Monday, May 28, 2012

Grammar Shelves

Today I thought I would show you our grammar shelves.  The pictures are so revealing that I almost did not want to share them but this is our real life.  I was unhappy with the pictures for their cluttered appearance despite my work to organize the area.  I want our work areas to be inviting and appealing to the eye but sometimes I have to be practical and use what I have instead of running out to purchase things to make my vision come true or grabbing the paint can for a DIY makeover.  So even though the shelves are not visually where I want them to be, they function well for our use.  It has been quite some time since I took these photos but they remain in this condition and all I need to do is write up our work plans to go along with our materials and set-up.  I don't know about you but sometimes things can feel like larger hurdles, work plan writing for example, than they really are so hopefully during our break and more relaxed summer schedule I can write our fall work plans.

Our grammar shelves are part of a large bookcase of five shelves, we have 3 sets of these, purchased years ago from a local discount furniture store.  All three bookcases house our Montessori grammar and math supplies as well as storage for extras on the top shelf.  This is our grammar shelf area.

The full view of the shelf unit.  Grammar takes up five shelves with the very top shelf storing our extra grammar and language materials.  This bookcase is to the left of our language shelves that I shared in a previous post.

This is the bottom shelf where we keep our version of the grammar farm.  The farm is used by all the children whether for lessons or play.  The farm is a fisher price set from when our eldest was a toddler.  In the basket I can add or change out farm related objects and in the back I have brochure holders with our grammar words sorted into library pockets by parts of speech.  I found the library pockets at the Dollar Tree a few years ago and have not come across them since. 

This shelf houses our grammar nomenclature cards and sentence strips as well as various packs of grammar words for sorting different parts of speech.  I would have loved a drawer storage unit here but the old floppy and diskette holders are what I had and they work just fine. On the shelf above you can see our box of grammar symbols and various other grammar storybooks, games I have found on the internet and a binder with grammar "funsheets" as we call them.

This section is our word study work.  In the drawers we keeping materials for rhyming, antonyms, synonyms, prefix work, suffix work and compound words.  To the left in the business card and brochure holders are contraction work and on the top of the drawer are large cards with the months of the year on them for putting in order.  To the left of the drawers is a small bin with days of the weeks cards.  I really like this shelf because of the drawers and how it holds work for all of our children's ages from kindergarten to fifth grade.

This is the last shelf in our grammar area.  On the right you can see our Word Family Wheel from Lakeshore (I don't think they sell this anymore, I didn't see it on their site).  This is a fun game with a lot of different activities to work on word families for early reading and spelling for the older children.  In the background you can see The Perfect Punctuation Pop-up Book  we used last fall to learn all of the different types of punctuation.  In front of that in the brochure holder are punctuation command cards.  E ran through this set twice this school year in her journal and it was  fun to see her progress.  In the basket is more work that I have found on the internet like days of the week mats, months of the year mats or mats from Take it To Your Seat Phonics Center Book.  The basket also contains file folder and other games we have printed relating to our work.  Then you can see another binder with Word Study Funsheets and our dictionary.
I hope this little tour can give you some ideas how to organize and better utilize your learning materials and you can see it doesn't have to be perfect.  You just take what you have and use it to function well for your family.  So now, onto the work plans for this area, right?  Well actually the sun is shinning beautifully here and little people are scattered about waiting to help me with some yard clean-up.  Blessings to each of you!

I'm linking up with Montessori Monday and the Preschool Corner.

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