Upper Elementary Special Class
While art, movement and music are integrated into the daily life of our Upper Elementary program, students at this level also have the opportunity to explore these areas with more depth and with dedicated faculty throughout the school day.
Our goal for the Upper Elementary artists is for them to gain further confidence in their own artistic abilities and choices, and to accept mistakes as opportunities for new directions or unexpected ideas. They learn to engage and persist by working on projects for multiple weeks at a time. The elements and principles of art (color, value, shape, texture, etc.) are further explored and they are exposed to the work of a variety of influential artists and art movements from around the world. The children also use some of their time in Art class to collaborate on projects that celebrate the cultures explored in the classroom. The Upper Elementary children split into two smaller groups and attend Art class once a week for 60 minutes.
UE students attend chorus rehearsal once a week, where they practice important ensemble skills such as active listening, singing in unison and harmony, and collaborating with others. Participating in ensembles enables UE students to learn to sing using proper vocal technique, on pitch and with excellent tone quality.
All 4th- and 5th-year students have music class once a week and attend chorus rehearsal every week as well. During class and rehearsal, students are actively engaged in creating, performing and/or responding to music. Students participate in activities such as playing recorder, sight-singing, performing on percussion instruments and the Orff Instrumentarium, singing songs of various cultures and historical periods, performing dances and exploring movement to music, and composing their own pieces.
The Elementary years are a very important time for musical skill development and growth in music and movement awareness. Basic music skills are taught through games, songs and dance as well as specific singing, listening, movement and written exercises. We use Montessori Bells, Tone Bars and musical materials, ORFF and Kodaly sources, the folk songs and dances of America and other countries and classical music of the Western world.
The focus of the PE program is to develop confident, healthy, self-reliant, and fit students. The physical fitness program helps the children learn about their bodies and understand the importance of developing healthy habits. Numerous activities help students develop their endurance, strength, flexibility, and agility. Motor skills are taught in a clear, concise manner, and health and fitness are discussed regularly. Cooperative games help develop social skills associated with being in a group or team setting. Students practice communicating with one another, using positive reinforcement, and contributing to the goal of the team. Sportsmanship helps the students understand the importance of doing one’s personal best. Sports skills are taught through game-related play that gives each child the chance for practice and skill improvement at his, her, or their own pace.
Mindfulness is incorporated into the UE program. Through this practice, students develop tools that strengthen their ability to focus and concentrate, making it easier to make healthy choices in all areas of their lives.
The UE Spanish curriculum builds upon the vocabulary and basic sentence structure the students developed in the Lower Elementary levels. There is an emphasis on conversation and writing, as well as the further understanding of grammar as it applies to the Spanish language. Students continue to build their vocabulary through cultural studies, and gain more confidence as they begin to read and converse in Spanish.