Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Montessori Grammar: Noun, day 1

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The boys officially began the Montessori grammar sequence together.  Today I presented the "noun key experience."  Basically, what that means is that we played a game that taught that everything has a name and that names are important, labeled some objects with their name on a card, and finally learned that "the name of something is a noun."

I started by asking the boys to bring me various things from around the house by asking for them by name (Can you bring me a doll?  Can you bring me a pillow? etc.,).  After a few minutes of this I asked them to bring me something, but didn't give them its name ("Can you bring me a _____?" The blank space represents an awkward silence.).  This resulted in a minute or so where they stood around bringing me nothing, followed by tentative attempts to bring me things, followed by 10 minutes of hard giggling as they brought me different things knowing I would say "NO!  Not that!  I need....hurry!"  FINALLY one of them said "I don't know what to bring" and I was able to tell them that they didn't know what to bring because I hadn't given them a name.  We talked about the fact that we all have names and so do all the things around us.

Next, I wrote the word "pen" on a card in black ink.  Me Too read it to me and asked him if he could bring me one.  The boys took turn doing this.  Me Too was able to read "pen", "bell", and "flag".  We determine that they could bring me all of these things because I told them the names.  "We call these names nouns.  These are all nouns."

Me Too was done at this point.  Kal-El, however, is beginning a language notebook (a binder)  and worked on copying the etymology for "noun" on a piece of lined paper to punch and put in his notebook.

He wrote:  Noun comes from the Latin word nomen which means name.  The name of something is a noun.

Later he is going to draw some pictures of objects and write the nouns in black.

I own quite a large collection of grammar albums somehow.  I have Cultivating Dharma's elementary language album, the Keys of the Universe elementary language album, Montessori R&D's elementary grammar album, Montessori by Hand's primary language album, and Worldwide Montessori's primary language album.  They all cover the same ground, but in slightly different ways.  Somehow I wound up choosing the Cultivating Dharma album for this sequence.  But, the other albums certainly have had an influence on how I understand the sequence and my grammar box materials were made from the Montessori R&D album.  In addition, I've found the ongoing posts over at the blog The Broad Stair helpful in determining how to map the materials out across the three years of lower elementary.

I'll go into what I liked about the various albums in regards to the grammar sequence in another post later this week.  I'll likely also talk about why I choose to start the grammar sequence now, rather than sooner with Kal-El or later with Me Too.

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  1. It sounds you all had fun!

    I love your blog!

    The way you described is how I've been doing it with my co-op kids - I have 3-9 kids, with all the kids being new to academic Montessori (a few were in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd previously; only my son has had the academic part). We have SO much fun - and lots and LOTS of giggles (plus they usually get to do things they wouldn't normally be allowed!) ;)

    All the introductory stuff at both levels is exactly the same. I know most primary albums (including mine) say "Don't tell the name of the part of speech" - but frankly, they either figure it out, or you tell them and they don't really care at that point --- it doesn't hurt them to hear it :)

    I love that notebook your older son is starting - mine has something very similar. He's a collector of words and lists and drawings and charts and and and and ;) it just goes one :)

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  3. Sarah,

    Keys of the Universe has two "versions" of the great lessons available. One is more secular, one is more religious. I haven't read the religious version yet, but I'm pretty sure that is what will wind up using. There is an online resource for the great lessons (http://missbarbara.net/greatlessons.html), but I found them too secular.

  4. Jessica,

    You are hitting right on some of the points I will be making.

    It can be overwhelming to get "everything in" from all of the primary albums, at least for me. Plus it is ALWAYS easier when the boys can do something together. I noticed that the introductory stuff was exactly the same at both levels. So, waiting until Me Too was ready left a little breathing room in our schedule when Kal-El was younger. Now I save a little bit of time introducing it to them both together. Kal-El can move on to the elementary things, Me Too can pick up what he's ready for and ignore what he isn't like you said.

    It's funny how much what you said is exactly what I thought when you said "but frankly, they either figure it out, or you tell them and they don't really care at that point--it doesn't hurt them to hear it."

  5. Nice lesson! Lots of times I give both DJ and Ken the same lesson. Sometimes it helps me to see if this is something Ken needs more work on, or it is something they are both interested in(cultural works). It also helps to give lessons ahead, Ken is three years older than DJ so she had worked with the Multiplication Bead Board to mastery and was able to present the lesson to DJ. I really loved seeing this happen. I really like this presentation, it sounds like a lot of fun schooling was going on. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Just found your blog and I love it! So many creative teaching ideas. I'll be back for sure.
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  7. Thanks for mentioning that. I read Mrs Barbra's and it was to secular for us. I was going to rewrite it into what we believe. I have been dreading all of that work! :)

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  9. Discovering Montessori,

    Thanks for stopping by and backing me up on that! Your blog is one of my "go to" places to see what Montessori can look like among siblings at home. LOVE what you all do!

    Lasso the Moon,

    Thank you!

  10. Your blog is incredibly helpful. Thank you for all you do! I have noticed Cultivating Dharmas website is down and I was using it for the language experiences. Do you know how I could get in touch with them or get those? I'm in a real jam here. Thanks

  11. LOL, First lesson learned here is to ALWAYS download things like this, never count on being able to access them online forever. You can still download these. If you google "cultivating dharma" and "albums" the link to the page still comes up, it just takes you to the "page owner contact customer service" page. Instead, click on the little arrow that opens the CACHED version of the page. I just successfully clicked on the link to the math album on the cached page and easily downloaded the file. I opened and checked the downloaded file on my computer and it works perfectly.