I recently had the opportunity to visit my friend Erin Roberts in Asheville, NC. I’ve known Erin for about 14 years. We worked together at the Montessori School of Syracuse and she is one of the small handful of people I’ve met who seem to have been born with an intuitive understanding of Montessori.
A few years ago, Erin moved to the Asheville area of North Carolina to open her own Montessori program. It’s called Mighty Oaks Montessori and it is everything your dream home-based Montessori preschool would be… with gardens, and goats, and chickens, and everything!
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Scroll down to see close up photos of many of these shelves.
Erin makes being a Montessori guide seem completely effortless. She’s a natural!
If you ever get a chance to visit Mighty Oaks Montessori and Erin, do so! You will love it!
Erin’s Montessori Classroom Setup
I dropped in on Erin right as the last child was leaving for the day. Some people look at photos of Montessori classrooms and think they’re staged. Yes, a Montessori classroom can look this clean and orderly at the end of the day. Why? Because “care of the environment” is built into every single lesson we give. An integral part of every activity is the process of cleaning it up and preparing it for the next person to use. And there are supplies a plenty to clean up spills and other messes. This is part of the Montessori practical life curriculum.
Here’s Erin with her early practical life shelves! Love the sweet little transfer activities for refining fine motor skills and all those polishing works for increasing concentration and building those sequencing skills!
This little stand is just perfect for the hand washing station! I believe the stand is from Ikea and you can find this pitcher and bowl at Montessori Services (affiliate link)
And of course, cloth washing!
This little stand is for flower arranging. Looks like all the flowers have been used up for the day!
This corner houses the Montessori sensorial materials.
I wanted to draw your attention to this awesome dressing frames cabinet next to the pink tower. I have always struggled with displaying my dressing frames… they just take up so much space! this stand looks perfect! Erin reports that it doesn’t seem to deter her students from using the dressing frames one bit. She does admit that she likes to present the dressing frames lessons often so that may have something to do with their popularity!
When I shared this photo of Erin’s sensorial shelf on Instagram recently, many of you admired the display of the color boxes without their lids. The color tablets sure are attractive! Wouldn’t you want to get your hands on these as you were walking by the shelves? (Speaking of, you may want to keep the boxes covered during the first few weeks of school when your new students are still getting the hang of how to take a work to a rug or table…)
The brown stair and the knobbed and knobless cylinders.
Here are the geometric solids and constructive triangle boxes. Do any of you display the triangle boxes without lids?
This shelf has the binomial and trinomial cubes and the tactile exercises. Lots of activities for exploring the sense of touch!
Did you notice the amazing photo above the metal insets? It’s a puzzle! How perfect!
Here’s a view of the language area.
Those Waseca reading drawers are so enticing! I can’t think of a single child who would not want to work with those! You can even see some beginning grammar activities on the bottom right (the pink tray with the flowers is for learning about conjunctions.)
This shelf has lots of supplies for creating art
Hello bead cabinet! It looks like I forgot to take photos of the math shelves, but you can take a look at them in the video.
Here’s the map cabinet and the science shelf
The rest of the science and geography shelves. I almost forgot to mention that Erin and her family built all these Montessori classroom shelves by hand! Aren’t they lovely? #diygoals
And outside are goats and chickens! What fun!
Yup! Definitely a dream learning environment!
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