Classrooms are multi-age, giving students opportunity to learn from older peers
The environment supports efforts of individual responsibility and self discipline
Children engage in uninterrupted "work cycles" in which they can independently complete a task with minimal help from adults
Developed in 1907 by Maria Montessori who believed children should learn naturally
The Work Rug
A staple in the Montessori classroom is a set of beautifully folded, or rolled, rugs at student reach. These rugs are available for children to grab when they would like their own defined space to work.
The work rug helps children to stay organized with their materials when choosing to work on the floor. The rug can also serve as a signal to other students that this space is for the child in it. Defining a space with a rug encourages others to recognize their position and to ask before intruding.
When children are given the opportunity to handle real-life materials they learn how to properly care for that material in an authentic way. Materials such as glass, wood and metal carry their own risk such as possibility of breaking, splinters, heavy weight or sharpness. They must be handled in a way which keeps them intact and the user safe.
Students develop concentration, patience, respect, self-control and precision. by interacting with these beautifully real materials.
Practical Life Lessons
"Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement in the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence."
Montessori schools allow children to "DO" without interjection. Children take ownership of their actions as contributing members of the community (folding laundry, cleaning tables, preparing meals, washing dishes, arranging flowers, sweeping the floor etc.)
PREPARE THE ENVIRONMENT
Children follow their senses. Montessori environments are prepared in a way for children to interact with materials on a sensorial level in efforts to match, grade and assign meaning to their environment.
If you develop a child's senses, they then have a framework in which to build other experiences into their life and make sense them.