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Learning Previews – Specials – January 24, 2017

Learning Previews – Specials – January 24, 2017
Posted on 01/24/2017
Health: Justin McNulty, Grades 6-8
jmcnulty@cpsd.us

6th Grade: 6th grade has just started their Social and Emotional Unit, “Second Step: Stepping Up”. This unit has students discuss the difference between elementary and middle school and what responsibilities they have now as a 6th grader. Students learn how to work in groups, what makes a good friend and about empathy and communication.

7th Grade: Students are wrapping up their Social and Emotional Unit and will be transitioning into a 10 week unit called “Let’s Get Real”. This unit is about bullying and allies. Students will be discussing topics on race, gender identity, economic and social status, and religion. Student will learn how to be an ally and how to identify and resolve a bullying situation.

8th Grade: Students will be continuing to engage in their Sexual Education unit. The next month students will be learning about Comprehensive Protection Methods, Abstinence and HIV/AIDs.

French: Sarah Bilodeau, Grades 6-8

sbilodeau@cpsd.us

6th Grade: January’s unit theme is seasonal activities & a virtual tour of Paris. Students have made storyboards about their favorite and least favorite seasonal pastimes. They have also made storyboards of famous Parisian monuments & eateries. Next month they will continue practicing forming regular verbs in the present tense as well as talk more in detail about their favorite activities.

7th Grade: This month 7th grade French students learned how to use the irregular verbs voir & etre as well as the interrogative pronoun quel to ask questions about and describe their favorite films. Next month they will learn how to describe their families, making family trees & portraits & using the verb “etre” and possessive pronouns.

8th grade: This month 8th graders reviewed vocabulary about weather & favorite leisure activities. Their January unit culminates in a dialogue between a travel agent and a potential client who is deciding between a trip to Paris or Port-au-Prince. Next month students will learn how to form verbs in the past tense. The goal is that by the end of 8th grade they will be easily able to narrate stories in the past, present & future tense.

Spanish: Mr. Paras, Gr. 6-8; Señora Green, Gr. 6

nparas@cpsd.us, agreen@cpsd.us

Grade 6: We will be starting a new unit. This unit will consist of the verb ser and adjectives of description. Students will work on describing classmates, pictures of people and will end up doing a poster in which they pick a person or cartoon character and write a physical description of the person they choose. Students will also be able to answer questions about people using the correct form of the verb ser.

Grade 7: Grade 7 students will be working on the verb estar. We will talk about it’s uses and we will touch upon the differences between the verbs ser and estar which both mean to be. We will also be reviewing definite article and which definite article goes with the specific noun. We will then move onto 1 of our food units and the verbs beber-to drink and comer-to eat. Students will also work on what they eat at certain times of the day and also what foods or drinks they like or don’t like.

Grade 8: Students will finish working on stem-changing verbs and make verb transformation with various types of verbs that we have covered. Our next unit will cover house vocabulary and doing chores vocabulary. We will also work on two verb tenses. The affirmative tú commands and also the present progressive tense in Spanish. Students will be able to tell what they are doing right now and will also make a verb book using the present progressive tense.

Art: Lucia Lee, Grades 6-8

llee@cpsd.us

6th graders are working on an Op Art (short for optical art) project in which they create 3-D spheres on a 2-D surface. The optical illusion effect is achieved by using a checkerboard design and through blending/shading with charcoal. This will be their last art assignment in 6th grade before they switch to theater arts next semester. It was lovely working with this energetic and enthusiastic group. Looking forward to teaching you again in 7th grade!

7th graders finished using papier-mâché paste and strips of soft paper to create a cohesive “skin” and smooth surface for painting. They are now painting and working on adding life to their masks using colors, details and more found objects.

Some 8th graders have finished their grid drawing project and are now applying the same method and techniques to their two-tone high contrast self-portraits. They will first use the grid method to draw and enlarge the shapes of their facial features onto a canvas panel. When the outline and shapes are accurate, they will turn their drawings into paintings.

String Orchestra Gr. 6-8: Brittany Phillips

bphillips@cpsd.us

6th grade orchestra students have mastered D major and G major exercises. They have confidently identified the differences and similarities between the key signatures, and they are strengthening their sight reading skills with each lesson. Students are putting the final touches on their concert songs, and we are looking forward to celebrating at our upcoming concert on Thursday, February 2nd! Additionally, are already thinking ahead to their new, challenging music. Some 6th grade students looking for even more orchestra fun have joined the Cambridge All City Honors Orchestra that meets on Wednesdays after school at CRLS. Please reach out to me if your student is interested in participating. I am still accepting new students for this advanced ensemble!
 
The 7th graders are ready to rock in our upcoming concert! Students are excited to share what they have been working on, and are already thinking ahead to what we are aiming high for in the spring semester. Upper strings are practicing 3rd position shifts and cello students are working on 4th position. All students are also working towards playing with vibrato to enhance their tone. In addition to new orchestra repertoire for the spring, all students are beginning to work on solo repertoire to enhance their performance skills. Seventh grade students are also invited to join the All City Honors Orchestra that meets Wednesdays after school at CRLS. Please reach out if you would like more information!

The 8th grade orchestra has done incredible work with the “Speak Your Mind” project, and we are looking forward to sharing this with everyone at the February 2nd concert. I am so impressed with the mature sound that the 8th grade ensemble is producing, and we have set a very high goal for the spring semester. We have already begun working on the very challenging piece, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Through studying this piece, we will learn the F major scale and its relative minor, d. This is an entirely new finger pattern for students, and it will require a lot of focus and hard work.

Chorus Gr. 6-8: Joshua DeWitte

jdewitte@cpsd.us

6th Grade: We are busy preparing for our concert on Feb. 2 at 6 pm. We will perform a challenging program with a diversity of genres. 6th grade is producing a beautiful sound and rose to the challenge of learning “White Winter Hymnal,” a fairly complicated piece in terms of harmony. The choir is singing more confidently in 2 parts. Students have worked on supporting their sound through their diaphragm and producing unified vowels. The primary goal of the upcoming concert is to express the emotion and meaning of the pieces of we perform. Students have learned sign language to express the words of “Can You Hear Me,” a haunting song from the perspective of someone who is deaf. In addition to our work on the concert, students learned about vocal health.

7th Grade: The 7th grade chorus has worked hard on their most challenging repertoire yet. They are now singing in 3 parts. To help accomplish our primary goal of expressing the meaning of our songs, students were challenged to a lip sync battle in which small groups chose a song to perform. The performances were truly inspired and featured a variety of songs, from “Let It Go” to Run D.M.C.’s “It’s Tricky.” Mr. Trainor and Mr. Mahoney were guest judges. I was truly inspired and entertained by the risks students took and their hard work. As we prepare for the concert on Feb. 2, we continue to discuss how to express our music.

8th Grade: 8th Grade is busy preparing for our concert. The choir is now singing in 4 parts! We continue to explore how to best express the meanings of our pieces. Students have been working on “White Winter Hymnal,” a complicated 4 part piece that includes body percussion and parallel harmonies which are difficult to sing. Several student leaders are now leading their sections in sectionals during rehearsals. The high school chorus teacher, Mr. Stefanov, stopped by one of our classes and discussed chorus options at CRLS. We also discussed vocal health with an emphasis on the changing voice.

General Music

6th Grade: Students began a film scoring project. After exploring the use of motives to tell the story of Star Wars, students were given a short animated film to score. They will use GarageBand to write the score to the film. They will provide sound effects as well as use musical motives to tell the story.

7th Grade: Students are working on telling a story through music. Using GarageBand, students are exploring how music can follow the arc of a good story with a rise in action, a conflict, and resolution.

8th Grade: Students are working on creating a virtual time capsule that represents who they are. They are exploring songs that tell their story and have some significance to their lives.

RAUC Bands, Grades 5-8: Patrick Wroge

pwroge@cpsd.us

Our Winter Concert will be Thursday, February 2nd at 6pm (performers arrive at 5:30). ALL students should be practicing concert music a minimum of 15 minutes per night leading up to the concert.

6th Grade: In 6th grade we continue to reinforce the basics such as note identification, posture, breath control, play position, rest position, ensemble playing, and beginning of class procedures. By now, we are able to play “We’re On A Mission To Rock” with proficiency. We are making progress towards proficiency on our concert Bb major scale, and have started working on our concert F major scale. Many students are eager to improvise using our tune “We’re On A Mission To Rock” as a platform. This is particularly exciting because musical improvisation is one of the greatest tools for human expression we have. It is refreshing to see young people expressing themselves through music. We have now made it through our tune “Raiders March” and are continuing to work toward note and rhythmic proficiency. We have just begun working on the Michael Jackson tune “Bad”.

7th Grade: In 7th grade we continue to use scales as warm-ups before we begin rehearsing our ensemble pieces. We have a good understanding of “Raiders March” and will continue to refine each different section. We now have a good understanding of “25 or 6 to 4”, and have started to improvise. We have started working on the Michael Jackson tune “Bad” and have found this tune to be fun to play.

8th Grade: In 8th grade we continue to use scales as warm-ups before we begin rehearsing our ensemble pieces. Some 8th graders are working on the Junior District audition music. Auditions for this ensemble will take place in early February. “Raiders March”, “Star Wars”, and “25 Or 6 To 4” are progressing nicely. We have started to incorporate improvisation into “25 or 6 to 4”. Our tune “Kashmir” has been our most challenging tune, however, the 8th graders are performing it very well!

Library Technology: Ms. Musher

smusher@cpsd.us

8th grade: In Science, students have just finished a research project in which they chose a location somewhere in the world, learned about ways climate change is affecting that place, and researched possible solutions. Students learned to choose trustworthy sources for their research by looking for articles that quote experts or scientific studies. At the end of last week, they presented what they had learned to their classmates in two inspiring days of focus on one of the greatest problems facing our world.

Physical Education: Michael O’Connell
moconnell@cpsd.us

6th-8th Grade: All RAUC students are half-way through our Climbing Unit. This unit is new (our climbing equipment was recently re-certified by the state) and all grade levels are participating in it with the same expectations. Using our ‘three-tier-climber’ and our ‘caterpillar climber’, students are learning how to properly secure climbing belts, use caribiners, belay, climb (by choice) and use universal climbing commands and communication. The unit will finish by late January when all students will have had the opportunity to climb and/or belay.