The Montessori Curriculum

Exercises of Practical Life

The Montessori environment supports basic practical life activities, such as walking in an orderly manner, carrying objects like trays and chowkis, greeting a visitor and learning self-care skills. For example, button fastening frames are designed to perfect the motor skills involved in buttoning, zipping, lacing, buckling and tying. The philosophy for such activities is to make children independent and develop concentration.

Sensorial Activities

The sensorial materials are utilised for training and developing the senses. Materials are scientifically designed and self correcting; for example, a child who does not build the blocks of the pink tower in their proper order does not achieve a tower effect. 


Children are exposed to language activities the day they enter the House of children. Children learn that the spoken language consists of sounds which are represented in the form of letters of the alphabet.  The language program uses phonetics and is conducted in a sequence.


Enables children to apply their mathematical knowledge in daily situations.  The arithmetic program is carried out in a methodical sequence, enabling children to understand abstract numeric concepts with the help of scientifically developed materials.

Montessori Culture

The Montessori method provides children with an insight into various items of human culture, such as botany, zoology, history and geography through the use of attractive, scientifically developed materials.


“If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it. . . . For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind? And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being”- Dr. Maria Montessori

The Montessori method has been and is very popular around the world with early childhood professionals and parents. The approach is designed to support the natural development of children in a well-prepared environment. Five basic principles accurately represent how Montessori educators implement the method in their early learning centres:


Respect for the child is the cornerstone on which all other Montessori principles rest. As Dr. Montessori said :  “As a rule, however, we do not respect children. We try to force them to follow us without regard to their special needs. We are overbearing with them, and above all, rude; and then we expect them to be submissive and well-behaved, knowing all the time how strong is their instinct of imitation and how touching their faith in and admiration of us. They will imitate us in any case. Let us treat them, therefore, with all the kindness which we would wish to help to develop in them”

Teachers show respect for children when they help them do things and learn for themselves. When children have choices, they are able to develop the skills and abilities necessary for effective learning, autonomy and positive self-esteem.


Dr. Montessori named the concept that children are capable of educating themselves as auto-education (also known as self-education). Children who are actively involved in a prepared environment and who exercise freedom of choice literally educate themselves. Montessori teachers prepare classrooms in a way that aids children to educate themselves.


Dr. Montessori believed that children educate themselves: “It may be said that we acquire knowledge by using our minds; but the child absorbs knowledge directly into his psychic life. Simply by continuing to live, the child learns to speak his native tongue.” This is the concept of the absorbent mind. Dr. Montessori wanted us to understand that children learn from their environment. Children are born to learn, and they are thinking beings. But what they learn depends greatly on their teachers, experiences and environments. Early childhood teachers are reemphasizing the idea that children exhibit constant readiness and ability to learn.


Dr. Montessori believed there are sensitive periods when children are more susceptible to certain behaviors and can learn specific skills more easily:

A sensitive period is a special sensibility, a temporary disposition and limited to the learning of a particular skill. Once this skill or characteristic has been acquired, the special sensibility disappears.

Although all children experience the same sensitive periods (e.g., a sensitive period for writing), the sequence and timing vary for each child. One role of the teacher is to use observation to detect times of sensitivity and provide the setting for optimum fulfillment.


Dr. Montessori believed that children learn best in a prepared environment, a place in which children can do things for themselves. The prepared environment makes learning materials and experiences available to children in an orderly manner. Montessori classrooms are good examples of child-centered education and active learning. Freedom is the essential characteristic of the prepared environment. Since children within the environment are free to choose materials of their interest, they absorb what they find there.  The prepared environment, along with specially trained adults and scientifically developed materials aid children in learning concepts.

Benefits of Montessori Method

• Holistic curriculum

Montessori method involves children in actively manipulating concrete materials across the curriculum—writing, reading, science, math, geography, and the arts.

• Active learning

In Montessori classrooms, children are actively involved in their own learning. Manipulative materials provide active and concrete learning.

• Individualized instruction

Montessori method customizes learning through children’s interactions with the materials as they proceed at their own pace. Montessori materials are age appropriate for a wide age range of children.

• Independence

The Montessori environment emphasizes respect for children & freedom to choose, talk and promotes success, independence & confidence both of which encourage children to be independent.

• Appropriate assessment

In a Montessori classroom, observation is the primary means of assessing children’s progress, achievement and behavior. Well-trained Montessori teachers are skilled observers of children and are adept at translating their observation into appropriate ways of guiding, directing, facilitating and supporting children’s active learning.

• Developmentally appropriate practice

The concept and process of developmentally appropriate curriculum is the foundation of the Montessori method.

A day at GLOW ‘n’ GLITTER

Children’s House Daily Schedule

This schedule is typical of the Montessori program at ‘Glow and glitters’. It is structured to allow for activities in all three basic areas of involvement—exercises of practical life, sensory material, and academic materials.


News Period

Work Period: Children spend this uninterrupted time working on individual or small-group activities at a chowki or on a work mat on the floor. Many activities require a presentation from the facilitator (teacher). Others, such as puzzles, can be used without a presentation. Children who choose an activity that is too difficult for them are offered something that better matches their abilities.

Benefits: These activities allow children to improve their attention span and concentration skills, fine motor coordination, eye-hand coordination, attention to detail, perseverance and the joy of learning. Responsibility for one’s own learning is developed as children make their own choices.

Breakfast time: The children wash their hands and go to have their food whenever they feel hungry, sit at the table, concentrate on manners and pleasant conversations at the table, take a taste of everything, pack up leftovers, throw away trash.

Benefits: Respectful behavior at mealtime is learned through modeling and direction from the facilitator. Discussions can include manners, healthy nutrition, and family customs. Cooperation and teamwork are fostered as children help each other clean up and transition to the next activity.

Outside Play: Climbing on the play apparatus, sand play and gardening are a few of the activities available in the outdoor area.  Gardening and experiences with pet animals.

Benefits: Large-motor control, participation in group games, and learning about the wonders of nature take place as the children play outside.

Circle time: This group activity includes songs, rhymes, planned conversations on something new in the classroom.

Benefits: Circle time is important for children to learn new songs and rhymes, share about their experiences with facilitators and peers.  This leads to enrichment of vocabulary and development of expressive language.

Group activities: This is the time for facilitators to present group activities in any of the areas in Montessori curriculum.  Children take turns to repeat the activity demonstrated by their facilitator.

Benefits: Whole-group lessons are an important time for children to learn how to take turns, participate appropriately in a larger society, share feelings and ideas, enjoy each other’s company.

Writing/individual work: The older children who are graduating to first standard will experience lessons in a classroom environment.  The second year Montessori children will learn writing numbers, alphabets and some words.  The first year Montessori children will work individually with materials. 

Benefits: The graduating children will learn discipline of being seated at the chowki, develop listening skills and far point copying from the black board.  The second year Montessori children learn to develop writing skills, while the youngest Montessori children enhance their fine motor skills, understanding of concepts and attention span while working with materials.

Fancy dress, sports day, parent-teacher interactions, parent observations, field trips, literacy week, art & craft week, colour week, science week

THEME ACTIVITIES: Once a Week science experiments, fireless cooking, art & craft, show and tell, story-telling, dramatization (role play)

 AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES:  Chess, karate, yoga, art & craft, robotics