As I’ve mentioned before in this post I love the opportunity to observe other Montessori Prepared Environments.
Ashley Speed, the founder of Diamond Montessori is not only a personal friend, she is an AMI trained 3-6 Montessori Guide and our leading resource for inclusive children’s resources such as books, card materials and community resources.
And so while I have been accessing her wealth of knowledge (found here on Instagram) I had yet to be able to observe in her own 3-6 classroom. It didn’t disappoint.
The lighting was soft but surprisingly well lit considering the amount of rain streaming down outside in Vancouver. The shelves were orderly and well planned.
However it was not the gorgeous set of bells nor the orderly shelves I had made the trip for.
You see Ashley is a regrettably rare form of Montessori Guide. She fills her environment with her own passions down to the smallest detail.
Her carefully crafted Museum full of rock, mineral and animal specimens calls to a child’s sense of awe and wonder.
Her handmade wooden calendar and cultural cards invite a child so effortlessly to learn new concepts.
Even the tiny porcelain drawers and handcrafted fabric pouches add colour and beauty to the space as well as practicality.
All of this pays off. I arrive before the morning class does and witness the ease in which each child comes into the class, transitions into their indoor shoes and sets to work. Many choose cursive writing practice. The transition is not a lengthy nor a noisy one, and the classroom has been set up to provide enough walking space between the work tables allowing for ease of movement.
One child chooses from the extensive Geography materials and sets to work finishing a local map. The hand felted solar system stored in the basket called to me and I wished I had longer to stay to work on it myself.
January is often the time when schools in the northern hemisphere are setting their classroom rosters for September, and welcoming observations. If you have yet to observe an authentic Montessori prepared environment in action, now is often the time.
Thanks to Ashley for allowing me to be part of her morning. I left very inspired.