Friday, September 13, 2019

Landforms & Water Features: Week Two

Some quick notes from our second week of this whole group main lesson block. This block blends Physical Geography & Freehand Geometric Drawing.

You can find the complete list of landforms & water features on my website.


Monday, September 9

  • read Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
  • review Waterfall, add to classroom display, add to MLB
  • draw and color Island / Lake as opposites of one another
    (draw the same closed shape in the middle of the paper, color one green with blue all around, color the other blue with green all around)
  • look at the Great Lakes on a map of the United States
  • do Form Drawing inspired by the idea of mirrored forms -- ie. island is land surrounded by water; lake is water surrounded by land -- (symmetry and mirroring: above and below on the top of page 49 of Creative Form Drawing with Children Aged 6-10 Years)


Tuesday, September 10

  • review Island / Lake, add to classroom display, add to MLB
  • draw and color Mountain / Valley as opposites of one another
  • look at National Geographic maps (Mount Everest, The Alps, The Great Rift Valley, Arctic Ocean Floor, Indian Ocean Floor)
  • do Form Drawing inspired by the idea of mirrored forms (symmetry and mirroring: above and below on the middle of page 49 of Creative Form Drawing with Children Aged 6-10 Years)


Thursday, September 12

  • review Mountain / Valley, add to classroom display, add to MLB
  • draw and color Isthmus / Strait as opposites of one another
  • break into three teams and look at World maps to find examples of isthmus (Panama) and strait (they loved this and each group was constantly calling me over to show me what they found on their maps: Strait of Magellan, "Gate of Tears" at the Red Sea, Strait of Malacca, Bass Strait, Hudson Strait, Strait of Gibraltar)
  • play mirroring game (mirror angles game from page 41 of Creative Form Drawing with Children Aged 6-10 Years)


Friday, September 13

  • review Isthmus / Strait
  • discuss and find the Bering Strait on a globe, explore the Bradshaw Foundation's interactive map Journey of Mankind (based on genetic evidence and archaeological evidence such as rock art)
  • draw and color Peninsula / Gulf as opposites of one another
  • locate India, Florida, Italy, and the Gulf of Mexico on a World map


We continued with Handwork, finishing up braiding and moving into making our own homemade knitting needles this week. We learned that finger knitting one wingspan of yarn makes a bracelet; finger knitting and braiding two wingspans of yarn makes a necklace; finger knitting and braiding three wingspans of yarn makes a belt. We have also continued with our read aloud story, Abel's Island. The children are deeply entranced by this story and look forward to hearing it every day after lunch and before recess.

For the first two weeks of school, we worked on memorizing "A Promise" by Barbara Dawson Betteridge. We are now working on a new poem in Speech & Recitation: "The Kind Mousie" by Natalie Joan.

One-on-one and small group Montessori lesosns on the Grammar & Word Study, Science, Geography, and Mathematics materials continue, as children plan their own individual courses of study during the morning Choice Time.


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Thursday, September 12, 2019

September - The Little Wooden Mixing Bowl

This week we did the story of "The Little Wooden Mixing Bowl" from The Breathing Circle by Nell Smyth. We celebrated this story about Baking by making play dough recipes, a different one each day.

We continued with our Circle Time and our songs & verses for transitions.


Monday, September 9

Our story was "The Little Wooden Mixing Bowl" from The Breathing Circle, page 124. I told this story with no props. Our follow up activity was my favorite no-cook Chocolate Play Dough recipe. Since you add boiling water you need to wait for a little bit before kneading it. For this, I used a trick I learned at the Little Red Hen Baking Party at the Waldorf School of St. Louis. I gave each child a little bit of flour on their piece of waxed paper and told them they could draw pictures in it while they waited for their dough. This worked wonders. Then when they got their dough, they eagerly kneaded in the raw flour. We sang verses (and you can make up your own action words) of "We Roll It, We Roll It" from The Singing Day, track 19.


Tuesday, September 10

I retold "The Little Wooden Mixing Bowl," this time with a prop. I simply passed out bowls from my series of Rainbow Nesting Bowls from Grimm's so that each child had one and I had one. We started by placing the bowls behind us. As I told the story and the little bowl gets taken off the shelf, we brought our bowls into the circle and placed them in front of us, and as the story went along we used our hands and our own bowl and gently acted out all of the things that happen to her. It was a lovely tactile experience!


Thursday, September 12

The Easiest Play Dough Recipe:
Mix 2 c cornstarch - 1 c lotion

The Best Bubble Stuff Recipe:
Gently combine 6 c water - 1 c dish detergent - 2 T glycerin

The children had so much fun outside on a hot day with this bubble stuff and the enormous bubble wands which Miss Shelby brought! Even the big kids eagerly joined in our play.

Of course, we also made Stone Soup. Before we started our vegetable washing work we did the verse "To Meet a Task" and while we were washing we sang "I Will Work with Joy." The children know that every week we each be bringing in a vegetable on Thursdays so that we can make Stone Soup. They're very excited about this tradition!

Today's soup vegetables were red onion, parsnip, green cabbage, potato, carrots, and golden beets. We also had fresh bell pepper slices on the side.


There's been doll play, fort building inside and out (covering the Pikler Triangle with silks is always fun), and lots of playing board games together. Current favorite board games for this group include Dwarves and Dice, Pengoloo, Snail's Pace Race, and Hisss.


This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Weaving Tapestries in Geology

My first experience with making a tapestry as a whole-class project was in the Montessori school in Maryland. After Ms. Denise and I thought this up, it quickly became a tradition to make one annually, always tying the theme of the weaving in with a subject we were studying in our curriculum.

The first (2012-2013 school year) was a stream study of the stream in the woods on our campus. The second (2013-2014 school year) was the layers of the Earth with mountains forming and volcanoes erupting at the surface. Later we added the water cycle in the sky above.

I moved to Illinois in July 2014 and missed having a tapestry loom so much that I promptly bought the exact same one, the 48 inch Standing Tapestry Loom by Harrisville Designs. The Friendly Loom was the first "school" material in my new home (which is now mostly school materials). We have continued the tradition of weaving projects that tie in with curriculum.

When my daughter Becca studied the Waldorf 6th grade Geology block (2016-2017 school year), we warped the loom (February 12, 2017) and wove a limestone cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites. That project was inspired by the "landscape framed by a limestone cave entrance" lesson in Painting and Drawing in Waldorf Schools: Classes 1-8, pp.260-261.


Ultimately we decided to have the viewer looking into the cave and not out of the cave, and we wove in a background of cave walls behind the pillars of rock. When it was complete I sewed on wooden beads, seed beads, and Swarovski crystals which had been donated, so that it would have some extra texture and sparkle. There's even a fish bead swimming in one of the pools of water on the floor. It's one of my favorite Science projects ever!

When my 2017 Summer Camp topic was "From Lava to Life" (the Montessori Second Great Lesson), we again wove the layers of the Earth, this time on a hula hoop loom. That project was inspired by an illustration in Faith McNulty's excellent How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World.

I recently had someone ask me for pictures of my Geology tapestry, since my old blog from the Tidewater School has been taken down, and I realized that ALL THREE of these projects are Geology weavings! So I decided to make a new blog post and share pics of all three.


Layers of the Earth / Types of Mountains / Water Cycle
Tapestry
2013-2014 School Year

Oct 29 2013

Oct 29 2013

Oct 29 2013

Layers of the Earth nomenclature

Dec 19 2013

Dec 19 2013

Jan 8 2019

Feb 3 2014
continuing with the layers of the Earth

Feb 10 2014

Feb 26 2014
adding the types of mountains

Feb 26 2014

Feb 26 2014

Apr 3 2014

Apr 14 2014
we add a cartoon for the water cycle

May 6 2014

May 6 2014

May 7 2014

May 7 2014
Becca, age 9, weaving on the loom

May 7 2014

May 7 2014

May 20 2014

May 20 2014

at the end of the school year I say good-bye to the tapestry
and get ready to move to Illinois

Sep 20 2014
I come back to MD to lead a parent workshop
and the class has done so much work on it!

Sep 20 2014 

Sep 20 2014
the back side



Limestone Cave with Stalactites & Stalagmites
Tapestry
2016-2017 School Year
2017-2018 School Year

Feb 12 2017

Feb 12 2017

Feb 12 2017

Feb 12 2017
Becca's MLB page

Feb 13 2017
Becca, now age 12, preparing to weave!

Feb 13 2017

Feb 13 2017

Feb 13 2017
starting a new tapestry is the most fun thing ever

Feb 16 2017

Mar 10 2017

Mar 10 2017

 Mar 10 2017

Mar 10 2017

Mar 10 2017

Mar 10 2017

Mar 12 2017

Mar 12 2017

Mar 12 2017
the fork... an essential weaving tool

Mar 12 2017

Mar 12 2017

May 11 2018

May 18 2018

Jun 5 2018
the loom stands ready for the next project
(the Backyard Biome in Local History/Geography)

Dec 28 2018
I finally finish embellishing the tapestry with sparkle!




Layers of the Earth
Hula Hoop Loom Weaving
2017 "From Lava to Life" Summer Camp

Jun 22 2017

Jun 22 2017
we used strips of fabric as well as yarn
and finger knitting to make this project
(completed in two weeks)

Jun 23 2017
the finished weaving on display
at our Museum Walk / Expo

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!