Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Celebrating without Guilt and Sharing with Our Children

I have always been a proponent of multiculturalism.  It is one of the things about the US that I hold so dear - the mixture (and welcoming) of all kinds of people.  Ever since I was a little girl growing up in Newark, NJ, I was fascinated by the homes of my friends who came from different countries.  It was so interesting to hear their names, listen to their languages and share their food. I embraced all their traditions and enjoyed sometimes being invited to share in them. 
                                     
                                                                                   How to light Menorah

In recent years, the holidays that I grew up with and hold so dear have been questioned and sometimes even eliminated from schools.  This is wrong.  Although we should never cram our religious beliefs onto anyone else, we should still be allowed to celebrate ours - and openly - WITHOUT GUILT.  It is possible to respect and acknowledge other holidays and still celebrate ours openly.  If we respect others' rights to celebrate, then in turn, others should be happy to have us do the same.

During this season, I always try to assess a person before saying "Merry Christmas".  Many times, if I am not sure, I say "Merry Christmas season - or whatever is it you celebrate!"  It has become a season.  A season that everyone celebrates whether just for the traditions (lighting a tree, giving money to a Santa to help others or singing traditional songs) or for the religious aspect.  Everyone takes from it the part they feel attached to.  Here is a song.  "Everybody Loves Christmas Time".  It celebrates the season in different languages.  Download for FREE by using code :  ELCT   (Available today through 12/12/14.)
 How sad that we aren't supposed to say "Santa Claus" or "Christmas" in school.  When a child comes into class and asks, "Who is that man outside in the red suit ringing a bell?", is the response "I'm not allowed to tell you."?  Shouldn't we be teaching children about everyone and ask "What do you celebrate in your home?"  In our classrooms, this is a great way for teachers to learn.  I was fascinated by Eid, Diwala and Ramadan.

At one school I taught at, the holidays lined up one year, being all near the end of Nov into Dec.  At morning assembly, each morning we had a different group of children come up and tell about their holiday without getting religious.  Indian children spoke of Diwali.  Muslims about Ramadan and Eid.  Jewish children talked about Hanukah and then some of the parents cooked latkes in the classrooms.  Last, we spoke about Christmas.  A mom from Egypt kissed me in the hallway and said "Thank you.  No teacher has ever acknowledged our Muslim holidays before."  As a music teacher, to me, it was the natural thing to do.  (A side note: Ramadan is not always the same time every year.  It is based on the Muslim year.)  Diwali is usually in October or November.   AND ~  Hannukah is not always near Christmas!  Do your research!

A good resource for learning about different holidays is
 "Celebrations Around the World" by Carole S. Angell.  

Just as when I was a child, I still love to learn about people.  Remember to share your traditions and celebrate them proudly.  You can do that and respect other's traditions as well.   
Antlers and noses are available at most dollar stores.  There are 5 verses to this dance.  Adjust accordingly for your children's attention spans and ages.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Children Need to Move!


This is a very interesting addition to the discussion of how to make sure children have enough physical activity in their daily lives.





From Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post:

Angela Hanscom is a pediatric occupational therapist.  She wrote a piece in the Washington Post entitled "Why so many kids can't sit still in school today."  In that article, she said that kids are being forced to sit for too long while they are in school and are being deprived of enough time for real physical activity.  This, she said, is affecting their ability to learn and in some cases leading to improper ADHD diagnoses.   


Here is a follow-up post by Angela Hanscom, published in the Washington Post by Valerie Strauss:

My last post, “Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today,” has and continues to generate tremendous feedback from around the world. Many people wrote that the connection between moving and learning that I wrote about just makes sense. However, with this new enlightenment on why movement and play outdoors is critical to learning and attention in the classroom, came the million-dollar question: “Now what?”


My virtual mailbox instantly got bombarded with email requests–demanding ideas on how to get kids moving both in and outside the classroom. I also noticed people were getting creative. Ideas were being tossed around. Some people suggested, “How about sitting on bouncy balls?” Others asked, “What if children stand to learn?” or “What if we put bike pedals on the classroom seats, so they can exercise while learning?” And finally, “What about taking short movement breaks?”


My initial reaction to these brainstorming sessions was, Finally! People are inspired and are starting to think outside the box. However, as I recalled why I wrote the article in the first place, I realized these strategies were still partly missing the point. They may be creative and thoughtful, but they won’t fix the underlying problem.


In order to create actual changes to the sensory system that results in improved attention over time,  children NEED to experience what we call “rapid vestibular (balance) input” on a daily basis. In other words, they need to go upside down, spin in circles, and roll down hills. They need authentic play experiences that get them moving in all different directions in order to stimulate the little hair cells found in the vestibular complex (located in the inner ear). If children do this on a regular basis and for a significant amount of time, then (and only then) will they experience the necessary changes needed to effectively develop the balance system–leading to better attention and learning in the classroom.


In other words, adjusting children’s seating and taking quick one-minute movement breaks will offer some support — but we will continue to see significant sensory and behavioral problems, as well as a decline in children’s overall health (i.e., rise in obesity, decrease strength, and poor body awareness) if we don’t start allowing for adequate time in which children can get up and out of their seats to move.


Recently, I was invited to an educational meeting regarding a first-grade boy whom I see as a private occupational therapy client. The principal, parents, his former kindergarten teacher, new first grade teacher, school psychologist, and private therapist were all there. This little boy struggles with attention in the classroom and making social connections with peers.

This same boy attended one of our TimberNook camps (developmental nature 


programming) this past summer. He was totally immersed into nature for a week with peers

—playing in the woods, the river, and in giant mud puddles. He had plenty of practice to 

move his body in all different directions and to explore nature unhindered by adult fears. In 

the beginning of the week, he consistently pursued total control over his play experiences 

with peers. He was also very anxious about trying new things, had trouble playing 

independently, and had multiple sensory issues.

Amazingly, by the end of the week, he started to let go of this need to control all social situations. He also started tolerating and asking to go barefoot, made new friends, and became less anxious with new experiences. The changes were really quite remarkable. All he needed was time and practice to play with peers in the woods – in order to foster his emotional, physical, and social development.
When it came time for me to make suggestions to the school about how they could best meet this little boy’s needs, my answer was simple: “He needs more time to play and move his body. Fifteen minutes of recess is not enough. I recommend an hour-long recess session everyday.”


Most of these teachers had already read my article about why kids fidget and agree with this philosophy. It didn’t matter. When they heard my response, they started laughing – all of them. I think my face went bright red. “That is never going to happen,” said one of the teachers. “Yes,” agreed another teacher. “Unfortunately, our hands our tied.” The principal just sat there and said nothing at all. That’s it? I thought to myself. They know that children NEED this, but they aren’t going to do anything about it?
After the meeting, the teachers came up to me and apologized for laughing. They said: “We agree with you. We would love to allow for longer recess sessions, but there is nothing we can do. We simply don’t have the time.”


I started talking to other teachers about this same issue. Most teachers are just as frustrated, if not more than the parents. Secondary to testing requirements, teachers are feeling the pressure to have to fit in loads of curriculum everyday. They have little time to do project-based learning, let alone providing adequate time for children to move. Unfortunately, many teachers have to settle for fitting in a few minutes of movement here and there.


However, when do we draw the line? When do we say, “Enough is enough?” Shortened recess times, cutting gym classes, and other specials (i.e., music and art) means we are no longer respecting the needs of the whole child. Our system of testing is failing our children. It fails to test their social skills, their ability to think for themselves, and their physical skills (i.e., strength, endurance, coordination). Aren’t these just as important as their ability to read, write, and do arithmetic? We need to be careful not to put total emphasis on just a few subjects, while neglecting children’s other needs.


Lindsey Lieneck, MS, OTR, RYT, founder of Yogapeutics, a fellow pediatric occupational therapist and advocate for movement, recently commented, “Come on people! We are a brilliant society! We can create technology that is out of this world. Yet, we can’t figure out how to provide enough time for children to move?”


I agree with Lindsey. We CAN create more time for children to move during the school day. Saying, “our hands are tied” is just about as bad as a child saying, “I can’t.” Let’s not give up the fight before we even start. We had ample time to move and play during the school day when I was a child in the early 1980s, and we can figure out how to do it again.

(By Angela Hanscomb)


 MOVING IS LEARNING!
Keep on movin' and dancin',




Connie Bergstein Dow
www.movingislearning.com






                                                          




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SINGING A STORY - The Magic of Musical Books: Part II

Part II: Piggybacking Melodies
A portion of the material presented is adapted from posts on In Harmony – A music education blog from Heritage Music Press

Hello, everyone. Ms. Brigid here, from Merit School of Music  in Chicago, IL. Thank you for joining me. I'm thankful for you, for my family, friends, and the opportunity to teach and learn from my kiddos. I'm thankful for the Husband, the Daughter, the Herd (Bing & Chico), a house that doesn't flood anymore, a body that creaks along fairly well, gardens, having music and books to sing and an iPad -so that I can feed my appadiction. Here we go!

An App to Love
Before we get to the main topic of this post, I’d like to share a recently discovered note taking/ brain mapping app: Popplet Lite. The FREE version is, well, free, and once your “popplet” is created, it can be exported via email as a pdf or jpeg. It can also be saved as a jpeg on your iPad’s camera roll. The limitation? Popplet Lite has no archiving ability. Upgrade to Popplet (4.99) for a host of additional options, including web sharing. For my purposes, the lite version is fine. I used it, below, to demonstrate ideas for turning Eric Carle’s ubiquitous EC classic into a singing book.

Sing a book? How?
In Part I, I wrote about ways to add musical books to the classroom repertoire. A quick recap:  Choose a song that has been made into a book, like What a Wonderful World or Little White Duck. Since both these books are linked with famous recordings, one extension option includes turning pages while the soundtrack is playing. This works best with songs that are not sung at a breakneck speed, e.g. My Favorite Things. The song is just too fast to turn the pages to, though I would certainly encourage including it as a piece to listen and/or move to. 

Another type of book to look for and sing is one that references a well-known melody. Examples include I Aint’s Gonna Paint No More (It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More), The Aunts Go Marching (The Ants Go Marching), and The Seals on the Bus- one of the many books based on The Wheels of the Bus.  These books wouldn’t work as well, or at all, if they didn’t have a very specific song and melody as their foundation.

But wait, there’s more! Piggybacking Melodies
For books that don’t have their own melody, use a shared, or “piggyback” melody, to carry the text.Many rhyming books for young audiences share a similar syllabic  count.  Try piggybacking books to common melodies including London Bridge, Frere Jacques, Skip To My Lou, Twinkle, etc. Choose whatever melody complements the text best.
http://www.babble.com/pets/pigs-the-piranhas-of-the-farm-world/
Many use this “piggyback” technique already, with no understanding of how/why it works, and what an accessible tool this is. Certainly that was the case with me, until I attended, by chance, the Imagination Education Conference for Everyone! at National Louis University (created by friend, Kristin Lems), and sat in on a children’s books workshop given by author W. Nicola-Lisa.
A chance statement changed forever how I would approach singing (many) children’s books.  At one point, Nicola-Lisa opened an uncut, two-sided galley (for lack of a better word), of one his children’s books to dramatically illustrate the point that children’s book are a certain, standardized, number of pages, due to printing / cutting / binding mechanics.
The galley must have been 8’ x 8’ – or larger, with print and image going in various directions on successive page – and looked like a fabulous quilt!  He cited examples where he had to extend an idea to fit into this format. He claimed that most children’s books were multiples of eight, the most common being 24 or 32 pages. Up to that point, I had never given any thought to the format, structure and pagination of children’s books, but when I got home, I devoted myself to counting the pages of my books – and he was right!

At some point, a connection was made between the number of syllables on each page, and the syllabication of nursery rhymes. To complete the process, I tested my hypothesis on random books, the first being One Red Rooster. There are so many reasons I adore this book besides the rhyming text: Suzette Barbier's illustrations are charming, text is printed in large font, the images are additive, it teaches numbers and colors, the framing device on each page - and more!  To my delight, I discovered the text could be sung to a number of nursery rhyme melodies, including Skip to My Lou and London Bridge. Click on the links below each book to hear it sung.
Skip to My Lou
London Bridge



















The Power of Process!
As part of a recent music and literacy workshop I conducted for Illinois Children’s Home and Aid Society at the Mount Prospect Library, attendees tried out this simple strategy of  piggybacking  the text to familiar, child-friendly melodies. I provided picture books from my collection – and all had multiple solutions.

Books for Piggybacking Melodies
1) As a group exercise, I asked the group to compile a list of common children’ songs, then wrote the titles on a whiteboard. In took just a minute or two to come up with this list: Row Your Boat, Happy Birthday, Twinkle, Skinnamarink, Frere Jacques, Oat, Peas, Beans and Barley (one song), London Bridge, The Bear Went Over the Mountain, Oh McDonald Had a Farm, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Shoe Fly, Itsy Bitsy Spider, You Are My Sunshine, Wheels on the Bus, and Skip to My Lou. Only a few of these have known composers.

2) Attendees broke into small groups, chose a book, and had a short period to experiment, choose and  add a melody to the text and practice. They were not limited to the songs on the group’s initial list (above). They also decided whether they wanted their book to be a listening experience, echo/participation, or a bit of both.

Made with Popplet Lite iPad app.

3) Groups took turns singing their books to the gathering and received brief feedback. 

Note:  At the end of the workshop, after introducing additional strategies, I provided my key to the books they sang.  Only a few used the same song solution I used.
*Send me an email, and I’ll be happy to send you the list of books and partner songs I used for this exercise: gardengoddess1@comcast.net.


Books for Piggybacking Melodies

So – what did they come up with? Here’s a sampling of their song solutions. A surprise: The go-to song for most of the books turned out to be Skip to My Lou!

Book                                                                                                Piggyback Melody                       
Me I Am by Jack Prelutsky                                                            Going to Kentucky

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes                                    If You’re Happy and You Know It
            by Mem Fox                                                                                   

When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan                                    Skip to My Lou

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!
Make list of familiar childhood songs, pick a book, see what works,
and make the magic happen!

Join me in December for Part III – a magical, wintry tale
courtesy of Robert Sabuda and singer-songwriter Joanie Calem.

I am continually inspired by The Children’s Music Network (CMN) community. an international group of socially conscious musicians, educators, librarians, families, songwriters and good people, who “celebrate the positive power of music in the lives of children by sharing songs, exchanging ideas, and creating community.” Please visit CMN, and find a gathering in your region.

©2014 Brigid Finucane  * 847-213-0713 * gardengoddess1@comcast.net
http://prekandksharing.blogspot.com
http://brigidfinucane.blogspot.com
@booksinger1


          Staccato & Legato/ pt.1
          Staccato & Legato/ pt.2                             
          Spring Songs
         Garden/ Teaching & Typographic Art Apps
Jul. http://prekandksharing.blogspot.com/2014/07/educators-who-care-share-singers-sites.html
         Midwest & Ontario - Listening Locally
          Midwest & Great Lakes – Listening Locally / pt.2
Sept. http://prekandksharing.blogspot.com/2014/08/educators-who-care-share-singers-sites.html
        Midwest & Great Lakes - Listening Locally / pt.3



Sunday, November 16, 2014

BRRR- IT'S COLD OUTSIDE! LET'S SING & MOVE!

Hi!  My name is “Miss Carole” Stephens of Macaroni Soup – Active Music for Active Learners! 

Yes, yes – you’ll get new Songs for Winter Weather in this blog – but first, in this season of thankfulness, I want to highlight a few reasons I feel so blessed to do the work that I do, share the life that I live and wake up every day excited about what it may hold!  These people are what keep me going:

1. THE CHILDREN 


- My own (Camden and Greg) who have been great companions on this eventful journey. I am proud of the adults you have become!
- My students – the thousands of little ones who have sung, danced and played with me in 25 years of teaching. I am pleased to say that it’s been a privilege to touch my toe to my nose with you during “Sticky Bubble Gum”, and mix up a pretty “Stinky Cake!”


Touching my toe to my nose - I've still got it!





Stinky Cake - ewe!









2. MY COLLEAGUES
the legions of teachers who come (and keep coming back) to my workshops, the EC educators who work with me in schools, the incredible Children's Music Network and my fellow presenters at conferences who welcome me into the fold.





3. MY HUSBAND yup, Jim didn’t know what he was getting into 9+ years ago – but I’m so thankful that all this whacky music-making didn’t scare him away!



OK – enough sappy stuff – I THANK EVERYONE who has encouraged me to keep doing what I do!  Now come’on, Miss Carole – let’s get singing!
   Here in Chicago we expect cold and snow – but not really for Halloween (really, Mother Nature – that was nasty!) Pulling out the gloves and ear muffs before Thanksgiving?  Not amusing! SO, let’s get even, and be ready with songs and movement activities that will warm up the coldest day, brighten up the dreariest skies and put a smile on everyone’s faces!
    ALL of this month’s songs can be heard on my “Season Sings” cd – hear the clips to get started – or you can order the cd on my website.


WE’RE MARCHING IN THE SNOW!
    The tune is familiar to many – “The Farmer in the Dell”. It’s a zipper song – sing the verse over and over, but zip in a new movement each time!  Easy and fun!
LYRICS:  We’re marching in the snow
            We’re marching in the snow
            Hi Ho! The wind will blow!
           We’re marching in the snow!

I love to add these verses: skating on the snow, running in the snow, rolling in the snow, tiptoe-ing on the snow – and you can add your own verses!



HAT AND JACKET, PANTS AND BOOTS!
    Yes – another familiar tune: “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes”.  I suggest making pictures of each piece of clothing to string together to “read” left to right before starting to sing this one!  Then tap the part of the body that each piece of clothing is worn on as you sing.  Clap your hands on the beat during “When it’s cold and we go outside to play.” 

LYRICS:  Hat and jacket, pants and boots-
               Pants and boots!
               Hat and jacket, pants and boots-
               Pants and boots!
               When it’s cold and we go outside to play,
               We wear hat and jacket, pants and boots-
               Pants and boots!
    Start singing this song slowly, speeding up with each repetition!  It’s a favorite!


BUILDING A SNOWMAN (Part one of the “Snowman Trio”)
    This little movement piece should be done in a teacher led/child echo style.
LYRICS:  Head ball!     (echo)
               Belly ball!     (echo)
               Bottom ball!  (echo)
               DONE!     (echo)
               Building a snowman…(echo)
               Is SOOOO much fun! (echo)

MOVEMENTS:           
Head ball – stretch arms overhead, fingertips touching
Belly ball – swing arms down to cradle tummy
Bottom ball - drop hands to floor
Done! – Straighten up, clap hands once.
Building a snowman – roll hands in front of body
Is SOOO much fun – wave hands wildly overhead!

    We can never do this just once in my classes – there’s always “again!” The second time around, you might build a SNOWGIRL!  We do!

OK – now you’re ready!  You can do these songs in Florida or Southern California – no snow needed! Hey – send me a picture of your kids doing one of these songs!  I’ll post it on my FB page: Macaroni Soup with Miss Carole. LIKE me there, please!
    I've just returned from Dallas and this year's NAEYC Conference!  It was a stupendous experience - hugs to the hundreds of teachers who made my workshop one for the memory books!  Can't wait til next year!

    Stay warm - keep moving - and singing!
Yours for an-awfully-early Winter-y Song!
Miss Carole
MacaroniSoup.com

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Montessori-Inspired Nutcracker Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

My daughter was a dancer from the time she was little. So, The Nutcracker became a part of our Christmas season. In honor of that tradition, I want to share some ideas for creating Montessori-inspired activities using free Nutcracker printables.
 
Montessori-Inspired Nutcracker Activities Using Free Printables  

The Nutcracker can be difficult for preschoolers to understand, but it's helpful to share a Nutcracker book and activities for preschoolers who are exposed to the Nutcracker ballet because of older siblings or those who are already taking ballet classes. A number of these activities work well through early elementary and add to older children's appreciation and understanding of The Nutcracker

I shared a list of free Nutcracker printables in my post today at Living Montessori Now. Here, I've created some Nutcracker activities using free printables for preschoolers through first graders. You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools.  

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Illustrating the Nutcracker Activity

  Illustrating the Nutcracker Activity This activity could work well for a wide range of ages. It only requires printed out pages from the free Illustrating Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker by Sally of Elementary Matters at Teachers Pay Teachers along with colored pencils (or another art medium) and a stapler or another way to bind the pages. 

 I included a copy of The Nutcracker as a way to help children understand the story. I used a classic version of The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann (retold by Anthea Bell) with lovely illustrations by Lisbeth Zwerger. The E.T.A. Hoffmann story of the Nutcracker is different from the ballet, so you'll want to choose whichever version of The Nutcracker is best for your child or students. 

You could either have the materials available on a shelf or on a table similar to the one in my photo.  

Nutcracker Craft Using a Paper Tube 

  Nutcracker Craft Using Paper Tubes 

For this activity, I used Nutcracker Cut-Outs Using Tissue Paper Rolls from Mary Engelbreit. I show the Nutcracker craft here, although you can also create Drosselmeyer and the Mouse King. I placed everything on a Multicraft tray. The sequins are for the crown. This is a fun activity and works on a number of fine-motor skills, too. 

Tray for Making Nutcracker Decorations
  Tray for Making Nutcracker Decorations 

This tray uses the free Holiday Bookmarks: Featuring the Nutcracker by Exploring Elementary at Teachers Pay Teachers. I also used printables for Nutcracker ornaments from Nutcracker Decorations at Hugo L'Escargot. 

I printed these on cardstock for durability.Your child could help you laminate the finished ornaments or bookmarks as gifts. Here's the link to my favorite laminator.

Ballet Slipper Color Matching Activity 

Ballet Slipper Color Matching Activity 

This is a fun extension to the Montessori color tablets for preschoolers! It uses Ballet Slipper Color Matching from 1+1+1=1 and Color Matching Cards from Montessori Print Shop (which can be used as a substitute for the Montessori Color Box 2). 

Both the Montessori Print Shop materials and the color-matching ballet slippers from 1+1+1=1 follow the Montessori principle of isolation of quality

Ballet Slipper Color Matching Layout  

I used a Montessori Services rug for my layout. 

"One Less" Ballet Subtraction Activity 

  "One Less" Ballet Subtraction Activity 
Renae from Every Star is Different has a wonderful Nutcracker unit study. "One Less" uses the Ballet One Less printable from that unit. I added a tweezers to some sequin snowflakes to add fine-motor activity. 


Greater Than, Less Than Nutcracker Activity

  Nutcracker Greater Than, Less Than Tray 
I'm a fan of the Greater Than, Less Than Alligator. This activity is a creative extension to that concept using a free printable Nutcracker Number Game from Preschool Mom. 

Printable nutcrackers are included for the greater than, less than symbols. I decided to use a real nutcracker. You could actually use real nuts rather than the printables to show the nutcracker eating the greater quantity. 

I like that this activity extends the greater than, less than alligator idea to become an image closer to the actual greater than, less than symbols. 


Greater Than, Less Than Nutcracker Layout

More Free Christmas Tree Printables and Montessori-Inspired Christmas Activities

Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to Nutcracker freebies from around the blogosphere: Free Nutcracher Printables and Montessori-Inspired Nutcracker Activities.
 
You'll find lots of Montessori-inspired December holiday activities and ideas in these posts at Living Montessori Now: Activity of the Week – Montessori-Inspired Decorating the Christmas Tree Activity, Activity of the Week – Gift Wrapping Work, How to Use Godly Play at Home During Advent, December Family Activities, Turning Christmas Crafts into Montessori-Oriented Activities, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Activities, 50+ December Family Activities, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Activities (Part 2), Holiday Manners, How to Prepare a Special Kids’ Table for Holiday Gatherings, Homeschool Christmas, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Playdough Activities, 40+ Christmas Countdown Activities, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Crafts, Montessori-Inspired Nativity Activities, Montessori-Inspired Hanukkah Activities, Christmas Around the World: Scotland, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Activities and Free Christmas Printables, 40+ Christmas Sensory Tubs, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Scavenger Hunt, Montessori-Inspired Kids’ Gift Wrapping Activities, Hundreds of December Holiday Activities for Kids, Christmas Countdown Activities {with Lots of Free Printables}, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Cards and Crafts, Montessori-Inspired Set-Ups for Christmas Playdough Activities, Christmas Gingerbread Man Fine-Motor Activity or Craft, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Craft – Painted Wooden Ornaments, Free Christmas Tree Printables and Montessori-Inspired Christmas Tree Activities.
Montessori at Home or School - How to Teach Grace and Courtesy eBookIf you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12.

 Have a happy upcoming holiday season!
Deb - SigantureLiving Montessori Now Button  
Deb Chitwood 
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 39 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and baby granddaughter live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.
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