Storing and organizing materials is almost as important as the materials themselves. You can have the best materials in the world, but if teachers and students have a hard time finding them or accessing them, the potential for learning and teaching is inherently limited.
Having clear bins with distinct labels within a child’s reach is very important, especially with Montessori teaching methods like ours. We encourage children to actively pursue their own interest at their own pace, so their ability to access desired items easily is important to that model.
I also like the “it should feel like home” notion. We spent a good deal of time and money on renovations to make our center look like a hybrid of home and facility, which we don’t regret, but I very much see the merits of creating a space like a home. Since much of their time will be spent in a home environment, it’s beneficial for kids to learn things in that environment so they can generalize concepts more easily to their home