|Children are called to the beauty of Montessori materials,|
like the Fraction Skittles
So how do you decide which materials and books to add to your Montessori classroom?
First, remain true to the Montessori environment. Choose the highest quality Montessori materials you can afford. Your materials will be used repeatedly by many children over the years. Beautiful, quality materials will stand the test of time. While it may be tempting to save a few dollars, children are called to beauty. Materials that are broken, torn, or have missing pieces will not be used, and you will spend more money in the end as you mend and replace materials. Your NAMC Montessori manuals are a great place to start when determining which materials you will initially need in your Montessori environment.
Being Selective in Adding Educational Material to Your Montessori EnvironmentAfter you have purchased your Montessori materials, look at your shelves and your curriculum to see what is missing. For example, do you need some play money for your LE math shelves? Do you need a dissection kit on your UE botany shelves? These are the types of materials that you may find will enhance your prepared environment. However, there are other materials that will be less successful in a Montessori environment.
My greatest caution is to avoid mass produced workbooks. I have seen too many children simply race through just to be finished. Children rarely retain any information and that leads to re-teaching. If you are looking for additional materials, begin with the NAMC blackline masters, where you will find everything from nomenclature cards and booklets to an amazing amount of math practice. Print out the blacklines, glue them on to heavy-duty, color-coordinated cardstock, and laminate them. You can place them in a basket on the shelves for individual practice.
math exercise cards give students the|
opportunity for independent practice
Before you buy anything for your Montessori classroom, ask yourself these simple questions:
- Is it beautiful?
- Is it high quality?
- Is it made of natural materials?
- Is there a Montessori material that serves the same or similar purpose?
- Can it be reused?
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.