The Classroom "is a living place, full of children in search of themselves and their world."
-Dr. Maria Montessori
The Classroom environment is critical to fostering the independence found in the Montessori learning experience. The 'prepared environment' is specifically created to inspire each child to realize his or her own academic, personal, and social potential. "Never give more to the mind than to the hand." states Dr. Montessori. Children in this age range learn in a sensorial manner. Concrete materials, therefore, are provided so that the child may explore the world in a hands-on, purposeful fashion. The children formulate a connection between manipulation of material and the learning experience.
Proper preparation of the classroom environment is crucial to fostering the independence found in the Montessori experience. The prepared environment is specifically created to inspire each child to realize their own academic, personal, and social potential. Furnishings, tools, and materials are proportioned for the child's successful use, and materials are located neatly on shelves at the child's height.
The Work Period
The work period is a time of purposeful work and concentration. During this time, children work individually, in pairs, or in small groups. Children are free to choose from any material in the classroom. The teachers observe as the children work, intervening only as necessary to help problem-solve, or to provide lessons on materials. Lessons may be 1-on-1, or in small groups.
Children share experiences, talk about the day, sing songs, participate in music & movement activities, and listen to stories. Daily lessons related to curriculum or Montessori materials are presented to the group.
Children are involved in gross motor activities, using tricycles, swings, slides, etc. They may participate in organized group games, or develop social and collaborative skills by playing in small groups. According to the season, various art projects, water play, sandbox, and gardening are available.