In the Montessori classroom, the space is divided into several logical areas by low open shelves: practical life, sensorial, language, math, art, music, geography and science. The Montessori Curriculum is an integrated thematic approach that ties the separate disciplines together into studies of the physical universe, the world of nature, and the human experience. In this way, one lesson leads to many others. Each material isolates one concept or skill that has been specially designed in a way that children are naturally drawn to want to work with it with little or no nudging from adults. Each material has been also designed so that a child can normally check his own work; we call this a built-in “control of error.”
The intention of the materials is not to keep the children dependent on these artificial learning aids forever; they are used as tools to help children work and learn at their own pace and to see abstract ideas presented in a very concrete, three-dimensional way while helping them grasp and understand what they are working on.