Friday, April 13, 2012

Art Show Sneak Peak

We are so excited to present our school's first ever Art Show this spring!  The children have explored so many facets of the creative arts spectrum this year.  We studied a different artist each month (see this post) and we also pulled many ideas from the Go Get Your Smock Montessori Art Curriculum.  I would say the children are eager to show their work, but actually I think we're more excited about it.  The children most certainly enjoy the process over the end product.  Oftentimes, they don't even realize we've tucked away their art for the show.  Instead, they feel fulfilled in completing the work, and satisfied to have done it on their own.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Beautiful Moment

One of our teachers found a bird in our driveway that had been hit by a car.  The bird was perfectly intact, and after further examination was either a Starling or a Grackle.   I hemmed and hawed all day about whether or not to show the bird to the children.  After all, we've been studying Birds, Parts of a Bird, and Backyard Bird calls in the Primary classroom.  Finally, I put the decision in the children's hands.  I explained the situation and told the children it might be upsetting, but it really is part of nature.  I gave them the opportunity to meet the bird, or they could opt out.  All of the children chose to view the bird.

We gathered in a seated circle around him and had a moment of silence.  I pointed out the different parts of the bird and we looked in our field guide to name the bird.  We talked about life cycles and food chains.  Finally, one second year student raised his hand and said "I think it's time we share our thoughts on this."  I agreed, and one by one they told each other how they felt.  One astute first year student (3 years old!) announced, "Although I feel sad that the bird is no longer alive, at least we can enjoy its great beauty." 

I thank the parents of these afternoon children for understanding the Montessori philosophy enough to accept and gracefully encourage the important experience we had today.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kindergarteners and their Extension Ideas

Because "the Asia puzzle map was too easy"...

Because "just doing the map wasn't hard enough, I wanted to make my own"...

Because "I mastered this so long ago, I think I'm ready to make it harder"...

Most Montessori training facilities offer several ideas for students to use work creatively, after mastery is achieved.  However, it's interesting to see how the children themselves come up with extension activities on their own.  It's true when they say a child has never truly completed a work, its uses are endless!