In addition to singing, moving, and improvising on glockenspiels and xylophones, first grade musicians learn solfège (the international system for naming pitches), and how to label musical patterns, forms, and ideas. Inventing our own systems for writing songs and musical phrases introduces the concepts children will need for learning to read music, and folk dances–individual, partnered, and line–get kids moving in ways that are fun and invigorating. In preparing for our spring concert, first graders work together and suggest improvements to create their best possible ensemble performance.
In weekly wood shop classes, they learn manual control of hand tools, developing the self-confidence that comes with making one’s ideas take form in the real world. They begin the year with simple constructions methods including glue and nails, and practice drilling to make Halloween masks. Later, they learn sawing and sanding techniques to make curved shapes. And after a lot of measuring, they use all of these skills to build and decorate their own model airplanes.
Art class is often tied into science, especially the collaboration with the Biomes marine science center. Early in the year, children paint watercolors of fish, and later on they create and fire ceramic bas reliefs of marine life. While studying the mammals of North America, first graders learn to create a clay frame that serves as a basis for papier mâché mask of whichever mammal they are studying. Using full-face and portrait photographs, they paint their mask to match, and use it as a presentation aid.Inquire