Garden Enrichment Curriculum

ENRICHMENT: (to make rich or richer, to fertilize, to improve in value)
We will offer additional areas of enrichment to your children that will become a part of their daily curriculum.

Breakthrough Circle

Breakthrough Circle provides an emotional and balanced transition into our students’ school day. This is a forum of sharing orchestrated by the students. Leaders of the circle rotate monthly. Students conduct a sharing environment with topics important to them in the acquisition and awareness of fundamental rules and considerations that must exist in the classroom. Circle allows breakthroughs in communication skills through practice. Students learn to develop an effective presentation and how to hold audience interest. Participants help navigate the appropriate boundaries of sharing. Listening with respect is a skill in continual practice. Welcome contents for sharing are: materials relating to our curriculum themes, current events, cultural background, personal possessions and experiences. Each classroom will designate a special item that is passed around the circle, which grants the holder motion to speak while other students in the circle practice active listening.

Great Minds

Great Minds make a difference in our world! There is an Einstein in every student. Great Minds of the past and present will be acknowledged for their contribution to humanity, education, politics, civil rights, philanthropy, literature, music, religion, medicine, invention athletics and more. Each week there will be a featured Great Mind that will be researched and celebrated for their contribution. Students will be educated on how each one of these people made a stand for possibility, stuck to their vision even though people did not believe in them and saw their dream to completion. Some Great Minds will have impacted local communities, some world communities, some with their minds and some with their hearts. Students will be encouraged by their powerful dreams and moved to "make a difference" in the world.

Adventure Airways

A passport to anywhere! Students let their imagination and investigation take them on a journey through different countries throughout the world and within the United States. The focus will be one country per week. The daily journey will expose students to people, food, geography, history, language, beliefs, art and music about that featured country or state. This multi-cultural approach demonstrates, that though cultures may be different, we are all very similar as human beings. Diversity calls for celebration of individual and world communities. Garden of Angels School participates in adventurous and exciting discovery of our world as a "whole”.

Amazing Artists

From Picasso to Rodin, art is alive in the classrooms at Garden of Angels School! Students will eye witness the various expressions of artists in many mediums. We will create with visual aids, stories, poems, canvas, oil and acrylic paints, brushes, recyclables, paper, wood, tools and our bodies. We will learn the inspiration behind what caused these artists to create and will practice in all of the different artistic styles. We will look into the hearts of these Amazing Artists and get to know their compelling stories.

Art

The purpose of art is to give life shape. Art takes endless forms and encompasses many media. Students will submerge themselves into hands-on, short- and long-term art projects, based on process. We will practice individual and group interpretation and presentation. Many projects are created from recyclables and supplies found out in the environment. Students develop the ability to transform trash into treasures. Students will be asked to train their imagination to create from what appears to be nothing, into valuable masterpieces. Students beautify our school environment by designing chairs, tables, canvas, garbage cans, gardens, etc. The campus is in constant transformation with the studentscontributing their heart and soul to its design and aesthetic. Art is the transformation of something ordinary into something extraordinary!

The Sultan of Science

All children are capable and have the ability to observe, explore, and discover the world around them.  The child's mind is an active one and is always curious. Science is a way to help children understand what they see and observe in the natural world and their very own environments.  It is a way of inspiring learning while empowering the child.
 
Science offers hands on learning and experimentation; it engages the child while helping to develop and facilitate inquiry, communication skills, self-esteem and confidence. Science is a very powerful classroom resource which helps make meaningful connections, challenges a child's learning, and stimulates the brain's desire to learn. Whether we combine elements to make a gooey concoction or build a volcano that erupts before our eyes, Science is just plain fun.

Invention Class

Students are given the opportunity to use their imagination in an unrestricted, non-guided environment. Miscellaneous supplies are provided and students are free to use their imagination and ingenuity to create. The roll of the faculty in this class is to create conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge. We provide supplies and the students generate the invention.

Kids Cause

Kids Cause allows the possibility for kids to serve their classroom, community and world actively. These are some of our student/kid inspired ideas: walking dogs at the Humane Society, developing a composting program, writing letters of appreciation to civil servants, actively cleaning the environment, serenading retirement homes, flowers for graves of those who have not been visited, drawing pictures for politicians to acknowledge issues and policy changes to enhance philanthropies, random acts of any kindness. While the previous can provide examples of service, we do not want to limit your child’s expression of service. We hold brainstorming sessions at school to discover what really lights our students up. We encourage you to do the same at home. Being active servants towards bettering mankind provides much more than academic growth. Our hearts are much fuller in giving and receiving.

Kids Cafe

“Kid’s Café,” was designed to empower the children to think as entrepreneurs and start their own business. An adventure in basic cooking; the children have an opportunity to combine math skills and science with everyday cooking. Assigned the responsibilities of kitchen prep, chef, manager, server, and host, the children run the show. From creating the menu, decorating the school, to refreshing drinks and calculating the bill, parents are treated to a memorable luncheon. Students also learn to multi-task during this fun-filled event and practice their communication skills while being attentive to the diners different needs. Managing themselves in a entertaining and energetic symphony of motion and demand prepares them one step closer to the real world. From the “Day of Dead Diner,” in October to a Mother’s Day Brunch in May, “Kid’s Café” corresponds with our monthly theme and enhances our holistic philosophy. “Kid’s Café,” rocks the Michelin Guide!

Physical Education and Sports

As a child, confidence to try new things, or participate in something that is a challenge is not innately found across the schoolyard.  As true as this may be, it only takes a handful of engaging activities and dabbles of experience to instill the self-assurance to tackle the unknown.  It is this self-belief that allows children to participate in an activity; to chase, to be chased and enjoy the fruitful, energetic playtime that all children wish to be apart of.
 
Our Physical Education curriculum, as well as, other various after-school sporting options provided at Garden of Angels throughout the year are a perfect way to give this feeling of poise to the child and help them hone their skills to higher levels.  With each made basket comes the possibility of a thousand more, and with the right coaching, facilitating, and encouragement each child can accomplish this task. 
 
The development and focus of fine and gross motor skills are not only beneficial for participation in organized games on the yard, but it also translates to teaching them about sportsmanship, fairness and teamwork.  All three of which combine to form a new dimension to a child's life.
 
Sports and Physical Education promote health and well-being.  It grows the whole individual through participation, practice and competition.

Field Trips

Emphasizing our educational approach to the “Gaia way of learning”, what better way to teach science than with the hands-on experience of exploring the Tide pools of the Pacific Ocean, and the Canyons of the Santa Monica mountains. With a treasure trove of nearby museums of distinction within our grasp, we will introduce the children to “space adventure” at the Griffith Observatory and the Air/Space museum. “History” can be practiced at not only the La Brea Tar Pits but Vasquez Rocks.

From visiting a nearby recycling center, participating in a beach clean-up, or touring the local fire station, knowledge through experience has great rewards for the students. Preparing our children to manage themselves outside the confines of the school with fellow classmates and parents is very important to our wholistic approach and with our commitment to small, intimate groups the results are highly successful.

The “Garden Philosophy” seeks to expand the students view outside the urban sprawl of Los Angeles where outdoor confidence is essential and overcoming the “fear of the unknown,” creates a more self-assured child. In addition, the willingness to take supervised risks plants the seeds of a winning future.

Creating a baseline of fitness, our children also learn that challenging their physical limits and learning new gross motor skills can be rewarding and fun. From playing capture the flag in Temescal Canyon to examining a salamander in a stream at Will Rogers State Park, our parents time and time again only wish they could grow-up as a Garden student. Our Field Trip Program promotes the spirit of “Earth Warriors,” while teaching the students the balance of nurturing the planet while interacting with it.

Music

Calling all Mozart's Hendrix and Ricky Lee Jones's. We will dedicate music as an art form that has its place in every venue of life. Many styles will be developed, rehearsed and performed at the students December and June performances. We will inspire a love of music vocally and instrumentally. Every student is a Beethoven or Aretha waiting to happen. Music is known to improve the comprehension of analytical thinking and math concepts.

Creative Drama

Life is a stage. If that is the truth than every opportunity we have to participate in one of its stages is essential to our very best and most profound life. Students will be able to explore different feelings and experience acting them out and begin building characters. They will learn to respond to others more sensitively. Drama stretches their imagination and encourages them to work through some of their own personal fears and concerns, by putting them in real life situations and characters. Students also find dynamic ways to comfortably move their bodies in the most strategic ways on the stage and learn the beginnings of actual stage presence. We will focus on voice projection and articulation. Students will learn to act and feel in the moment. Students will have an opportunity to develop characters that are important and interesting to them. These characters generally become a safe place for students to work through current situations they are experiencing in their life. It is a very healthy, therapeutic way to problem solve relationally. The students will generate theatrical pieces for their bi-annual performances.

Dance and Movement

Dance is a tremendous catalyst to becoming fully self-expressed. Our dance workshops will expose students to rhythms, musical interpretation and technical dance modalities. Our dance classes will be fun but intense. We will lay the foundation for different forms of dance. Ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop will be emphasized, as well as free dance. Free dance allows students to understand the way his or her body moves, responds and works. Given the freedom for interpretive dance and the discipline behind more technical dance, our instruction will expose the students to a “wholistic” approach to this discipline. Dance increases gross motor coordination. It is a great physical exercise to release extra energy. Elements of gymnastics will be introduced to complement dance. Dance and gymnastics will be performed at the bi-annual performances.

Gymnastics

At Garden of Angels we incorporate gymnastics as part of our enrichment curriculum.  Gymnastics helps children with life skills, confidence, and patience.  It is a sport that requires strength in all parts of the body and mind, and therefore involves discipline (the art of teaching).
 
Like all sports, it is not easily mastered without dedication and practice.  It requires fundamental and basic steps and with these principles children can move forward and tackle more difficult skill levels.   Children need to be patient and after battling through hardships and roadblocks, achievement begins to blossom and determination pays off.
 
Getting to know ones' body and how it responds to various circumstances allows the children the confidence and boldness to make safe risks and challenge their surroundings.  Gymnastics speaks into possibility.