Montessori Blue Series Reading Work

Reading materials for the classroom

A few months ago we were gifted a box of treasures by a former Montessori teacher who also happens to be the grandmother of one of our students.  Even after a decade and a half in the classroom, I still love this stuff!

All that organizing put me in the mood to take photos of all the language materials in my cabinets.  I now have multiples of things and I think it might be time for a giveaway soon.

Below are photos of some of our reading materials.  These are all color coded in blue to represent regular phonetic words that have more than 3 letters.

Children need the following skills before they can tackle this level:

  1. Strong phonemic awareness (practice with sound games like I Spy and the activities in my phonological awareness packs)
  2. Know the sounds of all the consonants and vowels (practice with sandpaper letters)
  3. Combine letter-sound knowledge and phonemic awareness with the use of the movable alphabet (phonetically spell short words and phrases)
  4. Know how to decode 3-letter words (often color coded in pink.  Cathie Perolman has some great materials for this stage.)

An important note:  children are not required to go through a rigid sequence of materials when learning in a Montessori environment.  The sequence exists so that we can fill in gaps in understanding, but it’s critical to keep in mind our ultimate goal which is to help the child take control of his/her own learning.  Some children just need exposure to decoding 4 letter words once and they’re ready to move on to more complex things, while others need and like to have the time to practice a particular skill for a long period of time.  So, don’t feel like you need to have all of these items on your shelves.


 Reading Words

Montessori Blue Reading Series 3 part Cards

Blue series 3-part cards (Source: Trillium Montessori Store)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Objects and Labels 2

Montessori Blue Reading Series Objects and Labels

Objects and labels (how fantastic are these brass objects?!)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Pictures and Labels 4

Picture and word labels (Source: Unknown)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Pictures and Labels

Picture and word labels (Source: Unknown)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Pictures and Labels 2

Picture and Word Mats (Source: The Helpful Garden)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Pictures and Labels 3

Picture and Word Mats (Source: B.E.S.T. Educational Supplies, website unknown)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Picture and Word Cards

Picture and Word Mats (Source: Unknown)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Phonetic Word Booklets

Phonetic Word Booklets (Source: Unknown)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Blends Word Lists Free Printable

Blends Reading Lists (Source: Free for Trillium Montessori subscribers)


Reading Sentences

Montessori Blue Reading Series Sentences and Objects 3

Phonetic Sentences and Objects (Source: Lakeview)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Sentences and Objects 2

Phonetic Sentences and Objects (Source: Lakeview)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Sentences and Objects

Phonetic Sentences and Objects (Source: Lakeview)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Sentences and Pictures 2

Phonetic Sentences and Pictures (Source: The Helpful Garden)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Sentences and Pictures

Phonetic Sentences and Pictures (Source: Lakeview)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Yes and No Questions

Phonetic Yes/No Questions

Montessori Blue Reading Series phonetic Sentences

Phonetic Sentences (Source: Montessori Printshop)

Montessori Blue Reading Series Phonetic Sentence Booklets

Phonetic Sentences and Stories (Source: Unknown)





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Learning About Fish

April 17, 2015

in Cultural

Learning About Fish

This is a video from our class back in 2009 when Trillium Montessori was still in my house.  We had fun learning all about fish.  The video starts off with one of my favorite fish songs, then shows clips of children working with our fish themed materials, and ends with us getting our hands dirty examining a fish from the grocery store!

I just finished making a Fish Preschool Pack for my TpT Store.

Fish Cover

I’ll have photographs of the pack in action once I print it out and get it on the shelves!  But it’s ready for you to purchase and download now.  Click on the image above to go to the product page.

This pack includes the following activities:

1. Color Sorting

Fish Color Sorting Cards

2. Size Sorting
Fish Size Sorting Cards

3. Shadow Matching
Fish Shadow Matching Cards
4. Category Sorting
Fish Not Fish Category Sorting Cards
5. Prepositions Game
Where is the Fish Positional Words

6. Cutting Strips and Lines
Fish Cutting StripsFish Cutting Lines

7. 0-10 Number Cards
Fish Number Cards

8. Number Clip Cards
Fish Number Clip Cards

More Ideas for a Fish Unit

40 Fish Theme Activities for Kids from Fantastic Fun and Learning

Fish Unit from Just Montessori

Fish Prints from An Idea on Tuesday

Montessori Inspired Ocean Unit from Living Montessori Now 

Free Printables

Aquarium Fish from Trillium Montessori

Parts of a Fish from the Helpful Garden

Fish Science Preschool Pack by Haffley Homeschool

Shark Pack by 3 Dinosaurs

Shark Fact Cards by Pinay Homeschooler

Shark Pack from Every Start is Different

Fishy Following Directions by The Speech Bubble SLP

Clown Fish Foldable Book by Jennifer Drake

More Fishy Ideas

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

Intro to Life Science in Preschool

Living and Non Living

A few years ago we introduced the concept of living and non-living by introducing the students to our brand new class pet.

Fish The Big Reveal

The big reveal!

Observing the Fish

Observing the fish.  They named him Violet.

(RIP Violet.  You served us well for 3 years.  We loved you.)

Living and Non Living Fish

Comparing the living fish to a non-living fish. (Er, that is NOT dead Violet, just a plastic fish)

Living Non Living Cards

Sorting pictures of Living and Non-Living things

Artificial Natural Cards

We also have an artificial-natural sorting work from Montessori Printshop

Plants and Animals

We then compared Violet the fish with a plant.

Examine Plant

Quite different!

Plant and Animal Sorting

Sorting Plant and Animal cards from The Helpful Garden

Vertebrates and Invertebrates

Feeling Your Backbone

Feeling your backbone

Skeleton Matching

Matching skeletons to the animal outlines. I adapted this set from the one made by In-Print for Children

You can find vertebrate and invertebrate sorting cards in a variety of places.  I don’t like using them because a child cannot tell just by looking at a picture whether an animal has a backbone or not.

Classes of Vertebrates

The Helpful Garden has a GREAT printable showing the backbones of the various classes of vertebrates.  I don’t have a picture of it from our class but you can download your own set here.

Classes of Vertebrates

These cards are from Homeschool Creations

IMG_0205

Sorting the classes of vertebrates





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By Melissa Kaiser

 

Bloomz

As teachers, we know that parental involvement is crucial to the success of a child’s learning. There is a direct correlation between engaged parents and a child’s morale, performance, and self-esteem. The more you can reassure and educate parents, the more confident they become in their child’s progress.  Over and over you hear the same message… highly engaged parents = confident life learners.

I have been a Montessori teacher for 8 years, and have always been considered a role model in parent communication. I did everything right. I sent emails, multiple reminders about events, chatted with parents at pick up/drop off, I would even text parents pictures of amazing learning moments I had captured in the classroom… But I was still answering emails about what their children were doing daily. I was still hearing that parents weren’t aware of the event I had reminded them of. And so much more.

I live in Redmond, WA, the land of Microsoft. Technology is embedded in everything our families do, and here we get a condensed view of what the world is moving toward. Fast paced, with a need to know information in real time. This puts direct pressure on teachers to perform at a lightning fast pace, while involving parents more than ever before, in a way they are able to process information. And it is becoming an increasingly unattainable goal for the educator.

At the beginning of this year one of my parents brought in something he wanted me to try. He had developed a free app that would change parental engagement forever…. He walked in and said “Let me show you Bloomz, you are going to love it.”

Bloomz app for parents

Bloomz is completely free, and is accessible from your computer, phone or tablet. When you invite your class community, they get to choose whether or not they want to create an account. If they are reluctant for any reason, no big deal. Any communication you do in Bloomz will get sent in email form as long as they have been invited to the class. So you never have to worry about who has seen the information and who hasn’t.

When you create an account, here is what you will get…

1. A secure and private network (the only people that will ever see your content are those you invite. Period)

2. Two way messaging between parents and teachers- Remember the texts I mentioned earlier? Now I don’t have to give out personal information

3. A classroom page that works just like Facebook. Parents can “like” and “comment”, you can post updates and pictures, etc. The best part? With Bloomz YOU own your content…

4. Photo sharing- teachers as well as parents can share photos or upload to albums making yearbook preparations a breeze.

5. Calendaring features (all with built in reminders)

  • parent teacher conference sign ups (these take 30 seconds to set up- no joke)
  • event planning with item and volunteer requests
  • in class volunteer signups
  • no school days
  • announcements (these have a time stamp that will keep them at the top of your feed
  • alerts (used for emergencies, these will send a direct cell phone notification as well as a
  • and so much more…

Bloomz app for schools and parents

Just taking a few minutes each day to post a picture and a description of what my students were doing in class virtually eliminated the need for the hours of parent communication I was doing each night.  Now parents don’t have to deal with multiple accounts across many different websites just to manage their children’s lives. Everything is finally in one place!

This started in my classroom, and now our school has implemented Bloomz for the entire community.

We get more responses from parents, and more engagement from the kids as well. (e.g. my kids are bringing in their sound of the week sharing every Monday because I have a reminder set up in the event on Sundays to bring their sharing the next day.) I can say, without a doubt, that this app has completely changed my teaching life.

In January I decided to work part time at school, and part time for Bloomz, so that I can help get the word out to as many teachers as possible. Check it out- sign up- and start saving time!


About Melissa Kaiser Melissa Kaiser for Bloomz

Melissa is a Montessori Lead Teacher in Redmond, WA.  She is also the community manager for Bloomz.   Check out her post for Montessori specific ways to maximize Bloomz in your classroom at www.bloomz.net/montessori

You can get started and sign up for your free account at www.bloomz.net If you have any questions, or are interested in attending one of their free webinars, you can reach her at melissa@bloomz.net

Please contact Melissa if you are an international school and need help getting your address set up.





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Favorite Finds at AMS 2015 Conference in Philadelphia

The teachers at Trillium all went to the American Montessori Society Conference in Philadelphia last week and we had a blast!  We loved meeting so many of you, our amazing blog readers!

If you missed the conference, you can order the audio recordings of all the workshops and download free handouts from the AMS website.


Here we are getting our booth ready in the exhibit hall.

Getting the Trillium Montessori booth ready at the AMS Montessori Conference in Philapdelphia

See all those binders?  Those are printouts of all the materials we have in our TpT store.  We had them available so people could see exactly what is included in the different packs.  Teachers could also purchase the “whole store” on a flash drive.   The flash drive is now available here (sorry, the conference price has expired!).  It will be available for shipping in the US only, but yes, it will still come with a school license so you can share with other teachers at your school (woohoo!)


One of my favorite things about going to the national conference is checking out all the new vendors in the exhibit hall.  The usual favorites were there of course, but here are a few new-to-me companies (and friends) that I discovered this time around.
My wish list has gotten really big!

Sewing in the Montessori Classroom
A Practical Life Curriculum
by Aimee Fagan

Aimee Fagan with her brand new sewing curriculum book at the AMS Montessori Conference in PhilapdelphiaGet the book on Amazon

Also on Kindle

I got to meet Aimee Fagan!  She’s the author of the Montessori Works Blog and has just published a fabulous sewing curriculum.  She had a few preview copies with her in Philly and she kindly gave me one! You can find her book on Amazon.

Wings Worms and Wonder
by Kelly Johnson

Wings Worms WOnder

Wings Worms and Wonder at the AMS Montessori Conference in Philapdelphia

I also got to meet up with my friend Kelly Johnson.  She’s a former lower elementary teacher who now spends her time helping schools and organizations implement a gardening curriculum.  Be sure to check out her blog and sign up for her free lesson plans and nature journal prompts.  (Psst, she did all the gorgeous illustrations in her book by herself!)

Music Box

YouTube Preview Image

Ok this one just blew me away!  I NEEED this!  It’s a simple looking wooden box with a button on it.  Place the special cards on the box and press the button to hear the sound of the instrument.  Isn’t this just perfect for your toddler or preschool classroom?  What a great shelf work.  And no need for an ipad!
It’s made by MFB Productions Inc. and is at the top of my wish list.

Where am I in the Universe?

Where Am I

Where Am I Cosmic Nesting Dolls at the AMS Montessori Conference in Philapdelphia

Where am I in the universe cosmic nesting dolls and book

I loved these gorgeous nesting dolls.  They come with a beautifully illustrated book that describes where a child is in the universe.  Judy and Elise also do teacher workshops.  You can get more information here.

Bloomz.net

bloomz

Bloomz free parent communication app at the AMS Montessori Conference in Philapdelphia

I met Melissa and Chaks from Bloomz.  They have a fantastic little app to facilitate parent communication at schools.  You can set up volunteer requests, schedule parent conferences, share messages and pictures, connect with other parents in your school/class, parents can arrange playdates or projects together and a lot more.  It’s like a little school social network.  Best of all, it’s completely free.  Yes, free.  I’m going to begin experimenting with it soon!  Check out the Bloomz.net website for more details.

Montessori Collective

Montessori Collective

Montessori Collective at the AMS Montessori Conference in Philapdelphia

The Montessori Collective has materials designed by Montessori teachers and hand crafted by artisans.  They have a number of items that can be used with Sonnie McFarland’s book Honoring the Light of the Child.  If you have a concept for a material, you should get in touch with Ariel and tell her we sent you!  More info at Montessoricollective.com

Lucky Learning Tunes

Lucky Learning Tunes

Lucky Learning Tunes at the AMS Montessori Conference in Philapdelphia

I loved the ladies at the Lucky Learning Tunes booth!  Terri is a Montessori teacher and has been teaching for about 30 years.  She wrote and sang all the songs in her collections.  She played her guitar for us right there at the booth.  In addition to making her wonderful songs about math, language, history and geography available to us, Terri also does workshops for schools.  You can find out more at LuckyLearningTunes.com

Virtual Montessori

Virtual Montessori at the AMS Montessori Conference in Philapdelphia

I was happy to finally meet up with Jean Chenai of Virtual Montessori.  She has the most beautiful classroom shelves setup I have ever seen.  She also makes lovely materials for the classroom.  Her chalkboards are so elegant.  She also has lovely wooden continent boxes.  This woman has a wonderful aesthetic sense.  I really want to go and observe her classroom one day!  Get more information at VirtualMontessori.com

Educational Resource Company

Educational Resources Company Clear Containers for Montessori Card materials at the AMS Montessori Conference in Philapdelphia

This company is not new to me, but I wanted to include it here because I get a lot of questions about how to store the number tiles for the Hundred Board.  I like the container in this picture and will probably order it.  I also love their small clear 3-part card trays.  They are the right size for many of my cards.  The wooden 3-part card trays from Montessori Services are beautiful but much too big for my materials.  Get more information about the Educational Resource Company here.



Free Printables
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March Preschool Activities

February 27, 2015

in Cultural

Post image for March Preschool Activities

Sorting by color

 

Here are some ideas for St. Patrick’s Day themed preschool activities to help you get ready for March.  These printables are available in my TpT store.  If you want to be notified when the printables are available, be sure to subscribe for updates in the form at the bottom of this post.

 

March Preschool Activities Sorting Pictures

Sorting pictures of shamrocks and people

March preschool activities Shadow matching

Shadow matching

March preschool activities number cards 0-10

0-10 Number Cards

March preschool activities 0-10 number clip cards

0-10 Number Clip Cards

March preschool activities learning positional words

Where is the leprechaun? Prepositions Game

March preschool activitiesfollowing directions

Follow 1-3 step directions

Click the images below for more ideas.

Fine Motor Activities

Montessori Fine Motor Activities for St. Patrick's Day- Trillium Montessori

Rainbow Activities

Rainbow Activities at Trillium Montessori

Phonological Awareness Activities

St Patricks Day Phonological Awareness Activities Trillium Montessori



Now Available on TpT

St Pat Cover

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Post image for So You Want to Get Montessori Training

I often get questions from people who are interested in getting Montessori training but have no idea where to start.   Even though Montessori has been around for a long time, it is just recently coming into mainstream awareness.  You have to dig a little bit to find the information you need.

Hopefully the overview presented below will give you some direction in where to start your search.

 

Training for Professionals

If you are planning to teach in a Montessori school or start a Montessori program of your own,  you should get professional level training.  There are a variety of training options available around the world.  Expect to dedicate at least one year of full time study and practice to receive your certification.  Training programs offered through universities are typically at the Master’s level.  This should give you some idea of the advanced level of coursework that is required.  Even though most Montessori training programs are not affiliated with a university, the coursework is equivalent.

There is no ranking system for Montessori training centers and no agreed-upon training that is considered the best.  You will need to do some homework to find a program that fits your personality and lifestyle.

When searching for a program, look for ones that include the following:

A significant portion of the curriculum devoted to Montessori theory.

Opportunity to interact closely with classmates and instructors (a good distance learning program will provide this)

Affiliation with a respected Montessori accrediting organization (these vary from country to country)

A student teaching requirement (this can range from a few weeks to a full year)

Montessori101.org has a great article by Andrea Lulka with detailed suggestions on what to look for in a quality Montessori Teacher Education Program.

 

Montessori Training for Professionals

In the United States, the following organizations have the best reputation for accrediting Montessori Teacher Training:

MACTE:  Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education

According to their website, MACTE is “the international standard setting and accrediting body for Montessori teacher education.” 

MACTE is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) and is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE).

Their mission is to improve the level of Montessori teacher education by:

Developing valid and reliable accreditation standards that contribute toward quality Montessori teacher education;
Evaluating compliance with these standards;
Recognizing institutions and programs that demonstrate compliance with the standards;
Serving as a resource to various stakeholder groups concerning quality issues in Montessori teacher education;
Serving as a unifying body in the field of Montessori teacher education

MACTE does not accredit schools, only teacher training programs.

AMI Association Montessori Internationale

The Association Montessori Internationale is an internationally respected organization and AMI diplomas are recognized at almost all Montessori schools.  Some schools may have a preference to hire or not hire AMI diploma holders, but the training will be recognized.   AMI training is known for being thorough and consistent.   As of the date of this blog post, the AMI website lists 17 training centers in the US.

AMI accredits schools in addition to teacher training programs.  AMI affiliated training centers in the US are also accredited by MACTE.

AMS American Montessori Society

The American Montessori Society is the largest Montessori organization in the US.  The majority of the Montessori training centers in the United States are affiliated with AMS, and you are likely to find one within a few hours driving distance of you.  You can search for a training center near you on the AMS site.  AMS training is recognized and respected in most schools in the US.  It will not be accepted for a lead teacher position in AMI accredited schools.  It is best to speak to the schools in your area to find out their preferences and requirements for employment.

AMS accredits schools in addition to teacher training programs.  AMS affiliated training centers in the US are also accredited by MACTE.

Other Professional Training

There are a few other respected, but smaller, organizations in the US that offer Montessori training.  The following are all accredited by MACTE and adhere to high standards.

A note about distance learning: 

Distance learning programs are becoming more popular and more affordable.  However, very few are accredited by MACTE because they do not offer an in-person component.  One of the few MACTE accredited distance learning programs for Montessori teacher education is CGMS: Center for Guided Montessori Studies.  CGMS has a good reputation for thoroughness and accessibility.  It is affiliated with the International Montessori Council.

 

Training for Homeschoolers

 Montessori training for homeschoolers

Homeschoolers may not require the vigorous coursework of professional level training.  Self study combined with shorter courses should suffice for your needs. You will need to supplement your coursework with readings on Montessori theory.  See the Recommended Books section below.  Without a solid foundation in the theory, you will not see the results you hope for, no matter how fancy the manuals you receive from your training course are.

Important Note: If you plan to operate a home-based Montessori preschool, I recommend getting professional level training.  In my opinion, it is inappropriate to call your program Montessori if you/your staff are not professionally trained.  Without professional training, you may not realize what is missing from your program to make it fully authentic.

A few places to get training for homeschoolers

KHT by Karen Tyler

Homeschool Course by NAMC

The most affordable by far is Montessori for the Earth by Lisa Nolan:

A note about buying manuals  

Many companies sell Montessori manuals, or “albums” as they’re called by Montessori teachers.  I do not recommend buying these if you have not gone through a training program.  They are not designed to teach you Montessori.  Read more about this on Montessori101.org:  What You Need to Know About Montessori Albums

 

Training for Parents

Montessori training for parents

If your child attends a Montessori school or you simply want to incorporate some Montessori principles into your home and life, then taking some time to read books about Montessori will be sufficient.  If you want to dig in further, I recommend the following online courses:

Montessori Fundamentals by CGMS

See Your Child the Montessori Way by Maren Schmidt

Maren Schmidt also has a wealth of free articles, webinars and newsletters that I highly recommend for Montessori parents.

 

Recommended Books

The following books are available on Amazon (affiliate links)

By Maria Montessori

       

      

 

Other Authors

      

        

      

      
   

 



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Get Ready for FEBRUARY

February 6, 2015

in Cultural

The February Seasonal Guide is ready!

You can also see pictures of many of these activities in the following posts from previous years:

Valentine Theme Activities

On the Language Shelves in February

Grace and Courtesy

The Importance of Grace and Courtesy



 



 

I’ve added it to the subscriber’s page so head over there if you’d like to download a copy for yourself.  It’s free.

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Available in our TpT Store

Valentine Bundle Cover

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