Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Upper Elementary Montessori Teachers – Tips for Classroom Material Setup

Setting up a Montessori upper elementary classroom for the first time can seem pretty overwhelming. I was looking through the latest Nienhuis flier that came in the mail recently, and I am always amazed by the beautiful upper elementary Montessori materials they provide. However, for many Montessori classrooms, costs can be prohibitive.

For our NAMC Upper Elementary (9-12) Diploma Program students, as well as new Montessori teachers who may be setting up a Montessori upper elementary classroom and looking for some guidance as to where to begin with limited funds, here are a few suggestions that I hope will help.

NAMC montessori upper elementary teachers tips classroom material setup

Upper Elementary Montessori Teachers – Tips for Classroom Material Setup

Do you have all three ages (9-12) in your new upper elementary Montessori classroom? Some schools start their Montessori upper elementary level with only the fourth-year (age 9) students. If this is the case, I suggest looking at NAMC’s Upper Elementary (9-12) Mathematics Mastery Checklist (available on your NAMC 9-12 Curriculum Support Material CD) to see which lessons are suggested for fourth-year students. Then, look at the materials for those lessons and see what you need to start with.

Consider your Montessori Math materials first. Montessori upper elementary students are moving toward more abstraction but the concrete Montessori Math materials are still of great importance as students begin their advancement into upper elementary math concepts.

If, however, you have all three ages (9-12) in your classroom, I would suggest that you look at the Montessori materials on hand that you can share with your Montessori school’s lower elementary (6-9) classroom for now. I believe these would most likely include:
  • Bead Cabinet and Material
  • Checkerboard and Beads - multiplication
  • Racks & Tubes (Test Tubes) – division
  • Algebraic Pegboard & Pegs
  • Decanomial Material
  • Golden Bead Material
  • Fraction Circles and frames
  • Fraction Circle Box
In addition, you will be able to use the Geometric Cabinet from the Montessori lower elementary classroom and if you are lucky, they also have the Montessori Geometric Solids that you can use, too! You will need the Montessori material for area and volume, as well as Equivalency Figure Material (frames).

Next, look through the three NAMC upper elementary math manuals and look under the “Teaching Materials Used in This Section’s Activities” in each section. Most likely, you will need to begin by obtaining materials for work with decimal fractions. While the cubing material is beautiful and something you should strive to have in your Montessori classroom one day, I have had Montessori upper elementary classrooms that never had cubing material because of the expense.

Luckily, in the Language area of the Montessori upper elementary classroom, there are much fewer materials needed. Many of the UE Language materials can even be hand-made at little or no cost. In Language and the rest of the subjects, my best suggestion is to look through your NAMC Curriculum Support Material CD for each subject. There are many great materials that you can print, color, laminate and use right away.

NAMC montessori upper elementary teachers tips classroom material setup parts of speech language arts

Numerous Montessori material suppliers are available around the world; prices and quality vary. Below are a few that may be helpful in your research, and that our students have used. The USA/Canada suppliers listed may offer a 10% discount to NAMC students if you inquire:

    As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
    © North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, August 9, 2011.


    1. When I was in first grade I attended a Montessori Summer Program; one that I have never forgotten. It was one of the most positive school experiences I had as a child. The individualized attention, the ability to be able to explore my own interests, and the overall calming care exhibited by the counselors was markedly different then anything I had ever experienced in the classical education system.

      Montessori is something I have always wanted to be apart of and now today, after graduating from college and spending the last four years working personally with two young boys -- both with learning difficulties-- I believe I am finally in a position to pursue this dream and give other children the same positive experience I had.

      In other words, what is the best way to go about becoming a Montessori School Teacher? I have read about MS Training online, but I wasn't sure how legitimate that was. In order to be hired by a school do you have to have previous experience teaching IN an actual Montessori School?

      Any advise you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

      Thank you!

      Alysha Maiorelli-Wyrauch

    2. Thanx for sharing very useful information .These material is very useful inMontessori Nursery School.


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