Friday, July 29, 2011

Montessori Makeover

For the last few months I have been planning and preparing to give my traditional preschool classroom a "Montessori Makeover." I have spent countless hours researching and learning about the Montessori Method, searching for free and very low-cost printable materials online, searching for and ordering high quality, reasonably priced Montessori materials, printing, cutting and laminating materials, making my own practical life materials, shopping for and purchasing practical life materials from thrift stores, and doing a complete overhaul of my classroom layout.

When I first started this journey I really had no idea how much work it was going to be. My emotions have run the gamete from "This is going to be awesome!" to "What in the world have I gotten myself into!" Now that the beginning of the school year is swiftly approaching, I think I am finally starting to wrap mind around the whole Montessori philosophy and method.

It's still overwhelming at times, but just knowing how much time and effort I have put into preparing for this makeover gives me a great amount of confidence! For some reason the phrase, "I think I can, I think I can!" from The Little Engine That Could  is popping into my mind right now!
I have been trying to figure out the best way to document my "Montessori Makeover" on this blog.  Some of the things I'd like to include are before and after classroom photos, descriptions and photos of each of the subject areas, photos of different seasonal or themed works along with links to where I found the ideas, etc.  I'm still working out how I'm going to do this -- blog posts, new blog tabs, etc.

Since this is my first major post about my "Montessori Makeover," I'd like to post some "before" classroom photos.  I love my classroom -- it's very spacious and has lots of windows that bring in light!

Circle Time
Gross Motor  Area -- slide and monkey bars
Block Area
Manipulative Area and Sensory Table
Art Area -- easels
Art Area -- shelves
Pretend Play Area
Library Area
These photos are from a couple years ago, but nothing major has changed since then -- well, until recently, that is!  I have thought of posting photos of the transformation unfolding in the classroom.  But, honestly, the classroom is in such disarray right now that I would be slightly embarrassed to post photos just yet.  As soon as I get a good majority of the clutter put away, I will feel more comfortable posting photos of the classroom as it transforms.

Before I call it a night, I'd like to mention that there are lots of invaluable websites out there offering free and low-cost Montessori printable materials.  One of the best I've found is Montessori Print Shop.  They have lots of free and low-cost printable materials.  In fact, right now they are holding a Montessori Nomenclature Giveaway!  There are lots of ways to enter this giveaway and you can enter every day through August 1st at 12 noon EDT.  Check it out!


  1. Exciting! I'm looking forward to seeing the changes in the classroom:)

  2. Wow Mieke! What a great space to work with! I cant wait to see what you do! I feel the same way you do about my Montessori Journy. Someday I am so excited, and sometimes I feel like I am crazy! :) Keep up all your good work! I love to read about what you are doing!

  3. Nikki -- thanks for checking out my blog! I'm excited to get the classroom all back in order with the new layout!

    Stephanie -- When I first saw the classroom over 6 years ago, I was amazed! Most preschool classrooms are much smaller than mine. I feel very fortunate to have the space that I do!

  4. Thank you for the link-up!

    Looking forward to seeing the continued transformation of your room. It's great that you're posting pictures and allowing everyone to see. Thanks for sharing the journey!

  5. You're welcome! I will be posting more "after" pics soon. The "Montessori Makeover" of the classroom is almost complete!