“The child’s work is to create the man that is to be and we cannot hurry it.”
– Dr. Maria Montessori
1. Practical Life
In this area, the children continue to build independence by learning to care for themselves and for their environment.
Such activities include learning to pour, to prepare snacks, wash dishes, care for plants and animals, tie their shoes, sweep, and set the table to name a few.
Perfecting these practical skills enables children to build self esteem by accomplishing tasks all by themselves.
Additionally, practical life activities support the child’s ability to concentrate, sequence, and complete tasks from start to finish.
Children in the primary classroom are sensorial learners.
This area of the classroom assists children in the careful use of their senses in order to call attention to differences in shape, size, color, feel, tastes, and the way things sound enabling them to use this growing ability to build knowledge based on categories of things that are the same and those that are different.
Children in this age group are fully involved in the acquisition of language.
There are many opportunities to practice spoken language, written language, and expand vocabulary.
As children mature, they are able to associate sounds that they hear with letter symbols, put those sounds and symbols together to make words, and finally to read written words.
Dr. Montessori believed that all people posses a mathematical mind. The purpose of the fourth area of the classroom is to nurture the child’s mathematical mind.
Here the concepts of numbers, the decimal system, and the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are presented with extraordinary concrete materials, ensuring that each child might first experience these concepts in a sensorial way.
After much experience with the concrete materials, the child moves on to paper, pencil, and abstracting the concepts that have been experienced previously in a concrete form.