CHA Specialists’ Newsletter

October 26, 2018

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

Kindergarten

This week at Art, Kindergarten students read a book called, I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll. After reading the book, we created our own monster puppet with paper. Their monstered turned out very different and creative.

This week in Library, Kindergarten students participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. This annual campaign strives to highlight the importance of early literacy for children by involving schools and families. Kindergarten listened to the story “Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell. We discussed the story and created our own mural to display in the library 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 steady pulse, dramatic play, phrase, and unpitched percussion technique.  Students explored their final farm activity using movement to express Sandra Boynton’s book Barnyard Dance set to Copland’s Hoe-Down from Rodeo.   They had fun moving to With My Little Broom, a rhyme that emphasizes steady pulse and phrase.  Kindergarteners also played instruments on a circle game to Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater.  And finally, they added movements to the Halloween song We Are Scary Skeletons. 

In PE, we have begun by introducing the most basic and often-used method of passing in soccer, the push pass. It is a very effective, accurate, and easy way to get the ball from point A to B, especially over a relatively short distance. To develop this skill, we’ve practiced in small groups and challenged ourselves by attempting to knock whiffle balls off cones on which they’re perched. We did this in groups and made it competitive, with each group attempting to knock off three balls before the other groups.  We are also working on the very basics of dribbling (also referred to as “carrying”) the ball and trapping (which is essentially how one receives a soccer ball). Contrary to popular belief, when dribbling it is important to use the outside of the pinkie toe, all while pointing the foot downward with a locked ankle. This technique helps keep the ball close to the body. And there are all kinds of ways to trap, but we are, of course, working on the basics for now.  Relay races and other semi-competitive activities are often used as good opportunities for students to apply what they learn. For example, they receive a pass by trapping the ball, then carry/dribble it straight to a designated cone, round the cone, dribble to another point, and then use the push pass to send the ball to the next person. Eventually we add cones they must go between and zigzag through, etc.  Kindergarten had their field trip Friday, so they missed their “round two” of weekly P.E. 

This week in Spanish, Kindergarten finished their books of colors. They drew a picture on every single page and colored the picture the designated color. These books can be found in their Friday folders. They also worked on their Day of the Dead picture. They discussed that these paper sugar skulls should not be scary, but colorful. The celebration is all about celebrating life and not being spooky. 

In technology, kindergarten practiced reading, comprehension, and pattern matching skills on The Big Bus. Students learning to read played a word making game in which they selected the letters in the correct order. Students comfortable reading chose the correct word to insert into a sentence. Students also played a pattern matching game, selecting the parts of the puzzle which needed to be changed in order to match the picture.

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First Grade

This week at Art, First Grade students had a great time working on the Paper Cat Sculpture project. We briefly talked about the difference between 2D art and 3D sculpture. Then the students followed steps to create very cute and fun cat sculptures.

This week in Library, First Grade students participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. This annual campaign strives to highlight the importance of early literacy for children by involving schools and families. First Grade listened to the story “Maybe Something Beautiful” by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell. We discussed the story and created our own mural to display in the library. Check out days are as follows: Tuesday: Chow, Moore.  Wednesday: Carver Thursday:  Wilcox

This week’s objectives in 1st Grade Music were vocal qualities, dynamics, labeling ta and ti-ti, and steady pulse.  It was Halloween week in the music room this week.  Activities included a traditional dynamic poem called Stirring My Brew, adding rhythmic visual representations to the song Big Black Cats, a mallet activity called Candy Store, steady pulse movements to Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King, figuring out phrases to the nursery rhyme Little Jack Pumpkin Face, and a steady beat mallet activity called What Will you Be?

In PE, we have begun by introducing the most basic and often-used method of passing in soccer, the push pass. It is a very effective, accurate, and easy way to get the ball from point A to B, especially over a relatively short distance. To develop this skill, we’ve practiced in small groups and challenged ourselves by attempting to knock whiffle balls off cones on which they’re perched. We did this in groups and made it competitive, with each group attempting to knock off three balls before the other groups.  We are also working on the very basics of dribbling (also referred to as “carrying”) the ball and trapping (which is essentially how one receives a soccer ball). Contrary to popular belief, when dribbling it is important to use the outside of the pinkie toe, all while pointing the foot downward with a locked ankle. This technique helps keep the ball close to the body. And there are all kinds of ways to trap, but we are, of course, working on the basics for now. Relay races and other semi-competitive activities are often used as good opportunities for students to apply what they learn. For example, they receive a pass by trapping the ball, then carry/dribble it straight to a designated cone, round the cone, dribble to another point, and then use the push pass to send the ball to the next person. Eventually we add cones they must go between and zigzag through, etc. We have now moved into striking the ball for power, which is essentially shooting, but not always. In fact, I’m resisting the temptation to refer to it as “shooting” because there are other applications, such as making a long pass or attempting to land a ball in the outfield in a kickball game. As expected, they are a bit ahead of kindergarten, so we are able to accelerate the rigor and pace a bit and challenge them even more. Since this is my first year here, I’m assessing what we already know and what still may need to be introduced and/or reinforced. It is especially difficult for our resident soccer players to be patient as we move through the skills they already know, so I’m trying to use those who are a bit ahead to assist those for whom this is new or not quite so easy.  

This week in Spanish, First Grade continued to work on their Day of the Dead craft. The students created a skeleton or calaca to resemble the decorations used for alters on the Day of the Dead. They their calaca included marigolds flowers, colorful decoration, and a party hat. 

In technology, first grade completed their science vocabulary projects. They learned how to insert, resize, and place the picture next to the appropriate word, and they learned to print, first checking the preview. Students who did not print will have the opportunity to finish next week.


Second Grade 

This week at Art, Second Grade students finished with the Dia de los Muertos metal embossing project. They were very proud of their creations! 

This week in Library, Second Grade students participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. This annual campaign strives to highlight the importance of early literacy for children by involving schools and families. Second Grade listened to the story “Maybe Something Beautiful” by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell. We also discussed fiction vs. non-fiction text and watched a Brain Pop on non-fiction stories.  Check out days are as follows: Wednesday: Duffina. Thursday: Fox,  Morman

This week’s objectives in 2nd Grade Music were quarter and eighth note patterns, movement improvisation, melodic contour, and mallet technique.  2nd graders made rhythms out of ghost flash cards to the song Must Be Halloween.  They also added a simple melody to a Kentucky Folk song called Skin and Bones.  Finally, students had fun exploring movement improvisation to Charles Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette.  

In PE, we have begun by introducing the most basic and often-used method of passing in soccer, the push pass. It is a very effective, accurate, and easy way to get the ball from point A to B, especially over a relatively short distance. To develop this skill, we’ve practiced in small groups and challenged ourselves by attempting to knock whiffle balls off cones on which they were perched. We did this in groups and made it competitive, with each group attempting to knock off three balls before the other groups.  We are also working on the very basics of dribbling (also referred to as “carrying”) the ball and trapping (which is essentially how one receives a soccer ball). Contrary to popular belief, when dribbling it is important to use the outside of the pinkie toe, all while pointing the foot downward with a locked ankle. This technique helps keep the ball close to the body. And there are all kinds of ways to trap, but we are, of course, working on the basics for now.  Relay races and other semi-competitive activities are often used as good opportunities for students to apply what they learn. For example, they receive a pass by trapping the ball, then carry/dribble it straight to a designated cone, round the cone, dribble to another point, and then use the push pass to send the ball to the next person. Eventually we add cones they must go between and zigzag through, etc. We have now moved into striking the ball for power, which is essentially shooting, but not always. In fact, I’m resisting the temptation to refer to it as “shooting” because there are other applications, such as making a long pass or attempting to land a ball in the outfield in a kickball game. As expected, they are a bit ahead of kindergarten and first grade, so we are able to accelerate the rigor and pace a bit and challenge them even more. Since this is my first year here, I’m assessing what we already know and what still may need to be introduced and/or reinforced. It is especially difficult for our resident soccer players to be patient as we move through the skills they already know, so I’m trying to use those who are a bit ahead to assist those for whom this is new or not quite so easy. 

This week in Spanish, Second Grade continued to work on their Day of the Dead craft. The students decorated a paper skull with colorful colors. They also worked on their food and beverage menu. The students added three foods and beverages along with a reasonable price. This way the students continue to practice reading and writing the Spanish foods and beverages they are learning.  

In technology, second grade completed their Me on the Map projects. Students added transitions to make the presentation more exciting, and printed, changing the printer settings first. Students who finished early had the opportunity to explore Google Earth, or to create their own PowerPoint about any topic of their choosing. 

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Third Grade 

This week at Art, Third Grade students took a short break from the Tree Weaving project and started working on the Dia de los Muertos skeleton sculpture project. Inspired by La Catrina dolls, the students made skeleton sculptures dressing up and having Mexican decoration on the skulls.  First, they learned to make a skull with the white model magic, then they used only primary colors to create the outfit for the skeleton. 

This week in Library, Third Grade students discussed fiction vs. nonfiction stories. We also discussed graphic novels and watched author Kazu Kibuishi’s explanation of the eight book in the Amulet series. Students were excited to learn that the author is working on one more book to complete the series.  Check out days are as follows: Wednesday: Warenkiewicz, Watkins. Thursday:  Shamsen

This week’s objectives in 3rd Grade Music were steady pulse, vocal repertoire, quarter note-half note-whole note distinction.  Students began exploring some repertoire from the U.S. and East Africa that they’ll be performing at Bellevue Square and this year’s Festival of Peace and Light in December.  Students also were assessed on their understanding of quarter, half, and whole note pulses over some recorded music.  3rd graders also learned a partner game called Double Trouble that emphasizes steady pulse. 

In PE, we began with a game called longball, a combination of kickball and cricket, for lack of a better way to explain it. In this game, they decide strategically how and where to kick the ball since placement can be important. We haven’t discussed the different techniques much yet; instead I’m allowing them to more or less find out what works versus what does not. Then we’ll discuss exactly this and work on a variety of kicking techniques, applying those techniques to other games and activities, which may include actual kickball if the weather allows. This week we have played a soccer simulation with small-sided games and lots of goalkeepers. The kids are seemingly having lots of fun and definitely getting some good exercise! Now that they’re familiar with the game, I’m attempting to get them to focus more on team play versus individual success. This is especially difficult for our many kids who play soccer on the side.  Again, as they move into the higher grades, I expect a greater level of communication, synergy, strategic planning, etc. That isn’t always the case, though! Instead, the tendency is often for some kids to either self-exclude or to be given roles that do not allow them to be as involved. We are working hard to be good teammates and to be confident and assertive as well. As students have grown up, they have seemingly fallen into these roles of “athletes”, “non-athletes”, etc. I see this less and less in the younger grades, for obvious reasons. One of my goals is to help move the kids past this, the sooner the better. 

This week in Spanish, Third Grade continued working on the bedroom project using the program KidPix. Many of the students finished drawing their bedroom items and started typing the name of every single item. This helps the students practice their reading and writing of the Spanish bedroom items they are learning. The students also continued working on their Day of the Dead craft. The students added accessories like party hats, guitars, and bows. 

In technology, third grade began exploring Microsoft Publisher. Students were shown how to open the document, and create a text box, then encouraged to explore on their own. The students showed familiarity with some features which are also available in Word and PowerPoint, and many discovered new features available only in Publisher. We will use Publisher throughout the remainder of the trimester in conjunction with core subjects.

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Fourth Grade 

This week at Art, Fourth Graders continued working on the Spooky Pumpkin drawing with oil pastels. 

This week in Library, Fourth Grade students discussed the Dewey Decimal System and the book organization of libraries. We will continue our discussion next week and complete a Dewey Decimal activity. Check out days are as follows: Monday: Taylor Thursday:  Springer

This week’s objectives in 4th Grade Music were recorder technique and reading notes on the staff.  Students learned and reviewed B, A, G, and E.  This week’s belt tests included white, yellow, orange, and green.  Students were also given an arrangement of the CHA school song for recorder.  They are invited to perform the song on the recorder with me at the Veterans Day assembly in November. 

In PE, we began with a game called longball, a combination of kickball and cricket, for lack of a better way to explain it. In this game, they decide strategically how and where to kick the ball since placement can be important. We haven’t discussed the different techniques much yet; instead I’m allowing them to more or less find out what works versus what does not this week, and then we’ll discuss exactly this and work on a variety of kicking techniques, applying those techniques to other games and activities, which may include actual kickball if the weather allows.  This week we have played a soccer simulation with small-sided games and lots of goalkeepers. The kids are seemingly having lots of fun and definitely getting some good exercise! Now that they’re familiar with the game, I’m attempting to get them to focus more on team play versus individual success. This is especially difficult for our many kids who play soccer on the side.  Again, as they move into the higher grades, I expect a greater level of communication, synergy, strategic planning, etc. That isn’t always the case, though! Instead, the tendency is often for some kids to either self-exclude or to be given roles that do not allow them to be as involved. We are working hard to be good teammates and to be confident and assertive as well. As students have grown up, they have seemingly fallen into these roles of “athletes”, “non-athletes”, etc. I see this less and less in the younger grades, for obvious reasons. One of my goals is to help move the kids past this, the sooner the better. 

This week in Spanish, Fourth Grade took their chapter PE test. The test measured their understanding of greetings, telling time, and feminine and masculine articles. The students also started making sugar skull for the celebration of the Day of the Dead. They made the mold of the sugar skull and next week the students will decorate them with edible markers. The students also started making a craft to go along with their sugar skull that represents decorations used on alter or ofrendas

In technology, fourth grade explored designing 3D objects in Tinker Cad. Due to this week’s field trip, Mrs. Taylor’s class will do this next week. After each class has a chance to explore, they will begin creating a totem pole in conjunction with social studies’ PNW tribes.

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 Fifth Grade 

This week at Art, Fifth Grade students continued working on the Radial Balance Name Design project. 

This week in Library, Fifth Grade students discussed the book organization of libraries and completed a Dewel Decimal system activity. We will continue our discussion next week and will begin preparing for our November author visit.  Check out days are as follows: Tuesday: Norkus. Wednesday:  Dewitt

This week’s objectives in 5th Grade Music were vocal repertoire, mallet technique, and ensemble work.  5th graders reviewed some songs we’ll be performing at this year’s Veteran’s Day Assembly, as well as the Festival of Peace and Light.  They also reviewed and learned some African mallet entrance and exit music.  Finally, they enjoyed a free day for their outstanding behavior in music so far this year. 

In PE, we began with a game called longball, a combination of kickball and cricket, for lack of a better way to explain it. In this game, they decide strategically how and where to kick the ball since placement can be important. We haven’t discussed the different techniques much yet; instead I’m allowing them to more or less find out what works versus what does not this week. Then we’ll discuss exactly this and work on a variety of kicking techniques, applying those techniques to other games and activities, which may include actual kickball if the weather remains nice. This week we have played a soccer simulation with small-sided games and lots of goalkeepers. The kids are seemingly having lots of fun, and definitely getting some good exercise! Now that they’re familiar with the game, I’m attempting to get them to focus more on team play versus individual success. This is especially difficult for our many kids who play soccer on the side.  Again, as they move into the higher grades, I expect a greater level of communication, synergy, strategic planning, etc. That isn’t always the case, though! Instead, the tendency is often for some kids to either self-exclude or to be given roles that do not allow them to be as involved. We are working hard to be good teammates and to be confident and assertive as well. As students have grown up, they have seemingly fallen into these roles of “athletes”, “non-athletes”, etc. I see this less and less in the younger grades, for obvious reasons. One of my goals is to help move the kids past this, the sooner the better. 

This week in Spanish, Fifth Grade took their chapter 2A test. The test measured their understanding of schedules, subjects, adjectives, and conjugations. The students also started making sugar skull for the celebration of the Day of the Dead. They made the mold of the sugar skull and next week the students will decorate them with edible markers. The students also started making a craft to go along with their sugar skull that represents decorations used on alter or ofrendas

In technology, fifth grade continued work on their book trailersThey have begun to add music and record narrations on their projects. As students complete their projects in the coming weeks, they will have a chance to present their project to the class.

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