Thursday, September 13, 2012

September Weeks 1-2

These first two official weeks of first grade for T and not so official preschool for R were kicked off in grand Montessori tradition with the telling of the Five Great Lessons. The lesson plans and stories came strait from the NAMC manuals and were the perfect start to our year. We invited some other home schooled friends for the weekend and the neighbor girl joined us as well. It was magical- from the candle lit jars lining the dock, the sun setting in the background to the surprise demonstrations which included popping a black balloon to illustrate the expansion of the universe and a volcano exploding with red lava. We took video but with all the excitement and chaos really we didn't manage to get many good photos. Next year perhaps.

  We began the first week studying peace and the peace flower, the four petals of peace- Self awareness, community awareness, cultural awareness and community awareness. We put special emphasis on self awareness and spoke about feelings and how to make peace with each other. We continued the week learning some basics about time, the passage of time and the recording of time. This is a base for history and makes perfect sense to me- to make sure they understand what history really means before we begin our studies of the history of the earth and life on earth.

The second week we dove into the study of our bodies to follow up our self awareness studies. The NAMC Health manual has awesome activities for investigating the nervous system, the respiratory system, the digestive system, etc. In one activity, Measuring Lung Capacity from the Science Experiments manual, we measured our lung capacity by displacing water in an upside down jug immersed in a bucket using a tube to blow air through. It was so much fun! The kids both loved it and I know it is something that will really stick with them. While investigating the nervous system we used cups and fishing line to send the messages from the brain (kid on one end) to the hand (kid on the other end). We used a device we made from a soda bottle with balloons on either end  (see pic) to see how the diaphragm works in the body to help inflate the lungs.

We also have time each day to focus on math or reading, two sessions of each per week is my goal and that seems attainable and a pace at which we can cover what we need to cover.

Much to my amazement R is insisting on learning to read. She seems to be ready so I'll let her lead.
T learned how to make, recognize and use compound words and suffixes this week. He really likes those compound words.
Here are some shots of their work this week. I apologize for lack of creativity here, I am aiming for completion. My hope is that the creativity will come to me here too and this may be an outlet for me. I'd like to contribute to the Montessori world out there somehow!

T's picture of where he feels peaceful. Creative spelling is one thing I love about Montessori. Children are praised for effort and not always being correct. Spelling comes in time but for most activities they are just encouraged to express themselves.

Coloring and labeling the skeletal system. He did this using a control chart. 
 R's picture of what makes her feel peaceful. And this is priceless: Laying on the floor, laying in bed, being in a tree, being in the water, being on a boat and..... riding a spider?! OK!

T working on subtraction using the subtraction board. 
Completed subtraction working on the basic formats of subtraction. Pretty advanced I think. It's basically algebra. But he is getting it. Thank you NAMC!
Tune in next week...... I will be writing about buttons and teaching how to sew on a button. And they are thrilled!

1 comment:

Jeri said...

Wow! Interesting lessons to start the year out. It seems like a fun way to present and teach, and seems pretty advanced to me. So cool R is learning to read already and T with math. I had no idea this is 1st grade stuff. You are amazing! Oh, I want to ride a spider, too. Love you.