The Quest day has a real rhythm for each of the program levels. Over the last several weeks we have painted a picture of the Quest Montessori Day in the classroom. One of the components of Elementary and Middle School is the special programming that happens throughout the week: Art, Music, Spanish, Theatre and Physical Education.
The Quest Art program is designed to honor the child’s insatiable desire to learn and create while encouraging art as a language to express knowledge, ideas, and feelings. Each project or lesson is designed with development in mind and is relevant to the age group’s experience in their world.
For the past several weeks, Lower Elementary has been practicing studio habits and routines through drawing, painting and printmaking. Each student created their own sketchbooks for completing drawing prompts, enjoyed making abstract paintings based on The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, and tried their hand at monoprinting using a gelatin printing block and autumn leaves.
Upper Elementary began the year by completing an “optical illusion self-portrait” and then began a large study of watercolor. The class has been learning watercolor technique through a series of exercises, rough studies, and a final painting of either a geode or an autumn leaf.
Middle School is spending the fall term studying color theory. They began with a color research project. In groups, students studied the history and meaning of various colors and how they are used in design and marketing. Each group presented their findings to the class and will be able to apply their knowledge to future decisions made in their microbuisness. Next, they learned about color harmonies and practiced effective color design, which they will apply to a color pencil drawing.
The Elementary and Middle School music program is designed to expose students to new concepts in music theory, history, science of sound, Ethnomusicology, and performance practice. They are invited to explore and practice these concepts individually, and in small groups, as part of their daily work cycle and as a continuation in and outside of the classroom.
Elementary Music students are spending the fall term exploring Soundwalks and Sound Art informed by composer Hildegard Westerkamp, music notation and ensemble playing by learning the 16th-century chanson “El Grillo” (The Cricket) by Josquin des Prez, and group vocal improvisation with Circle Singing inspired by the music of Bobby McFerrin.
Since the beginning of the school year, Middle School has been participating in a special called "Cooperation Habits" taught by Valerie Remillard of Experiments in Theater. Through a range of discussions, games and tasks, the class explores the barriers as well as the components to successful cooperation in addition to identifying situations in life when cooperation is crucial. Often the class is divided into smaller groups where they might build a house of cards, physicalize machines using only their bodies or improvise collaborative stories. The tasks start out simple, but get harder as more obstacles are introduced and the students are challenged to communicate, collaborate and problem solve as a unit.
Physical Education at Quest works on helping the children develop gross and fine motor skills, stamina, flexibility, coordination and basic skills in sports such as dribbling a basketball, controlling a soccer ball, understanding tennis or the rudiments of baseball. Activities are planned so that leadership roles are distributed evenly amongst the class and team composition is mixed.
This fall, students have been engaged in activities challenging their abilities to work as members of a team. Through Project Adventure activities and games, students are tasked with completing physical objectives that require them to cooperate and work together to be successful. Here at Quest, it is essential that our students gain valuable, practical experience through play, learning to be a leader and member of a team, all the while exploring exercise through challenging activities in our outdoor spaces. Students have also had the opportunity to practice the basic skills in Field Hockey, learning skills like dribbling, push passing, defending, and stealing, while also being challenged to break their own barriers and explore skills like air dribbling.
At Quest, our Physical Education program is designed to educate the whole child through play experience that can teach practical skills. Physical Education is so much more than learning about sports and their intricate rules, and there is much more to experience. It’s as Plato says, “You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than from a lifetime of conversation.”