Specials Learning Previews: November 2019

Specials Learning Previews: November 2019
Posted on 11/19/2019
Art: Ms. Lee, llee@cpsd.us

6th graders are currently working on the final stages of their tissue paper “stained-glass” paper cut-out project. They have spent time perfecting their paper cutting skills and now have learned ways to apply tissue paper carefully and appropriately. Students are also encouraged to make creative color choices to enhance the quality of their artwork.

7th graders are currently building the armature (the “meat” or framework) for their papier-mache soft sculptures. They’re using recyclable materials such as newspaper, wire, cardboard, foil and various found objects such as bottle caps. Students are using inventive ways to transform very basic mundane materials into imaginative and fanciful creatures and objects. The diverse sculpture ideas range from stegosaurus, scorpion, anglerfish, cacti and mushrooms, to a Nike Elite backpack.

8th graders are continuing to use the grid method in drawing as well as various drawing techniques to accurately enlarge a 4x6 image of their choice onto a 12x18 paper. This project is time-consuming, as there are a lot of details involved. It is also designed to help students build confidence in their drawing abilities by visually and physically breaking down a complex image into smaller parts. Students relearn how to draw what they actually see, not what they think they know. Many students are pleasantly surprised at their increased ability to see details and draw better using the grid method.

Independent Studies students are continuing to work on self-directed projects that include altered books, a comic-collage-painting hybrid, soft sculptures, landscape paintings on canvas boards, and intricate cut-paper projects inspired by contemporary artists such as Nikki McClure, Peter Callesen, Yuken Teruya and Beatrice Coron.

Theater Arts: Summar Elguindy, selguindy@cpsd.us

6th grade: In 6th grade we are starting to explore how to use our voice to develop characters and tell interesting stories on stage. Students will have the chance to do a staged reading of comedic one act play. They will then begin writing their own scripts.

8th grade: This class has begun designing and planning their METG festival show, 10 Ways to Survive The End Of The World. Students have also been exploring play structure and telling stories using body language and facial expression.

Band: Mr. Wroge, pwroge@cpsd.us


6th grade Band: 6th graders continue to practice our set up and break down routine. We are well on our way in our rehearsal of our first concert piece “Rock This Band”. This piece offers students the opportunity to practice age appropriate music skills such as whole, half, quarter, and eighth note patterns, as well as their relational rests. We are also working on “Eye Of The Tiger” and have officially begun working on our Band, Chorus, Orchestra, Ukulele, and Urban Legends combined piece, “Where’s The Love”. This piece offers each performing group the opportunity to practice and perform together, which helps to create solidarity and unity among students of the music program.

7th and 8th grade Band: 7th and 8th graders have officially begun working on our Band, Chorus, Orchestra, Ukulele, and Urban Legends combined piece, “Where’s The Love”. This piece offers each performing group the opportunity to practice and perform together, which helps to create solidarity and unity among students of the music program. Students have also begun working on the Jazz Fusion tune “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”, the popular Boston favorite “I’m Shipping Up To Boston”, and “Eye Of The Tiger”.

Orchestra: Brittany Phillips, bphilips@cpsd.us

The 6th grade orchestra is making great strides with their note and rhythmic reading skills. They are focusing on playing complex rhythms in 4/4 time, and learning notes in the lower register G and C strings. Additionally, students are having fun learning our special piece, “Where is the Love?” that will be played with the full orchestra at our January Unity Concert. We have been tackling new, challenging notes like Bb and F natural, and learning tricks to figuring out Keys and Key Signatures. The 6th grade orchestra has a very bright future ahead of them!

The 7th grade orchestra is currently tackling two new pieces that will be performed in our January Unity Concert. We have been working on a new arrangement of “We Shall Overcome”, and will continue to look at the history surrounding this famous piece of music. Music plays such an important part of our history, the good and the bad, and it is powerful when students can make these connections. I have seen them grow in musical maturity through the study of this piece, performing challenging harmonies, dotted rhythms, and new slurred bow patterns. Additionally, students are grappling with a new key signature, F major. I am excited to continue challenging them in their musical journey, and their musical and personal growth is significant.

The 8th grade orchestra continues to exceed my expectations with each class. They are mastering new key signatures and finger patterns quickly, and growing in their musical independence with each lesson. Additionally, they are learning to be self sufficient musicians, learning how to tune their instruments and help their peers when tricky passages arise. We are continuing to work through our current three concert pieces, “Rhythms of Africa”, “Where is the Love?” and “We Shall Overcome.” Each piece offers new technical skills that are relevant and challenging as students think ahead to participating in the orchestra program at CRLS.

Chorus: Joshua DeWitte, jdewitte@cpsd.us


6th Grade chorus members continue to work on proper breath support and creating good vowel sounds. 6th Grade is working on how to express the meaning of a song through physical gestures and facial expressions. To accomplish this, they performed a Lip Sync Battle. Students worked in small groups to lip sync 1-2 minutes of a song of their choice. Students choreographed their songs and thought about how to best express the songs through facial expressions. Performances were well prepared and expressive. We are now working on repertoire for the Unity Concert January 30 and will begin a unit on musical theater with an emphasis on the use of musical motives to represent characters.

7th Grade: 7th Grade continues to work on singing in 3 parts. Students are working on sight singing a pentachord, the first 5 notes of a diatonic major scale. Utilizing solfege, hand signs, and hand staff, students visualize, physicalize, and ultimately sing the music. Students are also researching and presenting protest songs that demonstrate how music can be used as a vehicle of social change.

8th Grade: 8th Grade continues to work on singing in 3 parts. One of the primary goals of 8th grade chorus is to give students the skills necessary to sing independently in a small ensemble. They will begin working on a short sections of songs that they will sing in small groups.

Percussion (7th & 8th Grade): Students continue to work on rudiments with a focus on doubles, accents, and paradiddles. 7th Grade was assigned their instruments for the first half of the year. In addition to learning rudiments and cadences, students are learning music literacy. 8th graders will take a trip in December to CRLS to tour the VPA wing and sit in on a drumline class.

Music Studio: Jamal Fairbanks, jfairbanks@cpsd.us


6th grade: We have started our journey to becoming ukulele players! 6th grade is well on their way to mastering the basics of ukulele playing. We are learning how to hold, strum, and care for the instrument. We are also learning how to read chord charts, the building blocks of learning how to play songs.

7th grade: The 7th grade is split into two projects: One group has started their journey of learning how to play guitar. They’ve learned how to hold and strum the instrument along with a few chords. Another group is creating a company and learning about artist they’d like on their team. This group will interview our guitar artist and feature them on their website.

8th grade: The 8th grade are the CEOs of their own record label! They are finding their favorite bands and musicians, while finding music venues around the world they would like their artists to perform at. They will create bios for their artist and find a place where their record label headquarters is located. 8th grade will also utilize Wix, an easy-accessible website maker.

Ukulele: Jamal Fairbanks, jfairbanks@cpsd.us


Grade 7th/8th: Students are continuing developing their library of ukulele chords and technique, the building blocks of learning and creating ukulele music. We’ve added several chords to our arsenal, along with adding a percussive element to our playing. We started to prepare for our Unity concert and was able to practice with the band and chorus. We are also continuing our work in accompany one another in our duet playing.

Spanish: Mr. Paras, nparas@cpsd.us


Grade 6: Students will continue to work on describing the weather. We will complete our weather projects that we will share with the class. In class, we will take a more in depth look at how to use choice boards. As a class, we will practice a few of the activities as a whole group and then have the students do 1 or two of the activities. We will then move onto chapter 1A in our textbooks. This chapter is telling what you like to do or do not like to do. This will include using the verb gustar with activities. Students will then be given this chapters placemat and we will go over what is on it. Students will then be asked not only to use some of the activities that are on the placemat, but also activities that are not listed. We will then discuss what they need to do in these activities to move from a novice low learner to a novice mid learner to a novice high learning. Lastly, we will be creating books or google presentations on things they like to do or do not like to do.

Grade 7: We will be working on vocabulary for chapter 2B which is the classroom and classroom materials. We will then work on how to conjugate verbs and write complete sentences. First, we will do more work on conjugating verbs and understand what an infinitive is and what a subject pronoun is. This is needed in order to conjugate verbs in the correct form in Spanish. We will then go over vocabulary for what is in a classroom. Students will then be asked to do a project where they will create their dream classroom. The assessment for this will be writing sentences down including what is in the classroom and how many of each items there are and what color they are. Once this is complete, I will ask them questions that they will have to answer using sentences. Lastly, we will practice adjectives of location and then, we will use them to tell where certain things are located in the classroom. An assessment for this will be an oral assessment where I ask students individually to tell me where certain things are using complete sentences.

Grade 8: Students will continue to practice creating sentences using tener+que+infinitive. This is a basic form of the future tense, so they will be telling me what they are going to be doing next week, next month, next year, etc. We will then work on the two verbs ser and estar which both mean to be and when they are used. Students will practice filling in sentences with either verb and also creating their own sentences with the correct form of ser and estar. There will be an assessment in which students will have to come up with sentences using either verb and say why they used the specific verb. This will be done on a google slide presentation. Lastly, students will create a comic that takes place and each sentence will have to include the verb ser or estar or they may choose to create a poster where they will be someone in a restaurant, a chef, a waiter, etc and they will have to describe the person’s emotions, attributes and what they are doing. French:

Neil Pischner, npischner@cpsd.us


6th Grade: Students will expand their simple conversation using greetings and introductions by adding expressions of politeness and more ways of saying goodbye. They will practice this many times and with different partners. Students will also learn how to do a simple dictée (dictation exercise) and to spell out their name. Last, students will learn how to count 1-19, and we will be playing games to learn those numbers. By the end of the unit, students will be able to fill out a simple form asking for personal information (modified airport arrival form) and interact with a customs officer at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

7th Grade: Students will focus on asking questions about what sports their classmates play and also explaining why one plays a particular sport by suing the interrogative “Pourquoi” with the questions formula “Est-ce que.” This will allow the students to create and answer a survey about preferences in playing sports. Last, students will create a persuasive brochure advertising a sport club.

8th Grade: Students will learn review vocabulary about places in one’s community and then use this to ask for and give directions using interrogative expressions (Où, Où se trouve + the formula “est-ce que” and/or rising voice intonation. Students will also make a slideshow presentations about a neighborhood in Paris.

Library and Technology: Sam Musher, smusher@cpsd.us


6th grade: Science students recently completed a stop motion movie project. They developed an analogy to explain the parts of a cell, then explained their analogy in stop motion. Creative analogies included a forest full of animals, a football team, and a library. Groups took charge of their videos and the results were impressive -- ask your student to show you their movie!

8th grade: Social studies students are exploring documents to find evidence to answer the question, “Has the presidency become an elected monarchy?” To track their sources and notes, they will use an online tool called NoodleTools. They learned how to use it last year and will continue to use it in high school as their research scholarship skills grow.

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


Grade 6: Students have wrapped up their Invasion Games Unit. They were successful at building tactical skills through various activities and small-sided games of ultimate ball. Currently, students have started to take their Pre-FitnessGram tests. Students will take the Pacer test, Curl-up, Push-up, and Sit and Reach flexibility tests, compile their results and then retake the tests later in the year (post test) to see how much their individual scores have improved. Students can best be supported by assuring that they have proper footwear, attire, a water bottle, and a growth mindset toward fitness!

Grade 7: Students have wrapped up their Invasion Games Unit. They were successful at building tactical skills through various activities and small-sided games of Flicker. Currently, students have started to take their Pre-FitnessGram tests. Students will take the Pacer test, Curl-up, Push-up, and Sit and Reach flexibility tests, compile their results and then retake the tests later in the year (post test) to see how much their individual scores have improved. Students can best be supported by assuring that they have proper footwear, attire, a water bottle, and a growth mindset toward fitness!

Grade 8: Students have wrapped up their Invasion Games Unit. They were successful at participating in a student run Ultimate Ball tournament. Currently, students have started to take their Pre-FitnessGram tests. Students will take the Pacer test, Curl-up, Push-up, and Sit and Reach flexibility tests, compile their results and then retake the tests later in the year (post test) to see how much their individual scores have improved. Students can best be supported by assuring that they have proper footwear, attire, a water bottle, and a growth mindset toward fitness!

Health: Mr. McNulty, jmcnulty@cpsd.us


6th Grade: The next chapter for 6th grade is a mini unit on Personal Hygiene. Students will learn about handwashing, oral hygiene, the transmission of germs, body odor and the importance of clean clothes.

7th Grade: Students are currently learning and reviewing the CPS policies on harrassment and discrimination. This will segue into a larger discussion about the types of discrimination and how we can break those barriers to create equity.

8th Grade: Students are learning about Dating Violence Prevention. We will define, identify and analyze scenarios that display harmful dating behaviors. They will also learn how to get out of an unhealthy relationship or help someone else get out of an unhealthy relationship.
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