Twenty-nine years ago my classroom life began in the Montessori philosophy and school. My experiences from following the child, the central mantra, is now the title of my blog. Fitting, as I still follow these thoughts with a bit of leadership everyday. The curriculum is not for everyone, but it sung to me, as it is hands on, active, and creative.
Then, I went into the public classroom, and have evolved depending on the grade, curriculum, and group of kids. The littles of long ago were in groups and I came home stained from a variety of projects. My ELL students sat with me at a horseshoe table. My theatre classes, in the high-school setting, were all over the place but every move had a purpose. Currently, my middle-school writing students are currently in rows and have flexible pull-out groups. The point of all this babble is that we need to follow, adapt, and create based on the moment of the day, week, month, year, and the kids.
One activity that you can do at home and continue when the days of homeschooling are over, are the below shapes that coordinate with parts of speech. Since we have lost the art of the diagramming of sentences, in a majority of classrooms, I bring you the Montessori way. Now, I have used this with littles after my stint in Montessori life to introduce the parts of speech non-verbally, and have allowed older students to use the shapes to show me their knowledge. As for today, I use a variety of books that teach the concepts, without going into the massive grammar trees of yesteryear. I want understanding and the use of words in their writing correctly, not to stop and recite all known prepositions in one sitting. Who cares. We have Google.
Now, in Montessori school there are specific lessons with each symbol but since the majority of kids do not participate in this style, I would allow them to find nouns one day and draw the coordinating shape etc. Just the action of finding the parts of speech and taking crayon to paper to show that knowledge will be a fabulous learning tool.
In bringing you this short dribble today I hope that you can see inside my heart and passion for all kids.
Following the Child was an obvious choice!