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August 2017

Teen Board Extension with ๐ŸžLadybug Pegs (Montessori ๐Ÿ”ข Math 101 Series ๐ŸŽ‡)

Traditional Montessori materials, especially math materials, facilitate tremendously in the application of abstract concepts like numerals, teens, and ten's with my children. Dr. Maria Montessori envisioned children holding and "feeling" the quantity of, for example, the ten Numerical Rod and really grasping that "10" is BIG and "1" is small (see a post here). Montessori Teen Board (buy Teens & Tens Board set here and the golden beads here) is another ingenious material with presents an abstract concept of teens as concretely as possible with golden ten-bars and color beads. Not only children see how ten and ones are being "built" to make teens via fact families, but they are also physically building teens themselves! 

DSC_0074Today, we are trying an extension to a traditional Montessori Teen board, and instead of using Montessori ๐ŸŒˆcolor beads, we are using ๐Ÿž ladybug pegs (clothespins) to advance fine-motor control and promote color association. And the best part is that you probably already have clothespins on hand ๐Ÿก, and if not, they are very inexpensive to purchase. 

DSC_0074First, a child would color and quantity match pegs to the corresponding flowers/butterflies. DSC_0072

Each ๐ŸŒฑstem is represented by a golden bead ๐Ÿ”Ÿ-bar, so a child has to add the missing number of ๐Ÿžpegs to "build" a teen-number as shown on the board. For example, to build a teen number twelve, a child would add two ๐Ÿž๐Ÿžpegs since the ๐Ÿ”Ÿ-bar is already these as ๐ŸŒฑa stem. 

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Clothespin activities promote ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿปfine motor skills which are essential in developing the strength children would need for many basic skills from ๐Ÿ‘šbuttoning and tying the ๐Ÿ‘Ÿshoe laces to learning how to โœ๐Ÿป๏ธwrite. 

DSC_0074Instead of adding three colored beads to a ten-bar, Adrian adds three๐Ÿž pegs.
DSC_0066Number fifteen has a ten-bar already, so all that is needed are five๐Ÿž pegs.
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As a result of this ๐ŸžPeg ๐Ÿ”ขMath activity, the child is learning number recognition and color association, while building teens and mastering fact families (10+3=13). And most importantly, it is a ๐Ÿ˜€fun way to advance โœ‹๐Ÿปfine-motor control while the child exercises the control and strength of those little โœ‹๐Ÿปfingers!

For details on presenting the Teen Boards, read here "Working with Numerals and Beads (Teen-Board intro)." Also read here "Teen Board at 36 months - Montessori Math Lesson (This "Is" vs. "Says")." And for Holiday inspirations, read here "Christmas-Inspired ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป Teen Board - Montessori Math Lesson." 


Pixel Art Fusible Craft Beads for Children

This fusible beads craft is currently the most popular form of art with both Julia and Adrian. These tiny hollow beads require precise fine-motor control and extreme carefulness as with the slightest movement of the craft-board, the beads fly all over since they do not stick together until they are fused with the iron! Invite your child to use own creativity to bring pixel art to life or offer a pattern from a Pixel Craft book (buy here).

 DSC_0004Beads craft is also great for groups, encouraging children to share their design ideas.

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We are using IKEA fusible beads (buy here) or buy USA food-safe plastic beads here. Buy tweezers here and geo board set here or animal/flower shape boards here

 DSC_0004With this pixel art, the child develops fine-motor control and hand-eye coordination.

DSC_0004These beads are also great to practice math skills for sorting, patterning, and counting. 

DSC_0004A child would arrange beads in a pattern on a pegboard, creating own design.

Next, to fuse the beads together, you would place a thin see-through ironing paper (comes with a pegboard-buy here ) on top of the beads to prevent the beads from melting onto the iron. 

DSC_0004Make sure that the iron is not too hot, & iron just enough to fuse the edges of beads together.

DSC_0028Once ironed, carefully peel the beads from the pegboard.

DSC_0032  With these beads, a child brings the tiny world of pixel art to life! 

DSC_0032The back of fused beads. 

DSC_0031Pixel beads are a fun and inexpensive craft. Besides developing fine-motor control, these beads also help teach coordination skills, color names and basic counting.

DSC_0007Julia made a flower for her pretend play: she would plant it, water it, and take her dolls for a walk in the park.
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What else to do with these piny hollow beads? Offer a child to color sort the beads using a cupcake or a muffin pan, count them, or use these tiny beads for the estimation jar with older children. And, let your child explore their creativity and express their artistic side by bringing pixel art to life!


๐Ÿ’‰ Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study

How mysterious is the inside of the body! Children are simply fascinated to learn all about our body-machine that works day and night, without any rest, performing tasks no computer is capable of performing. Our eyelids blink reflexively, our lungs are constantly expanding and contracting, delivering fresh oxygen throughout our body. Our heart muscle relentlessly pumps blood to every cell of our body, delivering life-potent oxygen and nutrients night and day: whether we are asleep or awake. Our nervous system lets us feel, taste and experience whether pleasure or pain. Our white blood cells fight for us whenever an intruder, be it a virus, fungus or a nasty bacteria, attempts to disrupt our equilibrium. The body is an amazing mechanism, and it is our job to keep it strong, healthy and happy! And we can do it better if we know more about how does our body work! By understanding what goes on the inside of our body, which is mainly unseen and performed on a such a small scale, we can truly appreciate the work that the body is doing all the time - even if we might not know it.

DSC_0017The DK Visual Dictionary of the Human Body book [top-left] (buy here) is an amazing comprehensive compilation of anatomy of science, covering extensive topics with outstanding photographs. The brief text compresses many details into a few sentences, and the charts combined with the text give a clear overview of the subject. The book even has an illustration of an exact torso and detailed explanation of organs. This book can be appropriate for an elementary level and up. Adrian mostly looks through the pictures as the vocabulary is very scholarly.

Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body book [top-right] (buy here) is Adrian's favorite! Simple fun rhymes take a young reader for a ride through the human body where they visit the right and left sides of the brain, meet the Feletons from far off Fadin (when they stand in the sun you can see through their skin), scuba dive through the blood system, follow food and water through the digestive tract, and a whole lot more!

LeapFrog LeapReader Interactive Human Body Discovery Set (buy set here and the TAG pen here) shows a child how the amazing human body works. The set includes a jumbo, two-sided activity board, growth chart, interactive sticker sheets and glow-in-the-dark stickers. Your child will learn hands-on human body facts, body systems, and health nutrition. (Please note that the set works with Tag and the LeapReader Reading & Writing System, which is sold separately - buy here.)


DSC_0017Human Torso (buy here), comes with eight organ pieces and fully illustrated instruction manual. 

DSC_0015Did you know that the size of your child's heart is as big as his/her clenched fist? 

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The sensorial bowl filled with red hydro gels ("red blood cells") offers a tactile and visual stimulation as children have to retrieve the organs, name them and place correctly into the Human Torso Model Kit (buy here). This is a super-fun ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿปsensorial invitation to explore the inside of the body! 

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See here a ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ of how we "made" these gel beads in"Sensory Exploration with Hydro Gel โค๏ธ๏ธ Water Beads" post.


Inside of the Body Books, we are loving.

Interactive books have been favorites lately amongst my children. These informative science books are perfect for my curious explorers who have lots of questions and unending desire to flip and turn!

These wonderful flap books take a young reader on an amazing fact-filled voyage through a body from brain to toes with tons of interactive flaps to open and discover! 

1st [smaller] book featured in the ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ Look Inside: Your Body (buy here) is a wonderful flap book, which introduces children to the way their own bodies work in a fun and informative way. This hands-on book offers many surprises to keep enquiring minds entertained, including flaps beneath flaps and a cheeky peek inside a toilet cubicle. Your child will be truly fascinated to learn how their brains work, what happens when they eat, how their lungs use oxygen and much more. 

2nd [bigger] book featured in the ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ See Inside Your Body (buy here) is a larger version anatomy book which further helps a young reader to get a bigger visual presentation of parts of the human body.



DSC_0037Children are also loving the entire My First Discoveries series and The Body book (buy here) is a great addition to our anatomy book collection. 
DSC_0037Through transparent overlay pages, a child will find out what happens to food and air and blood in our bodies; where our bones, muscles, veins, and nerves are; and how our brain works and controls what we do.

Children love interactive learning which makes scientific subjects fun and comprehensible despite its complexity. 

DSC_0033How the Body Works book (buy here) offers a young reader a chance to discover what makes up a small growing human body and how each of the different parts work separately and together: how do we breathe and digest food to provide energy to walk and run and play? 

  DSC_0015The transparent overlay pages add a new dimension to a traditional ๐Ÿ“– reading.


 DSC_0015Another great addition to our Anatomy unit study is this Body 5-Layer Wooden Puzzle, Boy (buy here), which includes five layers of systems that exist within the human body: skeletal, respiratory, digestive, muscular, and integumentary system. Adrian loves assembling it over and over again.  

DSC_0009See here a video post ๐ŸŽฅ "Anatomy Puzzle & DIY Interactive Puppets."


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See here a ๐ŸŽฅ video post "DIY ๐Ÿ’‰ Blood Model (BODY Anatomy Unit Study, Science๐Ÿ”ฌโš—๏ธโš–๏ธ 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡)."


 

IMG_7689We also explored how our brain and senses work: see here "The BODY: 5 Basic ๐Ÿ‘…Tastes.

IMG_7686Did you know that much of what we think of as ๐Ÿ‘…taste is actually ๐Ÿ‘ƒ๐Ÿปsmellโ—๏ธThe back of your nose is linked to your mouth at the throat so that you can smell the food as you chew it. That is why when you have a ๐Ÿค’cold, tiny hairs in your ๐Ÿ‘ƒ๐Ÿปnose get clogged with mucus. This stops them from wafting smell particles deep into your nose and makes it hard to smell or taste things. That is exactly why you cannot "taste" anything when you have a stuffy nose!


 What's Inside Animals

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This Inside ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿด Animals flash card set (buy here) comes with 16 beautifully printed double-sided photo/x-rays. The images are protected with a special, scratch-resistant coating. The set even comes with two human skeletons to compare and contrast the image of the human to the walrus, giraffe, snake, owl, etc. 

DSC_0002These cards can be used on a light table, or with a help of a ๐Ÿ”ฆflashlight, or simply against a window (what we did) to reveal the skeletal system of the animal!  
DSC_0002This is an excellent way to introduce your child to animals and anatomy.

IMG_7667For more on Inside Body, see here "Giraffe (Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study)."

Stay tuned for more anatomy lessons ...


๐ŸŒ˜ Solar Eclipse Play Dough Craft DIY Big ๐ŸŒžSun -Small ๐ŸŒ‘Moon Science Experiment (๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study)

If you have ever seen a picture of a solar eclipse, you may have noticed that the Moon comes very close to covering the entire Sun. However, the Sun is 400 times larger than the Moon! So how can these space objects appear like they are the same size, though the Sun is much bigger? This craft science experiment illustrates to a child that a smaller moon can cover a much bigger sun, depending on the distance each object is from each other. We are using a smaller moon and a larger sun from play dough to investigate how a much smaller moon can eclipse the large sun.  

DSC_0015What you will need:

  • play dough (we are using this amazing natural play dough set, made from wheat flour and colored with all-natural pigments, no chemicals added - buy here),
  • recycled ice-pop sticks,
  • silver pipe-cleaners for the moon,
  • googly eyes.



 Science mystery ๐Ÿ’กrevealed: objects that are farther away always look smaller, but a small object and a big object can look the same size if they are the right distances away from the observer. In fact, the Sun is about 400 times farther away from Earth than the Moon, but at a certain distance from each other, they look the same size. 

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The Sun and Moon have roughly the same angular diameter. In fact, sometimes the Moon appears slightly larger than the Sun and sometimes the Sun appears slightly larger than the Moon. This is because the Moonโ€™s noncircular orbit around Earth sometimes brings it closer and sometimes farther away from Earth. Itโ€™s just a coincidence that the Sun and Moon appear to be the same size when viewed from Earth. If you were on another planet, its โ€œmoonsโ€ could have a very different angular size compared with our Sun! For more about the science behind the Solar Eclipse, read www.nasa.gov here

For more on our ๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study, read here


Dropper Writing Letter M with LEGO (Language 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡ Curriculum)

Today, we are practicing fine-motor skills while spelling via a dropper the letter "M" on a LEGO DUPLO board. This activity also has a sensorial dimension as Adrian has to follow precisely the color-scheme and the pattern that his sister drew for him as a template for the letter M.

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 What you will need:

  • LEGO DUPLO board,
  • crayons and matching food coloring,
  • liquid droppers to practice fine-motor skills (buy a set of six here) - I like that you can take the silicone bulb off to dry the dropper so it does not collect mold,
  • white paper.

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Following Julia's template, Adrian has to "write" letter M on a LEGO board using colored water and a dropper. 


 โ€œEducation should no longer be mostly imparting knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentials.โ€โ€” Dr. Maria Montessori. 

DSC_0015"He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence." โ€” Dr. Maria Montessori,  The Absorbent Mind, p. 25.

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โ€œEducation is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.โ€ โ€” Dr. Maria Montessori.

DSC_0015"โ€˜Help me to do it aloneโ€™ - are the words revealing the childโ€™s inner need." โ€” Dr. Maria Montessori.

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See here other extensions on "making" and writing the letter M in a post "Letter M (Montessori Language ๐Ÿ”  Letter Series)." 

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For more on LEGO see here "Learning Fractions with LEGO," and here "LEGO Juniors Demolition Site Building Kit," and here "LEGO - The Best Investment in a Toy."