Friday, September 16, 2016

Practical Life

The practical life "area" of the classroom is not really an area, so much as a term used to describe the activities done that reflect daily life. Some are specific exercises set up as preliminaries to more complex activities, and some are just incorporated into the daily life - such as setting up work, sweeping up messes, wiping spills, and getting one's own snack. 

Inserting toothpicks into a large shaker develops coordination and concentration, preparing students for longer sequences of activity. 

It feels good to take care of the plants in our indoor and outdoor environment - including washing the dust off the leaves.

Watering the plants outside is fun with a hose or a watering can. It can be rewarding to contribute to our community by caring for our surroundings!

Sewing buttons takes a lot of concentration and fine motor coordination. It also requires remembering a long sequence of steps - cutting thread, threading the needle, tying the knot, stitching the button.

Painting together means learning how to cooperate and listen to each other. 

Using the mallets to fill our patio with the soft tone of the xylophone.

Yoga is one way to take care of our bodies. Care of our bodies is a big part of practical life - washing one's own hands and face as needing, toileting independently, taking off and putting on one's own clothes, having a snack when one is hungry.

All kinds of washing works are on offer, and here some dinosaurs are getting a bath!

Hammering is a very popular activity. It builds strength and coordination and requires care to avoid hitting fingers with the hammer!

Polishing metal and mirrors is a satisfying activity and appeals to all ages of children. 

Arranging flowers means using a funnel  to carefully pour water. This requires concentration and self-control so that the water doesn't overflow!

Learning to unroll and roll up rugs is one of the first skills we learn in the primary Montessori classroom. Young children are often eager to help older children roll up neglected rugs! It is a way that they can contribute to the community.

Organizing boots by size, pattern, color - the opportunities are endless.

A lesson with the bow frame. This lesson often take 2 or 3 repeats, as tying a bow is fairly complicated. The color-coded ribbons help make sense of what is happening in the sequence.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Back to School! Shana Chadasha!

School has finally started again at Tree of Life Montessori! We started our week on a cold, wet Tuesday but by Friday the weather turned summery once again.
Here are some scenes from our first week back!

It's fun to try familiar materials in a new way on the first day!

Remembering how to use our tools.

Trying out some new language materials.

Play dough is a nice transition back to school!

Playing in the new outdoor spaces on a rainy day.

Scaling the tall new structure!

Trying out the water barrel.

Mixing in the sandbox

Metal insets strengthen the hand for writing, and they also make amazing designs!

Polishing all the cats in the nesting cat puzzle.

Observing a ladybug in the millet.

An afternoon excursion to the park was fun once the weather turned sunny! 

Digging in.

"Soup-making" is a popular outdoor activity.

Laying out leaves to make a pattern.

Getting ready to roll the hula-hoop!