Sunday, October 31, 2010

art, floor, and table mats.....hmmmmmm what are those?

In a Montessori classroom you will find art, floor and table mats. Sounds strange, I know, but trust me-they are fabulous. For art mats, think about a plastic place mat. Cut it in half. Now you have two art mats. When a child is doing art work at a table in the classroom, they need an art mat. This mat defines their space. This is their space to do their art work. A table mat works the same way. If a child is bringing, for example, a manipulative to the table, they first need to get a table mat. A cloth place mat works really well here. It again, defines the work area of the child. Lastly, floor mats. If a child is doing work on the carpet, he or she needs to get a floor mat first. A very small throw rug that can be rolled up works well. This floor mat defines the workspace of the child. It is a notice to everyone else that this child is working, do not disturb. The other children and adults in the room need to respect this, and walk around the mat. Imagine a classroom of 18 children. Lets say 8 are working at tables and 10 are working on the carpet. Now, imagine those 10 children and their 10 different activities all over the carpet. Kids, puzzles pieces, blocks, and manipulatives all over the place. Now imagine those 10 children, all sitting at their own designated place. They are each working with their own activity, at their own mat.........ahhhhhhh so wonderful, peaceful, and calm. If you haven't seen it before, trust me, it works.......and it's wonderful. If you have multiple children at home these type of mats can be purchased and used in the home as well.

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