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The Prepared Environment: The Montessori Classroom

Categories: Kindergarten: It's a Big Deal! / Preschool / The Montessori Difference / Why Montessori

The Prepared Environment

Our work as teachers is to provide stimulating environments, inspiring demonstrations, and motivating sparks of information, so that each child’s inner drive to learn can take him or her to the fullest potential within the child.  Beautiful materials (you could call them “toys”) beckon your child over to explore and study.  Mrs. Rogers has said, “Every classroom is organized in such a way that the sequence of learning is materially present on the shelves and obvious to the children. The goals of independent decision-making and internal motivation are built into the carefully prepared environment.”

“We believe that the environment itself is the best teacher, and we prepare it like a mama bird would craft a proper nest for her babies.  Rather than dictating what a child should learn and when, we design the classroom or home to fit the needs of the child, rich experiences balanced by beauty and order.” – Aubry Hargis, Child Development Institute of the Redwoods (CDIR)



“In a typical Montessori classroom, you would see objects in baskets, trays, or boxes arranged on a shelf attractively.  Each work contains a purposeful work that is designed to teach a specific concept.” – Hargis, CDIR



While we are always thinking about “following the child,” and encouraging them to work on what interests them, we have to keep preparing the environment in a way that will awaken curiosity and allow the child to engage with an idea or concept through work.


Please come to observe your child at work in the light-filled classrooms.  Watch to see how they’re called by the materials, the baskets filled with purposeful work, and activities placed “just so” for them to explore.  You can schedule an observation in your child’s classroom here.