Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beach exploring

We made our first trip this summer to the local beach. Last year we were there a lot, but our weather has just not been very kind this summer. Today it was sunny and in the 70s. Perfect beach weather for us.
While we were there Sean found some lovely little critters. He has seen all of these since he was a baby, but for some reason it all resonated today.

 He loved them so much he decided to bring some of them home. 
We gathered rocks, sand and water for their new home. They are fascinating to watch. The rocks have barnacles attached, and one has a muscle. The barnacles have tiny little curled arms or tongues that come out and back in. The crabs dig in the sand and move rocks around, fight each other for territory (at least that's what it looks like) and climb up on the big rock we included in the little home. They poke their heads out for a while, then go back under.

I couldn't get a good shot of the barnacles. They are so tiny, and the water is a little murky since we just got it all set up.
I love how you can see the little hairs on the legs of this one though.
We have a red crab, this speckled one, some gray ones and I think there is one that is white with a couple of black spots on each side. So interesting that there are so many different colors.
We'll be researching crabs and sea life for a few days. 
Next week is Montessori Art Camp. YAY!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's all about the rhyme

Sean has hit that sensitive period for rhyming again. He has enjoyed playing rhyming games for a long time, but hadn't been into it for a while.  I tucked him into bed and he read "Goodnight Moon" to me tonight. Then we talked and he started by asking me questions. The first one was something like, "Have you ever known a man named Tim?" I said yes, and he said, "Well, I'd rather take a swim."
The game went on like that with some responses making sense and others completely off the wall. But they all rhymed. We took turns for a while, but I let him do most of them. I love those moments. I enjoy watching him come to these things naturally, and soak them up. He enjoys making up sentences with the same cadence of Dr. Suess too.
I remember playing similar games with my older kids when they were young. We camped once in the Cherokee National Forest and that night as we were all three in the tent waiting for sleep to take us, we did a round of storytelling. One would start the story, then stop and it was the next person's turn to pick it up and continue with the story. It was a lot of fun.
They both were good at it, and David wrote a poem that he performed at a Poetry Slam once when he was about 8 or 9. He also had one published in an anthology in 5th grade.
Jewel was a natural storyteller from a very early age. She was telling stories when she was about 3. Of course, maybe we all get it naturally. Southerners are known for their yarnin' abilities.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A few lessons

I met with a Montessori teacher about a week ago to get a quick tutorial on some of the elementary materials. It was a quick one, so I didn't soak up as much as I would like to have, but I got the general idea. Enough that I can now search for instructions elsewhere and they'll make sense to me.
One of the big things on my wish list is the checkerboard. These are pretty expensive, so we don't have one.
I apologize for the glare. I think it's 7,852 (white tiles) x 4 (gray tile). 
So the beads are used with this material, and eight would go on the first green square in the 1s place, etc. I need to review it again, but it looks like so much fun if you get the hang of it.
Tiles and beads that go with it.
I've seen the board for about $80, the tiles for about $25 and the beads for $35, or something like that. We have a box of beads we could use.
I don't remember the name of this, but they find the facts that equal the same number. It's for practicing fact work in addition. We don't have this one. So, 1+2 is 3, what else equals 3? Then they cover it with a little red slip of paper. I forgot to get a picture of the control board.
The board on the right is mine, the others are hers. We don't have the tiles either. These are also for practicing facts. 
I decided to take a picture of her charts in case I wanted to make some for us.