Music, Art, and More

child painting during art class at Daycroft

Your child’s education at Daycroft Montessori School does not stop with math, language arts, science, and cultural studies. Our special programs help students stretch themselves artistically, musically, physically, and technically.

Music

child painting during art class at DaycroftMusic education at Daycroft is a comprehensive program for all students in preschool through grade 8. Throughout the school year, all students participate in school-wide music productions incorporating music of many different styles and cultures. Students in all grades are exposed to a variety of vocal and instrumental music as well as connections between music, culture, and the other arts. Creative expression through music and the arts is nurtured in all grade levels.

In preschool and kindergarten, music classes emphasize engaging students with music, movement to beat, group singing, and experimentation with classroom instruments. In grades 1-2, students progress to group and solo singing, playing on classroom Orff instruments, and learning basic music reading skills through games and activities. Students in grades 1-2 learn to move to music in different meters and styles and how to tell stories through music.

In grade 3, students continue to develop music reading skills, continue singing alone and in groups and are able to sing simple songs in parts. Ukulele is introduced in grade 3 and students learn both to play chordal accompaniments and melodies. Through ukulele students further develop music reading skills, finger dexterity, and ensemble playing. From grade 3 and up students are eligible to participate in the after school choir and ukulele clubs.

By the start of grade 4, your child is encouraged to select an orchestra instrument, and formal instrumental study begins. Violin, viola, cello, and bass are offered. Students learn to play their instrument through small group instruction and also rehearse as a large ensemble. Instrumental students continue to study in small and large ensembles of increasing difficulty through grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Students in these grades are also eligible to participate in the after school choir and ukulele clubs.

In addition to regularly scheduled music classes, after school choir, and after school ukulele club, your child may choose to participate in after school private violin or ukulele lessons.

Art

A studio environment is prepared for students to engage in choice-based art education. We regard your child as an artist capable of choosing subject matter, materials, and approach. Top-quality art materials are organized for visual appeal and easy accessibility.

Art lessons introduce materials, techniques, and care of supplies. The new medium is then available in the art studio. Pacing the introduction of classical art forms—drawing, painting, fiber arts, ceramics, and 3D construction—assures that your child develops fundamental art skills.

By engaging in artistic work of most interest to your child, he or she becomes highly invested in formulating ideas for art making. At times, experimenting with various media captivates your child, while at other times, mastering a skill through repetition is most intriguing. When difficulties arise, problem-solving occurs. The desire to create a successful art piece naturally motivates your child to persevere through these challenges.

Working in a cooperative studio environment where students learn from each other encourages your child to appreciate how artists explore creative expression of themes and ideas that are important to them.

Outdoor Learning Environments

Daycroft’s garden, pond, and wetlands provide many opportunities for your child to explore and learn about nature. Outdoor activities reinforce classroom lessons in math, language arts, and cultural studies.

Spanish

Spanish is offered from kindergarten through eighth grade at Daycroft. Younger students will focus on vocabulary, with grammar being added in the upper grades. Students will also learn about Hispanic cultures in various Spanish-speaking countries. This is an academic class with an emphasis on listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish, but equally important is that students have fun and stay engaged so they develop a lifelong interest in language and an open mind toward other cultures. The goal of the program is for students to begin high school at a Spanish 2 level or above.

Physical Education

Daycroft’s physical education program offers a variety of games and activities involving the entire class. Your child will have PE twice per week in preschool and kindergarten, and three times per week in grades 1-6.

Physical activity is important to the development of your child’s mind and body. Daycroft’s PE classes include games designed to develop your child’s social, emotional, and physical well-being. Cooperation, good sportsmanship, and teamwork are stressed in all activities. Your child is not graded in PE, but is encouraged to try hard, not give up, and do his or her best.

Library and Technology

Daycroft offers a multi-faceted library and technology program integrating language arts, information literacy, and technology. We primarily use a project-based approach, supplemented by focused lessons and exercises, to build your child’s skills in comprehension, writing, and information access.

Your child uses technology to research, organize, evaluate, and creatively communicate information and learning. He or she learns to use multiple applications in the course of completing a project. As examples of integrated projects, your child may:

  • Use the study of literature as a jumping-off point for creative writing, then present his or her work with publishing software.
  • Study poetry, then write verses to creatively convey what he or she has learned through research.
  • Use online graphic organizers to develop questions on a curricular topic, work through the research process, and synthesize his or her learning in a multimedia presentation.

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