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Wednesday
Sep142011

The Leaning Tower of Pink...

The Pink Tower of Cubes…………those beautiful little “blocks” that the occasional “passerby” calls them.

They are worked with and enjoyed at so many ages.

It’s been amazing to see the work and the never seen designs that we are now experiencing in our new Elementary classroom. 

Cubes are being deeply looked at and cubes are fitting together like never before!

Which reminds me of an observation involving a very deep thinking problem solver…..Just three years of age, I’d love to add!

This beautiful three year old made her own observations.

Kept on testing those observations each time she walked by the Pink Tower.

AND with her own will and gathered data……..fixed the “Leaning Tower of Pink”….

Let me share with you what created the - Beautiful Three Year Old Problem Solver

Before our summer session, I made a few changes in our Primary classroom.  Mistakenly, without the consent of our children! 

In a Montessori classroom, the children should be the ones who are involved in the decision making.  This is why Montessori Schools are called “Children’s Houses”.

So, I broke one of the cardinal rules and moved some of the furniture by myself.  Let me add that it was in the best interest of our children (let me also add that the children certainly let me know what changes had been made and how they honestly felt about them!). 

Bottom line was that I wanted to create a safer space that did not openly invite fast/running feet!

I moved a table between two of our work shelves and moved the Pink Tower location to the end of the bookshelf.

I noticed children walking by and knocking the smallest cube off of the tower each day.  I said to myself, after I knocked it over numerous times day after day….“We will all spacially get used to the change and adjust our movements accordingly!”  I have to admit, a few times, I was just ready to shift it right back where it was!  Problem solved!

BUT, had I done that, what I’m going to share would have never came into existence!

One morning, I noticed ML deeply engrossed in a roll of tape.  I just observed how she tried to take just the right piece off over and again.

A bit later, I saw her really studying the Pink Tower.

My observation ended there and I began to present a lesson.

I finished the lesson and began observing again to see what everybody’s interests were and what work had been chosen.

I smiled to see that ML was just finishing up with the tape and happily skipped over to the wrapping tray and returned the tape with the most amazing look of satisfaction on her face!

I kept looking at her and she causally, but knowingly walked by the Pink Tower, deeply glanced at it, smiled and moved onto a new choice of work.

The day went on and our work cycle was completed.  We said our lovely goodbyes for the day and I began to prepare the classroom for the next day.

I walked by the Pink Tower and leaned down to pick something up.

A scene caught my eye and made me smile in amazement!

Now at eye level with the tower, I saw that the smallest pink cube had been taped to the second cube!

I took a deep breath and smiled from ear to ear knowing how deep our ML is.

This was not just a taping job….this was a three year old solving the world's problems.

She did not look past herself to fix something that was not working in her environment.

She independently went and gathered the tools that she needed to make her classroom right! 

She did not ask for help.  She did not get upset that the cube kept falling.

After so many episodes of trial and error….walk by tower = cube falling…ML took it upon herself to Problem Solve and Correct the Problem.

Wow!  The mind of a Three Year Old Problem Solver has so much to offer and so much for the adults of the world to learn from!!

If allowed….a three year old (or a child/adult of any age)…WILL observe their environment; experiment in their environment and will create what it is that they feel from within.

It is simply second nature to them…..It is not a problem to be solved….It is a challenge to enjoy!

ML,  Thank you for reminding me to enjoy life’s challenges and that any “problem” can certainly be solved given the opportunity to explore……

This my friends is Why the World Needs More Montessori!...

 

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Reader Comments (2)

MIT Bound....: ) I often stumble upon these little re-engineering initiatives MSkye has executed. When she was very little, we put a gate up to block her from the kitchen. She first attempted to scale the gate but was unsuccessful. After 15-20 minutes of brow bending (something she gets from me), she made the critical observation that I overlooked. She figured out that the gate/ground clearance was just high enough that, if she turned her head sideways, she could (and did) simply slide under and was home free.

I have been chasing her ever since....she is the stone that sharpens my blade...she is my light.

Thank you for all of the love, wisdom and guidance,

Luke

September 15, 2011 | Registered CommenterMakena's Daddy

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Leaning Tower of Pink! I love the way you look at the world Kerri and I try every day to stop and think about the things going on around me, something that you are a natural at! But Luke, I have to say that I also thoroughly enjoyed reading your comment to the post.

September 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterJamie Miller

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