Monday inspiration


(image via)

Because sometimes inspiration is more effective on a Monday than a Friday :)

Some of my favorite articles from the last few weeks:

Great article on the importance of risk in child development

Kindergarten readiness is a state of mind (love the advice on contact talks!)

Fascinating article on homework

This DC principal is a true role model for his kids


weekend inspiration





After a parent workshop 2 weeks ago, we adorned the wall space outside of our classroom with representational drawings and paintings our families made for their children (as well as photos of them doing the activity). The kids were enthralled with the display, and ran to the provocation to make their own artwork, which we posted near their parents’.

Have you seen this Slate article about the importance of exploration (versus explicit instruction) in preschool?

I liked this post on a Montessori school’s blog about helping children deal with “mean” children.

Also love re-reading this older (but still so relevant) post about the effect of preschool model on later school success.

I’m in awe of her kindergarten project of wonder project.

long weekend inspiration

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[They were so in awe of Bao Bao, the baby panda at the National Zoo]

I LOVE the snow, but I start to go pretty stir-crazy after more than 4 days at home. Last Wednesday, before our snow days, our class took a trip to Petco and the National Zoo, so I’m super excited for some provocations I have planned for the week ahead.  I’m hoping to spark a full-blown exploration into pets (and wild animals), with some interesting conversations about what makes a good pet, but we shall see what sparks the children’s interests :)

– Some panda inspiration via pinterest, in honor of Washington’s favorite panda cub, Bao Bao (oh, such great local context!): panda small world play and panda provocation

– I was lucky enough to visit School Within a School in DC a couple of weeks ago, and if you are inspired by the Reggio approach, you MUST check out their atelierista’s blog. The post about the winter solstice is awe-inspiring.

– I’m super excited to have just gotten a Donor’s Choose project funded, so we will be replacing our over-stimulating rug in dramatic play, finally! (Remember this?) PLUS, with a gift card I received from a friend, I was able to order a small order from Montessori Services, including a new practical life activity. The Education of Ours has some of my favorite Montessori practical life inspirations.

– Love this article about the importance of play on ASCD, and how Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post is highlighting the over-assessment of our kindergarteners in this column. (Also, Alfie Kohn’s concerns about Universal Pre-K).

Happy long weekend! Hope to have some exciting posts this week from new experiences and provocations in the Fishies’ room.

weekend inspiration


Happy Mothers’ Day (especially to all of the fabulous mamas of the kiddos in my class)! Here are some of my favorite links from around cyberspace this week:

– We just opened up a Post Office in our art center, and I love the way montessori works organized her letter-writing tray in this post.

– High on my wish list: a Montessori wooden moveable alphabet box (this one is pretty cheap, considering)

-Did you know that NAEYC’s magazine, Teaching Young Children, is now available online in Spanish (Tesores y Colores, la revista de NAEYC está disponible aqui:

Directions to make a worm farm.

– Some fabulous pins: number activities, geography and art, and bubble painting hydrangeas.

weekend inspiration


Sorry for my lack of posting; I have been coming down with something, and trying to fight it off these past few days with afternoon naps and early bed times. Here are some great links I found around the internet this week for some weekend inspiration:

This playroom over at Fun at Home with Kids is to die for, and actually, I fell in love with her whole blog. How many amazing are the gross motor opportunities in that play room (the DIY climbing wall and swing)?!

Play as an effective strategy for assessment on Ed Weekly (duh! (:)

– I really want to read this book, It’s Not a Bird Yet, about using drawing with young children to play with ideas.

– How cool is this super-sized marble painting?!

– Some fabulous pins: DIY sensory boards, life size Lincoln Logs made out of pool noodles,  and growing seedlings in recycled containers (completely kid friendly!).