The Amazing Things You Do!

Fine Arts & PE in District 34

Thank you is not enough!

This week was filled with amazing adventures for our students that continue to show the phenomenal dedication and innovation being used in our Fine Arts and PE classrooms. I feel so lucky to be able to come into each school and share these moments with the children, it makes the days so special for me. Below please find some photos and video of these events to continue to share some of the creative strategies that are being used to engage kids in PE and the arts in District 34.

Thank you!


Below you will see:

$1 Million Dollars! for Jump Rope for Heart at Pleasant Ridge

GEF Bicycles at Henking

Hip Hop Dancing at Hoffman

GEF Band/Orchestra Nota Chairs at Pleasant Ridge, Hoffman, and Glen Grove

Makey Makey Instruments at Hoffman

Glen Grove Band Rehearsal

Glen Grove Orchestra Concert

Pleasant Ridge 5th Grade Monologues

Jump Rope for Heart- $1 Million Dollars at Pleasant Ridge

Pleasant Ridge is going to reach the million dollar mark in their fundraising efforts for the American Heart Association. Dave Jones has been leading this activity for 28 years, and on February 12th this group of kids will reach this enormous milestone. For perspective, there are approximately 28,000 schools in the nation that do one of the American Heart Association events. Pleasant Ridge is 1 of 3 schools to ever reach this goal. Bravo to the PR kids, our community, Dave Jones, and Kate Leckenby!

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Glen Grove Band Rehearsal

As I walked down the halls of Glen Grove I could hear glorious sounds coming from the gym, and of course it was Cindy and her 4th grade band. The room was filled with excitement as they ran through a song they had only played once in lessons. The kids sounded great! I am still amazed at how our intermediate band and orchestra teachers set up all of these chairs and stands in record time for rehearsals. I could only hope to have that kind of energy right before leading a rehearsal of 90+ kids. Thank you for all you do!

Makey Makey Instruments

Amy Banas and Linda Schober are turning STEM into STEAM with their innovative Makey Makey instrument project. Students will use Coding in General Music to compose a melodic pattern that connects to the Makey Makey. In Visual Art students will design their own abstract hybrid musical instrument that connects to the Makey Makey and eventually can be touched to play the music that was composed in General Music. Forgive me if I don't explain it right, because this type of thing is only done in Science Fiction movies and apparently at Hoffman, soooooo I still don't quite get it. Bravo to you and the kids, really fantastic work!
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Hoffman Hip Hop Dancing for "Annie Junior"

This week Hoffman has an artist in residence that is working with the kids on a Hip Hop version of "It's a Hard Knock Life" for their upcoming production of “Annie Junior.” Viola Elkins has toured and choreographed with top hip hop artists such as Jay Z, R.Kelley, and Nick Cannon. Focusing on sequencing patterns of movement that tell a story, Viola will help bring each class to their highest potential and assist with building a solid dance ensemble. Bravo to the Hoffman 5th graders, Kristen Cone, and all of the brave teachers who I saw dancing along with the class!

GEF Nota Chairs at Hoffman, Glen Grove, and Pleasant Ridge

Thank you to the GEF for our new Nota Chairs! and Thank you to our teachers for writing this fantastic grant! These chairs are being used in intermediate band and orchestra classrooms to help teach proper posture to our 4th and 5th grade musicians. Starting them off with the right posture will impact their playing for the rest of their lives. Nota provides rear and forward seating positions that allow musicians to sit in the manner that best suits their style and instrument.

Glen Grove Orchestra Concert

Bravo Andrew and the Glen Grove Orchestra for a great concert! The 4th grade parents were so proud of their little musicians as they embarked on their first concert. The kids played through their music with great focus and dedication to the task at hand. It was absolutely adorable to see. I had a date with me, my 4-year-old son, who quickly ran up to Andrew after the concert to ask if he could play a Bass. I am hoping he ends up with something smaller that fits in his backpack like a trumpet (not drum sticks), but maybe this was the moment he picked his future instrument?! Only time will tell. Thank you Andrew!

Pleasant Ridge Monologue time!

Bravo to the Pleasant Ridge students and their monologue performances! Each student read a monologue that approached childhood fairytales and story books from the perspective of a different main character than we are used to hearing from. I enjoyed listening to Hermione complain about Harry Potter, which was all done with a very convincing British accent from one of our little actresses. Thank you Becky for a great morning of acting and performing from your kids!

GEF Indoor Bicycles at Henking

Julie and Bill received their bicycle stands at Henking to make the bikes usable indoors during the winter months. This was just phenomenal! The kids were out of their minds excited to be riding bikes in the gym while taking a virtual tour of Henking's hallways. A student used a GoPro to create this tour for the classes that includes practice stopping at stop signs, and even what to do at train tracks. Today they were going to have the kids read a book on the screen, and listen to the story while they biked. How amazing is this! Bill of course insisted that I try the bikes and I am not one to disagree with Bill Norberg, so away I went! Thank you for a great afternoon with your kids!