Saturday, January 15, 2022

Classroom Photos - October Part I

all of the photos from the First Grade Form Drawing field trip are here:

the chestnut is my favorite!
thank you to Ms. Megan for letting us come visit her trees!

a quick little SWI chat with a parent

a phoneme-grapheme chart

a base and word sums

we begin the second block of First Grade:  Quality of Numbers!
(Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven)

I make a card with the Roman and Arabic numeral for each number, 1 to 12

for each new lesson, the card is hidden beneath the salt

the children must use the shell to move the salt and reveal the symbols...  
but only after they have solved the riddle

the wise old elk will help the children find their way back home after they have learned all the magic symbols and can unlock the cave door

the frisky little squirrel helps them as well

our adventurers and the heroines of the story, Calendula and Plantain

practicing writing I and 1 with the salt tray and white board

where in the world do we find ONE?
there is only one Sun

this lovely poem inspires a watercolor painting

the older student wants to make one too
(this is still the point in the year where kids are coming one or two at a time)

Zac shows off his rainbow belt

Grade 7 Physics is focused on Mechanics, ie. Simple Machines

in the last set of photos we did Lever, Pulley, Wheel & Axle
these are the remainig three simple machines

is an inclined plane really a simple machine?
we test this using a spring scale

how much force does it take to lift the hay wagon vertically?

how much force does it take to pull it up the inclined plane?

the inclined plane is nearly zero!

here is the measurement when the hay wagon is hanging vertically

Zac is fascinated by this experiment as well

what is an example of a wedge?

the King's Royal Doorstopper, of course
(The King Who Sneezed by Angela McAllister)

working on the embroidered pencil case

Zac's first-ever MLB and two-page spread
he is so pleased and proud

what conveys the essence of TWO?

(Hippoposites by Janik Coat)

we explore opposites in lots of different ways
two sensory bins side by side... flour and molasses

for left and right, you gotta play Twister

land and water

this is the beautiful Sandpaper Globe, the first globe given to children in a Montessori early childhood program

another child studying Physics (Sound, Light, Heat) is doing experiments with Temperature with the help of a friend

we've always had a policy, even in "normal times," that they are allowed to sit in on one another's lessons if they are curious... and the kids love to see what everyone else is working on as they slowly begin to overlap

the tip of a nail is also an example of a wedge

have you ever tried to hammer in a nail which has had the tip broken off?
we try it

Zac has trouble writing the Arabic numeral 2, so we practice drawing hearts  

"half a heart and a leg to stand on"

after solving the riddle for 3, it is time to move the salt

they never tire of this!  having a "container story" for the Quality of Numbers block gives everything a lovely routine

during this transition back to everyone being at school full-time, every day is different

our story for 2 was "Snow-White and Rose-Red" and we draw their rosebushes for the MLB

okay, time to look for THREE in the world!
the three different leaves on the sassafras tree

the Three Billy Goats Gruff

they love to retell this story!
we use an arch from the Grimm's Large Rainbow Stacker

a troll which I needle-felted myself

and the three adorable Wooden Stacking Goats 
from the Etsy shop WoodMetamorphosisUK

the embroidered pencil case is coming along nicely

Zac gets really interested in drawing these charts of the numbers we've learned so far

the bridge in the Three Billy Goats Gruff story inspires a Form to draw

oh, yes, and we can't forget the Three Little Pigs
a house of straw

a house of sticks

let's see... can he blow it down?

and a house of bricks

I love the mini Teifoc bricks, REAL bricks made in Germany

and the mortar is corn-based and child safe

it dissolves away in warm water and the bricks are endlessly reusable

and the Three Bears!  the three beds from Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a perfect MLB illustration

we always have to think of things that are simple for children to draw at this age, so that they have an experience of success 

as you are choosing the stories in Waldorf education always keep in the back of your mind what the MLB illustration will be

knitting in the rocking chair

an introduction to the Montessori Racks & Tubes, a fascinating Long Division material

writing math facts on Jenga blocks

you can't pull out the block until you've answered the math problem :-)

spelling lists in SWI should be based around words that share a base 
(not words that rhyme or that share a digraph or trigraph)

our numbers are finally below red!  
we can all come to school at the same time!

artwork for the Four Winds: glue line squiggles 

when the glue dries it will leave clear textured bumps

the beginnings of the Foods of the World project!

our brand-new scratch off world map

(once they've had the lesson, this allows them to work independently)

the activity sets provide a wide variety of carefully leveled problems, each with the answer on the back 

if the children get them right, they can do the next card; if they get a problem wrong, they come and find me

the four animals in the Bremen-Town Musicians

my friend Anna painted this peg doll to be a super hero but I think he looks like a robber, so we use him for this story

long multiplication with the Golden Mat

using the Colored Bead Bars, build the multiplicand 6 times
starting with the units place, simply add up the bars in each column

there were six green 2-bars, which makes 12
leave a 2-bar in the units place and place a red 1-bar in the tens place

then add up everything in the tens place, and so on

dyeing water so we can better see how it travels up the Archimedes Screw

we try holding the screw at two different angles and use the two colors of water (green and purple) to easily compare how each goes up the tubing

the steeper angle works better, and green water goes flying out the top of the tubing!

of course, Zac gets the colored water at the end for his Mud Kitchen

we find FIVE in the star in an apple

and make V antennae on five butterflies

it's October, so of course that means Ghostie Number problems for the older students

one of these numbers is wearing his Halloween costume... what number is hiding under the Ghostie?  

this is nice practice for the idea that the equals sign means "is the same as" and you can make these problems as easy or as difficult as you'd like

playing Dr. Eureka

what patterns do we see in these Roman Numerals?
IV means "one less than five"

when a child is fascinated by a Math material in Montessori, you let them take it off the shelf as often as they want

here, we use a combination of Montessori and Waldorf and they get to plan their day for 1/2 the day

making a biome map for Africa using the Waseca Biomes Continent Stencils

making the spice mixture for Shakshouka

when we went to look at her chestnut trees, my friend Megan gave me a bunch of different eggs from her backyard fowl

this is a turkey egg!

turkey, chicken, and guinea fowl eggs ready to go into the pan

and after we eat each recipe, this student scratches off where in the world the recipe is from

Zac invents and draws this drawing all by himself, a perfect example of that internal motivation we are trying not to squelch 

kids are all born with a powerful drive to learn... and the education system needs to not knock it out of them!

I love seeing how much learning they soak up when it's offered as an invitation and not given under duress

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