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October 2017

⛳️Golf Tee 🔨Hammering • Ball Balancing • 🙌🏻 Montessori Practical Life 101 🎥 Series

Hammering is a fun gross and fine motor activity that can be customized for different holidays. We are using 🎃Halloween Inspired black and orange styrofoam balls.

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What you will need:

  •  a tray (we are using this one),
  • recycled styrofoam block,
  • child-friendly hammer (we are using a wooden rounded child hammer from this set),
  • wooden golf tees (buy here),
  • light styrofoam balls (we bought ours at Michaels Store, but you can buy these and simply paint them). 

 "I did it, Mama!"

Lessons in Montessori Practical Life area teach a child skills necessary for practically everything else in life. Child's quote: "Teach me how to do it myself” is what Practical Life is all about. With these lessons, a child will learn how to use a 🔨 hammer, how to fold laundry, water plants or make own snack, while completing those tasks independently. Practical Life lessons develop coordination, concentration and focus, independence, and the sense of order, which will help a child immensely in the future academic performance. 

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"Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed." - Maria Montessori.

For more on Fall-Inspired activities, read here a roundup summary "🍂Fall & 🎃Halloween Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study."  Also, see here our "🦃Thanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study." 


🎃Halloween Inspired 🌽Corn 🙌Sensory 🚜 Bin & 🚜Tractors 📚Books

Tactile sensory stimulation involves the sensation of touch and texture. Exposing children to sensory play helps them develop and refine the use of their senses. Most importantly, sensory bins provide hours of imaginative small world play, fostering creativity, independence, and concentration. Pretend play can also be a form of imitation of the real adult world, which can promote child's development in many ways. Small world play has potentials for teaching children about themselves and the world around them by developing their cognitive, fine motor, and self-help skills. Moreover, through pretend play, children develop their speech and language skills by naming objects they play with: such as a tractor, a farm, harvest, etc., thus teaching them appropriate social and pragmatic skills. Children also use play to understand the world around them and are thus developing their social-emotional skills. Moreover, small world-play is a way for children to relive things that have happened to them, thus allowing them to increase understanding of their life events. 

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 What you will need:

  • we are using a wooden box to contain the filler: dried corn;
  • Halloween pumpkins for scooping;
  • pom poms and Halloween styrofoam covered balls for tonging; (see here 🍁Fall 👻Halloween Inspired Tongs Transferring, Montessori 🙌🏻 Practical Life);
  • a sorting ice-making tray to transfer and sort retrieved items to;
  • 🚜 tractors for small world play;
  • are transferring tools (we are using tongs and spoons). 

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Adrian is ready for scooping, tonging and transferring with this 🌽 corn, Pom poms, and spooky 👻👁eyeballs sensory invitation to play! 🚜Tractors can pull the heavy load, while 👦🏼Adrian will do the rest.

DSC_0009Scooping and filling up a pumpkin requires concentration and precision.
DSC_0009Tonging is a great exercise to develop fine-motor control.
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 As a result of this sensory invitation to play: 

  • Adrian stimulated tactile sense of touch by feeling the texture of the 🌽 corn;
  • he also exercised fine-motor skills by incorporating practical life activity such as scooping  and tonging pop poms and styrofoam balls (more on tonging here);
  • the visual sense of sight was also stimulated by having to find, shape-discriminate and sort pop poms and styrofoam balls;
  • and most importantly, it was fun since Adrian loves the farm and tractors! 

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Small world play offers children an opportunity to take on the opposite role, which allows them to see things from another’s perspective. To feel a sense of control and power, children often take on an adult role, so that they can be us - the parents! In their play, they can independently drive a tractor, sow seeds or feed a cow ... possibilities are endless! What we can do as adults is offer a safe, thoughtful and stimulating prepared environment. 
DSC_0024-2We have collected some great books which enrich our small-world play:

  •  The Ultimate Construction Site Book (buy here) is packed with more than 60 tabbed moving parts to pull, lift, and explore; as well as the meticulous details of vehicles, buildings, and techniques.
  • The Ultimate Book of Vehicles book (buy here) reveals supersized spreads, featuring marvelously detailed illustrations with lots of flaps, pop-ups, pull-tabs, and rotating wheels, bringing many vehicles to life.

DSC_0027Tractors My First Discoveries book (buy here) offers bright and colorful illustrations, some with clear over-lay pages which adds a new dimension to a traditional reading. We explored this book here in a "🌽 Corn Sensory Bin with 🔤 Alphabet Letters (🙌Sensorial + Language) & 🚜Tractors 📚Book" post.
DSC_0027This sensorial small world invitation to play was a true learning through play experience!

For more on sensory play, see here "Sensory Exploration with Hydro Gel ❤️️ Water Beads (Science 🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)," and here "✨The Universe 👋🏻Sensory Bin (🌌COSMOS Unit Study)."

For more on Autumn-themed activities, read here a roundup of all our activities we have done during the month of 🍂September and 🎃October: over 20 of them! arranged by the area of study in a post "🍂Fall & 🎃Halloween Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study."


✂️🖍️DIY 📖 Reading Wheel (Middler Letter Recognition, Montessori 101 Language)

While Adrian has been able to correctly identify the first sound of the word for a while now; only a few months before his fourth birthday, he started to be able to isolate the ending and the middle sound. To practice the middle sound identification, Julia made this DIY Reading Wheel for Adrian to practice literacy as well as fine-motor skills, while he had to find and pinch the clothespins with the missing middle letter. 

DSC_0320Julia drew three-letter objects and wrote the corresponding words with the middle letter missing. 

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Adrian had to figure out the missing sound and find the corresponding letter among clothespins. 

DSC_0320"cAt, sUn, mAp, fLy, oNe, sKy, nUt, rUg."
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This DIY wheel is similar to CVC Word Cards and clothespins (buy here) where a child has to match the letter-clothespin to the corresponding letter on the cards. 

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You can read about Adrian using these cards and clothespins at 3 years-old here "Montessori CVC Picture Words & Clothespins (💗Pink Series 🎥 Early 📖 Reading 101)."

For more on our Language curriculum and phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: "Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters." For individual letters, read here our "🔠 Letter Series (Montessori Language)" post. For beginning blending, see here "💙 BLUE Series /St/ Blending (Montessori 101 Language)."


💙 BLUE Series /St/ Blending (Montessori 101 Language)

In a Montessori "PBG" Language scheme (Pink-Blue-Green series approach), the child progresses very gradually as s/he is first introduced to three letter words in💗 PINK Series, then blends (/st/, /bl/, /pr/...) in 💙 BLUE Series, and finally digraphs (/sh/, /th/, /ch/, /oi/...) in 💚 GREEN series.

If you think about it, letters of the alphabet are merely written codes for spoken sounds in words. As such, actual language is, according to Dr. Maria Montessori, an "abstract instrument" -  a "complex cultural achievement." So, letters, being actual codes,  represent something a child first experiences in real life, something s/he encounters in an everyday environment. So, the road to literacy would always start with the spoken language: with sounds and familiar objects that begin with that sound, and only introducing symbols once the child exhibits proficiency with the sound recognition.

The process of learning how to read can be as simple and painless as the process of learning how to speak or how to walk. In a Montessori language curriculum, hands-on phonetic approach is used, which helps young children to form a clear understanding of how written words encode the spoken sounds of the language into the symbolic letters of the alphabet. Using this technique, children master the sounds made by each letter, as well as the letter represented by each sound, one letter at a time until the entire alphabet has been mastered. 

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With Montessori "PBG" Language scheme, once the child masters the 💗 PINK Series, you would gradually move on to BLUE 💙 Series, which introduces blends. A consonant blend or a cluster is a group of consonants that are next to each other in a word. So today (after having explored the letter "S" during our Letter Hunt/see the link below), we are moving on to the first blend:  /st/ blend, which is two consonants that go together, while you can hear both letters e.g. "s-t" in a word "star." )    
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 A consonant cluster, consonant sequence or consonant compound, in linguistics, is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel.
 
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 /St/  is a consonant cluster in the words: stone, starfish, straw, stamp, stick, sticker.
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Incorporating hands-on approach, in my opinion, facilitates a better absorption of the information presented. So, I offered Adrian four different activities to practice our /st/ blend.
  • stamp with a  star stamp and these amazing colorful ink pad stamps; also stamp with a star-puncher;
  • stain the shaving foam with different colors and use pegs (clothespins) to stain the paper;
  • stick  the star stickers;
  • strain confetti stars from the sand with a small metal strainer.

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As a result of these hands-on practical life activities, Adrian had fun practicing the /st/ blend.

See here "Letter 'S' (Letter 🔠 Series). See "Montessori 💗 Pink Series  "e" sound (Language 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum)" here

For more on our Language curriculum and phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: "Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters." For individual letters, read here our 🔠 Letter Series (Montessori Language) post.


Letter "S" (Letter 🔠 Series)

Although Adrian knows his ABCs, "letter hunts" where he gets to walk around the house with a basket collecting objects that begin with a particular sounds are still one of his favorite activities. Today, we are exploring letter "S" before moving on to blends such as /st/sh/sr/ etc. 

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"S" is for Stitch, sock, stars, sponge, sword, soap, stamp, snake, spinach, Swiss chard, scorpion, seahorse, squirrel, seagull, sailboat, slide & SnowWhite, starfish, scarecrow, skeleton, seal, snowy owl, sea turtle, sand tracing tray, sandpaper letter S, stone, snowmen. (Also, you can add: six, screwdriver, spoon, snow, sun, swing, sidewalk, sprinkler, seesaw, seaweed, sandbox, streetlight, stop sign.)  

DSC_0270We are using Discovery Windows (buy here) to store fragile starfish my Mom had collected for us while in Malaysia.
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DSC_0263S is for sticks, 🔴🔷◽️shapes like a square, ⭐️stars & 🗡swords.
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For more on pin-poking, see "Letter V" post here. 

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"S" is for sand. See here how to make tactile "DIY Sandpaper Letters."

For more on our Language curriculum and phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: "Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters." For individual letters, read here our 🔠 Letter Series (Montessori Language) post. For beginning blending, see here "💙 BLUE Series /St/ Blending (Montessori 101 Language)."