Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bucket Games or You could call them Basket Games!

One area where my first graders need work is on nonsense word fluency as well as fluency in other areas according to the Aimsweb testing we do. So, I have created what I call "Bucket Games". I found some little Valentine buckets at Big Lots right before Valentine's Day. I printed and laminated the pink, blue, and green word cards (will add link later). These are not nonsense words but most are words my students are not familiar with so they will work! I cut the words apart and put one sheet of words into each bucket. To play the game, I divide my students into groups of three/four at the most but 3 is best! The child in the middle holds the bucket of words at his/her level. The other children are the checkers. They sort the words into correct/incorrect as the bucket child lays them down. I start the timer for one minute and say "Go". The bucket child pulls word cards from the bucket and reads them and drops them on the floor. The checkers sort the cards. If a word is unknown, the child should put it back in the bucket and keep going. At the end of the minute, the child counts his/her correct words. I stress that we are competing against themselves, trying to get more words each time and not to worry how many someone else got.
Now, I need to find some Easter buckets or baskets and make cards for missing numbers, addition, subtraction, quanitative differences
I am not sure how Montessorish this is, but my kids really enjoy it. It could be an individual game by putting the bucket and timer on a tray for the child to use in his/her own area. Will post pictures as soon as possible.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Beginning

The other day I gave Collier my first presentation: The Addition Strip Board. It went pretty well. However, as typical Collierish behavior, he was not happy just making 2 digit equations. First he wanted to see how many ways he could get to make 18. Then he arranged the strips as shown in the photo.

I downloaded the materials from Montessori Materials. You can get them here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Beginning

I am starting this blog for other moms and teachers who want to ponder into Montessori methods with their children and students.
I am a teacher with a specialist degree in reading. In college I discovered Montessori and fell in love with it. I did a lot of self study and wanted to open my own school upon finishing college. However, my dreams soon became sqashed with the need for employment that included benefits such as health insurance.
I fell in love with the school where I did my student teaching and became employed there.
I have been very happy with my classroom teaching and methods until I started searching for ways to challenge my son who is in kindergarten and stimulate my one year old who was a preemie. During my internet search, I have rediscovered Montessori and my love of it.