Can you laminate with an iron?

Can you laminate with an iron?

We recently received an email from a customer who wanted to pass along a tip about lamination she recently discovered: Laminate (anything) with an Iron!

There are a few reasons why someone wouldn’t want to purchase a laminator:

  1. They don’t want another piece of equipment to store.
  2. It’s not in their budget.
  3. They wouldn’t laminate enough to warrant buying one.

We’ve always used a laminator here. It was bought at Staples many years ago on sale for just over $100. It’s been heavily used and still works like new.

hot laminatorBut I thought it would be interesting to try the iron out and see how it went. So we gathered the required supplies:

laminating Supplies required for preparation of printables

  • iron (heat to the ‘cotton’ setting)
  • cotton sheet/pillow cases
  • printed materials
  • laminate pouches and paper carrier

It’s probably best to use your ironing board. I used a granite countertop with layers of cotton to absorb some of the heat as an ironing board wasn’t readily available. 

I set down the cotton sheet (folded several times) and prepared the first page (slide the printed page into a laminate pouch). You can slide the whole page in and cut the cards after lamination….

laminating a full page printable Montessori materialOr you can cut the cards first (this will allow for a laminate edge to remain around each card):

trim montessori cards before laminatingSlide the laminate pouch into the heavy cardstock carrier (there is usually one included in each pack of laminate pouches).

cover laminating pouch with heavy paperCover the carrier with a pillow case or other cotton fabric and begin to iron it. Make sure you don’t have the ‘steam’ setting on or it will ruin the laminate.

cover laminate page with pillowcase

The time you keep the iron on will vary depending on your iron and how hot it gets. You’ll have to experiment with the time and your technique.

What was the result of my first attempt? Not so great.

wrinkled laminated page with ironI obviously ironed it for too long and it caused it to wrinkle.

So I tried it again and the result was better. But, I clearly need to work on the technique a little. And, perhaps it would have been easier with a thinner laminate pouch (I used a 5 mil instead of a 3 mil).

page laminated with an ironMy thoughts: It is possible to laminate with an iron. But it does take a little time to find the correct heat setting and ironing technique in order to get the right seal and not have a warped sheet.

Honestly, if you can afford a laminator I would recommend getting one. It’s quick, the heat setting is already configured, and the sheets stay flat. You can see how we prepare 3-Part Cards here.

But yes, you can laminate with an iron.


Fantastic Alternative to Geography “Pin” Map Flags

Fantastic Alternative to Geography “Pin” Map Flags

If you’ve been following our blog for a while now (or reading through the “Learn How To…” section of our website,) you’re probably familiar with our method of preparing printable Geography Pin Maps and Flags.

Montessori Geography Pin MapsImage Credit

Our Geography Pin Maps and Flags have been featured on several blogs (such as on here, here, here, here, and here) – take a peek at each one as everyone has slightly different ideas on how to prepare them and what materials to use. All of the maps and flags are available in the Geography section of our store. To save you money we offer them in Bundles at 20% Off – BUT we’ve listed them on Sale just for you until 10/29/2012.

Printable Geography Pin Map Flags by Montessori Print Shop

One of our customers has brought to our attention a great new way to make safer, longer-lasting flags for the regular wooden puzzle maps. They are also functional with our printed maps as they have a ‘stand’ and don’t need to be pinned through the paper. The blogGrowing a Godly Girl” has come up with this brilliant idea!

PuzzleMapFlags_2The author of the blog shares her step by step tutorial on making these flags here. How fantastic is that!!

PuzzleMapFlagsIf you have your own version of how to prepare our printable Geography Maps and Flags please feel free to link up to your blog post showing how you’ve done it in our comments section below.


Preparing to start a new school year

Preparing to start a new school year

The first day of school will vary from State to State, Province to Province, and most definitely Country to Country. But the common factor shared by teachers all over the world is the need to prepare the classroom for the hungry minds that will soon enter it. Visit our website for information and articles that will help get your new school year off to a great start.

Primary Montessori Classroom

You can find many more helpful tutorials on our website on the top navigation bar under the buttons “How To…” and “Theory”.

How To Use The Montessori Multiplication Bead Board

How To Use The Montessori Multiplication Bead Board

Have you been wondering how to use the Montessori Multiplication Bead Board? A few days ago we posted about a great economical alternative to the traditional wooden Montessori Multiplication Bead Board. The traditional board looks like this:

Montessori Multiplication Bead Board

But for a fraction of the cost you can give your child the same hands on, concrete, mathematical experience with this homemade solution:

StarrySkyRanchMultiBoardIt’s a bath mat, with suction cups on the bottom, turned upside down! It’s cut so that it has 100 suction cups on it (10 suction cups across, and 10 suction cups down).  A fine tip sharpie is used to write the numbers 1-10 across the top. Make sure when you choose your bath math that the suction cups aren’t too large, and most importantly are in straight lines and not diagonal. If they are diagonal, you’ll have to rotate the bath mat to make them straight – the bath mat must then be large enough for you to cut it 10 suction cups by 10 suction cups.

Multiplication Bath Mat BoardAdd some pony beads (or dried beans), a few slips of paper, perhaps a coin for the red counter, and you have the Montessori Multiplication Bead Board!

After publishing the post we received so many emails with questions on how to use the Multiplication Bead Board. So, here are the full instructions from our Primary Math Teaching Manual. The instructions are written for the use of the traditional wooden Multiplication Bead Board – so you’ll have to adjust the instructions accordingly to suit your new homemade (bath mat) Multiplication Bead Board.

•    Perforated board with 100 holes in rows of ten. On the left side of the board there is a little window with a slot for the insertion of a number card. Set of number cards 1 to 10, a counter, 100 red beads. Multiplication table forms, pencil and paper. Multiplication Control Charts 1 & 2.

Presentation #1:
• with the child take the materials to the table
• ask the child to choose a page from the Multiplication Booklet (i.e. #6)
• tell the child that the numbers across the top are for the multiplier; the slot in the left side of the board is for the multiplicand (the first # of the question)
• remove the red circle from the container and place it in to the circle at the top left of the board
• ask the child what the first question is, “6×1”, “What is the multiplicand?” child replies “6”
• take from the small container the #6 and slide it in the slot on the left side of the board
• ask the child “What is the multiplier?” – the child replies “1”
• take the red circle from the top left corner and place it above the #1 at the top of the board
• taking the beads from the small container place 6 red beads in to the column below the number 1 (counting as you place them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
• ask the child “How many beads are there?” child replies “6”, have him write the answer in the booklet
• ask the child “What is the next question?” child replies “6×2”, move the red circle over the number two at the top of the board
point to the last bead you placed on the board and say “6” (a reminder of where you finished off from the 6×1)
• place a bead in the first hole below number 2, say “7”, place the next bead and say “8”, place the next bead and say “9”, place the next bead and say “10”, place the next bead and say “11”, place the next bead and say “12”
• ask the child “How many beads are there?” – child replies “12”
• have the child  write the answer in the booklet
• ask the child “What is the next question?” child replies “6×3”
• move the red circle over the number 3 at the top of the board
point to the last bead you placed on the board and say “12”
• place a bead in the first hole below #3 and say “13”, place another bead and say “14”, place a bead and say “15” – continue placing each bead and saying each number until you reach 18
• ask  the child “How many beads are there?” child replies “18”, have the child write the answer 18 in to the booklet

Presentation #1 in progress
Montessori Multiplication Bead Board Presentation

• allow the child to continue on until the page is complete
• have the child choose another multiple table – take the ticket for the multiplicand and slide it in to the slot, place the red circle in to the hole in the top left corner of the board
• show the child the first two questions and then allow him to continue on his own
• show the child Control Chart #1, tell him that he can use it to check his work

Exercise #1:
• same as in Presentation #1

• control chart #1 lists all multiplication tables from 1-10
• control chart #2 lists all multiplication tables from 1-10, but removes all duplications (i.e. shows 5×7=35, but does not show 7×5=35)

• memorization of multiplication tables

Control of Error:
• control chart #1

• 5 – 6 years

The Multiplication Charts that accompany this work can be found here (they are printable) and come with full presentation instructions.
Montessori Multiplication Work Charts
It’s recommended to use the Sequential Math Booklets first (regular, large).
Math Booklets Sequential OrderOnce the child has discovered the number patterns for each operation you can switch to the Random Math Booklets (regular, large) for a greater challenge.
Math Booklets Random OrderWe hope that helps you to get started on your own homemade Multiplication Bead Board. This bathmat substitution is a fantastic solution to an expensive math material. It’s a wonderful way for your children to get the sensorial impression of multiplication. Multiplication is simply taking the same number two or more times and adding them together.

Pin Maps and Pin Map Flags For Your Geography Area

Pin Maps and Pin Map Flags For Your Geography Area

Geography Pin Maps and Flags for your geography area do not have to be expensive.  Yes, we all drool over the gorgeous wooden maps and ‘real’ pin map flags…but they’re incredibly expensive and aren’t even an option for most homeschoolers and many schools.
So we’ve come up with an economical solution. We’ve just added Pin Map Flags to our store which compliment all the new continent maps we listed last month – how convenient for all of you!

With our quick printable Geography files combined with a few supplies, your children can have a fantastic set of geography pin maps and flags.

Printable Geography Pin Maps and Flags by Montessori Print Shop

Supplies Required:
  • printed map (blank or colored)
  • pin map flags for the map you’ve printed
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • toothpicks (heavy duty) or T-Pins
  • clear contact paper or clear packing tape
  • a piece of cork board slightly larger than 8½ x 11″ (to be placed under the map to hold the flags in place)

Let’s get started!

1. Print out your pin map flags. If you’re using the pin map flag files from our store, please note that there are two sets of flags in each file. One set has the names on the backs of the flags (the control set), and 1 set is without the names on the backs of the flags – you can choose the set you feel is best for your children.

Printable Geography Pin Map Flags by Montessori Print Shop

2. Cut out each … Read the rest of this Article



Starting a new Montessori school year

Starting a new Montessori school year

Summer is Ending!
It’s only a few more weeks until summer dwindles down here in Ontario/Canada. The weather has been very hot and dry (except for yesterday morning when it rained cats and dogs), and the teachers are starting to think about the beginning of the school year. We hope you’ve found the time to rejuvenate yourselves and enjoy ample time with family and friends!

Preparing New Materials
By now, I’m sure you’re all tired of printing, laminating, and cutting!  We have some tutorials on our site that will help you make Land & Water Forms, a Moveable AlphabetPrepare 3-Part Cards, make pouches for Language cards, store your Pink Blue Green Language Series, and more. Are you excited to see how the children respond to all the new printable Montessori materials you’ve prepared?

New Articles
Be sure to check out all of the new articles on our website. We’ve been adding new content, and transferring some from our blog to our website so that you can locate it with greater ease: Normalization, observation, student-teacher ratio, and the Silence Game are a few.  We’ve had several requests to use information/articles for parent education nights, or for linking to a school website or blog. We’re very happy to share our information/articles with others – that’s why we’ve added it to our site. If you are going to use our information/articles in any format please be kind enough to include our name/website (Montessori Print Shop – on printed materials, and a link to the information/article if it’s being used on your website or blog.

One of the great things about the online Montessori community is the ability to share ideas. We’re currently conducting a poll on Facebook and would love it if you would come and share your thoughts with us. The question is…What transitional materials do you have out for NEW children attending Montessori for the first time? The most challenging time in the Montessori classroom is definitely the first few weeks when you’re trying to settle new children in and get the basic presentations done. Most schools use some transitional materials (puzzles, blocks, wooden beading) to help the children – what do you use? Please visit the poll to leave your comments.


Land and Water Forms – Buy or DIY?

Montessori Land & Water Forms

Montessori Land & Water Forms are used to increase a child’s knowledge of geographical land and water forms that exist in the world. This is first presented to a child by way of a sensorial experience – the child pouring water in to the Land and Water form trays.

The geography materials that are typically presented before Land and Water Forms are:

  • sand paper globe (language: land and water)
  • color globe (language: continent and ocean)
  • puzzle map of the hemispheres (language: names of continents)
  • puzzle map of the continent on which they live (language: names of the countries)

There are several other geography materials that can be presented around the same time as the land and water forms:

Land & Water Forms are used in the Montessori environment to increase a child’s knowledge of geographical land and water forms that exist in the world. This
is typically first presented to a child by way of a sensorial experience – the child pouring water in to the Land and Water form trays.

You have 3 options for Land and Water FormsRead More


Organize your Nomenclature Blackline Masters

Organize your Nomenclature Blackline Masters

So, you’ve taken the plunge and spent weeks preparing new nomenclature cards and books for your children to use. You read all the tutorials we wrote on preparing the 3-part cards and binding the books.The children are thrilled at the selection of nomenclature available in the classroom, and they’ve dug right in! They’ve been learning all the names of the parts of the flower, bird, insect, tree, and so many more.

Now they’re begging to make their own nomenclature booklet – which of course you read about here.  You’re practically as excited as they are and step over to your cupboard to find the blackline masters for them.

Our blackline masters come with every set of Nomenclature Cards. They print 4 per sheet of regular 8½ x 11″ paper.

nomenclature blackline master

But wait … where did you put the blackline masters?
Or maybe you found them, but you don’t have enough copies! eek!!

It doesn’t seem to matter how well prepared you think you are … Read the entire article

Lots of NEW things on our site!

It’s been quite a week! We’ve wrapped up 2 Giveaways recently;  Living Montessori Now was celebrating their First Blogiversary (congratulations to Deb Chitwood for a fantastic first year!) and Counting Coconuts was … well … having fun! (Mari-Ann is the Go To Girl for creative ideas and inspiration, seriously – visit her blog). It was wonderful to read all the nice comments about our materials – thank you to everyone who entered! Two lucky winners (one from each Giveaway) won our Deluxe CD Rom Collection! Hopefully we’ll hear from them through their blogs on how they’re enjoying the Montessori materials.
We’ve spent a lot of time this week making our site easier to navigate and more functional. Thanks to everyone for your patience while we made numerous changes and moved things around. Thankfully we only had a wee glitch for a day or so – sorry to those of you who were unable to locate your account! I’ll quickly go through some of the changes – but I highly recommend that you go take a look around.
We’ve added some photo tutorials in our new “How to …” section to help prepare and store your Montessori materials.

From making Nomenclature pouches …..How to Make a Montessori Nomenclature Pouchto Bead Chain Charts …. which includes a new FREE Bead Chain Chart file.Montessori Math Bead Chain Chartto using Montessori at HomeMontessori at Home

to a DIY Moveable AlphabetPrinted Moveable AlphabetWe’ve added the Scope and Sequence for the following areas:



Video – How To Present Montessori 3-Part Cards

The word ‘nomenclature’ really just means the ‘names’ or ‘terms’ used to describe the parts of an object. In Montessori, we present the names or terms of objects to the children using 3-Part Cards. We’ve explained how to use Montessori Nomenclature here. And you can download our FREE Frog Nomenclature here.
Free Frog Nomenclature Cards by Montessori Print Shop

It’s important to prepare your nomenclature cards properly so that they last – so read our tutorial on preparing 3-part cards. A nice extension lesson for the nomenclature cards is to make a booklet.

Typically we use a 3-Period Lesson, however there are lots of variations that can be used depending on the age and previous experience of the child.

To further expand the lesson beyond just the ‘parts’ of the frog, you can also introduce your child to the Frog Nomenclature Book (download from our Free Montessori Downloads). Our nomenclature books offer the same vocabulary as the 3-part cards, however the terms are expanded on and offer simple information regarding each part. Learn how to bind your Nomenclature books here.
Free Frog Nomenclature Book by Montessori Print Shop
My Works Montessori has just released a new free short video showing another way to present 3-Part Cards using our free Frog Nomenclature. The cards
used in the video can be found on our Free Montessori Materials
page on our website here.