At the Beethoven-Ohrenberger K – 8, teachers use background knowledge about students to strategically plan and implement different ways for students to access cognitively demanding, standards-aligned tasks so that they can ultimately select these supports on their own, resulting in enhanced agency over their learning.
Specials at the Beethoven
The Beethoven-Ohrenberger Physical Education program focuses on movement skills and concepts, and seeks to foster the development of health related fitness skills, lifelong physical activity skills and personal and social skills.
In Kindergarten, the physical education program emphasizes the development of gross and fine motor skills, balance, spatial awareness, and proper ways to engage in physical play with one’s peers.
As the students age, the physical education program continues to develop fine motor skills, and focuses on more group activities, so that students learn to work together, engage in problem solving, and identify and value the attributes of their peers.
The Beethoven School’s music program maintains a consistent focus on the fundamentals of music such as:
– steady beat
– rudimentary reading
– learning basic songs.
The program promotes hands-on, kinesthetic learning with ample use of movement and instruments, and draws on a diversity of musical sources.
Moreover, the Program intertwines the learning of music with literacy and the learning of multiple spoken languages, while making connections to science, math and other disciplines taught at school.
In the computer program, Beethoven’s Kindergarten students are introduced the basic features and functions of a laptop.
For example, they discover the location and function of commonly used keys (volume, brightness), and learn how to log onto and use educational software, applications, and websites made available to them (e.g., Clever Lexia, RazKids, ABCYA, PBSkids).
Beethoven’s first and second grade students log onto their digital backpack and routinely practice keyboarding skills. They also utilize and engage with educational websites (RazKids, Lexia Code.org Prodigy math, Duolingo, Pbskids or Abcya).
Throughout the school year students identify elements of art such as line, color, texture, shape, and space and use a variety of materials including markers, colored pencils, crayons, paints, pastels, clay, assorted papers, and recyclables.
Students practice techniques such as painting, printmaking, sculpture, collage, resist, and more. Students will learn about the role of artists (past and present) in society.
Throughout the first half of the school year, Students learn basic skills, and they then move on to focus on creating artwork related to a cohesive theme that will be displayed in the Beethoven’s annual art exhibit. Students practice their skills and learn new ones while creating art that they are proud to display in the schools’ art show.
Students at the Beethoven complete three units of science per year. The units vary based on the students’ age and grade level. Kindergarten students are introduced to the Seasons, the animal kingdom, and the environment (e.g., wood and paper); first graders discover meteorology, biology, and states of matter, and the second graders are familiarized with plants, insects and geology.
Specials at the Ohrenberger
Physical Education program at the Beethoven and Ohrenberger offers a safe, inclusive environment for all students, and encourages students to participate and promote sportsmanship during physical education activities.
The main areas of focus consist of movement skills and concepts, health related fitness skills, lifelong physical activity skills and interpersonal and social skills.
Ohrenberger students are exposed to a myriad of different concepts in Computer Science, assisting them in unique ways to become a more knowledgeable Cyber Citizen.
For example, students are introduced to applications in the Google Apps Suite, basic coding languages, and design and print modes on the school’s 3D Printer. The students are also required to perform daily keyboarding exercises to help them become more proficient in basic computer usage.
Students learn the elements of music as it relates to style, cultures, history and literacy across the curriculum. With the aid of musical instruments, songs and technology, students develop skills in listening, analyzing, singing, rapping, playing instruments, moving, performing, composing, reading and writing.
The Music Program incorporates creativity, self-expression, teamwork, cultural exposure, memory building, relationship to other disciplines and a heightened sense of appreciation for other art forms.
The Ohrenberger’s health education program provides students with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for making health-promoting decisions, achieving health literacy, adopting health-enhancing behaviors, and promoting the health of others. Comprehensive health education promotes healthy lifestyle habits, healthy relationships, and health literacy.
The BPS Health Education Learning Library contains a wealth of lessons focused on building student skills. All lessons are strengths-based. The Health Education curriculum is grounded in transformative SEL and prioritizes student identity, fosters community belonging, and promotes student agency and advocacy.
In science, students design, engineer, and create products to deepen their understanding of concepts aligned with the Massachusetts science standards. The content is taught through a balance of research, hands-on activities and experiments.
Using a holistic approach, science instruction uses a variety of learning modalities: visual, verbal, audio, musical, logical/reasoning, and body kinesthetic. Instructional technology is incorporated in lessons where applicable to promote next generation skills.
Of particular note, the Engineering and Design process currently used at the Ohrenbereger in class is modeled off of the Museum of Science’s Engineering is Elementary program.
The Ohrenberger Visual Arts program emphasizes the continued development of motor skills, eye-hand coordination, associative thinking, creative thinking, socialization, and pictorial expressiveness.
As a result , students are expected to recognize line, shapes, primary and secondary colors and develop a formal visual arts vocabulary, and will begin to experiment with mixing tertiary and complementary colors and with mixing media, and to understand the differences in materials and processes.
Moreover, the students study and draw inspiration from artwork from various periods of time and cultures. The acquisition and mastery of these skills enable students to express their ideas and preferences regarding, and to make choices about the subject matter, symbols and ideas they use to communicate meaning in their art work.
Among other opportunities to showcase artwork, all students produce products for the Ohrenberger Holiday Show and Arts Night.
Students create, perform, observe and respond to dance!
Activities focus on perfecting locomotor movements (i.e.: walk, run hop, jump, leap, gallop, slide and skip), and body directions (i.e.: left, right, forward, backward, sideways, diagonal and turn), and using dance to communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings.
By exploring methods of improvisation, students are empowered to the creation of their own dances. Students work alone, with a partner and in group settings, to demonstrate movement relationships between individuals, shapes, rhythm, pantomime, tempo and mood. Furthermore, students compare and contrast dance studies in terms of space, time and movement qualities.
Of particular interest are the teacher-led folk dances and videotaped performances, which introduce students to a variety of cultures and non-typical or stylized movements. The program embraces a holistic approach, which encourages students to make connections between dance and healthful living: integrating language arts, math, children’s literature, social studies, science, music, visual arts and theatre concepts in study of movement, design, communication and dance. Students are also given performance opportunities throughout the year, including the Winter Holiday Show and Spring Arts Night.
Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 visit the School Library regularly for instruction and book selection, where they learn how a library is organized and how to locate books for pleasure and intellectual curiosity.
The students are participate in read alouds, book talks, independent and are afforded other shared reading opportunities. The literature-based activities encourage students to develop a love of reading and an appreciation of wide-ranging literature. Students also learn independent research skills to help them access information efficiently which supports learning inside and outside of the classroom.
The schools upper level students (students in grades 6, 7, and 8) may extend their classroom studies in the Library, and are given the opportunity to borrow books and to participate in Book Clubs.