This article presents the material needed to obtain the required environment in a Montessori class dedicated to children aged 2 ½ to 6 years old.
The class must be separated in a number of very distinct areas. These areas must be dedicated the presentation of the material to the child. The child will be able to use it to learn different pedagogical topics. You will therefore find:
Material dedicated to practical life
- Sensory material
- Material used to teach math
- Material used to teach language
- Material used to teach history/geography/science
- A reading corner
- A table dedicated to nature
- A table dedicated to art
- An area dedicated to painting (with an easel, a protected or tiled floor, an easy access to water)
- Ideally, an area dedicated to a domestic pet (Mind the allergies!)
- A circle must be drawn on the floor to show how the areas can interact.
The material must be presented by topic on easy to reach shelves. The material must be stored from simple to hard to handle and be placed from left to right, from top to bottom so that the child understands the progression of the material and its essential sequence.
Material used for language must be placed in a quiet area so that the child can concentrate on the sound of the letters.
The material must always be complete, in an excellent state and extremely clean. If the material is incomplete, the child might lose control or feel disturbed, unable to build himself and develop self-confidence in a harmonious environment. Order is essential to give the child a sense of security in the class.
Once the organization of the class is completed, it must never be changed because the child would lose his marks.
In future articles, I will examine the different categories of material that a child aged 2 ½ to 6 years old must find in his class to satisfy his thirst for learning and working. The manipulation of the displayed material insures the child’s physical and intellectual development.