Sunday, February 3, 2013

Montessori Materials Filling The Shelves at the Bridge, An Adult Day Program for Seniors, Slowly But Steadily!

I am so excited to write that more and more Montessori materials are being used at the Bridge.  It is a wonderful thing! Eight months ago there were none. Then there was one science tray with magnets on it. Now there are six shelves and I just asked my boss if I could use a second bookcase and he agreed. Remember, these are adults that are using the materials, so the shelves must meet their physical needs and measurements.

Needing more classification cards, I printed off the constellation cards and the animal family cards found here:  Montessori for Everyone.  Next, I asked my assistant to cut them and to create folders for them from file folders that I had left over from a package I bought for home. She did an excellent job:

Piecing a phonetic object box together from two boxes I had saved from one classroom or another I worked in was my morning task. As there is no way to laminate the materials here (although one reader suggested folding clear contact paper over the materials and I will be trying that soon), I spent a few minutes digging through the art supplies here and discovered a bag of small, wooden shapes. I pulled out several of a shape that made me think of labels for bead chains, got myself a permanent marker and went to work.

I have an even number of objects for the box, which is what I was taught in my training. However, the pig for the box has a wee broken leg that needs gluing, so it will join the others next week. I wrote in print on one side of the wooden labels and cursive on the other, as I do not know the reading skills / or levels of all the seniors who attend the Bridge.  They came out looking just fine:

Shortly after I put all of the materials into the refurbished phonetic object box, it was in use.

After he placed all of the prepared labels next to their matching objects, I handed him pre-cut strips of paper for him to write the words himself. He then replaced the wooden labels with his handwritten labels.

His labels; great work!

(for the lesson on how to present a phonetic object box to children see here: )


Here is how the Montessori "area" currently looks. I might move one tray to another shelf soon or add this or that, but all of the materials on the shelves have been presented and used by one senior or another at the Bridge. As a person-centered care program, each individual has a choice to participate or not. The number of those choosing to engaged the Montessori materials is, like the materials on the shelves, increasing. It's a good thing; such a good thing!

This is a large bookshelf. It is where most of the materials are housed.

Here are close-up photos of each of the six shelves and a description of the work on each shelf:

Shelves on the left in the photo above:

Top shelf (left to right) -

1. Contemporary art slides and viewer housed in a large brown box with gold trim. These are for art appreciation and art education.

2. Three bells that are used for the Bell Game - A Montessori Control of Movement Activity,

3. Tray with new classification cards - Constellations / Animal Families. (This tray will be moved to a language shelf when I get the second bookcase).

Middle shelf -

1. Leaf washing tray and extra supplies, which are housed in the nearby tin.

Lowest shelf -

1. Wood polishing tray and objects to be polished, as well as cloths for polishing.

Shelves on the right in the photo above (left to right):

Top shelf -

1. Science tray for magnetic / non- magnetic.

2. Two balancing eagles that were used in a Science for Seniors activity and are now available to experiment with independently.

Middle tray -

1. Silver polishing tray and objects to polish, as well as cloths for polishing.

Lowest shelf (left to right)

1. Phonetic object box.

2. Singular / Plural

3. Classification Cards - Phases of the Moon

4. A box holding a space for future work.

So that's it...wait, I need to move some things around again.  Tomorrow, I am presenting nutmeg work to a couple of the seniors! I have everything I need in my tote bag! Let the smell of nutmeg return to my day! Photos will be posted!


Michelle Irinyi said...

Susan, I'm dearly loving your posts about working with the seniors at The Bridge. Very inexpensive table top laminators may be purchased, along with bulk laminate sleeves. I have a very small "Purple Cow" laminator that I have used at home to create Montessori materials for my LE and UE classes. This is something that might make a great Practical Life work since the laminator doesn't get too hot to touch and the individual pouches are much easier to use than a large, industrial roller-type machine.

Susan Y. Dyer said...

Great idea Michelle! Thanks for sharing this with me. Purple Cow. There is a story about Maria Montessori viewing a child's art work. Noting that they were coloring the cow purple she asked why they chose that color. The child answered, "Because God forgot to make purple cows." Simple as that. Love everyday. Susan Dyer