The Montessori classroom is a world specially prepared for children. It is a nurturing, bright and spacious environment. All the furniture is child-size to support the child’s natural inclination and need to “do for one’s self”. This social, interactive and hands-on environment allows children to explore and expand their knowledge at their own pace. Children move about and choose activities that are accessible on low open shelves. The class consists of a mixed aged group of children either working individually or in a group. Some children may be preparing a snack; one child may be reading; others may be working in a group while the directress is giving a lesson. The younger children learn from the older children; and the older children are encouraged to develop an awareness of the needs of the younger children. This community of children offers the children the opportunity to develop social skills.
The day is a balance of independent work, group work and presentations (lessons). Presentations are made individually or to small groups by the teacher called a Directress. Using methods and materials developed by Dr. Montessori, the Directress provides a sequence of tasks sufficiently challenging and interesting to engage the child. These tasks or exercises are broken down into four areas of learning which make up the curriculum. The Directress is a Montessori trained teacher who has thorough knowledge of the Montessori materials (also called tools of development) and their purpose.