K280 Cluster Areas
The Cluster areas are sections of our school were our students are able to get out of the classroom and be hands on. Our four content or cluster areas are Science, Music, Movement (Gym) and Art. Students are learning even more through these areas and it fosters more learning.
Cluster classes assist in the inquiry process as well. Your child's class might be talking about trees and in music Mr. Johnathan might create a song a particular dance to along with trees that is unique to that class. Cluster classes are offered once or twice a week in addition to the in class learning. What is included in our cluster areas are the push in classes such as sign language and Library.
K280 is one of the fortunate schools were it has a full Library designed specifically for its purpose. Students and teachers can find books that not only support classroom learning but inquiry knowledge. Their are inquiry based reading books as well that can be found in the K280 Library. Library is also home to our schools Mascot Reggio the Turtle!
Science Inquiry Program
Pre-K280's Science Inquiry program can best be described as a child's observation, exploration, and analysis (OEA) of the world in which he or she lives. Children collaborate together applying knowledge gleaned from OEA to design and construct solutions to problems which arise from their observations and explorations of the real world and in literature (eg. fairy tales).
Centers of Learning focus on physical science, and offer children the opportunity to explore, understand, discover, and question through the use of manipulatives. Journeys are an integral part of the program where the children have the opportunity to investigate their surroundings and examine the artifacts they find. Science Journals, or Observation Notebooks, are a fundamental part of the learning process. Children collect data during the inquiry and record that data in their journals. Our four year-old students then present their data to their classmates on Smartboards ito facilitate the development of their oral communication skills. Q&A about the inquiry is encouraged further developing the child's ability to think on his or her feet.
We also collaborate with PS10 mentors during our Science Fair, and with BUGS (the Brooklyn Urban Garden School), as well as community organizations. These collaborations enhance the development of the whole child. We have planted daffodil bulbs along the entire entrance of the school and looked at the moon during a family NYC Pop-scope event while working together with these collaborators.
Ms. Terry and Ms. Kris have created a setting which entices the children to observe, think and learn about the world around them.
I structured the studio art program around my belief in the personal agency of the child- to make choices with materials, judgements about what they are creating and their ability to confidently move through the art studio. I also keep in mind the 4 C’s- the child is Competent, Caring, Capable, Creative. Our Pre-K 4’s are in an exploration stage, and this is an exciting time of investigation, discovery, and rapidly changing concepts and ideas. They are moving towards representation, and are fully present in the process of making.
Our curriculum as much as possible is inspired by the children’s interests. I’m especially interested in the trends I see across classes in the school. Into our inquiries, I incorporate exposure to different materials and media so that by the end of the year the children have been exposed to just about every type of art making. Rather than having all the children work on the same project, I will introduce a material or method related to our inquiry with the entire class before giving the children the opportunity to choose an art center where they can explore the inquiry through different materials. This is both developmentally appropriate but also allows them to deepen their understanding by approaching a topic through different media. Over the course of the year, students will have the opportunity to work on individual and collaborative work. In the springtime, we have a school-wide art show, where we display the artwork created by all of our students in an interactive space for our children and families to experience together.
One of the biggest inspirations for our school and for the studio art program is the idea that “the environment is the 3rd teacher”. In our beautiful art studio, children are inspired by objects, materials, what they see through the windows, and experiences outside of the classroom. Our conversations and reflections are a great source of ideas as well. A studio environment also allows for improvisation- children can see what other children are doing in different centers and may be inspired to collaborate. Sometimes when I see and hear something exciting happening, the children and I can pull new materials from the studio to further the representational task. My goal is to empower every student to feel confident about creating art, using materials, and expressing themself in a variety of ways, speaking to Loris Malaguzzi’s 100 Languages of Children.
Music with Mr. Jonathan
As a music educator, my philosophy is based in the Dalcroze approach which teaches children to internalize music through movement, games and activities while interacting with live accompaniment on the piano.
We will sing, play instruments and act out stories that will have the children gallop, tippytoe, and take giant steps in their musical journey.
During each week the children will act out a story bring together everything they learned in that lesson.
Each lesson will feature new stories so the participants get a new experience and grow in their music/movement/storytelling apprenticeship
Physical Education is vital in establishing a strong foundation for the overall fitness and well being of all our students. Present health status of New York City students shows the dire need for supporting students’ acquisition of active lifestyles. This is an area of great concern and one that we, as physical educators, are willing and able to help improve. Absence of a sound physical education program in many of our schools and a lack of a dedicated physical education instruction can affect attitudes and behaviors of students, parents, administrators and school based personnel alike. Effectively engaging students as well as advocating for physical education within the school and beyond is a catalyst for exploring new ways to impart the importance of lifelong fitness habits in our children. We strive to develop a strong level of trust which will allow us to work towards realizing our shared goals and objectives.
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