I typically try to keep things simple but this little project might be worth the time. I am thinking of converting a cookie tray into a magnetic board where we can put our Latin conjugations. I think this would be a pretty simple project. My thought is to use the conjugation pages from Classical Academic Press (pages 7 to 14). If you laminate them, cut them up and then stick some magnets you are ready to go. Make sure you keep the title for review purposes.
The next step is to tape the cookie tray to look like the chart you just cut apart. For now I won't add in the English equivalent. Each week they can work on properly placing the ending that we are learning. It also works well for review - you can mix them all up and then have them sort them out. I still have to locate a tray. I'll show you next week how it works out.
Here are a few water cycles (1, 2, and 3, 4).
Here are a few nitrogen cycles (1, 2, 3 and 4).
Here are a few carbon and oxygen cycles (1, 2 (scroll to pg. 3-5), 3 and 4).
I tried to arrange them from simplest to the most complex versions of the cycle. I was not as familiar with the nitrogen cycle. Some of the links above are cut and paste. Below are thoughts about presenting these cycles using the Montessori three part lesson.
Although the three part lesson may seem very simple that is it's beauty. Often, we quiz kids before they have learned information and this is frustrating to them. All of these steps should be done in one sitting with one of the cycles above. Only teach one cycle at a time.
In the three part lesson you break it up so that they can successfully master the material. This works with kids of all ages and it might surprise you that even older elementary school children might still need information broken down in this way. Here are the steps to use with an unlabeled chart so make sure you know your terms and parts well before you do it:
Step 1 - Present the material and properly name each part of the cycle. For example, if you are doing the water cycle you would point to the part showing evaporation and say "evaporation". You don't give an explanation - you just name that part of the diagram. They should repeat after you. Present each part of the cycle in this way - showing the picture and naming it appropriately.
Step 2 - In the next step you say one of the parts of the cycle and they point to the appropriate picture. For example, you might say "Please point to collection (if that is the term on your water cycle)." They would do so. You go through all of them in random order until you are pretty sure they have it.
Step 3 - For the final step, you do the opposite. You point to a part on the chart and ask them to provide the name. Point to the picture of evaporation and ask them to name it. This is the "quizzing" part. However, you have prepared them for it so that they can be successful. The goal here is to teach them the cycle not trick them.
So simple it seems almost ridiculous - but that middle step makes a big difference in their understanding and confidence in the subject.