Monday, January 21, 2013

Montessori Monday: Child-Led Learning

I've noticed recently that L and E (3.5 years old) are starting to take the lead in making up educational activities for themselves.  I love watching them as they make observations and invent new experiments and activities.  I'm getting much better at sitting back and following their lead rather than getting too enthusiastic and trying to dictate the process.  Here are three examples of child-led learning that I remembered to take photos of...

One day last week when E was resting in her room with a low fever, I let L help me make a smoothie.  I put avocado in it (sounds weird, but tastes good), and remarked on how an avocado is really a fruit because it has a seed.  L wanted to know if bananas had seeds too, so we took a look.  Then L announced that she had a "great idea" - she wanted me to take out all the fruits and vegetables we had in the house and she would sort them based on whether they had seeds.  So we carefully examined each item and identified it as either a fruit or vegetable.  If L wasn't sure about something, I let her cut it open and examine the inside.  L thought it was very funny that some adults don't know that avocados and tomatoes are fruits and not vegetables - she even quizzed Daddy, but he knew the right answers. 

My favorite part was when we got to the clementine (I intentionally saved it for last).  L had observed that when she had eaten one earlier, it didn't have seeds, so it must be a vegetable.  I told her that usually clementines have seeds, but this type was made to not have seeds to it would be easier for kids to eat, so it's still really a fruit.  Instead of putting it with the fruits, however, L declared that since it sometimes has seeds and sometimes doesn't, we should put it in the middle!  I was so impressed at her reasoning and the fact that she remembered our work with Venn diagrams, that I didn't argue.

My other favorite part was when she decided to draw the inside of an apple:


The other day, E made up her own learning activity as well...  The girls were playing with some animal magnets on the side of the fridge, when E started singing a song about how some animals live on the farm and some live in the jungle.  Then she had the idea of sorting her animals.  I helped come up with the categories and spell them out, but E did the rest of the classification all by herself.

 Then E asked for her "blue workbook" so she could help the turtle find his way through the maze:

 Finally, another child-led experience I loved was when we were doing some random art exploration and the girls asked to make masks.  L wanted to make a cat mask, and E wanted an elephant mask, so here's what we came up with..


I helped, of course, but still let the kids take the lead and basically tell me what they need.  The final masks turned out adorable..

So much fun!

Montessori Monday

Please 'like' Learners in Bloom on Facebook for more fun!

Check out all the wonderful linky parties I participate in on the sideback (right hand side).

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments! No spam, please.