A Peek into Elementary Enrichments | November 2017

This third month of enrichment classes has certainly built on the previous two months, and it can be seen in ever facet of the students’ work! The skills the students have learned from the beginning of the year are thoroughly concreted and they are building connections to much bigger ideas and goals. Let’s take a look inside the enrichment classrooms for this month.


In Art, students worked with water colored pencils to explore shades, tints, and value scales. Unlike water color paints, students confidently colored their canvas with these pencils, then brushed on water to thin the colors, move them around, and blend them. Watching colors blend to create new colors is always an exciting experience for the students. This approach was used for three different works of art this month; a hand drawing which accentuated warm and cool colors, an experimental painting of an ice cream cone using different saturations of a single color, and a psuedo-stained glass window that concentrated on blending colors with contrasting edges. Students also added definitions and examples to their tri-fold art booklets under value scales and tints. Through these exercises, students realized and came to fully appreciate the process of changing the tint and shade of a color, as well as how these ideas fit into their everyday life.


In Latin, students have been focusing on their studies of Zeus, Athena, Apollo, Poseidon, Aphrodite and other gods and goddess. Students have been doing independent literature based research on these gods or goddesses of choice. Within this research, students are discovering what role each god or goddess played in society, what elements of daily life they were likened to, and any connections or influences they have on modern English vocabulary. The students also took time out to draft hypothetical Christmas cards from their god or goddess of choice; pictured, “Have a smooth sailing Christmas- Poseidon.” This research has been escalated from the direct instruction of the previous months to a interest based approach that truly internalizes this information in the learner. By making these connections to their everyday lives, students are not only finding the value in Latin history, but also gaining research experience, widening their understanding of the foundation of English language, and solidifying their conceptualization of social normalities of the past.


In Music, students have been working diligently on their handbell skills and technique in preparation for the Christmas Program. Students have been practicing identifying which bell is associated with which note, reading music, and a plethora of traditional holiday songs, both with the handbells and singing. Within the Montessori method, there is a built-in emphasis on students’ ability to learn about music and express themselves through music. The physical action of listening to and playing music speaks to students of all ages. Students began by listening and observing the teacher play the music with the handbells as she modeled how to handle the bells and the correct way to play them. This is followed by the routine and reinforcement of Music class where they work toward success and enjoyment. The final step includes sharing what they have practiced for others, both in the classroom for their peers, and on the stage for a formal concert. This cycle is holistic in that students learn from their environment, work toward a goal set by themselves, and present their works to others.

This month definitely built on the previous months in all Enrichment Classes. Students have been drawing from their solidified skills and have created works that are thoughtful, intentional, and skillful. We can’t wait to explore what the next month’s journey in Art, Latin, and Music.

A Peek into Elementary Enrichments | October 2017

This second month of enrichment classes has been enlightening as students continue to delve into Latin, Art, And Music. Each class is advancing from the fundamentals, and building on these skills by practicing with intent. This practice takes many forms in the classroom, including using text resources, painting, singing, and playing the hand-bells. Let’s take a look inside the enrichment classrooms for this month.


In Art class, students began the month by creating a trifold material which outlined the Elements of Art; line, shape, color, value, texture and form. These trifolds were referenced all month not only when critiquing works of art, but also when creating their own. This month concentrated on the Spanish artist Joan Miro, warm and cool colors, and “action drawing.” Students investigated Miro’s works while referencing their trifold of elements. Over the month, they created their own works of art inspired by Miro while using patterns and warm and cool colors to bring them to life. By exploring and critiquing an artist’s works, students become more in tune with the elements the artist used as well as more cognizant of these elements in their own works. Finally, by producing a work inspired by an artist, students explore their own creativity and broaden the horizons of their own comfortability.


In Latin students continued their study of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, and the culture that surrounds them. This month included in depth geographic explorations in effort to tie together the culture, location, and historic events that shaped ancient Greece and Rome. This information, along with the ever-expanding list of gods and goddesses, was practiced through games of bingo, crosswords, word searches, and hangman. This engaging and low stress approach makes learning this ancient history welcoming and pleasant.


In Music class, students have been dedicating to carrying and playing the hand-bells. This includes walking with the bells, putting them back in their place, and playing them correctly. Students have been practicing Jingle Bells each week toward their ultimate goal of mastery. The picture above captures one of these practices. Along with these practices, students have continued working on reading notes on the musical staff and note identification by playing “Note Tic-Tac-Toe” and other musical games. Students are not only practicing the fundamentals of note reading and identification, but also the physical actions of playing an instrument.


This month included fascinating and immersive content which has progressed each student from the general to the specific. We can’t wait to explore what the next month’s journey in Art, Latin, and Music.

A Peek into Elementary Enrichments | September 2017

This month has been full of exciting enrichment classes. Latin, Art, and Music are in full swing, with each class fully immersing students into the topic at hand. Each class has started with the fundamentals and progressively advanced through the month. Let’s take a look inside the enrichment classrooms for this month.


In Art class, students have been studying colors and how each interacts with the others. Students began by designing 3 dimensional cubes in the fashion of Mondrian using straight lines and primary colors. In the following weeks, students were able to connect themselves with colors by creating a self portrait in combination with colors of their choice. This month wrapped up with mixing only primary colors to create a full spectrum palette, then using those colors to paint pears. A solid foundation of color theory leads students to a more holistic understanding of what color is, how it is used, how we perceive it, and the connotations and emotions associated with each.


In Latin, students began studying the Greek gods and their influences on Greek and Roman culture. Students were familiar with many of these characters, but with further exploration, there is always something new to learn. Reading and writing Roman numerals came next as it is a staple in Latin language. Students also began exploring applicable Latin words, such as “hello,” “teacher,” and “bye.” In the future, students will continue to explore conversational Latin and language structure. With this understanding of different languages, students can begin to make the connections not only between Latin and English, but more importantly the influences languages have on each other and the overall structure of language itself.


In Music class students have been exploring the history of music and the numerous composers who have made an impact on how we understand music today. In the picture, students are researching Beethoven and his contributions to the musical realm. In class, students played “Name That Tune” and “Musical Hangman.” They also explored the staff and scales by becoming the notes and arranging themselves on a musical staff. In the latter half of the month, students began working with the handbells and playing “Jingle Bells,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” This musical journey allows students to make connections between the music they have heard in the real world, composers of the past and present, and their own musical creativity.

What a fantastic month we had in all our enrichment classes! We can’t wait to explore what the next month’s journey in Art, Latin, and Music.