Friday, June 27, 2014

Last week of June

DJ worked with the Number Rods this week. He lined them all up like train tracks. Although that's not the goal, he is getting a sensory experience of long and short rods. Later in the week, I saw him walking the shortest rod up the "stairs," noticing the 2+1 was the same length as the 3 and the 3+1 the same as 4, etc.  When he is able to align these rods from the shortest (one) to the longest (ten), he'll move on to the beginning of the math sequence with this tool, learning to count from 1 to 10 and then matching the numeric symbols to the proper length rod.

Monday, June 23, 2014


DJ has this great little board book called The Art of Shapes for Children and Adults by Margaret Steele.  On the left of each page is an artistic reproduction and on the right is a common shape that has been selected from within the art. DJ likes it because he can name all of the shapes and then find it "hidden" in the art.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Practical Life & the Binomial Cube

This week started off with Daddy's birthday. DJ helped me make dinner for daddy and he set the table, starting with cleaning it.  Please note that this is NOT how I told him to do this! But he was very thorough with the process and even cleaned each of the chairs several times.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Our toddler group had an outing at a local farm today to pick strawberries. 40 toddlers and 25 parents. It was a real challenge to get pictures without other children in the background! The weather was beautiful after a week of chilly rain and everyone had a blast!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

DIY Wall Mounted Art Easel

One of my favorite parts of DJ's play area is the wall mounted art easel.  My husband made this for DJ for his 2nd birthday/Christmas and I can't be happier with how it turned out.  And it has inspired a lot of free form art from DJ as he's able to access writing tools (crayons, colored pencils, markers and paint pens) and paper whenever he wants.  He can also see art supplies like paint, glue and scissors at all times to inspire him to ask for them whenever the mood strikes.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Week in action

We didn't do as much this week but Friday in particular was a day for working on his Montessori activities. DJ has had a flower arranging activity on his shelves for awhile but doesn't usually select it. That tray had artificial flowers, already cut to length to fit in the vase. Our neighbor gave us a bouquet of peonies. It was the perfect opportunity to teach DJ how to cut flower stems with scissors and he loved it! Without Montessori philosophy, I would never have thought to give scissors to a 2 year old, let alone have him arrange flowers. But he is truly thriving with the challenge.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Busy Week!

Last week was a busy one for DJ so here are some photos of his activities:

DJ was able to help spin this Kugel Ball at the Science Center. A key principle of Montessori preschool is real life experience and DJ loves any museum where touching is expected!  And of course, anything to do with water ranks up high on the preferred list.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Keys of the World Primary Albums

In my first post, I talked a bit about my planning stage at that time.  I have read all of the books I listed there and more since then, but I decided not to take the KHT Montessori training program as I thought I would.  Although I do believe, based on reviews I've read that it is a quality program, there were a couple of key aspects that led me to an alternate choice.  A couple of months ago, I purchased instead the Keys of the World Primary Albums (currently available via Garden of Francis).

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cylinder Blocks in Action

One of the very first sensorial materials introduced in a Montessori classroom are the Cylinder Blocks.  They are made of wood, with 10 cylinders cut out of each block.  In one block, the cylinders are all the same height but decline in width from thick to thin.  In another block, the cylinders are all the same width but decline in height from tall to short (this is the hardest block).  A third block declines in both height and width (Tall/Thick down to Short/Thin) while the last declines in height while increasing in width (Tall/Thin to Short/Thick).