Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Learning From One Another

On our first day of school in September, one of our oldest students asked if she could do an experiement for her classmates.  She said it would involve water.  I replied that it would be a wonderful idea as long as we had something, such as a bowl, to capture any water that may leak.   To my delight, E. showed up on the second day of school with all the things she needed to perform her experiment~ a test tube, skewer and a large bowl.

Here is her experiment.

E. began by filling her test tube with water.

She then placed her hand over the opening of the test tube...

and turned it upside down.

She removed her hand.  Much to everyone's surprise, the water did not fall out of the test tube!

When E. pierced the surface of the water in the upside down test tube with the skewer, the water spilled out.


Why did this happen?  The weight of the water was less than the air pressure inside the test tube creating a vacuum.  This enables the water to remain in the tube even when inverted.  Her classmates were suitably impressed!
Presentations like E.'s are not isolated incidents in authentic Montessori classrooms.  It is always such a treat to witness the enthusiasm of the presenter and the rapt attention of her fellow classmates.  One of the beautiful aspects of the Montessori classroom is that people of all ages are learning and working together.  Everyone is a respected member of the group.  Children feel safe and secure in this environment and enjoy sharing their knowledge with one another.  E.'s smile in the last picture shows us that when the children are given the opportunity to share their knowledge with others, a sense of joy ensues.

Friday, 14 September 2012

It's Potato Harvesting Time!

This week, all of the students at our little yellow school gathered together for our annual potato harvest.  (In May, our students planted seed potatoes in our back garden.  See blog post in May 2012 for more details.)  Although we could not see the potatoes growing under the ground, we knew they were ready for harvest as the once robust and green plants above the ground began to wither and turn brown.

We dug into the ground of our garden.

This revealed some potatoes!  We were all so amazed by the sight of them!

The children came into the garden to dig out more potatoes and collect some to take home.

The children were able to see a potato plant with the potatoes attached to it.  This is the way potatoes grow in the ground. 

The children enjoyed participating in the harvest.  The children and their families enjoyed eating the potatoes.  They were so tender and delicious!