Today Big Sister was very excited to start writing in cursive again. She loves her cursive movable alphabet. We got it from kidadvance.com (it is on sale now!). I pulled out the box with miniatures representing the sound ll. It is a sound that many Spanish speakers confuse with the sound y makes. I wanted to give her an extra practice hoping to help her mentally store these particular words as a group. In this way, she will eventually remember to write them with ll and not y.
Here are the objects: caballo, llanta, llave, llama, anillo, silla, and gallo (horse, tire, key, llama, ring, and roster). I arranged all the miniatures on the floor and took a picture. I printed the picture as a 4 by 6. The picture saved me the time to look for images on the computer. She cut the items from the picture and glued them to her notebook. Finally she labeled each cut out.
Having the miniatures adds to the excitement, but it is not necessary. In this particular activity they saved me a ton of time. I loved using the picture.
The little guy was revisiting the 3rd inset presentation. He really is on top of his game now. He remembered to use short left to right strokes!
And his patience to finish one figure was quite remarkable. What a great way to build stamina!
Since I saw that he was ready and very proud of his work, we moved to the 4th inset presentation: two shapes one full, and one partially colored. We will be working together during this week.
Big Sister got it right away. She insists on cutting her drawings when she finishes them. If you look at her work closelly, you will notice that she was making images of the several inset presentations. She drew pictures with serpentine lines, thinner serpentine lines, fully colored and eventually she added a two figure drawing.
The little guy and I started letter S today. It is one of those letters that are, in my opinion, very hard to learn. There is something about the many curves that confuses children. I know the presentations in Montessori schools might be silent, but in our home we talk about what our pencil is doing to help us remember it. We do use all the other Montessori tools. 1st. we start with the miniature objects. It is for fun and to build vocabulary. I also tell him the story from Letrilandia for the letter s and try to include as many of the items from the box in the story. He enjoys listening to the story, and Big Sister usually adds details too. She already knows all the stories.
We continue to use stickers to make a sensory aid. I had a hard time digging for stickers. I ended up with sonrisas (smiles). He created a pattern of colors. He traced the sticker letters and the sandpaper letter.
Then he wrote it. Here is what we talked about: "start on the top line, go toward the hand that doesn't write, touch the middle line on your way to the writing hand, touch the bottom line on your way back to the hand that doesn't write." And, he did it over, and over again!
He even wanted to write it using his favorite dry erase marker. He was so proud. It was the letter he told me he just couldn't write and today, he did it!
After all the cheers and excitement from his accomplishment, we moved to the rug for a short presentation. To be honest, I am using the traveling opportunity to force myself to teach my kids geography. We haven't touch this area more than one or twice in the past. I wanted to start at the beginning. I pulled out my cultural album from Karen Tyler's online class, and decided to start with the air, water, and land presentation. I used three plastic cups WITH lids. I labeled them and included a bit of dirt, nothing=air, and water with a tiny drop of blue food coloring. I also printed the cards for this activity from the helpful garden :https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-Jp2xvcHjp4a1p3U0k5ZlBwaGs/edit (Thanks to Cathie Mathews there is no need to reinvent the wheel).
I had the label cards for each ready with the small containers. We talked about each container and they got to look at it, move it, and off course, shake it (don't forget the lids). They were very excited. Above the Big sister was holding and shaking the "land".
Little guy shaking the water.
Then, I gave them the cards to sort. They did it together.
After, I had a small container with transportation to sort. They named each and sorted them by the three categories.
Land: sled, train, bus, bicycle, and truck. Air: parachute, rocket, blimp, plane, helicopter. Water: cruise ship, scuba diver, windsurf, sailing boat, and jet ski.
The kids sorted these objects several times together, and taking turns on their own.
Our hedgehog's "hair" was growing too tall. She needed a haircut!
Later in the day I took the kids to run a ton of errands. I tend to accumulate too many things to get done in one day rather than going out and doing an errand everyday. Most importantly, we exercised our civil right to voted. I hope you did too!
Don't forget to add a comment on yesterday's post (11/3/14) for a chance to win a set of CVC books to accompany your pink reading materials!