In addition to their regular classroom, students participate in the following special areas each week: Art, Library, Physical Education and Vocal Music/Instrumentation. Their instruction in these areas range from 30-60 minutes once or twice a week, depending on their grade level, as well as additional time spent on Humanities.
Art is an essential component of the early elementary child's education. The art curriculum is based on the State of Michigan Department of Education's "Visual Arts Core Curriculum" which includes the following:
- Historical and cultural concepts
- Art criticism/critical thinking
Art making children will be creating works of art, engaging in discussion about their own work or famous works of art, recognizing the meaning and value of art and will be learning about artists and work from past and present cultures. Other disciplines, such as mathematics, science and language arts will be integrated within the art concepts. Students' work is displayed throughout the schools, as well as in community exhibits throughout the area.
Library (formerly known as Information, Literacy, and Technology)
All students go to the school library for classes at least once a week. During the year, students are exposed to a variety of themes and styles of different authors and illustrators. Students learn library skills and how to locate and use a variety of resource materials including laptops in connection with reading.
Students also have the opportunity to check out and exchange books. Borrowing library materials provides students with the opportunity to learn to be responsible. Reminders are sent home with those children who forget their books for two consecutive weeks. If library materials are lost, students are required to pay the cost of replacing them.
Many activities are designed during the year to create enthusiasm and excitement about reading and technology by using laptops. The annual Book Fair provides students the opportunity to purchase new and used books, while raising funds for the library to acquire additional materials. March is celebrated as Reading Month with several different events that encourage and stimulate students to become involved in reading.
Students use iPads, laptops, and desktop computers on a regular basis to create, learn, and explore the world.
Physical education activity is meant to foster the psychological, intellectual and social, as well as the physical development of the child. Physical education activities take place in the gymnasium or outdoors, weather permitting. Students are asked to wear appropriate clothing and gym shoes on the days they will be participating in physical education. Children work on skills such as gymnastics, loco-motor skills, fitness levels, including muscular strength and conditioning, ball handling, cooperative games, and gross motor skills. Field Day, held in the spring allows children to participate in a number of athletic events while having fun.
Vocal Music/Instrumental Music
The mission of musical education in the Ann Arbor Public Schools is to contribute to a comprehensive and relevant education for all students through meaningful, sequential study of music as an art form, as a social force and as a uniquely human endeavor. The elementary and familiar songs, songs from other cultures, movement activities learning to identify and read music, creating melodies, verses and rhythm patterns, as well as playing a classroom instrument and listening to a variety of musical styles. Musical experiences include: melody, rhythm, harmony, form, timbre and expressive qualities.