What happens when I … ? (Science in a Montessori Primary classroom)

Every child is born a scientist. The newborn baby flails her arms and legs erratically until – aha! - she discovers her toes, and some interesting work begins. The toddler drops an object from a height. What happens? Again. Does it happen every time?

Sauren sprinkles salt on ice to see how it changes

Sauren sprinkles salt on ice to see how it changes

Children explore and manipulate everything they can get their hands on. In doing so they're collecting and categorizing data, making sense of the natural world and their place in it. Through repeated experiments, the child under age six is learning and internalizing the laws of physics.

What does this look like in our classroom?

The Primary classroom is filled with real objects for children to handle and explore, to compare, sort, and grade. Through hands-on work with these materials, the child begins to understand abstract concepts like more/less, bigger/smaller, shapes, patterns, and so on.

What happens when I sprinkle salt and water on a block of ice?

What happens when I sprinkle salt and vinegar on a penny?

What happens when I put these batteries in the lantern? What if I put them in backwards?

Sometimes science looks like art. What happens when I sprinkle salt on watercolors? What happens when I paint over crayon marks?

Our classroom is designed to encourage children to ask these questions and follow them as long as they wish – until they're off to the next discovery.

Georgie experiments with color saturation

Georgie experiments with color saturation

“I’m matching them. These go together.” - Margery

“I’m matching them. These go together.” - Margery

-Deborah, Primary West