Adrian 45 - 48 months Feed

๐Ÿ’™ 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 in๐Ÿ’— PINK Series, then blends (/st/, /bl/, /pr/...) in ๐Ÿ’™ BLUE Series, and finally digraphs (/sh/, /th/, /ch/, /oi/...) in ๐Ÿ’š 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 ๐Ÿ’— PINK Series, you would gradually move on to BLUE ๐Ÿ’™ 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 ๐Ÿ”  Series). See "Montessori ๐Ÿ’— Pink Series  "e" sound (Language 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡ 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 ๐Ÿ”  Letter Series (Montessori Language) post.


Letter "S" (Letter ๐Ÿ”  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, ๐Ÿ”ด๐Ÿ”ทโ—ฝ๏ธshapes like a square, โญ๏ธstars & ๐Ÿ—กswords.
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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 ๐Ÿ”  Letter Series (Montessori Language) post. For beginning blending, see here "๐Ÿ’™ BLUE Series /St/ Blending (Montessori 101 Language)."


๐ŸŒผNature ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ‚ Objects & Pom-Poms Process ๐ŸŽจ Art (101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series)

We love process art and the opportunity for combining sensory movement with art. In process art, not the destination (the end ๐Ÿ–ผproduct of art) is the principal focus, but rather the ๐Ÿ›ฃroad the child takes- the "process" of the formation of art: such as gathering, sorting, matching, associating, patterning, and other initiations of actions and proceedings. There are no rules to follow, no steps to take: just YOU and the PROCESS!

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So, for our ๐Ÿ‚nature-inspired project, children collected pine cones, fern, moss, leaves, dandelions and other treasures they have found during their nature walks to use during their creative process

DSC_0196We are using these vivid washable finger paints. 

DSC_0196Colored clothespins are to be paired with color-matching pom-poms. DSC_0196This is a fun sensorial way to practice color matching while exercising fine-motor control.

DSC_0196Children are free to choose any medium, and there are no set rules for the process!

DSC_0200Using pine cones to create textured prints.

DSC_0200Process art is concerned with the actual doing of the work of art: seeing the art as a pure artistic expression.

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Your child's imagination is the limit as to the process and the end result!

Process art is an open-ended art. Children are free to express their creativity without trying to make something exactly like a sample product. Also, there are no real directions! Process art allows children to explore and create freely; naturally and effortlessly bringing up creative little artists in them. Also, because there are no set goals, children can repeat the same project many times, creating different end products each time, without ever perceiving the art project "old" or redundant.



DSC_0196Adrian's version of his process art.
DSC_0200Julia's version of her process art.

DSC_0234And a finger painting finale!

Process art often entails innovativeness, inherent motivation, and personality. Therefore, art is viewed as a creative journey or process, rather than as a deliverable or end product. Enjoy the PROCESS and have ๐Ÿค—fun while exploring your ๐ŸŽจartistic expression!


Science in a Bottle: DIY ๐Ÿ‚Terrarium๐Ÿƒ and The ๐ŸŒง๏ธ Water Cycle (Science๐Ÿ”ฌโš—๏ธโš–๏ธ 101 ๐ŸŽฅSeries ๐ŸŽ‡)

Today, we are learning about the water cycle by making a terrarium and simulating rain, while understanding a very basic concept of how clouds hold water. Did you know that the amount of water on Earth is finite and has been the same since the early formation of the Earth? Yes, the glass of water you might be holding in your hand could have fallen from the sky when Brachiosaurus walked through lakes feeding on plants. And, when knights and kings ruled the land, they drank from wells, your glass of water could have been part of. And that same glass of water might fall from the sky as snowflakes hundred years from now. 

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To make a terrarium you will need:

  • nature's objects: such as bark, moss, marbles, leaves, pinecones, acorns, chestnuts (you can also use pea gravel or potting soil);
  • we also added forest animal figurines (buy here);
  • water + blue water coloring;
  • cotton balls to resemble clouds;
  • Gauze to seal the terrarium with a rubber-band.

 DSC_0087Since the Earth has a limited amount of water: the water keeps going around and around in what we call a "Water Cycle." This cycle is made up of few main parts:

  • Evaporation: the sun heating up water in oceans, rivers, and lakes, and turning it into vapor or steam. Also transpiration: when plants lose water out of their leaves.
  • Condensation: when water vapor gets cold (usually high up in the atmosphere where the temperature is cooler), it changes back into liquid, forming clouds.
  • Precipitation occurs when so much water has condensed that the air cannot hold it anymore. The clouds get heavy and water falls back to Earth in the form of rain, hail, sleet or snow.
  • Collection: when water falls back to Earth, it may fall back into the oceans, lakes or rivers or it may end up on land, soaking into the earth and becoming a part of the "groundwater" which plants and animals use to drink. Or it may run over the soil and collect in the oceans, lakes or rivers where the cycle starts ... ALL OVER AGAIN!

 DSC_0094Children used a dropper and blue-colored water to saturate the "clouds" causing precipitation.

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A terrarium (plural: terraria or terrariums) is a glass (or a see-through) container containing soil and plants, which is usually sealed, however, it can also be open to the atmosphere (similar to what we created).

Children learned, while practicing fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination, that when clouds become too heavy, it starts to rain. 

DSC_0094On the other hand, closed terraria create a unique environment for plant growth, as the transparent walls allow for both heat and light to enter the terrarium.
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This experiment was very illustrative to discuss the water cycle and how it works: 

  • Through transpiration, the moisture is carried from the soil through the plant's roots to small pores on the leaves.
  •  Evaporation occurs when tiny drops of water transform from a liquid to a gas (generally due to increased temperature).
  • Condensation takes place when the water vapor collects and turns from a gas back into a liquid.
  • And finally, precipitation happens when a lot of condensation forms, getting too heavy and falling to the ground, as here in the form of rain.

DSC_0087If you create a sealed terrarium, the heat entering through glass walls would naturally allow for the creation of a small scale water cycle. This happens because moisture from both the soil and plants evaporates in the elevated temperatures inside the terrarium. This water vapor then condenses on the walls of the glass jar and eventually falls back to the plants and soil below, representing a complete natural water cycle. 

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As the light passes through the transparent terrarium wall, this can also be a fun experiment on photosynthesis, which is an important aspect of plant growth.

For more on Science, and property of water, see here "Pour ๐Ÿ’ฆit in! Liquid Illusion," and also see here a video post "๐ŸŽถMusical ๐Ÿ’ฆWater ๐ŸŒˆGlasses (Science๐Ÿ”ฌโš—๏ธโš–๏ธ 101 ๐ŸŽฅSeries ๐ŸŽ‡)."


โœ‚๏ธ DIY ๐Ÿ‚Fall Inspired ๐Ÿ–ผPuzzle

Puzzles are an excellent tool for enhancing your childโ€™s cognitive and mental development, by stimulating intellectual abilities such as critical reasoning through fine-motor manipulation. I encourage Adrian to complete at least one puzzle a day (at his level: 48-60 pieces does not take himโณ long). Julia, on the other hand, works with large quantity piece puzzles (she is currently working on MonaLisa 300 pc puzzle buy here), so we always have a puzzle on the floor that she is working on.

Surely, children have their favorite puzzles to which they go back to and assemble over and over again, but there is nothing like an excitement of assembling a new puzzle for the first time. So, what about making a puzzle! Thisโœ‚๏ธ DIY is very simple, quick and inexpensive. Use a vivid ๐Ÿ–ผpicture from a catalog, calendar or even a large picture of the family/children and cut it in pieces, creating a DIY puzzle. 

DSC_0107I am using is a double-sided ๐Ÿ‚ Fall picture I found in a catalog. With this type of DIY puzzle, you can adjust the level of  ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿ“‰difficulty based on your child's age.


DSC_0107I laminated the picture for durability and used paper-cutter for cutting.
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With smaller children, ๐Ÿ“‰choose a bright image with many distinct objects and cut it in fewer pieces (2 or 4 squares) or simply cut the picture vertically, for easier assembly.  

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๐Ÿ“ˆWith older children, the smaller the pieces, the harder it will be to assemble the puzzle, so cut it accordingly to your child's level.
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Offer a child to assemble the puzzle.

For more on puzzles, read here "Jigsaw Puzzles Roundup for a Three-Year-Old," and for more on the importance of puzzles read here a post  "National Puzzle Day."

Also, see here "Anatomy Puzzle & DIY Interactive Puppets ๐ŸŽฅ (Inside of the BODY Unit Study)."

Adrian really enjoys the Solar System puzzles (see here) a post "๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study." 

For logic puzzles, see here a video of Adrian assembling Color Code in a post "Color Code Logic Puzzle Game (Sensorial ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿ‘…๐Ÿ‘ƒ 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡)," and here "Wooden Tangram Puzzle at 41 months."