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AMPS champs.

AMPS Champs

AMPS CHAMPS IS ONE "BIG GAME" the varsity team doesn't play. AMPS is an acronym for art, music and physical education services. It has long been a goal in the Elyria City School District to incorporate these three disciplines into an enriched curriculum for grades K-6. The AMPS Champs game meets this goal through a floor mat, game-board concept. Seven AMPS teams of specialists (consisting of one certified person each in art, music and physical education) service the thirteen elementary schools participating in the program.

This instructional program also meets one-half of the state minimum requirements in that each student is provided one instructional period per week by these specialists. The classroom teacher fulfills the remaining state minimum standards. Within this time frame, the AMPS program functions along with (not instead of) the regular curriculum.

The game path spans half a gymnasium with winding color spaces. We constructed the floor mat first and then made colorful props such as trees, large mushrooms, clouds, a sun and a moon. As our vision for AMPS Champs grew, its success became an all-consuming desire. The older children gleefully helped in making the props, which included a pond, giant crayon and large paintbrush.

Certain color spaces along the path are designated as art, music or physical education. As each player lands on a color space, he or she chooses a related activity card. Activity cards are labeled Color, Shape, Name That Tune, Move to the Music, Exercises, Painting, etc. The specialist asks an appropriate question for the activity card chosen.

The teaching concepts in AMPS Champs reflect the belief that each discipline can be tailored and modified to the needs of each class. Questions and tasks may introduce the student to a new experience, but more often than not they also reinforce each curriculum. For this reason, each activity card is as open-ended as possible to allow the specialist the greatest possible freedom in determining specific questions and tasks.

Art appreciation lends itself wonderfully to AMPS Champs when students who land on an art space must observe an art reproduction and answer questions appropriate to the print being viewed. Although there are no right or wrong answers in responding to a famous painting or sculpture, the student learns to observe, appreciate and respond.

A successful completion of the task merits another turn. Lack of success means losing a turn. All children must cross "Lake Keep Your Balance" by traversing "Balance Beam Bridge" or again risk losing a turn. To add a bit of drama, three color spaces are marked "Backward." The art, music and physical education spaces are highlighted with symbolic props: a giant paint tube, brush and crayon for art; a large treble clef on a keyboard for music; and a sculpture (reminiscent of Classical Greece) portraying a child engaged in a physical education activity.

The children move along the game colors by means of two color wheels. One wheel has the six colors (primary and secondary) which are used on the floor. The other wheel determines how the children move to their colors. Various movement skills, such as hopping, skipping and jumping, have been incorporated to better reinforce motor skills. Another of our goals is that, within each discipline, the child will become resourceful and inventive, and learn problem solving skills in a unique and enjoyable way.

Though much of the physical set-up and enhancement is complete, there is much work to be done. Strategies toward viable tasks, and meeting further performance objectives for grades K-6 remain. Adapting AMPS Champs to our handicapped, special education and academically talented classes remains a goal. However, until then...let the games begin!

PHOTO : Paintbrush, trees and other props created in art classes.

PHOTO : Students traverse "Balance Beam Bridge." Note the "movement" and color wheel in

PHOTO : background.

PHOTO : Game participants "skipping" across their designated number of color shapes.
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Title Annotation:art, music and physical education services
Author:Mittler, Glenn
Publication:School Arts
Date:Mar 1, 1989
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