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Almost Montessori – All About Spelling

My boys are hands-on learners all the way! All of my boys attended a Montessori School for at least a couple of years before we started homeschooling. My oldest son was in the Montessori school for six years! And when we brought them home to homeschool, we continued with the Montessori education. As they have completed and grown out of their Montessori materials and have moved to more abstract thinking, we are moving into a more traditional education formula… but we still migrate towards the hands-on curriculum. That is what made me start the series Almost Montessori to begin with. We were finding all these materials that were not traditional Montessori works, but close and certainly kept with the Montessori educational philosophy. Which brings us to today’s article: Almost Montessori – All About Spelling.

Almost Montessori - All About Spelling

For students who learn to read phonetically, spelling seems to be a struggle, at least early on.  My boys read early and are voracious readers now. Spelling was a challenge… until we started using All About Spelling!  This pigeon-toed perfectly with my boys coming from a Montessori background!  The Montessori Method itself is a multi-sensory approach to learning. Children are encouraged to manipulate and explore the materials in the environment. In the same way, All About Spelling’s letter tiles and Phonogram Sounds app provide multi-sensory (sight, sound and touch) learning tools so your child learns more quickly and retains what they learn.

Recently, they have even created another level of sensory learning… taste!  If you sign up for their free newsletter, you will receive a free cookbook! And anyone that has been in a Montessori classroom knows, we encourage our children to be involved in the preparation of food early on… so, from that aspect, even this cookbook is Montessori too 🙂

ABC-Snacks-Summer-Snack-Bundle-Cover-Graphic

We started in the first book (even though my oldest was already in fourth grade). I’ll explain why… I wanted him to hear the rules and the rule breakers that AAS covers. In the beginning, we used our movable alphabet instead of the magnetic tiles to help this work feel familiar.  So let me give you some more detailed information about All About Spelling and some of the reasons I chose to use this product for the Almost Montessori series.

Disclosure

It is a seven level program that teaches encoding skills, reliable spelling rules, via multi-sensory strategies to help your student become a proficient speller for life. This program has won so many awards, see for yourself!

These are some of the reasons I love AAS:

  • Multi-sensory approach makes it easy for kids to understand
  • Can easily use the movable alphabet instead of the magnetic letter tiles especially for the first book
  • Very quick lessons, most are less than 15 minutes
  • At the beginning of most lessons is a quick review providing a built-in review system which is part of the spiral approach
  • Just like Montessori, it is focused on mastery of the skill 
  • Easy to teach because all lessons are already planned out!
  • It comes with Free LIFETIME Support!
  • Can be used with multiple children at one time
  • By Level 7, my boys will be spelling at the high school level.
  • It is VERY affordable!!!
  • Finally… they provide a ONE YEAR guarantee! They are that confident that their products work.

If you are enjoying this post and want to see more, please sign up for our newsletter, join us on Facebook and Google+, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest or sign up on the right to follow our blog.

I hope this series is a blessing to your homeschool and classroom!  Please share and pin these articles if they are beneficial!  It will help us get the word out about our blog and the Almost Montessori series!

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Montessori Made Affordable December 31st

For today’s post of Montessori Made Affordable December 31st edition, I went in search of Montessori deals and found another great one! I honestly really enjoy going out searching for deals for you guys. In the process of doing this search, I am going to stumble upon lots of free items to add to our ever-growing Free Montessori Materials list.  So, I’ll be updating it more frequently as well!

Yesterday, I featured a Parts of the Turtle puzzle from Alison’s Montessori.  It sold out before mid afternoon.  So, if you are interested in the deals I post, you probably need to consider them a short-lived deal! These really great deals will not last long once pointed out!  With that thought… here is today’s deal.  It is for elementary students and is from Montessori Outlet this time.  If you are not familiar with Montessori Outlet, it has a great reputation in the Montessori Materials market.  Today’s deal is a WHOPPING 85% off!!!  

Multiplication Snake Game

 

 

This is called a Multiplication Snake Game.  This material is usually introduced to the lower elementary student well into their multiplication study.

If you are enjoying this post and want to see more, please sign up for our newsletter, join us on Facebook and Google+, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest or sign up on the right to follow our blog.

I have added a couple free resources below to help you learn how to present this material.

I hope these posts are a blessing to you and your homeschool.  If they are, please share and help us get the word out about our blog, our homeschool and our Montessori Made Affordable series.

Until next time….

 

Roots, Fruits and Shoots Business

Blueberries

Hello, my name is Blake and I’m nine years old.  We are a homeschooling family and I have just started an organic produce business.  I named it Roots, Fruits and Shoots. We have been busy planting a garden this spring.  It is our first time to use wood mulch.  My mom has been posting about it until now.  I’ll be posting about the garden now.

We were not sure about the wood mulch at first, but once we saw the weeds flourishing under the mulch we thought our plants might do well.  We have been weeding the garden and the roots were big, but most were so easy to pull up.  I have only watered the garden once this year.  The wood mulch stores the moisture for the plants.  

We have quite a lot of things coming up like nasturtium, strawberries, potatoes, blueberries, carrots, and radish.  And we also have horseradish and blackberries in our front yard.  Our first crop is starting to come in, guess what it is?  Strawberries!!!  We harvested our first strawberries today!!!  

Strawberries

We have a green house where we planted tomatoes and peppers in pots.  We will move them out when they have matured and its warm enough.  I will be planting beans, corn, zucchini, squash, watermelon, pumpkins, cantaloupe, honey dew, Okra, and cucumbers very soon.  

Four years ago we planted blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, apples, grapes, peaches, and pears.  They are really starting to flourish and produce lots of fruit now.  Especially our blackberries and strawberries.

Blackberries

 

Homeschooling on the Beach Part 2

 

Homeschooling on the Beach Part Two

 

Disclosure

In Homeschooling on the Beach Part 1, we spent some time laying the foundation of geography and travel prior to taking your vacation.  In Part 2, I’m picking up once you are at the beach.  If you have not read part 1, you can find it here.

Blue Crab Exploring Nature

One creature you will most likely find on any beach any where, is the crab.  Crabs are crustaceans as are shrimp and  lobsters.  Crustaceans have exoskeletons… “Exo” refers to outside, so an exoskeleton is a skeleton on the outside of their body.  But did you know barnacles are crustaceans too?  Heck, I’m not sure I even knew they were alive until we did this study!  Montessori Materials has a free download of nomenclature cards for Crustaceans.  Science Teachers has some cards as well (not 3 part cards).  Exploring Nature has some great coloring pages and labeling pages for Crustaceans as well.  If you have never gone crabbing, now is the time!  You can either crab off a salt water dock or do what we like to do… get a net, a flash light and a bucket and catch them at night by catching them on the beach in the dark!  It is so much fun!  This is one of our pictures from years ago of two of our little ones examining the crabs after we have been crabbing.  I love those little faces!!!  

 

Beach 4 edited

 

Seashell Nomenclature by Desert CrafterI’m from the coast of North Carolina and I remember the first time I went to a beach on the Gulf of Mexico, I was shocked to not find any shells!  I am a sheller, big time!  I was completely lost that vacation not being able to shell hunt!  This is a great study, and for a sheller like me, a MUST do!  There are primarily two kinds of shells, Bi-valves and gastropods (sometimes called uni-valves).  Here is a Shell Sheet I saved when we took our trip a couple of years ago.  I’ve hunted online to find where I got it so I can give credit with no luck.  If you happen to know, send me an email so I can give credit!  I found these 3 part cards for sea shells and couldn’t wait to share them!  These were made by Desert Crafter who has a ton of other wonderful Shell works!   Montessori Print Shop has a beautiful free set as well!  

 

Be sure to pick up lots of shells to bring back with you (and maybe even a bucket of sand and a bottle of salt water)!  You can use the shells for various sorting works, for identification, for counting, and for matching to the 3 part cards above.  Here is a great site to help with the identification of shells.  

 

Seashell frame insructionsOr you can use them to make a frame to put your favorite vacation picture in!  Here is a lesson on doing that!  Confession:  I still have all the shells and picture frames to make our frames from three years ago and haven’t yet!!  Maybe if we can’t go to the beach this year, we can at least do that!  If I do, I’ll be sure to post the how to’s and the final pictures when we are through!  

Once you are at the beach, always look for the tide pools!  They are brimming with all kinds of life and other interesting items that got trapped from the ocean!  Look for living creatures first… and try to identify them.  

 

Have you ever wondered what the secret is to those fabulous sand castles you sometimes see on the beach?  Here is your answer!  

There are several videos in this series, so be sure to watch them all!  Now, after learning how to build these fabulous sand castles, it seems appropriate to study why the water and sand work together this way.  Here are a couple of interesting links on sandcastle physics and thermodynamics!

There may be one more post in this series.  I’ll try to get it posted before summer, LOL!!!!  Have a great trip to the beach with your little ones! Our goal is for school and life to blend into an indistinguishable blur of fun, challenge and education!  I hope you guys can find that balance!  

Until next time…

Parts of a Feather

As most of you are aware, we are in chicken mode right now with Gage’s business (Deluxe Clucks) starting and the brooder webcam up and running (see right sidebar and click play to watch).  We have been contacted by some local homeschoolers to come out for field trips, so we are in the process of getting ready for them to start.  As part of the homeschool field trips, I’m creating various works to help teach them more about chickens.  This lesson is about parts of a feather and it is one of a series of posts on basic Chicken Anatomy. Be sure to visit the other posts too!  You can find them here:  Hands On Chicken Anatomy Lessons and Bird’s Nest study.  

Parts of a Feather Free 3 part cardsFeathers are pretty amazing!  They are extremely strong, yet lightweight.  There are actually five basic types of feathers:  

  • Contour
  • Down
  • Semiplumes
  • Filoplumes
  • Bristles

This would be a great time to go on a nature scavenger hunt to find some feathers.  Grab a magnifying glass or a microscope to study your feathers more closely!  If you do not have access to feathers or a microscope, here are some pictures and another set is here for you to be able to see them up close.  For the Parts of a Feather study, I drew a contour feather.  I will be creating a work about the various types of feathers. Here is a set of nomenclature cards I drew and made for parts of a feather.

Most feathers have a couple of feathers in common:  

  • Most feathers have a thick hard pole down the center of the feather.  This is called the Shaft.  It is made of Keratin (the same material our fingernails are made of).  Birds cannot feel the shaft, therefore it does not hurt the bird to clip their wings.  
  • The Quill is where the feather attaches to the Bird.  Quills were used to write with long ago.  It was dipped into ink and the ink would go up the shaft a little way.  
  • The soft part of the feather is called the vane.  If you can look at this part through a microscope or magnifying glass, you will see that it has tiny hairs called barbs.  Those hairs also have tiny hairs called barbules.  They function like a hook and latch… making the wing vanes act like a zipper.  
  • Some feathers are fuzzy, these are called Down Feathers.  This  is where the barbs do not have barbules so they cannot hook (or zip) together.  Down feathers do not have a shaft.  Every bird has down feathers under it’s contour feathers.  

All birds molt.  It is where the bird loses its old feathers and grows new ones.  Why do birds molt?  Simply, because their feathers get old and beat up.  Most birds molt gradually losing a few feathers at a time.  There are a few birds that lose their feathers all at once.  Doesn’t that sounds like a great research project to figure out which ones do this?!?  

If you don’t know where to begin to teach zoology to your students, we used Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Zoology, Flying Creatures Book. For more information about how I take traditional curriculum and make them more hands-on and Montessori-ish, look here under the Zoology and Botany tags.   

I’ll be covering more basic anatomy information about chickens (and birds in general, like this lesson), so stay tuned!  

Until next time… 

Hands-on Chicken Anatomy Lessons

As most of you know, we are in full out chicken mode right now with Gage’s business assets arriving (chicks) and with the webcam up and running (see link in the right hand column, click play), I thought this would be a perfect time to start an in-depth, hands-on study about chickens!  I will even attempt to answer the proverbial question, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”.  Read to the bottom for that one 🙂  In the meantime, let’s get to some hands-on chicken anatomy lessons!

Vocabulary Matching Chicken Family Tree

 

The first thing that I teach about chickens is the vocabulary.  Most areas of study or professions have a certain vocabulary that is associated with that particular topic.  Chickens are no exception.  Some of the vocabulary will be very familiar, but some won’t be.  I try to use the correct vocabulary for all the works in a particular area, so this is the first document to present to your students.  I call it the Chicken Family Tree because so much of it surrounds the names of the chickens at different stages of their life.

 

 

Chicken 3 Part Cards Montessori Print ShopThe next area I typically teach is the anatomy of a chicken.  Montessori Print Shop has a beautiful set you can purchase.  If you are not in a position to purchase them, here is another set of chicken anatomy that I found this is free.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I got these, if you know who to give credit to, please let me know!  

I know some people consider nomenclature (3 Part) cards to be just for young students, but I use them with my older boys all the time.  If you are a visual learner (I am and two of my boys are), we like to see it… so we continue to use nomenclature cards even though they are 9, 11, and 13  (and I’m 47) now.  It’s all about following the child to teach them the way they learn the best!  Anatomy is the same across breeds but not across gender.  So any set of chicken anatomy cards needs to distinguish if they are defining anatomy of a hen or a rooster.  Here is a great chart of the differences between hens and roosters.  

 

Chicken Anatomy Cones Free 3 part CardsDid you know chickens can’t sweat? Since they do not sweat, they lose a primary way to cool their body down.  Instead, chickens have combs and wattles to help them regulate their body temperature. But not all combs and wattles are created the same. I have created a Chicken Anatomy Combs work to show the reason for the differences and variations.  The comb variations are usually based on breed and gender.  The comb is not just a means to cool off, it is also used to attract a mate.  In addition, when a young female chicken (called a pullet) is ready to start laying eggs, her comb will turn from pink to red.  

 

Since we are now discussing various chicken breeds, there is a great chart here to help your children see all the variations in each breed.

Now, back to the question about the chicken and the egg and which came first… if you believe in the Bible, it answers this question for us.  

Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Gen 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
Gen 1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Since I’m pretty sure there were not any eggs walking around, it would mean the chicken came first 🙂

I have so much more to cover regarding chickens, but this is a good place to stop for this study.  I’ll be posting much more on chickens since it appears we will be spending much of our time with our new chicks.  We recently received a request to host some homeschool field trip days, so we will be creating lots of works to teach our guests when these field trips start.  

Until next time….

Homeschooling on the Beach Part 1

Homeschooling on the Beach Part 1

Disclosure

Are you in the process of planning your beach vacation?  If you are, be sure to not leave your homeschool at home.  Studying with the ocean as your backdrop can bring in almost any subject you can imagine.  And, if you don’t live in an area where saltwater creatures are geographically close, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to teach it while you are on location!  Since we homeschool, we are not limited to vacations when our children are “out of school”.  We get to be creative about the “out of school” and vacation timing which allows us to make the most of the discounts available for the off seasons.  So you might consider a longer stay to get even more homeschooling in!  We spent a month on the coast of North Carolina in August and we learned so much about zoology and saltwater life that we could only learn there at the beach!  We did get run off the beach due to two hurricanes, but the absolute best homeschooling occurred right after the storms.  The storms brought in fabulous sealife, amazing shells and treasures from the depths!  So don’t be afraid to go in the late summer months!  Because there are just so many great opportunities and activities to teach at the beach, I have decided to break this topic into several posts .  So, part one will be about some lessons you might want to teach leading up to your beach vacation.  

If you have been following our blog, you already know that we take traditional curriculum and make them more hands-on and tactile learning materials.  With Apologia Swimming Creatures it is already a hands-on learning text, but we have added even more experiments and activities to help make your beach vacation a great experience homeschooling on the beach!  (Note we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program.  Any money received via this relationship is used for our homeschool!  PS. I’ve made a grand total of $0.00 from affiliate marketing… but the FTC says I have to tell you that IF you buy it, I will make 4% of the sale as commission.)

Geography is one of those subjects that I like to teach before we leave.  I will assume you are heading to an ocean, if you are reading this article, so the first thing we want to cover is the oceans of the world!  

 

World Oceans Etc. Montessori

 

Etc. Montessori has a beautiful free set of hands-on materials to cover World Oceans.  Click here to download them from their site.  

 

 

 

 

Mapping Vacation with Martha Stewart

 

Another great way to teach geography is to map out the trip.  This is another project you can do before you leave.  I love building up the anticipation of going on vacation.  Believe it or not, Martha Stewart really adds a bit of an artistic flair to this one.  I LOVE this idea and will be doing this myself!  

 

 

 

 

Tides Teacher Vision

Another subject to teach before you go to the beach is about tides.  What causes the tides?  Here is a great print out from TeacherVision (if you are not using the Apologia Swimming Creatures textbook).  There is a great experiment on ehow to demonstrate how the gravitational pull creates the tides by using a magnet and metal shavings.  However, I can’t find a single picture of the experiment online.  So, I guess we’ll do it and post the pictures 🙂  When I do, I’ll add the link here.  

 

Animal Kingdom Nomenclature Montessori for Everyone

If you have not started studying Zoology yet, this would be a great time to introduce  animal classification, since so many ocean creatures are invertebrates (do not have backbones).  Montessori Materials has some free classification works here.  Matri Learning has a chart here.  The Helpful Garden has over 20 free sets of Zoology Materials to download including classification and sorting cards.  The Homeschool Den created some invertebrate cards and lots of other ocean activities! If you are in a position to purchase a beautiful set, Montessori for Everyone has wonderful nomenclature cards that are quite affordable.  

 

Here is a short “homeschooling on the beach” packing list.  If I have left anything off, please leave me a comment so I can add it! 

  • Nature Notebook to sketch / draw and journal in
  • Sketch Pencils
  • Magnifying Lens  
  • Binoculars
  • Camera (like we would go on vacation without one … )
  • Plastic Bags, Totes, Buckets, Bottles to take home some beach samples (sand, saltwater, shells, etc.)
  • Ocean Field Guide (can be borrowed from the library) 
  • Plain paper or a notebook and pencil
  • Ruler

Part two will be the various studies to do once you are at the beach!  I will add a link here once it is posted.    

 

Until next time… 

 

 

 

Apologia Homeschool Blogs

Apologia Science Bloggers List

Apologia Science Bloggers List

 

I love to learn from other homeschoolers and get inspiration from  their blog posts about experiments, projects, research, etc.  We use Apologia Science for all of our boys (13, 12 and 9).  We have taught every Apologia Elementary curriculum available to us (and are anxiously awaiting Jeannie’s newest book, Physics!).  Our blog will document many of our experiments  over the last 4 years, with a heavy focus on tactile hands-on learning.  I also wanted to keep a running Apologia homeschool blogs list of other homeschooling families using the Apologia Science curriculum.  If you are using any Apologia curriculum and blogging about it, please leave a comment below so I can add you to the list!  There are many families out there that are using Apologia… but most are not blogging about it.  So, I’m trying to keep this list focused on those families that are not just using Apologia, but those writing posts about it too!  Not taking anything away from the others… but just where I chose to focus this list 🙂   Thank you!!!  

 

Elementary Blogs:

http://chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com/search?q=apologia

http://thehomeschoolscientist.com/?s=apologia

http://traciebauguess.blogspot.com/

http://garnergoingson.wordpress.com/

http://ourjourneywestward.com/

http://homeschoolingjustnextdoor.blogspot.com/search/label/Science

http://mudpiesandmakeup.blogspot.com/

http://adventuresinmommydom.org/

http://fieldschoolathome.blogspot.com/search?q=apologia

http://www.journalofmommak.blogspot.com/

http://angelicscalliwags.wordpress.com/

http://proverbs2pursuit.blogspot.com/

http://www.mamaofmanyblessings.com/

http://weshallobtaindeliveringgrace.blogspot.com/

http://homemakingwithheart.com/

 

Middle School / High School Apologia Blogs:

http://mindfulramblings.com/apologia-biology/

http://homeschoolersresources.blogspot.com/

http://traciebauguess.blogspot.com/

http://www.thedaisyhead.com/

http://bankwhitt.wordpress.com/biology/

http://homeschoolblogger.com/amnbooks/apologia-biology/

http://appliejuice.wordpress.com/apologia-biology/

http://appliejuice.wordpress.com/physical-science/

http://martysahm.blogspot.com/p/apologia-biology.html

 

Blend of both (elementary and middle / high school):  

www.LiveAndLearnFarm.com

http://oursideofthemtn.blogspot.com/

http://homeschooljournal-bergblog.blogspot.com/p/science.html

http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/

http://lilliputstation.blogspot.com/

http://charlottemasonway.blogspot.com/

http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/?s=apologia

 

Until next time…. 

Apologia Flying Creatures Bird Nest Study

Bird Nest Study

Apologia Flying Creatures – Bird Nest Study

This is another example of taking a traditional homeschool curriculum and supplementing with hands-on tactile materials to make it feel more Montessori. In Lesson 5 of Apologia’s Flying Creatures we studied Bird Nests.  Did you know birds only sleep in nests when they are incubating eggs and when their babies are young.  So, their nests are not their homes.  For most birds in North America, the nesting season starts in March and ends by the end of August.  Birds instinctively know, when the days are getting warmer and longer, that it is time to construct nests.   (Note we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program.  Any money received via this relationship is used for our homeschool!  PS. I’ve made a grand total of $0.00 from affiliate marketing… but the FTC says I have to tell you that IF you buy it, I will make 4% of the sale as commission.)

Nests are made with a variety of materials from the typical straw, hay, and leaves to yarn, string, and dryer lint.  Most birds like to fill the nest where the eggs and babies will be with soft materials.  Hummingbirds will even pull lichen off trees to soften their nests.  Nests are built by the female bird typically, with some assistance from the male.  

For our homeschool, I made Zoology Lesson 5 Nesting 3 part nomenclature cards that include all the different types of nests covered:

  • Bower Nests
  • Weaver Nests
  • No Nests
  • Ground Nests
  • Mound Nests
  • Earth-Hole Nests
  • Cavity Nests
  • Platform Nests
  • Cup Nests
  • Adherent Nests

The “Try This” for Lesson 5 is making nests.  I can tell you from experience, they are MUCH harder to make than you might think and certainly can make a huge mess!  

Materials You Might Use to Try to Build Various Nests:

  • Grass
  • Twigs
  • Leaves
  • Straw
  • Mud
  • String
  • Cotton
  • Dryer Lint
  • Fishing Line

Directions:  

Now take the materials and try to build the various nests in the nomenclature cards.  Some are easier than others.  Here are some of our finished nests:

 

A Bower Nest:

Bower Nest edited

 

A Cup Nest (and a platform in the background):  

 

Cup and Platform Nests edited

 

And the mess we made 🙂

 

Nesting Pictures

 

Let me know if you do make any nests and use the nomenclature cards. Leave a comment below with a link to your blog so we can see!  

Until Next Time…..

Spring Weather Hands-on Study

 

@Sarah Jane Studios:  April Showers.  Used with Permission.

@Sarah Jane Studios: April Showers. Used with Permission.

We’ve all heard the phrase “April Showers Bring May Flowers” right about this time of year.  Out of curiosity  I did a bit of research on the quote (’cause that is what homeschool moms do… we research and then teach what we learn to our children, right?).  Anyway, I discovered this often quoted proverb usually leaves out the first part, which is the month of March.  Here is the full quote (per wikipedia):

March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers

It was first recorded in 1886, and is a common expression in English- speaking countries.

Wind in March is an understatement these days!  I don’t know about your area, but Spring usually brings with it some crazy weather here in West TN!  And this week has been a perfect example of the unpredictable weather!  Sunday, March 17th, we worked in our garden and I uncovered all of our strawberry plants after discovering our first strawberry blossoms peaking out.  Well, last night, March 21st, The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for SLEET for my area tonight!  THIS is typical spring weather for us!  

So, for the Montessori Mom’s Spring Montessori Blog Hop topic I decided to focus on the weather of Spring.  

To introduce this characteristic of unpredictable spring weather to younger students it is really just a matter of actually paying attention to the weather.  This Weather Tracking work is perfect for Early Childhood / Primary students.  It is so easy to make!  You need four jars that are the same size, a “weather” card tied to each jar with the weather word and an image that exemplifies that weather event, and some “thing” to put in the appropriate jar for each day that has that weather.  You could track the weather for any length of time, but for younger students, a week is a great “long project” for them.  At the end of the week, you could show them how to create a simple bar graph with the “things” from the jars lined up above the picture labels.

Montessori Design Weather Tracking Work

Weather Tracking Montessori Design

 

 

Another option to show just how unpredictable Spring weather really is pull historical weather data.  You could pull data for one specific day, say March 15th, for a series of years or a specific week for a series of years.  You might track the high temperature for that day, low temperature for that day, the amount of precipitation, wind speed, etc.  Just remember, the more variables, the more complex to graph the data.  The access historical date, I found that Wunderground has an historical data link where you can search by date all the way back to 1948!  Depending on the age of your child, graphing this data would be a great visual to understand the data and, in the process, teach them about different ways to display data.  Just remember the more variables to track and dates you track it for, the more complex the chart!  (Wouldn’t this be a fun activity for your child to do for their birthdays throughout their life?)  For younger students, you can use a graph with pictures like this one I found at Funaslearning:

FunAsLearning Weather Chart

FunAsLearning Weather Graph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or for older students, you can use an advanced graph like this one found on Gringod.com:

Weather Graph - Advanced

Advanced Weather Graph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or go somewhere in between like this one from North Conway Weather.  Also, you can bring in some math here by discussing ratios. How many days out of the total days researched had rain? had sunshine? etc. 

Spring is also a great time to do a cloud study.  Montessori Etc. Has some of the most beautiful and FREE Types of Cloud nomenclature card sets for the study of clouds:

Types of Clouds Etc Montessori

Etc Montessori Types of Clouds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t think any science study is complete without an experiment!  So I have to add at least one 🙂  This one would be fun for any age student …Making your own rain.  I first saw this experiment on Pinterest.  Weather Wiz Kid originally published it, but here it is with pictures of the different phases of the experiment on IcanTeachmychild.com:

Making it Rain from ICanTeachMyChild.com

Making it Rain from ICanTeachMyChild.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To bring another dimension to your study of Spring weather, Handbook of Nature Study Blogspot does a fabulous job of bringing art and journaling in with their Seasonal Weather Study project.  Students are conducting some research, spending time outside and drawing what they see.  You can find her post here and her Seasonal Weather Study project here.  All of this website’s experiments and studies are based off the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock If you don’t have this book, it is one of the absolute best books on nature study and experiments.  I highly recommend it!  

Finally, no weather study would be complete with a discussion of the water cycle. This felt water cycle looks easy enough to make and would be a great project for the students to make and give a presentation on!  I love how felt “sticks” to each other, but to save money, it could certainly be made from construction paper!  

Felt Water Cycle

Felt Water Cycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To help students remember details about the water cycle, here is a catchy little Water Cycle song.  This version is being performed by a precious 4 year old at a Montessori School:

 

Here are the words and hand movements that go with the water cycle song:  

(Sing it to the tune of She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain)

Water travels in a cycle, yes it does 
(use pointer finger to make a big circle)

Water travels in a cycle, yes it does
(repeat finger circle)

It goes up as evaporation
(moves hands up to the sky)

Forms clouds as condensation
(make a cloud overhead with arms)

Then comes down as precipitation, yes it does!
(sprinkle with fingers while bringing arms down in front of you)

And last but not least, here is a Free Water Cycle Study by Montessori Materials:  

Water Cycle Montessori Materials

Water Cycle Montessori Materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


For older students, I encourage my children to research and dig deeper with this Exploring Weather with Blooms unit. 

(By the way, isn’t the introduction picture for this post just adorable?!  I contacted Sarah Jane to get permission to use this image for this blog hop, it just goes with a post about spring weather!  She has the most adorable artwork at http://shop.sarahjanestudios.com/pages/shop.  Isn’t she amazingly talented!?!  I guess when you lack in the creative arts department, you appreciate talent even more!!   (And no, she is not a sponsor nor am I financially benefiting from saying this  🙂  )

Montessori in the Springtime Blog Hop
Please join us for the Montessori Spring Blog Hop! You can link up your Montessori-inspired spring posts anytime during the next 30 days. 

 

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