The Saklan School

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Specialist Subjects Pre-K-8

SPECIALIST SUBJECTS

    •    Spanish
    •    Music
    •    Visual Art
    •    Physical Education

 

SPANISH

Spanish instruction starts in Pre-K and continues through 8th grade. In Pre-K, the language is introduced through a multi-faceted, interactive approach of songs, poetry, stories, games, activities and themes. At the K-5 level, Spanish is largely oral-based and students are introduced to more complex grammar concepts, begin to read and write simple text, and learn about Latino culture.

In Middle School, Spanish evolves into a core subject, 5x/week. Through multi-modal approaches, students learn to communicate in various contexts such as greetings, time and weather, family, friends, and relationships. As vocabulary and grammatical structures become increasingly complex, students learn to navigate their way through real-life situations including money and shopping, school and education, restaurants and museums, and family life. Students are prepared with the background necessary to be successful in high school Spanish courses.

 

MUSIC

All Saklan students enjoy music instruction and the opportunity it provides to discover individual talent and passion.

Pre–K through 5th grade students visit the music specialist 3 times per week. Pre-K students learn new songs, finger-plays, and movements to help develop a sense of rhythm, creative expression, and confidence. Students also use a large variety of instruments, from hand drums and drum kits, to xylophones and hand bells. K-5 students continue to learn new songs and begin to understand the history and theory behind each piece. They play many instruments, including xylophones, piano, guitar, drums, and bass, and apply these experiences to performances.

Middle school students meet in larger, mixed grade ensembles where they continue to develop skills in instrumental and vocal performance. Any instrument is welcome in the classroom and proficiency is developed through practical application. Students delve deeper into music history and theory, and apply these skills to their many performances throughout the year.

 

VISUAL ART

Through art, Saklan seeks to inspire creative thinking in a relaxed atmosphere where judgment is suspended, perception is heightened, and permission is given to be innovative problem solvers.

The Visual Art program is taught by an Art Specialist starting in 1st grade. Pre-K and Kindergarten students benefit from daily creativity and self-expression activities provided by their classroom teacher. Students 1st - 8th explore the elements of art including line, color, shape, value, texture, and pattern in a weekly art class. They foster creative expression by using a range of materials and techniques such as drawing, painting, mixed-media, printmaking, sculpture, and weaving. Learning about famous artists engenders an understanding of many different styles and cultural influences.

Drawing skills - contour line and negative space - are introduced in 3rd grade and expanded in 5th to more challenging skills of perspective, shading, and the human face. Middle school art is integrated more fully into projects inspired by the Humanities class.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The PE program is also Pre-K - 8th. In Pre-K, students discover the fundamentals of studying the human body in motion and experience interaction, movement, and play, as they begin to understand that the mind and body are one. K-5 students experience the relationship between practice (routine, repetition, and intensity), and motor skill acquisition. Students learn how to learn by helping each other. They practice how to organize and cooperate for healthy competition. If conflict arises, students experience how to resolve issues in a constructive manner. Emotions surrounding games and attitudes towards facing challenges are discussed. Every student has the right to feel comfortable in order to learn at their own pace and accept new challenges.

In middle school, the underlining theme is bigger, faster, and stronger. Students continue to learn from each other. The physiological changes resulting from physical activity are discussed in more detail, and how those changes relate to skill mastery. The concept of “perfect practice makes perfect”, is experienced and understood. Students discuss the role of sports in society and practice leadership skills while running student planned physical activities.