Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Deepening rather than adding
I've been reflecting a lot lately on the depth of what is in my Montessori albums. Having been teaching for some years now, I still sometimes go back to my albums and find something that I have never really incorporated into our classroom. Those books I made so long ago are full of extensions, variations, and following exercises that really encompass a world of activity. (I dream of the summer where I drop all of my renewing/goofing off activities and relearn everything that's in my albums.)
This year in particular I have maintained our shelves very minimal. It has come naturally and not necessarily as a resitance to adding "new" things, but more as an inclination to letting the children (and myself!) explore more deeply what is there already. Along with what my trainer mentioned should be done every day in the classroom like Grace and Courtesy, Walking on the Line, Language Exercises, Sound Game- it's challenging enough to get it all in there in six hours- I trust more and more that there is enough there without having to reinvent the wheel with things "new". The direction to go, I've felt, is deeper not broader.
I see it in my record keeping as well as in my planning, it is going inwards and deepening rather than piling on more. Last year the word that kept circulating was "simplify".This year, the word has been "deepen". I still feel that I'm brushing the surface of what's there.