Wednesday, April 10, 2013

In our closet:

My current project!  I have to be honest and say that I am still working on downsizing, and de-cluttering my teaching materials.  I stopped teaching in June 2009 and I am still working on this task.  It is very hard.  This is the closet in the kids' learning space.  It is packed!  There are some things I can't get rid off.  Most of my social studies, like natives of South America, include items that I brought from Mexico and Peru.  I also have a ton of stuff about horses (a topic my daughter loves), and about Colombia. I kept all these materials because I created most of it on my own.  When I taught in the public schols, I found very little in Spanish and decided to not just translate, but to create.  One subject that is very dear to me is social studies, in particular: history and geography .  To teach Social Studies in a second language, I had to look for ways to bring the learning to the classes, and not only tell my students about it.  One example was an idea I got from a book called: A Drop Around the World.  I found a grant that allowed me to buy items to represent each country. From replicas, to food and toys, my students were able to learn about each country. I did something similar while learning about the Incas.  I gathered mummified dolls, fabrics, musical instruments, jewelry, seeds, even small pretend weapons.  All of them helped me show my students about the hirarchy system in the Inca times, and the different jobs their people performed. Although the materials on their own are not very valuable, I just know that I won't be able to replace them.  Hence they stay with us.

Opening each bin brings great memories from my students.   I hope to relive some of those memories with my own kids.  

I opened my reading/writing textbooks bin and here are the teaching materials I am keeping.  I will try to incorporate what is useful into our homeschooling.  How can I get rid off my dear books!   I have writing workshops, Fountas and Pinnel Guiding Readers and Writers ( I won this book at a conference and I have loved it ever since), the 2 sisters Cafe Menu and Daily Five. I love the freedom and responsibility they give the child. Finally, Phonemic Awareness, Strategies that work (for readers), and From the roots up (latin and greek). This are not books to be given to my kids, rather books for me to learn ways to help my kids develop skills.

For dual language support I am kepping just a few books.  The following two are always handy: Techniques of Teaching Pronunciation (Odisho) and 7 Steps to Success in Dual Language Immersion (Carrera-Carrillo and Rickert Smith). The last one has been my greatest support in setting-up, planning, and maintaining a bilingual environment.  

Back to Montessori... Here is what we have been working on lately. We call them peek-a-boo books.

I get half sheets of paper.  Put a picture in each and two words at the bottom.  I would encourage everyone to use hand writing and to start writing at the left to mimic actual writing.  It is important to show what writing  can look like so feel free to let your hand, and not perfectionism, do the work.  Each 1/2 sheet is double sided.  In this particular "book" there are 8 images. Then I put the sheets in plastic sleeves and in a small binder.  This is about a half the regular size.  I use post-its to cover the image.  The idea is for my daughter to read first and then peek and see if she is correct. 

I also use a popsicle stick with a googly eye stuck on it to help her read.   Here is a peek-a-boo view of the image.

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Thank you for sharing!