GRACE AND COURTESY LESSONS THIS WEEK:
This week the newest children have been practicing sounds with sandpaper letters, learning the names the geometric solid shapes, exploring the sensorial area more and more, and playing “listen and do.” We are also building grace and courtesy lessons into our day – which is not just for the new children – the older children are needing some reminders as well!
We have been practicing waiting at my chair or going to Miss Sara when I am giving a lesson to another child. Interrupting is, of course, common at this age, and building patience for waiting for the teacher’s help takes time. They are doing very well! The new children are learning about “one person works,” and the children who’ve been here for a while are helping them to learn what this means. When a child gets out a work (we also refer to them as “jobs”), it is usually just for one person. We do have multiple works for children to work on together, but the works children sometimes gravitate toward working on together are things that can quickly get silly and loud with more than one child and the intent and purpose of the job is lost altogether.
One of the most fundamental ideas behind what we do in a Montessori classroom is to direct the focus and meaning in the child’s work by providing an atmosphere where concentration is possible for all children in the environment. To do this, we provide freedom with limits. Part of this means there is only one of each job – not multiples of each thing. Each child works on a job alone until they are totally done, and and puts it back for someone else to use.
You won’t often hear us tell children to “share” in the Montessori environment, as children have the right to work alone to develop their own will and concentration. It is our job as the adult guide to protect their work. Which is why we have also been working on the grace and courtesy of giving friends space / showing respect while they are working. If a friend is working on a rug or at a table, we use the language “please walk away” or “this is my work.” It isn’t meant to be rude – it is a simple statement, true and brief, to remind a classmate that they are working and so not wish to be disturbed.
Have a wonderful weekend friends!