Maria Montessori described the mind of young children as absorbent. Children before the age of 6 are like sponges soaking up information through all their senses. Children at this age are working on self-formation. They are actively exploring their world and learning through their experiences.
The primary class for children ages 3-6 years old offers a prepared environment designed specifically for this developmental stage. In this environment, children work with hands-on manipulative materials so that they learn through their own explorations, at their own pace, naturally. The primary classroom environment is prepared with beautiful materials and aesthetically pleasing décor including live plants and works of art. Rules and boundaries are established to allow children to have the freedom of choice within well-defined limits. Children are allowed to work with a material for as long as they desire so they can reap the benefits of that particular work. The teacher directs and leads the children with small group and individual lessons, assessing their abilities and needs at the point of contact to determine the next step in their education. In the primary classroom, children gain independence and a sense of order while developing concentration and coordination.
Five areas are defined in the primary classroom. Each of these areas are ordered and sequential.