Learning Previews - Specials - December 20, 2016

Learning Previews - Specials - December 20, 2016
Posted on 12/20/2016
Health: Justin McNulty, Grades 6-8

6th Grade: 6th grade is in their final lesson about Mental and Emotional Health. Their next unit will be Personal Hygiene and Nutrition. Students will learn how to be mindful about how they take care of themselves and what they put into their body.

7th Grade: This month students have been working hard on their Second Step Social and Emotional Learning Unit. They have been and will continue to collectively learning how to have respectful disagreements, negotiate and compromise, understand anger and manage stressful events in healthy ways.

8th Grade: Students will be deepening their understanding about Sexual Education. They will be learning about the LGBTQ community, the difference between biological sex and gender, what are STI’s. Students have worked hard to create a comfortable and safe environment to learn about these topics.

French: Sarah Bilodeau, Grades 6-8

6th Grade: This month’s 6th grade French unit theme is leisure activities. We are viewing the film “La Guerre des boutons” and students will present movie trailers and movie posters in class. They have also been engaging in lessons and conversations about French and American history during WW2. We will continue to develop this theme during next month’s unit about school.

7th Grade: This month 7th grade students are doing a unit about cinéma. They are learning to use the verbs “aimer” and “etre” to talk about their favorite films. They are working toward earning a film unit where they will view the film “Marie Antoinette” and perform skits from the film and design their own movie posters.

8th grade: This month students continue activities designed to prepare them for the DELF (French language diploma program offered through the French Ministry of Education). In addition, they will view the film “Le chef” which is a comedy that explores the competitive world of “haute cuisine” kitchens in Paris. The students have shared their own family recipes and we are working on designing an 8th grade French cookbook!

Spanish: Nick Paras

Grade 6: We will continue our work on discussing likes and dislikes. We are moving on to he likes and she likes. Currently we are working on class interviews about the students likes and dislikes. They will present this to the class. We will then move on to writing pen pal letters to students in the other grade 6 class. The students will then exchange letters with each other and then respond to what is asked of them in the letter from their pen pal. The letters will include some of the following writing: their name in complete sentences, when their birthday is; where they are from; some of their likes and dislikes; asking questions to their pen pal about what they like or dislike. Work that is not completed will be continued the following week.

Grade 7: The students are currently finishing up projects using ER and IR verbs. Next, grade 7 students will be moving onto classroom objects and they will write about what is in their backpacks. After we practice some more of the classroom vocabulary, we will be drawing a classroom and labeling all objects. They will then write sentences about their classrooms. This will be presented in class. Once we have completed this, we will move onto the verb Estar-to be and discuss the some of the differences between Ser and Estar. Both verbs mean to be. Lastly, we will be reviewing definite and indefinite articles and singular and plural nouns. Work that is not completed will be continued the following week.

Grade 8: Students will be working on vocabulary for the bedroom and then draw their dream room and write sentences about their room. We will share these with the class on google docs. Stem-changing verbs will come next and the students will focus on o-ue verbs. Verbs like poder- to be able to and dormir-to sleep will be the focus. Continuing with verbs, the students will review the verb estar-to be and then introduce the present progressive tense. This tense uses the verb estar + the present participle. Students will practice writing sentences using the present progressive tense. Pictures will be shown and then students will have to say what the people in the pictures are doing and what chores other people are doing. Students will write sentences and then present them orally. Work that is not completed will be continued the following week.

Spanish: Angela Green

6th Grade: The theme for the 6th grade Spanish students is “Mis amigos y yo” (My friends and I). Students have been learning how to talk about activities they and others enjoy and don’t enjoy doing. They having conducted class surveys on favorite activities and continue to add conversation starter questions to their “Carpetas de conversación” (conversation cards). Students are also learning about the activities enjoyed by young people in various Spanish speaking countries and compare them to their own experiences.

Theater Arts: Summar Elguindy

6th graders are about to begin a unit on storytelling. They will explore multiple ways to tell interesting and creative stories on stage. They will learn about storytelling using song, dance, rhythm and rhyme, narration and more. Students will work on a final project telling an original story in front of their class.

String Orchestra Gr. 6-8: Brittany Phillips

6th grade orchestra students have mastered the D major scale! We are now beginning our study of the G major scale, and working hard to read music from the staff. Students are learning the freedom that accompanies the ability to comfortably read music, and I am encouraging this skill with each lesson. Violin and viola students are also learning how to use their 4th finger (pinky), which is an advanced technique. Additionally, 6th grade cellist Henry Rogers, has shared his wonderful percussion skills with us and is adding African drumming to our arrangement of “Kum Ba Yah”. This piece, along with “Can Can” will be performed at our concert on February 2nd. Make sure to mark you calendar!

The 7th graders are working hard to improve “Rosintown Rock” with each rehearsal. We are focusing performing with more maturity, and playing more than just what is written on the page. Articulation, dynamics, and slurred bow strokes are just a few of the challenging techniques we are working through. It is wonderful to see and hear the students advance with the more they practice. Additionally, violin and viola students have begun learning how to shift into third position and are having fun playing a clip from Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” to reinforce this shift. All of these techniques will be highlighted in our upcoming winter concert on February 2nd, and we are looking forward to sharing our music with you!

The 8th grade orchestra had a wonderful, insightful visit from Ms. Umbro and the High School orchestra students on December 2nd. Since their visit, students have been inspired to emphasize the dynamics in “Beethoven’s Lullaby”, and they are really bringing the piece to life! Students have been reinforcing their slurred bow strokes, and are working diligently to use left-hand vibrato. Our Hip Hop Jam has been renamed “Speak Your Mind.” Students are sorting through the pacing and are working to fit the words into the orchestra arrangement. This is a challenging, yet fun project that we have taken on. We are looking forward to sharing our music with you at our concert on February 2nd!

Library Technology: Sam Musher,

6th-8th: I’ve started bringing a book cart upstairs three days a week during morning locker time (8:45-8:55 a.m.), with a variety of high-interest books. Students can check out and return books that way, if they don’t have time to visit the library at another time. If you know your child is having a hard time finding something to read, let me know and I’ll include some books to recommend to them!

6th: On Dec. 19, 6th grade science students will start an ongoing project in which they’ll research a scientific question that interests them. I’ll be teaching them how to explore research topics, focus one into a researchable question, and choose trustworthy sources to answer that question.

7th: 7th grade science students are starting NetPals, a program that matches students with employees of local tech companies for email exchanges. Last week I taught students how to log into their email and write a polite, professional email. They’ll send their first message to their NetPal on Dec. 16.

Art: Lucia Lee,

6th graders have just finished their “stained-glass” project. Before we begin our next project and to allow extra time for a few students to finish their time-consuming intricate artwork, the rest of the class and I played Pictionary for one art class. Through this art-related guessing game, students experienced community-building and risk-taking.

7th graders have finished building the armature of their masks. They are now using papier-mâché paste and strips of soft paper to create a cohesive “skin” and smooth surface for painting. Students are also discovering and learning ways to set up and clean up after themselves appropriately and efficiently.

8th graders are still continuing with using the grid method and 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.

RAUC Bands, Grades 5-8: Patrick Wroge

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!

Chorus, Gr. 6-8: Joshua DeWitte,

6th Grade: 6th Grade chorus members continue to work on proper breath support and creating good vowel sounds. Students are working in small groups to create and perform a scene from a musical. The projects are not due until mid-February. We are also preparing for our concert in February, working especially on tuning vowels in “Winter, Fire, and Snow.” Students will begin learning the sign language that goes with “Do You Hear Me,” a piece from the perspective of someone who is deaf.

7th Grade: 7th Grade is working on how to express the meaning of a song through physical gestures and facial expressions. To accomplish this, they will participate in a Lip Sync Battle on Tuesday. For the past few weeks, students have worked in small groups to lip sync 1-2 minutes of a song of their choice. Students cut the songs to the correct duration using GarageBand and have choreographed their songs and thought about how to best express the songs through facial expressions.

8th Grade: 8th Grade finished an epic Lip Sync Battle a couple of weeks ago. Four core teachers acted as guest judges and gave constructive feedback on each performance. All students took some type of creative risk in their performances. It was entertaining and inspiring. The goal of the project was to think about how physical gestures and facial expressions are a critical part of effective performances. In debriefing the experience, we discussed how important it is to make eye contact with the audience and express the emotions of a song. As we prepare for our concert on Feb. 2 at 6:00 pm, we will explore how to express the music we sing.

Art of Music: Cassandra McDonald,

6th Grade: Students have been learning about the drumming of Ghana, and will be getting a chance to play on some authentic drums from the Ewe culture. We have been reviewing what they know and expanding their understanding of time signature.

7th Grade: Student in 7th grade have been doing hands on learning with the 12 Bar Blues, using boomwhackers to put the chords together and learn how they progress. We broke into small groups with other percussion instruments to create our own rock bands. All students have had an opportunity to improvise within the 12 Bar Blues. 8th Grade: Students are going through a guided process of writing their own protest songs. They choose the content, the genre, the audience, tone and mood, and a few literary devices they will use in their song.

Physical Education: Michael O’Connell,

6th Grade: Students in 6th Grade are learning fundamental skills (‘bump’ and ‘set’) and rules for volleyball as they finish their Net Games Unit this week. During the week of December 19, all students will take a written assessment (comparing and contrasting) the net games played and learned.

7th Grade: Students in 7th Grade are playing modified (alternate serving rules) games of volleyball as they finish their Net Games Unit. In addition, students continue to request, play and develop rules for our RAUC-created ‘soccer-volleyball’ game -- a version of volleyball played with a soccer ball (using their feet) over a tennis net.

8th Grade: Students in 8th Grade have been playing a variety of net games they are familiar with including: volleyball, ping-pong, badminton and soccer-volleyball. All students have been focused on expressing an understanding of skills, rules and game-play etiquette.