Practical Life in the Montessori Classroom is commonly identified as serving four areas of development. These are coordination, concentration, order, and independence. Students at the Elementary level continue to build these skills through work across curricular areas. In particular, the youngest members of the classroom continue to refine their hand-eye coordination and gross motor dexterity through work with pencil and scissor grips, carrying materials, and moving about the classroom and school environment. Students build concentration as they continue to self-select their work and workspaces during the three-hour independent work cycle each morning.
Students have increased responsibility for planning and executing their day as they choose their morning assignments with the guidance of a teacher by filling out a work plan. They are then responsible for using their work plan to guide their morning activities as they initiate, follow through, and complete assignments independently. As in the Early Childhood program, students develop order through independent care of self and of the environment. In particular, students have increased responsibility for order in the environment as they develop organizational skills through keeping materials such as unfinished work, completed assignments, and homework in designated areas. Throughout the day, students synthesize their nascent coordination, concentration, sense of order, and independence as they consistently move throughout the classroom environment taking care not to disturb others or their work.