Art is one of the many ways children express themselves and a way for children to communicate their feelings. It is through art that children develop their fine motor skills and the ability to view the world in a different way.
At NSM we explore Art through exposure and hands-on work.
Our Toddlers and Preschoolers are guided in their own art projects within the classroom.
The elements of art are discussed and practiced at all levels K-8th. Students express themselves through a variety of mediums – painting, printmaking, sculpting, drawing, and fiber arts, integrated with Montessori curriculum – history, world cultures, science and math.
Problem solving and self motivation are a focus to promote life-long learners and makers.
At the end of the year our students participate in the annual art show, a community event held in a local art studio – a time of celebrating the creative mind of all students and their families.
Our K-8 Art class is guided by Gwen Eberly.
In addition to fostering a love of music and the arts, developing musical abilities builds skills related to math and language. It has been shown that music development helps children build pattern recognition and spatial reasoning, both of which are important math skills. Current research also shows that music skills share neural pathways with language development. Building music skills helps develop auditory abilities and phonological awareness, which are necessary for reading development.
Music is incorporated into the Montessori curriculum in the daily classroom environment, as well as, through music classes and private lessons. Music classes, taught by a music specialist, take place in multi-aged, group settings for students Kindergarten through 8th grade, while private lessons in piano, voice, guitar, ukulele, violin & viola are offered.
In Preschool, we focus most on expression and engagement by encouraging children to sing, dance, chant, play instruments and musical games through teacher demonstrations and individual work. Teachers use pitched bells and tone bars to teach various concepts, such as loudness and softness, low and high notes, and matching pitch by humming along with a certain note.
In Early/ Upper Elementary and Middle School, we give more context to the sounds that they’ve already grown familiar with by exploring the physics of music and sound, as well as, music history. Program level continent studies help to inspire music class were students learn native songs. Students also learn music vocabulary, as to properly discuss tone, pitch, melody, tempo and rhythm, while aware of their definitions and distinctions.
New School Montessori sees daily evidence of the importance of language in early childhood development. It is amazing to observe how easily and avidly young children acquire language and build vocabulary. This inclination for language occurs because children are experiencing a sensitive period for language development from birth until roughly age six. From infancy, the need to communicate with others drives a child’s language progression from sounds to words to conversation. During the sensitive period for language, children are most interested in learning the names for everything around them. And as they expand their vocabulary, children are feeding their inclination to learn and develop.
We offer Spanish for our younger friends in the classroom in the form of singing Spanish songs, practicing colors or animals in Spanish and more. Our K-8th graders are participating in Spanish class 4 times a week and concentrating on conversational skills, history, holidays. and racial diversity in Latin America.
For our students, K-3rd grade, the focus is in conversational Spanish where students learn words and phrases that are relevant to their lives. With the progression to our Upper Elementary program, students begin to focus on the structure of the Spanish language with an emphasis not only on conversational skills but also on reading and writing.
Movement is a vital component in brain development and is, therefore, inherent in the Montessori environment.
We aim to create Physical Education lessons that are purposeful, teach fundamental movement patterns and skills, and reinforce Montessori concepts learned in the classroom. Toddler and Primary students work on large motor skills, balance and coordination, and very basic ball handling and sports skills. Our Natural Playground is the perfect environment for them to work on their gross motor control and cooperation with the group.
For students K-8th grade, we offer students structured PE classes with a trained Physical Education teacher. Our Multipurpose Room on the 4th floor offers an ideal space for gross motor activity when weather makes outside activity difficult but mostly our PE class happens on our wonderful outdoor fitness trail. With a focus on personal growth and sports fundamentals, PE is an excellent way to give children a physical outlet for reduced stress and physical development.
Dr. Montessori believed that the outdoor environment is a natural extension of the classroom. In our outdoor environments, children are able to build on their classroom knowledge through the sensorial experiences of nature and through constant contact with the seasons and the natural world. It is through these interactions with the outdoor environment that we are able to support the whole child. As children become more aware of nature, they are better able to understand the needs of the world around them and how they can make a difference. Once a week, our students K-6th grade go on walks around the campus, observing nature, finding frogs, plant life and many other exciting things during their Outdoor Education class.
Our students use the outdoor environments in a variety of ways to enhance their curriculum. They raise plants from seed and tend the school’s vegetable and herb garden year-round or classify leaves and flowers around our campus and study the parts of different plants. With a trained Outdoor Education teacher, our students enjoy the entire campus as their classroom!