Day in the Life of a Bala House Student

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA8:20 -8:35 am
Four year old Hope’s mother pulls up to the school in carline. Her mother says good-bye as a staff member opens the car door, says, “Good morning Hope,” and helps her out of her car seat. Hope carries her lunchbox to a shelf outside her classroom and sets it down. She finds her hook and struggles with the zipper on her jacket for a while, until five year old Brandon comes over and offers his help. Hope hangs up her own jacket. As she enters the classroom, she is welcomed by the teacher with a handshake and a “good morning Hope.”

8:40 am
Hope sits quietly observing five year old Reanna counting and labeling beads on the 1000 chain. Then she remembers she has the United States of America puzzle map out from the day before. She is anxious to return to her work. She traces the state of California on pink construction paper, punches out the shape with a pin, and glues it onto her map paper. She stops for a moment to look at her paper, exchanges a few words with Angie, who is sitting next to her working with the stamp game, and then proceeds to follow the same steps with the state of Montana.

8:45 am
While working on her map, Hope pauses a moment to look around the room. She notices 3-year-old Jimmy struggling to roll up his rug. She offers to help him. He agrees and she takes one side of the rug. They slowly roll the rug together. Jimmy puts his rug away, and Hope goes back to her work. She completes the last state and sits back to admire her work. A friend walks by and notices Hope’s finished map. “Wow!” the friend exclaims. “You finished your map!” Hope rolls her map carefully and puts it in her drawer. She puts her puzzle map, scissors, pin, and pencil away. She then washes her table that was tacky from the glue.

10:05 am
Hope feels hungry. She goes to the snack table where she finds plates, a bowl of strawberries, tongs, and a small card with the number 4 written on it. She asks a friend, Brandon, to join her. They each wash their hands, put 4 strawberries on their plates with the tongs, and pour water from a small pitcher into their cups. They sit at the table eating and talking. When they finish, they wash their plates, sponge the table, and sweep the floor, leaving the snack area clean and ready for another group of children to use. The snack will remain set up for the rest of the morning work time.

10:15 am
Hope collects the golden bead material to do some static addition. She invites her friends Julianne and Faith to join her in this work. They add numbers utilizing units, tens, hundreds, and thousands, using concrete bead material. At the same time, a group of children leave the classroom to go to Music class where they will play rhythm instruments, sing and dance.

10:30 am
The teacher rings a bell to signal clean-up time. Hope and her two friends clean up their golden bead materials and join the teacher and other children at the circle.

10:40 am
The children sing songs and discuss the calendar together. They role play how to wait patiently when a teacher is working with another student. The teacher ends circle time by reading a story to the children.

11:00 am
The teacher calls the children two at a time to go to the bathroom, put on their coats, and line up to go outside to play. Reanna plays soccer with the five year olds on the field. Jimmy and his two friends help a teacher cut flowers from the garden for flower arranging. The rest of the group enters our spacious, tree lined playground. They play tag, hula hoop, and kick balls. While swinging on the monkey bars, some of the children sing a song that they learned during circle time. “We love this song,” they call out to their teacher.

11:30 am
The children of Hope’s class are called to line up for lunch. Hope waves good-bye to her new friend Gwen who is lining up with her class. They walk in line to the door. The teacher asks Jimmy to hold the door open for his classmates. As each child walks past Jimmy, they politely say, “Thank you Jimmy.”

11:45 am
The teacher asks the children to join her at the circle. She holds up name cards one at a time. The children quietly peer at the names. Upon reading their name, they either prepare for lunch or prepare for dismissal if their day ends at 12 pm.

11:55 am
Children staying for lunch wash their hands, gather their lunchboxes and placemats, and sit at the tables. They children open their lunchboxes, set out their food on placemats, unfold their napkins and place them on their laps, and then place their lunchboxes under their chairs. They sit, talk, and eat. Hope has a squeeze yogurt in her lunchbox. She tries to tear the top off, but it won’t come off. Reanna gets up and gets a pair of scissors and offers them to Hope. She cuts the end of her wrapper off then puts the scissors away. Hope notices Reanna using the apple slicer to cut her own apple and thinks to herself that she might bring an apple in her lunchbox tomorrow.

12:15 pm
The children finish lunch and begin to clean up. They put away lunchboxes, sweep, sponge their placemat and table, and put any leftover food in the trash. Hope reminds Reanna that apple cores can go into the trash.

12:30 pm
The teacher calls the children one at a time to line up to go outside to have some more fun on the playground. Outside, a teacher helps two children plant seeds in the garden, several friends dig in the sandbox, and a group of pays and girls play soccer.

1:00 pm
Hope waves good-bye to two of her friends that leave midday, as she sees their parents come to pick them up. She then says good-bye to her 3 year old friend, Jimmy, who goes inside with a group of children to take a nap.

1:30 pm
Hope and her friends are called to line up to go back inside. When they enter the extended care classroom they are asked to sit on the circle. The teacher presents a simple science experiment to the children. The children are delighted to watch her mix red, yellow, and blue colored water to make orange, green, and purple. The teacher invites the children to try the experiment and shows them where it will be located on the shelf.

1:45 pm
Circle time is over and Hope and her friends decide to play in the dramatic play area. This week it is set up like a veterinary hospital. Hope pretends she is a vet and uses a stethoscope on a stuffed dog. Then she bandages the dog. Brandon pretends he is grooming another stuffed dog by placing him in the tub and scrubbing him. Next he talks on the phone to a customer while he is writes on the clipboard what type of medicines the dog needs. Four year old Lucy walks to the bell stand and picks up the striker. She very gently strikes the first bell. She listens to the sound of the bell until she can longer hear it. She does the same with the next two bells. The teacher comes over and asks if she can show her how to match the bells. They work on the first three bells, mixing them up then matching them to a control set of bells. The teacher does this first then offers the striker to Lucy. Lucy matches the bells easily. The teacher observes that Jonah, a three year old child, is watching Lucy match the bells. She asks Lucy to give him a lesson and Lucy agrees.

2:45 pm
The teacher asks Hope to get her map, lunchbox and jacket. Hope lines up with the other extended care children that leave at 3 pm. They walk in a line to the red benches lined up outside the school.

3:00 pm
Hope’s mother pulls up in the car line. Hope says good-bye to her friends sitting on the red benches. The teacher helps Hope climb into her car and says good-bye. Hope’s mom pulls the car into a parking space and buckles her in. They are now ready to go home.

Bala House Montessori - 27 Conshohocken State Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 - p. (610) 664-6767 - f. (610) 664-6792