Specialty Classes

Art

Students at Salem enjoy 45 minute art classes once each week in grades 1 through 6. All 7th and 8th grade students have art twice weekly for one semester each year. The “elements of art” and “principles of design” are studied in a 3-year rotation in grades 1-3 and 6-8. Grades 4 and 5 focus on individual artists and art works and global art in a two year rotation. The curriculum focuses on student creation of art, but also includes video presentations, field trips, and participation in exhibits. Salem students have been recognized for high quality art in state wide as well as Saint Louis area competitions, including “Picture the Music” sponsored by the Saint Louis Symphony.

Technology

Students work on a variety of computer skills, based on grade and ability level.

In Kindergarten and first grade, students learn about the different parts of the computer and practice using the mouse and keyboard. In second grade, students are introduced to programs like Microsoft PowerPoint and Word, along with kid-friendly search-engines and programs.

In third grade, students begin focusing on typing, as well as doing a variety of computer projects. In fourth grade, students learn how to safely navigate the Internet and refine their typing skills. While the kids like to come to computer class to have fun, we also stress that learning about computers is a valuable skill.

Students of all ages learn to use the computers in a respectful, God-pleasing way. In the upper grades students do a wide variety of projects to build upon the skills taught in the lower grades. To start the year, students were taught about Internet safety and computer use and care. Projects are done throughout the school year using Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint.

Music

Music is a wonderful gift that God has given to us! Through music we are able to worship Him, express ourselves, and communicate with one another from the deepest part of our human spirit. It is, therefore, our responsibility to give our students the opportunity to learn about and experience such a treasure. In order to do this, the classroom music curriculum at Salem was developed with two goals in mind: 1) music literacy, and 2) providing students with a variety of enriching, musical experiences.

To achieve music literacy, we begin in Kindergarten learning the most basic skills of beat, rhythm of the words, and matching pitch with our voices, and we also have many games and activities to develop awareness of the musical qualities of high/low, loud/soft and fast/slow. From this foundation, first graders learn the lines and spaces of the staff, and they practice singing, reading and writing three music intervals and three rhythm symbols. Each year, three more intervals and three more rhythms are introduced, and by fourth or fifth grade, students should be able to read and sing intervals based on the entire music scale and a variety of simple and complex rhythms.

Our second goal–providing students with many enriching, musical experiences–is accomplished as we play music games, play pitched and non-pitched Orff instruments (xylophones, drums, triangles, tambourines, etc.), sight-sing from the staff, and listen to and interact with music of the great composers (Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Beethoven, Mozart, and many others). In fourth or fifth grade, students apply all the skills they have developed through the years as they learn to play the recorder.

It is our hope that our students will continue to build upon what they have learned here, and they will grow up to enjoy a lifetime of music making!