Specials Curriculum Update

September 2017


The first month of classes for the Rustin Class was one of assessing their skills and understanding of art terms. We began the year with a look at color by asking, “What do we name colors?” and “What is your favorite color?” before creating a color design with color aid papers. The next kindergarten project was a look at 3-D and color. We built sculptures out of wood and painted them.

The Helman-Osborn, Anthony, Fox, and Penn Classes began the year by assembling fruits, vegetables, leaves, etc, of the season into faces based on the work of Giuseppe Arcimboldo. We then did paintings of those constructions. Each week we have set up an outdoor paper making station. We are learning how to make sheets of paper from Abaca pulp. These sheets of paper will be painted with Sumi brushes and inks or watercolor.

The Penn Class has created color design squares and collages from a starting element of collage material. They are working on “stand up self-portraits.” The Fox and Anthony Classes are creating color studies from ribbon weavings on frame bases. The Helman-Osborn students painted an eye of an animal on a 2”x 2” block of wood. They are also constructing cubist guitars based on the sculptures of Picasso and in conjunction with a trip to the Martin guitar factory.

Library/Information and Technology Literacy

Mott & Hicks - Preschool

The Mott and Hicks Classes have visited the Library several times this year and have learned about and practiced how to check out books in the Library. We’ve read Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Buss and also The Pig in the Pond by Martin Waddell in connection with their study of ponds and streams. Students also used the SMARTBoard to find animals in a virtual pond.

Rustin - Kindergarten

We’ve read several books including The Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen and The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy. Using those books, we learned about the UFS Library, rules we should follow when in the Library, and the routines for book selection.

Penn - 1st Grade

The Penn Class read several books including The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy and Wild About Books by Judy Sierra. Students have reviewed basic library routines such as using the book truck and checking out books. Most recently, students are learning how to use OPALS, our online library catalog.

Fox - 2nd & 3rd Grades

We’ve read several books including The Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen and Wild About Books by Judy Sierra. Students have reviewed basic library routines such as using the book truck and checking out books. Recently, students played a game to practice how to locate books in the library when given the book’s call number.

Anthony - 4th & 5th Grades

The Anthony Class has read several books, including Wild About Books by Judy Sierra. The students identified different genres of books found in the story and discussed where they would find those genres in our Library. Students also practiced how to locate books in the Library when given the book’s call number and have practiced using our online library catalog to check out books.

Helman-Osborn - 6th, 7th, & 8th Grades

In ITL class, students have read and reviewed the Responsible Use Policy. Students have also been selecting books for their R2S2 assignment. Recently, they have been learning about primary and secondary sources and are creating Google Slides presentations about those types of sources.


We have been having a wonderful time on “Musical Mondays” learning new songs and how to use various instruments within the classroom. Mott, Hicks, Rustin and Penn Classes have been learning how we can move our bodies in space to music we hear. A special focus has been on “active listening” and matching specific movements to aural cues within instrumental music. We are also enjoying increasing our steady beat awareness by using our bodies as percussion instruments as well as traditional instruments like egg shakers, rhythm sticks, and drums.

Fox and Anthony Classes have also been working to identify steady beat versus changing rhythms. They are also sight reading quarter note and eighth note rhythmic patterns and performing them on instruments. A special treat has been learning how to play the xylophone in partners with proper form and keeping a steady pattern while the rest of the class sings as an ensemble.

Fourth and fifth grade students began learning their first three notes on their instruments. Students are learning and reviewing correct technique, posture, and how to care for the equipment. They are also learning the basic note/rest values of quarter, whole, and half.

This month, the Middle School general music learned about AB and ABA song form by creating songs in GarageBand that showed two or more contrasting sections. They also began learning the guitar, specifically correct playing posture and technique, and notes on the first and second strings.

Students in the Middle School instrumental ensemble started learning their parts for the arrangement of "Yesterday" by The Beatles. They began practicing as an ensemble and are improving on playing in tempo with each other.

Middle School vocal ensemble has commenced and we are having a blast learning how to differentiate and utilize different areas of our voice and how to sing together with good tone and blend. In addition to learning various songs, we have begun sight singing and even learning how to approach improvisation.

Physical Education

We have had a great first few weeks of P.E. The Mott, Hicks, Rustin, and Penn Classes had lots of fun pretending to be Spiderman. We used our long scarves to make webs as we ran around the Big Room. We climbed up big buildings, bear-crawled through our spider maze, had a spider relay, and threw our mini webs at one another. Students in Fox, Anthony, and HO Classes compiled a list of physical activities done over the summer and then acted them out in a game of charades. We also learned new warm up exercises and played some games to develop agility and reaction. It's going to be a great year!


¡Hola queridos amigos! The 2017-2018 school year promises to be a fantastic year.

Our friends in the Hicks and Mott Classes are using the Spanish words “hola” and “adios” to say “hello” and “goodbye.” They have started to learn their colors in Spanish and are doing a great job identifying them in their surroundings.

Students in the Rustin Class have been learning their colors and their numbers (1-10) in Spanish. The Penn Class has been learning their colors, numbers, and some parts of the face in Spanish. Students in the Fox and the Anthony Classes started off the year applying Math skills to identify numbers from 1-100 and solving basic word problems in Spanish. They have learned personal pronouns.

Middle School students began the year by reviewing the differences between the verb to be “ser” and “estar” (In Spanish, there are two verbs that can be translated as “to be”). They have reviewed place value using ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands in Spanish and have been writing their own word problems.

¡Nos vemos en el mes de octubre!