When you enter your child’s classroom (or soon to be classroom), you want to walk into a clean, inviting area where your child can feel comfortable, secure and happy. If you’re like me, you might start taking into account every single detail and verifying if the classroom is organized, clean and enough for your child to learn, enjoy and thrive. It is understandable that a classroom full of children is not always going to look its best but by following the Maria Montessori way, there might be a higher chance that the room will look pretty great.
The Montessori classroom layout is one that will help your children learn where the materials go and why they go there. The uncluttered space and arranged rooms are filled with learning materials that are accessible to children and helps foster independence as the students learn. These rooms are not filled with as many colorful posters as a normal classroom to avoid many distractions but still makes children feel comfortable.
Inside a Montessori classroom
The classrooms are set in a way that meets the developmental needs of children. The items in the class are scaled to the child’s size like the furniture, the Montessori materials and shelves. Additionally, all spaces accommodate free movement to encourage independent learning and socializing in small groups or individual learning.
It’s divided in learning areas that includes cultural studies, sensorial activities, mathematics, language and practical life skills. The areas are placed in a way where there is easy access for children to select the activities that interest them. There are also classroom pets or plants to teach children empathy and responsibility. The pets are typically hamsters, fish or turtles.
The shelves and tables are typically in a natural wooden look that includes plenty of shelves to store Montessori materials and activities. There should also be and area that includes a kitchen that looks and feels like a kitchen and a place for a small library that should have comfortable sitting where they can go grab a book and sit down comfortably like they do at home.
The benefits of a Montessori classroom
A simple classroom can provide many benefits for children such as encouragement to learn. The designated spaces motivates them to explore and find areas of personal interest. By exploring different areas, it stimulates the children’s creativity, feelings of freedom, discovery and hands-on learning,
With the simple classroom look, children spend less time being distracted by posters, articles or other items that may cause distraction and more time off tasks. By eliminating these distractions, children are more likely to spend more time participating in group activities. Also, they are more likely to finish their activities and pay more attention to what they are practicing or learning at the time.
Another benefit of the Montessori classroom is that teachers don’t go by a specific curriculum. They encourage independent learning and they provide materials that helps children develop discipline and socially conscious habits.
The Montessori way is very different from a traditional preschool or prekindergarten classroom. From the way it looks, to the feel of the environment and the materials that are included. It’s a way of learning that has been around for more than a hundred years and has shown great results. It is important for children to be able to learn the materials that prepare them for the future but to also feel comfortable with themselves and develop great confidence in what they do and how they learn.