Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Florida Montessori Conference

Congrats to our friends at Young Minds at Play on their
display at the Montessori Foundation Conference in Florida this week!
Here is their "boothe" or display with all their
beautiful hand made Montessori materials. I am a big FAN!

One of their new materials includes this wooden US flag! Requests are
coming in for others from other countries.

The 16th annual Montessori Foundation's International Conference is currently being held once again in sunny Sarasota, FL.
Several hundred people from all over the world are in attendence for the 3 day conference where Montessori educators and administrators are able to network, attend various classes, and shop for Montesori materials from vendors such as Young Minds At Play.
This year's focus is "Reflections: What it means when we call ourselves Montessorians". It has been an opportunity to reflect, rejuvenate, and reinvigorate for a great academic year. The international conference is one of a kind because it builds community during the days with plenty of time for social networking. It provides preparation for the teacher to go back into the classroom or administrative role with new skills, tools, and a new way of seeing oneself.
The Montessori Foundation is an international nonprofit organization which works worldwide to help Montessori schools to educate children in a spirit of partnership and peace. It's schools inspire a sense of wonder and nurture children's curiosity, creativity, and imagination.
More information on The Montessori Foundation may be found here:


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! My son and I had fun dressing
up in our Scottish regalia (think "Brave" or "Braveheart")
and visiting the neighbors and going out to eat.
My dress is made of the Black Stewart plaid
and my son was in the muted brown plaid of
the ancient kilt.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Suzuki" Early Childhood Education

I find it interesting that the SSA (Suzuki Violin etc.) has
adopted Montessori philosophy and practice as the core
of their new Suzuki ECE program. There is a bit
of Reggio and other methods thrown in as well as other
early childhood music methods, like Orff and Dalcroze.
For more info see the SAA site here:
Another excellent post on the connection between Montessori and Suzuki
can be found here:
Suzuki ECE

Dorothy Jones

Dorothy Jones is a specialist in Suzuki Early Childhood Education. At the request of Dr. Suzuki, she founded a Suzuki School in London, ON, that included Suzuki baby/toddler, preschool and elementary classes. In 1993, the ISA approved her program in Early Childhood Education and designated her school as a world teacher training center. Past president of the SAA and past board member of the ISA, she was a founding member of the board of the Suzuki Association of Ontario and was president of that organization. She has been a Suzuki parent, Piano and ECE Teacher Trainer and keynote speaker at conferences and workshops around the world for more than 38 years. For the past 10 years, she has traveled extensively to train teachers in Suzuki ECE: prenatal and baby years.

Sharon Jones is a Teacher Trainer in Suzuki Early Childhood Education and an experienced Suzuki Violin Teacher. With Dorothy Jones, she developed the curriculum used world wide in Suzuki Early Childhood Classes. Sharon has been a clinician at conferences and workshops in Canada, USA, Ireland and Japan. She has taught at numerous Institutes in the United States and Canada. A singer, Sharon was the artist for the recording, Lullabies, Action Songs and Rhymes, the core material for the Suzuki Baby Program. Sharon will lead the baby and toddler classes and demonstrate the various technical and artistic approaches to babies and their parents.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Storage Links

I have received requests for links on the "Sensible Storage" post
so here they are:
Community Play Things
(also check out their numerous other offerings, many
of them specifically "Montessori" designed)
Hello Wood
(bead racks are under math/beads, and storage
under furniture, chart storage is under geography/maps)
Montessori N Such
(for the cubbies and also do a search for "trays")
Hana Montessori
(click on Language etc...this company is
quite innovative in their designs!)
(for segmented presentation pink, green and blue reading and grammar boxes
and now individual colored boxes of most colors)

E & O Montessori
(pink, blue and green reading materials boxes)

Young Minds at Play
(Three part card Tray)

(Grammar Storage for Cards and Reading Towers)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Numerous Number Boards

Wow! I just got my shipment of number boards from
Young Minds at Play. They are very beautiful and well
worth the price!! I cannot recommend them highly
enough. These make a beautiful transistion from the
number rods to the counters and numerals. They have
a built in control with the counters fitting into the boards.
Here are the pix and a link:
(If Jeff is out of stock, just shoot him a message and
I am sure he'll make you a set...)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sensational Suzuki Twinklers

So do any of you do Suzuki violin (or other instrument)
along with Montessori? They seem a good match.
Here are some Twinkler sources for beginning violinists:
(go to Student Resources/PreTwinkle Activities)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor-Work Day!

Play is the Child's Work!
The Work of the Child is Play!
Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child's soul.

A better way to say conceive of this is that
what appears to be play to the adult is work
for the child. He is concetrating, repeating,
imagining, solving problems, creating and
enjoying the process of learning.

"What is the greatest sign of success for a teacher transformed?" Maria Montessori wrote, "It is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist."
Check out this page at Montessori Print Shop ...scroll down the page

for Practical Life ideas.

THE UNINTERRUPTED WORK CYCLE • This is a period of time, usually in the morning, when children work unencumbered. After a typical morning opening circle, children are encouraged to work independently, collaborating with classmates as their work and exploration dictate. *
Play activities are essential to healthy development for children and adolescents. Research shows that 75% of brain development occurs after birth. The activities engaged in by children both stimulate and influence the pattern of the connections made between the nerve cells. This process influences the development of fine and gross motor skills, language, socialization, personal awareness, emotional well-being, creativity, problem solving and learning ability.
The most important role that play can have is to help children to be active, make choices and practice actions to mastery. They should have experience with a wide variety of content (art, music, language, science, math, social relations) because each is important for the development of a complex and integrated brain. Play that links sensori-motor, cognitive, and social-emotional experiences provides an ideal setting from brain development.
According to Montessori, the essential dimensions of play are:
  • Voluntary, enjoyable, purposeful and spontaneous
  • Creativity expanded using problem solving skills, social skills, language skills and physical skills
  • Helps expand on new ideas
  • Helps the child to adapt socially
  • Helps to thwart emotional problems

If play is the work of the child, toys are the tools. Through toys, children learn about their world, themselves, and others. Toys teach children to:
  • Figure out how things work
  • Pick up new ideas
  • Build muscle control and strength
  • Use their imagination
  • Solve problems
  • Learn to cooperate with others
*Montessori 101: Some Basic Information that Every Montessori Parent Should Know, Tim Seldin, President, The Montessori Foundation.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Free Freebees!

For some nice freebee activity and coloring pages click
here: Some of these images would make great blacklines
for cards or labeling activities.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rods and Rod Segment

Hi All,
Back from a family visit to our beautiful Island in the Seattle
Sound. The fourth was fun to shoot fireworks into the bay and
be surrounded by such beauty. Definitely the best day of the

I am excited that Young Minds at Play is making these lovely
Rods and Rod segments for me!  Looking forward to these...

They are offering a three part card tray as well...
coming soon!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Favorite Freebees

 My all time favorite Freebee sites are:

JMJ Publishing (Hope 4 Me) 
(scroll to the middle of the page
for subjects) There are subscribed materials there too,
however there are alot of nice freebees. I am
a lifetime member of this site.
These materials are in German, but many of them need no translation
as they are universal.  Just go to the left side and start clicking on the
links at the top left, then another menu will open just lower to the left.
Click through and see what interests you. Then scroll down on the
main page and open the pdf files. All of these are freebees!

Have fun,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Timeline Resources

I found these great timeline materials for history
at Homeschool in the Woods. For a complete list
of included figures click here:
For FREEBEES click here:
My plan is to do the wall charts and the notebooks.
For ordering info click here:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Young Minds at Play Letters!

Hope you like my new title courtesy of Jeff at
Young Minds at Play. To see these lovely letters
click here:
If you are interested in a set click here and let Jeff know:
(some items he makes to order)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dino Update

I wanted to include it with my Dino post, but
just found the material. Here is a great
dino bones digging sandbox available at
Montessori n Such

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pre Writing Ideas!

Here are some great pre-writing materials and ideas to go along
with the traditional preparation with sandpaper letters. Some of these
can come before the introduction of letters or be used with the letters.
I actually use the sand tray idea with my sandpaper letters as well
as having children "put it in their minds" and trace the letter in the air.
Here are some links and pix:
(scroll down to find the free Montessori Script!)
(see pix and info below)

Lori and Montessori for Everyone has a nice post about the Montessori rationale
for the sandpaper letters and the importance Montessori placed on having the
children touch the letters.
Marble Run in Sand Tray
(The shape is outlined before adding the marble which the
child pushes through the track)

Various Tracing and Tracking Boards

Maze Activity with Straws and Marbles
(See Link above)

More Tracking Boards

Sand Box with Controls

Sand Table

Tape Maze

Alphabet Tracking Boards
from Lakeshore Learning

The Ultimate Carved Sandpaper Letters from
Young Minds at Play (I have my order in...)

(A discussion of Cursive vs. Print being taught first is outlined here:)

Traditional Sandpaper Letters Pink and Blue
These are also available in Red and Blue
Lord Company Sand Tray with Cover-Beautiful!
Tracing Letters with Stylus
from JMP Materials

Lord Co. Chalk Board to use with Sandpaper Letters
(From Lord Co. or Montessori Services)