Monthly Archives: March 2012

BW’s Botany Project – Installed

BW’s mom sent over photos of his project.  They installed it in their kitchen bay window.



Filed under Art, Botany, BW, Practical Life - Elementary, Science, Students

Botany Project

We’ve been working through the classic Montessori botany lessons.  Parallel to the impressionistic lessons the child is exposed to the botany books.  These books are color coded and cover the parts of plants and types of plants.  It does not teach how to classify plants. But it teaches you how to identify the parts of a plant that lead to classification.

BW began working on the parts of the leaf – elementary level.  We added the venation of leaves because we needed a reason to use the nomenclature we were learning.  Ms. JW popped outside during lunch and scoured the yard for different types of leaves – in venation and in shape (that’s next to examine).

There are four types of venation:  Netted, Pinnate, Palmate, and Parallel.  BW spent time classifying the leaves until he had it cold.

During this process Ms. JW and I saw how much he enjoyed it.  We thought he might do well with another, slower time with the leaves.  BW didn’t have much experience in Casa doing sorting work. He has trouble slowing down long enough to observe closely.  To help him with this, we brought out the contact paper and rub-on letters.  Over the next two days BW had sustained interest in this beautiful, artistic, informative way to remember the types of venation.

Here is what ensued:

Organizing the leaves.

BW joining the panels together.

It is work that requires an extreme attention to detail.

Learning how to space and place rub-on letters.

Hanging the nearly finished piece up for inspiration as the tedious process of writing the key of Leaf Venation.


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Filed under Art, Botany, BW, Practical Life - Elementary, Science, Students

Angles work continues

BW is having a difficult time with the concept of angles and we have continued to work on angles rather extensively. (He is fascinated by the sides and their lengths and will create an obtuse angle with two sticks only to end up with an acute angle when he chooses the stick color he likes and it is a short stick.  He wants to insist he still has an obtuse angle.

The usual Casa angle works won’t keep him attentive until his eyes are trained to objectively look at the angles, so I’ve begun asking him to figure out the “laws” of closed objects and angles.  The other children keep wandering by.  Occasionally they’ll pull out some sticks to think through BW’s questions at their level.

I write three questions about angles for him to answer each day:

1.  Can you make me a triangle with two obtuse angles?

2. Can you make me a triangle with one right angle?

3.  Can you make me a triangle with two right angles?

When he comes back to report his findings, I ask more questions:

1. How many sides does it take to close a figure with all obtuse angles?

2.  Can an equilateral triangle have a right angle, too?  (Ohhh – all the angles in an equilateral triangle are what type.  Always?)

3.  So what happens if you make a closed figure using the right angles you discovered?  (Squares are part of a larger grouping of four sided objects.  Do you remember their name?  Quadrilaterals. Do all quadrilaterals have right angles?)

Those questions will lead to more questions to appear on his list tomorrow.

His “Laws of Angles” for yesterday were:

1.  All equilateral triangles have acute angles.

2. A pentagon is the smallest figure that can have all obtuse angles.

3. A square and a rectangle both have all right angles.


Filed under BW, Closed Figures, Geometry, MMcC, Students

The Study of Water Pressure Continues

According to the kids in the call of science, they climbed on the shed roof.  They, according to them, needed to be on the roof to study water pressure better.  After all trees are tall they reasoned.  It is really a study in Botany.

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Filed under Botany, BW, DW, MMcC, Practical Life - Elementary, Science, Students

More than Water Pressure

We’ve been working through the Montessori botany lessons.  These lessons begin with the roots and move up the stems and into the leaves.  We have been looking at how water pressure works.  The soil to roots to stems to leaves to the atmosphere.  We discussed capillary pressure; we discussed how the sun “sucks” the water further up into the leaves; we also discussed how water moves from the higher pressure to lower pressure.

Ms. Julie worked with a long length of garden hose, 1/4 in tubing – 8 feet in length, and 1/2 in tubing to demonstrate the principals of the xylem constructions.

After the demonstration, the kids began to play with the garden hose piece. Eventually they spent around thirty minutes trying to get it into the tree.  Finally AV was employed to help.

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Filed under Botany, BW, DW, gardening, Practical Life - Elementary, Science, Students

Triangles – Show Me

ImageIn the process of understanding triangles, it is extremely important for the young children to understand not just their names from Casa but the universality of these names and what they mean.  It can be very difficult for the child to take the Box of Sticks and make the six types of triangles.  BW worked and worked on triangles to make his own examples.  

ImageBy the time he had completed his work, MMcC, and DW began working on creating these triangles and ones I would call out.

Image“Make me a triangle with 2 right angles.”

“Can you make a triangle with 2 obtuse angles?”

“Make an equilateral triangle with a right angle?”




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Interesting Video on Women’s Suffrage

Women’s suffrage was always a taboo subject in the schools I attended as a child.  As an adult I’ve played catch-up in this area.  This video is an interesting merging of image and music.  I think I would use this as an opening to a discussion to the issues surrounding the women’s vote.

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