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Co-Curricular Activities

The co-curricular classes for art, music, physical education, computer, Spanish, and service learning enhance and extend our core Montessori curriculum. Our qualified and experienced co-curricular instructors collaborate with the classroom teachers to provide well-rounded and comprehensive programs.

Early Childhood

Art: Fine arts are an integral aspect of the early childhood classroom. Art media materials are available throughout the work day, beginning with simple activities such as using scissors, paints, and other art tools to express their own imaginative ideas.

Music: Group singing is a regular class activity and the children explore musical expression with rhythm instruments and movement activities. Weekly music instruction with the music teacher explores such music concepts as beat, rhythm, vocalization and simple notation. The instructor also introduces dancing as a musical expression.

Spanish: The Spanish-speaking instructor enthusiastically presents vocabulary lessons to create a foundation in accurate pronunciation and discrimination of phonetic sounds. The lessons follow a whole-language approach: The children learn to speak by practicing language as it is used naturally to communicate.

Movement: Working with the Montessori materials supports the child’s developing fine motor coordination and large-motor skills. Dancing, field games, and free play all expand the child’s movement experiences.

Suzuki Piano- (Full-Day Kindergarten students only) The central belief of Suzuki, based on language acquisition theories, is that all people can and will learn from their environment, starting at a young age. This philosophy embraces an early immersion with the instrument. A Suzuki instructor works with the children at MAEL during the school day.

Elementary and Junior High

Art: Formal art instruction introduces a wide variety of art materials, builds skills, and explores artistic styles and artists. The students work towards increasing their visual literacy, gaining an appreciation of art history, and attaining confidence in their unique abilities.

Music: Music education benefits the developing intellect, provides an avenue for the study of cultures, and builds an appreciation of different music styles and creative self expression. The instructor works with the students to develop rhythm skills, to train ear and voice, and to teach an understanding of the fundamentals of music including rhythm, melody, harmony, form, tone, and expressive qualities.

The music program includes chorus singing and an elective for band. The band program gives beginning students an opportunity to learn an instrument and more advanced students to practice and perform.

Physical Education: MAEL views athletics as an important element in the education the whole child.  Students enjoy a variety of physical experiences including open recess periods. During physical education classes,  students learn the basics of specific games and sports, develop concepts of fair play, team spirit and good sportsmanship and develop gross-motor skills,coordination, and movement patterns.

Through team sports, students have opportunities for cooperation and competition, good sportsmanship and leadership.

Service Learning: MAEL teaches the students to build classroom unity, serve their school community, and and reach out to the regional and world community. Upper Elementary students are invited to serve as “patrols” for the preschool children during morning drop off. Also, Upper Elementary students regularly visit Arborwood, a senior care facility, to socialize with the residents and initiate Montessori-based and other activities.

All adolescent students provide weekly service, either through on-campus or urban volunteering. They work with younger students in Early Childhood and Elementary classes, accept assignments in the school library or office, and volunteer at the South Bend Center for the Homeless where they assist in the Montessori classroom, help in the kitchen, or sort donations.

MAEL also hosts numerous student-organized fund drives for local charities. These include the mitten drive for La Casa de Amistad, small gifts/toiletries for residents of Portage Manor, shoe and book donations for The Center for the Homeless, and toys for Toys for Tots, Robinson Community Learning Center, and The Boys & Girls Club. In December, MAEL students and families also participate in the “Adopt A Family” program through the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Computer: Students learn the skills to use computers as a tool for communication and research. They begin with basic keyboarding at the Lower Elementary levels, developing proficiency with essential computer functions. At the upper levels, instruction covers the use of Microsoft Office Suite, methods for internet research, preparing PowerPoint presentations, and creating projects with Publisher.

Spanish: The Spanish curriculum presents a comprehensive step by step instructional program to enable students to understand and use authentic Spanish in conversation. As the students progress they are introduced to reading and writing in Spanish. A study of Spanish cultures is woven into the program throughout the Elementary and Junior High levels.

If you would like to learn more about Co-Curricular Activities at MAEL, please contact us.