5 Key Learning Areas of a Montessori Classroom
Practical Life is the foundation for all future Montessori work. It encompasses domestic work maintained in the home and classroom environment; self-care and personal hygiene; and grace and courtesy. Young children in Montessori classrooms learn to take care of themselves and their environment through activities such as hand washing, dusting, and transferring. These activities help toddlers and preschool age children learn work independently, develop concentration, and prepare for later work with reading and math.
Sensorial materials are designed to allow the child to learn through their five senses. Materials incorporate touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste. Sensorial material indirectly prepares the child for future Math work, including the Decimal System. Children use concrete materials to learn differences in shape, colour, size and dimension. Materials include: Pink Tower, Brown Stair, Knob Cylinders and Geometric Solids.
The Culture area includes Science, Geography, History, Zoology and Botany. Through hands on exercises the children explore the world. Materials such as Puzzle Maps, Classification of Animals and Nature Inset Puzzles can be found on the Cultural shelf.
Children begin learning the Sandpaper Numbers from one to nine in order to identify the numbers by sight and their stereognostic sense. Once the children can correctly identify the numbers both in and out of sequence they will move to more challenging concepts such as association of number and quantity, addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. Math materials include: Sandpaper Numbers, Spindle Boxes, Number and Counters and the Golden Beads.
Children are in the sensitive period of language and are able to absorb both written and spoken language most easily in this stage. The children will use Sandpaper Letters in order to learn phonetic sounds and letters. Once the child can successfully name a majority of sounds they will be able to sound out three letter phonetic words. In time, when the child has mastered all twenty six sounds they will begin reading. Materials in the Language Area include the Sandpaper Letters, Metal Insets, and Pink, Blue and Green Scheme boxes and cards.