The Montessori classroom is split into 5 major areas. Each area of the Montessori classroom are like building blocks, each playing a part in the holistic experience of a Montessori setting.
During the Montessori work cycle the children have the freedom to choose activities in these areas, and the trained guides introduce or direct a child to a new activity when they are developmentally ready. Children can choose to work individually or in small groups. The 5 curriculum areas are supported by creative activities as well as extensions in the outdoor classroom.
Activities of Everyday living Area
The Activities of Everyday Living Area of the Montessori environment encourages independence and refinement of motor-skills by allowing children to practice activities of everyday living. From pouring, to buttoning to taking care of plants, the practical life area is the first area of the Montessori environment and promotes care of self, care of the environment and refinement of fine motor skills which are necessary for future learning.
The Sensorial Area of the Montessori environment works on refining a child’s senses, not only the 5 major senses, but also the muscular memory which Dr. Montessori labeled the kinesthetic and the stereognostic senses. The sensorial area helps prepare the mathematical mind as well as providing children an opportunity to explore and use the material creatively while learning the language that goes along with this area.
The Literacy Area is dedicated to providing concrete material for children to begin developing oral language as well as literacy. Montessori uses the phonetic approach to help prepare children for reading. We will begin as an English school but our hope is to develop a bilingual environment where English and Turkish can be encouraged side by side.
The Montessori Maths Area uses a unique approach that helps children grasp abstract ideas by using concrete materials. The Montessori approach to math helps children develop a good foundation in beginning mathematical concepts from numeracy, the decimal system, and beginning operations.
The Cultural Area is the cornerstone of the Montessori classroom as it allows children to explore and understand the world around them. With a focus on Geography, Zoology, Biology and History, the Cultural area provides opportunities for exploration, understanding, and developing a child’s sense of belonging within the universe.
The Montessori environment promotes creativity through the use of an art corner, role –play, as well as story telling, songs and dance. Children are given the opportunity to express themselves creatively while strengthening their fine motor skills as well as promoting oral language.
The Outdoor Classroom is an extension of the Montessori environment. Having contact with nature provides a deeper understanding of their environment and their place within the ecosystem. The outdoor classroom involves gardening, nature walks, exploration and play and is an extension of the indoor learning environment. It is also an opportunity to develop and practice gross motor skills.