The “prepared environment” is Maria Montessori's concept that the environment can be designed to facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration by the child. In the prepared environment, there is a variety of activity as well as a great deal of movement.
A teacher groups Montessori materials from the same learning area on adjoining shelves. This way a students can easily find materials they would like to work on, and progress at their own pace. The five areas of a Montessori classroom are: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, and Cultural.
The 6 Main Elements of the Prepared Environment
The five key areas of learning in the Montessori environment include:
Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics and Cultural Subjects.
The Three-Hour Cycle
In many cases, the three-hour cycle is the first activity of the day following morning circle. So a typical Montessori classroom involves students, parents, and educators arriving at the classroom, engaging in greetings and circle time, then continuing on to the 3-hour work period.
A Hungarian composer and educator named Zoltan Kodály created an ingenious teaching method nearly 100 years ago that emphasized collaboration, expressiveness, creativity and other skills. Kodály’s method flourished and is today one of the preferred ways to expose young children to musical concepts.
The Kodály method is an approach to music education rooted in the idea that music should be a social and cultural experience, and asserts that musical concepts, creativity, and collaboration are best taught in group music lessons, particularly for young children.
Kodály believed that music was among the most important subjects taught in schools. He believed that music should be taught in a logical and sequential manner; there should be a pleasure in learning music; learning should not be torturous; and the voice is the most accessible, universal instrument.
Yoga helps children develop better body awareness, self-control, flexibility and coordination. Playful poses such as Cat, Flower and Airplane, as well as partner poses that can be performed with friends, teach children the basics. With the help of “flash cards,” children develop mental focus, balance and strength, forming the basis of a lifelong love of yoga.
Arts & Crafts
Art, along with all areas of the classroom, gives children a solid foundation for future growth. Through art they are exploring, creating, expressing, and developing self.
We provide a rich art area in the classroom, and give children a chance to choose their medium: paints, pastels, clay, pencils, crayons.
Maria Montessori didn't believe that you could “teach” a child to become an artist; however, she was a strong believer in nurturing children's creative abilities and teaching them to develop “…an eye that sees, a hand that obeys, and a soul that feels.”
Power of Two Montessori relies on a Spanish curriculum developed by a Montessori teacher. The children have presentations on colors, transportation, food, time and nature.
‘Bilingualism is an incredible gift to give a child. It goes beyond just learning another language. It broadens mental development, thought patterns and the world’s perspective’
-Bilingual Mom in Oregon