Monday 13 September 2010

Montessori Farm - trial day 2

Yesterday we had another trail lesson day at the farm. This time there were 7 kids including Ebi-kun and all but two have had Montessori experience before. It was predicted to be another hot day so we started off in the farm, due to the ridiculously hot summer there wasn't anything to harvest for lunch so the kids planted some seeds, picked chestnuts and caught bugs. Once it started to get hot we moved to the classroom.
 The dynamics of this class was really good, all three of these boys are 5, A-kun and K1-kun and almost 6, they enjoyed working together in a group.
 k2-kun is almost 5, he hasn't done any Montessori before so I asked what he liked to work with and he picked the metal insets. He worked with them for a really long time (to the point where I thought, he thought, he HAD to sit there!) He just asked for more paper and different coloured pencils, he had a big pile of finished papers to take home with him.
 M2-chan is K2-kuns's little sister, she loved doing the puzzles. I showed he how to do the pink tower and in the process I said something along the lines of 'hmm which is the biggest one?' Once she had built it by herself I showed her how to put it away (rebuilding it on the stand) by this time M1-chan had come to the mat so M2-chan had taken the role of the teacher and was asking M1-chan, 'hmm which is the biggest one?' M1-chan was pointing to a block and M2-chan would say 'that's right' and put the block away - so funny.
 L-kun is 3 and really tall so it is easy to forget that he isn't able to do everything the five year old do yet. He really wanted to work with the spindles but couldn't count them out properly and didn't have much interest in doing so, all he wanted to do was tie the ribbons.
 The 3 boys got the map of Europe out, it took them quite a while to do and there was a fair bit of giggling going on. All the kids bar Ebi-kun have just come back from long holidays overseas and so English is still strong in their minds, the whole time all the kids only used English, which was great.
 M1-chan working on the brown stair, I think she has used this before, she seemed to know what to do, she is a bit of a monkey and deliberately put the wrong piece on and then looked at me grinning, I pretended not to pay any attention because she didn't get a reaction she took the pieces off and corrected it straight away. 
 Here the boys are helping to prepare lunch, meat balls and veg soup, the meat ball mix started off well but then turned into a bit of a sensory bowl and they were squishing the mixture and doing all sorts to it. I am glad they were eating it and not me!

 Due to it being so hot, Yasuyo planned some art activities after lunch instead of going back out to the farm. We set up two tables and Yasuyo and I manned one each. On my table they did marble painting and making butterflies (except the paper didn't dry in time so it was actually just painting on coffee filters)
 and Yasuyo did salad spinner art and colour mixing. The kids got stuck in and all seemed to enjoy it.
 M1-chan was totally engrossed with the marble painting, they all got into doing it but M1-chan spent a lot of time doing hers, she seemed to entranced by the marble covered in paint and how long it would take for it to roll, at one point she had about 8 marbles in the box!
All in all it was a fun day, I think everyone enjoyed it (well maybe not Gen who got lumbered with all the washing up! Thank you Gen!)
For me, it was interesting to see the kids interacting in a different environment, usually they see each other at the park or at some one's house. With the boys there is often a lot of rough and tumble and silliness going on but only once did I have to remind them that the classroom wasn't the place for it. Hopefully next time, the weather will be cooler and we can spend more time out on the farm.

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