Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mini Unit - Robots

Once our little baby girl arrives in August, and until we are able to find our new rhythm as a family of 4, I've decided I'll be taking a break not just from blogging, but also from our usual way of schooling. So, I'm planning ahead and putting together some mini-units that will allow us to keep educating James, but with a bit more of an "on the go" style. We won't need to be in the classroom to do these and they are very self-directed (meaning James won't need much guidance), but should he need help they are also very user-friendly (meaning daddy doesn't need special training in order to explain anything). :)

~an overview~

Yes, you do see some of paper here. :) I've mentioned before that I've never been one for worksheets mostly because James is a very tactile learner and thrives with a more hands on approach. But, since I won't be creating my usual plethora of trays each month, I'm giving in and hoping he'll find the worksheets entertaining. In addition to the worksheets, and because I just can't help but indulge my Montessori side, I created some "interactive" activities for each of the main subjects.

Here's a closer look at what's in this unit:

Worksheets (Languauge/Math/Art). Most of these came from Homeschool Creations' robot preschool pack. So cute and there's such a variety of sheets to choose from. I printed out only those that involved tracing (we're focusing on handwriting right now), and fractions. I also found some color pages and a connect-the-dots sheet online.

Robot Playdough & Sensory Tub (Sensorial/Practical Life/Math/Language). These are scaled down versions of both. I won't necessarily create a sensory tub and some playdough for each of our mini-units, but I already had these on hand from earlier this month.

Nuts & Bolts (Practical Life). Cheap and simple, these have long been a favorite in our classroom. Excellent fine motor activity.

Graphing (Math). Another printable from Homeschool Creation's robot pack.

Cards & Counters (Math). These cards (as well as the next three activities) are things I made myself using a clip art design pack from here. The counters are just translucent pony beads.

Skip Counting Cards (Math).

Memory Game (Language/Sensorial). You can find a link to download these here on my printables page.

Cutting Practice (Practical Life/Art). You can find a link to download these here on my printables page.

Books (Language/Science). Robot & The Bluebird by David Lucas, and Robot a DK Eyewitness Book (love DK books).

Squishy robots - just for fun! :)

Again, all of this is meant to replace our usual full-blown themes and 20+ trays each month. I suspect James will work with each unit for only a short time as he tends to move through things quickly. I'll be sharing other mini-units as I create them over the summer. I must add that this whole thing was incredibly easy to pull together and took very little time (in comparison to my usual monthly process, that is!).

~Click the button below to view more of our mini units.~

~Thank you for your comments!~


B said...

You are so inspirational! I love the Montessori method and I love that you use it at home with your little guy. And I really love that you post it so I can see how to do it, too! Congratulations on your upcoming addition!

Zonnah said...

Too funny, we just got done doing this pack as well :) Wingnut LOVED the graphing activity the best.

Deb Chitwood said...

I love that you're showing some hands-on ways to use printables, Mari-Ann! We'll all miss your regular posts, but I think you're giving a wonderful example by adapting to your family's changing needs.

It's so difficult for busy moms to find the perfect balance. Wonderful job of planning ahead for your family! I'm so excited for you as you prepare for your new baby! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at

Monica said...

Cute unit! We'll be welcoming baby boy #3 in October, so we'll be riding the newborn rollercoaster too. :) I remind myself, though, that my boys will learn all sorts of lessons: to be more patient and considerate, to care for someone younger and more vulnerable, etc. So many wonderful opportunities for a full and rich education!

Alison @ Educational Creations said...

What a neat time saving idea!

Eva said...

very nice! I like that's it's perfect for on the go, now that the weather is better we seem to always be on the go :)

The girl who painted trees said...

You'll be so thankful for those when your little one arrives! James is older than Bear was when J-jo was born, but it is a busy time, especially the first two weeks! You must be so excited to meet your precious little girl!

The Activity Mom said...

Good idea to plan ahead! =)

The Domestic Yogi said...

You are so inspiring! Thank you. And best of luck with everything in your final months :)

Kristi said...

After I saw your Robot sensory box and playdough on the blog, I decided to do this activity with my son. We have been having a blast all week! I also used the same printables and included some science experiements about magnets (which I also put in the sensory box). Today, we did a robot treasure hunt with a compass to find all our workboxes hidden outside. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Anonymous said...

What fun!! I love the mini unit idea and I am sure James will love them! I would think it would also help with the transition while finding the new rhythm with out James giving up his old one completely!

Lisa @ Our Country Road said...

Such cute ideas! I love the graphics site you linked to. Her things are adorable! Thanks!!

Kim said...

Love this! Great ideas, thank you for sharing!

Terri said...

You are such a prepared and inspirational Mama. This unit looks like great fun and I think I'll be using some of these for my daughter...we struggle with any real classroom time as her younger brother usually eats or throws the items! So I would like to create some things like this for times when she wants to go off and do things by herself and on weekends that she can do with her Daddy. Thanks always for the inspiration. Much love for remaining pregnancy.

Angela said...

Oh no!!! I just sent my kids to the other room to entertain themselves and poured myself a second cup of I can steal a little more time on your blog! So many great blog posts! I might be here all day! Sorry kids, make your own lunch! ;)

Counting Coconuts said...

You all are SO sweet and kind. Thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging comments!


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