Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nurturing Quiet

One of my favorite games to play in the Montessori setting is the Silence Game.  This activity, while promoting a child's awareness of the sounds around them, also cultivates an inner sense of peace and quiet.  As a Montessori educator, I feel it is critical to provide children with opportunities to simply 'be,' without interruption, and give them a chance to know 'quiet.'  For a detailed description of the Silence Game, read THIS POST from Montessori Print Shop.  Be sure to follow the link at the bottom and read what Maria Montessori herself had to say about the Silence Game.

In our classroom, we have enjoyed playing this game as a group.  The sense of intrigue and awe is evident each time no matter how many times we play.  I always begin the activity by asking the children what the word 'silence' means.  Then I bring our special "Silence" frame, reserved only for this purpose, to a mat along with the Silence Game candle.  The candle is lit and and we begin the game.  Usually, the children choose to close their eyes.

The Silence Game
After the last time we played this game, one of the children enthusiastically shared, "Ms. Sasha!  We should have the Silence Game set up as a work!"  What a perfect idea - and to make it even more perfect, this child had recently given me a sea-glass decorated photo frame which I could use in putting the lesson together for an individual activity:
Individual Silence Game set up.
The items for our individual Silence Game include the sea glass frame with the word 'silence,' battery-powered tea light candle, a copy of Jennifer Howard's book When I Make Silence, and a three-minute egg timer.  Some children might find  the "quiet" by simply watching the sand move through the timer!  The blue mat not only coordinates with the other items, but it's color also designates the mat's only purpose for use with the individual Silence Game.  Additionally, it is the only blue mat in the classroom, so I imagine that its significance will become a major point of interest for the children in our class.

It has been a pleasure watching the children take this activity out and actually use it!  They close their eyes, take deep breaths, and simply enjoy the silence.

Montessori Monday Link-Up

Montessori Monday

25 comments:

  1. We certainly need this kind of set up on our shelves. You are an infinite source of inspiration Sasha:)

    PS. Our ice collages hang on an apple tree. Look gorgeous and there were lots of fun making them.

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  2. Thank you for the link-up Sasha. Love your Silence Game candle!

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  3. I will set this activity in my classroom. Its so nice.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

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  4. Dear K and Family and Co.,
    I'm so so glad that you will use this idea - it is such an important opportunity for children! Thanks for reading and your kind comments.
    Sasha

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  5. Jennifer (Montessori Print Shop),
    Thank YOU for the great post!
    Sasha

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  6. What a wonderful idea. I am going to borrow this idea as we redo our classroom. I would love to have a silence spot.

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  7. Wonderful! It's so important to provide these opportunities for quiet...
    Sasha

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  8. Sasha, thank you so much for teaching this to our child. He was so inspired (me too) that he has been talking for weeks about us putting a silence game together for our home. I thought it would be nice to place the game with the twist that we can meditate with the timer and then find a quiet corner for reading our books on our own. Thanks again.

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  9. I'm so glad he talks so much about his experiences from school at home!!! :) I love your twist to meditate and then find a book - it's good for all of us!

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  10. What a beautiful post, Sasha! The silence game was always one of my favorite activities when I taught, and I LOVE your individual silence game. Just reading about it is meditative! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and pinned your post to my Stress-Free Kids Pinterest board at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/stress-free-kids/

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  11. I just found you via Deb at Living Montessori Now! I love this way of setting it up! I think that I am going to try and make this for our schoolroom! Thanks for sharing!

    PS. I am trying to work out some hick ups in our schoolroom plan. If have any great thoughts about working with older and younger kids together, I would love it know what you think! Thanks!
    http://discoverydaysandmontessorimoments.blogspot.com/2012/02/million-dollar-question.html

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  12. Deb, thank you so much for your warm response to my Silence Game post. It really has been amazing watching my kids gravitate to this lesson - they truly seek out the quiet! Thanks for the FB and Pinterest links, too!

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  13. Stefanie,
    I'm so glad you found me - welcome! And thank for leaving your kind comment. My initial response to your p.s. about older and younger children together is: You really have to remember how much the older children can teach the younger ones and each other. For exapmple, when I teach the Sandpaper Letters and Numbers, I try to teach different kids different letters/numbers. That way, they can spontaneously begin to teach each other the ones they know. There are so many areas in the classroom where this can be done and I'll be sure to share more with you as I think of them. Thanks for reading and I look forward to stopping by your blog as well! :)

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  14. What a lovely post. Thank you. I have always included the Silence lesson in my daily routine. The children would request it on certain days when they could feel the atmosphere becoming too loud or unsettled. It always amazed me how centering this simple activity became for the children. As a group or as an individual activity it is an essential in any classroom. We often included "peace" words along with the practice as an additional focal point.

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  15. Elizabeth,
    Thank you for reading and for your insightful comment. It is such a gift to see the children use the silence game and especially so on their own!

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  16. I just featured your lovely photos and post in my Silence Game post at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/02/21/the-silence-game/

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  17. Thanks, Deb! I look forward to reading your post!

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  18. What a wonderful idea! I need to do something like this for my boys. Thank You for sharing this!

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  19. Your welcome, Magda. I'm glad you can use this idea with your boys!

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  20. This is beautiful Sasha! I will link to it at my site:
    http://www.montessoriwise.com
    I've just finished putting up a similar version on my lessons page.
    Thanks,
    Cathleen

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  21. Thank you, Cathleen. I look forward to exploring your site!

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  22. You always have great links. We had a lot of fun reading about Chinese New Year, and you did crafts and other activities. Many thanks to you!
    helicopter videos for kids

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  24. Thank you for sharing! I'm going to set this up in my home :)

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