Physical Development and Education at Monocacy Valley Montessori
The importance of physical exercise and the need for children to have the freedom to “move” is an integral part of Monocacy Valley Montessori and its community. We understand that physical activity, the mind, and the spirit are intertwined. When all of these areas are working together the child will succeed.
Maria Montessori recognized the need and importance for movement. Now, current brain research studies confirm the link between movement and activity and how this aids in development of the intellect.
Various ways that children enjoy physical activity at MVMPCS includes our Physical Education program, extended daily recess, and frequent walking excursions to places in the nearby community. Our downtown Frederick location makes it possible for students to walk to the local library, Baker Park, the hospital playground, on field trips. Our students have freedom of movement in the classroom and in the school as well. This freedom is within limits; Montessori classrooms are designed so that children can move to get materials, work on the floor, sit at a table, and take breaks when they need one.
The Physical Education program supports the healthy development of the growing child in the early years with cooperative play and non-competitive games. Through this work the child builds a strong foundation of physical skills including balance, spatial awareness, motor planning, coordination and rhythm. As the child progresses through the grades, the Physical Education (PE) program at Monocacy Valley Montessori emphasizes team work, good sportsmanship and the spirit of game. Activities work on physical development, especially fine and gross motor skills, and building or increasing physical stamina.
Primary Level (3-6 year olds)
The PE program for the Primary children works on developing gross and fine motor skills through a variety of games and activities. Catching, balancing activities and simple games of running, tag or relays provide fun exercise for young children as they learn about good sportsmanship. The children who participate in the kindergarten program have PE class three days a week with an MSDE certified PE teacher in the afternoon.
Daily time on the playground provides a useful outlet for the Primary children’s endless energy, while helping their bodies to gain greater coordination, strength and health. The large mulched playground area allows for safe running and playing. We have added natural elements to our play space so children are able to build and create while they are engaged in movement and play.
Lower and Upper Elementary (1st-3rd, 4th-6th Grades)
At the Elementary level, the focus is on teamwork, good sportsmanship, physical development (both fine and gross motor), and building or increasing physical stamina is emphasized. Students learn the fundamentals of fitness, and healthy competition is introduced through games. The students participate in twice-weekly sessions with the PE teacher in the afternoon. Students at MVMPCS have many opportunities to get their bodies moving and their heart rates up throughout the day: recess, walks to the park, trips into the community, and daily movement in the classroom and throughout the building are a natural part of the school day.
Middle School Level (7th-8th Grades)
The PE program for Middle School students follows the Frederick County Public School curriculum. Middle School students have Health incorporated into their yearlong studies and spend the last quarter of the year planning the school wide field day that is held at Baker Park. All of our students, kindergarten through sixth grade, attend the field day and participate in the activities that our 7th and 8th graders have planned, designed, and executed. It is a true accomplishment for these students and a capstone of their years at MVMPCS.
Family Life and Beyond
We encourage all of our families to be active and engaged. Limiting or eliminating screen time is highly recommended for all students, and especially for our youngest learners (Primary and Lower Elementary). This means time on tablets, in front of television screens, on a computer, and on phones or other devices should be minimal.
What to do instead? Spend time outdoors, in the woods, hiking, exploring, biking, walking, running, swimming, or scootering. Try Parkour, obstacle courses, skateboarding, roller-skating, ice-skating, or gymnastics to add some variety. Frederick is full of amazing opportunities to be outdoors and active, and we encourage our families to take advantage of what this county has to offer.
MVMPCS participates in Kaiser-Permanente’s Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenge every fall and spring. This fun challenge encourages Maryland schools to track their physical activity. Schools tracking the most activity win monetary prizes for their school. MVMPCS has won over $6,000 so far tracking our physical activity and been in first place in the state of Maryland—we love to Fire Up Our Feet!