What a busy first six weeks we have had! Reconnecting with friends. Welcoming new friends into our classroom. Adjusting to changes the new year has brought. It has been a wonderful start.
Maria Montessori gave us the task of giving children “the keys to the environment.” By showing the children real things, not just pictures on cards, we give them personal experiences of the world around them. As they further explore those things in the class, they will know what they are seeing.
Peaches, pears, pomegranates, plums, pineapples, mango, oranges and coconut. How do you cut them? Do you eat the skin? What do they taste like? What do their seeds look like? How do you grow new ones? These questions began our first explorations. I had cards on the shelf with pictures of these fruits used for vocabulary building. To make sure they knew what the fruit was, I brought in samples of the real thing, then at circle time each day we learned the answer to those questions. Can you guess which caused the most excitement? (coconut) Can you guess which was the favorite? (peach) Can you guess the hardest seed to get to? (peach and plum) Have you ever actually seen the seed to a mango? It is hidden inside a protective endocarp, which I did not realize. Now we have pineapple, mango, pomegranate and peach trying to root in our classroom. I learned right along with the children as I had not actually explored the seed parts of the fruits before.
It is so much fun thinking of ways to use Dr. Montessori’s materials to entice the children to explore and learn. Seeing the new children working their way through the morning. Seeing the returning children ask for new lessons and practicing old favorites. I am loving the one on one work with the children as I give new lessons. The joy they show when they learn something new or do something for themselves the first time is incredible.
I look forward to new experiences and exploration as we head into fall.