A Day in the Life of a Primary Montessori Student

A Day in the Life of a Primary Montessori Student

Meet Amelia - she is a second-year, five-year-old Primary Montessori student at St. Pius X Montessori school.

“Good Morning - We are so happy to see you!”

Upon arrival, Amelia places her lunch box in the bin, her take-home-folder in the classroom mailbox, and seats herself with friends on the rug socializing and waiting patiently for the morning to begin.

Freedom within Limits

After the morning announcements and prayer, Amelia is invited to choose work.  She walks over to a farm display, opens a box, removes various farm animals, and places them around the farm. Then she takes a box of grammar symbols to her table. She chooses an animal from the farm and writes a description of the animal in beautiful cursive. Next, she opens the grammar box and symbolizes the phrase. Amelia enjoys working with the farm because she loves animals. The purpose of the farm is to introduce the function of the adjective and to introduce conjunctions and prepositions. 

Atrium Time

During the 3-hour uninterrupted work cycle, Amelia visits the Atrium (a prepared environment for students to grow in their love and understanding of the Good Shepherd) and receives a lesson on “The Found Sheep” which helps the child understand that Jesus knows all of us and calls us by name.  

False Fatigue

As is typical for most children, mid-morning, Amelia can be seen wandering through the room.  Dr. Maria Montessori referred to this momentary relestness as false fatigue; not to fear, the trained assistant keeps a watchful eye on Amelia and offers her some choices - perhaps she’d like to spend a few minutes at the snack table enjoying today’s snack, sliced apples with cheese, or maybe she’d like to continue working with the stamp game. Amelia writes a multiplication problem on stamp game paper. She builds a 4-digit multiplicand with the color-coded stamps and repeats the action until she has done it the same amount of times as the multiplier. Next, she counts the stamps and records her answer. Once done, she clears her table and sets up another problem. 

Outdoor Recess and Lunch

It’s almost time to head outside to enjoy the playground and nature.  Amelia begins to clean up her work and return the materials to the shelf; she retrieves her lunch from the bin and sets out her placemat; she grabs her jacket from the hook and buttons it up.  Amelia is ready to get in line and wait patiently for the remainder of her classmates.  Outside, Amelia takes turns on the sliding board and swings and walks around with her teacher searching for worms to save after the heavy rain from the previous day.

Once the class comes back inside, Amelia hangs up her coat and heads to the sink to wash her hands before she sits down for lunch.  During lunch, the students socialize with one another using quiet, inside voices and when lunch is over, Amelia helps wipe down her table to ready it for the afternoon work period. 

The Afternoon Work Period

While the younger students (3 and 4 year-olds) get ready for rest time, Ameila sits down with a classmate and their teacher for a lesson on reading analysis. The two children are introduced to the parts of a sentence and how they relate to each other. Their first lesson is on the predicate because it is the most essential part of a sentence. The teacher writes a phrase for each child. The children read and act out their phrases. Then they symbolize the words with the grammar symbols and have a discussion about word order. 

“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, Amelia helps her classmates sweep the floor, water the plants, and check the mailbox for important papers to take home.  It’s been such a fun day, Amelia can’t wait to return tomorrow to see what new work awaits her.

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