Classrooms and campus grounds of The Learning Center Charter School are filled with art projects from across grade levels and subject areas. This is because the school embraces learning through the arts as an essential part of a holistic, E-STEAM curriculum.
E-STEAM stands for entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and agriculture, and math.
“We know the arts are a crucial component of education for 21st Century students,” said Ryan Bender, head of school. “Through our classroom arts emphasis, weekly art instruction, art electives, and extracurricular activities in the arts, we are creating the kind of learners that can excel in any field they pursue.”
Teachers at the school use the arts, both visual and dramatic, in the classroom to teach core standards in an engaging and memorable way. On any given day, students can be found singing their multiplication tables, constructing sculptures in the garden, re-enacting famous scenes from American history, or cutting, pasting, and painting for their latest assignment.
The week of April 12th, students in all grades at The Learning Center Charter School learned about artist Paul Klee as part of the school’s continued emphasis on art as part of their E-STEAM curriculum.
E-STEAM stands for entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, art & agriculture, and math. A driving principle of the school’s educational approach is to teach students that science, math, and technology skills are essential and are deeply integrated within the activities of entrepreneurship and agriculture, as well as language, music, and visual arts.
“Our philosophy of education is built upon the idea that young learners need to be exposed to a broad array of rich learning experiences,” said Head of School, Ryan Bender.
“The arts – whether visual, written, spoken or performed, are an incredible venue to put academic lessons into practical use. We strive to bring a variety of arts experiences to our students during their time at our school. We offer opportunities to act, paint, draw, craft, write and participate in performances and competitions,” added Bender.
The school is adding a high school next year with the addition of 9th grade. Each subsequent year, an additional grade will be added to make the charter school a Kindergarten through 12th grade school in four years time. This same educational approach will be implemented in high school grades.
Last fall, the Jackie Ward Foundation hosted a Virtual Talent Showcase that featured videos submitted by students across our community and region that showcased their talents. Recently, Mr. Ryan presented awards to student participants from our school.
Third graders at The Learning Center Charter School are immersing the pop culture phenomenon of graphic novels into their everyday studies and are learning language arts, science, and art as a result.
A graphic novel is a full length story published as a book in comic-strip format. In other words, graphic novels are book length comic books and subject matter can range from mysteries to superhero stories.
Teacher Kathleen Shook noticed student interest in graphic novels and decided to embrace it as a means to teach subjects across the curriculum. In addition to fully embracing graphic novels as a means to learn topics in language arts, students have also created their own graphic novels as part of writing assignments, illustrated them in art class, and included science lessons as part of the novels.
“My class has been really into graphic novels outside of class,” said Shook. “Bringing that excitement into other areas of study has been a fun way to engage my students and deepen their learning in other areas.”
Shook added that students have even been writing comics at home and bringing them to school to share with the class. Plus, Murphy Public Library loaned twenty new novels for the class to enjoy.
“Learning should be fun and my students have been having a blast weaving graphic novels throughout their studies each day,” said Shook.
To celebrate the 100th day of school, students in first grade were tasked with building animals with 100 found objects. These fun creations were showcased during the virtual School Maker Faire in March.
Fifth grade students have been doing amazing stuff in art! They have been learning about Wassily Kandinsky and his abstract art. Kandinsky experienced synesthesia – he could hear color and see music! The kids have been using a program that allows them to choose colors and shapes and create pieces of music. They have also been listening to pieces of music and creating art based on what they believe the music looks like.
The Curiosity Book Store sponsored a Kindness Art Contest. Customers voted on the best art pieces. It was optional and each winner received a free book of choice. These were the winners from our school. Way to go students!
Are you sharing your projects with us via Facebook? We sure hope so! Remember to tag us using BOTH @TLCGrowZonePage AND @TLCSchoolMakerFaire. Don’t forget to check our page on March 17th to see all the projects and give encouraging shout-outs to all our Makers!