We have completed our second week here and are sad that the time is slipping away so quickly. This weekend we leave The Hague with all our stuff to head out on our travel week; we will be visiting Switzerland, Italy, and France!
This past week we had such a great time getting a deeper understanding of the school system here as we spent Thursday visiting each others schools. We were able to see some commonalities throughout such as work spaces in the hallways and increased responsibilities given to children.
Sarah and I were also able to go with the OB classroom (ages 4-6) on their trip to the library. The teacher and a parent chaperone gather the students together and they each hold hands with a partner. We then set out to walk about three blocks to the local library. It was so fun to walk with the students around the library as they chose the book they wanted to check out. We loved that the school has the opportunity and ease to simply walk down the main street to their local library as their school library is limited to a small portion of one of the hallways.
We also spent time with the OB class doing a science activity. I was amazed at how seamless it went considering there was black paint and lots of little ones running around. The teacher set up one of the tables with a table cloth, the black paint, crayons, and paintbrushes. Students would come in groups of around 4/5 and color the paper then paint over it with black paint. It was amazing there was hardly any black paint on the floor or on any of the clothes! Afterwards students were able to carve little stars or moons on the black "night sky". During this activity there were two students from our BB classroom of the older students that helped the whole day. This was due to the fact that our teacher was out for the day and since they weren't able to find any substitutes, they split all the students in that class into different classrooms throughout the rest of the school. I was a little surprised to see such older kids spend their whole day with the little ones but they had time to work on their independent projects they also enjoyed from the social interactions of helping/teaching/playing with the younger students. It made the school culture feels familial of a family!
We are sad that this is our last week at Montessorischool Valkenbos and are savoring every last second we have had! Thank you so much to the teachers, administration, The Hague University faculty, and TCU College of Education for planning such an enriching experience for us!