As part of the curriculum at the Henry Barnard Laboratory School, learners engage in the study of subjects that not only challenge them intellectually, but which also round out their learning experience and help them develop skillsets in other fields. Weekly and biweekly classes in art, music, physical education, Spanish, and technology education, as well as the library/media center empower our children to develop as well-rounded individuals.

When you click on each of the icons below, you'll be linked to the preview of what learners are engaging with in each subject this month. If you have questions, we encourage you to contact your child's teachers, or the school office.

Art Education Program

I believe in a discipline based approach to teaching art.  This method, promoted by a team of educators under the guidance of the Getty Museum emphasizes four key concepts:  Criticism, Aesthetics, History and Art Production.  Most lessons begin with a look at an art reproduction and a discussion about the artist. I take special care to include many contemporary artists, artists of color and women artists in my curriculum.  I hope to give my students some insight into the world around them and how various artists view our world.

Many of my lessons are collaborations.  I particularly enjoy working with my colleague John Arango (TechEd).  We like to share ideas about how children learn and what we are currently exploring in our classrooms.  When time allows, we try and observe a lesson.  Our observations often lead to collaborations which provide the students with a depth of experience in basic principles of art, design, and technology commonly referred to as STEAM (Science – Technology – Engineering – Art – Mathematics)

As an example, one of our many collaborations combined a fourth-grade ceramic, coiling project with a fourth-grade unit on electricity.  The students learned the basics of art, design, production, and electricity by creating a functional, electrified, kiln fired, coil lantern. The students benefited from participating in a project which emphasized both process and project.  I enjoy knowing that my students are learning to collaborate, think creatively and share knowledge while I also learn to collaborate, think creatively and share knowledge.  

Library Media Program

All students have library instruction once a week for 45 minutes, except preschool, which has library instruction for 30 minutes per week. The Library Media Program curriculum is based on the Standards for the 21st Century Learner, which was developed by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association. For more information on the standards, please see following website,

Music Education Program

All students are given the ability to learn and express themselves creatively through the tools of music education.

Our program is fundamentals of music education which include playing instruments, singing, movement/dance, composition/improvisation, use of technology, and cross curricular collaborations with teachers of other disciplines. Our program fosters students’ creativity giving them a chance to express and experience music from all angles broadening their minds and creating connections to other subject fields such as math, history, language, art, teched, physed., and more.

Students express themselves in a creative manner that involves as much freedom as it does structure regardless of their age and capability (both mentally and physically). Children will learn through a variety of styles that highlight creativity, critical thinking, kinesthetic, fine motor, vocal expression, instrument playing, history, creating and improvising. These are the traits that challenge their intellect and allow them to show their true colors. Some of the methods we use are Orff, Kodaly, Gordon, Weikart, along with publications by Hal Leonard, Alfred, and more. Technology includes a use of Noteflight, Garage Band, Youtube, and more.

Students experience various instruments from each of the five families: strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, and keyboard. Specialized units include guitar, ukulele, recorder, violin, xylophone, drums and auxiliary percussion. We also have access to a teacher computer and a tablet library to learn technology based projects. Students in grades four and five also participate in Chorus class which meets every week and performs concerts throughout the year.

Physical Education Program

I believe this program to be experiential. When children come into the school they experience what it's like to be in a school gym; they need to understand the rules and safety elements. It becomes a safe place and a fun place to be. It encourages a lifelong healthy lifestyle through activity and awareness of all the fun possibilities in many sports.

I teach all of the children physical education through three principles of learning; invasion games; fielding and striking games and net games. I use many different sports to emphasize each of these areas.

Invasion games: any game where you have to invade the other team's half to score a point is an invasion game. For instance, soccer, football, rugby, lacrosse, and basketball are all invasion games. Understanding the principles behind each of these games allows the children to understand a technique and skill for a particular game.

I mainly teach this principle through handball starting with the basics of passing a ball using chest passes and bounce passes; this will progress onto moving with the ball. The player with the ball has to remain still and pass to his partner. The passer then needs to move to an open space. This practice then develops to playing two versus one; three versus one; four versus one; five versus two; and then you start to see the buildup of the game. By stressing moving into space; creating triangles; using a quality pass and the need not to give away possession, children start to understand the transfer of techniques to all other invasion games. By the time the children reach the end of first grade I would hope that they can play three versus three and I can have three games playing at the same time. That way all the children are involved and all have to understand the principles.          

Fielding and striking games: we play games that the children will understand easily. They kick the ball in the first type of games. I then introduce bats and smaller balls; we speak about how to stop a ball; how to throw a ball and positioning when fielding. They learn fielding and striking games through playing Danish long ball; kick the ball; baseball. From preschool, we concentrate on keeping your eye on the ball and keeping your body in line with the ball. In kindergarten, we use smaller balls and start to make the task more difficult. Size of the ball and the speed of the ball make for a developmental progression. Eventually, the children play games where they all have to bat; to field or pitch at some stage or another. Introducing a score system is another factor increasing the demands of the game.

Net games: these are introduced early in a child's school career. We'd first work with balloons hitting them backwards and forwards; keeping the balloon up in the air and taking turns. In other lessons, I've introduced the use of a tennis racket and sponge balls. I have introduced the use of badminton and in second grade started volleyball. The principles of all these games are exactly the same, playing a ball long or short; using angles; focusing on the score; teamwork.

Individual sports: I teach track and field; the climbing wall; the swing rings. I find these areas allow children to express their own abilities and show their own self-confidence. A child that may have not enjoyed team sports could find that the climbing wall or a track and field event is something they can excel at.

Through intertwining all of the above in a 36-week program per year and developing it from preschool to fifth grade it allows me to develop a child that enjoys physical education understands the need for a healthy lifestyle and is not afraid to try new sports when visiting the middle school. There is a great tradition of quality sports players coming from Henry Barnard School and being successful in the private and public schools of Rhode Island.

Spanish Education Program

Spanish class is dynamic, energetic, and fun!  Once a week, the students gather in the colorful Spanish room to sing, play, act, create, and explore the Spanish speaking world.  We use puppets, role play, videos, games, and songs to practice our Spanish skills.  The goal of the Spanish program at the Henry Barnard School is to adequately equip students to speak Spanish in both local and international contexts.  Special all-school projects as well as specific grade-level projects are completed throughout the year.  These projects are intended to increase the students’ cultural knowledge as well as to give the students a platform to practice their language skills in a more public setting.  Collaboration across the elementary curriculum is expected and may occur in the following ways: teaching math facts in Spanish; learning about Hispanic artists in art class; learning about the historical events that brought Spanish to Central and South America; learning about ancient civilizations such as the Incas, Mayas, and Aztecs; creating websites to promote a Spanish-speaking country at a Spanish Fair; or learning about the rainforest in Spanish. Spanish and Music often collaborate to learn songs in Spanish from around the world.

Games, videos, quizzes, worksheets and more can all be found on the Spanish class website:  Students are invited to use the resources on this site to practice their Spanish skills at home.  There is also a weekly blog that reports all of the exciting things that are happening in Spanish class!

Technology Education Program

Students at HBS Technology Education Program learn about the processes and knowledge related to technology. As a field of study, it covers the human ability to shape and change the physical world to meet needs, by manipulating materials and tools with techniques.

Empowered Learners at HBS: