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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am on dds school board, specifically working with a committee including a directress, an administrator, and parents on revamping our all day class. First, by gradually having that class develop organically (adding 3 and young 4 year olds next year for a full day community, working towards full 3-6 enrollment) and a question has come up regarding adding Dalcroze or a Suzuki violin "special" in the late afternoons as kids in the all day might benefit (and probably if they are getting picked up at 5:30 or 6, it would be better to go home and have dinner rather than rush to an activity the "nooners" go to in the afternoons with the stay at home families).<br><br>
Question: would specials like this help or hinder? What other suggestions have worked or been total disasters at your schools?<br><br>
Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One more thing, right now the all day room is a before and after morning work cycle (or afternoon ED work cycle) program that people can use on a "as needed" basis; about 16 kids use it every day; another 40 to 50 use it a few times per month.
 

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If I were doing it, I would just make sure the Directress understands the Montessori music program as well as the Montessori rhythm and movement activities and I would leave the whole day free for Montessori. It would include: morning arrival/breakfast time, work cycle consisting of individual and small group presentations in all areas: practical life, sensorial, art, music, math, language, geometry, geography and including indoor and outdoor activities, lunch and nap (for the youngest) and then an afternoon work cycle. This would work best in the right environment with a close by but separate nap/quiet area and an outdoor patio and gardens.<br><br>
I do think that the Suzuki philosophy is compatible with and sometimes similar to Montessori, but the Suzuki ideal is a parent/teacher, child/student relationship so I'm not sure how that would work at an Allday class without the parents present. My dd and I do Suzuki violin at a nearby music school.<br><br>
From what I've seen of Dalcroze, it is fun for the children and does present some interesting aspects about music to the young child.<br><br>
But...the Montessori music program for Children's House (and for the el. class too) is pretty incredible and if applied correctly, the child can achieve perfect pitch by repetition with the Bells. There are exercises for tone, pitch and diatonic as well as chromatic scale. The Bells teach writing and reading notes on a staph to the child from 3 to 6 as well.<br><br>
Montessori movement is a topic that she has gone to great lengths to elaborate on. It is central to her philosphy. Every material is designed to give the child practice with a specific movement. Coordination and the stimulation to the brain by sensorial stimuli are topics Montessori has elaborated on in great detail. She is very clear to point out that the movement we offer the child should be purposeful, the child is free to repeat or not to repeat, and is always invited to a lesson. Sensitivity is also given to the child's personal rhythms and changing interests. So, some of these more "structured" "specials" can interfere with the Montessori flow.<br><br>
You should make sure that your Directress is well supported and consider having a 2nd trained person in the afternoon to provide continuity throughout the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We were thinking to have our primary directress work 9am to 4pm, 48 weeks per year; an assistant from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm, second assistant from 1 pm to 6 pm, and an "upstairs" (nooner) directress from 3:30-6pm for continuity.<br><br>
We do not have the bells or tonebars in ANY of the classrooms (don't even get me started on this!!The directresses sans the all day directress claim "not enough room" despite classrooms that are about 800 square feet) so the abitlity to use pure Montessori for the all day class is REALLY limited.<br><br>
Re: Dalcroze: we have a donated piano, and a totally excellent Dalcroze teacher who'd be willing to teach 2 sections (36 to 54 months, 55 to 72 plus months) once a week for a cost of about $5000 per year;re Suzuki: probably only 4 to 6 kids would participate, and a local Suzuki teacher described a potential program with group lessons twice a week at 3:30 (after the pm work cycle) and child/parent lessons from 4 to 5:30 (30 minute lessons) twice a week (the kids all get picked up at different times, so could work...)<br><br>
I have been taking dd2 to Dalcroze and Suzuki at places other than school for the past 3 years, so I know it CAN be done (along with 3 all-dayer classmates) but we are looking to develop a program that especially helps children in working (UNTIL 5ISH OR LATER) families. And, I will continue to actively promote the bells (hopefully it will work!!!)<br><br>
As always, thanx for good advice!
 
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