Specials Learning Previews - March 2020

Specials Learning Previews - March 2020
Posted on 03/03/2020
Library/Technology: Ms. Musher, smusher@cpsd.us
6th grade: Encourage your child to vote for their favorite book in the MA Children’s Book Awards before Mar. 13! Students have heard about the MCBA titles all year in ELA, and anyone who has read at least 5 is allowed to vote. It’s a great book list with appeal for all types of readers, so you may want to use it to help your student choose their next book.

7th grade: Social studies students wrote very impressive research papers about historical figures who were persecuted and persevered. The students chose especially original subjects this year. If you haven’t heard of Kasha Nabagesera, Artemisia Gentileschi, Josephine Baker, or Bahta Hagos (just to name a few), you may be interested to look them up!

Health: Mr. McNulty, jmcnulty@cpsd.us
6th grade: Students are beginning their Personal Hygiene Unit this week. This unit will teach students the skills they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Skills include: hand washing, oral hygiene, preventing body odor, bathing/showering, hair and facial care and clothing.

7th grade: Students have will be learning about depression, anxiety, self harm and what to do if someone is thinking about harming themselves. We will discuss the causes of anxiety and depression, and how they could be a support to someone if they are thinking about harming themselves. We will also identify and locate available resources for students in RAUC and the Cambridge community.

8th grade: Students are finishing their Sexual Education unit in the next couple weeks. They will then begin their Substance Abuse Prevention Unit. Students will be able to identify what a drug is, how it affects their brain, body and future. Students will be able to develop skills to resist social pressures of experimenting with substances.

P.E.: Chris Moore, chmoore@cpsd.us

Grade 6: Students are beginning their “Invasion Games 2” Unit. This unit is designed for students to continue develop and demonstrate their competency in a variety of movement patterns as well as apply knowledge of concepts, principles, tactics, and strategies common to invasion games and invasion sports. Specifically, 6th grade has been introduced to Team Handball and asked to focus on individual and team defensive strategies.

Grade 7: Students are beginning their “Invasion Games 2” Unit. This unit is designed for students to continue to develop and demonstrate their competency in a variety of movement patterns as well as apply knowledge of concepts, principles, tactics, and strategies related to the sport of Team Handball and the dynamic game of Speedball which includes aspects of Soccer, Ultimate ball, and Basketball.

Grade 8: Students are beginning their 2nd Invasion Games Unit. This unit is designed for students to continue to: 1) demonstrate competency in a variety of movement patterns; 2) apply knowledge of tactics related to the sport of Speedball; and, 3) apply knowledge of rules and etiquette by acting as an official during ultimate game-play. Specifically, students will anonymously nominate and elect captains, the captains then privately draft teams, and Speedball tournament play will begin. Students are responsible for officiating, keeping score, and also following the rules and expectations.

Art: Lucia Lee, llee@cpsd.us
6th graders have been working on partner drawing exercises such as Exquisite Corpse, Who-What-Where and a police sketch artist activity. In the following week, students will begin a Leluja-style cut-paper project. Leluja is a form of Polish art that involves the use of symmetry, nature, and a central tree-like form.

7th graders are putting finishing touches to their papier-mache creatures by painting, designing and refining their work with details, facial features, patterns, embellishments, etc. They will apply gloss varnish to increase color saturation and provide a smoother + more unified finish. 7th graders will start a metal art project using copper repoussé techniques for their next project.

8th graders have just finished their Notan designs, which use the interaction between light-dark and positive-negative space. They’re now starting on their two-toned high contrast portrait paintings. Students who choose to not create a self-portrait have the option of creating a portrait of a family member or celebrity instead. For this assignment, 8th graders apply techniques and their knowledge from a previous grid-drawing project to break down the complex face as only simple lines and shapes and to accurately enlarge them onto a canvas panel.

Independent Studies: students are continuing to work on self-directed projects that include portrait drawings + paintings, altered books, miniature furnitures, soft sculptures, landscape paintings on canvas boards, and intricate cut-paper projects inspired by contemporary artists such as Nikki McClure and Peter Callesen. Projects also include mix media collage work with values and tones, designing and building a cardboard shoe sculpture as well as designing and painting on sneakers for sale in the future.

Theater Arts: Summar Elguindy, selguindy@cpsd.us
6th grade: have completed their first unit on ensemble building. They are now working on unit two which focuses on building basic actor skills such as facial expression, body language and ensemble strategies. They are beginning to learn how to use a healthy voice when on stage in order to be heard and help show emotion and character. They will begin short scenes focusing on showing strong character traits through the use of body language, facial expression and vocal choices.

8th grade: The class continues to rehearse for their festival play, 10 Ways to Survive The End Of The World. They’ve been slowly memorizing the script week by week and will begin creating the props/set for the show.

Band: Mr. Wroge, pwroge@cpsd.us

6th grade Band: Great job on the concert! We have begun working on our next batch of concert music, which includes a percussion feature “Armory”, “Havana”, and soon “Birdland,” and for 7th and 8th grade, “Shipping Up To Boston”.

Orchestra: Brittany Phillips, bphilips@cpsd.us
The 6th grade orchestra continues to make great progress with their note and rhythmic reading skills. We recently dove into a new composition, “Quest for the Throne,” that encourages students to demonstrate complex patterns in e minor. We are mastering this new scale while practicing challenging music theory skills. We are learning about the order of sharps, keys and key signatures, and figuring out the difference between Major and minor tonality. All students are invited to sign up for a morning performance slot to serenade students from 8:30-8:40 on Tuesday and Friday mornings in support of Music in our Schools Month!

The 7th grade orchestra is improving their sight reading skills for our two new pieces, “Jasmine Flower” and “Rosintown Rock.” We are reinforcing music theory skills while tackling challenging techniques such as shifting and playing with vibrato. All students are invited to sign up for a morning performance slot to serenade students from 8:30-8:40 on Tuesday and Friday mornings in support of Music in our Schools Month!

The 8th grade orchestra students continue to grow in their musical abilities and interests. Students are reading complicated repertoire that includes dotted rhythms, slurs and ties, and challenging melodic & harmonic patterns. Students are shifting with confidence and integrating vibrato regularly in their practice. Recently, Ms. Umbro and students from the CRLS orchestra visited us at RAUC for a fun performance session and Q&A. Many students expressed their excitement to continue playing at the high school, and are looking forward to continuing their musical endeavors. All students are invited to sign up for a morning performance slot to serenade students from 8:30-8:40 on Tuesday and Friday mornings in support of Music in our Schools Month!

Chorus: Joshua DeWitte, jdewitte@cpsd.us
Grade 6: Students are performing their original scenes from a musical. My observations so far of their practice are inspiring and full of risk-taking. We will now begin to learn new repertoire and work on sight singing for the remainder of the year. The theme of the concert will be “the music of us.” Students will begin exploring the music of their lives and community as we create a performance experience that honors music’s role in our lives.

Grade 7: The theme of the spring concert will be “the music of us.” Students began exploring the music of their lives and community through researching music of their ancestors, community, and music that is meaningful to them now. Working individually or in small groups, students created playlists that represent music’s role in their lives. A few students have presented on far, and the sense of community and shared experiences through music were powerful and inspiring. Students sang along to a wide variety of music, from Ethiopian pop music to Whitney Houston, the power of music to inform and unite us was evident.

Grade 8: 8th graders performed solos and in small ensembles in an 8th Grade recital. We celebrated the progress they have made over the past 2 ½ years in chorus. I am so proud of their hard work. The theme of the concert will be “the music of us.” Students will begin exploring the music of their lives and community as we create a performance experience that honors music’s role in our lives.

Percussion: Joshua DeWitte, jdewitte@cpsd.us

7th and 8th Grade: Drummers are continuing to learn new rudiments and more challenging music. 7th graders switched instruments so they can gain experience on new instruments. 8th graders are working on new, challenging repertoire as well as a choreographed performance for the concert.

Music Studio: Jamal Fairbanks, jfairbanks@cpsd.us

6th Grade: 6th grade has been deep into Soundtrap, a website that allows us to create and record music. We are finishing up our Radio Commercial project, where students thought of a product they wanted to make a commercial for, created a script to read from, create the music to accompany what is read from the script, and use a mic to record and put it all together.

7th Grade: 7th grade has been deep into Soundtrap, a website that allows us to create and record music. We are finishing up our Music With Words project, where we explored the different ways words interact with music, whether it’s through rapping, poetry, or spoken word. Students found different materials to read from and created music that they think fits that mood.

8th Grade: In 8th grade we have created stations that the students can choose from. Station 1 involves furthering their ukulele playing by learning new songs and new chords; Station 2 is using soundtrap to create music based off of images that resonate with them; Station 3 is a research station where students will choose and instrument and explore its use in the past and present.

Ukulele: Jamal Fairbanks, jfairbanks@cpsd.us
Grade 7th/8th: Ukulele players have started a recording project that utilizes the skills they have developed since the start of the school year. By using soundtrap, students will record their own live ukulele playing and using the program to add other instruments and layers to add depth to the song they wish to create/arrange.

Spanish: Nick Paras, nparas@cpsd.us
Grade 6: Students will work on classroom commands. They will learn frequently used classroom expressions and then lead the class in calling out commands for practice in small groups and then students will have to practice the commands. We will then move onto telling time in Spanish. Students will work on numbers from 0-100. In class, we will look at clocks to practice how to tell time. We will then work on the expressions used to tell time in Spanish and students will have to say times. Students will then work on how to conjugate verbs in Spanish. We will talk about subject pronouns, what they are in English and then put the Spanish subject pronoun that corresponds to the Spanish one. Students will then work on how to conjugate verbs according to the subject pronouns and use the correct ending. We will then work on how to write simple sentences in Spanish.

Grade 7: Students will continue to learn food vocabulary but now they will learn the food plate and what foods go in place on the plate. The plate tells about healthy eating and what foods are good to eat and what foods are not so healthy. Students will keep a journal for what they ate over a 3 day period and then write about it in Spanish. They will talk to other students about their eating habits and if they are healthy or not. Students will be able to create some recipes for healthy food. The verb ser will then be introduced. Students will learn what it means in English and how to conjugate the verb in Spanish. Students will be asked to create simple sentences using the verb and then create a cartoon using the verb ser and healthy foods.

Grade 8: Our next unit will be about things in the house. Students will work on vocabulary and talk about what is in their own homes. Students will also learn about doing chores and how to say them in Spanish. We will work on using the expression tener + que + infinitive to say what chores they have to do. Students will then create a cartoon about doing chores at home. We will then move on to affirmative tú commands and how to give commands to others. In Small groups we will practice this by having someone say a command and others acting out what was said. Lastly, we will work on learning the present progressive tense. We will review the verb estar and how to form the present progressive. We will talk about what each person is doing using this tense. In groups, students will create a book which will include pictures and a sentence using the present progressive tense to tell what people are doing in each picture.

French: Neil Pischner: npischner@cpsd.us
6th grade: Students will start a new unit on using basic expressions of liking/disliking foods. They will be learn to work with first person singular subject pronoun “Je” and to conjugate the verb “aimer” (to like) in order construct a simple sentence (e.g. “J’aime le chocolat.”), which pushes students to work at a novice mid level (our district expectation is to finish the year with a novice low level). Students will be offered a productive struggle at this point to also try negating the verb by surrounding it with “ne...pas” (e,g. “Je n’aime pas le chocolat.”)

7th grade: Students will complete a unit on food shopping (faire les courses) at a supermarket (supermarché), an outdoor market (marché), and other specialized vendors such as a boulangerie, pâtisserie, crémerie, charcuterie, fromagerie, and boucherie. This will provide a strong cultural component guided by the essential question “How do people shop for food in different countries?” Students will use online authentic resources to find images and pair them with the French vocabulary to digitally catalogue foods of their choice (presentational writing). Students will then be asked to use the verb “acheter” and prepositional phrases to say in which kind of store one buys a certain kind of food (e.g. “À la boulangerie, j'achète une baguette.”)

8th grade: Students will start a new unit on cities/regions/countries of the francophone world. Either working individually or in pairs, students will choose a place and create a promotional brochure advertising activities that one can do there by using the third-person singular subject pronoun “On” and conjugating the irregular verb “pouvoir” plus adding a second verb that stays in the infinitive (e.g. À Bordeaux, on peut voir….”). Photos and creative formatting will help personalize their cultural final product (presentational writing), which they will then present to the class (presentational speaking). 
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