Luckily the emergency room ran Ken's test again and contacted her doctor to let her know that Ken has Strep Throat. It is a blessing that Ken doesn't feel sick!! Unfortunately she has exposed this highly contagious infection to other children:( Looks like Ken will be schooling for the next two days upstairs, it is a great thing that we went to the library last week their book selections were awesome!!
One of the perks of being on a journey to having a prepared environment is the Work Plan which starts in elementary in a Montessori setting. Ken and DJ have been using Work Plans for a long time, this week they decided to organize the cultural works by specific days of the week. They just use the list to remind them of their focus activities on the shelves and then they write them in their planner. I can't tell you how much this system has helped me! I no longer have to fill in lesson plans for the day, if I wanted to I could just use their planner to plug in the information. At the end of the year I have documentation on every activity that was done, which I could use to quickly check what state standard they have met. Observation is always the best thing and I am working very diligently to record those observations that I am making.
Ken's Work Plan
The Work Plans are always a work in progress and today they showed me that they could use a bit of improvement. I really like the simplicity of this one. Montessori for Everyone offers free ones and also a template which is what I used in making the ones shown above. It may look traditional, but it is definitely tailored to their interest and personal goals so they love them!
One of the works that DJ has on his work plan is Division booklets that are free from Liveable Learning. I have broken them down into individual booklets so the task doesn't seem too huge.
He loved this activity! Today he used one of the charts that comes with the Division Memorization boards to check his work. DJ has about five booklets to accomplish but he breezes through them not because they are easy to him, but because he thinks they are fun to do.
Ken mastering the Racks and Tubes because DJ asked her for some help and she needed to refresh to help him.
Another thing that I truly appreciate about having a Work Plan for them is that they understand what is expected from them in their freedom of choices.
For example when Ken chose to do a biography report on Monday, this required her to research a person of interest and write a brief description of their life and one thing that inspired them. Since she choose to read a book about Helen Keller this is a ongoing language work that is written in the daily planner until the report is finished. She may not push this aside and start the next day with an entirely different language work. The Work Plans along with the Daily Planner allow them to have something that they must follow through on.
DJ stays far away from anything that says a report, but he loves to research something. Today he chose to do Chinese Brush Painting as his language work.
Here are some examples of the cards he uses when he does this work.
They have declared Tuesday "Geography Day" Ken worked on learning the African Flags and DJ worked on learning the names of the countries in Northern Africa.
I hope you aren't tired of me talking about Work Plans yet!! Well they help my kids to get closer to an authentic Montessori environment. Often times they have to asked me if they can have a lesson on something, prompted by a work on the Work Plan( which I purposely do to get those needed presentations done) DJ needed to know for certain exactly what countries are in Northern Africa. I was able to show him some work that I put together to help identify the countries.
He decided to use the work this way.
What I hope even though they separated the works by days as I have on the Work Plan is that they see a connection between all subjects and not treat one just as a check off list. As you can see that they have added check marks to the works that they have done. This isn't my aim at all in using the Work Plans.
This post turned out to be longer than I expected and I hope I haven't bored you:)