Montessori Inspired Bird Unit for Preschool

One of the best part about spring is the significant presence of different kinds of birds flying around and singing at the garden. This is the perfect time to let children explore and discover more about birds.

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A yellow warbler matching card with object and bird puzzle

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Bird unit shelf

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I gave her a basket with shredded manila paper as a nest

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She curiously matched all the birds with the bird cards

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She lay all the birds three part cards in our coffee table while getting the birds from the nest one at a time

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“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.”

-Maria Montessori

Fruits And Vegetables Unit And Activities For Preschool with Free Printables

Fruit & vegetables unit for preschool

This week we are learning about fruits and vegetables. Our garden started to bloom and vegetables and fruits are growing very quickly. My daughter loves to eat colorful fruits and vegetables and she’s pretty much familiar with the name of the foods she have on her plate. In this unit, the child will learn the different kinds of fruits and vegetables as well as the part of the fruit.

Materials

I gathered my learning materials for fruits and vegetables unit such as books to read, object card, miniature fruits and vegetables, real fruit to cut, moveable letters and fruit puzzle with part labels. I divided my presentation into three parts.

Language

Pericarp, Exocarp, Mesocarp, Endocarp, Seed

Point of Interest

  • Each fruit and vegetables looks different and has a different name
  • Each part of the fruit and vegetables looks different and has a different name

Direct Aim

  • Development of an appreciation for plants
  • Development of knowledge of the parts of the fruit/vegetables

Indirect Aim

  • Different names of the fruit/vegetables
  • Different names of the parts of the fruit/vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables Unit and Activities for Preschool

Presentation 1

Presenting a picture card or page of the book with similar object. Matching the picture card to an object or fruit using the three period lesson.

Presentation 2 (Language extensions)

Word creation using Montessori Movable Alphabets. My daughter is just three year old to create a word by herself. To help her understand the concept, I show her a picture card of fruit and vegetables. Then I ask her what letters she sees in this card. With this, it’s easier for her to pick the letters from the box and arrange it in order.

Presentation 3 (Practical Life extensions)

Prepare a fresh fruit and cut it into half. Show the fruit puzzle and identify the parts with the labels.

  1. Exocarp– the outer layer of the pericarp.
  2. Mesocarp– the middle layer of the pericarp.

  3. Endocarp– the innermost layer of the pericarp that surrounds the seed.

  4. Pericarp– the part of a fruit formed from the wall of the ripened ovary.

  5. Seed– an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering.

Practical Life Extension

With each unit I present, I always include an extension of the activities we do at school or at home. In this blog I will give you an ideas about the different kinds of extensions you can apply with this Fruits and Vegetables unit of study. Here are some examples of extensions you can do as a Practical Life activities.

  • In a week rotate the snack to include different types of fruit or vegetables. Example: apple slices, oranges, fresh snap peas, fresh thinly sliced carrot
  • Each day dissect the fruit for observation.
  • Wash fruit or vegetables carefully.
  • Cut fruit or vegetables for snack preparation.
  • Squeeze oranges

Sensorial Extension

In this unit the child will be using her/his four senses:

Visual Sense

  • Color: Compare colors of different fruits or vegetables
  • Shape: Compare shapes of different fruits or vegetables
  • Size: Notice the different sizes of fruit

Gustatory Sense

  • Wash and cut pieces of different fruits for children to taste

Tactile Sense

  • Feel different fruits/vegetables and notice the differences; ex. cantaloupe, snap peas, blueberry.

Olfactory Sense

  • Smell variety of fruits and vegetables.

Ecology

You can always include ecology as part of the unit study at home or school to give child a better understanding about the care of the environment. This routine will help the child understand the correct disposal of fruit or vegetables. It is advisable for the school or at home that there is a designated place to put the compost.

Books and References

I compile this links for more resources and ideas of fun way to learn about Fruits and Vegetables in your classroom or at home.

May Montessori Inspired Theme And Activities For Preschool

This month of May we will be focusing on themes that we usually do during spring time season. I gather books and activities that best suited for this month and age appropriate for preschooler. My daughter Audrey’s sensitive period for language is at it’s peak at the age of three. Although she started to recognize patterns of the words at the age of 19 months, she’s still learning to read long words. I take advantage of this period by collecting books related to our month of May unit of studies. So here’s a preview of our May theme.

Some of the links in the post below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Please check out my disclosure policy for more details.

1. Lady Bug

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2. Fruit & Vegetables 

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3. Backyard Birds

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4. Trees

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5. Butterfly

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Books and references

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All of this five units are our focus this month of May with fun activities and songs that your kids will love too! Here is what our book shelf looks like for month of May. Each unit has its specific rows. We will start with the lady bug theme next week. Follow my blog for more ideas and inspirations.

5 Important Skills To Teach Toddlers And Preschoolers At Home Or School

My daughter turned three years old, that means she’s officially a preschooler. I will be homeschooling her until she turns five. We spend a large amount of time exploring and doing an active play. Learning through play is also a vital part of her developmental stage along with the use of our Montessori method at home.

Over the years of observing and teaching preschoolers, I have created a list of the most essential skills a preschooler needed to learn to be successful in their later life. In a Montessori method, a toddler basically do activities that helps with the refinement of muscles that prepares them to apply in practicing basic life skills or we also call this in a Montessori method the practical life skill. Here are the list I personally crafted to share to new parents and those with young kids. This will give you an idea what to do first to prepare kids before kindergarten. I created this list according to what I observed and tested as the most important skills a preschooler must learn. Of course, we follow the child according to their level of development and additionally they learn from their own pace. Not all two or three year olds are the same in their ability to learn. A two year old can read some words while the average will start at three years or four years. This is the same as learning the skills. I listed the skills in an order so it’s easier for the parents to teach their kids according to this level of skills from basic to more complex. Remember, a simple small steps you accomplish to develop your child’s potential can be rewarding for us as parents!

Some of the links in the post below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Please check out my disclosure policy for more details.

Five Important Skills To Teach Preschooler

 1. Basic Life Skills or Practical Life Skills- The Practical Life in a child’s learning is very important. This is to develop in the very young child a strong and realistic sense of independence and self-reliance. This skill made me realize that a strong foundation should be mold first in a child’s life in order for them to learn the basic life skills. This skill also teaches the child to be successful in their later life.

Examples of basic life skills:

a. Putting on socks

b. Putting on shoes

c. Dressing

d. Drinking in a cup

e. Pouring milk in a glass

f. Washing hands

g. Brushing teeth

h. Putting on underwear and pants

g. Lacing a shoe

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Preparing breakfast; Mixing eggs using a whisker

And the list adds up as the child learns a new skill. It is important for the parents to model first each new skills to your child. “Young kids as early as one year old are capable to learn basic life skills. Take advantage of this.”

2. Fine Motor Skill– The term fine motor means “small muscles”. Fine motor skills involve the use of the small muscles in the fingers, hand and arm to manipulate, control and use tools and materials. Hand-eye coordination, where a person uses their vision to control the movements and actions of their small muscles, is also an important component of fine motor skill development. Fine motor form the basis for many of the skills that children will develop and enhance as they move through childhood. For infants and young children, their fine motor skills facilitate their interactions with their world, and therefore their learning. As they develop, a child’s fine motor skills are essential precursors to the development of early literacy, and self-help skills such as independent dressing and toileting. As children move through their preschool and into their school years, their fine motor skills assist them to continue to develop as well as to participate in a range of more complex activities.  Each child will develop their fine motor skills at their own pace, and they will demonstrate different strengths and abilities, depending on their interests.

IMG_9333Molding kinetic sand using plastic knife.

3. Gross Motor Skills and Crossing the Midline- Gross motor skills that children should be supported to develop include those that involve movement of the arms, legs, hands, feet, head, neck and torso. The skills children need for optimum gross motor development include rolling, reaching, sitting, crawling, walking, climbing, balancing, running, jumping, catching, throwing and striking. These fundamental gross motor skills will assist children’s lifelong ability to participate in physical activity including sport and other recreational pursuits. My daughter loves to play outdoor almost everyday. She loves to run around the backyard, hop like a bunny and jump like a frog. We don’t have a huge play structure so I created a diy balance beam for her that are made of garden bricks and a long piece of wood. This type of play promotes balance and coordination and hours of active play outside.

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I use a Diy balance beam here that touches the ground. The edge are rounded so it gives a little bit of challenge for her. 

4. Nature Explorations and Educational Tours- Experiences are always the best teacher right? Planning for an activity such as nature walk, a visit at the kids museum, visit to the zoo, reading books in the local library, gardening, volunteer jobs along with your kids, opens an opportunity for a child to learn through experiences. They gain better understanding with the living things around them and the active involvement in the community provides personal achievement and pride.

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5. Music & Movement“Research studies shows that a preschooler who took  music lessons performed better on spatial and temporal reasoning task.” The same effects on infants when they engage in music. According to studies, when children learn to play an instrument, they gain the ability to hear and process sounds that they wouldn’t hear without training. Every active child loves to play musical instruments followed by dancing. You can see a baby who hears the beat of a drum suddenly throws her arms and try to jive with the music.

I hope this steps helps you get more insights as you walk through on your child’s developmental stages. Follow my blog for more tips and guides about parenting, homeschooling and Montessori method of learning and so much more!

5 Basic Guides 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.

Some of the links in the post below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Please check out my disclosure policy for more details.

5 Basic Guides For Organizing Learning Materials At Home Or School

1. Invest in a high 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.

Basically this are the learning materials that goes with each storage boxes

  • 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 picture 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.

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

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This 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’s birthday gifts that are mostly Montessori inspired. Yesterday, I’m done laminating some three part cards for her Safariltd Toob sets.

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Laminating cards should not be expensive. I got this Fellows laminating machine as a gift five years ago and until now it never fails me. My three part cards and nomenclatures are mostly from Montessori Printshop. They always have free and sale items. Additionally, they use the card size that fits with my storage system.

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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 pieces per pack. It saves you from buying more often of the regular blade.

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)