Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Prepared Environment or Letting it Rot

First thing in the morning our classroom door opens, we open the windows, water the plants and observe our classroom critters- currently tadpoles, a fish and a praying mantis egg sack. There's usually a visit to the potty by the potty-training toddler and a request or two for water. We settle in for a sweet ritual, morning circle time. T advances the calendar and announces the date.

Our work cycle begins. R. usually wants to practice her writing first. She draws in her life cycle journal and practices writing at the writing table. Her baby sister usually observes and wants to copy.

While we work others nap. The classroom gets messy- books on the floor or as was the case on this day- underpants.  B. won't accept help in putting them on and they often are left on the floor when she is not successful in her attempt to redress herself. Two-er and two-er everyday. She works too though. She prepares a rug for her work, for she has observed how this is done. She takes one shelf of material at a time to work with, a chunky puzzle, small boxes and lids or color tablets. The trays she returns when she is finished. The rug finds other users.

After a group zoology lesson we settle in for more difficult work. Again, we are never alone. T works concentrated as his baby sister babbles and tries hard not to play with the tempting materials.
R always finishes up first and goes downstairs with B to play. T finishes by himself in the classroom benefiting from the peace and quiet.

While our classroom is carefully organized, arranged and presented by me, it takes a life of its' own while we work. The materials call to the children from the shelves, the plants beg for their attention, the tables ask to be worked at. I sit back and observe, make small changes here and there, tinker, crop and make lists in my planning closet and try to fade into the background, letting the prepared environment and the children's minds, their only meaningful teacher, take off.


J & J Navas said...


Jeri said...

I see you have your routine down. I love seeing what the kids are learning. Thanks for sharing.

melissa said...

What a beautiful space you've prepared! It sounds peaceful and just exactly right.

Beth said...

Thanks Melissa! I think we have Montessori and taste in music in common.