Last night I spent an hour-and-a-half at Kinkos using their super-slick paper cutter (for free) to cut out Montessori materials that I have been making this week. I can't imagine how long it would have taken me to cut them with a scissors. Afterward I popped into Walgreens (to buy the elusive orange stick for the botany cabinet) and was pleasantly surprised by a clearance sale on much of their Halloween items.
I always joke with my mother that I just don't do "themes" very well. It usually works out because she is all over the holidays for me and they get a chance to do those things with her. However, I was inspired by the super low prices at the clearance sale (most items were 30 cents!) and you will be seeing Halloween items creeping (pun intended) into our school room throughout the next month.
The boys love a theme and spent all of their school time today working on practical life works. I took pictures of the themed works and also of some surprisingly practical works they did as well.
I bought a very large bag of plastic creepy objects, enough to keep things interesting for the next month. In this activity, Kal-El took a basket of the shelf (30 cents, note the little ghost on each side of the basket) which contained three pumpkin containers (30 cents each) and a collection of skulls, bats, and spiders (skull was new vocabulary for both boys).
He sorted the skulls into one pumpkin, the bats into another, the spiders into the other. Please forgive his hair. I experimented with using the clipper on his whole head (half-inch guard) instead of just on the back and sides. It will grow back.
In the next photo, Me Too is working on his first successful sort! He has always turned my sorts into a simple transfer activity.
I marked each compartment of the tray with a colored dot and he sorted the monsters into the appropriate place. The boys called the compartments "jails." They were "officers" who rounded up the monsters and put them in "jail."
You may have caught the mistake Me Too made in the previous photo. Today Kal-El stepped in and corrected him. He was more interested in Me Too's work than usual due to the new goodies. Me Too repeated the work many times successfully after his brother's help.
For almost a year Kal-El insisted on sorting everything by color, and would not sort by object/shape/type. For this reason, I was very proud when shortly after completing his first successful color sort, Me Too completed an object sort with the other sorting work.
Kal-El ran to his dress-up cabinet to get his "pirate teeth" so that he would fit in with our theme. This is a transfer activity (put out for Me Too) involving an ice-cube tray that would make pumpkin-shaped cubes, some apples, and some pumpkins.
Walgreens had a selection of Halloween puzzles in a box for 33 cents each.
Getting away from our October theme, we did some traditional pouring work. I traded our usual beans or lentils for some noisy glass circles. They both had a lot of fun pouring these and finding "pictures" in the little bit of yellow in the glass. They saw "sailboats," "lips," "leaves," etc.,
There was also some very, very practical, practical life activities today. Kal-El has been really improving on dressing himself lately. He has mastered which shoe goes on which foot, putting on underwear and pants with the tag in the back, putting tight socks on, and getting shirts over his head and his arms into the holes. He still comes to get me every time he finds his underwear inside out. He hasn't been able to turn them right-side out on his own. So Mommy made an activity for the school room. (He'll be sooo happy I've recorded this when he's sixteen!)
The basket holds five pair of underwear that are inside-out. I did a very thorough presentation on how to turn them right-side out and he went to work.
Me Too has been unable to work the school room doorknob. I don't know why, he can do all of the other doorknobs in the house with no trouble. Today he heard the sound of the mail truck and wanted to go look out his bedroom window to see it but couldn't get out the door. I told him that he could do it himself and he worked at it (for a long time, but not so long that he missed the mail truck) and finally did it!
Afterward he made a game of saying "goodbye," opening the door, leaving the room, returning, closing the door, and saying "Hi teacher!" He wouldn't leave me alone unless I responded "Hello student!" each time. "Hello Me Too!" wouldn't cut it. He did this at least 40 times.
The boys also did some bird watching. Our school room only has one wall without windows. The room is round with windows most of the way around so there is plenty to see. There were a lot of finches and sparrows taking baths in the pond today.