WELL... this year our class has had the most wonderful thing happen, AND it was child directed. About the third week into school I had a 4 1/2 year old, who is driven by a lovely inner voice, do the Parts of the Plant and Parts of the Fruit Nomenclature Cards at the same time. He then made the Parts of Booklets as well. Another child saw his work and wanted to do it too. Both were very accomplished at their work. At the end of the day they asked if they could read their books to the class in AUTHOR'S CHAIR (they knew this from last year and Writer's Workshop). Of course I let them, and everyone clapped for their wonderful and challenging work. I could have chosen to save the Author's chair for books that the children had independently created, but I am so glad I didn't. We will make an extra special note when a child makes a book All-By-Themselves for Author's Chair.
The magic happened the next day. Multiple children asked me if they could create their own books in order to read them to the class. One child said... "So when I finish the Nomenclature Cards I can make a booklet right?" I said that once she had mastered the nomenclature cards she could create the booklet. The children spread the word and the Nomenclature Cards have NOT sat on the shelf gathering dust (that a child would clean off) this year. The valuable lesson the children taught me is this: There is such beauty in sharing your work with your friends, and such a good feeling. As an adult I recognize this in myself. It is one reason I have this blog. I love to share what I have created with people who appreciate and can really use them. Why would it be any different for children?
I just have to say... Follow the Child, they are our best teacher.
|This child ended up getting one more rug out to hold all the name cards you can see at the top |
of the picture for this work. There really are a lot of cards to this work. Almost enough to break it
into two sets, but they really like it together so I have kept them that way. The Tray is from
Montessori Research and Development.
Parts of the Plant Booklet
|This child did not want to write the words to her booklet this day. I let her know that as |
soon as she "publishes" a book - meaning that it is colored, with all the names written and
stapled - she can read it to the group.