CHA Specialists’ Newsletter

September 21, 2018

Kindergarten | First Grade | Second Grade | Third Grade | Fourth Grade | Fifth Grade

Kindergarten

This week at Art, Kindergarten students have finished with their first art project: self-portraits! They traced oval or circle templates, drew in their facial features, and colored them with chalk pastels and color pencils. The copies of their self-portraits on their lockers and we hope you enjoy their drawings as much as we do. We are off to a great start! Mrs. Choi is looking forward to have a creative year with them. 

This week in Library, Kindergarten students listened to a fun story by Patty Lovell titled “Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon”. We used a Thinking Map to discuss the main character of our story, and also watched a Brain Pop Jr. video on book selection. Each week students will visit Library twice for a 30 minute class. Check out days are as follows: Wednesday: Bernal, Thursday:  Newell, Palladino 

This week’s objectives in Kindergarten Music were rhythm patterns, unpitched percussion technique, steady pulse, same versus different, and following a conductor.  This week’s animal of study was the chicken family.  Games and activities included Chook Chook, Listen to the Hens, the Chicken Dance, and Chicken Talk.  Students also enjoyed following the conductor to the color game.  Lastly, students enjoyed learning their routine of doing some free improvisation upon entering the music classroom.  

This week in PE we have continued our scooter unit, generally moving more into strategic team play as the kids get more proficient at moving and self-propelling on four wheels. It really is fascinating to see how fast and effectively many of these kiddos move, and also how quickly everyone is improving! In all classes, we’ve worked hard on paying attention to how we transition, both individually and as a large group. From instructions to play, from moving from teacher to specialist, from play to line formation, etc., we’re all getting much better, and more self-aware and accountable. In Kindergarten, we moved onto scooting in a prostrate position, which is much harder than the seated position. They have to move their legs much differently, using different muscles as they do. As with anything, some pick up on it faster than others, but in general we tried very hard and had fun, so that’s what’s most important. 

This week in Spanish, Kindergarten learned a new feeling triste (sad). They also reviewed other feelings bien and mal. They also continued working on their flowers that contained all of the Spanish colors.

In technology, kindergarten familiarized themselves with using a mouse and practiced logging in to the school Kindergarten account.

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First Grade

This week at Art, First Grade students have finished with their first art project: self-portraits! They traced oval or circle templates, drew in their facial features, and colored them with chalk pastels and color pencils. The copies of their self-portraits on their lockers and we hope you enjoy their drawings as much as we do. We are off to a great start! 

This week in Library, First Grade students listened to a fun story by Patty Lovell titled “Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon”. We used a Thinking Map to discuss the main character of our story, and we also watched a Brain Pop Jr. video on book selection. Check out days are as follows: Tuesday: Chow, Moore.  Wednesday: Carver Thursday:  Wilcox

This week’s objectives in 1st Grade Music were steady pulse, same versus different, and up versus down.  1st graders practiced drawing to a steady beat with a cool rhythmic chant called I Think Music’s Neat.  They also added movements to Hickory, Dickory, Dock. And Two Little Apples.  Students also played a steady beat game called Monkey See and Monkey Do getting the chance to be the monkey in the middle that the whole class copies.  Students enjoyed learning their new routine of doing some free improvisation upon entering the music room. 

In first grade PE, we’ve played the perennial favorite, dodgeball, and will soon move to a more strategic team activity I call “protect the pins.” We’ve seen a little uptick in uber-competitive behavior and the age-old “he/she is supposed to be out!” accusation, which is so often followed up with the “No, it missed me!” claim, so we’ve paused here and there to discuss what it means to play responsibly and with integrity. I remind them that I shouldn’t have to police them and really cannot do that effectively anyway with so much going on. The kids have responded well to these conversations. 

This week in Spanish, First Grade reviewed the rules of el and la. When using la the word should end in –a and when the word ends in -b/z use el. They also learned about five new fruits and they also had to say what their favorite fruit is

In technology, first grade practiced quickly finding keys on the keyboard by playing typing games as well as completing a keyboard puzzle.

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Second Grade 

This week at Art, Second Grade students have finished with their first art project: self-portraits! They traced oval or circle templates, drew in their facial features, and colored them with chalk pastels and color pencils. The copies of their self-portraits on their lockers and we hope you enjoy their drawings as much as we do. We are off to a great start!  

This week in Library, Second Grade students listened to the story “The Recess Queen” by Alexis O’Neill and Laura Huliska-BeithWe also read “Wemberly Worried” by Kevin Henkes. These stories helped aid our discussion about kindness and friendship. We used a Thinking Map to identify characteristics of our main characters. Check out days are as follows: Wednesday: Duffina. Thursday: Fox,  Morman

This week’s objectives in 2nd Grade Music were steady pulse, rhythmic patterns, uninterrupted listening, and sol-mi intervals.  Students learned a rhythmic chant called I Can Keep a Beat.  They practiced singing sol (5th) to mi (3rd) over a drone to experience how these notes feel over the root note.  They reinforced sol-mi and added mallet parts to a song called Charlie Over the Ocean.  Finally, they practiced rhythm flash cards consisting of quarter/eighth note/quarter rest combinations.

In second grade PE, we’ve played the perennial favorite, dodgeball, and will soon move to a more strategic team activity I call “protect the pins.” We’ve seen a little uptick in uber-competitive behavior and the age-old “he/she is supposed to be out!” accusation, which is so often followed up with the “No, it missed me!” claim, so we’ve paused here and there to discuss what it means to play responsibly and with integrity. I remind them that I shouldn’t have to police them and really cannot do that effectively anyway with so much going on. The kids have responded well to these conversations. Some classes have been affected by the wonky schedule this week (they didn’t get their scheduled Friday gym time due to Walk-a-Thon), so we’ll have to catch those classes up later.

This week in Spanish, Second Grade learned about food. The students learned how to spell and pronounce each word.

In technology, second grade started a Me on the Map project. This week the focus was creating and adding words to the PowerPoint slides.

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Third Grade 

This week Art, Third Grade students have been putting a lot of effort into their self-portraits! Many students were excited about how their drawings are turning out nicely this year. This week, students finished with their sketches and started coloring facial features and background with color pencils and chalk pastels. Mrs. Choi asked the students to draw some details about themselves on the background. They enjoyed spending time on cool designs that represent themselves.  

This week in Library, Third Grade students listened to the story “The Recess Queen” by Alexis O’Neill and Laura Huliska-Beith. The story helped aid our discussion about kindness and friendship. We used a Thinking Map to identify characteristics of our main characters and watched a Brain Pop Jr. video on book selection. Check out days are as follows: Wednesday: Warenkiewicz, Watkins. Thursday:  Shamsen

This week’s objectives in 3rd Grade Music were Sol-mi-la patterns, AB form, whole note preparation, and quarter/eighth note rhythm combinations.  Students practiced singing various Sol (5th) - La (6th) - Mi (3rd) patterns over a drone to experience how these pitches feel over the root.  They incorporated these pitches singing and playing them on the xylophone to a song called The Golden Rule.  3rd Graders experienced quarter, half, and whole note pulses over the same song.  Lastly, they played a a really fun telephone game where they silently tap rhythms on each other’s backs down a line.  

In third grade PEwe’ve mostly played strategic team games, such as scooter handball/soccer, collectors (a game I made up to get them thinking of how to work most effectively as a team (think of it like the board game Hungry, Hungry Hippos only on scooters and with a variety of different sized balls and bean bags)), and protect the pins. I’m trying to let them play these kinds of games as much as possible with the hope that they will evolve their team approach, strategy, etc. That typically ends up occurring organically, provided that I can be patient enough to avoid interjecting! Then we discuss what works versus what does not. Basically, we’re working on team synergy….

This week in Spanish, Third Grade learned about bedroom items. The students learned how to spell and pronounce each word.  

In technology, third grade learned about the parts inside of a computer and the roles they play in devices we all use.

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Fourth Grade 

This Week at Art, Fourth Grade students have been putting a lot of effort into their self-portraits! Many students were excited about how their drawings are turning out nicely this year. This week, students finished with their sketches and started coloring facial features and background with color pencils and chalk pastels. Mrs. Choi asked the students to draw some details about themselves on the background. They enjoyed spending time on cool designs that represent themselves.  

This week in Library, Fourth Grade students reviewed library expectations and continued to practice using shelf markers. Mrs. Taylor’s class also had their first week of check out. Check out days are as follows: Monday: Taylor Thursday:  Springer

This week’s objectives in 4th Grade Music were lines and spaces on the staff, canon/round, steady pulse, chord bordun, and syncopation.  Students added mallet parts to a syncopated American folk song called I Want to Rise.  4th graders also learned or reviewed line and spaces on our treble clef staff in preparation for their upcoming recorder units.  Lastly, students composed a body percussion beat to La Bastrinque in AB form. 

In fourth grade PEwe have played a more strategic team activity I call “protect the pins.” As with other grades that have begun this game, we’ve seen a little uptick in uber-competitive behavior and the age-old “he/she is supposed to be out!” “or he/she is cheating” accusation, which is so often followed up with the “No, he/she is lying or wrong” claim, so we’ve paused here and there to discuss what it means to play responsibly and with integrity. I remind them that I shouldn’t have to police them and really cannot do that effectively anyway with so much going on. The kids have responded well to these conversations, and this overall issue is common when the competitive games are introduced. 

This week in Spanish, Fourth Grade reviewed their Spanish numbers. They had to practice listening to me and writing down what they heard. They also practiced saying their numbers with a partner. The students were also introduced to the program OneNote. They will be using this program to access any of their Spanish work and can use it at home if they need it. 

In technology, fourth grade brought their surfaces to class to learn some basic personalization and account management.

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 Fifth Grade 

This Week at Art, Fifth Grade students have been putting a lot of effort into their self-portraits! Many students were excited about how their drawings are turning out nicely this year. This week, students finished with their sketches and started coloring facial features and background with color pencils and chalk pastels. Mrs. Choi asked the students to draw some details about themselves on the background. They enjoyed spending time on cool designs that represent themselves.  

This week in Library, Fifth Grade students discussed the Adopt a- Shelf program for our CHA library. Next week we will continue the conversation and discuss different ways to demonstrate leadership during library time. Check out days are as follows: Tuesday: Norkus. Wednesday:  Dewitt

This week’s objectives in 5th Grade Music were rhythm patterns, ensemble work, and chord progressions.  5th graders continued to work on their first introductory mallet ensemble piece Balafon.  They also practiced singing a root/V ostinato over a Dominican folk song called Dis Solda La.   Lastly, we introduced Surfaces to the music classroom where students will be keeping a listening journal and have access to Soundtrap, an online music composition website.  

In fifth grade PEwe’ve mostly played strategic team games, such as scooter handball/soccer, collectors (a game I made up to get them thinking of how to work most effectively as a team (think of it like the board game Hungry, Hungry Hippos only on scooters and with a variety of different sized balls and bean bags)), and protect the pins. I’m trying to let them play these kinds of games as much as possible with the hope that they will evolve their team approach, strategy, etc. That typically ends up occurring organically, provided that I can be patient enough to avoid interjecting! Then we discuss what works versus what does not. Basically, we’re working on team synergy! 

This week in Spanish, Fifth Grade discussed how would a school day be said in Spanish. They talked about how each class is said in Spanish, what they use in those classes, and how they would describe it using an adjective. The students also wrote down their own schedule using what they had learned. 

In technology, fifth grade created posters for the Walk-A-Thon. You may have seen them posted around the school this week!

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