Thanks for visiting my blog. I began journaling about my daily life when I was eleven. Over the years, this has grown to become a way for me to share my thoughts rather than my daily life. I’m pretty open with sharing all the beautiful chaos of life with six children. I have to remind myself to extend grace to myself each and every day! It is my hope that my writings will help others to learn to extend grace to themselves too. After all, if it weren’t for the Grace of God, life would just be messy. I’m so glad that life can instead be a Beautiful Mess and is covered by His Beautiful Grace.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A New Plan

   I had such a good visit with my friend this morning.  She shared with me several websites that have some great ideas for teaching science concepts without a textbook.  She also explained a few of the methods that the 6-9 teachers use in the Montessori school that she works in.  One of the links that she shared with me was a link to the Scope and Sequence for Montessori from ages 3-12.  You can find that here http://www.bgmontessori.com/montessori/curriculum.  I read through this last night and made notes of where each of my boys are and where we need to be working.  Some of the things we need to work on I am familiar with, others I will need to read and study in order to teach those.  I have the 3-6 manuals from Montessori Research and Development that will describe these things in more detail and may decide to purchase the 6-9 manuals as we move farther into the topics covered in those.  Many of these lessons can be found online without purchasing the manuals.  Most will be very easy to implement into our school day and all are much more enjoyable and teach the skills much better than any textbook could.  So, going along with this S&S, I will share what our plans are for the next few weeks. 

Reading & Language Arts-
     Elijah-  continue to read Bob Books; continue with book 2 1/2 Explode the Code as we use sandpaper letters to better understand blends; use the blue language kit found at www.montessoriprintshop.com to put these new skills to practice with daily spelling lists, sentence reading, etc; introduce nouns, adjectives and verbs during daily nature walks and entries in a nature journal. 
     Levi- continue Getting Ready for the Code using sandpaper letters along with the lessons.

     Elijah- use our weekly Bible verse as daily copywork beginning with him copying the verse from the board and later moving to him looking up the verse in the Bible and copying from there; he will be writing this on notebook paper so that he can learn proper sizing of his letters without the dotted center line. 
     Levi- writing letters in the sand tray, on unlined paper and the chalk board; trace the Bible verse each day using http://handwritingworksheets.com/flash/printdots/index.htm to make it.

     Elijah- using pictures provided, compose stories and share orally during morning group; write (can be written or recorded orally) simple stories on given themes.
     Levi- tell what is happening in a photo and what may happen next. 

     Elijah- blue spelling cards mentioned in Reading section above; continue weekly spelling lists in the spelling textbook; continue weekly sight word packets (we only have 3 packets left).
     Levi- encourage him to continue writing letters and creating words that he says spell certain words; provide him with the correct spelling of words as he asks; introduce him to the first few cards of the pink language kit.

     Elijah- continue Saxon twice a week (he's working one grade level ahead); complete his number roll to 1000; using golden beads, create numbers using thousands, hundreds, tens and ones, saying those numbers using correct language; introduce the addition stamp game.   {These are things that I know he can do at this point but I'd like to spend some time reviewing these concepts with him using concrete materials before moving on to multiplication.}
     Levi- introduce the red and blue number rods; continue working with the number cards for one to one correspondence; continue working with the spindle box.  {He asked for a Math workbook so we started Horizons Kindergarten a few weeks ago.  We will continue using this book along with Montessori materials and other math manipulatives through out the book.  He's still a year and a half early on starting this so we will be going at his pace and not rushing to complete the book anytime soon.}

Geometry-  I will be reading more about presenting these lessons and will update these plans as I understand the materials/methods better. 
     Elijah- review basic geometric shapes and geometric solids; introduce definitions of these shapes and solids.
     Levi- review basic geometric shapes; introduce the geometric solids. 

Geography- this is one of the areas that my friend offered some suggestions and ideas.  I will be getting the Children in Action and Mission Friends literature to use in the Fall as our Bible curriculum, studying missionaries, their work and where they serve.  We will use this to help guide our study of the continents and other areas around the world.
     Elijah- puzzle maps of each of the continents (study history, culture, climate, etc of the continents as he is interested but discussions will be initiated by me if he doesn't initiate further discussion of a region, beginning with the US); landform trays {this doubles as an earth science lesson} (lesson idea from my friend:  use a cookie sheet, modeling clay and water along with small cards portraying the landforms.  Have him use the clay to make his model of the landforms given and then pour water into the cookie sheet.  This lesson is not meant to be mastered in a day but to be done over and over again as he wants.  The cards can be found here: http://www.shop.montessoriprintshop.com/Land-and-Water-Form-Book-b-g-GeoF-3b.htm.  Nomenclature cards, picture cards and books are also available on the site.)
     Levi- continent map. 

History- this is an area that is actually covered under geography as Economic Geography.
     Elijah- timeline of his life and then each member of his family. 

Science- this is another area that my friend helped with today.  We spent quite a bit of time on this one.  The things mentioned below will take up the rest of our school year.  We may change up our study of birds but for now this is the animal that the boys want to study. 
     Elijah- nature journal, recording things seen during daily nature walks and time outside; begin study of birds, learning parts/several species found in our yard/what they need to survive; solids, liquids and gases (this is just as important as a good understanding of place value is in math.  You can find lots of ideas for teaching science here: http://pinterest.com/primaryjunction/science/ and here: http://pinterest.com/cindyhogsed/science-first-grade-fun/); forces such as gravity and centripetal force; life cycle of a plant (using dry beans you can soak the bean and dissect it, you can also sprout the bean studying it as it changes and then plant it in the garden to watch it continue to grow). 
     Levi- living/non-living lessons; animals/plants lessons; nature notebook, drawing pictures and labeling them orally so that I can write the labels; introduction to birds.

Practical Life- I feel that teaching these should be a part of our daily life and shouldn't be taught only during school hours. 
     Elijah- learning address and phone number; using a knife; using a hammer; putting things away.
     Levi- learning address and phone number; pouring; using knife; using screw driver; putting things away. 

Sensorial- this is another area that I need to study better before being fully able to teach the boys.
     Elijah- 3rd color box.
     Levi- 2nd color box; metal insets.

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