Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Metamorphosis Magic

I'm so lucky to get to teach Mara each day but mostly I'm lucky I just get to watch her....learn, grow, socialize, laugh, and be.  Its a blessing each day. 

I also get to snap pictures...of my kid and others...doing great things.

I love watching Mara focused during work time.  Here, from the language shelf, she first matched labels to the small items and is writing each one on paper and creating her own book.  She loves all the extras...the clipboard, the stapler, the paper, a marker,etc ( she's alot like me sometimes-SCARY!)
 On this day I watched her work on this beautiful painting for 20 minutes....creating a masterpiece with such determination.  And then I watched her take a blue brush and mush it all together.  GASP!  I wanted to run across the room and tell her to stop.  And then I realized it is the process, not the product.  Not quite sure what was going on in her mind but her vision had changed.  

I then watched an impressive skill be practiced and a process for life-clean up.  Our children have to restore the paint area.  She then spent the next 20 minutes very carefully doing each step...removing the wet page and hanging it up( by herself) on a drying rack, scrubbing the easel with a bucket and sponge, covering all the paint, cleaning out the brushes, putting everything away on the tray underneath, and refilling the bucket for the next child.  Never a word.  Just worked.  Joy to watch!
 On this week, Mara had garbage duty.  I was hesitant to assign her this job as its the most difficult but she asked so I thought I'd try.  On Monday I spend the time to walk right next to the student, guiding and instructing each step needed for this job and being right by their side to achieve.  On Tuesday, I shadow silently.  By Wednesday, the skill is mastered and they are on their own.

I watched on this day, with my camera, because Brian just couldn't believe she could do it all alone ( and in pearls, no less!)

Here she is carrying one of the 5 trashes from other areas to the main trash can to combine
 We preserve the liner whenever possible.  Teaching how to dump trash and not just throw the bag is significant. 
 After all has been combined, she must remove the bag from the can and tie it off ( if she needs help, she does not ask me- she asks an older friend)
 Then she puts on her coat and shoes, slings that bag over her shoulder and takes it out to the trashcans....down the long path...
 ...through the gate, and down the driveway ( she dragged for part of it)
 Taller kids can open the can standing on the ground.  Mara had to problem solve and see how to use the resources she has....she climbed up on the wood wall and opened the can.  Then jumped down and threw the bag onto of the ledge and climbed back up
 threw the bag into the can and closed the lid.  had to walk back through the gate and into the school all by herself.  Incredible to watch! What a practical life skill!
 On this day it had rained....and rained and rained and rained and created a very large pool of water on our playground.  It was only slightly misting and we decided to go outside, giving the children very specific instructions to STAY OUT of the water.  Mim then told the children the problem...the area was too low on our playground, the drain overflows.  She said she hoped someday to create a dry creek that would naturally pull the water away from the sidewalk and back towards the creek on the otherside of the fence.

When we got outside, some kids went right to playing.  Others just stood and stared at the water.  Eager to play.  Then one grabbed a shovel.  Another a cup from the sand.  Another a dustpan.  Before you knew it, the kids were creating their own creek to draw the water off of the sidewalk and back towards the creek.  A few at first with lots of onlookers...then a few more
 Then almost everyone.
 Using tools of all kinds.
 Leaders appeared and began instructing, jobs and achievements shouted out, lots of laughter.While only one child actually submerged themselves, many ( MOST) got wet and needed to run inside and change themselves ( they do it all on their own).

Tributaries even sprouted...Mim and I simply watched.  In silence ( and I took pics, of course)
 In outfit one, Mara had on a dress and rubber boots and her pearl necklace.  Outfit two she rocked the sweatsuit, boots, and pearls!  Worked her butt off.  Nothing like seeing her digging in the dirt and rock with her friends!
I love the imprompu learning and the outdoor experiences at Metamorphosis!!!!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

gerLove this approach to learning to learning! Studied it when choosing the direction I would take when homeschooling; put it on the back-burner when C was dxed; toyed with it again; then discarded it for good when J was dxed. Now I'm having to go back and painstakingly teach those life-lessons to older, not-as-interested, children so they can thrive on their own. Children are capable of SO much more than we can imagine; I wish I had not accepted the ASD diagnoses as disablities when my kids were younger; as excuses to coddle them.
Kudos to Amara and her classmates! And what a blessing to you, Mama, to get to see her "get it".