Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Sweeping Square

Last night I taught a class on Montessori Practical Life exercises and ideas. One of the ideas I shared was the sweeping square.

The sweeping square is just brilliance if you ask me. I came across this idea and implemented it in our classroom.
Have you ever noticed children want to help you sweep but they don't know how or where to sweep to?

The tapped square is the point at which all the dirt is collected. We generally have a few tapped on the floor in our classroom in different places so there is always one handy.

We also, have this set up as work on our shelf so that the children can practice their sweeping. In our presentation tray we have a small dish of kidney beans for pouring on the floor and a small child size dustpan and hand broom.

First, the child takes the tray from the shelf and sets it on a table. Next, the child pours the dish of beans onto the floor. As you can see and well imagine they go everywhere and this
is very exciting.

The child then goes to collect the broom from it's hanging place on the wall and proceeds to sweep the beans into the square on the floor. When the beans are all into the square the child then takes the small handheld broom and dust pan to sweep the beans into. The beans are then poured back into the presentation dish and ready for the next child's turn.

As I was coming into the classroom this morning with some of the materials I borrowed for last night I decided to put the sweeping work out again for our children. I didn't think much of it at the time . However, it was the most popular piece of work that the children did over and over again today.

Sometimes it really is the simplest things that make a child so happy and helpful!
I encourage you to take some time and start your day at home with a tapped sweeping square on your kitchen floor. I can guaranty you will never want for a swept floor again and if your worried about the the sticky residue of the tape, use painters tape as it can stay in place for two weeks and won't leave a sticky residue. When I figure out how to get the floor washed with ease I will be sure to let you know!

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