Der erste Tag in der Montessori-Schule

This is the third year that I am teaching at my kids’ Montessori school. I love being in the Pre-K/Kindergarten class. We usually wait a few weeks before I start, so the children can get settled in their regular routines and work. This year, I’m teaching in the late morning, before lunch. It’s nice that the children then have time to sit and do the coloring page or activity that I bring in.

My first lesson goes something like this:

I greet them with Guten Morgen! I repeat it a number of times and then ask them to repeat it after me.

I tell them my name with Ich heiße…. Then I ask them to tell my their names. I look and point at a student (now I can choose the children who have been in the class in the past years to help demonstrate to the new children) and ask, “Wie heißt du?” I often model for them “Ich heiße ….” Some of the children are not yet ready to speak, and that’s just fine!

I introduce the action words to our Hello Song. (I’ll be posting separately about that soon!) The action words are klatschen, stampfen, & patschen. I show them the large image cards I printed out and laminated, and we say & repeat the words.

We practice the action words, too. I ask them to stay seated to practice stampfen. That’s the trickiest one, because the kids tend to want to keep stomping and even start jumping up and down.

I also teach them ja & nein. Then I show them pictures and ask, “Ist das ‘klatschen’?” for example. I always start with showing the right image. Then I switch it up on them and show them the wrong picture.

Finally, it’s time to sing the song! We always do the actions two times, so I often count: eins, zwei!

I also sing “Meine Finger” from Die 30 Besten Spiel- und Bewegungsliedern, Vol. 3. Instead of the actions in the original song, I repeat the actions from our Hello Song – only klatschen & patschen. Obviously you don’t use your fingers to stomp! (download the text below)

We sing our Goodbye song before I send the children off to do their coloring page. It’s to the same tune as Hoch soll er leben and goes Tschüss mit einander, tschüss miteinander, tschüss, tschüss, tschüss!

Finally I give them a coloring page with images of the actions from the Hello Song and they lyrics. I like the parents to get an idea of what we’re doing in the class, even if they can’t read the German!

You can download the lyrics to “Meine Finger” here: Meine Finger – Gita

Viel Spaß!

Buchstaben and Marble Runs

When Froggy was 4, he discovered marble runs. Who knew there were so many different kinds of marble runs? Plastic, wooden, musical, homemade … the list goes on! We must have at least six different kinds now 🙂  I love them, though. They are fantastic for creativity and problem-solving. And you can play with them for YEARS!! Now Hippo is into them, too.

But what do marble runs have to do with learning German letters??

One set of marbles runs that we love is called Hubelino. (It’s actually made in Germany!) As I was looking for a new set to order when we were in Europe this summer, I discovered that they have made Hubelino even more educational! They now have sets for learning letters, spelling, and numbers. So of course, I had to get my hands on the letter and spelling sets!

Here’s how we used them for the letter B. Froggy needed help sorting through that big pile of letters to get to the sentence at the bottom. Heck, I would have needed help, too! But it was fun!

So Hubelino is a marble run with pieces that are compatible with Duplos. I thought for sure we would have passed on all our Duplos by now (with Froggy age 7 and Hippo age 4), but no way! We need every last one of them for supports! (I’ll have to dig up some photos of the Hubelino constructions the boys have made.)

As you can see, these letter Hubelino pieces don’t really do anything with the marble runs. But the boys love it so much, they are happy to play with them!

I receive no compensation for mentioning Hubelino products.


Buchstabenarbeit – Working with Letters

I’ve been posting about the letter work I’m doing with the boys. (See letter B, letter P, letter M, and letter A.) But what do we do with the objects and cards? Well, there are any number of things you can do! Sometimes I just follow Hippo’s lead and let things happen spontaneously. But here are a few ideas….

We lay out the cards (with image and word) on his little desk. Then he fishes an object out of the bag – nicht anschauen! – and matches the object to the card. And we say the object name. If he doesn’t know it, I might say the beginning sounds, and then he remembers it. And there is plenty of emphasis on the first sound, which is after all what we’re practicing!

I also wrote about my box of letter stickers. Both of the boys love to work with the tiny drawers of stickers. For Froggy, I let him draw a card and spell it in stickers. But for Hippo (who is still just learning his letters in English), I choose some of the shorter words to spell.

Sometimes we play Memory (Memo). Hippo can’t handle too many cards yet. So today we just played with a set of 4 cards. We put out the “control” cards with images and words (and their matching objects) and then turned over the image cards and the word cards. Once we found a match, I asked Hippo what the word card was. We compared it to the “control” card with the word and image to see if the words matched. At first he just said, “yes” to everything. But then he looked more closely. I had him count the letters in the two words, and he saw that they were not the same. Then he really got the idea!

As we played, Hippo then had the idea to line up the matching cards under the “controls”.

These are just a few ideas to get you started! Please comment and let me know what you come up with to do with the letter cards!

Viel Spaß!

Buchstabe: B – Sätze schreiben

Every day, I try to put a note in Froggy’s lunchbox … in German, of course 😉 Sometimes I just write something about his day. But now I’m also working in some of our letter work!

For the letter B, I came up with this crazy sentence:

Der Bauer isst eine Birne und eine Banane im Bus auf dem Weg zum Bären im Baum!

I made up some worksheets based on that sentence to have some more fun with the words.

There is the sentence with images, just the sentence, just images (to cut out and paste onto the sentence page), and just images to write your own crazy sentence!

You can download it for FREE here: B-Satz-GitA

Viel Spaß!

Buchstabe der Woche: A

While I was working with Hippo last week on the letter M, I realized that still does not know all of his lower case letters! He was spelling some of the words with alphabet stickers, but he couldn’t use the letter cards as a model, because he did not know the lower case letters. Tja! So this week, I have the letter A cards in both upper and lower case letters to download 🙂

The words in this unit are:

  • der    Aal                                    eel
  • das    Achteck                           octagon
  • der    Adler                                eagle
  • der    Affe                                  monkey
  • das    Ahornblatt                      maple leaf
  • die     Ameise                            ant
  • die    Ampel                              traffic light
  • die     Ananas                            pineapple
  • die     Anemone                        sea anemone
  • der    Anker                               anchor
  • der    Apfel                                apple
  • der    Arm                                  arm

The cards look like this:

As always, there are cards with images and words, just images, and just words. Although they are not shown here, I also have cards with words in all caps.

Download the PDF file of cards with words in upper & lower case for FREE here: Wortschatzkarten A – GitA

Download the PDF file of cards with words in all upper case for FREE here: Wortschatzkarten A – ALL CAPS – GitA

UPDATE (5 October 2017):

Of all things, Hippo found a mistake in my original cards! Somehow, I had the word card for Ampel with the wrong article. I have corrected the mistake and updated the files! (I did not update the image of the cards, but be assured – the PDF version is correct!)


Letters Everywhere

I have been organizing some of my letter materials, now that we’re three weeks into our Buchstaben work.

A few years ago, I splurged on a large set of capital letters. They are actually lacing letters by Learning Resources, but they are nice and sturdy, and you hardly notice the holes. Today, I put them into a craft box that has 32 compartments (purchased at a craft store). More than the 26 I needed, but that’s okay! Now if only I had a way to get letters with umlauts….???

I have another fun little storage unit that I keep stickers in. Sometimes, the boys just like to play with stickers. It’s super simple. But this way, I can just grab the letters I need. I got the small storage unit online, but you can get them at the hardware store. Then I just stuck alphabet stickers on each little drawer. Easy peasy!

It takes some time to cut up letter stickers, but I just do it while I’m watching TV. Or like today, as I rested in bed with a cold 😦

Today, I grabbed some stickers to play with before Hippo’s nap. Now that we’re three weeks in, I also figured I could work with all three letters: B, P, M.  Only my foggy brain got a little confused, and I grabbed a pear for P instead of B (Birne). Oh well!


2017-09-26 13.51.41

I use a sketch book for our letter work. The pages are nice and thick, and they are blank. It costs more than, say, a composition notebook, but I figure it will hold up better. You can see (kind of) that I wrote the letter M at the top of the page and then how Hippo put the M letter stickers on the sides of it. I wrote “OBST” and then the three letters. I tried not to say the letter names, but just the letter sounds. He would say the word, and I would repeat it, emphasizing the first sound.

Fast, easy, and most importantly FUN!


Buchstabe der Woche: M

I’m pretty well behind in posting all of the materials I’m creating for our German alphabet study. I’ll get as much up as I can. But I’m trying to make sure that I’m spending my time on teaching my kiddos and not just posting to the blog 🙂 Eventually, I’ll get everything posted!

We’ll be starting the letter M on Monday. So I have just finished up the vocabulary cards to go with our letter study. They look like this:

There are also cards with just pictures and just words.

You can download them here for FREE: Wortschatz Karten M – GitA