Our classroom teachers incorporate components of Dance, Music and Art into the classroom curriculum. We believe that these subjects are very important and we also provide Specialty Classes in these subjects for all of our Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School students.We involve specialists to provide enrichment in the following areas so that the children are exposed to a more comprehensive syllabus.
- Physical Education
- Outdoor Classroom
- Great Outdoors ("GO")
- Foreign Language
- Personal Journey
- Heroic Journey
Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle School students attend dance classes in a beautiful, spacious dance room with bamboo floors. Early Childhood students are introduced to the main elements of dance: time, space and energy, so that they can decipher and make choices in their movement. The students learn how to alter speeds, change levels, utilize space, play with quality, move with their whole bodies/being, mirror positive/negative space, as well as shaping and weaving. Elementary and Middle School students learn more advanced dance elements such as shape, level, direction, size, focus, attack, weight, strength, pathway, locomotor and flow. They also learn how to express themselves through dance and incorporate their own style and how to integrate timing and choreography.
Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle School students attend Music Specialty classes, where they learn music and rhythm theory as well as vocal skills.The students are exposed to many different music styles as well as music from many other cultures. Early Childhood students learn to sing and play instruments and to create, respond to and understand music. Elementary and Middle School students learn to sing and play instruments (including the recorder and guitar, respectively) with a varied repertoire of music alone and with others, and improvise melodies, variations and accompaniments. They also learn to analyze, describe, compose, arrange, read and notate music and to understand music in relation to history and culture.
The Art Studio is available to Third Year Early Childhood (Kindergarten), Elementary, and Middle School students throughout the week. First and Second Year Early Childhood students follow an art curriculum in their classrooms.
Early Childhood students focus on the technical fundamentals of color, shape, perspective and shading.All of the students work with many different media such as paint, pastels, pencil, collage, textiles, etc. Elementary and Middle School students practice the technical elements of art, such as line, shape, color, value, form, texture and space, as well as the principles of design, including balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm and unity.
Our “Artist-in-Residence," Kindra Fehr, works as an adviser for our Early Childhood art curriculum and teaches our Third Year Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School students.
All of our Elementary and Middle School students participate in Physical Education classes. The curriculum includes learning about and playing a variety of team-oriented physical games, with an emphasis on endurance, coordination, flexibility, strength, agility and sportsmanship as they work on general fitness.
Students in our Early Childhood and Lower Elementary programs participate each week in the Outdoor Classroom where they learn about the earth. The purpose of the Outdoor Program is to help students gain an understanding and love for the natural world around them. In essence, they learn to be guardians and stewards of their planet. Science, history, and geography are important elements of the Outdoor Classroom.
Our Upper Elementary and 3rd year Lower Elementary students participate in an environmental expeditions program called "GO." Most Fridays the students go on environmental expeditions throughout the Greater Salt Lake area to locations such as the Cottonwood Canyons, Swaner Wetland, the Bear River, and the Great Salt Lake Desert. The students focus on the three major habitats that surround our natural area: deserts, wetlands and alpine.
The purpose of these expeditions is to give the students a direct, personal connection with their natural world and, through that connection, a better understanding of the world around them as well as of themselves.
All of our Elementary and Middle School students participate in Yoga classes. The students learn asanas (physical yoga postures) to increase their flexibility, strength, focus and balance. They also practice meditation, work with mandalas and learn sanskrit chants to increase focus and awareness.
Children aged 0-6 are in a sensitive period for language development; therefore, exposure to a second language is most effective at this level. Students who move into our Lower Elementary continue being exposed to Spanish through a different approach. In the Early Childhood Dual Language classrooms, children are encouraged to evenly divide their time between Montessori works in English and Spanish. One teacher speaks and presents lessons to the children in English while the other speaks and presents lessons in Spanish. Teachers generally speak their native language though the Spanish teachers are bilingual in case a child needs assistance in English. Children in the classroom have the opportunity to learn how to communicate in both languages. They will experience speaking, listening, reading and writing. Reading and speaking in both languages is necessary to eventually becoming bi-literate and bicultural.
Our Elementary and Middle School students participate in theater workshops each fall, culminating in a Community Theater production. The purpose is not to produce a Broadway worthy production, but to give students the opportunity to take part in all aspects of a play. Younger students learn how to memorize lines, follow acting cues, design props and face the audience. Older students work on projecting their voices, expressing themselves through vocal tone, facial expression and movement. They contribute to the script, direct the scenes, learn to give and receive constructive criticism and cooperate with each other to produce a successful play. They also work on costume and set design and the creation of sound effects.
Dr. Montessori felt that early adolescents have a quest for self-knowledge, which in turn helps adolescents develop their identity. In our hurried society, we want the students to learn to spend time reflecting on goals, reducing stress, and creating a personal vision. This is the focus of the Personal Journey curriculum, which students begin in their 6th grade year of Upper Elementary and complete at the end of their 7th grade year of Middle School. Personal Journey topics include Being Proactive instead of Reactive, Habits, Peer Pressure, Goal-setting, Positive Affirmations, Time Management, Building Relationships with Others, Thinking Win-Win, Healthy Competition, Synergy, Thinking "Abundance" instead of "Scarcity" and Active Listening.
Heroic Journey is a rite of passage program during the 8th grade year that addresses issues pertinent to the needs of early adolescents. This program has several purposes. One is to provide information about the transition from childhood to adolescence and the journey to adulthood. Another is to provide links between generations to help young people make the journey safely. A third is to create challenging and meaningful experiences, similar to those in initiation or rites of passage ceremonies. Students explore topics such as belonging, friendships, adolescent development, stress management, self-esteem, peer pressure, drug education, media manipulation, nutrition and balanced-living.