In the Montessori classroom, the child is free to move about the room at will, to talk with other children, and to work with any equipment. He is not free to disturb other children at work or to abuse to equipment. The children are taught a respect for others and for their environment.
The wide range of activities from which to choose are divided into the following areas: practical life, sensorial, math, language and cultural subjects.
A central part of practical life activities take place in the snack area, located in this area are small tables and chairs, a hand washing sink, a serving counter, table washing trays, brooms and mops, and a dish washing sink. Each morning and afternoon, the child decides when he will eat snack. He then washes his hands, finds his name card, sets the table, serves and eats snack, and cleans the table. Also in the practical life area are shelves containing a variety of activities such as spooning, tonging, pouring rice, pouring water, cutting vegetables, grinding herbs, juicing, washing a shell, doll or clots, buttoning, buckling. tying bows, sorting, polishing, folding, sewing, plant care, drawing, painting, cutting, and gluing.
Practical life activities also extend beyond this area into every aspect of the school. These activities include exercises in grace and courtesy, personal care, and care of environment.
The sensorial area contains materials designed to develop each of the child's senses by isolating one sensorial property, such as shape, weight, texture, pitch, which can be graded, matched or contrasted. The child is building his intellect through the refinement of his senses. In addition the materials are a direct preparation for math by providing repeated work with sets of ten, such as the ten red rods, ten pink cubes, ten brown stairs, ten of each red, yellow, blue and green cylinders, and four blocks each with ten cylinders corresponding to the sets of colored cylinders. Also, through the sensorial materials the child learns to isolate geometric properties and learns the vocabulary of these properties, such as parts of the circle, square and triangle, types of polygons, triangles, quadrilaterals, angles and lines.
The math work develops from manipulation of concrete quantities to the eventual use of symbols to represent the concrete. The child has many opportunities to manipulate quantities of one to ten, i.e. count, carry, hang, draw, stamp, add, and subtract. The child then builds concrete quantities of unites, teens, tens, hundreds, and thousands with beautiful Montessori beads.
The language area contains a library of books and vocabulary cards on many subjects with which children can sort, match, and make their own books. The area also contains a variety of exercises for writing, alphabetizing, and sorting objects by size, preposition, rhyming and by initial middle and ending phonetic sound. When the child is ready, he will begin to build words with the movable alphabet, and be rewarded with the opportunity to read the next book in the series of 80 phonetic readers.
The geography work in the cultural area included puzzles of the earth and its landforms, or continents, and of countries. The child can pour water into landforms, mold forms with clay, read land form vocabulary cards and make land form books. He can also make his own book or maps with continents and country puzzles. The child can also sort animals, landforms and flags by continents.
The science area includes literature, cards, and exercises in plant parts and classification, gardening, composting, and animal parts, classification, size, tracks, and lifestyles.
Spanish includes lessons by the native speaker, songs, dance, weekly journals, and independent work in the classroom and on computer.