• Think Creatively

    "At many schools, teachers deliver a linear style as the "right way" to solve problems. At Park Day, we share a deeply held belief that it is our job to help each student find their own approach–one that works best for them. So, we teach a linear approach as one of many ways to come at a problem or work through a process. As we investigate and practice different methodologies, students evaluate and prioritize for themselves the elements that work best so that each will know the ones that fit with that student's optimal learning style."
     – Karen Ginsberg, 7th and 8th Grade Science
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    Some of the program elements and events that we've developed to help our students think creatively are clearly parts of a complete elementary and middle school education. Our curriculum delivers fine art, music, Spanish language across the grades, but that's just the start. Our teachers regularly integrating other areas of creative exploration and expression into their academic program and across the school's broader events and activities. 
     
    East Bay Mini Maker Faire
    A natural extension of our hands-­on, discovery-­based curriculum, Park Day School has hosted the East Bay Mini Maker Faire as our largest fundraiser since 2010. The event brings over 120 makers and 7,000 visitors to campus, and combines two of our greatest passions: maker culture and our kids’ hands-­on learning. Kids and adults tinker, code, design, hack, build, and get inspired in this one-­day celebration of ideas and innovation–showcasing the talent and creativity of the East Bay maker culture.
  • Art and Music Nights
    Artistic expression and music are integral parts of the overall curriculum from Kindergarten through 8th grade. One of the events at Park Day School that celebrates our arts and music program is "Music and Arts Night"–a combination of an "open studio" type art show, and a multiple stage performance of group and individual music performances. These events have drawn large audiences to campus on spring evenings for years.
     
    Student-Produced One-Act Plays 
    Every year, our 7th and 8th grade students produce one-act plays, and perform them for a multiple-night run at Live Oak Theater in Berkeley. Students have the opportunity to be involved in any element of these performances, including writing, directing, costume and set development, directing, acting and stage management.
     
    The Nature Building Zone
    The Nature Building Zone is located in a tranquil spot on our beautiful grounds and is used by the bridge kindergarten through first grade students. Bounded by a border of tree stumps the Zone is home to a "library" of natural materials - bark, forked twigs, leaves, flowers, seeds and stones -  selected from the clippings of our tended grounds and natural materials from nearby gardens. Children work collaboratively or alone to create sculptures with natural objects. They explore concepts of symmetry, gravity, and work with contrasting and complimentary textures, shapes and colors. They learn to respect one another's work and space, and also that all artistic endeavors need not be permanent. They have the freedom to create and recreate without the expectation of a finished product. Mandalas, shelters, cooking areas and "thrones" are some of the constructions that children spontaneously and recurrently create. All materials are shared, recycled through different designs, and eventually composted; we build from others' creations and leave our own for other student builders to admire, appreciate and reuse. The Zone provides a joyful and playful way for children to connect with others and the environment.