By: Ms. Kristen, A1, Switzer Mesa
There is a lot to say about traditions, but in my opinion there are little other places like a Montessori classroom in which traditions build community. Take for instance the first writer's workshop lesson I do each year with first grade students. Each year we begin with "small moment" stories by writing about a shared event. And each year I create a small moment by (shh) "accidentally" spilling a bucketful of markers right before the lesson. Each and every year the older students giggle and say the same thing. "Ms. Kristen, how come you always spill the markers?"
Another tradition in A1 is the yearly author study of Gail Gibbons to kick off the first grade reading group. We always begin with the book, Apples, and we always make applesauce. This year was an especially good year for apples in Flagstaff, and we capitalized on that. Ms. Vikki harvested apples from her own trees and we got chopping.
We also did apple stamping to reveal seed chambers and learned about the many, many varieties of apples.
The best part of it all, besides the aroma of cinnamon and apples, is the murmur throughout the classroom of the older children recalling the year they too made applesauce and did apple stamping.