Prepared Environment The prepared environment is created to meet the developing needs of the children. The environment may stay the same or change a bit daily based on observations of the children. Areas of the prepared environment include: • Practical Life – works that help children develop self-care skills while learning to work independently and increase concentration for later work • • • • Sensorial – self-correcting, hands-on materials that help develop senses of vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell Language Math Snack – an important part of the Practical Life area set up so that children can learn to do the following without adult assistance: o o o o o • Wash hands Serve themselves Sit and eat Socialize with others while eating Clean up after themselves leaving the space ready for someone else to use it Outdoor Classroom – an extension of the classroom set up so that children can bring work from inside to do or they can do other work like gardening and taking care of the outdoor classroom (sweeping, window washing, etc.) Beautiful Lunch – lunch is eaten using real plates, glasses, utensils, place mats, and cloth napkins. Children and adults (models) sit and eat lunch together, socialize, and clean up (scrape and rinse plates, put away place mats and napkins, clean table space, etc). Sometimes soft music or stories may be playing during this time. • Conflict Resolution At Mountaintop the conflict resolution process uses an interactive process. The process engages all parties involved to try to come up with solutions to the problem. Children discuss what happened, how it made each of them feel, and what they can do the next time to avoid or solve the disagreement. The adult may be more involved during first-time disagreements as children learn to communicate with each other. The ultimate goal is that the adult only gets involved when absolutely necessary and is available as a guide to the process. We help the children think of a variety of words to express their feelings, and role-play appropriate ways to interact with others. Children’s House Lessons Practical Life: Care of the Environment Dusting a Table: The child folds the dust cloth, dusts in a formal pattern, shakes out the cloth and replaces the material in order to develop coordinated movements and learn the skill of dusting. Waxing a Table: The child applies wax to a clean table, uses light and energetic movements to shine the surface and replaces the cloths with clean ones. The exercise requires concentration and promotes independence. Washing a Table: The child follows a complicated sequence of steps involving set-up of the area, washing the table, rinsing, drying and restoring the materials to their original condition. The exercise requires concentration and promotes mental and physical orderliness. Sweeping the Floor Mopping 34