Geometry Love- Montessori Materials for Geometric Form Work
You could have estimated following yesterday’s post, that we have been doing a lot of geometric shape work around here! We’ve been using the Geo Strips (number 3.) and I’m frequently asked about them. So I Have compiled a quick list of another geometric contour construction sticks and bits that may be helpful for a Montessori home or classroom!
1. Learning Edge Linking GeoStix (Australia here).
2. Learning Resources Geometric Shapes Building Set (similar Australia here).
3. Geo Strips (Australia here) (you can see Otis using the Geo Strips in this post).
4. Wikki Stix Basic Shapes Creative Fun Kit.
5. Learning Resources Transparent Anglegs (the Anglegs come in various sizes also!).
6. Montessori Geometric Stick Material (Australia here) (I love this image from Westside Montessori School of the Montessori Geometric Stick work, with a simple description).
Montessori Sea Shell Actions You Will Love!
My children love tasks that involve natural materials. Where there is some thing for them to hold, feel, touch. Where there is something that is interesting, with fascinating minor details. Today I am featuring some Montessori Shell Activities whom I know you will adore. Above and below is a shell sorting task that I presented to Otis this week. The kid sorts the shells (into the big jars) into Univalve or Bivalve.
The Shell Poster (left in top picture) is from Montessori Materials and the Univalve/Bivalve sheet is from Montessori for Everybody.
Cleaning a big shell – Brosser un gros coquillage at Le blog de Sylvie d’Esclaibes. This really is an incredible idea, almost all of our shells are unclean and could do with a good scrub! Fitting shells to cards – Another example of fitting shells to cards can be discovered at Les aventures chez nounou Marie. I consider they are utilizing the lovely shell group and matching cards from Michael Olaf! The cards hold the name of the shell which introduces the language element and allows the parent or caregiver to provide the little one together with the proper lingo. This really is from one of my favourite nature tables (which contained tons of shells) where Otis is making depressions with the shells into sand. I remember one of Caspar’s favourite tasks when he first began in his Cycle One classroom (in Canberra as a three-year-old) was a tray with all different sorts of shells as well as a simple magnifying glass. There is something particular about sea shells!
Using Scales and Balance Pails
Yesterday I wrote about one of our action trays with scales (balance bucket) and some coloured glass beads, shells and wood pieces. Here are some other Montessori and Inquiry-Based learning thoughts that I love. These actions are also really easy to put together. Our scales were around $15, or you also could use kitchen scales, and we just use stuff we already have at home! I adore the sensory table for younger kids (#6). I presume I’m going to attempt a set up like #3 next, where the child has a variety of stuff to weigh and record – it seems fabulous for some added math and literacy skills!
1. Equilibrium bucket with loose components at How we Montessori (on our shelves here).
2. Maths In the Resort Area with An idea on Tuesday.
3. Magnet Trays and Scale Weighing at Learning Cente of Dundee Omaha, Nebraska
4. Fall Inspired Weighing Action with Balance Scales at Montessori from the Heart.
5. General Math Provocations at Welcome to Primary.
6. Balance Scales in the Sensory Table for An Everyday Story.
7. Equilibrium scales at How we Montessori.
8. Investigating Measurement Through Play – Mass at Suzie’s Home Education Thoughts.
Playdough – Four Ways
Otis is five and adores playdough now more than ever. I’ve written occasionally about how we use playdough, always with distinct things and in different colours, textures and smells. Adding essential oils to playdough is crucial. Here are four methods we’re now reveling playdough.
1. Alphabet Stamps. This is a wonderful early literacy task, remembering it’s best to begin with lower case letters.
2. Other Stamps. We have a lot of stamps at home so there’s always lots for the boys to select from. I have also wiped down our Melissa and Doug stamps and these work extremely well with the playdough too!
3. I really like combining natural materials with playdough. Feathers, shells and pinecones can also result in creative play with playdough. We don’t have these gum nuts in our neighbourhood so I ordered them through The Natural ReSourcer, they make the cutest small caps or hats.
4. Galaxy Dough!! I have wanted to do this for the longest time. I first read about Galaxy Dough at Fairy Dust Teaching. It is only black playdough with a lot of glitter combined through. It ends up all dark and sparkly – just such as the galaxy. Otis was amazed! It is enjoyable to play with as it is so different to all of our other playdough. Limelight (a craft shop in Australia) and cake decorating speciality shops have black food colouring including in a powder form. They often have a lot of different colors of food colouring which would make a nice change from the normal colours you see in playdough. We could make a set of playdough all in precisely the same colour but in different colours – lovely! We use playdough and Alphabet Stamps from Happy Hands Happy Heart. I trust you have enjoyed this little peek into our playdough play!
Alphabet Puzzle Tote
If so, this is a really enjoyable activity that strengthens knowledge on the contours and form of letters. I wouldn’t do this in a way to teach children their letters or to test them but to reinforce their knowledge. I’d comprise letters they are confident with alongside letters they may be fighting with. Choose the letters from the Alphabet Puzzle (or Moveable Alphabet) and put these in the Mystery Tote with no kid seeing. Invite the kid over to sit down at a work mat or table. Encourage the little one to place one or both hands in the bag and one at a time, without peeking, identify which letter they are holding.
The idea is the fact that through touch the kid forms a picture of the letter in their head. If they are able to recall the sound of the letter it can help raise their link between the sound as well as the shape and form of the letter. As an extension, in case you have included vowels and consonants you could also invite the little one to generate some words with the letters they’ve identified.
Above Otis places his hand in the Enigma Bag and feels for a letter. He has identified this as a ‘w’. The Mystery Tote is one of our favourite stuff which we have used many times over the years. It actually heightens their sense of touch. Our Mystery Bag is a straightforward silk lined, drawstring bag. I usually keep it to around five things in the tote. These posts reveal a number of the ways in which we have used the Mystery Bag (or Mystery Box). With all activities at home, I attempt to keep it engaging and lighthearted. If you give this a go I hope you love!
Geoboard – Three Ways
Otis has been home from school for the previous three days, so we’ve pulled out a few new activities! Above is a typical geoboard with the additional twist of utilizing grid paper. The child draws contours on the paper then makes the shapes on the geoboard. When using the geoboard Otis typically makes arbitrary contours and sometimes creates a picture or small scene. Above he is using a transparent geoboard on the light table. I made Otis this natural geoboard – inspired through this post at Fairy Dust Teaching. I really like the way that this is a bit rustic and gets the kid think a little differently about making the shapes. It seems a little more brilliant too!