I think I’m going just a teeny tiny bit overboard with my curriculum planning.
Yesterday, I came across an old monthly curriculum from Thumper’s preschool, and I realized that I wanted to do something similar. The great thing about it was that there was a “theme” for the month and the subjects revolved around that theme. One thing about Montessori (especially in the Sciences) is how everything is related to each other. For example, if you’re studying fish in science, a child could work on counting fish in Math, or drawing fish in Art. I’m sure this is not unique to Montessori. All teachers try to find ways to make the learning process more interesting by tying in books, music, art, etc.
Another reason I wanted to do some detailed planning is that I tend to just have general “plans” that never go anywhere. I say I want the kids to learn art, but without concrete actionable items I don’t get to it.
So here’s the curriculum I came up with. My theme for Aug/September is “Mid-Autum Festival, Solar System, Moon, Time”. If I don’t put the mid-autum festival in, we never celebrate any Chinese or American holidays. The beginning of the school year is when we typically start with study of the Solar System (because Montessori history/science goes from big to small). Which is perfect because it ties in with the Mid-Autumn Festival.
This is for August and September because I know I tend to be too ambitious and I’m tempering it by saying we will cover it in 2 months instead of 1. Plus I’m still busy prepping. My next step is to see if I can put specific presentations on a calendar so that I have a prep deadline to work with.
I’m putting the curriculum at the end of the post. Did I mention I’m super happy about putting this all down on paper? I finally know what I’m going to present from the huge goals I had in my 2015-2016 Curriculum.
For math and language, I used a Montessori scope and sequence chart I got from a friend. It definitely helps to just get a general idea of the order of presentation between different threads. Because in Math, the threads all happen at the same time, but sometimes one presentation in one thread is a prerequisite for another presentation in another thread. It’s all very complicated and hard to get straight in my head. For Language, since I’m not familiar with the English curriculum, it helped to see what the threads are in general, aside from our focus on reading and handwriting.
For Thumper, we’re going to try and finish multiples, work toward finishing multiplication memorization, and do some squaring work. I think she finds operations and memorization boring. So I added in some squaring. She actually wanted to redo the Tower of Jewel exercise. I was very specific on Chinese, borrowing heavily from her preschool curriculum. This allowed me to pick 2 songs that we can sing in class about the moon and time. Having songs related to what we’re studying is something I’ve been wanting to do forever but I never get around to it. The same goes for Chinese poems. The poems idea I got from Mandarin Mama.
We’re folioing the Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding book for science. They have science curriculum divided into 4 area, Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Nature of Matter. I went down the list and picked presentations from each topic.
Lastly, I really hope I’m able to include an art curriculum this year. Astroboy isn’t writing and I know it’s partly because he’s not drawing and painting enough. I also hope I can somehow use his love of trains and tie it into the curriculum.
Oh! I need to include some cooking in there! I wonder if we can make moon cakes……
|THEME||Mid-Autum Festival, Solar System, Moon, Time|
|– counting||hundred board – skip counting||Numeration – Commutative Laws of Multiplication, Common Multiples, LCM|
|– memorization||subtraction – booklet 2||Multiplication – memorization 1-8|
|– operations||operations – introduce addition/subtraction – 5 problems||multiplication 4 digits flat bead frame|
|– squaring||Squaring & Cubing – Decanomial Layout -> Tower of Jewels|
|– geometry||geometric shapes||points and lines|
|– characters||Sagebooks #1-#40 review, #41-59||Sagebooks #501-599|
|– writing||Metal Insets, intro to stroke order||Sagebooks #1 – #49, review components, stroke order, radicals?|
|– songs||古老的時鐘, Continents Song||古老的時鐘, Continents Song|
|– poems||十五夜望月， 鳥鳴澗||十五夜望月， 鳥鳴澗|
|– books||moon cake story, clock/time, moon||moon cake story, clock/time, moon|
|– zhuyin||all 37 zhuyin+20 combos||practice along with writing|
|– mechanics||Introduction to sentences and phrases|
|– grammar||Introduction to nouns|
|– English||sandpaper letters – 6 letters||Primary Phonics Set 2, 3|
|– writing||handwriting practice with Primary Phonics|
|– mechanics||Introduction to capitalization, periods, sentences and phrases, abbreviation|
|– grammar||Introduction to nouns|
|– literaray||recognizing literary elements, identify themes and plot|
|– Earth||earth’s gravity, earth’s rotation – days and night (related to time & mooN), moon log, phases of the moon|
|– Physical||Introductin to Energy|
|– Life||Plants vs Animals (5 main characteristics of plants & animals)|
|– nature of matter||Solids/Liquids/Gas|
|– Geography||North America||United States|
|History||Clock, Long Black Line||Operations with Time, long black line|
|Art||Ceramics, painting of Chinese poems||Ceramics, painting of Chinese poems|
|Train?||Elements of Art|
|Music||beats and rhythms?||古老的時鐘 on piano?|