Specialists Bi-Weekly Update

April 29th 2022

Big picture

What is happening during WMS specials classes?


The specials classes are listed below.


Art: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Technology Education: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Health: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Music: 6th and 7th grade

Drama: 8th grade only

Physical Education: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Orchestra, Band and Chorus: 6th, 7th and 8th grade by student choice


Specials classes meet for 1 term every other day with the exception of physical education; physical education meets every other day all year. There are 4 terms in the school year, so your child will have all four specials by the end of the school year.

Art Class

We’ve begun our Term 4 Art Classes!


6th grade:

This course introduces students to a middle school mindset in art. It teaches students how to think and draw through the artistic process of brainstorming ideas, sketching, refining those ideas, reflecting on the work that’s being created in progress, assessing the direction to continue forward with, and ultimately creating a unique and polished piece of final work.


We’re working on learning how to draw Musical Instruments Realistically. We’ve chosen a Musical Instrument to draw and began with some exploring sketches; breaking that Instrument into “Simple Shapes” and “Lines and Angles.” Then we explored our Instruments through Contour, Blind Contour, Balanced Glance and Negative Space Sketches.


From there, we move on to Thumbnail Sketches. We usually do 3-5 Thumbnail Sketches where we try out different ways to fill the rectangle of our page in an interesting way; experimenting with Zooming In or Out, putting things on a diagonal and trying both vertical and horizontal page orientations. Then we pick a “favorite” version that might need some editing and refining before drafting it BIG on our final paper.


Learning Targets: MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

1. Artists draw what they see, not what they know.

I WILL take time to look at the object in front of me, SO I CAN draw “what I see,” not what “I think I know.”

2. Artists edit their work, they don’t expect the first thing they draw to look perfect right away.

I WILL take time to look at my paper, compare it to the object I’m looking at and be honest with myself about what looks good, and what needs fixing SO I CAN edit, refine and change what’s on my paper, to match what I’m seeing.


7th grade:

This course builds on using the artistic process and also emphasizes color theory and design elements. We will explore limited color palettes and strategic color choices. Students will also examine pattern, design texture, and how to lead a viewer through their work by making intentional choices about composition and emphasis.


We’re working on our Zentangle Drawings. We’re building this complicated drawing made from tiny shapes and adding many layers of details, coloring and complexity into our “Final Zentangles.” Students will learn how to "hide" their mistakes within these complex patterns, really analyzing what they have already drawn and learning to decide what to add next. This project really emphasizes composition and design.


Learning Target: ZENTANGLES

I can change my mistakes to make them look intentional, if I am thoughtful and reflective about the best way to “hide” them inside my complex pattern drawing.


8th grade:

This course focuses on realistic drawing. We will explore how to break objects into shapes, perspective drawing and shading. We will use a variety of media, both black and white and color based to explore these drawing techniques.


We’re beginning to learn about Perspective Drawing, where things that are closer to us look larger and then get smaller and smaller as they get further away. Perspective Drawing is a “formula” for drawing and has specific “rules” that make it easier to emphasize that larger to smaller proportion.


Learning Targets: PERSPECTIVE SKETCHBOOKS

Artists use Perspective to create 3-D depth within a 2-D piece of artwork.

How you can achieve this:

1. I can use “TRUE VERTICALS” “TRUE HORIZONTALS” “VANISHING POINTS” and “LINES THAT MEET THE VANISHING POINT” to draw buildings in Perspective, which shows things that are closer to us looking bigger, and things that are further away getting smaller.

2. I can use perspective drawing “tricks” to make 2-D drawings look 3D on the page.


Advanced Art 7th grade:

This course focuses on independent projects based on student interest; examples being realistic drawing, color rendering, painting, printmaking and sculpture. We will work through the artistic process and examine and critique our work as we develop complex and refined final projects.


For our first project, we’ve started by making work for the “2022 WATERTOWN COMMUNITY MINUMENTAL ART SHOW.” All work will be displayed in the WHS lobby this spring/summer, as well as presented in an online format- Details to follow. Students can choose from a wide variety of materials and subject matter; the main requirement of this assignment is that it can only be 2”x2” in size!


Advanced Art 8th grade:

This course focuses on independent projects based on student interest; examples being realistic drawing, color rendering, painting, printmaking and sculpture. We will work through the artistic process and examine and critique our work as we develop complex and refined final projects.


We recently finished up our Realistic Object Drawings and have moved on to making work the “2022 WATERTOWN COMMUNITY MINUMENTAL ART SHOW.” All work will be displayed in the WHS lobby this spring/summer, as well as presented in an online format- Details to follow. Students can choose from a wide variety of materials and subject matter; the main requirement of this assignment is that it can only be 2”x2” in size!

Our next project is a Printmaking Project; students have a choice between a painted Monoprint Landscape or a Carved Linoleum Print. Examples to follow soon!


We’re so excited about the success of the Watertown Public Schools Grades 6-12 Visual Art Show. Thank you to everyone who came to see the show while it was up in the Watertown Mall.

Here’s a few highlights:

Big picture
Big picture

Music/Drama

6th Grade: Students taking music this term are learning from the Fine, Applied, and Performing Arts director himself, Mr. Rick Sauders! For more information on the content of their classes, please reach out to him.


7th Grade: Welcome to a new term of Music! Students are already hard at work, digging into the nitty-gritty of the elements of music through a variety of listening, composing, and synthesizing activities. Paired with body percussion (which they’re rocking and rolling on), there’s already a huge amount of growth happening with your young musicians!


8th Grade: Lights, camera, drama! With a whole new group of young thespians this term, we have jumped right into our first unit. Students will learn how to define “theater” as well as what language they need in order to navigate the stage! Soon we will launch into scene work using contentless scenes that allow students to design their own narrative within the confines of the script.

Technology Education

6th grade: Greetings from WMS Technology Education(Tech Ed)! This week students have been introduced to the class topics in Tech Ed for the term, and we’ve had some spirited discussions around structures and their types and properties, and identified many examples near and far. Next week we will begin exploring bridges specifically, and get to understand their types and styles. Soon we will be discussing related forces and loads, in preparation for their team projects designing and building deck structures.


7th grade: Greetings from WMS Technology Education(Tech Ed)! This week students have been introduced to the class topics in Tech Ed for the term, and we’ve begun defining systems generally, and in particular transportation system types. We’ve started looking at modes of transportation that fit into each category, and then explored a few unique ones that transcend multiple mediums of travel. Next week we will begin exploring ‘transportation subsystems’ and their functions with examples, in preparation for their culminating rocket design/build projects and launches in the second half of the term.


8th grade: 8th grade: Greetings from WMS Technology Education(Tech Ed)! This week students have been introduced to the class topics in Tech Ed for the term, and begun exploring ‘engineering’ and what it is all about. We’ve discussed and analyzed the Engineering Design Process, and have been looking at examples of the steps in action through excerpts of the WGBH show, Design Squad. Next week we will explore a case study on the Engineering Design Process in which a premiere design firm, IDEO, redesigns the shopping cart for Nightline. We will then debrief and analyze what we saw in relation to the design process. Pretty soon into the term the students will form groups and design, build and program a number of autonomous robots using Lego Mindstorms kits, to experience hands-on design challenges for themselves

Health

6th grade: We have started term 4 this week, so there is a whole new group of students in Health class! Here is the link to our parent/guardian letter home. This explains what Health class is all about at WMS. This past week students have been working on letters to their 9th grade selves which they will read when getting to WHS.


7th grade: We have started term 3 this week, so there is a whole new group of students in Health class! Here is the link to our parent/guardian letter home. This explains what Health class is all about at WMS. This past week we have been reviewing what everyone learned in 6th grade Health class.


8th grade: We have started term 4 this week, so there is a whole new group of students in Health class! Here is the link to our parent/guardian letter home. This explains what Health class is all about at WMS. This past week we have been talking about the seven dimensions of wellness and completing our wellness wheels.

Physical Education

THIS WEEK IN PE: We are going to try to be outside as often as we can as we finish out the school year. This week Mr. Johnson’s classes are doing Kickball-type games (Longball, Kickball, Matball). Ms. McLaughlin’s class is back in the Fitness center. If we are outside Ms. McLaughlin’s class will start racquet games.


REMINDERS: PLEASE BRING A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE TO CLASS!!

Orchestra

WMS Spring Orchestra Concert, with Guest Performance by All-City Orchestra on May 24, 2022. Concert begins at 6:30, students should arrive at 6:00.

Chorus

The choruses at WMS are deep in rehearsal mode in preparation for their concert next month! Our 6th grade group is on their way to finishing the learning stages of their second individual piece and will be jumping into their last piece in the next week or so. While most of our music is in 2-parts, 6th graders have stepped up to the challenge, learning some tunes in 3-part harmony! The ⅞ group is also hard at work on their second piece. Singing mostly in 3-parts, this more advanced group has been very quick to pick up new harmonies, challenging themself with high school level tunes! In addition to the Spring concert, our 7/8s are also preparing for a performance with the high school. Both ensembles will have the chance to perform as one at the upcoming Spring concert as an ensemble of 50!


WHS SPRING CONCERT (featuring our 7/8s) IS ON WEDNESDAY, 5/18 @ 7PM

WMS SPRING ORCH/CHORUS CONCERT IS ON TUESDAY, 5/24 @ 6:30


WMS Chorus T-Shirts are ready to be ordered! Students were sent home with the form, but just in case, you can find it here. We are offering financial assistance to any families that cannot afford shirts as well as opportunities for community members to donate a shirt!

Band

Please visit the Band S'MORE directly: https://www.smore.com/xsk9v