Enriched & Integrated Learning Experiences
Beginning in Kindergarten and continuing throughout the elementary grades, student learning is not only enriched by – but meaningfully partnered with - explorations in music, visual and dramatic arts physical education, technology, and library skills. Recognizing these “enrichments” are actually vital avenues of learning for the diverse learners in any classroom, CWC Kansas City focuses on opportunities for teacher collaboration across the core classroom subjects, arts, fitness and movement, and technology. This integrated learning enhances projects and academic exploration not only because teachers can weave in content from one subject to the other to foster connections between them, but also because students, as unique learners, can access natural cognitive processes through these activities.
Consider these examples:
- Through PE activities using patterns of counting-off and rhythms, first graders begin to recognize the same patterns that they apply to language structures both oral and in writing – such as a poetic ABAB pattern.
- Through a scientific exploration of the butterfly, students recognize their learning from art and geometry to differentiate between circles, arcs, and lines as they create visual representations of the life cycle.
- Children as young as Kindergarten explore the mathematical concept of multi-axis symmetry through the artistic exploration of cut paper snowflakes.
- First graders studying the “blue note” in blues music begin to understand the historical and cultural beginnings of a genre of music, along with a meaningful exploration of how music taps into and expresses universal expressions of emotions.
Similarly, opportunities to demonstrate understanding can also be partnered with “enrichment” strategies – such that a child might share his/her learning through graphic arts, musical expression, bodily movement or dramatic interpretation, in addition to more traditional assessment strategies.