The four areas in a Montessori classroom are:
The Practical Life area of the Montessori environment has some basic goals. The activities found in this area of the classroom provide real-life experiences for children. The exercises in Practical Life provide purposeful activity, develop motor control and coordination, develop independence, concentration, and a sense of responsibility. Both large and small muscle coordination and development are involved, helping a child to have control over his movements.
Maria Montessori believed that nothing comes into the mind except through the senses. During the years between three and six, as children develop their senses, their attention is directed toward the environment. The purpose of the Sensorial activities is to help the child in his efforts to sort out the many varied impressions given by the senses. These materials are specifically designed to help the child develop discrimination, order, and to broaden and refine the senses. These materials also help prepare him to be a logical, aware, and perceptive person.
The Montessori classroom is designed in such a way that all activities gear themselves naturally toward the development of the skills required for oral and written language and reading. Language development is also encouraged in the classroom because of the freedom of conversation allowed to the children. In the Montessori environment encouragement of self expression is fostered through communication between children and their peers and children and adults.
Learning mathematical concepts in a Montessori classroom begins concretely and progresses towards the abstract. They are developed from simple to complex. Process is taught first and facts come later. Order, coordination, concentration, and independence are experienced by the child using these materials. The math activities are organized into five groups.
The Cultural area of the Montessori classroom covers a variety of subjects. Geography, Science, Botany, Zoology, and History are included. Art and Music are also considered a part of the Cultural Area of the classroom. The Montessori cultural studies is another thing that makes the Montessori classroom different from other ones. Dr. Montessori felt that having knowledge and understanding of such subjects is what makes one a "cultured" person.