Dear Agave Parents:
This month I have had the opportunity to witness “Collaboration” in its fullest in our classroom!
It has been a joy to observe how each of the children use their skills to prepare everything for snack. Early in the morning we have a period of about 30 minutes in which the classroom is in complete silence and when I look around this is what I see:
- A child carefully placing the plates, cups, and silverware back in the cabinets from the dish cart.
- A child joyfully getting the “Dish Washing” work ready: gets a pitcher, walks to the sink, fills the pitcher with water, walks carefully holding the pitcher with two hands to the dish washing table, pours the water in one of the bowls. Repeats the same dynamic to fill up the second bowl. Checks the floor and takes care of any spills with the mop or towels.
- A child prepares the guacamole: squeezing small pieces of lime and mashing the avocados. After the guacamole is ready, places the guacamole on the snack table, and starts clearing the table that has been used for preparation.
- A child is concentrating while taking out edamame beans out the pod and placing them in a bowl. Once all beans are out of the pods, the child places the edamame beans on the snack table, and cleans up the prepping area.
- A child is enjoying the mixing of many ingredients to create a batter that will carefully be poured in each hole of the mini muffins pan. The child lets me know when the pans are ready to go in the oven, I place them in the oven, and the child starts putting all baking tools away and scrubs the used table with soap and water.
A group of toddlers, between 18 months old to 3 years old, working independently but together at the same time! When everything is ready, they start taking turns to eat their snack, and the environment is already prepared to wash their dishes when they are done.
Consciously, they don’t really know the huge work there are making as a group, as a toddler community. When I have the opportunity to observe this, I need to control myself from my adult impulse of praising, as they clearly do not need it, as well, they do not do any of these to “make me happy”. They are just listening to their inner guide that unconsciously tells them “move”, “repeat”, “try it”. I can then, corroborate with what Maria Montessori taught us in her book “The Secret of Childhood”, she wisely said, "The hidden effort of infancy must be considered sacred”
I am very excited to share this observation with you and I will leave it as it is. I will not share my thoughts or feelings about it, I instead would like to invite you to reflect on what I have shared and imagine. Which of these tasks is my child doing? How do you feel about your baby being part of such a small community making such a big impact on it by doing a “simple” task?
I have heard from you that you appreciate when I share the recipes we make in the classroom, so you can also try at home. I am sharing my guacamole recipe with you, or as we call it in Guatemala: “Guacamol” without the “e”
- 1 ripe avocado
- ½ lime
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Cut the avocado in half and divide it in little cubes, place those cubes in bowl.
- Cut the lime in half. We use a garlic press as a lemon squeezer. Perfect for little hands. So I cut the lime in small pieces that can fit in the garlic press.
- Let your child pour the salt in the bowl that contains the avocado pieces.
- Show your child how to manipulate the garlic press or at home you can show them how to squeeze it with their hands
- Have your child squeeze lime juice on the avocado
- Here comes the fun! With a mortar, have you child mash the avocado until it is very smooth.
- Your guacamole is ready. Enjoy it!
I hope you try this recipe at home!