Friday, July 15, 2011

Materials for Individualized Instruction

These are photos from my multiply page.
 A mix of Montessori and teacher made materials to teach the necessary executive, numeracy and literacy skills to 4 to 6 year olds.

And more photos from my Facebook page.

this too!

Encouraging Creativity

This is Marco. He loves to build. He uses anything he can get hold of to build his structures. Today he is using wooden blocks to build MOA. Marco is using his prior knowledge of what MOA looks like. It is big - long actually, it has a road infront and it is not so tall like other buildings. The idea of building MOA was not the end goal itself. As you can see he has a 'road map'mat too where he moves his toy cars on. The inspiration of MOA probably came from the round-a-bout/ rotunda on the mat. Again, it was Marco's prior knowledge which helped him come up with this idea. His goal probably was to create a 'world' where he can pretend to move his cars along the road and go to the different buildings. Well, that's what I can only assume, he probably has more wonderful thoughts and ideas going on in his mind. 

It takes a lot of courage and confidence actually to create something. More than skill and talent, I think it is one's disposition towards creating which makes a person or a child 'go ahead and do it.' 

In my classroom, there is a silent subtle persuasion for creating. Scratch papers (lots and lots of them) are readily available for the children. Also with the various drawing materials like crayons (do not just settle with crayons only!), pencils, colored pencils, oil pastels and their favorite - colored markers. Blocks and other building materials are also within reach. Old magazines, scissors and glue for the kids who want to make collages. I have still yet to prepare a box for 3D construction - recyclables like egg cartons, tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, old newspapers, etc.  

So encourage creativity. We all know that those who 'think out of the box' are those who are able to find solutions. The next generations WILL find a cure for cancer, STOP species extinction, or SOLVE rapid climate change. Lets just hope that the schools they will enter will NOT kill their creativity. (This would be another topic to blog about

Today we are confronted by signs of turbulence, uncertainty and change on a global scale. The nation-state, the free market and traditional religions, which have proved adequate for so long, are showing unmistakable signs of strain as they struggle to deal with the new realities of a profoundly inter-connected world. All are suffering from a lack of vision. In fact, the crisis they face can only be described as spiritual, so far-reaching are its implications. Humanity is being called upon to mobilise its deepest resources of heart and mind, to respond to an era of growing integration and synthesis. Can we collectively learn to set aside, once and for all, the barriers in consciousness which have until now separated nationalities, religions, and social classes from one another, and learn to work for one humanity? On this question turns nothing less than the future of the world. - Lucis Trust

Monday, July 11, 2011


It was my turn to put the babies to sleep.
My ever efficient assistant took the toddlers to the playroom.
'J' cries when its nap time. She wants someone to hold her while she sleeps.
I held her and sang her a lullaby for a while. Then sat down and rocked her too. She was not yet asleep as I lay her on the matress. I lay down with her for a moment but then she held on to my neck and hair.

So I thought this can not be our routine because her caregiver in the Nursery would have difficulty putting her to sleep come September when there will be several babies in the room.
I didn't want to stand up and let her cry, tell her to close her eyes and just watch her fall asleep, could I?
This is about trust.
So I lay beside her and tell her in my sweetest voice that I'm here ('Ana hona' in Arabic).
I assure her that even as she sleeps, I will be in the room.
So only for today, I lay beside her, only for today....and maybe tomorrow.
But then again, how do I know if I'm doing the right thing?
I can calm hyperactive toddlers and comfort them and entertain them when they cry.
I can talk about Lady Diana, lightning bugs and mountaineering to wide eyed, curious, full-of-whys four year olds.
But I'm a newbie at putting babies to sleep, changing diapers and feeding.
But everyday I'm learning....
and open to suggestions.....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Using The Teacher Made Materials

Now we're using some of the materials I made.
These are a bunch of 2-3 year olds.
Its summer so very few children come to the nursery.
 Construction Triangles

 Foam Shapes

 Sorting by color.
(The next day 'J' was able to sort by shape, without being given instructions!)

 Sorting Pompoms

 Scooping Marbles.
 The children were given instructions on how to handle the materials (from the choosing to the packing away). Then the manipulative was demonstrated. Now, they work on it with some prompting and assistance from me.

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