Music, Art, Fitness, and More
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 education at Daycroft is a comprehensive and carefully structured program for all students in preschool through grade 6. In addition to regularly scheduled general music classes, your child may choose to participate in after-school private lessons on piano. Throughout the school year, all students participate in school-wide musical and dramatic productions incorporating music of many different styles and cultures.
During preschool and kindergarten, music classes emphasize group singing, movement to beat, and experimentation with traditional classroom instruments. In grades 1-2, your child acquires basic music reading skills through games and activities, along with singing simple melodies and moving to music. He or she also plays Orff instruments and, in grade 2, receives instruction on flutophone.
In grade 3, your child continues to develop music reading skills, finger dexterity, ensemble playing, and overall band readiness through the study of recorder and hand chimes. Students in grades 3-4 also enjoy singing and performing rounds and simple two-part choral works.
By the start of grade 4, your child is encouraged to select an orchestra instrument, and formal instrumental study begins. Instrumental students perform in small and large ensembles of increasing difficulty through grade 6.
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.
How Our Students Get “Arts Smart”
Marlene Inman-Reilly, Daycroft's music teacher, tells how arts education benefits your child in many important ways. Watch the video »
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 and Other World Languages
Spanish is offered from kindergarten through 4th grade at Daycroft, followed by other world languages in Grades 5-6. Here is how your child will progress in world languages from year to year:
- Kindergarten – greetings and introductions, asking each other’s names, talking about feelings, numbers 1 to 20, colors, classroom objects, and songs.
- Grades 1-2 – continued practice in greetings and introductions, talking about feelings and songs. Learn Spanish vocabulary for school, family, body parts, food, animals, and “cultura.”
- Grades 3-4 – review and reinforcement of previous years' curriculum. Work on numbers 1 to 100, songs, feelings, verbs, and students will transition to “dialogos” in Spanish only. Introduction to Spanish countries, culture, flags, and more.
- Grades 5-6 – alternate between learning the Chinese language one year and French the next year. Tie this language learning to Daycroft's art and cultural studies. Also get introduced to Japanese, Russian, and others by volunteer Daycroft parents who are fluent in these languages. Conjugate some verbs.
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.
Diane Mukkala, our head of school, shares her thoughts.
Watch Video »
Languages, art, music, and more. What’s new for 2011-12 »
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Order an information packet using our online form. Or call us at 734.662.3335.