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I am the studio teacher in Zach's Place Studio, an AMS Montessori teacher, an artist, a mother and much more.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Our week began with a puppet show. Kathryn Ross, our head of school, started with a brief introduction to the concept of a puppet and puppetry, bringing a black glove to life with the help of her imagination. Soon there was a rabbit hopping around her lap and a snake slithering toward an eager audience. Next, she asked if the children would like to see a puppet show! The answer was an audible and unamimous, "YES!". Soon Amy (our ceramic teacher) and I were ensconced in the makeshift theater, acting out the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff with handmade stick puppets, while Kathryn narrarated.The children were eager to put on performances of their own and soon the studio was a rhapsody of puppety in motion. Many of the students have begun sewing hand puppets and decorating them with the many colorful supplies available for use.
Later in the week, the extended primary class decided to recreate the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff for one another, with their teacher, Vida, narrating.

It was another fabulous week in the studio. I am perpetually amazed by the flowing river of a child's interest and the bouyant joy of watching its curving progression of learning.

Monday, November 7, 2011

toddlers and pudding

Chocolate pudding paint? Well why not. I began with a table covered in plastic wrap and taped with blue painters tape (for no other reason than it was in large supply), then I emptied two cups of shiny, sweet smelling chocolate pudding onto the surface. I encouraged the children to use their hands to explore the pudding paint, much like finger paint.

While they work, I asked questions, like, "What does it smell like?", "What does it look like", "What does it feel like?", etc. It wasn't long before a child decided to pose a question of their own, "What does it taste like?" and of course, there is only one reliabe way to answer that question...taste it.

While we painted, we made a batch of pudding. The empty bowl soon filled with chocolate brown powder, cold milk and the swirling whisks of many small hands. Once they returned to their class we all sat around a table and enjoyed small paper dixie cups filled with chocolate delight.

puppet theater

I introduced the puppet studio, made from a large cardboard box painted black and given a curtain and back door, as a provocation for dramatic expression. The children were eager and enthusiastic to try out the new addition to the studio, quickly making puppets and taking turns putting on "puppet shows".Some children created a number of stick puppet characters and generated quick stories to act out in front of their friends.While others chose manufactured puppets from a large basket of hand puppets, finger puppets and stick puppets available for studio use, to entertain themselves and others.