The Montessori Prepared Environment
The Importance of the Environment
The classroom space is designed first and foremost to meet the needs of the students it serves. In a Montessori prepared environment everything has a purpose and a place. The shelves and furniture are child sized, clean, organized, and inviting. Defined subject areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, and Cultural learning are present and spacious. The classroom environment itself is an ever changing entity and exists almost as if it has a life of it's own. The child takes ownership of this space and cares deeply for it. The teacher or guide supports the child's learning by connecting them with the environment and maintains the space to be one that continually meets the needs, interests, and ability levels of each of the students in the room. Natural elements as well as a home-like feel are encouraged to add comfort and belonging to the children.
Each individual lesson on the shelf is carefully selected, complete, beautiful, and single skill oriented. The lessons as a whole, are placed sequentially in a left to right and top to bottom order which encourages the natural development of eye tracking and working skills needed in language development. All the supplies needed to complete a work independently are present. The teacher works one on one with a child to introduce the material. If appropriate, the teacher gives the student the license to continue using the material whenever they choose for as long as they choose. The child may also extend and create new ways for the materials to be used once the initial skill is mastered.
Mahan, K.A. (2018). Pink Tower. Frederick, CO: Ohana Montessori.
Mahan, K.A. (2018). Practical Life. Frederick, CO: Ohana Montessori.
Mahan, K.A. (2018). Group Work. Frederick, CO: Ohana Montessori.
Assessment of the Space
Our primary classroom was recently evaluated to determine if any updates were needed at this time. After review, the decision was made to add a group table and additional shelves in the Sensorial and Math area of the classroom. Our goal is to allow for new materials to be added to these shelves as well as community building opportunities at our new table.
Mahan, K.A. (2018). Change. Frederick, CO: Ohana Montessori.
"The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult"
~ Maria Montessori
Mahan, K.A. (2018). Primary. Frederick, CO: Ohana Montessori.