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I am the studio teacher in Zach's Place Studio, an AMS Montessori teacher, an artist, a mother and much more.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Set up

As a studio at the center of a Montessori school, we realize the importance of establishing the basic elements of our program early. We considered several options when examining how to prepare the studio environment and chose to set up the studio with an eye toward simplicity. It seemed appropriate to allow the studio to emerge over the course of our explorations and in response to the emerging interests of the students. With this aim, we created a clean palette with an appealing aesthetic. Our dominate decorating elements revolved around objects from nature and natural light. In an effort to facilitate success in all areas of the studio, we chose to set up several components of the studio consistent with our classroom set ups. In the handwashing area, there is a small bar of soap and a basket of carefully rolled cloths nearby for hand drying. We set up a small table beside the counter to house supplies, including trays, art mats, a small broom with dustpan and beneath it, we placed a basket for used cloths. The inherent aim in many of our decisions, is to foster ownership of the space by the children, encouraging clean up and maintainance of the environment by each responsible member of our community.
We also considered some of the basic expectations for the studio and how to communicate these to the children. It the classroom we call these our "grace and courtesy" lessons, the simple and essential niceties that make the classroom community run smoothly. We established a few basic expectations for the studio. After some discussion, we chose to make aprons mandatory in the studio and stored child-friendly aprons in an easily accessible location. Next, we identified a few basic needs in the studio, including: tucking in your stool, using an art mat, labeling art, modeling conversational tone, entering and exiting etiquette and how to return to the classroom. Some of these "lessons" we chose to address during the class meetings, or line time, others will be presented in the studio. With this in place and a plan for how we will record our observations and communicate within the team and school, we were eager and ready to begin a new year in the studio.

1 comment:

  1. The set up is beautiful and purposeful. I can't wait for the evolution to begin!