A Peek into Elementary Enrichments I April 2019

Spring is here! We are excited for all the new opportunities Spring brings even if that includes a ton of rain!

Throughout the week, I get to glance in on all of the Enrichments that take place at Absorbent Minds and see the smiling faces of our dancers, the concentration on the our students perfecting a design in Art and the beautiful sounds coming from class with Ms. Lisa.

Below are a few snap shots of what our Enrichements have consisted of over the past several weeks! As you enter the building at drop-off or pick-up, we hope you can take a moment to admire your child’s talent on the bulletin boards that line our entrance hallway!




These students are working diligently on their tessallation projects. 

Each child chose their own pattern then carefully recreated it resulting in beautiful ongoing pictures. 

Finally, they were able to choose whether or not they wanted to add color to their desigs. Some used water color paints. Others chose to add dimension by drawing patterns withing their shapes. We observed for several weeks how each student took their time to create their perfect tessallation. 




Here are a few finished products! 




Having fun with designing their names in chalk! 



I had the joy of listening to this student play me her International Festival piano piece. She already has it committed to memory! 


Practicing with Ms. Lisa 




Swimming through their moves to “Baby Shark”!


Last day of dance with Ms. Elisabeth. The dancers love to strike a pose : )

A Peek into Elementary Enrichments I February 2019

We love our Enrichments at Absorbent Minds! Your children have been busy learning new skills, refining ones they already have, and sharing the joy of learning with their classmates and Enrichment teachers, every week they come and gather around our classroom furniture to talk about what they have learnt.


Recorder practice has begun! Each week in music the students practice new songs and test for a new belt. Just like in martial arts, you can test for a colored belt while learning the recorder. Ms. Lisa works with each child to strengthen their skills and teach them new techniques and songs. The children progress through the curriculum during practice and test with Ms. Lisa each week to guide their progess. Each time they recieve a new color while testing they get to display it on the end of their recorder!


The Upper Elementary Class learning with Ms. Lisa


New songs are presented as the students progress to new levels! Do you think you could play this song on the recorder?


The Lower Elementary class practicing a new song



During Latin lessons in February, students have been learning about a variety of topics including different parts of the body, colors, myths, and mythical creatures.

Students immerse themselves in Latin. Mr. Matt provides the students with learning tools each week and offers them the opportunity to be as involved as each student is comfortable.

Learning Latin helps the students gain a better understanding of many new words, phrases, and language skills. It also lets them experience a different culture and history which can guide them to see how there are some things that make us different but much more that can connect and bring us together.


This 1st grader is learning about parts of the body in Latin.


Mr. Matt is explaining the Latin pronunciation of these students favorite colors. Each student was able to color code their informational sheets in order to help them remember what they learned at the lesson.


Students across grade levels are being read some of the most common Roman myths.

It is wonderful to observe an older student asking to read to the rest of the group as seen in the second photo.

Over the past few weeks the Elementary students have welcomed several Kindergarten visitors from both campuses. In the third photo you can see one visitor immersed in the story as Mr. Matt reads it to the group.

For follow-up work Mr. Matt assigned the students to research one of the mythical creatures introduced at the lesson. We are all excited to see what the students discover!



Art class has been filled with several new creations! Based on Holden’s screen printing advice to make cards, signs and more!

The lower-Elementary students refined their skills with paper quilting and foil printing.

The upper-Elementary students have been paper-quilting, designing and painting  their own bookmarks, and exploring creating textures with geometric shapes. Here is a peek at some of their designs.





The students let out a ton of energy with Mr. Glen during Gym class. It’s no mystery why we save gym class for Friday!

Friday’s are reserved for student-teacher conferences so having gym in the morning helps the students re-focus their day and end their week on a positive note.

The Elementary class likes to let lose and have some fun in Gym!

Dodgeball is always a favorite for the Elementary class!

A Peek into Elementary Enrichments I January 2019

Welcome to 2019!

Even though it is cold outside, indoors we are having tons of fun in all the Elementary Enrichments.  Each week your children get to hone their talents and create new ones as they learn, play, design, and share with their peers and enrichment instructors.


Art gives the students many opportunities to show originality with their designs. This month the students had fun creating cartoon versions of themselves reaching up to catch a few snowflakes. As you pick up your kids take a look at the bulletin board to see the other fun creations made the Elementary students.



Whether it is Four Forners, hockey, corn hole, or the beloved game of dodgeball, pictured above, our Elementary friends have a blast in gym with Mr. Warner. Our students look forward to gym each week and to the new activities Mr. Warner has been introducing over the course of the year.



With Christmas break and our long weekend, the students have only had one Latin lesson with Mr. Matt this month but it was both educational and interesting. The students discussed Roman gods and goddesses aso well as how many myths connect back to Rome. They read myths about Romulus and Remus, Jupiter and the bee, and Pandora’s box. Where did Rome gets its name? Why do bees have stingers? How can hope change our perspective of the world?  Ask your child these questions and you are sure to get an answer!

Recently, some of the students had a lesson on the origins of the months of the year. Several of the months have Latin origins and the students used their prior knowledge to decode word meanings and make connections between the months of the year.

Latin lessons will continue this coming Monday.



Ms. Lisa is back at it with our students teaching them various musical techniques, learning new musical pieces, and creating positive experiences for the students to enjoy all that music has to offer! Her personalized lessons with her piano students is enchanting. Whether it is her gentle re-direction or her positive encouragement during their successess, both show her passion for teaching music.

One thing that makes music special each week is that students who have shown growth in a particular piece can play a solo for their peers to receive encouragement and positive feedback on their work. The Elementary students enjoy showcasing their work after having practiced so dilengtly as well as be able to practice the art of performing.

Exciting news! The students will soon be learning to play the recorder! Stay tuned for more details to come!



A Peek into Elementary Enrichments I December 2018

December has been filled with joy and excitement in the Elementary classroom! For all of you that attended our annual Christmas show, thank you!

Ms. Lisa and the bell choir wowed us with their talents! The piano soloists also showed how hard the student’s have been working this year. One of  the best parts of the practices was seeing how supportive the students were towards each other. Several times I walked into the Enrichment room and would find a few students gathered around the piano listenting intently to another student practicing their piece. It is is joy to see the students encourage one another.

Everyone had tons of fun making the show a wonderful success!


The student’s will resume their music classes and piano lessons with Ms. Lisa the week they come back from Christmas break.


This month we welcomed out new art teacher, Ms. Dayna. She has presented several creative seasonal projects to the students that helped them get into the holiday spirit!

Elementary students observed several christmas bulbs and illustrated their findings on black paper using oil pastels.

They also exlored printmaking with tempera paints. They used foam stickers to create patterns for some ugly sweater stamps.

Lastly, all students made paper ornaments to take home for the holidays.

These students are displaying their oil pastel ornament paintings.


Check out the bulletin board displayed at the entrance. Here you can take a look at the wonderful art work the students have been creating!








The students are loving Latin! Each week Mr. Matt brings a creative lesson for the students to learn a new Latin skill.

Most recently, the students learned how to sing two popular Christmas songs in Latin. See if you can guess the songs!



Mr. Matt also brought in a few books that showed the students pictures of the city of Pompei, the ruins of Mt. Vesuvius, and Caecilius, who lived in at the time of the volcanic eruption.



We are very thankful for the clever and imaginitive minds that we see our students display each day. Our enrichment classes serve as catalysts to the outside world for each child. The echrichment classes are times the students can vere away from their lessons and daily tasks to explore new areas of interest alongside their peers. It is amazing to see their new creations in art each week, their musical talents develop with Ms. Lisa, and their language skills progess with Mr. Matt! Thank you for sharing them with us each day! It has been a remarkable first half of the year and we are looking forward to the second half!

See you next year!


A Peek into Elementary Enrichments | November 2018

We are thankful for our Enrichments at Absorbent Minds! Your children are wonderful artists, performers, and inventors! Throughout the month of November the students have been learning new skills and having fun in all of their Enrichments.

Ms. Lisa has been working diligently with the students helping them prepare for the upcoming Christmas show. They practice the handbells every week as well as their piano and song selections. You are going to be blown away at their talent come December 14th.



One of the highlights of Art this month was that I had the opportunity to guide a class with the Elementary students. We had a blast creating ferocious creatures! If you haven’t already, check out the Elementary bulletin board when you pick up your child to see their creative artwork.



Discipuli autem gratias Latine! 

The students are thankful for Latin and the new things they are learning from Mr. Matt! Over the last few weeks the students have been learning new Latin words and phrases as well as learning to say what they are thankful for! It is awesome to walk by Latin lessons and hear the students perfecting their new language skills.





As December inches closer, look for more information and updates about our the Christmas program on December 14th. We are excited to share the student’s talents and creative ideas with you throughout this holiday season.

A Peek into Elementary Enrichments | October 2018

Elementary Enrichments are in full swing now that October is nearing its end.The students are enjoying learning the hand bells in music class, trying new games in gym, and being intoduced to creative art techniques. Latin began the 15th and the students are fascinated by it! Mr. Matt will be with us on Monday mornings to work with small groups of students on Latin history, vocabulary, and language skills.

Lower Elementary just completed their pumpkin paintings. They learned how to shade using darker colors to create a three-dimensional look. They also learned about shadows and how to use them to add dimension in the artwork. They are continuing to learn how to shade and create light with their pumpkin still life projects in watercolor.

Upper Elementary just completed their projects studying Modern Abstract Artists, Mondrian and Kandinsky. They were allowed to choose which artist they wanted to reference and create their own design reflecting the artist’s style but with their own twist of imagination. Their artwork is impressive! Check out the hallway at the front of the building to see their designs!


Above: Ms. Kathleen providing background information about the painters.


The first two weeks of Latin lessons were successful. The students learned how to translate basic phrases from Latin to English and from English into Latin.  If you spend a lot of time watching American sitcoms and studying your English slang. If you are a non-native speaker and come across these words, you may take them all literally. Slang words spotlight the cultural experience of a generation.

Below are a few examples of words and phrases they have been learning over the past two weeks. Ask them about their lessons to hear what they have been learning!

Translate from English to Latin:

The boy is good.

The dog is big.

Translate from Latin to English: 




Another fun way for our students to explore their creative sides is in music class with Ms. Lisa.

This month, the Elementary students are learning to read notes from the treble clef. They are using this knowledge as well as rhythmic studies to learn to play Christmas songs on the bells. They are also working on proper singing and breathing and using these skills to enjoy singing Christmas songs. We hope to share some of these songs with parents and other guests at the Christmas show. Can you believe we are already thinking about Christmas??!! It is right around the corner! All of these skills, especially playing the bells require great concentration and self control. We have also learned that singing properly requires more concentration than some might think. All of our students are working so hard!



Above: These first graders are learning to play Christmas inspired songs. Tis the season!

Friday mornings are always a blast for the students. Our gym teacher, Mr. Warner, keeps them entertained with all kinds of fun games and activities. Some of their favorites are hockey, scooter dodgeball, kickball, and capture the flag. The students stretch before every class and we make sure to send them with water to keep them hydrated.

We are so thankful for our Enrichment instructors at Absorbent Minds. Our students are learning many skills that will help them focus, collaborate with their peers, and relieve any frustrations they feel throughout their day. Most importantly, they are having fun!!!

Check back next month for another Elementary Enrichment update.

A Peek into Elementary Enrichments | September 2018

Can you believe that the fifth week of school is almost over??? The month of September seems to have flown by but there was plenty of creativity being cultivated both in the classroom and during the weekly Elementary Enrichment’s that began the week of the 5th. The Elementary students have a blast participating in Art and Music on Thursday afternoons. This year our students are split up into Upper Elementary (3rd-5th graders) and Lower Elementary (1st-2nd graders) groups when they attend Art and Music classes.


Elementary began the year by studying the artist, Wayne Thiebaud with our new instructor, Kathleen Clark. Thiebaud is a modern American artist best known for his beautiful paintings of cakes, doughnuts, and ice cream cones. Yum! Who doesn’t love dessert?

Students used the subject of ice cream cones in learning how to use tints ans shades of each color to create realism in their artwork. They went on to design their own background using oil pastels. They learned how to create an interesting pattern with lines and blending. Next, the students drew their own desserts using the artist’s examples to help create their own compositions. They learned about shading and shadows to create a three-dimensional appearance in their artwork. Their dedication showed as several of our students were found revising their pieces at the end of the day in order to make it their best! They are a talented group of artists!

Below are some of our artist’s designs.


Ms. Kathleen teaching the students about shading.



Music is the other half to the Elementary enrichment’s on Thursday afternoons. Ms. Lisa has spent the month of September introducing basic musical concepts to the children. They learned about the musical staff, Treble clef, various types of notes and their place on the staff, along with the sounds each note makes. Ms. Lisa used the song “Do Re Mi” to help the students learn the introductory note sounds. That is a favorite with the children as well as myself. I may have been singing along in the room next door! The students also played several hand-held percussion instruments this month. Ask them about the sounds they were creating!

Coming Soon: The Elementary students will begin learning how to play the hand bells. We look forward to the beautiful sound of the bells that we will soon be hearing throughout our halls.

Ms. Lisa also conducts piano lessons on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s for many of the Elementary students. Her passion for teaching music overflows to the students who love to learn from her each week. If your child is not signed up for piano lessons at the school and is interested please contact Brandy or Kelly for more information.




Art and Music class give our students a wonderful opportunity to explore their creative side and see their individual artistic talents shine. We are grateful to have our enrichment instructors who provide fun and interactive lessons at Absorbent Minds!

We expect October to be just as much fun. Stay tuned for a monthly update!

A Peek into Elementary Enrichments | April 2017

April was an incredible month in our Elementary Enrichment Classes. This month, students explored Roman numerals in everyday life, Aboriginal art, and practiced their recorders while playing along with recorded music. Let’s take a look inside the enrichment classrooms for this month.


In Art, students are moving along the timeline of art styles and techniques. This month they explored different cultures and the art they create. Students began with creating designs of animals and symbols on fabric, much like the traditional embroidered designs in Panama. Then students explored the Aboriginal “dream stories” of Australia where they painted animals and symbols using only brightly colored dots. After that, students explored African art by making pinch pots from clay and painting them in a traditional manner. At the end of the month, students shifted back into an artist focus by investigating Georges Seurat and Pointillism. Students were excited to go from large and basic forms of art to art that is literally composed of dots made from the tip of a paint brush.


In Latin, students have been using what they have learned about Roman numerals earlier in the year and applying it to everyday situations. This included writing their age in Roman numerals, their street address in Roman numerals, and numbers 1 to 100 in Roman numerals. In the picture, students were telling time in Roman numerals, as well as doing basic math in Roman numerals. Alongside this, students are preparing for a Grandparents Day performance, complete with well known characters and student made props. The students loved using the ancient and often overlooked Roman numerals in everyday life, and have carried over this ability into writing the date on their work plans in Roman numerals.


In Music, students have been zealously practicing their recorders in anticipation for Music on Thursdays. By this time, every student has a plethora of belts dangling from their recorder in honor of the songs they have mastered. In the picture, two students practice playing their recorders during a work period in effort to master the song they are both working on. Practicing the same song together helps students get the timings right, as well as an opportunity for peer feedback. In class, students have also been practicing playing their recorders along with pre-recorded music. This also has the same effect on their timing and rhythm.


April came jam-packed full of school events and weather changes. In between all of this, students explored different cultures and art techniques, learned new skills that date back to 300 C.E., and learned to play an instrument in sync with each other and with pre-recorded music.  We can’t wait to explore what is in store for the next month’s journey in Art, Latin, and Music.

A Peek into Elementary Enrichments | March 2017

March was a wonderful month in our Elementary Enrichment Classes. This month, students continued to hone and develop the skills learned from the previous “time traveling” months. Students investigated ancient stories, Renaissance and Impressionist artists, and developed their musical skills. Let’s take a look inside the enrichment classrooms for this month.

In Music, students have been diligently practicing reading music and playing their recorders. Each student has a piece of music to practice during the week then an opportunity to perform that piece in Music class for their peers. When a student has mastered a piece, they are presented with a more challenging piece. Each of these performances have an accompanying “belt” which is tied around their recorder. Some of the songs students have been practicing are “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring,” “Hot Cross Buns,” “Gently Sleep,” “Merrily We Roll Along,” and “Ode To Joy.” These belts can be seen on their recorders in the attached picture. It is obvious that the students take playing the recorders very seriously, as you’ll see each student has at least 2 belts. By practicing on their own and performing in front of their peers, students are learning the life long skills of time management, concentration, and public performance.
In Latin, students have been reading from scripts and putting on short plays about some well known ancient stories. These stories include “King Midas and the Golden Touch,” “Zeus and Pandora’s Box,” and “Icarus and Daedalus.” Though these titles may not seem familiar, the morals attached to them are ones the students have heard and experienced before. As the students read through their lines they become more connected with the characters and the outcomes, then openly discuss the decisions the characters made, why they made them, and if they have ever been in similar situations. Even though these stories are ancient and mythical, their morals still hold true to the students’ lives, and have a lot to teach us about decision making, values, and thinking ahead.
In Art, students began exploring the Great Masters of Art. This started with traveling back to the Renaissance for an investigation of Michelangelo and his works. Students learned about the historical setting Michelangelo lived in, some important Renaissance vocabulary, and the very interesting logistics that went into painting The Sistine Chapel. The students tried their hand at painting upside down under a table, and began to understand the issues Michelangelo faced everyday during his four year project. Then the students turned their attention to the Impressionist movement in France and Claude Monet. After studying brushstroke technique, color, and light, the students painted their own flowers from Monet’s garden. For this painting, students were challenged to create a large piece and fill the entire paper, just as Monet did. Next on the list of Impressionists, the students meet Vincent Van Gogh. They investigated the numerous interesting qualities that made Van Gogh so unique, as well as why he spent so much time painting flowers. After this investigation, the students held a Van Gogh art critique using official critique guidelines. The students wrapped up this month by creating their own sunflower paintings on 8×11 canvas.

Even though March only had three academic weeks, the students certainly accomplished a lot in Music, Latin, and Art. Their recorder skills have greatly improved, they have looked into their own moral values through stories, and created works just like the Masters of Art before them. We can’t wait to explore what is in store for the next month’s journey in Art, Latin, and Music.

A Peek into Elementary Enrichments | February 2018

February was a fantastic month in our Elementary Enrichment Classes as it coincided with The Winter Olympics. This month also continued with the theme of traveling back in time to explore ancient techniques of music and art. Students investigated ancient artifacts to get a first hand feel for what it was like in ancient times, and used that information to recreate those time in the classroom. Let’s take a look inside the enrichment classrooms for this month.


In Music, students have begun playing and practicing the recorder. This is simply a joy to every student who has played one before, and to every student just being introduced to it. Starting from the ground up, students learned the in-depth history of the recorder, how to hold the recorder, the proper finger placements, then finally, drawing on their sheet music reading skills developed earlier in the year, reading music and playing well-known songs. In contrast to the hand-bells, each student is responsible for their own timing and musical scale. This full musical responsibility flexes their figurative rhythm muscles and their literal minor muscle group dexterity. Each student is given a “belt” and accompanying sheet music that is challenging but within their zone of proximal development. The students practice their pieces and can “test out” by preforming their piece for the class, and are then promoted to the next belt level and a different piece of music to master. This course of exposure, practice, and performance allows the students to absorb the essences of reading, playing, and making music for others, which in turn solidifies confidence not only in music, but in body awareness, spacial ability, and the connection between theory and reality.



In Latin, students celebrated the The Winter Olympics by studying the origins and history of The Olympics, and participating in their own Mini-Olympics, complete with grape vine medals for the winners. In lieu of wrestling and chariot racing, students participated in a balloon race, ring toss, and Latin trivia. Alongside this, students recreated The Olympic rings and solved Olympic puzzles. In studying the basis of this ancient event, students can further see the importance and magnitude history has on the culture we have today.



In Art, students completed their self portraits in ancient Egyptian style and wrote their names in hieroglyphics. These works were showcased on the staircase of the Tallmadge campus. Staying in their time machines, students also created 2-dimensional vases in ancient Egyptian style, using symbols, patterns and figures to depict different ideas and emotions. Through this project, students began to realize how difficult it was for ancient people to express complex ideas, even when they had advanced much further away from cave paintings. The highlight of this month has surely been the creation of 3-dimentional papier-mâché Egyptian vases. These vases have been built around a balloon, with a ring installed for a base, and bottomless paper cup for the neck. While constructing this work in progress, it has become obvious to the students how truly talented ancient artists were- their vases were made of hand-made clay, formed by hand, and sun dried, after being painted with handmade paints and pigments. By making these vases, the students are instilled with a sense of appreciation for the ancient artists not only for their craft, but also for their dedication to such a tedious art form.


With all the energy built into February, time seemed to zip by as we studied the intersections of ancient time and current time. With these studies, students are even more connected to history’s influence on the present, and have learned the ever-present affect it has on our everyday lives. We can’t wait to explore what is in store for the next month’s journey in Art, Latin, and Music.