The upper elementary classroom serves students from 4th to 6th grade. These students have an increasing desire to know “why” something happens and “how something works,” and, the upper elementary environment provides students with the materials and resources to find those answers. The interest in the way things work encompasses the scientific and mathematical world as well as the world of social systems and language. It is at these ages that a child’s sense of social justice inflates, allowing them develop solutions to complicated problems.
A typical upper elementary student will spend his or her work period completing both individual and group projects. He or she will participate in hands on activities and problem based learning that allow them to develop independent and critical thinking.
Like all Montessori classrooms, practical life is important to upper elementary. However, whereas a primary student practical life might be pouring and sorting, an upper elementary student learns skills, such as goal-setting, time management, and planning.