In Part 1 of our “All Day Montessori: Enrichment Studios” series, we provided an overview of our All Day Montessori programs and the role of Enrichment Studios within those programs.
In Part 2, we will provide an overview of each of the individual Studio Enrichment Programs: Art, Cooking & Gardening.
First off, each studio lead has a mobile “Studio Cart”. This allows the Studio Guide to have all supplies ready that are necessary for the studio.
This is the studio work that is only available during “studio time”. For the children who attend school for the whole day, this allows for something a little bit different each day.
However, the “cart” comes to the classroom, rather than the children lining up to go to the Studio.
This continues to instill the sense of community, calm and consistency in the environment.
Children are invited to join the studio, usually up to 8 children at a time. Some children come to studio every day, some children only come once in a while.
Because it is their choice, they can work on their own, read in the library, visit the independent art shelf, prepare the class for the following day etc. With these choices available, there is little discipline issues in the classrooms.
A frequent misunderstanding amid Montessori critics is that children are not allowed to do art.
If teaching art includes 24 children sitting waiting for the teacher to pass out pre-cut materials, expecting the children to come as close as possible to the example made by the teacher, then they are right.
You will never find this type of art instruction in a fully implemented Montessori environment.
Art in the Montessori classroom is not for the adults. Montessori art has a higher purpose: to support the child’s creative development.
The child can take as much time as he needs, incorporate skills from previous lessons, collaborate with others, and take risks.
Children develop concentration through repetition, while simultaneously refining their motor skills. Children’s artwork will never be graded, compared, or critiqued by the adults in the classroom.
Examples of Art studio work include:
For more information, please check out these links:
Appreciating Montessori Inspired Art
Gardening is a wonderful way for children to connect with nature and nurture living things. It provides learning opportunities when studying parts of seeds, flowers and plants.
Children love to dig in the dirt and get great exercise while doing so. We are fortunate to have classroom gardens where our children can be part of the growing process.
They have ownership of the gardens as well as the food and flowers produced in them.
We have had the beautiful opportunity of planting seeds and watching them sprout inside. We then transfer them into our garden where we watch them strengthen and grow.
The children cut the flowers we grow to do flower arranging work or use our abundant basil to make pesto. They also love digging up and scrubbing a carrot to crunch on.
Children enjoy plucking off cherry tomatoes to snack on as much as the children in the classroom enjoy picking, cleaning and eating them. Our gardens are beautiful extensions of our classrooms and the children thrive in them.
Each one of our schools has a garden environment for each age/classroom. Even our Nido (infant) Community has their own garden space.
School gardens provide an environment for children to learn to work with other children and adults.
They will learn the relationship between people, plants and wildlife. The lessons that are taught in the garden are only limited by one’s creativity.
Examples of Gardening studio work include:
For more information, please check out this link:
If I had to pick the one activity that really helps develop the whole child, it is cookling!
In addition to teaching one of the most used life skills, cooking exposes children to math, language and science all while developing concentration, motor skills, patience and delayed gratification.
These are not things children learn from flashcards and workbooks. Unfortunately, you will likely not see it in traditional schools.
In the Cooking Studio, the children are exposed to numerous recipes, ingredients, mixtures and foods they would likely never try if just served to them on a plate.
Examples of Cooking studio work include: