Bringing Arts Education to Every Student is a goal for the staff and volunteer parent groups of Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School (VW). This vision has been brought to fruition with the support and funding from the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD), VW, the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and Woodlanders Are Volunteers for Education (W.A.V.E.) Foundation. Teachers align art instruction with the California State Standards in all core curricular areas. Through various arts disciplines, teachers enhance their instruction to deepen student understanding of content, connecting what they learn to various areas such as history and language arts.
Art at Verdugo Woodlands Blog
Student Work on Instagram:
Meet the Artist art appreciation program: parent volunteer Art Reps provide instruction to students TK-6. These “docents” are trained to teach students about three master artists and their techniques over the course of the year. In selecting which artists to highlight, care is given to represent diversity. Likewise, there is also an effort to highlight local Angeleno and California artists of note. These priorities help the children create a more personal association with the art as well as with the idea of being an artist. The Art Reps lead additional art activities throughout the year by helping individual classrooms create art projects for popular school-wide fundraisers such as Square-1 Arts.
Taiko Drumming was introduced in the FLAG-Japanese program in 2010 in an effort to introduce Japanese culture into that Japanese curriculum. In 2014, Taiko drumming classes were expanded and are now offered to the entire student body so all students can learn more about the Japanese culture while learning rhythm, movement, and discipline in a fun and engaging way. Students who want to further explore and practice Taiko drumming may audition for the Taiko Performance Group (Kinome Daiko) that performs at numerous concerts, assemblies, and competitions such as the L.A. Matsuri One Sound Taiko Festival throughout the year.
Theater Arts classes that support appropriate grade-level classroom curriculum while promoting self-esteem. Students develop an understanding of improvisation, scene work, scene writing, silent scenes, and open- ended scene work. This is done by studying original musicals or plays based on classic works. Classroom teachers collaborate with the drama teacher to tailor the curriculum to meet the unique needs and focus of each class.
Performing Arts allows students to gain an introduction to playing a musical instrument, starting in third grade when all students learn to play the recorder. The children perform in a concert for the school and family as a culminating event to show all that they have learned. Inspired students who want to continue an education in instrumental music participate in the District Orchestra beginning in fourth grade. Orchestra students are taught by musicians that are also certificated teachers. Through small group instruction that focuses on the specific instruments, students gain the necessary knowledge and skills to perform together as an orchestra multiple times a year.
Visual Arts classes are a highlight for VW students. We are uniquely fortunate to have a professional artist who visits the school to teach in the classroom throughout the year. This is available to all grade levels as a weekly class, for a five- week period. Visual arts are analyzed in depth as a wide range of concepts are taught. Students use various media such as clay, printmaking, drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of art. Students create their own art applying skills they have learned. They also compose their own expression of art in the style of a famous artist.
National PTA Reflections Program is an art competition that encompasses all art disciplines. Students have the opportunity to complete an art project incorporating the year’s theme through a choice of various media including writing, music compositions, visual arts and digital media. VW has had many winners and finalists throughout the years at the district, county, and regional levels.
Square1 Art is an annual WAVE fundraiser that helps to fund in-school Arts. The artwork the kids create are printed on totes, mugs, iPhone cases and other fun products that make great gifts for the holidays! Whether or not a purchase is made, every child gets a page of free stickers of his/her artwork.
VW Art Instructor Brooke Sauer teaches five weeks of in-school art class to all grades.