Monday, June 28, 2010

Montessori Monday

Taking a look at where Beeper's interests lie these days, I decided that I needed to get out some things to explore geometry and allow him to make his big fancy patterns. He hasn't used the pattern tiles in a while, so I put them out where he would see them.

Sure enough, as soon as he saw them, he could think of little else. He got to work, both making his own patterns and using the cards (the first time he has had the patience to complete the cards successfully; they are, in fact, a piece of cake for him now, but he enjoyed doing them).

(He was singing to himself as he worked on this. "Everybody at the party is a many-sided polygon..." (They Might Be Giants - "Nonagon")).

When we first started out learning about Montessori a couple of years ago, it seemed like everyones kid was matching jo's art cards, so I made some for Beeper. He didn't want to have anything to do with them (except that he liked the Dali picture. He thinks it's a man made out of chocolate.) They have sat virtually unused since in the little pouch I made for them. (I was really proud of that pouch. He couldn't have cared less.)

I decided to get them out this week and teach Beeper how to use them to play memory. He quite enjoyed that and was a lot more interested in the cards this time.

You can see we did "big" cards on one side and "small" cards on the other so that we were just picking one from each side. He was pretty good with it when we matched only eight pairs, but sixteen pairs was very difficult for him.

He was especially drawn to the Keith Haring picture. He decided to draw his own version. I like it:

I was telling him a little bit about some of the artists and their styles, and he asked, "What about the guy who drew Calvin and Hobbes?" (He loves Calvin and Hobbes, probably because he and Calvin have so much in common.) Well, I do think Bill Watterson was influential in his industry and worth noting, so we made some cards of some of our favorite influential comic book artists to add to the set:

Around the beginning of the year we started a National Geographic subscription. Beeper has been very excited to be getting a magazine, especially when the first one came and had a picture of a robot hand on the cover. He loves looking through at the pictures and asking what they are.

I enlisted his help last week in a project with the NG issues we've collected so far. I thought we could look through them for pictures of African animals to glue on the outside of our Africa box.

We ended up finding only two animal pictures: a lemur and a chimp family. We'll have to save them until we can find more, but what we did end up finding was a lot of interesting pictures of African people. I decided to cut them out with the captions to make into cards to add to our box.

Cutting pictures from magazines for making cards is certainly not a new idea. In fact, sometimes it seems a little outdated. There is a lot of value in it, though. National Geographic does have such beautiful pictures, and these are things I wouldn't have even known to look for. I like that Beeper was involved in the process of making them too.

We glued them to green cardstock and laminated them:

I really like how they turned out, and they should be useful on many levels. Right now Beeper enjoys just looking at them. He especially loves the one of the boy swinging over the water. He also asked me to read the caption for the women who painted their faces with clay a few times. He wanted to know, "Why didn't they need a mirror?"

Now we have a new project, looking through the magazines again to make similar cards for all of the other continents. Once we've taken all of the good pictures out, maybe we can recycle the old magazines without feeling too bad about it. I like having them around to look at, but when they start piling up, they're just in the way and difficult to reference anyway. Now we can keep just the parts we want.
(I almost feel like I should start calling these posts "unschooling monday." But there is still a lot of Montessori inspiration, so I guess we'll keep it.)


Discovering Montessori said...

Nice works Beeper has been doing. I am going to have to checkout those art cards. Thanks for sharing.

Martianne said...

Fun works! As I am so pregnant a geomtry type outdoor game we play to keep the kids moving and me mostly sitting is to draw different types of shapes on the sidewalk with chalk and then to have the kids race to them as I call different types out, or have them jump from one shape to the next - very similar to our numbers game at

Joyful Learner said...

Love the art cards! I can't wait to get my laminator so I can laminate them! As for famous cartoonist, you forgot my cousin, Jim Lee! ;)

Montessori For Learning said...

Very nice! I never thought to add comic artists to my sets. This is a wonderful idea.

Gigi said...

Great ideas! We to have NG Magazine. I know my kids will love cutting out and finding pictures!

The Special K's(0: said...

Hahaha, way cute on Beeper's singing. He's such a cute, smart little couwboy(0: We have that same tangram shape just with different colors. Eden LoVeS playing with them, and it's so cute to hear her little voice saying "Can I have a little rombus please?" What a fantastic idea on the art cards. Def. a must make(0: Thank you so much for all of the terrific ideas. You're such a good Mama and friend. Have a great day!(0:

Kylie said...

WE have a bunch of National Geograpic mags here too, we must set about to do that, thanks for the reminder as they do tend to be a bit of a dust collector at times.

Nicole said...

Thanks for linking to Montessori Monday! That's so neat that Beeper was inspired to do his own Harris-style drawing! You always do such a wonderful job of following his lead.

The girl who painted trees said...

I have those cards downloaded but haven't printed them yet. I like the idea of using them to play memory. My Dad started collecting National Geographic the year I was born. He would kill me if scissors touched any of those pages! LOL. I've been printing photos from the internet for Bear's continent pages. Sometimes my mom gets free travel magazines and sends them to us and we use those.

Zonnah said...

That is a good idea on how to use the 3 part cards.
His drawing is very cute :)
You know what is funny, we did the exact same thing with the national geographic magazine and our first issue was the one with the robot hand as well. Although, I am not quite as on the ball as you but I have ripped out the pages that I would like to make cards out of.