The Montessori elementary environment balances the child's developing imagination and powers of abstraction with down-to-earth, concrete, hands-on materials.
Each lesson's material has its structured sequences which have been designed to lead the child to discovery and understanding of the physical world.
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The Montessori Classroom
The classroom is still divided by curriculum areas, but again, the subjects are not taught in isolation. Lessons are placed on shelves for individual children to use by themselves or with a small group of classmates, but hands-on materials will become of less importance, particularly at the higher elementary levels, when the child will begin to work more abstractly.
Mathematics, for instance, is presented through three-dimensional manipulative materials, each providing a concrete way to experience an abstract concept. Likewise, the grammar materials use symbols and visual patterns to help the child discover parts of speech and analyze the structure, style, and logic of sentences. These exercises refine reading and writing skills and lay the foundation for foreign language study.