What you might see in our classrooms:
Throughout the room, children will be sorting, stacking and manipulating all sorts of beautiful objects made of a range of materials and textures--polished wood, wicker, fabric, ceramic--as well as items from nature such as seashells and bird's nests.
How can a young child be trusted to handle fragile items independently? Montessori teachers believe that children learn from their mistakes. If nothing ever breaks, children have no reason to learn carefulness. Children treasure their learning materials and enjoy learning to take care of them "all by myself."
Montessori teachers make a point to handle Montessori materials slowly, respectfully and carefully, as if they were made of gold. The children naturally sense something magical about these beautiful learning objects. As children carry their learning materials carefully with two hands and do their special 'work' with them, they are actually learning through a brilliantly designed curriculum that takes them, one step at a time and in a predetermined sequence, through concepts of increasing complexity.
- American Montessori Society