Saturday, September 15, 2012

Montessori-Inspired Dinosaur Fun with Printables, Water Beads, and Glass Gems

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now

Montessori-Inspired Dinosaur Fun with Printables, Water Beads, and Glass Gems
Dinosaur activities are fun anytime during the school year. They are especially helpful at the beginning of the year for capturing many children's interest in learning activities. Today I'm sharing some ideas using free printables from the Dinosaur Kindergarten Pack at Royal Baloo. I used the printables to create hands-on Montessori-inspired dinosaur activities for a number of different levels.

Dinosaur, Dinosaur, What Do You See? Booklet

Dinosaur, Dinosaur, What Do You See? TrayOn the same page with the Dinosaur Kindergarten Pack is a link for a Printable Dinosaur, Dinosaur, What Do You See? booklet. I LOVE Bill Martin's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? And this dinosaur version is great!

I think it would be wonderful to have a Montessori-inspired tray containing the printable booklet pages, scissors, and stapler. Children who are able to use a scissors fairly well could use this as a cutting and stapling activity. I'd have a model available for non-readers to sort the pages by matching. Children who are able to read could read the pages and place them in the correct order based on context.

Dinosaur Roll and Graph Game
Dinosaur Roll and Graph Tray 

I've wanted to see what water beads are really like, so I found an excuse to check them out! For the Dinosaur Roll and Graph, children can roll the dice and color in the graph, but you can also create a fun hands-on game that's perfect for fine-motor coordination.

To make the cube, I printed and laminated the cardstock before assembling. It was very difficult to fold the cube after it was laminated. I ended up using clear packing tape to hold it together properly. I think it would work best to just print the page for the cube on cardstock, cut it out, and put it together with clear packing tape, using the tape both as a laminate and a way to seal the cube.

Water beads are awesome for the pincer grasp. I've read that it's good to keep the water beads completely covered in water so they don't get moldy. I added a bowl of water beads covered with water to the activity. If you have the cardstock laminated and leave a laminate edge, it's fine for it to get wet from the water beads. 

I wouldn't recommend using water beads for this particular activity for a child who has difficulty with fine-motor coordination and becomes frustrated easily. The water beads require fairly good fine-motor coordination skills and tend to move around easily. For children who have fairly good coordination and would enjoy a challenge, I think the water beads are a fun addition. I sure had fun with them! 

Dinosaur Roll and Graph Game 

I'm a fan of cooperative games, and this could be made into a cooperative game where each child takes a turn rolling the dice and placing a water bead on the graph for the appropriate dinosaur. I like the cooperative aspect of having the children work together to add water beads to the graph until one of the dinosaurs reaches 10.

Even though the game is cooperative, you can still use it to teach sportsmanship. At the end of the game, the children could shake hands with each other and say, "Good game!" It's helpful for children to learn the social etiquette for games without the emotions involved in winning and losing. Hopefully, that will make it easier for them to remember to show good sportsmanship during an actual competitive game.

Dinosaur 100s Chart

Dinosaur Hundred Tray

This would be a fabulous extension to the Montessori hundred board as well as an activity for the 100th day of school. Since I love glass gems, I used them to make a reusable hands-on activity.

Dinosaur 100s Chart

I just printed out the page with the design colors and numbers and placed it under the dinosaur 100s chart. For non-readers, I drew color-coded boxes around the color words.

Dinosaur Addition Word Problems

Dinosaur Addition Word-Problem Tray

This is a non-threatening, hands-on way to introduce addition word problems. I used glass gems and a sugar tong from Montessori Services for children who would enjoy a practical life activity along with the math problems. 

I just printed out and laminated extra copies of the Dinosaurs 100's Chart for the numerals. By cutting apart the numerals from the 100's chart, I have a nice size of inexpensive numerals that should be useful for lots of hands-on activities in the future, too! 

Dinosaur Addition Word-Problem Activity

When showing how to do the layout, I recommend placing the glass gems in rows of two with a leftover gem centered below the last row. It's a standard Montessori layout for cards and counters and gives a visual representation of odd and even. If you have exactly the number of gems and the exact numerals necessary to complete the three equations, that will serve as a control of error. 

You could have control cards with the correct equations written out, although most children who are comfortable with numbers and counters will be able to add the numbers and discover any errors if the wrong card is left at the end. You could read the word problem for non-readers, who can fill in the equation by looking at the numbers on the card.

For more ideas on preparing and presenting Montessori-inspired activities, check out my other posts at PreK + K Sharing.

More Montessori-Inspired Dinosaur Activities
Montessori-Inspired Dinosaur UnitYou'll find links to Montessori dinosaur printables along with lots of Montessori-inspired dinosaur activities from around the blogosphere in my roundup post at Living Montessori Now: Montessori-Inspired Dinosaur Unit.

More Free Dinosaur Printables

Here are some other great dinosaur printables that can be used to prepare Montessori-inspired activities:
Enjoy creating some hands-on dinosaur fun! :) 
 
Living Montessori Now

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 Colorado Springs with her husband of 37 years and their cat of 11 years. She blogs at Living Montessori Now. 

Linked to Tuesday Tots, The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions at Milk and Cuddles and Crystal & Co. , Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop, The Weekly Kid’s Co-op, Living Life Intentionally Linky Party, Preschool Corner, Saturday Show & Tell, Show-and-Share Saturday, The Sunday Showcase, Link & Learn, and Afterschool Link Party.

26 comments:

  1. Wow! Deb, you once again have explained everything so nicely and have made it easy for us to follow instructions, find materials, prepare them for use, and encourage children to have joy while learning. Thank you for including all the links! Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Carolyn! I really had fun with this ... since water beads and glass gems weren't used back when I was a Montessori teacher, this was especially fun to put together! :)

      Delete
  2. I love what you did with it all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Cassie! I really appreciate your encouragement - and all the wonderful printables and activities you share! :)

      Delete
  3. I love the idea of using the water beads!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Ayn! I really had fun using them on the graph ... of course, I had to think of some way to use them! ;)

      Delete
  4. Fantastic dino fun. My kids used to be dino fanatics. The Wee Sing dino cd is a favorite here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Martianne! The Wee Sing series has been around for awhile ... my kids used to love the Wee Sing songs on cassette tape! ;)

      Delete
  5. Wow! This is amazing... especially for a mom of two boys who are just entering the age of dinosaur love!
    By the way, I never thought to let my son cut and staple his own little books. I'm making that a new task for him. He'll love it and he could use the practice, plus it will save me some time, right? maybe? ha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jackie! I hope it works well for you to have your son cut and staple his own books. It is great for fine-motor skills ... and it should save time eventually! ;)

      Delete
  6. Thank you so much Deb for sharing on our Afterschool Link Party. These would make great activities for home. Can't wait to try them with my daughter. I know using the glass beads and water beads will make learning a lot of fun too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kim! I'm such a fan of glass gems and now water beads, too. Have fun! :)

      Delete
  7. I absolutely LOVE all of these terrific dino ideas! Pinning for our Dinosaur Unit in January!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Tanya! I love dinosaur units ... I hope you have fun! :)

      Delete
  8. We are doing Dinos in the spring, so I am pinning this one for the great ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dinos are fun in the spring, too ... a nice change after winter! Thanks for pinning, Sarah! :)

      Delete
  9. Love dino stuff. I am pinning this for future use. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your graph is similar to my gingerbread graph. Love teaching math with graphs. http://www.brennaphillips.com/graphing-gingerbreads-in-preschool

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Brenna! I love your graph, too ... manipulatives make graphing so much more fun! :)

      Delete
  11. I loved all of the ideas you presented here. Thanks for sharing at the Sunday Showcase!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Trisha! And thanks for hosting Sunday Showcase! :)

      Delete
  12. Dinotastic fun! I really like the way that you presented the word problem lessons adding in the hands on element. I always just think of word problems as being a straight forward reading and solving the problem. Perhaps if I had learned in a more hands on approach such as your example in this post I would not have dreaded math so much as a student. Thank you for linking up this week to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Jill! I definitely love finding hands-on activities for problems. And thanks for hosting Enchanted Thursdays! :)

      Delete

We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment below....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...