AMI Primary Classes - Detailed Description

Guiding Principles for a Montessori 3 - 6 Environment

  The Prepared Environment

Physical Space

  • Overall the environment is ordered, clean and aesthetic
  • Complete set of Montessori materials as per the Training albums
  • Material for each activity is complete, clean and in very good condition
  • Materials arranged in orderly, sequential manner
  • Materials accessible to children
  • Narrow line on the floor for walking on the line
  • Furniture and equipment is child-sized to facilitate independence
  • Floor space to allow for work mats on the floor
  • Access to outdoor area for daily outdoor play
  • Access to outdoor area for extensions into nature, gardening, etc.
  • Access to washroom facilities
  • Access to water supply in classroom
  • Good lighting - source of natural light preferable


Intangible Atmosphere

  • There is a hum of activity
  • No rewards, punishments or coercion
  • Generally, there are no rules regarding the use of certain materials at certain times
  • Children may work at their own pace
  • There is mutual respect and courtesy between adults and children
  • Individual differences are respected and supported
  • Periods of reflection are respected
  • Minimum 3 hour uninterrupted morning work cycle plus further minimum 2 hour afternoon work cycle
  • Concentration is protected


The Children

  • Ages 2½/3 to 6 years together
  • Children complete full cycle in the same environment
  • Free to choose their own activities
  • May be directed by the Teacher at times, but there is no assigned work
  • Are engaged in a variety of activities from different areas of the program
  • Demonstrate concentration and care in the use of the materials
  • Use materials purposefully
  • Persist with an activity as they deem necessary
  • Repeat activities for as long as they deem necessary
  • Put materials away after use
  • Store finished and unfinished work
  • Occasionally select and compile samples of completed work
  • Free to help each other or show each other how to do things
  • Interact freely with each other and with the Teacher
  • Are happy and are purposefully engaged in their activities
  • The children's movement is purposeful and orderly
  • Are responsible for themselves and for the environment
  • Demonstrate independence in their self-care and activities
  • Remain in one prepared environment throughout the day
  • Older children have opportunity for Extended Day/Full day in third year as minimum


The Adults


  • Demonstrates: joy, patience, curiosity, humility, sense of humour
  • Allows for exploration and nurtures a sense of wonder
  • Prepares and maintains the prepared environment
  • Provides consistent limits to the children
  • Uses positive redirection
  • Models grace and courtesy with adults and children
  • Gives presentations (lessons) to individuals or small groups
  • Re-presents as needed
  • Rarely works with the whole group
  • Observes the children at all times
  • Takes time to observe individual children and the group as a whole
  • Demonstrates careful and precise movements
  • Uses a calm, soft voice
  • Uses clear, precise, complete language
  • Is emotionally available to the children
  • Promotes independence, yet assists children as needed
  • Assists children as needed in social situations/conflict resolution
  • Plans presentations for each child on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis
  • Keep records of presentations shown and of observations
  • Presents from all areas of the program as per the Training albums
  • Engages in regular professional development activities
  • Communicates regularly with parents outside class time
  • Assists parents to understand Montessori philosophy and pedagogy
  • One teacher per class



  • Assists in the preparation and maintenance of the prepared environment
  • Non-teaching role
  • Reinforces consistent limits with the children
  • Uses positive redirection
  • Models grace and courtesy with adult and children
  • Uses clear, precise, complete language
  • Uses a calm, soft voice
  • Observes children at all times and is available to do so
  • Provides feedback to Teacher re: observations of the children
  • Protects presentations given by Teacher from interruption
  • Protects concentration of children by limiting interruptions
  • Promotes independence, yet assists children as needed
  • Assists children as needed in social situations/conflict resolution
  • Assists Teacher as needed
  • If assistant speaks a second language in the environment, she strives to speak it consistently