Except during the winter, there is always something blooming around our school. Narrow gardens border the building, the edges of our small parking areas and the corners of each playground. Perennials are mixed with vegetables and tomato plants. Often, upon bringing in a fresh bloom, one of us will demonstrate painting the flower. We talk about the shapes we see in the flower, the part of it we choose to paint first, the thickness of the brush we choose and the colors we see. Upon completion, the demonstration painting is set to dry away from view. The bloom is left in its vase, close to the easel. The children go back to their work. Those who choose to paint the bloom use what they have learned to help them record their observations. The interpretations always vary. Unlike many Montessori schools, we take pride in displaying everyone's work. We encourage the reluctant artist and easily find beauty in all of the results. We feel it is important to take advantage of this age before children decide they "can" or "cannot" draw.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
The past nine months have flown by. But while circumstances took me out of state, the classroom buzzed on. The children grew intellectually and socially. The school's founder had her 89th birthday this past spring. And as she blew out a candle on her cake, a seasoned first grader silently exclaimed, "Whew, eighty-nine, and she can still blow out a candle!"