The Art of Observation
Observation, a simple word that means more than we can imagine. Observation is a grand part of the foundation of a Montessori environment and it’s one of the strongest and most helpful and powerful tools a Montessori Guide can have. Through this we can obtain all the information we need to follow the children. A good observation must be objective and not subjective…what does this mean? Well, when we are observing objectively we don’t judge by thinking what is happening around us. We concentrate on what is happening in that moment since that is all that is actually happening, nothing else. We can’t observe thinking what is going to happen next. We analyze to learn, and based on the information we obtain through our observations we can plan for the future.
“The adult will not be watching with the aim of making her presence felt, or of helping the weaker ones by her own strength. She observes in order to recognize the child who has attained the power to concentrate and to admire the glorious rebirth of his spirit”
-Dr. Maria Montessori.
Montessori teachers begin their daily observations mainly focusing on writing what is happening around them. We internalize the sound level of our classrooms, the work rhythm, and much more. Then we focus on each child in particular. What are they wearing, who are they working with, what material are they using…we don’t judge. For instance, instead of writing “Lucy is miss- using the number rods” we might write “Lucy is placing the number rods on top of each other instead of next to each other”. Based on my observations I will act by either representing the material to Lucy the next day or perhaps Lucy is ready for the next challenge. As you can see we didn’t judge Lucy, instead we try to find out what is causing the behavior that we are observing.
One of the most exciting parts of the year for parents is when the doors of the classroom open for them to come and observe. Observations and conferences are fast approaching. We would love to invite you to come with an objective mind. Your job will be to silently sit on the same chair for thirty minutes, take a deep breath, and enjoy. Let the environment talk to you. Count how many children are in the classroom. You will be amazed of how they seem to “float” around using their soft voices and quiet feet. Observe what kind of things they are working on. You might see children baking, reading, pouring water to different containers, practicing their pencil grip by transferring beans from container to container with a spoon, sitting quietly in the reading chair, giggling with a friend while enjoying snack together, etc. They are all in a different stage. No one is better than the other one. They are all learning at their own pace. Remember this is a three year program and perhaps you will spot children that still need to learn how to hold a pencil while another one is writing a sentence on a piece of paper. That child that you might see “just walking around” is internalizing what’s around him. He is not interrupting anybody, but he sure is looking and listening to what is happening around him. We can't wait to have you in our classrooms soon!
Happy Autumn! Hope you had a wonderful and restful break. The children came back full of positive energy ready to continue learning. We have welcomed a new family to our Jackrabbit class; we keep growing and it’s amazing to see how welcoming the children are to their new peers. The children keep watering the garden, although we haven’t harvest any vegetables we see some signs of growth. Exciting!
We would love to thank all the families for attending our first social of the year, we had a full house and it was fun to see the children playing and the parents getting to know each other. Hope we get to see you all, parents, on November 3rd for our Country Hoedown charity event. Thank you for all your generous donations towards our auction basket. Our room moms have been amazing helping us build a wooden calendar to be auctioned on November 3rd. Another good reason to put those boots on and join us!
Ms. Marcela and Ms. Dinora
Greetings Bobcat families~
Well, we have been quite busy this past month! First, I would like to thank all of you wonderful families for your attendance to our Fall Fiesta Social and making it such a warm gathering. We especially appreciated your collaboration in the setting up and taking down of the event that ensured that our event went off without a hitch. It was such a treat to be able to meet and socialize with you all and we really look forward to our Spring Social. Hmmmm....I wonder what our theme could be???
Keeping with the theme of thanks, we would also like to send our sincerest gratitude to each and everyone of you for your auction donations. As you all know, this money will fund scholarships for children under 5 years old to be able to attend Creo. We would like to extend a special thank you to our Bobcat room mothers, Jennilyn, Tiwaa and Sarah who helped with the assembly of our class project as well. All of your generosity made this happen!
In the classroom this past month, we have been baking delicious banana muffins, watching our garden flourish with the eggplants and pumpkins that we planted in September and learning about the parts of the pumpkin and how they grow. We have been tapping into a bit of mindfulness meditation as well. It is so lovely to see the children in such a tranquil, peaceful state and to discuss how they feel after engaging in a guided meditation.
Ms. Carmen and Ms. liz
Happy October and welcome to our new friend, Emily!
What a wonderful month it has been! The children were so excited to release their painted butterflies into our garden. They had the opportunity to observe their lifecycle from caterpillar to chrysalis and the metamorphosis into butterflies. They learned to appreciate the delicacy of life as well as their important roles in our ecosystem.
Along with autumn harvest comes all types of gourds, pumpkins, squash and other vegetables in our local grocery stores. The children were enthusiastic to learn facts about fall vegetables, examine samples on our museum table and dissect a pumpkin to study it’s external and internal parts. Icing on the exploration cake was roasting homemade pumpkin seeds!
Our fourth annual Charity Event is right around the corner! We have been very busy working on our unique project “Time Flies.” Your contributions to our “Our World of Food” cookbook and basket in addition to your presence at the event will impact the children in our community in enormous ways. A special thank you to our volunteer room parents, Carly, Rebecca, Lucy and Amaris for all of your hard work, creativity and time invested into putting these together. Ms. Yadira and I can’t wait to see you all at the Creo Country Hoedown!
Finally, the Gray Foxes are looking forward to welcoming you into the environment to observe and I am pleased to discuss your child’s progression with you. Please contact me should you have any questions regarding observations guidelines.
Ms. Lauren and Ms. Yadira
Dear Cactus Wren Families,
Happy Fall!!! Thank you to all the families who attended our Fall Social. We had such a wonderful time. It was so nice to see the adults relaxing and enjoying the weather. The children loved the food and playing with all their friends.
A big thank you to all for donating to the Cactus Wren Auction Basket. As you know, the proceeds go towards tuition scholarships for children under 5. Miss Eugenia and I would like to thank Marina, Lynnsie, Raj, and Carly for helping us with the beautiful Auction Art Project. It looks amazing and was made by little loving hands. Another big thank you to all who donated to our wonderful sports basket.
The children are loving the cooler weather. We spent a full day in the garden planting flowers, cucumbers, herbs, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Along with all the green plants, we also added a couple of shade umbrellas and a cozy chair under the shade tree.
Ms. Johna and Miss Eugenia