Friday, February 27, 2009

Practical Life - How can it look so appealing?

I love, love, love, the practical life area at the school I teach Spanish at. There are 3 Primary classrooms and they all have beautiful practical life areas that change monthly and are color coordinate by themes. I have the great experience of being able to go into three different Montessori schools weekly and observe.

1. The school I teach Spanish at, Montessori School A (Grades Primary-Upper El.)
2. I volunteer in my son's classroom. Montessori School B (Primary Montessori/ Traditional 1st-8th grade)
3. I spend a little time in my daughter's classroom observing. Montessori School C (Toddler/Primary)

My son and daughter attend different Montessori Schools about 8 miles from each other. The school I teach at is further away from our home, this is why I have not enrolled them there but I AM considering this school for my son when he enters first grade.

So, what I want to write about today is what I've noticed about these three schools and their Practical Life area. I am VERY drawn to the practical life activities in Montessori School A and also Montessori School C but more in A. Some practical life areas look very messy and disorganized. What I have noticed about Montessori School A is that it does not look disorganized. So what is it I thought that makes it so appealing to my eyes?

I took pictures and figured it out!

1. The same color tray is used for an entire shelf.

2. The bowls that hold the items match from tray to tray. Example: two wood, two glass, two silver, etc..

3. The items that the children work with (beads/stickers/water/buttons/pom-pom's/etc. are color coordinated)

4. The shelf's are not crowded.

Here are some pictures of one shelf unit in Montessori School A's Practical Life Area.

Note 1: I was not planning on using these pictures in my blog so I did not do a great job taking them and I also took them with my iPhone.

Note 2: there are four shelve units dedicated to practical life. This is only one.

On the shelf unit below, the two top works are on red plastic trays that work very well with the rest of the wood trays because they color coordinate with the items on the shelf unit!

Notice in the pictures below that the trays are all wood, the containers for the two trays on the first shelf above and the second shelf below are glass, all of the items in these practical life activities are color coordinated. Even in the basket that has items for opening/closing there are items that coordinate.


Beth said...

Those shelves do look great!
I am hosting an children's swap if your interested :)

Gigi said...

Thank you Beth! I am going to go take a look!

mommyme said...

Thanks for posting this. I am always looking at my shelves wondering how I can make them look the most appealing to my daughter. It is true, some schools have the most beautiful shelves, and environments. I like your distinctions and I agree.