It turns out cleaning had nothing to do with it.
- They define the student’s workspace and illustrate the Montessori principle of "freedom within limits."
- If a student needs to walk away from her work at any time, she can return to find their work in the same place they left it..
- It teaches order. The students begin and end each activity with a work mat. It’s the first material they gather and the last one they put away.
Lindsay Ungewitter, a primary teacher at Pinewoods Montessori, always enjoys introducing her students to the mat. “I demonstrate how to roll and unroll a mat. I present it with quiet and focus, and the students always watch very intently. When I show them how to roll it up again, I pay great attention to keeping the sides even as I roll. I then admire my tightly rolled mat and use two hands to return it to the basket.”
Come visit Pinewoods and observe the classroom to see the mats (and the children) for yourself. You’ll see how the children use their mats and get a real sense of what makes Montessori so special.