Set Up Writing Baskets With Dividers To Create Order!

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My writing  baskets from two years in the classroom look a bit worn. I can’t wait to replace them this summer with new dividers and new labels that match the divider colors. I’m using Ikea baskets like the one pictured. These compact baskets have handles and are easy for children to take off the shelf. They hold the writing work better than any others.

This year I am making new dividers using a new product from Laughing Star called “Dividers”. There are dividers for all of the basic writing work- Pattern, Greeting Card, Number, Letter, Me Basic and Picture Word Writing. (Eventually there will be dividers for all the writing books!) These new products are sold as PDF’s. Copy them on colored card stock paper and all the WORDS for the tracer sheets appear centered at the top! Or copy them on to colored copy paper and laminate them which is more work and not necessary. Since I have the pdf’s now I’m choosing the card stock method. If any get damaged or disappear I will be able to easily replace them. That is important. Now I get to choose the colors for my dividers. I will continue with colors I did use in the past as my returning students are familiar with it. Pattern is yellow. Name is blue. Greeting Card is green. Number is red. Letter is blue. Picture Word is yellow. Me Basics is orange.

The dividers are what give writing work “order.” Students learn how to look through them to find their work. For years I cut paper and hand wrote the words. I am so glad I do not have to do that again! This year the labels will the same color as the dividers in the basket!

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Writing Mats help children place and organize their writing work. We have 10 of them in my classroom. They sit upright by my writing shelf. Children get one to do their writing work on. It defines their space on the table just like a work rug does for floor work. Laughing Star sells the ones I use. They are 8.5 x 11inch plastic, can be washed by students and last for many years. Or you can make them out of laminated paper. Or use placemats.

At my school we buy Crayola markers when they go on sale this time of year. They work better than most other brands and last longer.

My other new work for teachers is a Montessori Writing Manual complete with lesson plans. Over the many years I have done this work I have talked to many teachers using Beautiful Handwritingsusanportland. Some have consulted me about how to present the work or what to do with a child who is having difficulty. Some of you have shared you stories with me. Some have asked for new work for the writing shelf and given me suggestions. This is how Beautiful Handwriting has grown and changed over the years. What a journey it has been! Some of you have edited books for me and made great suggestions. Some of you have participated in the Beautiful Handwriting Study and offered your observations on what you see in your classrooms. Thank all of you.

“Writing is one of the easiest and most pleasant achievements for children.” Dr. Maria Montessori, The Discover of the Child

 

 

 

 

 

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Writing In The Montessori Classroom

Writing In The Montessori Classroom

It’s time to set up the writing area of the classroom.  I always start with a few writing works and build it up throughout the year. thick markersThe marker jars are set out with 3 thick and 3 thin markers in each jar. There are 12 jars that hold the markers. One for red, blue, yellow, purple, orange,green, brown, black, gray and pink. Last year one of the older students commented that it is just like the metal inset pencil holders but with markers! The three year olds like the yellow jar the best! They often take 3 yellows. As the year progresses they begin choosing yellow with other colors!

greetingwearefriendsI always set out the pattern writing, greeting card writing, number writing, the calendar writing and picture word writing. Most of my students choose the greeting card work first. They like to take one We Are Friends Card and 3 markers of any color. They color the bears and trace over the words. Some deliver them to their friends cubbies with great delight. They are so happy to see each other after the summer holiday is over.

mklightboxcalendThe calendar is a favorite work of older returning students. Most still trace the numerals but some choose to use the blank calendar and write their own numerals. A light box is a wonderful place to practice writing work and make a calendar of your own!

Our new calendar writing book for August 2015 through August 2016 as a book is now available. Calendar Writing Masters Of if you like the PDF version get it here Calendar Writing PDF

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