There are SOME activities organized into a tray for the children's use; these tend to be for the very new and the very young.
They progress away from this set-up very quickly in primary; in elementary, they use empty trays to go collect all the items they need to bring back to their work space.
Even in primary, the children will need to go elsewhere in the environment to collect items to finish their work set-up (items to be polished, for example, should not be placed next to the polishing trays - the children should be polishing items from all around the environment).
THIS WORK IS ON A TRAY.
THIS WORK IS NOT ON A TRAY!
Neither is this on a tray:
None of this stuff is on a tray:
|this was before I added more horizontal shelves....|
even then, there was one tray, organizing some language stuff -
a basket really. It stayed on the shelf and the children took the cards they wanted.
There is a writing tray on the one desk there: aha! A TRAY!!!
MORE TRAYS! Can you spot them? They are in the back corner, so the elementary children can collect their supplies and bring them to their work area.
We do have mats.... lots of those!
Maybe Montessori is Mats.
2 trays: one with the number bead bars 1-9; the other is used for transporting golden bead materials from another shelf to the.... MAT.
NO trays! For all that math!
Wow. So few trays (most are in practical life, unpictured here, not sure where the pictures went). And this is actually a genuine Montessori environment. With so few trays?
Oh yeah! Montessori is MATS. (that is said tongue-in-cheek - Montessori is actually not mats either).