Sunday, May 1, 2016

Learning French in the classroom

Over the past few weeks, I have started teaching a few words in French to the children in my classroom. The response from the children was actually quite amazing and I never expected them to take to it so well and so easily. I used the format of our circle time to start teaching them how to say hello, good-bye, "my name is.." and at the moment we are learning numbers.
To make it more interesting and to enrich the learning experience, I started researching the web for resources or ideas And I thought "why not sharing it with you all"?

French Learning programmes

There is actually much meaningful resources out there unless you are ready to spend money on programme such as:

Muzzy (more geared towards the home learning environment)
Professor Toto (a cartoon character that engages and speaks to children).

To be honest I am not interested personally into these programmes but they might be what you are looking for. The idea for our setting is not for the children to become fluent in French but to explore another language and open up their mind to the world around them. It is also a nice extension to our geography study on the continents.

YouTube videos

Below are a list of  YouTube videos for pre-schoolers which I started using. They might sound boring to you but believe me the children do like them. They reinforce what I teach them in an interactive and fun way.
  • French greeting songs

  • Counting in French

Needless to say that the best thing to do is to try using the greetings and the numbers as often as possible throughout the session: greet the children in French when they arrive, wave them good-bye in French, count how many children are standing on the line in French etc... Using the Montessori sandpaper number cards, apply the Three-period lesson to help the children remember the numbers in French.

Easy Songs and rhymes

Expose the children as much as possible to the sound of the language.

Please leave a comment if you would like to share your ideas or suggest any other activities. Thank you.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Free download - spring flowers 3 part card game

And because today's weather was glorious but exceptionally cold for a 29th April, I felt like sharing one of the 3 part-card game we are currently using in our classroom for our study on Spring. The children line up the cards then need to match pictures to pictures (remembering the names of each flower if possible). For those a bit older, we add another difficulty by matching the word cards to the pictures. So just click right here to view file for free. And please, if it doesn't actually work, please let me know in the comments below. I am quite new at that "game" and I am a slow learner as far as technology is involved.



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Transition bags (also called "quiet" bags)

Transition times in our classroom have always been an exercise that required tact organisation, patience and swiftness. What are transition times I hear some of you ask?Transitions are those periods of time when the children are moving from one activity to the next. In our setting the main transition causing chaos is usually the one after snack time when we need to clean up the tables and help the children putting their snack boxes away in their bag and put on their coats in preparation for our outdoor activities. Well, let me tell you that kids at that time especially get quite excited about going outside.

Geometry in Art & Craft

In our classroom, children regularly use the Montessori Constructive Triangles Boxes. These boxes contain various triangles of different colours and they are used to form plane figures. They help children to refine the discrimination of geometric form and prepares them for geometry. I wrote a great post a few years ago about geometry and you can check it out right here if you re interested in knowing more about how children learn about shapes in our setting.

Friday, April 8, 2016


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This page is under construction. Keep in touch....

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Animal Atlas

Over the past few weeks we have introduced the children to the map of the world. They have learned to differentiate land shapes from oceans and have learned the names of each continent. Each continent is colour coded in a Montessori classroom. This helps the children to remember which is which a lot easier and they now can point at each of them on the map at circle time without any hesitation. The next step was to teach them some characteristics unique to each of the continent.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas messy dough

Why should children enjoy messy (also known as sensory) play? Well scientific research shows that the brain is stimulated through movement and the senses. To ensure the circuit of a child's brain reaches its full potential, then sensory experiences are vital. So we did get messy! We made salt dough together (messy, gooey!!!). And the children shaped the dough into little gingerbread men.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

2) Life cycle: from seed to sunflower - craft

To complement out study on seeds and plants (see previous post on "1-Life cycle: from seed to sunflower" ), the children got to decorate a small cardboard box with seeds and beans. It's a simple craft which they truly enjoyed as they could choose the shape of the box, the seeds, which colour they were going to use etc... They all thought about what they were going to use the boxes for. Sweets, hair clips, rings, stones, seeds etc... What would you use yours for?

1- Life cycle: from seed to sunflower

Theme: New beginnings in Spring
Topics: the life cycle of a seed

For the children to understand the concept of life cycle, there is no better way than getting them to plant their own seeds and let them make their own observations afterward. We used at first pictures to explain to them how a small seed grows into a plant once it is planted in the ground. The pictures showed them the different stages of growth. Of course, without water and without the warmth of the sun, nothing would grow. We then went outside and planted a little sunflower seed. We made a trip to the greenhouse ( how to explain a child that the green house is not actually green?😜) and placed our little pots there. Every day, before outdoor play, the children got a chance to come and water their plants and see them grow!!