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Ending Screen Time battles

This has been a Game changer for us. My kids, like many others, love their iPads. I have been trying to limit the time that they have on them, as I can see dramatic changes in their behaviour with too much use. I had explored apps such as OurPact but at £6.99 a month I felt it was cost prohibitive.

Now I have discovered the screen time controls released with the latest update from Apple. This takes the nagging away from me, as the children know they have one hour a day on the games on the iPad and now they automatically switch off.

 Apple have just released an update which includes an amazing screen controls. They allow you to set how much time your children can use the apps for (or anyone in your household) and can also enforce a blanket screen ban.
Very simple to set up, and you can control anyone who is in your account or linked to you as a family member. This really has been a game changer in our house as it takes the responsibility of managing screen time away from me (less nagging and being ignored) and it is a simple switch off.
 To implement this I gave the children clear boundaries to avoid any meltdowns at switch of time. I explained that the iPads would not work after one hour and then they had to turn them off.
In the beginning, they did ask for extensions but I insured from day one that this wasn’t allowed so there have been no further negotiations.
Step-by-step set up guide

Go to the Settings menu and choose ‘Screen Time’

This is the screen time menu:

This is also available as a free download – How to set screen time limits.

This has had a massive impact on our house – I hope it helps you too!

If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

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Jo

Jo @ MontessoriSoul

Easter Egg Hunt Challenge

Over the years I have been refining this Easter egg hunt idea, it is always a hit, from the younger children all the way up.   At the end you can always give a chocolate egg for the completed sheet!

The hunt only takes a few minutes to prepare.  You can either use the coloured eggs on my free printable (link at the bottom of this post)  or you can purchase the lovely wooden eggs from Hobbycraft. (Not an affiliate link, just I like them!)

I coloured them using the Chunky felt pens from pound land.  These are great as they come in 12 different colours.  I coloured them to match the sheets I made (but if you don’t have the Hobbycraft eggs you could just laminate the free printable)

Once you are all prepared – just spread the eggs around your hunt area – I normally attach them low down on a tree with a couple of pens with each one.  It is so lovely to see everyone huddling round each tree.

This normally takes about 20 – 30 minutes – so perfect for a lesson outdoors!

I really hope that this is useful – everything you need is available for free – Easter Egg Hunt Challenge Free printable.

If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

Jo

Jo @ MontessoriSoul

Human X-ray printable

We are just about to start looking at the human body at school.  I have made this printable so that the children can explore how the bones work in our bodies.

I have all my downloads for Human body here and will be adding more!

If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

Jo

Jo @ MontessoriSoul

 

Conker weaving

We had a wonderful day making these today.  We were blessed with a glorious autumnal day and children from year 1 to year 8 who enjoyed making these.

I found these great hand drills on amazon and safety gloves that are a perfect fit for the children, but they don’t affect how they can use their hands.

The wool was from Poundland, but any wool will do!

What you need:

Conkers – the fresher the better!
Hand drills
Safety glove
Bamboo skewers or similar
Wool
Pens – we used Gelly Roll Pens that I love and Posca pens.

Here is a video explaining how we made them.

If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

Jo

Jo @ MontessoriSoul

Guided reading

Last year I set up a ‘Book Club’ in my class.  In groups of four the children enjoyed reading books together.  I want to make this as independent as possible for all reading abilities.  So I have started creating some challenge cards so at the end of each page the children can answer the questions and then check their answers.

I got a great set of books from the book people.  http://referme.to/p4ogj0o Search for Little Gem books and there are 10 books for £9.99.

My first set of cards are for the book ‘Snug’ by Michael Morpurgo.

Download guided reading cards

If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

Jo

Jo @ MontessoriSoul

Personal Dictionaries – free download

I have been trying to find a personal dictionary to use in my class.  I couldn’t find any I liked and had some time on my hands so created these.

Each dictionary has a box on the front for the child to make their own.

NB: We have just discovered these great handwriting pens! Buy them here – #affiliate link.

Each letter of the alphabet has a page.  I have used the top 1000 words to include in the dictionary – but then allowed space for children to add their own words too.

On the inside cover there is a quick reference for the top 100 HFW.

The back pages include letter formation guides and a list of the phase 3 and 5 digraphs and trigraphs.

The books are printed on 8 A4 pages (printing on both sides) which you then fold in half.  When printing I have printed the first page of the PDF on 160 gms card so the cover is stiffer.

NB:  I love my long arm stapler for making books.  I found this great one for less the £10 on amazon.

I have created them in 18 colours – so hopefully all of the children will find one they like!

Download them here:

http://www.montessorisoul.com/free-downloads/dictionaries/

If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

Jo

Jo @ MontessoriSoul

Why I let my children go shopping on their ‘own’.

Recently I posted this photo onto my Facebook page of F and S going shopping.  An eager eyed friend noticed that it had been screen dumped and posted on to another group discussing supermarket shopping.

Whilst I am hardened to comments on social media – I found the discussions occurring around this photo fascinating:

“They are way to small to be on their own . That little boy looks same height as my 6 year old 

“Isn’t a Montessori some sort of private education?”

“OMG really? In Waitrose? Might as well be m&s! Or harrods! You’re not teaching them anything? Apart from spending more money than necessary? 

“With their own credit cards no doubt”

These are just a few comments – so I thought I would reply here.

Yesterday was the second day of half term.  We have been really busy catching up with friend out in the sunshine, after a surprisingly glorious bank holiday weekend.

F decided she wanted to do some cooking so I suggested cooking supper as her grand parents were coming over.  We are on a screen ban, so Freya decided to get some recipe books to have a look.  Her current favourite is ‘Tilly’s kitchen takeover‘.  This is a fantastic book of simple but (relatively) healthy recipes that children can cook themselves with minimal help.  It goes with the brilliant series on Cbbc.  Sorry, I digress, F spent time writing a shopping and then sorting it into the different food types, lots of great discussion about dairy etc.

She then worked out how much she thought it would all cost.  I gave her the cash so that she not only understands how money works, but also the value of it.  She came away appreciating how much things cost and that we shouldn’t waste good food.

So, we went to the shop.  We chose Waitrose as it is a shop they are familiar with.  There is a seating area that is next to the exit, so I knew they couldn’t leave without us seeing.  It’s not too big – as far as supermarkets go this is really quite small.  I wanted my children to feel safe yet outside of their comfort zone.  I wanted them to be able to achieve this on their own.  To be able to make choices for themselves – they chose to only buy what was on their list.  But I also wanted them to be able to fail, it what was a relatively safe environment.  They made decisions about what to do when they couldn’t find an ingredient.  They worked together, looking out for each other, discussing things.  They compared prices and read labels.  They chose packet sizes based on what they needed.  And, when they couldn’t find something they knew that they could get me, which they did.  I then showed them how to ask for help.

As they checked out they told us of the conversations they had with the checkout man, but also other customers.  They paid with the cash, they understood about the change and counted the money back to us.

I checked up on them regularly – see the photos.  We felt immensely proud of them both as they proudly carried their shopping out – unaware of us watching.

Was there a risk in what we did.  Of course there was, but it was calculated.  They could have gone crazy, but they didn’t.  By being trusted by us to do this, they made the right decisions and rose to the occasion.  They could have dropped something, but they didn’t.

I believe that this experience has been one of great depth, building their self esteem in a world that is so ready to knock it down.  They have learnt that they can do things for themselves and know how to keep themselves safe.  They understand how to make choices, choosing the better value options.  How to problem solve when something they need isn’t available.

When we got home, F and S unloaded the car and started to cook.  They worked together and learnt alot.  F decided to free style the cheese sauce, and it went wrong.  We discussed the importance of following a recipe and the vale of reading carefully (something she finds tricky).

They made salad, laid the table, we enjoyed the meal as a family.   A day of creativity, of hidden learning, of family time.  To me a perfect day.

And today they want to bake a cake…

If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

Jo

Jo @ MontessoriSoul

Times Tables marbles game

I’ve just made these fun marbles to help with times table practice.  Super easy to make – Freya (9) actually made half of them and is in the video clip!

What do you need?

Download this free printable and print double sided (we used 160 grm card)
Glass marbles
Mod podge
Scissors
Brush

Instructions:

First you need to cut out each disk.

Next put a dab of Mod podge onto the disc.

Now place the marble on top and push down.  The glue will spread out.  Don’t panic it dries clear!

Now you are ready to play.

Choose the times tables that you want to practise.  Lay the marbles on the table.  Take it in turns to pick a  marble.  Read the times table and then say the answer.  Check the answer on the underside of the marble.  If you are right you get to keep it.

If you have any other ideas for games let me know!

See all my other times tables downloads – all free.

Easter themed maths word problems

Mr Men timetables word problems

Which strategy maths cards

Divide by 12 Fortune Teller

Divide by 9 Fortune Teller

Divide by 8 Fortune Teller

Divide by 7 Fortune Teller

Divide by 6 Fortune Teller

Divide by 5 Fortune Teller

3x Table Fortune teller

9x Table Fortune teller

7x Table Fortune teller

6x Table Fortune teller

5x Table Fortune teller

Step by Step Grid Method

Times Tables and Division keyrings

Times tables practise cards - 2 5 10 and 3

Blockbuster game - 2,5 and 10 - 3, 4 and 8 - 6, 7, 9 times tables

8 times tables with beads cards

4 times tables with beads cards

If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

Jo

Jo @ MontessoriSoul

DIY Kids Suncatcher

Trying out some ideas for school we had a great time making these this morning.  Nice and mess free!  I have tried to make it so that Freya can achieve them independently which she did!  Here are some photos of what we did.

To make these suncatcher we used the following (I have added affiliate links to amazon but they can be purchased else where too!)

Tissue paper
Sharpie
Glue stick – I find the cheaper ones work better for this.
Scissors
Laminating pouch
Laminator

Freya traced round a template and drew a heart on the inside of the laminating pouch.

She then filled the circle with glue.

Next she covered with a single layer of tissue paper.  We cut the tissue into neat squares to make it easier.

Freya squeezed two onto one pouch!

Now pass through the laminator – look how bright the colours are!

The final step is to carefully cut them out using the outline.

We only had a very grey day – but how pretty do they look!

Here are some links to my free downloads about shapes:

2D shape Fortune Teller

2D shape properties sort

3D Shapes properties sort

Real Life 3D Objects

Inset Shapes

Shape rearrangement challenge

Geometric Solids Three part cards

Symmetrical or Non symmetrical sorting cards

Montessori 2d Shape cards

Kaboom - Numbers and Shapes

    If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

    Jo

    Jo @ MontessoriSoul

    Willow Star wand

    Earlier in the year we planted some willow.  We decided to harvest some and make these lovely willow wands.

    Once we cut it we then stripped all of the leaves off.  I presume that you could use and fresh, thin tree branch if you don’t have willow.

    Instructions:

    Make a bend in the willow about 1/3 of the way from the bottom.  (See above)

    Next make another bend and bring the willow underneath the bottom 1/3.

    Now bend it back over and then weave it through the triangle  you have made.

    Finally bend the willow back over the top and the down through to complete your star.

    Wrap the end of the willow around the main stem and then tuck it in to hold it tight.

    The perfect wand for halloween!

    If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

    Jo

    Jo @ MontessoriSoul