Thursday, September 1, 2011

Montessori Makeover: Preparing to Start the Year

I have been super busy the last couple weeks. My family took a short vacation to the Holland/Zeeland, Michigan area last weekend. And, I've been busily preparing my classroom for school to begin next week!

Since this is my first year using the Montessori method and materials in my classroom, I am starting off the year with materials that the kids have likely already had experience with or that will be easy for them to figure out without a lesson.  I will gradually add the Montessori materials to the shelves as I give lessons on them.

Below are some pictures I took today of what my shelves look like with the beginning of the year materials on them.  Although the materials are not Montessori materials at this point, I have set them up in a Montessori fashion.

These shelves will eventually hold Sensorial materials.
These shelves will eventually hold Sensorial materials.

Here is one of the Practical Life shelves -- the table setting materials are located on this shelf.

These shelves will eventually hold Science materials.

These shelves will eventually hold Language materials.

These shelves will eventually hold Culture materials.

This is another Practical Life shelf.

This is the Art shelf.
 Here are some other photos of what I have been working on in the classroom to prepare for the beginning of the school year:

These small broom and dustpan sets are hanging on the side of the Practical Life shelf with the table setting materials.  The white sets are for sweeping table tops and the blue sets are for sweeping the floor.  This is something that I tried with the kids at the end of last school year and they loved it!

These are the work rugs.  I recently purchased them from Ikea along with the waste baskets that they are stored in.  There are three baskets of these around the classroom.

These are the table work mats that I also purchased from Ikea.  There are two baskets of these -- one on the Practical Life table and one on the table by the Language shelves.

This is the same job chart I used last year.  I moved it from the Circle Time are to right near the door so the kids can check what job they have as they come into the classroom.

This is a new addition to the classroom.  I used the removable sticky-back hooks and picture hanging wire to make an area for the kids' name tags.  When the kids arrive they can take their name tag and then put it back as they leave for the day.

This is the same calendar that I have used for several years.  I am going to be adding a new weather chart, as well as a season/month chart.
I have found so many wonderful materials to use for Montessori works.  I cannot even begin to photograph and list them all right now.  But, I recently found some materials at Target that I photographed so I could share them.

These leaf bowl are from the Target dollar section.  They were $2.50 each!  I thought they would be great for a Fall themed Practical Life activity!

These pumpkin bowls are also from the Target dollar section for $2.50 each!  I thought they would be great for a Fall/Halloween/Pumpkin themed Practical Life activity!

This is from Target as well.  I happened to find it on clearance and thought it would work well for a Practical Life activity.

These are also from the Target dollar section for $1.00 each.  The black ones are bats and the orange ones are jack-o-lanterns.  Again, I thought they would be great Halloween Practical Life materials!

These I also found in the Target dollar section for $1.00.  They are (from left to right, bottom to top) insect, dinosaur, U.S. animal, space, and animal flash cards.  They have the names of each thing printed on the front with the picture and then facts on the back.  I thought they would be great culture/science materials!

Again, Target dollar section for $1.00 each.  These are U.S. president flash cards and a book about the U.S presidents.  More culture materials!

These trays are from the Target housewares department.  They were $1.99 each.  There were other colors, but I thought these worked best in my classroom.


  1. Wow Mieke
    This looks fantastic ;-) Thank you for sharing your set-up with us.
    Ewa - your friend from World Wide Montessori 20

  2. I love the way you have set up everything...very Montessorian! Karen

  3. Great job Mieke!!!!! I love that you are using materials that they already know as a way to slowly transition them to montessori work! That is a really great idea! It looks like you will have an amazing year! Cant wait to see how it goes!

  4. Thanks Ewa, Karen, and Stephanie! It's been a LOT of work making this transition. But, I really think it's going to be worth it!!!

  5. You did a great job of setting up your Montessori classroom! I think it's a good idea to start with lots of transitional materials and practical life activities like you're doing. Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: