Fine arts is an essential and integral part of the core academic curriculum. “Young children respond to gestures and movement before they react to the spoken word. They understand and explore sound before they learn to speak. They draw pictures before they form letters. They dance and act out stories before they learn to read” (Fowler, 1984). Students will experience many aspects of visual arts, music, and technology. Our learning targets within the Fine Arts domains are in the alignment process with the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards for music and art education while our technology course emphasizes the National Education Technology Standards (NETS-S) Below is a matrix that shows the Fine Arts rotations provided for District #37 students:
Art teachers for students in grades kindergarten-4 teach students visual arts instruction once per five-day cycle. Students in grades 5-8 receive art instruction in one trimester. Visual arts balances art production with concepts of design, appreciation and history, studying art masters from around the world.
The library media center is a place where students learn and use a variety of resources. The Library Media Aide shapes the student’s concept of how to find information by teaching him or her to inquire, think critically and gain knowledge. District #37’s library aides support grade level literacy learning targets as aligned to the American Association of School librarians standards. These include an emphasis on literature, informational text, and research topics.
Beginning in kindergarten, students participate in a progressive music curriculum through eighth grade. Students enjoy music with a music teacher weekly, in kindergarten through fourth grades. Music includes singing, playing instruments, listening, movement and note reading. Fifth through eighth grade students participate in music education with a music teacher during one trimester, and they may also pursue Band and/or Choir.
Vision Statement for Technology Learning
We want our students to engage in productive learning that embeds critical thinking, effective communication, collaboration, innovative and courageous exploration, and complex problem-solving through real-world application, inquiry and connection to personal passion in learning environments that host current tools and resources.
Technology is integrated into the classroom and curriculum at every level. It strengthens and supports meaningful, engaged learning for all students. The goal is to produce and encourage the growth of technologically literate students. Students will have regular opportunities to use technologies to develop skills that encourage personal productivity, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration in the classroom and in daily life.The way students communicate has expanded and changed due to the technology available today. District #37 values the educational benefits of access to online resources and collaboration and provides instruction in the areas of Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship no matter where a student may access the Internet. In alignment with NETS-S, District #37 adopted the National Education Technology Standards (NETS-S) and Performance Indicators for Students.
All classrooms are equipped with whiteboards that allow teachers to quickly project visual images from the computer to assist with instruction. Students also have access to classroom computers and other devices such as iPads or tablets. During the 2018-2019 school year, a 1:1 initiative is in place for all grades 5-6 students. Teachers will create interactive lessons, draw from a wealth of pre-screened and pre-approved learning tools, and keep students engaged and interested in learning. During the 2019-2020 school year, all students in grade 5-8 will receive a 1:1 device.
Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) K-5; Project Lead The Way
New to Gavin D37, students in grades K-5 will have an opportunity to engage in units and activities involving STEM, an integrated approach to learning including a Project Launch unit in grades K-2. In grade 6, all students will have a trimester of Project Lead The Way through Design and Modeling. Students discover the design process and develop an understanding of the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They are then challenged and empowered to use and apply what they've learned throughout the unit to design a therapeutic toy for a child who has cerebral palsy. In grades 7-8 all students will have a trimester of Project Lead The Way Robotics.