Tag Archive | homeschool

DIY: Green Boards

I’m actually a bit baffled by the subject of this post, the Montessori Green Boards.  I have two pages about them in my Language manual, and they are presented as an important exercise in developing beautiful handwriting.  When I was preparing to introduce Drama Queen to them recently, I assumed I would likely make them, but decided to check prices online first.  To my surprise, I haven’t been able to find them anywhere!  I checked several of the discount Montessori websites as well as Nienhuis, and haven’t found anything like the Green Boards described in my manual.  A search for the term “green board” only brought up personal-sized green chalk boards on which to practice writing letters.  Strange!  I considered skipping the Green Boards, thinking that they must not be very important if no one even sells them.  However, upon further reflection, I decided that I really like them and really thought Drama Queen would benefit from working with them.  So, I gathered materials to make my own green boards.

The Green Boards are an extension of the sandpaper letter lessons.  First, the teacher gives the child one-on-one lessons with three sandpaper letters at a time until the child is familiar with all the letters.  Then the child is able to play games with the letters, such as guessing which letter the teacher is tracing in the air, writing the letters in sand, or tracing a letter blindfolded, making the sound of it, and having a friend verify the correct sound.  The next step is for the child to work with the Green Boards, which contain several letters on each board.  The purpose of the Green Boards is to help children understand the relationships between the written letters – all the letters of a similar formation are grouped together on one Green Board.  This is how I grouped the letters (keep in mind that the letters are in cursive on the Green Boards):

c o a d g q

i u w t

n m v x y z

s r j p

e l b f h k

My Language manual’s description of the Green Boards is that they are similar to the sandpaper letters in terms of the size of the letter and the fact that the letters are made of sand, to be traced by the child.  Instead of on red boards (consonants) or blue boards (vowels), they are all on, wait for it… green boards.  I didn’t want to spend the time to cut sandpaper letters or even felt letters, as I did when I made the Sandpaper Numerals.  Instead, I wrote the letters in pencil (about half the size of the sandpaper letters).

I then used a black Sharpie to trace over the top and bottom lines and the middle dashed line.  This is the child’s first exposure to lines in letter writing.

I traced over the letters in glue, then sprinkled sand from the children’s sand table over the glue.

At first I was using Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue, but it wasn’t working well.  I ended up switching to plain old Elmer’s glue.  In this pic (which I couldn’t get to stay turned the right way), you can see the top with Elmer’s and the bottom with Aleene’s.

I made these with 12×12 green cardstock I already had on hand.  I didn’t have enough of one shade of green, so I used two different shades.  Also, I couldn’t fit all the letters on one strip, so I did some taping together once the glue dried.  (I also went back over the Aleene’s letters with the Elmer’s glue.)

     

I let them dry overnight, then they were ready for Drama Queen’s fingers the next day.  She initially was very excited about working with them, as she is with any new material.   I first introduced the “c” board.  I explained that all the letters on that board start the same way when writing them.  We went through the letters one at a time, with me tracing, then her tracing.  It was a good review for her.  Then we traced through the whole set quickly to really feel the similarity.

After the first board, I told her she could practice with that one more on her own, we could stop for the day and continue again the next, or we could continue right then to the next board.  To my surprise, she wanted to keep going through every board that day.  At one point, she proclaimed, “I never knew this would be so much fun!”

I put them back on the shelf after the lesson, but that evening I taped them to the closet door.  In that location, they can be an easy visual reference when she is writing, and they are low so that she can still trace them with her fingers at any point.

     

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Living in the Real World

Do you ever feel like you were born into the wrong time period?  I totally do.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love being able to wear blue jeans every day, and I really would not want to trade that for long, heavy dresses and corsets.  And I’m all about having a shower with hot water and a washing machine that takes care of my kids urine-soaked and paint-splattered clothes.  BUT…this whole virtual world thing, where we keep in touch with everyone we’ve ever known by means of very shallow interactions through a flat screen and some buttons that we push to express our words…that’s not what I want.  We even try to express our emotions through those same buttons.  🙂     😦     :*-(     :-/     😛     😉

Even the people around us, who we see casually on a regular basis, are also virtual friends.  We run into someone while picking up a new jar of natural peanut butter, and suddenly have to race through mental images of facebook screens:  “She just said something important on fb, what was it?!”  Or we get moderately irritated because we have to explain something to a fellow facebooker that we already explained on facebook.

It seems like we don’t even expect to develop deep relationships where we really share our lives with each other.  We’re too busy keeping up with everyone to focus on a few real relationships with people currently surrounding us.

I think I would fit much better in a time period when the people in your life were the people who lived right there with you.  I love the idea of being fully present with the people in my own community.  Right now, I can see out the window to my neighbor’s house.  We’ve been to their house and they’ve been to ours, and we talk in the yard sometimes, but you know where the majority of our interaction is?  Facebook.  How strange!

I also don’t fit in a world with all this crazy computer technology stuff.  Albeit, my house, clothes, and food are provided by that crazy computer technology stuff because my husband’s job involves him typing stuff into a computer in languages I could never dream to comprehend.  But all these things like iPhones, iPads, Nooks…is there something called a Nano?  Oh, I just don’t get all those!  I’m only 33, but I’m such an old grandma when it comes to those things.  Actually, that’s not fair to say – my 70 year MIL is more up-to-date on these things than I am.  The Brain from time to time offers to buy me some new something-or-other for birthday or Christmas.  I pretty much always turn him down.  I don’t need some expensive gadget that I don’t even understand!

So, really, all of that is to explain part of the reason this blog has been silent for the last month.  I spent a mainly-computer-free week at my parents’ house between Christmas and New Year’s.  It was wonderful!  When I got back home, I did of course make use of the computer some, but I just haven’t had that same desire to reach out to that world of people that exist beyond my screen somewhere.  It is so much nicer to be available to play games and read books with my little active, imaginative munchkins.  Our homeschool preschool has been better this month than it ever has been, because I’ve been more invested in it.  We have been having SUCH a great preschool experience!

I got to have another completely computer-free experience for most of this week.  We spent the time at my dear friend’s house, and it was such a refreshing blessing.  She and her husband have five children under the age of 8, and they are the most incredible kids I have ever had the opportunity to know.  Normally with that many young children (my two were also thrown in the mix, of course) there’s a fair amount of chaos and loudness and resulting headaches.  Not with this crew.  Not at all.  They have a fabulous time playing together, but somehow manage to do so without getting out of control.  There are many reasons for that, of course, but I think two main aspects of it are that their mom is fully present (she’s not half-listening/half-computering), and that t.v. is, for the most part, not a part of the kids’ daily lives.  They fully live in the present.  Now, they do have their own detailed imaginary world that all four of the older ones play together, but it’s from their imaginations!  There is no virtual world for them, other than the imaginary one they themselves create with their own minds, and they pull visiting friends right into that one.  They don’t copy inappropriate phrases or actions from t.v. or movie characters.  They are fully themselves, confident in their own thoughts and opinions, and respectful of the opinions and desires of others.  I truly love being around these kids!

So what does this have to do with anything?  I don’t know.  I’m rambling-typing on a computer instead of taking care of some personal e-mails that are waiting for responses.  I could just call those people.  But I’ll stick with the virtual interactions for now.

I did pull up the blog today specifically for a Montessori/Mason compare and contrast post, based on some reading I’ve been doing.  I don’t seem to have made it to that.  (shrug) I’ll get to it sometime.  You know, Montessori and Mason both lived prior to t.v. and computers.  Maybe that’s why I like them.  🙂

Disclaimer:  This whole post may be a result of reading the Little House books way too many times over the past few months.  I want to be in that family.  Although, I’d probably be Mary, who is significantly less cool than Laura.

Disclaimer #2:  I actually wrote this a week or two ago, whenever it was that I got home from Corrie’s house.  I’m a bit slow in posting.

Disclaimer #3:  I kinda feel like I should put some pics on the blog to make it a little more visually appealing.   But…I think I won’t bother with that.  Sorry.  Again, I’m Mary, the boring one.

DIY: Spindle Boxes

Here’s a great DIY for anyone whose child is learning numbers, whether you typically use the Montessori method or not.  Probably all parents have smiled as their very young child sang the alphabet song, long before the child could use those letters in writing or even identify the symbol for each letter.  The same thing occurs with numbers – children learn how to verbalize a string of numbers in order long before they understand the concept of what those numbers actually mean.  That’s where the Montessori Spindle Box comes in.

The Spindle Box has 10 equal compartments, numbered 0 through 9.  The child puts the appropriate number of spindles in each box.  Doing this work helps the child understand that each number, a quantity in itself, can be made up of separate objects.  It also demonstrates in a concrete manner that zero represents no quantity.  In addition, it is an indirect preparation for the fact that there are no other symbols but 0 to 9.

For some reason, I absolutely love this lesson, and I absolutely love the Nienhuis material for it.  It’s a pretty easy DIY material, but I still had to convince myself not to spend the $30 to buy it!

Convince myself I did, though, and I must say that I love the result!  Dr. Montessori emphasized that materials for young children should be beautiful, and I think this one really is!

My first step was to decide what to use for my 45 spindles.  Popsicle sticks would work perfectly, but I didn’t have any of those on hand.  Unsharpened pencils could work if I had enough.  Q-tips were a possibility.  Sticks would be awesome when doing this as an outside activity.  I finally decided on toothpicks.

Next, I needed a container to divide into the ten sections.  We have a ridiculous number of Amazon boxes of all shapes and sizes tossed into our garage at this point, but I wanted something prettier.  I looked through the kitchen and found a beautiful tray that seemed like it could work quite well.

To make the dividers, I simply cut small strips of cardstock and held each in place with a piece of tape on each side.  I did my best to make them centered and equally sized.  I was a little off, as you can see, but I figure it’s close enough.

Next, I needed to add my numbers.  I have tons of alphabet/number stickers, so I just picked a sheet of those, stuck the stickers on cardstock, cut them, and taped them onto my tray.

   

The only other material I needed was something with which to tie together each group of toothpicks.  My manual says to tie ribbons around each group, but Drama Queen isn’t that good with tying bows yet.  Rubber bands would work, but I couldn’t find that many small rubber bands.  I was just about to decide to skip that step (I’ll explain all the steps below), when it occurred to me that I have a little girl.  Which means I have hair loops.  Lots and lots of colorful hair loops.  I raided her hair accessory container and chose 8 loops, each of a different color (she doesn’t have 8 of any one color).

To add a little festiveness, I used Christmas items to hold the toothpicks and hair loops.

   

The next morning, both kids were immediately drawn to the beautiful new materials.  These are the steps of the lesson, as Drama Queen did them.

1.  Bring spindle box, toothpicks, and container of loops one at a time to the table.

2.  Point to “1”.  Ask child to read it.

3.  Point at other numbers through 9, asking child to read them.

4.  Tell child and demonstrate how to place the toothpicks gently one by one, counting out loud, into the compartments.

5.  Demonstrate the first two or three compartments and allow the child to continue.  (Drama Queen was very eager to do it herself!)

6.  When all the compartments have been filled, show that the toothpick dish is empty.

7.  Show empty “zero” compartment.

8.  Say, “There are no toothpicks because this number is zero.  Zero means nothing, no quantity.’

9.  Get out loops and tell child, “We will tie together each group of toothpicks.”  Do not tie “1” since it is not a group.  This gives the sensorial impression to the child that the separate objects represent one number.  Double wrapping the loops was quite a challenge for Drama Queen at first, but she was determined to learn how to do it, so she kept working at it until she got it.

    

10.  Remove all loops and place back in box.  Return toothpicks to dish.

11.  Invite child to repeat exercise.

There’s also a fun Zero Game you can play with the child after she’s done some work with the spindle box.  You can do this with multiple children or just one.  Ask each child to carry out quick actions a certain number of times.  After asking a child to do something zero times, plead with her, “Why are you not doing anything?”  Allow her to explain that she was told to do it zero times.

Product Review: Geometric Cabinet from Alison’s Montessori

Last Wednesday, I was SOOO excited to win a Geometric Cabinet from Alison’s Montessori and Living Montessori Now.  Just TWO days later, on Friday afternoon, I found this on my front porch:

Talk about a speedy delivery!  If their shipping is always that fast, they are THE place to order Montessori materials you need the next week!

I was pretty much giddy when I opened the box and got to start playing with my absolutely gorgeous new cabinet.  It truly is lovely, as Maria thought materials for children should be.

To give a fair review, though, I do want to share some concerns I had about it as I began to look at it more closely.

*The top of it sags in the middle.  It’s practically unnoticeable unless you’re purposefully noting the fine details, so it’s not that big of a deal.  The only real problem from it is that not every drawer can fit in that space.  I tried to move some drawers around, and realized that other drawers won’t fit there.  Strange, but not a huge deal.

*One of the drawers is not a perfect rectangle, so the frames do not actually fit.  One corner is just a little shy of a 90 degree angle, so the frame in that corner has to overlap with the frame beneath it a little.  That’s annoying to me, but again, not a huge deal.

*The oval has a point at the top.  Have you ever seen an oval with a point?  What is that??  (For comparison, I’ve included the typical oval form that is used in Montessori materials.  This is an oval metal inset, which is supposed to be the same size and shape as the oval in the geometry cabinet.)

     

*There was one four-sided figure in the triangle drawer.  I don’t understand why a four-sided figure was placed in a drawer that is specifically for three-sided figures.  I took it out and replaced it with a triangle I found elsewhere.

*There was a rectilinear figure in the curvilinear drawer.  Again, why?  And again, I took it out.

*I ended up with two rectilinear figures and one triangle that aren’t part of the material in my manual.  I’m simply storing those in my teacher’s cabinet.

*The drawers were in a different order than what I had learned in my training.  That may be one of those things that’s taught differently depending on what type of training you received.  It was easy to just switch around the drawers (which is how I found out the top one had to stay at the top;  I just switched the contents for that one).

I must admit that I was disappointed over some of those things, but as I stated, most of it was easily corrected.  I’m still stuck with that pointed oval, which is so strange.

Despite those flaws, though, I still absolutely love my new cabinet and am still completely thrilled that I own it.  Drama Queen got to start working with it on Monday, and was so excited!  I had previously given her all the introductory lessons with my homemade Geometric Cabinet, so for this lesson, I was at the point of showing her how to work with a whole drawer.  I think she ended up working with each of the drawers that day – she just kept going back to it!

      

These are each of the six drawers of the Geometric Cabinet:

Drawer 1: 6 circles, varying in diameter from 10 cm to 5 cm

Drawer 2:  6 rectangles, varying in size from 10×10 cm to 10×5 cm


Drawer 3:  6 different types of triangles (isosceles obtuse, isosceles right, scalene obtuse, isosceles acute, scalene right, equilateral)


Drawer 4:  6 different regular polygons (pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon,  decagon)


Drawer 5:  4 curvilinear figures (quatrefoil, curvilinear triangle, oval, ellipse)


Drawer 6:  4 rectilinear figures (isosceles trapezoid, rhombus, right trapezoid, parallelogram)

Washing a Table, 3YO style

Have you ever noticed that young children absolutely love imitating what they see “their” adults do?  That is the reason that toy companies make, and parents purchase, so many toy versions of household items:  toy vacuums, toy food to cut and prepare, toy tea sets, etc.  Many adults don’t take time to think about it, but children frequently prefer doing the REAL task rather than just pretending.  My children regularly ask to handwash dishes.  I leave out materials for washing windows and for dusting, which are regularly in use.  They seem to feel honored when I let them put dishes in the dishwasher, or empty the dishwasher.  And it’s not just my kids – young children love doing the things they see their parents doing.  I’m sure most of you who are parents have some similar experiences with your children.  (To be clear, this only applies to young children.  Once they’re over it, they’re over it!  Take advantage while they’re young!)

That’s why I gave Mr. BANG (who only has 9 days left of being a two-year-old) a lesson on how to wash a table.  It’s a great lesson because it allows him to be a productive member of the family, as he wants to be, it increases his attention to detail, and it also helps him develop the discipline of carrying out the full cycle of an extended activity.

This is an “official” Montessori lesson, geared toward ages 3-4.5, and I presented it as I learned in my Montessori training.  I initially went through the whole lesson myself, while he sat in a chair next to me, studying the whole process.  (In typical Montessori fashion, pretty much all lessons are presented – with few or no words – first, then the child gets a turn.  My children are now used to that and have developed the self-control to sit and watch.)

Before the “official” Montessori presentation began, I had Ethan clean the crumbs, including cereal pieces, off the table with the crumb brush.  Then the presentation began with carrying the materials from the shelf over to the floor by the table.  There are a lot of materials for this work, so I demonstrated making three trips to carry it all.  I spread out the towel, then set each item on it in a particular order, naming each item as I did so.

I went through the whole presentation except the very last step – putting the materials back on the shelf.  Therefore, Mr. BANG started at the point of setting out the materials on the towel.  I will pick up from here sharing his experience.  As this is a long, complicated work, I did stay with him and give him verbal reminders along the way.

Mr. BANG put on his apron (with some motherly assistance) and moved the chairs away from the table.  I was pleased to see that he did it the way I taught him instead of just dragging them along!

He took the pitcher to the sink to fill it 3/4 full with water.  He did well getting the pitcher up the little steps to the sink and filling it up (he even copied my little finger gestures about where to fill it to), but needed some help getting down with the pitcher.  I had expected that, and was happy to assist.

Back at the table, he poured most of the water into the bin, leaving a little for the clean-up part at the end of the process.

He dipped the sponge into the water, squeezed the water out with both hands, gave it a gentle shake, and started wiping the table to get it wet.  I had demonstrated wiping with an up and down motion, from left to right, but he just moved the sponge haphazardly.  He did re-wet the sponge as needed.

He returned the sponge to its dish and picked up the scrub brush and soap.  He dipped both into the water, then rubbed the soap against the brush.  He dipped the soap into the water again, gave a gentle shake, then returned it to its dish.  I had demonstrated scrubbing using large circular motions on most of the table, alternating with smaller, gentler circles along the edge.  He imitated that fairly well.

   

After covering the table with bubbles, he rinsed the scrub brush thoroughly, gave it a little shake, and returned it to the towel.  He picked up the sponge, wet it, and started wiping off the soap from the table.  Again, I had demonstrated the left to right, top to bottom motion, but he just wiped wherever.  I did have to remind him frequently to rinse the soap off his sponge.

When all the bubbles were gone and he had rinsed the sponge and returned it to its dish, he picked up the drying cloth.  He wiped it around the table fairly well and got a significant portion of the table dry.  All that was left were some wet streaks – no standing water.  Anything left was dry in less than a minute.

Now, the table was remarkably clean, and it was time for the clean-up.  He had done what he considered the interesting part and casually let me know he was done.  I smiled and reminded him that he needed to clean it up and get it ready for next time.  He immediately reengaged without any complaining.

He poured the soapy water from the bin into the bucket.  It was pretty heavy, so I did step in and help with that.  He then poured the remaining water from the pitcher into the basin and cleaned out any remaining soap.  He poured that water into the bucket as well.

The next step was to dry each item with the cloth.  He started with the basin, then did the sponge dish, scrub brush (the handle part), soap dish (he poured the water into the bucket first), and the outside of the pitcher.

I helped him carry the bucket into the bathroom to pour out the water.  I had shown him how to pour it into the toilet, but he wanted to pour it into the sink, so I helped him with that.

    

He dried the bucket inside and out.  When all drying was done, he took the cloth, now wet, to our towel basket in the laundry room.  He got a new dry cloth from the shelf and placed it, along with the other small materials, into the basin.

He gathered up all the materials as they had been (he desperately wanted to fold the towel by himself, but I promised to give him a folding lesson soon and had him help me match up corners this time).  He then made his three trips and got all the materials back on the shelf, ready for the next time.

His final step was to put the chairs back in place.

That night during dinner, he excitedly told The Brain all the steps he had gone through, with the words just pouring out of his mouth.  He never actually told Daddy that he had cleaned the table, just listed all the steps!  As he spoke, his face was filled with pride at the big task he had accomplished.

Book Review: Biographies of art and music

Both within the Charlotte Mason and the Montessori worlds, there is an emphasis on exposing children to beautiful things.  One large aspect of that is allowing them to experience the works of famous artists and musicians.

In our home, we focus on one musician and one artist each semester.  This semester, we chose Bach as our composer, simply because one of my friends was doing a Bach presentation at a local school at the very beginning of the semester.  She invited us to attend that presentation, where we were able to learn facts about his life and listen to some of his music.  She also sent us home with a CD of some of his pieces.  Drama Queen and Mr. BANG absolutely love listening to the CD during meals, and also prefer for me to have a picture of him for them to see as they listen.  (I just pull up a picture on my computer and set it where they can see.)

Our artist this month is Georgia O’Keefe simply because Montessori Print Shop had free O’Keefe nomenclature cards at the beginning of the semester, and I had previously purchased a calendar of her paintings which meant I had some of her artwork on hand. (January and February are perfect times to get discounted artist calendars.)  I let each child choose one painting from the calendar to display in each of their bedrooms, and put the others up in the playroom, their bathroom, and the hallway connecting their bedrooms.

   The nomenclature cards

I also definitely wanted to include some child-appropriate biographies to allow us into O’Keefe’s and Bach’s lives a little bit.  l had previously discovered a series of composer biographies that are wonderful.  My first experience with these books, by Anna Harwell Celenza, was a book about Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” my own favorite piece of music as a child.  The book tells the story of how that particular piece of music was written and then introduced to the public.  It came with a CD of that piece, so we could listen and pick out the aspects of the music that were described in the book.

This time, I knew to go to her for a book about Bach, and she didn’t fail me.  I purchased her book, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which tells the story of a young boy, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who played harpsichord for Bach’s friend, Count Keyserlingk.  The Count gave Goldberg a new musical challenge each week, and the boy worked hard to find or write an appropriate piece and practice it until he was ready to play it perfectly for the count.  One day, the Count asked for a piece that was “filled with dances and difficult runs.  It must also have canons and something quite new.  A surprise that will trick me – how about a riddle?”  In despair, Goldberg went to his teacher, Bach, who pulled out a piece he had already written, which fit the bill perfectly.  (Bach’s name for the piece was “A Keyboard Practice Consisting of an Aria with Thirty Variations for the Harpischord.”  You can see why the name “Goldberg Variations” is the one that stuck!)  The book also comes with a CD of the piece.

      

Celenza herself is a music professor at Georgetown University.  She has written 6 children’s books (the most recent was released this year, so hopefully she’ll write more!), telling the stories of pieces by Duke Ellington, Beethoven, Mussorgsky, and Haydn, in addition to Bach and Gershwin.

The other fabulous series that I’ve discovered is both written and illustrated by Mike Venezia.  My children absolutely LOVE his books, because in addition to pulling together an interesting short biography of the person, he includes funny cartoons throughout the books.  We have the ones for Bach and O’Keefe, but he has written nearly 50 biographies of artists, 14 biographies of composers, 43 biographies of U.S. Presidents, and 16 biographies of inventors and scientists.

Johann Sebastian Bach includes portraits of Bach, some of his family members (including one of him playing harpsichord with many of his numerous children around him), and places he lived.  Venezia tells about Bach’s musical family (more than 70 of his relatives were professional musicians), his early experiences (he got a good job as a violist in a royal court, but also had to remove slop from the kitchen every morning), and several of the different jobs Bach had during his lifetime.

            

Georgia O’Keefe includes pictures of many of her paintings, as well as a couple of photos of O’Keefe herself.  Venezia describes what types of paintings O’Keefe liked to make and what inspired her.  He tells about the different places she lived, and how each impacted her artwork.  He also walks through the development of her relationship of photographer Alfred Stieglitz, whom she eventually married.  And, of course, it has plenty of silly cartoons!

        

If you know of other great biographies for children, please share!

Sequence Cards

One lesson in the Montessori two-year-old manual that I own is to make sequencing cards for the young child to put in order.  It suggests taking photos of the child throughout the day:  arriving at class, hanging up coat, choosing a work…”  Then you would glue those onto colored paper, laminate them, and make them available to the child.  (Each child would have his/her own set.)

I decided to go the easier route:  the internet.  I lazily googled “sequence cards preschool” and found a long list of sequence cards that I could just print off.  Some of them were great and seemed very useful for our family, others either weren’t well-made or were based on books we don’t have.

These are the sites I used:

I started out with a very simple one for Mr. BANG and a more challenging one for Drama Queen.  I put each in a basket on a shelf.


Drama Queen’s lesson was with a set I had found based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  (You would think I’m doing a unit study on that book!)

I had her bring the basket to the rug, and also got the book from our book basket.  First, we talked about each picture, one at a time.  After we talked about each one, we placed it along the right edge of the rug.

Next, we began reading the book together and I told her we would be putting the cards together in the order they appear in the book.  So as we read, she would pick up a card and place it in a horizontal line across the middle of the rug.  Sometimes I would prompt her to get the appropriate card, and sometimes she would just get it while I was still reading that page.

When we finished, I let her know that next time she works with it, she can choose to do it with or without the book.

Mr. BANG’s first sequencing lesson only consisted of three cards.  The cards told a story about a daddy tucking his son into bed at night, something with which he has personal experience.  The original version consisted of four cards, but I left out “They tell each other about their day.”  We do that during dinner in our family, so that could be confusing to Mr. BANG.

Other than the book part, we did the lesson the same way as with Drama Queen’s lesson.  I had him set out a rug and bring the basket to it.  We talked through each picture as we set them to the right.

Then I asked, “Which of those happened first?” “Which one happened next?”  “What was the last thing that happened?”  With each question, he put the appropriate picture across the middle of the rug.

I have a few more of these waiting to be prepared to take a turn on the shelf.  There were some outline-only ones that I let Drama Queen color and laminate.

(I later found a different Little Miss Muffet one that I like better, but I’ll stick with these because Drama Queen proudly did them herself.)

My plan is to rotate the sequence cards probably every week or so – always having two options on the shelf.