Enrichment & Fine Arts Program
In the Art Classes at the Buckner Fanning School at Mission Springs, the students are given the opportunity to create art using a variety of materials. Students will learn about famous artists and art styles, the elements of art and how they apply to their art projects. The curriculum in Art is based on the Core Curriculum standards with emphasis in specific areas the students are studying in their classroom, therefore creating an opportunity to learn about their studies using a hands-on approach. Students have at least one project each year in which they create a clay work of art. Their clay art projects are also related to their classroom studies and/or basic elements as applied in a sculptural piece.
The students are given opportunities for individual exploration in creating art, also. As time allows, students may create a work of art using the “free art” materials that are available to them. Students are encouraged at all times to create from an individual perspective and value each person’s creation as a ‘one of a kind.’ They will leave the BFSMS art classes with an introductory knowledge of art materials and their use, famous artists and works of art in relation to a historical context, and have learned skills to enable them to approach any art project with a sense of familiarity.
The methodology that structures BFSMS’s music curriculum is based on the Kodály Method, inspired by the Hungarian composer Zolton Kodály.
It is a sequential, literacy-driven curriculum using folk song material and age appropriate art music examples. Movement and instrument play are incorporated as it becomes developmentally appropriate to do so beginning with simple circle games and classroom percussion instruments leading up to more difficult movement activities and the use of barred instruments and/or recorders. Curriculum is focused on literacy and listening skills. As time allows, students spend class time listening to and learning about both traditional and non-traditional music performance practices.
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten:
First Grade and Second Grade:
As students progress, these musical examples become longer and start to expand in a variety of melodic and rhythmic possibilities. By the end of first grade, most students can find and demonstrate the beat. They can recognize and dictate rhythms that contain one, two, or no sounds on a beat; quarter note, paired eighth notes, rest. Students also begin to identify melodic patterns that contain two or more pitch differences and use iconic pitch references to map the rise and fall in pitch.
By the end of second grade, students have developed a musical vocabulary and a bank of music rhythmic and melody terminology. Both allow them to identify and begin reading and writing musical patterns using the pentatonic scale, simple meter rhythmic motives containing beat divisions; beamed eighths, sixteenths as well as rhythmic values that combine beats; half note, whole note, etc. Students also begin to organize these patterns according to meter and “Do” placement.
Third Grade and Fourth Grade:
By the end of third grade, students will begin to experience/recognize more sophisticated examples of rhythm and meter that extend beyond simple/duple time signatures. Typically, third grade is when they begin playing recorders in class and reading absolute pitch from the treble clef. It is also when students have had the opportunity to study more in-depth classical musical examples that culminate in a visit to the Tobin Center at the end of the year. This program developed by Carnegie Hall’s Weil Music Institute is a wonderful addition to San Antonio’s symphony educational program. Following this program over the past several years has given both our third and fourth grade students the motivation to individually improve upon their performance and musical understanding according to their own level of skill and interest.
Our elementary-age music program concludes with fourth grade. Students spend much of their fourth grade year using what they know about the structure of music to create. They continue to build on their experiences of melody, rhythm, meter and form with more emphasis put on how these elements are combined. Students are given more flexibility in choosing composition/performance activities according to their interests and skill level. By the end of the year, fourth graders have a solid foundation in music composition, music history and performance practice should they choose to continue their study into middle school.
Middle school students have the opportunity to continue their study of music as a chosen elective. They continue to build upon their skill and knowledge of music literacy and performance practice, using online resources such as Ultimate Guitar, Chrome Music Lab, Musicca, among various other tools and resources. Students experiment with instrumentation and composition while dedicating additional time learning the basics of a keyboard and/or ukulele. Those with more instrument experience are encouraged to improve upon their performance skills, often being invited to take a lead role in school-wide programs.
BFSMS’ library program is committed to building a community of enthusiastic library users and lovers of great literature! The librarian, in collaboration with the classroom teacher, strives to provide challenging, engaging educational opportunities for our most treasured (and greatest) resource, students!
The library’s mission is to cultivate a community in which creativity and exploration of the ever changing world is valued and encouraged through activities designed to enrich students’ knowledge and interest in the community, locally and globally. The task of students is to become life-long learners and passionate seekers of information.
BFSMS’ goal of physical education is to encourage a healthy lifestyle through healthy habits and being physically active. We strive for our students to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles all while having an enjoyable time. Activities include:
- Cardiovascular endurance
- Muscular strength and endurance and flexibility
- Locomotor and non-locomotor movements
- Cooperative games to foster teamwork and communication skills
- Team sports
- And fun!
Spanish- Pre K- 4th Grade:
Students learn Spanish in a natural way through hand gestures, body language, and actions expressed in creative stories.
Emphasis is on speaking fluency. High frequency words and all vocabulary are embedded in stories and include; days of the week, shapes, colors, numbers, body parts, months, school supplies, clothes, weather, emotions, places, animals and more.
Reading in Spanish is introduced in 3rd grade and some of the topics students learn in their regular classes are used in Spanish class to help them make the connections.
The goal is to set a strong foundation of their new language to be ready for 5th grade.
Spanish 5th- 8th Grade:
Students continue to build upon their Spanish language skills. A Spanish immersion approach is used where learning is accelerated. Spanish is used 90% of instructional time and the focus is on speaking fluency. Students read books and role play the characters and situations.
Students write creative stories and dialogues which they present on the spot every week in a mini skit, individually or in groups. Students take virtual trips to Spanish-speaking countries to listen to the different accents and understand the culture.
The main goal is to be fluent in Spanish for different real life and career settings. When students graduate 8th grade, their level of Spanish is higher than level 1 of high school Spanish.
The computer technology program at Buckner Fanning School at Mission Springs prepares students to be leaders in a digital age. Age appropriate software and hardware is used to teach technology, engineering, math, and science.
Students also learn the importance of being a responsible and caring user of the internet through carefully designed and age appropriate lessons on Digital Citizenship.
Coding and logical reasoning begins in Kindergarten and continues through 8th grade graduation. In addition to computer class, a variety of technology is used in our core classes to allow students to develop critical minds and achieve academic excellence.