Thursday, October 29, 2009

In which Kari experiences her first Directed Review.

Hello dear friends!

Let me start by saying that this week has been one FULL of presentations in the Sensorial area. We have now covered: The Solid Cylinders, the Pink Tower, the Brown Stair, the Red Rods, the Color Tablets (all three boxes), and the Geometry Cabinet. I would go into detail on these, but I want to save that for another day--one in which I have photos to match (say, tomorrow, perhaps).

TODAY, I want to talk about Directed Review. Directed Review is when our trainer selects a material and asks someone to volunteer to present it to her (as she pretends to be the child) in front of the class. At the end of the presentation, she steps out of the role of the child and asks questions similar to what an examiner might give you during an oral examination.

I have thought all along that this would be no sweat. That is to say, I expected it to be challenging, but from a "mastery" standpoint...and not from a nerves standpoint. I volunteered to do the Bow Frame.

As an introduction to this story, I should say that tying bows was super difficult for me. I didn't tie my shoes correctly for a very long time--I made "two bunny ears" and tied them together. I don't remember when, exactly, I *finally* learned to tie my shoes, but I think it may have had something to do with my 4th and 5th grade friend, Bin. I have practiced the bow frame furiously--to get the knot in the middle of the bow to lie perfectly flat, to get the loops of the bow even with the ends.

So I went to present the bow frame to my trainer. I invited her, asked her to retrieve the frame, and went to grab the presentation stool, which was...not there. So, I had the "Child" place the frame on the table, and went to get the stool. This was my first mistake....and I knew it the second I turned my back, and the "oooooooh" of all of my classmates would have told me if I wasn't already aware. Regardless, I returned to the table, set up my stool, and kindly told the "Child" that I was going to retie the bows on the bow frame so that I could start and do the whole bow frame for myself. (Graceful recovery, I think--as soon as I turned my back I had expected her to get the entire frame untied and placed over her head.)

I untied it, and retied it, and with the exception two minor pincer grip corrections, I feel really confident about it. My classmates made one or two comments about ways that I could do it differently, but really, my trainer was incredibly helpful. I felt as though I had a hard time directly answering her questions, but I did *answer* them--and felt better about that when she confirmed that I demonstrated a grasp of knowledge without reciting a copied and pasted answer. I hope, sincerely, that she was not being too easy on me--but in many ways, her presence was a comfort. I was really glad to be presenting to her.

What made me the most nervous was the onlooking class. My hands shook, and it wasn' trainer, it was them. Looking out on them gave me feel queasy...their hands and faces telling me to try things differently. It was the fear that they were observing me, noting every single thing I was doing wrong and all the things that they would do differently. And the thought, in the back of my mind, of how I hoped that my Montessori friends at home would be proud of me.

I was the 5th person to do directed review--it was only the second one of the year. I have my first turn over with. I think that (or hope that) with time they will get easier. Regardless, I am proud of myself for having done it, and managed, honestly, a presentation that I feel quite proud of.

And the Bows, I believe, were beautiful.

"Now you can untie and tie the bow frame."


  1. Volunteer as often as you can, because the final exam is exactly like the directed review... But with an examiner staring straight at you!

  2. Oh my gosh, my first directive review was the Bow Frame too! I remember thinking "that's the hardest!" I definitely had some shaking hands. No worries, you get used to it :) I almost completely forgot about those!