Learning Previews - Specials - November 2017

Learning Previews - Specials - November 2017
Posted on 11/21/2017
Health and Wellness: Justin McNulty

6th Grade: Students that have Health twice a week Semester 1 are wrapping up their Social and Emotional Unit, “Second Step” in the next week or two. They are currently learning about the three types of bullying and how to become an ally in school. Their next unit will be Mental and Emotional Health. Students will learning about how to identify feelings and different coping methods when it comes to stress and sadness.

Students who have Health once a week this semester are in the middle of their Second Step Unit and have been working hard practicing Respectful Disagreement skills and how to consider someone else’s perspective.

7th grade: Students recently had a discussion about Bullying in their learning environment and identified ways they could support a student who has been a victim of bullying. Our future discussions will be around race, religion and cultural identity.

8th Grade: Students have wrapped up their Media Literacy Unit and will begin their Sexual Education unit after Thanksgiving Break. An email will be sent home outlining the lessons and the details behind each lesson.

Physical Education: Michael O’Connell

6th Grade: Students are learning the fundamental skills (‘bump’ and ‘set’) and rules for volleyball as they begin their Net Games Unit. After break, students will begin to learn the game of pickleball (played with a paddle and tennis ball (or wiffle ball)). Pickleball is an easy way for students to learn the fundamentals of groundstrokes. The unit will conclude with sixth grade students learning the fundamental skills and rules for badminton.

7th Grade: Currently, students are playing modified (alternate serving rules) games of volleyball and badminton as they begin their net-games unit. During this unit, students will learn the skill-cues for overhand-serving in volleyball and (diagonal) underhand-serving in badminton. As the unit progresses, students will be given the opportunity to choose between badminton, volleyball and pickleball as class activities.

8th Grade: Students 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.

Band: Patrick Wroge, Director of Bands

6th Grade Band: We are up and running and have begun working towards our first concert in February. We have started working on “We Are On A Mission To Rock” and the famous Beatles tune “Hey Jude”. Our latest piece is the melody from the popular White Stripes song, “7 Nation Army”. Through these pieces and others we will continue the focus on music literacy, proper playing position, breath support, ensemble playing, proper embouchure formation, and the use of dynamics and how they play a major role in the outcome of a piece of music. One of my goals with the 6th grade is to have them join the older kids on a couple of pieces. Please remind your child to check the lesson schedule weekly.

7th and 8th grade Band: We are up and running and have begun working towards our first concert in February. We have started working on “The Incredibles”, which showcases the main theme from the major motion picture ‘The Incredibles”. We are also working on the popular rock band Metallica’s song “Enter Sandman”. In addition, we are adding a medley of popular Michael Jackson tunes called “Michael Jackson Hit Mix” and the popular White Stripes tune called “7 Nation Army”. We continue to practice our set up routine. Skills we always practice in Band are proper playing position, breath support, proper embouchure formation, ensemble playing, dynamics, literacy, and being a team player. Please remind your child to check the lesson schedule weekly.

String Orchestra: Brittany Phillips

The 6th grade orchestra is making steady progress, and our note reading skills are improving with each class. Reading notes on the musical staff is a challenge for many students, but we will continue to press on! Additionally, students are working on strengthening their ensemble skills, and we are focusing on the difference between playing in unison and playing in a round. Our newest round is “Five Step Round”. Students are also still working hard on their concert piece, “Tumbleweed Blues.” We are specifically working on the exciting ending to the piece, and learning about accents, tied rhythms, and identifying patterns within our music. Please keep encouraging at least 15 minutes of at-home practice 3-4 days a week.

The 7th grade orchestra made great strides recently in their ability to play slurred and hooked bow strokes. This was challenging for many students when we first tried, but now students play confidently. Our newest piece, “Canon in D” emphasizes these slurs, and also shows us the difference between stepwise scale patterns and arpeggiated skips. We are putting multiple layers together, and hope to possibly add an accompanying hip hop beat as we grow in confidence. Additionally, we are also still working on our thematic piece, “Dragon Slayer.” As students grow in their note reading and playing proficiency, the level of difficulty in our music is increasing. I am thrilled with the progress students are making. Please keep encouraging at least 15 minutes of at-home practice 3-4 days a week.

The 8th grade orchestra had the honor of performing “This Land is Your Land” for our Veteran’s Day assembly on November 10th. Students played beautifully on their instruments, and it was fun to have Matthew and Senia join us on guitar. Way to go, students! We are keeping the momentum going, and recently began our study of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Students will put their skills to the test while we work on this challenging piece that includes changing tempi, challenging melodic patterns, triplets, slurs, and the much more! Students recently set goals for themselves, and most agreed that they want to improve their playing skills, they want to grow in confidence, and they want to learn more challenging repertoire. This will certainly happen if students continue to work hard in their ensemble rehearsals and pull out lessons, and when they practice at home. Please encourage students to practice 20 minutes at least 3-4 days per week.

6th Grade Music Studio: Brittany Phillips

Sixth grade music studio students are off to a great start in their study of guitar. We started by learning one-finger-chords-G and C. After mastering these with full strums and arpeggios, we were able to build upon these chords and learn two and three finger chords. By now, students should be growing comfortable playing e minor, E major, and a minor. We are working on transitioning between chords and putting together chord progressions. This is challenging and fun for students, and I am excited that they seem to be really enjoying working with guitars.

Chorus, Gr. 6-8: Joshua DeWitte

6th Grade: Congratulations on a moving performance for the Veteran’s Day Assembly where all grade levels combined with the Peabody Early Bird Singers to sing “You Raise Me Up.” 6th Grade chorus members continue to work on proper breath support and creating good vowel sounds. Students are also 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 the Monday after Thanksgiving. For the past couple of weeks, students have worked in small groups to lip sync 1-2 minutes of a song of their choice.

7th Grade: Congratulations on a moving performance for the Veteran’s Day Assembly where all grade levels combined with the Peabody Early Bird Singers to sing “You Raise Me Up.” 7th Grade is working in small groups to arrange and perform their own version of “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. Groups are using stomp, drums, vocal percussion, and a glockenspiel in their arrangements. In addition, we will begin working on repertoire for the February concert.

8th Grade: Congratulations on a moving performance for the Veteran’s Day Assembly where all grade levels combined with the Peabody Early Bird Singers to sing “You Raise Me Up.” Students are currently working in their label groups to create a short PSA (public service announcement) about an issue that is important to them. We discussed the idea that corporations frequently sponsor a particular cause that helps define their product. 

Music Studio, Gr. 7-8: Joshua DeWitte

7th Grade: Students are beginning a film scoring project. After exploring how music tells the story of film through musical motives, they found a short animated film and are now working on composing the music. Using GarageBand, they will analyze the film to find hard and soft cues and compose an appropriate recurring musical motive. They will also design the sound.

8th Grade: Students are wrapping up their PSA (public service announcement) project. After filming scenes on a variety of issues from concussions to poverty to women’s rights, students are editing their PSAs using iMovie to create the maximum impact. We will have an official screening of their work in class after Thanksgiving.

Theater Arts: Ms. Elguindy

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.

Art: Ms. Lee

6th graders are currently working on the final stages of their “stained-glass” 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 wrapping up their block pattern printing project. Most of them are discovering that as they print using repetition and rotation, their simple design is turning into a more complex and interesting image. We will begin the gallon jug mask project after Thanksgiving break!

8th graders are finishing their Klimt-style portraits in which they experiment with basic scratchboard tools and use those skills to etch and develop a visually-interesting portrait and scenery. In their upcoming assignment, 8th graders will use the grid method and various drawing techniques to accurately enlarge a 4x6 image of their choice onto a 12x18 paper. This project is 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.

Spanish: Nicholas Paras

6th grade: In grade 6 we will be finishing up our weather unit. In this unit, we also have learned the months and days of the week. Once completed, we will be moving onto the classroom and classroom objects. At the end of the classroom unit, we will be creating our dream classroom and writing about it. We will also be working on classroom commands.

7th grade: In grade 7, we will be working on a few different things. One is the locations of certain items in the classroom using location vocabulary and the verb estar- to be. Students will draw a picture of a classroom and write about the location of certain items in the class. We will then write about things that we usually carry in our backpacks and describe each item using the verb ser. Students will then move onto learning about breakfast and lunch in Spanish speaking countries. Students will create grocery shopping lists for a meal they are going to prepare. They will then start to learn about healthy eating habits.

8th grade: Students will work on describing people using the verb ser and physical description vocabulary. We will then move onto table setting vocabulary where students will then ask and answer questions about table settings. Students will then work on asking for things they are missing at the dinner table. We will then discuss cafe culture in Spanish speaking countries. Students will then move onto the verb venir where we will be able to tell at what times people arrive to certain places. Lastly, students will begin to learn the differences between the verbs ser and estar and the uses for each verb. Both verbs mean to be.

Library Technology: Sam Musher

6th grade Social Studies celebrated finishing their virtual brochures, in which they researched a country and designed a travel brochure in Google Maps. Students were able to “visit” their classmates’ countries during the celebration. Ask them what sights they’d most like to visit!
7th grade Science students will soon write their first email to their NetPal, an employee of a local technology company who will be their pen pal until the spring Science Fair. Beforehand, they’ll learn to use GMail effectively and write a professional email. Since your student will be checking their school email regularly in Science, send them an email once in awhile -- it’s fun to have something to open in addition to their NetPal’s letter, and it’s good practice using email!
In 8th grade Science, students will be extracting data from a climate science website to answer questions about climate change. They’ll practice their strategies for reading difficult non-fiction texts, and for navigating unfamiliar websites to find information. They might be interested to discuss current environmental news, to make the connection between the real world and the classroom.