Archive for June 19th, 2006

My younger set (3,5,7 yo) are reading their way through their studies of the world now with the older ones (10,12,12) looking over their shoulders.  We want to discover the people and places that are on this great big world that God made.  As we go through different books, we are adding in Montessori presentations and projects to make our work 2 and 3 dimensional. 

I have limited time and energy so I like to make my movements count by being as organized as I can.   We are taking some of these projects and pictures of projects and placing them in a 3 ring binder with page protectors so we can have a record of our journey.  We are NOT doing all of this at once and much of it is very simple.

Organizational Ideas:

One of the first things I learned (the hard way 😉 was
~simplify and stay organized!
~have only a few items out at time for exploration
~keep supplies in closed clear containers for storage.

Organization for any  papers or supplies for lessons:

~place in a prep Mommy binder or file folder…pre-printed and hole punched immediately from the printer

~print out topics to be covered and presentation notes

~place the sheets into my 3 ring Mommy Binder for storage
(divided by little colored post-it notes)

~jot notes on these little post-its if there are other items that need to be added to a lesson (i.e. a book,  Montessori 3 part cards,  a prepackaged experiment  or  any art supplies needed.

~from Dinah Zikes book the Big Bookof Projects , pre-print small continent maps and store in file folders until ready for use

~copy a thumbnail picture of the books that we will be reading and  paste them on one page of a Word document,  print,  cut and  place in little zip loc bags
(as we read the book,  we paste the image right from the bag onto a page in our notebooks)

~in zippered 3 hole binder pencil case place colored pencils to match Montessori continent colors

~police the cards and puzzles and books nightly to make sure no pieces are missing and making sure that the area is clean and ready to go the next day.

Activities for my Visual/Kinesthetic Learners:

We also have a labeled colored file folder in the Montessori colors of each continent.  As we read and discover new people and places, we will be adding pictures to our continent files.  We have a huge tub of National Geographic that we have put aside for just this purpose.  (You can get this magazine free from your local library at the end of the year when they thin out their stock.  Just tell your local librarian that you are interested in any of their discards and you can get great nature, geographic and kids magazines.)

If we had enough wall space I would be mounting  a large map of the world on the wall that is mounted over cork to pin things to…but!  Instead we have smaller maps (continent and world) in our binders (ala Zike)that we will  color to reference a particular place  and a large map under a heavy plastic table cloth on our dining room table.  I think we will be taking small sticker flags and mounting them to toothpicks and with a bit of putty, they will be able to adhere the flag to the correct country.  Note to self…DO NOT LEAVE 3yo ALONE WITH PUTTY!!  haha

For some of the continents and places they visit through books or DVDs we will be coloring a post card or making a mock stamp to put into a pretend passport.  I also have a collection of saint pictures, google images and trading cards of the saints.  Throughout our journey, we will be placing  saints on the map too!

Another thing that I will do is pre-print 3 part Montessori cards (scroll down) about the concept we are studying and cut and laminate and put into a clear container for the kids to experiment on at will…sort of like a learning center. Many of these cards can be found in the files section of a few Montessori Yahoo groups (as seen in the links below).  You can also get a very reasonably priced download from Montessori for Everyone which is located on ebay. Some of which include:

Landform Cards
Cards of the World or from Montessori Share Geography files
The Earth
Earth layer Cards
Parts of a Flag
Historical US Flags  (this is here as a companion activity for our history lessons as well!)

Topics to be covered:

* Sandpaper Globe  (home made)
* Continent Globe
  (home made)

*Jigsaw Puzzle Map of the Hemispheres
Owl and Mouse free geography download 
The Global Puzzle

* Animals of the World   Atlas (My Sticker Books)
*Jigsaw Puzzle Map of the Child’s Own Continent

*Jigsaw Puzzle Map of the Child’s Own Continent

* Jigsaw Puzzle Map of Child’s Own Country

* Introduction of the Three Elements

* Land and Water Forms
(in the sandbox! including a little boat to float on the water parts and people and creatures for the land masses)

*  Land and Water Form Cards

(in clear container by Geography area) (also hand out 1/4 size pre-cut green and brown construction paper to make land and water forms into booklet showing that the opposite image of some landforms is a water form)

* Outline Maps
(in folder in Geography area to punch out with large knobbed pins and felt pad  underneath)

* Land and Water Definitions 
    (also the A to Z Geography Book)

* Flags
   (Flag Sticker book)

Our Montessori Flags of the World

* Classified Cards of Flags and Parts of a Flag
(In clear container on Geography Area)

*  List of Countries and Corresponding Continent Outline Map
(laminated and kept with Continent folders)

Presentation notes here: Geography Culture Album

Other ideas:

Last night I went on over to my friend  Map Quest and printed out a map of my neighborhood.  Later today we will be using this map to take a walk(if it is cool enough outside 😉 With baby in stroller and water bottles in hand we will let the map tell us where to go!

Download Google Earth for free and watch the satellite zoom into the continent, state, city or address of your choice!  We visited the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of china and grandma’s house today !

We will be getting travel DVD’s from Netflix …I hope that we can find some good ones! The places we visit I we will place small stamps in their passports!

The table will be set at night with painless learning placemats and we will be trying dishes from Whole Foods from the Whole World

Geography Book Basket:

In the Geography Basket for the next few weeks are books that not only cover places on a map, but make things more personal to the children as they learn more about people in other places on the globe including how they eat, dress and what they do with their free time!:
Me On The Map 
Where Do I Live
Maps and Globes

Mapping Penny’s World
As the Crow Flies : A First Book of Maps

Geography from A to Z
Children Just Like Me
Children Just Like Me Sticker Book

Atlas (My Sticker Books)

Considering God’s Creation Student Book (we use a few of these pages in our Geography notebooks the rest are used in our science notebooks)

Homes Around the World

Bread Around the World

Flags of the World stickers

Atlas books on Geography Shelf: (from what we already have on hand)

Readers Digest Atlas of the World

Atlas in the Round

Ultimate Atlas of the World (my ds (10yo) wants me to tell you that he recommends this one as it has a little thumbnail of the continent you are in and it’s place on the globe)

National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers

Fun Projects:

This week and next, the dc  will be making a paper mache globe of the world using a round balloon as a base and painting the continents in the Montessori colors…..Other activities that we will be doing  include making a similar globe by painting a garage sale globe following the instructions here in the geography section (making a Montessori Continents Globe) Montessori_globe_1 and paining another globe and coloring the water blue and the land brown and sprinkling fine sand on the land parts to make a Montessori Land/Water globe (so the child can see and FEEL how much of the earth is water and land).   To marry this into our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd work, I will be adding a little red star to the place where Jesus lived!

Sandpaper_globeI do finally have a digital camera and I will TRY to learn how it works and post pictures! 

I hope this is clear enough.  We will be sharing parts of our journey as we go!  Wish us a safe trip!

This just in….visit Kim at Starry Sky Ranch and see what she is doing with Geography.!  Great ideas Kim!!

Beiing so new at blogging, I have NO IDEA why some of my text is completely underlined in the middle of the post.  If I can figure out how that code works, I will clean that up a bit!
Photo: Greg Olson Children of the World

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