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The Annabelle and Elliot Post

So much has been happening with the children of the house, and it has been driving me crazy that I haven’t made the time to stop and reflect on some of it. The holiday pixie dust floating around and the pregnancy hormones probably have something to do with it, but I’ve been having more and more of those moments when looking at Annabelle or Elliot just stops me in my tracks and I wonder how they manage to be so awesome, and why I’m so lucky as to be able to spend my days with them. They are seriously good company.

Annabelle photographing kangaroos and koalas while on a trip to an area of Australia that bears a striking resemblance to our home office.

Annabelle photographing kangaroos and koalas while on a trip to an area of Australia that bears a striking resemblance to our home office. She has a thing for her brother’s pajamas lately, too.

Annabelle’s primary interests: pretend play and books, have remained the same, even if they take on slightly different forms. She is still pretending to be someone other than herself most of the time, and continues to be very detailed and consistent with this play. She’ll even refuse foods she loves if she knows they’re ones the person she’s pretending to be doesn’t like. This afternoon, she was pretending to be Mary, taking care of a very cozy baby Jesus she made out of play dough. She invited me to her and Joseph’s place for dinner. Mary, I’m told, is vegan, but Joseph is not. I had to promise not to tell Jesus what his surprise (a scooter…but shh, don’t tell. I’m not sure if she has given it to him yet) is. I’m sure this narrative would have been much more historically accurate if we were a family that focused on the story of Jesus in detail ;)

This business of surprises is a new theme, as is being “tricky.” Because I order new materials for school all the time, we get packages at least once or twice a week, it seems, and when something comes, Annabelle is always thrilled. We have this same conversation, almost exactly, every time:

Me: “Oh, I’m so excited for this one! I can’t wait to open it!”

Annabelle: “What is it!?” Continue reading

Review and Giveaway: A Merry Montessori Christmas

A Merry Montessori Christmas by Aubrey Hargis: Review by Vibrant WanderingsHave all of the ideas shared in the Montessori Holiday Hop gotten you inspired? There’s still a bit more time in this holiday season, and I have the ultimate source of holiday-themed, or specifically Christmas-themed Montessori goodness for you! If you haven’t heard, the wonderful Aubrey of Montessori Mischief has created an ebook, A Merry Montessori Christmas. I cannot say enough good things about this beautiful resource. Here’s the testimonial I shared with Aubrey for her site: Continue reading

Montessori Holiday Hop: 2013 Edition

Montessori Bloggers Network Holiday Hop: via Vibrant WanderingsIn a Montessori blogging network I’m honored to be a part of, we were recently chatting about how much things have changed for Montessorians in the past decade or so. I remember scouring the web for Montessori discussions and ideas during my training and internship years ago, and coming up mostly empty-handed. The few Montessori focused blogs I found could not update often enough to please me. I lived for the next post on each of them!

Now, there are so many Montessori blogs that I doubt I even know about half of them. With a quick search on Pinterest, you can find specific ideas in any subject area and based on virtually any special theme. There is so much at our fingertips, and I get chills thinking about how much the Montessori internet’s collective creativity enriches lives. It’s truly awesome, and I’m honored to be a small part of it all. Continue reading

Montessori for the Holidays

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.

Classroom Christmas Tree: Vibrant Wanderings Continue reading

A Resource: Record Keeping in the Montessori Primary Classroom

Tea and a quick records update

Tea and a quick records update

There are so many different ways to keep a record of the work individual children are doing in the Montessori classroom. I have seen a number of systems, and they all seem to be working well for the teachers using them, which is what counts, really. In my training, we were given a model for record keeping, referred to as an Individual Learning Plan. This plan is a spreadsheet which includes the materials typically found in the classroom, with space to make dated comments about the work each child does with these materials. In the past, I have simply reproduced this spreadsheet and used it for my record-keeping. It is a wonderfully useful document, but it does not perfectly reflect what is in my classroom, however, nor is it perfectly set up for me to include the information I like to record. Continue reading

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