When you hear the word “classroom”…your brain normally flashes images of confining desks, strict schedules, and dull indoor lighting.
What if you walked into a classroom full of toddlers…but on this particular day, their classroom was their garden?
Guides (Teachers) standing watch without interruption after demonstrating how to use tiny fingers to pull weeds from the roots and turn the soil with brightly colored spades. The students all enjoy different aspects of the garden and find what they’re good at.
Some exuberantly rip invading plants and toss them into the air while some lay neat piles.
Others squatting cautiously, unsure of how to enter such a messy lesson and finding it better to spectate on the sidelines.
And still, a few may just like exploring what lies beneath and giggle when they discover a moving creature.
An earthworm or pill-bug becomes a teachable moment where a Guide will step in and show children how to gently handle him, explain why they are helpful beings, and release the critter back to it’s home.
All of this in one simple exercise found across the age groups at Alpha Montessori where learning to respect nature and understand it’s importance is instilled at an early age.
Toddler’s pouring exercises extend to watering the variety of potted plants inside the classroom. They practice careful balancing when a plant may need to be relocated to a windowsill for sunlight. And care of their environment becomes a fun chore when a student is chosen to spray leaves and wipe them with a cloth.
Primary students begin exploration of the Leaf Cabinet; a simple but engaging exercise building muscular impression of the leaf shapes and increases their power of observation and knowledge in nature. They become responsible for their own plants in the classroom as well as the garden. Each classroom has a class pet that all students are responsible for the care and well being of.
All across our campuses, flora and fauna are around many corners. Alpha Montessori also boasts the-only-one-of-it’s-kind natural playground. With areas to be messy, climb around and jump over, the natural playground is one of many perks for our students who, after all, are still kids with tons of energy and curiosity.
So if your idea of a classroom for your child includes the great outdoors, contact Alpha Montessori to experience what we’re all about!
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