A Day in the Life of an Elementary Montessori Student

A Day in the Life of an Elementary Montessori Student 

Meet Kristoffer and Joey - Kristoffer is a 3rd year, Lower Elementary student (3rd grade), and Joey is a 1st year, Upper Elementary student (4th grade).  Both Kristoffer and Joey are students here at St. Pius X Montessori School, located just south of Towson.  

“Welcome Back - We are so happy to see you!”

Upon arrival, in the Lower Elementary classroom, Kristoffer places his lunch and jacket on the hook and his folder in the bin.  Then he settles down on the rug with a book to wait for the rest of his classmates to arrive.  Meanwhile upstairs, Joey goes to his table and greets his friends.  He gathers his pencil and work journal and takes his place on the rug to await the rest of his classmates and today's work plan.  

Freedom within Limits

After the morning announcements and prayer, Kristoffer is invited to choose work.  He excitedly chooses the Chequerboard and is eager to work with a partner to solve a large multiplication problem: 4,535 x 12,563. The Chequerboard allows children to build on what they know about value placement, regrouping, multiplication, and addition to conduct large multiplication problems.  Upstairs, Joey participates in the daily community meeting discussing group ideas, problems, and solutions, after which he reviews his daily work plan and selects a material to begin his day.  Joey chooses the Racks and Tubes material to use with a partner, as he had a lesson on long division the previous day.


At some point during his day, Kristoffer travels to the Level II Atrium where he works with the parable of The Pharisee and the Tax Collector, which helps with moral formation and sacramental prep in recognizing the gift of God’s mercy for all of us.  Joey also meets in the Atrium, Level III, where he receives a lesson on The Complete Mass: The Missal which provides the student with a deeper understanding of the parts of the mass including Liturgy of the Word, Preparation of the Bread and Wine, the Eucharistic Prayer, and Communion, therefore allowing them a richer experience during Mass.

Outdoor Recess and Lunch

As the time for recess and lunch nears, Kristoffer begins to clean up his work area, returning materials to the appropriate shelf, rolling his work mat up, and cleaning his table for lunch.  Joey returns his materials to the shelf and with his tablemates, prepares the area for lunch.  The boys head outside to enjoy the sunshine and play a game of basketball, football, or tag with their friends.  

Once the classes come back inside, Kristoffer and Joey head to the sink to wash their hands before sitting down for lunch.  During lunch, the students socialize with one another using quiet, inside voices and when lunch is over, the tables are wiped down and students ready themselves for their afternoon work period by sharpening pencils and gathering materials.

The Afternoon Work Period

Just like the morning, the afternoon work period is a busy time in the Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms.  Kristoffer is receiving a Science lesson about plants. His teacher will use a branch of celery and some food coloring, along with the process of capillary action, to show how a stem works to carry water from the root system to the leaves of a plant.  In the Upper Elementary classroom, Joey is working in a small group on a  country research project.  He and two other students are surrounded by books about France taking notes for the paragraphs they will write and preparing illustrations and charts for their poster. 

“Thanks for a great day!  See you tomorrow!”

It’s 3 o’clock and time to get ready to go home.  After all the engaging activities of the day, students in both the Lower and Upper Elementary rooms begin to clean up the space with the help of their peers.  Students can be seen dusting and straightening materials on shelves, watering plants, and sweeping the floor.  The excitement of the day is winding down, but Kristoffer and Joey can’t help but think “what will tomorrow hold?”

Every day in the Montessori classroom students engage in activities that teach them the skills and build the foundation to be lifelong learners.  Mathematics, Language Arts, Independence, Practical Life, Social Interaction, and Respect are among the many skills that are covered each day.