Montessori Monday~ Learning in the Extended Classroom

Today we started off with some school time and both girls started the day by creating things with pipe cleaners. Bunny made a butterfly with woven wings! It was really pretty. Pup made a… you guessed it….cheetah! She then wanted to read more books. We did and then I asked her where she thought we could find out more about cheetahs, she suggested that we could see the two at our zoo! I told her she was right and asked what she thought she could find out. She wanted to know their names and what they eat in the zoo. She also suggested that we could talk to a zookeeper to find out. So…we packed up and headed to the zoo since it was sunny outside (cold, but finally sunny)! I wasnt sure what we would see since it was so cold out, but we luckily saw a lot of great animals! While we watched the cheetahs, we werent able to find the answers she was looking! So I thought we would find some people, but it turned out harder to do then we thought. We finally found someone at the Administration Office who called up to the zoo librarian. The librarian was more then happy to help us out! She found the names of the cheetahs, called up to the zoo educators to find out if they eat live food in the exhibit, and how old the cheetahs were. She also gave me her number so we can set something up next time! Hooray! Pup was there with me to ask the questions (even though she was too shy to do it). And I think that we learned alot! We found out that the cheetahs are about 10 years old, that they are both males that are brothers, and that they dont get live food to eat (they do occasionally get a squirrel that finds its way into the exhibit). Their names are Amani and Moja. It was a great trip and a wonderful start to helping the girls understand how to find information in the real world from experts. We also got to see alot of other things too and the girls had a really great time!



I forget how very fun going out can be and how much the girls can learn. Today we may not have found alot of information about cheetahs, but we did learn how to get out into the world and how to ask experts our questions to find answers. In the real world, to be able to find information is more important then knowing everything! Not only that, but we also got to see a real cheetah. There is so much value in a child being able to really see something that they are studying. They can see the claws, the eyes, the way the animal moves, the way he eats, plays, and where they live. I think that they can learn and solidify what they have learned by seeing things  in real life! This is what Maria Montessori called the extended classroom and she was right is saying that this is just as important as working in the classroom!
What do you like to do with your kids to get them learning outside the home?