5 Basic Guide For Organizing Learning Materials At Home Or School

It’s truly a productive Sunday today. While my husband and daughter are out having a play date at the park, I get the opportunity to re-organize my learning materials and prepare them for our next lesson and theme. Moving from California to Florida was truly exhausting, yes really. Amidst of that major move, I was able to bring all my important learning materials and books that my daughter will be using for the following years to come. If your reading this right now and can relate how precious this learning materials are, then your a certified teacher or Montessorian at heart. Congratulations for being one! And since we have the same interests, I’m excited to share how I take care of my learning materials. The way I organize my stuff improves over the years as I find more ways to keep things accessible without wasting my time looking for my materials in a different places. Yes! Ive been to that too and Im no way going back to that unorganized method of myself anymore. I love organizing things because this gives me a peace of mind and personal achievement. If things are organized and in proper place, you know exactly where to find it saving your sanity and more importantly your precious TIME. Here’s my guide with photos of how I organize my learning materials. at school or at home.

5 Basic Guide For Organizing Learning Materials At Home Or School

1. Invest in a quality storage boxes or drawers.

Below shows photos of how I store my materials according to theme or unit of study. I also include in each box the books related to each unit. I prefer using clear individual boxes or drawer. For storage boxes, I recommend a latch type with extra storage space cover. If your learning materials are extra bulky this will hold the content without breaking the latches (I’ve been to that). This style of organizations keeps my unit of study in one place with easy to see label. Now I’m going to share also what’s inside my purse! Oops I mean box.

  • Books (my most important learning material)
  • Three part cards (ex. community helpers three part cards)
  • Puzzle/s (ex. bird puzzle)
  • Nomenclature cards (ex. bird nomenclature cards)
  • Model or miniature objects (ex. flowers)
  • Guide sheet or cards
  • lesson plan, song & poems related to the unit.
  • Other learning materials like felt board for story telling, posters & display banners, doctors bag, loose objects for creative play.

 

img_5227-1My thematic storage for community helpers, Insects, Farm animals & reptiles.

 

img_5229This are my storage boxes for geography, astronomy, dinosaurs and ocean animals.

2. Choose tools and machines you trust and will last for many years.

From my past blog, I posted about my daughter Audrey’s birthday gifts that are mostly Montessori inspired. Yesterday, I’m done laminating some three part cards for her Safariltd. Toob sets. My favorite resources for my Montessori classroom cards are from Montessori Printshop. They always have free and sale items. Additionally, they use the card size that fits with my storage system.

img_5217-1Laminating cards should not be expensive. I got this Fellows laminating machine as a gift five years ago and until now it never fails me.

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I been using Fiskars for cutting three part cards and nomenclatures for many years now. For my blade, I choose the one with Titanium blade coating. The difference from the regular one is the efficiency and sharpness of the blade. This can be reuse many times before it gets dull. This is a 2 pack package I scored at Michael’s over the weekend.  It saves you from buying more often of the regular blade. Whenever I buy tools, office supplies and craft materials at Michael’s, I always use 50% discount coupon and another 15% for the total items purchased! 

3. Use shelving system that fits your criteria and budget.

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Last night, I finished organizing books that Audrey got from her birthday. I invest in this high quality book shelf from ECR 4 Kids. I love to showcase more books for my early reader at home so a five tier book shelf wins. It displays different sizes of books and also sturdy enough for my daughter who loves to step on it like a ladder while looking at the window when I ask her “Whats the weather today?” during our morning circle time.

4. Choose a simple easy to view storage system for small learning materials.

 

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I found this clear rectangular case at Daiso when I’m still at the Bay Area (SF) and I regret that I did not buy more of these. It perfectly fits a three part card with the objects then I place the other cards on top of it using a rubber. It’s easy to view what’s inside with an instant label!

5. Display learning manuals & books in an easy to see and reach shelving unit.

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I like my guide books handy when I need to take a quick look for a specific quotes and words from Dr. Maria Montessori.

How do you organize your learning materials? I hope this guide will be your inspiration and will be a great help with your home or school organizational task. Don’t forget to share this guide to your fellow teachers and parents who homeschool their kids.

“The teacher teaches little and observes much, and, above all, it is her function to direct the psychic activity of the children and their physiological development. For this reason I have changed the name of teacher into that of directress” (p. 173 TMM)

Montessori Botany- Flower Unit Presentation For Preschool

We always have a beautiful sunny weather in our place and it’s a perfect time to teach about nature to my daughter. She loves to touch and smell flowers wherever she can find one. Her grandma also have a collection of flowers from her garden that she can take care of. I am sharing today our Montessori flower unit at home with my three year old daughter Audrey.

Flower Puzzle Presentation

Materials: Flower puzzle, miniature hibiscus, hibiscus three part card, tray

First, I introduce a single flower to a child. I present this flower puzzle and show her one by one the parts of a flower such as: stem, petal, pistil, and stamen. It is best to use the three period lesson so the child will easily remember each part of the flower.

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After presenting the flower parts, I also discuss about the flower hibiscus by showing her the three part card with a miniature hibiscus. Once the child is familiar with a single type of a flower I can move on and introduce other kinds of flowers. Photo below shows eight different miniature flowers with the three part cards:

  • Sunflower
  • Bird of paradise
  • Lotus
  • Tulip
  • Daffodil
  • Hibiscus
  • Rose
  • Orchid

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Practical Life Extension: Flower Arrangement

Materials: 8 miniature flowers, small basket, play dough & tray

 

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This is one of the many extensions of a flower unit. Audrey loves to use a dough and this is a great way to use as a soil for flower arrangement. I first show her one by one the different kinds of flower in a small basket. Then I slowly put one at a time each flower into the dough making sure each of the flower have enough spaces. Once I finished putting all the flowers I will say “Im done with my flower arrangement”. Then I will put back the flowers one at a time into the basket. I will then say “Can you do the flower arrangement Audrey?” Then I will pass the tray to her.

 

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Language Extension: Flower Word Matching

Materials: White printer paper with the eight flower names written or printed on it, small basket, miniature flowers, tray.

This is another extension for language. I wrote eight different flower names in a white sheet of paper. I then name each flower using the three period lesson and place each flower in the corresponding slot.

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“The education which a good mother or a good modern teacher gives today to the child who, for example, is running about in a flower garden is the counsel not to touch the flowers, not to thread on the grass; as if it were sufficient for the child to satisfy the psychological needs of his body by moving his legs and breathing fresh air.” (p. 154 TMM)

 

 

 

Montessori Inspired Birthday Gifts For Preschool

I am sharing with you today the wonderful Montessori inspired gifts that my daughter Audrey had received last Wednesday for her birthday. My family and close friends are very well informed of the type of gifts a three year old would love. I will definitely recommend this educational gifts to all the parents who’s main goal is to instill the love for learning to their child or children. Here’s the photos of what Audrey receives for her third birthday party.

This is the unwrapped birthday gifts that I put together.

Geography

Interactive world map with landmarks, local dialects, country flags and more!

Practical Life

Melissa & Doug 6 Pieces Cleaning Set

Geography & Zoology

Felt Seven Continents and Animals

Language

Solar System by Safari Ltd.

Practical Life

Felt picnic bag from target dollar spot

Botany, Zoology, Physical Science & Language

Safari Toob Sets: Flowers, Backyard Birds, Human Organ and Community Helpers

Botany & Zoology

Mommy’s gift: A set of Zoology and Botany Puzzles with cabinet

Language

Dinosaur sticker pads, solar system fact book, dinosaur felt book and 50 states fact book.

Fine Motor Activity

Modo non toxic learning dough with wooden spoon

Sensorial & Imaginative Play

Brain Flakes Interlocking Disks helps sparks imagination to create and build tons of objects like ball, dog, flower and more!

Music & Movement, Gross Motor

Bose Soundlink Color II- She love to dance and this Bluetooth capable speaker sounds like a huge one in an amazingly small size which is perfect for a child to hold. Perfect for any music and movement activities!

As you can see, some of my gift wraps are recycled paper bags. From my last post “Audrey Turns Three” we use mostly recycled gift bags and brown paper bags that I decorated with doily, dot paint, acrylic paints and water color paints. We practice recycling and repurposing things around the house. This is a great way to teach a child how to be creative and green at the same time. 

What are your favorite Montessori inspired toys for your kids?

Ways To Teach Letters To Preschool

In this blog I will share how I teach letters of the alphabet in a fun and age appropriate way. My daughter Audrey is almost three and continues to learn and explore all her language books. I prepare her five little books of a, e, i, o and u by Moncure. She loves to read this books repeatedly every morning and before bedtime.

She’s 18 months in this photo exploring the vowel sand paper letters and picture cards with both upper and lower case letters.

Her little “a” book. After reading this book I showed her the sandpaper letter a with miniature objects such as apple, ant, airplane. I try to limit showing her two to three different objects each letter.

I also showed her an object card for apple and ant.

If a child is familiar with the lower case letters, I will move on to introduce the upper case letter. In this clip board shows an upper case “A” with mini apple die cuts for her to glue on it. Because her name starts with “A” (Audrey) in preparation to write her name, I include to introduce the uppercase and the rest are lower case. In a Montessori learning, a child learns the lower case or “small letters” first before the upper case letters.

Showing below are printed images of objects that starts with an /a/ and /A/.

While learning the letters of the alphabet, it is highly important that the child will learn how /o/ feels like on her tiny fingers by showing her how to write it in a beach sand. Learning the alphabet in the early childhood works best using the multi-sensory method.

Multi-sensory or kinesthetic is a method of learning that uses the senses such as: touch, sound, sight, and even taste. That’s when the babies and toddler likes to put objects into their mouth. When I teach the letter /a/, I let her eat an apple while saying the word “apple”. Another example is letter /b/, you can give a banana to teach a child what does letter /b/ taste or “bacon” and “bread”.

What other fun ways your child learn the letters of the alphabet?

Spring Activities For Preschoolers

Spring time is here! I know many of you are excited for this much awaited season of the year and some had their spring activities planned for the following months. My daughter Audrey was born during spring season, and this is my favorite season of the year too! She loves going to the garden and play with butterflies, check the flowers and vegetables and  watch the bird sings. As a parent we love to see our garden blooms with variety of flowers, watching birds chirp, seeing rainbow after the rain showers and other signs of spring we love to watch and witness with our little ones. I want to instill in her the love for mother nature, and having this season of the year is a perfect time to show little ones the beauty of spring.

For kids spring symbolizes flowers, butterflies, birds, garden and rainbows so mostly of our themes for activity consists of this things. With an active little girl in mind, I am sharing this spring activities for indoor and outdoor that your kids can enjoy too! I will continue to add more spring activities each week while we also explore the beauty of nature. This activities are created for three year olds and older. Below are the list and photos of what we’re doing at home.

Egg Transfer- Several colorful eggs in a basket and a green bunny egg holder. She will transfer one by one the eggs into the bunny egg holder.

Molding Bunny Using Cookie Cutter and Dough- I use non toxic purple dough and three part bunny cookie cutter with a rolling pin. She will roll flat three small balls of dough and mold each of the bunny parts.

She can use other dough colors such as red and green too as what shown below. This dough can get hard easily so it is best to place back into the container with the cover on.

Chalk Board Drawing Activity- She likes to use the chalkboard and try to draw some shapes on it.

In this photo, I showed her how to put pink and blue shades into the flowers. She just watched me do it. I know she’s observing me how to do it, because next time I know she will be using the same chalk to draw in this board (this happens in my make up bag!)

Doily Poking- I gave her a round cute doily and marked a green circle in it. She will follow the green mark using a jumbo push pin. This activity is great for enhancing the hand muscles for pincer grip. This is an excellent way in preparation to hold the pencil correctly. I started to introduce this activity to my daughter lately when she was 33 months. A close supervision is needed.

Catching Butterfly With Handprints- A really cute activity and a precious keepsakes for your little ones. I traced her both hands with washable board marker then I let her put butterfly and flower stickers around it.

Salt & Pepper Shaker Easter Eggs- She scoop beach sand and put it in each eggs, then she will shake it pretending its a salt and pepper shaker! Your kids will love this too.

Bunny Painting- A cute bunny with primary color paints. She’s using a fine brush to match the size of the little bunny. This hand painted bunny can also be used as an ornament!

Cutting Leaves- A great outdoor activity. We love to do activities outdoor. This is perfect if you have a space for table and chair to set up for your kids. She’s actually sitting in an adult garden chair doing her leaves cutting. She’s using a pre-k scissor.

Sticking Easter Window Clings- I let her stick each letters at the glass door by giving her  the letter /H/ first then /A/ and so on until she finished everything and I let her read the words she created. Audrey started to read words when she was two years old.

Gardening Supply Shopping- I include this as one of our spring activities because a young child can learn tons of vocabulary words when they see, feel and touch objects.

She loves lily pad! This is the garden area of Lowe’s where she saw several plants, flowers, garden decors, bird feeders and bird house and a lot more.

Resources

Here are the books we love to read and recommend for your little learners;

Flowers, The Egg, The Ladybug, Birds, The Tree, Fruit and A Seed Is a Promise

How do you enjoy spring at home? Do you also use your garden as your activity area?