A month into the new year already! I hope everyone is back in their routines after the holiday season. The Pigeon Plums have welcomed a new friend and begun working on more challenging lessons that continue to hone their pincher grasps and lengthen their concentration skills. We have been enjoying reading Splash Splash and 10 Rubber Ducks, and even though the holidays are over, and the instruments don’t exactly match the song, the children love using them (at the moment, rhythm sticks and a shaker) to help sing Jingle Bells. It’s a daily favorite.
The introduction of our “scuffin” making lesson has been a huge hit among our older friends whose concentration for work can extend making an entire batch on their own. And they have become models for our younger friends who love to observe the pouring/mixing/scooping process, and eat the scuffins at snack! We have also introduced another lesson to the classroom: clay. While it is similar to the Playdough we have been using up until this point, the use of real clay adds a far more richer experience for the children to mold and pound and shape. With clay they can SEE the effect that their hands have on the process. Their hands get clay on them, the table gets clay on it. If they choose to use water to sponge the clay, it feels slippery when they touch it. The color is a real color they can see everyday in nature. The experience is endless and some days friends will spend half an hour manipulating the clay, an eternity in toddler land.
Just as we do all throughout the classroom, using real materials (glass cups, metal forks, wooden trays) in a Montessori classroom allows children to experience more, gain a larger vocabulary, and learn how to care for the materials in the environment. If they are careless with glass, it could break; if they get clay on their hands or the table, they learn to wash. In addition to all of the great things happening when they use clay, the children seem to be even more creative with it and using it more purposefully than with the Playdough. It’s beautiful to watch.
This month, we will be celebrating friendship. On the 24th, the Pigeon Plums will prepare and share a snack with our Mangrove and Elementary Spanish Lime friends. We will come together as friends and share in a meal and some fun recess time.
Now on to February, and celebrating friendship and love!
~Ms. Melanie and Ms. Ashley