Monthly Archives: September 2010

Foreign language is here

DW working on French.

The kids are beginning to push into the languages available for study.  AV is continuing his fascination with Latin. The W kids are beginning French.  BR spent some time with Latin last year.  He asked to begin again.  LR quickly joined in and AR set up an account for him although there is also discussion of adding Italian to the offers.

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Filed under Classroom, Montessori

Practical Practical Life

JV has been sharpening all the knives in the house.   BW sat with rapt attention and watched him at it.

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Filed under Camping/Basic Survival Skills, Cooking, JV, Practical Life - Elementary

More Sewing – and More Sewing

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Filed under AR, Astronomy, AV, BR, Chemistry, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, Physics, Practical Life - Elementary, Science, Sewing

Abstraction in Montessori

Pilar over at Montessori Matters in receiving her training in Bergamo, Italy (read the holy grail of training facilities for AMI teachers) and has just posted a wonderful discussion about the purpose of the materials.

I was thinking about something similar today.  BW was presented with Stamp Game Addition yesterday.  He is six and was not presented it in his Casa program.  He settled down to doing the basic problems first units to units and then progressing up to hundreds added to hundreds.  This seemed to be a work with which he was able to manage his counting.  (Often he counts quickly and over counts numbers.)

Today he stopped using the materials.

He had used the materials with concentration until he didn’t need them anymore.  He doesn’t understand the operation as deeply as he could,  however he didn’t need the materials and moved to his mind.  Materials teach until they aren’t needed.  If we force the child to use the materials an “acceptable” length of time, we make learning onerous and rob it of joy.

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Filed under BW, Educational Philosophy, Mathematics, Montessori, Stamp Game

BW and the College Professor

BW took his first going out trip to interview a resource person:  Dr Cassandra Coombs Runyon, Professor of Geology, College of Charleston on Friday.

He had several geological questions regarding his project on the Himalayan Mountain Range. He wanted to better understand how the geological tectonic plates crash together to form these mountains; how the pendis and depressions form on the backside of the range; how erosion works to on such a large scale; and how cold effects erosion.

We then began to speak about her passion for the planet Mars.  We discussed the Mars rover; the density of the atmosphere on Mars and what it means for temperature; the gigantic meteor impact on one side of Mars which is theorized to have created gigantic volcanoes on the opposite side.  COOL!

BW was on top of the world.  He interacted with an adult as an inquisitive equal, carefully presenting his findings, asking his questions, respectfully listening, asking an occasional follow-up questions, and was grateful and thankful at the end.

Dr. Runyon was a wonderful first visit for BW.  She adapted to his intensity and was patient as he set his topographical map up.  She neither patronized him nor spoke down to him.

It was wonderful.

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Filed under BW, Geology, Science

The older guys and word play.

So the 11 and ups were completely underwhelmed by the word play that the younger guys craved.

I pulled out the Buffalo sentence.

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

It is a functional sentence.  Really.

Basically the buffaloes from Buffalo (NY) who are buffaloed (bully) by the buffaloes from Buffalo buffaloes (bullies) are buffaloed (bullied) by other buffaloes from Buffalo.

Confused yet?  visit here.

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Filed under AV, JV, LR

A few word play moments.

Today BW realized the “polite k” sound – as in know.   My Casa years washed back and I began to quote:
“K goes off with a bang.
It is kiss and kick,
Kitchen and keeper.
It’s at the end of quick.
K is in kettle,
Kipper and kite.
But sometimes it’s
Modest as in know and knight.”

The rest of the younger kids surrounded me before I finished.  So, I dug out my old circle manual and we spend the pre-lunch circle reading the tongue twisters and whimsies.  The children begged me to do the hand motion circle rhymes.

I thought perhaps a few of these (many of which are Waldorf in their background) would be helpful or at least amusing.

“Whether the weather be fine
Or whether the weather be not
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather
Whether we like it or not.

The Jolly Jester of Sir John, jumped into a giant jar of juicy jam just as a joke.

There’s no need to light a night light
On a bright night like tonight.
For a night light is a slight light
On a bright night like tonight.

Finger Knitting Verses
In the woods goes the hunter,
Round the tree goes the dog,
Out pops the rabbit,
And off they run.

In through the front door.
Run around the back,
Peek through the window,
and off jumps Jack.

Help me wind my ball of wool,
Hold it gently, do not pull.
Wind the wool and wind the wool,
Around, around, around.

Fee fi fo fum
Measure my arm
Measure my nose
Measure myself from
My head to my toes.

My hands upon my head I place,
On my shoulders, on my face,
On my lips, by my side,
Then behind me they will hide.
Then I will hold them way up high,
And let my fingers quickly fly,
Hold them down in front of me,
Then I’ll clap them, one, two, three.

A wise old owl
Lived in an Oak
The more he saw
The less he spoke
The less he spoke
The more he heard
Why can’t we be
Like that wise old bird.

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