Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What's on the Shelf?

I usually write one big "school day" post each week. For some reason, today I am just in the mood to write several little posts instead. Please bear with me :)

Now that we have a reader in the school room and I have started putting pink series materials on the shelf, the language area looks a little different. I took some pictures today so you could see the new layout.

The top shelf holds Me Too's "sound bins." Although, truthfully, Kal-El has been much more interested in these than Me Too. They have been wonderful for solidifying his letter sounds.

Bottom shelf left to right: moveable alphabet and sand tray, botany cabinet, geometric cabinet (not language, but the only place it fits in the room where we don't seem to trip over it).

The second shelf holds all of Kal-El's pink series materials. Each type of activity is in a distinctive box. There will soon be multiple examples of each activity on the shelf. The boxes will be stacked. From left to right: pictures for use with the moveable alphabet, objects for use with the moveable alphabet, objects and labels, pictures and labels (loose), pictures and labels (label on back), "pink secrets," picture cards (with a pocket on the back to hold the labels), single words books, word lists.

I told Kal-El that he could choose anything he wanted off of this shelf at any time. I have not done presentations for everything because I don't believe he needs presentations on everything. I told him to ask me if he had any questions. I did give a presentation on the picture cards. The works are on the shelf in order of increasing difficulty. So far he has chosen the most difficult works first.

I was working on a sound bin with Me Too yesterday and heard Kal-El reading words out loud over my shoulder. He had discovered the single word books and was reading one aloud to himself. These books don't look like much on their own, so I chose a neat little wooden box to collect a few in at a time.

This is how the picture cards look on the shelf. I use napkin holders from the dollar store for storing items upright like this.

On the back of each picture card there is a pocket to hold the labels.

Kal-El asked me to take a picture of this one after he completed it. He does that when he is particularly proud.

I haven't taken pictures of the other works yet because Kal-El hasn't chosen them yet. I will be sure to give you a peek as we work our way through.

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  1. I have been watching Homfray's videos on reading and more. I was wondering if you have bought additional objects from one of the Montessori stores. It seems like between the phonetics boxes and the pink reading materials you need a large collection.


  2. Very nice organization. I like the picture cards with the pockets on the back, especially with the napkin holders for display, now I need to go to the $ store again.

  3. You are so organized! I wish I could just send our daughter over there! :)

    I like the shorter posts...it's less intimidating. You have so many wonderful ideas, it's hard for me to digest it all! It's a compliment. :)

  4. Anonymous,

    I only bought about four or five items from Montessori Services (I just HAD to have the miniature vacuum cleaner, the wagon, and the little church), the rest I have collected.

    The trick is to use non-phonetic words in the sound boxes and sound sorts and save the phonetic words for the moveable alphabet object boxes and the pink series. I wish I had focused on collecting only pink, blue, and green series objects to begin with. They certainly would do double duty in the preliminary language work and then I would be more "ready" now.

    I haven't counted my objects, but I would guess I have around 200?

  5. Min, you have GOT to be kidding. You do NOT want her over here! It's too bad you don't live down the street. She could do language at my house and I'll send the boys over to yours to do Geography and Math.

  6. Thank you for the advice on miniature objects for learning activities. I think I will use the lists at Montessori for Everyone http://www.blog.montessoriforeveryone.com/word-lists-for-pink-blue-and-green-series-objects.html as guide for expanding my collection. We are at the preliminary language work (go togethers, rhyming, opposites, letter sounds, sensorial work) stage but preparing for the day his reading to move on the reading materials.

  7. What an inspiring post! I love the matching page. Your shelves are beautiful and I love seeing them. I have seen those napkin holders, I will be picking some up. Thanks for the tip!

  8. It would have been nice if you did live down the street...