

My entire life I have been drawn to music and I think I was singing before I was talking. If you asked my mom, she'd tell you all about my "highlight reel" from Disney World when I was in sixth grade. It involves some sort of karaoke with a green screen, a Whitney Houston song, and a leather jacket with a cowboy hat. As I got older, athletics became more of my thing and the singing faded into the background. But you better believe that when I would lie in bed at night, I was visualizing myself as the lead singer in the 1980's broadway show, "Big River." Big River was my FAVORITE show in the world. I knew (and still know) every single word to every single song on the soundtrack. So, it was quite easy for me to see myself as the lead role, even though the lead was a man. If I am right, Peter Pan was played by a woman many times, so there.

I digress. My desire to sing publicly has resurfaced and I am grateful to have a brother who is an amazing musician. He and I sing when we are together and have actually sang at venues a few times. We also did a little Sade number at my sisters wedding. Those were nerve-wracking but exciting opportunities for me, but I needed more. And then it happened, my classroom became my stage.

I sing everything! "Hand on the raaaaaillliiinnngggg, hand on the raiilllinnnng. Walking so lovely uuuuupppp to the gyymmmmm." And my favorite this week, "Blackbird" by the Beatles. Of course I shorten that one to make it quick, but man is it effective! It's also such a wonderful feeling to sit in front of the children now and help them to focus in just by the sound of my voice. I don't feel like I've mastered anything as a student teacher, but this little gem of a strategy is helping me towards that goal.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Final Result: The Birds Have Landed

I added this work to the Sensorial shelves this morning and a few children pulled it off and worked with it. What a joy! Anyway, here is the final result. Like I said, simple.