Specials Learning Previews - Sept. 2018

Specials Learning Previews - Sept. 2018
Posted on 09/25/2018
Health and Wellness: Justin McNulty
6th Grade: Students started their Social and Emotional Unit, “Second Step: Stepping Up”. They have described the difference between elementary and middle school and what responsibilities they have now as a 6th grader. They have identified at least two plans or hopes they have this year. In the next few weeks students will learn how to work in groups, how to be a good friend and what empathy is.

7th Grade: Students have begun their Second Step Social and Emotional Learning Unit, “Steppin In”. They have been learning about the benefits of working in groups and have been discussing the increased amount of responsibilities from 6th to 7th grade. In the next coming weeks they will be learning how to have respectful disagreements, negotiate and compromise, understand anger and manage stressful events in healthy ways. 

8th Grade: Students have analyzing how media affects the way they view their community. Recently they have defined media, the types of media and completed a self assessment on weekly media use. In the upcoming weeks, students will chart their data and compare it to other classes, explore gender, substance use and violence in the media and the mixed messages in sends to teenagers. 

Physical Education: Michael O’Connell
6th Grade: Students are almost halfway through their Cooperative Learning Unit. The unit is designed for students to develop and demonstrate the ability to cooperate with classmates during adventure activities, game play or team building activities, and articulate positive feedback/encouragement to their peers. In the coming weeks, students will participate in a variety of problem-solving challenges.

7th Grade: Students are almost halfway through their Cooperative Learning Unit. The unit is designed for students to demonstrate the ability to problem solve with classmates during small group adventure activities and game play. In the coming weeks, students will participate in a variety of problem-solving and trust challenges.

8th Grade: Students are almost halfway through their Cooperative Learning Unit. The unit is designed for students to, first, demonstrate the ability to cooperate and problem solve with classmates; and, second, to develop and demonstrate the ability to overcome perceived limitations through participation in adventure activities or large-group initiatives. In the coming weeks, students will participate in a variety of trust and low-element climbing challenges that culminate in (“challenge-by-choice”) high-element climbing. 

Spanish: Nick Paras
6th grade: We will begin our year on Thursday September 27. To begin the year, students will be introduced to the Spanish alphabet. Students will learn the different sounds of vowels and letters that sound different in Spanish and English. We will practice spelling words as well as the pronunciation of the alphabet. We will then move on to getting to know you questions and conducting interviews with other students in class. Students will ask and answer getting to know you questions and then present their interviews to other classmates. We will then move on to learning weather vocabulary and seasons.

7th grade: We have just completed back to school interviews and students will continue to review some topics from last year. These will include the weather, classroom objects, colors, numbers, conjugation of verbs, adjectives as well as a few other topics. Students will begin to learn vocabulary about their classes and class schedules. In class, we will make up a schedule and write about the classes we would like to have. Students will describe their first few weeks of school by writing a short paragraph about their classes and teachers. In class, surveys will be created by students that will be given to other students. As a whole class, students will answer some of the questions that were created in these surveys. 

8th grade: The year began with back to school interviews. We will review some topics from last year such as verb conjugations, word order in sentences, adjectives and some irregular verbs such as ir and ser. Students will then create acrostic poems using their names and create sentences about themselves. We will then move onto the family and celebrations. Students will write sentences about their families or a family that they want to use from a movie, tv series, cartoon, etc. From this, each learner will create family books. Students will also pick a holiday/celebration or create one and make a poster using celebration vocabulary words, the date, the name of the celebration, etc. Photos will also be included that they can print out or draw. Lastly, students will write invitations to their celebration.

French & Spanish: Mr. Neil Pischner will take over as French teacher (and Spanish teacher for 8th grade section 4) on October 1. This week, students are finishing up a cultures project. 

Art: Lucia Lee
This year, some 6th graders have Art twice a week for one semester, whereas two sections have Art once a week for the entire year. In the past couple classes, we played a few get-to-know-you games. Students have also worked in table groups to participate in an Exquisite Corpse drawing game and to create 2-minute animals/cartoon characters sculptures using found objects. In the upcoming week, students will work on a “police sketch artist” partner drawing exercise.

7th graders started the year working cooperatively with an Exquisite Corpse drawing game as well as a team challenge using wire. They are now starting a relief-printing project in which they sketch and carve ¼ of a bigger design onto a 1x1-inch square block. This mini block-printing project demonstrates that the use of repetition can transform a simple design into a more intricate and interesting image.

8th graders also started the year working cooperatively with an Exquisite Corpse drawing game as well as a team challenge using wire. They are now starting a Gustav Klimt-style portrait on gold scratchboard--they will first find head and hands of a human/animal from magazines. Then students will use scratchboard tools to draw and etch bodies, legs, and a background scene. Empty spaces can be filled with geometric/organic lines and patterns--similar to Klimt’s Golden Phase paintings. For this assignment, garments and body proportions need not be realistic. Portrait results tend to be either beautiful, quirky, fanciful, silly, or all of the above.

Theater Arts: Ms. Elguindy
6th grade are working on becoming a strong, supportive ensemble in theater arts. In this first unit they are focusing on developing strategies for working well as a team in order to take creative risks. They will identify and practice the qualities of a great audience, develop strategies for group work and begin to explore the idea of what it means to be a creative risk taker. 

8th grade is building core fundamentals in becoming a great ensemble. In the first unit we will review and build upon our acting toolbox of skills. Focusing on facial expression, body language and voice we will be improvising scenes and using scripts to tell stories on stage. 

Band: Mr. Wroge
6th-8th Band: We have started the year out strong! Instruments have been passed out and we are just beginning to play together as a full band. This year we will be focussing on Music Literacy, Posture, Breath Support, Ensemble Playing, Teamwork, Dynamics, Expanding our Knowledge of Key Signatures, and Playing in Multiple Time Signatures. We will learn these skills through our Band Warm Ups and Repertoire. We have also just started learning the basic fundamentals of Marching Band, such as rolling our feet, keeping our backs straight, and watching our line leader out of the corner of our eye. 

Chorus: Joshua DeWitte
6th grade chorus: Students are learning the fundamentals of proper vocal technique and choral singing. We have practiced posture, and our vocal warm-ups focus on isolating the diaphragm and learning to tune vowels so our sound blends. I will listen to each singer to assess his/her range and assigned parts; soprano or alto. We will sing 2-part music throughout the year. I am impressed by the sound the choir is already making!

7th grade chorus: Students continue to work on maintaining posture and proper breath support throughout a rehearsal. We move from singing 2-part to 3-part music. Students were divided into first and second soprano and alto. We began working on repertoire. We will focus on music literacy throughout the year, primarily using repertoire as our source material for reading music.

8th grade chorus: The goal of 8th grade chorus is to prepare students to be successful singers in High School, whether they pursue singing in musicals, acappella, chorus, or wherever their voices take them. We are singing in 3 parts; first and second soprano and alto. We will sing a diverse range of repertoire this year. We started learning a few pieces of music including a song for our Veteran’s Day assembly, “We Are One.”

Percussion: Joshua DeWitte
7th & 8th grade percussion: In percussion this year, we will focus on building rudiments and fundamental techniques that form a solid foundation for drumming. Since this is the first year of percussion class, both grades will primarily work on the same material and set of skills. Every class begins with a 10 minute warm-up. We then progress into working on certain rudiments and skills such as paradiddles and accents. We then move from practice pads to instruments and work on repertoire. While the weather is still warm, we will frequently go outside to work on marching. Our hope is to perform at various school functions throughout the year as well as march in a parade.

Music Studio: Mr. Fairbanks
6th Grade: We started off the year asking the question “What is Music” and began diving into the various ways to answer this question. This week we’re exploring tempo and dynamics and seeing what it means to be loud, soft, fast, and slow through different kinds of music, starting with the musical genius of Beethoven.

7th/8th Grade: We started off the year asking the question “What is Music” and began diving into the various ways to answer this question. As we listen to different kinds of music, We’ll be learning about what makes these types of music unique by practicing active listening, a way to listen while fully concentrating on all the different beats, sounds and rhythms while attempting to understand and respond to what we are listening to. 

String Orchestra: Brittany Phillips
The 6th grade orchestra is gearing up for an awesome year! We are starting things off reviewing the fundamentals from 5th grade, and we are grooving with our D major blues progression. We’ll be jumping back into note reading while practicing strong bow holds and excellent posture! 

The 7th grade orchestra is already grooving with a swinging D major blues progression with an added FUN walking bass line. The beginning of the school year is dedicated to reviewing the fundamentals of note reading and proper playing techniques while getting our new orchestra students acquainted to the orchestra. 

The 8th grade orchestra students are starting off the school year studying Bob Marley’s historic composition, “Redemption Song.” While reviewing D major finger patterns and complex dotted rhythms, students are also taking a deeper look into the song’s lyrics and the inspired words of Marcus Garvey. Our goal is to eventually collaborate with the RAUC Choir in a culminating performance of this piece.