Discover the Primary Montessori Environment

Practical Life Materials

Practical Life materials help fulfill a child’s need to learn independence - “help me to help me do it myself.”  Exercises in the practical life area include self-care activities and those that care for the environment from pouring and scrubbing to flower arranging, sewing, and grace and courtesy.  Once children develop confidence in these activities they can apply them to daily activities such as serving their classmates a snack or washing down a table.  

Sensorial Materials

Sensorial material allow a child to classify things around them in their environment.  

The word sensorial comes from the word sense or senses and that’s just what the student uses when they work with materials in this area.  Sensorial materials reveal an abstract idea in a concrete form.  Perhaps a student will work with a material where they need to visually determine the similarities or differences of specific objects.  Using a different material, a child may use the sense of touch to determine the smoothness or roughness of a textured tile.  And yet in other activities, students discriminate between different sounds or smells.  Sensorial materials form a foundation for the language and mathematics materials.

Children at the Primary level are like sponges when it comes to language - that is why it is much easier for a young child to learn a foreign language than an older student or adult.  In the Montessori environment children learn the sounds of each letter (not just the name) and begin building words early.  They sing songs and read, name what they see, and use big words.  

Both Practical Life and Sensorial activities help children make sense of the mathematical world in which we live.  Mathematical concepts are absorbed concretely through a child’s work in the Primary classroom.  Eventually these concrete understandings help a child to think abstractly later in their educational career.  Children are able to see the difference between one of something and many using a variety of math materials in the Montessori environment.  

These are a few examples of how our Primary Montessori Program helps to build the foundation for life-long learning.

Ready to explore St. Pius X Montessori School?

Located in Towson, Maryland St. Pius X Montessori School is a private Catholic Montessori school for students in grades Preschool through Eighth Grade. To learn more about our school and the admissions process for the upcoming school year we encourage you to complete a form for our admissions team and register for our next virtual Q&A.

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