Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Blogiversary Freebie

Two years ago I started sharing some of my thoughts, lessons and materials with little expectation. Since then I have made some wonderful Montessori friends from all over the world who have been a great source of support and inspiration, as well as many messages of gratitude and encouragement from teachers and home-schoolers from all over the globe.

To mark the second anniversary of the blog I am sharing a file that I previously shared exclusively with my newsletter subscribers. I am sharing this for a limited time only (until July 31st 2016) so check it out and if you think you may have use for either of them grab them while you can.

What you will find is a labelled chart and mute chart (hand drawn by me) with a variety of land and water forms to be identified. Derived from this sketch I also created a set of three part cards for the main geographical forms.

Labelled and Mute Charts

Three Part Cards

Monday, 6 June 2016

What's been happening....

It's been a little quiet around the blog lately, those of you who follow the blog through other channels will know I have taken the year off form the classroom for health reasons. I am still seeing my tutoring students, which keeps me busy enough.


I'm having a little hiatus from the newsletter - when it returns I have a new format in mind, so stay tuned. Not into newsletters? Maybe there is a platform below you'd like to use to stay in touch...

It's Elementary!

I have plans to get these link-ups running more regularly, they are a lot of fun and I love seeing what everyone else has to share.


If you are a Facebook user feel free to drop by my Facebook page - I like to share articles of interest pertaining to education, curriculum and child development.


I'll admit I don't tweet as much as I used to - but I do log on a few times a week and check out what people are tweeting about.


I like using Google+ as I often stumble upon things I don't see on other platforms. I really like the new interface and layout.


I LOVE Pinterest - it is a great way to get inspired and plan projects. I have an array of Montessori and other boards.

I look forward to sharing a new post with you soon!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Grammar Mind Map

Last year I introduced mind maps to some students. After the initial introduction I decided to use the process to revise the parts of speech with some students moving into the upper elementary classroom.

We work-shopped it together as a group and students were then encouraged to make their own in their journals.

I created a completed version (based on our little work shop) to sit next to our traditional grammar chart in our language area.

It was an interesting and fun way to revise the parts of speech.

You will find a copy of my file in my next newsletter.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Easter Sale

You can find most of the items at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store at 15% OFF from 25th - 28th March

Have a safe and happy Easter!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Technology & The Brain

When I meet new people and the topic of Montessori inevitably arises, there are a handful of misconceptions that are raised. One such misconception is that there are no computers in Montessori schools.

In general* what you may find is there are no computers in the 0-6 classrooms. The common Montessori consensus being that this is the time of the absorbent mind and is about building the child's senses, particularly through the hand-brain relationship. This correlates with what psychology and neuroscience have to say about child development and screen time for young brains.

In 6-12 (and possibly more 9-12 depending) computers are often found and used. In the schools I have been in and visited the viewpoint is that computers are a tool of our society, and that is what they are - a tool. The most ideal settings I have observed are where there are two - four computers in a classroom where each computer is designated for a particular purpose. For example, one for internet research, one or two for word processing, one for creating graphic designs/movies/multimedia or other relevant applications.

My personal view is that children need to learn how to use computers and smart devices safely, and learn to use them with purpose. I don't believe that requires them to come to school and sit in front of a screen all day. Unfortunately there are quite a few people (particularly parents, but also some educators) who feel if computers aren't front and centre in the classroom that children aren't learning.

Ultimately it is about making informed choices, considering all of the implications and keeping a balanced perspective. Parents. teachers and society as a whole need a respectful common ground for meaningful discussion rather than being polarized into a dynamic where constructive outcomes are hindered.

Here are some articles of interest relating to screens and brain development and/or physiological effects.

Grey Matters: Too Much Screen Times Damages The Brain

Screen Time Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy

Screen Addiction Is Taking A Toll on Children

Technology and Kids: Startling Statistics Every Parent Should Know About Addiction to iPhone's and Screens

10 reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under 12

And this article from Psychologist and author Sue Palmer Why The iPad is a Bigger Threat to Our Children than Anyone Realises 

There is also this article about how here in Australia the Heavy Investment in School Computers Has Not Paid Off 

* General being just that - there are always exceptions and each exception will have it's own reason.