Danya Lanphear// Art Teacher
Lakers come to the art room ready for a challenge. By now, kids have developed an identity as an artist across many skill levels. They can interpret the lessons personally while still following steps and guidelines. In a student-collaborated curriculum, the student’s needs and artistic goals are a key part of projects and instruction. Children are continually encouraged to make mistakes, experiment, play, take risks, cultivate open-mindedness, and recognize problems both formal and conceptual. Students in the Lake have an increased sense of self, personal strengths and areas where support is needed. Creative choice, coupled with responsive teaching, result in an authentic student-centered practice to support this developmental stage. This structure naturally promotes differentiation within the curriculum, and allows each child the opportunity to make choices based on his/her own artistic inspiration and passion. Children of this age are keenly aware of social justice and there are many opportunities to apply these themes to the working group. Individual expression comes with a responsibility to speak your mind and heart appropriately. Student discussion provides time to share inspirations and make connections to previous lessons and projects.
Aviv Kammay // Music Teacher
Lake students are explorers of musical phenomena, users of practical skills on a variety of instruments, and imaginative creators of musical works. Our Lakers analyze musical form and arrangements, collaborate in composing and notating, and prepare their music for performance and recording. For musical inspiration, they tap into a wide and diverse pool of sources: music that is a part of their personal or group identity, music that reflects the experiences of others, and music that confronts with social and political issues of injustice and oppression. The Lake music curriculum is an invitation to master several useful skills including basic guitar and keyboard technique, standard music notation, and the principles of form and balance in arrangement and composition.
Instruments available for the students include pianos, keyboards, recorders, guitars, ukuleles, lap-harps, computers with recording and notation software, pitched and non-pitched percussion, electronic drum set, and more.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Sarah Melton // Health & Wellness Teacher
The Lake PE program is designed to help guide the students in discovering the joys and emotional benefits that come from play, teamwork, sportspersonship, perseverance, cooperation, effort and achievement. Class periods alternate between sport related skills and cooperative play and teamwork. Teaching friendly and inclusive game play and movement plants the seeds for lifetime love of physical activity. Individual physical development and progress is equally as important as effort, interest, and participation. We invite students to contribute their ideas to the curriculum and play. Student voice is an important component of the activities we choose and the guidelines or rules of the game. Integration with classroom thematic units and other all-school programming happens as often as possible.
Students in the Lake have an increased responsibility to include all classmates in the game and to advocate for balanced teamwork for themselves and others. We continue to emphasize that exercise, sports and competition should be a positive experience for everyone and a shared celebration of abilities and accomplishments. Through a wide variety of activities and learning goals students build upon their foundational understanding of how their bodies work to maintain and improve upon their physically active and healthy lifestyles. Students are able to have fun while learning to respect one another, challenging themselves and setting personal goals in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe.
Stacy Corona // Spanish Teacher
Lake Spanish reflects best practices in both world language and progressive education in a variety of ways. Students are exposed to large amounts of rich comprehensible input in Spanish – spoken language made accessible by careful word choice, repetition, gestures, and visuals – to strengthen their ear for the language. The language ear is an intuitive understanding of the inherent patterns, sounds and procedures in a language, an invaluable base for all further study. They have ample opportunity to work individually and in pairs, following their personal work rhythms while also encouraging collaboration. Games, drama, music and illustration all play an integral role in bringing the language to life and activating all learning pathways. As much as possible, student interests inform the topics and approach to study.
Social justice concepts guide Lake Spanish work in multiple ways. Lake students are regularly exposed to other cultures, their traditions and ways of life through books, music, videos and artifacts. They are encouraged to practice interest, respect and open minds in exploring these cultures and comparing them to their own. They discuss stereotypes such as “all Spanish-speaking cultures are the same” and examine different perspectives on cultural practices. They also learn about historical and contemporary figures such as Sonia Sotomayor who worked to stop unfairness and make a difference. The classroom community embodies social justice as all members treat one another with fairness and support one another in “giving it a try,” and celebrating each other’s successes. Work is evaluated based on individually chosen goals and the continuum of language acquisition, rather than a quantitative system, and students meet one-on-one with the teacher to discuss progress and needs.
Students in the Lake spend a large portion of the year exploring what it means to be a digital citizen as they take on more digital organization responsibility and maintain their Google Drive accounts. They learn to embrace their generation’s responsibility of creating and following the rules they are empowered to create and live by. We study and discuss the nine elements of digital citizenship; access, commerce, communication, literacy, etiquette, law, rights & responsibilities, health & wellness, security. Lake students look at these elements and they analyze how they fit together and how they differ. They explore social justice in the digital world and find their online identity. Lakers discuss and practice using appropriate actions when they see an injustice. We examine website reliability and evaluate sources in preparation for Independent Project research. In addition, they learn how to take notes on a website, cite the website, and use those ideas in their paper and presentation.
At the Lake level, students begin to learn about careers in technology. Computer programming is a fascinating skill this age group is ready to explore. Using programs such as Scratch, students create their own games or interactive stories. Through game play and discussion, students analyze design elements and make adjustments based on peer feedback. Lake students also create their own website using Google Sites. They add hyperlinks and images to their pages. While adding media to their sites, Lakers also make their website look appealing and interesting to others.
Rebecca Lemar // Librarian & Literacy Teacher
The Wingra Library seeks to support Lake students who tend to be increasingly skilled writers and voracious readers, enjoying lengthier stories with descriptive language and social justice themes. Nine to eleven year olds have an increased awareness of relationships of power and privilege and how they impact characters in stories as well as people in real life. Graphic novels and diaries are popular leisure time reading choices. Lake students have formal and informal opportunities to read and memorize poetry as well as write and put on plays. They appreciate opportunities to explain things to peers and younger students and are especially good at reading to younger children. In their own writing, Lake students often use more dialogue with increasingly realistic interactions between characters. They excel at journaling, poetry writing, and creating cartoons. Their revision skills are becoming more refined as they continue to improve their skills as peer editors. Many students increasingly choose to read non-fiction and biography texts related to subjects of interest. They are able to do research from a variety of sources at this level.