Music – Staff

Pumpkin 1 is learning piano from her Gammie.  We also have a set of Montessori Bells.  I was trying to think of a way to teach the staff and I saw a Pinterest post with the person using gems with the letters on them.  We have a pile of gems and Pumpkin 1 loves playing with them.

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I printed off one staff and wrote the letters on it.  I did print off a treble and bass clef but haven’t laminated them yet.  I wrote the note names on the back of the gems with permanent marker.

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I introduced matching them to the bells and then how we can write the music we play using the staff.  Pumpkin 1 has tried writing her own music for the piano so she really liked this.  That’s one key area of Montessori music that different from music lessons – the children are given the opportunity to write their own music.  Creativity is such a huge motivation for learning something.  How often do we learn and study something so that we can express our creativity – knitting or crochet, painting, playing an instrument, carving, sewing, writing.  Being able to express ourselves is a fundamental human desire across all cultures.  In the Reggio approach there is a lot of importance given to “the hundred languages of the child” which is all the different ways and mediums in which a child communicates and expresses himself.

If you can’t afford a set of Montessori bells, you can pick up a set of hand bells.  If possible spray paint them so they’re all one colour so that the child learns to use their ears rather than their eyes to differentiate between the sounds.

What We’ve Been Up To.

Pumpkin 2 is growing up fast.  Not only is he potty trained day and night, he no longer sucks his thumbs (thanks to some applications of juice from our Aloe Vera plant) and he no longer has a nap.  The no nap has meant huge changes to our daily schedule and including him in “school time” now.  It has also meant a lot of changes for me to figure out how to work with both of them but, it has been going better than I expected.  It’s also had benefits as the day can be more relaxed since we don’t have to make sure nap time is on time.  Yesterday he preferred to dump the shapes from the pattern pictures everywhere and to make the coloured peg people crash into each other, but he is also having periods of work too.  Here’s him sorting Plant and Animal Cards.

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We’ve been doing music as a group activity.  We match bells and then work on rhythms.  Rhythm is way too advanced for Pumpkin 2 but it’s something he wants to be a part of.  They really like this drum I got from Amazon.  Pumpkin 1 has been resistant to learning rhythm but she needs to for her piano lessons so the drum was a great motivation.  We did have a good talk about how to treat the drum (I could just see Pumpkin 2 trying to stand on it) and it’s kept up high to only be used with me.

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Pumpkin 1 is working on linear counting.  She got bored with the Golden beads so I thought it best to take a break and work on something new.  It worked because she was interested in them again the other day.  I also found out that you don’t have to do subtraction with them before multiplication and since she wasn’t keen on subtraction, multiplication will probably be the next step.

These are the Teens boards I printed off and laminated from Montessori Print Shop.  I put some velcro on them because I think it makes it more fun and eliminates the frustration of accidentally shifting the cards.

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We’ve been learning about Vertebrates and the types of Vertebrates and I got a skeleton of a pigeon on huge discount from Affordable Montessori.  The kids were fascinated.  Pumpkin 1 is holding a laser light I was using to point out the spine or Vertebrate.  I thought they’d be scared of it but I guess they haven’t been exposed to the idea of skeleton’s being scary.  Pumpkin 1 as been asking a lot of questions about the body and so I plan to do a unit study on the body soon.

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Here she is sorting out the Types of Vertebrates cards I made.

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I also got these from Amazon and the kids love them.  They’re quite fun and were cheaper than X-Rays of bones.

Pumpkin 2 is my cuddly boy.  He’ll sit on my lap for hours if he could.  It’s funny because he can be so full of energy, literally bouncing off the walls (yes literally, he loves to crash into them and fall on the floor) but he’ll sit so nicely on my lap and just look at a book or play with cars or watch his sister.  I try to soak it up as much as I can because I know it’s not going to last forever, but I also need to get things done.  It’s such a difficult choice, snuggle him a little more, or get to the list of things I need to do.  I usually pick snuggle.

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