The materials shown in this post were sent to me by Montessori Services (a company I love, trust, and have personally spent more than I care to admit with this year alone), for the purpose of review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all information and opinions shared are my own. Read to the end for your chance to win $50 to spend on anything you’d like from Montessori Services. If you visit Montessori Services by following one of the links within this post, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you, and those funds will go to support the work of this blog and of our little Montessori school (thank you!). This is the perfect time to shop, because they’re offering free shipping until the end of March on orders over $50.
How did you spend the first day of Spring? In the classroom, Annabelle and a few other preschoolers spent a portion of it doing a recent favorite work: flower arranging. A popular Montessori Practical Life exercise, flower arranging can be done outdoors or in, by cutting flowers directly from the garden or by choosing from a selection prepared for inside. It can even be done with silk flowers if fresh aren’t available or practical. The work fits into the category of Care of the Environment, as it inspires children to take part in the creation of a more beautiful classroom or home. Continue reading
I spent much of our Thanksgiving break sprinkling our classroom with holiday cheer, and I thought I’d share a few scenes from our space, in case they should inspire you in any sprinkling you’re doing in your home or classroom.
I love decorating the classroom at least as much as I love decorating my home – in fact, the tree, however small, went up here before one went up in our living room. I love this little, live tree, which has temporarily replaced the Umbrella Tree that normally graces our reading corner. Between it and the wreath on the door, it smells of evergreen throughout the whole room. Originally, I thought I’d leave the decorations for this tree in a basket so that the children could decorate it themselves over and over, but I found that the process was not exactly pleasant, due to the very sharp little needles on this particular tree, so it stays decorated to make the classroom more beautiful, and another, smaller tree is available on the shelf for the children to decorate and redecorate as much as they’d like.
I’m a little late on this, as with most things, but, um, pin it for next year? My plan for our school year was to focus on settling in during the first couple of weeks, then to focus in our group times and with some themed work, on fire safety to give some context to our first required fire drill. After that, we’d move on to some work focusing on leaves. If all had gone according to plan, we would have started our leaf study in late September, but as some of you know, our first school day didn’t even end up being until late September because, well, licensing is a process. It works out to be great timing in our corner of the world, however, because we’re a couple weeks into our leaf adventures in the classroom, and the trees here seem to have hit the absolute peak of their beauty only just now. I was in complete awe as I drove around today, running my usual errands. I just could not stop staring at the gorgeous fall colors.
Without further ado, here are some photos to give you an idea of how we’ve been exploring leaves in our classroom so far. In addition to what you see here, we’ve been enjoying some favorite leaf-related children’s books from years past, and have discovered some wonderful new favorites. I’ll share those in a separate post later this week. Continue reading
Regular readers already know how much I love Montessori Services and why. I’ve been purchasing materials from them since long before I started this blog, and will continue to for as long as I work with children. I’m always happy to support them, not only because they have so many items that are useful for me as a teacher and a parent, but also because they’re a mom-owned company based right here in the US.
Montessori Services specializes in tools for the Practical Life area of the Montessori primary classroom, with many things that are useful for the home (and for other ages) as well. While Practical Life is their specialty, they also offer ready made activities and individual components for Sensorial, Math, Language, Science, and Art activities. I don’t go anywhere else for things like trays, rugs, or mats. They truly are an incredible resource for preparing the child’s environment.
Recently, Montessori Services was kind enough to send along an activity I’ve had on my wishlist for quite some time: Assembling a Flashlight. I’ve had it on our Practical Life shelf for the past couple of weeks and Annabelle absolutely loves it. I can’t wait until her classmates start so they can enjoy it, too. The activity comes with a medium-sized flashlight, which is a perfect size for a preschooler’s hands, and two AA batteries. Of course flashlights of various sizes can be bought at many stores, but what’s so special about this activity is the gorgeous, wooden tray with compartments that are perfectly sized for the individual parts of the flashlight, including the batteries, and are oriented from left to right. The tray’s tapered edges make it easy for the child to pick up, carry, and work with. Continue reading
It’s the first day for most of the preschoolers in our area today, and Annabelle, Elliot, and I are going to start our routine, too. We’re not able to have friends in to join us until we finish one more inspection and a bit more waiting, but I figure we’ll get ourselves into the swing of things and work out some of the kinks in our own routine now. Annabelle is always eager to work with the Montessori materials, too, so it will be nice to spend some regular time in the classroom space again. To celebrate the arrival of fall for homeschoolers, unschoolers, and outside-of-home schoolers alike, I thought I’d start offering up some of the giveaways I’ve been working on for you all. Right now, the Back to [Home]School Giveaway Series is slated to last the month of September, with one giveaway each Tuesday, but I just might see if I can’t pull together a few things for October, too. Continue reading