Saturday, February 23, 2008

Elementary School: Vocabulary and Reading

As you progress from Montessori projects for children under the age of six to more advanced work, it can be harder to make and find material, so we have included a few of our favorite links:

Oxford English Dictionary's Word Stories
The word stories are wonderful to read aloud to your child or a group of children in a class. They are also good for children to read independently.

Teachit's Poetry Page
This is a resource site for parents, teachers, and older children. There are links to well-known poems, so it's a convenient source.

Merriam-Webster Online
Show your children how to find reliable resources for facts online. Merriam-Webster or similarly reliable online dictionary sites are invaluable for independent study. Younger children can look up words from a word list and older children can do more difficult projects such as researching word etymologies.

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Montessori Elementary School: Grammar Boxes




















Grammar Boxes are a staple piece of equipment in the Montessori Junior Class.

If you are homeschooling your child, you definitely need a set of these.

That said, this is a perfect DIY project, so here are the photos for reference and inspiration!

Teachers: You can keep your Grammar Box content fresh by letting older children create new sets of cards for rotation into the boxes. This lets older children practice and review basic skills in a fun and enjoyable way, too.

Photo credit: Nienhuis Montessori

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Math Problems: Making Material for Multiplication

In response to a comment on our earlier blog that asked about dealing with two unit multipliers:

When you are working with a problem that involves inches and feet (or centimeters and meters), create a visual representation of the problem. For example, how many times does 10,000 square inches go into two square feet? If your child is having trouble seeing what is happening, create grids on Excel (or with grid math paper) and make grids for square inches and square feet that your child can physically handle and move around.

You can create grids that represent 1,000, 100, 10, and 1 square inch each (so you do not have to make 10,000 tiny squares!)

If your child is just starting to learn how to multiply single digit numbers (for example, 8 x 5), start with the Montessori Multiplication Board:


Photo: Nienhuis Math Equipment at www.Nienhuis.com

If you look at the board's layout, the problem was 2 x 5 -- children mark 2 places on the top of the board, put down 5 beads for each place, and count the result. This hands on practice helps children internalize exactly what happens for equation, allowing them to make the transition to solving written equations quickly and easily.

Questions? Please let us know!

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