Social Stories

February 7, 2016

in Practical Life


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 I was introduced to the concept of Social Stories about 10 years ago by Pat Getz, the support services coordinator at the Montessori School of Syracuse.  The Social Stories technique, in my experience, works very well with Montessori Grace & Courtesy lessons.

What are Montessori Grace & Courtesy Lessons? 

Grace and courtesy how to welcome a new student

“Grace and Courtesy” is the term we use to describe manners and learning how to be polite.  It encompasses such basics as how to walk in the classroom, how to watch someone working, how to say please and thank you, etc.  See more examples here and here.

What are Social Stories?

Shaking Hands Grace and Courtesy

Social Stories were developed in the ’90s by Carol Gray and others to help children with Autism learn how to cope with social situations.  Read more about the The History of Social Stories.

The goal of a social story is to give the child accurate information in a simple, understandable and reassuring manner.  Social stories use specific sentence types to convey information.  You can read more about the sentence types on the Educate Autism website.

Grace & Courtesy and Social Stories

Examples of Social Stories

Using Social Stories to Ease Children’s Transitions is a great article by Jennifer Briody and Kathleen McGarry describing how a social story was used for a toddler in a Montessori classroom.

Patrick’s daddy is taking Patrick from the car. (Photo of Patrick leaving car)

Next, Patrick hangs up his coat. That is a good idea. (Photo of Patrick at coat hook)

Patrick’s daddy says good-bye with a hug. He will miss Patrick today, but he will see him again at home tonight. (Photo of Patrick and parent hugging)

This is a sample of a simple story, but combined with the photos, and the reassuring tone, it can be extremely helpful for a young child.

You can find more examples of Social Stories on Head Start and Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

Make Your Own Social Stories

If you are a Montessori teacher, you are probably using some variation of Social Stories in your lessons without realizing it.  They are such a great way to teach grace and courtesy lessons to young children and  they do not have to be reserved for children with special needs.  The idea is to keep the story simple, realistic, based on the child’s real-life experience, and give the child strategies he can use to handle certain situations.  Sometimes the strategies aren’t even necessary.  The most basic social stories will simply describe a routine or procedure, such as the drop-off story above, in a reassuring manner.

I create social stories on the fly all the time.  If I observe a situation that seems to be causing some sort of friction in the class, I tell a social story about it when we come to circle.  We then role play it together.  I can’t emphasize enough the importance of using simple and reassuring language.  The goal is to give the child tools for handling a social situation, not make him feel bad for having done it wrong.

If a young child is having particular difficulty with something, it can be very helpful to create a little book for the social story.  Take photos, or find generic photos online, and write simple text to go with it.

It is my goal to one day create a little library of classroom social stories for the many grace and courtesy lessons we do!

 

Helpful Materials

Free Manners Matching Cards by Wise Owl Factory

Free Social Story Downloads by Headstart

Social Stories printables on Teachers Pay Teachers

Social Stories for all kinds of occasions by One Place for Special Needs

 

More Resources

Grace & Courtesy Lessons on Montessori Primary Guide

Grace & Courtesy Lessons on Living Montessori Now

Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy by Deb Chitwood Kindle eBook

Sharing vs. Grace & Courtesy by Teaching from a Tacklebox

The Magic of Grace & Courtesy on MariaMontessori.com

  


 

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Here are some of the activities we have on our Montessori preschool shelves in preparation for the Chinese New Year!

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On the Fine Motor Shelf

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We kept our fine motor shelf pretty simple.  We just have a red theme with some rice and dishes from China.

 

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Pouring red water

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Pouring 3

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Tonging 1

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Tonging 2

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Spooning

On the Art Shelf

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Cutting Strips

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

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Cutting Lines

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

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Pin Punching animals from the Chinese Zodiac

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Painting

We have red and yellow paint on the easel

 

Pre Literacy Activities

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Sorting by Size

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

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Sorting by Color

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

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Oral Language Development: The Question Game

Again, we used animals from the Chinese Zodiac for our question game.  Very fun!

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

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Oral Language Development: Following Directions 

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

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Oral Development: Where is the Monkey?  A Prepositions Game

2016 is the year of the monkey!

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

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Shadow Matching

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

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Sorting photos of monkeys and tigers

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

Counting

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Number Clip Cards

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

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Number Cards

(Source: Chinese New Year Preschool Activities Pack)

We’ve also been enjoying the album Chinese Traditional Zheng Music by Hong Ting

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Get More Chinese New Year Ideas on our Pinterest Board

Next year we’d like to try some of these great ideas!

Chinese New Year Unit Pinterest Board

 


 


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 I am celebrating three years of blogging this month!  It’s incredible how time flies!  It’s been an exciting journey and I have learned a lot.

What I have appreciated most over the past three years is the connections I’ve made with readers around the world and other bloggers who share a passion for Montessori and early childhood learning.

I am beyond thrilled today to partner with some of those amazing bloggers and Montessori educators to bring you a celebration gift like no other.  We have pooled some of our favorite Montessori printable products together into a massive bundle for you.

It’s worth over $60 and we’re selling it for…. $0.  
That’s not a typo.
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We’re calling it the Everyone Wins with Montessori Giveaway Bundle.  We are passionate about what we do and we want to share that passion with you.  We’re all in this together, and we all win!  (Don’t you love how modern technology makes things like this possible?!)

Wait, I was wrong, here’s the catch:

  1. The bundle is only available for a limited time.  If you don’t sign up by the deadline, you will miss your chance to get it.  No exceptions.  The offer ends 11:59pm Jan 24th, 2016 EST.
  2. The files are provided with a single user license.  This means you may not share the files with your friends or colleagues.  Know someone who would love this?  Send them to this page so they can get their own copy!
  3. The hard working contributors of the bundle will receive your email address and may follow up with you via email.  (Don’t worry, we won’t be selling your email to spammers!)

 

Ready to get your bundle?

CLICK HERE to go to the info page

On the info page, click the red button to get started

Enter your information in the form that pops up

Check your inbox for a confirmation email (might take a few minutes to arrive)

Click YES! in the confirmation email

You will be redirected to a page with a link to download the bundle

The files must be downloaded by February 28th, 2016

After you’ve signed up, spread the word!

Share the image below on all your social media profiles and forums, email your teacher and mama friends, and invite them all to the celebration!  We want everyone to win with Montessori!

Everyone Wins With Montessori Jan 17 to 24 Sign Up Now

Offer ends: 11:59PM Jan 24th, 2016 EST

 

Contents

Click the links below to see full descriptions of each of the products included in this bundle.

LANGUAGE

A Montessori Approach to Language (accessible until Feb 13, 2016 as part of this bundle) video course by Deb Chitwood and Jo Ebisujima
Montessori Pre-Reading Bundle by Marnie from Carrots Are Orange
Fruit Literacy Matching Cards by Susan from Explore Learn Go
Beginning Literacy Materials by Frida from Rainbow Learning Materials
Montessori Grammar Activities by Lisa from Montessori Kiwi
Conjunctions Exercise by Lolly from Elementary Observations

MATH
Golden Bead Addition Cards by Jessica Renee

ART & MUSIC
Artists and Paintings by Katherine from I Believe in Montessori
Musically Montessori- Steady Beat Lesson Plan by Carolyn from Magical Movement Company

SCIENCE, CULTURE, & GEOGRAPHY
Antarctica A-Z by Seemi from Trillium Montessori
All About Japan Culture Pack by Jo Ebisujima from Jojoebi
Flags of Africa by Jo Ebisujima from Jojoebi
US History Pack by Yuliya from Welcome to Mommyhood
Finland 3-Part Cards by Katherine from I Believe in Montessori
Major Rivers of the World by Jae from Pinay Homeschooler
Transportation Montessori Pack by Anastasia from Montessori Nature
Shark Nomenclature and Taxonomy by Lolly from Elementary Observations
Fruits and Vegetables Unit Pack by Jae from Pinay Homeschooler
Wildlife and Inanimate Nature Cards by Katherine from I Believe in Montessori

Hard Goods
20% discount on Montessori materials by Anita from Max & Naoli

 

Meet the Contributors

Alphabetical by first name

Anastasia from Montessori Nature

Anastasia150Anastasia is an early childhood teacher, raising two trilingual, fun, mischievous and gorgeous kids. She is a strong believer in natural, purposeful and meaningful learning. She implements Montessori education in her teaching and writing. Anastasia aims to connect every part of her life with nature and faith. She is a writer and editor of Montessori Nature blog.  Find out more about Anastasia on her Blog | Store | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ |

Anita Kianek-Edwards from Max and Naoli

AnitaAnita is a happy mama of two gorgeous children, twins Max & Naoli who led her to Montessori.  She found her passion in designing traditional and unique educational materials inspired by alternative forms of education. She enjoys spending time with her family, sunshine and fresh air, photography and online marketing. Find out more about Anita on her Website | Shop | Facebook | Pinterest |

Carolyn Lucento from Magical Movement Company

CarolynCarolyn is a grandmother, career Montessori Teacher, & currently an Orff-Schulwerk Music Specialist in Preschool Classrooms.  She is also an A.M.S. Teacher- Trainer in the S.F. Bay Area.  She firmly believes that we all learn just about everything through the art of play!  Find out more about Carolyn on her Blog | Store | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram

 Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now

Deb-Chitwood_Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools before starting her own Montessori school. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. She lives in San Diego where she takes care of her 2-year-old granddaughter a few afternoons each week.  Find out more about Deb on her Blog | BitsofPositivity | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | Youtube

A Montessori Approach to Language (video workshop with PDF) will be available for $9.99 on February 14. Before February 14, it’s only available (for free) to Montessori Giveaway 2016 entrants.

Frida Azari from Rainbow Learning Materials

FridaFrida has been  a Montessori teacher for the past 14 years in the Early Childhood and Lower Elementary levels. She holds her Early Childhood and Lower Elementary Credentials from the American Montessori Society. Frida is also an adult educator and has been teaching Montessori Philosophy and Mathematics for the Montessori Teacher Education Center San Francisco Bay Area for the past 4 years.  Frida enjoys photography and has had 6 of her photos published on the cover of Montessori Life magazine.  All the photographs for the books “A Parents’ Guide to the Montessori Classroom” by Aline D. Wolf and “Math Works” by Michael Duffy are Frida’s work. Frida enjoys designing teaching materials and is currently working on her new line of Phonic Readers materials for pre-school to 3rd grade students. Her Math teaching materials are being sold at “Teachers Pay Teachers” website nationwide.  Find out more about Frida on her Website | Store |

Jae from the Pinay Homeschooler

JaeJae is an Electronic Engineer on paper, but turned Stay at Home Mom and Homeschooler.  She has been been nurtring learning in her kids since birth through Montessori philosophies.   They do a lot of Montessori and Montessori-inspired activities, make their own learning materials , do a lot of  hands-on learning, nature studies and outdoor activities at home.  Find out more about Jae on her Blog | Store | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter |
Jessica Renee
Jessica ReneeJessica is a Montessori-trained teacher from Vancouver, British Columbia, where she currently teaches a combined Grade 1 and 2 class, in a public school. In Vancouver, public Montessori programs are becoming increasingly popular with parents who want something different from the traditional school model. She loves to develop interesting Montessori-inspired extension activities to use with her class and to share with others on Teachers Pay Teachers. Find out more about Jessica in her | Store |
Jo Ebisujima from Jojoebi

JoJo is an expat Brit living in Japan with her family. She is a BIG believer that learning should be fun and that if kids fall in love with learning they will carry that with them throughout their lives. She loves the Montessori method and feels that the most important thing that parents can do is to “Follow The Child”  She runs courses and writes books to help parents make learning fun, including the best selling book: Montessori Inspired Activities For preschoolers, which is available on Amazon and all good book stores.

Find out more about Jo on her Blog | Store | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | Youtube
Katherine Kabral from I Believe in Montessori

KatherineKatherine is from Ukraine. She is trained in Montessori from birth to six years. She consults for parents about the Montessori method. Montessori is her passion and she has been inspired to create Montessori printable educational materials.  Find out more about Katherine on her  Blog | Store | Facebook | Pinterest |

Lisa from MontessoriKiwi

Montessorikiwi is proudly run by Lisa, a trained Montessori and state teacher with 6 years experience in Public Montessori in New Zealand. Lisa has over 100 Montessori resources in her store suitable for ages 3-12.  She loves making resources where students apply their knowledge and think outside the square! Find out more about Lisa in her Store | Facebook | Pinterest |

Lolly from Elementary Observations
NewElObsLolly is a Montessori trained teacher (6-12) and mother of two. She currently lives with her family in Western Australia where they enjoy the diverse landscapes that surround them. Find out more about Lolly on her Blog | Store | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter
Marnie Craycroft from Carrots are Orange
craycroft profileMarnie hails from Maine where she spent summers buried in sand and winters buried in snow. She is the daughter of a nearly four decade veteran of the public school systems. Teaching has always been a part of her life. She founded Carrots Are Orange, a Montessori inspired learning and living website for parents and teachers, in 2010. Besides writing, passions include running (usually after her three sons), photography, and outdoor adventures. Marnie currently lives east of Seattle with her husband and three young sons.  Find out more about Marnie on her Blog | Store | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter |  Instagram
Seemi  from Trillium Montessori

Seemi Abdullah

Seemi is an AMS trained Montessori teacher.  She has been in Montessori for almost two decades, as a teacher, administrator, and consultant.  She founded her school, Trillium Montessori in 2009 and began blogging about her classroom activities in 2013.

Find out more about Seemi on her Blog | Store | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram
Susan Gordon from Explore Learn Go
SusanTeaching has provided the opportunity for Susan to work with many amazing students from preschool age through adults in a variety of learning environments including the Montessori classroom. She owned and operated a Montessori school for 20 years.  Whatever the age of the student or learning environment, she tries to provide an interactive classroom with hands-on materials and lessons that promote student involvement, success, and a joy of learning.  Find out more about Susan in her  Store.
Yuliya Fruman from Welcome to Mommyhood
YuliyaYuliya is a stay at home mom to a preschooler. She blogs about hands on kids learning activities,  shares printables, and healthy recipes. She documents her approaching to homeschooling her son, using a mostly Montessori inspired method. Her printables are available in English and Russian. Find out more about Yuliya on her Blog | Store | Facebook | Pinterest |  Google+ | Instagram

 


 


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 Preschoolers really enjoy winter activities!  I’ve pulled together some great resources from around the web to help you create a winter theme for your classroom.

Montessori and preschool winter activities

Montessori Activities for Winter

In Montessori we aim to give children experiences with real life as much as possible.

Preschoolers will enjoy practical life activities such as:

For the Montessori Language Area, create

  • Nomenclature cards for common winter vocabulary such as clothing, winter animals, winter activities etc.
  • Sequencing cards such as how to get dressed, making a snowman, making hot chocolate

For the Montessori Science and Cultural Area, try

Winter Activities from Trillium Montessori

These are some of the additional activities we have had in our class over the years during the winter months.  Click the images to go to the blog post for more details.

 

More Montessori Winter Activities

Click the images for more details.

Preschool Winter Activities

Click the images for more details.

  


 


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I love the early language development area of my classroom!  There is a lot of foundational work that comes before children are introduced to letters.  Today’s post is about the kinds of activities we have on our pre-literacy or early language Montessori shelves.
A Year of Montessori Early language Shelves

 

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Hanukkah

December 13, 2015

in Cultural, Printables


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 These were some of the activities we had on our Montessori shelves in honor of Hanukkah last week.

Hanukkah Activities

 

On the Fine Motor Shelf

Hanukkah Practical Life Shelf

We kept our fine motor shelf fairly simple with a blue and white color theme.

Dry Pouring

Dry Pouring 

Wet Pouring

Wet Pouring

Funnel Pouring

Funnel Pouring

Squeezing

Tong Transfer

Squeezing and Sorting

Tonging and Making a pattern with pom poms

Spooning

Spooning marbles

Spooning 2

Spooning glittery balls

On the Art Shelf

Hanukkah Painting

Painting with White and Blue!

Dreidel Pin Punch

Dreidel Pin Punch

On the Hanukkah Shelf

Hanukkah Shelf

Hanukkah Shelf

Dreidel Game

Dreidel Game

Our students love this game!! Practice spinning the dreidel and working on counting. Some children need help reading the directions, so it is best to play this with an older child or adult, but everyone enjoys playing! (Source: we found this set at Target a few years ago)

Hanukkah Matching Game 2

Hanukkah Matching Game

Hanukkah Matching Cards

(Source: Kidsparkz )

Pre Literacy Activities

Following Directions

Oral Language Development: Following Directions 

(Source: Hanukkah Preschool Activities Pack)

Three Part Cards

Hanukkah 3-Part Cards

(Source: Hanukkah Preschool Activities Pack)

The Question Game 2The Question Game

Oral Language Development: The Question Game

(Source: Hanukkah Preschool Activities Pack)

Shadow MatchingShadow Matching 2

Shadow Matching

(Source: Hanukkah Preschool Activities Pack)

Sorting by ColorSorting by Color 2

Sorting by Color

(Source: Hanukkah Preschool Activities Pack)

Sorting by SizeSorting by Size 2

Sorting by Size

(Source: Hanukkah Preschool Activities Pack)

Counting

Number Clip CardsNumber Clip Cards 2

Number Clip Cards

(Source: Hanukkah Preschool Activities Pack)

Numbers and Counters 2 Numbers and Counters

Number Cards

These would be fun to do with gelt or pennies as counters!

(Source: Hanukkah Preschool Activities Pack)

Some Other Ideas!

Menorah

DIY Menorah 

We made this menorah using simple wood turnings from the craft store and gluing them on to a wooden base.  It cost just a couple of dollars.  This would be an easy craft for older children.

Latkes and Applesauce

A special snack! Latkes and Applesauce!

Eating a Latke

Yummm!!!

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We’ve also been enjoying the song “Chanukah, Oh Chanukah”

and “The Dreidel Song”

YouTube Preview Image

 

 

Get More Hanukkah Ideas on our Pinterest board

Follow Seemi @ Trillium Montessori’s board Unit: Hanukkah on Pinterest.

 


 


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 Free Montessori Classroom Organization eCourse

 

Register for the eCourse

 

Click the button above to sign up for our free week-long Montessori Classroom Organization email course.  You will receive daily emails with some of our best tips for getting your Montessori Primary (3-6) classroom organized!

Day 1: Set Up Your Teacher Workstation

Day 2: Organize Your Practical Life, Art, and Cultural Supplies

Day 3: Organize Your Math, Language, and Sensorial Areas

Day 4: Planning

Day 5: Classroom Setup Inspiration

Day 6: Record Keeping

Day 7: Recap

This course is geared towards teachers working in a Montessori 3-6 level classroom.  However, homeschoolers, non-Montessori teachers, and teachers of other levels will also find useful material here. 


 


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 Are you ready for the deal of the year?  The Kid Bloggers Network has put together a a mega bundle of ebooks and educational printables for parents and children.  The bundle includes

  • 12 ebooks with hundreds of Kids Activities & Crafts
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38 kbn books printables

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The Kid Blogger Network was created by founder Jamie of handsonaswegrow.com for like minded bloggers who blog about anything parenting and child / education related. Over the years the group has become an awesome resource for its members resulting in collaborations just like this one! This network has amazing members from teachers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, homeschoolers, moms who are invested in sharing their journey and even a few doctors and lawyers.

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Table of Contents

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