About Montessori

Maria Montessori

montessoriItalian 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:

  • Children's minds absorb information at an unprecedented rate from the age of birth to six years.
  • Children love to interact with people and objects in their environment and enjoy pursuing purposeful independent activity.
  • Children respond well to a cooperative and nurturing environment.
  • Children cultivate respect for children and adults when treated respectfully by others.

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."

Montessori vs. Traditional

Montessori Education
Traditional Education
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.

Autonomy & Creativity

 dmwork 58Children'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.


Respect & Order

 web respect and orderCentral 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.

A Teacher's Role

 DMteachers 16 web sizeThe 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.


Literacy Skills

dmthanksgiving 60 web size 2Literacy is essential to most aspects of school curriculum. It also presents opportunities for children to avail themselves to the knowledge and creativity of others. Hence, literacy is a critical part of the DMMS curriculum. Children learn the sounds of letters and ways that letters combine to form words. They engage in innovative activities in inventive writing. They see words in context not only in books but around the classroom as well. Children learn that reading and writing are avenues to wonderful and exciting adventures.

Math Curriculum

Math is far more than symbols and words on paper. Children learn to add and subtract by combining and taking away objects. They learn place value by seeing bead bundles that represent ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands. They hold wooden spindles that can be divided into parts of a whole. Conceptual understanding of math is a natural outcome of activities that allow children to manipulate objects and see relationships. The symbolic representation on paper always follows a solid understanding of concepts derived from concrete objects.

Science Curriculum

Science is truly exciting when it is about physical properties that are learned through the experimentation of observing and testing, such as seeing the change in a stalk of celery when it is placed in a glass of red-colored water. Science allows children to label, define, and explain the processes and elements of life around them. It expands a child's vocabulary and vision of the world, indicating how the child can impact his or her environment. Children learn to articulate a question, derive theories, and then examine evidence to test their theories. The science experiments focus on impacting phenomena such as gravity, friction, motion, color and light. Experiments extend to other disciplines such as art, writing, and reading.

What Our Parents Say

  • Jamie & Ken B:  We love that all the teachers and administrators are always smiling and positive - it sets the stage for a great learning environment for our child and let's us know that they truly care about all the children.

  • Keith W:  Moving here from the east coast, we were concerned about finding the proper level of education for our daughter. Dancing Moose was just opening and when we did our tour, Dr. Joyce impressed me with her professionalism,enthusiasm, and academic prowess. We started our daughter in the toddler class and never looked back. Now, four years later we have both our children in Dancing Moose and could not be more pleased. Not only is the education second to none, and I would apply that not to only Utah, but the entire country, the family atmosphere is phenomenal. I would recommend Dancing Moose to all toddler to 2nd grade children.  I can not understand why anybody would go anywhere else.

  • Alexis J:  Aislynn loves going to school at Dancing Moose, she's excited every day to tell me or any other adult near her what she did in school that day.  I love the flexibility the teachers are allowed, how every student gets to work at their own pace and none of them seem overwhelmed or bored.

  • Brandy G.:  Seeing how much the ENTIRE staff, not just their specific teachers, really care for my children is a delight and the first thing I share with prospective parents! 

    I LOVE Kid Reports because it lets me feel connected to my children while I have to be away. It also allows me to help continue my children's growth since I'm able to discuss what they did that day and continue with the concepts presented.

  • Brie S.: I am incredibly satisfied with our overall experience with Dancing Moose. We previously attended a different Montessori for the last two years. Moving to Dancing Moose was the best move that we could have made. The level of professionalism is excellent with every staff member I come in contact with everyday. The teachers are dedicated to their work and you can tell that they truly enjoy what they do. You can see that they love each and every student. My son loves his teachers and all of his friends, the hard part is getting him to want to leave school at the end of the day, he always wants to stay and that makes my heart happy. We absolutely love Dancing Moose. Thanks for all you do, you guys do a great job.

  • Shannon C:  We feel safe, comfortable and love coming to school everyday to learn from a FANTASTIC curriculum.  We also really enjoy the homemade food and organic gardening and most of all the consistent unconditional love from each teacher with our little ones!  Thank you Dancing Moose for providing my children a great early childhood educational experience!

  • Jenna D.:  We love Dancing Moose. Our children are thriving emotionally and academically. They are comfortable, safe, and most importantly they are happy! As a parent what else can you ask for? 

  • Kristin C.:  While driving to Moab for a weekend camping trip, the stars were shining bright. Completely unprompted, my daughter looked out the window and pointed out Orion’s Belt! She then proceeded to tell us all about how he is a hunter who lives in the stars. She THEN pointed out the North Star and told us how it’s used to help sailors crossing the sea know what direction to go. When we asked her how she knew all of this, she told us, “Ms Dorothy taught me that lesson!”

    Words can’t describe how proud and delighted we are that our FOUR year old not only understands what a constellation is, but can recognize them in the night sky!

    We want to commend you for the wonderful education you are giving our daughter. Thank you. Her future is bright, in part to the foundation you have given her these past two years in preschool.

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