Which short vowel do you hear? Some sounds are easier to hear than others, and short vowel sounds can be tricky for young learners! For instance, children often mix up the short /i/ and short /e/ sounds, because they sound so much alike in words. So it’s important to practice this skill over and over and over again.
Use our cut outs and sorting mats to help these pre-readers learn short vowel letter sounds. Early writers may want to sort the images and then practice writing the words phonetically on a dry erase board.
If I could choose two phrases that would be introduced into every household and school across the land, it would be “put-ups” and “put-downs.” These are two of the most powerful concepts I have ever taught in the classroom or to my own children. Equipping young children with a deep understanding of these terms gives them the ability to communicate feelings, which may have seemed almost intangible before. The language of put-ups and put-downs provides children with the skills needed for them to speak up for themselves as well as to stand up for others.
Simply stated, “put-downs” are words or actions that make people feel bad, and “put-ups” are words or actions that make people feel good. It is a simple concept to teach, and the impact can be profound. Ask your child to brainstorm real-life examples of both put-ups and put-downs. Next, invite them to spread the kindness by using a put-up paper to write put-ups to friends and loved ones.
Once you have the concept of put-ups and put-downs, you enjoy our kindness poetry puzzle! Poetry is a wonderful way to explore a variety of different abstract concepts such as, kindness. In the lesson below, children will use the example of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to see how he used nature as a metaphor for kindness. This poetry puzzle format offers so many opportunities for strengthening early literacy skills such as sequencing, letter and word recognition, and reading withe fluency and expression.
Begin to incorporate the words “put-ups” and “put-downs” into your daily conversations. Point out when you hear someone giving a put-down and brainstorm ways of saying the same thing differently so that it does not feel so negative. On the same note, point out the “put-ups” that you hear your children giving or receiving. You will be amazed at how quickly children begin to integrate this concept into their hearts and minds.
Volcanos are one of those universal topics that captivate children young and old…
These lessons guide you and your child through the process of “exploding” a volcano and learning about how they work!
Do you know why a volcano erupts? Over thousands and thousands of years, the gas bubbles inside of magma (hot liquid rock) expand and cause pressure to build up. When that heat and pressure pushes on weak spots in the Earth’s surface, it is eventually forced up and expelled. This lesson demonstrates that idea. Adding vinegar to baking soda causes a chemical reaction which mimics the appearance of an actual volcano!
Once you have made a volcano erupt, it’s time to settle in and learn a bit more about how they work. The next activity includes vocabulary development, handwriting practice, and scientific discovery all rolled into one lesson! In this lesson, children identify the different parts of a volcano and learn about their functions. Label the parts of a volcano or use the printable as an invitation to build one out of play dough, clay, or paper mache. Junior volcanologists might even want to make an observational drawing or learn more about the different types of volcanoes. So hang up the diagram and put out a collection of resource books to give your scientist the freedom to explore and discover.
Here is some language to use as you explore the various parts of a volcano:
Mantle: The layer of the Earth between the crust and the outer core.
Crust: The outermost part of the Earth that is composed of rock.
Magma Chamber: The area below the earth’s crust from which magma flows out.
Central Vent: The main opening of a volcano where molten magma is released to the surface.
Side Vent: Smaller openings through which ash, gases, and lava escape.
Lava: Rock that is hot enough to be in liquid form and expelled during an eruption.
Crater: A small depression at the top of a volcano which has gotten blown off after an eruption.
Ash Cloud: Small pieces of rock, minerals, and volcanic glass that are discharged into the area during an eruption and then carried further by the wind.
Children are fascinated by sea life… Our oceans and bays are full of fascinating creatures that can captivate young minds. One way to explore sea life with young chidlren is through open-ended dramatic play!
Simply, laminate our play dough mat and put out a collection of small figures, shells and some fun play dough colors and have children create their own creatures from the deep.
A favorite in the Playful Learning Studio is to match toy ocean animals to those labeled on our three-part-cards. Three part cards are a classic Montessori tool, used to build vocabulary and aid children in learning new information about a topic. In this set, children explore different types of animals that live in the ocean. There are many ways to use these cards including playing memory, matching words to pictures, or playing a “Go Fish” style game.