Lilac Room

Bridgett Miller

Janell Butts

Lilac Room is a Little House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Janell Butts and Bridgett Miller are the classroom’s co-teachers.

Maria Montessori could see the advantage of having children develop and refine their five senses. She also understood that if a child was presented with materials where they could check their work themselves, and know visually that the job was done correctly or incorrectly due to the precise way the materials were used, then their level of independence and self-confidence would increase.  Dr. Montessori referred to this concept as the “control of error’’ and it has great significance throughout the classroom, and especially in the sensorial area.

 

IMG_0085The pink tower has ten pink cubes of different sizes, from 1 centimeter up to 10 cm in increments of 1 cm. The work is designed to provide the child with a concept of small and big.

 

The brown stairs is made up of 10 sets of wooden prisms and introduces the concept of thin to thick. Each stair is 20 cm in length and varies in thickness from 1 to 10 cm. When put together from thickest to thinnest they make an even staircase.

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Our Lilac and Iris Room friends enjoy exploring with their senses. We currently have many work choices with built in control of errors, including many with sorting and stacking opportunities. Some of our work is seasonally themed as well.

The winter season came with very little snow fall. We continued to sing our snow songs and put new snow-themed work out throughout the classrooms. Recognizing the children’s love for snow and their desire to stack, teachers worked to create a new snowman stacking work choice.

How to Build a Snowman from Wood

By: The Iris and Lilac Room Friends

Step One: Have your teacher cut wood prisms of descending lengths for you to sand.

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Step Two: Help your teacher paint the rectangular prisms white.

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Step Three: Stack and add snowman accessories.

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And then it snowed…….. we moved our sensorial experience outdoors!

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We found fall time to be full of flavors. Our community snack gives us a chance for students to try a variety of healthy food choices. Everyone is served the same food and students are encouraged to eat what is offered on their plate. Some of our friends are adventurous, while others are quick to say “No Thank You!”.

Getting your child to try new foods at home is no easy task. You might hear words like “Eww” or “Yuck!” on a daily basis from your child. But it is important not to get discouraged when introducing kids to new food. Consider the following tips:

1. Let them try it on their own

Forcing your child to try new foods is not only unproductive, but it could also hurt their perception of food in general. Parents are encouraged to control the options available to the child, but ultimately leaving it up to the child to decide what he or she wants to try.

2. Don’t expect your child to eat what you don’t

Being a good role model extends to eating habits, as well. If you don’t eat it, they won’t try it.

3. Fun or Deceptive

Children are often turned off by the looks of new food. This obstacle can be overcome by simply adding new colors, or shapes to the food. It’s amazing what you can do with a cookie cutter! Shapes like dinosaurs and stars will be more appealing to your child – and they will be more likely to try the food. Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook “Deceptively Delicious” takes common favorite meals and sneaks in more vegetables. This can be done with a food processor and the veggies won’t be discovered.

4. Have children involved in cooking

If kids know what is going into their meal, they will be more willing to eat it. At school your child loves to help in snack prep. We wash, mash, chop, slice, smell, and taste together. Having children involved in meal prep can be a time to bond and have fun in the kitchen, too.

5. Don’t make special kids meals

Parents can customize the child’s plate, but essentially, the meal should be the same. This presents a good example – as well as putting everyone on the same level.

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First Thursday

About Organizing the Chaos at the Toledo Campus

Maria Montessori believed children have a need and a sensitive period for order. Come learn how simplifying your life and organizing the chaos can help you and your child succeed.  Learn SIMPLE fixes to everyday issues. Organization ideas for toys, books, pictures. Easy ways to keep track of important information. And why Pinterest is NOT always the answer.

Children often gravitate to the practical life area of the classroom on a daily basis. It’s a high interest area where children choose work that allows movement, care of the self, and care of the environment. Whether it’s the opportunity for water play, help prepare snack, or explore the beautiful objects found in the bowls on the trays, practical life teaches a variety of skills. Children develop fine motor skills by spooning and tonging. Chair scrubbing allows for movement and practice in following multiple steps. They learn how to care and respect their environment in tasks such as cleaning, polishing, washing, and gardening. Even caring for our pet fish has become a focus of our Lilac circle time. All these activities help to build community in the classroom.

Grace and courtesy are also exercises that are a part of the practical life area. These activities include greeting, sharing, thanking and helping one another to be respectful and caring. Directing a child to cover his/her cough or to get a tissue for their nose are encouraging good healthy habits. An effective way to help children develop healthy habits is by modeling.

When it comes to manners, words themselves are not enough. They have to have meaning behind them to carry their full weight. Manners are more than knowing what to say, and when- they’re built on empathy and on respecting other’s rights and personal space. Toddlers developmentally may not be ready to grasp the way his/her actions make others feel. Empathy takes time to learn, but no child is too young for gentle reminders that help distinguish between right and wrong.

We model, and we give children experiences to practice socially acceptable behaviors. These types of practical life experiences should be continuous and a natural part of a child’s life.

The following is a list of activities to be encouraged in social settings:

  • greeting people
  • thanking people
  • offering something to someone
  • inviting someone in
  • letting someone pass
  • asking for something
  • interrupting others politely
  • knocking and waiting at a door
  • picking up something and returning it
  • holding a door for others
  • table manners
  • inviting someone in
  • shaking hands
  • speaking softly
  • waiting a turn
  • watching others work (without disturbing)
  • covering cough or sneeze
  • entering and leaving a room

 

 

Maria Montessori stated, “The house of the child should be lovely and pleasant in all its particulars.” The classroom is a carefully prepared environment. “This structured environment for learning involves use of a wide range of didactic apparatus, varied activities reflecting all aspects of the child’s development, with everything being aesthetically pleasing and geared to the child’s size, needs and interests.” Children move freely from one activity to another with minimal obstacles and in spaces that are dedicated to supporting growth and development. Children have the option to choose work at a table or rug. The rug or table defines the space and gives the child ownership over the work. Children are encouraged to respect the work spaces of others. Phrases like “This is my work.” or “May I work with you?” are ways for children to communicate that they either want to work alone or together.

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As children take ownership over their work choices, they also are taking ownership of the environment. Many of the practical life work choices are designed for children to care for their classroom.  Chair scrubbing, window washing, feather dusting, laundry folding, floor sweeping, watering plants, and feeding the fish are all work choices the friends of the Lilac Room are proudly choosing.

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