Changing works in the classroom to go with themes is a heavily debated topic in the Montessori world. While there is real validity in keeping the materials pure, the way that they were created to be, I love changing out my shelves. Here at ADM we consider ourselves “a modern take on Montessori.” Not all of our works are the works that you see in Montessori training which is something I greatly value in my community. By being able to change my works around I am able to add a new point of interest, which also keeps my students engaged.
Some great examples are the practical life materials. Here is a student doing a spooning activity. Spooning is a practical activity that students need to master for many reasons. First and foremost they need to know how to use a spoon for eating, but it also helps them strengthen their hand for holding a pencil. The left to right motion helps to prepare them for reading. But let’s be real, asking anyone to spoon the same objects from the same bowls gets boring fast. By changing it up to pumpkins and adding the jack-o-lantern bowls makes the work exciting and fun all over again for the students.
The other thing I LOVE changing around are my spindles. The spindle box is a work that the students use to learn figure out the numeral and quantity of each number. The original version of this work has beautiful wooden spindles that are perfectly sized four young learners’ hands. I have found that using paper straws are a fun way to keep the work fresh and exciting! Here is a picture of a student using the work with brand new spider straws!