Saturday, April 22, 2017

How to Put a Loose Parts Shelf Together

This shelf has four free form works stored on it. Three are contained on a tray and one is done on a floor mat. All items are from estate sales and cost very little.

 On the top shelf sits a blue work that is contained in a tray to be used as a table work.
The necklace and beads,spindles and wooden objects were all "found" and can be arranged in various ways.

Any child would love to do this!

A red paper place mat, a paper doily, laser cut discs from Hobby Lobby, old ear rings and odd found objects makes this handsome red table tray work,

 I love finding interesting focal points such as this tiny tower that is accented by metal handles, rubber tiles and wooden discs. 

 This design comes from the offerings on the bottom shelf. It is laid out on a red vinyl floor mat and is endless in the variations. 
Used here is a silver place mat from a garage sale, polished rocks, shells, and various objects found at estate sales. 

Wooden Key

I don't always know how things will fit together. 
Found a large key.
Then found bags of small keys in a grandpa's work room.
Needs a soft touch of grandma's doilies.
Glass gems.
Got it! 

Swans and Stars on a Mirror

Estate sales, how I love thee!
Everything here came from them for pennies.
Go! See things for how they could be made anew! 
See them from the view of a child's hands waiting! 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Doily on a Red Tray

 Hobby Lobby has bags of wooden objects like these stars, hearts and laser cut discs. Then, the old lady earrings are from a garage sale as well as the unknown golden twisted objects. A paper doily is the center of attraction with beauties orbiting.

My eyes are so happy!

Gingerbread Boys

So I find these things at estate sales and Goodwill for pennies.
I bring them back to my "Loose Parts" storage room. 
I have a lot!
I play around with the items and make a theme or subject sometimes like apples and gingerbread boys.
I do it. Looks good. It goes on the "Loose Parts" shelf and I watch the children approach it after a lesson is given by me. Not all children naturally understand how to approach making a design and sometimes a heap of all objects is happily laid out. Time for a repeat lesson. They chant, "Circle, circle, diamond in the middle." as they try again. Chaos becomes pattern. Pattern becomes beauty.

Circle Straw Mat Design

 It is looking a little like Reggio Emilia around here.

The lesson is repetition, direction of line, harmony and grace. 

The lesson is making beauty.

The lesson works by engaging the child to make choices in calm concentration. 

The Blue Necklace Design Tray

This free form design tray for young children, although I love doing it as well, is highlighted by a simple necklace and bobbles of another necklace I took apart. The wooden cylinders, thread bobbins and discs were all found in a 25 cent bag at an estate sale. 

It may be a mystery to Montessori teachers who may visit this site. Why am I doing this? 
I must not be a real Montessori teacher. I have nerve to use my own ideas. I am creative and it makes me very satisfied to put these loose parts, a Reggio term, together. I love creating all types of curriculum for children. The children show me if it works or not. It always does. I am not afraid to walk out of the lines that define Maria. I am a real Montessori teacher who has original ideas that pour out of me. And I use them. My teacher, Celma Perry of Chicago, required us to make a huge amount of materials. Of course they were all traditional presentations. 
After doing those for more than 30 years I needed more. 
I needed these. 
They are for the artist in me and in the children.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Writing Prompts

Dundee Montessori has a huge writing curriculum with many enticing exercises for children to love!
Here children sound out the label, match it to the object and then make a list of words. These children have not been to kindergarten yet and already do this beautifully. 

Tiny objects are in bottles so they don't get lost and are sorted by initial sound and then drawn.

I Spy With My Little Eye game is done with a tube held to the eye and initial sounds are matched to objects.

Color object matching and a Japanese language page is added. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

"So cute it hurts to look at them!", I was told.

A grandma crafter is looking down from heaven in wonder at her sewing turned into this counting work! Everything in this post is from this one grandma's estate sale. Thank you for making our classroom so darling!

My only vice is going to estate sales. What to do with one of a kind finds? I love to figure it out! Is it Montessori? Is it Reggio?  Who cares! They are darling and they get the concept across and hold children's attention and make them gasp with delight to do these works. 

A bag of life size plastic ants!  Get the tweezers out! 

Another bag of plastic flies?  Build a road to the stars! 
I know it is a bit weird but the boys love it!

Vinyl floor mat with movable stars !

When one pinches the jaws of these sewn heads the mouths open!  The kids love these! Pretty beads are dropped in and out.

Vinyl floor mat and many movable objects create this darling neighborhood!

Ooh la la! The pink poodle! 

I faint from cuteness! 
But it is not Montessori!
We work with children and children LOVE this!

Natural object frame on a vinyl floor mat. 
Grandma provided the sewing. 

International Doll Unit

 Another of my many collections that are shared with the classroom. 
Estate sales are a good place to find world dolls and nearly every sale I go to has at least one. 

These were given to me from Mongolia!

Also, I have traveled all over the world and pick things up as I go.