Sunday, May 22, 2011

Physical Science - Our unit on Matter

One of the great things about Karen Tyler's albums are her cultural manuals.  They are so detailed and simple enough to put together at home.  So we started with the Physical Science album and did the basic flashlight works.  Then it was time for our unit on matter.

The first tray is where you introduce the three states of matter.  Solid holds a rock, liquid some colored water and gas, an empty jar.  Here is closer look at the bottles:

Next we started with liquids.  First is the concrete, with a tray containing liquids in jars/bottles of various shapes and sizes.

Next up is the abstract representation of different kinds of liquids.  I just got some images of google and printed those for D.

An extension to this activity was water pouring into different shapes and sizes of containers so the child understands volume, shape and mass properties of liquids.  D thoroughly enjoyed pouring water!

Next were the concrete and abstract for solids.

Now comes the fun experiment of trying to freeze water in a balloon and then watch it melt back into water again!  For some reason our balloon would not expand when we filled it with water, so we did the experiment by using filling a ziploc bag with water, freezing and melting it.  This showed D how matter from one form can change to another.

Next is the concrete and abstract for Gas.  I included a balloon in our gas tray so D could blow into it and watch the balloon expand!

Two experiments follow this, one is the famous cloud in a jar and the other is the blowing up of a balloon using gas produced by mixing vinegar and baking soda.

All in all it was a pleasure to put together these trays and have D work these!  She has learnt all these concepts well and enjoyed the little experiments that we did!  I cant wait to dig through the rest of her album and have fun with D on those!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Our Sand/Salt Tray for tracing

I was looking at making a salt/sand tray for D.  I read through various blogs and looked at many stores online.  The problem with the ones online were that it was way over my budget.  I liked the idea from here.  I even went and bought a shadow box from target for $10.  It was plastic, did not have a lid and somehow seemed flimsy.  Another thing that I tried using was a simple rectangular casserole/baking dish with a lid from wal-mart.  D was ok using that but it did not look nice in our classroom definitely!  Then I saw the posts here and here and then started my search for a nice wooden box with a lid.  It had to deep enough and not break my budget of less than $5!  Finally I found mine at Salvation Army for $2.  It was a hinged box, but I removed the hinges from the box so that D can place the lid upright and place her sandpaper letter there.  The box was lined with red velvet but I lined the box with a piece of green card-stock cut to size.  For now this tray holds salt and D has been using this a lot.  Her interest in writing has peaked and this salt tray had helped tons!

Good Weather

We've been spending a lot of time outside the past two weeks with the weather getting really warm in this part of the states!  I made a sandbox for D and M and they've been having a blast at our backyard.  So school has been only on rainy days, but a lot of life schooling has been happening lately.

As far as actual montessori work goes, D has been working on Complex Numbers using the golden bead material in math and has been really into the blue series words and blends.  I've also combined some of the Dwyer approach and have so far covered quite a bit of the two letter sounds (th, sh, ch, ar, etc).  D's been loving all the language work and has been trying to read anything she can get her hands on, which includes all signs, bottle wrappers, subtitles on TV, what not!  Also her writing skills have improved tremendously and she has been trying to write a lot.  For example when we do math, she writes down the complex numbers that she builds or when we do reading, writes down the words that we read.  Another thing is that her drawing has shifted from just doing stick figures and scribbling to some dimension in her drawing!

We've been to the library quite a few times and as usual me reading to her has been her favorite.  We recently got this book from the library and D loves it.  It is a sweet book which D relates to nicely.  Her grandma is sending her a package from India next month and this was perfect timing.  Also with her interest in foreign languages at its peak, this book with its different language names for close relatives and gifts that make sense to her was just awesome.