//Outside the Classroom; “Do You Go on Trips?”

Outside the Classroom; “Do You Go on Trips?”



Primary children (ages 3-6) “learn with their hands,” we say, and Elementary children (ages 6-12) “learn with their feet.”  In the Primary, the classroom  (with garden) environment meets most of the child’s needs to move and explore.  Furniture and tools are made child-sized so that they can be as independent as possible.


Primary children will sometimes go on field trips in small groups with the teacher to see something they have been learning about.  Last week a group visited an apple farm, for example, seeing the apples attached to the trees and fallen on the ground.


Older Primary children walked up a road to an apple orchard with their teachers.


Children picked apples and looked up into the branches to see how the apples and the leaves are attached to the tree.



In Elementary, the materials in the classroom and the stories received in lessons inspire the children to follow their natural inclination to venture beyond the classroom walls, a process we call “Going Out.” Sometimes a small group goes to the grocery to get supplies for experiments or for cooking.   Sometimes a group will go to the local library to check out books on a particular subject or about a famous person they admire.



These children returned from the library yesterday with armfuls of books. There is material to help with a report they are writing and they have also found novels for a new book club they wish to establish.


A successful Going Out, no matter how small, is food for the Elementary soul!



Another Elementary out-of-the-classroom experience can be found in Elementary Clubs. There are clubs for learning Spanish, acquiring ball skills, cooking, practicing yoga and learning new art media. Here are some photos from this week’s Sculpture Club:

"The sculptor carves because he must. He needs the concrete form of stone and wood for the expression for his idea and experience and when the idea forms the material is found at once." Barbara Hepworth, sculptor


Children in Sculpture Club found different ways to alter the texture and create "voids" in their "stone". One of children examined the texture she created with an un-gloved hand.



Occasionally, the older Elementary children go out all together as a class.  In this case, it’s more a “field trip” than a going out. This month, for example, the entire nine-to-twelve year-old class spent a few days at Nature’s Classroom in Mentone, Alabama, learning teamwork and communication skills, and generally having a great time together.  The teacher, or Montessori guide, goes, too.  In this setting, the teacher observes techniques of the outdoor guides and gets another, very helpful, perspective, on her class as individuals in a group, and as a whole.


A group game helps the children wake up and starts them thinking about important elements of teamwork like honesty, trust and generosity.


Passing cans around a circle by using only the feet requires thinking "outside the box---or can!"


The group supported each member preparing to swing over "a lake of fiery lava."


They also cheered as each made it over the fearsome obstacle.


At the end of each game, the children gathered to talk about what had happened, what they experienced and what they learned.


Whether it’s a field trip, going out, or after-school club, the work outside the classroom complements that within it.  Our children are learning to connect to nature, to explore and to create on their own.  They are learning to work together towards a common goal.


The Elementary completes the Primary and the work outside the classroom leads to adventure and   further inquiry.  Going out, then, is not only an accomplishment but also the door to more and more.


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2017-11-14T22:22:49+00:00By |Early Education|