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Learning Previews - Specials - March 2018

Learning Previews - Specials - March 2018
Posted on 03/27/2018
Spanish: Mr. Paras, nparas@cpsd.us

Grade 6:  In grade six we will be continuing our work with verbs and verb conjugations.  We will continue practicing how to conjugate verbs and create a verb book including conjugations with illustrations to represent the verbs used.  We will then move onto how to use verbs in sentences. Students will practice this by filling in the blanks in sentences with the correct conjugations.  Eventually, they will create their own sentences in groups. They will then interview a classmate and create sentences bases on the interview. Students will then present these to the class.  Lastly, We will begin our work with the irregular verb gustar. We will learn the conjugations of this verb and the use of an infinitive with the verb gustar. Students will then learn how to ask questions using te gusta which is a form of the verb gustar.  Students will then go around and ask classmates questions about what they like to do using the verb gustar.

Grade 7:  We will be finish our work on food with a 3 paragraph writing about our 3 day food journal.  Students will then review the verb ser. In class, we will go over descriptive adjectives that go along with the verb ser.  Students will then be asked to describe certain people using the verb ser and adjectives. In order to do this correctly, we will go over masculine/feminine, singular/plural uses of adjectives.  We will then begin a new chapter on places in the neighborhood. Students will be introduced to the names of businesses that may be found in a neighborhood as well as places in a mall, store names, etc.  In order to talk about places, students will be introduced to the irregular verb ir which means to go. In class, students will ask other students if they go to certain places and other students will give answers in complete sentences.  Students will eventually be creating projects of places in their neighborhoods and who goes to these places.

Grade 8:  In grade 8, students will be introduced to some new stem-changing verbs and practice by creating sentences using each of the new verbs.  After we complete our work with stem-changing verbs, we will learn a new tense, the present progressive. Students will learn how to conjugate these verbs and when to use them compared to the  present tense. We will be creating small projects with the present progressive in which students will say what they are doing in a picture that they will create. After this is completed, we will begin our next chapter on fashion.  We will learn the names of clothing items. Students will then create a fashion poster in which they explain what the people are wearing in the poster. Next up will be the preterite tense of verbs. In class, students will be introduced the regular ar, er and ir verbs.  We will practice by learning the conjugations and then creating sentences using the preterite tense.

French & Spanish: Sarah Bilodeau, sbilodeau@cpsd.us

6th Grade French: In March we are learning to conjugate verbs to talk about what we like to do, learning about Paris monuments and creating presentations about our favorite musicians in French.  In April, we will begin a unit all about school objects and places and we will continue to work on communicating using full sentences with a focus on forming verbs correctly as well as understanding the noun/object agreement for French.    

7th Grade French:  In March we are writing acrostic poems to describe ourselves and building family trees.  We will then work on a unit all about going shopping for clothing and we will design our own fashion line.    

7th Grade Spanish:  In March students will be making their own food pyramids to describe healthy eating choices.  Then we will work on a research project about food choices and eating habits in various parts of the Spanish speaking world.  We are also working on using the verbs “ser” and “estar” to describe characters in the TV series “Isa”. We will be using “Isa” as a starting point to building our conversation skills as we talk about the episodes we watch together in class.    

8th Grade French:  Students presented their ideal homes to their peers who asked them questions and gave compliments on their peers work in French.  In March we will create dialogues between a client and a travel agent and they will create travel brochures about either Paris or Port-au-Prince depending on their own travel interests.  They will try to use several common irregular verbs in context like voir, pouvoir, vouloir, avoir, and faire. In April we will begin learning about how to form verbs in the past tense.

Library Technology: Ms. Musher, smusher@cpsd.us

6th Grade: On Fridays in Science, students are starting a new round of Scientist Workshop, in which they can choose to research anything that interests them. Students got inspired by browsing books from the library, and now are exploring their possible topics online. They’re learning to choose trustworthy websites by asking, “Did this information come from experts?” Ask your student what they plan to research!

7th Grade: Social Studies students will finish outlining and begin to write their papers about a historical figure’s story of persecution and perseverance. They’ve learned to use an app called NoodleTools, where they can store their citations, paraphrase notes, and organize their thoughts. Ask your student to share the story of the person they’ve been researching.

8th Grade: As students begin the transition to high school, they often make less time for independent reading, but building a lifelong reading habit is an important predictor of success. New books arrive in the library regularly, which I check out every Friday to students in ELA. Keep asking your student what they’re reading, and email me if you want help finding the next right book!

Band: Mr. Wroge, pwroge@cpsd.us

6th Grade:  We continue to refine our tune “Hey Jude” going back in the music and isolating certain sections for practice.  In addition, we have added a new tune called “Drum Schtick”, which will feature our percussion section.  We also continue to work on our literacy of notes and musical key signatures by expanding our “tool shed” with more scales.  By the end of the year the 6th grade band will be able to play in the key of Bb, F, and Eb. We will begin an improvisation unit soon, giving students the opportunity to be creative through improvisation.   

7th & 8th Grade:  We continue to expand our knowledge of pop rhythms and ensemble playing in our tune “Enter Sandman”.  In addition, we have begun work on two other concert pieces, “Drum Schtick” and “Three Folk Tunes”. “Three Folk Tunes” is a unique and exciting piece for us because it was actually written for wind ensemble.  We will begin an improvisation unit soon, giving students the opportunity to be creative through improvisation.

String Orchestra: String Orchestra: Brittany Phillips, 
bphillips@cpsd.us

The 6th grade orchestra is having an outstanding spring semester. They are strengthening their site reading skills and mastering new rhythmic and melodic variations every week. Students are grooving with their new piece, “The Banana Boat Song.” This Jamaican folk song has a fun, island rhythm, and has all students demonstrating advanced bowing techniques such as fast bow lifts, a wide range of dynamics, and bouncing rhythms. Students also experiment with pizzicato. As we approach the string orchestra concert on May 2nd, we are pushing ourselves to learn more about our instruments and the music we’re studying.

The 7th grade orchestra  is being pushed and stretched in new ways this semester. They have mastered complex, syncopated rhythms in “Over the Rainbow,” and are now working through our newest piece, “Sahara Crossing.” This dramatic piece introduces students to the d harmonic minor scale, and teaches students to utilize B flat and E flat. Students are enjoying this Arabic melody, and are working on developing their beautiful tone through vibrato exercises. We are looking forward to sharing this music with you on May 2nd in the string orchestra concert!

The 8th grade orchestra has been working diligently over the last few weeks. We have our work cut out for us with a full plate of challenging repertoire, but students continue to put in practice (and it is certainly paying off)! From “Star Wars” to “Over the Rainbow” and even a little “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3”, students are expanding their musical horizons and learning traditions that span across a wide range of centuries and origins. Our percussion and guitar sections have added a new level of sophistication to our performances, and have given students the opportunity to branch outside of their string studies. We are eager to share this music with you at our concert on May 2nd!

Chorus, Gr. 6-8: Joshua DeWitte, jdewitte@cpsd.us

6th: Chorus students continue to work on writing and recording their original songs. Students recorded “demos” of a verse and chorus and are now working on recording a full demo. We will make quality recordings in May. We are working on several songs for our chorus concert May 3 at 5 pm. This concert will feature numerous solos for which singers will audition over the next few weeks as well as some small group performances.

7th: Chorus students continue to work on writing and recording their original songs. Students recorded “demos” of a verse and chorus and are now working on recording a full demo. We will make quality recordings in May. We are working on several songs for our chorus concert May 3 at 5 pm. This concert will feature numerous solos for which singers will audition over the next few weeks as well as some small group performances.

8th: 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. We are now beginning to learn new repertoire. 8th graders will choose the songs they wish to sing to represent their class at their graduation. We are working on several songs for our chorus concert May 3 at 5 pm. This concert will feature numerous solos for which singers will audition over the next few weeks as well as some small group performances. In addition, a small group of 8th graders have started a new ensemble called RAUC Vocal Ensemble. These students will work on more challenging music.

6th Grade Music Studio: Brittany Phillips and Jamal Fairbanks, bphillips@cpsd.us, jfairbanks@cpsd.us

The 6th grade music studio students recently completed their first music video project. Students have grown comfortable performing many different chord patterns on their acoustic guitars, and they put these skills into motion in our Chord Progression Video Challenge! Students worked in small groups to prepare an original piece of music, and filmed their final product. Moving forward, we will expand these skills even more and study songwriting.

I am pleased to announce that Jamal Fairbanks has joined the music staff at RAUC and will be transitioning into the music studio teacher for 6-8th grade. This will allow me to focus on the string orchestra program. As we move forward,  we will work together with the students and administration to make sure the transition is smooth. It has been a blast to work with the students this year, and I look forward to what is ahead.

7th Grade Music Studio: Joshua DeWitte, jdewitte@cpsd.us

Students presented a project on music from various regions of the world. In their label groups, students expanded their label to include artists from their region of study and adapt their logo and fashion to include elements from their region. Their presentations included Haitian. Puerto Rican, and New Zealand food to give us a “taste” of their region. Students will now begin the process of creating a website and recording their artists to feature on their label’s website.

8th Grade Music Studio: Joshua DeWitte, jdewitte@cpsd.us

Students wrapped up a research project in which they chose an artist and created a Google Slide presentation about the life and work of that artist. We will begin exploring the history of the Blues and Rock & Roll.

Physical Education: Mr. O’Connell, 
moconnell@cpsd.us

6th Grade: Students have just started their Creative Movement Unit. This unit is designed for students to learn and express specific rhythmic movements using jump-bands.  Currently, students are working on choreographing small group (3-4 students) performances that will be presented at the end of the unit.

7th Grade: Students have just started their Creative Movement Unit.  In seventh grade, students apply their prior knowledge of rhythmic-counting to replicate a known dance or to choreograph their own in small groups (2-4 students).  Currently, students are working on their choreography and will present at the end of the unit.

8th Grade: Students have just started their Creative Movement Unit. In eighth grade, students work in groups of 2-4 to come up with an original dance that is performed to music.  Currently, students are finishing their choreography and will present to classmates at the end of the unit.

Health: Mr. McNulty, jmcnulty@cpsd.us

6th Grade: Students will be learning about Personal and Dental Hygiene the next couple weeks and then we will be moving onto our third Dimension of Health; Nutrition. I will also be providing time for students to talk to me about spring and summer program opportunities.

7th Grade: Students are finishing up their SOS unit and will be moving on to a 5 lesson unit, Get Real Sexuality Education. Students will be learning about creating a safe classroom, a safe school environment, the messages the media gives about sexuality, sexual identity, and anatomy.

8th Grade: Students have begun their Safe Dates Lesson. The Cambridge Police Department has reached out and offered to talk to students about Media Safety as well. After our guest speaker and the Safe Dates unit we will move on to Substance Abuse Prevention.

Art: Ms. Lee, llee@cpsd.us

6th graders are continuing with their tissue paper “stained-glass” project that depicts either a representational or non-objective image.  They have sketched the sections for the “glass” (color) and planned out where the borders will go. The borders serve structural support and holds the entire image together.  Students are cutting out the areas on which the color tissue paper will be glued. They will soon transfer the cutout draft onto the final paper.

7th graders are using wooden tools and metal tooling repoussé techniques to create raised and indented surfaces on their copper sheets.  They have designed their names in bubble letters, transformed objects into their names and arranged letters in a creative and personal way.

8th graders are continuing to use the grid method and techniques on their two-toned high contrast self-portraits.  They first used the grid method to draw and enlarge the shapes of their facial features onto a canvas panel, which is a laborious process.  When the outline and shapes are accurate, they will then turn their drawings into paintings. Students who choose to work on a symbolic self-portrait instead are brainstorming ideas/objects that best represent themselves.  They will then sketch out an image on canvas and create a painting.

Theater Arts. Grade 6: Ms. Elguindy
, selguindy@cpsd.us

Sixth grade students have just begun their third unit in theater arts. Students have learned how to use their voice in a healthy way on stage by using vocal projection, enunciation and articulation. They will be exploring how to create a voice for their characters and practicing using staged readings and creating their own dialogue in scenes.