Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Our Shelves - November

Here are our activities for November - some are fall/Thanksgiving theme related, some aren't. These activities are for the entire month of November. I should note that I don't put them all out at once, but rather I rotate them around.

Practical Life
Button Turkey. This is the same one I made last year, the idea came from here.

Pouring Corn Kernels. Always arrange transferring work so it begins left and moves right (it simulates the direction of reading). I've made an exception to that with pouring and I arrange it with James' dominant hand in mind.

Snap Dressing Frame. I got this from Kid Advance and I can't say I'd recommend their dressing frames. They're a bit tight and hard to work with. I had to cut and alter them in order to make them usable.

Sorting Beans

Tonging Pom-poms

Transferring Marbles. The little suction cups hold the marbles perfectly, but it does require some careful handling. Excellent fine motor activity.

Transferring Fruit. These fruits are actually little erasers, which I found locally. James will use a strawberry huller to transfer these from one bowl to the other.

Lacing Wooden Spools


Color Tablets... with a twist. These were starting to collect dust, so I put some flashcards out along with the box. It worked! James worked with these a few different times last week.


In our book corner:
In November by Cynthia Rylant
Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed
A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes

Poem & Poetry Basket. This fun idea comes from My Montessori Journey and the poem, which I found in one of my poetry books, was written by John Updike.

Thanksgiving Vocabulary Cards. I found these on abcteach.

Reading Cards. Now that James is sounding out words, he's anxious to practice his new skill. These cards are great because on one side there's the word and corresponding photo, and on the opposite side there is just the word. James and I went through these once using the photo side and then again using just the word side - he read them all quite easily.

James is definitely in a sensitive period for language. He's reading a lot and this week he's taken to spelling out tons of random words. It's pretty cute because he'll be talking and he'll say, "Mom..." and then he'll pause to spell out the word m-o-m and he'll continue on with his sentence stopping to spell this or that word as he goes along. :)


Cards & Counters. I used some cornucopia calendar inserts for the cards and leaf sequins as the counters.

Pumpkin Pie Game. This is just like the one we did last year, only this time I used larger numbers and small plastic pumpkins (which I found at Hobby Lobby while I was in the states - I highly recommend them). This work was a huge hit with James and we ended up doing much more with it than I originally planned. We worked on the concepts of less/more, bigger/smaller, some/all/none and also addition/subtraction.

I also printed out a couple dot-to-dot activities from abcteach.

Leaf Rubbing

Anatomy of a Bird Puzzle

USA Puzzle

Discovery Tray. Lots of fun things on this month's tray: a seed pod, some acorns, a geode (which we'll crack open next week) and those sweet little husk dolls were a precious gift from Beth of From the Hive. Thank you again, Beth!

Plant or Animal Cards. These are from Montessori For Everyone. These were super easy for James and he kind of looked at me like, "why are we doing this?" Ha! But while he knew for sure what was or was not an animal, he seemed a bit surprised by what was a plant. Like the grapes or flowers or trees - we've never really referred to them as a plant before.

Art & Music
Stamping. I had this out for October and James LOVED it.

Build A Scarecrow. For this activity I simply cut out little bits of clothing which James can put together to make a scarecrow.

Cutting Stickers. I spaced out these little fall stickers along a strip of paper so James can cut in between them.

We're singing some of these songs this month.

Instrument Nomenclature Cards. I made these myself. I'm sorry, I tried and tried, but I wasn't able to format these properly in order to share them as a PDF. You can find the images on Google, save them to your hard drive, then collectively print them.

Nearer to Thanksgiving we'll be doing a "thankful turkey" activity. James will think about and tell me what he's thankful for and we'll then write it down on little feather shaped pieces of paper and add them to a cut-out of a turkey. I've remember doing this when I was in grade school and I'm excited to do it with James now.

I also printed out some color pages from abcteach.

~Thank you for your comments!~


Unknown said...

Nice activities! I especially like the flashcards with the color tablets. Thank you for sharing.

Faith said...

Such great activities! I especially enjoy all your beautiful manipulatives. It really enspires me to get over to Michael's and get some more. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie said...

Wonderful activities! Your various trays and containers are always so cute! I'm glad you posted about the little pumpkins you got at Hobby Lobby, because I also bought some of those at Hobby Lobby when we were back in the US! I was wondering what to do with them, and now I know. I think I even have some little pie pans somewhere that I saved from Christmas mince pies last year. So, thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

I love the plant or animal idea. I am going to try that out with Sam and see how she does. I am very curious if she will also be surprised by what is a plant!

amy in peru said...

I officially nominate you the QUEEN of thanksgiving/fall crafts! wow! awesome ideas! and LOTS of them too!


amy in peru

XYZZ said...

Wonderful as always! Thanks for sharing. :)

I Make Scleroderma Look Good said...

I would like to thank you for posting this. You are a big inspiration to me right now, and I often link back to you.

Your son was born 3 months after my first son, and is far more capable than my own (I mean that as a compliment and testiment to what you are doing, and not as a comparison or contest.) I was wondering what brought you into the teaching style you use, and how do you know what he is ready for? I mean, reading? that is REALLY impressive = )

We are discovering S1 has Sensory issues, petit mal seizures, and fine motor difficulties due to poor vision and visual/motor integration (and the list goes on - he was 5 weeks premature and may be somewhere on the "spectrum.") As my second son folds into the mix, we have been seeing such differences between their development. And discovering just how great S1's delays really are. His strengths, which are many, have worked to hide his weaknesses, and right now, the latter outweigh the former.

But reading your blog has changed our world. Really. I have already begun incorporating the many works you have shared. S1 really responds well to all of it. I am so thankful. We have had to take a break from OT for a while due to financial constraints, but all of these tasks are keeping him on target and working toward his goals. I can't wait to share what we've been doing with his therapist.

So thank you, you and your family are such a blessing!

Elle Belles Bows said...

I really like the leaf rubbing activity! I think I will try that with Elle this week! Love all the activities and the holder for sorting the beans is perfect!! Kerri

Leptir (Nataša) said...

I love everything :-)

Jessie, The Education Of Ours said...

Great work :) One lucky boy! I enjoy hearing the back-story about where and how you make things. It's helpful!

Anonymous said...

you are amazing! I love all of your November trays! You did a great job organizing everything! Thanks for taking the time to organize and post all of your ideas :-)

Stephanie said...

I just found your blog yesterday and I love your ideas! You are so on top of all of this! We are just starting Montessori teaching at home ( I have a one and four year old) and we are always on the look for inexpensive ways to fill our shelves! :) Thanks for your ideas. I also found some printable music cards online at this website if anyone needs them.

Unknown said...

Wow you are so organized! I'm insprired. I was wondering where you got the wooden bean sorting container?

Alison @ Educational Creations said...

I love the pumpkin pie activity. I have those same pumpkins to, might have to take a trip to the dollar store for the dishes.


Kendra said...

Wow!! I just discovered your blog, and it is JUST what I need right now! My daughter is three, and we are needing to take things up a notch with her... she's so ready to learn. I may just copy every single one of your activities. Thanks so much!

City Sister said...

AWESOME!!! my son has motor issues and I especially LOVE LOVE LOVE the button turkey...I'm going to have to make one!

~*~The Family~*~ said...

You have a lot of great ideas. Almost makes me wish my kids were little again.

Deb Chitwood said...

AWESOME activities - as usual! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page!

Mommy Moment said...

Thanks for taking the time to post this. You sure have some great activities out this month!

I can't wait till our renovations are done so that I can have our classroom back!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


Karen said...

It will be a very interesting month!!! I LOVE all the november activites!!!

Jen said...

Oh my goodness I am really behind in my commenting... sorry!

These are some of my favorite posts, the ones where you show pictures of all your activities. Everything looks so inviting! The scarecrow activity is super cute and the discovery tray is beautiful!!!

inspiredmontessori said...

Your blog is so beautiful and inspiring. I will use many of your ideas at my school!

Sara said...

Hi from Spain!
Gracias por compartir tus ideas con nosotros,son muy interesantes y nos han ayudado a crear nuevas actividades que después usaremos con los niños. Saludos!

Unknown said...

Goodness.... sorry, trying to get caught up on my reader and I'm commenting on this so late! Anyways, I'm planning on posting some phonics games within the next week or two, and a couple of neat language ideas that I think will be fun for your shelves... IF I can ever get the posts written!

cristina said...

HI! I'm from Spain. Me han gustado mucho tus ideas son muy originales y ayudan mucho a desarrollar la creatividad del niño.

loly said...

Hello Mari-Ann.
My name is Loly, I´m Spanish.
I have a son, his name is David, he has 4 years old.
Your ideas are very interesting, and easy to make with children.
Thanks for sharing with everyone.
Greetings from Spain

mary said...

Hi Mari-Ann I´m from Spain.gracias a tus ideas nos pueden servir tus actividades para poder desarrolarlo nosotras con los niños cuando seamos educadoras.

Umm Umamah said...

Hi Mari-Ann, Thanks a bunch for sharing such wonderful ideas. God has blessed you with so much creativity. I put a link to your cutting stickers activity on my blog and made some printable cutting strips too. Check them out @

Deb Chitwood said...

I'm having fun going through some of your archived posts! You had so many wonderful autumn activities, Mari-Ann! I featured your autumn paper cutting activity in my paper cutting activities post at

Deb Chitwood said...

It's amazing how many wonderful activities you have in one post, Mari-Ann! I just featured your autumn cards and counters photo in my DIY Cards and Counters post at

Deb Chitwood said...

I featured your post again, Mari-Ann! This time I featured the photo of your fruit transferring activity in my Montessori-Inspired Fruit Unit at


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