Top 5 of 2017

What a roller coaster of a year 2017 has been. So much has happened and changed through the course of the year, both at the blog and in my personal life.

Here I am counting down the top five posts of 2017...




5. Parts of a Stem

As part of the Montessori Bloggers Network 'Our Montessori Spring' series, in this post we looked at the parts of a stem. Included in the post is a mute chart with labels.


4. Essential Elementary Reading

This post lists seven books I consider to be essential to being a prepared adult in the elementary setting. Perfect for homeschoolers who may be moving into the second plane, new teachers or teachers new to Montessori and perhaps a refresher for the experienced as well.


3. Early Elementary Research

Inspired by some conversations with teachers new to Montessori, this post touches upon some of the ways children at the elementary are introduced to research. Ultimately Montessori is the original inquiry method.


2. Back to Basics  - Being a Prepared Adult

Sometimes it is important for us to stop and be reminded of our purpose. Many parts of the day to day can distract us from the basic principles of Montessori education. Sometimes we get caught up in school politics or overthink a situation. Refocusing on some of these key principles can get us back on track.


1. When Montessori Doesn't Work 

This was so hard for me to write, and it sat in my draft box for a long time. I also received some strong feedback - mostly positive, but some negative. It is also my most read post ever, tripling my previous top post. This post outlines what I believe to be the main factors if why Montessori may not work for some.




2017 Thank You's

I just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a happy holiday season. Thank you for your support, encouragement and words of appreciation.




As is my yearly tradition, I have some special people to thank:

December #MontessoriLove

The final #MontessoriLove sale for 2017 is a dollar day!

If you have yet to check out one of these sales, simply visit the Teachers Pay Teachers site and type in "MontessoriLove" in the search box. (or you can follow this link which has pre-filled the search for you). Each month several independent Montessori sellers put several of their items up for sale, a great chance to pick up a bargain and try something new. Dollar Days are only held two or three times per year, so this is a special chance to grab some items for $1 each!





Apologies

No new posts. No new resources. Yes I have been a bad blogger of late.

Unfortunately my family and I have been dealing with some sudden illness and the prospect of losing an immediate family member. It has been a very difficult month or so and it is unclear how things are going to progress in the foreseeable future.

I have had some emails and messages regarding promised posts and resources. My apologies to those who have been waiting patiently for these to emerge. I cannot promise a definitive timeline of when these will be published but I thank you for your patience and support.



#MontessoriLove will go ahead for November 21st and December 21st as scheduled.


#MontessoriLove - September

Septembers theme for the #MontessoriLove sale is Language Arts Love. For those who may not be familiar with what we have been up to, each month on the 21st a group of Montessori sellers at the Teachers Pay Teachers site get together to offer some selected items at a reduced price. So if you are looking for some language materials, this month is a great time to grab a bargain!



Playing With Prepositions

After introducing the key preposition lesson you may find it useful for some students to have the opportunity to have concrete, hands on experiences to reinforce the concept.

I have created some easy to prepare preposition extensions cards for such occasions. These cards are used in conjunction with items you would find in your classroom (if not they would be easy enough to find at home!).

There are five sets of six cards. Each set has a small graphic in the bottom corner to help keep the sets organised easily



Reading Bootcamp - Review

I recently had the pleasure of accessing a series of webinars hosted by Montessorikiwi. True to the boot camp style Lisa has put together a concise series of webinars that are perfect for both those new to teaching or those looking to refresh their approach.


Preparations

Getting ready for the start of a new school year? Here are some of the best blog posts on preparing and planning...



MontessoriLove July

This month's #MontessoriLove is a bit special and super exciting... we are doing something we have not done before...


That's right, this month we are selling bundles at bargain prices AND extending the sale for an extra day!

Back to Basics: Being a Prepared Adult

With the overwhelming amount of images on social media it sometimes can be easy to reduce Montessori education and learning to trays, shelves, materials and printables. Whilst these are important aspects of the prepared environment, it is only one aspect of a bigger picture.



June MontessoriLove

This month's #MontessoriLove is all about finding some geography gold! And even though school may be out in some parts of the world, it's always a good time to grab a bargain.




I'm really excited to be sharing this product for #MontessoriLove - it's new to the Elementary Observations Store, but has been really popular at my other store, Resources by Lolly K. Since I have decided to merge my two stores I thought this would be a great time to offer this at a big discount to my readers and followers.

Essential Elementary Reading

Whether you are a home-schooler, new teacher or new to elementary Montessori these are the essential books to read to start your journey as a prepared adult.







Answer & Win

*Survey now closed and winners have been notified* Thank you to all who took the time to respond

How would you like to chance to win a bundle of my most popular resources? Sound good? Well, let me tell you more...




In an effort to engage more effectively with my readers all I am asking is that you take a quick (20

MontessoriLove April

It is almost #MontessoriLove time again and April is all about marvellous maths!


My offer this month are my new static addition and static subtraction resources, both have been

Early Elementary Research

What does research look like in the elementary classroom? It is something that those new to Montessori sometimes struggle with, but Montessori is the original inquiry method...



Question and Answer games (botany & zoology) - these games are early forms of research for

Parts of a Stem

In the elementary years we delve a little deeper into concepts that have already been introduced at the Casa level.

After discussing the needs of plants and exploring leaves and roots we generally begin our exploration of stems.



MontessoriLove March

It is almost March 21st, and you know what that means?! Montessori Love time! This months MontessoriLove theme is Biology Bargains!



Impressionistic Charts {It's Elementary! #8}

A big feature of the elementary curriculum is the Impressionistic Charts. As the name suggests these charts are designed to create an impression on the child's imagination. Each chart is the visualisation of a story  - a concept. The images are not so much realistic but rather striking impressions of the concept - this is the age of the imagination, not the absorbent mind.

The charts are not necessarily factual, nor a direct teaching aid. The chart, along with its story, are designed to capture the child's imagination thus making the concept more memorable. The charts and stories are the starting point, fuelling the child's interest to learn more and start their own research.

Astronomic Zones Chart

MontessoriLove February

If you missed the announcement in January, there is something really special happening this year.

Every month on the 21st for 2017 some fantastic Montessori sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers will be spreading some MontessoriLove in the form some amazing bargains. Each month there will be a different offer - this month we're having a DOLLAR DAY! All MontessoriLove items will be reduced to $1.

How do you find these items? Simply go to the Teachers Pay Teachers site and enter "MontessoriLove" in the search field.



When Montessori Doesn't Work

A quick search on the internet will bring up an array of posts and articles about Montessori, both good and bad. I always find it disheartening when I come across ones that are disparaging about Montessori, especially those that are based on personal experience, whether it be as a home-schooler or from attending a Montessori school.


Here are some of the fundamental reasons why I believe Montessori may not work for some:

Art Across The Curriculum {It's Elementary! #7}

Art. Possibly one the area's new Montessori teachers struggle most with to incorporate authentically in the environment. Art can be a tricky one to balance because as teachers we are more often than not trained to teach in this explicit, overt and inflexible way.


Looking for MontessoriLove

I'm so excited to be able to finally tell my readers and followers of a little something special some of us have organised.

On the 21st of each month of 2017 a group of Montessori sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers will be having a different special at their stores. Sometimes it will be a set price reduction, sometimes it will be products from a particular learning area or theme.

This months special is 50% off a selected product. 

My selected item for this month is the Plural Noun Boxes. Explore spelling rules through nouns. I have shared boxes 1-3 for free both on my blog and on TpT and boxes 4-10 are available at my store. 


Find other great Montessori resources at 50% off at TpT each month by searching: MontessoriLove.


Getting Organised {It's Elementary! #6}

I'll be honest. I was struggling to come up with something for the first linky of 2017. I'm really keen to get back to the Great Lessons, but I'm not quite ready for those just yet. So in my post-holiday fog I realised I need to start thinking about getting ready for the next school year - which starts 1st February in my state of Australia.



Planning and preparing is such an important part of what we do, and it really comes down to what works for the individual (sometimes within the frame of a school or states requirements).

I created a little freebie to share - a weekly and daily planner, featuring one of my hand drawn clip art pieces.



I have previously shared my elementary weekly planning pages. It is a simple and versatile template covering the main learning areas and includes a set of blank pages as well.


For those new to teaching Montessori (either in the home or classroom) there are some handy resources for scope and sequence aspects in following the child:


It's Elementary!