Monthly archives "March 2015"

DIY wedding signs

Planning a great wedding on a budget is tough but thank God for weekends, family and friends, good drinks and awesome food. Our wedding date is approaching fast for all the things we want to DIY like seating charts, chandeliers, save the dates, signs, favors … the list goes on and on, so we get together one weekend a month to accomplish a few projects. This past weekend we got started on the chandelier that we found last time we got together, finished the wedding signs, and assembled our save the dates, is all starting to come along and I’m secretly counting down the days.

The last time we got together we were able to assembled the pallets to make 2 signs, we started with 3 pieces of wood from a pallet, sanded them down, stained them, and cut them in half. For the support in the back and standing stick (pic 3) we used small wood pieces we had laying around, Ive seen then at home depot for about $2.00. The cost of buying a sign like this is roughly $20-30 dollars and I’m glad to say we made 2 signs for free.

signs collage

To stain them we used a dark wood mahogany stain we had at home, I believe we got it from Home Depot. For the color of the letters I had a Martha Stuart multi-surface satin paint wedding cake color. I would say between stain and paint you can spend $10.

sign         sign paint

 

 

 

They signs will stand with a few white helium balloons attached to guide our guest over to the reception. I’m so excited…

We also started working on the chandelier. we decided to DIY because the prices are outrageous, the cheapest one we found was $175 and we didn’t think it was worth that much money. Here’s a sneak peak … can’t wait to share the finished product.

chandelier

 

Montessori inspired reading series – Pink series

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I absolutely love the approach Maria Montessori took on language development, the method is absolutely genius and allows you and the child to play around with it as the need emerges. Coming to USA from a non-English speaking country has very difficult for me, and I wished I was thought English using phonics the way Maria Montessori did, it would’ve been so much easier for me to learn a second language.

The method is the same everywhere, what varies is the way is divided and presented to the child. I’ve seen some people use “family boxes” and others “reading series” both are different from each other but have the same purpose. I was taught with “Reading series” and I have made some adjustments to mine over time.

The Montessori Reading Series is composed of 3 categories: Pink, Blue, and Green. Pink is the first one and it includes CVC words (Constant Vowel Consonant), beginning sounds, ending sounds, and rhyming. Blue series has the all the blends and digraphs split into subcategories, and the green series has long vowels or CVCV (E) words, (Consonant Vowel Consonant Vowel or silent e), and sight words. It sounds like a lot but don’t worry, I’ll walk you thru it.

The first step to teaching a child to read is to introduce the alphabet phonetically and allow them to discover different words with a particular sound. In my class we use the ABC board with picture cards, I wrote about in my previous post.

Pink Series

Once most of the letter sounds have been mastered, introduce the Montessori Pink Series. My pink series is divided into 5 small boxes:

pink

  1. t, m, b, f, a.
  2. h, g, r, c, l.
  3. l, s, d, k, u.
  4. w, p, j, n, o.
  5. q, v, x, y, z, e.

 

 

I start with the first box which contains letters t, m, b, f, a. I like to start using sand paper letters, I ask the child to trace it and tell me the sound, and we play Knock knock game, which consist of grabbing one set of sand paper letters and flipping them upside down; Have the child knock on one letter saying “Knock knock” and you will reply “who’s there” and the child will flip the letter and say the name and sound of the letter. Remember to alway do a 3 period lesson as an assessment of the lesson.

In our next sitting with the lesson I add objects (at least 2-3 objects per letter) so the child can match the beginning sound of the object to the sand paper letter, the tactile experience helps a lot with the recognition of letter sounds; Sit back and let them sound out the name of the object and just watch them match it, is like magic.

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 Switch the objects to picture cards, it allows for vocabulary enrichment and use of imagination. Is just as important to review ending sound, you’ll see how is a lot easier to find the ending sound of a word as opposed to the beginning sound, but is normal, the ending sound of a word is the last thing a child says and that’s why is the easiest to remember. Just practice and emphasize in vocalizing the first sound.

The next step is to put together each letter sound to make a word. Here is when you introduce CVC words (Consonant Vowel Consonant) like “hat, pup, dog, wig …” I like to add the moveable alphabet at this point because it provides a great visual to the learning experience. Feel free to add objects or picture cards to match to the words. Using the tactile sense is very important in following the Montessori philosophy.

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During my training we used this lesson called the vowel tree, is meant to be used with the Montessori pink and green series. I love it and so do the kids, is perfect practice for forming words, blending sounds and reading words, but most importantly reinforcing left to right progression in reading. Feel free to incorporate the moveable alphabet, objects and picture cards.

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Towards the end of the pink series introduce some rhyming cards and sentence cards, is a great way to help with reading and giving confidence to the child. Play games like Mystery word, hide and seek, flash cards, or spelling. get creative and have fun!

IMG_1373 IMG_1377PicsArtplaying mystery words

Learning about fish and birds

I was invited to share my knowledge and ideas about Birds and fish for Christian Montessori Network, and they have put together a great series to share hands-on Montessori inspired activities.  Here is my post, Learning about birds and fish

I put my heart in it and had a great time writing it, I hope you guys enjoy it and make the best out of it for your little ones.

birds and fish