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Our ๐ŸŒธSpring Inspired Learning Space

As seasons change, from winter to spring, Adrian is becoming more and more aware of the surrounding environment, and awareness leads to questionsโ“ Why do seasons change? Are seasons ever late? When will it be ๐ŸŒจwinter again? So, I dedicated a shelf to ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿ‚โ˜ƒ๏ธ seasons, where Adrian can observe nature and reflect on it hands on. 

"How does the child assimilate his environment? It begins with a knowledge of his surroundings... This is an intense and specialized sensitiveness in consequence of which the things about him awaken so much interest and so much enthusiasm that they become incorporated in his very existence. The child absorbs these impressions not with his mind, but with his life itself." (The Absorbent Mind, p. 22.)

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To represent the current season - Spring, I found this beautiful Wall Art Canvas Claude Monet reproduction: Irises in Monet's Garden 16 x 12  for $13 (see here, they have different sizes). I intend to change these reproductions every season. For the summer, I am considering the Water Lilies by Claude Monet Oil Painting reproduction (see here).

DSC_0102I laminated Seasons Cards, so that Adrian can do seasonal matching activity.

DSC_0102To the message board on the left (see similar here), Adrian can pin the current season's card.

"From the age of three till six, being able now to tackle his environment deliberately and consciously, [the child] begins a period of real constructiveness." (Dr. Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, p.  152.) 

Below is our geography area, (cherry-color shelves buy here), where I organized animals by their continental habitat, according to Montessori continent color-coding.


DSC_0038On the bottom shelf, we also have the Language Tower and some sensorial materials. 

DSC_0032Tigers live only in Asia.

Tigers are an endangered animal. Larger subspecies, such as the Siberian tiger, tend to live in northern, colder areas, such as eastern Russia and northeastern China. Smaller subspecies live in southern, warmer countries, such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan,Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. India has more tigers than any other country in the world.

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Here, we have South America tray, Europe and forest animals (see post here), and Land-Air-Water Activity.

DSC_0040Giraffe is one of Adrian's favorite animals. (See a post about ๐Ÿ’šAfrican Savanna Animals here.) 

DSC_0035North America and Farm Animals (see a post here) and U.S. Landmarks๐Ÿ—ฝ (see a post here).

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The "prepared environment" is Maria Montessori's concept that the environment should be designed with the child in mind. Montessoriโ€™s idea of such environment was that everything the child comes in contact with would facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration by the child. A thoughtful, inviting and well-ordered environment would give the child an opportunity to experience a combination of freedom and self-discipline, where a child is free to choose and work on activities at his/her own pace.  โ€œThe child can only develop fully by means of experience in his environment.  We call such experience โ€˜workโ€™.โ€  (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 7, p. 88.)


Easter ๐Ÿฃ Inspired Learning Space & Easter 2017 Activities Roundup

Happy ๐Ÿฃ Easter! 

Easter is a time to celebrate new life, and spring in all its glory. We give thanks for having peace and for our family, for beautiful blooming flowers, for newborn animals, for sunshine and warm breezes. 

DSC_0003We love decorating our Learning Space in the spirit of a holiday!

DSC_0022The Egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century. Eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of fasting, and then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

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DSC_0022Rabbits (buy Rabbit toy here) are known to be prolific procreators, so since ancient times, rabbits have been a symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants, whose children would make nests for the Hare (called โ€œOsterhaseโ€ or โ€œOschter Haws") to lay its colored eggs. With time, the custom spread across the U.S.,  and the fabled rabbitโ€™s Easter morning deliveries would also include chocolate, while decorated baskets replaced the nests. Children would often leave out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.


DSC_0022I love creating little nature corners for children to explore, and Spring is a perfect time to do it.

What is on our nature shelf:

  • Easter Nest Wreath handcrafted in USA from California-grown oak moss, lavender, pink globes, white ammobium and Santa Cruz oregano (buy here). The wreath fills the entire learning space with divine smell.
  • Our Easter Steiff Bunny is lovingly stuffed and stitched by hand by artisans in Germany of soft, fine mohair and cotton, with an embroidered nose and safety eyes (buy here). Each bunny has an expressive face and one-of-a-kind personality.
  • Sprig Book (buy here) from Four Seasons Book Set.
  • An orchid, which Adrian mists daily.
  • An April Month poster to reinforce to concept of passage of calendar months.
  • Celebrating Easter book by National Geographic Kids (buy here) we read for the Easter holiday.


DSC_0022Easter is a time to celebrate new life and baby animals (Adrian is holding this wild rabbit toy).

Below is our Easter -themed activities round -up: 

ARTS/CRAFTS 

IMG_5757Read here a post Easter ๐Ÿฃ Inspired Pipe Cleaner and Beads Craft for Children.

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See here๐Ÿ“ฝ video of how Adrian made these Easter ๐Ÿฃ Egg Decorations Foam Stickers.


MATH

IMG_5730Read here Easter Themed Numbers Activity (4 = ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ). DSC_0009Read here Easter ๐Ÿฃ Inspired Tens Board post.

DSC_0027And, of course, bunny-pancakes Easter breakfast.

Happy Easter! Wishing everyone good health, happiness and peace.


St. Patrick's Day โ˜˜๏ธ Inspired Learning Space, What is on our shelves, Activities roundup

Happy โ˜˜๏ธ St. Patrick's Day!

Children have been so excitedly anticipating the holiday, and here it is. We learned that on St. Patrick's Day many people give cards or flowers to their family and friends. People also make cookies, cakes and other goodies to share with others. Some people wear green carnations or pin shamrocks to their clothing to celebrate the holiday. People dance Irish jigs and play games. Pipers and fiddlers play Irish tunes. There are green hats everywhere, people are wearing green costumes, green banners are hung on windows ... there is a lot of green - everywhere! People also decorate their houses with shamrocks, a plant with three leaves, looking like a clover. Shamrock โ˜˜๏ธ is a symbol of Saint Patrick as well as of Ireland. 

 We also read few legends about St. Patrick:

  • St. Patrick and the Poison: some people say that a wizard tried to kill St. Patrick by putting poison in his drink. St. Patrick quickly turned it into ice and tossed it from the cup.
  • St. Patrick & his Cloak: it is said that St. Patrick had a friend who borrowed St. Patrick's cloak. This friend was miraculously saved from the fire, without being hurt, by wearing St. Patrick's cloak. 
  • St. Patrick & a Shamrock: St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain to people about the Holy Trinity -  one God in three divine beings: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Growing at his feet was a shamrock, so he used this plant to explain three in one, one stem with three leaves. 
  • St. Patrick & the Fish: each year, on March 17th, fish rise from the sea. They pass before St. Patrick's alter in Ireland and then disappear back into the sea. 
  • St. Patrick & the Sunset: it is said that the sun did not set when St. Patrick died and that is shone in the sky for 12 days and nights.

Below I will show you a sneak peak into our St. Patrick's Day โ˜˜๏ธ Inspired Learning Space, as well as what is on our shelves. The links to all the activities you will find below. 

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DSC_0054Here, we have been using St. Patrick's Day symbols instead of spindles for a Traditional Montessori Math Activity "Spindle Box" (read here).  We made ๐ŸŒˆ rainbows from Montessori Color tablets (see below). Also, Adrian reproduced a ๐Ÿ€ Lucky Four-Leafed Clover pattern on a Montessori ๐Ÿ’ฏ  Hundred Board (see a link below). 
DSC_0054On the left: Recycled Toilet Paper Rollโ˜˜๏ธ Shamrock Person Craft (see below).  In the middle is our favorite at the moment My First Book ๐Ÿ“˜ of Baby ๐Ÿฅ Animals (read a post here). And we used Montessori Knobless Cylinders to make rainbows (see below).
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DSC_0054Children love pipe-cleaners beading activities! (See below). We also used golden coins as counters while learning numbers. (Adrian would "trace" each number with a green dot sticker first.) See a similar activity with counters here.
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Below, I summarized activities by the curriculum areas.

 LANGUAGE

IMG_5113See here Books ๐Ÿ“š we are reading for St. Patrick'sโ˜˜๏ธ Day.

Also, please check here my ๐Ÿ’–aStore๐Ÿ›  "Books๐Ÿ“š we love โค๏ธ reading ๐Ÿ“–" under sub-category St. Patrick's Dayโ˜˜๏ธ Books ๐Ÿ“š.


PRACTICAL LIFE 

DSC_0038Read here St. Patrick's Day ๐Ÿ’š Inspired:โ˜˜๏ธ Shamrock Pipe Cleaners & Beads Craft.


 SENSORIAL 

IMG_5123Read here "How NOT to Catch a Leprechaun" with St. Patrick'sโ˜˜๏ธ Glittery Play Dough & ๐Ÿ”ค Alphabet Beaded Pipe-cleaner ๐ŸŒˆ Rainbow.

Leprechauns are imaginary figures from Irish folklore, the size of a thumb, mischievous but hard-working, earning their gold by making shoes for fairies. Leprechauns like nuts and dandelion tea. They live long lives - 200 years is not even considered of age. And, you can only catch a Leprechaun if you happen to have in a possession a very hard to find ๐Ÿ€ four-leafed clover. 

IMG_5153 2See here a post St. Patrick's Dayโ˜˜๏ธ Inspired - ๐ŸŒˆ Rainbows from Montessori Color Boxes (Color tablets) & Knobless Cylinders.

It is said that Leprechauns hide their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 


MATH

IMG_5116 2Read here St. Patrick's Dayโ˜˜๏ธ Inspired Four-Leafed Lucky Clover ๐Ÿ€Montessori ๐Ÿ’ฏ  Hundred Board. 


 ARTs/CRAFTs

DSC_0033Read here how we made these "cute" Recycled Toilet Paper Rollโ˜˜๏ธ Shamrock People.
 

IMG_5175See here St. Patrick's Day Inspired Laminatedโ˜˜๏ธ Shamrock Puppet Craft.

I would love to know which activity was your favorite during this holiday!

Happy โ˜˜๏ธ St. Patrick's Day!

And, by the way, a Leprechaun ended up visiting us for a quick bite after all. Children were super ๐Ÿ˜œ excited to see that he ate all the nuts we left out for him and drank some of his favorite โค๏ธ๏ธdandelion ๐Ÿตtea, though spilling most of it. He also left gold dusted foot prints ๐Ÿ‘ฃ all over and two golden coins. We did not catch him on camera though ๐Ÿ˜ฌ- leprechauns are quick, shrewd and camera-shyโŒ๐Ÿ“ธ. 

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Have you been ๐Ÿ€ lucky catching a Leprechaun? 


Valentine's ๐Ÿ’— Inspired Learning Space, What is on our shelves, Activities roundup

Happy Valentine's๐Ÿ’ Day. I hope you had a lovely celebration. Today, I will show you a sneak peek into our Learning Space (our classroom), as well as a summary of our Valentine's inspired activities. 

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When we moved into our new house (in September of 2016), and I walked into this room and saw these tall double windows and a cathedral ceiling, I knew it will be our learning space. Montessori classrooms are known for their light, airy and child-tailored environment, and I hoped to resemble it in our home-setting. (Adrian is sitting at a Safari table, on this chair. View Table/Chair Height Guide in this post.)
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We read this Valentine's book, which is perfect for a three-year old. The story of Saint Valentine is very sad, and this "Rookie" series book  has just enough information with big colorful illustrations on each page-spread.

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On this shelf we have:

  • Pipe-cleaner beading activity (read a post here, also see below),
  • Odd and Even activity (read a post here );
  • Polar bear unit study (in preparation for International Polar Bear day on February 27);
  • Penguin tray (read our Polar Regions Unit Study here).

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Below is a summary of our Valentine's inspired activities with links to their respective posts. I also organized the activities by areas of Montessori curriculum.  

PRACTICAL LIFE

Hearts from BeadsThreading (red and white) beads on pipe cleaners, making hearts. (Read a post here.) 


MATH

DSC_0024Read a post here about Valentine's inspired - Hearts ๐Ÿ’ฏ Hundred Board.

 

DSC_0097 Read here a post on Odd and Even, and also see two videos where Adrian explains the concept he learned.

 

DSC_0046 Read here Valentine's inspired - Number Bingo for Early Math (Numbers 1-50)


SENSORIAL

DSC_0008Read a post about our Valentine's inspired Love โค๏ธ๏ธ Sensory Bin here.


ART/CRAFT

DSC_0041See a video of Adrian making a Threaded Heart Craft here. 

DSC_0007Read here Valentine's ๐Ÿ’ inspired - Blue Truck ๐Ÿš™ Foot -Print Art Project (Sending Loads of Love ๐Ÿ’—โค๏ธ๏ธ๐Ÿ’•)

DSC_0003-2Julia and Adrian's feet Art Projects, along with 36 Classroom Valentine's Day Gifts (see below).

DSC_0066Read here a post about Classroom Valentine's Day Gift Ideas.

 I hope you liked our Valentine's inspired unit. I would love to hear which activity was your favorite!

p.s. Below are more posts about our Learning space:

  • Read here Evolution of our Learning Space post;
  • Read here Children's Space - Kitchen nook post (this post has Table/Chair Height Guide);
  • Read here a post about Adrian's Infant Space;
  • Read here about Our Christmas inspired learning space.

Our Christmas inspired learning space

A sneak peak into our Christmas-inspired learning space.

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20161209-DSC_0618Everything is ready for a Christmas Tree decoration! (Read how Adrian did it here.)

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 What is on our Christmas-inspired shelves:

  • Christmas inspired - Candy Canes Pipe Cleaner Craft  (read here)
  • Mystery Bag (read here)
  • Smelling activity
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Activity (read here)
  • Christmas Tee sewing buttons activity
  • The Mitten Book Activity (read here)

20161211-DSC_0726 Xmas Tree is done copyRead here about Little Blue Truck's Christmas book - another Holiday Gem!
20161209-DSC_0637When I saw all the windows and the light, I knew it will be our learning space:)

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20161209-DSC_0671When Adrian saw this bunny at the store, he knew it was his bunny right a way:)


20161209-DSC_0637Adrian loves using these balancing scales (see the nature-inspired Weighing Activity here).

20161211-DSC_0726 Xmas Tree is done copy-2The Christmas Tree is decorated! (See how Adrian did it here.)

20161211-DSC_0726 Xmas Tree is done copy

How does your learning space look like?