This is an edited post from our classroom blog, December, 2011.
Last Tuesday we received the first measurable snow of the season. The afternoon class was so excited to see those gigantic flakes falling outside the window that we literally dropped everything and went outside.
Day 1: Now, it had been raining all morning and that was why we had to stay inside all morning. But as soon as the temperature dropped just a couple of degrees, the rain turned into big, fat, wet snowflakes and that somehow made it essential that we get outside and stick our faces up to the sky and catch as many of them on our tongues as we could. And it makes an everlasting impression on us to look up to the sky and see nothing but dense, gray clouds with snow falling out of them, don't you think?
This is an artsy way of saying that we went outside in the very wet snow and we stayed there a long time. Some of us got very, very wet. Miss Heather had to put her coat in the dryer when she got home and many other friends did too, I am sure.
|Miss Angie smartly used an umbrella to keep out of the snow. Note the playground conditions in the background of this photo.|
But the children were extremely happy and they were helping each other and being kind and smiling. Most of them walked around with a kind of astonished look on their faces. The ones who got too cold or too wet were able to go inside with my assistant teacher, so it was a win-win situation for everybody I think. Until everyone had to go home and dry all their snow gear. But I digress...
|A and D shovel the slush.|
Day 2: The next day was really terrific. We got out the sleds and kids were sliding and building forts on the basketball court and once again, looking astonished. Morning or afternoon class, they loved the snow.
|A friend on a snow-covered tire with the morning sun lighting up her face.|
Doesn't it sound terrific?
|Many friends join in to try to move Lake Montessori.|
The children's intentions were good. All of this started out because they couldn't ride the bikes through the puddle so they wanted to move the puddle. And they were learning so much! One question was, "Why doesn't the water just go into the ground?" When we repeat the experience in the classroom with a fishbowl of soil and a watering can it will make even more sense. But it's best to start with a concrete example.
|M. and A. successfully moved then poured a wheelbarrow of water into the Pond.|
When was the last time you moved a wheelbarrow full of water 10 feet across soggy grass? I know, why would you want to? But these guys had nothing else to move. They LIKE moving things from one place to another. And the benefits are immeasurable. In their second attempt, A. told M. , "Miss Heather said to keep it balanced! Look, it's balancing!" We can't recreate THAT kind of hands-on discovery and purposeful work in the classroom.
|A. found a bucket worked better than a shovel.|
When it was discovered that a bucket worked better than a wheelbarrow to carry the water, they changed their tools. They did actually manage to lower the water level of Lake Montessori but soon we were wet and cold and all but a few of us were ready to go inside.