Multiplication

After addition with the golden beads, Pumpkin 1 wasn’t keen on subtraction, so on consultation with other Montessori moms, I introduced multiplication.  Multiplication?  For a 4 year old?  Yes!  Multiplication is only the addition of the same number multiple times.  Usually this is done in the Montessori classroom with a group of children.  Since we don’t have a group, I used little peg people.  I thought that would make it more fun for her.

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After giving each “person” the same amount.  We added it all together.

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Who knew multiplication was so simple and fun?  Pumpkin 1 didn’t want to try it again so I made it more engaging by appealing to her sense of imagination.  We said the golden beads were treasure each person had and we had to figure out home much they had altogether.  After the second calculation she told me the people were tired and needed to go to sleep.  Oh well.

We actually had a really good work session today (in between Pumpkin 2 throwing things, climbing on me and treating me like a jungle gym while I tried to work with Pumpkin 1).  He always wants to be a part of everything but he’s still in a key time for gross motor skills.  I really should put an oval line on the floor.  I wish I had a balance beam.  He did work for a bit on the Animal and Plant sorting cards.

Pumpkin 1 did some Pink Series writing and reading.  I’ve put all the materials for the Pink Series in tackle boxes.  She’s good at writing with the moveable alphabet but she still really struggles with sounding out.  She’ll say the sound of each letter but when she puts it together will use different letters or say what she thinks not what she read.  She is really good at sight reading and knows a lot of words that way so she gets frustrated at having to sound out, she wants to just memorize every word.

We did the life cycle figures and read the little life cycle books, Pumpkin 2 sat on my lap to listen.  Then the two of them worked on patterning with the math link cubes, Pumpkin 2 just did whatever Pumpkin 1 told him.

 

After that Pumpkin 1 did the North America continent map with flags, and matched the objects in the continent box with the cards.  We also read the little book about North America and she looked at pictures of Banff Park with the ViewMaster.

Then that I suggested lunch but she wanted to do the Flag Map.  Somehow, the key I made, is lost but she remembered almost all the flags and even corrected me when I confused the Algerian flag with Pakistan’s.

It’s great when we have a good work session, especially since yesterday’s was a bust.  I just need to find more for Pumpkin 2 to do.

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Our Solar System, with a Printable

Pumpkin 1 has been fascinated learning about our solar system.  She has decided she wants to be an astronaut and go to Mars.  She tells the daycare kids, “I’m going to go to Mars one day”.

I have been learning so much about the Solar System that I didn’t know.  Like that there are at least 5 dwarf planets including one between Mars and Jupiter called Ceres.  And that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are made up of a gas and have no solid surface.  I got this book from Amazon and it’s amazing.  It’s perfect for Kindergarten age and is full of colourful pictures.

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We also have this solar system from Discovery Toys.

It’s great to show how the planets go around the sun but I wish the planets turned around too and a moon going around earth would be awesome.  The planetarium part is disappointing.  We used to have a planetarium as a child and I loved it (though it was my brother’s).  I’ve been hunting for an affordable one for my kids.  I decided to go with this one because it’s affordable and has ok reviews.  We should get it in the mail soon and I’ll review it for you.

I wanted 3 part cards that had all planet on them but I couldn’t find any so I made my own.  That took a lot of work but I’m very happy with the results.

(The blanket on the carpet is to protect it from accidents from Pumpkin 2, who is pretty much toilet trained except when he’s too involved in playing.  I can just pick it up and throw it in the wash and the carpet is safe).

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It has the 8 large planets and 5 dwarf planets as well as the major moons.  Pumpkin’s favourite moon is Callisto because it looks sparkly.  There is also the 3 types of galaxies, other items in space such as 2 asteroids, comets, stars and meteoroids and nebulas (they’re so beautiful I had to include 3).  Each card as some info on the back.

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You can download the cards for your own use below.

Solar System Cards cursiveSolar System 3 part cards

Solar System Cards printSolar System 3 part cards print

When you print them out print the planet pictures first (the odd number pages) and then print the information on the back (the even number pages).  These can be your control cards.  Then you can print off a second set of the picture cards and cut the labels off along the line.

The Solar System chart is from here:

http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/11/27/why-there-are-and-should-be-eight-planets-in-the-solar-system/

Image credit: NASA's The Space Place, via http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ice-dwarf/.

I also printed off the symbols for the planets.  Astronauts need to know that too of course!

I just printed them off from the below site and cut them out.

 

Planet Astronomical Symbols

Though I try to avoid screen time, space is just something you have to see.  To see objects floating in space and see what life is like on the International Space Station, is just not something that photos can do justice too.  Pumpkin 1 loves to watch videos of life on the ISS.  Chris Hadfield, who is a Canadian, has some excellent ones.

 

Pumpkin also liked watching the female astronaut wash her hair in space.

 

I’m really glad Pumpkin 1 lives in this generation.  50 years ago being an astronaut wouldn’t have been open to her being a girl.  Now she can dream big space dreams.

New School/Playroom

Our New School and Play Room

A while back I was just running out of space in our small playroom.  I said to my husband, “you know, it’s me and the kids that live in the house the majority of the time, you’re only home and up for a few hours.  It’d make more sense for daycare and home schooling to have the biggest room for us and the small back room for the living room”.  My husband agreed as long as there were no toys in the living room.  So we set about switching the rooms.  It was a large task as we decided to repaint the living room now to be playroom as it needed it.  So, lots more shelves, lots more space and also lots warmer (the back room was cold), also brighter and more centralized.  It’s perfect….well….almost….I’m always improving it some how.  And here are the pictures.  I’ll start on one side and go around the room to the right.

Montessori shelves

Montessori shelves

Montessori shelf

Montessori shelf

Montessori Shelves

Montessori Shelves

Music center

Music center

Toy shelves

Dresser holds art supplies with some world puzzle map and metal insets on top

Dresser holds art supplies with some world puzzle map and metal insets on top

Work table with Dinning room table and Pumpkins

Play kitchen

Play kitchen

Montessori shelf

Montessori shelf