Research has consistently proven that music and art education build vital critical thinking skills in children. At Silver Oak, all our students have access to art.
Kindergarten, First and Second Grades
Arts Attack, a video-based art curriculum system, is used in kindergarten, first grade and second grade. This program is designed to teach each child how to express themselves through art and see and experience the world in different ways. The language of art, like the language of words, requires the learning of skills and concepts that will allow the free flow of expression. The goals of Arts Attack are to teach the elements and principles of art and drawing in a developmental and sequential way, as well as to study the art of other artists, cultures and historical periods.
3rd - 6th Grades
Additional art programs for 3rd through 6th grades include:
- Our 3rd through 6th graders' art program is managed through the San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA) Residency program. Students participate in a six week program with resident artist, Mr. Stuart, to learn and create their art pieces through the Studio Arts program. Teachers claim our kids will not miss school on a day that Mr. Stuart is teaching.
- Through the Evergreen Elementary School District, an art teacher visits our 4th through 6th graders on a weekly basis.
With the exception of the weekly art teacher, all of our art programs are funded through the generosity of our parents' donations to Silver Oak PTO. These additional funds enhance our students’ arts experiences throughout each school year. PTO also funds the necessary art supplies to provide each student an outstanding art experience.
Music in the Classroom
Kindergartners at Silver Oak participate in an interactive music learning experience through the sounds of drums and percussion. Music teacher, James Henry, visits our kindergartner classrooms 10 times a year. He is a San Francisco artist, recognized among his peers in the music industry. He has composed TV & film scores, touring the world with Columbia recording artist Pablo Cruise, and collaborating with other great artists including Taj Mahal, Robben Ford, Sly Stone, Buddy Miles, Merle Saunders, Pete Escovedo and Tom Jones.
In the spring, kindergartners also experience 12 weekly music visits from Ms. Lauren of MFM (see below).
1st - 4th Grades, Kindergarten (spring): Students in grades 1-4 (Kinder, in the spring) learn and perform music weekly with teachers from PTO music partner, Music for Minors.
Music for Minors (MFM) is a nonprofit with over 40 years of expertise in elementary school music education. With the mission of nurturing in children a lifelong love of music, MFM provides students in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade with a comprehensive music education program. The MFM curriculum includes a variety of musical experiences through hands-on participation in many facets of music, such as singing, movement, theory, dance, musical games, use of rhythm instruments, and playing recorder.
Ms. Marie Alberry-Hawkins (1st & 2nd Grade Instructor) has a BS from San Jose State University and extensive experience in planning and conducting educational programs for preschoolers through adults. She has held numerous leadership positions with the San Jose Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services Department, and previously volunteered as an MFM music teacher for several years. Marie sings with Schola Cantorum.
Ms. Lauren Haber (Kinder, 3rd & 4th Grade Instructor) has a Master’s in Music (Vocal Performance) from the Manhattan School of Music, as well as an AD from the Aaron Copland School of Music. She has a background teaching voice and piano with young students and has extensive operatic performance experience as a soprano. Lauren also serves as MFM’s Director of Talent.
5th and 6th Grades: Silver Oak's 5th and 6th grade students have busy academic schedules to achieve over the course of the year, and so their music classes are held in the spring over 10 weekly visits by music teacher and band instructor, Mr. Andrew Boyd.
Mr. Boyd brings a lifetime wealth of music knowledge and experience to the students of Silver Oak. He is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Through songs, various instruments, and interactive teaching, he shares the important ground foundations of music in a way that is passionate, inspiring and engaging each students creative spirit.
The aim is fun, informative, experiential learning.
Music During the School Day
Evergreen District School Band
Band is an optional part of the curriculum offered to all 5th and 6th grade students. Class meets for approximately 45 minutes once a week during the school day and is a “Performing Arts” class. Instruction will be offered on flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, and trombone.
There is no cost for this program. However, all students may need to rent or buy their instrument and are expected to purchase a cleaning/care kit for their instrument of choice. Students choosing to learn Clarinet or Alto Saxophone also need Reeds.
Performances are important and all students are expected to perform in the Winter & Spring Concerts. (Time & Location TBA)
After School PTO Music Programs
Holiday Choir (Grades 1 - 4, coordinated by PTO)
Choir is open to all students in grades 1-4 who want to share their singing talents. PTO partner, Starting Arts runs this popular musical program, and holds on-site choir practices weekly right after school at Silver Oak. Rehearsals and preparations culminate with a Holiday Choir Performance in December. See After School Programs for more information on this PTO-coordinated program.
Registration and program fee applies.
Silver Oak Band (Grades 5 and 6, coordinated by PTO)
This after school instrumental music program, led by Mr. Andrew Boyd (5th-6th grade classroom music teacher), begins in the fall and is available to all 5th and 6th grade students with no previous experience required. Beginning and advanced levels are available for a variety of instruments including flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and percussion. The program culminates with a performance in the Spring Concert at the end of the school year. See After School Programs for more information on this PTO-coordinated program.
Registration and program fee applies.
Students in grades 1-6 have the opportunity to participate in theater arts through our PTO-coordinated school plays. The after school drama program allows students to fully experience being a part of a theater production from auditions, to rehearsals, to the excitement of the performance, and finally, the reward of applause for a job well done. Every student who auditions is guaranteed a part in the play. Students work hard to hone their acting, singing and dancing skills over the course of a 3 month period. In recent years, we have had the benefit of the directional talent of "Starting Arts", a nonprofit organization whose mission is the promotion and preservation of quality arts education in public schools. (Visit www.startingarts.com) The program also relies heavily on parent volunteers in order to run smoothly.
There are 2 productions each year. In the fall, students in grades 4-6 start work on the upper grade play culminating in a week of performances in mid-December. During the spring, students in grades 1-3 start work on the lower grade play culminating in a week of performances in March. This is always a wonderful experience for the children so be on the look-out for details about each play.
Silver Oak students are superstars and the Talent Show in April is the event where they can showcase their talents. All students are accepted and allowed to perform after auditions. This is a PTO-coordinated event.
Fab Lab - Full STEAM Ahead Workshops
Students in all grades take workshops during the school day in our Fab Lab where they learn introductory STEAM concepts and activities that are age and grade appropriate.
Kindergarten: Introduction to Ozobots - Coding with Color
Grades 1 & 2: Intro to Coding with Ozobots and Conductivity with Makey Makey
Grades 3 & 4: Scratch Programming and Makey Makey Intro to Conductivity
Grades 5 & 6: 3D Printing and Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Silver Oak Robotics Club
The Silver Oak Robotics Club is an extracurricular club for 5th and 6th grade students who are advanced in science or interested in learning more science. Students learn how to build, design, and program Lego Mindstorm NXT robots, and participate in robotics competitions at school. Students also learn about different areas in science and do hands on experiments and activities. The goal of this club is to give students a chance to explore the field of science and further develop their interest/knowledge in this area. Space is limited. Applications are sent home in the fall.
Throughout the year, Silver Oak offers 1st – 6th graders hands-on, one-hour after school science programs themed around a particular area of science. Topics include such areas as rocketry, magnets, polymers and even the science of toys. Children engage in exciting hands-on activities, watch spectacular demonstrations, participate in inquiry-based discussions and take home things that they have made themselves like model rockets, periscopes, Mad Science putty and more. Mad Science after-school programs offer children a chance to see just how cool science can be. See After School Programs for more information, and details on how to register for this program.
Each year in the Fall, Silver Oak’s fifth graders are offered the opportunity to spend one week at Walden West Outdoor Science School, located at Via West in Cupertino. The facility is situated on 55 acres of beautiful oak woodland and is adjacent to Stevens Creek Park in the Cupertino Foothills. Santa Clara County Office of Education has been operating the outdoor school for fifth and sixth grade students since 1950.
During their stay at Walden West, students enjoy learning about the forest, meadow, and stream communities through the use of games and other activities. Qualified naturalists will use their expertise to help children see the interrelationships between plants and animals, as well as the effect we have on the environment. The experience is social, as well as academic. Living 24 hours a day with other students requires your child to cooperate and work together with others toward common goals. Throughout the week, classroom teachers will be available to help students adjust to being away from home. In the end, however, friendships and memories are made that last a lifetime. What greater way to learn than to be immersed in real-life science for one week!
The Evergreen District Science Fair is held every year in March. Students complete one of five types of projects: experiment, demonstration, model, collection, or invention. Each project focuses on science concepts correlated to grade-level standards. For more information, contact your classroom’s teacher.
Lifecycle of Frog and Butterfly
Each spring kindergartners observe the life cycle of the frog and butterfly starting with larvae and tadpoles and following them through being born to developing into an adult. Students' study the similarities and differences in the life cycles of organisms. The lesson begins with a reading of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Next, students use a video to study the developmental stages of frogs, dragonflies, and butterflies. They compare insect and frog life cycles to each other and to the stages of human development.
Kindergartners are immersed in new iPad technology using the sixth grade graduating class of 2016 gift of Osmo systems. The Osmo software and stands use hands-on play to foster learning in key areas such as: creative problem solving, art, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and common core. Osmo is installed on every iPad making learning exciting for our youngest students.
Beginning 2016, our annual Science Night evolved into a STEAM Maker Faire. This family fun evening is filled with a celebration of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. The evening is a perfect combination of part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new. Students and their families enjoy hands on activities from science to art to gardening to engineering to craft. Check the school calendar and front page of the school website for more details on this popular event.
This popular international not-selective competition in mathematics is for students in grades 1 through 12. It is organized by “Kangourou Sans Frontiers” with the aim of promoting mathematics among young people around the world. Each participant is seen as a winner and receives recognition and gifts on the test day in March. Those who achieve the top results are awarded in May. The competition consists of a 75 minute multiple choice test with 24 to 30 questions of increasing difficulty that challenge students through posing interesting problems. Math Kangaroo helps the students both to develop their skills and to enjoy mathematics even more. Silver Oak is an exam center for Math Kangaroo and this competition is open to Silver Oak students only. For more information about this program, visit www.mathkangaroo.org or contact the Silver Oak parent volunteers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Silver Oak's Math Olympiad Team
A team of over 30 Silver Oak Math Olympiad students meets every Tuesday in the school library to learn different problem solving techniques and practice solving non-typical math problems. The Math Olympiad contest consists of 5 exams held once a month from November to March. Exams cover advanced math problems and have the same paper for 4th, 5th and 6th graders. For more details, please contact Silver Oak parent volunteers at email@example.com.
Hour of Code
Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.
At Silver Oak, our 1st through 6th grade students learn computer science fundamentals by participating in the Hour of Code classes with a Computer Science specialist from our school district.
Primary Programmers Essentials and Advanced are both basic programming classes offered by the PTO to 4th - 6th graders. In this class, students learn basic programming concepts using a standard programming language, such as Java. From variables and data types to loops and arrays, students will learn basic algorithm development based on simple mathematics. As students continue to develop these skills, the instructors present more challenges in new and exciting and fun ways. Primary Programmers classes are taught by Silver Oak PTO parent, Attila Lengyel.
Accelerated Reader Program
Accelerated Reader (AR), created by Renaissance Learning, Inc., is an individualized reading program used to assess and improve each student’s reading skills and to increase reading enjoyment. To find out more about the AR program click here.
i‐Ready’s adaptive test identifies students’ strengths and weaknesses in reading. An adaptive diagnostic automatically adjusts the difficulty of the questions according to each student’s ability levels. The first question your child will see will be based on his/her chronological grade level. As your child proceeds through the test, items become more or less challenging, depending on how he answers each question. The test is designed to find exactly the level at which your child is performing in phonics, vocabulary, literature and informational text comprehension.
RAZ-Kids is an interactive reading tool for students to practice reading fluency and comprehension. Students have a log in and a password to get into their reading account. Teachers are able to monitor each students' progress and change their reading level. These levels are all individually based on each child's reading level and are adjusted to reflect their abilities. The students can listen to a story, read a story out loud, record themselves reading, and then take a comprehension quiz. Each child earns points or stars to use for their RAZ Rocket which allows them to buy things for their rocket very similar to Webkins.
Newsela is an innovative way to build reading comprehension with nonfiction that's always relevant: daily news. Newsela makes it easy for an entire class to read the same content, but at a level that’s just right for each student.
TIME for Kids
TIME For Kids is a weekly classroom news magazine that motivates kids to read. Issues cover a wide range of real-world topics kids love to learn about - and it's the best nonfiction text you'll find! A powerful teaching tool, TIME For Kids builds reading and writing skills and is easily integrated across our curriculum, including social studies, science and math.
Students in grades 4-6 have the chance to showcase their talents in a classic spelling bee coordinated by the PTO. Daily spelling activities begin in January. Finalists of the written spelling bee advance to the Oral Spelling Bee taken at the end of January. All words are chosen from the Spell It! website. Visit the website for practice word lists and more information about the Scripps Spelling Bee.
"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." – Alvin Toffler
Silver Oak School’s technology vision was designed in conjunction with the construction of the facility. The school’s initial leadership team incorporated the emerging use of technology as part of the school’s curricular emphasis. Technology became an essential tool for effective learning that has continued and evolved to today.
In order to maintain productive technology tools, the school designed and has consistently funded a technology replacement plan to ensure students have access to the most effective technological learning tools. Partnership funding between the school, Silver Oak PTO, School Site Council, partnerships, and grants/awards provides students with classroom access to a variety of technology-based educational tools. Students in kindergarten through 6th grade have direct access to networked Apple desktop computers in each classroom that are connected to a high-speed fiber optic internet network. Students in both the primary and upper grades also have class-wide access to several wireless laptop and Chromebook carts and enterprise networked printers.
Each classroom teacher is equipped with a laptop computer and digital document cameras connected to digital projectors to complement direct instruction.
This seamless use of technology complements Silver Oak’s use of effective traditional learning, study, and organizational tools.