I’ve been wanting to do this post for awhile, since so many of you ask me about how to organize materials – both behind-the-scenes and in your classrooms. I’m going to share some of my favorite ways of organizing and storing materials, and hopefully you’ll come away with some new ideas (and of course, share your own!)
The wide range of glorious Montessori materials is one of the best things about the Montessori method, but putting it all together in a classroom so that everything is neatly arranged (and easy to find) is a challenge.
I often get questions from both parents and teachers on how to arrange a classroom, and I’ve blogged about it quite a bit, but the posts are spread around so I’m going to bring them together in one giant post.
One of my favorite topics related to Montessori is how to go about organizing all the wonderful materials. Being “hands-on” means lots of stuff, and that means finding a place to put all of it.
One thing I’ve used successfully for many years is wheeled carts. These usually have three drawers, and can be found all over (from Target to the Container Store). I currently have three of them, one drawer per curricular area: Art, Science, and Practical Life; History, Geography, and Math/Geometry; and Biology, Language, and Math.
Montessori materials take up a lot of room – that’s a fact. Shelf space always seems to be in short supply, no matter how many shelves you have.
One way to fit more materials on a shelf is to use a cabinet (sometimes called a “tower”) with small drawers. Just like a skyscraper, cabinets make use of vertical space rather than horizontal.
I’m always looking for a better way to organize the materials on my shelves, especially since I am working in a very small space. Recently I discovered that combining one of my teacher store favs (library pockets) with brochure holders from Office Max results in a perfect way to display card materials. First of all, […]
This is the time when many schools and homes are setting up for the coming school year. Commonly, classrooms go through several incarnations before teachers and parents hit the combo that’s “just right”. Arranging and rearranging the materials, shelves, tables, and chairs can be a lot of fun, but it’s tempting to always wonder if […]
Something about spring makes me want to clean, clean, clean. The sun shines through my windows at certain angles and seems to highlight dirt and dust. Along with more traditional spring cleaning activities like reorganizing closets and straightening the attic, I also take a look at the materials on my shelves. Sometimes we look at […]
Well, folks, here it is! After this, I have no secrets (well, maybe a few). When we bought this house 8 years ago, one thing I really liked was that someone had thoughtfully put a closet under our staircase that leads upstairs. In a house with a basement, this would probably be the staircase leading […]
With spring around the corner, now seems like a good time to talk about how to organize Montessori materials. I’m sure there are many Montessori classrooms (either at home or school) that look beautiful at first glance – with gleaming materials on polished shelves. A closer look might reveal drawers, cabinets, and closets that would […]
As promised, a few more pictures of my elementary Montessori classroom. As I browsed through the pictures, I noticed a few things that I used to do with the materials to make them easier to organize and display. I’ll share that info at the end. Enjoy! The first of two language shelves: And the second […]