ART, PE, MUSIC & TECHNOLOGY
In addition to the primary subject areas such as language arts, math, science and social studies, Honey Creek offers instruction in music, fine arts, technology, physical education and swimming. Students also have regularly scheduled library time in the school’s media center. These learning opportunities are referred to collectively as “Specials.” At Honey Creek, the work students do in “Special” subjects is viewed as integral to their development and the school is always looking for ways to expand and strengthen these offerings.
Children should have a well-rounded view of the arts as they relate to other subject areas, and they should enjoy the process of creating art rather than competing to be the best artist. In the lower elementary levels, learning is centered around the elements of art and how they relate to the things that we see and do in our everyday lives. We concentrate on color, line, texture, shape, and space at the K/1 level. We expand on the elements of art and how they work together with the elements of design (unity, rhythm, contrast, emphasis, variety, balance, proportion) at the 2/3 level. Students are also introduced to the basics of perspective at this level. At the 4/5 level, we expand further on the elements and principles to explore art history and specific artists at a more advanced level. Middle School students are given more “open-ended” projects, in which their personal voices and creative concepts are featured, while still learning and practicing skills such as value/shading, contouring, color theory, and more in depth studies of culture and art history.
The purpose of PE at Honey Creek is to teach children how to remain healthy for their lifetime. Students learn this through educational workouts and activities that are based on the Michigan Content Standards and Benchmarks for PE.
Students in K-5 participate in one 50 minute block of PE per week and one 50 minute block of swimming per week. Middle school students have one 50 minute block of PE and can choose a swimming elective 2 days per week. PE classes offer a combination of team sports and individual activities (ex: yoga, jump roping) with a strong emphasis on positive sportsmanship and communication skills. Swimming offers instruction on all competitive and non-competitive strokes and team building activities.
The music curriculum is based on the requirements set by the State of Michigan through the Michigan Content Standards and Benchmarks for Elementary and Middle School Music. Students achieve the Standards and Benchmarks through activities using the book Game Plan, An Active Music Curriculum, Baroque Recorder Method for elementary music, Standard of Excellence for the bands, and Sing at First Sight for choir. Twice a year students learn supplemental songs to perform at a school-wide concert. Elementary students meet once a week for a 50 minute class period. Bands 1 and 2 meet three times a week. Choir is a semester long elective class for middle school students. This class meets twice a week.
Music incorporates and synthesizes all the other subjects. For example, music is science through the study of sound. Students learn math while studying rhythms. Music includes history with the study of music history. Music is a foreign language requiring interpretation of the notes and symbols. While learning to play an instrument you learn to use your body in a new way. Music is team building because the students work together to create it.
Students receive a report card twice a year. To determine these grades students are assessed weekly on their progress with the skills in each lesson. Progress measures include oral quizzes, playing quizzes, written tests, group activities, worksheets and games. Students are also evaluated on their participation and preparedness.
Honey Creek’s technology education program is based on the idea that all members of society should be technologically literate. We incorporate a combination of computer literacy, technological problem-solving, and engineering design. We assess student progress with a number of different methods. The foremost method of assessment is student-based projects; but written reflections, quizzes, and teacher observation are also used to assess student growth.
The curriculum for Honey Creek’s Technology Education program is based on the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association’s Standards for Technological Literacy (STL) and the Michigan Educational Technology Standards (METS). Each grade level undertakes age-appropriate projects that allow students to grow and develop technological literacy.