Thursday, October 6, 2011

The First K-Pod Performance

We absolutely could not be any happier with the school that Reagan attends. Our only wish was that she could stay at this same school throughout her entire school career... it is just an elementary school, so it only goes to Grade 5.  

Reagan attends an Integrated Fine Arts School.  What does that mean, you ask?
The framework that defines an integrated fine arts philosophy shows children learning the curriculum in Literacy, Numeracy, Science and Social Studies while being engaged in music, drama, dance and visual art activities.  The development of meaningful connections between the arts and other curriculum areas truly describes "Learning Through the Arts".  It is important that students are well prepared in the core curriculum areas, and the arts provide a powerful vehicle for lessons to be learned and remembered.  
Her school is divided into pods, and being a Kindergartener places her in the K-Pod.  The first and second graders make up the P-Pod, the Tri-Pod consists solely of the third graders, and the fourth and fifth graders create the I-Pod.  The classes are organized into these learning pods, and each teacher in the pod has one of the arts as their specialty, as well as being trained as a core curriculum teacher.  Students have their main class teacher, but they also spend time with each of the other teachers in their respective pod during the arts rotations.  The teachers plan together and create common goals and themes that are shared and taught in each pod, giving the students many rich and engaging learning experiences that enhance their personal, intellectual, artistic and social development.   The mission of this school is to "provide academic excellence through artistic experiences by integrating dance, drama, music and visual art into the lives of students to enhance the learning of core subjects."

Like I said, we simply could not be happier!  We share the same core values and beliefs about the need for art in education, so it is a perfect match for our family.

Throughout the year, each of the Pods will host numerous performances for both the school, and the families of the students.  Today, the K-Pod had their first ever performance!  The families of the Kindergarten students were invited to view the performance this morning, and then the kids did a repeat performance this afternoon for the rest of the school.

Ryan, Myers, and I arrived bright and early so that we would be sure to get a good seat!  Reagan immediately started hanging out with her friends before it was time to get ready for the big show.

Myers, having already spent time in the classroom this week, felt right at home in the school.  He was ready to crawl out onto the main floor to perform with the rest of the kids!  We, of course, held him back with the rest of the audience, but he spent the majority of the performance clapping his hands and waving at his big sister.

The kids started off the show by walking out in their turkey headgear since Thanksgiving is this weekend.
(I've said it before, and I will probably say it for as long as I live in Canada... I will NEVER get used to Thanksgiving being in October!)

They immediately began to entertain us all by doing the "Turkey Tango", showing off both their singing and dancing skills!
Try the Turkey Tango
When You're in a Trance
Try the Turkey Tango
When You Want Romance!

I was able to make a short video of the second half of the song that they sang explaining what it would be like to be a turkey...

After the performance, and after the kids posed for endless pictures from the very proud group of parents in attendance, we were invited to see a small sampling of the artwork that the boys and girls had created so far this the school year.

The first board showed the entire class, on the bus, ready for Kindergarten!  I have to admit, the self portraits really were amazing!

From pumpkins to turkeys, it was obvious that the kids have been busy!

I've said it before, and I will gladly say it again right now, this is going to be a great school year!  We were thoroughly impressed with the first K-Pod performance, and now we're already anxious to see what they will have in store for us for their next performance.

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