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DailyTidings.com
  • Independent learning

  • The lesson: Children can experience the joy of learning, independently and through guided work, with stations that invite exploration, movement, concentration, choice and repetition.
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      In the Classroom is a series of photography-driven reports on lessons taught in Ashland's elementary schools. If you have an idea, please send it to Heidi Monjure at hmonjure@ashlandnet. net.
  • The lesson: Children can experience the joy of learning, independently and through guided work, with stations that invite exploration, movement, concentration, choice and repetition.
    Wendy Hale's kinder classroom at Children's World Montessori School is a place of work. Students are absorbed in learning at different sections, and quiet voices with occasional soft giggles are heard.
    Because all work is age-appropriate and often self-correcting, some of the 5- and 6-year-olds work independently, moving from one job to the next at their own pace, while Hale observes, gives lessons or works with smaller groups.
    During their full morning work period, Hale's students work in three areas of the school: the classroom, a learning area where art is created and a kitchen where practical life lessons are taught.
    In one corner of the classroom, short, open shelves divide the space into subject areas: Math, sensorial, language, and cultural and science. Child-sized trays containing visually appealing educational materials sit on each shelf.
    A golden bead, a bar of 10 beads, a square of 100 and a cube of 1,000 displayed in the math area are ready for young hands to feel the quantities of 1, 10, 100 and 1,000.
    Red and blue metal insets of various shapes laid out on long trays with brightly colored pencils are ready for tracing on the sensorial shelf.
    Tiny, attractive objects and their labels sit in small, clear trays ready for the young readers to match word to object in the language area. Nearby, a cozy, purple couch beside an open shelf of books also calls to them.
    A straw basket of feathers waiting to be closely examined with a magnifying glass is resting beside parts of the bird puzzle in the cultural and science area.
    In a learning center near the classroom, a full-sized workbench — well stocked with small tools and different shapes and sizes of wood — is available for all types of construction.
    Down the hall in cooking teacher Lunette Fleming's kitchen classroom, "rainforest" muffins with rainforest-grown foods — bananas and chocolate — are being made by kinder chefs to make practical skills come alive. (For recipes, go to: www.weecookery.blogspot.com).
    Emanating around the corner are the happy sounds of a small group of scientists exploring oil and water via egg art with the aid of teacher Kyndra Laughery.
    As Montessori founder Maria Montessori said, "One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child."
    — Heidi Monjure
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