Students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade have a regularly scheduled class time in the Horn Library. The goal of the library program is to master the skills of using the library, both for pleasure as well as for study, and to instill a love for reading. Students learn how to search the online catalog for desired materials and find books on the shelves. Older students develop research skills that include note taking and evaluating print and Internet sources for reliability. Read Aloud is a special time for students to think critically about what they are hearing and seeing, to learn about the world around them and to enjoy literature in all its diversity. The library is a resource for educators as well, and topics covered during library class sessions are often related to those in the classroom.
Technology is a tool that can enhance learning. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards guide the skills portion of technology lessons, while the content of the activities is derived as much as possible from the units and concepts being taught in the homeroom classes. Students in pre-kindergarten through first grade learn skills for interacting with various devices and apps, for purposes such as graphic design and layout, drawing tools, beginning keyboarding, and drag-and-drop coding. In second through fifth grades, technology is integrated throughout the curriculum. Second through fifth grade classes use technology to support their creation of independent and collaborative projects, and learn how to use the Internet for research. Students learn about Internet and social media safety, including interacting with the web responsibly through a digital citizenship unit. Students also learn how to navigate and utilize tools through Google Classroom. In addition to the desktop computers found in both the lower and upper school computer labs, teachers and students have access to MacBooks, Chromebooks, and iPads. Other materials such as Merge Cubes and the Osmo suite, as well as visits to the Tinker Palace, further enhance and extend students’ learning and creativity.
The Spanish program at Manzano Day School teaches students how to communicate in Spanish and develops an appreciation for Hispanic heritage and culture. Lessons are carried out in a fun and dynamic environment using songs, games, short dialogues, plays, and hands-on activities. The lower school Spanish curriculum offers students in pre-kindergarten through first grade many opportunities to explore the 5 Cs of foreign language education: Communication, Connections, Communities, Culture, and Comparisons. The upper school Spanish program for students in second through fifth grade emphasizes listening, speaking, and cultural awareness. Students learn phonemic awareness, basic grammar rules, and everyday vocabulary to utilize during conversation.
Physical Education at Manzano Day School is based on the National Association for Sport and Physical Education Standards (NASPE).The curriculum utilizes developmentally age-appropriate activities in which the emphasis is placed upon developing lifelong fitness habits while having fun. Curricular activities are based on a block and spiral model, which allows students to revisit and refine skills, while continually learning new ones. These skills are integrated with the core curricular subjects when possible.
Children study the basic components of music through experiential learning: singing, playing, moving, reading, and creating. Classes are sequenced in a way that leads them to work with rhythms, melodies, and forms of gradually increasing difficulty, as outlined in the national standards for music education. Through speech, movement, dance, drama, and song, children gain musical knowledge and skills. Music classes meet several times a week and third through fifth grade students also participate in chorus. Students showcase their musical talents in performances on campus and throughout the community. The school musical is a yearly tradition performed each spring featuring fifth grade students in starring and supporting roles, and fourth grade students as the chorus.
Lower school art emphasizes the creative process. Children are introduced to various materials and techniques in order to experiment with and appreciate all different kinds of art. The pre-kindergarten through first grade art program nurtures students’ exploratory spirit and expands their artistic expression.
The Visual Arts Program for second through fifth grade is built on a spiraling curriculum defined by four overarching themes united by the National Core Art Standards: Creating, Presenting, Responding, and Connecting. These themes, respectively by grade level, are Friendships in Art, Nature in Art/Art in Nature, Ergonomics: Made to Fit, and Contemporary Artists with Historical Roots. Students engage in drawing, painting, graphic arts, digital arts, fused glass, lampworking, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and built environment lessons. All lessons are taught within an art historical or cultural context designed to enrich and broaden student learning while drawing attention to how artists are influenced by family and community.