LS Special Area Update

December 2014

Happy Holidays from the special area teachers!

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ART with Mrs. Hicks

DECKING THE HALLS...from the art room!

The students only have two or three art classes before dismissal for winter break, but they are busily making all sorts of handmade crafts into works of art! I love this time of year when their hearts are full of happiness and the giggles are endless (It makes for a very creative atmosphere). I don't want to tell you exactly what they are making because it will ruin your surprise when they bring home all of their creations. I can tell you their little hands are busy cutting, gluing, glittering, twisting, painting, rolling, pinching, pressing, stringing, weaving, wrapping, folding and stamping (whew!).

On a side note, if you haven't been by the bulletin board in the Lower School Commons, we have fourteen pieces of art on display that were featured in the North Florida Fair Youth Art Show last month. They all won a ribbon! YEA! We also have two of our students' artwork hanging in the City Hall Art Gallery in the Winterfest Youth Art Show. Congratulations to Shayna Perry and Brooks Bowden! If you have time, you can also view the Middle and Upper School artwork from the Fair on display in the Maclay Library.

I hope you and your family share some creative time together over this peaceful holiday!

Lerning to code with Mr. G


All systems are GO in the Lower School Technology lab this month – Kindergarten continues their quest for keyboard Recognition – ‘Hello letter A, how are you doing today? I’ll be needing you in a few so just sit tight, I know where to find you...’ First & Second Grade continue to work with Powerpoint, adding to an already impressive arsenal of skills and tools…Formatting Backgrounds, Inserting images, and now (what I like to call the poor man's introduction to Programming) CUSTOM ANIMATION – understanding sequencing of events, ex.) Banana FLIES IN FROM RIGHT, Ice Cream Cone FLIES IN FROM LEFT (WITH PREVIOUS so they are coming in at the same time and collide in the middle) – Explosion Star APPEARS AFTER PREVIOUS and Banana and Ice Cream DISAPPEAR WITH PREVIOUS…then Explosion star DISAPPEARS AFTER PREVIOUS and a BANANA SPLIT image is inserted and APPEARS AFTER PREVIOUS…head swimming yet? Each action of Animation appears like a line of code in a specific order so the events play out in the right sequence. Its like making an animated cartoon – and sound effects/’soundtrack’ can be added for extra emphasis. ‘Mister G, George Lucas on line one – he wants to talk to a few of your Second Graders about an upcoming project … THE HOUR OF CODE - – technically it begins Dec. 8, but we are getting a head start on the action… THIRD GRADE has been creating some Custom Animation projects of their own, but are now moving into the HOUR OF CODE and beyond. The future is coding – ABC’s, 123’s, and IF THEN LOOP SEQUENCES – great activities that develop critical thinking skills and teach things that were/are probably taught at a college level – the link is listed above or it is also on the Maclay Website under Faculty, Dean Gargiulo – THE HOUR OF CODE. Try some of these activities on your next family fun night, but be prepared to be challenged by your own resident Lower Schooler!

P.E. with Coaches Harris, Droze, Clayton, Bunch, Riggins, Hall, McGrotha and Sherrod

K-2nd Grade Upcoming Units:

Coach Bunch/Riggins – Stars War Ball, Kicking, Presidential Fitness

Coach Hall – Tennis, Self-Made Game, Presidential Fitness

Coach Harris – Pillo Pollo, Basketball, Presidential Fitness

Coach McGrotha - Basketball (Ball Handling), Various Games, Presidential Fitness

Coach Sherrod – Handball, Speed and Agility, Presidential Fitness

3rd-5th Grade Upcoming Units:

Coach Clayton – Basketball, Coordination/Spatial Awareness, Presidential Fitness

Coach Harris - Pillo Polo, Basketball, Presidential Fitness

Coach McGrotha – Basketball (Ball Handling), Various Games, Presidential Fitness

Friendly Reminders:

The temperature is dropping so please send students to school with Jackets or Coats. Also, if your child is wearing sandals or dress shoes please remember to pack his or her sneakers into his or her backpack.

P.E. Schedule:

Kindergarten - Monday - Thursday 9:30-10 am

2nd Grade - Monday - Thursday 9:00-9:30 am

3rd Grade - Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:15 am & Friday 8:30-9:15 am

4th Grade - Monday, Wednesday, & Friday - 10:00-10:45 am

5th Grade - Monday, Wednesday, & Friday ​- 10:45-11:30 am

Save The Date!

Field Day 2015 - Friday, May 15, 2014

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DRAMA with Ms. Thomas

K & 1

Kindergarten & 1st grade students are continuing to develop their creative expressions by participating in group warm-ups, pantomime, story dramatization & theatre games. They will learn what a character is. Students will create characters using feelings, actions, and behavior. They will portray their characters and explain the choices they made to develop them. Students will demonstrate an understanding of character through improvisation. Students will imagine and clearly describe their characters through performance. Our story for December is ‘The Elves & the Shoemaker’. The students will act out the actions on stage. They will relate a character's actions and emotions and create the setting and demonstrate that they are able to use various volumes with their voices. Students show that they understand that certain situations call for certain voice levels. Students show that they can control the level/volume of their voices.

Grades 2 – 5 Students are learning Stage Directions and Blocking. Students will understand the “principles of blocking” and how to stage a scene. This lesson teaches the beginning actor basic stage directions and stage positions. They will develop short improvisations utilizing effective stage directions and a variety of actor positions. Additionally, each student will learn the concept and practice of sharing, giving, and taking the stage. We are also learning how to read a script with fluency and expression and identify stage directions in a script, Students use their voices, facial expressions and hand gestures to interpret characters in scripts. We are reading a play called ‘A Royal Christmas’. The students will act out a segment of the story on stage with scripts in hand, they will switch roles allowing others to enact the same scenes. They are learning and demonstrating the characteristics of a good stage voice. This is great preparation for the auditions in January for the annual spring plays.

During the month of December 4th & 5th grade students participate in the Tropicana Public Speaking Program. In drama class we are working on the presentation of their speeches; using skills such as keeping focused, audience bond, delivery, pronunciation, articulation, volume, speed, using gestures & having good posture. The goal is to help students to feel more comfortable speaking in front of a group of people.

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LIBRARY with Ms. Browning

The past couple weeks have been filled with sprucing up the library for the holidays. We have rotating themed book displays with many holiday titles for your child to enjoy. The lower school library is currently decorated with displays created using recycled books. Come check out our green décor!

Recently, kindergarten and first grade were read “Balloons Over Broadway”, the story of the creator of the first Macys Day Thanksgiving parade, and are making puppets inspired by the story. Second grade completed an introduction to biographies unit and compared the folk hero Pocahontas to modern day heroes. Third through fifth grade will be completing research projects in the library, including a fourth grade research unit on the book “The Talking Earth”. They will be investigating the culture of the Seminole tribe and learning more about the Florida Everglades.

All fourth and fifth graders have their Follett BryteWave ebook app set-up on their tablets and can read and download over 1200 ebooks and audiobooks for free! If you or your child have any favorite titles you would like to see in our collection, encourage your child to drop a note in our suggestion box. We will be having a very exciting month before the holiday break!

MUSIC with Ms. Nyers

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SPANISH with sra. Willis

November and December are busy months in the Spanish classroom, the highlight of this period of time is to prepare for our performance in the LS Holiday Sing-Along on Friday, December 19th. Also, this quarter is relevant because of the activities we are using to promote communication, verbal fluency, interaction using the language and proper pronunciation. These activities include learning to recite poetry, listen to conversations that use vocabulary in context, read dialogues aloud, and sing. The listening, repetition, reading aloud, and speaking are a great practice to enhance every student’s auditory learning skills and memory.

So far I am very pleased with the performance and participation of the students. I enjoy seeing my students have fun and it seems to me that they feel comfortable and they have assimilated the dynamics of the class. The strategies used to teach vocabulary, poems and songs include visuals, movement, tone, and mimicry to activate comprehensible input, prior knowledge, and the student’s ability to infer.

A day in the Spanish classroom starts with students telling time, date, and describing the weather; Also, as part of the routine we review phonics of special characters, and I encourage children to use phrases, in the target language, and to ask for things in the class that are commonly used in everyday language.

Kindergarten through third grade are working on learning the songs “Rodolfo el Reno” and “Ocho candelitas.”

Fourth and fifth grades are going to perform the songs “Arre borriquito” and “Ocho candelitas.”

To show you an example of some activities that implement the use of technology and verbal development, please click on the following links and be part of our Spanish classroom.

1st Grade – Poem to my family

2nd Grade - I go to different places around town.

3rd Grade - Choral reading about colors and shapes, and Christmas sing-along practice.

4th Grade - Project using Explain Everything App to describe clothing.

5th Grade - Reading a dialogue about people in the community.

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SCIENCE LAB with Mr. Clayton

In our current unit we are busy exploring Habitats and Ecosystems. Students are learning about what animals need in order to live in an environment. Kindergarten through second grades are learning about forests and animals that live in each habitat. To start the unit we explored Maclay’s campus looking for animal shelters. Students were also able to closely examine bird nests to see how they are made.

Students in 3rd-5th grades will have the opportunity to create and observe a habitat. We will create an underwater habitat using an aquarium. Students will be able to gather materials for the aquarium and observe animal interactions. This should be an exciting lab and a great learning opportunity for all involved.

Maclay Band concert

5th GRADE BAND with Ms. Corzine

The Fifth Grade Band students played in their first concert on November 18. They did a great job! Since then, they are back at work learning new notes and rhythms. They are working hard on improving their breath support so they can play with good tone. They are also learning how to adjust their instruments so they can play in tune. They have just recently started working on a piece called "Celebration" which they are enjoying very much. Ms. Corzine is very proud of the progress they are making on their instruments!