Saturday, February 20, 2010

Would you like a cup of tea?

     I want to give a huge nod of thanks to Susan over at The Moveable Alphabet for spurring me on to formalize our tea making activity. With a few additions, this is now one of the favourite activities of our Master year children. (The activity requires many skills that the 3's and 4's are still working on so tea making is usually done by the Master year children.) Now, when we have an observer in our classroom, one or two of the children will make tea just as Susan described.

Here is a picture of the activity.

     I couldn't find a small bell timer that worked and decided to use a three minute sand timer instead. The timer tells the children when the tea has steeped enough to pour.  (This timer so inspired the children that a few more sand timers were purchased and made available at our reflection table. This, in turn, transformed itself into another very cool activity that I will write more about at another time.)
     The little plastic box holds an assortment of herbal teas that the child offers to the guest for selection.  The only thing we teachers do is pour the hot water from the kettle into the teapot. 
     The spoon is to help remove the teabag from the pot once the tea has steeped.  The bag is put into the little white dish, and the tag is removed from the bag. Then the child carries the little dish to the compost bucket and deposits the tea bag.

 The teacups are kept on a small shelf that I've had kicking around my house for a while. (Montessori teachers are hopeless hoarders!)  I could never find just the right application for it at home but when looking for a place to store extra teacups, I remembered this little stand. It works  perfectly!

  When I first introduced the activity, the children practiced on Valerie (co-teacher) and me. I think we both drank 4 – 5 cups of tea a morning that first week! Once the tea is made, the child very carefully carries the filled teacup across the room to the guest. I don't know how many times I've watched this journey (while holding my breath) and always the tea makes the destination with no accident and little spillage.

Thanks, Susan!


Real Life Montessori said...

I'm sorry to be so off topic, but I nominated your blog for the sunshine award! I love it, there is so much knowledge here :)


Cynthia Dyer said...

Why, thank you so much!


The girl who painted trees said...

My daughter (2.5 yrs) loves when I let her carry our dinner plates (full of dinner) to the table. I always hold my breath as she makes her way across the kitchen. It always amazes me that my 2.5 yr old has never broken a dish but that my housekeeper broke four things within her first week working for us!
Tonight Bear served her 2 yr old cousin water from a pitcher while her aunt and uncle watched on in amazement. I think Bear felt quite empowered by it all.
I love your blog. Thank you for great posts.

Lindart said...

I was served tea once while observing a casa class and always wanted to have it in my classroom. Now that I actually have third year children in my class (I started a new class 2 years ago) I can finally try it!! Thanks for your step-by step. I love the tea-cup shelf!