Archive for January, 2013

The Impact of Art in School

January 29th, 2013

Math, science, reading…they’re all fundamentals every school teaches and every child should know. But what about art? It’s been described as a passive course that doesn’t really serve a purpose (unless your child wants to be an artist), and in many schools throughout the country art isn’t even taught anymore. But is that really true? Is there no value in art? We did some digging to find out, and our findings suggest quite the opposite!

Art teaches students many things that traditional book learning can’t quite grasp. Students are too often taught that there is only one way to do things, but in art, children are instead taught how to find their own solutions. The creative thinking that comes with art in schools gets kids’ minds thinking outside of the box, which increases grades and learning ability. And planning a little bit into the future, “thinking outside of the box” is one of the top traits that employers look for when hiring.

Art also helps children appreciate where they are from and what they know. The pressures of being a kid and fitting in are hard enough, but many sources say that children show their true colors (no pun intended) when they create art. Art is about expressing one’s self, and when children create art, they are creating the things that they want to create, using their backgrounds and experiences as inspiration.

Finally, art helps students flex their own creativity. The brain works best when it is able to be free and open, and art allows just that. This is especially important in young, developing minds, which are constantly shaping the type of people that children will become. Children who get to be truly creative, exploring their imaginations and turning their thoughts into real things, have a greater advantage in the world than those bound only to what they have been told.

So there you have it. Some people may not think of art as a “fundamental,” but there’s definitely evidence that art makes learning the fundamentals, and a whole lot more, a lot easier. Better learners grow into better people, and all of the evidence suggests that art is a key ingredient in that recipe!

Of course, art is a loose term. If you noticed, we never actually said what kind of art we were talking about. Creating visual pieces, creating music, acting, singing, dancing….all of these “arts” continue to show the same results as whatever you may have been thinking. A few blog posts ago we mentioned that there are many different types of learners, and each of those learners is going to gravitate toward a different type of art. So promote creativity, and art, and enjoyment, because your kids are ready to step up and become incredible learners and incredible lovers of art!

Sources:

http://www.arteducators.org/advocacy/10-lessons-the-arts-teach

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/09/02/art_for_our_sake/?page=full

http://www.education.com/slideshow/facts-about-teaching-children-art/art-appreciation/

We all took physical education (aka P.E.) in school. Sometimes we loved it, and sometimes we had to drag ourselves to class.  We played mindless games and occasionally broke a sweat, and for most of us that’s all we remember about P.E. But at The Henderson International School the path of learning is a little bit different than the norm, and P.E. is no different.

This different approach to P.E. is personified in P.E. Instructor Ricardo Baldizan, known around school as ‘Coach B’. Along with two other colleagues, Coach B instructs P.E. classes every day, working with almost every student at the school. Pre-school students attend a few times per week, and all kindergarten through 8th grade students meet with Coach B once per day.

Coach B focuses his classes toward developing new skills to help students stay healthy, get moving and learn about sportsmanship. Every day he comes up with new activities and skills that he wants to develop, and finds a way to incorporate them into the day’s lessons. He’s also sure to adjust things to the skill level of each age group, so everyone can participate.“Daily classes are great, because I get to really know the kids,” said Coach B.

When classes are playing volleyball, for example, upper classes will jump right into the game. Younger students though, who might not be able to hit the ball over the net quite yet, use softer balls and learn the basics of the game, so when they’re older they can jump right in too! The whole focus is on teaching real games, real sports, and real skills that get kids to enjoy their time and become better at moving.

Coach B has also found that kids who learn to love sports from the beginning get more involved as they get older. At Henderson International, team sports are offered for students in 5th through 8th grade. Coach B is in charge of the soccer program, and has seen many students go through the ranks to eventually play for his team. His biggest focus with this is to take the lessons they’ve already learned and apply them to good sportsmanship, the next step in the process.

“It’s about how they do – not how somebody else does,” said Coach B.

This focus on teaching his students how to personally be better, rather than worrying about beating other teams, exhibits the summation of his teaching goals. Coach B prides himself in these lessons, teaching hundreds of students over the years, including five granddaughters who have all attended Henderson International.  He wants his students to become better at everything they do, and starting from their first day in his class to their final days at Henderson International, they learn the fundamentals necessary to be successful in all of their achievements.

With all of these lessons, skills and accomplishments, it’s no wonder that the efforts of Coach B and the rest of the P.E. instructors have been considered by many to be the key that really puts the ‘Education’ into ‘Physical Education’!

Remember everything you learned during your hay-day when you were the king of recess?  Most remember learning how zombies can ‘tag’ others, where the lava monster can and cannot go, how running to the fence and turning around was the best route in football, the outcomes of when your friends would dare you over…  The list goes on and on, and now the American Academy of Pediatrics has come to the aid of recess.  In their latest policy the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated, “Recess is good for a child’s body and mind, and withholding these regular breaks in the school day may be counterproductive to healthy child development.” 

The NFL has an entire campaign urging kids to get out and play with their “Play 60” campaign.  Their initial goal was to help fight childhood obesity and to use their star power to urge kids to play outside instead of online in this new digital age.  Now playing can be more than just keeping your child physically active and fit.  Your child needs to go out and play to help with their social, emotional and cognitive developments, not just their physical developments.  The American Academy of Pediatrics says recess should be a “complement to physical education — not a substitute.”

So what are some games that you can play with your children back home or organize among your community?  You can go back to your teenage babysitting days or even your college days when you would sign up for intramurals.  Red light, green light is a game that gets kids moving physically while engaging them mentally by listening to the signals shouted on whether to go forward or not.  The rules are quite simple; one person stands across the way from everyone else and is the signal caller, they say green light with their backs turned and everyone can move across until they say red light and turn-around.  If anyone is still moving after red light, they must go back to the starting line and start over.  Other activities you can organize amongst your community are; flag football, soccer, basketball, tennis, kick the can, capture the flag, and many more.

Sports and games allow children to socially communicate amongst their team members, develop strategies amongst another, perform their strategies, and learn how to handle defeat or victory.  For a list of more games to play with your kids visit here and encourage your children to get out and play with their friends the next time they have a get together.

 

Sources:

http://www.gameskidsplay.net/

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/08/simpleoutdoorplay/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/28/recess-pediatricians-policy-statement/1796547/

It was a night of more than just one BCS match-up featuring the #1 ranked team in the nation according to USA Today.  There was the BCS National Championship game pinning national football powerhouses Notre Dame against Alabama and the BCS Challenge pinning local Las Vegas, and arguably national, powerhouses Findlay Prep against Bishop Gorman.  Both games occurring nearly simultaneously with a similar result as one team overpowered another with their overall power.  The Alabama Crimson Tide left no doubt last night and left Miami, FL as the #1 team in the Nation just as the Findlay Prep Pilots left no doubt against their city rival ending the night as the #1 team in the nation.  Barring a 7-0 run to end the second half, the Pilots held a comfortable lead throughout and never looked back finishing the game as 65-45 victors.

The game didn’t lack in star-power, both on the court and courtside.  With Findlay Prep stars such as (UNLV commit) Chris Wood, (Indiana commit) Stanford Robinson, and (UCLA commit) Allerik Freeman starting for the Pilots with UCLA’s Ben Howland, UNLV’s Dave Rice, and BYU’s Dave Rose in attendance.  Being in the spotlight is no unfamiliar territory for Findlay Prep with some of their recent notable alumni including UNLV standouts Mike Moser and Michael Bennett having received plenty of national attention during their tenure on the squad.

All Findlay Prep practices and classes take place on the Henderson International campus.  Including a few days when the players come in to some classes and read to the younger students on campus. If you would like to take your family out to see the #1 High School Basketball team in the nation play, the drive’s not too far away no matter where you are in town.  All Findlay Prep Pilot basketball games will be played at the Southpoint Arena this season, located in the heart of Las Vegas with easy access to and from the I-15 and 215.  Who knows, maybe you’ll get to see more stars than just those playing on the court as seen last night.

 

Sources:

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/jan/07/findlay-prep-bishop-gorman-2013/

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/jan/07/rebels-recruits-enjoy-varying-levels-success-findl/