Educational Enrichment Throughout the School Year
Each year a committee of parents, working with Nixon faculty, help to schedule programs and activities that complement the school curriculum. The Educational Enrichment committee researches and selects multiple opportunities throughout the year to enhance our children’s learning experiences and “bring to life” the core curriculum of the classrooms - all funded through contributions from the PTO. The areas of Educational Enrichment include:
Following is a brief description of enrichment programs at each grade level that may be brought to Nixon students throughout the school year:
Kindergarten: Kindergarten enrichment is all about bringing the science curriculum to life! Steve the Science Guy often joins us, presenting programs about weather as well as balls and ramps. In the spring, Drumlin Farm brings their Hatching Out program to Nixon to deepen the students’ study of chickens. In addition to science programs, the kindergarteners may also take a field trip to see a play!
1st Grade: A little science, a little culture, a lot of fun is what enrichment is about in 1st grade! Students have been visited by Ellen Goethels, a marine biologist who brings live plants and animals from the oceans of Maine so students can explore the ocean world. Also, students have participated in workshops about lights and sound brought to us by the Discovery Museum. When our first graders have studied Ghana, Tom Foote from Rhythm Kids has brought a djembe drum for each child so they can learn the art and chants of African drumming. In May, to supplement Japan Day, students have participated in an authentic Tea Ceremony led by Kaji Aso Studio.
2nd Grade: To further their study of Native Americans, Nixon 2nd graders have put aside their books and built a teepee. Presenter Dan Cripps has helped foster teamwork and respect with our students as they learned how Native Americans used their resources to build shelter and provide for themselves. Scientists have also been brought in to supplement studies of weather and a classroom unit on bugs! And, to bring the study of Mexico to life, Susan Thompson has entertained our students through storytelling for many years.
3rd Grade: Much loved children’s author Suzy Kline always visits our 3rd graders to talk about the writing process. She provides a whole-grade presentation followed by individual classroom workshops where she shares personalized feedback on every student’s writing! Science is not forgotten in the 3rd grade! The long unit of Animal Adaptations has been brought to life with a visit from Drumlin Farm staff, who bring members of different species into the classrooms. As a primer to selecting a string instrument to play in 4th grade, 3rd grade students are treated to a workshop and field-trip performance by the Lexington Symphony as they learn about the different instrument families and music.
4th Grade: Nixon 4th graders have experienced a fiction writer’s workshop led by author Mark Peter Hughes. Students have learned to write words which are descriptive and leap off the page! Electricity has been a major unit of study for our students, and the Techsploration program has joined us to demonstrate its power. Also, the content area of immigration has been highlighted through an interactive classroom-based program brought to Nixon by the Lowell National Historic Park.
5th Grade: Author Jacqueline Davies meets with Nixon 5th graders every year! Together, this popular fiction writer presents to the grade and then visits each classroom to talk about generating ideas and developing characters. The Boston Museum of Science StarLab has also been tapped to enrich Nixon’s 5th graders’ study of astronomy.
All School: Enrichment dollars are also spent on the Nixon student body as a whole. Intended to build community and enhance the Nixon CARES core values, all-school programs are for grades K-5. Recent examples are FLAME the band, Li Liu – Traditions of Chinese Acrobatics, Ooch World and Ruby Bridges. We have also hosted math author and teacher-trainer Greg Tang, as well as the ImprovBoston performance troupe. In one year with an enrichment focus on poetry, we had Andrew Green of Potato Hill Poetry work with our 3rd-5th graders as a poet in residence at Nixon. And also in that same year, David Zucker of Poetry in Motion worked with our K-2nd graders. Stay tuned for this year’s all-school enrichment guests!
Details and specific dates for each of these programs as well as many more new and exciting educational experiences will be communicated via the Event Calendar, weekly updates, and the PTO Facebook page