As I mentioned, there are some new works on the shelves that I haven't posted about. And some have been pretty popular lately. Here they are, in no particular order:
This is "leaf rubbing", and it has been out on the shelves for maybe a month now. Not a ton of use, but more so lately.
It took me a while to figure out how to present "leaf rubbing"...but this seems to be working. The leaf is real, and taped to a square of cardboard. To do this work, a child gets a piece of "metal inset" paper, puts it on top of the leaf and attaches the paper with the clothespins. Then they can rub the crayon all over, pressing harder to really bring out the veins in the leaf. Once they have rubbed a leaf, I will put tape on the back, and they can stick it to a branch of the tree I drew on our wall (I will post a picture sometime...right now it is too dark in the schoolroom to do the tree justice).
This is a "sewing cylinder"...at least that is what we call it. I got it from Montessori Services, I think.
There are many holes to put the large wooden needle into, and it is a pre-sewing exercise. Basically the wooden needle goes through multiple holes until the string is used up, and then it can be taken out again. But it is trickier than it looks...getting the cylinder unthreaded takes a lot of patience and requires good eye-hand coordination.
Sorting money is a very new work. Gene has been dealing with money for the last year or so, and very interested in it, but I realized that Lucy has barely touched a coin and couldn't tell the difference between any of the silver coins. So I pulled this together last night and presented it today. Everyone is pretty good at sorting, but it is fun to introduce new items to sort. And eventually they will learn the names of the coins, and learn more about them. But first things first!
These are the magneatos...we got them for Christmas a couple years ago, from a children's toy magazine. There are two sizes of "sticks" and many balls, and they are all magnetized. Here are some ideas of things to make with them, but so far the most popular has been to just stick them all together in a long line. Hopefully they'll get a little more creative soon...
I had fun with them, anyway. Maybe seeing what I did will rub off on somebody!
These are the sound books, which have been filling up with "sounds" at various rates. Gene has begun filling his yellow sound book, and Norah and Lucy are about halfway through their red sound books. They are very simple...I draw one big letter on each page as they are introduced to that particular sandpaper letter. Then, every time I give a lesson on a new sandpaper letter, I have the child show me how they trace the previous letters in their book. It is built-in practice.
This is the first sound in each red sound book. I just draw them in, though I know that Laura in the blog My Montessori Journey has the children in her class paste in a die-cut letter. I like that idea, but for now drawing seems simpler. Everyone has been fascinated, however, watching me color in the lines. I think we need a coloring activity...we haven't used many coloring books, mostly because Gene was never interested in coloring and Lucy was too little. But now that coloring is more popular, I think they need to appreciate the art of "coloring in the lines"...someone actually asked why I was doing it that way!!!