Thursday, June 25, 2015

Welcome to Summer

DJ did some practical life work in the yard with his dad recently. It was hot, hard, dry work... but...

It was SO worth the effort! Now this is the way to do summer. And just in time too as we're entering a two week heat wave in our region. And it's contributing to an increase in social engagements too.

He also did some art work this week. I've been really impressed with his skill with scissors lately. Before discovering Montessori I wouldn't even think of giving a 3 year old scissors, let alone expecting him to be able to cut with reasonable accuracy.

Both dad & grandpa loved their Father's Day gift.

On the school front, we received these awesome Place Value dice from Great Extensions. These allow us to randomly select numbers to build using the Golden Beads and Large Number Cards.

So far DJ is mostly using them to build four-digit numbers. He loves it when the thousand dice calls for a high number so he can stack a lot of thousand cubes. He also loves to do the "magic slide" with the large number cards at the end.

I like that the fun of rolling the dice is getting him to repeat this formation of numbers activity more frequently than he might have. Also, the randomness of the dice is introducing 0's in each of the four categories more frequently than I would think to do. DJ rolled 9,006 and he thought it was a very funny number.

DJ also chose to layout the small number cards by category. When he reached the thousands (in this photo), he decided to pause before finishing to read through each number from 1-9, 10-90, 100-900. He then laid out the thousands and selected the top of each category to build 1,111 and do the magic slide. He thought that was a funny number.

Although he worked with the Teens Board several times this past week, I somehow only took this one photo with a goofy look on his face and no actual work done yet. Also, despite doing this work often, he still is not retaining the words for eleven, twelve & thirteen. So I've decided to step back and do the 3-period lesson on those words more specifically than I usually do. Today I asked him to build "ten & one," "ten & two" and "ten & three" with the bead bars and Tens Board. Then I named them as Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen. Next, I asked him to "touch the eleven beads to his nose" or "put the twelve beads on his knee". As he did each one I had him say the name. I did not yet do the third period which would be to point to the number/beads and ask "what is this." I want to give him more time to absorb the names.

DJ also surprised me with the Trinomial Cube this week. I had selected it off the shelf to keep myself occupied while he was working with some numbers. Before I knew it he had taken over and built the entire puzzle inside the box with only minimal help from me. Just look at that concentration on his face in this photo!

Finally, as if he hadn't done enough this week, he actually made some great progress with the Metal Insets. As you can see, he's holding the pencil properly, after weeks of struggling with him holding the pencil at the top end instead of just above the lead. And he's using his "helper hand" more efficiently to hold the paper still which goes a long way to reduce his frustrations.

Finally, he is very specifically doing the third step of drawing a wavy line inside the shape from edge to edge, top to bottom. Previously he would only scribble inside the shape. But I always sit and draw with him so my modeling has gradually influenced his attention to detail. Just compare to his first work with the Metal Insets back in January and you'll see how much he has improved.

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