The Student-Teacher Ratio in the Montessori Classroom

The Student-Teacher Ratio in the Montessori Classroom

It’s always helpful to read about the journey that others go through when they are schooling children (either in the classroom or at home). It’s the sharing of these journeys (both positive and negative) that gives others the knowledge and strength to make the decision that they feel are best for the children in their care.

Here is an article that caught our attention: “Homeschooling transformed over decades

The article brings up some good points about the positive aspects of homeschooling and how it has changed over the past decade. But our brains hit pause at this statement in the articleRead the entire article.



Table for Two – Snack Time in Montessori

Snack Time in Montessori

Snack time in Montessori is a very important social aspect of the Montessori environment. Let’s face it, most children need a snack and a drink after a few hours of concentrated work.It’s a wonderful time to teach the art of food preparation, serving others, eating etiquette, tasting new foods, and clean-up.

The most common issue that most teachers face, besides dealing with food allergies, is how to distribute snack.

A great way to serve snack is by way of the “Table for Two”.
snack_table1The snack can be prepped first thing in the morning by either the adult or two older children (with adult supervision). We used to set the prepped food trays and jugs of juice/water on a counter near the snack table. Each morning we set out a pictogram showing how much snack was for each person. We set a ‘closed’ sign on the snack table until everyone had arrived at school and the morning had begun. This prevented early squatters. ☺

The “Table for Two” allows children the opportunity to learn:
1. Patience …. only two can eat at a time.
2. Serving skills … children serve themselves.
3. Social etiquette … eating rudely will almost guarantee a comment from the other child sitting at the table.
4. Clean up skills … the children must dispose of their garbage, wipe the table and sweep the floor afterward. The other pair of eyes at the table will surely notice any crumbs!

This method allows for all the other children in the class to continue their work. It does not break the 3 hour work cycle and therefore allows a longer period of concentration, especially for the third year children who often have much larger pieces of work.

There can be some pitfalls …

1. In the beginning it can cause a large crowd of children around the snack table.
2. Some children have eyes bigger than their stomachs. We came up with pictograms for the non-readers to help them determine how much food was appropriate.
3. Those children with food allergies must have a safe place to eat their food.
4. You must grow yet another extra pair of eyes in the back of your head – or else this is possible…

food_on_faceRYour ability to use this “Table for Two” format for your snack time will depend on the set-up of your classroom, the age and ability of the children, as well as your local health and safety laws.


Organize your Nomenclature Blackline Masters

Organize your Nomenclature Blackline Masters

So, you’ve taken the plunge and spent weeks preparing new nomenclature cards and books for your children to use. You read all the tutorials we wrote on preparing the 3-part cards and binding the books.The children are thrilled at the selection of nomenclature available in the classroom, and they’ve dug right in! They’ve been learning all the names of the parts of the flower, bird, insect, tree, and so many more.

Now they’re begging to make their own nomenclature booklet – which of course you read about here.  You’re practically as excited as they are and step over to your cupboard to find the blackline masters for them.

Our blackline masters come with every set of Nomenclature Cards. They print 4 per sheet of regular 8½ x 11″ paper.

nomenclature blackline master

But wait … where did you put the blackline masters?
Or maybe you found them, but you don’t have enough copies! eek!!

It doesn’t seem to matter how well prepared you think you are … Read the entire article

A Classification Lesson for Soluble and Insoluble

The idea of soluble versus insoluble is quite an abstract concept for children to grasp when it’s presented through the use of images on cards.

Most Montessori lessons are first presented using real objects that can be touched and manipulated. This allows the child to use all their senses to fully grasp the concept being presented.

This classification lesson on Soluble or Insoluble should be demonstrated first, using a container of water (that is see-through) and similar substances that we’ve chosen for the printed cards.

After the concept has been demonstrated and the children have had an opportunity to explore the concept of soluble and insoluble (with adult assistance), they can then be introduced to the printed cards.

The children will have to think carefully (sometimes relying on their memory of the demonstration, and of their own exploration) when classifying the cards in to the categories of Soluble or Insoluble.

Once the cards have been sorted in to the two categories, the children can check their own work by using the Control Chart.

Soluble and Insoluble Science Cards

  • 12 photographic cards with soluble substances
  • 12 photographic cards with insoluble substances
  • 2 sets of title card (1 is color-coded)
  • 1 control chart

All 24 photographic cards are labeled. Labels can be used, or cut off. Print two copies and you can make a set of 3-part cards.


Montessori Science CD Rom Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered our Montessori Science CD Rom Giveaway! We had a good response and we truly appreciate all of the kind words that you posted – and the fact that you all shared the good news of this giveaway with others on Facebook and Twitter.

Montessori is such a joy – a joy that should be shared with everyone! While we would love to give everyone a Science CD Rom, it’s just not possible. But, we can manage more than 1 Science CD Rom … so we’ve decided to randomly select 3 winners.

We will contact all 3 winners by email.

  1. Chris F.  5/16/2011 4:49pm
  2. Jac 5/12/2011 10:35pm
  3. Melissa 5/15/2011 9:43am
Congratulations to our winners!

Everyone be sure to enter this HUGE Montessori Giveaway….it really is something else!

FREE Animal Camouflage Cards

FREE Animal Camouflage Cards

When teaching about how animals camouflage themselves you can talk about how:

1. Some animals use their body color, shape, or pattern to blend into the environment.

  • by concealing (snowy owl, frog, white tail deer)
  • disguising (walking stick, katydid, thorn bug)
  • mimicry (caterpillar, snake, butterfly)
  • using disruptive patterning (zebra, fish, leopard)

2. By the use of camouflage, prey animals protect themselves from predators.

3. By the use of camouflage, predator animals hide to better catch their prey.

We added a FREE set of Animal Camouflage Cards to our Free Montessori materials page. It includes the following animals with 2 cards for each animal: chameleon, butterfly, gecko, snake, and bee.

Free Animal Camouflage Cards

If you would like more Animal Camouflage Cards, we added three new sets to our store. Each set contains 12  animals that blend into their setting because of their natural camouflage, and 12 cards with the background in black & white to show the natural camouflage clearly. Each set contains different images.

Animal Camouflage Set 1
Includes: lizard, sand crab, frog, squirrel, scorpion fish, crab spider, katydid, cricket, pygmy seahorse, snake, tiger, and ladybug.

Animal Camouflage Cards Set 1

Animal Camouflage Set 2
Includes: giraffe, frog, caterpillar, fish, leopard, long leaf insect, chick, flounder flatfish, bat, spider, leaf insect, and butterfly.

Animal Camouflage Cards Set 2

Animal Camouflage Set 3
Includes: wolf, brown butterfly, gila monster, moth, dragonfly, spider, mountain goat, thorn bug, sanddab, rabbit, crane, and turtle.

Animal Camouflage Cards Set 3

How do I incorporate Montessori in to my preschooler’s after school time to improve math skills?

How do I incorporate Montessori in to my preschooler’s after school time to improve math skills?

I am a young mother with three children under the age of four. My 3 year old is in preschool and is struggling, especially with mathematical concepts. Her preschool curriculum is heavily based on work sheets which I think is part of the problem. I suspect she may not be able to relate math to her day today activities. How can I help her? I work full time so I am only home in the evening and we have virtually no extra resources to buy all the fancy child learning materials.


This is a common problem among children who attend programs that focus heavily on ‘paperwork’. At a young age, children best absorb concepts through the manipulation of objects, every day conversations, and through real life experiences. The kinds of experiences required to truly internalize mathematical conceptsRead full Article.

Win our Montessori Science CD Rom!

How would you like to win 65 Montessori Science materials on CD Rom?! 
Giveaway is now Closed
Our Montessori materials are full of beautiful photographic images that will engage and inspire the children you work with. This Science CD Rom includes Montessori materials for animals, astronomy, plants, science, and weather.printable Montessori Science lessons by Montessori Print Shop

printable Montessori Science lessons by Montessori Print Shop

This Montessori Print Shop Science CD Rom is part of our CD Rom Collection. It contains 65 of the 965 Montessori materials that can be found at

The following Montessori materials are included:

1 Animal Activity – Nocturnal or
2 Animal Coverings
3 Animal Habitats
4 Animal Habitats – No Color Border
5 Animal Skin Match
6 Animal Stripes, Spots, or Solid?
7 Animal Tracks
8 Animals – How Many Legs?
9 Animals and Their Groups
10 Animals and Their Groups – No color
11 Animals and Their Homes
12 Animals and Their Names
13 Animals and Their Sounds
14 Animals and Their Sounds – no color
15 Animals in Winter
16 Animals of Africa
17 Animals of Antarctica
18 Animals of Asia
19 Animals of Australia/Oceania
20 Animals of Europe
21 Animals of North America
22 Animals of South America
23 Astronomy Cards
24 Botany Cabinet Cards
25 Botany Cabinet Control Charts
26 Botany Cabinet Shapes 3-Part Cards
27 Clouds 3-Part Cards
28 Clouds Book
29 Dinosaurs Set 1
30 Dinosaurs Set 2
31 Earth Nomenclature Book
32 Earth Nomenclature Cards
33 Five Senses
34 Food Groups
35 Herbivores, Carnivores, Omnivores
36 Living and Non-Living Things
37 Magnetic and Non-Magnetic
38 Moon Phases
39 Natural or Artificial
40 Natural Resources
41 Plant or Animal?
42 Plants We Eat
43 Recycling Matters
44 Sink and Float
45 Solar System Nomenclature Book
46 Solar System Nomenclature Cards
47 States of Matter
48 Sun Nomenclature Book
49 Sun Nomenclature Cards
50 Tree Identification Cards – Set 1
51 Tree Identification Cards – Set 2
52 Tree Identification Cards – Set 3
53 Univalve and Bivalve Shells
54 Vertebrates –  Quiz Cards
55 Vertebrates – Amphibians
56 Vertebrates – Birds
57 Vertebrates – Fish
58 Vertebrates – Mammals
59 Vertebrates – Reptiles
60 Vertebrates and Invertebrates
61 Water Cycle
62 Weather 3-Part Cards
63 Weather Book
64 Weather Tracking Cards
65 Where Does it Come From?

Animal Stripes, Spots, or Solid?

Animal Stripes, Spots, or Solid?

Most children love learning about animals. Over the years we’ve created lots of different lessons for classifying animals. Animals can be classified according to if they are Nocturnal or Diurnal,  have Scales, Feathers, or FurHow Many Legs they have, do they Hibernate, Migrate, or Adapt, are they Herbivores, Carnivores, or Omnivores, are they Vertebrates or Invertebratesand now available…..

Do these animals have Stripes, Spots, or a Solid Color?

Animals: Strips, Spots, Solid
It’s a fun lesson with bright, beautiful photographic cards that the children can sort between the categories of Solid, Stripes, or Spots. The lesson includes:

  • 3 sets of category labels
  • 3-part cards for: stripes, spots, solid
  • 12 animals with stripes
  • 12 animals with spots
  • 12 animals with solid coloring
  • 1 control chart

Picture cards with labels are approx. 3″ x 4″. Print 2 sets and you can make a set of 3-Part Cards.

We have a free step by step tutorial on how to prepare 3-Part Cards and also offer many other “How To…” tutorials on our website. Be sure to take a look so that you can make your Montessori materials look gorgeous and last for years.