Monday, January 9, 2012

The After Chrismas Tree

The story goes that Maria Montessori observed the "children's joy in making silence" when one of her assistant teachers visited the classroom with her infant daughter. The baby, just weeks old, was asleep when the teacher visited.

Maria observed that the children, who had been excited about meeting the new baby, quickly quieted down and sat down on the floor forming a circle of awe and silence around the visiting baby and mother. With respect and reverence they circled the infant, admiring it's small features and soft hair. The once busy and bustling classroom had become quiet, peaceful and reflective.

Dr. Montessori later went on to introduce 'The Silence Game' recreating the peaceful atmosphere by leading the children in 'making silence', and in doing so she would share with the children and with the world, that even young learners benefit from a quiet time in their day, a time to listen and nurture one's inner peace.

In our classroom making silence has been inspired by listen to the delicate sound of a cherished music box, the lighting of a candle, the discovery of a spider in the garden, and simply through observation.  Before it's removal, we would often sit around the classroom tree and admire the lights in silence.

With the end of the holiday season upon us we have removed the Christmas tree from the classroom and placed it in the play-yard.  Today we read the book : The After-Christmas Tree by Linda Wagner Tyler and Susan Davis. 
The book shares the story of a family who recycles their Christmas tree by placing it outdoors and decorating it with yummy treats for the animals to enjoy! 
Our classroom tree is already outdoors as I mentioned next the children will begin making bird feeders using empty toilet paper rolls and pine cones. They will spread sun butter (a peanut butter substitute made from sunflower seeds) all over the pine cone they choose. Next they'll spooned bird seed over the sticky pine cone. At our next Family Potluck on Friday Jan 13th, we will hang these yummy bird (or squirrel) snacks from the branches of our After-Christmas tree for our feathered friends to enjoy.
We look forward to seeing you at the potluck.  We do not plan on making silence around the After-Christmas tree at the potluck, but we will the next day at school for sure. And it will be magical.