Montessori Classroom & Materials

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Montessori Classroom & Materials

A Montessori classroom is usually large, open-feeling space, with low shelves, mats to work, chairs, different sized tables that are appropriately sized for the children in the classroom. The classroom is arranged into areas, usually divided by low shelving. Each area has “materials”, the Montessori term designating educational objects, for working in a particular subject area (art, music, science, language, arithmetic, and so on..) Dr.Montessori believed deep concentration was essential for helping children to develop their best selves which derives out of working with their hands, hence materials. Attention to the community and respect to the community are highly valued. Material within and across the subjects are placed thoughtfully in a developmental order. Movement and learning are perpetually entwined in Montessori education.

Children are not allotted with seats but free to work in the work cycles at whatever spaces they choose, moving about in the course of the day. They work on the floors on a top of small mats. Often in primary the lessons go individual, in elementary the lessons go in small groups, when children are ready for them. Children in Montessori freely choose their work. Montessori classrooms are generally quiet, organized, orderly environments. The materials are designed to attract child’s interest and to teach concepts via repeated use. Montessori teachers observe children at work, noting whether the materials are used correctly which relates to child’s understanding of the concept. New lessons are given when a child masters the concept. The materials break important activities into a series of organized steps. No other curriculum comes close to Montessori in the level of its depth, breadth and interrelationship across time and topic. The organized approach Dr. Montessori took to the learning process would seem to be part of why it seems easy.

The study of a child’s psychological development must be bound up with the study of his hand’s activities…Those children who have been able to work with their hands make headway in their development – Maria Montessori

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