Montessori Approach

The Classroom


Our classroom is a "living room" for children.  Children choose their activities from open shelves with self correcting materials and work in distinct work areas - on tables or on rugs on the floor.  Over a period of time children develop into a 'normalized community' working with high concentration and few interruptions.  The classroom environment includes five distinct components discussed further below.

Our classroom also has an elliptical line on the floor.  This can be used for individual activities but is also the place where the class meets as a whole.  We usually have two class meetings each day.  One will serve as an early morning meeting and precede a more individualized work period, and another will serve as our group time preceding the final activity.  The group meetings are used for presentations of materials, discussions of particular topics, also music activities and games. 

The Learning Method

The Montessori learning environment is much different than the traditional model.  Instead of information passing from the teacher to the student, the teacher is trained to put the child in touch with the environment, and help him/her learn to make intelligent choices.  The teacher then protects the student's concentration from interruption.  This fosters a love of lifetime learning in the student.  Small groups of learning tend to form spontaneously, for example as the teacher works with a child or two with particular materials, others may ask to join in.

Keep in mind a triangle: the student, the teacher, and the environment.  It is the role of the teacher to prepare, and continue to prepare, the environment, to link the child to it through well-thought-out introductions to books and materials, projects, and lessons, which nurture the child's exploration and creativity.  Children thus taught often excel, and then they learn to find answers for themselves. 

The Prepared Environment 

Five distinct areas constitute our "prepared environment".  These areas all help cultivate children's adaptation and ability to express and think with clarity:

  • Practical Life exercises instill care for self, for others, and for the environment. Activities include many of the tasks children see as part of the daily routine in their home, such as preparing food and washing dishes, along with exercises of grace and courtesy.  Through these tasks children develop muscular coordination, enabling movement and the exploration of their surroundings.  They learn to work at a task from start to finish, and develop their powers of control and concentration.
  • Mathematics activities help children learn and understand the concepts of math by manipulating concrete materials.  This work gives children a solid understanding of basic mathematical principles, prepares them for later abstract reasoning, and helps to develop problem-solving capabilities.
  • Sensorial materials serve as tools for development.  Children build cognitive skills, and learn to order and classify impressions by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, listening, and exploring the physical properties of their environment.
  • Language development is vital to human development.  The Montessori environment is rich in oral language.  The sandpaper letters help children link sound and symbol effortlessly, encouraging the development of written expression and reading skills.  Song and movement is particularly effective for practicing words and their meanings.
  • Geography, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Art and Music are presented as extensions of the sensorial and language activities.  Children learn about people and cultures in other countries with an attitude of respect and admiration.  Through familiarity children come to feel connected to the global human family.  Lessons and experiences with nature inspire a reverence for all life.




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Spanish for Toddlers


509 Fisher Ct

Clawson, MI 48017

Tel: 248-597-9932


4800 Woodward Ave

Detroit, MI 48201

Tel: 313-831-5005



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