Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thinking outside the box... or basket.

Yesterday I came across this website while I was looking for info on becoming a Montessori teacher.  More on that train of thought some other day.  But as I was clicking around, I found some stuff for babies.  A little activity thingy to help them develop cognitive skills... not that I even knew what cognitive meant.  But it sounded important and I am easily impressed.

So the task was to take a small pot and it's cover, and then show the baby how to take the cover off and put it back on.  Simple stuff.  Rocket science in lesson 2.

I didn't have a clean pot (you know when you just don't feel like doing dishes??) so I figured I could show her how to put her toy blocks into their basket.  This information would surely come in handy I thought.  And the mechanics were quite similar.  Hold it, pick it up, put it down, let it go.

I was sure she would ace this.

I must have showed her about 15 times or so.  ''Take the block, put it in the basket'' was the mantra.  Taking the block was no problem.  She had that down pat.    What was done with it was not quite what I had in mind though.  She was more interested in taking them back out, flipping that basket over and banging on it.

DUH!  The basket is MUCH cooler as a drum!

And the Student shall become the Master.  

I was so caught up in trying to teach her that I couldn't see what she had learnt on her own.  And her trick was definitely more complex than my lame chore.  I caught on eventually, hence this post, and had to laugh.  At myself of course.  I was just in awe of her.

Suppose I had gotten impatient with her cuz she wasn't learning was I was trying to teach?  Suppose I told her ''No, no, no... that's wrong.  This is what you need to do.'' 

Like most teachers do at school.

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