What are the areas of the Montessori classroom?


Practical Life

In the Practical Life area, children work with familiar household activities that they see in everyday life, such as washing, sweeping, etc. These activities help the children to perfect the skills they need. By working in this area, children are not only gaining their essential life skills but they are also developing eye-hand coordination and the ability to concentrate for long periods of time, covering the duration of an activity. As a result of their achievements, they build self-confidence.


In The Baan Dek Montessori children learn to find self expression. Freedom is offered in such a way as to create unique opportunities for them to engage with the world. Social skills are developed in conjunction with a vocabulary that is based on real experience. These tasks help prepare the children for reading and writing but also look beyond such basic skills into the pleasures of reading and writing, and the imagination and creation that is involved.



In the Children’s House, mathematical concepts are introduced to the children in a concrete form. By working with these materials, children slowly grasp concrete ideas and gradually form abstract concepts. This work provides them with a solid foundation for elemental mathematical principles used later in arithmetic work. Montessori environments start with the basics and expand to the complexities of math, stretching to include addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.


Children are keen observers, and as a result, extremely aware of the world. Through their senses, they are constantly exploring their environment. The sensorial materials challenge the children on a number of levels, most importantly, they encourage the children to engage with the elements of the world. Through sensorial exploration, these selected activities nourish and develop the senses, especially communication, observation and exploration.


Arts & Culture

One of the fundamental tenets to Montessori education is culture. Montessori students are well rounded because Montessori strives, above all else, to connect the child to the concrete, material world. Through various activities and materials, Montessori exposes children to the joys of culture. The Baan Dek Montessori constantly strive to expose our students to a wide range of cultural activities, which include music, film, geography and an annual international day.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Montessori and Traditional - Montessori is an entirely different and unique approach to education that places a special emphasis on the senses. In a Montessori classroom children are encouraged to learn at their own pace and are given the freedom to choose from any number of possible activities that are carefully positioned throughout the classroom. 

  • What is a Montessori classroom? - The classroom of a Montessori school is neat and orderly and the materials that are displayed are specifically designed to foster concentration, self-discipline and most importantly, the confidence and independence that is needed to establish a basis for a life of education. The class itself is comprised of a mixed-age group of children, forming a community that offers the children a second home, one in which the directress observers and guides the children. 

  • How are Montessori directresses trained? - The role of the director in the Montessori classroom is not founded upon the traditional model of teacher, as one that teaches in front of the class, but rather on the notion that the director should guide the children and ‘help them to help themselves’. Montessori directors are taught the principles and methods of the Montessori approach to education, both theoretically and practically, in training centers throughout the world, most of which require at least a bachelors degree for admission. 

  • Who accredits Montessori schools? - One of the most important things to consider is if the Montessori school is certified and if the teachers are Montessori trained. Anyone can use the Montessori name so it is important to research the qualifications of the school. There are two recognized Montessori associations that can accredit schools. The first is the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), founded by Maria Montessori, and the second is the American Montessori Society (AMS). The Baan Dek Montessori is proud to announce that we have become the first AMI affiliated school in the history of the state of South Dakota! 

  • What programs are offered? - The Baan Dek Montessori currently offers a primary school education for children between the ages of two and a half and six years old, but there are future plans to include both a toddler and an elementary Montessori program. Classroom programs include: 1. Full-Day Montessori (8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) 2. Half-Day Montessori (8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.). Before and After Care is also available from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

  • Why Montessori? - Montessori education concentrates on the specific needs of the child. Children are taught on a one-to-one basis in a prepared environment, specially designed to meet the requirements of Maria Montessori. This shift in focus, from the traditional classroom model, helps to create a better sense of self for the children, both in terms of independence and self-discipline. Not only are the educational needs of the children met and nurtured, but also, and just as important in Montessori, their social development is enhanced in an environment of mixed-ages (from two and a half to six), predicated on openness and diversity. 

  • Why Five Days a Week? - In the Montessori approach to education consistency is extremely important in developing the child's sense of order and responsibility. They truly feel as if the classroom is their second home and they desire to maintain and care for it. At this formative age, routine is of the utmost importance. The idea is that the more consistency now, the better the foundation for learning in the future. Often, the problems that arise later, such as lack of discipline and lack of concentration, are a direct result of the failure to provide a consistent basis for education.

  • Transient

         Classroom Programs


    • Primary Montessori - We currently offer two primary Montessori classroom options. These are for students between the ages of two and a half and six years old, and run Monday through Friday. 1. Half-Day Montessori (8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.) 2. Full-Day Montessori (8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.) 


    • Toddler Montessori - We currently offer two toddler Montessori classroom options. These are for students between the ages of sixteen months and three years old, and run Monday through Friday. 1. Half-Day Montessori (8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.) 2. Full-Day Montessori (8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.) 


    • Before & After Care - Yes! We offer before and after care for our families between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m and 6 p.m.






    Admissions Process

    1. What's the first step? The Tour. - We recommend that you set up a time to meet with us. We'll walk you through the classroom and introduce you to Montessori approach to education. This is one of our favorite things to do. We love showing new families around, answering any questions that they might have about.

    2. What's the second step? The Observation. - After the initial tour, we suggest that you schedule an appointment to observe the classroom in action. Montessori is one of those things that just needs to be seen. We have observation windows installed outside the classroom, so you can observe the classroom in action. This is a great introduction to the Montessori approach to education. Typically, we recommend that you schedule an appointment mid-week, between 9:30 am and 10:30 am, as that's when the class is at the height of its powers.

    3. What's the third step? The Application. If you decide that Baan Dek is the right fit for your family, we welcome you to submit an application. We'll review it, and get back to you as soon as possible.

    4. What's the fourth step? The Meet Up. The last step of the admissions process is to arrange a time for your child to come in and meet with their new teacher. This is a great way to get familiar with the new environment. It's also an opportunity for our staff to show your child around.