Thanks for understanding, and look for new content AND a new freebie coming SOON!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Lately, I've heard so many people inquire about where to buy/get items for their Montessori cultural/continent boxes. I don't have a huge stash, but I have been working on building mine up over the last 6 months, and I'm ALWAYS looking for new items everywhere. I'm sure there are plenty of items that I am totally missing, if I would have only realized that a specific item would be perfect for a continent box. That's where each of us can help each other out... where to find those great items for the continent boxes, and to get new ideas to include in our boxes!
SO, I'm hosting a blog hop next week, and I'd LOVE for you to share what's in your continent boxes with me. You are more than welcome to post about cultural item that you own (whether they are in a box or not), books, links with great resources, etc. If you don't have a blog, feel free to post your items in the comments. Each day will be a different post to link back to.... join in for one day, or each day.
Here's the schedule:
Sunday, October 3 -- The World (general globe or world map posts)
Monday, October 4 -- Africa
Tuesday, October 5 -- Europe
Wednesday, October 6 -- Asia
Thursday, October 7 -- Australia
Friday, October 8 -- Antarctica
Saturday, October 9 -- South America
Sunday, October 10 -- North America
Don't forget to grab the button, and link back up, starting on Sunday.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I love Target's dollar bins! And, this week, Target dropped the price on their brown dot items to a quarter a piece. Most of these items were the same items that I've already blogged about, but were 75% off! So, I took advantage of some of the items that were a tad bit more advanced than my son's ability, for future work.
What did I get?
for geography/continent boxes: Asian themed blindfold, bracelet, and elephant
for Pre-K (mostly for my dear friend Sandra who lives in Canada and doesn't have access to a Target): tracing mazes, beginning sounds, same vs. different, colors and shapes, color by... um, color
for K: dot to dot counting, addition, subtraction, generic dry erase board in neon colors, early readers
for grades 1-3: workbooks on space, animals, continents, and science projects.
Speaking of the science projects workbook, I was THOROUGHLY impressed! This book not only has simple experiments that use basic items around the house, but it also encourages kids to make predictions and observations (and uses those words! What a great way to increase scientific vocabulary in a realistic setting!)
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I'm always looking for anything educational that I can incorporate into our little classroom. You've now seen the newest piece of furniture in the classroom -- the great student desk that I made into a Montessori-style workbox center.
Here's another great find... our solution to needing more vertical storage!
So, it became a storage center for our learning things. I cut strips of paper the width of the snack bags, stuck the paper as well as an activity inside, and then grouped each activity by color on the chip clip stand.
Right now, there are only 3 colored sections:
orange (pictured above)-- storage for our daily calendar activities
blue -- math activities that use clothespin clips
yellow -- science (mostly the color mixing mats)
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
A few posts ago, I posted about our new desk with the bins. Well, here it is today!
So, what's inside?
Bible and Bible story activities
hammer, pegs, and marbles to hammer into styrofoam
mini knobbed cylinders
scooping rice and using a funnel (a personal favorite)
clock with practice time cards
geoboards with rubber bands
Placed on desk:
number cards and dimes for counting
moveable alphabet (wooden containers that stacks)
locks (in basket)
pink reading/phonics series
big blue box for storage (currently empty, but will be filled with extra geography items this weekend)
Math U See units and ten bars
This week, all of the posts will be about the different sections of our classroom, and how I use the space to encourage specific activities.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Karen at Little Acorns, she found this great website that was making Pinwheels for Peace. Since Aikman was at preschool yesterday, I figured it was better to celebrate late than never.
Per the directions on the Pinwheels for peace website, it was REALLY easy to make... and does not involve any pins (read... diverts catastrophe of little fingers getting pricked with straight pins).
So, here's the steps...
1. Decorate a square piece of paper.
2. Wrap a small piece of pipe cleaner around a pencil (or in our case, we used skinny popsicle sticks.)
3. Put a pony bead on the pipe cleaner.
4. Cut slits from each corner of the paper towards the center.
5. Punch a hole in the center and on each corner. (Be careful on your pattern of punching the holes on the corner; it not, then it won't make a pinwheel properly. You also can't see the hole punched in the center in this photo.)
6. Put the pipe cleaner through the center hole. Then gently bring the corner holes to the center and put through the pipe cleaner.
7. Place another pony bead on top of the pinwheel and on the pipe cleaner.
8. Fold down the edges of the pipe cleaner, so that it stays together.
9. Place outside and hope for a windy afternoon! Unfortunately, it's been a HOT and sunny day, so there hasn't been much pinwheel action.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
On September 11, 2001, I was in grad school, and I had worked my schedule so that I had classes (that I took and taught) on MWF. So, I was off on that Tuesday morning. I had just awakened, and was flipping through the channels, when the news broke in with the first plane hitting the WTC. I stared in wonder as the news was reporting this, and saw the 2nd plane fly into the other tower. I literally could not keep my eyes off of the TV programming that day. I watched. I cried.
... and then I got a phone call that changed the entire situation. No longer was I watching what was happening; I now knew someone that was going to be effected by this!
You see, my friend Patrick was at the Air Force Academy, and that day, he called to tell me that they were stopping school and deploying them all. He said he didn't know when he would be back, and he couldn't say where he was being deployed to, but that he loved me and would be leaving within the next few hours for a location far away.
My friend did return home safely from this deployment. I'm not certain how long he was gone, but after he returned, he was not the same person that had called me on 9/11. In the end, he ended up dropping out of the Air Force Academy for emotional issues. My heart breaks for how all of this has broken his heart, spirit, and will.
As I said earlier, I was in grad school, and at the time, I was doing research for a presentation at AMSTAT, an International statistics organization on the effectiveness of different technologies upon teaching stats. The conference where I was to do my presentation was in New York... 11 months later. While we were there, we visited Ground Zero. Here are some photos, taken nearly a year after the great tragedy.
WTC in August 2002
I have NEVER been to a place that was packed with so many people, yet NO ONE said a word. It was very eerie. The destruction--unbelievable. I have since been back, but the debris was cleaned out, and it is now much more of a tourist-y attraction, with vendors, lots of chattering, and so much commercialism... no where near the somber feeling I had the first time I saw the destruction.
WTC site in 2005
I am linking up to Mommy Moments 9/11 links.
Friday, September 10, 2010
School is back in full swing, and I've decided to reorganize my house. I've been purging and reorganizing for the past two weeks, which is why I haven't posted a lot lately.
However, I am VERY excited to show you some new great finds that I've found!
First, I went yard-saling last Friday. After bombing on the first 5 sales, the last one we hit was a winner! We picked up several nature hardback books (Karen, the river one is for you!), a couple of easy readers, a new pouring pitcher, and a Nassau cup and saucer. All for $2.50!
Last Saturday was 1/2 price day at Goodwill, and upon getting there around noon-ish, I figured that all of the "useful" and reasonably priced furniture would be gone. Boy, was I wrong.
I found this AWESOME desk that holds bins on the top! It was priced as a "small table" for a mere $15, but then I got it for 1/2 price... what a steal at $7.50! I then headed over to the Dollar Tree, and found some bins that would fit into it (7 bins = $7). So for less than $15, I now have an awesome desk to store my son's "activities" in.
What is so awesome about this find, besides the price? Well, when we work up to a workbox system, it will hold up to 12 shoebox-sized bins. A third row of boxes can be added below the black bins. In addition, it also acts as a desk, and still permits me to put a box of storage items underneath. (NOTE: Even though this is similar to a workbox system for homeschooling, I primarily use the Montessori Method with my son. I've run out of space in my home for putting things out for him, which is why I was seeking a new storage solution that had multi purposes.)
So, what's in the bins? Well.... that's for Saturday's post! Stay tuned!