Monday, December 17, 2012

Reading, Spelling and Word Study the Montessori Way

I love Montessori Language Arts from pink, blue and green series work to word study, it is a style of learning that keeps children engaged and wanting more.  I have said it before, we work slow here at the Middle of Somewhere, so while I see 7 year olds completing green level work my 10 year old is slowly working through that series for complete spelling mastery.  My 8 year old is working through blue and pink is for our 6 year old. The pink, blue and green series is the foundation to Montessori reading and it naturally incorporates spelling and writing skills.  The pink and blue series focuses on 3 and then 4 letter phonetic words and the green series works on vowel and consonant blends.  The Helpful Garden ( look on the left sidebar) is a great place to print free series work and Montessori for Everyone offers great posts on using the materials as well as purchasable work. I have also purchased a lot of series work from Montessori Print Shop.

pink objects and spelling with the moveable alphabet

more pink objects for spelling and reading

reading pink level word cards

more pink objects and moveable alphabet work

blue series words and objects for spelling and reading

blue series work with objects.  My older children also like to write out the words rather than use the moveable alphabet.

identifying vowel sounds in pink series words

spelling blue series words

matching objects to pink series word cards

We also supplement with some non Montessori work:
This is a vowel and consonant sort I quickly put together. 

 And here is a look at some work K has been doing using the You Can Read series from 1+1+1=1:

circling sight words

sight word review
We are also working on a bit of word study, although I don't have pictures to show it.

E working on green level word study cards for suffixes.
Word study at our house usually consists of compound words, rhyming words, synonyms, antonyms, prefixes, suffixes, and contractions to name a few.  I really like that Montessori for Learning has word study sets equated with the pink, blue and green series.  Scroll through this page to see what they have to offer.  Once the children have completed all the "card work" available to them, then they move onto worksheets or recording the work in their notebooks. 

Today is Montessori Monday and I'm linking up!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Herb Infused Chickpea Salad from The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook

Getting a Christmas tree is always an adventure. From getting our permit, driving the icy fire roads to finding the tree we bring home I never know what to expect.  This year we didn't have a definite day we were going to go tree hunting so when we decided to go on the spur of the moment Monday morning, I was scrambling for lunch.  Instead of the typical cheese, apples and protien bars, common lunch on the go items before our Beach Body Ultimate Reset, I made this:

Herb-Infused Chickpea Salad all ready to go on a Christmas tree hunt.
 This salad is one of many delicious recipes from The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook. Karma Chow is a vegan/plant based guide filled with wonderful breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert ideas.  I had heard of Melissa's book and once hubs and I completed Beach Body's Ultimate Reset I was glad to have it for our new way of eating.
So here's the recipe:

mix the following in a bowl:
2 15 oz. can of chickpeas (I make my own in the crockpot)
1/4 c. sliced sundried tomatoes
 1 small red onion (I used green onion instead)
4 garlic cloves
1 celery stalk
1 can artichokes hearts

toss with the the following Herbed Lemon Dressing ( I like to make my dressings in a jar for easy shaking or in the blender.)

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. chopped rosemary
salt and pepper

Hubs and I liked this salad so much that I have made it twice already.

So you want to see our tree, right?  Oh, but wait, first the children:

 And here is the humongo tree in our tiny little truck:

And now our tree all decorated:

Yes, I know many would say you cannot call that thing a Christmas tree, it's a full blown tree.  As hubs says " we have the space so why not use it."

Monday, December 10, 2012


Hi everyone, thank-you for stopping by to see what is happening here at the Middle of Somewhere.  In my last math update I said I wanted to share more about geometry and fraction work and that I shall do starting with geometry.  Our children had an introduction to geometry last year so we started out with a review of the geometric solids.
E is matching solids and 3 part cards.

K is matching solid pictures and word cards. I read the word cards and she did the matching.

A is sorting pictures of objects that are in different geometric solid shapes.

I set up a lot of the review in center type activities that the children rotated through and they seemed to really enjoy this way of practicing the work.  It gave the children choice of what order they completed the work but allowed me to facilitate what I wanted them to work on.

Here is a great post at Living Montessori Now for DIY geometric solids and solid activity ideas.  Our solids are a combination of items I found amongst the children's toys and a basic wood set I purchased off Ebay.  Our three part cards are from Montessori Print Shop. Also from Montessori Print shop are our solid sorting cards.

After our review we moved onto Polygon work. We started with this free set of lessons that used both objects from home and the geometry sticks. I loved the lessons, they were simple and well laid out and the sticks were such an interest catcher for our children. I purchased the sticks from Kid Advance Montessori and cork board squares from either Target of Walmart.  We just worked our way through the lessons and I added in other activities when appropriate.  We also went through this little booklet about polygons from Montessori Print Shop. When we pick up geometry again in January we will continue to work our way through the other booklets that Montessori Print Shop has to offer on triangles, angels, circles and lines.

E matching up geometric pictures to the number of sides they have and their names.

K is using the geoboards to make geometric shapes.     

K using geometry sticks to make a triangle.

A using the geometry sticks to make the polygon of his choice.

As you can see I have used both a combination of free and purchased materials.  Here are some links to free downloadable materials that may be helpful as you put together your own lessons:

Montessori Materials

Wikisori--scroll down to the geometry section

Cultivating Dharma

The biggest help I had in planning our lessons was this post from Making Montessori Ours.

Today is Montessori Monday and I am linking up, go visit and check out what others are doing at home to make the Montessori style of education attainable to all.

Monday, December 3, 2012

First Grade Math

Math, Writing and Reading have been my over all goals for this term of lessons.  So in my next few Montessori posts I hope to fill you all in on how we have been progressing in geometry, fractions and operations.  It has been a fun time to watch the children learn with so many wonderful Montessori and other manipulatives, it has really kept our studies fresh and interesting.  However for now, here is a look at some of what K, our 1st grader has been working on in her individual work time:

K is working in her math book, she loves this little book and would complete page after page, if I let her..  I printed this book our for each of my children from here. The books are free and they are a great tool for daily math practice. 

Practicing place value with our version of the "golden beads"  If I did not already have the rods I probably would have gone with a base ten set as an affordable "golden beads" option.

More place value practice with the large number cards.

Learning to use a number line for addition using a addition equation booklet and white board to right her answeres

Working on money sense with the money exchange game, we play to .50 cents now but I think she is ready to move onto 1.00 dollar.  Here are the directions.

As we head into December all of the children will be working on operations.  K will be starting with the subtraction strip board, A will be reviewing multi-digit multiplication and moving onto the division board and E will be advancing in division.

For more inspiring lesson ideas visit Montessori Monday.

Blessings for your week!