Curriculum ~ Specials
The Visual Arts program at DCS Montessori is designed around the idea of Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE). This is based around four key elements Art History, Art Production, Art Criticism, and Aesthetics.
1. Art History- is not just “who made what when,” but is the history of objects and the history of people through art. Works of art provide a unique documentation of cultural changes throughout history. Studying historical works not only gives us insights into the past, but can also provide valuable insights and information about the present.
2. Art Production- Art Production is the making of art, and the various components of making art, such as use of tools, manipulation of media, form and expression.
3. Art Criticism- Art Criticism is the examination and discussion of style, formal principals of design and elements of art (in terms of color, line, perspective, texture, and shading).
4. Aesthetics- is the philosophy of art. Philosophical questions about art seem to be unanswerable. What is art? What is good art? What is beauty? It is important in the study of art that students engage their brains, think about what they are doing, learning, and feeling about their art and the art of others. In studying art through aesthetic questioning, the answer is not important. The act of working through the puzzle provided by the question is extremely important.
Our music program is based on the philosophy and practice of Orff Schulwerk, a vibrant approach to music education developed by composer and educator Carl Orff in collaboration with colleague Gunild Keetman. Orff defined the ideal music for children as “never alone, but connected with movement, dance and speech – not to be listened to, meaningful only in active participation”. Orff said, “Experience first, then intellectualize.”
Based on this ideal, the approach begins from the premise that every child is innately musical and naturally loves to play, sing and dance. Children build understanding of concepts and skills through experiencing music on all levels including speech/chants, movement, singing, drama and playing pitched and non-pitched instruments.
Children are encouraged to experience music at their own level of understanding. They learn in their natural environment of play. They add their own ideas to each experience through improvisation composition and choreography. Their activities call for the children’s use of intellect, imagination, senses, emotions, social and physical skills in ways that contribute to their total educational experience.
Music at DCS Montessori is part of every child’s school experience throughout the K-6 span. Children come to music classes once a week. Kindergarten classes learn routines of working together in musical ways – playing with their voices, bodies and simple props, developing a movement vocabulary and engaging their fantasy life through improvisation, story and drama. They freely explore the possibilities of musical expression at their level of thought and emotion.
Elementary students begin ensemble playing on specially designed tonebars known as Orff instruments. They learn vocabulary for musical concepts and broaden their repertoire of musical pieces, songs and folk dances. The students move into a technical phase of musical training learning details of musical grammar, fundamental concepts and correct techniques while maintaining a playful, exploratory approach. Improvisation and composition expand both their involvement and understanding.
“Tell me, I forget…
show me, I remember…
Involve me, I understand.”
~ Carl Orff
Physical Education (PE)
The P.E. program at DCS Montessori is that phase of the general educational program that contributes, primarily through movement experiences, to the total growth and development of each child. It is an instructional program that gives attention to all the various learning styles. We strive to teach children principles of human wellness.
The promotion of physical development and the achievement of personal fitness goals are stressed. We work on developing competency in a wide variety of physical skills, which allows students to function effectively in physical activities.
The development of a satisfactory self-image is strived for in Physical Education. Safety skills, cooperative and competitive attitudes are learned, also. Our classes offer an environment of effective social interaction, where children learn to understand the importance of participation, cooperation, and tolerance. Children experience interaction with other classmates and how the quality of their behavior influences others response to them. And yet, in accomplishing these greater goals, we also strive to have a lot of fun as well.
At DCS Montessori we recognize the importance of 21st Century Technology skill building for all students 1st – 8th. Computers are a part of our everyday life. We are committed to seeing every student thrive in a technological environment and embrace these life skills with confidence and expertise. Our technology curriculum framework encompasses both National Education Technology Standards (NETS) and District Instructional Technology. Lower and Upper Elementary students will progress through our grade appropriate framework covering authentic content in the areas of creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision making, Digital Citizenship (Netiquette and Safety) and Technology Operations and Concepts.
Our Technology curriculum is also closely aligned with our classroom teachers to build upon the learning in the classroom. We work in unison with our classroom teachers to add the most value and relevance to student learning and understanding. Students are presented stimulating learning materials in curriculum units covering computer basics, keyboarding, technology ethics, real-world solutions, internet research, multimedia, graphs and formulas, and inside the computer. Our curriculum emphasizes the importance of authentic tasks and problem solving experiences using technology resources. We will empower your students to use the right tools for the right situation and become a skilled 21st century student.
DCS Montessori Technology Website: https://sites.google.com/a/dcsdk12.org/dcsm-tech-web/apps