You can’t have a preschool classroom without music!  But if you’re a tone deaf preschool teacher like I am, putting together a music curriculum can be a daunting task.

These are some of my go-to resources for music in my classroom.

Music Resources for the Preschool Classroom

 Free Music

Nancy Stewart has a hundreds of free songs available to download on her website.  Each song comes with an mp3 audio file, lyrics, sheet music and most even have additional activities you can do with the children.  This is my favorite resource!

 

Songs All Year Long

Living Montessori Now has a series of posts with links to free seasonal songs perfect for the preschool classroom.

… and more.

 

Sara Mullett has an amazing collection of songs and rhymes on her Let’s Play Music website.  Many of the songs come with a downloadable printable as well as an activity.  But what I appreciate most is that each song/chant comes with a short Youtube video of Sara playing the tune on a glockenspiel (I think that’s what the instrument is called).  You can find here directory of free songs here.

 

Music Curriculum

Sara of Let’s Play Music is starting to put together weekly music lesson plans for just $2.99 each using the wealth of resources on her site.  If you’re too busy to plan your own, follow her blog so you can be notified when each week’s lesson plan becomes available.

 

Carolyn of the Magical Movement Company is a Montessori music teacher.  She will be posting a year long sequential Montessori music curriculum on her blog this year so be sure to follow her!

Musically Montessori #2: The Montessori Preschool Music Curriculum!

Musically Montessori #3: Let’s Begin with Walking on the Line…

Songs About the World

I often get asked about my collection of children’s songs for learning about Geography.  My top two resources are:

Continent Playlists

 

Music Basics

 

12 Months of Montessori Learning Series

A group of Montessori inspired bloggers have been running a wonderful series this year called 12 Months of Montessori Learning.  In July they focused on Music.

12 months of montessori learning music

 

Living Montessori Now:  As usual, Deb has a resource rich post about Montessori music inspired activities for toddlers and preschoolers.  From providing a basic scope and sequence, to resources for circle time activities, to introducing classical music, she’s got you covered!

Child Led Life:  Marie has a great collection of music resources on her blog:  from CDs to books to free downloads and DIY tips.  This is a wonderful reference for you as you start building your own collection.

Natural Beach Living: Kimberly has photos of her lovely homeschool room and music shelf.  She even has a free printable of 3 part cards of photos of musical instruments.

The Natural Homeschool:  Tanya has a couple of fun Montessori activities for sorting and labeling musical instrument families, along with a free printable.

Planting Peas:  Elaine has a lovely post about introducing music to her young son.  You’ll love the photos of him having fun with instruments!  She describes the Montessori basics of how to expose children to music, and shares some fun ideas for learning about the parts of a guitar.

The Kavanaugh Report:  Nicole has a very interesting DIY xylophone work to share.  Your students will love this activity!

Study at Home Mama: Jennifer also writes about a DIY xylophone but ties it in with the scientific method.

Mama’s Happy Hive:  From setting up a simple music shelf, using rhythm sticks, comparing sounds, independently listening to CDs, and playing the piano, Vanessa’s post is perfect if you’re looking for some toddler music inspiration.

Every Star is Different:  Renae hits it out of the park with every blog post she writes!  Check out this post for some unique ideas and free printables for your music shelf.

Grace and Green Pastures:  Can’t afford the Montessori bells but really want them?  Bess has a tutorial on how to make your own bells on a homeschool budget.  They’re pretty remarkable!

The Pinay Homeschooler: Along with a lot of other great ideas, Jae has some free printable cards of music genres and musical instruments.  They are beautiful!


 

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This week, we wanted to use these beautiful snake clipart illustrations by EduClips to create some 3-part cards to share! This set of 3-part cards includes color illustrations as well as blacklines.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 2.46.53 PM

The following animals are included:

American Copperhead
Anaconda
California King
Emerald Tree Boa
Green Python
Hognose
King Cobra
Rattlesnake
Sidewinder
Western Hognose
 

How to get these printables

All the printables are posted on the password protected Subscribers’ Page.  If you are already a blog subscriber, you will find the password in the most recent email update you received from us.  If you are not a subscriber yet, simply sign up in the box below and check your email to confirm your subscription.  The password will be included in your welcome email after you confirm.  See more information about subscribing here.



 

Today, I am delighted to introduce you to my good friend Virginia Lozuke.  Virginia is the head of school and lead teacher at the Montessori Farm School in Durham, NC.  She was inspired to write this post as she enjoyed some time at the beach this summer.  You can follow her awesome school on Facebook.

-Seemi


 

Montessori at the beach

Earlier this summer I had the great fortune of spending two full weeks with my family at the beach in Surf City, North Carolina. Perhaps you remember sharks were in the headlines almost daily and swimmers were few and far between. My teenage children were self ­managed and not swimming for fear of sharks, so I had lots of time to work on a blog idea I’d had in my head for a while. “Great Ideas for Summer” went from a short list to a 5 page (with the potential to be 50) exhaustive manual in no time. I needed to refocus. I walked the beach and looked around. I was making it too hard, too complicated, and way too long (much like this introduction!). So here is the beach portion of that blog, and I’ll save the rest for spring.

Montessori at the beach organizing

The beach, if you can get there, is a rich Montessori classroom. The materials are beautiful and readily available. Your child will naturally gravitate toward certain activities, so this is less about “giving a lesson” than honoring the “work” they are already doing.

To say that the beach is a sensorial wonderland is almost an understatement. One can hear, feel, see, smell, and even taste the ocean. And that is only the beginning. What about the shells, and if you’re lucky enough to be on Topsail Island, the myriad of polished quartz pebbles that litter the sands? Gathering them is a pleasure in itself, but then the fun begins. One can use the shells and stones for tons of sensorial activities. One can sort by color, size or texture, grade by color, size, or texture, and even match by color, size or texture. Check out the pictures below for a few quick ideas.

Montessori at the beach grading

Grading­ smallest to largest

Montessori at the beach sorting

Sorting by color

As I worked with the stones, I began to see Montessori lessons everywhere (we teachers don’t know how to vacation). There were opportunities for handwriting and numeral writing practice. A shell and some sand beat paper and pencils everyday. And there were ample “counters” all around us to go with those beautiful numerals.

Montessori at the beach writing letters

Letter­ writing practice

Montessori at the beach numbers and counters

Numerals and Counters

In addition to all these opportunities for indirect handwriting preparation there will also opportunities for indirect reading preparation. One of these skills that we value in our classroom activities is the refinement of visual discrimination. It is this skill that later helps a child see, notice, and differentiate subtle differences between letters like “p” and “d” and “b”. The beach was full of opportunities for visual discrimination work. I was taking the easy road, filling my basket with large stones I could pick out by eye without a whole lot of crouching at the waterline. My family on the other hand, had a more dedicated approach and eyes trained for the smallest details, and at the end of the two weeks my daughter had more than 75 tiny shark teeth­ each found one at a time in a mass of shapes and colors. Check out the mass below:

Montessori at the beach iSpy

What I saw

Montessori at the beach shark teeth

What my daughter saw

No matter where you are, opportunities for your children to build their intelligence through experiences are all around. Sometimes, as was my case, you just have to close the laptop and put your feet in the sand first to find them.

Montessori at the beach stacking

Stacking fun

 


About Virginia

Montessori at the beach Virginia Lozuke of the Montessori Farm School

Virginia Lozuke is the Head of School at Montessori Farm School in Durham, North Carolina.  She fell in love with Montessori when researching options for her then three year old daughter and has taught for twelve years.  She loves chatting about all things Montessori, but especially incorporating farming, gardening, and cooking projects into the student’s experience.  Her classroom, housed in a nearly 100 year old building, is filled with light from giant windows, art (from children and adults), plants, animals, students and laughter. Her family creates the beautiful jewelry at My Bella Montessori

 


 

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iteach kinder ipad

Exciting news!  The iTeach K-5 bloggers have gotten together to bring you this awesome giveaway!  Head on over to iTeach Kinder to enter for you chance to win

iPad Air 2
Case
Stylus pen
iTunes Gift Card

Geography is a big part if the curriculum in our Montessori class.  We love talking and learning about the different continents and cultures around the world.   I have been looking for resources to learn more about the country we live in- the United States- and I was absolutely thrilled when I came across the collection of printables made by Jill, from The Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.

Around the USA

Jill has an entire series of FREE (yes, free) printables for every state in the USA.  Each pack includes

  • Creative Writing (Make a Travel Brochure)
  • Door Hanger (Completion Certificate)
  • Handwriting Practice
  • Puzzles
  • Research Project
  • State Bird
  • State Capital
  • State Flag
  • State Flag Wall Card
  • State Flower
  • State Location
  • State Landmarks
  • State Wall Card

She also has a free introductory pack to help you and your students keep track of all you are learning about the different states. I’d also suggest grabbing her Christmas Around the USA pack for some extra fun (Available to EHM members).

Want more ideas?  Jill has collected other resources to help you round out your studies of the United States in her USA State Studies for the 2012-2013 School Year post.

Introductory Pack ~ Regions Pack ~ Alabama ~ Alaska ~ Arizona ~ Arkansas ~ California ~ Colorado ~ Connecticut ~Delaware ~ Florida ~ Georgia ~ Hawaii ~ Idaho ~ Illinois ~ Indiana ~ Iowa ~ Kansas ~Kentucky ~ Louisiana ~ Maine ~ Maryland ~ Massachusetts ~ Michigan ~ Minnesota ~ Mississippi ~ Missouri ~Montana ~ Nebraska ~ Nevada ~ New Hampshire ~ New Jersey ~ New Mexico ~ New York ~ North Carolina ~ North Dakota ~ Ohio ~ Oklahoma ~ Oregon ~ Pennsylvania ~ Rhode Island ~ South Carolina ~ South Dakota ~Tennessee ~ Texas ~ Utah ~ Vermont ~ Virginia ~ Washington ~ West Virginia ~ Wisconsin ~ Wyoming

A few bloggers have gotten together to highlight the amazing resources available on The Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.  Please be sure to check them out!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom blog hop

Not Back-to-School Picnic Ideas – Stir the Wonder

10 Fun Gross Motor Ideas – 3 Dinosaurs

Sensory Bins – Brain Power Boy

Space Activities – Preschool Powol Packets

Storybook Activities – Growing Book by Book

Spring Crafts for Preschool – Kidz Activities

Around the USA – Trillium Montessori

Disney Themed Crafts – Life with Moore Babies

10 Free Coloring Packs – Sunny Day Family

Disney Printables – In The Playroom

10 Simple Science Printables for Kids – Look! We’re Learning!

Pray Species – Fall Crafts and Activities

Superhero Activity Sheets – Crafts on Sea

Kids Activities to Prepare for a Disney World Trip – Mess for Less

Enchanted Preschool Printables – Itsy Bitsy Fun

Literature-Based Dinosaur Activities for Preschoolers – Living Montessori Now

Sensory Bins Based on Children’s Books – Mom Inspired Life

Science Ideas to Start the School Year – Capri + 3

Family Friendly Recipes – ABC Creative Learning

Classroom Showcase Pinterest Edition

I love looking at how teachers have set up their Montessori Shelves.  I’ve collected photos from around the web onto my Pinterest boards.  I hope you enjoy these as much I do!  I will be adding to them as time goes on so be sure to follow the boards to keep up.

See more posts in the Classroom Showcase Series here.  If you would like to contribute to the series, please read the instructions here.

(If you’re getting this in an email and can’t see the boards, please click here)

Click “See on Pinterest” to go to the board for a closer look.

Practical Life

Follow Seemi @ Trillium Montessori’s board Montessori Shelves: Practical Life on Pinterest.

Sensorial

Follow Seemi @ Trillium Montessori’s board Montessori Shelves: Sensorial on Pinterest.

 

Language

Follow Seemi @ Trillium Montessori’s board Montessori Shelves: Language on Pinterest.

 

Math

Follow Seemi @ Trillium Montessori’s board Montessori Shelves: Math on Pinterest.

 

Cultural/Cosmic: Science

Follow Seemi @ Trillium Montessori’s board Montessori Shelves: Science on Pinterest.

       

Cultural/Cosmic: Geograpahy

Follow Seemi @ Trillium Montessori’s board Montessori Shelves: Geography on Pinterest.

 

Montessori Classroom Showcase

 





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Montessori Classroom Showcase

I’m delighted to introduce you to my friend Beth Bitts on this week’s Classroom Showcase.  You can find more information about Beth on her blog, Simply Sewn, and check out some of her lovely materials in her Simply Sewn Etsy store.

We’d love to feature YOU on the Montessori Classroom Showcase too!  Find all the details here.

About Beth

Beth Bitts

I have a BA in Social Work and an AMS Montessori Certification. I came to Montessori as a second career after working in child welfare with children in foster care. I also spent years homeschooling my two boys (who are now grown men!). My eldest son was diagnosed with autism at three and so I spent most of his years in school learning how to serve his needs. This background of social work, homeschool and disability was the best precursor to becoming a Montessori teacher. I have a special place in my heart for children who learn differently and I enjoy helping them succeed in the classroom.

Beth’s Classroom

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts  2

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts  3

Practical Life

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Practical Life

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Practical Life 2

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Practical Life 3

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Practical Life 4

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Practical Life 5

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Clean up shelf

This is our ‘clean up’ area. I do not put sponges on my P.L. trays but instead if there is a spill, the children must go get the spill tray (middle shelf). The large towels on the bottom are for floor spills and the small towels on the middle shelf are for tables. The dust pans on the top shelf are for table crumbs. We have a LOT of lunch friends, thus the number of dust pans.

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Art and Sewing

This is our art and sewing shelf. It isn’t set up completely because of summer break but you get the idea!

Sensorial

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Sensorial

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Sensorial 2

Math

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Math

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Math 2

Language

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Language

At the end of the year we give all our  writing materials (pencils, markers, colored pencils, etc) to the summer camp and start fresh the next year. That’s why the pencil boxes are empty!

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Language 2

Top tray is our sound tray. Our school has a sound of the week. The children can bring an item from home that begins with the sound or find one in the classroom and place it on the tray.

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Language 3

I included our little library in the language section because of our little mail box. The children LOVE writing letters and mailing them. One person has the mail job per week and gets to deliver the mail. Again, the library is not set up because the photo was taken during summer break. Our hermit crab is also usually located in this area.

Cultural

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Cultural

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Cultural 2

The geography shelf is set up for the beginning of the year. I try to cover each of the continents throughout the year. Luckily I have quite a few works from Seemi!

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Cultural 3

The science shelf ready for the beginning of the year. I do a three year cycle with science (botany, zoology and earth science/astronomy) but usually start the year with the basics you see above. The nature tray stays on the shelf all year long and the children love to see what is on it (I change it depending on the season) and they also bring things from outside or home to share with the class. We even had a WHOLE squished baby snake once!

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Continent Drawers

I spent last summer going to garage sales and flea markets to find items for my continent drawers. The children were very excited to have this new work in the classroom this past school year. Above it is our job chart….without the jobs!

Music

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts Music 2

I just moved the clock, seasons and calendar work away from the Math shelf over to this little music corner. We’ll see how it works. The children love having the piano in the classroom! I start the year with one bell to remind the returning children and teach the new children how to hold and play the bell. By the end of the year we will have all the bells on the shelf.

Garden

Montessori Classroom Showcase Beth Bitts garden

This is our little garden. Each classroom has their own. Looks like the weeds are taking over now that we are out for the summer! The tube in the middle is our worm compost.

 

 





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Montessori Classroom Showcase

This week’s Classroom Showcase post is not a tour of a classroom but the (brief) story of how I had to set up my space in under 48 hours when we moved to our current location.  These pictures are from 2010.

How to set up a classroom in 48 hours

Step 1:   Get Some Efficient Movers

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 1

Friday Aug 20th 7pm (in the garage)

We had the classroom materials and furniture stored in my cousin’s garage over the summer.  I was afraid it would take all day to move that stuff but our movers were able to get it done in just a couple of hours.. phew!

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 2

Friday 8pm

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 3

Friday 9pm

Step 2: Bring in Reinforcements

This is not a job for one person.

(Where are the pictures of my fabulous helpers?!!)

I am so grateful to

~my sisters for coming in from out of town and working non-stop~

~my cousin and his kids for assembling all the furniture and doing the heavy lifting~

~my staff for putting out the materials on the shelves~

I feel SO lucky!

Step 3:  Assemble Furniture

Saturday 10am

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 4

Step 4: Unpack

(Make Sure You Have a Good Organization System For Your Stuff.. and Sisters Who Know How You Think)

Saturday 12pm

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 5

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 6

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 7

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 8

Step 5: Arrange the Furniture

MUST set up the office first!

Saturday 2pm

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 9

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 10

Step 6: Put out the Materials

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 11

Saturday 4pm

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 12

Saturday 6pm

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 13

Step 7:  Decorate

Sunday 12pm

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 14

Stickers help make the sterile bathroom a little more welcoming

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 15

Plants, rugs, and a little art work

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 16

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 17

Step 8: Personalize

Gotta get those name tags done!

How to Set Up a Classroom in 48 Hours 18

We got our Certificate of Occupancy on Friday evening and were ready for our students by Monday morning!

Do you have a crazy classroom set up story or pictures of your room to share?  We’d love to feature you here at Trillium Montessori.  Get all the details here.




Are you new to our blog?  Enter your information below to sign up for email updates.  Subscribers also get access to our Subscribers Only page where we host our growing collection of FREE printables.



You may also want to follow us on Pinterest or Facebook and check out our other printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Affiliate links may be used in this post at no additional cost to you.

Linked to these great blogs.



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