Tag Archives: montessori classroom

Montessori Snowflake Bentley Activities

I was trying to do my best to encourage it to snow this winter, I can’t believe it, this might be the first time in the 12 years I’ve lived in Charlottesville, that it hasn’t snowed (this post has been sitting one my computer for two weeks, since then two snows have come and gone!).

Montessori snowflake matching work

So, while I was still holding out for the fluffy white stuff (and really, the snow day that accompanies it) I did a little two-day unit with my kindergarteners about snowflakes.

We started by reading the ever wonderful book Snowflake Bentley. The first day I read just the story. The second afternoon, I had the children retell me the story, and then we read the facts about Snowflake Bentley, which are sidebars on most of the pages in the book.

Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott Medal Book)

Since I’m not always the most prepared teacher, during my lunch break the day I wanted to present a new material, I went to make these lovely snowflake matching cards available from Laura at My Montessori Journey. Whoops, I didn’t realize that they were not available to download from her blog, and was supposed to email her ahead of time for the file. Trying to recover, I did a quick google search, a couple of test prints, and came up with the following two sets.

Montessori snowflake matching work

Mine are slightly different from Laura’s, I don’t have one large control card, rather I made all of my separate. You can download my cards here, or be sure to email Laura at My Montessori Journey for her less slapdash version! Click to download the Word version of these snowflakes here. You can resize the smaller snowflakes, I tried a few different sized before I found what I like

Finally, each kindergartener made their own snowflake. We started with three pipe cleaners (because snowflakes usually have six arms) and twisted the pipe cleaners together. Most of the children were able to do this independently, some still need a little help.

Then we tied a string to the snowflake, and to a popsicle stick, and placed them in a cup of Borax solution. We added about 3 tablespoons of Borax per cup, and then stirred in hot water.

Montessori snowflake matching work

The snowflakes sat over night, and by the next afternoon, each kindergartener had their own snowflake! I am terrible at final product pictures, but the snowflakes did turn out pretty well. It was great to talk about how they were each similar, but unique — just like real snowflakes!

I have some exciting news to share later this week, stay tuned! Sign-up to receive montessori works post by email!


montessori sewing lessons

I’m over at Confessions of a Montessori Mom sharing seven Montessori sewing lesson (there’s even a video!). Come over and check it out!

montessori sewing works

If you like these Montessori sewing lessons, subscribe to montessori works, because soon there will be a whole book! I’m writing and taking pictures of over 30 Montessori sewing works and projects, it will be for sale this fall — subscribe by email to stay in the loop!


wildflower seed pods

I’m running about 2 weeks late. My original plan was to have these ready to send home with our Mother’s Day gift, well, it’s May 12th and we just started them. While these seed pods are designed for guerrilla gardening (similar to seed bombs, but easier to make) I imagine most will end up in a pot or planter at home.

This was set up as an independent stationary activity in my classroom, but it can easily be a group activity or an individual at home project.

easy wildflower seed pods | montessori works

wildflower seed pods

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fundamental needs of worms – a montessori science work

In late March, I had the great opportunity to attend the American Montessori Society’s annual conference in Dallas. It was wonderful, inspiring, overwhelming and so busy! It was hard to figure out where you wanted to be, because there was too much to see and to hear.

fundamental needs of worms - a montessori science work | montessori works

One day my coworkers and I wandered into a session labeled “Teacher Networking”. AMS had invited local Montessori teachers to set-up some of their best and most interesting works — it was like a live Pinterest. This is where I met Loree Birkenback, head of St. James Episcopal School in Dallas, and saw her Fundamental Needs of the Worm work. She was kind enough to allow me to recreate it at my school, and post it here to share with you all. She also forwarded me her original extension printables (What do worms need? and papers for measuring worms), and you may download the PDF’s here (Earthworm documents). I have made a few changes to the lessons to make the lessons fit my school and my group, but for the most part it stayed the same. Continue reading

montessori silence game & variations

I love lessons that, at their essence, require no materials — just some space and the children. Lessons that are the fundamentals to the Montessori classroom, but by Spring, can often be forgotten by both the children and the teachers.

This week I made an effort to play the Silence game at group and to reintroduce individual silence works as materials on the shelf.

montessori silence works from montessori works

Why silence? Can’t you just tell the class to be quiet? Dr. Montessori’s main goal in her education philosophy is the development of internal discipline and self-satisfaction. Bringing the entire class to self-imposed silence, everyone working together to a common goal, is a beautiful thing. As she said in her essay from 1930, Continue reading

montessori bread work {part 2}

My very first blog post, almost a year ago, was about making bread in the classroom. I was so nervous hitting the publish button, I thought “who’s going to care about making bread in a Montessori classroom?” You know what, there were plenty of people who cared, and I discovered that I enjoyed sharing my ideas and love of Montessori, and hitting that publish button!

montessori bread work {part 2} | montessori works

In the late fall our school always uses the For Small Hands (from Montessori Services) as a fundraiser for materials. It is always a great resource for parents to pick up a few stocking stuffers and support the school at the same time.

I pined for this grain mill for years. It is a beautiful, sturdy, real piece of machinery.  It is practical and purposeful. It is deeply satisfying work. I knew it would be the perfect addition to our already established bread making and butter spreading works. It was the one item that I requested we purchased with the money we earned from the fundraiser, and I am so glad that we did. Continue reading