Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Montessori Bootcamp Day 2 when I almost fell down the rabbit hole.

Today's assignment in the 21 Day Montessori Classroom Setup Bootcamp was to create an Assistant Manual. I have a tremendous co-teacher (the term we use in my school) and so she doesn't necessarily need this kind of manual. Of course I would be fooling myself to think that I will never have anyone else working with me! So I took on the challenge to create the manual.

But first, I almost fell down the Montessori rabbit hole.

In our email about today's adventure, Seemi pointed us in the direction of a few Montessori blogs and websites that had information about assistants. I've scoured the web for years looking for materials and information about Montessori and thought I knew pretty much most of them.

Not so.

When I clicked on the link for Beautiful Sun Montessori I had to take a deep breath. She has tons of FREE materials. Yup. Tons. Yup. Free. Of course I immediately began reading through her blog and planning on which materials I NEEDED to make for my classroom and how I just wanted to keep reading.

Then I gave myself a little kick.

I reminded myself that I was doing this little bootcamp for just this very reason....to give myself a little structure, especially when working on the parts of the classroom I find less interesting (making assistant binders, for example). So I took another deep breath, reminded myself that I had full days to work on each area of the classroom within the bootcamp and that I could use those days to make materials. 

Today was to complete the assistant manual and finish up yesterday's teacher binder.

Yesterday I showed you my classroom and the areas I use to store my office type supplies. I referred to the fact that I also use my sewing room at home to make materials and to stay organized. After I narrowly escaped the rabbit hole, I took a look around my sewing room and realized I needed to do some organizing of my Montessori shelf. I had been just throwing papers on it for a while. I took a trip to Walmart and purchased my yearly planner, classroom calendar and a few other things (including more card stock for that rabbit hole project). I got all my binders and papers out so I could begin organizing. You can see what resulted in the photo above. 

It has been a really hot and humid day today. We do not have air conditioning in our house so after I got my papers organized and finished up my teacher binder, I printed out the necessary papers that I wanted to check out and took everything for my assistant binder to our cooler sunroom. I spent quite a while down there this afternoon working on the assistant binder. I see you can also follow my eating for the day in these photos!

Above, is the final photo. My binders are quite plain because I tend to reuse things I already have. The blue is for my co-teacher and the white is mine. I tweaked things a little from the way Seemi has the bootcamp organized but I'm sure everyone has it that way. The biggest changes are with the teacher binder. I added a tab for assistant training and put some of the training papers and a few articles there for my future reference. I also added a tab for behavioral observations. I want a place to write in specific observations and instances of behavior that we are following in certain children so that when I am talking with parents I have very specific information to follow up my concerns.

In the assistant manual I also wrote up our snack preparation procedure on its own sheet because I find that most adults give way too much help to the children who are preparing snack. 

All in all it has been a hot and sweaty day but I am feeling very good about all that I accomplished. Thanks for being a great commander, Seemi!

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