Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Environment Speaks

In Montessori classrooms there is an emphasis on functional independence - the ability of children to do things such as putting on shoes, getting a drink of water, and using the toilet by themselves, for themselves. But there are other ways independence shows itself, and if adults can step back long enough to let it run its course, interesting things happen. The joy of working with their hands is unlocked when they are free to choose - my work is to set up their environment to enable them.

Some sand pushed up out of the pavers by the ants caught her attention and she patiently swept it up without being asked or told or directed.

Working alone but sharing the pleasure of being together.

After some missteps and a small suggestion on which stepstool might be the safest, he figured out how to reach the higher windows.

Spring offers many gifts to us all, and especially young children who possess a marvelous sense of wonder. 
Checking the snapdragons, pulling off the faded blooms, figuring out how to make them open up like little mouths!

Planting green beans with our new potting work.

Our chia elephant sprouted! "It's wearing green pajamas!"

Quiet reading with a friend.

The chia elephant sprouted, grew, and then dried out. Scrubbing the seeds out of the grooves was very engaging work.

Examining a tiny, wiggling worm!

Lag BaOmer

For Lag BaOmer, we had a simple picnic lunch and roasted some kosher marshmallows in a fire pit. Not quite the traditional bonfire, but it got our marshmallows nice and toasty!
Our guests roasting their marshmallows in the fire pit.

Morah Ariel helps put the s'mores together.

A big bite!


The next day we discovered some charcoal in the grass where the fire pit was and experimented drawing with it on some stumps!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Inside time and outside time

With the weather warming up even more, children are choosing to spend more time outside on our patio, bringing activities outside.

A sunny, warm morning inspires industrious activity outside!

New large chalk sticks are great for decorating the play structure.

We take turns dumping in potting soil for the flowers we are planting.

Back inside, beautiful materials call to the children's senses.

Taking turns playing music and listening.

Scrubbing the sink uses core muscles and it is left shining!

Working on functional independence means putting on socks and shoes by himself.

Sharing a "snack" with a friend outside.

Sometimes running through the hose is just what we need!

But it isn't sunny every day. It doesn't matter to these ones, they are 
happily catching drips from the leaky gutter.