Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Match It Back!

One essential component of a Montessori environment is the replacement of materials once a child has finished an activity.  Putting away one's materials is the last part of the child's work cycle throughout the Montessori work period.  For some of the children in my class, I've noticed that while they are putting the materials back on the shelf, they might not necessarily end up in the same spot.  This presents a challenge in the classroom because others might not be able to later locate a specific lesson.  In my classroom this is particularly evident with the lessons of Practical Life.  To bring more awareness to the replacement of materials in their proper spots in the classroom, I made up a simple game to play at circle time called, 'Match It Back."  It is so simple, but the children have responded well to it.

'Match It Back' set up on the rug.
Once the children are all gathered around the circle, we placed three small mats on the rug.  Then, I placed one item on each mat, making sure that the items I chose were familiar to all of the children.  Next, I called one child by name to pick up an item (I named each item - a great language reinforcer too!) and sit back down with it.  When three children had been called and had retrieved their item, I invited all the children to chant, "One, two three, match it back!"  At this point the three children walk to place their item exactly where they found it.  Once everything is back in place, I switch the placements and the game is repeated until everyone who wants a turn has one.

We used these items the first time we played this game, but it can easily be adapted to create more of a challenge.  For example, I plan to use items from a similar group such as three different Color Tablets or Geometric Solids - the possibilities are endless.  Also, the game can be played with more than three mats for added memory work.


  1. Cute idea! It amuses me what funny names they come up with for material they can't remember the correct name for. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Thanks, Mandy. I like thinking of all the variations of how to play the game. Thank you for reading and your kind comment. Take care, Sasha