The Prepared Environment
The Prepared Environment is a hallmark of the Montessori learning experience. Well-maintained and carefully curated materials; comfortable and ergonomic furniture; calming lighting and decoration; a quiet, tranquil classroom. These and other factors combine to create a Montessori learning space that is truly student-centered.
Toddler Learning Spaces
For our youngest children especially, the learning space itself is critical. A thoughtful learning environment helps children focus, settle into quiet, happy work, and develop confidence. Kingsley’s Toddler and Preschool classrooms offer beautiful, sunny settings, neutral colors, and well-organized activities and materials that are part of our carefully designed Early Childhood curriculum.
Quiet and Content
Visitors often remark that our classrooms seem unusually tranquil and orderly. This is because the intense energy of young children becomes focused—not through rules, but naturally and simply because these classrooms are conducive to exploration and discovery. Students engage in work cycles of self-correcting tasks, which allow them to perfect their new skills and gain mastery independently after learning the basics of a task. From even this young age, students realize the reciprocal nature of a quiet work space. Students are intrinsically motivated to master the tasks that they undertake, and realize that quiet concentration correlates with success more often than not.
In our Toddler classrooms, we work on building sensory motor skills, language facility, social skills, self-esteem and a sense of security, and habits of concentration. Our teachers cultivate independence by guiding students to make choices and to work both collaboratively and independently. Children are not confined to a desk or a rigid schedule but have the freedom to move around, to try new things, and to follow where their curiosity takes them.
By allowing students to select their work independently, empowering them to make decisions on their own, the noise and transition time in the Toddler (and Preschool) classrooms is reduced significantly. Teachers are able to circulate throughout the room providing individualized attention to different students during their work blocks.
Early Childhood students from Toddler through Kindergarten have the autonomy to move on to another task when they finish with their first, reducing down-time between learning activities; students do not need to ask the teacher to check on every aspect of their work, because the tasks are routine and self-correcting; students can access the resources that they need, and have the freedom to do so on their own (even if that resource is the teacher). In this quiet environment, students quickly begin to develop their foundational skills of order, coordination, concentration, and independence. These skills are the basis of learning in the Montessori classroom.