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Learning Previews - Specials - December 2017

Learning Previews - Specials - December 2017
Posted on 12/19/2017
Library Technology: Sam Musher 

smusher@cpsd.us

6th & 7th Social Studies: Students voted in Cambridge’s Participatory Budgeting process! All Cambridge residents 6th grade and older are welcome to vote. See the story in the newsletter for more details.

7th Social Studies: Students will continue their research into an African nation, with the goal of breaking down stereotypes about the continent. In the days before Break, they will give presentations to convince “EPCOT executives” that their country should be included in the theme park. Ask your student about the most interesting things they’ve learned about their country!

6th Science: Students will begin an ongoing research project called Scientist Workshop. They will choose a science topic that interests them and learn more about it, then present what they’ve learned creatively to their classmates. In the past, students have chosen a wide range of topics, from video game design to black holes to food science. Encourage your student to think about the science topics they want to know more about!

Health & Wellness: Justin McNulty

JMcNulty@cpsd.us

6th Grade Health: Sections 6-01 and 6-03 have begun their HealthSmart: Mental and Emotional Health Unit. They will be exploring the Mental/Emotional Dimension of Health and Wellness. Students will reflect on how they handle stress, how to identify feelings and how to express feelings in a healthy way.

Sections 6-02 and 6-04 are in the processing of recognizing, identifying and labeling bullying. They will be learning about the 3 types of bullying, the 2 ways someone could be bullied, define and identify a bystander and how to become an ally of a victim or target of bullying.

7th Grade Health: Students have been engaging in deep conversations in out bullying and conflict resolution unity, “Let’s Get Real”, around Gender Roles and the difference between Flirting and Sexual Harassment. In the next coming weeks we will be discussing anti-gay bullying, ally behavior, cyber-bullying and a unit project to wrap it up.

8th Grade Health: Students have been very involved our Sexual Education Unit, “Get Real”. Students so far have identified and defined parts of the male anatomy and in the upcoming weeks will explore female anatomy, the gender spectrum, sexual orientation, and responsible decision making.

Physical Education: Michael O’Connell

moconnell@cpsd.us

6th Grade: Students are finishing their Net Games Unit by practicing and playing badminton and paddle-tennis. The Unit will culminate with a compare-and-contrast assessment using these two sports. Previously in the Unit, students learned, played and were assessed on basic volleyball skills and rules.

7th Grade: Students are finishing their Net Games Unit by practicing and playing badminton, paddle tennis and the (recreational) net game known as Neukum (a crowd favorite). Previously, students refined their volleyball skills (with a focus on underhand-serving) while playing small-sided (4 players per side) games.

8th Grade: Students are finishing their Net Games Unit by playing a variety of recreational and unusual net games -- soccer tennis, nitro-ball, 4-net badminton.

Band: Patrick Wroge, Director of Bands

pwroge@cpsd.us

6th Grade Band: We continue to work towards our first concert in February. We are 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 continue to work towards our first concert in February. We are 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

bphillips@cpsd.us

The 6th grade orchestra is successfully improving their intonation and tone on their instruments. Through consistent attendance at our weekly, small group, pull out lessons in addition to our full ensemble rehearsals, student progress is evident and exciting. I am noticing students playing with more confidence and excitement. We are also continuing to chip away at our note reading skills. Currently students are working on a new D major round to enforce D major notes on the staff called, “Day is Done.” Additionally, we continue to make strides on our fun concert piece, “Tumbleweed Blues.” Students are sounding great! Thank you, families, for continuing to support at-home practice. Students who practice stand out as phenomenal leaders in the classroom.

The 7th grade orchestra continues to work hard towards strengthening their sight reading skills in the keys of G major, D major, and E minor. Upper strings now play a variety of 4-finger patterns confidently, and the cello section is practicing shifting into 4th position. Additionally, all students are learning vibrato techniques, and are excited to learn how to “make their hand do the shaking movement” when they play. This is a sign of musical maturity, and will help them produce a beautiful tone. Students continue to prepare their concert repertoire, and mastery of slurred and hooked bow stroke patterns. made great strides recently in their ability to play slurred and hooked bow strokes. Students who spend 15 minutes practicing 3-4 days a week, are growing exponentially in their playing skills. Thank you for encouraging students at home.

The 8th grade orchestra is deep into our study of the John Williams hit, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” right in time for the release of the newest Star Wars film in theatres. Students are excited to share their experiences watching the movie and recognizing themes that we are studying in class. This piece is very advanced, and is full of tough rhythmic and melodic passages. It includes many new bowing techniques, and changing key signatures. Students are working to use their music as a road map, marking important notes to remember as they learn. Additionally, we are making more strides in our study of the 1st movement of Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3.” The 8th grade ensemble is currently studying very challenging repertoire, but they are rising to the occasion. They know that hard work and at-home practice is necessary in order to present our best performance at the concert coming up in February. I am proud to have them as leaders of the RAUC string program. Thank you for encouraging them at home to take pride in their art form.

Chorus, Gr. 6-8: Joshua DeWitte

jdewitte@cpsd.us

6th Grade: 6th Grade chorus members continue to work on proper breath support and creating good vowel sounds. In addition to preparing for our February concert, students are exploring how to critique choir performances. To do this, they have been assigned a partner to create a short radio program about critiquing a choir. They will research youth choirs and select one to analyze. They will record themselves discussing the choir’s performance while playing sections of their performance. We will then discuss how to apply what we have learned to our own singing and performance.

7th Grade: In addition to preparing for our February concert, students are exploring how to critique choir performances. To do this, they have been assigned a partner to create a short radio program about critiquing a choir. They will research youth choirs and select one to analyze. They will record themselves discussing the choir’s performance while playing sections of their performance. We will then discuss how to apply what we have learned to our own singing and performance.

8th Grade: In addition to preparing for our February concert, students have begun preparing their 8th grade recital pieces. Students will perform either a solo or as a small ensemble to celebrate their three years in chorus. The recital will take place at the end of February. It is exciting to see students taking creative risks and challenging themselves. I am also piloting a small vocal ensemble of students who are interested in challenging themselves to more difficult repertoire. We will meet occasionally after school and they will practice during some portions of class time.

6th Grade Music Studio: Brittany Phillips

bphillips@cpsd.us

The sixth grade music studio class is rocking on their acoustic guitar studies! We recently mastered the chords: A major, D major, and E major, and are grooving through a 12-bar blues arrangement. We are learning to strengthen our ability to transition between chords, and will be studying tunes from the legendary Bob Marley, such as “Three Little Birds” in the new year. Our goal is to break into small “bands” and add percussion along to our guitar skills. Students who are making great strides may wish to take the school guitars home to practice. Please reach out to me if you are interested, and I will be happy to make arrangements with students to do so.

Music Studio, Gr. 7-8: Joshua DeWitte

jdewitte@cpsd.us

7th Grade: Students continue to work on their film scoring projects. Having analyzed their films for hard and soft cues and composed motives, they are now adding the soundscape of the their films. We watched a few examples of how sound helps tell the story of a film. We discussed how to create background sounds and more prominent sounds. Students will wrap up their projects in January.

8th Grade: Students completed their PSA projects. We are now beginning a unit on American popular music. We will explore the essential question, why did African music have such a strong influence on American popular music? We have started the unit by exploring what American music is. I asked the question, if someone from another country asked them to make a mix of 3-5 songs that represent America, what songs would they choose? Using GarageBand, they are creating a “mix tape” of their own definition of “American Music.”

Spanish Grades 6-8: Mr. Paras 

nparas@cpsd.us

Grade 6 Spanish: We are working on classroom commands and giving instructions for classroom activities. We will be writing instructions in Spanish and then presenting them to the class to see if the class can follow them correctly. This will be done in both small groups and as a whole class exercise. Students will then be learning classroom objects. We will learn how to say what is in and what is not in a classroom as well tell the colors of classroom objects. At the end of this unit, we will be creating dream classrooms and writing about them.

Grade 7 Spanish: Grade 7 will be working on a few different things. One will be to review the conjugations of verbs. Students will then move onto using verbs correctly in creating sentences. Students will be going over sentence structure to help them create sentences. Breakfast and lunch will be next. We will start by learning vocabulary words and verbs that go along with breakfast and lunch. Students will then talk about what they usually eat for breakfast and lunch and then learn about what a typical meal is in a hispanic country. We will talk about our favorite drinks and foods. Students will then learn about their food plate to see what a healthy plate looks like. In class we will then discuss different foods from hispanic countries.

Grade 8 Spanish: Students will be working on the differences between the verbs ser and estar. Both verbs have the same meaning but much different uses and we will be practicing when we use each verb. Students will see pictures and have to describe the picture using the verbs ser and estar. In groups students will then spend time peer editing and then will make corrections with a partner. Grade 8 students will then have to follow a protocol in which a classmate will tell them to say a sentence about a specific topic using either ser or estar. Finally we will work on a reading in which students will read a paragraph or two at a time and then have to write in their own words what the paragraph is about using the verbs ser and estar.

French & Spanish: Sarah Bilodeau

sbilodeau@cpsd.us
 
6th Grade French: Students are creating storyboards about their favorite sports and leisure activities. They are telling about when they like to do these activities and in what weather conditions. After the break, they will read these stories aloud to peers.

7th Grade Spanish: Students finished writing stories about RAUC , describing a typical day at school and their classes. They read stories aloud to classmates and took notes on each other’s stories. This week, they are watching a Venezuelan children’s series and participating in communicative activities about what they see. After the break, they will begin a new unit about food and eating customs in different parts of the Spanish speaking world.

7th grade French: This week, students will watch a French film and participate in communicative and proficiency activities as they watch. After the break they will make movie posters and movie critiques for a mock TV broadcast. They will then begin a new unit about French cafés and food.

8th Grade French: This week, students will watch a French film and participate in communicative and proficiency activities as they watch. After the break, they will learn how to form verbs in the past tense and we will work on past tense narration. We will also create travel brochures for various regions of the Francophone world, including Port-au-Prince and Paris.

Art: Ms. Lee

llee@cpsd.us

6th graders are finishing up their “stained-glass” images. They have persevered through a lot of detailed cutting of both construction and tissue paper. Everyone was upbeat even through difficult-to-fix mistakes, such as gluing the tissue paper on the incorrect side of the project.

7th graders are building the armature of their creature masks. The armature is the framework (skeleton and “meat”) of the sculpture. Students are using 1-gallon water jugs as the main support and materials such as cereal boxes, newspapers, wire, bottle caps, and various found objects for the armature.

8th graders are 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.

Theater Arts: Grade 6 Ms. Elguindy

selguindy@cpsd.us

Sixth grade students are wrapping up a unit on creating a character voice on stage. They have been writing short scenes using dialogue then rehearsing and performing in front of the class. Up next we will be tying together all the skills learned so far in our actors toolbox to explore character objectives and obstacles in longer scenes.