Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Nurturing the Years of Wonder
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Meredith
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Posted: May 23 2007 at 5:12pm | IP Logged Quote Meredith

Okay, please share your BEST and MOST USEFUL Montessori storage and/or display ideas here for all of us!!

I'll start by saying that since I removed MANY items from my shelves and placed only current WORK out my toddler has been less likely to just do the run in and dump I also try and separate the younger two when they are doing work as they will be less likely to get into each other's programs

I have all of my lower library shelves set up for Montessori, so far it seems to be working!!

Bring it on ladies, we're in organization mode for Summer

Blessings!

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Maryan
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Posted: May 23 2007 at 7:07pm | IP Logged Quote Maryan

Oh fun! This will be so inspirational!! And...I love pictures and links... Meredith... got any photo-ops of those shelves??

I've lost my camera over the weekend -- but if I find it I'll post my few little ideas.

But am really looking for some food for thought!! Definitely in organization mode here too!! I think I'll become Theresa and Suzanne's cheerleaders so they can hurry up and finish their work and post here!! And AndreaG, are you willing to give us a peek into the closet?

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SuzanneG
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Posted: May 23 2007 at 7:11pm | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

Maryan wrote:
I think I'll become Theresa and Suzanne's cheerleaders so they can hurry up and finish their work and post here!!

I could use a cheerleader or two!

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Posted: May 23 2007 at 7:29pm | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

I have wondered about this- I set up my kitchen with drawers for the kids a year ago, and since then I have been continually picking up plates, napkins, cups, etc. They get them out all the time to play, have pretend picnics- all kinds of things. Well- actually I make them clean it up, but it is constant. I have come to think of it as the "montessori mess factor".

Same with the paper and colored pencils- easy to access on the shelf, but we go through clean up three times a day.

Even if I have less out, they seem able to multiply it into a large mess.

Well, at least we are getting lots of practice cleaning up. When do they get to that point of cleaning up on their own without prompting?

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Meredith
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Posted: May 23 2007 at 7:41pm | IP Logged Quote Meredith

SeaStar wrote:
Well, at least we are getting lots of practice cleaning up. When do they get to that point of cleaning up on their own without prompting?


Get them buckets, mops, whisk brooms and dust pans, dust mops, sponges, and SHOW THEM how to do it!! You'll be amazed at what they can clean-up

My ds 5's latest thing is spraying each 12 x 12 inch tile in the kitchen and using a scrub brush to clean it, then he wipes it up with a wash cloth, or I have his little brother (2) come behind him with the string mop and clean up the wet parts. (Although that only lasts until he can make off with the spray bottle and start "making his Mark" )

Keep the ideas coming ladies, I'll try and post on my blog about our library shelves. Anyone up for a Montessori Carnival and Organization of Learning Rooms???

Blessings!

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Posted: May 23 2007 at 9:53pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Oh, I am so up for that! I have several new organizational things I want to show off! But unfortunately my blog is down for a few days (actually all of homeschooljournal is down) so I can't show off pics right now. Next week I should be back in business, I hope!
I will tell you though, I finally have the card monster licked! I tried evrything before and nothing worked until now because of the cards being all different sizes. I will have to show you pictures, though for it to make sense.

Hmmm... I just had a thought. Maybe I could get an album together on photobucket and link it here. Let me give that a shot and I'll be back!

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Posted: May 23 2007 at 9:55pm | IP Logged Quote Meredith

OOH, Theresa, praying the photobucket works...Do show!!

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Posted: May 23 2007 at 10:38pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Ok, someone want to see if this works?
montessori organization slideshow
I only put up pics of my organization scheme for the 3 part cards and other materials with small parts.
I do have other things brewing, but I wanted to see if this works first.
Plus, I am just thrilled with how these two things are working for me, so I wanted to share them right away!

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Posted: May 23 2007 at 10:42pm | IP Logged Quote Celeste

Theresa, I love it! Where did you get those fabulous notebook pocket thingies?

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Posted: May 23 2007 at 10:48pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Walmart
I think the notebooks were about 2.50 each (approx).They really are fabulous. There are 8 pockets/envelopes per notebook, and the envelopes are plastic and close very nicely. They are large enough to hold a good thick stack of 5X7 cards. Plus whenever I run across a coloring sheet or other extension to go with the cards, I can stick it in the pocket behind the cards.
Combined with the zippered pockets I think I have a good start on taming this montessori mess!

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Posted: May 23 2007 at 11:53pm | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

Beautiful, Theresa! This is the sort of thing I'm doing too. Here are a whole bunch of posts about the use of bags for organizing. Don't miss this one and this one Of course, this is not for items for the "littles" because they can't SEE it, but a great organizing idea for lots of things....to follow up on Theresa's bag concept.

I love those pouches.....I can find them at our "Big Lots" store for .77 and they get even cheaper at back-to-school-time.


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Posted: May 24 2007 at 1:39am | IP Logged Quote Fe2h2o

Meredith wrote:
Anyone up for a Montessori Carnival and Organization of Learning Rooms???


No contributions, but oh! How I'd appreciate reading one! I'm looking around our house, and I'm feeling overwhelmed by how to sort it out to make thing accessible without being overwhelming (so I need to put stuff away!) for PuggleŚand keep in mind that Bilby is probably not much more than a month from crawling.

So I'd love to see how some of you manage your materials/spaces!

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Posted: May 24 2007 at 6:28am | IP Logged Quote AndreaG

Theresa,
Thanks for sharing! I think I am off to Walmart! I have been keeping my cards in evelopes, but this looks so much neater and more inviting. That notebook is great!
Perhaps by the time my camera is back from the shop I'll have my space organized, so I can share a photo or two.
If I had a camera I would photograph my closet- for comic relief! I open the door and stuff falls out on me from the pile that is as tall as I am! But it would be nice to have a "before" shot.
Happy organizing!

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Posted: May 24 2007 at 6:36am | IP Logged Quote AndreaG

SeaStar wrote:
Well, at least we are getting lots of practice cleaning up. When do they get to that point of cleaning up on their own without prompting?


I fear for certain children the answer is never! I do notice that my daughter who I started with montessori as a baby will actually put things away when she is done. I tried to emphasize the "putting away" part of the presentation with her b/c I was so tired of the kid clutter from her two older brothers. Her tidiness may be more due to personality than education, however.

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Posted: May 24 2007 at 6:44am | IP Logged Quote Cheryl

lapazfarm wrote:
Ok, someone want to see if this works?
montessori organization slideshow
I only put up pics of my organization scheme for the 3 part cards and other materials with small parts.
I do have other things brewing, but I wanted to see if this works first.
Plus, I am just thrilled with how these two things are working for me, so I wanted to share them right away!


I love your ideas Theresa! I'd love to see more of them and a carnival. I don't think I could participate in one until July or August. We're doing yard work and we still haven't planted our garden over here. I have a year's worth of clutter in my school room and I can't wait to organize it, but it won't be until we've finished school. Something needs to change around here. My dd 1 has learned to climb on chairs and there are pencils and crayons and pieces of paper all over the place.   

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Posted: May 24 2007 at 7:35am | IP Logged Quote Angel

I'd love to see a Carnival, but I hesitate to commit to posting myself just because life with the twins is CRAZY right now. (The only reason I have time to post this is because they are watching a Baby Einstein video for five minutes.) I'd *really* like to see how other people handle Montessori for older kids with toddlers around.

I think my situation is a bit extreme because I have 2 toddlers and because they are really, really active (people comment all the time)... and because they climb. So I have a hard time putting anything up high enough to keep it away from them, especially if it looks enticing. (I put out some pattern blocks and a jigsaw puzzle the other day in what I thought was a safe place; the next morning I walked in to see that one of the babies had moved a Lego container over to the shelf and was using it as a stool. Pattern blocks and puzzle pieces were everywhere.)

Anyway, it's a bit of a challenge. I'm hoping to set up some stuff in cabinets with cabinet locks, but so far we haven't found a lock that will work with these particular cabinets. I'm waiting on another delivery -- hopefully some of these locks will work!! (I know this isn't very Montessori, but I'm desperate.)

Right now most of my actual materials are in Rubbermaid tubs in various closets, awaiting me to be organized enough to actually use them. I need to go through the tubs and label the contents so I can see what I have first. And I need a few manuals, too. Then I think I'll be able to see what I ought to put out, and if there's anything I should make. (Cards come to mind.)

My problem is getting the time to do all this organizing. I can't actually just let the kids go, because that always leads to disaster. And the big kids need to keep up with some academic stuff over the summer because this baby will probably come some time around the last week of August.   

Any ideas about how to go about organizing the organizing? (Time management, anyone? Sequences?) One of my biggest problems is getting the environment set up in the first place. I'm always trying to work with things that are half-done!

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Posted: May 24 2007 at 8:59am | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Angela
To be honest, the only reason I am able to get anything done is that I am taking advantage of the fact that the little boys (my grandsons) are gone with dh and their mom to alaska. I have approx 3 more weeks to do all the organizing I can before we all head up there for the summer. And then, judging by the way dh describes how things are going with their mom , the boys will most likely be back with me here again for school next year. With no dh to help.
So, I am trying to take advantage of every minute I've got to get this stuff done because I know once they are back..
Maybe you can arrange for someone to take the boys for the day or just a few hours so you can get some stuff done? If so, then have a plan at the ready for tackling one small area at a time and work like the devil while they are out!LOL!
Oh, I wish I had better advice. Our one toddler is a climber, too. I can't imagine double trouble.

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Posted: May 24 2007 at 9:00am | IP Logged Quote Meredith

lapazfarm wrote:
Ok, someone want to see if this works?
montessori organization slideshow
I only put up pics of my organization scheme for the 3 part cards and other materials with small parts.
I do have other things brewing, but I wanted to see if this works first.
Plus, I am just thrilled with how these two things are working for me, so I wanted to share them right away!


Theresa, these are phenominal!!! How fun! Now I think I have a Big Lots in the town I just moved from. Have to check it out for sure!!

How about we try and get some more organizing together and then think about a Carnival sometime in July, works a little better for me too That way our learning environments will be all shiny and ready

Keep the ideas and pics coming, these are great!!

Blessings!

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Posted: May 24 2007 at 9:27am | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

In won't be able to participate in July as I will be in Alaska far away from anything montessori!LOL!
But I will read all of your ideas with interest!
Well... maybe I can put something together in June before I leave and you can include it if you like.

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Posted: May 24 2007 at 9:47am | IP Logged Quote Meredith

Well, would the end of June be better for everyone. No point in having one if we can't all participate in some way or another. I'm VERY flexible from here on out, so I'll keep checking in with you all!



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