DMMS finds great importance in children’s physical development and coordination. The free-movement room allows each child to participate in activities such as karate, dance, yoga, music enrichment and instrumental percussion. DMMS does not charge extra for these activities because the founders recognize the importance of every child's participation. They are committed to the value of community membership.
Our kitchen is fully equipped according to the Utah Department of Health Regulations. It provides a hot lunch as well as three snacks for full-time students: a morning snack, afternoon snack and take-home snack. Part-time students enjoy one snack during their session.
Nutrition is of the utmost importance to DMMS. The chef is experienced in creating healthy, balanced meals from scratch. A monthly menu will be provided to parents. Special dietary needs will be accommodated at parents' request.
DMMS is proud to feature the latest technology to ensure safety throughout the school.
DMMS invites parents to watch their children through a monitoring center at the school any time they are inclined. Each classroom and playground has a video camera, so the director or parent can see what is happening at all times.
The entrance of Dancing Moose Montessori School has a keypad so only parents with a correct code can enter the building. This code also checks their child in and out. Visitors must ring the doorbell to ensure their check-in by the director.
A solid 10 foot block fence does not allow passerby’s to view Dancing Moose students at any time.
Each classroom is tailored to meet children's needs. Large windows are featured in each classroom to accommodate outside views for children and adults. Classrooms are also equipped with child-sized toilets and sinks.
Windows surround the interior walls so parents can view the classroom from the hall without disturbing children.
The toddler classroom is equipped with a soft floor, child-sized sink, and a variety of Montessori materials displayed at the toddlers’ eye level. Learning materials consist of high quality Montessori materials, each with a distinct purpose for the child. Rugs delineate a child’s place in the classroom to execute these activities. Music, dancing and singing is also a regular part of this classroom. There is a separate age-appropriate playground for children under three, and children remain separated by age throughout the school day. Watering plants with spray bottles is one of the favorite activities during the day for toddlers. They also enjoy visiting the gym where they sing and dance and play with balls, bubbles, and parachutes.
The twos classroom is equipped with Montessori materials that are simplified to accommodate this age group. Potty training is an important part of the curriculum in this class. “Potty time” eases children into sitting on the child-sized toilet without overwhelming them. Singing and dancing is also integral to the day-to-day routine. Teachers move the children around in 10 to 15 minute increments to capture and maintain their interest. Phonemic Awareness is a primary focus for teachers. Children learn how to break apart a word by sounds before they even begin to recognize the written symbols. Once a child recognizes that sounds make up words, the child learns to associate the letters with sounds. For math, children begin to recognize numerical symbols, and they begin to associate quantities with the symbols. Practical life activities include washing hands, wiping tables, pouring water, grasping with tongs and many others.
The three to five-year-old classroom is structured with several workstations to facilitate a myriad of curricular objectives. The sink area promotes practical life activities such as washing dishes and art projects such as water color painting. Reading is promoted first through Phonemic Awareness. Letter boxes contain objects for children to isolate sounds and match them with appropriate symbols. The DMMS leveled reading program allows parents to become involved in their child’s progress by continuing the learning process at home. Math is introduced in many different concrete ways. Math materials introduce multiplication and division if a child is interested and ready for these math processes. Each week, full-time students participate in dance, yoga, karate and choir. These special classes are important for the Dancing Moose emphasis on educating the whole child.
The teacher supports children's learning by preparing materials and a classroom climate of trust and support between the teacher and each child as well each child toward his or her peers. The teacher determines when to introduce new materials by observing each child's progress, taking notes, and presenting new ideas to individual children or small groups of children as indicated by their development.
If you would like to get to know our unique teachers and more about the learning environments they create, visit our Teacher Feature page.
Central to Montessori learning is the ethic of respect for self and others and respect for one's environment. Children learn the importance of approaching others politely and asking to join others in activities. These skills support a critical balance between autonomy and a cooperative community.
Choice and spontaneity, core principles of a Montessori education, are achieved in an orderly environment. Children exercise freedom within limits to facilitate a productive working environment for everyone.
Children's creativity is free flowing in this prepared environment. Children can try new activities without fear of reprimand or competition from others. This sense of safety facilitates intellectual development derived from choosing activities that capture and maintain children's interest, and self esteem that comes from accomplishing self-designated learning tasks. Joy is the pervasive emotion that governs children's work.
|Individually-paced lessons that challenge children's critical thinking skills.||Pre-designed lessons in designated time block.|
|Teacher guidance to facilitate activities in a timeframe most suitable to the needs of each child.||Persistent teacher intervention to meet learning objectives in a predetermined time.|
|Cooperation and respect for each child's autonomy.||Competition with peers to complete tasks quickly.|
|Emphasis on learning that is individually suited to each child's level of development.||Emphasis on standardized learning objectives.|
|Individualized teaching for effectiveness.||Routinized learning goals for efficiency.|
|Learning that connects to children's lives, allowing children to engage in higher brain functions, such as inductive and deductive logic and synthesis of ideas.||Learning as fragmented pieces that exist for some purpose that the teacher understands.|
Italian born Maria Montessori (1870-1952) began studying children as a medical doctor. Through scientific observation, Dr. Montessori learned that children develop cognitive skills in a nurturing environment filled with materials that stimulate their interest. She developed the Montessori Method based upon essential observable tenets:
Montessori's educational philosophy, although decades old, is recognized around the world as a progressive approach that leads to a lifetime of academic excellence. As Montessori stated, "Education is not something which the teacher does…It is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his [or her] environment."