Specials within the Lower Division

img_1957Technology, visual arts, performing arts, and physical education are critical to the health of any community, and Marburn Academy’s co-curricular subjects play a central role in our curriculum.  Our standards-based curriculum is tailor-made for our hands-on learners, offering multiple opportunities for all students to explore areas of interest and to uncover new talents.

In Lower Division, students rotate through courses in visual arts, drama, music, technology, and PE each week. These courses provide the building blocks of later study in each discipline while developing essential student problem solving, communication and collaboration skills.

Physical education classes focus on developing good sportsmanship and problem solving while improving physical skills and strategic thinking. Through games like Sharks and Minnows and Pirate Ship, our youngest students learn how to work in a team, how to shift focus, and how to negotiate when you don’t agree with a teammate or opponent. Through activities like climbing and archery, students learn how to set goals, build skills incrementally, and recognize steps toward success in themselves and in others.

In visual arts and in technology, we see students learning to follow multi-step directions, to solve problems creatively and independently, and to persevere through challenges on the way to creating final products.  In art, students explore color, line, and shapes in both 2D and 3D products. In technology, students work with the many creative tools available on the iPads for drawing, painting, designing, and manipulating images and video. They begin to explore the foundations of coding with Lego Robotics. Students also learn to care for a work space and equipment.

img_1926In performing arts, students begin to develop the vocabulary of sound and movement that they can use to tell stories and share experiences. Music classes develop concepts of pitch, rhythm, and tempo through choral music, movement, and instrumental work with Orff instruments and recorders. Drama classes begin by using the students’ natural affinity for pretend play to develop the ability to shift their perspective to that of a different character.  They use puppets, masks, dance, improvisation, and movement to create and share stories with an audience.  In both Music and Drama classes, students learn to give and to receive appropriate feedback, collaborate with a group, and the value of rehearsal and practice for creating a quality product.

In addition to the specials classes,  Lower Division students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of co-curricular activities outside of the school day.  From ‘Girls on the Run’ and Friday Fencing classes to the Lower Division musical, robotics clubs, and art classes, students can choose to hone a familiar skill or try on a new hobby with teachers who understand how they learn best.

The Specials Teachers at Marburn allow young students to experience success as they tackle complex cognitive and social challenges in a supportive, safe environment.  Our goal is to provide the education, engage the imagination, and celebrate the creativity of our uniquely gifted kids.

Next month, we will share the highlights of specials classes within the Middle Division.