Thursday, March 26, 2009


Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high....

Who else loves Reading Rainbow? Although we don't really watch tv, my kids love the Reading Rainbow episodes our local library has on DVD. Last year our 6 year old won 1st place in the local portion of the Reading Rainbow," Young Authors and Illustrators Contest". This year both our 6 and 5 year old are entering, so our house has been a mess of paints, glue, colored papers and more for the past few days! It's a bit chaotic, but it is so cool to see their books coming along! They are really excited to make their submissions and have learned a lot about the writing and illustrating process along the way.

Here are a few books that the children have used as inspiration and for researching various illustrating techniques:

I just love picture books, don't you? Someday I would absolutely love to hit the road and take the kids to the Eric Carl Museum of Picture Book Art. It looks so awesome! For now we'll just have take a virtual tour. Check out their website for some great resources!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Taking Time for Good Examples

Here's a link to a great post from Barbara over at Mommy Life. I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed with housework and trying to organize my Montessori materials lately. Where's Rosie the Robot when you need her? I swear March has always been a strange month for me! Maybe it's the full moon? ;)

Anyway, Barbara's post is a gentle reminder for me to remember to "practice what I preach" to the children regarding how to do things the "Montessori way". I really do think that setting a good example for my children will help ease a bit of the stress in everyday life. The laundry's still gotta get done and I'm always going to have to cook and clean, but if my children are able to imitate me and be more quiet and graceful while carrying out their activities, our home will be a more peaceful and pleasant place to be. Sometimes it is hard to slow down and take the time to show them how to do the tasks they are capable of completing themselves (and show them how to do them gracefully and properly step by step!), but it will be so rewarding in the end! Not only will it build independence and self confidence, but it will also mean one less thing for me to eventually have to do! It's a win, win situation!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Montessori Three-Part Cards

I was so happy to receive a comment from French Montessori home schooling mama, Cissou. She was nice enough to share a wonderful idea for storing and displaying Montessori three-part cards.

First she folds little folders out of colored paper or card stock

Next, She laminates the folder and cuts little slits in which to place the cards and labels in

Voila! C'est magnifique, non?

Here is the finished product ready to be chosen off the shelf:

I was really inspired by Cissou's idea and by reading this post over at Montessori for Everyone and created the folder below for my Phases of the Moon materials:

I created my folder by using an inexpensive colored folder and then attaching stick on "library pockets" in two different sizes. I found my "library pockets" at the local teaching supply store. If you don't have one, you can always check online. I would include a link to an online source, but Blogger is behaving strangely and won't let me highlight text to add a link right now. My label maker ran out of label tape, so I wasn't able to label the top two pockets and front of the folder, but I plan to. I am really excited to have some great ideas on how to store and display my printed materials. I believe organization is very important in a Montessori classroom so that you are able to find your materials easily for rotation. You also want to set a good example for the children and not have their materials strewn all over the place! It will help them develop a respect for the materials and work. My 6 year old was really excited to see the folder above and
can't wait to get started working on them!

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

3-Part Cards: Storage, Organization, & Display

I just laminated and cut my Montessori for Everyone Phases of the Moon Cards, and I'm on a quest to figure out the best way to store our 3-Part Cards when not in use! What do you do to store and organize your cards when not in use? I'd love to hear/see your ideas!

What about when in use? How do you display them on the shelves? Montessori Services carries some nice looking Three-Part Trays, but I'd like an alternative to paying $23.50 a pop!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

At Home with Montessori Workshop in Chicago

I was born and raised in Chicago. I'm so jealous! I wish I could attend! For those of you in the Chicago land area, here is a wonderful opportunity:

At Home with Montessori Workshop in Chicago

At Home with Montessori Parent Night with Author Patricia Oriti
Gateway Montessori
Friday, March 13th, 2009 - 7pm
3748 W. Montrose Ave
Gateway Montessori is holding a parent education night with the author of At Home with Montessori.. She will be talking about Montessori principles and how to integrate those into your home and family life. Patricia Oriti is an internationally recognized parent educator and school adviser with over 35 years of Montessori experience. She is the author of At Home with Montessori, a popular parent resource.While the parent education nights at Gateway are typically just for parents of currently enrolled students, we'd like to invite the public to join us for this special speaker - adults only, please.Please rsvp to by 3/6/09 so we can estimate the number of attendees.
"These words reveal the child's inner needs: Help me to do it alone." - Maria Montessori

You can find the book, At Home with Montessori with accompanying DVD at the NAMTA website.