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Montessori in a Dene Kindergarten – Montessori in a Dene Grade One Classroom

Archive for August, 2008

A Brief Update

Posted by mrsmelva on 23/08/2008

Things have been busy, but I have made several changes to the new shelves. I have moved the pink one so that it is near the door, placing it perpendicular to the door, put two brown ones from home where the metal one was, moved it to where the pink one was and moved one out of the storage closet and over to the table area, were the writing center shelf was. The writing center shelf was also moved. Then, after all that shelf moving, I decided to clean and sort through all my stored treasures and junk. That has kept me busy! I now need the very patient and considerate janitors to anchor some of these shelves for me so that they don’t topple onto the students. I also moved a smaller shelf into my office area and moved out one of the huge old ugly double sided shelves.  All of this organizing started when I went to look for some erasers for a sorting activity for the little metal shelf. When the cleaning/sorting is done I will take some pictures and post them here, until then I need to stay focused on the task.

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More Preparations

Posted by mrsmelva on 13/08/2008

Yesterday was a busy day. I painted a shelf – two coats – deep pink. The paint is old, but free and still works. The shelf was a cut down portion of a very old and cumbersome storage unit. I also played with room arrangement and spray painted the frame for a little metal shelf that I got for free by scrounging. Then I spent a lot of time emptying three rooms into the center room so that the floors could be waxed. When I went back last night to put a second coat of paint on the shelf they had already put on the first coat of wax. Several more coats were put on this morning. I spent an hour unpacking my dollar store treasures and setting up the little metal shelf with practical life activities.

Here are the two shelves, the pink one just painted and the metal one with the practical life activities. I will need to move the pink one, the original plan was to move it against the window behind it, but I decided to put the metal one there as it is narrower and won’t interfere with traffic flow as much. The pink one will go near the entrance to the room, perpendicular to the door. Playdough supplies will go on the bottom right, I am not sure what else will go on it. There are many things already in the room that could go there, plus some new things have been ordered. I moved a couple of other shelves around yesterday. Originally I had the former science center shelf where the pink one is going to go, but it is now near the tables with the metal insets on it. There will be more metal insets coming and sandpaper alphabets which will probably fill that shelf. I moved my tall shelf to a corner and brought the art center shelf out where it is more accessible to the children. I need to go back and do some more arranging and rearranging and take indidvidual pictures of the practical life activities for job cards. I will try and post them tonight or tomorrow.

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Preparations Begin

Posted by mrsmelva on 12/08/2008

I went to the school yesterday to begin preparing my classroom. I spent a lot of time wandering around like a crazy woman, trying to visualize my new set up. I have two “new” shelves to make room for. I am rethinking my layout a lot in terms of my project and the Montessori philosophy. I need to paint the new shelves. I have chosen spaces for them now and made several changes. Today’s task will be to paint the shelves and put a few more into place. Then I can have fun putting some of my Dollarama treasures onto the shelves. I will take pictures for my project and for my new job cards. This year I will make the job cards uniform in style – on white cardstock, with a photo and a typed caption. They will be printed on the computer rather than glued on and hand written. In the past the cards were hand made, originally using catalogue pictures of classroom items and then using photos. They were on coloured cardstock to loosely categorize them. In observing a student over several days this spring I realized that the categorization didn’t work for the students (and not that well for me, either) so I have decied to make all new cards, on white, and very uniform in style. The cards depcit the various items/areas where children can work (centers or workstatios, in a format that works for me) and the children choose a card, place it in their name pocket and then do the activity. I do not do group rotations through centers, but allow the children to choose. The number of cards controls the number of children using a center, usually two, but occasionally four. I have my template made and a few cards ready for printing. I realized as I was making them that some of my “old faithful” centers need new pictures for the cards as well, so I will be busy taking pictures and preparing cards. The cards will be laminated and will last for a long time so it is time well spent.

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