The Early Childhood Education program at Grace is highly integrated, with concepts of reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and the arts seamlessly melded together. Our youngest students in Preschool and Prekindergarten leave their homerooms for the playground, the library, and music class, while other special subject teachers bring resources to them. By Kindergarten and Grade 1, students are traveling to special subject classrooms for instruction in art, music, science, Spanish, PE, and library. These journeys give them an expansive sense of school, of being part of the whole of Grace. Our art, science, and technology teachers also bring resources into the Preschool through Grade 1 classrooms, enriching hands-on learning projects with more stuff to take to the Makerspace, the sandbox, or the garden.
In the Elementary years of Grades 2-5, special subjects enrich and balance out strong core subjects. Students build relationships with the science teacher, the art teacher, the music teacher, the PE teacher, the Spanish teacher, and the learning specialist. Special subjects are therefore about more than exposure to new ways of knowing, more than making cross-curricular connections. Special subjects are an opening to broaden student-teacher relationships beyond the homeroom. They give students opportunities to expand their experience of relating to adults and learn that there are a multitude of teaching styles and approaches, as well as lots of different ways of learning about oneself and the world.
Click on the tabs to learn about the wonderfully well-rounded range of experiences in science, music, art, physical education and health, technology, and Spanish.
The art curriculum at Grace is designed to foster a lifelong relationship with art, to ensure self-expression, and to access creativity and develop an awareness of the world around us. Students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 enjoy art for one hour a week at Grace and spend time in our light-filled, resource-rich art studio. Like our music program, our art program is built on the belief that all children have the ability to learn and express themselves as artists.
Grace students learn about color theory, drawing techniques, and basic construction by working with a variety of different media: paper mache, printmaking, painting, and ceramics, to name only a few. They learn about the elements and principles of design, work on projects that help them understand horizon line, create painted papers as the basis for collage, and experiment with layering techniques. Students create ceramic sculptures that are fired in our kiln. We also explore the works of famous artists, learn about style in art, and create Artist Statements. These works engage students’ higher-order thinking skills, help them become familiar with art vocabulary, and serve as personal and revealing statements of creativity.
The best way to appreciate our art program at Grace is to walk the halls, which are lined with vibrant and engaging student work with explanations of the understanding and techniques that were a part of its creation. Grace students also participate in Artsonia, an online gallery that functions as “The Largest Student Art Museum in the World” and allows each student to have their own online art gallery and digital art portfolio. Artsonia helps create connections across space and time, allowing friends and family to view and comment on the works of our students. We have even heard from famous artists and illustrators whose work we have emulated and who found our student work on Artsonia!
Click to view a video from our first annual GEDS Student Art Show (February 2019).