Art & Movement
In addition to a curriculum of math, history, language, geography, science, sensorial, and practical life, our students also explore art and movement on a weekly basis.
Art has a natural place in the Montessori environment, and it is woven into many of the lessons and projects within the classroom. Children’s House students are exposed to various types of art media on a daily basis as part of the integrated curriculum, including crayons, markers, pencil, chalk, paint, clay, and textiles.
Art is also integrated into the middle school curriculum as an Occupation that students endeavor in the afternoons at the Art Studio.
At the Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary levels, St. Vrain Community Montessori School has distinct art programs led by knowledgeable and supportive Guides.
Lower Elementary Art
Lower Elementary students are introduced to an art vocabulary and many art techniques, as well as a variety of art materials and media including charcoal, drawing pencils, colored pencils, pen, water color, oil pastels, crayons, markers, and tempera paint.
While exploring these elements, students create abstracted art focusing on line and shape, contour and blind contour line drawings, value-based mandala designs, colorful bird portraits, texture grids based on actual and implied texture, and very colorful paintings where they explore the artistic technique of stippling or pointillism.
Upper Elementary Art
Upper Elementary students build on what they learned during Lower Elementary by delving deeper into their knowledge of art movements (such as Cubism, Impressionism, etc.) and into the elements.
They incorporate the elements (line, shape, form, space, value, texture, and color) and Principles (balance, rhythm/movement, repetition, emphasis, unity, and proportion) into their work each week. In the 6th year, students gradually move to independent study, where they explore a topic of particular interest to them.
All students share their artwork with their families and the community each February during the “For the Love of Art” Show.
Charlie Hickman, Lower and Upper Elementary Art Guide
Amy Clark Moore, Middle School Art Studio Occupation Guide
The emphasis in Movement is on fostering students’ creativity and joy in using their bodies actively and safely. In Children’s House, movement is constantly involved in the classroom, and activities that develop body awareness and large and small motor skills are stressed.
There are distinct Movement programs for the Upper Elementary and Lower Elementary levels.
Lower Elementary Movement
Students learn the basic elements of physical fitness: identifying and listening to the body’s responses to physical activity, finding one’s pulse, recognizing good form, and practicing exercises that improve cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility.
Students work with beanbags, balls, and scarves, practice throwing and catching skills, and continue building their repertoire of rhythmic activities using movements guided by rope patterns and rope jumping, in addition to practicing strength-building, balance, and breathing exercises.
Upper Elementary Movement
Students dig deeper into the health-related elements of physical fitness and identify exercises that improve cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility. They continue to work on jumping games and cooperative games with balls, as well as creating original movement sequences in small groups.
Students practice strength-building, balance, and breathing exercises and demonstrate their ability to identify and communicate nutritious food choices. Upper Elementary students also complete their first fitness test, the PACER shuttle run, during the spring semester.
All SVCMS Guides have attended the Learning in Motion program through St. Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD), where they learned more about the extraordinary relationship between physical activity and the brain.
All Guides are familiar with how movement impacts learning, as well as physical, emotional, and social health. The workshop focused on brain-based research that supports the powerful effect of integrating movement into classroom content. All SVCMS staff have been provided with the research, knowledge, and tools needed to integrate physical activity into daily class routines. Every Guide also received classroom supplies and resources to support the integration of movement in the classroom such as juggling scarves, fitness hotspots, bean bags, and resources on “brain breaks” and classroom physical activities.
Amy Miller, Movement Guide