Monday, November 7, 2011

On Their Own

The girls began their play in the home/dramatic play center. All the usual stuff was there - dolls, baby care items, dishes. "I'm the mom," said one. "And we're the sisters," replied another. I pointed out that dogs and pet care items had been added. They nodded. I moved to assist at the easel.

I overheard a few comments from the center but play continued there as it usually does. A couple of guys joined in the family play. I would wander over just to quietly observe and then I would move to other places in the room.

As I was taking another painting from the easel, movement caught my attention. The girls were dragging chairs from the table to an open space next to the home center. They borrowed another chair and added the rocking chair. They created their own "car."

A few weeks ago we had a car in the home/dramatic play center. In fact the car grew to a minivan. Now these girls were creating their own car, recalling play from earlier and creating what they needed to accommodate their play. "We're all teenagers!" one told me.

Last week I posted included a Maria Montessori quote about the greatest sign of success - that kids begin to work as if the teacher doesn't exist. Well, this week I saw that happen in a big way. The girls didn't need me to create their car; in fact, they didn't even ask me if they could do it.

I like to see this kind of play. Kids are feeling comfortable in the learning environment to create and use their own ideas in play. They are learning that they can experiment and reconfigure the space to meet their needs. In some ways, they are acting as if I didn't exist. Guess this means I need to see what I can do to challenge them and take their learning even further.

(Of course, their acting as if they don't need me also makes me feel a little sad. But that's a different blog post!)

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