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Blog

Specialist Curriculum Overview

Jeffrey Miles
We are always looking to deepen our programs, and searching for ways that our students will grow in their learning and understanding of the world.
At Ecole Bilingue we are grateful for our fantastic specialist teachers who have the rewarding task of moving our students' bodies and minds towards these extraordinary discoveries. 

Our STEM, Art, SEL, Music, Garden and PE teachers have developed curriculums that engage students in the visual and performing arts, chemical, earth and life sciences, engineering, ecology, sustainability, physical health and wellness. For a closer look at all the amazing things happening in their classes, and how they align to our EB mission and values, please take a look at the Specialist Curriculum Overview below.

ART
Goals of the Class
The goal of the Art Curriculum at EB is to enable the students to think and express themselves in visual language.
Topics to be CoveredThe art program introduces the students to a variety of media and techniques in both 2D and 3D. It creates links to art history examples from various epochs and across the world. The students are taught foundation skills such as drawing from observation, proportions of the human figure, depth of space, color theory, warm, cold and complimentary colors, shade and tone and perspective. For each project there are several step by step examples, but at the same time the emphasis is on individual expression and creativity.
Integration with the main curriculumSubjects such as language arts, social studies, sciences and mathematics can be made to correlate with art. Learning through an art lens helps to increase knowledge and understanding of the subject area, and also fosters a greater appreciation of the arts. 
How can parents best support their children?The best way to support your child is to take delight in their creativity and to believe that their artistic development is based on exposure, skills development and growth, and not on “innate talent”. 
How will the students be graded?The students are graded for their engagement in mastering a new skill or media and for their individual progress.


STEM
Goals of the ClassThe construction of knowledge and skills, through the implementation of various scientific and technological approaches and the discovery of the history of science and technologies, introduces the distinction between what is science and technology and what is an opinion or belief. The diversity of approaches (observation, manipulation, experimentation, simulation, documentation ...) simultaneously develop curiosity, creativity, rigor, critical thinking. In science, students discover new ways of reasoning by mobilizing their knowledge and skills to answer questions. 
Topics to be Covered
  • Movement
  • Energy
  • Scientific Method
  • Planet Earth and Living Things
  • Scientific Materials and Technical Objects
  • Robotics
  • How to conduct of a technical project
  • The challenges of climate change
  • Biodiversity
  • Sustainable Development
Integration with the main curriculumSTEM-proficient students are logical thinkers and are able to answer complex questions and develop solutions for those problems. An easy way to integrate STEM into any subject matter is to have students read a fictional book and design a solution to a problem one of the characters has faced in the story. Another way is to have students read books that utilize the engineering component in STEM. Legos are another fun and age-appropriate way to intersect STEM education because they allow students to build and explore while learning new important concepts.
How can parents best support their children?Encourage children to ask questions about the world around us.
How will the students be graded?The students are not graded in STEM.


JARDIN
Goals of the ClassThe goals of Jardin are to increase awareness of natural surroundings, encourage curiosity of the natural world and become better citizens of the Earth.
Topics to be Covered
  • Discovery of the garden
  • Harvesting of last years produce
  • clean-up & replanting of the garden
  • gathering seeds 
  • discovery of seeds of all shapes & sizes, from edible to dangerously toxic
  • observation of germination & dispersal of seeds
  • monarch butterflies (raising them from egg to butterfly)
  • reduce reuse recycle
  • study of fruits (discovery, including tasting)
  • annual cider press ~ apples from fruit to juice to vinegar
  • uses of vinegar
  • sugars
  • tubers
  • bulbs
  • photosynthesis & chlorophyll
  • winter decorations from nature
  • mushrooms
  • And more!
Integration with the main curriculumCover the living world (plants & animals) & their cycles; integrates with STEM
How can parents best support their children?Simply by encouraging curiosity
How will the students be graded?They are not graded in Jardinage, but individual student’s engagement is shared with classroom teacher


SEL
Goals of the ClassThe goal of SEL is to help students understand and regulate their emotions, learn conflict resolution strategies, discover how to be empathetic and caring to others, feel safe and supported, and to improve their listening and communication skills. Students also learn about different groups of people, their cultures, their stories, their achievements and their struggles. A priority is to help students get along well and bring out the best in themselves and in one another. Classes will touch on the themes above and will be age appropriate. Class themes may also change based upon a classroom’s specific needs and struggles.
Topics to be Covered
  • What is SEL? 
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Latinx Heritage Month
  • Mindfulness and Meditation 
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Importance of Good Friendship
  • Native American Heritage Month
  • Acknowledgment of ancestral lands and local tribes
  • Self Empowerment & Finding your voice
  • Self esteem and a Growth Mindset
  • Understanding race
  • African American History Month
  • Manners and respect for others
  • Self Care
  • National Women’s History Month 
  • Gender equality and equity        
  • Empathy and Compassion
  • Good Communication & Learning 
  • How to make a meaningful apology
  • Active Listening
  • Learning about Multi-race/Bi-racial families
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
  • The connection between Restorative Justice and Indigenous cultures
Integration with the main curriculumThe SEL teacher is in regular contact with all homeroom teachers regarding any social and emotional issues within their individual classes so if a problem arises, he can address it in the SEL classroom- problems are dealt with in real time.
Thematic months connect the SEL lessons with the main teachers' lessons as well.
How can parents best support their children?By stressing the importance of developing a well rounded emotional intelligence. By simply loving and caring for them through consistent guidelines/rules at home, helping them to understand the importance of treating others fairly and with respect regardless of their race, gender, religion, ability, size, etc. Also allowing them to sit with their emotions when they experience them, allowing them quiet time to meditate, and listening to them with no distractions when they share.
How will the students be graded?The students are not graded in SEL


MUSIC
Goals of the ClassGoals of Cycle 1 (Kindergarten):
  • Have memorized a varied repertoire of nursery rhymes and songs and interpret in an expressive way.
  • Play with your voice to explore variations of timbre, intensity, pitch, nuance.
  • Identify and reproduce, bodily or with instruments, simple rhythmic formulas.
  • Describe an image, talk about a musical excerpt and express their feelings or understanding using appropriate vocabulary.
  • Propose solutions in project, creation, problem-solving situations, with their body, their voice or sound objects.

Goals of Cycle 2 (Grade 1-2-3):
  • Experiment spoken and sung voice, explore its parameters, mobilize it for the benefit of expressive reproduction.
  • Knowing and implementing the conditions for careful and precise listening.
  • Imagine simple organizations ; create sounds and master their succession.
  • Express their sensitivity and exercise their critical mind while respecting everyone's tastes and points of view. 

Goals of Cycle 3 (Grade 4-5-6):
  • Identify, choose and mobilize vocal and bodily techniques in the service of meaning and expression.
  • Link the musical characteristics of different works, name them and present them in connection with other knowledge built up by the teachings (history, geography, French, science, etc.).
  • Explore the sounds of the voice and its environment, imagine musical uses, create organizations over time from a set of selected sounds.
  • Develop sensitivity, critical thinking and learn from the diversity of personal tastes and aesthetics.
Topics to be CoveredKindergarten: 
  • Emotions in Songs and Music
  • The Voice and the Opera: Hansel and Gretel 

1st-2nd-3rd Grade:
 
  • Pom, pom, pom, pom (Beethoven’s 5th Symphony)
  • Music and animals
  • En route
  • Let’s discover “A Cappella” Singers!
4th-5th Grade: 
  • Music and Cinema - Soundtracks, noises/sound effect man, silent movies, Charlie Chaplin, etc.
  • Let’s talk about Jazz - Typical Instruments, famous jazz composers and musicians, Big Bands, Swing, scat
  • Opéra à la carte “La flûte enchantée"
Integration with the main curriculum
For Kindergarten, the first part of the school year was identifying different emotions. Music helped them recognize emotions through various songs and musical pieces (fear, joy, sadness…)

Also, we will be working on the voice and opera music to prepare the students for the “Sing a story” event next spring with the San Francisco’s opera guild. This year, they will hear the story from “Hansel and Gretel”, a romantic opera from Engelbert Humperdinck.

For the 5th Graders, it is a tradition to participate in “Opéra à la carte”. I’ll teach them a few song excerpts and some of them will even be actors. At the end, the students will perform alongside professional artists in a 45-minute adaptation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's classic opera. 
How can parents best support their children?Music has such a powerful effect on positive relationships, the researchers hypothesize it has to do with the way tunes encourage people to synchronize (either with dancing or singing together) and promote healthy conversations. A lot of recent research has focused on how emotions can be evoked through music, and how that can perpetuate empathy and empathic responses toward your listening partner.  We encourage families to listen and/or make more music at home. 
How will the students be graded?The students are not graded in Music


PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Goals of the Class
  • Develop and maintain a healthy body, mind and character.
  • Increase student motivation to know and learn sports
  • Provide experience to increase athletic proficiency and understanding of the French language
  • Skills spiral and grow throughout Cycles 2-4.
Topics to be Covered
  • Develop physical, athletic and artistic motor skills
  • Health education
  • Body/Mind space awareness
  • Sport safety
  • Respect for rules, self-respect and respect of others
  • Gross motor skills
  • Body composition activities
  • Sport skills and games
Integration with the main curriculum
Establishing collaborative relationships and integrating classroom content into physical education is a great way to integrate with the main curriculum. 

Physical education is an excellent setting to integrate concepts from the classroom, whether the subject is English, language arts, math, science, or social studies. For starters, movement is exciting and fun for the students. Further, research has found a link between physical activity and improved learning.  Using a variety of activity templates the PE teacher is able to integrate classroom content into physical education.
How can parents best support their children?Simply by encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
How will the students be graded?Sportsmanship and active participation 
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