Specials Learning Previews: October 2018

Specials Learning Previews: October 2018
Posted on 10/23/2018
Library Technology Program, Sam Musher, [email protected]
In middle school, library technology is a program rather than its own class. I co-teach research and technology skills in many classes, and help students become strong, independent readers.

6th Grade: In Social Studies, students are researching countries they chose. This is the first research project of the year in 6th grade! We focus on the skills of using the table of contents to target information to answer a question, and taking notes in their own words. The final product will be a Google Maps travel brochure. Ask your student what they’ve learned about their country!

All Grades: In ELA, most Fridays are for independent reading. I visit one grade’s classes a week to booktalk a variety of exciting titles and help students choose books that interest them. Our library has a diverse selection of books for all kinds of readers. If your student has trouble finding books they like, please get in touch -- I would love to help.

Health: Justin McNulty, [email protected]
6th Grade: Students are in our second half of our Social and Emotional Learning Unit, Second Step. Students will be learning about bullying, types of bullying, how to be an ally and how to give and get support. 

7th Grade: Students will be learning about Understanding Anger, Staying in Control of Your Emotions and Coping with Stress to conclude our Social and Emotional Learning Unit. They will have an assessment and discuss how they can use their new skills in school and at home. 

8th Grade: Students have been identifying and analyzing racial and gender stereotypes in the media. They have been having critical discussion whether or not media should be held accountable for the messages that they receive. 

Physical Education: Michael O’Connell [email protected]
Grades 6-8: Students are halfway through their Invasion Games Unit. This unit is designed for students to develop and demonstrate competency in a variety of movement patterns as well as apply knowledge of concepts, principles, tactics, and strategies common to invasion games and invasion sports.

Additionally for Grade 8, students apply knowledge of rules and etiquette by acting as an official during ultimate game-play. 

Spanish: Nick Paras, [email protected]
6th grade: We will continue learning about the Spanish alphabet. We will play some games that have to do with spelling words correctly then we will move onto classroom objects. Students will also learn colors and numbers with this unit. As we continue, language learners will be asked to describe various classrooms. They will talk about what is in each classroom, how many of each item and the colors of the items. Students will be introduced to question words such as cuántos (how much/how many,) qué (what,) etc. In pairs, students will create a classroom and 5 questions about the classroom. They will pair up with another group and then ask and answer each others questions.

7th grade: Students will continue to work on talking about their school day and their classes. We will practice writing descriptive sentences about our classes. Students will do this by reviewing how to conjugate verbs. Students will then learn about the verb estar and how to use it. In class we will use the verb to talk about the locations of people and places around the school. Students will then move onto learning about making nouns, adjectives and articles plural. Language learners will then learn about position words such as above, under, next to, etc. In class, students will create questions about where certain things are and pair up to ask and answer each others questions. To finish, students will create short dialogues asking someone at home to help them find 5 items before they leave for school. 

8th grade: Students will continue to learn about the family and family celebrations. We will learn how to physically describe family members and talk about their likes and dislikes. Students will talk about family celebrations. 8th graders will learn about the verb tener-to have. We will use this to talk about our family and our family members. Language learners will then practice saying the ages of family members using the verb tener. To go along with the verb tener, we will discuss possessive adjectives and how to use them in sentences. In class, we will practice readings about other families and what each reading tries to tell us about others families. Students will then write their own paragraphs about their families. 

French (and 8th Gr Spanish): Neil Pischner, [email protected]
6th Grade French: Students are working on listening comprehension and training their ears to the French language by practicing dictations of words being spelled out. We will also continue to build vocabulary and strengthen classroom routines. 

7th Grade French: Students are completing an initial phase of review and evaluation to gauge their proficiency levels. Students will be working on introducing themselves and others while also exploring the political geography of the francophone world.

8th Grade French: Students are completing an initial phase of review and evaluation to gauge their proficiency level. Students will begin a unit on the family and reinforce conjugation of verbs in the present simple.

8th Grade Spanish: Students are exploring the political geography of the Spanish-speaking world and will continue to challenge their listening comprehension through diction exercises.

Band: Mr. Wroge, [email protected]
6th-8th grade Band: Our routines are finally starting to settle in and we have begun concert repertoire. All students have just started playing one of our concert pieces, Concordium. 7th and 8th graders have also begun working on Holt’s Jupiter, and 8th grade has started Iron Man. In addition to our concert piece we have started learning the Blues progression and will start improvising soon through simple call and response. As always we will continue to focus 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.

String Orchestra: Brittany Phillips [email protected]
6th Grade Orchestra: Students have grown accustomed to our daily class procedures, and are really getting into the groove of the upper school orchestra program. Bow holds are improving, left hand positioning is getting better, and our D major scale and arpeggio exercises are positively impacting our intonation with each class and pull out lesson. We have begun working on our newest concert selection, “Oriental,” a 4 part folk song. Students are learning to play varying rhythms and harmonies in a full ensemble, as opposed to all-unison playing. This fall and winter will have a heavy focus on improving our note reading skills. As we look ahead, we will balance composition exercises with playing in order to continue strengthening our sight reading skills. 

The 7th grade orchestra is expanding their repertoire and skills with each class. We took what we knew from D major and have now applied it to learning a new key and a new string for many students, G major. We are working through a fun and challenging anthem called, “Rock On,” which includes changing rhythmic patterns and opportunities for each section to carry the melody. In 7th grade, we are continuing to focus on strengthening our note reading skills and aiming high for sight reading independence. 

The 8th grade orchestra is preparing for our upcoming Veteran’s Day Assembly on November 5th. Students are working on a traditional American folk song, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” We are working on our G major/e minor scales and arpeggios, striving to master a 3-note slur, and working to create a more mature, rich tone by adding vibrato to our notes. As we look ahead, we will begin working on a new, fun piece for the Unity Concert, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. 

Music Studio: Mr. Fairbanks, [email protected]
6th Grade has begun working on their rhythmic literacy by playing different note values using drumsticks and any surface they can find. We will continue looking into quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes as we move on to our introduction of the ukulele!

7th Grade: We have spent some time diving into the history of rap and hip-hop and exploring the culture around it that has influenced the world. Dance, fashion, art, and music all make up hip-hop culture. Students are now creating their own raps to get an idea of what it’s like to be an MC! After our raps are created, we will move on to our introduction of the ukulele!

8th Grade: 8th grade is currently involved in Music Shark Tank, a project where they were given various music jobs and in groups, must create a business idea/product/service that includes all the music jobs of their group. The students will present their idea to a wealthy investor (me) in an attempt to win money for their company. The purpose of this project is to explore music as a profession and to learn about all the moving parts of the music industry. 

Chorus: Joshua DeWitte [email protected]
6th Grade: 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 will participate in a Lip Sync Battle next Monday. For the past few weeks, students have worked in small groups to lip sync 1-2 minutes of a song of their choice. Students have choreographed their songs and thought about how to best express the songs through facial expressions.

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 beginning a project of producing a music video. They will record a song of their choice and then film and edit the video to create an original music video. 

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. Their first project was to sing a short section of “One Call Away,” as though auditioning for a chorus or musical. In addition to discussing effectives audition strategies, students sang by themselves in front of their small groups. Our next project is for small groups to sing a song we have sung in chorus over the past 2 years. Students must sing in at least 2 parts. Each group will perform in front of the class. 

Percussion (7th & 8th Grade): Students continue to work on rudiments with a focus on doubles, accents, and paradiddles. Students performed at the Boston Common over this past weekend at the Peace of Mind event with over 1300 people gathering to attempt to break the world record of the largest human peace sign. Our students performed well and represented RAUC with pride. 

Art: Lucia Lee [email protected]
The 6th grade section that has art twice a week have been working on a 3-D collage that demonstrates their knowledge of space and depth. In their image, objects that are further away will be flat whereas objects closer to the viewer will protrude a bit more from the surface.

The 6th grade sections that have art once a week just finished their police sketch artist partner drawing exercise. In the upcoming classes, they will brainstorm/sketch out ideas and begin the work for their 3D collage images. 

7th graders have finished designing, transferring and carving their designs onto their rubber blocks. They are now testing out various color combinations and experimenting ways to use colors as a form of pattern as well in the final draft. Most students are discovering that as they print using colors, repetition and rotation, their simple design is turning into a more complex and interesting image. 

8th graders are sketching out 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. Some students are creating results that are pretty and beautiful whereas others are drafting something more quirky and silly.

Theater Arts: Ms. Elguindy [email protected]
6th graders will continue to work on developing strategies to work as an excellent ensemble in class. They will begin to explore what skills need to be in their actors toolbox. We will start by working on showing excellent facial expressions in scenes and then use Tableau and Pantomime to use body language to tell stories on stage. 

8th graders just completed a performance of a fairy tale using viewpoints to inform their movement. They have been studying how to use architecture, kinesthetic response, tempo and time to create interesting stage pictures and help tell stories.
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