D is for Dragon
This ended up being a two-session topic. Here is how we broke it up:
We started by doing the Montessori Hundred Board. You take a few tiles out of the box at a time and arrange them in piles based on the digit in the tens place, then pick up each pile and organize them based on the digit in the units place. Finally, you put that row in, so that you are proceeding one row at a time in making the design. As we put each row in place, we would read them out loud to get the rhymthm of the numbers. This material makes seeing the patterns in the digits very easy, and kids love it! There's also a Hundred Board Control Chart. It was always very important to Dr. Maria Montessori that students be able to check their own work independently.
During the Hundred Board we got up several times to do jumping jacks, and he also took a snack break. It took him 45 minutes to complete, but he was beaming at the end of it!!!!
We next took a nature walk outside to look for bird nests in the trees in my yard. We didn't see any, but I pointed out a squirrel nest high up in an oak tree, as well as our bee swarm trap. When we got back inside, we looked at nine bird nests from my extensive collection of found nests. Then we read Urban Roosts: Where Birds Nest in the City by Barbara Bash. We stopped on the second page and compared the illustration of the city to the cover of the recent Caldecott Honor book Grand Canyon. They were amazingly similar.
Then we read the charming Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light.
We counted the objects each time (the book goes from 1 to 20) and found the dragon in each two page spread. He loved the book and checked it out from my Lending Library to take home and show his dad.
We finished by looking at the D is for Dragon illustration in L M N O P and All the Letters A to Z. Next session I will have him draw a huge mural of a cityscape, hiding somewhere in the details a Dragon perched on a Ledge, and then give it to his mom to see if she can find the Dragon.
First I showed my student a sweet little broken robin egg.
We took a walk last week to look for bird nests and didn't find any, but then the next morning my eye spotted this little piece of robin's egg blue shell.
Then we did some work with the Golden Bead Material. I laid out number cards for the following numbers: 1, 4, 8, 10, 25, 32, 57, 50, and 60. He used the golden beads to make each amount and we went over which digit is the tens bars (the blue one) and which digit is the units beads (the green one). We also did some introductory comparing of numbers (if these were fish and you were a crocodile, which group would you eat?) and I explained that you look at how many tens there are to see which one is more and not the units. Then I asked him to imagine that each golden bead was a year. Someone who is 60 would be very old (his words) and have grey hair. I pointed to the amount of beads which is closest to my age, and to his age. Then I asked him, have you ever seen anyone who is 100 years old? And I got the card for 100 and we laid the One Golden Bead Square of 100 Individual Beads out. He was very impressed and counted that it was ten rows of ten. The cards for the hundreds place are red. Then he asked me if we could make 102, which we did, by sliding the 2 card over top of the 100 card and moving the 2 beads over. And then he slid the 30 card on top of the 100 card, all by himself, and we moved three tens bars over by the hundred to show the new quantity. People don't live to be 130. But that would be cool!
Then we did another Montessori work, the Sound Boxes, which is for auditory discrimination.
Time to get caught up on our MLB. We added the word Parrot under his cut feather collage, drew and labeled an Elephant and a Mountain, and then reviewed last week's letters (Ledge and Dragon). We read the D poem on the back of the L M N O P Alphabet Wall Card. Then he drew his cityscape inspired by last week's book Have You Seen My Dragon? and hid a Dragon on a Ledge. Then he filled the streets of the city with brave knights lined up to help fight the dragon!
Next we relaxed and read The Disappearing Alphabet and talked about what his name would sound like if we took the D out. How silly! This book ends with the ZZZZ in Buzz, so we went outside to check on the bee swarm trap and looked to see if any bees have found it yet. Then we came back in and I showed him a piece of whole honeycomb and we tasted a bit of honey.
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