Sunday, January 15, 2017

Montessori-Inspired Penguin Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

I love studying both Arctic and Antarctic animals in the winter. Last month, I focused on Arctic animals. This month, I'm focusing on penguins from Antarctica and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere. 

I have a post at Living Montessori Now with free penguin printables for preschoolers through first graders. You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Shelves with Penguin-Themed Activities

Montessori Preschool Shelves with Penguin Theme 

My shelves with penguin-themed activities include a free printable penguin culture card (available with or without description) designed by The Montessori Company for Living Montessori Now. 

You'll also find Montessori-inspired penguin numbers and letters (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

You could mix your penguin themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special penguin area something like the one pictured. This one is more for 2½-4 year old preschoolers. I didn't add my more advanced activities to the shelves, although you could have activities for mixed ages in a classroom or homeschool. If you're a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child's interests and ability levels. If you don't have room for all the activities you'd like to do, just rotate them.

Penguins Cultural Card with Penguins Book 

I was lucky to have The Montessori Company create a lovely hand-painted penguin culture card for you to use on your shelves to introduce the penguin theme. I'm hosting the free printable as an instant download at Living Montessori Now. You can always access the free penguin culture card hereYou can use the version of the card with the title only, although I like the description: "These flightless birds live in colonies and huddle together for warmth during the winter months." 

I like to buy at least one book specifically for a theme. I really like this National Geographic Kids Penguins reader

Penguin Shape Matching Penguin Shape Matching Tray Free Printable: Penguin Shape Matching Game from Life Over C’s 

For this activity, I used a multicraft tray, Montessori insets from Alison's Montessori, a Montessori Services basket, and small tabletop easels to hold the penguin shape cards. These cards are such a fun extension for work with geometric shapes!

Penguin Shape Matching Layout

For most preschoolers, you could have two sets of the shapes that match metal inset shapes. 

I use a Montessori Services rug on the floor for the layout. 

Penguin Shape Matching Layout for Readers    
For children who can read, there are word cards included! 

Five Penguin Puppets and Counting Activities 

Five Penguins Tray

Free Printable: Five Little Penguins: Counting Songs from Let’s Play Music 

Free Printable: Five Funny Penguins Book and Game by Sheila’s Leaps in Learning at Teachers Pay Teachers 

For this activity, I used a multicraft tray, with the penguin printables attached to craft sticks to make puppets. You could sing the songs in the post at Let's Play Music. I like the printable Five Funny Penguins book to go with the penguins as well. I printed out 4 pages per letter-size page, so it's smaller than it would be normally. 

Penguin Cards and Counters
Penguin Cards and Counters Free Printable: Penguin Numbers (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I used a Montessori Services medium-size tray and 55 silver fish in a glass bowl. I LOVE these little fish beads! They're reasonably priced yet feel like a high-quality material. They come in sets of 50, so I ordered two sets. I like that they're all the same color and small enough to be used with many different activities. 

I like to lay out my numbers and counters in the traditional Montessori way of rows of two counters with a left-over counter centered below the bottom row. This gives a visual impression of odd and even. For more about creating DIY numbers and counters and a link on how to present the lesson, check out my DIY Cards and Counters post. 

Penguin Cards and Counters Layout 

I use a Montessori Services rug on the floor for the layout. Penguin Adding to 100 with Hundreds Chart Penguin Adding to 100 with Hundreds Chart Free Printable: Penguin Adding to 100 with Hundreds Chart from Life Over C’s 

For this activity, I used a multicraft tray, large Bambu condiment cup, and brad and paper clip for the spinner. 

The game is designed for addition, although younger children could spin and then put that many fish on the hundreds chart until it's full. 

Penguin Word Family Sort Penguin Word Family Sort Free Printable: Penguin Word Family Sort by Squirmy Scholars at Teachers Pay Teachers. I printed out the fish words in sets of 4 to make them small enough to fit in the penguins' stomachs. I used 4 nouns for each penguin, but you could use as many or few of the penguins and words as you wish. 

Again I used a I used a multicraft tray, large Bambu condiment cup, and the printables.  

Penguin Word Family Layout 

3-D Penguin Paper Toy Craft 3-D Penguin Paper Toy Craft Free Printable: 3D Penguin Paper Toy from Easy Peasy and Fun For this craft, I used a multicraft tray, Fiskar scissors, and glue. This cute activity would be best for kindergarteners and first graders who have good cutting and gluing skills.

More Free Penguin Printables

Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to free penguin printables from around the blogosphere: Free Penguin Printables and Montessori-Inspired Penguin Activities

And be sure to subscribe to my email list if you'd like to get an exclusive free printable each month (plus two more awesome freebies right away): Free Printables.

More Penguin Activities

Montessori-Inspired Arctic and Antarctic Unit 
Montessori-Inspired Continent Activities – Penguins of Antarctica
Montessori-Inspired Multi-Level Penguin Activities 
Kids’ Winter Activities Pinterest Board 
Antarctica Educational Resources Pinterest Board
Montessori at Home or School - How to Teach Grace and Courtesy eBook

If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12. I'm also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!

Have a wonderful rest of the winter!
Deb - Siganture
Deb ChitwoodDeb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 41 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and toddler granddaughter live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

VIEWER GETS TO CREATE THE BLOG - that's right, you!


I had a crazy idea, and then thought.... it's not crazy, it's perfect for an early January Blog.  For those who don't know me, I'm Enrique, and I'm an educator, public speaker, performing artist and composer, inventor of children's books, music and more.  The more consists of being a devoted father to two incredible kids, now 18 and 22, the cook in my household, and living life to the fullest with my partner, friend, life-long love, and wife, Marie.

So, it's early January of 2017 and here we go!  Today's blog is one where you get to create the direction we take and where you can interact with me directly.                                                    

Below are some images.  Each image is numbered.  Choose as many images as you like and ask me any question... be bold, passionate, curious and courageous (hint... the images and sequence of images are related)

Know that while a large part of my educational activities focus on early childhood, I have worked with all ages of students.  I encourage you to visit the highlighted links above to get to know me a bit more.  That may give even more food for... questions.

Have fun!


























Friday, January 6, 2017

Healthy Body! Healthy Me!

Hi! It's Carolyn from Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and beautiful New Year.  We're all going to have a great year!

I love to start the New Year teaching the children all about staying healthy.

I wanted to share this Healthy Body! Healthy Me! packet Dr. Jean and I created. It is a COMPLETE primary healthy program perfect for K-2.  The packet includes 2 Prezis with LOTS of videos- songs, stories, and anchor charts; activities; writing prompts; anchor charts; and lesson plans.  You are all set for Health with this unit! These are all of the activities and lessons I use, and my students always love them and have so much fun.

The packet covers the skeletal, muscular, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and excretory systems with fun, memorable activities to go along with each one.

I have made Vita-men with my kids for years.  I just love them- and when the vitamin benefits are turned into people the children really seem to remember them!
I love teaching the children all about blood, because it's always something they like to learn about. 
There is an activity for each part of the blood.  This is an example of the Platelet Activity.

After the systems are covered, the packet includes two Watch Me Grow activities that you can use throughout the year with your students.  And a Healthy Habits section which includes activities to teach children about staying clean, getting rid of germs, teeth care, bedtime habits, safe foods, safety of all kinds, being kind, and feelings. Here are some samples:

I always do this activity in September and then right before our Open House in spring so I can hang it up to show the parents.  I put a photo in the smaller rectangle, and the children draw themselves in the larger one.

This goes with the hand washing/germ activity.  The kids love this one!  There are lots of healthy habit activities!

Safe and Not Safe Foods

We cover all areas of "STREAM" which is "STEM with reading and art added in- as well as writing prompts!

This packet has two comprehensive Prezis with videos for each topic to teach and reinforce lessons. These are so much fun to use during those extra minutes you have each day- or as a lesson on its own!
This part of the Prezi is great for talking about emotions. I also use this when I'm teaching the children about adding details and feelings in their writing.
This part of the Prezi helps teach the children ALL about safety in different situations. 
We watch these videos a lot as reminders...
This is the second Prezi- full of our favorite shake breaks. 
The packet also includes Dr. Jean's songs Feeling Fine and Macarena Bones.  You'll hear your students singing these songs over and over.  They don't even realize all they're learning as they sing!

I hope you enjoy this packet and these ideas as much as we do and as much as we enjoyed putting it all together!
Have fun staying healthy!

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