In so far as the soul is a force residing in the body;
it has therefore been said that the properties of the soul depend of the condition of the body.
— Maimonides, Guide to the Perplexed Chapter 12
Denver Jewish Day School students participate in “specials” every week, giving them a variety of outlets to express themselves throughout the day. Art, music, technology, physical education, and library are all part of the regular curriculum in the Lower Division at Denver JDS.
Click on the subjects below to learn more about the specials program in the Lower Division.
In physical education (PE), our students are introduced to the fundamentals of baseball, football, basketball, soccer and other sports. In the spring of each year, all our Lower Division students participate in a field day where our fifth graders lead the lower grades in activities such as egg toss, three-legged race, and tug of war. Another highlight of the physical education program is our annual Jump Rope for Heart campaign and Dodge for Heart program in the spring. Our physical education focuses on the concepts of sportsmanship, collaboration, and teamwork.
Our library program focuses on building foundational skills in reading, information literacy, and research skills as well as a love of literature.The program aims to provide all students with a basic understanding of how to locate, use and share information while encouraging students to become curious learners and creators of new knowledge. Our Lower Division Library has more than 16,000 volumes for students to learn how to navigate the library system and find books appropriate to their interests and reading levels. Students engage in their study through hands-on activities such as designing three-dimensional logos for different genres and creating how-to videos for younger students to find “just right” books. Click here to check out the library's website.
Our music program focuses on both vocal and instrumental music, giving students the opportunity to develop the musical skills of performing, listening, analyzing, and creating, Our Lower Division music room features a grand piano, drums, recorders, guitars, and a keyboard. Denver JDS students in grades three through five can join our Glee Club (our student choir) which practices regularly before school and performs at both onsite and offsite events. Additionally, music is often integrated into the curriculum of the classes, including fairy tale videos in third grade and songs as part of our Chagigat Hasiddur in first grade and Chagigat HaChumash in second grade.
Our art program gives a space for students to explore the visual arts by learning about contemporary and historical artists/art practices with a focus on Jewish artists. They learn by seeing, reading, practicing, creating and, afterward, reflecting on their experiences with their artwork. Students experience many different ideas, media, and processes on their way to creating artwork and learning about art. They work individually and collaboratively every day to create something new such as using Andy Warhol as inspiration for pop art or making Lego stained glass.
Our technology program introduces students to basic technology concepts through an integrated curriculum. Students visit the Pluss, Rosenbaum Computer Lab weekly for computer and technology classes and use technology to enhance their day-to-day learning. Students engage in their study of technology through hands-on activities and project based learning that allows for their own inquiry to drive the learning process. The program teaches students safe and responsible usage of computers and internet as well as research skills, coding, design thinking and problem solving, responsibility, and critical thinking. Students create designs to be three-dimensionally printed, participate in national coding programs, and enhance their classroom learning through their use of technology. Beginning in third grade, Lower Division students gain in-school only email privileges and are taught how to safely and appropriately begin navigating the World Wide Web.