Standard Montessori lessons relate to 10 curriculum categories, including cosmic studies, geography, history, language arts and mathematics. Montessori lessons also teach about art, music and movement, practical life and science. Montessori schools also have lessons designed for infants and others to promote sensorial awareness.
It is necessary to introduce students to new material, and teachers do this through a three-period lesson. The first period is for "naming," or teaching the new concept directly. In the second period, teachers guide students in recognizing and making associations with the new concept. The third period is the "testing" phase when the teacher sees if the students have learned the new concept.
The classroom starts with a Montessori-trained teacher who observes the children to ascertain their individual developmental needs. Teachers then prepare the classroom with materials to meet those needs. Montessori teachers leave the children free to make their own choices about what to study at any given time. The teachers are there to facilitate and guide the students' learning.
The Montessori method is focuses more on placing children in a well-planned and structured environment than on individual lessons. The Montessori method requires structuring the classroom environment to meet individual student needs. Within that environment, students need not only a freedom of movement but also a structure within the order and sequence of materials. Lessons should promote active learning.