Thursday, October 2, 2014

We've Got Grammar Going On

*a little late in posting, but it's better late than never!*

Week 6&7

Grammar seems to be showing up everywhere here lately - at least, in the pictures it is!

LM (not pictured - at all) is finishing up the review of parts of speech. Many of them she - brace yourself - hasn't had the formal first presentations for. That doesn't mean she doesn't know what they are - she just hasn't gotten every presentation that some of the younger ones have. I want to get to the advanced grammar that she is really ready for, so we are having some fast review lessons so she can get the notes down in her binder and be ready to move on. 

Hoss worked on reviewing verbs these last couple of weeks. He has a hard time keeping track of the name of the pos AND what each one does, and being able to tell me both. Example: He can sort the phrase "the little boy sings" in to article, adjective, noun, verb if I give the sentence, but then can't quickly tell me what each does. OR he can look at the words 'article, adjective, noun, verb' and tell me which words belongs to the rule I give (usually). I am working on trying to get him to know which is which easily. So we are doing a lot of review of what we've done before to make sure he's on good footing. 

Here we started with the simple phrase 'the tiger' and talked about the job of the article again, then added the adjective and reviewed it's job, and then finally the verb and talked about it's job again. We did this with several sentences, and he recorded them in his binder - I am loving the VERY easy DIY grammar symbol stencils that I made for this year. I got the idea from MBT and this post - What Did We Do All Day - Grammar Stencil. Hers looks MUCH better then mine, but mine still does the trick :) and the kids enjoy being able to label their parts of speech easier.

The same day that Hoss reviewed the verb, Miss Priss reviewed the adjective. This is a work she did often last year, but didn't record it in her binder. This year, she made note of the job of the adjective, and recorded/labeled each adjective/noun phrase - i.e. green felt, orange felt, etc.   

Although this constitutes more as language, Bug has enjoyed working with 3 part cards as of late - pictured are the Electrical Appliances cards and Life Cycle Of A Ladybug cards, both from Montessori Print Shop's Free Downloads. 

Miss Priss also likes to review phonograms with 3 part cards from Trillium Montessori

Another extension for practice work with parts of speech that I showed both Hoss and Miss Priss was this one. We picked out a book, any book she chose from either ours or a library book. This particular choice was the book 'Mind Your Manners B.B. Wolf'. She read it to me/with me, and every time she saw a phrase with the article/noun or article/adjective/noun, she would record it, and after filling her page up with different phrases, went back and labeled the parts of speech. I wanted something they could do on their own to practice what they are learning, but that can be a little 'new' every time. 

The next post will be an update on some of the Math that went on during these weeks. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Day I Left My Children Alone

Week 6 - Day One

On Monday of this week, I left my children alone. After waking up and getting their breakfast, we started our morning cleaning routine, complete with work cards, and spent a little while at it. For some reason, Monday mornings are rough cleaning days, although goodness knows why - half the weekend is spent at church, it seems, but somehow - they always are. 

Then, I left my children alone. I dove into the abyss that is school materials, determined to clean out, rearrange, and reorganize. There were still things that needed to go on the shelves, Buddy Boy needed new theme trays, and it had to get done. Immediately. We had choir that afternoon for LM, and still had to fit lunch in before that. I faintly heard LM say she was going to start with the multiplication checkerboard as I began to move my couch away from my hidden, built in shelving. 

About halfway through, this is what I found the kids doing.

Miss Priss did this puzzle of the states - three times. In a row. The third time, she figured out how to slide it on a cookie sheet and flip it over to see the flags and facts about each state that is on the back side of the puzzle. 

Hoss got upset over something - I've got no earthly idea what -  and decided it was his job to personally test out every new tray that I was putting out for Buddy Boy and Bug. 
size sequencing

 matching number/picture cards

 fine motor

All trays were beneath him, but somehow it was appealing to be the 'tray tester'.

After multiplication from LM and pattern making from Bug (no pictures, but she showed me several different patterns with the unifix blocks), they apparently started building. I'm pretty sure there was some kind of elaborate pattern scheme they were working on - I overheard LM telling Bug to get a certain type of pattern for the next row of blocks in their castle/tower.

(please ignore the mess that is the kitchen floor - it doesn't manage to stay clean for very long. Oh, and the need to re-paint. That's another issue all together.... :/ )

Buddy Boy worked for at least 30 minutes making pictures with our pattern blocks, eventually inviting Hoss to work with him.

By the time they finished their own, unprompted, unsupervised work period, it was time for a quick lunch which was made by LM and off to choir. 

Moral of the story:
Be a *present* parent - and while doing it, learn to be *present* in the background. It's good for them to just occupy themselves, and they might surprise you sometimes! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall Baking With Kids - Montessori Practical Life

Wait for it.... Wait for it....


Okay, so I might be a little premature to call it Fall in the South, but the last part of last week, it sure felt like it! :)


LM made her first ever solo batch of Pumpkin Bread.

This recipe is one that I can't say was handed down through the family with tons of secret, special ingredients. I will say, though, that it was a favorite growing up, and the tradition continues in my home now, with my children growing up loving it. It was also greatly associated with Fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas time.

The recipe is so simple and easy to follow - you'll have great smells filling your house in under an hour!

You'll need:

3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs, beaten
16 ounces pumpkin (canned or fresh!)
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger (not ale - typo in cookbook!)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup hot water

Oh, and one handy helper!

First, cream sugar and oil - this is where a KitchenAid Mixer is going to come in real handy, so you can mix, measure, and pour all at the same time!

After sugar and oil have creamed, add eggs.

Then, add your pumpkin. We cheated and used canned pumpkin, but if you have fresh, feel free to use it! Confession - I've never tried it with fresh. It must be good, though!

Next, in a separate bowl, add dry ingredients - flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. 

Sift dry ingredients together, then add to pumpkin mix alternately with the hot water. 

When that's all in your mixer, and if you do have a wonderful KitchenAid, let it mix while you clean up what you have used and get ready for the oven.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

I love my Pampered Chef mini loaf pans, but you can use any style of mini loaf pans you have. I highly recommend the mini loaves, versus the full loaf - it's less baking time and less chance of a slightly over-cooked bottom. Or, you can mix it up and make muffins or make it all at once, cake style. Just remember to adjust your baking times accordingly.

After spraying your baking dish well with non-stick spray, carefully fill at least halfway, though no more than 2/3 full. Be careful to make sure they are even, of course!

We like to sprinkle the tops with a little cinnamon sugar. It gives the bread a nice, sweet crunch :) .

Place in the oven, and set a timer for 30 minutes. At this point, check your bread. When the top is cracked and no longer looks wet, you'll know it's finished. With my mini-loaf pan, we actually bake ours for about 35 minutes. Just keep an eye on it and use good judgement from the 30 minute marker until you know it is finished. Another good way to check is the tried and true toothpick-in-the-center method.

After that, all that's left to do is.... 


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