Our last week of Antarctia study came to a close today. All week long the children have been exploring the idea of a frozen surface and some of the animals that live on or near Antarctica.
The grand finale to our study was when one of our fabulous Grandmothers (THANK YOU NANA!) came to tell us about her recent trip to this cold and frozen continent! We learned about who lives in Antarctica. We learned about scientists studying climate change. We learned about how to travel to Antarctica. We learned about the "penguin highway."
The talk was not all about penguins, other animals live there too! Susan told us about the zodiac boats they would take to go see whales too! We learned about how penguins waddle and some slide on their bellies. They often walk in lines and push each other into the water. They also leap out of the water to come back on land!
Susan passed out many pictures of her trip. One included the inside of a penguin's mouth. It looks like there are teeth on this one's tongue! We learned how the penguins eat krill and bring food back to their mate and baby chick.
The children learned so much about Antarctica today!
Again, thank you to Susan for coming to visit and tell us about Antarctica!
This past week (and last week) we had many Valentine activities on the shelves! One was making your own Valentine bag! The children wrote their name on ones side of a white paper bag and then glued on a red or pink doily heart on the other side. They were all so happy to be able to have a bag so they could take their Valentines home! (Even better, it was one they made!)
We also made Valentine cookies! Here two older girls help out other children make the cookies. (Afternoon children made the dough on Tuesday afternoon).
They first wash put on an apron then wash hands. Lightly flour the surface, roll out the dough ball, cut out the heart and then carry it on the spatula (!) to a baking tray on a different table.
On Thursday morning the children decorated the cookies with frosting and a tiny amount of sprinkles. Before going home on Thursday they all ate the cookies!
This week we studied more penguins! Like last week, the children had an opportunity to make little penguins. It was the Chinstrap and the Gentoo this week. One teacher wore a bike helmet to help the children understand why it was called a "chinstrap" penguin! They also were able to make a book about various penguins.
After several weeks of crusing mint leaves in the mortar and pestle, we have now moved on to having tea with a friend! We have hot water (hot tap water) in thermal carafe on a table along with tea cups, saucers, mint leaves and a mini French press. The child who invites the friend puts a scoop of mint and then two pumps of water in the press. They wait a bit and let the tea "steep" while having a chat. We have show them that the water turns light green.
Once the tea is ready, the tea is poured into the guest's cup first. Then enjoy!
The children love to engage in conversations while having tea!
Language work! Phonograms and sounding out four letter phonemic words!
Metal inset pentagons
Writing compliments to our friends! If a child cannot write they ask a teacher or a child who can write. We have given many lessons on how to give a compliment and now they are writing them and placing in a bag that will go home next week!
The farm was brought out and the nouns were labeled!! Very exciting times! This child is a kindergarten age child and is now reading fluently. We are working on phonograms to ensure there are no holes in his reading abilities but he is very interested in grammar! After completing some other noun work (See last week's post) he asked to work with the farm.
This work will expand as he will move on to adjectives with the boxes and then add those adjectives to the nouns here on the farm. After a while (learning articles, verbs etc.) he will be making full sentences and understanding the parts of speech!
As we have mentioned before, Montessori math materials are BRILLIANT and will help the child understand so many math concepts for years to come. The contact that these children have with these concrete materials will last a lifetime! The squaring chains are no exception to this brilliance! Some of our older children are very interested in the chains and excited to interact with this material.
We carry the chain to the rug and begin by counting. We actually have labels for each break in the chain that are not shown here. The child counts and labels, then we "square" the chain. Here is the six chain. At each break, the child places the label. So for six it is 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36. The child can see how the chain makes a square when we fold up the chain.
This is how we hold and carry the chain. (To avoid it being swung around!)
Many children like to complete the worksheet by filling in the circles and labels so they can take the information home.
We have begun our study of Antarctica this past week. It is an interesting continent as there are no countries to study and there is no flag! We will continue this work next week and also have a visitor (a special, world traveling grandmother) who will speak to us about her recent trip to this cold continent!
As we began our study of Antarctica this week, we also decided to study penguins! After some discussions regarding penguins (what type of vertebrate, where they live, what they eat etc..) we made parts of a penguin books. We learned that the males have a 'brood pouch' for the egg they hold on their feet for six weeks.
We also made an emperor penguin and macaroni penguin. One special emperor penguin had to also have a Valentines heart!
We also played a game and sang a song about penguins and their eggs. We took turns holding the eggs on our feet and waddling around. (Made of felt and stuffing)
"Penguins, penguins, having fun! Waddling in the winter sun. Waddling fast and waddling slow. Waddling to and waddling fro!" (repeat first two lines)
Setting a table is a 'work' we have in our practical life shelves. The children love to take this to a table and practice table setting! This activity combined with our lunch (the children set the table with plates, forks, knives, spoons and napkins that we provide) makes our children quite civilized! Try to include them in setting the table for dinner!
We are finishing up our last week of South American studies. We decided to put out this fun 'pin' map of South America. The children get to match the different country flags in each continent and here they pin each flag to it's own country.
A few of the children can actually read the words on the back of the flags and match them by reading the names of the countries. Our beginning readers enjoyed this just as much as they matched the letters in the words. It ended up being a matching activity for them. We made many observations about the flags and they all had their favorites.
When they finished with the pin work, many children decided to color in their own South America map.
This afternoon/Kindergarten child is zooming along in his reading!!! He has worked his way through many of the language materials and is now reading many phonograms and is able to sound out all phonetic words. We have now begun the study of grammar. He explored some of our noun boxes and then went to work making his own "noun book."
This child does not usually draw many pictures but took great pride in making pictures of many different nouns!
We stapled these together in a book with a black cover as in Montessori, nouns are represented on black card.