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Added Sep 9, 2019

As we move past the transitional first days of school and the rhythms of the school year begin to be established, we will begin sending out more details about exactly how  Montessori environments work. Each week, you can expect to find a single Montessori material explained in greater detail in your emailbox. By offering you details about how the method works in practice, we hope you'll find your general questions about the Montessori philosophy answered as well. 

One such system is the practice of working on a floor rug. With few exceptions, children work either at tables or on the floor. Using a floor rug provides a clearly defined space for each child's work, preserving both the materials themselves from being trampled and the intellectual space to which the working child must attend. Think about when your child plays with Lego blocks at home. Before long, a simple construction on the floor can turn into a massive area of small pieces. Paying attention to that space is overwhelming. Caring for the blocks or putting them away feels like an impossible task. And stepping on a single block provides its own punishment! For young children, having a concrete edge to their work space allows them to better manage the work itself, focusing on it with more concentration and maintaining the complete cycle of activity on their own. 

Taking the time to establish these norms early in the year helps to prepare our classroom for the most concentrated work and our classroom community for the kind of interdependence and cohesion we know they're capable of. Children come to understand that their work is worth protecting, in both their attention and their physical space, and to offer the same courtesy to each other as they navigate through the shared classroom. 

Catherine McTamaney, Ed.D.

<span style="\\\\&quot;background-color:rgb(255," 255,="" 255);="" color:rgb(32,="" 32,="" 32);="" font-family:helvetica;="" font-size:16px\\\\"="">Christopher Academy Alumna

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