Things always get a little crazy in our public traditional school from the end of October until January. We have Red Ribbon week, Halloweeen parties, rehearsals for a Thanksgiving play, and lots of Christmas/holiday activities so we do not get to an independent work time much during this time. I'm always kind of glad when January comes so we can get back to our regular schedule. However this January/first of February was rather wild. We had a lot of bad weather so we only had about three weeks of school altogether. We are finally back in school in back to work time this week!
I found it interesting that the children chose nothing from the math and language shelves. They went back to some of our first "work choices" and chose pin punching, the insets for design, and other non-traditional choices that I had not put away from the beginning of the year like animal models and puppets. We are no where near a three hour work cycle but I do my best. In math I am still giving the golden bead lessons to small groups. Each group is at a different place in the lessons. Some are still working on naming the beads, others are working on counting the beads. In grammar we are ready for our first key experience with adectives. I do not have the wooden grammar symbol yet, but wish I did! The children are at various levels in language/phonics activities. I have gone back to my traditional reading groups during this time. I just can't get to enough children to feel I am doing an adequate time with reading instruction. As a reading specialist I am VERY comfortable with small group reading.
Some other non-Montessori work we are doing is xtramath. This is a free individualized program. You enroll at http://www.xtramath.org/ and children work on bacsic facts. My groups are also using the Reading First Listening Centers from Lakeshore Learning covering phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, context clues, fluency and comprehension. This are a good reinforcement of my lessons I've taught. My highest readers are also doing a read along of the first Junie B. Jones book with the audio CD. I also have a DVD center with custom made DVD's to reinforce math, language, science and social studies content that has been covered.