Thursday, September 29, 2011

Seasonal Measurements

I was always intrigued by the fact that as a physician, Maria Montessori made scientific observations of the children in the "Children's House" where her method materialized.  In fact, she took systematic data on each child's height and weight over the years a child was in her care.  I thought it would be meaningful for the children in my class to able to see for themselves how much they will grow in height over the years they are with me!  And what better time to do so than with the passing of one season to the next?

I explained to the children that we would be creating a growth chart which corresponds to each season. First, we would use colored taped to make a vertical line on the wall.  In our classroom, the best place was on the inside of a doorway.  I used the color red for Fall because future cultural and science lessons will utilize this color-coding for Fall.  Later this school year, Winter will be coded with white tape, Spring will be green, and yellow will be used for Summer.

We marked the wall with a line of red tape and labeled it, 'Fall 2011.'  Then, one by one, each child stood with their back against the wall.  I used a ruler to indicate where the top of their head met the tape and drew a line with their name above it.  Later, we will use a measuring tape or stick to determine exactly the number of inches from the floor.  For now, however, the children were excited to simply compare lines.

Our 'Fall 2011' measurements (sorry - it's a bit blurry...).
I think the real excitement will come when Fall turns into Winter and we will take new measurements on white tape next to the red tape...  By the end of the year, we will not only have a visual reference of each child's growth, but also a perfect representation of the passage of time!

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