A Montessori classroom is in many ways different from a conventional classroom. The prepared environment is suited to the child's need for order. Every material in a Montessori classroom has its own place and is kept in good working condition. The materials are also self correcting, allowing the children to find their own mistakes.
The activities in a Montessori classroom are constructive. The emphasis of the room is on children; they learn concentration, self confidence and self reliance. Children choose their own work tools from low, open, easily accessible shelves, enabling them to gain independence. The class is child-directed, not teacher dominated. Children are immersed in their work. The room is like a home for them – it's their place.
The independence aspect may appear a bit foreign to some. We are accustomed to seeing a teacher as the star around which the children orbit: at RIMS, the children are the stars. The teacher is more of a guide,trained to respect children and to help them progress on their own unique path. Children work best when they are left to their own devices, and unwarranted interference on the part of an adult only serves to break their concentration.
The Montessori curriculum is a rich and wonderful experience for children. It is divided in to five interrelated sections: