Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tiles N Such


French Picture and Labels

Tools Shadow Match

Animal 3 part tiles with matching object

Simple Picture Matching Tiles

Big Bigger Biggest

Sensorial Match

Fruit and Veggie Match

Fruit and Veggie 3 part tiles with objects

More Animal 3 part cards with objects

Fruit and Veggie Match

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Montessori

 “We must take into consideration that from birth the child has a power in him.We must not just see the child, but God in him. We must respect the laws of creation in him.”
Maria Montessori, 1935

The Child as Spiritual Embryo

Montessori often compared the process of psychological and spiritual development to the physical unfolding of the human organism. Just as the material body first takes shape as a self-forming embryo, requiring during its formation the protection and nurturance of the womb that envelopes it, the human soul first appears in the newborn child in an embryonic form that requires nourishment from a psychic womb—the protective environment of loving, caring parents and a spiritually responsive education. Montessori’s distinctive notion of the child as a “spiritual embryo” emphasized her key principle that the growing human being is not simply a biological or psychological entity, but a spiritual energy seeking expression in the form of a human body within the physical and cultural world. She compared the mysterious emergence of spiritual life in the child to the Incarnation of God in Christ described in the New Testament, “when the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (Montessori, 1972b, p. 29). For Montessori, the Word is made flesh in every child born in the world; each human being has his or her path of incarnation to follow, his or her destiny. Montessori, like Emerson, referred to the “secret” within the soul of every child—the personal spiritual imperative that transcends whatever social prejudices, ideologies, and mundane educational curricula that adults seek to overlay onto the child’s personality.

Reflecting on the unusually lengthy period of physical dependence that human infants (compared to other species) experience, Montessori was convinced that early childhood is designed to be a time of intense psychic receptivity. The young child takes in the world through an ”absorbent mind,” literally incarnating (taking into its bodymind) the sensations, impressions, and feelings it receives from the surrounding environment. One of the guiding principles of Montessori pedagogy, the concept of “sensitive periods,” expresses her observation that young children move through periods of development during which they are especially attuned to particular characteristics in the environment. When they are ready to acquire language they hungrily, effortlessly absorb it by hearing it spoken around them; when they are ready to develop fine motor skills they begin to act on their surroundings accordingly. It is the task of parents and educators to provide the stimulation and resources the developing child needs at these critical times. Keep in mind that for Montessori this is not simply a biological or pedagogical responsibility, but a profound spiritual task, because the child is being directed by its embryonic spiritual energies to reach out to the world to fashion a personality. Careless parenting or education, by stifling optimum development, frustrates the child’s spiritual formation.

Montessori frequently commented that the child creates the adult—not, as our modern common sense has it, the other way around. The spiritual energy seeking expression through the child’s encounters with the world is engaged in building a person in a way that no adult education or conscious effort can achieve. By adulthood an individual’s psychological identity is deeply engrained, and learning no longer takes place through “incarnation” or absorption. Therefore it is crucial for parents and educators to allow the child’s own inherent nature to emerge and act within the world. As Montessori put it in 1915, Montessori called the spiritual embryo humanity’s “most precious treasure” because it was only this divine formative power that could transform the world: “The child promises the redemption of humanity, and we might say that this truth is represented by the mystical symbol of the Nativity” (1972a, pp. 36, 104). By failing to appreciate the value of this treasure, and educating young people only to participate dutifully in a materialistic, mechanistic system of economic production, modern societies are diminishing the visionary creativity, the moral insight, and above all the loving compassion that divine energies promise to bring to bear on the problems of human life. Montessori was convinced that through the child, these energies could be released into the world as a powerful source of good. It is evident throughout her work that the heart of Montessori’s educational mission was not to introduce special techniques or materials into pedagogical practice but to make a fervent plea to the modern world to become “sensitive to the wonder of life revealing itself” through the life of each child. That was the appeal she made for fifty years to audiences and readers throughout the world.

 From: Nourishing the Spiritual Embryo:The Educational Vision of Maria Montessori
Published in Nurturing Our Wholeness: Perspectives on Spirituality in Education, Edited by John P. Miller and Yoshiharu Nakagawa (Brandon, VT: Foundation for Educational Renewal, 2002)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

 Godly Play Resources

For unto us a Child is born,
unto us a Son is given,
and the government
shall be upon His shoulder;
and his name shall be called
 the Mighty God,
the Everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace.(Isaiah 9:6)

Handmade Wool Nativity

Advent Spiral

The Advent Spiral has been a long standing tradition in Germany and in Waldorf Schools. The spiral contains 24 holes and a figure or candle can be added to a hole each day of the Advent season. Or, a single candle can travel each day until it arrives at the end of the spiral on Christmas. This is a lovely way to celebrate the joy and beauty of the holidays.

German Turning Candle Pyramid with Figures

Wendt und Kuehn figures

Handpainted Christmas Figures

Christmas Mobil

Wood Nativity

Scandanavian Woven Ornaments

More Ornaments

Christmas Figure with Lantern

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Farmy Farm...E I E I OOOO!

Farm Labels from Montessori Print Shop

Color Coded Pockets for Farm Cards
Farm Labels from Montessori for Everyone
(She has a nice description on her site of the rationale of the Farm's more than just a nice nostalgic environment!)

Farm Cards and Farm Board from Lakeview Learning Materials (Canada)

Paper Boxes for the Farm Object and or Cards
can be found here:
Fabric Pouches can be found here:

Farm Base from Nienhuis

Farm House from Nienhuis

Farm Nouns from Nienhuis

Farm Article,Adjective, and Noun Strips

Farm Animals and Fence from Plan Toys

Farm Fresh Veggies

Farm Tractor from Plan Toys

Plan Toys Farm Garden cute!

More Plan Toys Farm the Pigs and Sheep!

Horses and Stable from Plan Toys

Threading Sheep

Big Barn from Plan Toys

....and now for a some truly amazing grammar card storage options:
Montessori Grammar Cabinet from Waseca (all the bells and whistles...drooool!)

You could get the budget plastic version of a cabinet and create your own sticky labels.
Montessori Print Shop has free labels for drawers here:
(Scroll down to the farm game labels)

Wood Grammar Boxes

How to Make a Montessori Phonetic Farm Lesson Set

By Carole Vansickle, eHow Contributor

The Montessori phonetic farm lesson can be used in conjunction with many other Montessori learning tools to teach beginning reading, phonetic reading, parts of speech and even primary sentence construction. The phonetic farm comes in many forms, and you can either order a set complete with a model farm of make one out of objects that you probably already have in your home.


Things You'll Need:

Plastic animal figurines  (Note: or wood, felt, modeling clay, modeling wax etc.)
Note cards
Black marker
Red marker
Blue marker
Large box
3 smaller boxes


Collect as many farm-related items as possible. You should have, if available, plastic figures of ducks, pigs, dogs, cats, kids, ram, hens, pens (for animals) and a farmer. These items should have a simple name. So if you have goslings, for example, you might want to make them "ducks" or "ducklings" instead.


Make a note card for each object. Every object should have a corresponding note card with its name written on the card in clear, proper lettering. The writing on these cards should be black, because the words on the cards are nouns. Once you have completed all the noun cards, place them in a small box, label it "Noun" in black marker and put that box in the larger box.


Create verb cards that go with each object. The writing on these note cards should be red because all verb-related lessons will also have corresponding colors. Use simple verbs that describe things that farm animals and objects might do. For example, "run" is a good verb because it can be used with many different nouns. The completed verb cards will also go in a small box labeled "Verb" and be placed in the large box upon completion of the set. You should have a verb card for every object, but the action does not have to only fit one object.


Make adjective cards using the blue marker. As with the verb cards, the adjectives do not have to correspond to just one object. For example, "big" can be used to describe multiple things on a farm, as can "fat" and "old." These words are also easy to sound out phonetically. Upon completion, label the small box with these note cards in it "Adjective" with the blue marker and place it also in the large box.

Label the large box, which now should contain the farm objects and three small boxes labeled Noun, Verb and Adjective, with the word "Farm." The entire box should be placed where the children will have easy access to it, and you can use this box to teach a wide variety of lessons.

Read more: How to Make a Montessori Phonetic Farm Lesson Set

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beadie Stringy

I was looking for beads for stringing that would be safe
for a toddler. Here are my finds...Enjoy!

Easy Bead Stringing with Toddlers

Posted by mizdg 
  Bead stringing is a classic activity for young children that helps strengthen their fine motor skills and allows them to perfect their hand-eye coordination. Three year olds are just about the right age for bead stringing and card lacing activities without frustration.
For beginners and younger children (two and up), bead stringing can be introduced by using large, wooden beads and pipe cleaners. The firm but flexible pipe cleaners allow small hands to point the tip accurately through the bead's opening. Once the pipe cleaner is through the bead, help young children learn how to grasp the top of the pipe cleaner to slide the bead down.
Caution: This is a good time to introduce words like sharp or "pokey" as M and I call the cut ends of the pipe cleaner. Also, just bend the bottom of pipe cleaner to make a little loop so the beads don't slide off the end.
Sorting and Classifying: Beads can be grouped by color and shape. This is a beginning math skill.
Patterning: Whether stringing them or stacking them, you can introduce beginning patterns by alternating colors and pointing out the pattern to your child, "look, this one has red, yellow, red, yellow, red. Let's make another one that matches." This is another important math skill.
Math Vocabulary to Introduce: different, same, matches, pattern, more, less

My Note: You can "string" on a wooden dowel or pipe cleaner.
Beads should go on easily but not too loosely.  Dowels can be
either held or put into a wood base and glued. Sand and round
off the ends of dowels. A bead glued to one end of the dowel
can hold on the remaining beads to be strung.

Vehicles Stringing
Giant Beads

Geo Beads

Fun Shapes Beads

Farm Stringing

Textured Beads

Stringing Shapes Disks
Melissa and Doug Beads
Foam Beads
Plan Toys Beads

Heirloom Beads

Baby Bead Stringing