Following is what she and other directors at all the Montessori schools I share Usborne Books with use:
FIRST ENCYCLOPEDIA SET: This includes firs Encyclopedia of Science, Human Body, Dinosaurs, Space, and Seas & Oceans. In fact this was the very first set of Usborne Books I ever bought! I will say that the First Encyclopedia of Space and First Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs are much more popular than the others with Seas and Oceans coming in a close third.
What sets these books apart from what other publishers carry? There is so much information on each page - all done in small snippets. The cut away photos show children exactly what is going on about every topic they are being taught. Kids love these books so much that they don't even realize they are learning while they are reading or being read to!
Each book is internet-linked so if a teacher or parent wanted to use them they could simplygo to www.Usborne-Quicklinks.com. Each page of each book has links on the internet that further teaches about the subject and there are also online activities that reinforces what the child has learned.
Although the Usborne website states that this series is for eight years and up, Montessori schools will use these for children starting at age three. In fact when my son was three these were what he wanted read to him at night.
PURCHASE SET OF FIRST ENCYCLOPEDIAS
PHONICS READERS: I truly believe that teaching children their phonics sounds is an important way to grow a good reader. Every one of my Montessori schools use and love these phonics readers from Usborne Books. Kids love them too!
The Phonics Readers series are wonderful to use to teach children about rhyming words and phonics. The pictures are colorful and fun. Illustrated by Stephen Cartwright, his signature little yellow duck to find is on every page. This provides the reader with entertainment before, during, and after reading. These are great books for children just learning how to read.
A phonic breakdown of the text is available in each book.
BEGINNERS SERIES: These are just about the most popular books purchased at the Montessori schools I work with. They are smaller books that fit nicely in the child's hands and are chock full of information on the specific topic at hand. Eggs and Chicks as well as Tadpoles and Frogs are the first titles that Montessori schools purchase from this set. Once they use those they come back for more. You certainly can save by purchasing the entire set.
The layout of the books are well thought out with a table of contents, glossary and index. Each of these books are full of illustrations, photos, and interesting facts.
USBORNE PICTURE BOOKS: With bright and cheery illustrations, these picture books not only enthrall children about the story, they also teach about a subject. For example, The Butterfly, teaches children in a story setting about how a caterpillar forms into a butterfly. On the Seashore teaches children about what they can find on the seashore in glorious story form.
1001 THINGS TO SPOT: Fabulous hands on books that can be used for such a variety of activities! First off, each page is full of items to spot. Each item has a different amount to spot on each page so this is a great activity for counting. It is also great for eye hand coordination as the child points to each item they spot. These books contain some of the best material to stimulate young minds. They challenge the child's sight and memory as they look over these excellent illustrations in search of the objects in the list. I have also had teachers tell me that they copy the pages to use for tray work. The child can then circle each of the items they find. The specifications on this series states for 6 and up, but I know all my schools use these with children from 4 and up. Each of these titles are just as popular as it's counterpart.
DISCOVERY SERIES: These are some of my favorite Usborne Books! They are an advanced version with more in depth information compared to the Beginners Series non-fiction books. Internet-linked as well so teachers can find even more info on each topic. Full of illustrations, cut away pictures, and information, these books keep children interested in the topic at hand.
VERY FIRST READING: I have had quit a few Montessori schools order Very First Reading sets for each of their 3 -5 yr old rooms. I do wish more schools would utilize this set as it is so wonderful and has proven to really help kids learn to read independently. This set is designed for children who are just starting to learn to read. The series starts with very few words on the page. One side of the page is for the teacher to read, the other side of the page is for the student to read. As the series progresses, the teacher reads less and the student reads more until finally he or she is reading the entire book on their own! It's just so wonderful! And to see the bright smile on a child's face when they first read an entire book on their own (outloud) is priceless! Fifteen books are included as well as a guide and online resources.
There are so many other books and activities Usborne publishes that Montessori schools use besides what I have put on this list. Usborne's art and language books are used and adored by so many Montessori teachers around the globe. The Animal Stencil Cards are used for tray work, as are many of the flashcards and doodle cards.
If there is anything you need or have questions about other items that Usborne publishes for your Montessori classroom please contact me. I'm here to help in every way possible. I look forward to working with you and your school.