We recognize the importance of movement, physical activity and outdoor play and its impact and influence, on the cognitive, social-emotional and physical well-being of our students. Kinesthetic and outdoor learning is embedded in our curriculum is an integral part of our everyday learning at Sparhawk.
In the Classroom
Your child’s classroom is designed with a variety of tools to increase movement and assist in centering the mind and body to maximize your child's learning experience. Sparhawk teachers vary the length of activities in a given class period and are in tune with the needs of each individual and the group, recognizing our inherent needs as humans to move. Peeking inside our classrooms you may find a student cuddled up in a cozy book nook, deeply engaged on the rug with Math manipulatives, seated at table for a writing task, painting at an easel, working with a lap desk and a “Howda-Hug seat” or taking a kinesthetic break as a class with a yoga stretch or “Go Noodle” challenge.
The Sparhawk Lower School outdoor space is often referred to as the outdoor classroom. Students and teachers relish in the seven-acre outdoor terrain. Childhood and the outdoors go hand-in-hand. So much bright learning takes place in this outdoor space.
Your child will have outdoor play opportunities at the start and end of each day as well as two recess periods throughout the day. This is a time to reboot; to hone social skills; to explore; discover and exercise; to engage in imaginative or cooperative games such as:
- building forts and creating villages
- creating civilizations and systems of government for these villages
- exploring the water flow of run-off puddles morphing into tiny rivers on our hillside
- capture the flag and wiffle ball
- sledding or building snow people
- swinging and playing on playground structures
- running, laughing and enjoying the natural elements
In addition to free play periods, teachers enjoy taking their classes outdoors. Your child may be inspired to write poetry outdoors; classify flora and fauna; plant a garden; examine tracks and scats; design landscaping or create sculptures from natural elements.
In addition to opportunities to climb, run and engage in cooperative games during recess time, we dedicate one class period per week to Athletics/Activities. These activities range from classic sports such as kickball, basketball and soccer to obstacle courses to dance challenges and yoga. The focus is on cooperation and team spirit. Students in grades 1-5 will also have the opportunity to choose a weekly kinesthetic Enrichment class, which run on a six-week cycle.