Throughout my 3 years of teaching, there is something that has never stopped amazing me: the amount of questions we get. Questions such as: who makes the clouds? how many starts are there in the sky? how do your bone grow? why is the sky blue? The questions are endless. But the proof is there: the children are inquisitve by nature and a Montessori classroom should quench their thirst. Science should an integral part of the Montessori curriculum in which children develop problem solving skills and pursue their curiosity. In our classroom, children are introduced to zoology, botany, astronomy and chemistry and they develop a fascination for the universe, nature and the world in which we live.
I already wrote a post regarding our science corner (right here) and I haven't really modified it. I removed the geography/culural shelf as I have created a special corner for it and I also took some activities away. Relevant materials with graded instructions will be slowly reintroduced throughout the year as we follow our curriculum, our themes and each season.
Science for young children need not be complicated or expensive. The important thing is that they see things happen firsthand and participate. So, here is what our science corner look like:
These are wooden wine boxes I nailed to the wall. It will hold all our botany and zoology puzzles cabinets. I have also placed a tray with our Lotto game (fruit theme). I have also purchase a little cabinet for leaf puzzles and cards. It hasn't arrived yet but I have left the bottom box on the right free. This is where it will go. I will use the boxes on top as an interest/season/nature table.
On the left hand side of the botany/zoology cabinets, we have a little "pretend" window with a sign placed above it that says "what can we see outside our window?". According to the seasons and the holidays, we place laminated pictures of landscapes, animals, plants, flowers etc..
This is a zoology shelf. We have our aquarium with rock pooling creatures, jigsaws about animals and their habitats, jigsaws about what animals eat, pictures of animals around the world, farm animals and dinosaurs etc.. Nothing new on that shelf really.
This is our nature and science shelf. I place shells, drift wood, rocks, whale bones etc.. on the shelf for the children to touch, play with and investigate. This is where I will also have the activity with magnets, the activity called "what make a sound" (this is a science center activity to explore sounds made by common objects), objects that spin or roll, a magnifying board etc.. Again, everything will be gradually presented to the children. No need to overwhelm them with too many new experiences.
This is what our science/corner looks like when you stand out a little bit: